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Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House

01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM (#3829805)
Subject: Declutter & Fitness - 2017
From: GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte

Another year has passed, here is the 2016 thread to refer back to. These aren't broken into monthly topics any more, but there are still people who follow them, so one more circumnavigation 'round the planet for the declutter topic here at Mudcat.


01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM (#3829861)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Putting away the holiday decorations is the first move of the year. Not that many in play, but enough that there are several boxes to add things back into, then organize the boxes in the office closet.

Our work holiday seemed to be particularly short this year, with xmas and new year's days both on Sunday. None of the permanent projects (new tile, in particular) was finished this week, but I started shopping around. The idea is to keep working on small projects that move the house closer to being ready to sell, should I decide the time has come. I don't envision it any time soon, and in the meantime I'll enjoy the results of my work.

Sipping tea, looking at a few things that can be completed today. eBay, a little gardening, filing papers (they seemed to push back - hard - every time I tried to organize them this month).


01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM (#3829864)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Below is Dorothy's last post from 2016, and lets me ask the question - are you still maintaining a residence or work space at the mill? Will this continue indefinitely, or is the new place meant to completely replace the mill operation one of these days soon?



Subject: RE: Yet More Clutter's Last Stand - 2016
From: Dorothy Parshall - PM
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 05:10 PM

Beaver:
Looking at a post from last January, I see progress! Snow removal (more today!) and bringing in wood are still ongoing. No wood shed yet but the heavy cover is wonderful.. The snow is holding it down VERY well! The eaves trough without heat cable were an error and the house one has fallen down from the weight of snow and ice. Next year. Sorting through archives has progressed but still has some to go. No potting wheel in the BR; I took it to Montreal to use when there. Sewing machine is on a TV table, repaired!!!! And ready to use. The kiln room is better organized but not optimum yet. **New thought: that new cabinet (below) might work better in there than what is there now. On a warm day, I can pursue this possibility.

The BR, now that the new wall is in and painted!!, has been re-organized with the bookcase across the foot of the bed raised on 12 inch concrete blocks so things can be stored under the bottom shelf and books on 3 shelves – bed width. The bottom shelf is about level with the surface of the bed; there is just enough space to tuck things down there – about 8 cf of storage! The bookcase will prevent the mattress shifting – sort of a footboard! A tall 28 inch wide antique cabinet is next to that and still leaves good room to see out the window. I will finish loading it today and this will clear most of the BR clutter so I can re-organize the other cabinet and HOPE this will complete de-cluttering of BR.

We now have an empty wall space where the ladder to go to the loft. No furniture planned for there until that job is complete. Book shelves may ensue.   

The studio is in torpor. There is about 2 feet of snow on the roof.. I will use it on warm enough days, use the M one when there and the one at the mill when it is warm enough. I am getting quite taken by the concept: "I'm retired, I don't HAVE to do anything!"

.An article in Bancroft This Week gives hope that the Town might find a better space for the library. Might be time to get folks organized, after this holiday, to work with those "in charge" with the aim of supporting a library for the people. New librarian seems positive addition. Maybe we could take him to lunch for a consult.

Auction this am: one $5 cabinet that can go in shed for better organizing OR I can give it to the friend who was also there and transported it for us; it occurred to me too late that she may have wanted it but she "went to the washroom,,," Otherwise, R bought some things for elsewhere. and we netted a nice hand painted wood loon for here.

R is, "as we speak" putting in new light fixtures in the LR so I can use nice light covers which have moved across the country with me. This de-clutters them from storage to useful.

Just agreed: insulate roof next year.

Speaking of which - MAy everyone hae the best possible New Year!!


02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM (#3829994)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

This year, Himself retires from the army and we move from Ottawa to Stratford, Ontario. We have been in this house for more than 18 years, longer than either of us has ever lived in one place before. I'm a fairly neat person (he's not), but the prospect of packing up books and papers, china and kitchen traps, acres of framed art and God knows what else AS WELL AS the furniture and 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe that we use for wine racks -- well, I'm so not ready.

The first major project is replacing the kitchen stove, which happens on Friday. The gas technician comes to disconnect the old one on Thursday, so I guess supper will be pizza or something from the microwave -- come to think of it, I believe we still have some venison bourguignon in the freezer. Removing the carcass will be a bit of a challenge, as the kitchen is on the second floor of the house and the space through which the old stove must pass on its way out -- especially the gap between the handle of the refrigerator and the kitchen island -- is only about an inch bigger than the stove itself. Then, as the delivery guys are bringing the new one in, Himself and I will be promptly down on our marrowbones to scrub out the vacated space. After eighteen and a half years of cooking, it's going to be an icky job.

Then the carpenters come in to tear the electricity-devouring light fixtures out of the bathrooms and replace them with something far more modest. They will also repair all the damaged drywall in the house, including the hole in the kitchen wall where a dribble from the leaking roof found a place to pool and wreak havoc. I believe we have been ignoring that hole for some ten years now.

We have a list ...


03 Jan 17 - 03:34 PM (#3830229)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
One of the ultimate clutters is having more than one abode. OR there are more places to put stuff which COULD lead to less clutter, however,...

R lives in Montreal. I detest living in Montreal – noise, pollution and my lack of French. I detest the house; it needs major reno. It is more like indoor camping but if I were camping in MY space, it would be neat and clean. It is unlikely that R will move out of Montreal – business and bro. I have done my best with this place and there is very little cooperation for anything further. R is too busy. And used to it.

The Mill is a dreadful 20,000sf industrial building in a farming area of southern Quebec out of which we have carved a sun room, a beautiful kitchen with no running water, and a bed/sitting room that is moderately comfortable and generally uncluttered. I have a studio at one end of the building, a marvelous window manufacturer has a large chunk in the front and there is tons of storage area that R has dreams of making into a variety of … In the meantime, it helps to have a place to put stuff in a fairly organized way. The mill got bought due to our Friday nights at the Café for the music, which led to a community of friends. Unfortunately, the air is toxic from April until the rainy season due to the chemicals sprayed on corn and soy fields. We go there for the music and I visit with friends and do some pottery. Having a thriving perennial plot and space for veggies but fear the toxins and must wear a face mask in garden times. But no black flies!

Beaver Haven, near Bancroft, Ontario, gets me back to the area in which I lived 17 years, where I have friends, fresh air and quiet. The 600sf house provides a wonderful shelter in a great area. R also loves being there and I becoming part of the community. I have a small studio and do get some pottery done when the weather is warm enough. We have two storage sheds and a large outhouse. We have two raised beds for veggies and more planned. R plans to build a library – maybe next summer – 10x10 and 2 story. With no windows but the door and skylights. (10x10s do not need permission.)

In the latest 10 day stay, we attended 2 community Christmas dinners, the monthly open mike music night, and an antiques auction, visited the art gallery so R could see our friend's wonderful art, but mostly just hung out. R enjoyed doing small jobs: this trip, the sewing machine, two new light fixtures in the LR, snow clearing, wood hauling, and pie with the neighbour who has taken it upon himself to blow the (very short) driveway!!!! The re-organized BR looks good, a couple paintings are hung, an ugly and unnecessary florescent light removed, two more towel racks in the bathroom, and I may have forgotten…. R read 3 books and relaxed.

I will prob go back to Beaver in a week, depending on weather (dow) and stay a week or so - dow. So, we sort out our own peculiar way of life. We both prefer to be there but he needs to be in Montreal, and we each need/want to spend time together. The big clutter is schlepping things hither and yon, slowly becoming more routine as there is a special bin-to-go. The washing machine is at Beaver, and an oven that works. The wonderful washing machine at the mill can only be used in warmer months and the one in Montreal still needs the burst water line repaired – a pointless job considering the needed reno. Maybe we NEED 3 abodes!! I am certainly happier having one that is fir for habitation in a beautiful area where I have dear friends.

Good thing I am retired!


09 Jan 17 - 12:48 PM (#3831466)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
Finally succeeded in de-clutteringmy body of a nasty respiratory things AGAIN. When I finally came to terms with "I am really sick" I upped the Pau d'Arco and went to bed. It was a week long malaise and effectively precluded most activity. R kindly took me to a grocery store where we could get edible foods. It was to his advantage! Then I went back to bed. Celery soup has been his mainstay this week though I managed to produce good BFs.

Today feeling almost normal and not wobbly. Too cold in the house to do much. Still dosing myself and keeping warm in front of heater. Want to be at Beaver but need a few more days here to recover. R is being very solicitous.


09 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM (#3831502)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Hauled a large batch of recycling off last week, and the back of the car is currently full again, and will be emptied when I go pick up Jason at the bus stop later. Fridge needs a major cleaning out (hello compost pile!) and the floors need a good sweeping/vacuuming, thanks to Beau's toy-shredding habits. There's less fluff now, though, since I've discovered that he's perfectly happy with the de-fluffed pelts.

I've also been bringing home the cardboard open-topped boxes that the clementines come in that a lot of customers don't want (the clementines are in mesh bags in the boxes) and using them to organize my cabinet space. So far, the large containers of spices have been organized, next up is the large collection of food storage containers.

We got a large ceramic jar with a top that seals for dog treats, and that has gotten the multitude of bagged treats off the counter and in one spot.

Now I just need to get the mountain of laundry taken care of. The laundromat in town has a very poor heating system and it is so hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go in when it's as cold as it's been the past few days.


09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM (#3831558)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Tami, you're using the classic "early orange crate" method of organizing, on a smaller scale with the clementine boxes.

I'm working my way through paper, filing, shredding, or putting a few in an action pile that actually are useful right now. When it's so cold outside, this is a perfectly acceptable activity - come spring it's difficult to make myself address paper issues at all if I can be out in the yard instead.

The last of the holiday decorations are down, except I think I'm going to leave a couple of the colorful strings wrapped around a limb that I have standing in the corner of the room. I was going to cut it up (it fell into the yard from next door when the crape myrtles were trimmed) and realized it was actually a beautiful shape. I have a large pot full of limestone gravel holding it in place, and strings of lights running all around it. Mostly I use the clear LED, but now I have some colored LED lights as well. You don't really see the colored strings at all when the white ones are turned on, and the revers goes with the colored ones on and the clear unplugged.

I can see floor in my office and some of the desktops. Progress.


09 Jan 17 - 05:52 PM (#3831561)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

Wow, Charmian, you must like wine!


10 Jan 17 - 08:40 AM (#3831665)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Thompson, we like wine. We also like dinner parties, which tend to involve wine, and French food, which also frequently contains wine. On the other hand, a fair few of the sections of drainage pipe are unoccupied; I think our current holdings stand at about five dozen bottles.

No new stove for us. The gas technician came on Thursday, took one look at the current set-up, whipped out his tape measure and declared it Not Up To Code. Alas, according to the most recent revision of the Canadian national building code, a gas-fired stove must have 30 inches of clearance above and to the sides of the cooktop. In our current kitchen, that would mean ripping out three cabinets, finding a new home for the very large microwave oven, and installing a new exhaust hood ten inches higher than the current one. What is wrong with the current one, you ask? Well, its light sockets contain flammable plastic! Who knew? Not I.

So the plan did not survive contact with reality. What a surprise.

On the phone with Sears, I cancelled the delivery and "returned" the new stove with which I had quite fallen in lust. We will replace the old one later in the sell-the-house project, with an electric job that does not call for extensive surgery on the overhead cabinets. It won't be my kitchen any more, so Not My Problem.

Meanwhile, the foul weather of an Ottawa winter has given the carpenters a Very Good Reason to cancel their date with us today, so the contents of two bathrooms are scattered throughout the house. All my need-for-order nerves are tweaking like crazy.


10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM (#3831696)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

Bloody code. For the same kind of insane reason it has been decided that all gas hobs should have inlets on the right, which means I can't replace my old one and have to change to electric.


14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM (#3832515)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The companies that sell electricity in my state can all be accessed through one state-run website, and they all have to provide basic information (do they have a base charge the power usage is added to? What is the charge if you use up to 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, or 2000 kWh or above? Do they let you pay by credit card, do they charge extra for that privilege, or must you let them take their fee out of your bank on their own?) There are some with ridiculously low offers in one area, offset bit ridiculously difficult to calculate fees in others that actually make it more expensive. There ought to be a law . . .

Anyway, I did a lot of math this week and chose to go with the company owned by Berkshire-Hathaway. They have the simplest statement of facts, the easiest offering, and don't gouge if you want a plan for two years instead of one. Warren Buffet's common sense trickles down into his company's holdings. Every year or two I change companies to get those lower introductory offers. The savings is significant, but I do have to do the research. (When I moved in here and connected with the default large state power company, I had bills upward of $350 during the highest heating or cooling months; now my highest bill never reaches $150, and during much of the year it is in the $50 a month range. It is worth it.)

Still sorting, filing, and shredding paper, and I have to put a few reams into my paper cabinet. For xmas I try to give totally practical gifts along with a few more targeted personal ones. This year I bought a case of good bright printer paper and gave a couple of reams each (brightly wrapped!) to family. And have a lifetime supply left over. So paper is a never-ending occupation around here.

Time to plant the potatoes and see about some onion sets. The chard took a hit with the freezing weather but a few survived, so I'll weed around them and apply more mulch. Year round there is always something that can be harvested or consumed out in the garden. Right now there are lots of herbs and a few straggler onions from last year.


14 Jan 17 - 07:44 PM (#3832651)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I have been cleaning things out slowly. One drawer at a time. Maybe one group of items a time. It's all I have time for these days as I have returned to a full time job. :)

I thought that maybe we would fall behind on the care of the house now that I'm not home on a full time basis but that just isn't the case. We are a well oiled machine when it comes to staying on top of the daily chores which makes me most happy. :)

I've donated several boxes of things over the last few weeks, making room for the new or perhaps just making space for the sake of making space. :)

I hope all is well with everyone!

Michelle


16 Jan 17 - 01:14 PM (#3832996)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

I thought I had beat the malaise but I slacked off on treatment and it hung on. I THINK it is finally beaten back but will not slack off yet. Not much has gotten done. This house is beyond me but I did manage to keep warm and make soups. Went to the Mill on Friday but too cold to do anything but lunch with Geri and music at the Cafe. R made it down for music and we came back to city. I have managed to keep us fed and dishes washed.

Yesterday, R did a major de-cluttering in the LR. All I asked was to clear the paper off his chair; off the K table would have been nice also. However! Those did not happen. We have considerably more floor showing and there were many trips, by him, taking books to 2nd floor. The top of the huge buffet is cleared of "stuff" and looks civilized with a row of glass vases across the back and some other pretties.

The upper cabinet we rescued from the trash last week is against a wall (as a lower, not upper!) and ready to hold the new TV. He cleared a bunch of stuff out of the under-the-stairs closet. But it is still inaccessible as things were piled back in the doorway - I heard a mumble that indicated this might be improved (what year?).

When the new TV is in place and working???? Then the big old monster can leave.I shall have to re-arrange the electric cords and lamps to suit the new chair arrangement. The table the TV is on can be a coffee table, the air cleaner in better spot and ... HOPE!

It is a great improvement. The next phase may happen - sooner or later. Anyway, the weather may go to or above freezing so I can go to the laundromat and grocery (refused to leave house during cold weekend) and start a pot of the veggie chili I have not made in a couple years. That first!

Thankful for the air cleaner which collects the dust that was disturbed yesterday. That was a 12 hour job - he read a lot! I just sat with the computer, next to the air cleaner and hoped the dust did not get to me. And fed us. I could not help; it was his stuff. I basically hid out - in the LR while it went on around me. Oh, I am afraid to see what the upstairs room looks like - not my monkeys!


16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM (#3833000)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Michelle,

Congratulations on the new job and on seven years cancer free. When you look back, I think you'll remember much more the joy of raising Jeremiah and the cancer fight will recede (as it should). What a stroke of genius that the state should ask you to raise that wonderful boy right at the time they did! (I am 17 years out, and as scars fade, so do the scary memories.)

Dorothy,

I have a friend who moved from here out to Arizona several years ago, and after a large garage sale one thing that didn't sell I claimed (as no one else had room for it) was her heavy-duty coffee table that used to hold her old monster television. It lived in the room where they held a weekly Movie Night. It has scratches but every time one of the family comes over they fondly look on that table, now in front of my sofa (my television is on the fireplace hearth).

I'm still thinking about the tile for floors in the bathrooms, the sun room, the laundry room, and one closet. I want to keep working on these projects to finish what I started. I'm thinking the house needs some foundation work before much more is invested in tile, but foundations are horribly expensive to stabilize. Home ownership isn't for the faint of heart!


16 Jan 17 - 10:41 PM (#3833065)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall

My decluttering so far this year has mainly consisted of removing the unwanted snow from areas we need to use dail, the driveway, walkways, stairs and deck. In preparation for the warmer weather and deeper, heavier snowfalls expected, last week I used our big gas snow blower to cut trails through the snow to various destinations in the yard, the grandchildren's "tree house", the compost boxes, and out along the side of the house to the front yard and driveway.

Indoors, I went through the pantry cupboard and removed items that were well past their "best before" dates.

I'm planning to have a photo book printed to commemorate our thirty-five years together, this April. I've been working through old photo albums, scanning family group photos and several "memorable occasion" shots from each year. Four years completed, only thirty-one to go.

Because there were some years that prints didn't make it into albums, I revisited my photo print organizing project. Last week, at my church ladies' unfinished projects group, I managed to arrange one shoe box of prints into salvaged envelopes that I'd labeled by year. I'm hoping that I can sort the rest in the coming weeks and put them into albums.

I'm considering how to dispose of extra copies of photos of family members that were never sent to their intended recipients. Doing so would free up quite a bit of space. I'm leaning toward running them through an empty shredder, then disposing of the shredded bits in the rubbish bin as I don't think the coating would be acceptable in the recycling.   

After I had a look at the four years of scans on a bigger monitor, I was very disappointed when I saw that, in spite of using an old towel to wipe both the scanner and the photos, there are many white specks on the images. Removing those will require much time consuming editing. Also I'm afraid they are not a high enough resolution to print well in a book. Not sure if I can find another way to do this project?

Christmas is still very much present in our home. The creche, tree, wreaths and stockings remain in the same places they held on Christmas Eve. The boxes needed to store them in the attic are still beyond my reach in the attic because I injured my "better" knee when I hefted the big snowblower around. Now I cannot climb a ladder to get the storage boxes down, or to carry them back up and stow them away again. Oh well, it does make the living room more colourful and cheerful on these cold dark winter days.

rags


17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM (#3833259)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Rags, if you scan at 300 dpi you will have something a printer can work with. The higher the better as far as getting detail and lots of pixels to work with.

Another option is to take the negatives, if you have them, and have a photo store scan them digitally and make a disk with as high a resolution as possible. There should be less dust. I can give you tips about the specks on the images - send me a PM with your email and we can talk about it. This is one of the things I do at work.

Those snow blowers sound like they're kind of fun to use - more dramatic than the comparable task of mowing the lawn with a power mower. Injury while operating isn't great, though. Rest that knee so you can resume your usual activities.

I cleared off my kitchen counters and table this weekend, and hope to keep them looking good till next weekend when friends are coming over for lunch. And I have a couple of stools and chairs I need to glue and put a nail or screw into to strengthen them. My kids were here during the holidays and identified all of the wonky seating and left things upside down in place, so I know which ones to work on. Don't you just love how straightforward family is at times? It was a help, a way to remind me I need to do this.


18 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM (#3833341)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Photos ... Oh, God, so many photos. Yet another of the jobs I should have been doing for an hour a day but neglected so I could read instead. I must have forty years worth of negatives to scan, all carefully jumbled up in an accordion file where they will most certainly stay for the foreseeable future.

The carpenters are hard at work here on Old St. Patrick Street, and our third floor -- one study, two bedrooms and two bathrooms -- is chaos. Arie and Ron, the carpenters, are neat and careful, but everything does have to be pulled away from the walls, and they do have to patch and sand and patch and sand again before even the first coat of paint can be laid. It all takes time, and I hate every minute of it -- not least because I know that every completed room takes us that much closer to putting the house on the market and getting ready to leave Ottawa. The carpenters are amazingly tolerant. I think they've been through this before.

Himself is now two months out from his last day in uniform, and his agenda is filling up with pre-release obligations. Yesterday it was the dental unit, where he was told to use an incredibly expensive fluoride-intense toothpaste because he has "exposed roots". Long in the tooth, are we? Gettit? I hope he makes a date with Clothing Stores soon, for I would love to get the last barrack box out of the cellar, with its contents of desert-pattern combat clothing and winter warfare snugglies. At least the sleeping bag suitable for nuclear winter has gone back, along with the Kevlar helmet, flak jacket and load-carrying equipment. Now, if only he could be persuaded to re-home the accumulation of combat boots. Imelda Marcos had nothing on your typical old soldier.


21 Jan 17 - 07:48 AM (#3833854)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall

My trail blazing with the snowblower backfired on me. Instead of getting a large amount of additional snow, we got warm winds and rain. Snow melted, the paths flooded, blocking my access to compost boxes etc. and seriously upsetting my neighbours' cat, who claims my yard as her own, and wasn't able to conduct her usual tour of the perimeter. Thankfully, the flood has mostly disappeared and temperatures have returned to below freezing again. Winter will resume.

My knee responded well to resting it. I managed to dismantle the Christmas tree and stow it away for the next ten months or so, along with most other signs of Christmas.

Acme, Thank you for offering to help with the dust specks. I don't know how to tell if it scans at 300 dpi. The specs for the printer says: Optical Resolution   1200 x 2400 dpi. I'm assuming that is the output for a document the size of the scanning screen? My scans of small photos are as small as 500 x 700 dpi.

I haven't made time to get back to scanning. I've been trying to think of other possibilities, including giving up on the idea completely, or limiting the project to the post digital camera years. Before I give up completely, I may try to can set up my camera and rephotograph the prints?

rags


21 Jan 17 - 09:28 PM (#3834012)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Decluttered two inches from around my waist since August. House is still a disaster.


22 Jan 17 - 06:35 PM (#3834181)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

Digging into general clutter today. It was not my plan, but wound up boxing up 3 vacuum cleaners to donate now that the place is carpetfree. Yes, now that I count them I realize they should have moved on long ago, but, here we are, admitting stupidity. Still have the shopvac for big jobs, and the tiny stick vac I got for the RV is much more fun to use for little ones. All this is neither here nor there, except sheesh that liberates several square feet of floor space.

Rags, I wasn't able to get all my photos digitized til I got my hands on a sheetfeed scanner. Mine is a ScanSnap, it would shoosh through a packet at a time and let me sequential number with a prefix like 'Easter 2002'. They are not super cheap, but if you can get your hands on one, it would really help with your project. Only thing I use a flatbed scanner for any more is for delicate stuff I'm afraid to shoosh.


22 Jan 17 - 07:47 PM (#3834188)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

De-cluttered my mind of concern for Beaver by phoning dear Dan and asking him to check on things. He kindly did so and watered the plants. sent me a text. A great relief to know the pipes are not frozen, the studio is not a pancake from the 2 feet of snow on roof and the plants are alive. Once again, I had brought the african violet with me, wrapped in its shawl; it is blooming nicely.

Have recognized that my malaise is long term and, although the cough is mostly gone, the lack of energy persists. I did manage a bunch of thrift shop visits last week, collecting very nice comforters for the house in the Laurentians which is due for first tenants on 26th. We also spent Friday at IKEA collecting other essentials. Tomorrow, the house and my car will be de-cluttered of a huge pile of stuff. R and crew will go up to get it in order. I shall stay home and do almost nothing - again.

Other than that, all the promises of piles of papers being organized have come to naught. Getting a 6 BR house with indoor swimming pool and 3 saunas ready for Airbnb rentors is taking up R's time and energy.

Tired of eating the same stuff all the time, I went berserk - I need something different! There were brussel sprouts in the frig so I googled and put together what i had with a few recipe ideas and we had a sort of brussel sprout/onion/chicken stir fry with blue cheese and heavy cream as a sauce. delicious!

Finally recognized in the last couple days that cookies do an immediate job of clogging sinuses. Will I be able to eliminate them from diet????

I manage to maintain moderate organization for the most part. Cleared some shelf areas for R to use when he gets to it. The buffet is still civil, the new TV not in place...


22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM (#3834201)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've kept the kitchen counters and small table free of clutter for several weeks, mostly since I've had houseguests and made myself pick up and put away instead of letting things pile up. One of my few "resolutions" for the year, formed recently and not on New Year's Eve, is to continue this practice.

I'm also making myself do at least one new eBay listing a day this week, to start moving the things piled on a table I recently moved into the sunroom so I could clear my working space to do those listings. I want all of this photographed, described, packaged (all but sealed - ready to go when someone buys it) and listed so I can move that table back out of my way. The cash will also be welcome as I'm resuming the frugal "no spend challenge" again this month. I did really well for about eight of the 12 months last year - but those four months were monsters! Everything from dog surgeries to a new air conditioner compressor, car repairs, and finally, a new vehicle. Oy.

Patty, you need to be very careful with those scanners that feed documents. And I don't think you can get very high resolutions from an item that is moving across a very narrow scanning area. Those are good for snapshots that don't matter, but the flatbed scanner is every archival librarian's first choice when it comes to preserving important photos, negatives, and documents. The good news is that you can get a pretty good flatbed scanner new, with the software for $150 or less (you might even want to shop software first, decide what kind you want to use, then find scanners that come with it.)


24 Jan 17 - 11:54 AM (#3834544)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

My energy seems to have returned. For now anyway. Rejoicing in the house and car being emptied of mountain of stuff, I went off foraging for groceries yesterday and did every shop in a largish mall looking for a new item of clothing - a loose fitting shirt, tunic/tent, SOMETHING to camouflage the hips I am simply NOT getting rid of.

Out of a couple dozen stores, only one had a nice big cotton shirt that was perfect - but too small. I checked the brand on line and, although it appears to be based in Montreal, no info on products... SO, this morning I snitched a shirt of R's. He won't miss it and it will work for now. It has snowed about 2 inches in the last hour or so on top of ice that dropped just before; I ain't going no where!

R stayed over up north so... I put clay on plaster bat to dry, had a hot bath, sorted out an upcoming CC payment while on a call to complain about telemarketing call as I was getting out of bath, and had a light BF. Did some sorting in the K, eliminating a couple excess containers. Thought about what can be put in awkward-to-get-to cabinet that R cleared AND washed for me. Will be looking for WHAT ELSE can I do today? I COULD walk to the laundromat and do that, maybe. (Lights just flickered!)

Actually, those mini sortings add up to a good bit of clearing as well as hope.


24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM (#3834591)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

eBay listings coming along. A couple of things have sold lately so I labelled and mailed them - and from there got started with listing newer items.


25 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM (#3834774)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The contractors are patching the walls and painting in the kitchen today, so the entire house is all of a doodah. Last night, I emptied the cabinet where we keep our way-too-copious collection of glassware, and this morning I cleared the counters and removed literally every piece of furniture that I could pick up. Consequently, the dining table, the sideboard, the front ledge of the china cabinet, and every surface in the sitting room are covered with wine glasses, bottles of booze, beer steins, cooking equipment and large food-storage crocks.

The cats hate-hate-hate what's going on. So do I.

But the real estate agent came around on Monday to check up on progress and talk about timings, and we agreed that the house goes on the market on the first day of Spring, which happens to be a Monday this year. It is also the day after Himself turns 60 and becomes a civilian, and the clock starts running down the time we have to complete this move. One of the most valuable benefits Himself is entitled to on his retirement from the Army is a full-cost move to our destination of choice (within Canada), but we have to get it done and all claims submitted, within a year of his release date.

The bedrooms and bathrooms are patched and painted. The kitchen is under way. In the rest of the house, only the baseboards, window frames and trim are to be painted, but that still means moving every single piece of furniture, including a ridiculous number of bookcases.

On with the show. This is it.


25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM (#3834892)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Having a target date to finish probably helps pace yourselves, Charmion. To where within Canada are you considering moving?

More items are on eBay, a couple of sales shipped this week, and several parcels need to be shipped to friends. One package no longer needs to be shipped because I delayed for so long that the friend is visiting in town this week. I'll give it to her in person on Friday.


26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM (#3834979)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

Also getting that 'this is it!' feeling, the bedrooms are done, the main rooms yet to be painted. Have hauled out more bags of trash from the shop building, am sorting and purging lots of 'stuff'.   I'm afraid to call a realtor til the place is tidier, which is hard when you're sorting/purging/listing things, but I guess that needs to move to the top of the list.

Acme, I have a flatbed scanner, and use it for very old or special photos. It took forever to scan a few hundred old photos. I get amazing resolution with the modern sheet feed scanner, which takes 1/20th the time to do, so I got thousands done. My colleague has used one to do all the publications for his agency with great results. Maybe you're thinking about the old first generation sheet-feeders, they were pretty lame.


26 Jan 17 - 09:23 AM (#3834981)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Acme, a deadline concentrates the mind mightily. I have disliked the state of the kitchen for at least five years, but only the imminent sale of the house could force me to pull my finger out and get the work done.

Our destination is Stratford, Ontario, the seat of Perth County and home of the Stratford Theatre Festival. It's a nice little town of just over 30,000 population, just close enough to Toronto to allow weekend jaunts for shopping and shows, but far enough away that house prices are still almost sane. It's also within easy visiting distance of Himself's extended family, which comprises what feels like dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, all spread out along the 401 highway from Toronto to Windsor.

The kitchen is back to rights, after some two hours of trotting back and forth with trays of glassware and armloads of cooking tackle. I also improved the last hour of daylight yesterday by scrubbing the floor, my second-least-favourite job (after cleaning the oven). Himself came home from work just as I was hauling in the last of the wine glasses (yes, we have too many), and all I had to say to him was, "Pizza for supper. And beer."

The huge mirror in the front hall -- seven feet tall, Victorian plate glass and mahogany, probably once the property of a Montreal haberdasher -- has been taken down from its bracket and propped up against a bookcase full of British Empire history. Fresh plaster has been applied to the jeezly great holes in the wall where its enormous anchor bolts were sunk into the studs, and the carpenters are due around lunch time to sand, patch again, sand some more, and patch yet again. The real estate agent wanted it dismounted and squirrelled away before any potential buyer saw it and assumed it came with the house, but now I'll actually have to pay attention to ensure that I don't button my coat skew-whiff.


30 Jan 17 - 08:00 PM (#3835820)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

Charmion is going to have a pretty clean slate when she moves to new quarters; she can choose carefully what actually gets unpacked. Of course, sending things to elsewhere before moving is best - for all that we can bear to part with.

I de-cluttered my life on Friday morning by breaking the left ankle. The right foot hit a bit of black ice and flew out in front of me. The left one stuck on the tarmac and I had the fairly unique experience of watching my foot fold up toward my knee. One full day in emergency and two in bed recovering and this morning I wanted to jump out of bed and make breakfast.... R made it - again. But I feel better and can maneuver around with the borrowed "Cadillac" walker. Just the skill we each need!

Well, about the de-cluttering:R has cleared the house to make way for a walker! Some good comes from... The house is a MESS!


31 Jan 17 - 09:15 AM (#3835916)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Oh, Dorothy! How awful!

Some 30 years ago, I broke my left ankle while getting out of the car in an icy parking lot. Four years later, I broke the right one in an incident eerily similar to what you suffered. I'm sure you have received loads and loads of good advice already, but here comes my two cents: don't be in any hurry to put weight on the recovering joint.

The routine task I found most difficult was cooking: as long as I was on crutches (ten very long weeks), all I could do was stand at the stove and stir -- fetching and carrying were not possible. Number two was bathing: getting in and out of the bathtub required a fair amount of upper-body strength and no little skill.

But you're right about the decluttering effect. When you can't, you can't, and that's that. I'm sure Roger's cooking skills will meet the need, and I hope you're better than I was about nagging from the sofa.

Our carpenters have finished their work and I paid them on Friday, thus decluttering our bank account of a substantial sum. Now we wait for Himself's all-important meeting with the Release Section at National Defence Headquarters, when he gets the all-important Relocation Package and we find out precisely what the Crown pays for -- and what it doesn't.

If this move is anything like what we went through before, it would be best if we shed as much stuff now as we can. When the packers come and the house is full of cardboard and newsprint, we will quickly lose track of what is where -- that is, if we ever have anything resembling track. I look around the cellar and despair; some of the boxes down there were packed 25 years ago, when my father died, and haven't been touched since except to shift them from his cellar to mine. There are also three cartons of cassette tapes (we don't even own a cassette tape player any more) and two milk crates full of ancient, battered LPs. I can't remember the last time we cranked up the turntable that is still hooked to our stereo, but Himself would weep real, salt tears if I proposed parting with them.

Oy, veh.


31 Jan 17 - 01:55 PM (#3835959)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess

Been a bit distracted lately by political events, my sister's medical situation, and then getting hit with The Cold (which everybody else seems to have already had).

Occasionally when one is lying awake at 3:30 in the morning, the mind actually does some good thinking and organizing and comes up with some good ideas. (This has happened exactly once, I think, in my life -- but it was a week or so ago.)

One of the ideas was to deaccession several boxes of magazine clipping -- photos and artwork -- that I used to use for collage projects such as covering storage boxes, portfolios, pocket folders, clipboards, etcet, etcet. Some great and colorful stuff but...I'm not really doing this anymore. And when I do, I've been using maps instead.

Asked the likely recipient, a very creative and artistic friend, if she'd be interested and, since she's been working on making figures she calls "Entities" and selling them from her Etsy shop, she declined. Just emailed another friend who runs a large daycare/preschool and has taken other paper craft materials for school projects.

I really would prefer to give them to someone who can creatively use them, but I'll try to wrap my brain around throwing them out if I have no takers. I may not have grown up in New England, but Tom always said I was born a Yankee -- I really hate throwing out something that somebody somewhere can use.

Got to go chip some more ice off the deck and steps. That's what happens when a cold slaps you down the day after several inches of "wintry mix" arrives on your doorstep.

Linn


02 Feb 17 - 06:16 PM (#3836376)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal ---INDEFINiTELY! Phooey.

Phoned Dan and he will check on house and water plants. also told him of a new spring project: extend the walkway to west end of studio, build an 6-8 foot deck with weatherproof cabinet for two small kilns. R has acquired a kiln rated extension cord! This will de-clutter a big portion of the shed by house for more accessible storage,

Now to find someone to empty the mailbox.

Re-scheduled appointment to get cataracts checked to April so save R two days of tripping to take me. Hope to be able to drive by then.

Tomorrow to hospital for xray to check on healing; hopeful as I have been VERY careful (Charmion!). This will greatly de-clutter my mind as the thought of surgery for a pin is most distressing.

AS for the house: we are gradually coming to terms with what needs to be done and how to keep me eating without driving R into more stress. IT is chaos but there is a path for the walker. R will move the microwave a a spot where I can access it.

On the plus side, I have avoided all sweets ad choc since last Thursday and am eating very carefully. Hope to keep on.


02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM (#3836398)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Linn, if you box all of the craft stuff maybe you can donate to a shelter or a daycare center or even thrift store?

Dorothy, did you have to have surgery on the ankle, or did they simply set it?

I fear I will soon be minus one dog. My old pitbull Cinnamon is today looking unhappy, has more lumps under her coat, is moving slowly, and tonight she didn't eat her dinner, not even a few pieced offered by hand. I think the lesions removed last summer were cancer, and they're catching up with her. I'll let her sleep on the foot of the bed tonight and see how she is in the morning, but I refuse to prolong her discomfort (she's 13 or 14) when medical intervention would only give her a few days or weeks, and those not quality days or weeks. I told the kids, and my son just emailed saying he saw that she was "worse for wear" when he was here earlier this month and he said his goodbyes then. Maybe I'm the last to see it, since I've been with her every day and the decline is gradual.


03 Feb 17 - 08:29 AM (#3836462)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Dorothy, if you have avoided surgery thus far, you have been very lucky -- and I hope you continue to be. Both my ankle fractures were complicated, with bits of bone all over the place, so I got "open reduction and fixation" -- i.e., surgery plus screws and plates -- followed by a week in hospital and a long convalescence made miserable by Ottawa's icy winter. For each foot, I had to have follow-up surgery within five years to remove the hardware, yet more fun and games. The scars were rather stunning for some years but they have finally faded to faint silver traces.

Yesterday we went to see the financial wizard who handles our retirement savings. I'm always amused by my intense desire to be patted on the head and congratulated for my bourgeois impulse to squirrel away as much cash as possible and duck any potential for debt, and Mr Smith obliged nicely. It seems that we won't starve as long as the Canadian government keeps to its end of the bargain on military pensions, and our savings will permit us to continue attending folk festivals as long as our digestions will stand the rigors of road food.

Acme, I'm sorry to read that your dear dog is failing. Several years ago, one of our cats died of cancer while we were away (at a folk festival, oddly enough), and I've felt guilty ever since that I failed to realize she was so close to the end. You clearly won't make the same mistake.


03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM (#3836525)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

She perked up to her old self today, but now that I look at her more closely I see she walks more slowly, and has those bumps, so we're going through that stage of good and bad days. When she has more bad than good days, I'll have to make the decision.

My goal to keep the kitchen tidy pays off in making my days and weekends easier - preparation to leave for work smoother, and weekend projects don't require the clearing of stuff.

I have to test the new steam cleaner, but first have to vacuum. My house is a sea of dog hair (and it isn't even shedding season yet).

eBay is moving along, I've built up the balance in my PayPal account and that encourages me to keep up the listings. Success breeds success.


03 Feb 17 - 01:50 PM (#3836532)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Acme, just wanted to say I'm so sorry your Cinnamon is declining. We recently had to make the decision to have our cat Minty put to sleep, and in spite of it being entirely the right thing to do, I know how heartbreaking it is. It helps us to concentrate on the very happy life he had, and the really lovely little moments we shared. I so feel for you.

About the decluttering, I always do a massive attack on the filing cabinet in the study every January. Two huge drawers with quite neatly arranged folders, but over the year they get more and more stuffed full of papers. This is only for running the house, our car and other documents (Tax and so on). But the amount of A4 bits of paper gets silly. I weed out all but the most essential stuff and do one file at a time. By the time I've done only the first drawer, there's a massive pile of paper to get rid of. It can't be recycled because there may be details of accounts etc so it all has to be shredded piece by piece. Our electric shredder overheats after 5 sheets, so this process takes literally weeks! I'm nearly at the end of the second drawer now. And I've managed to do a financial review at the same time, which is always useful. I'd like to burn all this paper, but our garden is tiny and there's a huge 1000 litre oil tank sitting there. Bit dangerous to burn stuff right beside that!
I remember the time when all this malarkey was unknown. My parents didn't have huge amounts of paper around the place. I'm thinking of employing a secretary and an accountant!


04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM (#3836733)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Senoufou, when I pay bills (all are paid online these days) I print the confirmation, but I use the printer's sheet feeder and run each page twice so the next confirmation goes on the back of the first. And I have a couple of accordion-style folders with 12 pockets. Each bill and the confirmation for the month goes in the appropriate pocket, and I keep two smaller envelopes, one for medical and Rx receipts (it moves from pocket to pocket during the year) and a monthly envelope for store receipts. At the end of the year I open the next 12-pocket case after emptying the two-year-old contents into a large manila envelope. That is marked and put on a shelf until enough time passes to shred it. This way, with only two folders in play, I have the previous year's receipts handy in case I need to dig one out to prove a purchase, etc. I used to have a file drawer with a folder for each of the bills and when it got too full I'll shred the oldest, but that was a bulky system because I rarely ever needed to refer back to those bills.

I'm going to set up a station for emptying the vacuum cleaner. Odd as it sounds, and as easy as my new vacuum is to empty than the old bagged Hoover, the dog hair dust still tends to be a problem. So I'm going to line a kitchen-sized lidded trash can with a bag and empty the vacuum receptacle into the can outside. This will probably live beside the house side door (outside). I have a small kitchen trash bin on top of my dryer - all trash receptacles are up out of reach of my Labrador retriever. I recycle most things and have compost, so it doesn't fill very fast and it doesn't need to be large.


05 Feb 17 - 04:40 PM (#3836963)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

VERY tired of sitting. Just looked at yarn on line and realize I do not want or need any such. Maybe R can find some yarn at a thrift shop and I can crochet hats to give away. If he can bring home a crochet hook! He is not hopeful.

Surgery: TEN hours at the hospital: "come back in a week and get an xray" No phone number, no correct paper work and no one knew what to do! R went - "You can't come in here!" - got someone working on it. About 4 pm, the xrays!!! "Can I leave now?" "No you need to see a DR." At 8:30, having spent a VERY uncomfortable day in horrible wheelchair, waiting for name to be called, Asked again - no file here! The paper we had had was gone "We will return it!", they said! Got phone number and name of Dr and went home.
d
Getting in the house (an out in the am) entailed picking up Ephraim, who was waiting at the office, so he and R could pick up walker with me in it and carry it up the 3 steps to the house. NOT fun! BUT! To get as close as possible, R was backing up right on the sidewalk. Police took a dim view and came at us with flashing lights and siren -at 9:30 pm! R and E had a fine time convincing them it was necessary to get the 80 year old into the house!!! I suspect they watched from down the street.

Maybe on Monday, R will manage to connect with the Dr's office and find out if I need surgery?? In the meantime I am HOPING, esp after Charmion's story!

I washed dishes yesterday, on one foot, and washed hair at K sink today - with R standing by. The microwave is accessible and I can get to frig. R is cooking great BFs and we are getting into routines that will evolve as I get stronger. I have started lobbying for a strong railing on those front steps, though winter may preclude much use, if it even comes to pass.

A friend checked the mail at Beaver and is sending needful stuff and will check again in a couple weeks. She will use the coupons!

My bum is still sore from Friday so I need to go back to bed with a good book. which we found in the hospital - a consolation prize!

And I rescheduled eye appointment to April; Although I am anxious to get cataracts checked and dealt with, a two day trip to central Ontario is too much right now.   

And R bought me a wonderful table lamp for my b-day. One part from one thrift shop and the other from another. The shade coordinates with those beautiful ones he installed on the ceiling at Beaver at Christmas. We can de-clutter the lamps we no longer need. Planning for two in the LR here to go to the airbnb house up north.


10 Feb 17 - 09:06 AM (#3838001)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Today I'm drafting an email to a Stratford real estate agent setting out what we want in our next abode. I find that I've become very picky about domestic technology (what kind of furnace, where the washing machine is installed), but I don't care a rap about fancy bathrooms -- in fact, I'd much rather have a nice, big linen closet than a "luxury ensuite". Currently, I have blankets and table linen stashed in plastic bins only I can identify in the range of shelving in our cellar. Thank God for lavender sachets ...

Dorothy, how are you faring?


11 Feb 17 - 04:12 PM (#3838317)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion: sounds good that you can state what you require! Hope you have a well recommended realtor! Plastic bins are SO helpful! Labelling them does help!

Up one day, the next I'm down. Half an inch of water....

Trip to Dr on Weds elicits info that ankle is in place but "it could slip any time"!! I thought the cast... Trip was exhausting (de-cluttered ALL my energy!). But Friday I managed to sort and fold laundry that was FINALLY dry. AND washed the dishes. So today I am again de-cluttered! Another set of xrays in ten days and then Dr again. HOPE!

Cold night= cold house so I just stayed in bed today. I hope all this energy is going into healing. I WANT to go home.

LR still looks like a store room. R loses time from work caring for me. But I still keep nudging. Big nudge on which to focus is a railing for front steps (3) as I think I would be able to hop down soon. The stress of being carried in the walker is huge! I need to be able to get OUT!! LIBRARY beckons! Finished The Piano Maker and it was excellent and helped state of mind = took me out of prison. (We only have 2 TV channels; today is sports on one and tripe on the other.)

Adding to chaos: R woke up to the snow removal siren and as he dressed a neighbour banged on door; we were one car from being towed! He was gone an hour; as he sought place to park, fire trucks arrived - lots! - so he went to a hardware store for something but still had to park a distance. Crisis was a gas leak on side street - about 50 feet away! All fixed.

Email from neighbour re public info meeting re proposed quarry on 20 March. I hope we can make it. HEAL ankle, HEAL!


12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM (#3838461)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Yesterday I ripped several novels into my mp3 player as I continue my shift of drive time listening to novels as I declutter my life of all-day news reports. I get enough radio news in the morning as I brew my tea and in the evening when I fix dinner. The rest is through reading (skimming) during the day. I use Windows Media Player, though it has some problems with how files are organized (if you accidentally lump all of the files together in WMP they're still in their own folders, but they don't play correctly through the player any more and you can't separate them out easily.)

Potatoes beginning to emerge in the garden, and it's time to plant onions. I have a couple of bags of home-chipped mulch in the garage to put down around the onions. I'm thinking it's time to try true raised beds, not just beveled soil mounds.

Meanwhile, there are a number of projects sitting out in plain sight on my dining room table. I need to do something soon since one of those projects is a delayed holiday gift for my siblings.


12 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM (#3838509)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Second snowshoe race of three completed today before the blizzard got going. I am proud of my time - the course had to be rerouted due to an ice storm earlier this winter, so it was a tad bit shy of four miles, and I completed it in 1:07:42. This is more than 30 minutes better than the previous time I ran this race. Granted, conditions were also a lot better this time.


12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM (#3838544)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Good job!


13 Feb 17 - 08:05 AM (#3838625)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Excellent, Tami. My toes hurt just thinking of four miles on snowshoes.

I took Himself to the airport this morning, well before dawn, in the lull between phases of our current weather system. Only one car in the snowbank on the Airport Parkway -- and it wasn't us. As I backed through the windrow left by the street plow (whump! skid!), it occurred to me that this was our last pre-dawn airport run. How many over 19 years? Lots and lots.

CBC tells me that the Maritime provinces are in the middle of a huge blizzard fit to bury everybody under some 70 cm of snow. I imagine that Maine is getting the same thing -- Tami, does your house have a snorkel?


13 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM (#3838780)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

No, but I do have a window in the loft :)


14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM (#3838791)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

We're getting thunderstorms overnight. We don't need a snorkel or window in the loft, but I do have a towel in the corner where a puddle forms because I need to replace a gutter (that would be torn down by the kind of snow you get in Maine - good thing this is Texas).


14 Feb 17 - 12:44 PM (#3838942)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Debating decluttering the roof of some snow before the next storm arrives on Wednesday night. I also need to declutter the path from the cottage to the car again, it filled in last night with drifting snow and is now hip deep. Bleah!


14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM (#3839012)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There were puddles of water left near the fireplace after last night's storms. I need to put up rain gutters on the back of the house to stop so much water pouring down onto the chimney that needs repointing. This week, I hope a friend will be available to help with that. We'll buy pre-fab pieces and assemble gutters to carry the water away from the brickwork. While I'm at it, I'll set up one of the gutters to fill a rain barrel for the garden.

My daughter called this morning to say she'd just accepted a job offer. What timing - the last day at her former job was last week on Friday. She starts work later this week. She finished graduate school last spring and has been applying for jobs all summer and fall. We will all scramble to position ourselves to be helpful to her at this time of transition - she has a difficult commute ahead, but I live near where she will work. Perhaps I'll see a bit more of her, if we plan some dates ahead.


15 Feb 17 - 09:02 AM (#3839081)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Snowing again in Ottawa, and our street (a main bus route) looks like a one-lane tunnel. Cars parked on the street are deeply nested in snowbanks thrown up by the city plows. Our neighbour, who has three cars and a garage full of junk, is facing about an hour's worth of heavy labour before he even leaves for work. We are living through our 19th winter next door to that family, and they seem never to have considered clearing that garage so they can actually park in it.

I am now looking critically at the china cabinet with intent to remove from it every article that I know I have never used, and am morally certain that Himself is unlikely ever to use again, if he ever has. Unfortunately, Himself has strong sentimental attachments to such items as a coffee mug from the 2004 Nijmegen Marches, a beer stein from the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, and a badly designed teapot from the Six Nations Pottery. Don't get me started on the great variety of travel mugs and coffee-making technology, every single item of apparently crucial importance. I'm getting that Gotta Have A Garage Sale feeling.

Acme, how wonderful that your daughter landed a decent job, and it's near you. Texas seems like a place where a long commute is so normal as to be part of the price of employment, along with an expensive post-secondary qualification and a "professional" wardrobe.


15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM (#3839198)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

She will work at a museum, so her somewhat exotic wardrobe may not be totally outlandish for working there, but she will need some good separates that she can combine for a number of looks. There is a very nice department store chain that has an outlet store here in town, so I'll suggest she try that, though we all tend to head to the thrift store and find remarkably good-condition clothing. She has her undergraduate degree in Theater Arts costume design, so she can modify anything she finds.

Lentil soup is simmering on the stove, an Egyptian recipe that is very simple - water, lentils, grated onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and some lemon juice. The house smells heavenly. The same cookbook has some more elaborate lentil soup recipes, but this is my favorite. This book is such a favorite that I've now given copies to every member of my family - I buy the used hardbound copies for a few dollars since the new paperback version costs about $60. I even have a couple of extra copies of it here in case I want to make a gift, and a paperback one that was sent by accident is at work for reference. We have many middle eastern students and when we get talking about food, this book comes down for consultation.

Search link. I just bought another copy, it was $7 and free shipping. Now I'll have three available as gifts, but I already have a couple of recipients in mind.


16 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM (#3839275)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook looks like a great find, Acme. I already love Madhur Jaffrey (Indian) and Marcella Hazan (Italian) for less-meat-arian recipes, so I just might procure a copy for myself.

I picked over the kitchen cabinets yesterday for crockery that I think we should part with, and it's spread all over the sideboard and dining table in the hope that Himself will agree with me and let it go without argument. Well, not argument; let's call it discussion. The Wedgwood majolica (green, leaf patterns) survived the cut, but only because it's collectible (by somebody else) and the younger generation of Himself's kin group should get first refusal before I find a way to dispose of it profitably. We've had it since Mum-in-law died some ten years ago, and not used it once. More challenging are the clunky hand-thrown dinner plates Himself bought at a long-ago craft show; I hate them because they have the heft and finesse of roof tiles, but that's exactly what Himself likes about them.

Maybe I could drop them off the balcony, by accident?


16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM (#3839296)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There are quite a few recipes with no meat in that book, Charmion. I found it years ago in a small town where the local chain bookstore had put it in the remainder bin. I moved there after several years in New York City, eating at all manner of ethnic restaurants and ordering a favorite dish over time until I figured out how to make it, then moving to another. This cookbook made it possible to figure out many dishes easily, especially when I was living in a small Central Texas town with mostly just Tex-Mex and faux-Chinese restaurants. I have a garden and when I have a lot of a particular crop I can go to this cookbook and find numerous recipes. It's particularly good for okra and eggplant.

The plates that you don't care for may have collectors out there in the world. That's where eBay comes in handy. I had a couple of plates my sister sent that were out of our mother's house - they were some small southern Alberta manufacturer and when I listed them I made sure they went up in the Canadian eBay listings also. They went to someone who grew up in that area. I'd much rather give each item a cursory exam, learn a little something about it, sell it for a modest price and know that it is going to a new owner who really wants it than dump it all at the Goodwill. I know I'm not a museum, but I learned something about the object, and possibly about the interests of the family member who originally purchased it. On a couple of occasions I've decided to keep the item I've researched, but usually I let it go to it's next home where it will be appreciated.

I think I picked up some of this from Don Aslett's book Clutter's Last Stand. He is a philosopher, not just a house-cleaning guru. He asks why we keep these things we don't need, and helps his readers figure out how to let go. You can usually find that in used book stores, and it will certainly be available through Bookfinder.com.


16 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM (#3839336)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess

Most of my decluttering these past couple weeks have been of snow on the deck, steps, and car. I even sprung to pay my up-the-hill neighbor's ex-husband to shovel the deck/steps after two of them. This one is only about 5" and comparatively light, so despite my sore shoulder, I'll do this one. And the car. My plow guy will be back later, but I may not go out late this afternoon to the movie at Portsmouth library, so he won't be able to do clean up until I leave for the Press Room tomorrow.

I HAVE reread my letters to and from author Robert H. Rimmer, mostly from the 1970s, and I'm adding significant dates to my personal digital calendar of my life -- I'm sort of reconstructing the ten years of my first marriage. I put a lot of that completely out of my mind. As a result, I'm realizing, I'd forgotten how many poems and other pieces of writing I had published and sold during that time period.

I chose to revisit those letters because they're fairly upbeat. I found that going through another binder of letters from 1969 to about 1980 was putting me into a fairly strange mental space. Maybe, having eased into it from the RHR letters, I can revisit those now with minimal effect from the bad memories.

Linn


16 Feb 17 - 05:25 PM (#3839384)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

My sister-in-law introduced me to Don Aslett some 15 or 20 years ago, and I've been lightening my load of clutter in stages ever since. This move will be just another opportunity to shed some household bulk.

Linn's remarks about letters reminded me -- the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet needs a good purge before the move. My parents never threw away a letter, and my brother (also a bit of a pack rat) ended up with several boxes of Dad's papers, including every letter I ever wrote over five years of military service during which I cranked out about one per week. Of course, instead of kindly deep-sixing them like a sensible person, he returned them to me. Unlike Linn, I have no desire to visit with my younger self (I can stand only so much cringing), so I'll just shred the lot. Tomorrow would be a good day for that.


23 Feb 17 - 07:06 PM (#3841086)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

:ost post. Too tired. Cluttering operation tomorrow on ankle. Ticked off.


24 Feb 17 - 09:34 AM (#3841215)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I'm sorry to hear you're in surgery today, Dorothy. On the other hand, if you need it, you really need it and I'm glad you're getting it.

Feeling tense as Himself's last day in uniform comes as us like the noon freight. He has contracts to handle three military cases immediately after release, for which he will be paid handsomely, but the news media are full of stories about veterans who wait months and months for their first pension payments because of chaos in the responsible administrations. We have savings, but ... but ... but!

Today, I'm packing up donations: clothing to the Canadian Diabetes Society, tchochkes for the church bazaar. That'll keep me out of mischief.


24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM (#3841361)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dorothy, I'm looking forward to seeing you up and around soon, once that ankle is taken care of.

I've decluttered my mp3 player of some files that were kind of mangled by Windows Media Player. I'm more careful in ripping audio books from CDs to the player so they play in order. I just finished a book and the last disk didn't make much sense - I realized it was skipping around. These recorded books folks aren't very good about giving each disk the same name and not changing the numbering system. I listen to these now during my daily commute, instead of listening to the news each drive. I get enough of that in the morning and I read newspapers.

Gardening weather is here, so I'll be dividing my time between getting set up for garden crops and clearing out the sun room of the things that have accumulated in the last few weeks. Most of it intended for eBay. The allergies have started up, which may affect everything.


25 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM (#3841555)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

By eating about half the portions and no sweetened soda, little bread and rice and more veggies like cabbage I went from 220 to 198 in about 5 weeks.

I noticed stairs are easier.

At 6 ft going below 190 would mean a clothing overhaul.

To hit 170 I would have to halve the portions again. If my type 2 status improves I won't need to go there.


25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM (#3841564)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Don, good job!

I have a similar project in mind. My job is so sedentary that sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day (at work) and then more at home to work on my own projects is crippling. Literally. It was when the restless leg bit started at night that I realized I needed to do something - several somethings, in fact.

I cut out all of the alcohol, extra sugar, and salty snacks on general principles. I added magnesium and potassium to my vitamin routine. Next month I have an appointment with my GP for general blood work since we didn't do it at my last physical (different doctor for that). I'm getting more exercise. The restless leg seems to have subsided, but the achy muscles aren't gone yet. I too hope that weigh loss will be a part of this shift in my eating and behavior. Stress is a factor that I can help somewhat by not listening to the news all day long, that's why I'm ripping audio books for my mp3 player. At my work we have a couple of computer stations, tall tables with treadmills and I have a couple of tasks I can do there, so I walk several times a week in addition to an exercise class.

And today was a project for that mp3 player. I have it so I'll use it, though I could load books into my phone as well. One of these days I'll figure out if there is a bluetooth connection instead of a cable to the aux plug, then the phone might be easier. I searched for and found the manual for the Walkman, figured out how to format the drive, and this morning I created an audio book library in my computer to detangle those files from music. And I'm organizing them in folders and loading with Windows Explorer, not Windows Media Player that has a mind of it's own with it comes to syncing files. In the last month I've listened to two fairly long novels and am set to start another. The political news on the radio will keep until later.


26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM (#3841746)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The days are longer and that may be contributing to more energy, but whatever the reason, it's progress. I forgot to mention that yesterday.


26 Feb 17 - 04:58 PM (#3841771)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

I haven't introduced any exercise for exercise sake. I have too many yard projects and internal decluttering things to do.

I no longer eat a ritual meal just because its time. The only time I feel a little bit hungry is late at night but I think that is a good feeling and easily resist eating after 7pm.

I personally think running is no healthier than sunning. A little tiny bit is fine but a lot is not for me. Enlarged hearts and sunburns are not good.


26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM (#3841775)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Depending on how much you have to lose some people may need to cut portions in half then cut that half into a quarter and end up near an eighth of their former portion. The reason is the body will become more efficient with less food so you have to shock it into submission until your mind learns between a 1/8 and 1/4 of huge historic portions is normal.

Of course I still have treats in really small portions. I can not live on no chocolate cake or 4 bites of ice cream from time to time.

If cutting down feels austere you are doing it wrong.


26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM (#3841815)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I find alternate day fasting works; it's not a true fast, but one day of "regular" eating then one day when you have one small meal, or a small meal and a tiny snack, of no more than 500 calories. The research show that on the "feed" day you don't eat more than usual so the law of averages works. Eat, Fast, Live Longer is where I learned about it, about 38 minutes into the program he starts talking about this routine.


02 Mar 17 - 12:26 PM (#3842476)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Thank you for encouragement!

Hope I can get it right this time! Yesterday was a BIG turning point! R went off without cooking our BF -crisis #6 milion! - ao, after a while I decided I could do this! This being getting to the K and cooking bacon. I did a bit of cleaning up and realized that I could put a knee on the walker so some of the weight was off the one leg. WOW! So I texted R that I was fed and OK. Success breeds success so I was in and out of K all day, getting fed and doing little things. And let him know it was OK. It felt GREAT! He had sone some adjusting, getting the antique wood stove out of the way so I can better access that area. So I can feed myself, folded all the laundry, washed ALL the cutlery, and looking to see what else I can manage. This morning, he cooked, I washed. Later, I rolled across the bed to sort out that corner of the BR, sorting clothes and picking out what to wear for our possible weekend excursion.

There is a sense of security that the bones are screwed together and although they will bear no weight, they are not in danger of rattling around.

I am sticking almost 100% to the Keto diet I doubt I have lost any weight through all this but I do feel good and no longer crave choc or cookies. Connie lost 25 on it - the first diet in her life on which she lost weight; if she tries exercise, she gains! But this week she told me tht her husband,who drinks, smokes and eats junk, has, on one keto meal a day, decreased diglycerides (this seems to be important) and improved diabetes status enough that she is amazed and delighted. R has come to terms with it and agreed this am that mashed cauliflower improves the omelet.

My op was excruciating on the day. I accepted, gratefully!, pain med in hospital but took one Tyenol that night at home and nothing but MSM since; it seemed to help but I continue with it and glucosamine sulfate for the shoulders I was ignoring. much better now. The brand new bottle of Tylenol will be going to a new home.

Weds, a knock on the door. I managed to get into walker and to the door to peek. A woman was standing on the sidewalk. She appeared to be reasonable so I opened the door and we started chatting; she was admiring the house. It was cold so I invited her in and we had a great visit. Then she walked home to Nun's Island - 90 minutes! Acme: she lives in one of the first buildings there, by an architect survivor of A. She actually found his signature in a lower level and photographed it before "it was covered up". The name did not make it through to my muddled brain but R will know. We talked on the phone this am, both delighted to have found a kindred spirit; we seem to speak the same language.

The positive aspects of the ankle affair are that R has realized he can cook well, the LR is somewhat more habitable, that darn wood stove is somewhat out of the way, R has been keeping the distilled water supplied- learned to use the distiller.

But I had to change my eye appointment re cataracts and my eyesight is worsening so reading is no longer enjoyable. Thankful that Saul told me how to enlarge stuff on computer!!!!

I hope we can take this weekend break for our friend's memorial and a possible visit to Beaver. Anything OUT of this house is a treat!


02 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM (#3842541)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

First formal arrangements made to sell the house: an appointment with the organization that handles all Canadian Forces moves. They want an amazing array of documentation, some of which makes no sense to me -- why, for example, would an outfit that arranges and pays for household moves need to know the size of the lot upon which our house sits? It's a puzzlement.


02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM (#3842560)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's coming back to me now - some time ago I created a new folder in my mp3 player for audio books. And that time, like this time, it didn't work. The player isn't set to play nicely with new folders, so I had to move the newly loaded books into the existing music folder. I had formatted the player to reload files, and after a confusing drive to work when the newest story I started didn't make much sense I realized the default setting seems to be "shuffle." I listened again on the way home and the book is much more interesting now!

I've shopped around and read reviews for the computer desks that go from sitting to standing work stations. We've had some at my workplace for a while, the type with electric motors, but I found some at Amazon with and without the motors. The manual crank desks have good reviews also, so I ordered one of those (the motorized desks cost about $150 more). It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, and will need to be assembled. I then need to clear an old computer setup in my guest room to make space so I can move my current computer desk in there for the time being. Multiples of monitors, external drives, USB ports, keyboards, mouse, plus the scanner, the printer, a video box for converting VHS tapes to digital AVI files . . . and all of the cables. I'll spare you a description of the rest. It'll be a big job.


07 Mar 17 - 05:01 PM (#3843512)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Our trip of 50 hours away from Montreal, involved 20 hours of driving time/sitting in the car trying to be comfortable time! R had so much trouble with the night shifts, we vow no more night driving.

A night in a hotel and meals decluttered his finances. But we managed a visit to my 101 year old friend in nursing home - a painful experience as she could only tell me "that name is familiar to me" and requested my address and phone number; she is SO embued with correctness. Well, better that I did get to see her than not. The memorial for our dear friend (70) was amazing with wonderful people and chats with other good friends and the reminder that this person had LIVED LIFE! I hope it encourages R to do more of that. He failed to go on The Canoe Trip last summer. There will be no more with Paul.

We spent a cold night at Beaver and loved waking up to trees and the hills in our tiny house. The wood stove did a good job. Dropped off stuff there that had been cluttering Montreal. When ankle is healed and I can go home, all that will find spots. Picked up a few things I wanted from there and a wonderful box of apples - still in good shape! Did up a BIG pot of them yesterday. Then back to Montreal. Glad we had done it but very tired.

Here, things get a bit sorted as we go along.


07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM (#3843559)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My desk is assembled and in place, equipment up and running, with things still needing organizing in the office (that were taken off of the other desktop and haven't found a way onto the new one - yet). I'm awaiting the delivery of an ergonomic rubber mat that is essential when standing on a hard floor in front of the tall desk. Amazon tells me it will arrive tomorrow.

Our weather has fluctuated hot then cold then hot again. I sometimes switch to a down comforter on my bed in winter, but this year I've stuck with layers of blankets. I can peel off however many I need to be comfortable (something not possible with the comforter - you're either cold or way too hot). That ice and snow you describe is the reason why so many people from up there retire to Florida. :)

I'm thinking of doing a Katlaughing maneuver and installing Dragon Naturally Speaking. Do any of the rest of you use it?


08 Mar 17 - 06:27 AM (#3843620)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: billybob

I have had so much pleasure reading this thread over the years but never felt I could contribute. Not that Billy and I have no clutter , believe me we do! Last year he ,at last, attacked the garage, so full he had to hire a skip. We can actually walk from the back to the front now but still no room for a car. We replaced the doors upstairs recently and of course the old doors are now in the garage waiting for us to work out how to lower the back seats in the new car so we can transport the doors to the tip. See, that's what garages are for a stepping stone for rubbish no longer needed in the house but waiting for disposal. Is that a man thing? Certainly some of my friends have husbands with the same mindset as Billy. Since my lovely mother died a year ago, she lived with us for 5 years and had a bedroom downstairs. I have gradually packed her treasures and boxed them in the attic, cannot part with her memories yet although I have gifted some to my daughter and son and grandchildren, so now her bedroom is a fine sunny dining room and we try to fill it with family gatherings with laughter and fun. The old dining room is now a cosy second sitting room. A place to sit and read, listen to music and have some " me time"
Next week we have Billy's nephew and family visiting from New Jersey, the first time they have been to England, so I have stripped one of the guest bedrooms and painted the walls a lovely shade of palest green. Thrown out an old divan bed ( that actually made it to the tip!!) Found some lovely new cream curtains and decluttered the bookcase, what to do with the books, maybe the local hospice bookshop? Most books I cannot bare to give away, but do we ever read them again?
We thought we should sort out the shower room downstairs so the visitors had free use of the upstairs rooms. Big drama, the shower has been leaking. Even the joists under the floor were rotten so we have had workmen all week replacing the floor and stud wall and installing a lovely new shower with new glass door. Utter muddle but at least I can escape today to the salon to look after some clients!
Just the garden to sort out before the visitors arrive, that will have to be at the weekend, if it doesn't rain.

Hope your ankle is improving Dorothy xx

Wendy


08 Mar 17 - 11:14 AM (#3843690)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Wendy! wonderful things happening at your house! Good to get the floor repaired! I have hopes for the ankle; doctor on Friday aft; waiting with almost bated breath!

Never used Dragon but it sounds a good idea. I suspect a new computer is in my future as I have upgraded as much as possible and still get messages that I am sub-par.

I would prefer an ergonomic high stool to standing at that computer table! Standing has never been a strong point for me but I could walk all day. Are you going to have a treadmill under the desk and walk as you work?

Have to admit to momentary feelings of "that's why people go south" when we got to Beaver on Saturday night. But the wood stove did its thing with R feeding it and we survived and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. And I do NOT do well in heat. There is a propane heater in our future for when I can no longer heft wood into the stove. A couple plants were very dead but most were fine. That the apples did not freeze was a good sign, nor was there ice in the toilet so our space heater system did OK except the breaker on that special outlet (Acme) tripped and Dan reset it. So it got cold enough to freeze the tenderest house plants.


09 Mar 17 - 08:39 AM (#3843906)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

So glad to hear you're able to travel, Dorothy. Do you have a walking cast yet?

The house appraiser came yesterday, poking about and saying Hmmmm a lot. The relocation people require much documentation about our current abode, including an appraisal, a copy of our title deed and a survey of the lot, apparently because one of the benefits we get is coverage of any losses we suffer in being compelled to sell up and move at a time not of our choosing. I'm glad I invested the better part of a week in decluttering, tidying and sweeping the cellar, as that was the appraiser's first focus; he also peeked into every single closet and cupboard on the premises. He made a good impression on Cat 1, who deigned to accept caresses while lolling in his basket like an old-time starlet in a bubble bath. Cat 2, as usual, vanished under the sofa at the first pong of the doorbell.

I have four boxes of glassware and ornaments packed up and ready for transfer to the church, where the main annual fundraiser is a big bazaar in late fall. Five large bags of clothing and three 2-cubic-foot cartons of kitchen traps departed last Saturday, donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association. And this morning, Himself announced that the uniform trousers he has on today will not go to the cleaners', as they usually do at the end of the week, but to the trash ... Next Thursday will be his very last day in the Dominion Tweed so, as of Friday, a significant proportion of the contents of his closet will be excess to requirements.

The last barrack box went back to Clothing Stores last week, stuffed with the last of his paint-by-number wardrobe. The collection of combat boots remains, however, as nothing worn next to the skin or bearing the imprint of a foot can be issued to another person. Consequently, we still have a bit of an Imelda Marcos situation here, along with rather too many hats. I'm keeping the UN-blue Tilley he was issued 20 years ago for Haiti, as it is good for gardening although it is so large that it has to perch on the tips of my ears. The brim is so wide that it covers the back of my neck down to the fourth cervical vertebra, and we've never had another hat that would do that.


09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM (#3844009)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Billybob it's always a pleasure to see people get encouragement from these reports of our work toward less congested households. We (I, at least) have to be the slowest declutterers around, but keeping in mind the progress we've made helps avoid refilling the space with new stuff.

Dorothy, we all have our fingers crossed that your ankle will heal completely soon. You'll be ready to go once spring arrives out at the Beaver house.

Charmion, those hats sound intriguing. And my sister swears by Tilley hats (she always takes one when she travels).

I'm slowly sorting stuff I stashed into boxes when I cleared my old desk. I had a stack of books supporting my second monitor on a lower table beside the old desk; it now sits on the new desktop, and have to decide if I'll find space for them or donate them to the thrift store. I see some devices that need to be put away and would like to clear off the second desktop that is a nice piece of plywood supported by two file cabinets and is generally my filing staging area. It doesn't take long for materials to pile up. This winter I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping my kitchen sink from piling up with dishes, but I can't say the same thing about papers on my kitchen table or desktops in my office.


10 Mar 17 - 01:08 PM (#3844128)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Taking a two week break in between jobs. The original plan was to take a road trip someplace, but I think I'm going to make a staycation out of it and work on some stuff in the house. Getting rid of the gigantic pile of laundry, clearing out all of the recyclables, and sorting through and getting rid of a few boxes. My goal is to get rid of four of the boxes piles in my small space by the end of the month.

On the fitness end, I'm wearing trousers I haven't been able to fit into for at lest three years. I finished my three snowshoe races with improved times from the last time I ran them in 2015, and I'm contemplating trying at least the six mile trail race in July, maybe, if I'm feeling up to it when registration opens, I might sign up for the nine mile race in August and the twelve mile race in September. I'll make that decision when the time comes, though.


11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM (#3844251)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I think it was here someone asked me about a treadmill at home. No, there isn't room for one, but I have room to move my chair around when the desk is in the tall position and the standing mat in place. I do have access to two treadmill workstations at work, right outside my office, and even just 5 minutes of movement is therapeutic during a sedentary day.

That break between jobs sounds good - the garden is crying out for attention right now. Two weeks would begin to whip it into shape. It's the time of year when my attention shifts from house clutter to garden clutter. :)


11 Mar 17 - 10:52 AM (#3844256)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

That two week break is for resetting my internal clock more than anything else, to be honest. With the change to DST tonight and shifting back to working days from working nights, I'll need that time to adjust back to getting up early instead of sleeping in until 8 or 9 in the morning.


12 Mar 17 - 09:18 PM (#3844551)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
Still and probably for another 3 or 4 weeks. It is so delightful to scroll through prev posts to see how folks are doing and be encouraged! Tomorrow is walking boot day! But still cannot put weight on foot for???? HAve a good cane ready. Will not be able to drive! Cannot go home! Cannot feed wood fire. But my energy level continues to improve so I could spend a bit of time in the K today, hopping around with the counter for support. I am getting better and better at hopping!

R is in another period of crisis at work - 16 million machines needing to be moved from A to C by 1 April; he has only had a year or so to do it.... But he did manage to sell off some of them (de-clutter!) so those are gone! OK, so I cannot keep track of the endless number of machines!

I am VERY happy to have realized that the friend's son who wanted to talk to R about Geology, might be a suitable helper in this move. YES! This will be very helpful to him in moving the clutter from one building to another! They stopped about 10 last night.

My increased capability is timely as it saves R needing to come home and feed me! I am almost independent in the house but cannot go out. Not that anyone would want to in this COLD!


16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM (#3845239)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

While many of you are struggling under the weight of fresh snow and slush, I am anxiously awaiting the completion of repairs on my lawnmower. The grass is above my ankles at this point and he tells me it will be another week. My daffodils have bloomed and an iris near the front porch is swelling, probably to open this weekend.

I have several indoor projects to keep me busy if we have any rain over our long weekend (Spring Break for the academic community, but only a couple of extra days for university staff, not the entire week the students and faculty get). I have a new steam cleaner, probably mentioned weeks ago, that I still haven't tested. And as it happens, my ex has a perfect test for it at his house. Apparently Brazilian beer six packs are made of flimsy paperboard and when carrying two across the living room carpet both boxes broke and there are three dark spots where bottles broke and soaked in. He has continued to be a good friend and supportive in all of the activities of the kids and myself the least I can do is take this over and let him see if it will work to clean up the spots on the new carpet. What you can't pay back with dollars you can pay back with access to useful services and devices. :-/ If I had a house full of carpet this smaller device would be a slow way to clean carpets, but I have two areas with carpet, the rest is tile, so this will take care of it. Renting those clunky cleaners from the grocery store is a pain in the backside and you never know what the last renter ran through it.

I'm switching allergy meds this week after a consult with my GP. The daily tablet apparently doesn't turn off the sensitivity of the nasal mast cells so I'm still sneezing. But using a spray will make them less sensitive, and if I need more than the spray then I can boost it with the tablet. The entire office has been sick and sneezing so this seems to be a particularly powerful allergy season. The result of all of this switching stuff out is that I have a lot of bottles of stuff (I shop at Sam's Club where everything comes in bulk packaging) so I need to rearrange one of the kitchen cupboards to organize all of the extra in a way that I can find them when I need them.

There is a deeply discounted grocery store in town that buys from stores that have too much product, that has quantities near the sell-by-date, etc. They get a lot of excellent high-dollar items that are marked down and shoppers understand that either it keeps well past the shelf date or you're going to use it quickly. Yesterday I loaded up on the good yoghurt, organic milk, cheeses, etc. so I need to reorganize my fridge. If I get a $5 tub of yoghurt for .99, and it spoils because I lost track of it behind other stuff, it wasn't a bargain.

How are you doing, Dorothy?


17 Mar 17 - 11:24 PM (#3845464)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Still in Montreal:

Out of cast and into boot. Do not wear it in bed!!!! Also seems lighter and makes it easier for me to determine that I can balance with it but not put weight on it. See m to be gaining in strength and balance! Able to spend a little more time in K chores. Feeding myself, a good thing as R is gone for 10-12 hours some days!

R managed to buy two boots at the Eco-centre for $5 each. We were able to use one and left the other to be sent to Honduras where the Dr.'s office spent used stuff. saved us about $100!

The bare spots in the back yard are no under about 2 feet of snow! Oh well! But warm enough in house today to wash my hair!

Still suffering from cabin fever. R has NO time. Today was disaster in building from which he is moving machines. Snow removal kept making him move truck so he only got two machines loaded before a 6 inch water pipe broke - from freezing - spraying LOTS of water up to the ceiling. It took the city 2 hours to access the problem so water was a foot deep. He spent the time in a nearby McD's so at least he ate. CAme home about 6 to change wet clothes and went off to offload machines and take pumps back to building! Hope tomorrow goes better!

3 more weeks until I get cataracts checked. Hope we can visit Beaver! I could get yarn and needles! My eyesight is becoming very depressing. R has brought me some books but the print is too small or too light; managed to read one and on another that is interesting but van only read a couple pages at a time.

Back to the Dr. re ankle on 10 April! and HOPE for an end to this so I can GO HOME!


18 Mar 17 - 06:38 AM (#3845483)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Hardi finally sees a retirement timeframe for us that paces my last round of declut-- 3-4 years to full-time Ohio.

The last big declut was the upstairs office, to take the 8-foot table desk south; we got onto recycling pickup, so a LOT of paper went. The sunny room now holds boxes to further sort/binderize-- books on one wall and papers on another. The rest is propagating perennials to take south in May, under grow lights in front of two picture windows (south and west). The new dog is my garden helper. ;-) New friends advise.

There are new lasagna-garden beds in Ohio to fill; I have a new weedkiller recipe-- with regular strength vinegar and Epsom salts-- to try this year.

Be well, all

~S~


18 Mar 17 - 09:24 AM (#3845504)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The prep-for-selling cleaners come on Tuesday, followed by photographers. That means a whole lot of decluttering has to get done over the next three days, along with cooking and serving a big birthday dinner.

Himself's last day in uniform was on Thursday, and now there's a huge box of green clothing in the middle of the sitting room floor awaiting the big decision: Sally Ann or St. Vincent? The study is cluttered with boxes of glassware and ornaments bound for the church bazaar; all of it has to be out of the house by Tuesday morning.

Yesterday was the official Retirement Bye-Bye, with speeches and flowers and "certificates suitable for framing" that will never hang in our living space if I have anything to say about it. It seems that everyone wants to pat the back of a retiring soldier: not only the Chief of the Defence Staff but also the Mayor of Ottawa, the Premier of Ontario and even the Prime Minister himself! Instead of the dreaded plaque, we were presented with a flag that flew over National Defence Headquarters on the 8th of March last, painstakingly folded and packed into a glass-fronted box. How sweet, I guess.

We have tentatively scheduled our house-hunting trip to Stratford in the first week of April, between two of the three military trials Himself is under contract to do. I think we have done all the on-line research we can, and it's time to start crawling around Perth County's basements and closets.

I hardly slept last night, which is quite unlike me, and lay awake for hours with house prices tumbling through my head. I am also distracted by a sore wrist and fingers that go numb now and then, a mix of carpel tunnel syndrome and a touch of bursitis or tendinitis -- or even both! There's no law that says you can have both. Anything to prevent me from just getting on with the long list of chores in an orderly way.


18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM (#3845519)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't know about Epsom salts, but the combination of Pickling vinegar (9 - 10% vs 5% kitchen strength) and d-limonene (Orange oil) works very well. You can buy an expensive brand called Avenger or make your own. I tend to think that too much of any kind of salt in the soil is detrimental, though putting modest amounts of Epsom salt out (dissolved with other things like compost tea or an organic liquid fertilizer) adds necessary magnesium to the soil.

I've cleared off most of the stuff on my dining table so said table can be moved and the carpet under it cleaned with the steam cleaner. We'll see how that goes this weekend.

I'm in need of another trip to the recycle bins behind our village city hall - lots of paper around here that needs sorting and tossing. And I think I need to rearrange some stuff on shelves in my Dad's music collection that I still need to process. All of these reams of printer paper are heavy so need to sit on a bottom shelf somewhere, in sight but not a tripping hazard.


19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM (#3845702)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I discovered one reason the computer has been a bit slow - one drive is about full to bursting. I'm slowly bailing out stuff I don't need, backing up other things to Blu-Ray disks or DVDs, depending on what it is and it's size. I've recovered a few hundred Gig so far. Not so long ago a few hundred gig was luxurious beyond compare. . .

The garden is also getting a thinning out - the oregano has gone from pleasant usable groundcover to invasive weed, so I'm leaving it on one side of the yard to use for cooking and the rest is coming out. The garlic, Swiss chard, and cilantro are happy to have more room.


19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM (#3845737)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I had to borrow my next door lawnmower because mine is in the shop. He has a fancy one with lots of levers and speed controls, and I got the hang of it, but even self-propelled, it was a workout! I usually take the string trimmer (weed eater) out around the edges, but I noticed a baby bunny darting under one of the shrubs, so I'll put that off for now. I've accidentally taken the top off of bunny nests several times over the years and had to catch said babies and put them back into the hole and leave so they stay put.

Computer video processing still underway, but now it's time to shift to indoors and finish laundry and get some boxes ready to mail. That will clear out several cubic feet of space - they've sat here for a while but it's time to get motivated and post them.


20 Mar 17 - 04:47 PM (#3845868)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

The energy on alternate days gets some clearing done in K; the next day, I rest! Yesterday, scrubbed some of K counter (dreadful tiles) with steel wool and prepped fresh tomato soup for R to finish when he got home. He, not having gotten the hang of shopping ahead, spent 3 hours out fetching groceries as we were out of so much; He went to 8 stores??? Maybe now he can keep up. And I hope he learned by it! I hated that it took time away from his necessary work. Cannot figure out how to get what I need without him. No friends with vehicles near by that I can ask. But I could not without any longer. Today, he did a nice BF and wnt off to move machines. And I am resting.

Still sticking to Keto diet almost 100% and finding neither cookies nor choc taste as good. A teaspoon of good plain cocoa in a half cup of 10% yogurt is a fine treat. I will not know what my weight is until I get back to Beaver. But I am never bloated. Doubt I will ever get rid of the bowlful of jelly though. Pants do not seem any looser.

Ankle seems OK and it is nice to sleep with bare foot - very carefully. Still swollen. One of yesterday's acquisitions was a rectangular mop bucket so I could soak my feet in hot water with Epsom salt and clean off the dry skin - Finally! What a joy!! Putting vitamin E oil on incisions now. Nothing hurts but continue MSM, Glucosamine Sulfate, K2, D3 and ortho minerals - for osteoporosis and arthritis - helps shoulders appreciably.


22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM (#3846128)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

So.

The cleaners came yesterday and, boy, did they clean. Everything not actually drawing breath, whether movable or fixed, got either vacuumed or wiped with some kind of toxic substance. The cats spent the day under the sofa, until the vacuum cleaner drove them to camp under the guest room bed. Me, I went to the gym for the first couple of hours, but eventually had to come home if only to find out whether anything was busted yet.

I have to admit that they did a good job, much better than I would have -- but then, three strong, fit women working flat out from nine to three jolly well should.

Today, a guy called Richie comes with a truck to pick up the coffin-sized box that contains the last of Edmund's cast-off military uniforms. He sounded slightly disappointed that all the combat gear had to go back to Clothing Stores, but glad to get the rest; he runs a clothing depot for homeless men.

Likewise, the excess china, glassware and cutlery is going to a women's shelter for those getting ready to start over. I wish I had had that contact a year ago when I started digging out the basement, but ...

Real estate agent comes on Friday with the photographer. House goes on the Internet on Monday. This shit's getting real.


22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM (#3846213)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Pretty damned efficient!

My mother had people come in and clean her house when we were getting ready for some big event - this included sponge mops with commercial cleaners to wash the enamel walls and ceiling in the kitchen. It was like the Spic N Span commercial, watching each pass of the mop take of years of accumulated nicotine and tar. The room went from brown to cream color. She was a heavy smoker, and all of us moved out as soon as we could to get away from that. That cleaning job just made it all the more clear to us what we were living in the middle of.


23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM (#3846362)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

On Friday (tomorrow, that is), I meet with the real estate agent selling our present house and then hop the noon train to Stratford to buy our next house. I hope.

Its price was ridiculously high for months and months. Then, yesterday, it dropped right into our range. It's not ideal, but it meets all our needs and most of our wants -- not least with respect to location. It's the only house for sale within 1000 metres of Stratford City Hall that isn't either insanely expensive, much too large, or in need of tens of thousands of dollars worth of renovation.

So, on Saturday I'm going to buy it. If nobody else gets there first.


23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM (#3846393)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion: WOW!

And all I have managed is to cut the back of my hair - about 3-4 inches. Did not even look; just did it by feel because I could not take i any more! Almost 3 weeks until I get to go anywhere so no one will notice!


23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM (#3846399)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

That smacks of desperation, Dorothy!

My mower was ready for pickup today, and it turns out the belt had slipped in the transmission for the self-propel function. It hadn't propelled for a while, and lately if the handle was put in place it stopped the mower in it's tracks. He was able to get crud out of the transmission box, grease everything that needed grease, and it's back up and running. My back yard is about 12-16 inches of tall grass so it will take a while to finish mowing it; I'll start on Saturday and probably mow half then and half on Sunday. I don't use the self-propelled feature often, it reduces the mowing power, I get the exercise from pushing it. And in tall grass, I need to pause regularly to let the clippings blow out from underneath or the motor lugs or stalls. This is a great spring workout.


25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM (#3846603)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Yes, desperation. Yesterday wasm hopefuly, the nadir. When R left to go to work and I knew it could be 12 hours or more - I lost it! Phoned Geri is abject misery. Solitary confinement does not agree with me. After an hour + on the phone, my fingers were tingling. Vented some more on FB which I never do. And sank into a fog of TV, internet (slow!) and just gave up. Today I need to cook - make a new soup, and cook some chicken breasts. Needing to do something helps.

A pro pos of Charmion's situation as well as an addition to feeling blue: friends of the Bancroft area announced last week they were planning to move to SWestern Ontario, due to Bob's health issues - close to family, less isolated... Yesterday, they posted on FB the property they bought -already! Virtual tour: Plenty of wall space for Bab's paintings, plenty of space for a studio and a quilting area for Pat, a level lot, good sized two BR house - room for grandson to visit... As I think of their current home, I see very little de-cluttering needed. It will be an easy move as they have run a tight ship all these years, well organized with very little chaff. Even the garage is tidy! A good example! Being on the plus side of OCD is not a bad thing! I shall miss them. I made their wedding cake almost 30 years ago.

Shoot, I am too upset to even phone someone. Maybe later.


25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM (#3846617)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Hopefully the cooking will soothe your shut-in blues.

I've drunk my tea, eaten my oatmeal (full of chopped dates) and have to quit putting off the inevitable - the back yard needs mowing. Part of the workout today, the rest probably tomorrow.

The computer is in better shape, but as old as it is, it may soon be time to consider what the next model will be.

I'm considering using a modified Bullet Journal to keep track of stuff that is normally on notes all over the house. That might cut down on some of the paper clutter.

It's a lovely day. Into the yard I go.


28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM (#3847228)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Today, I made the step forward of using the cane. Robin as cheerleader and coach. I can do it but need the walker basket to carry stuff so I feel much better and begin to see an end to all this. Next Tues we drive to Bancroft for an overnight. I will get to see the world and "our hill". I could have easily dat for two months looking at "the hill" but looking at 4 ugly walls...

So I did some more K stuff today and will do more later. And washed hair as it is warmer today. Hoping I do not put too much weight down or stress ankle. I had not understood the directions at last Dr visit but R did. Again, my failure to comprehend - brain dysfunction; also my difficulty in figuring out how to move my body, or to get up when I fall, (In my whole life, I never hurt myself falling - until this one - 80 years.

Weather above freezing but snow is still thick in back yard. Maybe Thursday I can go out back.


28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM (#3847255)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I walked into the house and decided that tonight the clutter in the kitchen gets work. Some of the stuff on the counter is fruit ripening, it can stay, but there are other things that have accumulated.

My next door neighbors have a large sewer line replacement job going on, and the pile of dirt is onto my property right up against the garden. I need to replace the planks that are now pinned down by dirt, in a job that will take upwards of three weeks. I'll have to see about getting new planks, a friend with a pickup can make a run to the hardware store. I sure miss my pickup at times like this.


29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM (#3847348)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I did not buy the house in Stratford.

It's a darn good thing we aren't forced to base this decision on what we see in the real estate agent's photographs, for the house that looked so appealing on the Internet was far less so in real life. It has been ruthlessly renovated and expanded, so much so that it is now well-nigh impossible to distinguish the additions from the original structure without a structural plan. No such documentation was on offer.

Complicating the situation was an urgency imposed by the Stratford agent's revelation that another buyer was forcing her hand, demanding to be allowed to make an offer on the property immediately. She fetched me from the train directly to the house at eight o'clock in the evening, saying that the other guy's offer would go in at nine-thirty pm, if you please.

The first thing that struck me was the plethora of windows and doors -- four exterior doors at ground level, to be precise, and too many windows to count. A real treat for the enterprising burglar, especially in the absence of an alarm system. With all those windows, and some rather oddly placed radiators, the house has almost nowhere to put bookcases, an item with which we are excessively endowed. Incidentally, the current occupant apparently doesn't read much; I saw only a selection of large art books that looked more like decor than literature.

It was the basement rec room that blew the deal, however. Nothing of substance has been done to improve it since about 1965. Vinyl wall and floor coverings showing signs of damp where no damp should be -- thumbs down for me, since that was the only space large and unencumbered enough to accommodate the books, and both our desks.

Hi ho, hi ho, back to the drawing board I went. The real estate agent took me to see four more houses, including a high-Victorian rectory so neglected as to seem vandalized, and I spent a profitable two hours at the offices of the developer building Stratford's first major subdivision. Unless something fairly dramatic happens in the next few days, that subdivision looks like our next destination.

Dorothy -- I feel for you. There's nothing like the cabin fever of late winter when you have a leg in plaster (or even 21st-century removable plastic) and you dread what can happen in any venture outside your bedroom. As you gain strength, you will feel amazed at how weak you felt, and how strong you are beginning to feel. If only it didn't take so long!


29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM (#3847478)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

When I started looking for a house I knew it was likely I was going to want to do some renovating, so I had a contractor friend come look at a couple of them with me, pointing out the things I might want to change and were they doable. He's the one who did the work here. He taught me a few things to look for on my own in houses that were being sold by owner, by investors, etc. Too many "investors" take a house and add new cheap carpet and tile, a low-end air conditioner, slap a new 3-tab composite roof on top of the old roof (two layers is legal here). Then try to sell it like it has had much more extensive renovations. This house had been empty and the original owners were selling, so I did the renovations myself.


31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM (#3847898)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The real estate agent and his photographer came today and did the marketing shoot. The house has never looked better -- and we're leaving!

Yesterday, we cleaned under and behind the refrigerator and the stove. Holy cats, what a mess -- eighteen and a half years of dinners means plenty of boiling-over pots, each of which must have left a trail of drool down the side of the stove. The fridge became the home-away-from-home of no fewer than six cat toys, not counting wine corks, beer caps and other things our feline friends like to swat off the kitchen table.

On Sunday, we head back to Stratford for House-Hunt Mark II. This time, we gotta get lucky.


31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM (#3847922)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The dogs are shedding drifts of hair these days and I've started brushing them some (using a faux-furminator tool) to try to get out ahead of it. Considering how much comes off with the brush, I'm lucky the hair isn't up to my ankles every day.

Filing and shredding this evening in order to clear off my computer desk and kitchen counter. I have to attack the weeds in the vegetable garden plot this weekend and get things started. It's past time. The push-me-pull-you of in the house and outside jobs is here, and the yard usually wins.

I'm enjoying your descriptions of the houses you're looking at, Charmion. Better luck with the next batch!

Dorothy, are you up and around more today?


01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM (#3848079)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

TODAY! I am good with the cane and it is causing no discomfort in the ankle!! I sorted the laundry which had all been tossed on the floor of the laundry room, bagged it for transport and sorted out a very long orange extension cord, confining it with duct tape, and found the apples up top of the washing machine instead of the much cooler floor so they are going to be not fun to cut up - tonight or tomorrow!

Making a list of things to do when I get to Bancroft on Tues and things to fetch back with me. AND events I want to attend in the near future - if we leave early enough we could make the tues night movie and there is a waffle breakfast on Weds! Happiness is going home! Even for two days!

Of course, now I am even more anxious to get this show on the road. Emailed the shop that buys my pots and told them I will have, at least, some mugs for them and whatever else I can fire when I finally get down to the mill.

The rest of the afternoon on computer. Don't want to overdo it as I would be apt to do.

Now for some supper.


02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM (#3848228)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I should have mowed yesterday morning while I had the chance. I returned home from an appointment and the drizzle had started - mowing still would have been possible, but the deluge that descended last night and continued today put period to any thoughts of mowing for a couple of more days.

With the rain-imposed indoor time I listed more eBay stuff. I'm working on switching to a low-inflammation diet and this evening will be fixing dishes that I can package and freeze to take to work for lunch--that's the easiest way to keep to the plan. The usual weight and cholesterol issues. I'm also working on a set of stretching and dance exercise videos that are stored on the thumb drive in the rear of the den BluRay player. I can easily skip through the options and have it running in no time. The dogs are figuring out to stay out of my way when the music is on, not to try to help. :-/


07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM (#3849352)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It may not seem like a particularly recreational activity for a Friday, but since I got home a bit earlier than normal today I thought I'd clear the kitchen. Countertops were free of paper for a while, but this week it all went to pot.

From there, we'll see what cries out the loudest to be fixed, cleared, donated, laundered, whatever.


09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM (#3849672)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

A few weeks ago I started on a Mediterranean Diet, mostly excluding white flour foods and sugars. It's for health, low-inflammation, and weight, and it's also a very appealing diet (though I am looking for bread substitutions, if I can find grains that are acceptable). I don't want to simply toss the stuff in my freezer that fits the "do not eat" category, so I'll probably slowly declutter by taking some of this to the office for co-workers.

It's time for some seasonal tasks - putting away the cold weather foot gear near the side door, putting cold weather clothing into bins or up on shelves in the closet, making more room for lighter clothes. Washing or airing the heavier bedding and putting it up out of the way. Dusting the blades of all of the ceiling fans that will be in operation for the next six months.


09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM (#3849700)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We have nearly sold our house already.

The real estate listing went live on Friday just after lunch, and by supper time the agent had booked three showings. Before we went to bed, he emailed us again to ask if a fourth party could tour the house late in the afternoon.

Himself was preparing for a trial, so he decamped with the car and his huge briefcase to my brother's house, where he set to work at the dining room table. I tidied frantically and bailed out the door about five minutes before the first party was due to arrive. Half-way through the third visit, I couldn't stand it any more and called the agent, who told us that Party 1 liked the house but couldn't see how they would fit their furniture into it, and Party 2 were making an offer.

Party 3 and Party 4 were impressed, but not in love, so by close of play we had a genuine, solid offer but no auction. Our agent asked us if we were happy to accept ten thousand under the asking price and we said we'd like more (as one does), so he made a counter-offer asking for their offered price plus five thousand. They came back this morning with their sons, apparently loved it all over again, and accepted our counter-offer an hour before the deadline.

So now we're waiting to find out whether the people selling the house we like in Stratford are willing to sell it to us.

Stratford is close enough to the greater Toronto area to be affected by its housing bubble. Sellers refuse to take offers for up to a week after listing a desirable property, and shove through as many punters as possible during the interim. Buyers are entitled to know how many offers are in contention, so their agents strategize to secure the property. I expected to discuss the price we should offer (well above asking), but this transaction included something quite new to us: we were asked to write a letter to the sellers in which we essentially marketed ourselves as the buyers of choice. Okay, whatever it takes; I just gritted my teeth and did it. Fortunately, I still seem to be able to generate entertainingly literate blue sky on demand.

We find out tomorrow if we have to start hunting all over again in Stratford, this time much more urgently as we have agreed to close the sale of our house on 4 July.

The sale of our present abode is still in the conditional stage. First, a building inspector has to go through the place, and then the buyers, who are diplomats, have to get approval from their home government. I'm fairly sure the building inspector won't find any skunks (literal or metaphorical) under our back porch, or indeed anywhere else, and we're told that the diplomatic approval thing is usually automatic. Nevertheless, we are in a fine state of tenterhooks while all of these things percolate and time passes at the agonizing pace of one minute per minute.


09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM (#3849711)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Is there a link to the listing? Or have you posted it in Facebook?


10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM (#3849837)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Here it is:Home of Charmion & CET


11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM (#3850098)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It would be lovely to have a tidy, shiny house with beautiful furniture all in view because there is nothing sitting out on top of it. I have some interesting furniture but it is disguised by mostly paper. I did load up a bunch of it and make a trip to the village recycle bins last weekend, but this chore needs to be repeated many times over.


12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM (#3850161)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

That tidiness and shine was achieved at considerable effort, and it lasted about five minutes after the photographer left. In fact, the coffee table in the kitchen is where newspapers and books pile up until I can't stand it any more, and Edmund's office (the one with the desk facing the window) is normally full of running gear, printer parts, and lawyer's clutter (i.e., yellow note pads, open file boxes, disembowelled accordion folders, three-ring binders, and random stacks of paper. All that was swept away, along with its associated cat hair and dust, to create the fantasy of order presented in those photographs.

My parents were both champion packrats, and living with them --
and cleaning up after them -- taught me to make Charmion-specific house rules and stick to them. Rule 1 is No Stacking Books On The Floor. Rule 2 is Only One Filing Cabinet.

These rules are based on the principle of No Accumulation. When the library outgrows the shelf space, we purge it, starting with novels. When the tax files fill up their assigned drawers, the old ones go to the shredder. And now that we're past our sixtieth birthdays and moving house, we're going through the ephemera of our lives, consigning most of it to the shredder and the recycling bin. Childhood scribbles, old birthday cards, postcards from teenage travels, years' worth of letters from university and military bases -- gone and, thank God, not missed.

We are not celebrities or even particularly interesting as people to those who don't know and love us, so it would be the height of arrogance to expect others to care about our papers when we are dead. Even if somebody a century from today might want to read our letters, it would be completely unfair of us to compel our heirs and assigns to sort through pounds of dusty old papers to identify anything of interest or value.

When my parents died, I found myself charged with just that task, as my father had bequeathed a large collection of his family's papers, some of them dating back some six generations, to the National Archives of Canada. Unfortunately, there was a lot of dross around the gold, and it was my job to do the preliminary sort before the collection was ready for transfer into professional hands. I well remember the despair I felt when, just as I thought I had it licked, I found four butter boxes full of my mother's war-time letters to her father, whom she actively disliked, stashed behind the furnace. Each letter began, "Dear Daddy," but I remember that she never referred to the man as Father or Dad, but always as Himself. The mixed feelings rolled out of those boxes like toxic gas.

Did I have the guts to shred them? Not then, but I would now. I'm getting tough in my old age.

A practical tip on paper disposal: You know those big paper yard-waste bags? They're great for loose paper and the output from the shredder. I load 'em up, label them "Waste Paper" in big letters, and put them out with the newspapers.


14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM (#3850513)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

We had a trip to Beaver last week - in the pouring rain with a very tired Robin driving. I had to keep alert for 6 hours "Are you awake?" We made it by 6:15 - at least before darkness! - and went directly to Place for the Arts for the Tuesday movie - artsy and weird but interesting. Then to Tim Horton's for food and home to Beaver where R got a fire going and the electric cube heater and heating pad! It was not terribly cold so we had a good sleep and woke up to a decent day, happy to be there. A series of errands in town, lunch - Waffle Wednesday at the Heart of the Park (HOP) where we found a couple friends and had a great lunch with them. A quick last errand at the bulk food store (Harvest Moon), finding that the woman who has been managing it for years has finally been able to buy it!!! Now she will be able to brighten it up. I am SO happy for her! She looked so much happier. Errand list completed!

Then off to Peterborough for cataract check: appointment for measure in May and first fix in July - seems so long! Quick stop at Canadian Canoe Museum as it was closing - a planned trip just for that is in our future. Back to Bancroft too late for most eateries so we settled for Italian (R had never been there) but did not eat Italian; the menu has been modernized. Nice meal but we prefer a couple other spots - that close at 7 or 8.

Happy to get home to Beaver where the big plus of running water was helpful. But the laundry was too much so we went to laundromat and washed the two huge bagfuls, put it back in the bag and brought it to Montreal to dry at home! We got off at a reasonable time and stopped for lunch at the Hidden Goldmine Bakery - great turkey soup! It rained all the way back, stopping as we neared Quebec so we stopped for a nice supper, only to find it had started again with a vengeance - the last hour took an hour and a half with both of us on alert.

Friday was a rest day and Sat we went to an UPSCALE auction! Prices were very high and even R bought nothing! But I met 3 very interesting people and R got a free lunch as we sat down with two folks to chat; M could not eat much so R helped her! the reason for our presence was that a dear friend of R's was divesting herself of family acquisitions, mainly antiques of huge value. (a painting brought in $37000 CAD) It had been a long painful process to divest herself of the multi-million dollar mansion and this was clearing the house for new owners. Her life will be greatly de-cluttered and easier!

Monday - doctor: 2-3 more weeks with boot but I could try walking without it; won't hurt anything but it might hurt. So I tried it on Weds until it hurt then put the boot on. NOT on Thurs - a day of recovery! But today I did some more with just slippers. I was hoping to drive to Beaver today but not happening. Maybe I could but not on Easter weekend. I need to try out using the clutch when I have a chance - when R is home in daylight!

We went to Seder at a home with many steps! It was a nice outing.

I want to go home. Can I carry wood in? Probably; but it is getting warmer... I can get it into the stove and could have someone stop by and bring some in. R also wants to spend time at Beaver so we talked about a plan where I go for a week or so, then come back for a few days and we go for 5 or so days, then... It does encourage him to work out ways of getting away from the incessant demands. My friend's son, Mathias, may be viewed as competent enough to be delegated for more responsibility. He is reliable and sensible. So glad I suggested him!

I remembered to bring the yarn, hooks/needles and some books back but have not yet been energized to look at it. Maybe today. Ideas fomenting for other things, and wondering if I could make it upstairs to the pottery wheel - maybe tomorrow. Getting from sitting all day to doing things seems to be a slow process. Yesterday I was stricken by the thought that I could, conceivable, sink into a morass of just accepting that all that is left is to sit in this gruesome house and read, watch TV, computer and naught else - for the rest of my life. I can see where that could be a temptation. It is called "depression". I need to get back to Bancroft! Maybe Monday.

Congratulations to Charmion!! Things seem to be moving along well.


14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM (#3850534)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Wow, Dorothy, you're really healing fast. I hope you can work the clutch sooner than I could; my left ankle was so buggered up by the fractures and displacement, not to mention the surgery to repair them, that I could not work a clutch pedal without pain for a couple of years.

The sale of our Ottawa house underwent a severe hiccup that plunged me into a slough of despond this week. The buyer was a diplomat with an Arabic name, presumably from somewhere in the Middle East. He did everything he was supposed to do, including getting permission from the Canadian department of foreign affairs and requesting permission from his home government. He and his wife were actually at the house with the building inspector when his boss called to tell him that his home government might or might not give permission, and whatever their decision it would not be rendered any time soon; it could be weeks. Or maybe months. According to the real estate agent, all the colour drained from his face. His wife asked him what was the trouble and he told her. She burst into tears. The building inspection was called off, and the sale nullified. The house was back on the market the next day, Maundy Thursday.

Cut to today, Good Friday. Three parties of punters were booked to see the house and we bailed out at nine o'clock after the now traditional frantic dusting and vacuuming. We hung out at the coffee shop near the church until it was time for the passion liturgy, and I actually almost managed to concentrate on the readings and psalms. Then we went to the pub for lunch, as we still had Party 3 to go before it would be safe to return home. I had just ordered a club sandwich when the phone rang. The real estate agent, with good news. And more good news -- two offers out of three viewings!

So we seem to have sold the house again, and it's safe to do the laundry and fill the basement with drip-drying underwear.

Meanwhile, the situation in Stratford continues to simmer. Our agent in Perth County has never seen the market so hot, and neither has her dad, who has been in the property business since the end of the Second World War. At five-thirty on Monday morning, I get back on the train, intending not to come home until I have found AND PURCHASED a house.


15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM (#3850633)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dog to the vet urgent appointment trumped other plans I had for the morning (hot spot under her neck again). Helping the next door neighbor with a computer problem will probably tie up an hour at least this afternoon. Looks like some of the heavy lifting of the weekend will happen tomorrow.

I've added more things to the donation bin in my laundry room, and I made a recycle run during the week. There are boxes waiting to be shipped next week (they've waited for a long time already). I have a growing list of things to do in the yard.

Decluttering isn't happening at a great pace, but it's still on my mind.


16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM (#3850716)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I must have been possessed yesterday evening - I took the dust rag and some dusting spray and attacked the buildup in the front room. Now that the weather is changing I can take some of the dog bedding out of that room and wash and air-dry, vacuum, and in general clear out the mix of house dust and dog dander. I took an antihistamine ahead of that assault on dust.

So many chores to do around here, I need to simply pick something and get started.


20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM (#3851513)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Still in Montreal:

My friend who "crushed his ankle just after me is up and running about caring for his bees. Never mind that he is 20 or 30 years younger. I am determined and FED UP! Hopefully I will get a chance to try driving my car tomorrow or Saturday. I've invited a few people to the mill for a tiny birthday party for Robin on Sat aft. 70th

Poor R came in about an hour ago and I was so happy; I thought we could go food shopping AND I had been stuck in here ALL day - again. But, No, he was changing clothes to go to a lecture ---Total hissy fit! The lecture is on his great great... uncle. Oh well.

The best bit of de-cluttering around here was getting rid of the increasingly derelict wooden rocking chair which has been on the front steps for ...years. I told him emphatically - if it is still there on Monday I will put it out for the trash. This time he took me seriously and it is gone - to where I do not care as long as I never see it again.

Now for that Manitoba maple which is destroying the back garden. It is sizeable - about 2 feet dbh. A project but need to go SOON - before leaves- or it will be too late - again this year.

Glad to see Charmion's project moving along! MY friends who bought home in Glencoe sold their lake property in a week and are in full pack to move mode! Others moving to Guelph in June and another couple just announced a move to the (Ontario)"banana belt" - so far unspecified. Older bones looking for more temperate clime!

The other de-clutter is my energy level which left town. Healing is hard work, I guess.


21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM (#3851619)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Our house is now "sold firm", as they say in the real estate biz, with all conditions met. We have a couple of fix-up tasks to do before closing, but the list is short and uncomplicated.

In Stratford, however, things are rather more fraught. Yes, I found a suitable house -- or, more correctly, a house that can be made suitable -- but it has problems. If we were not on deadline, and if Stratford were not a ridiculously competitive housing market with high demand and short supply, I would have walked away when the building inspector found the aluminum wiring (!), but things are as they are, not as I would have them be.

It's a good-looking house in a nice neighbourhood, what I call a grown-up suburb -- the trees are now taller than the houses. The lot is a peculiar shape, wider than it is deep, so the garden is divided by the house and the generous back deck. The distance from downtown is a bit greater than optimal (2.45 km from the front door to the Perth County Jail), but the walking route takes one through Stratford's nicest streets and along the river, so that's more of a feature than a bug. The house was built about 1977, we figure, and it still has its original wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs, all wrinkled and tatty, and the meanest little linen closet I have ever seen. On the other hand, it has the largest and most opulent bedroom in the Huron Tract, complete with a walk-in closet large enough to accommodate a family of four. The kitchen is tiny and inefficient, but its problems are soluble with the application of money.

We are currently waiting for our real estate agent's favourite electrician to produce a quote on rewiring the house. To clear the conditions in our offer, I'm going to ask the owners to pay part of that (the amount it would cost to bring the system to code, while we pay the rest of what it will cost to solve the problem completely), and to nail down the toilets that rock on their moorings and replace several rows of roof shingles that were laid wrong, without enough overlap. They also have to finish dry-walling the garage ceiling, which was left open although there is living space above it -- a major sin against the building code.

It's all rather exhausting, and I really appreciate the work the real estate agent is doing to coordinate the tradesmen's visits and nail down their recommendations in the purchase agreement. If I had to do all that, we would be living in a sod hut.


22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM (#3851774)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It is energizing and exhausting at the same time to go through this process. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress on the two houses.

Have you culled pretty much everything that you plan to, or is there another phase of that to come now that you have a destination in view?

I've gotten a very late start on my garden this year. I dug a patch from which I'll work outward decluttering weeds. I have several compost piles in the back yard to turn over and combine. I need to move much of the finished compost to the garden this year and chip a bunch of small limbs for mulch. I have a small "stay-cation" planned soon to give me a chance at actually getting the garden in before it gets too hot here.


22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM (#3851911)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm changing my diet and for the time being am avoiding eating much if any processed white flour, so when friends came over for lunch today I pulled some of the many types of breads from the freezer to send home. Flatbreads, pita, tortillas, rolls, loaves, and some pasta. It went home in coolers and into their freezers. Better they use it than it becomes freezer-burned.


23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM (#3852044)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Acme, we have more culling to do.

The kitchen in the new house is much smaller than what we have here in Ottawa, and irritatingly inefficient. It's a galley-type arrangement that opens into the dining area, which is not only small, but also lacks wall space because a large patio door leads from it to the back deck. All very nice when whipping steaks off the grill to the table, but less than optimal when trying to fit a sideboard, a china cabinet, a table and chairs, and a drinks cabinet into eleven by ten feet of floor space.

So I am contemplating a major refit of the whole back of the house -- dining room, kitchen and ground floor loo -- to get the most out of the space. Some idiot had a shower stall built in between the loo and the back door, just where a sensible person would have put a pantry. So I plan to abolish the shower cabinet, plumbing and exhaust fan in favour of a comprehensive set of shelving and stowage for our ridiculously large selection of pots, pans and skillets.

The window side of the galley has two sections of counter space suitable for prep work, on either side of the sink. So I want to get rid of the crappy cramped cabinets that overhang that space so I can see what I'm doing and knead bread without bonking my head. The other side of the galley will be cabinets to the ceiling, counter space for the knife block, the toaster and the coffee maker, and cabinets under the counter for the stuff we use all the time -- mixing bowls, colanders, the blender, the food processor, and the glass casseroles that go into the microwave.

While we're at it, the dining area will get built-in china cabinets so we get the most use out of what little wall space it has.

Consequently, I can see us definitely parting with the china cabinet and the drinks cabinet, and possibly giving the sideboard to my brother, as it's both useful and a family heirloom.

All this craftsmanship will be made possible by the difference between the sale price of our Ottawa house and the purchase price in Stratford. I just hope we have enough left over to pay for getting rid of the wall-to-wall carpets, which look as if they might have been installed when the house was new.

All in all, we're going to be living in a construction zone for months. Whee.


24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM (#3852098)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

But afterwards you'll be gloating, Charmion! Think about
toe-kick drawers (the kind you kick gently to get them to open), for big trays and the like - be careful to make them in mouse-proof marine ply - and spice racks and lazy susans (for things like rolls of foil and parchment as well as spices and tea and coffee), and a pull-out cooker hood (can't find a picture but a friend has one that she pulls out from the wall when she puts on the hob, and pushes back in when she's finished cooking).

I have a separate hob and oven - in fact, the oven sits in the old kitchen chimney where there was an anthracite stove when I moved in; loved the stove but the anthracite gave me awful asthma, so I replaced it with a bunch of cupboards and drawers, with the oven sitting in the middle. The great thing about this is that it's at eye level, and when I open the door down it opens out at waist level so I can put the pot or roast or tart on the open door and check it easily, and then pop it back in or bring it to table. And you don't get as much of that horrid whoosh of hot air into your face as with the crouchy kind of oven below a hob.

Windows for me are super-important; if I could, I'd have a full-length window or glass door out to the garden in my kitchen! (Though if I could do absolutely everything, I'd put the kitchen and the bathroom at the front of the house as the Japanese typically do, and have the living rooms in the quieter and more private back of the house.)


24 Apr 17 - 09:57 AM (#3852154)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I've never heard of a pull-out cooker hood, Thompson, but I'd bet money that the Ontario building code would not tolerate such a device. Our building code seems to have been developed with pyromaniac idiots in mind; the kitchen mishaps it purports to prevent (especially with respect to gas-fired kitchen ranges) strike me as unlikely to befall any cook with the brains God gave a goose.

Your oven reminds me of that line from Flanders & Swann's "Design for Living" -- "I'm just delirious about my new cooker fitment with the eye-level grill, so that, without my having to bend down, the hot fat can squirt straight into my eyes!"

Separate cook-tops (as they're called here) and ovens are ridiculously expensive in Canada, generally purchased by rich people who like a gas-fired hob and an electric oven. Can't think why they would, but then I'm prejudiced.

Most Canadian houses built within the last 30 years have their sitting and relaxing areas at the back, giving onto the garden, and the kitchen at the front. This trend was driven by a sharp change in design conventions: moving the garage from the side or back of the house to the front, close to the street. In many cramped suburban developments, where houses are designed to get maximum living space out of minimum land, the garage sticks out of the facade like a carbuncular box. In more gracious applications, the garage occupies about a third to a half of the ground floor of the house, with the kitchen at the front (beside the front door) and an ell-shaped "great room" (combined dining room and parlour) taking up the rest of the space. Upstairs, the space over the garage is used as a "family room" (lounge) and the bedrooms occupy the space over the kitchen and great room.

What's the difference between a living room and a family room? That's easy -- formality or lack of same. The family room is where you find the cat-clawed napping sofa, the television, the stack of half-read newspapers and magazines, and the kids' toys. The living room (increasingly vestigial) contains the sitting-up-straight parlour furniture inherited from Grandma, and the proud display of wedding and graduation photographs.


25 Apr 17 - 04:33 AM (#3852296)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

I have a gas hob (in the old scullery) and an electric oven. Gas is, or was, more responsive for cooking - you can turn the flame up or down and have an instant response. Chefs more or less universally prefer it.

The oven, with its eye-level grill (no fat-spitting) is in the old chimney. If we were civilised, you could lift the roast chicken straight from the fold-down door to the kitchen table - however, we're not, unless we have guests, so it's lifted out and brought into the living room/ drawing room/ family room, where we eat while watching some nonsense on TV.

This division of hob and oven is the norm in Ireland - or if not the norm, probably about half of all households have it. I suspect that this is so all over Europe; in Ikea last week I was looking thoughtfully at their induction hobs (sold separately). There's nothing snobby about it here, it's functional.

I see that ikea.ca does sell ovens, but doesn't list hobs; maybe they're called something different there.


25 Apr 17 - 04:54 AM (#3852299)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Jon Freeman

Replaced our cooker last year. Like for like swap - another Belling 50cm sealed plate job. The previous one did about 20 years.

People differ in ways of cooking and while my own choice IF mains gas was available here would be the gas hob/electric oven combo, my mother's ways suit the slow responses and (if she didn't find them too heavy, probably cast iron cookware).

As for the idea of an induction hob, I really do not see anything with a ceramic top lasting long here.

And re separate units, it's a small kitchen and battle for space.


26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM (#3852562)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

In the US (so far) there is a chain called The Container Store that has myriad ways of storing and caring for and shipping and displaying stuff. Many of the items they carry can be found in less robust or less expensive versions of the housewares section of other kinds of stores, but this is Ground Zero for organizers to get ideas to start with.

Here in the southern US people seem to call the two living areas the living room and the den. The den being the less formal family space, the living room akin to what I understand is called a parlor with the "nice" furniture where company is entertained. This tended to be a less common distribution of space in a house in the northern part of the US where I grew up.

When I moved into this house it had a cave-like (as in dark and low) kitchen area with a fur down ceiling (the cupboards tops were against the ceiling that was lower than the dining area and there were florescent fixtures recessed in the ceiling). We took out the drop ceiling, made it flush with the rest of the house (except for the cathedral ceiling in the den). It looks more open and I put antique kitchen items on top of the cupboards for display and dust collection.


26 Apr 17 - 01:53 PM (#3852567)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

But we went to the cafe Friday and stayed over at the mill, had a few in for cake and ice cream Saturday early aft = A few days early for R's b-day. He did some work at the mill and we left TOO LATE! My night vision has been totally decluttered and I drove back = YAY, I can drive! - blindly trying to determine where the road was while he slept. A detour came close to killing us off but he woke up and helped and we made it home. Impossible to change drivers on a speed track! I believe I have never been more terrified.

So I can walk - but still get tired easily and foot not always happy but coming along each day!

Happy news that C has sold the house!! New one sounds a bit difficult. If it were me, the carpets would be first concern - full of all those years of ????? OUT they would go. But new carpeting would be toxic too - I could not live with that either, I well know.

It is interesting to read about people's differing K ideas. etc. I much prefer gas for cooking. The stove at Beaver is under a window so no hood. But the niftiest one I have seen was a curved glass one. Very cool and elegant , less obtrusive than most. I have seen pull out ones and they could be useful in some instances.

Now, that shower inside the back door is just what we need! Come in and clean up before polluting the rest of the house! So, whoever did it may not have been an idiot! The way R comes home, I would like an airlock so he could de-contaminate.

Anyway, hope you can get it all done up before you move in and let all dust and other toxins air out! Living in a construction zone is extremely unhealthy.

So happy to be able to move about but takes some getting used to! I can make it, carefully, to the second floor and went up today to check on clay situation and water plants. Planning to make a lamp base to go with an interesting stained glass shade R brought home. This would be a first for me... The 6-sided shade needs angles rather than round. I am thinking/planning/designing...

Made a small stab this am at putting the K back into a post-break orderliness. A few minutes at a time. Tomorrow we go to Beaver!


26 Apr 17 - 04:31 PM (#3852580)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
WOW! went into back yard - warm enough! Pulled a few weeds that were making headway and surveyed what was ans was not looking up. LOTS of common violets! more than ever before; I have been nurturing them - all through the grass and in the beds.

Even the sage is DEAD; even the oregano! THAT TREE!!!! Time to push for removal - PLEASE!

Want you all to know I had no idea my night vision had gotten that bad in the 3 months I had not driven! Cataracts are a learning experience. Not fun.

I wonder: Tight K and tiny DR; might be worth taking out a wall and having a decent eat in K?

As for Maggie's dust collectors! I insist on K cabinets to the ceiling to eliminate those dust collectors! Dust is my worst enemy!


26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM (#3852596)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

And re separate units, it's a small kitchen and battle for space.

Same here; the hob is in the scullery, but there isn't room for an oven there - you'd bump your bottom (and possibly need a bottomry bond) on the opposite cupboards or the fridge every time you crouched, and couldn't open the door properly.

So the oven is in what used to be called the 'breakfast room', in its old chimney.

Works for us, anyway.


26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM (#3852602)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I rearranged some dust this afternoon, Dorothy, when I gutted the 12-year-old computer that was in my son's room (the kids' high school computer) and then moved the old desktop (that runs Win7 Pro and is still functional, though very slow) in to what is now the guest room. I found a 1Tb drive in the kids' computer so I've dropped that into an enclosure and will format then use it to store stuff. The case will go to eWaste and one of these days the two other drives (one internal, one external that won't play with newer OSs) will go to a secure recycle facility at work.

Now I have a couple of freed-up cubic feet of space in the wire shelves under my microwave so may end up re-arranging kitchen bulky stuff to make it look good and make something reachable that has been stored atop the freezer, etc. My small laptop is in the kitchen now, under the television on the wall. It connects via HDMI cable and will make cooking research easy but is also easily packed and taken with me when I need it to travel. For anyone who regularly maintains their computers, you know this meant a lot of trips back and forth for flashlight, screwdriver, rearranging shelves, getting a dust rag . . . and I'm covered with dust also.

My first day of a planned gardening vacation was thus because of rain and cool weather. Tomorrow should be nice and I'll enjoy tackling the weeds and finally getting some crops in.


26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM (#3852626)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I pulled two non-working drive enclosures from behind my computer and replaced them with one that came out of the kids' computer today. My most recent backup is in a drive tucked away on a shelf and there is another new external one in a box on the office floor - as I contemplate how to put it in a closet and let the backup automate and run to that drive that is out of sight but there to be used when I need it (the out of sight part because we had a burglary a dozen years ago and learned to keep the backup hidden so you have the data if you have to get a new computer).

The 1Tb drive is doing a slow format, it'll probably run overnight. This 1T drive is a windfall, I was going to use the drive with the existing backup for something else (probably for backup of video and music media) - it's kind of an embarrassment of riches right now. Memory is cheap, and it's easy to go overboard. Tomorrow I'll figure out how to plug the new stuff into the UPS. It involves crawling around under and beside the desk.


27 Apr 17 - 04:42 PM (#3852794)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Ari and Rob, the carpenters, were back yesterday to quote on the last fix-up tasks before this house is sold. Alas, they won't do everything; one job calls for a licensed electrician, which they are not, and the other involves a damaged siding panel on the front of the house under a third-storey window, and Ari and Rob don't do anything that calls for ladders or scaffolding. "We have to draw the line somewhere," said Ari, "and we decided years ago that we're done climbing."

I'm done climbing, myself, so I respect that.

Since mid-March, but especially during the three-act sale-and-purchase drama, I have been really tired. For about a month, I was waking up in the middle of the night and mentally moving furniture around while also worrying about bungling the biggest financial decision we will make for the next 20 years. I've been sleeping better since both sales were firmed up, but I'm still easily tuckered out. I used to do three sets of 12 dead-lifts with a 28-Kg kettlebell as part of my routine gym workout but, even with a lighter weight and fewer repetitions, I still managed to pull a muscle in my lower back the other day. And of course, as the traditional insult added to injury, a huge cold sore surfaced last Sunday on my lower lip.

I guess I'm feeling a tad old.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, we were out looking at cars last night. Our car is a VW Golf with a diesel engine, one of the vehicles with the cheating emissions system, so we are parties to the great big class action suit against Volkswagen. The Canadian part of the settlement was just announced, so we took a trip to the dealership yesterday to see what they could offer us.

We should get a nice car out of it, at a price we can pay without groaning too hard, but I wasn't too happy about being stampeded into committing to a deal now, while our cash-flow situation is seriously pinched. But as the cheated-on diesel owners flow in, looking to get rid of their unsaleable vehicles, the supply of replacement cars will shrink steadily. So we had to get in there early and make a deposit before the mobs gather.

Ho, hum, it's only money.


27 Apr 17 - 04:45 PM (#3852796)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

Pulling muscles comes with being tensed up. Doctor Thompson says take a hot bath and call me in the morning.


27 Apr 17 - 05:54 PM (#3852809)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Thompson, I did that, and I intend to do it again. Then I will loll around on our memory-foam mattress with the cat, doing my best to emulate his drape-shape and insouciant attitude.


27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM (#3852821)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I was feeling virtuous about finishing work on my string trimmer, until the handle broke and the rope pulled into the starter. Now the whole damned thing has to be disassembled and I'll replace the starter rope. He did it in 10 minutes on the YouTube video - chances are my time will vary greatly.

Looks like it's another eBay evening. I'll do the yard work over the next three days that look like perfect weather.


28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM (#3852932)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Since I have an open space in the wire shelving where that very large desktop computer used to live, I'm thinking about rearranging the shelving in my kitchen. I liked the look better when all of my wooden shelves were along the wall with the wainscoting/chair rail, and they're not that way now. I've moved one more large item off of the wire shelves and now feel up to redoing the whole setup.

I finished running all of my errands this afternoon including mailing three bulky boxes of stuff that have waited for attention for several weeks. Fingers are crossed that Priority mail flat-rate boxes will be treated well compared to larger (with more padding) ground-rate boxes. Now that they're out of the house there is room on the bench next to the door that is meant as a shoe-changing station.


28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM (#3852957)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Third time's the charm - I have scalped about 2/3 of the garden area with the old electric trimmer (with frequent pauses so it didn't overheat) and will finish tomorrow. Then I can dig beds or do the newspaper/mulch/compost lasagna treatment and get the Mediterranean type plants in (eggplant, okra, peppers, etc.).


30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM (#3853118)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Didn't get much rain overnight, but I'll putter around out there if it warms up today.

As an aside, my fingernails have been soft and flaky for a while, so I've had a cuppa bouillon with dissolved gelatin daily over the last few weeks and it's finally making a difference. But with all of our musicians, I wonder what some of you do to keep the nails strong and healthy?


30 Apr 17 - 01:39 PM (#3853130)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yesterday, my archival urge received a major burst of vindication. This may not be a good thing, as it seems to take one event like this every decade or so to keep me stuffing the One Filing Cabinet.

We own a Volkswagen Golf with a diesel engine. Yes, it is one of those cheatin' diesels, and we are parties to the great, big class action that has cornered the car builder into making restitution to literally millions of diesel drivers. The Canadian sector of the settlement process opened for business on Friday, with a website to register claimants.

You'd think that all it would take to identify the car as an "affected" vehicle would be the Vehicle Identification Number, and the owner as the rightful proprietor thereof would be the registration, wouldn't you? Well, you would be wrong if you thought that. In fact, Volkswagen Canada requires a whole clutch of documents, starting with the registration papers and the owner's driver's licence, and escalating all the way to the original bill of sale and warranty records. I, of course, had all that paperwork in a neat red file folder, fresh as the day we brought it home in August 2010. Yay me.

I have about 10 years of tax records to shred before the next garbage day when recyclable paper is picked up. Our cross-cut shredder is showing signs of reluctance these days -- wisps of smoke, for example -- so perhaps I should give it only about a year or two per day until the whole wad is gone.


30 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM (#3853133)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Acme, your question about nails brings me ask: Do you wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning? Detergents and other modern cleaning products really do a number on your hands, nails and skin alike. Also, do you restrict your meat intake? You may find that deliberately eating a little more meat and fish -- especially bone-in salmon and sardines -- will result in stiffer nails.

My nails are firm and grow well, but they always split and break when they get beyond about a quarter of an inch in length. The splits always appear in the same places, too.

My father was the same: his nails would split when they had grown to a certain length. Unfortunately for him, the splits were usually lengthwise, from the tip of his finger back to the nailbed, and they hurt like the dickens. Mine split sideways, a millimetre or so out from the nailbed, so I keep them clipped down on both hands.


04 May 17 - 11:04 PM (#3853343)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't use gloves usually, but I don't have a lot of washing up since it's just me here now. And I use the dishwasher every week or two (to keep it working) so the nails don't get too saturated. One nail in particular is quite brittle/soft, but after several weeks of bouillon, it seems to be firming up. And yes, it cracks at the same spot every time.

A friend was over yesterday to pick up a package of fresh Iraqi flat bread I get at an import market with a bakery near my work. And I sent him home with about 10 lbs of Basmati white rice. I've picked up some of the Basmati brown rice to use for the time being. So decluttering by sending it to a good home. Also a bag of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) that goes beautifully with the rice.


07 May 17 - 11:36 AM (#3853696)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

At my house this week I have had a conversation with the dogs about leaving my laundry alone. One of the three, a Labrador retriever who used to belong to my best friend until she was injured badly as a pedestrian struck by a moving car, has a history of eating socks, mittens, wash cloths, dish towels, and even underwear. I knew about this when he came to stay, so I always toss the worn garments directly into a laundry basket he doesn't have access to. But this week I was careless and left the laundry basket of clean whites on the low coffee table in the living room. And during the week out in the yard I found two barely-recogizable cotton carcasses apres-dog - probably thrown up after days churning in the stomach juices. He had trouble eating for a couple of days, like he was experiencing nausea, and chewing his food and eating slower. Now I know why. It's bad enough to find bits of a dish towel (what some of you call a tea towel) that has clearly been regurgitated or extruded (I've found bits in the yard that clearly exited both ways - the same towel that broke up in the gut). In this instance the undergarments actually cost enough (and were quite new) that it's REALLY ANNOYING.

Note to myself: leave the clean laundry on top of the dryer or take the full basket directly to the bedroom and put it up out of reach - he's not allowed in the bedroom.

I have recluttered my supply of undergarments, and we are to clothes-line season, a time when I always make sure small things will stay pegged in place to avoid this kind of consumption happening in the yard. Since dogs exist everywhere and clotheslines are as old as time, I won't claim that this is a first world problem, but it probably is something that isn't discussed openly every time it occurs! ;-)


07 May 17 - 04:20 PM (#3853760)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
There were a few days when mudcat would not come out!

We had a nice weekend at Beaver and left in time on Monday to be back before dark! Really hanging on and hoping my cataract ops will solve my night vision. We went to a marvellous Patsy and Hank performance in the Laurentians last night and R managed to get us home. The autoroute is pretty well lighted most of the way - an hour and a half! We committed to a house concert up there on 3 June so it was good we could make it safely home!

I am walking pretty well though far from perfect; I get there. Driving is OK also so I am off to Beaver alone tomorrow for about 12 days: eye appt and driver's license renewal appt. Hopefully lots of visits, some gardening and some potting. I need lots more pots for the summer - shops and shows. Dan has built me a new deck - 10 by 16 at the end of the studio I am planning to put the kilns in a weatherproof cabinet, on wheels so I can fire - on good days only! - back there and free space in the store room ---for storing! Also shelves for glaze buckets and a glazing table. Need a consult with Dan re finding "show room" area.

Here in Montreal, I was bitten at 3:30 am by a mouse, we think. While peacefully in bed. Found the box spring full of mouse poop; mattresses are now out on sidewalk, that room has a big empty apace which needs some sort of futon/hide-abed for guests as we moved to the upstairs bedroom which has been our guestroom. It is in sore need of a real closet and a paint job but we wake up to morning light!!!

The tree is still there and leafing out. R needs a permit to cut it, for which he has not yet applied... AND we need someone to do it... The grass is getting too long for the push mower, for which I need oil! And the trimmer is at Beaver - Just put it on list to come back!

There is a constant flow of stuff; most goes and stays. Will be doing some sorting and storing at Beaver this time. Company coming! With the snow gone, I can take stuff to the back-back shed. Want to consult with Dan about getting that better organized as well. Maybe some strong shelves. Need to find summer clothes and store winter. Lots to do! At Beaver, I am in charge; also pay the bills but I don't have to wait for R to get around to it.

So nice to be able to walk again!


12 May 17 - 11:40 AM (#3854619)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

BEAVER!!

Back home, by myself for the first time since December! NOW, I am trying to sort out the clutter which ensued from several comings and goings but not staying long enough. My energy level is not terrific. Trip re cataracts yesterday was - well, I was so annoyed that I had not been given all the info away back when I was first told I had cataracts, I was tempted to go back to the vision centre and tell someone - but I was too tired. Came home, went to CU for cash to pay Dan for the last two weeks work. Expecting rain, he is not coming back 'til Monday - It has not rained!

I now have screen doors, front and back, to de-clutter the bug population. What it cost to fit the OLD! doors into our crooked house... only a full day's work and some small lumber - de-cluttering the wallet. But they look nice - old fashioned style.

And the deck which Dan and R decided did not need to be "that big" did. SO, after the studio deck is finished - with shelves for glazes and a garage for the kilns and siding on the studio, then the back/back shed has a floor and shelves so the bins can be better organized and the back shed stuff can move in and... Then, a 10x10 deck out by the beaver pond to hold the 3-seater swing and a screen tent so we can sit out there and watch the wildlife. They will get used to it being there and if we sit quietly....

Meanwhile, I am sorting out the house little by little with a very low energy level. I sit a while and work awhile and think awhile and work awhile. Need to make some pots as summer shows and shops will be wanting more than what I have ready. Need to use energy for that and not worry too much about the house. Today it will be warm in the studio...

does everyone have numerous small containers or drawers of miscellaneous "stuff" which is hard to organize? And hard to throw out!


12 May 17 - 11:56 AM (#3854624)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Lol thread title-- as usual I'm on the contrary path: setting up the house.

Particularly the garden.

House-sharing in Ohio is beginning to transition; the wife of the couple caretaking it has been doing (in Oregon) what I'm doing here, for 6 months or so-- about the length of time since I was here last. To be discreet, I'll just say her bachelor is learning a lot this week about what I actually need for prep for my arrivals! To that end-- he's also partially disabled-- I've set up a FB album with desired setup pix for their house cleaner, and negotiating her coming more frequently. I mat retitled the album, "Make it SO", lol. Does not make sense for Oregon-located wife to direct Ohio house cleaner (who is a well paid GEM).

It looks like his departure/her Oregon prep will dovetail well with the pace of our own transition, yaaaayyyy!


13 May 17 - 10:56 AM (#3854776)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dorothy, I have patio issues to tackle also. There is a concrete slab outside my back door, and when I moved in my contractor built a frame with 4"x4" posts and 2"x8"x12' planks. The outer 12' plank warped enough that the screws pulled loose and I had to dislodge the end that was holding up the rest as it slowly drooped off of the top. I'll use that plank to edge my garden and bring in some new lumber to reinforce the cover. And I need to replace the 60/40 cloth that was shredded in last year's hail storm (probably with a translucent plastic so I can use the patio in the rain). So some things will be reused, a few will be discarded, and while I'm at it I should paint all of that backyard stuff - the patio cover and some wooden seating. The hail really knocked the crap out of that paint job.

I'm dealing with an inflammation health issue these days, the treatment is working, but clearly one way to keep symptoms away is to look at what I'm eating. I've taken white flour and sugar out of my diet - though I think I can refine this somewhat and have al dente pasta on occasion, the whole wheat variety, and simply avoid the breads (alas!). This Huffington Post piece covers the topic thoroughly enough to set as broad guidelines (I've read lots of stuff, but this one in particular sets a tone with information and links).

My garden is going in very late because I simply wasn't feeling like getting out there and pushing through the muscle pain to do all of the work. I was pleased that last weekend I just puttered in the yard like the old days, managing to accomplish several tasks in one day. Lots of volunteer crops coming up that I can nurture (and possibly transplant) to give the whole thing a boost. The neighbors have noticed that there wasn't a garden in yet, and had begun to ask. I'm glad they're paying attention - we all need to keep our neighbor's welfare in mind.

The newest part of my routine will be adding a fitness tracker. I've generally viewed them as a gimmick or fad, but I find I need more information about how much sleep and how well I'm sleeping and I need something to nag me to get up and walk around from the sedentary job I do in a dark basement office. I compared lots of features and felt I had to have one that could withstand the sweaty work I do in the yard. I liked a couple of the Garmin devices, and though one reviewer commented on expensive proprietary wrist bands on one I found affordable replacements on eBay and Amazon. But what finally decided me was the reviews - if these devices didn't have at least 50% of the reviews as 5 stars, they clearly have issues and I don't want to be a statistic as far as solving problems. The highest rated of the ones I considered was one of the FitBit line, but it isn't waterproof and one reviewer (who sounded a lot like me as far as activities) said she had to replace it every year because she sweated so much they died. So I'm going with a Withings analog watch with some digital features. If anyone is interested in the results of my research, just ask. For someone with less outdoor in hot weather activity, there are several others that would work.

Good to hear from you, Susan. I wondered where you were in all of the moving/retiring process. I enjoy your political posts on facebook.

Charmion, how goes the packing and planning?


13 May 17 - 12:16 PM (#3854789)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Acme- just remember the Chinese proverb = When your house is finished, you die. There is always something! I still need to varathane the wood siding Dan put on the sheds last year - Has to be DRY!!

Rice pasta might be nice, instead of wheat, but I am finding steamed cauliflower a quite nice carrier for tomato sauce, also mixed in egg omelet. I see that people are also using it for crusts. After my months on the Keto diet, a small bowl of ice cream and a brownie was NOT good. The body KNOWS! I have gotten quite used to no wheat.

The garden coop is planting in June! I am disconcerted; the lettuce and beet seeds I planted last trip are up about an inch and I plan to plant some more before I go back to Montreal on Friday. The usual planting time for Toronto area is last week of May but with global warming we cannot be sure of anything. There was a skim of snow Tuesday am. I am puttering - pulling weeds but not much else - no energy. Maybe tomorrow.

The trip to the eye clinic (weds) did me in and I was not right again until Thurs aft. Suspect the drops had a negative effect due to my chemical sensitivity. Another thing health care knows little about and pays almost NO attention. I had a very bad night - uncomfortable no matter what. (These were not drops that precluded driving.) I also left the clinic terrifically upset that I had not received adequate info the first day I was told I had cataracts. NOW, I find that the operation and post op will cost Robin a week away from work. We will have to stay overnight in peterboro - or drive back and forth on two days in a row. I feel as though patients are mere chattel to be told do this, do that... With NO consideration for circumstances.

Acme! Your fitness info was Greek to me! I shall just putter about. This has gotten the house into a much more orderly state so I am content to have guests - of the well known variety. Coming to terms with being 80 means letting others also come to terms with - this is what it is. The broken ankle still awkward and uncomfortable.

Managed to take a few pots to the Gallery (for sale), view the art show and vore on 3 favs - "peoples' choice". (I think that was my suggestion last year!) In gathering pots, I only managed to root about in the top two boxes of storage unit. Energy level!

Friends are on way to de-clutter yard of rhubarb plants, sorely in need of re-homing!

I, too, was glad to see an update from Susan! And think of how Charmion is getting on!

Guess I shall put the kettle on!


13 May 17 - 02:31 PM (#3854828)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Dorothy, I was interested to read that the eye drops at the Eye Clinic had an adverse effect on you. I've been going regularly and I find the drops make me feel very strange (not just the eyes, I mean generally) It lasts about 24 hours. I feel as if I've got the 'flu!


13 May 17 - 06:31 PM (#3854876)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've been told that the dilation eye drops are harder on blue eyes, it takes longer to wear off. It certainly wipes out most of my evening if I have the drops put in during the afternoon. No way I'm going to get an exam in the morning and wipe out the whole day.


14 May 17 - 02:49 PM (#3855069)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Decluttering limbs from sprawling shrubs and trees today. Just enough so I can stuff them length-wise into a couple of trash cans and leave them at the curb. I'm tired of knocking my hat off when I work under one tree in particular, so those low limbs are history. Bulky waste pickup is next month and I have one large tree that probably needs to come out - I'll save that job for June.

A casserole from the freezer will go into the oven and be available for lunches this week, since I forget things are in there and they do need to be used to make room for this year's crops, if I get any.

A run to the recycle bins at city hall and a couple of loads of laundry, one to dry on the line (working clothes go in the dryer because it's too difficult to iron out creases from line drying) will round out the day. You see my pattern - as the weather gets nice, much more time is spent out-of-doors.


15 May 17 - 02:46 AM (#3855150)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Thanks, dudettes. Did I mention I'm getting too old for this shite-- the physical stuff? Pain oh yes.


15 May 17 - 03:14 AM (#3855157)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Well,I have a little project today. All three wheelie bins (re-cycling, landfill and garden waste) need cleaning. They get a bit smelly as they're only collected every two weeks here. I've got an excellent extending-handle brush, so I can slosh a bucket of hot water/bleach into each one, and scrape around with the brush (It's like a large toilet brush on a telescopic handle. The wheelie bins are very deep)
The resulting soup gets tipped down the drain, which cleans that too.
Then I can feel very smug, being the lady with the sweetest-smelling bins/drain in the village!


15 May 17 - 09:23 PM (#3855339)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Interested that others also have trouble with drops! I still have not been able to phone the clinic and now I feel better about telling them. Today, went to see my fav pharmacist and she wrote down the ingredients in the 3 prescription drops I need to have before the op. I will check them out with my health consultant. I also want to know what they gave me last week so I can ask about that also. I just love it when I phone about 10 am on Monday and get a message that they are closed until 9 am on Monday - X3!

After spending about 15 minutes last night trying to figure out how to get out of the bathtub and who could I phone for help - I managed. Today, Dan's first job was to affix the grab bar to the wall!! "With 3 and a half inch screws!"

Cleared some stuff from studio - winter storage - and he took it to the back/back shed so I am ready - hypothetically - to pot. Almost made it today. Did some clay prep but errands took too much energy - an hour at the walk in clinic to get paperwork completed for pre op info. Toxic environment! I was trying not to breath in the dirty air and the nurse is telling me to take deep breaths! doctor in Toronto interviewed me by something akin to skype! so two more things done.

A third trip to town (4 minutes away) for soil to plant last year's dahlias and canna which Might have survived. The second trip had netted sticky strips for the bottom of the tub (and more)! not a well planned day and "too much" walking was definitely not an asset. Dan put a new window in the studio, that takes up less room, in prep for building "garage" for kilns. Also started putting siding on that side, also in prep. He is such a gift!

After the studio stuff: a floor and shelving in the back/back shed for better organization, then an observation platform (deck) behind said shed for a 10x10 screen tent and the swing where we can sit on the edge of the beaver pond and if we are very quiet, maybe we will see the otters! No beaver in residence at this time.

Beautiful day today and we are transitioning to warmer weather! I did really well until about 5 pm and then bombed, which is far better than the gloomy weekend when I puttered along in low gear. But the house is civilized and as de-cluttered as possible right now. Doesn't everyone have a cart of clay in the LR!? I want to be sure of warm weather before putting it out in studio! Cold clay is no fun.

Now for a hot bath and bed!


15 May 17 - 10:26 PM (#3855349)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's so wonderful to be back to my old energy level - tonight after work I had a quick dinner then spent an hour or so finishing the trimming I started this weekend. I have to lop up some of the limbs and chip them or put them at the curb, for now they're in a pile out of the way.

The fitness tracker arrived quickly (Amazon Prime has some nice perks!) and I think it will work for what I want. I've set up a few basic features, but I don't need it telling me that my phone is receiving a message, etc., because my phone is with me all of the time. The information it gives me is useful, and I'll figure out more as time passes. Best of all, it looks like a normal wrist watch and can stand up to my sweaty yard work.

Tonight at dusk the dogs and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the weather and the lightning bugs. We have a lot of them in this area, I think because of the expanse of greenbelt behind our houses along the creek, and across the road. We also solved a mystery - a gray tabby spends the day prowling my veggie garden because last year there were some mice in the sweet potato bed. She is hopeful of more prey this year. We met her at her official home two doors up the block, with a family who has her in at night and out during the day. I hope she's smart enough to avoid predators - we have some around here.


16 May 17 - 08:28 AM (#3855407)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Yesterday was a good day. With the shift from part-time work at the market to full-time work at the park, I've had just enough energy to walk the dog after work and it showed. Kitchen was mess, fridge had something dead in it (actually many something deads), and the recycling had sprawled from its cupboard and was starting to spread across the room (with help from Beau). SO yesterday, I spent the early part of the afternoon cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out the fridge, hauling off the recycling, and swept the floor. Next thing to tackle will be the gigantic laundry pile, but that involves hauling everything off to the laundromat and remembering to stock up on quarters.


16 May 17 - 09:18 PM (#3855502)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I started stashing quarters in a tin can when I had to use the laundromat as a regular thing. And I never take the washer and dryer at the house for granted - they are a true luxury item!

I policed the back yard this evening and found a few more scraps of fabric embedded in dog droppings. From the same aforementioned missing garments.

I've managed to meet my daily step number so far (only a few days) with the fitness tracker, but I set it at a mid-range to start with just to see how well it keeps track. If I use the treadmill computer station at work I need to remember to walk with my arms walking or it won't count the steps (like when my hands are on the desk/keyboard at that computer). I like that it isn't any larger than my other watches (I wear attractive men's watches, not dinky little delicate women's watches) and it simply looks like a watch.


17 May 17 - 09:14 PM (#3855646)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Noting a difference between what i feel needs to be done and waht really needs to be done: in this instance I have been moderately stressed each day that the energy for potting did not arrive. As I told myself, so what! I do not NEED to sell pots; I only want to enjoy making them, what should appear...? I went to the "tool shed" for a box from that pile out there, only to find those were full of pots that I had forgotten - put there when they arrived from Quebec because to pot storage bin was full! Happiness is finding I have almost 3 dozen mugs and misc other stuff to take to Lillian. Just about the time I realized the wheel here uses the left foot - the still healing one! No way!

Moved the full boxes to the front door area for loading in car tomorrow. Found an empty box for the tools R had left on the floor in front of a drawer I wanted to open; tools to tool room, pants into drawer.

Two loads of laundry done and all the drawers in the drawer unit by the sink cleaned out - something in the laundry clogged the sink sieve and there was an inch of water on the floor and counter and each drawer. (washing machine hooks onto K sink) What a way to get the floor, counter and drawers clean! Clothes onto line and had to put lots of wood chunks on the wood pile cover which was threatening to blow away! No wonder I am exhausted.

The screen doors Dan installed last week are wonderful on this first hot day of the year! Both front and back doors open to let the evening cool in. Clean sheets on bed and clean body in it. Spent part of this aft in a toxic room (for me) but came away with a drivers license! Vision test, info on rules of the road, cognitive test of sorts, and a very competent woman to lead us through it. Every two years henceforth. A relief to have that out of the way. The loss of energy is, I believe, largely due to that room so I took a hot bath. The water heater does not provide adequately; I shall have to lobby for a new one - AGAIN! I told R it would be better to just get a new one when he was doing the plumbing, December a year ago. Now it will mean more work, moving the wee freezer... But I need to be able to detox with water, hot enough and deep enough to make my perspire. I just dried off and got into bed - about 6:30 -. feeling very tired and un- detoxed! .

However, in all, much has improved in the house and studio.

(I consider any room that smells is toxic for me. Others do not smell it! I smell it and know/believe my energy level will drop as a result of the chemical laden environment. hope to feel better in the am!)


18 May 17 - 09:08 AM (#3855691)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We are down to the last fix-up task required before the house sale closes: replacing a damaged panel of siding on the façade, located (unfortunately) between the second and third storeys, so the job requires scaffolding and special insurance. Everything else is done, from the sticky bedroom door and leaking sink stopper to the hole in the garage wall and the damaged hydraulic closer on the garage door. Arie and Rob, the contractors, shook my hand and wished us a happy rest of our lives in Stratford.

We had a sit-down with the "relocation advisor", a nice lady we call Miss Vickie, and learned that we have had a charmed existence these last 18 years -- no moving and no mover-caused losses! On the other hand, our understanding of how house moves work is now almost a full generation out of date; the last time we did it, email was barely a thing. Now, we are forever scanning and uploading documents of all types and varieties, from deeds and surveys to receipts for lunch. On the other hand, we get reimbursed promptly for the very costly services we are oh-so-casually obtaining, from the building inspection ($675.00) to the real estate agent's fees, which I don't even want to consider quite yet.

Then we visited Base Traffic to meet the terrifyingly efficient Corporal Blonde Topknot and her supervisor, Master Corporal Hepcat Spectacles. As a result, we have a date with an estimator from the moving company, due this afternoon. Boy, howdy.

But first, off to the Bell Store to square away a rather strange phone bill and then the gym.


20 May 17 - 12:38 PM (#3856104)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My last big move, with a commercial mover, deep in the heart of Texas, involved a woman estimator who was a throwback to the 1950s. I told her not to call me "Mrs" and my (now ex's) name, I had my own name. And I was a Ms. So she attached Ms to my (now ex's) name and I came to understand that was as accommodating as she could be regarding my wish to be called by my own name. The absurdity of a "Ms John Doe" was totally lost on her.

The lost items via theft from casual labor hired to move boxes taught us never to actually write what was really in the box if it had any street value.

I'm adding more recorded books to my mp3 player this weekend. I get at least an hour of drive time every day so I can go through two or three books a month. It's virtual so my book shelves aren't any more crowded. They always go back to the library cleaner than when they came here; last time I didn't bother to clean them I ended up with a bunch of skips. #LessonLearned.

We had a good amount of rain overnight, so it'll be indoor work today and yard work tomorrow with the ideal digging conditions to finally get that garden planted. I've worked on extending the boundaries of the planting area over a couple of weeks, but didn't have room to plant without accidentally knocking them over as I worked.

The old itch to visit thrift stores is nagging, but I need to list a few more things before I add to the eBay stash. There's an extra table set up in my sun room now, weighed down with items to list. That should be my charge for the afternoon.


21 May 17 - 04:10 PM (#3856393)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

In for a cool-down after scalping the gardening area again. It was supposed to rain two weeks ago so I scalped it at the time, and nothing happened. Now I've had the good soak (and it rained again this morning) needed to loosen weeds and shape beds.

There's never just one task with a project like this. Running the wheelbarrow back and forth, moving compost, adding to compost, dragging hoses, arranging sprinklers, etc. I have branches that need chipping to use as mulch. My chipper is small so it takes a while to create much mulch, but it's a kind of restful activity to do every so often. I'll chip some of last week's smaller branches before the rest go to the curb.

I moved some rooted lemon grass from a container in the house to a pot beside the door. I had a couple of sprouting sweet potatoes going also that are outside - they were a source of gnats. Turns out I missed digging a few sweet potatoes in my garden so I have volunteers coming up this year - I'll train those to grow where I want potatoes. (Last fall I learned that if you let them sprawl anywhere they will root every few feet and grow potatoes anywhere. I'll be more careful this year.)

The SUV is loaded with some stuff to donate at the thrift store, part of today's run later in the afternoon. The old computer will finally stop being tripped over in the sun room.

My daughter and some friends found and moved into a new, larger house this week after their most recent one had some major water damage from burst pipes. So much damage that the prospect of trying to live in it during repairs was unthinkable. So far when she moves things tend to travel from here to there. The new house has more space, so who knows - maybe I'll offload some of the costumes stored in the closet or some of the craft materials stacked around her old bedroom (also my sewing room). The goal is to keep things leaving my house for hers, not the other way round.


22 May 17 - 02:25 PM (#3856581)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

The bad news is the black flies have arrived. I was out happily weeding and bringing in fire wood when I started to feel things crawling inside my pants and shirt. Several bites already. So, just before another rain - worst time - I am back indoors. I cannot find my excellent bug jacket.   

The great news is that after a full day of comfrey on my ankle and knee. I can walk normally and without any pain. twinge just now indicates this needs to continue a while yet. Thankful now for that "darned invasive comfrey". I just grab a few leaves, wrap them in a thin piece of old sheeting, wet it and nuke it until warm. Wish I had thought of it sooner!

I am happy to note that inch by inch, I am getting sorted out. I don't feel as though I have done anything but I look around and it looks better!

Our dear Bobby Dove will be playing at The Black Fly Dance on Sat.


23 May 17 - 10:27 PM (#3856877)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Damn. I saw a very large mouse or a small rat dart from the garden near the back door over to pick up birdseed on the ground under the feeder across the driveway. If you see one, I figure there are (at least) several dozen nearby. I've had my suspicions, what with the free labor from the neighbor's cat visiting daily. Tomorrow I must round up some mouse traps for under the sinks, etc. They get in through cracks (I found droppings under the kitchen sink) and probably into the attic. I don't want sticky traps - I want to avoid catching my spiders and lizards or snakes, but mouse traps strategically placed will be a start. So this is my next task - declutter myself of these small rodents.


24 May 17 - 08:30 AM (#3856945)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

No cat in your household, Acme? And the dogs don't bother with rodents? That's a pity.

We are enduring our annual Spring ant invasion, with pismires everywhere we look. The cats hunt them relentlessly, with frankly funny results because ants apparently taste awful. But the cats can't resist; where there is unaccustomed movement, they pursue and pounce.

The movers' estimate is in. The nice young lady included everything except the traditional elephant: the 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe that we use for wine storage. Now she's checking to be sure that the government guidelines permit the transport of 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe. I have the distinct impression that Westmount Moving and Storage would much rather not have anything to do with packing 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe, moving them all the way to Stratford, and unpacking them at the destination.

The siding company that took on the job of repairing the damage to the façade -- actually, two guys from Cape Breton who both play guitar and mandolin -- are due on Friday, weather permitting.

We have a plan -- such as it is -- for moving the cats, but it will be zero fun for everyone. Once the furniture is delivered in Stratford, we will saddle up and drive back to Ottawa to fetch the cats, who will spend the week of actual packing, moving and unpacking at a spa in the country (no, I'm not kidding). We will pick up the cats at 0900, drive directly to the vet's office where the good Dr. Fattah will sedate our predatory friends to their cute little eyeballs, and then hit the long, long road back to Stratford, hoping they sleep the whole way. Stops will be minimal, so we can pee by turns and buy sandwiches to eat in the car, never leaving the vehicle and its slumbering cargo unattended.

I'm really not looking forward to the part where they discover that half the new house has broadloom carpet. Thank God we are planning to get rid of it, because for sure it will be pissed on.


24 May 17 - 10:40 AM (#3856977)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

As it happens, I have a couple of very good hunters, but the dogs' domain doesn't extend to that side of the house. Poppy, the blue heeler mix, perpetually knocked over things in the garage on her way round a thing that was supposed to keep her in the dog stall by the detached garage's side door - I'm sure she was stalking mice or rats. Once I have the garden weeded and mulched, we'll see what we can come up with. Perhaps some fencing around the area and letting the dogs in to patrol (hoping they stay out of most of the herbs?) I think a good distribution of hair (combed off of the dogs) throughout the garden might also help. I don't want to exclude that neighbor's cat, so I may have to work out some kind of little gate for her.

So you're going to do the kitchen renovation and house extension while you're in the house? That also sounds like a formula for upset cats. I bought my house in February and moved in in late March, so had a few weeks for the contractor to get started - we wanted to do the kitchen first but the village insisted that we simultaneously build the new garage (we converted the existing one in the house to rooms and office space) - they didn't want me to somehow never get around to having a real garage. It meant it took longer on the kitchen so the cats spent several weeks locked in one of the back bedrooms during the day. That time also gave me an opportunity to slow-motion get moved from the apartment to the house using my pickup truck. Many pieces of furniture can be disassembled to be moved (though it seems faster to leave them intact and have strong men heft them into a moving truck and back out again). My daughter was 13 at the time and a real trooper. We spent a weekend going back and forth with the heaviest stuff after I'd moved most everything else. I wanted the payment to be a surprise so I had a large denomination bill to give her at the end of the weekend, and the look in her eyes told me it was appreciated and a surprise. :) It was a lot of work, but she stuck with it and I think we had a good time. She's just finishing moving into a new house herself, and I suspect the lessons about dismantling large pieces to move them yourself were not lost on her.

Several friends recommended the "My Fitness Pal" app after I got the fitness tracker. I have finally decided to go ahead and add it in, because it allows me to easily keep track of sodium and calcium, most crucial when taking low-dose prednisone. I've added recipes of a number of the dishes I cook and figured out what sized portions to stick to to keep sodium in particular low. There is a navel-gazing aspect to it, but I am enough of a creature of habit that it won't take long to have my typical breakfast foods in there and most of my dinners. (Now that I'm not eating white flour the list has shrunk considerably.) Lunch is most variable because I occasionally go out with friends, but lots of restaurant foods have been entered into it. The hive mind at work - it notes when members add things and makes it available to the rest. Even a lot of the Middle Eastern foods I prefer (we have a great Halal market near campus - I buy EV olive oil, dates, rice, lebne, yogurt, spices, and lots of other things there) so clearly this is a global product (owned by UnderArmour - I quickly had to figure out how to turn off their copious email notifications).

Looking forward to stories of the move and the renovations and continuation of Dorothy's work at the new place (Beaver). Is the mill still in play, Dorothy?


27 May 17 - 06:22 PM (#3857451)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Some months it's one step forward and two steps back. This morning I ran the washer and the water drained from the washer into the bathtubs, moving through the house, not out the sewer. I had to call the plumber to roto-rooter the sewer line and remove tree roots down near the street end of the line. Major hit to the pocketbook, and since that water ran into the tubs I have to give them a good scrub before I can take a shower after a hot and extremely humid afternoon of running in and out to help the plumber. It's so humid that I'm not going to try to dry the rest of the laundry on the line - it feels like it would stay soggy for hours.

Best to spend the rest of the long weekend in modest pursuits, and maybe list enough items on eBay to recoup the plumbing bill cost. Sometimes it takes some extra motivation to get back to the listings.


28 May 17 - 09:42 AM (#3857539)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

I'm off to saw tree killing vines and clear brush and garbage for workmen, roofers and ourselves. Wish me luck. I hope the only blood shed will be from a thorn, not a tool. Gloves and mask are a must.


28 May 17 - 10:55 AM (#3857557)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's raining here today, so though I would like to get into the garden, I'll probably watch YouTube videos about changing out toilets and then go buy a new one and replace the one in the hall bathroom. It needs a new seal, and if I'm going to take the old one apart as much as one needs disassembly to replace the seal, I might as well put one I prefer back into place. Low-flow. And while I'm at it, when the loo is off of the flange, I'll finish scraping up the Linoleum adhesive on the floor so I can put down some new tile this summer.

A lot of things I wanted to do over the last year were put on hold when I wasn't feeling good; now I'm back to my old self and now I'm playing catchup. I talked ages ago about trying to do some improvement thing each month, whether painting a room, putting down flooring, replacing a window, whatever. I think I'm about back to my energy level to proceed with those plans. PMR was creeping up on me for a long time, but now it's in retreat and I'm learning to live with Prednisone.

Now, back to shopping toilets online at Lowe's and Home Depot.


28 May 17 - 09:40 PM (#3857635)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The choice has been made (I compared two in the store after printing out their specs), the box pushed into the back of the SUV (tip the box from the flat cart onto the tailgate, lifting and pushing). Said box was opened in the SUV and the pieces taken out one at a time, each a reasonable weight. I almost went with a one-piece throne, but realized I'd have to have help moving it from the vehicle and through the house, so opted for the traditional two-piece model.

Alas, the flange is a mess. It's not going to be a quick or simple replacement.


29 May 17 - 08:24 AM (#3857691)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I am very impressed by any non-plumber -- or, indeed, any person who does not work in construction for a living -- who undertakes to replace a toilet. That takes courage, in my book. We expect to install a new bathtub in our new place, and I would not dream of not hiring a contractor who has done it many times before, and has a long string of reviews from happy customers to prove it.

The siding guys came on Saturday morning, when it was finally not raining. In about an hour, they had the rotten panel off the house and were prodding about gently under the Tyvek House Wrap to find out whether any water had penetrated it to soak the insulation and start rotting the main framing of the walls. The insulation was dry. There is a God and prayer works. Two more hours of banging and ladder clatter, and the job was done.

The conditions in the Offer to Purchase stated that the new panel must be painted to match the corresponding panel under the other front bedroom window, but I think we can count on the number 1 bus to Rockcliffe, which passes our front door every 15 minutes, to belch enough diesel exhaust within the next six weeks to give the new panel the required 50-mission look.

We have heard nothing as yet from the movers on the subject of the 144 terracotta drainage tiles. If the decision goes against us, the Brother suggests selling them before the move. "That's what Kijiji is for," he said, wagging his finger. Oh, joy; another damnable thing to do before Move Day.


29 May 17 - 09:37 AM (#3857697)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

You have Kijiji in Canada but it died a quiet death down here in the states. It has always sounded like a much better option than Craig's List, where I am convinced that the inmates run that asylum.

Trash and porcelain are at the curb - it's odd how many Monday holidays I see the trash collectors come by, and I don't know if this is one of those days or not. Chances are that if the trash doesn't come till tomorrow, scavengers who drive through neighborhoods will have picked up the commode pieces. It is old and the connection was funky and the tank is huge but it's clean, so it won't gross out anyone driving by to see it. I hope it gets picked up pretty soon because it does telegraph what I've been up to this weekend.

I dropped a small metal screw bit down the drain so now have to replace it, then I can finish this task and maybe do something in the garden. Yesterday and today are overcast with occasional drizzle. The high heat and humidity on Friday and Saturday made outdoor work almost impossible. Not a yard-friendly weekend.


03 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM (#3858650)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After the effort put into last weekend's plumbing challenge, I'm hoping for a quieter three days. We can work a compressed week during the summer, so the long work days take some getting used to, but the three day weekends are instantly welcome.

I noticed at the curb on the most recent trash day that there were a few chunks of porcelain in the street from the time before, so one of the parts must have been dropped by the trash guys. Oh, well. It was so big that unless someone wanted it to build a novelty garden planter, it wasn't going to be recycled. I draw the line at toilets in the yard landscaping. :)

On a declutter note, there is a "green" initiative starting up (again) at work, and several people have expressed interest in putting plants in their workplaces. I told them I have several spider/air plants that I started from the small sprouts last time I transplanted the mother plant. They're available for re-homing, and people spoke up to claim them, so I'll take those to work and let them purify the air in new locations. This will free up some space in my plant stands for new projects.


04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM (#3858837)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, we await your next big progress report (like what happened with those tiles?) I've been watching WYSIWYG do various projects at her new property, perhaps she'll catch us up. Michelle, how's your little guy doing with that arm cast, and all of your markers are still excellent? I think Linn is finally feeling better, and Dorothy is back to walking around. My muscle pain has subsided - summer is just about here and we're all in a position to make the most of these long sunny days.

I'm planning a family event in early August and one absolute goal before that time is to put tile in the hall bathroom and finish any other work in there. I won't be able to pull the sinks and cabinetry and replace it, but I'll have enough tile so when I do I can extend it into that area.


04 Jun 17 - 12:49 PM (#3858871)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Hi all, I'm having way too much fun in Ohio, working away at our little eventual-retirement bungalow... where the spirit (and most of the furnishings) from the Mudcat Dorm moved a few years ago.

The little house continues to amaze me with its ways; the layout facilitates applying Tiny Living and clutter-prevention principles. I'll paste in those principles separately.

I continue to look forward to my DH's retirement in 36 months or so; he's trying out retirement garb, like bowties on downtime instead of just taking off his clergy collar! ;-)

I also, when here for workshops/projects, continue to use up stuff our PA house had been storing. The Liberation Library here, for instance, has swallowed up boxes of books and literature from my earlier career, two small recliners, a file cabinet and tall stool, instruments and amps, a plastic drawer unit, a small analog TV for video review, MudDorm curtains and linens, and more... in a 9x12 room. Oh yes and my Boondocker cot (from the van that died, which I traded in an autoharp to purchase). Guest-ready for visiting niece, nephew-- or intern. Laptop and printer (an old, slow pair).... also the antiracism training materials for the workshops I co-lead here, as well as climate change workshop/organizing stuff. People say that they don't feel claustrophobic in there when I set up in meeting mode; TBTG the ceilings are a good height!

In the garden, four new lasagna beds. The newest is bordered by a row of cinderblocks, pointing up as planters for annuals, in front of the just-planted perennials we started in PA. Another one is about to get the wishing well I nabbed a few years ago from Freecycle, which has been reconstructed by a nice young man here. One more afternoon's screwdrivering, and it goes in place. DH Hardi and I will re-paint it during July vacay here. "It had good bones."

In the garage here, we continue to find and purge junk left by the sellers up in the rafters. Examples.... I hope to get one working VCR out of the three they left. I have repurposed a number of 5 gal buckets they left, a few items from the bags of children's clothes, a few mismatched pieces of glassware.... but many of the found items have been happily unloaded from my car by Goodwill workers. Maybe the garage rafters were their garage sale waiting to happen, but we'll need every inch of that rafter storage ourselves, after a little roof leak is found and fixed. Someone is going to get a very nice double bed out of that garage! Maybe yard man Jacob and his wife. I tease Hardi about that garage: "When do we insulate, eat, sheetrock, and plumb? Before or after adding a 2nd floor man cave/recording studio?"

Because every night when I scooter-exercise the dog, I find new ways people in this little area have customized the 3-4 modular home (GI Bill) floor plans, of which ours is one. I've seen that huge-i-fied garage two blocks over, housing a nice little home business. This 1008 square feet could easily double, with only one breezeway of new footprint. ;-)

~Susan


04 Jun 17 - 12:55 PM (#3858873)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

At FB I use a photo album for Ohio house setup norms. This is its intro text.

.....

This album is reference pix of how I need the house set up for my planned or unplanned arrivals, in order to maximize my functionality here and minimize my pain. (This setup also facilitates multiple uses of rooms, with minimal lifting on my part.)

These pix (with their captions) may be helpful to residents, guests, friends, visitors, and folks working on the property or in the house. It's also a good place for relevant messages one might otherwise send via Messenger-- which I do not use except for pastoral and family emergencies.

... I'm the property's current Ranking Matriarch or, as I prefer to use the previous generation's terminology, 'Queen of Camp.' (Carpenter Camp-- another story, told often and at this link incl foto montage: http://mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=3600165).

The next Queen of Camp will be Jaclyn O., when she wishes to be so.

There are key principles underlying these necessary functionalities, several of which are based in Tiny Living practices:

◇ things come in only if there is a place already known and organized to put them away the same day
◇ every room and most of its contents serve multiple purposes with minimal rearranging by old people and their sore bones
◇ the whole house can and should be company-ready at all times
◇ until its owners achieve fulltime retirement, we are in work-camp mode when here
◇ the house, its systems, and its contents are about to become a construction zone; some appliances/contents are intended to last our lifetime as-is without service calls; some are slated for replacement so do ASK FIRST instead of altering any.thing.ANY.THING
◇ each room is furnished now mostly with surplus items planned for disposal, with a few memory treasures that will stay
◇ like a jigsaw puzzle dumped from its box, which takes up more space than the same pieces once the puzzle is assembled, so this house's constituent parts lend themselves to beauty and order when restored frequently to their appropriate storage locations-- 'picking up' leads to peaceful enjoyment and gracious hosting
◇ we live life FROM this house, more than WITHIN this house
◇ relationships and experiences are more intrinsically valued than STUFF
◇ live simply that others may simply live
◇ elders are treasures who know a thing or two even on a bad day
◇ we're all on a journey to becoming elders, doing the best we can at all times
◇ we're all adults who are aging and facing embarrassment therefrom-- and can laugh at ourselves
◇ it's usually best not to make or implement decisions as Lone Rangers
◇ reduce the carbon footprint more every day: there's a Climate Emergency on!


10 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM (#3860060)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Since the last time I mowed my front and back lawns I have had the incident of the plumbing weekend, and last weekend's heavy downpours. We had more of that yesterday, but with three weeks of lush growth it is time to mow, and see what else can be done over the weekend. My weeks are now compressed (four ten-hour days) so I have three day weekends for the next 10 weeks. I have the luxury of letting the lawn dry out some, but it will continue to grow while it dries, so the wait isn't necessarily recommended. Also I need to take out a tall but still relatively slim Italian cypress that has a fungus that has killed many limbs and isn't likely to respond satisfactorily to one of the organic "sick tree treatment" applications that I've used successfully in the past on other tree species.

Eddies of drifting dog hair are evident throughout the house and a combination of vacuuming and brushing dogs is in order for the weekend, as is taming the stacks of papers and books in my home office.

My daughter convinced me I should participate in a convention she is working at this weekend, but I have to stir myself and assemble the camera gear. So far only an extra battery is charging in preparation. I may just hang out and watch her work, get photos of her.

My patio cover needs extensive renovations - a new covering and a beam on the southwest side needs replacing. I'll use the old one that came down to edge the vegetable garden and probably use a couple of smaller 2x4 or 2x6's to replace the 2x12 that was originally there. It also needs paint. The cover was permeable 60/40 cloth, kept out the sun but not rain so there was no using the patio on rainy days - I'm thinking perhaps a translucent durable plastic corrugated material can go on this time. Then the patio furniture needs sanding and paint. I've mentioned last year's hail storm - it was the kind that caused extensive roof damage through the neighborhood, and we're still hearing that familiar echo of hammering through the village as new roofs are put on once the claims were filed and roofers contacted.

The garden has enjoyed all of the rain, now it's time to keep an eye out for pests and to start training the sweet potatoes. They're coming up everywhere after last year's overabundance. I missed a lot of them when it came time to dig, and now they're sprouting new plants around the yard. I'll do a better job of keeping track of them this year. There are several volunteer tomatoes - one of them appears to be cherry tomatoes, not sure what the other two will add up to.


10 Jun 17 - 03:10 PM (#3860111)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
I boo booed big time. The trip here was exhausting so I did a lot of nothing resulting in not feeling like doing anything. Did not bring any comfrey and ankle is less good and walking more difficult. R does not agree that hot baths and poultices help. I feel the results.

In desperation, yesterday, I soaked ankle in hot water and epsom salt then, wanting to do better took a hot bath. Had to phone R to come and help me get out, after spending about half an hour trying to figure it out. The tub is too narrow for me to get into kneeling position; my arms are not strong enough to pull myself into kneeling.... I kept trying til he arrived, having been stuck in traffic. He put pillows under me until I way high enough to get up and out...???? I see no signs of grab bars and the bath really did help - in spite of the hour it took to get out! Just something to think about when installing a new tub. The one at Beaver is OK AND has a well installed grab bar, thanks to Dan!

I did manage to de-clutter the back yard of the knee high grass and weeds - with a small weed eater. It took 3 half hour sessions but a great improvement. Also planted some white alyssum in the front bed to perk it up a little.

AND this morning R took out some of the offending branches of the now huge Manitoba Maple - a weed tree! I think it is sufficient to let sun hit the "sunny bed". There is still a tiny bit of oregano left and I need to move it to a more suitable spot as well as a sedum and a scraggly looking sage. The four clematis are looking healthy and I hope for abundant bloom. Nice that the high grass was gone before - now there are piles of branches!!

Now that we are using the upstairs BR, it might be an idea to move our clothes up there! That means trips up the stairs and LOTS of energy - maybe one or two trips/day? I have to use the railing and be very careful.   

I have been searching on Kijiji for a futon for the downstairs room so there is bed for a guest. However, Kijiji is a mess. R says it was bought by E-Bay and so the USA only has E-Bay but we still have this new-fangled mess. apparently I have to register or cannot do alerts. It WAS so good before.

Dear old musician friends at the YD coffee house last Friday and last night. In chatting with Bill last night, he mentioned having a respiratory problem and I mentioned getting sick from walking up one flight of newly carpeted stairs----"We put carpeting on the stairs 3 years ago" "How long have you been sick?" "3 years!" He will try some de-tox baths! Their carpeting has probably off-gassed by now but the melody lingers on.

I have not stuck well to Keto diet since being here - two weeks - and I am feeling that also. Trying to get back on track.


10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM (#3860152)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I thought Kijiji was always a part of eBay, and it was in use here for a while, but just faded away.

So sorry about the tub episode - at this point my hall bathroom has a solid bar for getting in and out, whether for tub or shower use, and the new toilet is rated at an ADA height. I don't like it quite this high ("chair height" of about 17 inches) but I'll just say that is my ADA bathroom for elderly or disabled visitors.

I'm wondering if Charmion has enacted the cat transport plan yet, and how well it went? And I wanted to tell you, we spotted a large mouse in the lawn the other day when we headed out for a walk and the dogs killed it very tidily. Poppy pounced on it, and spit it out basically at my feet - it was still alive, but not running. I pointed it out to Cinnamon who picked it up and one chomp finished it off, then she spit it out. The chocolate Lab stood there wondering what the fuss was about, and all three were given a treat as a reward.


11 Jun 17 - 05:26 PM (#3860355)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Hi, Acme!

We are still six weeks out from Flitting Day, so the cats remain blissfully ignorant of what we have in mind for them. The transfer plan is now complicated even further (yes, really!) by the Volkswagen people, who are threatening to deliver our new car on August 1st, taking our cheatin' diesel Golf in trade. That means taking the Golf in a week before to be assessed, after which we are not allowed to drive it more than about 800 kilometres before handing it over. Of course, Stratford is about 600 km from Ottawa, so we won't be able to use the old car for the move.

Jesus wept.

It is stonking hot in southern Ontario at present, and we are in a crappy little motel on the east edge of Stratford for a couple of days. The objective here is to get a flooring contractor and a kitchen guy into the new house in the hope that we might schedule the critical work that must be done as soon as possible -- i.e., getting rid of the old broadloom, and making the kitchen more efficient. It's the height of tourist season and the theatre festival is in full swing, so accommodation is both scarce and expensive. Oh, well. It is what it is.


12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM (#3860503)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I wasn't sure what needed doing most yesterday, except that I knew I had to have my pile of branches at the curb by this morning for the village's quarterly bulky waste pickup. I had an Italian cypress that was hit hard by a limb-killing fungus, and though I probably could have saved the tree with the organic "sick tree treatment," the tree wasn't in the best place, as it happens. I didn't plan far enough ahead when I put it in a dozen years ago, so yesterday I took it out and piled it at the curb in 6-8 foot chunks.

And then I started pruning the very large sea green juniper - that has gone from being a huge blob down to a sculpted plant. I've worked on it some earlier this spring, and I'd say that about 80% of the original huge shrub is now gone. The worst of the limbs are at the curb, and as time allows I'll be removing the ugly branching stubby limbs sticking out from the main trunk, but they're short and won't amount to much bulk, and can go in the regular trash pickup. There was a lot of wildlife under than shrub and it will have to relocate around the yard, but now I'll be able to use the driveway - this thing was encroaching on about 1/3 of the drive's width, and though I pruned regularly, was so large it filled in again quickly.

That was one of those days in the yard when you put tools away then step over to the washer and peel off sweaty clothes, dropping them into the tub directly, and proceed to the bathroom to check for ticks before a shower. Knock wood I haven't seen ticks in this kind of juniper, they usually prefer the native cedar across the road, but I wanted to be sure.

I saw and heard the rustle of mice in the front as I worked - that is something I also need to tend to promptly. There's a hole in the stone on front that if I simply filled with mortar I fear would have them heading into the house itself. Must consider my options.


15 Jun 17 - 08:43 AM (#3861005)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We're back from Stratford again, after a fast visit to confer with two contractors, a flooring guy and a kitchen designer. Very profitable visit, not least because Himself finally saw the house in real life (as opposed to real estate agent's photos) and liked it.

Is there anything sweeter than a contractor's smile when you take the initiative to ask, "Would you like a deposit?" Even better, the flooring guy booked our project to begin the day after we take possession and finish within the following week so we will be in total chaos for as little time as possible.

The basement floor will be a laminate laid on top of Dri-Core, a subfloor material designed to allow the inevitable moisture to collect on the concrete, where it will eventually be re-absorbed, instead of wicking into the floor surface. (Note to file: must buy a dehumidifier. Or perhaps two dehumidifiers.) The three bedrooms that currently have horrid old broadloom will get ash flooring stained to look as much as possible like the oak flooring in the sitting room. The two smaller bedrooms will be offices, and I'm hoping the harder ash will stand up well to swivel chair wheels.

The kitchen guy won my confidence by acknowledging the risk to one's elbows of a kitchen range placed in a tight corner (imagine stirring something thick, like polenta or beef Stroganoff, in a tall pot). He also did not sneer at my desire to maintain my ridiculously large collection of cookware and crockery; I gather that, in his world, it is normal to have two full sets of dishes, two canners, and a fish kettle. This is good.

Himself is already contemplating deck stain and container gardening; his eyes lit right up when he saw the potting shed. The dream of cultivating carrots and potatoes is dying hard, but I think I might have won him over to the competing notion of a rose bed in the sunniest part of the lawn in front of the house.

That said, I believe our immediate future will include hedge clippers and a lawn mower.


15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM (#3861115)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, I have been listening to the audio book of Julia Child's My Life in France. You want to hear about kitchens, that's the book for you, and it confirms that multiples of things is normal in a good kitchen. And by all means position the stove where it works best! She also moved around wine and wine-storage systems.

I arrived home this evening to find my huge stack of brush is gone, and in a few minutes picked up the sticks and twigs they missed. This weekend I'll start the surgical trimming of the bits left on the sea green juniper to turn it into an interesting looking shape. We've had enough rain lately that the grass is growing and the soil is flocculated enough that I can easily remove weeds, so I predict mostly yard work. On the other hand: a friend has asked for some help with a photography project and has offered lunch and a trip to thrift stores as payment, so I may add to my eBay stuff. (There is a set of plates I want to add to, and I found two at a store near her house, so am tempted to make a route of thrift stores to her house before we even set out on our project.) Thrift stores require flexibility, keeping in mind all of the various sets here at the house and in my eBay area that need completion.


17 Jun 17 - 12:03 PM (#3861429)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Summer isn't quite here yet, but we're under a heat advisory in this region of the US for the weekend at least. Drink lots of water, make the trips into the yard brief and meaningful. One one trip this morning, to adjust the water pressure in the sprinkler in my garden, the neighbor's cat was in hunting position under the huge pine out front. We eyed each other but she didn't run off. Keep up the good work of catching mice, please!

Time to swap out spring-time bedding for the lightest of summer sheets, laundering things before they're put up in the closet shelves. Time to put up the screen that keeps the afternoon sun from hitting my back window, but the plank that it used to hang from is down, so I need to get some new lumber and assemble an edge to suspend it from. And I need a material over the top of the patio cover. In other words, it's time to deal with the heat, or the electric bill will declutter my pocketbook.


17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM (#3861434)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

One of the most interesting museum exhibits I have ever seen is the recreation of Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian in Washington. She kept her favourite tools on a pegboard that took up the entire end wall of the room, each one outlined in paint so misguided people would not be tempted to rearrange them. Except for her professional cook's range, which I do not aspire to, she used normal good-quality gear that any ambitious home cook could buy without too much trouble; for example, she did not have those ridiculously expensive copper pans that some cookware vendors insist that a "real" cook can't do without.

I'm kind of embarrassed about my abundance of cookware, actually -- such a First World problem to have! But I like a claybaker for chicken dishes and some roasts, so we have three: large, medium and small. Some projects call out for a roasting pan, so we have one of those, and its high domed lid is perfect for covering a roast while it reposes on the platter before carving. The two canners are for quarter-litre and half-litre jars, respectively; in the big canner, the quarter-litres tend to fall through the rack, and the half-litres are too tall for the small canner. Cast-iron skillets? Um, I think we have six, ranging in diameter from six to fourteen inches, plus a ridged grilling pan. Three non-stick skillets (large, medium and small), two of them with lids. Cast-iron casseroles? Two: a six-litre and an eight. Plus a miscellaneous bunch of saucepans, two double-boilers, two stock pots, a wok, the fish kettle, and a 40-year accumulation of bread pans, terrines, pudding basins and pie dishes.

I like to think that Julia would approve.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, I'm working my way through the long list of utilities and government authorities that must be informed of our imminent departure from Ottawa. Just when I think I have come to the end, I remember something else -- Revenue Canada, the pension people, the post office, the Ministry of Health, and the Public Service Health Care Plan, which administers health insurance for ex-soldiers but still hasn't been officially told that Himself has retired. Let's hope nothing expensive happens until after that penny has dropped!


19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM (#3861652)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I made a start on the front yard trimming this afternoon and swept and swept and swept - after pruning the juniper I decided to declutter the grass in the cracks of the concrete driveway. I didn't finish, but am about 1/2 way up the drive, and tomorrow I'll mow the rest. One of these days the local garden club might make a monthly yard sign that says "Yard of the Month - Most Improved." That would be for me.

It's also the time of year to make the indoors particularly appealing for those days when it's too hot to go outside. Having a bedroom that is cool and comfortable, making the living room inviting for music or movies, and the back patio inviting and shady for barbecue or just sitting in the evening. I have to paint a lot of furniture on the patio to reach that point.


19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM (#3861728)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Overnight rain shifted my mowing plans. Possibly this evening if it clears and dries enough. Meanwhile, I've poked and prodded at a recipe I've added to "My Fitness Pal" for a mix of nuts and bittersweet chocolate as a low-salt, low-sugar snack that is good fibre to keep the gut happy. I suppose I'll have to learn how to edit some of their items, or add my own - who measures nuts as liquid measures, anyway? I have a small scale in the kitchen with a moving face so I can place a bowl or plate on it, turn it to zero, then weight food.

I suppose I could work on eBay stuff today. I've put it off long enough.


19 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM (#3861813)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess

My snack of choice is a mix of roasted salted almonds, roasted unsalted almonds, and dried tart cherries. I just recently made the investment (I've been out for over a year) of buying 5 lbs. of the dried tart cherries from Door County, Wisconsin. They're not in themselves outrageously expensive, but when the shipping is added... Bite the bullet and get a larger amount. They store well.

One of my down-the-hill neighbors is running a permanent yard sale. And he's helping me clear out the cellar (tools, table saw, fermenter, antique wooden boxes, etcet, etcet.). Whatever he sells (besides counting as cubic footage) goes towards an item I "purchased" (will mostly trade) from him a few weeks ago -- a moose skull with a full rack. Sigh. I've always wanted one. Not my first moose skull, but the other one was made into a lamp and doesn't have the antlers.

I'm planning on having a yard sale later this summer, but mostly with stuff from upstairs. When I went through stuff during the floor project last year, I boxed a bunch of stuff to sell...AND labeled the boxes (how clever of me). I still need to attack the guest room and the guest room closet.

Oh, and I've also decided to chuck my prize collection of "I'm going to need a box this size some day" boxes. If I DO need a box that size, I'll deal with it. I'll probably also put a box of jewelry-sized boxes out at my yard sale and see if I can get a buck or so for it. And a couple transparent trash bags full of packing peanuts. If I live for another 50 years (highly unlikely) I won't use up that many packing peanuts!

Maybe if life ever settles down a bit I can steadily sell the ephemera on eBay. Some things I just can't multi-task -- and major parts of my brain are engaged in other things, so I can't deal with effectively selling on eBay right now.

I'm feeling over-extended again. Like everyone has a piece of me. Still involved full tilt in finding a temporary location for the Friday Press Room session until the renovations are finished and it re-opens under new ownership in September. The temp location for the monthly sea music sing is just fine. Tasty beer, too.

Gotta go cut up some more boxes destined for this week's trash.

Linn


19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM (#3861831)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Boxes. You can't live with them, you can't live without them. I find a box and the packing materials and pre-pack any item I'm going to sell on eBay so there are as few surprises as possible. You're trading items for moose antlers? They must be special!


20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM (#3862040)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After a few days of a failing phone battery, I replaced the OEM one with a 2.5X battery that comes with a different back for the phone because the new battery is thicker than the OEM battery. Now I have to find a way to keep this phone from getting damaged by typical assaults of daily life. My Ballistic case was wonderful - possibly now an eBay item - just about anything that goes out of service these days can be put on eBay.

Back to boxes - I have several co-workers who are leaving soon for new jobs (lucky stiffs!) and this week I'll take a few of my spare boxes to the office for them. I should probably pack up a few of my own extra items at work and bring them home as well. #LessIsMore


21 Jun 17 - 08:31 AM (#3862141)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yesterday, we hit a major milestone on our way to blowing town: I cleaned out the chest freezer! At least three years have passed since I did it last (guilt, guilt, guilt), so the walls were well-iced and an ugly scurf of black mold was forming on the lip of the lid. A blast of Javex-laced cleanser fixed that.

It's interesting how we take for granted household appliances that our parents never even considered buying. The dishwasher, for example -- I can still hear my mother's indignant snort at the very idea. "Why would we bother when we have you?", she said, putting rather too fine a point on it. Freezers were for people with half an acre of garden and a hunter in the family, or the bone idleness to spend their money on TV dinners -- i.e., not us.

Our frozen food holdings are now down to four litres of minestrone, a large leg of lamb, two pounds of cranberries and a loaf of bread. We are now five weeks out from Pack Day.

I, too, am collecting boxes. The packers will not touch anything that would leak, such as home-made jam or bottled maple syrup, and I'm sure as hell not giving that away. Likewise the wine and the booze; it's all coming with us, and I hope the Ontario Provincial Police don't decide to notice us on the road -- it is illegal here to transport an open container of beverage alcohol in a motor vehicle. I also have five orchids (all reliable bloomers) and a 19-year-old Christmas cactus that I would like to keep, so they will make the trip swaddled in newspaper and stuffed into open-topped wine boxes. I can see us now, storming down the 401 highway in a U-Haul van full of food and drink, with the orchids teetering on top of the load.


21 Jun 17 - 09:28 AM (#3862149)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

FYI - the UHaul folks have excellent boxes of just about every shape and size you can imagine, and when your move is over they will buy back any unused boxes. I occasionally buy boxes from them when I sell chandeliers on eBay (chandeliers that I can't dismantle for some reason or other).


21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM (#3862256)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Several passes through the yard, punctuated by cool-off sessions in the house. One last pass and I'll be finished in a few minutes. We're just about to the time when the summer heat will cause the grass to go somewhat dormant: mowing is less frequent during the hottest months (except around the edges of the vegetable garden). This large task seems a suitable chore for the first day of summer.

Trash day tomorrow, so I'm evicting some of the things that have cluttered the side yard since last autumn (old plastic flats for bedding plants, crumbling plastic pots, bits and pieces of things left out there that needed picking up and throwing.) They'll go down to the curb tonight and my side entrance looks much nicer. I've also been flattening shipping boxes and preparing to make a run to the recycle bins at city hall. The donation bin has been filling also so I might score a triple if I can get that over to the donation center in the morning.


21 Jun 17 - 08:51 PM (#3862262)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

SO glad to hear that Charmion is getting rid of the broadloom BEFORE the move! Your health will be the better for it. Though, I suppose everything new will be off-gassing for a while. Summer and open windows will help. Also, heat speeds the process and Stratford will be hot for a while! Love the plant story. I drove from SE PA to Whidbey Island with my loaded car, and, amongst the plants was a four foot jasmine tree which reached from the back to out the front window. I wrapped the top in a sheet to keep it from being wind damaged. The large dog also shared the front window! great four day trip! The tree was fine but I had to give it away when I moved back to Canada - It was SO lovely!

Arriving home on Monday eve was an event of discovering all the wonderful changes, small and large, dear Dan has wrought this time! The original siding back on the studio makes it look absolutely civilized! The shelves in the back/back shed hold 15 bins and a top shelf for oddments. The deck behind the shed is lovely and inspired us to ask - could you make it into a screened room? Next week! It can be a summer hideout/guest room/retreat/reading room.... He even put a sliding door over the electric panel and tells me that he closed up every place that a squirrel could get into it! which will also reduce cold air. The kiln "garage" looks great and I look forward to getting pots ready to fire but not until R ccmes and puts in the electric line. Well, I can get them ready!

Now, I need to go through those bins and try to let go of enough stuff to reduce the number as there are two more on the back deck! ... But lots of good room left in that shed. When R comes in july, he will go through the clogged back shed and get rid of and organize stuff.

It is so nice to be here where the air is clean and I can see the out of doors, the lovely west hill and be in a moderately clean and organized house. AND take a hot bath!!!! Monday after I arrive and again last night and planned - tonight! I felt SO good today for the first time in five months, I could walk with almost no limp at all and felt balanced. People, including R, do not realize the effect of a hot bath with epsom salt (followed by cool shower to wash it off.

I have done some weeding. The lettuce is taking over the world! Strawberries seem to be burgeoning. Did 3 loads of laundry today, dried outside and folded but not yet put away. If only I could find the spare bobbins for my sewing machine life would be practically perfect. I shall have to bite the bullet and use the one I have, changing thread colours as I go as I have a pile of pants to hem for R and an increasing pile of other sewing to do. The time has come!!!

I have already - in my mind - furnished the 10x10 screen room; the folding table, the four captains chairs that need new fabric seats and backs and a lounge chair that could be slept upon. Also thinking of a bed that folds against the back wall; that wall will be solid. Rather like a murphy bed, maybe.


22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM (#3862326)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dorothy, if you bought more bobbins, where would you store them? Go look in that place now, you might find the old ones waiting for you. :) That's what happens when I buy replacements for things without looking in my storage first.

The yard looks great today, but I overdid it in the heat, resulting in a night of leg cramps. I'm being careful with sodium these days so will be sure to get more potassium to compensate for that lost in sweat.

That screened in room sounds nice!


23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM (#3862609)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Arriving home today when the temperature hit 99o I was aware of how hot the house was - mostly because my screen that I usually put up each summer to shade the sliding glass door on the western side of the house isn't up yet. I need to fashion a new edge to my patio cover since the long 2' x 8' x 12' plank twisted out of shape and came off of its moorings on the structure. I think that has to be the first chore to tackle this weekend. With that screen my electric bill stays lower.

A few small projects have wrapped up this week, and a couple still need attention. The garden always needs attention. Enumerating all of that here would simply repeat past posts. Making forward progress on new projects - my goal is to put down new tile in the hall bathroom in the next few weeks.


23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM (#3862610)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Half of the housemate-couple moved on about 7 months ago to start setting up their home in another state, and left a pile of new boxes in the garage... where I hope the other half will forget all about them. They'll be so handy for the housecleaner I just found, to box up the clutter Mr. Batchelor is generating.... it's incipient hoarding, ... which had better not be in evidence when I get back here for vacay w Hardi in 3.5 weeks! Because this better NOT be the 3rd year running of trying to vacation (in/from our own house), around a chaotic mess!


24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM (#3862761)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The local electronics store I prefer had an LG TV on sale today and I thought I'd switch it out for my second smaller monitor so I could use the speakers on it instead of having the three-piece desktop speakers that plug into the back of the computer. I set it up, even programmed the channels so I could use it as a TV if I wish, but then set it as a monitor. When I tried to get the sound through it, nothing. Only through the old speakers. I Googled how to run sound through monitor and got the tip to open the speaker icon and right click the various devices. When I did that, still nothing. So I unplugged the desktop set and was astonished to hear sound FINALLY coming out of my large HP monitor that I've had in place for probably 5 or 6 years. Somehow when I couldn't get it to work at first I assumed there wasn't sound, but now I feel foolish.

The LG doesn't look as good as the old monitor, so though it is larger, the resolution isn't as good, and I may switch back. And figure out someplace else in the house to put this.

Sometimes improvements aren't really improvements.


25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM (#3862891)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Most weeks I don't have much trash to put at the curb because kitchen waste goes into the compost and a lot of materials go into recycling that I take to the bins at city hall every couple of weeks. So I only put out trash every three or four times the twice-weekly trash is picked up. But this time of year when I have limbs too large to run through my chipper I can trim a few at a time and put the cut-up pieces into the large Rubbermaid bin that came with the house. The bin looks like crap but still works for this, and so far they've always left it behind (it is remarkably difficult to actually "throw away" old trash cans!)

I've taken out some limbs that hung low by the street and in the middle of the yard, blocking the view when exiting the driveway. Strategic trimming has now removed limbs that the village might require to be removed (lower than 13' from the pavement) and others opened up the view through the yard.

The bin doesn't have a lot in it, just a few 2"+ limbs (the smaller limbs are in a stack to dry a few days then I'll put them through my chipper), but there is a rosemary by the back gate that has grown all out of that bed, so later when it's cool I'll go out again and trim some of that and add it to the bin.

Tomorrow I plan to get some free mulch from the city park public site and I'll scalp pathways in the garden with the weedeater, then put flattened cardboard boxes down and cover them with mulch. Unlike Susan, I don't have things to put into the boxes, but they will be excellent in the landscape.


25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM (#3862894)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Jon Freeman

We have a shed in need of clearing again. It was great when we had it put up and we fitted it with t slot shelving and plastic storage boxes but clutter just seems to grow to fill all the space and a purge is needed.

I want to make a rough and ready (my limits plus I have enough suitable wood for this) table to go under the cast iron framed and marble topped table in the porch – seems the easiest way to create a sort of shelf there. I'm not sure yet but the extra "shelving" may already be accounted for as we are toying with getting Pip a stand alone (as opposed to one of those things with a bowl that goes into the too full freezer)ice cream maker for her birthday and I'd need to create some extra space somehow to accommodate it.


26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM (#3863039)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Have not gotten tons done but inch by inch. My good neighbour sharpened the scythe and I have managed to cut some of the higher than knee high grass and weeds between rains! This one bobbin will do for making the new seats and backs for the folding director's chairs; so I shall try to get them done yet this week.

Having failed to continue the nightly hot bath = not wanting to over do it, I tried for one on Sunday am and "Thunk" then no water from the hot water side. A call to R to figure out the why of it and a wait for Dan who did not come today - nest week. So, another call to R so I could try it myself. Turn off the water at the heater, take off the screwed on rubber line and then the valve ... After I took off the valve, it seemed Ok so I put it all back together and LO! hot water!! So, another hot bath this aft.

I have ransacked every possible place for the spare bobbins - except where they are actually hiding. Decided to live with it - after trying Amazon - THAT is desperation! I did order an ozonator to use in Montreal - hoping to kill the powder mill beetles that are eating the house. If it will kill scabies... I will also give it a go when we are leaving on Friday for the mill. It will be cleared by the time we get back - prob Sunday - and it should get rid of mold and anything else.

Leaving here on Thursday, after I read the newspaper into computer at Community Care, stop in Tweed for a teeth cleaning and in Napanee to pick up the shoes I left for repair on my way here. Shoe repair shops are hard to find; I found this on line, en route from here to there and easy to access. The 3 pairs of shoes I have been carrying around for several years...   They are very good quality leather shoes but the total cost of repair is equivalent to more than I ever paid for any 3 pairs of shoes in my life! He told me they would be like new.... I sure hope so! You too could restore a worn pair of Birkies for only $95CAD! plus tax! So, I de-clutter that darn bag of shoes and my wallet simultaneously!

In the de-clutter the brain dept, I was able to start a piece of writing that has eluded me for a year or more. Very happy! It needs lots more work but at least I found the beginning!

Another cool night; the temp in house has dropped to 68 while I wrote this. Later I shall start the distiller which will provide considerable heat, so it is not too cool in the am. Still have planting to do - broke down and bought a couple ornamentals yesterday - a white tree peony and a yellow canna that was bursting its pot - poor thing! And some tomato and pepper plants. Have asked Dan for two more raised beds and a one level octagonal bed frame for a tiny mock orange, a baby of the one in montreal which was given to R by a very special friend. It will be a memorial garden for her. For now, it will have annuals around it, bulbs will be planted in the fall. It will be outside the main front window. So much for sticking to useful food plantings. I could plant the peppers around it - between the geraniums!

The tiny balsam I planted two years ago has shot up about 8 more inches! Sitting thinking about the monster comfrey plant --- maybe a poultice would help my shoulder! Maybe I could harvest a dry a bunch of leaves for future needs! I have 3 babies for the mill and Montreal. I harvested a good sized bunch of oregano yesterday - drying in the BR.


27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM (#3863210)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I cleared out what might amount to a couple of cubic feet of cardboard boxes yesterday. I pulled off any plastic tape left from the shipping process then flattened them (intact, they weren't pulled apart to make a single corrugated layer) for the garden. I had 3+ contractor trash bags of free mulch that I used to cover these flattened boxes for paths in my garden. And movement is now a little easier in my sun room.

I treated my garden tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers with some "blossom set" liquid on cotton swabs this evening. The plant growth is good but there are few flowers. And they're not setting fruit. I hope this will get me some crops in the next few weeks. I'll plan to do that again one day soon.

I've put organic rosemary in the trash because I have so much of it, but during the summer I usually put herbs at the curb with signs on boxes that say "free - organic whatever it is." Oregano, rosemary, lemon balm.

I have figured out what to do about my backup hard drive. I want a good backup, not messed up should any ransom-ware accidentally come my way. Leaving a backup always attached means it can be mapped by ransom ware. I'll leave the backup drive plugged in, but have it plugged into a timer on the UPS so that it turns on in time to run the weekly backup, then turns itself off again.


30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM (#3863524)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm not seeing a response to the blossom set so far, I may have to use more (they say to try to keep the spray off of the rest of the plant, so I apply it with a cotton swab). A few cherry tomatoes a day will give me a modest amount of tomato zing for my salads, but nothing left over to can or freeze.

A friend came over to examine the computer setup here and get recommendations for a new system at her small business. As I pulled out bins of cables and devices I realized it's time again to declutter some of that stuff. Way too many data cables, power cords, USB cords, etc. I'll send a few her way, plus a USB Hub or two, to make her setup streamlined. Before making recommendations I took at look at her current setup - it's scary to see the old power strips piled up with tons of things plugged in - I've recommended some good surge protectors plugged into different circuits in the office.

The thing about a visitor coming to the house - while there are many interesting artifacts to discuss and share, it also gives you that glimpse of your space through someone else's eyes. This long holiday weekend will probably involve the decluttering of some of the electronic stuff and clearing off a few of the horizontal surfaces. I found a set of computer speakers in a bin I didn't know I had, and I just decommissioned another one this week. Something has to go to the e-waste bin at work next week.

Charmion, how's it going? Dorothy, are you onto the next stage in the buildout of the guest space at the new place? And is the Mill still in play - do you have things stored there or have you moved out completely? If Susan reports in, I'm interested in the garden layout and the use of those spare boxes, and if Michelle reports, I'm hoping all tests are perfect, the boy is growing like a weed (even with a cast on his arm - a normal part of a healthy childhood), the farm is prospering, and everything is good.


30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM (#3863573)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We are now in the calm before the storm -- a lull of mental lists of last things to do, bookings and arrangements and filling out of forms, while we soldier through our last month before what I now think of as "La grande dérangement". Okay, nobody's sending us into exile, but upping sticks and heaving ourselves across the province after so many years in the same house definitely feels more than a little deranged right now. Doing it at the peak of tourist season just adds to the general madness.

Stratford is a small town with a huge tourist-dependent summer theatre festival. Consequently, every hotel and bed-and-breakfast in Perth County is booked solid throughout July and August, but the absolute tippy-top of it all is exactly the week when we are moving, which includes the statutory holiday that falls on the first Monday in August. Our relocation benefit entitles us to interim lodging at the federal government per-diem rate, which should be downright lavish and would be in, say, March, but in August it doesn't even come close to covering the cost of a convenient spot where we may lay our downy heads. So we are booked into an almost-crappy motel on the town line, down the road from Staples and Wal-Mart and a substantial drive from anywhere that serves a decent breakfast.

Ottawa is almost as bad. We live downtown, and hoped to find a hotel close to home so we could be on deck at the scene of the crime for as long as possible while packing is going on. No such luck; every hostelry within walking distance of our front door hikes its rates into the stratosphere in summer -- especially this summer, now that the breadless circus of Canada 150 has come to town. So we're booked in at a Travelodge in an east-end industrial park that has lavish parking and locks on the doors and precious little else.

The place where we usually board the cats when we're away from home is likewise unavailable (booked solid since Easter), so the poor little beasts are booked in at a kennel that also caters to dogs. The horror, the horror ... But it was the only place within an hour's drive of Ottawa where I could even get them in, let alone secure desirable quarters for a pair of pampered pussycats who have never been separated for as much as an hour throughout their little lives.

But the lawyers are now talking to each other, and the utility companies have acknowledged our existence, and we have lined up a capable cleaner to blitz the place after our stuff is toted out (I almost don't care how much that costs), and we have booked a U-Haul truck to transport the stuff the movers won't take, so the big stuff is in place. The small stuff -- well, I try not to sweat the small stuff, but it's a continuing challenge.


30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM (#3863576)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Back in PA for several weeks before we head back to Ohio for 3 vacation weeks. Hardi did a lot of cleaning here while I was gone; this leaves my next job here clear: purging and packing, packing and purging. It's time to set up the box-contents inventory system because the actual move is still far off-- I won't be able to remember just by scribbling on eachieving box. But this process should result in knowing how to design for the storage needs in Ohio such as garage shelving.

At the MIL visit we enjoyed a few weeks ago, we were presented with Grandma Nora's beautiful everyday flatware-- a delicate silver-plate pattern. I came up with several options honoring her AND the family tradition of its everyday use. We will probably pass most of it on to Nora's great-grand-daughter, whose older brother recently received a Grandpa John trove. Stephanie is just the age and personality to start learning how to care for silver, and to host grade-school parties using this set.

As I pack and purge I'll take time to follow my own advice-- annotate obscure items and give away now what I'd like to pass on. Pack memory boxes for each child in our family unit and ship them in advance of the Big Move. Take pix of bulky sentimental items and gift the items themselves to Goodwill. Recycle. Shred. Save shredded paper for packing material. Use NPR livestreaming as company, and Ohio music stations to remind me what I'm working towards.


30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM (#3863585)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Charmion, with all of the housing difficulty for you and the cats it sounds like you need something like a motor home to rent for a few weeks. Is that a possibility, and park it in your own driveway, or perhaps a generous neighbor's parking area? Or does someone in the family own one you can borrow/rent if they're difficult to schedule now? Leasing? Just thinking outside the motel/kennel box.

Susan, the experts on Antiques Roadshow seem to be pronouncing the death knell on so many of the things that our generation saw as "valuable antiques." Dark wood is now out, Mid-century Modern is the look that is popular. So many collections and knickknacks are turning up in thrift stores instead of antique stores. If you can find interested parties for any of these family heirlooms, let them know you want them to have said items and cultivate that appreciation and care. They'll eventually be popular again - all of these things cycle up and down.


01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM (#3863768)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Going back to basics over this long holiday weekend: I will start in the corner of the sun room and organize the potting table with all of it's boxes and tools and plant things tumbled together. Then work outward from there. Straighten the pantry shelves, organize the eBay sales and shipping area. #BigJob


02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM (#3863883)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My report to Hoarders Anonymous - I seem to have kept most of the smallish bottles with lids that came my way over the last few years. "I might be able to use this for something" is probably the script that runs when a brown glass or hefty plastic bottle with a snug screw-on lid comes my way. But last month I discovered that I can use the FoodSaver canister to vacuum seal canning jars with dry contents (things that don't need cooking like dried foods, dry herbs, etc.). The jar and the lid goes into the canister, and once the air is sucked out the jar has also been emptied of air and then the lid seals. (The canisters are expensive enough that you wouldn't spend $20 a piece to use them to actually store food - but as a tool to store food in other containers - that is so worth it - and I found this at Goodwill for $1.99.) So instead of using old fish oil bottles I can seal in canning jars and send herbs to whoever I have in mind. I tossed several pounds of jars and bottles into the recycle bin and cleared a lot of space on the shelves above my potting table.

I buy a store brand of spaghetti sauce that comes in a labeled canning jar - Atlas with measure marks on it. Those are heavy enough to use with canning, so those go into the pantry, not the recycle bin. And you wouldn't want to use commercial jars from most foods for canning, they're not heavy-duty enough.

This will be a busy month ahead. I have to do select and put down tile in the hall bathroom, clear out some of my eBay projects that are spread around the house, and get organized for a family birthday party for early August. There's nothing to make you finally get around to finishing some of those projects than the prospect of having friends come into the house and see the clutter.


03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM (#3864060)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Progress through the day yesterday resulted in being able to see areas of the wood surface on the second desk in the office and I can again step into the office closet. Cables, peripherals, adapters, are all (hopefully) in one place now instead of scattered around the house (well, there is a set of cables in the living room next to the TV, but those are related only to the equipment in there). My Dad's old plastic label maker (press hard for each letter, press lightly for the space between words) came into play for identifying the plastic baskets where things are now stored. What's old is new again. Why pay for a fancy new electronic one when the old tech works (and I still have plenty of the label tape around here.)


07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM (#3864907)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

I had felt (and posted upthread) that this month is a time to set up my packing inventory plan, but I was wrong!

It felt so impossible that I spent some session time looking at what was going on. It turned out that a more foundational issue needed attention first-- I was treating Ohio time as the only place where I live/have a life, and treating PA time as random-- as a place where I have no control over my time and how I spend it. But that PA feeling is obsolete, so I decided to get a better grip on the length and nature of PA time-- and it changed everything.

It gave me a rhythm and a flow cycle that places packing/purging at the right time of year-- and prepping for that at the season just preceding it.

This also led to a whole lot of other integrative pieces, and a real, 12-18 month plan.

Now it's stored in my fone as a memo in progress, to consult before calendaring any new commitments into my scheduling process. My life makes SENSE!!! To ME! (I hadn't noticed that it hadn't for quite some time.)

With some further development and negotiaton, the next year might look roughly like this-- dates will slip a bit for the flip-flops, and to accommodate existing family and workshop commitments.

The activities in parentheses are about what the healthy daily activity level will be based around. 'Funmeister' = local festivals and cultural activities that involve walking, which is what I can do in PA that is not like the 1-story-house stuff/gardening so easily done in Ohio. These events are on a calendar-prompt cycle all year long for PA (and are yet to be systematized yet that way for Ohio, where the main activity so far is gardening/house projects).

All dates are subject to revision if we don't like this-- it's about 60/40 PA/OH for me, but we both liked the two long seasons together-- Advent/Christmas and summer/summer vacay.

We also both liked the way this has our eyes on our house for more of the year, considering that the housemate may depart.


PA June 20 - July 24 (4 wks) (Funmeister)

OH July 24 - Aug 17 (3 wks) (Vacay/2nd Honeymoon, See Ohio)

PA Aug 24 - Sept 15 (3 wks) (Funmeister)

OH Sept. 15 - October 31 (7 wks) (Gardening)
DioCPA convention is Oct. 13-14. Greg ends S.C. term.

PA Nov 1 - Jan 1 (9 wks) (Holidays/Anniversary)

OH January 1 - February 12 (6 wks) (Retreat; Plan PA Packing, Plan PA Sowing; Make OH Help Wanted sign)

PA Feb 12- May 1 (11.5 wks) (PA Purging/Packing Season; Sowing and Seedlings [for PA and Ohio])
Lent begins Feb. 14. Easter is April 1. Advertise for help via OH sign.)

OH All of May (5 wks) (Gardening, Hiring; Greg water PA seedlings; Playoffs)

PA June 1 thru July 24 (7 wks) (Funmeister, PA Gardening; NHL Final)

OH July 24? - Aug 17? (3 wks) (Vacay)

~S~


08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM (#3865089)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Scanning and transcribing notes and clippings and such that I want to keep around but that don't have logical places to be filed. And discovering that some of the notes that I thought were somehow so important all of those years ago aren't actually that great.


09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM (#3865289)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Remembering how Bobert and The Peavine had to dig up their wonderful garden when they moved, and in light of my aging decrepitude, I've begun windowboxing and container gardening on and around our 50' ramp.

First was a bike basket full of Petunias and a trailing, variegated Vinca. Today it was another 6-pack of Petunias, and scrap hardware cloth bent into a windowbox shape to hold them. Next, it will be enough plants to fill the living room in the winter, to go out to the ramp for the summer and fall, in creative containers already on hand when possible.

The potting-up happens in a shady, level corner where the ramp's first turn welcomes me heading out for the morning tour-- also a good spot from which to go inside for whatever I forgot. Two gallons of water a day is my carrying limit, so rain will have to help.

But again, remembering Bobert's yard, nothing I do here won't work in OH; anything bought is assumed to be in the pipeline to Ohio, either nowish or at The Big Move. The just-potted petunias in fact are destined for a September jaunt (because the Ohio growing season is much longer).

This is very helpful in integrating PA/OH life, and it's great for my PA activity level too. I just watch for materials (and places to use them), with eventual OH placement always in mind. Right now I'm remembering for example some cinderblocks and shipping pallets out back, to set against the ramp with flowerpots in them. This season, they might get just a few sale plants-- but I'll be all set next spring with annuals started from seed. I also know where the blocks and pallets will go in Ohio, when that time comes.

~S~


10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM (#3865440)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The morning trash removed the nearly-dead motor of an old blender (purchased for $4 at a garage sale across the street). The jar and fittings are here and can be put on sale on eBay or simply left as spares since they fit the new blender. It's the mentality of "spares" that has some of us digging out of the storage regions of our homes, so the decision isn't made yet to keep or sell.

I tend to plant things around the yard away from the main garden area and then forget and they get very dry between waterings. Good luck with expanding the flowers around the houses.

I have a bench full of cardboard boxes shipped here over recent weeks - they need flattening and I'll pick up more free mulch and extend the paths in my garden. And today comes the heavy duty vinegar to kill weeds along the paths. This reduces the box bulk and contributes to the future mulch of the garden.


12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM (#3865811)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Surprise! A house guest is arriving tomorrow evening to stay a few days. The guest room is ready but the kitchen and bathroom need cleaning, I must vacuum, and look to see what is available for nibbling in the fridge. Lots of food, but most of it requires some preparation.

My hall bathroom with the new loo and the support bar in the shower I put in a year or two ago for the same visitor is ready, it just needs tidying. She loves the comfortable bed in the guest room, and there is a bedside lamp in there now for reading that wasn't on her last visit. And a television after that recent attempt at using it for a monitor (resolution wasn't high enough to make it work). She travels with an oxygen pump that can be set in the closet and won't be heard outside of her room. She may be here over the weekend, so who knows if I'll get any more decluttering done for the time being. She has been known to do organizing for people - I'm afraid I'd kill her if she tried it here, but we understand each other. I know how to find everything now. 25+ years of friendship means a lot of this stuff is behind us. It's a good chance to put up our feet and visit, and though she won't care if the house is full of dog hair, I do, so I'll get going on that now.


13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM (#3865991)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Gradually working up to more energy and improved walking. Hot baths are essential and the hot water quit - again!- a week ago so I have used foot baths and comfrey poultices to keep on track. Amazingly, I finally started the project of new seats and backs for the directors chairs. The refurbished sewing machine - R's Christmas project - is a good as new! Such a joy to work after untold years of iffiness. I hope to finish them in the morning and move them from BR to back/back shed until the screen house is ready. This will hugely de-cluttter the BR. Then I can go on to other sewing projects, as in a foot high of pants to hem for R, to further de-clutter.

The screen house is on hold as Dan did not have time and then was sick so the new priority is R's library. Dan started preparing for the foundation today. it will be a ten by ten by as high as they agree to make it! R has a beautiful library ladder and Dan is insisting the shelves do not go so high they cannot be safely reached! Dan is a grand fund of good sense and knowledge of building. R is arriving on Friday or Saturday. Monday is my cataract op so Monday and Tuesday (dr appointment) we will be in Peterboro; we have arranged an airbnb for Monday night - $62 to stay in a condo in town rather than drive over an hour each way back and forth to Bancroft (60 miles). R plans to visit the Canadian Canoe Museum while I am at the hospital.


I have two new raised beds - one for more strawberries; one can never have too many strawberries! and one for veggies. It is pretty late in the season but if it ever dries out enough for the soil to be delivered, I shall try for peas, perhaps green beans. It is on the north side so should be cooler but still gets lots of sun at this time. In the other beds, I have lettuce galore and carrots, zukes and wax beans flourishing in the one bed and the strawberries are slowly coming along. Along the south wall, tomatoes and peppers amongst the sage, oregano, lavender, clematis and a huge clump of established rhubarb. I am pleased!

An octagonal bed frame - 4 feet in D - is special for a tiny mock orange bush, a baby of the one in Montreal which was given to R by a special friend. She died last year so this will be a memorial. For now, I will surround the baby with annuals, in the fall will plant bulbs - ones that squirrels do not treasure! It is centred outside a large window where our dining table is located.

Maybe the soil can arrive tomorrow - if it does not pour again tonight! Then I can plant the beds. A neighbour came over today and cut some of the high grass and put it into the beds so it will be covered with the soil. The plant roots will have to go deep to get any nourishment from it but I had no other plans for it. Need a better compost pile but have not decided WHERE!

I managed to throw 3 pots the other morning and need to trim the bottoms - maybe tomorrow. It was too cold this am and I was too tired in the afternoon. AND I have an exercycle on the back deck which I have ridden for short periods four days - oops skipped Weds as it was raining! Tonight only a very short time as I was very low in energy. Tuesday I was very pleased with how long I lasted and thought it would increase but my legs were very tired tonight.

This Keto diet is tiresome and I have become less and less good at it. I have not gained more but have not lost any so I am feeling time for a change. I am so fed up I would like to stop eating - but I won't. A new mantra might be -"just because I fell hungry does not mean I need to eat!" One day at a time I am feeling the way forward.

I have been amazed over the last couple months at my improved eyesight and even wonder if I really need this op - but guess I do. In conversation with a couple friends last week, we were talking about supplements that are good for the brain and I mentioned that I had started taking Lecithin a few weeks ago. Joanne said, "Oh, there is Lecithin in my eye pills!" So, we are thinking it is the Lecithin that improved my sight. That is the only recent change in my regime.


15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM (#3866250)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

We're way past pea and lettuce season here, and I usually miss it because of my earliest gardening in the north, these southern gardens need to have the tender crops in way earlier than seems practical. And this year we've had more rain than usual and contrary as it might seem, the result is that my crops aren't great. My tomatoes are barely producing and even the blossom set spray isn't working on them.

I have moved more things in the sun room, put away packing and shipping materials, flattened boxes, cleared some portion of the tabletop work surface. The trick is to truly put away the things moved off of this work surface, not simply transplant them to some other place where they'll be in the way.

Oddball things to list on eBay are stacked next to the computer so I can do some research, then they need to go into the appropriate shipping package and actually be listed. Sounds easy, but it sometimes takes me a while to get motivated.


15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM (#3866322)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I was at Tractor Supply today, and though I had a shopping list intended for another store, I thought I'd take a look down the aisles to see if there was anything more than dog food they could tempt me with today. And I stumbled upon a small but well-chosen selection of sprinklers. My gardener's heart always beats a little faster when I find another one that *might* do what I want. They had two types of sprinklers on tripods, $30 and $60, and they, after I poked around, had one that simply is meant to be clamped onto the top of one of the t-shaped posts that holds up wire fencing. It's more modest, less likely to catch the eye of someone who might come up the driveway to steal it. I'll test it this evening.

In the spirit of decluttering, there are probably half-dozen sprinkler experiments around here that failed that I should discard or donate.


20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM (#3867403)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

A newly purchased ozonater has decluttered the house in Montreal - basement and first floor - hopefully of bugs, certainly of mold and odours, also R's truck, my car and the house here. It will go back to Montreal with R to be used again in the basement - hopefully killing those powder post beetles as they hatch.

My left eye is decluttered of a cataract (Monday) and we are in the healing phase with R putting drops in for me, and me delighting in clearing vision! The hard part is me trying to remember not to bend down to pick up things on the floor - actually made me nauseous the 3rd time today so I am really "getting it"! Need some kind of stick up my back??

We spent Mon and Tues in Peterboro; R went to the Canoe Museum while I endured the op, then picked me up and I rested in the car while he did more of the museum. Overnight at comfy airbnb. Tues: Dr appointment - She said it went well and admonished me to not touch eye and not bend over; I wear my sunglasses a lot to try to protect the eye - from me. We visited the Trent Severn waterway Lift Lock - the largest in NA. Fascinating, we watched to go up with water and boats, then come down ... No noise, no power - just the weight of the water and a HUGE piston. Had fun exploring a bit of Peterboro and wending our way homeward. The trip is 90 min to two hours so we decluttered by staying over night!

Decluttered some of the pile of sewing today, delighting in the like-new sewing machine since R tended to it! Finished the seats and backs for the folding chairs but we still need to get them into their slots. The BR is largely declusttered but the LR still has them. Maybe tonight?? A two person job - or a R job!

He fixed the hot water - YAY! So it will not happen again! He has to do just about everything - pick up this, pick up that... Planted a lovely little larch out near the stream. I CAN cook - when I have the energy - as long as I drop nothing on the floor.

Critter in Strawberries last night! So R is placing some glass panes around it tonight. The critter was large enough to totally disrupt the plastic screening that keeps the birds out. The soil for new beds to come tomorrow - after some mis-communication. R will need to do the planting - that I was so looking forward to doing.

Our lettuce crop continues to be lovely, the wax beans are getting there slowly, four cabbage are taking up a humongous amout of space, carrots are coming along and the squash are slow but, so far, not molested. Tomatoes and peppers are slow. Lavender, in full bloom by front door, is delightfully welcoming! (Memories of Whidbey Island!)


21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM (#3867502)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The Brother is coming tomorrow to claim the sideboard, an old family piece for which we will not have room in the new house. I've had that sideboard since 1976 (before that date it lived with my parents), and I'm regretting, but not regretting, the decision to part with it. The fact is that we won't need it, and The Brother and his wife do.

The kitchen renovation in the new house in Stratford includes a built-in wall unit comprising floor-to-ceiling china cabinets, drawers for table linen and a serving surface. So the old sideboard really is surplus to our requirements, while The Brother and his wife live in a Victorian house with a separate dining room and zero stowage for all the things you stow in a chiffonier-type sideboard. He should have it. Really.

I'll keep telling myself that until it's out of the house.

I am now deep in discussions by email with the designer-cabinetmaker who will build our new kitchen. He's a great guy, I've decided, because he clearly understands what cooks need in the way of workspace and provides CAD drawings to show what he has in mind. It will be a very expensive project -- at least by our standards -- so I am rather trepid about it.


21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM (#3867529)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Poor signal these days.

Charmion: I have left, and/or had stolen or demolished a number of pieces of furniture which I greatly cherished. I have grieved to lesser or grater degrees, but --- Oh well, life goes on and I have survived worse losses... We generally do. Your K guy sounds great - but keep your eye on it to ensure it is what YOU really want! Little things matter: I remember having to insist that a corner I would be going round often must be rounded so I did not have a perpetually sore hip from bumping a sharp corner! Such a small thing. Our wonderful current helper tends to think of these things.

The soil just arrived! The truck was able to fill one bed and largely fill the other - having to back up between wet ground and the hydro lines! And a 3rd pile is on top of the septic tank; it was needed to level that area and the extra will go towards the back sheds so we are not walking through ankle deep water for two months each year.

R shall have to do the planting in the memorial bed as I cannot bend over! Such a drag! I may be able to do seeding and transplanting of strawberries - lots of runners on the current bed. The critter did not get through the glass cage last night! That is probably all the raised beds as no where else is close enough to the road and moving wheelbarrow loads of soil---- NO WAY!

A mostly dead tree is coming out and the library is planned, with R and Dan in agreement! I hope construction will soon begin! I got a hearty laugh out of my comment , "I want to see a library today!" Definitely a joke! The project is a bit complicated but they seem to be on the same page.

I decluttered a lovely winter coat; needs zipper. I bought the zipper a few years ago but removing the old one... So I put the zip in a pocket and a note on it. To a thrift shop. I have managed quite well without it!

I managed 0.4 miles (I guess) on the cycle this am. It has been neglected through our busy, traveling week.

A beautiful clear day, scattered clouds and a lovely breeze! Probably going up to 27C.


21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM (#3867635)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Some day . . . new kitchen, redo bathroom cabinets . . . if anyone ever suggests putting in drawer or cabinet handles that have edges that can hook pockets or bathrobes, out the door they go! My kitchen is full of them and they DRIVE. ME. NUTS.

Like this. For example. Why have things sticking out that will catch garments and either ruin the garment or pull out the drawer or cupboard, sometimes with disastrous results? I curse whoever chose this hardware several times a week, but to replace it, all of it, would be expensive. Might as well wait till I can get new cabinets.


22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM (#3867679)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Noted, Acme. Thanks for the tip. I like to listen to my iPod while doing mundane or protracted kitchen chores, and the perfectly ordinary white china knobs on the lower cabinet doors seem to reach out and seize the loop of earbud wire that flops around when I bend over. Such a First World problem to have!

Dorothy, thanks for reminding me about sharp corners; I'm forever blundering into things that are just outside my restricted visual field, and I have the scars and bruises to prove it. The worst is always a bedstead with a flare to the top of the footboard -- guaranteed to nail me every time I move anywhere near it.


22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM (#3867688)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There doesn't seem to be a category of "kitchens without sharp edges and annoying drawer pulls" on Google. But I did find this. I think it turned up after I looked into an article about someone snagging clothes on the rough corner of their granite counter top.

When summer is fully engaged here it's difficult to find motivation to do much of anything. I'm looking at rooms full of things to do, and have to pace myself to get going - the end game is to have the house looking good and tables cleared so people here for a birthday party in a couple of weeks have places to sit and eat and talk. On the back patio I have two chairs and a table (and a tabletop on a metal frame) that need scraping, sanding, and repainting. The seats are made from re-purposed shipping pallet slats, not worth too much work (I rescued them when a friend's house was foreclosed and he downsized, they are cute, but they are inexpensive). These are where food preparation and visiting will happen, so looking genteelly distressed is okay but needing to be hauled to the dumpster is not.

In the yard I took down the bird feeder because it was attracting mice. Alas, the birds miss it. But this week I'm resolving to keep the bird baths around the yard topped off so they can at least drink and bathe. I was leaving for work two mornings ago and a robin stood on the edge of one of the birdbaths, cocking its head straight at me, inquiring why I would have such a vessel and NOT fill it. Really - it was like the bird was making a statement. :)


23 Jul 17 - 04:53 PM (#3867899)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

With yesterday's departure of the sideboard, we are now officially in the throes of busting up the household. Today, we hauled the valuables -- the family silver, the jewellery -- over to The Brother's house, where they will stay until the packers and movers have done their thing. Beginning today, we don't buy any groceries we won't eat within the next 24 hours.

The cats are already suspicious; they know something big is happening. They go to the kennel on Thursday, and we'll have the devil's own job caging them for the trip.

It's raining again in Ottawa; we're having the wettest summer ever. I wish we could share it with Texas.


23 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM (#3867927)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Texas has had the wettest summer in many years - I fear you HAVE shared it with us already. California might be needing the moisture, though.

Today I stepped across the street to check out my source of Mustang Grapes - wild grapes that grow everywhere, if people are paying attention. I have never seen so many grapes and had an easy time picking them quickly - surprising because the vegetable garden is producing so little. It's a bit late for the grapes (because of the moisture), but there is a bumper crop. I decided to make a video of the process of steam juicing them in preparation for making jelly, but the auto focus didn't kick in so the first few short segments are blurred. I may redo some of it tomorrow before I splice it together. I do these things for the kids, so they know how to cook particular dishes, or in this case, make good juice for jelly. I have nearly 3 gallons of juice. Years ago my son, then a teen, made it clear that he didn't like "preserves," he preferred jelly. I told him we could make some (I could buy it also, but why not teach a kid where his food comes from?). We steam juiced frozen strawberries, then made jelly, which he loved, but then he tasted the mustang grape jelly and decided he liked that even better. It has a combination of sweet and tart at the same time, with a flavor similar to Concord grapes, but more complex, and red, not purple. I'll make jelly this year and use it for holiday gifts for friends and co-workers.

Laundry is finished, the kitchen is cleared up after the juicing. Tomorrow is my third day of the weekend (I work a compressed work week in the summer, four ten-hour days and have the pleasure of long weekends) and I may redo the early stages of steam juicing in the morning and be able to splice together a video in the afternoon. We're under a heat advisory so there isn't much yard work getting done midday or later.
I had an eBay item sell today, so I need to pack it up to ship in the morning, then get more items listed. Another good activity for a hot day.


24 Jul 17 - 12:44 PM (#3868031)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Speaking of rain! All night it poured and stormed and now we have Scotch mist/Vancouver weather! Dan stayed home as it was pouring at his place - 5 miles north. R is reading and nothing is moving forward except, maybe, getting rid of the lit he has read.

However, He cleared the back shed totally last evening! Some went into the back/back shed and our wonderful huge outhouse! Never mind what I think or had planned for that space. I do hate being incapable - even temporarily. We did have a go-round about throwing away things we might be able to use in the not so distant future. No trip to dump as it is all burnable and today would be a good day for that - decluttering!!

As it rained in the middle of the night, I fulminated that the pile of extra soil was not covered so must dry before it can be moved. It is much in the way but seemed the best spot at the time. It will level out a lumpy spot over the septic tank and rest is due to raise the soil level along the route to the back sheds in hopes of not getting wet feet going there - ankle deep sometimes.

As I cannot bend over for anything - "R, could you pick up that straight pin/ piece of paper...." I try to feel good about what I CAN do - not much, but the dishes get washed and a few meals cooked but I feel queasy a lot of the time and manage to avoid - pot luck yesterday - I took a huge bowl of my garden lettuce and sesame oil/apple cider vinegar dressing. I may be the only person who loves a very plain salad! I went back later for the bowls and gave the left over lettuce to someone --- "for my bunnies"!! Geez! There is still a huge bag in the frig and bunches in the garden. Really nice lettuce. I guess the cool wet weather has helped; it has not bolted but just keeps flourishing.

Yesterday, R completed the filling of the two new raised beds and the octagonal "in memory of" garden. Then, with considerable guidance, he planted the shrub and other plants in the octagon. The other beds I shall have to do without bending over. They are about 18 inches high.

It is great to be able to see with left eye and note that any flaws are in the right eye. Trip to Dr. tomorrow will tell us how I am doing and when the right eye will be done. Then R will be going back to Montreal and I need to figure out how to get the drops in my eye 4x/day.

The best declutter recently was the 30 hours during which I did not cough - from the time the anesthesia started... ????

Never have had a problem with cabinet pulls; don't use air buds! Possible to have cabinets without pulls. Put not mouse-proof drawers. I am thinking the best might be a flattened "u" shape - horizontal - with no frills.


31 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM (#3869316)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Something went askew and erased what I just wrote!!!!!! I am alive and well and ....


31 Jul 17 - 09:59 PM (#3869340)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I see by facebook that Charmion is in the midst of The Move. I hope she'll report in when she takes time for a breather.

Looks like I'll be putting in a fence on the south side of the yard. Years ago, before I bought the house, when the folks who built it were here, the next door neighbor asked the previous owner about going halves on a fence between the properties. The owner of this house apparently had a loose screw and took it personally and rapidly had someone come in and build a fence - but without a survey it is a foot and a half inside the property line. The next door neighbor then put in his fence next to the first fence, but they went along the same line, so it's still way inside my property line. My neighbor told me she'll be selling the house to move near her son, and I hopped on that opportunity - if she's going to have to pay for a survey anyway, we need to have the surveyor mark the proper fence line and I'll put up the fence. It's not around the entire yard, and I won't pull down the one in the wrong place right away, we just want to get the correct one up now so I don't have to explain to the next owners of the house why I want to shave off part of their yard - something I might have to do to sell my house if I want (and not lose that property as far as if you don't claim it, you lose it.) That'll be coming up in the early fall, I suspect.


03 Aug 17 - 08:40 PM (#3869787)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Sounds like a good project, Maggie!

We continue to make progress on organization and de-cluttering. Robin's library is still in process and I am looking forward to completion which will de-clutter piles of books from house and the beautiful antique sewing machine will go there and free up much needed storage space in the BR. We bought a nice wood bookcase ($2) at a yard sale that fits the space and can be used for other than books - like the sewing machine when not in use. The sewing pile still needs some progress. After the weekend, I can get back to that with my renewed ability to see what I am doing! Such a difference in how I feel about getting things done. I am also seeing dirt/dust AND dealing with it!

Bought a frame for an easy up booth canopy at a yard sale and found fabric at the thrift shop to make the canopy part - thanks to a sharp eyed friend pointing it out! It is mostly made; checked fit and I will double stitch seams and work on attachment points tomorrow. It will be ready to go up tomorrow evening! Not water-proof but I will get heavy plastic to throw over it. Not supposed to rain on the weekend but may do so Friday night. So wonderful working with the refurbished sewing machine!

Robin had to go back to Montreal on Sunday but MAY return tomorrow, she says hopefully! This is big Gemboree weekend -rock and mineral event bringing thousands of visitors to the area. (Bancroft is "the mineral capital of Canada") He may obtain more rocks but I am hoping to de-clutter the pottery supply. I also hope to get rid of more of the calendars (2017) with frameable prints of "Vintage Bancroft", done by a local artist in the 70s. I have framed a few to give people the idea. I just hate for them to be trashed - or I have them in MY archives forever! Proceeds to the local Hospice. I have broken even on the costs!

I am not quite to my 3 week mark from cataract op - not supposed to bend over or lift more than 10 pounds! But I no longer feel ill when I do so. Hence, car is partly loaded and I will do the rest tomorrow. Dan shlepped stuff to the front from the back shed for me, so all is triaged near car. I am delighted to be able to read and see better generally - even after dark!

While we had scaffolding here, a couple younger folks came over and spray painted a rainbow on the north side of the house - the side that is seen as one drives towards it. "Just watch for the rainbow!" We have a metal array of birds to fly over it and Robin is bringing a pot for the gold.

The wax beans and zukes will soon be ready to pick; lettuce is still flourishing but I may plant another row in the new bed where peas are sprouting! New strawberry bed is starting to take root and I offered Dan runners to start his own at his home. Carrots are quietly doing their thing under the profuse cover of wax beans and nasturtium. And four cabbage plants are taking up a huge space as they turn into heads. I LOVE my raised beds!Light rains yesterday and today have been helpful.

AND, although I feel as though I have been eating everything in sight, I am still holding at 160. I will try to get back on a losing track with cooler weather and before next cataract op on 21 September. Robin did not think I should use exercycle but now I probably can start again - until next op.


03 Aug 17 - 10:14 PM (#3869801)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

We spoke again after my neighbor talked to her realtor - the buyer would pay for the survey, so we wouldn't have access to that, but I had one done fairly recently to refinance my house. She suggested we use my survey since we both agree on this project, and I have a friend who will be over next week and we'll plan to do it very quickly. The house might be listed this weekend. It's the next big project after the birthday party.


04 Aug 17 - 10:55 PM (#3870036)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

So when I need to be clearing up for a family gathering on Sunday here I am bringing all sorts of food into the house and figuring out how to store it all till preparation time. Oy. Tomorrow is the big push on many projects.


05 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM (#3870142)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've seen mentions of some of Charmion's activities on facebook - and am awaiting the report here! Meanwhile, I have meat on the grill today, chicken to de-bone and use tomorrow in fajitas, beef to flavor on the grill then chill and grind for nacho/burrito fillings. There are many other parts to this, but this is the biggest messiest part of the job and it's better to do it a day ahead of the event.

I do need to work on the bathroom floor. I never put tile down, but I'll sweep and finish scraping off the adhesive, then put some small rag area mats around in there.

So much to do that I haven't been on the computer at all today, only now for a short cool-down before it's back into the kitchen. Oh - in order to remove a few jars out of my way in the fridge I made two batches of mustang grape jelly this morning. They'll have sat for 24 hours and can be boxed and put in the pantry before the party. And I will have last year's batch at a table by the door - hostess gifts for anyone who wants to take some home that they'll eat in the next year or so. Gotta make room for this year's batch somehow!


08 Aug 17 - 08:03 AM (#3870535)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Vacay w Hardi in Ohio at our house

We've been working on getting the pop-up camper ready for her first camping trip in 5 years (FIVE?!?!?!!!). The contents were removed for cleaning 2 years ago and all linens washed and bagged. Last week all the cookware and the camper itself were cleaned. A lot of the cookware came into the house 2 years ago and as I brought down PA stuff for the house, much of it could go back to the camper. However I decluttered as I cleaned, with the result being a much less crowded camper. We'll leave it as we did for so many years, fitted out with all basics needed for instant use (including canned goods for a first night's supper). The biggest difference now is not leaving 4 weeks worth of clothes on board (old clothes to wash at laundromats)-- because what had been carried became my Ohio gardening grubs, and what was worn out 2 years ago is now tattering. So we'll actually have to pack clothes each time for the foreseeable future.

When we take her out Weds, we'll camp nearby (where we got the idea to retire to this area)-- 4 days will tell if we're too old and creaky to still enjoy camping in a pop-up! ;-)

We hadn't brought her AC with us from PA, so if it's too hot at night to sleep, we'll sneak into our AC bed at the house! But we added a nifty new fan.

It beats staying in the house while the housemate moves out (job transfer). We won't be doing another house share again (until we need a live-in CNA, lol).


08 Aug 17 - 12:21 PM (#3870569)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We are now in Stratford, having rolled into town last Wednesday afternoon ten minutes before the lawyer's office closed. He gave us a key that turned out to work only on the side door into the garage. We found key that worked on the back patio door in the kitchen, but the key to the front door was missing. It finally arrived on Saturday, after much texting to real estate agents and some bitter carping from me; it had been sculling around in the glove box of the seller's boyfriend's truck.

The furniture and boxes arrived on Thursday. All day Friday and Saturday were spent unpacking, searching for critical kitchen traps and repacking everything else. Despite our inability to turn on the oven, we made a good dinner on Saturday night, marking the achievement of what the Canadian Forces calls "initial operating capability".

The garage looks as if a paper bomb went off in it, with four-cube boxes stacked almost to the ceiling and a solid wall of two-cubes full of books on each side, waiting for the floors to be done so we can haul in the bookcases.

On Sunday, we unpacked and stowed our wardrobes, hung curtains in the enormous windows in the bedroom, and finally achieved laundry. I was supposed to rest, but did not. Mistake.

Himself has done all the grocery shopping and most of the cooking so far, and he recce'd the farmers' market on Saturday. My only excursions from the house since Wednesday have been to visit Canadian Tire and to go to church, the latter expedition being my only non-move-related activity.

We had no Internet until yesterday afternoon, after no fewer than three Bell Canada technicians invested something like ten man-hours of work to locate the correct cable pair in the correct junction box in the correct neighbour's back yard. All three critical data points were incorrectly recorded at the local Bell office. I finally got the computer assembled and running last night at about ten o'clock, and fell into bed, there to stay asleep all night for the first time since last Monday.

I'm meeting many technicians, all nice guys (at least to me) with vigorous work ethics and many tattoos.

Yesterday afternoon was spent in consultation with the cabinetmaker who has accepted the commission to rip out our irritating kitchen and do better. We are beyond tired of the wide variety of things that are broken, defective, badly designed or just plain bad -- the broken refrigerator drawers that drop out onto your feet when you open them, the rolling pantry shelves that jammed because the little wheels at the back kept falling off the tracks where the stoppers have failed. I fixed the pantry problem by stuffing the back of the cabinet with sheets of cardboard from a china barrel, but the fridge is just going to drive us nuts until we can relegate it to beer status and buy a new one for the kitchen.

Flooring began today. The house resounds with the hammering of the flooring crew at work in the cellar and the zing of the table saw on the front lawn. Himself is with the insurance agent, who wants documents we don't have, while I catch up on household administration. Lo and behold, Enercare (the company that does furnace and air-conditioner maintenance) neglected to record our move, despite the hour I spent on the phone with them back at the beginning of June, so we have a swingeing bill for maintenance plans that I am now convinced I do not want to continue with. Stratford has local companies that clean furnaces and air-conditioners; why put up with call-centre agony and employees with no authority to do anything useful?

I hear work boots on the stairs. Time to be bossy.


09 Aug 17 - 12:04 AM (#3870666)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Good news from everyone.

After our big family party (a huge success!) I spent yesterday puttering to put away extra food (into the freezer in portions that I can take for lunch) and taking naps.

The fence work is postponed - the new buyer wants to "discuss" the project - keeping in mind that I am entitled to up up the fence in the correct place, but that I want to be on good terms with the new neighbor, I'll have him ask his surveyor to spray paint the line on the lawn for the fence, and we'll go from there. It'll be up before they close on Sept. 1. This makes it much easier for me when I reach the point of wanting to sell the house.


13 Aug 17 - 09:52 AM (#3871382)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

In the local marketplace everything is for "back to school" right now. I have a half-dozen small crock pots to sell on eBay, and held onto them till now to sell. The best use (in my opinion) for these older low-power "crockette" pots is for overnight oatmeal. So I will put them up as for breakfast for the kids, ready when they get up in the morning, and for those who like oatmeal in cooler weather. Once these are listed and sold I'll be able to reclaim some of the work space in my sun room. Yesterday was soaking off price labels (Goodwill) and testing. It's the strangest August I remember in a long time - I live in the prairie, an area frequently visited with desert-like weather in the summer, but this year is more like a tropical zone. The lawn hasn't gone dormant, vegetable garden hasn't been happy with so much moisture (I think it doesn't drain as well as it might, normally not a problem that it holds moisture in dry weather).

Now to play catchup on small projects I abandoned for a couple of weeks in preparation for the family birthday party. And - though my children are grown - I do need to do one thing in preparation for the school year - sign up again to tutor elementary school kids.


14 Aug 17 - 09:18 PM (#3871672)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

It rained off and on throughout the craft show weekend! R never showed up and by Sunday, I was --- Welll, A friend came along with a cheery "how are you?" and rec'd, "dreadful...!" She said she would be back at 4 to help me pack up. Then a potter couple said they would help; they had their booth packed up in no time and helped me. It usually takes me over 2 hours; I was home by 5 pm and elated. So thankful for good folks!

Concerned that Charmion is being careful about exposure to dust! I realize not everyone is as hyper-sensitive as I, but still...

Finally made pots during this last 10 days, focusing on garlic pots for the garlic festival on Sat. We are having some dry days and I am delighted to have succeeded in having almost a kiln load drying. I found I had only one small bucket of a rather unique glaze so begged materials from a couple local potters - saving a 6 hour round trip to Toronto! This is de-cluttering raw clay but....

Dan cut two shelves for me, from scraps, needed for a cabinet so I can put more stuff away! He also moved one kiln into its new "garage" so I have room to fire the other one this week. It will also go into the garage after R installs the electric line. (Some year?)

Hope I have energy for more potting - it helps to turn the clay into finished pots before cold weather so I don't have to put it back in the bathroom (Clutter!) to keep from freezing.

Bought a quantity of nice fat local blueberries and froze them.

Found this week that I have gained 5 pounds! In less than two weeks. On the Keto diet, I did not lose or gain. But tired of that, I have gone off the deep end. Now I am repeating: "Just because I feel hungry does not mean I need to eat!" Works some of the time.

Weather feels like September. Tomatoes are not ripening. Peppers are doing nothing. Canna and dahlia have not bloomed. But peas are coming up in the new bed and it is certainly cool enough for them.


14 Aug 17 - 11:18 PM (#3871677)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dorothy, from your descriptions it sounds like you've added onto that small house incrementally and now have several connected or nearby out buildings for various purposes? Have you ever posted photos on facebook?

We had rain over the weekend, and very early this morning another heavy storm went through the area. The extra high humidity with our normal high temperatures makes outdoor activity brutal. Few lawns have been mowed lately; we'll wait till it dries out some.

Dorothy, green tomato relish is a perfect way to use those unripened tomatoes. I made a large batch last fall; good thing, I'm not getting much at all this year so far.


15 Aug 17 - 09:28 AM (#3871746)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

The housemates broke a number of agreements in their move but we were in still glad to miss the chaos while it happened, and I've billed them for the costs of putting things right. We spent most of yesterday overseeing all that. I'm ahead by one computer desk, and had lots of other "gifts" they left to pass on to others in the neighborhood-- 'no immediate use? OUT!"


15 Aug 17 - 08:29 PM (#3871861)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

This evening I helped my next door neighbor set up her new Kindle Fire, sent by her son after her older Kindle disappeared from the house during the week it was being shown by Realtors. I think the cartoon probably appeared in The New Yorker that showed a huge bank of empty book shelves and at the bottom in the corner one slim Kindle tablet. She's moving to a retirement apartment to be nearer her son and his family; I have enjoyed being her neighbor for the last 15 years. She'll have to rely on her son to set up the computer and wifi from now on. (Her computer wasn't connecting yesterday, and I couldn't get my phone to connect to her Internet, but the wifi was working - turns out Charter's call center folks figured out she didn't plug in the cables correctly from the modem to the router last time she tried resetting it. I should have figured that one out.)

I have a lot to do, but I think this evening I'll kick back and do nothing. May even go to bed early and read.


15 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM (#3871865)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Well the time has arrived. Without kid help I will call on professional tree and debris removal crews for the back yard.


16 Aug 17 - 08:29 AM (#3871930)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's safer that way, Don. There comes a time for all of us when we need to call professionals for taking out trees or for getting up on the roof. Good luck with the project!


16 Aug 17 - 09:07 AM (#3871936)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Flooring is almost finished, and it looks great. Today, the last ten feet of hallway and two small closets get floored, and all the quarter-round will be installed upstairs. Basement was done last week.

The cats are now in residence, and Watson is settling in well. Isobel is still skittish and tense, spending much of her time under the bed or the sofa. Their baskets and feeding station are in the basement until the stampage of workboots and pneumatic hammers is over, and right now they are locked down in their bunker until the flooring crew finishes for the day.

All cooking is a darned nuisance while we adjust to less than half the work surface we are accustomed to. Laundry takes place in what I have decided to call the "laundry hole", a corner of the basement that has been closed off from the main hanging-out area. Drip-dry clothes have to do their dripping and drying in the second-best bathroom or on a folding rack in the bedroom; the laundry hole is just barely big enough for the washer and dryer, and a crappy old shelving unit where all the cleaning materials are currently stowed.

Repairs on some of our battered old furniture are well under way, as the Mennonite communities around Stratford are full of people who build and fix furniture, so the skills are fairly thick on the ground around here. The time to get all this done is now, while everything is all of a chaotic doo-dah; once a bookcase or a desk goes into service, all loaded with stationery and pens and books and work-related doohickeys, it takes a major system failure to get it out of commission again.

The next thing to do is buy some new IKEA bookcases, not the easiest project as the nearest IKEA store is in Vaughan, some 90 minutes away on the 401. Kitchener has an order centre, but even that is a substantial expedition; the round trip is about 75 km. The IKEA bookcases we brought with us are comparatively new, but some of them required major re-assembly. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate chipboard construction? Give me honest wood every time.

Himself just went downtown to visit the Legal Aid office in search of information about getting on the Perth County panel and earning some dosh. Apparently, despite its bucolic charms, Perth County has plenty of the problems associated with despair and isolation; right now, crystal meth is a Big Thing.

Bell Canada's internet service is DSL only, which sucks if you're accustomed to fibre-optic broadband, so I'm on the hunt for something better. I also have to book an appointment with the allergy doc in Kitchener for my magic needle. Consequently, I have to find a quiet spot (hah!) in which to get on the phone and stay there.


16 Aug 17 - 02:19 PM (#3872004)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Housie did pay billed overage costs, yay!


18 Aug 17 - 09:46 AM (#3872321)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

The next visitor to the house after housies cleared out said, despite my not having cleared up before she came: "It doesn't look all cluttered any more."

Yaaaayyyy!


18 Aug 17 - 11:04 AM (#3872355)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The semester starts next week, plans are laid for getting to work way early, before the traffic jam of students trying to park in faculty lots to be close to their classrooms. Must have lunch materials ready, and breakfast set to eat then run out the door. Leave before light, pass by the school zones of public schools before they start blinking, and consequently the work day ends in the middle of the afternoon. Time left for gardening, canning, other activities (because it is still summer, even though the school year typically serves as the beginning of fall).

I have a lot of stuff in my freezer that I need to start using. Or learn how to use. I'm not eating wheat these days, but I have alternative flours and grains I've picked up at my favorite discount grocery and brought home to the freezer. Time to learn to bake with these alternative grain, corn, rice, potato, and bean blends.

Time to make more jelly. I have some of this year's juice in the freezer, some is already made into jelly, and some is awaiting processing in the fridge. Sugar and canning lids are on my shopping list.

Time also do to some sewing projects. . . . in other words, there is indoor stuff to do and it is finally beginning to look like time to do it.


18 Aug 17 - 08:56 PM (#3872463)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The floors are finished. Hallelujah! Silence reigns.

Glendon Road is just too far from groceries, the gym and the hardware store for shopping on foot. Downtown is full of chi-chi restaurants, gourmet food shops, art galleries and emporia selling tourist traps and high-end clothing for ladies and gents, but if you want a three-pound bag of oranges, a dozen perfectly ordinary eggs and box of All-Bran, you have to go to the huge shopping centre on the edge of town, where Staples and Canadian Tire are also to be found. And of course, Stratford has no allergist (he's in Kitchener), no Volkswagen dealer and no Apple Store. So today, we bought a second car, primarily for Edmund's use -- certainly, to his taste. It's a Kia Soul, a boxy Korean runabout with a fire-engine red paint job. I hadn't intended to increase our carbon footprint by a whole extra car with this move, but if we have only one I will basically never get to the gym. So as of next Wednesday, we will be a two-car family again.

So I have to get busy on unpacking the books so we can put those two cars in the damn' garage, where the 2-cubic-foot boxes are stacked chest high. But before I can do that, we need bookcases to put them in. And before the bookcases go into the library, its briefcase-brown and putty-grey walls need a serious paint job. I can't remember the last time I saw a house with such dire bedrooms. Edmund's office is a Pepto-Bismol pink as of now, with a greyish mauve in the closet, and the guest room is gun-metal grey. I ask you, who does that? A grey bedroom? I'd cut my throat by February if I had to spend the winter in a grey bedroom.

But every painter in Stratford is working flat out right now. I must join the queue.


19 Aug 17 - 01:13 AM (#3872484)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Sounds like time to start painting. Our bedrooms are in shades of blue, picked by each occupant and painted by us ourselves when we moved in in 2002. It felt liberating to paint our rooms.

Is there a nude furniture store in your new town? They will have furniture made of real wood, not press-board or MDF, and you can paint or finish them yourselves. That's what I have in my office. Shelves that are proportioned right and are sturdy enough that even after 15 years of books there are no sagging shelves (like will happen with Ikea shelves after a while).

I finished one sewing project tonight, made of fabric remnants and a nylon grip/handle from an old pack (I think). The resulting item is a sleeve for a Amazon Fire tablet for my next door neighbor. When her house was recently on the market (for all of a week) someone who went through stole her Kindle that was in a bookshelf in the living room. Her son sent a new Fire HD, and it needs a case because it is kind of slick. I bought the same tablet on Prime Day and had already made a case for myself (and one for a friend with a smaller Kindle who wanted something more streamlined for when she was travelling). All three of these are made from an upholstery swatch. As small as these projects are, it's nice on occasion to sit down and make something useful.


19 Aug 17 - 10:53 AM (#3872559)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

This morning I modified that case - the handle was bulky, I took it off and added a piece of nylon webbing to hold the case closed. And though fall isn't here yet, as mentioned above, the new semester is, which is just about the same thing. It's good to be sewing.

My yard is ankle deep after a week of heavy rains. Time to get a workout with the mower.

I think we'll have no more rain till after Monday's solar eclipse - hopefully we won't have clouds either. Anyone else planning to step outside and see at least the partial eclipse? Are any of our readership in the path of the full eclipse?


20 Aug 17 - 02:14 PM (#3872789)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Some extra stuff is coming out of the freezers. I put in grains, pasta, various things that might grow weevils if they were simply put into a cupboard, so they get a good long freeze. Those can go on the shelf now. I'm also pulling out a ham hock, a bunch of chopped onions and peppers and tomatoes, a pound of beef to grind, and am going to make a double-size batch of beans to jar and freeze to take for lunches. I'll make a batch of rice this evening and keep it ready so the padded lunch bag can hold a 12-ounce jar of frozen beans, a container of rice, some fruit, and maybe some nuts for lunch and to tide me over for snacks.

Laundry is underway, including some area rugs. The big trash bin is lined with a bag to receive dust and dog hair out of the Shark vacuum for the trash tomorrow, and the kitchen table will be cleared so I can take time to sit down to eat breakfast, not just stand at the kitchen counter. The school year is ready to start, and it's more than students who have to prepare for it.


20 Aug 17 - 08:54 PM (#3872855)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Recently I have been involved in helping someone move and I have joined a local declutter group which is kind of fun with weekly challenges. With my current schedule, I don't have much time to devote to big chunks of time to declutter but I am slowly moving forward and seeing progress. My group is motivating but more so, the moving adventure....seeing purging actively happening and beautiful spaces occurring. I decided to start in our bedroom as it seems to be the most neglected...after all, we just sleep there...we don't use our bedroom for any other reason. Most recently I hauled out three 55 gallon sized bags of clothing. Buh bye. My closet is looking better...still a long way to go.

I did do some decluttering in the bathroom too but mostly it was organizing, changing up the shower curtain/rod with new curtains and towels. It makes it feel brand new. I'm hoping for a new floor in there by Christmas.

My Love to All,

Michelle


20 Aug 17 - 09:03 PM (#3872857)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Love to hear the progress at Charmion's! The room colours do sound horrific! It is amazing in it not the way we must arrange to do this so we can do that so we can... I am so glad to have Dan working away on things. I would like to be able to get house in order in my lifetime.

Maggie: screen house 10x10 is out behind the sheds on the edge of the beaver pond - for listening to pond sounds and hopes of seeing a bit of wildlife - beyond frogs! Also can be a summer guest house. And R's library 10x10 is up the hill a bit, about 50 feet from the house, in front of our wonderful outhouse. R has MANY books and this will have floor to ceiling and wall to wall shelves other than the glass door and the beautiful stained glass window, and the antique sewing machine which I was threatening to sell because I need storage space in the BR! we have not added anything to our little - pale yellow inside and out - house. We have done things in such a manner that we do not need permits. So, the studio is close to but separate from the house and now has its own walkway to its own deck which worked very well last week as I moved pots up and down on a baker's rack - to the kiln, back on the rack to the glazing area/deck and then back to the kiln, then packed into boxes, or, because not all fired, some still on rack.

So, I can walk out the back door on to an enlarged deck but mostly full of firewood - that was not used last winter due to broken ankle but will be there for this winter. The tool room/shed is attached to the house but only accessible from the deck. There is a walkway from that deck along the entry side of the studio to the newer 10x16 deck where the kiln garage is located against the end of the studio. A fair weather proposition, I can glaze out there as well. From that deck, it is about 30 feet to the back sheds, now well organized for storage and possible work space for larger tools. Backing up against the back-back shed is the screen house, hopefully to be completed this week, which I am very much looking forward to so I can sit in comfort outdoors, for a bit longer! It will have a lounge chair and swing chair hanging from the ceiling,a small storage cabinet, ... a solid roof with one translucent panel. I will, when energy appears, build a narrow board walk from the deck to the screen house so we can get there, and the sheds, without wet feet; there is often a few inches of water on the ground!

Unfortunately, on Friday I was bereft of energy and most non-essential activity has ceased. I am heading back to Keto diet but had only one small meal on F,S and 3 very small ones today. After a frantic call to Connie/health consultant on Friday, I am trying to only eat what the pendulum allows, and very little of that, sticking to only eating in one 12 hour period and not the other. And ignoring the hunger pangs.

During this, I did go on a great garden tour on Saturday to 5 wonderful local organic gardens, mainly veggies. Sharing ideas and comments with about a dozen terrific people helped my mental health. Having to accept help getting back up a hill did not, but it was the better part of valour.

I hoped today would be a potting day but NO energy and only a bit of decluttering/organizing happened in tiny spurts as the energy arose - and then disappeared. Maybe tomorrow?



Today, I picked the mature wax beans, about a quart. Will take them with me to Quebec this week. I shall be glad when they are done and I can pull them. I planted too closely and there are carrots growing in the under-story! The lettuce, not having been picked during this malaise, has bolted and I shall just let some of it go to seed. The zukes have not done much but, the beauty of a garden tour, others have had similar garden troubles this year.

The dahlia just started to bloom! And the pepper and tomato plants are looking happier but there is little time left for them unless we have a late frost.

Well, that is my treatise. I see I have repeated myself but too tired to edit. I am off to Quebec on Weds.


20 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM (#3872858)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Oh! Yes! Freezers! Our outside freezer is on it's last legs so we cleaned out a corner of the kitchen which was stacked with God only knows what and why it was there...it was kind of a catch all space and now there sits a lovely new freezer, one that I'd like to add is all organized! The freezer that is part of the fridge is yet to be decluttered and organized but we are slowly using up what is in there and then it is my hope to have 2 weeks worth of meat and veggies in there to just grab and go during our busy week....no more digging and especially no more digging in the freezer outside in the dark, rain or cold...YAY!

:) Michelle


22 Aug 17 - 12:57 PM (#3873159)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I can see the bedroom floor. Hallelujah!

But the six 4-cu boxes of office stuff that were cluttering the bedroom have merely migrated to the library, where they will continue to be clutter until I get my writing desk back from rehab, and convert the computer to wireless operations so I can move the computer desk out of the bedroom. Roll on that day; I hate the piercing little blue lights that blink all night from the CPU and the modem/router.

More Billy bookcases have been ordered from IKEA, but they will not arrive until 12 September. Until then, I must endure the continued presence of the many, many boxes of books that are still stacked up in the garage.

Himself went a little mad yesterday when he booked tickets for the Stratford Festival's hit production of "The School for Scandal". He clicked the "buy" button thinking that the rather high price was for both tickets, but no! -- it was the price per each! For a matinée! The final sum, including taxes, is by far the most we have ever spent on an evening at the theatre, even on Broadway, so those seats had better be the best in the house. I expect to be in the Royal Box, at least.


25 Aug 17 - 10:46 AM (#3873577)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Today is spent as a vacation day, anchored by a pet to the vet appointment this afternoon. There's lots of other running to do to declutter the "to do" list that sits on my kitchen counter. I should re-write it for the new year and put it back on the fridge. I did manage to work through a number of the chores, big and small, when it was there in plain sight.

There is mowing, canning, eBaying, sewing. . . all meant to remove, consolidate, repair, restore, create, stuff around here. A hurricane blowing through the region adds a little drama to anything done today and tomorrow, but hopefully it's just rainfall here, not high winds. The soil locally is totally saturated from almost triple our normal August rainfall, so that rain from the edge could possibly cause local flooding. Something I will keep my eye on since I live on a creek. My system isn't perfect, but I have a bin with my most important records, and would load the dogs, the papers, the computer electronics that can quickly be loaded, and head up the hill.


25 Aug 17 - 05:55 PM (#3873640)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Stay safe, Acme.


25 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM (#3873653)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Thanks! It's looking like a very wet weekend, at the very least. And this slow moving storm is going to dig a trench through the Southeast for the next week, they say. Our area has already had about 3x the "normal" rainfall this month and the creek was very high yesterday after a heavy downpour added an inch to the next door rain gauge. If we get another heavy rain it will push the water over the bridge and into the yards because of the saturated soil. And this was happening without a hurricane to the south.

I've cleared out and sorted stuff in my pantry shelves - canning jars get mixed up during the year, emptied, washed, then stuffed into an available box. And after a while you have half pints and pints mixed together and quart jars stuck in amongst the commercially canned goods. I only broke one jar this evening when I sorted it out (a plastic water bottle tipped over and pushed an empty pint off of the shelf. But the bottle of water is old and probably needs to be tossed anyway.)

Jelly this weekend.


26 Aug 17 - 09:40 AM (#3873721)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Several cases of canning jars are running through the dishwasher now. It begins . . .


27 Aug 17 - 11:19 AM (#3873888)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Hooray for a day at home! :)

First and foremost, I'm glad to see from you Maggie. Hoping you will fare well in the storms....we are watching from here. I don't think I told you but Pete's lab has moved and are now currently located in Austen. We were given the opportunity to move along with the lab but opted to stay put. At this moment in time, we are most thankful for NOT being in Texas!

I am spending the day getting ready for our work week and Jeremiah's first week back to school.

Keep us posted Maggie.

Much love to everybody!

Michelle


27 Aug 17 - 12:13 PM (#3873901)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Michelle, if you HAD moved down here I'd have been one of your first visitors from Texas! And if you do ever change your mind, consider this a stopping point on the way there.

San Antonio and Austin are getting really wet right now. And that storm is about four counties south of us - a 90 minute drive. Waves of heavy rain are passing over the house this morning (another one just started as I opened this thread.) Austin and San Antonio have a 100% chance of rain, San Antonio showing they have about 1 inch of rain so far today. Rockport, Texas, where it landed has had 2.7 inches so far today, with severe thunderstorms predicted this afternoon.

On Friday I was able to clear the grass out of all of the driveway cracks and trim along the curb at the street, but the lawn is still tall and getting taller, I haven't had a chance to mow. In weeks. My neighbors are retirees and have more of the week to choose from for mowing. I refuse to pay someone to mow my yard - I need the exercise, but if I haven't had a chance in the next couple of days I could have the guy who mows next door take a pass through my front yard as well.

Keeping all of the devices charged. If the creek rises to the house I'll load up the dogs and essentials and head up the hill to a friend's house. *Note to self - remember the dog food.*

I did two more batches of jelly yesterday. I just about ran out of jelly jars. That doesn't happen often. I need to send out notes to friends to return empty jars if they still have them.

Adverse times help you see your own resources and resourcefulness, but there is difficult, and then there is impossible. A friend in Houston has plans to put garden tools in her attic so she and her mother can punch a hole out to get on the roof if necessary. I'm lucky to be as far north as I am - we are likely to see flooding in this area, but hopefully this storm will begin to dissipate soon. I filled up the SUV gas tank on Friday, I'll make sure the back seat has the dog liner in place in case we need to depart. And if water starts to rise in the yard (it's a long yard - we'll see it coming) I'll move the furniture from the den up a few inches to the rest of the house. Fingers crossed I don't need to use the flood insurance.


28 Aug 17 - 09:23 AM (#3874029)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I have been reading about Hurricane Harvey in the Globe & Mail and the New York Times, thinking about Maggie and grateful that weather problems in the parts of Canada where I have lived most of my life tend to be manageable with a shovel and the patience to wait for spring.

Here in Perth County, the weather is beautiful, the landscape is bountiful, and living is easy. I have eaten fresh corn on the cob every Saturday (after farmers' market) since we got here, and the fruit bowl is brimming with peaches just coming ripe. The other day, we had our first dinner guests, a local lawyer and her son, and managed to put on a decent feed despite the limitations of the kitchen and the fact that two thirds of our cooking equipment and all our stemware are still in boxes in the garage. The cats are happy, alternating between long lap sits and flinging themselves around the house with a fine, free, careless rapture.

We have four bookcases coming from IKEA (due in two weeks), but we will need more. We left five ceiling-height bookcases behind at the house we sold, fearing that they would fall apart if moved again, so after the move we had less than half the shelf space we had in Ottawa. Five 90-cm bookcases, each with seven shelves, adds up to a shortfall of almost 32 metres of shelving! That's a lot of books that we can't unpack for way too long.

But we have now installed the basement shelving, a task that involved moving many, many, unfinished pine shelves and posts out of the garage and down the basement stairs, where Himself spent at least two days with a crescent wrench in his hand. Yesterday, I worked myself to a frazzle hauling their contents out of the garage and down to the basement, asking myself with each container, "Exactly why do we still have this?" The exception was the large collection of CDs, which I packed into specially designed plastic boxes -- 13 of them -- after ripping their contents to our iTunes library. If I parted with those, it's entirely possible that Himself would divorce me.

Then I spent all of Sunday evening rounding up three weeks' accumulation of recyclables, ending up with ten huge bags of recyclable paper (almost all of it packing material), and our two city-approved recycling boxes brimming with bottles, cans, milk cartons, and those clamshell things too many foods come in these days. That done, it was time for the actual trash, which came to three huge bags. Stratford has a pay-as-you-waste trash system, and I'm already out of bag tags.

So I can now see large stretches of garage wall and almost half the garage floor.

Sur avec la guerre, as they don't say in France.


28 Aug 17 - 09:10 PM (#3874095)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Mill:

Came down on Weds, stopped by Farmers Market and stocked up on good veggies. Did a glaze firing with what was left over from last time. ook the car for oil change and look-see. Nothing major EXCEPT the gear shift- it has been hard to get into reverse for months. Even the mechanic had trouble. They tell me nothing can be done - not even something expensive? I feel as though I am hearing for a new car! UGH! It is discomforting to wonder if I will get into a spot that I cannot back out of! R has no trouble at all!

The weekend of the Chateauguay Valley Antiques Association EVENT! Went on Thurs and claimed a lovely spot under trees. Weekend of hearing music from the nearby tent, where people sat on hay bales or brought their own. Antique everything -cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, trucks, people... Best weekend of the year - and NO rain! Sold enough pots to have 3 boxes left over when Geri and I packed up on Sun! More are put aside to take to a shop in Ontario and tomorrow I will stop at a shop on the way to Montreal and let Mary choose.

Then I will leave some here, on the shelves in the studio - a sampling. The rest - arrange a show space at Beaver. NO more shows - too much work. I am totaled today. Oops. Spent the eve on internet instead of assessing glaze materials to see what is needed. I am gearing down but not quitting. Plan to do open house sort of thing at both Mill and Beaver in October or November - before snow.

Glad to see that Mag is OK so far, and prepared! Charmion is slowly digging herself out! Nice to hear from Michelle - wow! a new freezer - may well save on the electric bill!


30 Aug 17 - 10:53 PM (#3874397)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Texas is a hot mess, no need to spell that out. Up here we were spared the storm - we were teased with lots of small, hard downpours from the fringe of the hurricane for a couple of days and then it retreated, and now Louisiana is getting the brunt of Harvey.

Gas prices are going to go up for a while, and I imagine the thrift store climate is going to change drastically. Sometimes people donate stuff that isn't needed and I suspect it ends up in the thrift stores if the rescue groups can't use it. It's better to donate cash to reputable charities at this point. Food is probably also going to be more expensive because so much of what we shop for comes through the port in Houston. My freezer is packed full, so I'll make a point to draw it down for a while.

I'm taking a few days off to work around the house, finish up some things on my list of projects I wanted to complete this summer, and my daughter and I will celebrate our birthdays (they are a week apart) with a lunch somewhere and maybe an activity.

Everything is incredibly unsettled right now. Being resourceful and flexible are important. The worst of the damage is several hours' drive south of here, but as people move out of the affected area, I will plan to find someplace to volunteer. I start tutoring in October, but that is one evening a week. This is twelve years to the day since Katrina hit. One of my dogs is was a big pup adopted from a local shelter on a "half-price" sale so they could make room to bring the Katrina rescue animals in. The same thing will happen again this fall.

So much to consider.


31 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM (#3874601)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

As far as I can tell, every gas station between here and my office is out of gas. I should have filled up this morning. Topped it off, to be more accurate, but it is projected we have about five days before gas gets out to the stations again (until after the Labor Day holiday), so conserving what each of us has is going to be the name of the game for a while. And the prices are going way up.

Looks like a quiet weekend around the house, keeping the fuel in the SUV for essential travel. Good thing I have a lot to do around here.


02 Sep 17 - 10:32 AM (#3874834)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Artificial fuel shortage aside, this part of Texas is going to be participating in the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort on many levels. We will watch and take our opportunities to assist as they arise. Right now the goal is to be self-sufficient and not draw on resources needed more urgently in the SE region. The magnitude reveals itself in everyday things - it's the first of the month, time to pay bills, but down there - how? And the mail. Soaked beyond recognition or washed away. A limited number of running vehicles are available (and a note to the wise - be very careful in examining the history of any used Texas vehicle you buy - anything that has been through a flood is going to have major problems even if it is "fixed up.")

I'm taking a few days off and have a long list of stuff to accomplish. I'm also taking a leaf from Katlaughing and participating in one of those monthly challenges that has come along. She wrote books during November; this month I'm doing the "Sober September," taking alcohol out of my diet completely* for the cost, health, and weight loss benefits. I went to a faculty gathering yesterday after work (a "First Friday" thing in the early evening, a chance to schmooze) and took two bottles of Topo Chico with me to begin the challenge.

The dogs need walking now that weather is cooling a bit, and the garden needs tackling. I need to dig deep in a front bed to remove the roots of vines that keep appearing. I'll help my neighbor manage her new Kindle tablet, and we are doing regular exercises with smart phones. Her son convinced her to trade in the flip phone and she hasn't completely figured out how some of it works. I take my phone over and we take turns calling each other so she can practice different features of the phone. (She's about 80 now, so her willingness to learn this new phone is an excellent sign.) I have lots of housekeeping and craft stuff to do in the house. I need to work on my back patio, make it more presentable and replace the missing beam on the patio cover.

*If any food in the freezer has wine, it's still going to be part of this month's diet. And if a dish being prepared absolutely calls for wine, I have some frozen in pint canning jars and can spoon out enough for flavor and not compromise my intent not to drink glasses of alcoholic beverages this month.


02 Sep 17 - 05:34 PM (#3874889)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I've been checking in and glad to see that you are still ok Maggie. I can't imagine the outflux of people and just how much that changes life in the outer communities.

Around here, the gas in PA has gone up some but more noticeably in NY state where for the last few months has been a good solid .25 to .30 cheaper than in PA. When I left work on Friday, it was just about the same as at the PA state line.

Pete and I spent time last night and today and put up 18 quarts of wax beans. Today we purchased 2 boxes of Roma tomatoes as our blighted out and will be making sauce tomorrow. I miss the time we have normally spent putting things up, it seems there just aren't enough hours in the day this summer.

I am so very thankful for the three day weekend....ok...for me, it's 3 1/2 as I got all my work done early this week. It's been a marathon for about 3 weeks now......so yep...I'm savoring this long weekend of nothing but family time! I'm thinking about repainting the living room....I think I'd like to go from the harvest orange color to a buttery soft yellow. It's been orange for almost 20 years now as it is a color Pete can see well and likes but I'm tired of it. Oh the possibilities!

But then there's sleep...glorious SLEEP! LOL I guess I'll go where my energy guides me. On Thursday night I slept from 7:00pm until about 5:00am....unheard of. I felt like a brand new person on Friday! So....maybe I'll paint and maybe I won't but it is fun to humor the idea for a bit!

Hope everyone is well.

Michelle


02 Sep 17 - 09:14 PM (#3874910)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I used the last of the fresh juice from this year's grapes across the road. One last batch of jelly - a couple of weeks ago I put the rest in the freezer for another time. I didn't buy tomatoes to make sauce or can, but I have gotten lucky at my favorite discount grocery - they have a mix - foods near their shelf dates, and overstock items stores discontinue. I found a bunch of organic Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes for less than half price from the neighborhood grocery stores. I agree - it's a wonderful part of summer to be able to put up your home-grown vegetables. Out of pure stubbornness I did a couple of tiny batches when I had a few extra tomatoes from the yard - you'll laugh - I have five half-pint jars of homegrown diced tomatoes. Just to have SOMETHING to show for the garden so far.

On the up-side, the plants are still going strong and there is a possibility of getting a fall crop. I don't see fruit set right now, but it's cooling off enough that it should start soon if it's going to. I still have a lot of last year's green tomato relish, so this year if there are tomatoes at time of the first frost I'll let them slowly ripen and use them that way.

It's time to get back to other indoor tasks like digitizing the content on remaining VHS tapes that I want to keep. It's a job done when you're at the computer anyway to monitor the real-time progress of the tapes. I take the old tapes to work and we have an e-waste bin for them. And in November I can get rid of some of the old hard drives around here, the university has a contract for the secure disposal of hard drives that are collected at an annual event.

Michelle, I had a long night of sleep like that last weekend - something stung me on the forehead (you may have seen it on facebook). I took Benedryl when I realized it might get to be quite a large reaction and ended up sleeping from about 7pm to 8am. Talk about well rested!


04 Sep 17 - 11:14 AM (#3875154)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Cleared out a bunch of Martha Stewart Living back issues from the magazine stand in the master bath. I stopped subscribing a couple of years ago, but have discovered that Amazon Prime lets me read the current issue free. I need to figure out how to print the screen occasionally, but this will work. There are other magazines I read and share and want more access to their web sites, so The New Yorker will stay a subscription (though I struggle every year to find a way to push the cost of that one down.)

I have a lot of seasonal items to list on eBay; for every time I mention needing to get started listing, I rearrange or cull things that don't belong in there, but haven't listed anything new, so the time has come. I did a lot of virtual decluttering (moving the contents of folders and one whole account) out of Photobucket, where I used to host blog photos and eBay photos before eBay made it free and easy to load them. Now I need to find a place to park those and fix some old blog posts and photograph and list eBay items. Going back and forth between a couple of tasks can sometimes keep me going longer.

The fitness tracker I bought last spring sprung a moisture leak and I haven't used it since late July. They will send me a new one when the next model comes out, sometime this fall. In the meantime to appease me they offered to send free a "smart" scale. I finally set it up this morning, and it talks to the house WiFi to get the weather. So I can see my weight, my BMI, and what the day holds as far as weather (though the report this morning must have been for Finland, no way those low temps represent Texas in September.)

Finally, I am heartbroken to learn that Nancy Zieman of Sewing With Nancy, a steadfast PBS citizen for decades, is dying of metastatic osteosarcoma or breast cancer. She didn't say which one, but she has been treated for both. Yesterday I put more leaves in my dining room table and pulled out a small comforter/quilting project I have been meaning to work on and spread it out. She taught so many people how to sew, and how to make art. This one's for you, Nancy.


04 Sep 17 - 09:37 PM (#3875230)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Eighteen more quarts of tomato sauce canned today, grocery shopping completed, lunches packed for tomorrow, laundry done, game time at my Mom's house and how does this fit into the decluttering thread you might wonder? I turned down a bunch of items Mom is getting rid of with the exception of a life jacket for kayaking and a hat that once belonged to my Nana. I'm not sure what it's called but it's not really a hat...it's more of a very interesting (and pretty) headband. It's a soft blue with netting and tiny white flowers.

Pete and I have plans of renewing our wedding vows and this matches my dress (yep....already have my dress). I think wearing something that belonged to my Nana would make that day all the more special.

So anyway....I left most of the items behind....which means less clutter coming into the house.

In other news, we have booked a cabin for a vacation next year. A real vacation! We haven't ever had a family vacation (Pete is very much a homebody) so I am WAY excited and even MORE excited because it was HIS idea! :)

I'm off to bed. It's back to work for me in the morning.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Michelle


04 Sep 17 - 10:55 PM (#3875231)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Mill:
Still here and wishing I were home at Beaver. Hope to get that car repair done in time to get home on Thurs so I can read the newspaper for the sight impaired on Fri. And be home! See what Dan has done! Hope the screen house is done so I get some use of it before cold weather sets in with a vengeance.

A trip into Montreal on Tuesday of last week, triggered the idea that maybe a Toyota dealer could help with the shifter problem. So I stopped at one on way back to Mill, made an appointment and took it in on Weds. They fixed the turn signal that two mechanics told me needed new parts - someone had done something wrong. They found the cable to shifter was "crushed" New one is on order - about $1000 but this is far better than a new vehicle. Waiting for part is what has caused me to be longer at the Mill; I had planned to leave last Thursday.

After making a few pots on Fri, I have not had the energy to trim them. Or to do much else. The use of kickwheel caused ankle to be unhappy and it is still not back to happy. I have gotten some small tasks accomplished: AC out of LR and back into storage area; repotted the Norfolk Island Pine into a 15" pot in hopes it will stop falling over. It is lovely but much too large for Beaver; it is a shame that I only get to see it here. The friend who has been watering the few plants left in sunroom cleaned the sunroom!!! Wow! So I was inspired to improve things a bit more.

The house in Montreal has gotten to much worse of a mess in my absence that I only stopped in long enough to pick up distiller and antihistamines. It is merely a storage unit. R has been spending 3 or more weeks cleaning out a 6 room flat and wood working shop that was a morass and some of that found its way to the house which is now a worse morass than usual.

I just wanna go home.


04 Sep 17 - 11:41 PM (#3875232)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Congratulations on the restraint and the renewed vows, Michelle. It sounds like the headgear will be perfect!

Dorothy, those various homes of yours - an embarrassment of riches sometimes, eh? Where will you spend the coldest part of the year? Back in Montreal? Or is the house at Beaver ready to be lived in year round?

I didn't accomplish much more than what I listed this morning. A very lazy day that included a couple of naps. I am set up for eBay tomorrow, all day if need be, to get all of this stuff listed. Oh - I did figure out what the scale was doing - it was set to "Center, U.S." - who knows why. Finally found the right screen in the app and fixed it. Smart devices - a help, until they're not. I helped my neighbor set up her Amazon Fire HD Kindle a couple of weeks ago - I was going to turn of "Alexa" (my automatic instinct), but it turns out she likes it, her son uses some of those devices at his house and she enjoys the machine banter.


05 Sep 17 - 09:49 PM (#3875416)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Mill:

Beaver Haven is MY haven. Really the only of the 3 that is comfortable in every way; wood stove, electricity, hot and cold running water, washing machine and oven that work. Cosy and bright with lovely views. And lots of friends in the area. Home on Thursday!

I am certain the house in Montreal could be considered unfit and as R is using it as a storeroom... Bleeech! Here, there is no water to the K and it has to be carried about 100 steps. I also collect rain water for washing, watering and distilling. There is heat. And the pottery studio - but my ankle still sore from Friday so nothing more has been done.

Today was warm enough and I had energy enough to some exploring/sorting in the storage area, finding stuff that needs to wait here until there is space at Beaver - or it gets sorted into keep and dispose. Gave Karen ( who works in the building and cares for the sun room) a jacket that I have outgrown. I LIKED that jacket; it has a good home. Packages are ready to mail to family members in USA but I am still not up to crossing the border to mail them in NYS where it is notably cheaper, and simpler.

Found the bathing suits! Oh well! They are going to Beaver to be put in a findable spot. They were still in suitcase I used when we went to San Diego five years ago! There really was not enough summer to warm the lakes near Beaver; maybe next year!

Ready to pack the car tomorrow after car repair. and leave early on Thursday.


06 Sep 17 - 09:00 AM (#3875475)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The kitchen contractor came to call yesterday. Bad news: he can't start work on our project until late October. Why, you ask?

Ah, now, there's the rub.

It would seem that there are people in Stratford who start ripping out their kitchen equipment before they are quite sure what is to be put in its place. Typically, these people tear at the fabric of their homes until they get a Big Brown Surprise, such as a joist where they had no idea a joist would be, and then stop, having created a mess they cannot get out of. Thus, they find themselves in a terrible pickle, with a great big hole where their kitchen should be.

Our kitchen contractor has two such clients, and he ever so sweetly asked us if we would be terribly, terribly upset if he got them out of their mess before he tackled our house because, after all, we still have a functioning kitchen, inadequate as it is.

Not wishing to start my new life in Stratford as an asshole, I said Well, okay, if that's how it has to be. Sigh.

He promised, honour bright, that our new kitchen will be fully up and running by Christmas. For sure, cross his heart and hope to die.

Resigned to limited capability for at least two months longer than we expected, I shall unpack the wine glasses today. No more making do with kitchen tumblers; I want my Riesling in stemware, dammit!

I can be such a princess.


07 Sep 17 - 12:23 AM (#3875588)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

That's too bad about the kitchen delay. My big cooking holiday is the US Thanksgiving (late November). There are things in my house I'd like to tear out (my fireplace, for starters), but I'd never do it without a plan and someone there to start work on it immediately.

Puttering this week, around the house, around the yard, and around town. I get enough vacation time now I need to take a fair amount off or I lose the hours, so I took a few days in a week with a holiday. The gas shortage was short-term, but the prices haven't come down again yet, there will be an impact on the state in many ways for a long time to come. I'm always pretty frugal, making several stops any time I drive. Three stops today.

Counting coups: shopping this afternoon I found a couple of very comfortable pairs of shoes in the clearance section at DSW (in the US at least it's a great shoe store). Green (50%) and Purple (70%) discount, plus a couple of coupons. I try not to build up a huge number of shoes; I have two pairs of clogs I never wear any more. They're in the shoe rack next to the side door (instead of in my closet) but I always manage to wear the rest of the shoes on that rack, just not these. So I think those are the ones that will go to Goodwill soon. I found two pair of flat walking shoes, one more sporty, the other business/dressy.


07 Sep 17 - 07:48 PM (#3875766)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

BEAVER!!!!
Ah, the smell of clean fresh air and the wonderful trees and hills of central Ontario! Trip back was fraught with a spell of very heavy rain just shy of get-off-the-road but it ended and the sun came out. The clouds were elegant! I made a survey of the grounds: only casualty was the wax beans, while the peas continue to flourish and may yet produce! One large yellow tomato that did not want to let go of the stem so I left it??? Maybe tomorrow. And the strawberries continue to produce but only one there for me!

I may have a surfeit of shoes I may never wear but I am not yet ready to belief that is so. I may be moved to wear a pair of dressy shoes for some incredibly special occasion...

The car is still full but all the food has been put away. The frozen stuff stayed frozen! (About 6 hours in a heavy styrofoam container.) I lighted the wood stove with tiny paper fire as it was 63 in here. I had closed the drapes lest it be too hot. The time has come to leave them open for solar gain! I opened the west ones about 3 but then it clouded over and then rained and then a bit of sun, then it went behind the hill. It was only up to 65, hence the fire.

Tomorrow there will be major finding places for stuff. The pottery... I was hoping the screen house would be done but still needs the screening. I will decide in the morning. A 6 hour trip is enough work for one day.

Any semblance of decent diet went out the window a week or so ago due to being stuck down at the mill with no energy and the foot still bothering me too much to do enough. Things I had hoped to accomplish did not come to pass. I do not do well with waiting (for the car part to arrive). But the car is now in good order; the finances- well it was cheaper than a new car! And it was worth going to the dealer as they really did know how to repair it when no one else did!

Life feels back on track.


08 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM (#3875895)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Oh, Dorothy, I remember that feeling so well -- surely, surely, I will wear nice shoes again some day! And I did, MUCH later than I expected, but then I went and busted the other ankle and it started all over again. And here I am, nearly thirty years down the road, pleased to be wearing sneakers with orthotic insoles rather than surgical boots for crippled people. Sigh.

Yesterday, I unpacked some stemware, the cassoulet pot, and a whole lot of cooking tackle, including the stock pot, the bread pans and the waffle iron. Proper cooking resumes immediately: I'm tired of not having ingredients!

I also sold (for a pittance) our official Baby Boomer kit: the stereo transceiver and all its associated equipment -- speakers, turntable, DVD/CD player and cabinet. In its place, we have a sleek new gadget: a Bose Soundtouch system that not only taps the iTunes library on our computer (wirelessly!), but also accesses the Internet to play radio stations from around the world. Right now, it's on BBC Radio 3, a reliable source of classical music, where I imagine it will stay for much of the time. Himself has found stations specializing in French and Welsh folk music, and it even pulls in the CBC from Toronto, which is no prize compared with BBC 3. Unlike the stereo, the Bose system is rather smaller than a breadbox, requiring only a small occasional table to sit on. Its sound is glorious.

Now, if only I could find someone who wants a VCR and a Hewlett-Packard printer that doesn't like Windows 10 and requires ink cartridges that cost sixty dollars.


08 Sep 17 - 02:36 PM (#3875947)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I use the receiver and large speakers to listen to radio, to music via the CD player, and to listen to the television and DVD player (both attached with cables). I should probably investigate the combination of bluetooth dongles and a smaller receiver that would remove wires and the need for a piece of furniture to hold all of those devices. (I could use the cabinet for something else, after I patch the holes in the back where all of the wires run through. I'm thinking it would move to the craft room.) What is the model of the Boze item you picked up?

Finally got some eBay listings up, and decided to ditch the last of the VHS tapes (people still buy them, but they don't sell like hotcakes). I'll scan eBay for a few as yet unlisted titles and see if any need a shot before they head out the door, but those that have languished in the listings can be unlisted and donated. I didn't buy any of these; they are the stragglers from the process of emptying old media from shelves around the house.

I've whittled down the backyard pile of branches by about 75%, in preparation for next week's bulky waste pickup. I've chipped a bunch (I quit last night when the mosquitoes discovered me still at work) and will finish this afternoon. A few of the thicker limbs that won't go in this chipper *might* get used for a homemade trellis in the back; another declutter regular has made some charming ones in the last few years. I still have to trim branches that are leaning over the roof; I don't want to drag them to the back yard so I waited to do the trimming when they can go straight to the curb.


09 Sep 17 - 10:38 PM (#3876216)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Progress today with branches now being moved out to the curb. The biggest ones this evening, tomorrow the rest. I stopped before the mosquitoes came out. I spent most of the day listing things on eBay. I pulled a few items that were listed and bunched them into batches in boxes with others and put them up for low prices. Some things seem to sell in lots better than individually. It cleared some shelf space and other things that are a bit more modern are also listed.

I saved a handful of branches from the baldcypress to try my hand at making a trellis. The others weren't as straight and aren't as good at lasting for a while.


10 Sep 17 - 06:29 PM (#3876396)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I haven't done much around the house this week as it's just been very busy and the house is in ok shape...so it's all good. I took Jeremiah on a surprise Mommy & Me trip yesterday to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He'd never been in a large city or an aquarium so it was all very exciting and he had a wonderful time, as did I. We walked around the aquarium for maybe 4 hours and then around the Inner Harbor twice...meandering in and out of places that got our attention. My FitBit tells me I walked about 11,000 steps and 11 flights of stairs. I'm a little sore today but I think it's due to the standing still looking into all the various exhibits than the walking.

Today I slept in and have been puttering at my own pace. I cleaned off one shelf of a 7 shelf high bookcase, did some cooking, cleaned off the kitchen table, put things away from yesterday's adventure and am getting ready for a full work week. Clothes are washed and just need to be hung up so I can grab and go in the morning. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week as I am just tired.

I had my port flushed on Friday after not having had it done for 12 weeks....it was a month overdue but thankfully worked just fine. I had basic bloodwork drawn and will have the tumor marker checked next time. My A1C is a little high, not bad but it's been better so I'll tighten that up. My thyroid is all kinds of out of balance...AGAIN....so it's no wonder I am dragging as much as I am lately. I'm hoping my PCP will change the meds without an office visit. I have no idea why my thyroid gets itself so out of balance but it happens periodically. I wonder what it feels like to have full on steam energy? It's been SO long.....I keep chugging along regardless...doing my best!   My family was very concerned when I took on a full time job telling me they didn't think I would be able to handle it.....silly people! ;) I AM tired but love my job!

I think Pete is going to take out 2 of the AC units as it's been nippy lately. I think summer will make a sort comeback but nothing we need the AC for, except maybe the bedroom as I like it cool in there.

Maggie, I could keep you busy with outside projects for a very long time......it soon will be yard work season for me. I don't do much outside during the summer as the heat makes me sick but these cooler days are perfection for me....now to get some energy!

I'm with you Dorothy...the city was a nice place to visit but I like the wide open space and fresh air of the countryside. It's always good to be home.

I hope everybody is well and has a great week!

Michelle


10 Sep 17 - 10:47 PM (#3876434)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Michelle, those kinds of one-on-one parent/child trips are so precious, and formative. He'll remember that the rest of this life.

I also slow down during the summer; usually the lawn is dormant during the dry and heat, but not this year. The weather was in the high-80s for the last week, not bad (all things considered).

I like cities in measured doses also. The thing about where I live, something my next door neighbor and I were talking about this afternoon as we leaned on our rakes in the very back of his yard, overlooking the creek, was how our neighborhood doesn't feel like a city. Though we're very close to two Interstate highways, this area is a creek bottom and there is an extensive greenbelt running through the area. Our yards have some of those woods and the creek, and it feels like we're out in the county, not in a city of a half-million people. We were talking back there because I had just finished with the loppers, pruning a pathway for myself along the top of the bluff over the creek. He was still dragging downed limbs from the yard out to the curb; I had finally finished moving my stack. We have enough room to let this stuff pile up for a while and still have plenty of space for everything else, but a stack in place for too long is going to become a habitat for mice and snakes, and the dogs won't leave either of them alone. I like the wildlife here, but try to keep most of it out of the yard so the dogs don't hunt them.

Large pile at the curb, tired feet on me. I've entered my foods into My Fitness Pal and though I don't have my fitness tracker right now (waiting for replacement with the next model), I can tell I had quite a workout. No knowing how many steps, but I probably would have hit 100% by mid-afternoon.


11 Sep 17 - 10:49 AM (#3876530)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Kinda bushed, myself.

Monday is garbage/recycling day in Stratford, so this morning I hauled a dozen large yard-waste bags and two 4-cubic-foot boxes stuffed with packing paper to the curb, plus a great stack of flattened cartons and the actual, you know, garbage. I can now count the 2-cubic-foot boxes of books remaining in the garage, and my heart sank when I did -- the number is 51. Plus two boxes of LPs and about half a dozen 4-cubic-foot china barrels full of fancy crockery.

The first load of new IKEA bookcases is due to arrive tomorrow, and Himself and I intend to assemble and move them into place ourselves.

On Thursday, if we're still married after the bookcase experience, we leave for the FSGW Getaway in West River, Maryland, which is about ten hours of actual driving (not counting breaks) from Stratford. From Ottawa, it was a mere seven or so hours, and could actually be done in one day if absolutely necessary, but a 10-hour drive has to be done over two days, especially when it involves crossing the U.S. border at Buffalo. I will consider our first day a success if we clear the Buffalo suburbs and find a flop before suppertime.


11 Sep 17 - 09:40 PM (#3876634)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Energy goes up and down - more down than up currently in spite of lovely "Indian Summer" weather. In the 70s for the next week quite a relief from cool and rainy most of "summer" interspersed with over 80 days! The screen house is almost complete - just a few pieces of molding to go - and I managed to vacuum the sawdust this eve. It is beautiful! Maybe tomorrow I will "move in", well a couple things. Need to find a wire brush - I know I have one! - to clean a cabinet, then paint it with spray paint left over from rainbow. I am quite enjoying the lounge chair on the back deck as the sun sets over the hill (6:30!); I cannot see that from the screen house as it is surrounded by tall shrubs - well shaded! We may decide to make a viewing hole but we hate to disturb more of the habitat as the idea is to be close to the swamp/beaver pond and the critters AND safe from the bugs!

Hoping Dan will be back tomorrow so he can help me put the swing back together - 3-seater with canopy so I can stretch out and read outside. It blew over, repeatedly, in the early summer winds and lost an essential piece. I finally figured out what to do. Then the lounge chair, and the four refurbished director's chairs, can go in the screen house. Should I call it a gazebo? It is not fancy but very solid and nicely built with 4x4s!

Took a few pots to the Art Gallery gift shop today. Now need to find a space to put the few boxes still in the car. I think of setting up a display area in the screen house. As the weather holds - a good time to start sorting through storage bins to see if I can part with some STUFF!

R picked some seed pods off some sort of locust tree in July. I put them in a pot and now have a pot full of 3-4 inch plants! Will re-pot tomorrow. And some other garden work. Only managing 0.1 mile on cycle! Ankle still hurts some. Last week I walked about 3 blocks and had to rest part way. No leg muscles left. MUST try harder. And losing it diet-wise (stupid!), I have gained at least 5#.


12 Sep 17 - 08:16 PM (#3876771)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver!
Te wonderful screen house is complete - even a nice step so I won't fall "head over teacups"! A doormat in place, some shelves for pottery, directors chairs. It would be kind of neat to paint a pattern on the floor - maybe! more tomorrow.

The modus operandi of my current life is: do a few little things - 15 min to an hour or so, rest for a while until my body feels like doing more. Poultice on ankle today finally dawned on me as a good idea and I arranged it to stay in place while I moved about!

Got my head around finding something to replace the missing spring for swing as no springs are available. Went looking and, at one place, "are you Dorothy?" Conversation with young lad of 31 whom I had not seen since his family were close neighbours - 1999! Tried to figure out how to get more line on the whipper snipper: Dan could not help! Went to Canadian Tire (CT) where I had bought it and no one knew BUT one of my fav staff from Home Hardware(HH) happened to be there and he DID IT! And now I know how. I did cut a little of the grass - more tomorrow.

One week to next cataract op so I hope to get some things done before I cannot bend over or lift more than 10 pounds. Maybe tomorrow I can throw some pots???

Read on the swing and enjoyed the peace of the evening until darkness brought me inside. Now to find an airbnb for next Thursday.


12 Sep 17 - 11:54 PM (#3876783)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I haven't been very good about taking the dogs for walks; we have a dog door in back and a huge yard, so in theory they get lots of fresh air and exercise and things to sniff and dig and such. But they love walks, and this week we've started up walking after work, before I feed them. Good exercise for all of us. It's unusual that it's this cool here (still just t-shirt weather, but it's in the 80s, not the 90s.)

I'd love to see photos of all of the work you're doing around the Beaver homestead, Dorothy.

Shopping at my favorite import store today I noticed the dairy section was bare, as were some other sections of the store. Hurricane Harvey strikes - they "didn't get the truck in" this week. It drives up from Houston, where so much imported food travels through. The olive oil delivery happened before Harvey, so the aisles are filled with cases of 3 litre bottles of various brands; at least I found the main thing I went for.

I'm intentionally using freezer stuff this month, opening the door to look around before I head to the grocery store, in an effort to clear out some before it's time to defrost again. I'm also trying to get back to the frugal program I was following successfully for a few months - until it all went to hell. Hopefully we're back to a couple of no or low-spend months.


13 Sep 17 - 08:40 AM (#3876837)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Five IKEA bookcases later, we are still married. We still have 51 boxes of books to unpack, however, and their contents to haul upstairs and down. My back and feet ache at the very thought.


14 Sep 17 - 10:13 PM (#3877151)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

OH my! And 51 boxes of books! bit by bit, I hope! I expect R to arrive next week with a bunch of his for the library. I expect the library will fill up truck load by truck load! I will NOT be a party to it. Looking around, I see enough of his books, on shelves in the house, that can go to the library and make space for those of mine still down at the mill.

I hesitate to post, on FB, pics of what we are doing, lest it be noticed by the local municipality. I do not think we have done anything illegal but one never knows. Need to take some up to date pics in any case. Maybe tomorrow before the rains begin again.

Yesterday I managed to varathane part of the back sheds and started spray painting the ugly doors with rainbow colours. The odour forced me to stop and I could not even sit on the swing (too close). Today I was tired and it was too hot to sit on the swing, also too hot for most of what I want to get done outside - and most of what I want to get done is outside! The screen house was cooler as it is totally shaded at present but the wood still smells strongly so I gave up after taking more pots in. Life is fraught with hazard! Sorted through a bag of winter clothes and found spaces for them, while putting some summer clothes in storage bin.

I see enough scrap lumber to make a 3 sections of board walk for the spring water between house and sheds and gazebo. The sections can be stacked out of the way when not needed. I can put them together myself - on a not too hot, non-rainy day! Thurs next is my cataract op so I feel a pressure to do what I can before the dreaded 3 weeks of no bending over and no lifting more than 10 pounds. Seems as though there is almost nothing that does not require bending over!

Flawless weather all week and a few more days! I am trying to use it wisely but the energy level is low. I managed to bleach some white cloths in the sun; worked great so I took them down today and removed the clothes umbrella from my line of sight.

I hoped to get a 3/4 mattress in Madoc - an hour away - but it was sold. Thinking I would be going to Madoc, I phoned a potter friend there and found his wife was picking up supplies so I arranged for her to pick up a few things for me! But now I need to drive down to pick them up. Maybe tomorrow. I did suggest to the nice woman, who had sold the mattress, that she visit the potters who are close walking distance from her home. She will tell them I sent her.

Two 3/4 mattresses near Ottawa on Kijiji so I am hoping at least one will be available when R drives up from Montreal in the truck. Twin bed is too small for two! I did browbeat him into taking time to get a futon for the house in M so we have a guest space. YAY! Love crossing things off the list! Our friend Paul is not arriving until Dec, if at all, but I did not tell R that; I just insisted that this needed to happen and I had finally found one that looked decent - for $60! A large quilt taking up space here will go to Montreal.


15 Sep 17 - 09:01 PM (#3877245)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

YAY! A day when I was able to spend more time doing than resting! Gazebo/pottery display has progressed. Grass edging has progressed and thanks to my lesson in how to advance the string, I actually was able to do it myself- LOTS of grass edging to do! More varathaning done but next section requires a ladder... A good day!

Tomorrow is a day of going here and there...


15 Sep 17 - 10:12 PM (#3877247)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After necessary errands I visited thrift stores today. I found a couple of things for me (tea mugs and a glass pot with two tea strainers in it - taped together like they were a set, but they aren't. My win, and only $3 for the pot and strainers.) And several things to sell on eBay. And a sewing machine for my daughter (who already has several but has created "stations" for the types of sewing she does, and this would have a place. A Viking workhorse, assuming we can get a cord for it to test it in the next couple of weeks. I can take it back if it doesn't work. The cord will probably cost three times what the machine did, and it will still be a bargain.


17 Sep 17 - 11:18 AM (#3877374)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I opened a package of batting today only to find it was rather triangular in shape, no good at all for the rectangular quilting project I have for the fall. Grrrr! It has been nice weather so I've worked outdoors when I can, but I'm setting myself up for cooler weather. More batting is now on my list to pick up.

I made progress with the eBay listings yesterday; the prepared packages do pile up (large ones on my bench next to the door, where I sit to put on my garden shoes) but once they're listed they eventually sell and head out the door.

Last week I bought several pounds of apples on sale and canned eight pints of applesauce. Another mudcatter (on facebook) suggested making it with just apples and not adding the usual sugar and cinnamon. That way I can use it for baking (substituting for a portion of the oil in some soda bread recipes, for example) and not have the cinnamon flavor when I might not want it. But I can easily sprinkle cinnamon sugar over a bowl of applesauce to give it the usual flavor of applesauce when eating it plain. I moved into this house 15+ years ago and for most of those years I've been canning garden produce. This is a singularly bad year for my favorite crop, tomatoes, so I'm compensating by finding other foods to process.

Other than these activities, I have the usual weekend chores. Preparing several dishes that I can use for lunches this week is typical, but since I recently made and froze a double batch of beans (frozen in wide-mouth 12 oz jars that salsa came in) I'll made a batch of rice and take rice and beans several times during the week.


17 Sep 17 - 08:38 PM (#3877445)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Yard sale yesterday netted a lovely cupboard for the screen house, roomy and an attractive antique that will display lots of pottery and be good for storage as well. Also two good solid book cases - not sure where yet, and a shelf unit with two grow light units.

Still some pottery to transport to the back - use wheelbarrow! I observed today that there are two "shelves" across the top of the gazebo - back and front - that will hold many pieces. It is looking quite nice with the director's chairs open.

Potted the tree seedlings, did some sorting, some spray painting (can only do it in very small bits to avoid odour. inch by inch...

Waiting for Chris Rawlings open house for organic apples and cider. Must check FB. Great visit with artist Arne Roosman - wishing I had wall space for one of his marvellous paintings.


18 Sep 17 - 04:17 AM (#3877479)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

This post equals two FB tips and a report on decluttered pillows and overnight case.

Tip 1-- the below is pasted from a very small FB group I set up for tracking wellness progress with closest friends and family-- a FB within my huge FB.

Tip 2-- the below paste reflects using pix to head threads, which can be easier to find later than thread titles.


The declut: items strewn in my computer corner and DR are now cased for removal to vehicle.

...

The Travel Logistics Thread

Remember this image to find this thread again in Photo's-- I will!

2017+ includes portability plans that will require at least my minimum pillowing kit to be permanently onboard. One key to maintain my mobility is able to totally let go for at least 5 hours sleep. Not every host has a recliner, or enough extra pillows to fully support my joints.

Since before 2012 I've been making my kits increasingly smaller. This one is the smallest yet: an overnight-sized airline rolling bag. A matching tote carries atoelan nightie, plus change of undies.

Inside are 5 small pillows of vairous sizes, a cushy kniteditem wth case for a 6th huggy pillow, and a pair of wadded-paper neck or wrist pillows with cushy chenille-sleeve wrappers. There are usually more pillows plus blanket in the car. Add 1-2 pillows with a host's bed (or 0 pillows but a good recliner), and boom!

We especially felt the lack of kit when we recently drove home from OH to PA (in August). Too tired NOT to stop but too few pillows be workable! OWWWW! :-(

The front pockets shown here are still empty-- room for a whole clothing outfit!


19 Sep 17 - 06:40 PM (#3877729)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

A few more little things done today - not a great deal. I drove to Coe Hill to give Arne some mineral capsules and stopped at once-was-a- hardware store for a bowl of nice thick soup and a thick piece of home made bread. Yum. Then at the Mercantile to see Lillian but her mom died on Saturday so she was on way back west - Manitoba. Feeling low all afternoon - sad for Lillian whose Mom was quite ready to leave but still hard for L.

Also frustrated as I could not find the supplement order list. Then the internet would not connect so I put the computer into a carrying bag - THERE was the list! and off to Tim Horton's for a bowl of soup. And to order the supps. Also did not feel like eating anything in the house... May feel like doing a couple more things in the house when I get home...

Oh yeah, not looking forward to cataract up on Thursday - not that it is bad but the frustration of not bending over and not lifting for 3 weeks... And add on a day that it is heavily not getting around to actually raining. And add on wondering what time R will get here tomorrow and will he manage to pick up the new-to-us mattress without which it will be an uncomfortable weekend! SO - not much done today!


19 Sep 17 - 10:36 PM (#3877745)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Good luck with your recovery from that second eye surgery, Dorothy. This time I'm sure you'll have prepared for a larger range of activities you can do while restricting your motion.

This evening I was going to work on eBay, but when I realized a note about an item to list was lost in the clutter on my desk, I decided instead to clear the stacks and file the stuff on my computer desk and on top of the file cabinet. Wood is now visible and in the process I found a couple of things I've been looking for, and things I forgot I needed.

wysiwyg - a friend of mine apparently travels with a small pillow for getting comfortable with the hoses she wears at night from her oxygen machine. I found one in the guest room and figured it must be hers. I think she makes them herself, and they compress down to nothing to go in the luggage, but are helpful for propping the O2 line. I'm keeping it for her next visit, she apparently has a lot of them. When you're thinking about service projects, making pillows may be something to add to your list.

Weather dried out and are hoping for some rain next week. I'm finally getting the dry grass that doesn't need to be mowed very often. My vegetable garden is finally starting to produce, there are green tomatoes and a couple of eggplants in view.

Charmion, how many of those boxes of books have you unpacked so far, or will they wait until more renovations are completed?


20 Sep 17 - 01:26 PM (#3877862)
Subject: The one about the sideboard
From: wysiwyg

First pirce of stay-forever furnitute unloaded and installed in Ohio: Greg's beautiful sideboard. Was I right, how I envisioned it the day I bought the house? Duh, YEAH...

Its position allows the front door (with coats hung on it) to open fully. Space between sideboard and wall facilitates storage of flat items, and the adjoining window's curtain drop. After its rain-dampened masonite back fully dries, I'll swap in the green/blue cloth cover from the previous divider which married the LR/K colors (open concept). It needs a cover for the back which faces into the LR

The sideboard replaces two previous items that combined to be a few inches wide, and about a foot shorter. It's been a great 'landing' zone, so this turns out not to be a good spot for a really tall item (such as the whole tall china cabinet we thought of for that spot.)

It's helpful to see one of the larger PA pieces that will eventually be here... many pieces bought for a house w huge rooms, in a double-wide-type footprint? Maybe.... if I can get used to them one at a time. They hold wonderful memories!

Anticipated use: power tools until we're here fulltime (when they'll move to the garage); then large serving-ware. Now and also then, landing zone or buffet for company meals (whether in kitchen or LR or both).

Boy-unloading time: 2 young men, no dolly, 15 minutes untarping to placement.


20 Sep 17 - 07:54 PM (#3877901)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I haven't done much cleaning out at home but I have at my office! I have been working in an interior office with no windows. I fixed it up nicely and it's been going ok. Recently, however, I was bumped up and found myself with a nice office space with a large window! I have an awesome maintenance man who took out the desk that was in that office and moved in the desk of my choice, he moved my bookcase and even helped me lug the boxes of binders/manuals, etc. I am pleased to report that my office is ultra organized, homey with Jeremiah art and a quilt hanging on the wall and a nice chair for those coming into my space. No clutter. I have a HUGE bulletin board that I have covered in fabric that nicely picks up some of the colors in the quilt. The window has a large interior window sill and I have flowers there and some seasonal pumpkins too.....I love my work space!

Love to everybody!

Michelle


20 Sep 17 - 09:09 PM (#3877908)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

As I sit here (9 pm) wondering when R will arrive - and we have to leave for hospital at 7 am... I am delighted to read of Michelle's new office!!! and Susan's delight in her forever piece of furniture.

And, no, I have not done all sorts of things to make life easier as I have been in get out and push mode for days now. Well, I washed hair this aft as it will be 3 weeks before I can do that! And did laundry this morning so that is DONE! And all the "hatches" are battened down, as I "accept" that nothing will be done for 3 weeks, unless R does it.

I also broke down and bought a fancy duster at the hardware store for cobwebs and floor dust, and used it to clear up some of the house. I really did not have the energy to vacuum but this was a great improvement. It is actually my great fear of dust (allergy) and the discomfort of the respirator and having to leave the house until the dust settles... More trouble with fall allergies this year than in many years - maybe that is part of the cause of my slowdown!

The good new is that using a saline nasal wash has almost eliminated the chronic cough that has plagued me the last several years. The Dr. was quite concerned that I not cough while she is operating on my eye! But the anesthesia stopped the cough for 24 hours!

I have discovered that the outdoor cabinet by the front door, planned for storing pottery which is now in the screen house, is a good spot for things going to the dump or thrift shops.

I am hoping R can fetch the things bought last Saturday at the yard sale and get them into place. BUT I will not be able to organize until the 3 weeks is up.


20 Sep 17 - 09:18 PM (#3877909)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

[window envy] I work in a dark cold basement. Lucky you! And the office sounds charming and relaxing for any clients who visit. It seems it wasn't that long ago that you took up quilting - you've come a long way with it, to have spares to use for decorative purposes!

I'm doing some virtual reorganizing this evening. My mp3 player lost it's mind overnight so I loaded the last file of the mystery I was close to finishing in my phone for the drive to work. During the day I visited the public library web site and I have a library audio download in my phone and tablet now, and I've hopefully set up so my programs sync information and I can read books on different devices and each one knows where I stopped last, regardless of what I was reading on. (That's the theory.) I've also formatted the mp3 player and I'm reloading some books back into it.

Dorothy, have we discussed neti pots in these threads? It would soothe your nose and throat, but having to lean over the sink to use it might not be recommended, unless you're very careful.


20 Sep 17 - 10:28 PM (#3877915)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Maggie,

I'll share some photos on FB tomorrow evening so you can see. The space just makes me happy.

Michelle


21 Sep 17 - 07:15 PM (#3878049)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

A friend of mine has a job interview in central PA - I was telling her about you. Got a little teary-eyed in skimming over some of the high and low points. :) Looking forward to those photos.

I stopped in a fabric store this evening on my way home from work; I've meant to for a while. I didn't have anything in particular I needed, I just wanted to look. They have all cotton and it's intended for quilting, though of course people come for fabric for other things as well. They have lots of large tables with cutting boards inset for working and teaching. Looked interesting!

Dorothy, drop us a line to let us know when you are up to it after that second surgery. I'm sure you'll be very happy to finally have that out of the way.


21 Sep 17 - 09:20 PM (#3878063)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio...

Another stay-forever piece is now in place-- a thick, off white 8 x 9 carpet from the PA guest room (a FreeCycle score) fits the guest/sewing room here POIFECK. The door even opens over it. Can be rotated to ensure even wear.

Hardi and I discussed our thoughts for that room when we were here for vacay in August. He envisioned it completely differently and had a much better idea. So today the mockup of his Murphy Bed idea began, as follows.

The departing housemates left us a neat Craigslist twin headboard w shelves/cubbies, that will fit between two of our matching bookcases. Above these, a shelf with a clothes rod under a wooden valance will stretch across the whole wall-- with the curtains (hung on the rod) covering the bed when it's up (or flanking the bed when it's down).

The headboard is a tad too deep, relative to the bookcases, so it will get its back 1/3 sliced off, and most of that hung for more cubbies above the other 2/3.

With this rig, we can use every inch, right up to the ceiling, on that wall. Even with the bed down, Hardi's grandmother's antique sewing machine will fit as his sewing table, at the foot of the bed, like a footboard.

One hour kid labor. He learned all about assembling Hollywood bed frames.


23 Sep 17 - 08:51 AM (#3878319)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio

The more dangerous aspects of the opioid epidemic are emanating from the next Big City south of the town we're retiring to. Past helper Jeremy died in it, in June, and the neighborhood (and whole town) is showing a real uptick in home invasions just since the first of the year. So a re-purposed group of PA item is a one or more trail cams, cleverly placed in house and garage, a baby monitor so I can announce warnings to 'visitors' from the bedroom, and toddler door alarms. I moved the dog's crate to my bedroom area to be able to release her in case of intrusion.

I'm also seriously considering adding a dog-strength hotwire to the exterior security lights, to supplement the 6 neighbors keeping eyes and ears out.

Because I don't want any burgling help decluttering our retirement place! :-(


23 Sep 17 - 10:29 AM (#3878326)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

It has been a hectic but interesting workweek, the kind that leaves you all fired up and ready to move into the next week with enthusiasm and interest! :) However, that doesn't mean I'm not ready for this weekend! ;)

In just a few minutes we are off on a new adventure to pick concord grapes. Our grapes have done well this year and there are more to come, however, we are going to be making our own grape juice and jelly this year (and maybe a few grape pies...never have had them but would like to try) so we need a very large abundance of grapes! Homemade grape juice sounds amazing to me! :)

I cleaned the kitchen last night so it's all sparkly and ready for us to get busy with the canning process. Jeremiah loves to be helpful in the kitchen so it makes this a true family adventure and something that we all love to do. :) I am looking forward to the rest of the day...now if Pete would just hurry up and get out of the shower so we can GO! LOL

Have a good one everybody!

Michelle

PS. We recently put our log cabin on the market. We bought it over 20 years ago as a place to go on the weekends to get Pete out of town as he hated living in town. We have been on our homestead for 19+ years now (and far from town) and rarely go to the cabin. We don't have the time and besides that, we are content to stay right here when we do have the time. :)


23 Sep 17 - 04:41 PM (#3878397)
Subject: When is a buy not a clutter? And Cheyenne plan.
From: wysiwyg

Ohio...

When is a buy not a clutter? When it works like this:

In a girl-power, swamp-skills home security plan, four long-wanted plant hangers spotted at Walmart-- destined for PA soon and Ohio forever-- make a great storm-door noisemaker until the beer cans and battery-powered door alarm chimes arrive. ;-)

The framework for the new security plan is, "Pray AND tie your camels. Then, LIVE." See me FMI.

Just-concluded: neat paid home security backup arrangement w nextdoor neighbor Marie/Joe's adult daughter Cheyenne, who lives at home, works, and goes to kollidge. I've met her several times around the driveway, and she is the soul of sweet manners, with strength. She's thrilled to park in the driveway and tour hse/garage weekly (or if concerns noted). Has pitty puppy.

Unless her parents rescind:

".... this is Susan. Greg contact info 4 checks or worries is xxx.xxx.xxxx. Unless ur folks rescind our arrangement, a small monthly check (up to 50) will arrive whether I'm here or not. (50 would incl weekly garden hose on/off.)

This month I'll b away xxxx, and u can tour house (every rm) to see what 'normal' looks like. (Are also pix in FB album if u want to friend/see.) The door alarms will be set on 'chime' mode if they arrive in time.

In Oct I hope hse security is good enuf to visit MIL xxxx. Door alarms n trail cams we discussed def up by then. I hope to depart for PA Nov. Xxxx and return in xxxx. Snow/lawn care via xxxxx's Svc except driveway.

The patio is available at any time for dog training/play, if Newbie not out there, or supervised w Newbie by advance arrangement. She can be a problem if not tied. (She boards when I'm away.)

When u can, pls copy ur drivers license 4 our records? The storm door makes a good mailbox.

Thank you!!! Last long msg I promise!"


And all the free laundry she cares to do here instead of at her crowded small house next door.

~S~


24 Sep 17 - 11:00 AM (#3878498)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The boxes of items listed on eBay are neatly stacked, available to add a packing slip, tape closed, and transport out of the house. I may have to tweak some of the "Buy it Now" prices to move them out, but a couple of weeks a visibility is often needed before things start moving.

I was looking for an article (one I printed it out, it's around here somewhere, I'll find it when I'm no longer looking for it) and found this, possibly even better one when I did an online search: The Tyranny of the Heirloom. It might be of interest to our active and passive readers. I'm slowly moving stuff out of the house that my kids have no interest in. I learn about the family I never met through some of these things, them let them go to new homes.


24 Sep 17 - 01:42 PM (#3878523)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Thanks very much for posting the link to "The Tyranny of the Heirloom". I feel better now about my fancy inlaid tilt-top table, a piece of 18th-century English elegance sitting uneasily in the lounge of our 1970s Canadian suburban house.

It was the star of my great-grandmother's parlour, tricked out with lace, silver and delicacies for her weekly Thursday afternoon "at home". When my grandfather was little, circa 1887, he was allowed to sit at that table to polish off the delicacies when the last guests had departed. It is made of mahogany with a tripod base and a top inlaid with pearwood to form a picture of a basket of roses surrounded by a wreath of laurel. With a diameter of 40 inches and standing just a little lower than a standard dining table, it is not suitable for routine use as an eating-off table, but it is great for parties where people help themselves to nice portable snacks set out on plates. But 21st-century people don't have the discipline of their great-grandparents and don't know how to behave in the presence of fine furniture, so I must either protect it with padding and a liquid-repellent cover or cringe whenever a guest (especially a child) approaches it with a glass in his/her hand.

I inherited it in 1992, when my father died, and for 25 years I have arranged the sitting room furniture around it. My father believed that it is valuable, but I know very well that furniture -- even genuine Chippendale -- is worth exactly what one can persuade a customer to pay for it, and Canadians aren't eager to buy furniture they have to be careful with. There are days when I feel stuck with it. And then somebody new will come to the house and say, Wow, what a beautiful thing! So I guess if I'm going to be stuck with something, I shall be grateful that it's not only occasionally useful (with padding and an oilcloth cover) but also beautiful all the time. If I part with it, even for a towering price, I must also part with the ghost of a little blond boy in an Eton jacket scoffing shortbread off a Limoges tea plate, and I just can't do that.


24 Sep 17 - 02:55 PM (#3878537)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

If you have a photo of the object with loved ones around it, I think you'll find that you still have the stories - because that's what this item is, after all - a mnemonic device to remember family stories and loved ones long gone. If you watch something like Antiques Roadshow you know the market is way down for big, dark antiques. This may change in the future, but for now, we live with these things or we decide that getting rid of them as time allows spares our children the chore in the future.

It's too damned hot this afternoon for mowing. I was going to at least do the trimming but the spool cap wore through and needs replacing. #ItsAlwaysSomething


24 Sep 17 - 05:48 PM (#3878552)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Our parish has hosted an annual Antique Show for almost 50 years, with 15 dealers for each show. The ones still motivated to come report that the whole industry is dying; antique shops in area PA towns are closing and no longer a big tourist draw; last I heard we were down to four dealers interested for this year.

It's kinda gross to think that the crap we get now at Walmart will be 'antiques'-- much studied and valued-- when the industry revives. Just look how 'midcentury' mishmashes show up now on HGTV-- 1948-ish - 1968-ish all mixed like they might have been in a 1970 starter home, as high decor.

???


24 Sep 17 - 10:01 PM (#3878570)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

R arrived at 3 am. I was too worried to sleep. We were up at 6:30 to leave at 7 for the hospital-- where there was a hold up and I did not get op until after noon. The idiot anesthesiologist did differently than the last one and I was wiped out for two days, thereby missing out on my much anticipated supper; I was in bed from late aft when we finally arrived at airbnb until morning. Cheryl was very sweet and tried to give me good soup but I could not eat it. R did.

The drops seem to affect me so I wake up feeling well but go down hill. The heat contributes! Happily, the house stays OK - we spent the aft inside! And cools off before bedtime with doors open. Love those screen doors!

We did get home in time Friday to pick up yard sale items and 3 of 4 are in their homes - a shelf unit with grow lights in the bathroom where it will be kept warm when I am not here; one bookshelf in the studio and the antique cupboard is beautiful in the screen room, a lovely space and totally shaded so cooler than the house. Great display area for pottery. A wonderful addition to our lives.

R is thrilled with his library and has moved some piles of books out there!! It still needs the flooring and many shelves, and a rail for the ladder.

We did stuff around the house Sat am and then went off on a studio tour - good to be in AC car when the heat hits! Fun day concluding with some exploring of back roads. Today organizing, etc in am and late aft. The heat... Also, R is still tired from the work he was doing in Montreal 12-14 hour days for several weeks. He is happy to be here. So am I! We sat outside on the swing in the cool of the evening and breathed in the delicious air. And R noted that he never thought he would ever just sit and swing! YAY!


25 Sep 17 - 12:07 PM (#3878657)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My pet peeve today: stores that sell products but that don't support the commonplace repairs those products may need. As mentioned before, the spool cap from my Homelite electric trimmer finally wore through, sending string into a huge tangle. I headed to Home Depot to pick up the replacement, but accidentally got the wrong brand and it doesn't fit. My only remedy is to order the correct one online, arriving next week. The trimming will wait, I'll mow, but this is a common brand and you'd think they'd keep more than replacement string.

Fall allergies are making their presence known via headaches and a lot more sneezing. And the weekend was weird - everyone from Texas to New Hampshire and lower Canada seems to have been upset by much warmer than usual weather. I spent most of the time working indoors on eBay listings. I've listed a number of items of different types, I don't generally specialize. I have disturbed some dust in the process, so I suppose that could also contribute to the headache.


25 Sep 17 - 11:17 PM (#3878735)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
warm weather and allergies! YEP! took more chlorpheniramine maleate than in a long time. Careful not to raise dust to add to problem.

Neti pot: what I am using is similar; does the job without being authentic. Works great as long as I remember to do it at least twice/day.

I have recovered from the idiot anesthesiologist's failure to listen and comply but the heat has slowed down both of us. We work early and late and stay in the cooler house in the heat or go out in the AC car.

New mattress is great! The frame and rather nice head and foot will go back to Montreal - too much clutter for our tiny BR. Freezer is repaired and will go to back shed until needed.

Library is gaining books; house being de-cluttered! I will have room for some of mine which I will bring back next trip to the mill. Amazing owl photo bought on studio tour is framed - all we need is a piece of wall on which to hang it! Maybe on the solid wall of screen house.

Pottery studio is much better with the "bookcase" shelving! I hope to get back to doing some work soon - as long as I do not bend over and do not lift more than 10#! Hoping to try some different patterns of glazing.

R leaves tomorrow and will take some stuff with him to further de-clutter back shed.


26 Sep 17 - 09:12 AM (#3878801)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

It's still hot as the hinges of Hell in Stratford, but relief is on the way: Environment Canada prophesies the arrival of a new front this evening, bringing rain tomorrow and a high of only 25C (!), followed by a sharp drop in temperature to something far more typical for late September. One can only hope.

Himself started work as a Legal Aid duty counsel today, so he set off this morning in his official lawyer's grey suit and shiny black shoes to walk the 2.5 km from home to the courthouse. That's not much of challenge at 0800 hr, but by mid-afternoon the thermometer will be around 31C with humidity to match, and that grey suit will be some wilted by the time he gets home.

In the car the other day on the way to Canadian Tire (this time for toolshed shelving), he remarked that we are now in the final stages of the Moving to Stratford operation, and now it's time to shift the focus to Living in Stratford. To that end, I joined the local concert choir, and attended my first rehearsal last night. It was held in a stifling hot Protestant church in the company of a squadron of stable flies (country town!), and everybody soldiered through stubbornly, swabbing sweat from brows as we sight-read our way through four movements of the Fauré Requiem and a selection of short pieces suitable for Remembrance Day. I think I will fit in just fine.

Meanwhile, some 35 two-cubic-foot boxes of books still sit in the garage along with seven china barrels with the fancy crockery and a couple of cartons of LPs. In the basement, access to the furnace is blocked by a stack of crated pictures that must be moved (and, preferably, unpacked) before the furnace can be cleaned. I would bet serious money that the people who sold us this house did not have the furnace cleaned in the spring -- who does that? Well, I did, back in Ottawa, but then I (ahem) failed to do it the previous fall.

But the china barrels have to stay right where they are until the kitchen project is finished (forecast for late November), and the books are waiting for yet another delivery of IKEA bookcases, due on 3 October. By the time we have finished filling this house with bookcases, we won't have much room on the walls for pictures. So it goes.


26 Sep 17 - 11:52 AM (#3878841)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, how do you organize your books?

My father kept a three-ring notebook with typed and handwritten pages in his car. He was always stopping at bookstores and used book stores and wanted to keep track of what he'd already read. The list was long; I sold a lot of mysteries from his estate on eBay and they often went as sets because he would get every one from his favorite authors. I also like mysteries, but decided I would do better to clear out the huge volume of books and if I choose to read these authors at a later date, I'll get them via the library or interlibrary loan or online. Nowadays there are sites like LibraryThing that Katlaughing used, and GoodReads, probably an independent company at one time but now owned (to no surprise) by Amazon. It lets you transport the list of all of the books you've purchased into GoodReads (you can choose whether they appear or not, and mark them read or not.) I suspect he would have enjoyed keeping track of his books that way. And in order to know I'm getting my books in the correct order, I use Fantastic Fiction, a site out of the UK that I discovered when I was selling those books.

I've thought about using LibraryThing to keep track - I think you can get a lifetime membership for a fairly low cost, then catalog all of your books by ISBN. When I organized my front room last (one 14' wall is floor to ceiling books) I pulled them all off of the shelves and used the large tiles in my den as an organizer. One tile for As, the next for Bs, and using a couple for letters that had more last names (S, T, M, etc.) I was able that way to look at each stack and cull the duplicates. But it doesn't give me a list of everything, just one of everything.


26 Sep 17 - 05:43 PM (#3878889)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Somber day here. Some of the items I'm listing on eBay, while they perfectly well need to go there, cause a bit of a wrench because they belonged to Dad. And it's not so much that, I've sold lots of family estate things with barely a twinge, but I realized that I'm coming up on the 20 year anniversary of his death. Intellectually I know that time has passed, but I lost both parents within six months, so that period from November 1997 to May 1998 was really tough. But like I mentioned above about keeping photos of objects instead of the objects themselves, I have kept the things that really do mean something. My house is filled with things that both parents sent over the years, and with things received after they died. I've told my kids a lot of the important stories. As I list several small cassette recorders and players (Dad was a packrat when it came to buying and keeping electronic stuff) I remembered that my mother gave me a cassette player of hers (even though I had several of my own) with the admonition that I record family stories for my children. So this going through stuff, decluttering, and passing it along has meaning. I need to keep telling the stories to my children. So I'll sell these little recorders but maybe take my time in passing along the one Mom gave me with those specific instructions.

A local radio call in program today had a guest who has written about how distracted we are by devices, and how creative our brains are when they are in fact a bit bored instead of always engaged with stuff and apps. She suggested driving with the radio off, without listening to the recorded book. To see what occurs during that time, of giving oneself an assignment for that time to think about something. Those stories to do with things, with people, would be a good starting place for each of us.


26 Sep 17 - 10:32 PM (#3878908)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
WOW! I have virtually nothing from any, long gone, parents. My ex managed to lose anything of value. I think about asking sons if there is anything they want but I SO doubt it. Taun has most of the family albums and I hope he shares. I never meant to leave them but he was not through with them... He does have a beautiful table, from the U of Toronto Library, and an antique rocking chair I left with them. I still have a desk, replica of the one used by Dickens; it came with a house I bought and I am ready to let it go but R isn't! He wants to build another library - for me and my desk!

Robin is SO thrilled with his library and I am thrilled to have some space cleared in the house and room for my own books when I bring them from the mill. I expect he will be bringing some of his next trip. But, a record of any sort will not be happening! I try to keep a loose leaf up to date of the novels I have read - so I don't read them twice! I only keep non-fiction that I have read and want to look at again.

Never listen to a radio - in car; father said it would distract from driving- or at home - too noisy; I prefer the sounds of silence - wind, rain, birds, spring peepers... I do great thinking as I drive. Dare not sing as my foot gets heavier on the gas pedal!

R went back to Montreal, leaving about 3 pm after totally re-organizing the back shed, getting the freezer and BBQ out there, winter tires accessible and the bookcase that will take the place of the sewing machine in my BR when there are enough bodies to move it! And storage bins more accessible so I can spend some time/energy trying to sort and, hopefully, discarding.

Feeling better in general and, with the temp due to go down, hope to get some good stuff done. The studio is organized for working!

Went to horticultural Society mtng tonight and asked for help getting rid of the yellow sort of iris (not bearded) which I have not been able to get out of the ground! They offered to remove and pot for next spring's plant sale! I will print out the photo I took of the blooms. I took my largest cabbage for the "competition" but it is "flat" and not at all like the other ones. At least 15" in D, it is good for a month of meals! And there are 3 more! And someone is to come Friday to collect some strawberry plants.


27 Sep 17 - 10:07 AM (#3878959)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Hi, Acme: You asked about how we organize books around here.

Substantial ranks of bookcases are located in the basement recreation (i.e., TV-watching) room, the largest bedroom, the study, and Himself's office. Books are distributed according to where one would be most likely to want to read them: fiction, British history and cookbooks in the basement, which is accessed from the kitchen and has two sofas; crime and law in the office; music, editorial reference, military theory, and Canadian, American and European history in the study; and essays, poetry, and Himself's substantial collection of Victorian and Edwardian children's books in the bedroom. Modern children's books (C.S. Lewis to J.K. Rowling) are in a small bookcase at the top of the stairs, where young relatives can find them easily.

Fiction and essays are organized alphabetically by author. History is more or less chronological, and because we have so many of them, books on military topics are shelved together, again more or less in chronological order. So when you're looking for a book about the battle of Shiloh at our house, it helps to know that it happened before Gettysburg. Poetry is also chronological, with anthologies shelved together.

We have one other small bookcase, in the guest room, and travel books will probably end up there.

It's more of a set of conventions than a system, but it works for us.


29 Sep 17 - 08:52 PM (#3879394)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I cleaned out my car...all vacuumed and washed. :) Other than that, I haven't done anything other than normal chores around the house this week. It IS, however, the weekend! :) We have plans of going to a pumpkin farm that has become a family tradition. Frankly, I love the family time but would prefer to stay home tomorrow so I can putter around here (is it bad that I hope the predicted rain comes so I can do that? We scheduled a rain date.......).

All is well. I hope it's well in your part of the world too.

Michelle


30 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM (#3879467)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My system here works well enough that when a friend comes to town at the last minute the guest room is ready to go. This wasn't always the case. There are a couple of oddball chairs in the guest room and I'm reminded that I've been meaning to take a class on upholstery to redo them, but that's a minor issue. What's really nice is to know that said guest, who is zonked because she didn't sleep well the night before, got a really good night's sleep in there.

Lovely weekend, so many things to do. The new cap for my string trimmer arrived yesterday so that chore can be tackled early in the day while it's cool. I need to clear out some of the grass around the garden - I'm getting a fall crop of tomatoes, if I can see them to pick them.

The declutter activity continues to be to donate or sell things that are culled from the household. I need to make a run to the recycle bin today and should make a loop taking me past the Thrift Store donation station as well. I still have to take out a couple of pair of clogs I never wear; the new shoes are totally comfortable, so that is a welcome exchange of shoe space. I'm thoroughly pleased with the new jeans, and I need to put one of my older pair either in the craft room to use as a source of denim fabric, or donate and let the thrift store recycle or put it in a craft category.

The music collection is in the radar again these days - that is my biggest chore and something I need to get back to. It would certainly free up space also, to finally donate it to a university library.

Have a good weekend, everyone! I hope it has finally cooled to seasonal normal temperatures wherever you are.

P.S. Dove into the closet headfirst, so to speak. Pants and dresses that don't fit are going to the thrift store. Even if I get back to those sizes again, they're not in style or are not something I would wear any more. You look at this stuff forever and don't see it, until you take a close look and wonder why you kept it for so long.


01 Oct 17 - 10:25 PM (#3879693)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The Internet finally came back on this evening, after being off for probably 16 hours. Whew. It's amazing how many things get done during the day that at least have some reference to online sources.

The vegetable garden got attention today, including digging potatoes, weeding, trimming with the weed-whacker, and propping up the tomato vines that finally have fruit. The trimmer works better with the new cap - I didn't realize how it was dragging with the old one wearing out.

A few more garments came out of the closet this afternoon and I pulled a few unused items out of my dresser. I need to get a few new blouses (thrift store) and send some of the short-sleeved ones back. I like 3/4 sleeves best, regular short sleeves are okay, but for now the cap sleeves I have never get worn, my arms aren't in shape for them.


02 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM (#3879895)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
I must have done a lot yesterday because I am too tired today! I really felt as though I was making organizational progress and some de-cluttering as well. Just inch by inch. Cleared about a foot of mags and papers today and had new, good, thoughts about where to put stuff. Forgot to go to dump and have to wait til Thurs but the stuff is out of house.

R de-cluttered his crew cab last week; it took him all day!

Hope I have more energy tomorrow. It was so nice to have good energy for a few days - with the cooler weather. FROST last two nights! The "don't bend over; don't pick up more than 10 #" is ongoing but... Dug up strawberries for someone on Friday, need to plant a few things, harvested the cabbage and managed to get them in frig, scrubbed bathtub by pretend lying down - not bending from waist! Nine more days!

I seem to be seeing dirt in places I never noticed recently so cleaned stuff in the K! And enjoyed time on the swing, with book, in the afternoons until it cooled too much.


03 Oct 17 - 09:16 AM (#3880019)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Three more bookcases arriving today; two more to go.

Yesterday we started unpacking framed pictures, not because we're ready to decorate, but because the crates were blocking access to the furnace filter. Oh, well; whatever works.

We have too much art, much of it really quite good and most of it original. I inherited lots from my father, who came from a family of painters and makers of interesting stuff, and bought more. Himself has also bought art -- a nice Daumier etching, for example, and has a sister who paints. I actually like some of her stuff, though not all. Then there was my grandmother, who liked to think of herself as a bit of a patroness. Some 40 years ago, she befriended a painter who left us with a fine watercolour of Galway harbour that needs reframing, a large, busy abstract that makes my head swim, and a nearly life-sized seated portrait of me at the age of 27. That last will never find wall space in this house if I can help it. Finally, there is the profusion of "certificates suitable for framing" that Himself has accumulated over the years, of which perhaps one of his four diplomas, his commission and his licence to practise law will go in his office. The rest -- removed from the frames in which they were originally presented -- go in the filing cabinet.

In this house, we can hang perhaps half of the framed items we have now, and I really can't imagine selling or otherwise disposing of the rest, so I plan to kick this can down the road, and make a First World Problem for our heirs and assigns. When I have finished squaring away our glory hole of a basement storage space, it will include a rack for framed pictures, just like (if considerably smaller than) what I have seen in a warehouse at the National Gallery of Canada. When we are dead, the nephews and nieces can sort it all out, and throw it all out if the spirit so moves them. Or perhaps fall in love with my great-grandmother's Impressionist landscapes of the Montreal area ... Who knows?


03 Oct 17 - 05:02 PM (#3880093)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

I was raised poor. Some days, dirt poor. But my mom had that precious thing-- a sewing machine. She made me beautiful clothes, and she covered anything unlovely in our various homes with tasteful and pretty fabric.

From her I learned never to throw out fabric because, no matter how worn, there is always a piece with life in it. With that philosophy Hardi and I created a 5000 square foot home furnished (once we'd blended households) with less than a small apartment's worth of halfway decent furniture (laminate plus green stamps), and one genuine antique dresser (primitive), plus Goodwill and FreeCycle and discarded parishioners' pieces.... that 5000 sq feet was the only rental open, the summer we arrived. I just gave away--to my extreme pleasure-- the double mattress/spring I treated myself to right before we married, to a lady starting over and going for custody. Barely used, totally clean, plus maple frame left in the garage rafters by the house's sellers. Four more bags of seller's abandoned 'stuff' also came down which I also gave her and her helper to use or sell. The only item I brought in-- a hand-crocheted afghan throw-- in the color scheme of our newly-forming guest room in time for a weekend housemate. Baby afghans, brand new boots/shoes-- gone, plus a bulky twin mattress.

Tent, kept for evaluation. Tall enough, I'll sleep in it when I travel. Kept duffel to stow it in too. If not, give away.


~S~

Yay!


04 Oct 17 - 02:26 PM (#3880276)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

(Apols in advance for typos)

...and I'm thrilled to be able to give that same mom 2 matching wing chairs and a child's chair, which I will bring down on the next trailer load (May 2018). We'd been fretting over keeping or giving these away-- suddenly it was such an easy decision, knowing the cause it would serve and how dearly they'll be loved. We bought them used and it was a sweet memory: walking thru a thrift shop separately, we'd each seen them and coveted them, but feared the other wouldn't like (or wish to invest in) them. Beautiful deep salmon pink velour on solid frames/legs-- my color!

On that load will be a set (or 3) of shelves. Our PA furniture will then be pared down to awaiting 'The Big Move' mode-- stuff we use every day-- and I'll have ample sorting spaces for books, mementos, and STUFF to memorialize and then purge.

~S~


04 Oct 17 - 05:29 PM (#3880323)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Where it is pouring! sporadically today. It let up long enough for me to close the shed door and take the top off the "greenhouse" so those tender plants will be well watered. WARM! today.

Susan! Great going!

Charmion: We have almost no wall space but I am planning to set up an area where the wall pieces can change from time to time. Not sure where until the ladder to sleeping loft is in place. There is wall space in the screen house but the art must be weather proof! As the rain pours down, I am wondering about the state of the current contents!

Two tiny jalapeno from the garden (the only two!) must have been cluttered with all the heat of a huge one. A 10" frying pan full of cabbage and zuke is almost too hot to eat. The next meal of it will be served with 10% yogurt!

I continue to inch along, sorting, organizing/discarding. My energy waxes and wanes but I am energized enough to be making the veggie chili for a potluck tomorrow, a major move forward. Watching, hopefully, for the time I feel like potting. With eyes de-cluttered of cataracts and ankle healed sufficiently that I can walk on the lumpy back yard, I am feeling possible. Progress is being made.


04 Oct 17 - 10:35 PM (#3880362)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Books and art - I also have a lot. Way too much. My father collected art, and though he had a small house, he had a lot of it leaning up against the walls in his store room. I think he intended to rotate it. I move a few things around occasionally, but I have a cupboard full of spare frames I've picked up at thrift stores and garage sales for items of my own I decide to put up. Pretty cards purchased in travels, kid art, etc. The most recent item was a brochure from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, where I worked one summer. I kept occasionally finding this brochure and I couldn't make myself toss it, so I finally dug out a frame. It's a mostly green map and it's a lovely simple maple frame and it looks good. That wall is of oddball stuff, including my MA diploma., an Lookout Visitor Certificate a friend gave me in the mid-1970s (I was visiting his lookout!), kid art, and a New Yorker cover that my dad really loved and mounted. This one. Very clever.


05 Oct 17 - 05:50 AM (#3880408)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

It turns out I have a whole box of odds and ends I can give her, right here, many of which I no longer use. Space here is tight, so those 6" of pantry space and linen closet space will be welcome.

Other items I listed for her choice were left by the recently-moved housemates. And looking for items to pass along netted ME one item I'd not realized they left-- an outlet strip WITH USB ports. I immediately installed THAT where needed, and took it off my shopping list!

Dorothy, you've been a real role model for me in two-home living.

~s~


05 Oct 17 - 09:37 PM (#3880560)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

eBay items are starting to move, the days are cooling. I'm returning to the No Spend practice that worked for a while last year, getting groceries but eliminating impulse and non-essential shopping. Making do, swapping, etc. I even signed up again for the area freecycle group, we'll see how long I can stand that daily email.

I buy whole chickens and cut them up unless I find parts on a good sale. I buy pot roasts and cut them into 1 lb pieces to freeze (I don't buy hamburger from the store any more). I shop at a deep-discount store that gets gourmet cheese and yogurt for a fraction of the regular grocery store prices (near shelf date, but easy to use while they're still good.) Shopping today I found several packages of NY strip steaks in the Kroger discount bin and cut and repackaged into six ounce packages for the freezer. It comes out about $3.25 per steak, something I don't eat often but are nice occasionally and for guests. I've made a concerted effort to draw down the freezer stock. If I add some frozen vegetables I'll have pretty much everything I need, save the fresh dairy products. It is time to defrost - things are all tumbled around in there since last spring. When I'm feeling efficient I put a list of contents on the door and keep a running tally of contents. If I'm feeling really efficient I'll straighten the side-by-side (frost free) freezer first.

This activity is also getting ready for the fall cooking season, plus canning and freezing (I have tomatoes in the garden now, and a few eggplants). I have food gifts for friends for the holidays, jelly made during the summer in this spectacular year of the wild grape. I have gifts for family, including good Pyrex containers (my local thrift store has great glassware) they can take food home in.


06 Oct 17 - 09:50 AM (#3880637)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme, already rotating art?

FreeCycle usually has an option of viewing posts online (sort of forum style) only, if mails are an issue.

Here's a creative church approach-- during our annual PA diocesan convention, they're planning an Altar Guild Swap Meet to declutter sacristies.

~S~


06 Oct 17 - 10:58 AM (#3880647)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

For the very first time this year, I have taken off two glorious days in a row! One was a planned vacation day and the other was a luxury decision. I have Monday off for Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day in NYS.....this gives me 5 whole days off! YES!

Yesterday was a Mother/Daughter Day...a mystery trip with the local bus company and today I have the entire house to myself! Jeremiah is in school and Pete is off to work. I had planned to do more clearing out of the closet but changed my mind. I decided to putter in the kitchen. I washed the windows on the door and hung up some fall decorations, removed everything from the family bulletin board throwing away anything that was no longer needed, tucking away old art (with the exception of Jeremiah's hand made Emergency/Fire Plan), organized the few remaining things that need to stay (my fishing license, the number for the farmer who has agreed to butcher our chickens, the logger, etc. Next I pulled everything off the front of the fridge, gave it a good scrub down and added some new fall magnets that were given to Jeremiah and only put back Jeremiah's chore chart (white board type)/markers, a Book It form that has to be filled out daily and a recent A+ spelling paper where he wrote his name in cursive (this is new for him this fall)...he is so proud and we are too! Let's see...stove top and front is clean, the main counter is clean, dishes done, etc. My plan is to clean all the remaining windows inside and out and get them ready for some winter plastic to help keep the cold air out and hopefully I will have some time to do a little fall baking, put a roast in the crock pot and grab a shower before it's time to get Jeremiah from school.

One day this weekend is slated for paperwork organization...just something I like to do periodically and the annual major big wood stove/chimney cleaning event. Cold weather isn't far away! Another day is set aside for some major sewing...haven't had the time or energy to do that in quite some time and I am looking forward to that. If the weather is nice, the front porch is going to have a major overhaul as well...it's a catch all space for us and I'm so over it!

In other news, I think I shared that we had a cabin we were going to list. Well, it was listed and sold the first day! The closing is less than 2 weeks away! YES! :)

I can't tell you how much of a luxury it feels like to have this time to put things in order the way I want and have wanted to for some time now. *Happy Content Sigh*

Enjoy your day everybody!

Michelle


06 Oct 17 - 06:42 PM (#3880728)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Michelle! How wonderful to be unencumbered by the cabin!

Susan: Always like to assist!

I de-cluttered the remainder of the calendars I had printed over a year ago. The Hospice, which is meant to receive the funds at the request of the artist, recently took over a thrift shop in town so I went in and gave the "leader" three framed prints and the remaining calendars with "instructions" to make a display; if people see how good each print looks framed, they can buy a calendar and frames (at the shop) and have affordable art by a local artist. As this is Thanksgiving Weekend and it was barely possible to drive through town, it is a prime time to peddle pictures of Vintage Bancroft (70s) at the Vintage shop. Enough sold to pay me back the costs and the Hospice has made over $500 from them. They have been well appreciated by many folks. Happy to have completed this endeavour!

Come to think of it, that was not a minor "volunteer" task! No energy fo more right now. Looking at the last few months, I wondered how I found energy to pot in early August - I had finished one cataract routine and not started the next! This gives me hope that after next Thursday I shall regain energy for potting.

The veggie chili, for yesterday's potluck, took all the energy I had but was a great success and I have enough left to freeze a container and keep one for adding to veggies over the next while.

I am hoping one of the women will come and de-clutter the strawberry bed and her partner can collect pottery to "pay" for the work he did on our stained glass window. Good info might be: that cost $200 for Sean to repair but the exquisite one R put in his library was only $50 at an "Eco Centre"! However, I do like our in-house window - in the wall between BR and LR to let light flow.

Not much inching along lately. Maybe centimeters...


06 Oct 17 - 10:24 PM (#3880744)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

You lovely ladies of perpetual responsibility, order, creativity and grace are the true crux of the culture I know, not the guys arguing over guns and ammo.
Some guys may afford a house but women most often conceive and create a home.
declutter in stages
walk in beauty for ages


07 Oct 17 - 11:22 AM (#3880792)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Michelle, where did your mystery trip take you? And which of you was surprising the other? I like that you did that with Jeremiah last week, so maybe your mom decided to surprise you? Or did you decide to surprise her also?

Okay, I am being frugal, but sometimes you just can't pass up a deal. There was an enamel cast iron pot on clearance at a local electronics and department store. A Hamilton Beach cast iron dutch oven (1.5 quart) with a cast iron base (for a candle or sterno) and an electric cooking base for $9. This is perfect for small meals, it can be used for stovetop or oven. Amazon regularly sells it for $50 or more. I could turn around and sell it on eBay for three times what I paid, but I plan to keep this.

It has been my declutter practice to keep numbers of things at a certain level - if I buy new shoes, rehome or toss older or unused ones. I probably should look around the kitchen and see what in there is never getting used.

Back in the rest of the property, I've discovered a couple of leaks in the long hose that runs around the garage and over to the vegetable garden. There isn't a faucet on that side of the house and I have an expensive faucet-attached sprinkler management device that I want to keep out of sight in the back. Last year I bought a long hose that is still sitting in the garage, so it's time to drag out the old one (ancient, now that I think about it, over a dozen years old) and replace it with this new one. I need to put things to use that are sitting around waiting to be used.

It's also time to clean out the greenhouse and get ready to move plants in for the winter. Last year I lost one I'd wintered over successfully for a couple of years, so I think I need to address a large air leak in the back door of the structure. I love when we get to the season when I can use it - in the summer the greenhouse is where tools are stored and it's like an oven in there.


08 Oct 17 - 11:29 AM (#3880938)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Interesting day yesterday. My ex stopped by to pick up some fresh sweet potatoes and to drop off a bag of eggplants given to him by a co-worker who has a garden. They were starting to get a little soft, so needed using soon.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get him to head over to that discount grocery I've mentioned here and I was headed over myself, so he rode along to see the Saturday morning chaos when one day a week the warehouse (lots of produce) is opened next to the regular store. We headed from there to Home Depot, where I had to return something and he was going to order a new front door and frame to have his contractor replace for him. Thing is, he lives about 3 miles from the store, but we didn't have a pickup and he was going to pay $80 to have it delivered, so I told him about their trucks for rent. Since I was driving and my ex's insurance card was back at my house in the car, I ended up driving the truck, rented for $19.99 for 75 minutes, to take the door to his house. It was good timing, we just walked in, got the truck, and were turning it back in 15 minutes later just as someone else buying a door needed it.

At home I had those eggplants, and decided the neighbors needed breaded eggplant. My elderly across-the-street neighbor used to take my produce and cook up a storm, but she barely microwaves dinner now. So I called when I had a plate of them nearly ready and told her I'd be over in 10 minutes. We sat and talked and she ate several - she loves these and I need to take them over more often. My next door neighbors on either side like them, so to one I delivered another plate, and to the other, who just recently discovered that she likes eggplant parm, she walked over and I showed her the breading and frying process. She never ate eggplant at all until I gave her samples of my babaghanouj, and after making it together a couple of times, she makes it herself. And so it will go with eggplant Parmesan.

My house will smell like frying for several days, but those eggplants went to a lot of goodwill around this end of the neighborhood. I kept a few fried slices - even though I'm mostly avoiding wheat right now, I had a small plate of those topped with provolone and spaghetti sauce - they were fabulous!

It's a weekend of doing things for others. Last Friday at work we pooled a few dollars and when I was buying my cast iron pot I also picked up a toaster for our office; our old one burns on all settings. I'm going to make a loaf of bread and take it in with the new toaster so they can christen it properly. A jar of my homemade jelly will be the perfect finish.


08 Oct 17 - 02:31 PM (#3880980)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

The excursion itself was a surprise trip. The bus company we like to travel with offers 4 Mystery Trips per year, giving us only a poem with small hints about where we might be going. :) This time we ended up in Titusville, out near Erie, PA. We went for a ride on the Titusville train through the cradle of the natural petroleum area of Pennsylvania. The train is also the only rolling post office still in existence today. I thought that part was pretty neat. I sent a post card to my father-in-law who is a steam train buff and had the post card postmarked right on the train. He is going to love that! Of course, I took photos too. We had a box lunch on the train, spent some time at the Drake Well Museum (indoor/outdoor) which was pretty interesting and then dinner at most likely was a VERY happening spot during the 1970s. LOL. The food was good but the decor cracked me up. Best of all, I had uninterrupted time with my mom. :)

Yesterday I emptied out a double cupboad, threw out any outdated food, cleaned the shelves and refilled the cupboard/organized things a bit. The front porch has been somewhat cleaned off, errands have been run and we are soon on our way to a birthday party for pony rides and hay maze fun. :)

It's been a rainy day here...now cloudy. I spent a few hours playing my ukulele and singing.

Time to get ready to go.

Have a great week everyone!

Michelle


08 Oct 17 - 09:47 PM (#3881037)
Subject: Things that move in...
From: wysiwyg

Ohio...

THINGS seem to insist on moving in with me. No-- not a buying temptation: little shelves with pegs must have snuck into my car when I was helping Trish move last week; also my weekend houseguest left a hardshell carry-on rolling bag (probably full of the clean clothes for her next stop with family). In the guestroom. I'd asked three times if she wanted help.... "No, see, I didn't really bring much," she said as she left with a tote bag, paper bag, and purse.

I wonder which one will call me first. I've wanted shelves exactly like those; I wonder how long I have to wait before putting them up?

Last visit here, it was a mysterious backpack that turned up in my unlocked car, which eventually turned out to belong to a highschooler two towns west. (Which I returned thru the afterschool boot camp discipline program I found via their note to his mother, inside the pack.)

Then of course there was all the stuff the sellers left here for me to deal with, and the stuff I continue to find left after the August move-out of the housemates.

WTF. Maybe I'm meant to run a home resale business out of our garage. Don't really want to!

I'm putting a new note into the Guest Guide; "Your lost and found may be my Goodwill."

~S~


10 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM (#3881333)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Funny that I'm of Swedish heritage, and didn't know that the name for what I've been doing is Swedish Death Cleaning:

https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html


10 Oct 17 - 10:35 AM (#3881343)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Today, the burglar alarm is being installed. Strange beeps and bongs are emanating from the front hall even as I type.

Himself has been toiling like a Trojan, hauling books all over the house, and we are now down to only eight (from about 55) two-cubic-foot boxes of books on the garage floor. On the other hand, we're rapidly running out of shelf space, although we have one large Victorian bookcase and two half-height IKEA Billy series bookcases still to come. The big old one, built in Quebec sometime around 1890 and inexplicably painted circa 1952, used to contain three (count 'em, three!) sets of encyclopaedia plus 25 years' worth of the Britannica Book of the Year, so it's going into Himself's office to the law books -- but the guy who's stripping and refinishing it has to recover from his back injury first! The Billy bookcases, made as they are of spit and sawdust, will go in the basement where the novels live.

Himself keeps complaining about books he thinks we should get rid of, while I insist (to his fury) that everything be unpacked and appropriately shelved, or stacked on the floor in front of the bookcase where there is no more room, before we start purging. I hate confusing two sorting processes; if we start purging now, books will end up stacked higgledy-piggledy all over the house and we will soon lose track of what is to stay and what is to go.

The garage also contains seven 5-cubic-foot china barrels full of "the good stuff" (a Wedgwood dinner service for eight and fancy glassware galore), one 4-cube box of rarely used cooking tackle and three 2-cubes repacked with excess china. All that stuff has to wait until the kitchen/pantry/dining room project is finished, however, which could be Christmas.

Meanwhile, Himself's office is still Pepto-Bismol pink, the bedroom is still deep purple and the guest room is still grey. I haven't heard a peep from the painter, and I should email him before he takes on another sub-division contract.


10 Oct 17 - 07:20 PM (#3881433)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There is a dribble of eBay activity as every few days something sells. I have plenty more to list, but I'm finding the software is acting up. Instead of letting sellers simply revise an item, clicking on the "revise" button opens the proper screen where you make your change, only to open a new selling screen once you try to get it to save. This means that it isn't possible to revise an item without going through that entire listing setup, and I fear it will end up as a duplicate, not an adjustment.

Charmion, I've also waited until I moved in to a new place before I began to purge extra books, even though it would make sense to do it before the move. It never seems to work out that way, but as long as it gets done. When I moved here I also moved in contents from a storage locker from moving out of the house after the divorce, and I had a locker with stuff from my parents' estates. All of that had to be commingled to figure out what I had before I could sort and discard. Lots and lots of books.


11 Oct 17 - 01:16 PM (#3881571)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio, re Books

In PA, both of our professional libraries have been purged, and gifting/allocations designated. Our personal libraries are mostly centralized now into the sunny 2nd floor garden nursery, for winter purging, gifting, and boxing either for immediate departure or storage there for The Big Move (as yet unsked).

All the PA bookshelves have been mapped to their Ohio locays.

Except the music books.

~S~


11 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM (#3881638)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Rodent decluttering. This week I have found two ticks on me, and I haven't been into the deep woods across the road, just into my garden. This tells me the mice are still there and they have brought their dangerous little friends with them.

This afternoon I trimmed the grass around the edge of the garden down to the soil and made inroads to some of the grassy spots in the tangle of tomatoes. Then I mixed up a gallon of water, a dollop of concentrated compost tea, and couple of tablespoons of molasses, and 2 ounces (measured) of d-limonene (Orange oil). At that strength it will kill insects but not harm the plants. Stronger and it's an herbicide. This should kill some of the ticks, and I'll start setting out a mousetrap at dusk, to hopefully catch the mice and not the lizards, snakes, or toads. If the one I have works (not the snap variety) then I'll get a couple more and do this mouse riddance dance. And I won't be feeding the birds this winter, that is what brought them here in the first place. I live too close to the woods, to which those that survive need to return. A little later in the fall I'll put out an application of beneficial nematodes, that will kill the soil egg stage of any ticks still out in the garden.

Later on this evening I'll go out with the "puffer" can and spritz diatomaceous earth in there (after the spray dries). That's another tick treatment.

Also, all clothes will go into the washer after a very careful personal inspection. Ticks creep me out.


12 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM (#3881825)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Wow this thread even has recipes for potions and poisons.

I NEED WINDOWS - 20 -

Metro DC area prices are undoubtedly high

Prices probably go from 14K to 30K but what is reasonable?


12 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM (#3881895)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I need windows also, at least 9, probably 12. They are expensive. I saw the guys replace windows on Ask This Old House, it isn't that difficult, but you do want to do it correctly. I'm sure labor is a huge part of the cost.

We had another plumbing crisis arise last night, when the washer was running. Backed up again from the sewer line, probably more tree roots. That's my task for tomorrow, shopping plumbers (the last one was very expensive, I want to see if I can shop this around a bit.)

Home ownership isn't for wimps.


13 Oct 17 - 06:15 AM (#3881966)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme, are you regularly using a root killer you can flush down the toilet, preventively?

~S~


13 Oct 17 - 05:38 PM (#3882134)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Around 20 Anderson tilt out washable double pane vinyl windows installed is $13,000 with life time breakage repair guarantee.

Acme you could get a good used car or windows for this kind of money.
Maybe a new Houston flood Mercedes ":^/


13 Oct 17 - 06:15 PM (#3882141)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Susan, tell me what you know about root killing flush stuff. I don't want to nuke the city waste water department, but if there is something that will stop this without breaking that bank (or killing the tree), I would like to hear about it.

A friend who now works for a local city public works department is coming over tomorrow and I'll show him the recordings I made of their camera exam of the line (the first plumber took a look, the supervisor who offers $$ options looked, but also used one of those sensors to show where everything is and showed me that the line runs diagonally across the yard, not straight out to the street. This makes a huge difference in the decisions being made.

I'm running anything that came into contact with the yucky sewer water through the washer now with bleach to extra disinfect it. I'll mop, push furniture back to where it belongs, and study the options of getting the floor tile for the bathroom and then re-seating that toilet so the seal works. This flood shouldn't have hit the house, just the tubs. I didn't get the seal in correctly the last time, mostly because the flange is high and I had to use shims to hold everything in place until the tile is down.

First world problems, I know. Busy weekend coming up.


14 Oct 17 - 04:51 PM (#3882279)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My friend came over and we walked the front yard and looked at the line from the cleanout to the spot where it enters the city line. We discussed the process, and by using an excavator and putting in PVC, plus a couple of improvements to upgrade the system (if there's a block in the house, this will now provide a cleanout for the house that won't require getting up on the roof). If he does it for half of what the plumber would charge he'll still make a nice profit even with renting an excavator and buying the PVC and other parts. I'd rather have a friend make money on this than the plumber. It's a sewer line so we don't need a permit like we would if it was an irrigation system connecting to the water line. It's something that homeowners are allowed to do for themselves.

He also mentioned the root killer stuff, and something like that will keep the system open for now, but I have two large trees and a large shrub all in proximity of that line - it isn't going to stop having root problems with the perforated cast iron line. We'll probably do this next month.


14 Oct 17 - 06:14 PM (#3882289)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Acme, when we bought this house there was an odd depression/crevice in the front yard. "Oh good-- spiraea!" sez I. "Hole 'mos' dug!"

Until JUST before I bought one, TBTG. The housemate at that time complained that the tub was a slow drain. "Clean the hair cup," ssez I. She called a plumber instead who charged me $100 to snake the drain. A year later (she was gone), slow tub drain for me-- hair cup emptied daily-- hm. Asked neighbor with decades on this block. "Roots!" sez she. Recommended great (and cheaper) plumber.

Plumber Dean found the clean out we'd not been aware of and started dredging up all kinda nasty, hairy roots. It was then that I noticed the straight line from cleanout to street ran RIGHT UNDER that crevice..... so I asked if he'd been here before.... yeah... that's why that bush they'd had got tore out.

He opined that twice-a-year root killer would probably prevent his having to do this every two years-- spring and fall, when roots are most active. I researched least-toxic/easy to use, and even found a YouTube video w instrux. Kinda pricey but not as pricey as plumbers. BRB w link.

~S~


14 Oct 17 - 06:28 PM (#3882292)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

http://www.roebic.com/foaming-root-killer.shtml

Tips--

. Don't store it where it can't stay dry, or you may have to break up the caked product with a knife. It needs to enter the toilet as a powder.

. You will need to NOT flush for 8 hours after using it-- so choose your time of day wisely and hang a sign to remind yourself not to flush no matter what else has gone in there (put used TP in the trash to avoid a clog when you do flush). And that's the whole house, not just the toilet you flushed it down. No laundry/dishwasher either.


14 Oct 17 - 10:20 PM (#3882315)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
weather turning cooler. Outdoor work getting accomplished. Laundry done but still drying! I put a plastic over it to keep the dew off and hope tomorrow will not rain! Walking almost perfectly most of the time!!! Finished with drops for cataracts!!! I feel freer! Roasted 3 cauliflower today and put cooked black beans in freezer/frig for current and future use. Managed to plant a painted fern today - finally! Just that took all the planting energy for today. Potted 3 geraniums found in the trash. Will take them to the horticultural society mtng next week to see if anyone wants them. Also parsley seeds and some others, and the little locust trees that I started from seed. Geraniums now in house. Still a few strawberries but heavy frosts on Sun and Mon... Bits of progress being made in house.


15 Oct 17 - 11:06 AM (#3882377)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: MickyMan

I have seen this thread over the years, but my eyes simply glaze over when I try to read it enough to understand its intension and history.
    Anyway, I saw this internet story on Swedish Death Decluttering.   It hit me that I should share it here .....https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html.


15 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM (#3882401)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

MickeyMan, you have to go back to our late Mudcat moderator Katlaughing to find the origins of these declutter and fitness threads. Reading in one swoop might not be great literature, but it is a place where participants and a fair number of lurkers note milestones, share tips, offer encouragement. It was one of these threads where we learned of Lilyfester's cancer diagnosis that spun off into a life-affirming account of her surgeries, chemo, and radiation, adoption of a child, and life of her family as she grew and shared and thrived.

Your sharing of the Swedish Death cleaning has an echo in a private discussion group where it was shared last week, and where we recognized this process, to a large part, is what we have without a name to it been doing here.

The threads were monthly for a while, then quarterly, now it's a yearly amble through our attics, basements, pantries, home repairs, moves, downsizing, and more. Mostly we keep moving them back up to the top of the page, and every so often someone we've never heard from before drops in to tell us how they started reading and got an idea to make changes for themselves. Often those declarations are detailed and complete, the whole project achieved in a few months, accomplished, and now they're sharing in one succinct report. So whether people are regularly checking in or taking inspiration and moving on to other activities, it's all part of a process of getting rid of stuff.

For some of us, the choice to simply discard or replace with smaller and more efficient isn't easy and the value of items needs to be realized through various forms of sale or donation, each move has to be strategic. In the past I donated items and took a tax break for the value, but now mostly I sell a lot of estate items on eBay. I research them, consider how someone in the family must have used or collected, and then, I let it go. I am not a museum, but I didn't know many of these family members whose objects I inherited from a couple of great aunts I met when I was old enough to set out and travel on my own to meet them. My journey has been one of learning, sharing, and letting go. There are people who collect many of the things of which I own only one; things I don't want to start collecting. And after having administered my packrat father's estate and considered my mother's vast sea of books and stuff and leaving most of it in place, I don't want to burden my children with things of no interest to them. If it what I learn is interesting but I can part with it, I am doing so now by choice.

Thanks for the link.


15 Oct 17 - 10:16 PM (#3882470)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

Thanks, MickyMan, good piece. I remember my dad and some other relatives did this. It seems most of our lives we are in 'accumulation' mode, but at some point one needs to get into a 'divesting' or 'distributing' phase.

The best cases are when you can pass something on to a younger relative or friend or neighbor who honestly admires or is interested in the thing, and relate the background pedigree or special story behind it.

And then have no illusions about the rest; just get rid of, as the article says, the meaningless stuff.


16 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM (#3882549)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Death cleaning. Yup, I've been there for years. I'm still there.

First, clearing the big family home after my mother died, so my dad could move to a much smaller and more manageable house. That took the better part of a year, including two summer months of full-time work before the sale.

Then, dealing with the aftermath of Dad's sudden and untimely death; he had recently moved house and half his stuff was still in heaps, and his papers in particular were a hoorah's nest, mostly filed under M for Miscellaneous. That took years, for it involved accepting that my brothers and I had to stop living as extensions of our parents' establishment and define our own needs and wants without listening to that ghostly voice crying, "But I gave you that!" or "But that was Uncle Alfred's!"

In fact, vestiges of the previous generations are still cluttering our quarters. We finally finished unpacking our books -- 55 two-cubic-foot cartons of them -- and yet again I found a corner for the wreckage of four Victorian copies of The Book of Common Prayer, once the property of my father's uncles and aunts, and the tiniest possible edition of the New Testament in French, so worn that the Book of Matthew is practically unidentifiable. Just what does one do with a holy book that is no longer usable as a book? Susan WYSIWYG, please offer some advice!

I am also the custodian of a quarto-sized leather-bound Bible that was a wedding gift to my father's great-great grandmother in 1794. I had it restored and rebound about 20 years ago, and it looks good for another two centuries if adequately cared for. It has a special spot on the top shelf of a bookcase with glass doors.

The unpacking of books immediately led to a major sorting and identifying of volumes that must find new homes. In particular, I have decided to let go of about four cubic feet of printed music, most of it classical repertoire that is either stuff I used to sing but is now beyond my asthmatic abilities, or was passed on to me by other singers in the hope that I would use it and I never did. Anyone out there interested in a complete set of Dvorak's Biblical Songs in the original Czech?

Stratford is an arty kind of place, and I just might meet a younger singer who would like her own library of music to pick and choose from. If not, there's always Kijiji.


16 Oct 17 - 10:24 AM (#3882553)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Music like that, depending on how old, is making its way into university collections. It is scanned in and in some instances the first few bars are run through a recognition program to offer a tinny file letting you know what the tune sounds like. Finding the university or special collections that wants it, that's the difficult part. If the prints are too new, even of older works, then the copyright issues kick in (as you no doubt know).

Collectors of ephemera love the old sheet music, especially with more elaborate covers and even better if it was printed in four-colors (offset). Look at eBay, and you might try searching some of the titles through Bookfinder or ABE books - they deal with printed matter beyond just books.


16 Oct 17 - 06:26 PM (#3882644)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Vashta thank you for the old sheet music information. I was not sure what to do with sheet music of Scott Joplin or even the original Dixie by Boston minstrels. 'God save Benjamin Harrison from every harm' I did notice in the Smithsonian but the tune was meh

Some other stuff is highly racist ":^/


16 Oct 17 - 08:00 PM (#3882658)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg


Subject:?RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From:?wysiwyg?-?PM?
Date:?10 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM?

Funny that I'm of Swedish heritage, and didn't know that the name for what I've been doing is Swedish Death Cleaning:

https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html


16 Oct 17 - 11:19 PM (#3882670)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Even the racist stuff - let an archivist take a look at it. It represents a period, a vile period, but it may be important.

I'm working on clearing the freezer slowly. It's cooling off enough now to feel like cooking season. A sewing project is spread out on the dining room table, but even if I set up the sewing machine and a small television in that work space, it won't be so much that I can't easily clear it if we have company over and need the space. That has been a problem in the past. I have cleared out extra stuff that used to pile up there. Some years ago I brought home a 1940's dresser from the swap area of my nearest recycle center, and I used the mirror back (no glass remained) to enclose the back of the knee hole, I put a good birch plywood base in, and using the rest of that good plywood made cupboard doors and installed articulated hinges. I used iron-on oak veneer to trim the rough edges. A lot of the table cloths and napkins and things that I've wanted to use but were packed away in a trunk are in that sideboard now. Before putting it into service I painted it with high gloss black enamel, put a glass top, found some elegant brass pulls for the drawers and matching door handles, and brought a lot of family treasures back into circulation. I enjoy the story of the transformation of that dresser. Whether my children will want it later or not, I enjoyed that project, but it is good looking so one of them might want it.


19 Oct 17 - 02:45 PM (#3883343)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Nine months in I'm still making myself do the Bullet Journal, and though I don't put in as much as I once used to in my one page per a day book calendar, I'm finding it useful in remembering things I planned to do, or adding them to future tasks when the weather permits, etc.

Many of the things in that journal are home improvement and declutter projects. It's also good to look back to see what has actually been accomplished.


19 Oct 17 - 04:42 PM (#3883362)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We now have a sofa in the sitting room, just in time for the first visit of Himself's elder sisters and their husbands, who intend to lunch with us tomorrow at half past one. Boy, howdy.

This morning, the moving company sent a nice man with an even nicer van to pick up the great stacks of flattened cartons that were cluttering up the garage, and now we actually have room to park one of our two cars in there. The other has to wait for the kitchen project to be finished, as its half of the garage is encumbered with 5-cubic foot china barrel boxes.

We have a date for the first tactical bound of Op Kitchen, the laying of a hardwood floor in the dining room. We cross the start line at 0900 on 1 November. Okay, then.


21 Oct 17 - 10:33 AM (#3883704)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

A friend and coworker, depressed at the prospect of an evening in an almost totally empty house, came over for dinner and to watch his favorite PBS news programs last night. Since he wanted to follow my car to my house, I drove over to his house after work so he could take a look to confirm this was the current status. The insurance company is covering the replacement of the floors in his house after a water leak of long duration warped the wood floors something awful. The movers had to empty the largest items and they finish moving large stuff on Monday (bed, fridge, piano, basically are all that are left), then the magic will happen. Right now, because of those floors, the house looks like something abandoned for years to the weather; once the new gleaming floors are in this house will be a little gem. The landscaping is marvelous, he's a master gardener with an amazing eye and imagination. This artist (mfa) will be able to restage his house once the floors are in, and he plans to (here it comes) "declutter big time." There is so much art, are so many interesting objects, that it has a sort of Victorian state of clutter. He's going to go for the "less is more" approach.

So with him coming to dinner I then looked at my house through the eyes of my artist friend as he walked in the door. I have more space, I don't have wood floors (alas), though I do have a foundation that needs attention. But this house has good bones, it has some gorgeous woodwork, and excellent prospects - something to keep in mind as I continue to declutter. My gardener's eye also has a vision, aimed more at a stroll through a lovely park than his trip down Alice's hole into Wonderland, and it is enacted through xeriscape plantings (low water). He recognized my plants and it's nice to have a fellow gardener enjoy the result of years of work.

Charmion, your new floors will give your vision for your house a huge boost, and I look forward to a few facebook views of the before and after.


22 Oct 17 - 12:47 PM (#3883874)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Lovely heavy rainfall last night, clear and sunny today. Must go for a walk and see how many pecans were knocked out of neighborhood trees. Tis the season.

EBay removed one of my listings, a product I would never use myself but know there are practitioners. It's something I found on deep discount at the discount grocery I visit. After running for weeks, eBay noticed it and removed it, so I looked up the product name and see that the other listings still in place call it by the product name but don't discuss any of the squishy popular but not medical cautions about the product. I'll leave this vague, I don't want the post to turn up in a search about the product. I have relisted with just the name, fewer photos, and the price. Once these are gone they will not be replaced to sell any more. Mostly I sell estate items and small electronics I find at thrift stores that I know how to market. The occasional foray in to other stuff can offer challenges.

I haven't decorated for Halloween in recent years but I have a couple of small pumpkins, one ceramic, one metal, that are out for now. I don't want to toss all seasonal decorative items (I had a lot more around when the kids were little) but if I do have them, I should use them. I've reduced the xmas stuff a lot, though I need to label boxes better, I still have to go through several boxes looking for particular items. I've started sending some of the kids' favorite ornaments to them one or two at a time each year.


22 Oct 17 - 10:12 PM (#3883949)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Today, with helper Tyler, the clutter from several departed housemates (and the family who sold us this house) is gone, and OUR stuff is up in the rafters, hanging on walls, and organized by corner, with room to play with Newbie or park a car in there when I come back in January. We left a clear path to the small electric snowblower here, as well as the snow shovel. More than half of the cubic yardage was empty boxes stacked on and around everything else. Those are all broken down now, and wrapped in plastic mattress bags for transit to PA to fill them UP. In PA they will be stowed up in the attic where such boxes are warehoused.

The hardware department can now move from my kitchen to the waiting shelves, yaaaayyyy!


23 Oct 17 - 01:33 PM (#3884121)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

All our books are out of the boxes and shelved -- not necessarily in their permanent spots, but at least available and accessible! I am so happy, not least because there's room for all of them. In fact, we actually have room for more (God forbid).

Painting is not happening after all; the painters overbooked themselves and dumped us. That's okay with me, as I have done nothing about acquiring curtains for the windows that are currently covered with ill-fitting Venetian blinds that are almost, but not quite, the last word in ugly. I hope to start work on that this afternoon.

The flooring crew returns on 1 November to remove the slippery white ceramic tile from the dining-room floor and replace it with hardwood. I can't think why anyone would put that stuff on a floor at all, let alone a space where wet stuff happens, but there it is; I'm sure it was one reason for the availability of this house when every other half-decent dwelling for sale in Stratford this spring had a line-up of bidders. Unfortunately, the kitchen and foyer floors have the same white ceramic tile, but replacing it will have to wait for the tumult and shouting of the kitchen renovation have died down, the bills are paid, and our chequing account has recovered from the shock.

But today, I'm just grooving on the neatness of my study.


23 Oct 17 - 11:30 PM (#3884186)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Slippery, never, but I live in a flood plain, pay flood insurance, so it makes sense to have flooring that is least damaged by water, should the worst happen. In all of the years this house has never flooded, but next door has had water a couple of times (they're a few inches lower.) Too bad the shifting foundation is sending cracks radiating throughout said tiles.

A number of my eBay listings have watchers, but no takers since last week. I've lowered a few prices a little bit, sometimes it seems only to matter if a price is XX.49 versus XX.99 or XX.00.

Congratulations on clearing the kitchen, Susan. Mine was clear yesterday, but today I brought in a few thrift store bags and there it goes again, stuff will sit there to be gone over, cleaned and polished, then moved into the sunroom/ebay room.


24 Oct 17 - 05:17 PM (#3884364)
Subject: Garden Staging
From: wysiwyg

Does anyone else do this?

At the end of the garden season, I mock up all the ideas I have for spring, and take 'staging' pix to aid my planning for the next year. (I started with staging pix when I converted the MudDorm to a rentable room.) I can usually take all my shots with just one flat and one potted plant, which I give to neighbors when I depart for PA.

I find it really motivating (especially due to not living in the Ohio house year round), to have an approximation of what I'll need to do/buy (and not overbuy).

Here's what I gave myself as eye candy this year so far:

The bold Dragon's Breath a neighbor recommended is still going strong in a granny cart garden, which is ALMOST too heavy to move (despite its styrofoam core and perlite in the soil). The petunias surrounding the dragon never quite recovered from the hired help's neglect during an early fall hot/dry spell, which also kilt the several trailing vinca I'd bought.

I did not have time in August to puncture the plastic liner to insert annuals into the cart's sides and front, but I hoped my plan would work.... I dreamed of that planted cart...

So, last week I splurged on one flat of clearance pansies, which do give some idea how this may look, when I arrive in May with annuals and herbs started from seed in PA. The plastic lining the cart is 2 layers of construction-weight plastic, and the soil is not leaking out from the pockets I slit into the plastic.


I'm also very pleased with the look of an old, enameled iron woodstove I mock-planted; in those pix I can see how much/what kind of plant material to prepare for horizontal grow-bags which will nestle into the open oven and warming section on top, with pots all across the top of the stove. Even on a cloudy day that white enamel pops!

~S~


24 Oct 17 - 11:50 PM (#3884410)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't plant many annual flowers, but I have lots of xeriscape trees and shrubs that flower off and on all through the growing season. My garden is a working garden, herbs and food. I plant pretty much the same core of plants every year, and try a few new ones if I have time and space. The PMR limited my range of activity and motion last fall and through the winter well into the spring. Once it was being treated I got out and started gardening, slowly (turns out the neighbors noticed my lack of a garden and several asked if I was okay.) I have a core area of tomatoes and eggplants, the sweet potatoes harvested, and the red lasota potatoes I missed harvesting last spring stuck around and are growing tops again now. So maybe next spring I'll have potatoes. There are also volunteer herbs (the oregano, rosemary, thyme, and bay are year round, and every year the basil comes up in the spring and the cilantro comes back in the fall.) The garlic comes back from corms left behind in the spring.

Now that I have this in motion I step in at the appropriate times and harvest stuff.


25 Oct 17 - 09:50 AM (#3884519)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I would love to live in a climate where basil seeds itself and comes up the next year on its own! But, of course, that would mean putting up with sweltering summers ... Hmmm. Perhaps growing it in a pot is not such a hassle after all.

The kitchen contractor came to visit yesterday with his favourite electrician and his lead carpenter. By the time they left, I had decided to abolish the dining-room light fixture altogether in favour of a row of pot lights all across the back of the house, from the loo past the pantry and the back door, through the kitchen, and across the dining room. To accomplish this task, the ever-so-60s swirled plaster ceiling in the dining room will vanish behind a layer of plain old drywall that will be painted plain old white. Nobody with any brains does drywall work on a ceiling over a brand-new hardwood floor, so the floor installation must be postponed. Why does I feel as if I'm planning Operation Overlord? Perhaps because this project has almost as many moving parts.

Himself left town for the week to hang out with another retired legal officer transformed into a small-town barrister, and then to attend the annual Criminal Law Association in Toronto. The weather has turned sharply colder and the leaves are tumbling off the trees by the heap, but I'm just going to let them lie there until he gets back. The compost-turning doohickey he ordered from Lee Valley Tools arrived yesterday, and I think he's looking forward to concocting the optimum mix of grass clippings, leaves and kitchen fall-out. Just as well; yard work is not my favourite way to end up with an ache in my lower back. Besides, the ironing basket is an ever-renewing resource for which I seem to be responsible. I'm cool with that; ironing doesn't involve rain down the back of my neck or cold hands.


26 Oct 17 - 12:06 AM (#3884693)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Amazing warm fall weather with glorious days contributed to many hours or reading outside on the swing, and watching the colours change and the shimmering poplar and birch leaves. I have had a tremendous lack of energy for no apparent reason. Ankle still acts unhappy if I do "too much" so I take many days off.

However, all the pottery is now on display in the new screen house - our fav room! Company most of the weekend enjoyed it as well and one insisted on purchasing 3 bowls. R was in residence and moved the antique sewing machine out of the BR and up to the library where it looks great; the BR is greatly decluttered as the book shelf, now in that space, holds things which had no homes! WOW!

I managed to plant some bulbs in the memorial garden (Astri's garden) and hope the squirrels do not eat them all. I had to add a wheelbarrow of soil to it first. I suppose those tasks contributed to the, mild but noticeable, pain in ankle. Outdoor chores are mostly done.

R removing his books to library has provided space for some of my books which I can bring from Quebec this next trip. Looking around: Do I really need a shelf of newspapers from the last few months? R likes to save them but I will quietly use them for fire starter - one more small book shelf! I count up about 15 lineal feet of shelf space == not much! I may need to ruthlessly discard.... Once the ladder to sleeping loft is in place, there may be some room for more.

Charmion: Congrats on books shelved and boxes rid of! I did note in recent bill/insert from Hydro One that pot lights are discouraged. I think, being recessed, they give less light for the money.

Off to Quebec tomorrow for a week, though I, more and more, hate leaving home. It is much nicer here: more scenic, cleaner air, more friends and things to do. - in English.


26 Oct 17 - 09:53 PM (#3884930)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've pulled drinking glasses I used for the kids out of the cupboard - I'm replacing them with some I like better, much easier to clean (smooth instead of rippled sides), just as easy to pick up and have a good grip. I've looked for more plates of the style I've started collecting and once I have enough the chipped Corelle will also go the way of the glasses.

There will be more replacements around the house, and likely there will be fewer things going back after old items come out.


28 Oct 17 - 10:25 AM (#3885272)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I think we dodged the frost bullet last night; I'll take a look at the eggplant foliage later in the morning for the best proof (or not) of frost. But the time is near to clear out the greenhouse and move in a few winter residents. I turned both heat pumps to "heat" this morning to burn off any dust that accumulated. Chances are that for a while I'll leave one on heat so it comes on at night if needed, and one on cool so it comes on during the day if needed.

Making another push on the eBay stuff, expanding the variety of items listed. I've organized the sun room in the last few weeks, I can see what is available for listing now.

As part of that organization I cleared out a bin in the sun room by giving the rest of the large bag of bird seed to my across-the-street neighbor. I may donate one of my shepherd's crooks and feeders to him because his next door neighbor's cat spends time in his yard. Doubtless she stalks birds and mice - she's my regular garden visitor watching for my mice.

A project that has waited months needs to finally be performed this winter, reassembling my wheelbarrow with the new handles I bought last winter or spring.


28 Oct 17 - 03:58 PM (#3885308)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

The season's first snow here landed on my neighbor's enormous tropical plant so I took a picture before it melted away but it's suddenly way colder here.

Tyler helped finish modifying my car seats in anticipation of Wednesday's drive back to PA. The bucket shape puts my knees at exactly the worst angle. It was so nice to be able to pull the car into the garage and out of the cold wind!


28 Oct 17 - 04:04 PM (#3885309)
Subject: Soap scum
From: wysiwyg

.... the bucket shape was made flatter with compressed foam products of varying densities.

SOAP SCUM EXPERIMENT RESULTS ARE IN!!! (A past thread topic)-- in addition to acidification of soaps and shampoos, a pre-shower spray of build-up areas PREVENTS build-up. Accidental discovey-- clear shower curtain ruined by housemate with mineral depis its, so tried pre-spray on replacement clear shower curtain and VIOLA! Pre-spray. Shower. Rinse pre-sprayed area with water. Done@

~S~


28 Oct 17 - 04:31 PM (#3885312)
Subject: The typical Ohio day
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Very interesting meditations this week, such as about the HOWs of living here alone, and making my January re-entry easier and facilitating a quicker payoff in the usual increased activity level: no one cares if I leave the bedrooms messy, with their various non'sleeping uses' projects half done. Dnd doing so would actually re-orient me to the hard-won learnings about how to be alone and not helpless here. So I've decided just to welcome myself back with a clean and straightened up living room/kitchen/garage!

A typical day here:

Early Rachelcast wakies re Mueller's 1st charges. Back to bed til 9am+. Awoke knowing where garage security cam goes.

Potential Mueller-firing rapid-response rallies signed up for and publicized. Great post by friend re racism saved.

Cold pizza brekky after unstiffening house pickups, got dressed for Tyler carseat fix at 1pm (w items found in linen closet during last night's movie), then tea. Fleece throws re-allocated.

Hooked up Tyler w more vouches w police that he is The Guy We Psy to Look Through Our Windows, via adjoining neighbors. Allocated him a weed sprayer to store in outdoor resin 'garage' (trash can keeper).

Ministries at FB discerned for Internet svc provider, in case of data cost discussion.

Driver car seat modified. Car cleaned out. Garden helper items stowed in kennel area. Gate reclosed w rubber straps for mowing service. Bugout sked/help planned. Driveway trash policed. Garage trash to bin.

Big ticket item: Groceries n 3 cheap DVD's for the last few days here, the drive, and restockin the pantry for cold weather return. Halloween candy bought (NOT child-slavery-sourced chocolate!!!).


29 Oct 17 - 10:38 AM (#3885444)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Yesterday morning I pulled the remaining tomatoes and eggplants from the now frost-burned plants. Time to pull all of the foliage and tote it back to the compost. The frost singed the tops of the potatoes that are coming up on their own; usually I would plant them in January but they came up because I didn't pick last year. Last year I had some tiny little leftover buds from the previous year's garden and they started growing but never really got much of a crop going, then they disappeared under a volunteer tomato and sweet potatoes. Now the tomatoes and sweet potatoes have been dug and the soil is clear for the lasota potatoes.

Identifying items to offer via a "Buy Nothing" facebook group in this area. I heard about and found the closest group (they're in the next town east of here). What I have to figure out is how to occasionally drop off items without making an extra trip (no point in donating small things if you're burning a lot of gas and time to do it.) I have a small loop to drive this morning, dropping off recycling, picking up a gift for a friend, and getting free mulch for my garden. Even with that, this group is outside that logical range. I'll have to plan a drop off on my way home from work for this to make sense. I'm thinking of making a centrally located Goodwill my point of exchange.

Making another batch of my favorite eggplant casserole this evening to feed myself this week. Cooking the last of the garden crop rather than cramming any more in the freezer.


02 Nov 17 - 11:24 AM (#3886398)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Back in the early years of this new century Katlaughing (who originated all of these declutter/exercise threads) started working on a book, and it became Wind Words of Wyoming. She started it because of the NaNoWriMo challenge, November as a month in which to write an entire novel. A number of mudcatters picked up the challenge, but she actually finished the book.

I don't know that I'll finish a book, but I have decided to use this month to block out a book I've been thinking about for years. Ala Roald Dahl or Louise Erdrich, with multiple related short stories, different narrators, that combine to tell the whole.

The original sales page Katlaughing set up is still there, though I don't know if the purchasing links work.


02 Nov 17 - 12:55 PM (#3886419)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

A writing challenge by katlaughing is a welcome revival. It will pay to advertise. In those early years I knew nothing about mudcat but I knew I liked catlaughing's posts.   by any spelling she was swell
I still know less about mudcat than I would wish but am surprised when I go exploring.

I am forced to declutter with a commitment to replace all our windows.
This time it is actually getting done. With the floors being done afterwards, a second complete decluttering will be forced.


02 Nov 17 - 05:01 PM (#3886454)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've looked through a box of owner's manuals to find instructions for a small item to list on eBay; in the process I've found a handful of manuals for items I no longer own.

As a personal hobby, I enjoy looking through the sites like http://www.manualsonline.com/ and if I have one that isn't listed, I scan and add it. This helps other people like me who have items they want to sell find out information and print it up to include in the shipping box. Or people like me who buy used appliances and want to know how they work, etc. So that stack of manuals will be slowly scanned and entered into the site then tossed into the recycle bin. (You used to be able to find such manuals on eBay, but people always charged too much for them, and this online sharing of manuals is a much better way of operating.)

I didn't find the booklet I was looking for, but I found them for a couple of other things that are around here that should also go on eBay, so those are in a different stack.


02 Nov 17 - 06:34 PM (#3886470)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

That is no more odd than collecting molds spores mushrooms slimes and fungi. Manuals even have an air of safety. You could say RTFM with ipunity.


04 Nov 17 - 10:46 AM (#3886743)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Working on a sewing project I realized there might be a small device that would help make my own bias tape (after cutting the correct width, feed it through, iron it as it comes out, it's ready to go). A reviewer for one of these kits on Amazon said "you should use a bias foot instead," and a light went off. I dug around and found the lovely shiny tubular bias foot in the box of attachments for my antique sewing machine. That still works just fine. Not only frugal, but it will probably look better when it's finished.


04 Nov 17 - 02:09 PM (#3886779)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

It seemed like SUCH a good idea to bring home all the empty boxes and mattress bags when we cleaned out the OH garage, but OY, my back, and Hardi did all the heavy lifting!?

But the upstairs rooms full of bookses now haz empty boxes of a good sort/tote size to begin the purge.


04 Nov 17 - 07:28 PM (#3886826)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Plumbing challenge today - the friend who will replace the sewer line came to see how deep the line is, and pierced the water line by accident, so spent a couple of hours back and forth to fix that. I'm going to have to prepare ahead, have plenty of water handy, and clear a path through the front yard because this will involve an excavator. I pulled up some lilies and daffodil bulbs this afternoon, and put a few in another bed I was working on. I pulled up some steel edging in one area and put some down new in another. This shifts my plans for the next couple of weeks, I didn't know a machine that large would be involved.


05 Nov 17 - 09:36 AM (#3886889)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

For those regular and lurker readers who have mentioned pain (who hasn't, at this point) here's an article that might be helpful. Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain.
The Feldenkrais method is one of several increasingly popular movement techniques, similar to the Alexander technique, that attempt to better integrate the connections between mind and body. By becoming aware of how one?s body interacts with its surroundings and learning how to behave in less stressful ways, it becomes possible to relinquish habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to chronic pain.

It was developed by "Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, mechanical engineer and expert in martial arts, after a knee injury threatened to leave him unable to walk. Relying on his expert knowledge of gravity and the mechanics of motion, he developed exercises to help teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move."

A bit further down in the article:
Mr. Wyszynski explained that he starts by observing how patients are using their skeletons ? how they sit, stand and walk in ways that may cause or contribute to their pathology, be it spinal disc disease, arthritis, shoulder pain or damaged knee joints. In accordance with Dr. Feldenkrais?s astute observation, ?If you don?t know what you are doing, you can?t do what you want,? patients are then given a clear sensory experience of how their posture and behavior contribute to their pain and physical limitations.

For example, some people may use excessive force, clench their teeth, hold their breath or rush, causing undue muscle tension and skeletal stress. Years ago, I realized that my frequent headaches resulted from an unconscious habit of clenching my jaw when I concentrated intently on a task like sewing or cooking. Feldenkrais teachers do not give formulas for a proper way of behaving; rather, they rely on their patients? ability to self-discover and self-correct.


Even if you don't go to one of these clinics, I think there will be information that helps each of us be more mindful about clenched teeth, hunched shoulders, funky walks, etc. It comes back to good posture:

As a mechanical engineer and physicist, Dr. Feldenkrais understood that the job of the human skeleton was to accommodate the effects of gravity in order to remain upright. And he wanted people to achieve this in the most efficient way possible.


05 Nov 17 - 04:18 PM (#3886942)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

It's been awhile since I posted and I can't remember if I shared that our cabin sold and we had the closing a little over 2 weeks ago. It was a lovely place for us with lots of good memories but it wasn't needed any longer so it was time for it to go. I have no regrets and am glad to be moving forward.

We are going to do some home improvements with the extra money including the addition of 2 windows to our living room. There is one corner that is so dark and this will lighten the room considerable to a view overlooking a few mountain ridges without another house, car, barn or person in sight. Bonus? It will allow us to add an air conditioner in the summer. Someone recently gave us their freestanding room AC so it won't even block the view!   We also have plans of adding a barn style sliding door across one of the pantries in the kitchen that currently has a curtain over the opening. Given the layout of that room, a normal door simply won't work....I love the look of the sliding doors so that's all good with me! New flooring will be going down in the bathroom and in the spring, a new front porch will be going up. The back deck is coming off to be made shorter but wider with a roof as currently it is too hot to sit out there without some kind of coverage. So many projects and so little time....and it seems that when we do have time, we are both just wiped out.

I've been sick all weekend....coughing, sore throat, worn out tired. Monday is looking down her pretty nose at me and I'm hoping I'm ready as I've got a busy week ahead.

As far as decluttering, I have a few bags in my car to be dropped off at the Salvation Army this week. Mostly clothing that Jeremiah has outgrown and shoes that I'm not wearing any longer that are in good shape.

It's cold and dreary here today so I am trying out a new recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup in the crock pot. It smells wonderful and has about 2 hours to go. I'm having mixed feelings about it though as I know with this cold, I probably should stay away from dairy as best I can....so maybe it will be my lunch tomorrow. We shall see.

Pete is napping, Jeremiah is practicing his guitar and I've been working on my Ta-Da List for the work week. I just got notice that a weekly meeting I am to attend has been cancelled which opens up an additional 3 hours in my schedule, Excellent! :) In addition, it's a 4 day work week for both myself and Jeremiah. Maybe we'll do some joint decluttering and plow through all the toys he no longer plays with. :)

Happy November Everybody!

Michelle


05 Nov 17 - 08:02 PM (#3886969)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I love the plans you describe making to the house. Those windows and the view in particular. Covered porches are always inviting - I hope you'll post before and after photos on your facebook page. Am I accurate in guessing that Pete will do a lot of the construction?

I just got a call from my next door neighbor, and I headed over with a straight-sided plastic trash can and my longest kitchen tongs to catch and release a snake in her living room. She's moving soon; I'll miss our wildlife adventures. I've caught and released several tarantulas over the years, this is our first snake! (A western rat snake, small and non-venomous, but with an attitude! It kept shaking it's tail and feigning strikes from down in the bottom of the trash can. My neighbor was quite impressed but I was laughing at it's antics.)


06 Nov 17 - 09:51 AM (#3887080)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The only wildlife I've seen in this house belongs to the insect kingdom, thank God. I'm not sure how the cats would react to a western rat snake, but my money's on violence with associated mayhem.

Our kitchen renovation begins tomorrow, so this afternoon will be dedicated to setting up a tactical operations centre in the basement TV room-cum-library. The six-foot folding table from the garage will go in front of British Empire history, and I guess we just stack it with everything that will fit or can be made to fit on it or under it. To accommodate dishes, one of the dining room cabinets will migrate downstairs; I'm not yet sure how, but we're getting really quite good at moving furniture around this house. Finally, the espresso machine, the microwave and the toaster oven must also find space, as must the dish-drainer. Dishwashing will be done in the laundry room, with a hospital basin for a dishpan and the dish-drainer on top of the dryer.

The refrigerator is moving to the garage, where it will stay. A new fridge will move into the kitchen, and the old one, with its damaged bins that fall out on your toes, will become a beer fridge that also grudgingly accommodates such items as mineral water and foods in the process of marinating. Himself has always wanted a beer fridge.

The outlook for November is messy.


06 Nov 17 - 06:33 PM (#3887167)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

Well, the book purge is underway. I'm just whipping thru decisions at this point, with three receiving boxes: Donate, Gift to a known individual, Maybe. My back can only take a few minutes at a time so I did just a tad past comfort today, to build stamina; put on NPR and took Newbie upstairs for company, and netted one boxful to donate, another 2/3 filled to donate, and one box started for a ministry colleague.

I found 3 items that go to the Liberation Library in Ohio and added them to the open Ohio box. I freed up 3 small boxes for the next Donate boxes and knocked off. Because it came at the end of a very active chore morning, when I sat to let my back settle I promptly fell asleep. Good thing the dog woke me up to let her out!

My present goal is one small box each day M - Th, and to send them all to the most handicap (walker) accessible branch library as Hardi is able to load them up.

The Maybe box-- I'll have to go thru w Hardi as he's available. Eventually I'll be down to all Maybe's, and then I'll compare Ohio shelf space to books-- and make the remaining hard decisions. I'm just trusting it will make sense then, what to keep.

The 40' of shelf space presently occupied by songbooks will be a separate purge, later. Whatever we keep will probably be shelved in the Ohio garage because our garage band of neighborhood kids will want to use them. A nearby folkie group with a monthly song circle/jam will be offered the rest. I have one of value, which is also signed by Kytrad, that I'll probably donate to Mudcat for auction.


07 Nov 17 - 02:57 PM (#3887368)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

Book purge continued. Partially packed box filled and taped. Second small box filled/taped. A third of the Maybe's allocated to Gift and that recipient-labeled box more than half full. A few more items for other Giftee allocated to her box.

All this aggravated an injured shoulder, damn!


07 Nov 17 - 04:39 PM (#3887379)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The carpenter started work in our kitchen today, and immediately found an unanticipated problem: something in the bulkhead over the fridge (and under the second-best bathroom) is leaking now, and -- judging from the damage to the plasterboard and the newly exposed pipes -- has been leaking for a long, long time. Cue the plumber, who will visit us tomorrow morning bright and early.

Kitchen, dining room and sitting room operations have been transferred to the basement TV room, where the toaster oven, microwave and "kitchen dishes" are jammed in among the books and storage shelving, and the entire contents of the pantry is stashed under a six-foot folding table in wine boxes and plastic milk crates. The refrigerator is now in the garage, and the sitting room is a jumble of furniture shoved out of the dining room. For the next three weeks, we will be eating off our knees in front of the TV and washing dishes in the laundry room.

Menus will tend toward cereal, sandwiches, and anything nukable that looks half-way nourishing. We bought an electric kettle at Canadian Tire to ensure a steady supply of tea, and the espresso machine now sits on top of a low bookcase.

The cats are not happy. Come to think of it, neither am I, but I have high hopes for neatness and efficiency in December.


08 Nov 17 - 08:27 AM (#3887510)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Full-blown mayhem is under way in the kitchen, where Tony the carpenter is tearing out a doorframe and its associated section of wall in preparation for the removal of the shower stall that currently occupies the space that will soon become a pantry. Cat 1, Watson, was last seen on the futon in the basement; he is now almost certainly under it. Cat 2, Isobel, is probably behind the dryer and won't be seen again until Tony has packed up and gone for the day.

I wish there was room back there for me, too. If there's one noise I hate in this world, it's power tools, closely followed by the shriek of hardware being pulled out of wood.


08 Nov 17 - 01:53 PM (#3887576)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Well, shoot, if I'd known you were reduced to such spartan food preparation circumstances I'd have picked up that nice bright orange 1970s electric saucepan I saw at the Goodwill this morning. Mailing it might have gotten to you just before the work is finished. :)

I have one I inherited from a friend and it comes out on special occasions - when all of the burners are in use on the stove or when we have something that needs cooking and a rectangle is easier to prepare it in than a circular skillet. (I make meat pies called "empanadillas" every year around xmas, and it's perfect for cooking a bunch of those rectangular pies in shallow oil.)

What was the plumber's verdict on the ancient leak? Is it a simple repair and the replacement of some lath and plaster, or is a bathroom remodel suddenly part of the project?


09 Nov 17 - 06:04 PM (#3887759)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Dirth of energy. Usually "finished" for the day by 1 pm, including when I get up at ten! Or so it seems. Big event was an interesting workshop on "The Land Between", on Saturday; it was an hour away and after, I drive another 2.5 hour to Toronto for Chris Rawlings "Seventy Years of Music"- a terrific event. I had to leave about 10 pm for the 3 hour trip home but enjoyed the music, the few friends of almost 50 years and the couple new ones - 2 new interesting FB friends. That was a super positive! So glad I did it - then rested totally for a couple days!

So, each day I manage to muddle through a few tasks - still unloading the car from last trip and it will be soon time to leave again. It took me four days to manage to complete an airbnb booking for my granddaughter and her friend - arriving in Montreal on 16th. I was going to try to get the house in order but too daunting, and then R informed he was bitten by a rat - in bed! Forget it! NOT my pregnant GD! I found a place 5 blocks away on the same street! But the torture of getting it completed was traumatic.

So I bring in wood, eat too much, gained weight back and I care but ... Fed up. the recently done eye has been hurting to the whimpering level. Went to Dr yesterday and they are "healing nicely". I really was getting scared. Still bothers me but less. The good news was seeing well enough to drive to Toronto and back at night! Even saw a deer by the road from a good enough distance to stop and tell it to go home! It did.

Today: the complication was sorting out the logistics of an emission test on 12 year old car. I called for an appointment; Man asked if the dash lights were on (the stupid yellow lights that have been on for over a year and no one knows how to get rid of them). I told him they were both on and he made me an appointment. I went to it today and was told the car would fail if the lights were on! I used words such as "incompetent" "poorly trained" "gross stupidity" "irresponsible" And the dumb broad kept saying "no no..." I was breathing fire and she was upset that I had the audacity to be annoyed??? How could anyone be that dumb? What if I had driven 20 miles, not unusual up here. Left there and considered the possibilities. I will go back to that dealer in QC on 21st to get lights fixed and then to someone in Ontario for emission check. Too bad I did not know about this emissions test when I had the work done in Quebec a few weeks ago.... Life is fraught with hazard! I consider those lights a scam; the times someone did manage to check them and turn them out it was of no consequence. Most of the service stations do not even know how to turn them off. It requires a computer and $50, even it there is nothing wrong!

7F for tonight!


09 Nov 17 - 07:56 PM (#3887778)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yesterday the plumber found and repaired the pipe that was leaking into the wall beside the refrigerator, and installed a new seal on the toilet in the second-best bathroom, which is right over the kitchen. Today the electricians came to sort out the wiring, a task that took them into every space in the house as they established precisely which fixtures were on which circuits; over the years, some very dodgy work has been done in this house. Meanwhile, Tony the carpenter was making a jeezly great hole in the outside wall over the kitchen window to accommodate the outlet duct from the exhaust hood that will be installed over the new range. Thank God, it didn't start to rain until late afternoon.

Meanwhile, I went to the gym for a comprehensive cardio workout and ironed a basketful of shirts, including three of the wing-collar jobs Himself wears in court.

Tomorrow will bring the return of the electricians and perhaps the gas-fitter and his apprentice, who should have come this afternoon but didn't.


10 Nov 17 - 12:04 AM (#3887808)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Over the last few weeks I've helped my next-door neighbor assemble boxes to pack in; she's moving to Austin to a retirement apartment near her son. Her house is always the neatest I've ever seen, and most of the things that fill a 2000 square foot house are going into an estate sale the weekend after this. Her new small apartment will not be cluttered.

I was over tonight helping disassemble the video equipment that attaches cable to the television components and leaving the Internet modem and router in place until she leaves. The house phone is now disconnected but she has a cell phone. I'll have her over tomorrow for dinner again, and maybe for coffee on Saturday morning - her son will arrive with a UHaul at midday and help pack up and transport her to Austin. She's tried to leave out enough items so she can make coffee, have a meal, but it would be easier to simply come over here.

I found a couple of things at thrift stores this week to list on eBay, and I have things here already to list. We're to the time of year when people are looking for gifts or will have time to spend online shopping, so I should have them ready to go. This weekend my time will be split between working in the yard and listing items. Getting ready to spend money on the sewer line replacement and hopefully make money on eBay.

I tried a gluten-free pumpkin bread mix this evening - and it was wonderful! I've avoided a lot of baking since I've been avoiding flour, a good move in general since it's a source of calories and carbs. I need to I'll cut this loaf into portions and freeze it to use as dessert. It would be too tempting to eat the whole loaf if I don't put it away soon. I figured out how to scan bar codes into the "My Fitness Pal" app, so can keep track of things like this easily.


10 Nov 17 - 08:37 AM (#3887858)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

It snowed in the night, and Stratford is cold this morning. So is our house, where the outside wall of the kitchen has been stripped back to the studs and sheathing, the better to reveal the various forms of crapitude that have been inflicted on the plumbing and wiring by previous owners.

We blew the circuits last night in our efforts to make supper; who knew that the water heater was on the same circuit as the toaster? Thank God for wireless and Google, which provided a comforting You Tube video on resetting your circuit-breaker switch when it resists resetting.

The electricians are back, so it's time to shut down the computer and flee to the gym.


10 Nov 17 - 09:31 AM (#3887866)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Thanks for the electric skillet idea, Vashta, but our emergency cave dwelling is full of books that should not be exposed to the splatter and spray generated real cooking -- at least when I'm the cook. If we limit ourselves to what we can nuke in the microwave or bake in the toaster oven, we reduce the risk to everything else in the room.

And the mayhem level during working hours means we pretty well have to eat lunch out, so our diet hardly qualifies as Spartan. This is Stratford, after all, the foodiest town (per capita) in Ontario. Today, I think I'll call in at Mercer Hall for a Japanese rice bowl topped with shredded duck ... !


10 Nov 17 - 09:41 AM (#3887868)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

Trying to see thru a pile of confusions (no advice pls), howwwww?????....where?!?.... to choose staging spaces for the room by room purge/donate process involved over the several PA stints between "retirement installments" (aka life in Ohio). My activity level deficit requires that effort but......


10 Nov 17 - 10:19 AM (#3887878)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Difficult to offer advice, anyway, with so little concrete information - like which state (other than Confusion) you're actually in right now. Good luck with the decisions. :)

Hadn't thought about grease splatter around books. And I don't suppose you want to cook in whatever bathrooms are unaffected by the construction. Backyard grill?

A friend near Lake Michigan posted photos of the snow that covered her yard when she woke this morning. Over the summer they built a pole barn garage/shop and storage area, and this is just the weather she has waited for to start working on her crafts out there (the space is heated, but not cooled). It reminds me that I need to clear the space in front of my garage work bench and put away the various things piled atop the work bench.


10 Nov 17 - 04:34 PM (#3887925)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

All this book chatter.....must be something in the air. I have been getting rid of books that Jeremiah has outgrown and frankly, I have a small storage building full of books that I collected while I was teaching. They are all boxed by grade level and I'm ready to let them go. Several of my coworkers have children so I am going to unload it all into the conference room for everyone to go through and take what they want. Any leftovers will go in the lobby for clients or to our local library for their biannual book sale. I also have two 6 foot tall bookcases in one of the downstairs hallways that I am sorting through of my own stuff. There are several reference books there for my profession but also homesteading books which Pete will never part with and my own collection of photography books...some of which I am contemplating parting with. I used to have a darkroom in the house where we previously lived and had thought that one day I would have one in this house as well. It's been almost 20 years and that hasn't happened nor do I think it will happen anytime soon. I still love to work in a darkroom, I don't think that will ever change but I also love digital editing. It's different, to be sure, but I still get great enjoyment from this. So...with that said, I am trying to decide how to get rid of my enlarger. It's too big and bulky to sell and I hate to just give it away but there is a professional camera shop not far from where I work and I've been wondering if they take things on consignment....I imagine they do...so I'm going to look into that this week.
    I've been sick for the last week or maybe week and a half...finally went to the doctor on Wednesday and I have bronchitis. I took Wednesday and Thursday off and today was a paid holiday for our company.....so that's 3 days of medications in my body and I am feeling better. I'm not coughing nearly as much and I have my voice again but I get tired out easily....so I'm letting my body dictate what gets done and what will wait....sure does give me a lot of time to think though! I did get the kitchen floor scrubbed today but I think that's about all I'm going to do except for maybe revamping our budget a bit.
    I joined a decluttering group on FB of local women. Today's challenge is to take before and after photos of under the bathroom sink....I will do that today too. For me, that area is just dishtowels....it's a bit disheveled at the moment as that is an area that Jeremiah tends to (folds and puts towels away) so it won't take long to straighten up. Progress is progress and I'll take it.
    I have been slowly chiseling away at my closet. I have decided to get rid of all the clothes that do not currently fit unless it's something I absolutely love. I have held onto things for years simply because our budget was so screaming tight that I wasn't sure I'd ever have money to buy new clothes for myself. That is no longer the case and when and if I ever need a new size, I rather enjoy shopping for new clothes....so.....buh bye to all the old stuff!

I suppose that's it for now. I'm looking forward to the return of some energy (I have a sneaking suspicion, this bronchitis has been around for longer than I care to admit).

Be well everyone!

Michelle


10 Nov 17 - 09:08 PM (#3887956)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Those books sound like a treasure trove!

I've continued to thin out household items and electronics for both eBay sales and to donate to Goodwill. Cleaning off my computer desk and other work spaces around the house.

Yesterday I found a tidy little dehydrator at Aldi. I have several 8oz boxes of fresh mushrooms that I'm going to run through it first. The trays are drying now, after being washed before starting.

I've rearranged some of the streaming video stations in my house - I finally realized that I should put the Firestick on the television in the kitchen, then I don't need to worry about having a computer attached to it for anything I want to stream (NetFlix or Amazon Prime). My laptop has been in there for a while. I retired a desktop computer from the kitchen to the guest room this year, I may be able to retire it from the guest room soon. Rather than a computer to stream stuff and play videos, I can use an inexpensive dongle. I organized my cables, power supplies, and peripherals a while ago. I may get a hard drive enclosure or docking station and move the drive from the computer I plan to retire. My thought is that if I have all of my digital programming stored on these drives and a Plexi-like media server then I can play something on any room in the house and as I work between rooms, keep track of programs. Or not. An entertainment system that works around the house. I'm also thinking about taking my retired computer desk (in the guest room with the retired kitchen computer) and putting it in the craft room. The table I use for sewing in the craft room can be flattened (it's one of those portable ones with legs that fold flat inside the framework of the top). I could set my sewing machine on the computer table, and put a lot of other stuff on the various shelves, taking less space but more efficient.

Photos at 11.


11 Nov 17 - 01:33 PM (#3888046)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My neighbor was over for a cuppa coffee this morning after I helped her close the last few boxes and disconnect the modem and router for transport. Her son will be here soon with the UHaul. I am sorry to see her go, and we will visit if I get down there. Everything left in the house will be sold next weekend. I may go over on Sunday to see what's left; I took a look at the media cabinet and found the design of the side drawers wasn't as efficient as I hoped.

It took a couple of tries to get some of the electronics to work in their new location. Now I need to move the one on the dining area buffet and clear the sewing project off of the table in time for Thanksgiving.


11 Nov 17 - 01:41 PM (#3888047)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

PA

We had a good talk here about moving upheaval; while I think further about staging space, I'm shifting to direct trash purging-- LESS focus on packing (which creates the staging need), and MORE focus on creating space via things LEAVING.

That means a disposal kit to move thru rooms w me: a recycle bin, a Goodwill bin, and paper leaf bags for trash (not plastic). THEN each room will have less in it, and each room can have its own staging area.

There will remain some furniture items in PA when we eventually load up the moving truck; frankly many of them are too worn put to donate to the parish rummage sale. Those ickier items may be trashed or recycled, whereas the still-good items will be offered to the parish as long planned.

Another issue I'm hopeful about is re-thinking my house chairs, and the flow of movement. In Ohio there are long, straight lines for the flow of chores, with a good chair for a short sit at each end and in between. In PA it's not linear, but circular and vertical. That means changing the directionality of my chore flow, and maybe moving one of the 2-piece recliners upstairs. But that's for next week's consideration.


11 Nov 17 - 10:30 PM (#3888098)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

After the Remembrance Day parade, I knuckled down to cleaning the sitting room, which lay under a depressing veil of plaster dust. I wanted to read the paper, dammit, but I couldn't bring myself to walk across the filthy carpet in order to sit on grubby upholstery. So I broke out the vacuum cleaner, the dusters and the mop and got busy.

The back half of the ground floor of the house is now almost completely gutted, with half-rigged wiring draped from the ceiling in several critical places and plug receptacles dangling like evulsed eyeballs. The outside wall of the kitchen has been stripped back to the sheathing and studs, and the kitchen ceiling has been laid open in a 12-inch gap where Tony the carpenter has installed the new exhaust duct.

Himself says it reminds him of bombed-out houses in Bosnia.

The electricians will be back on Monday, and I'm getting nervous about how much they're going to cost by the time their part of the project is finished. In effect, they are rewiring not only three quarters of the ground floor but also significant areas of the basement, the upstairs, and even the garage that used to share circuits with parts of the dining room and kitchen. It's work that will pay off in the long run, but good Lord what a mess they make! Tony rigged sheets of plastic to contain the dust, but it's only about 75 percent effective. When the job is done, I'm going to find a good cleaner ... that is, a cleaner who is at least as good as I am, and a whole lot younger, less arthritic, and more energetic.


12 Nov 17 - 05:42 PM (#3888207)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I went through a ridiculous amount of paperwork, condensed a great deal of it and shredded the rest. Whew.

I see that this thread has been mostly about decluttering but since the title still says & Fitness, I'm going to throw this out there....it's time for me to step it up. Pete and I have decided to shake things up for the next month. He has his reasons that are personal to him but for me, I am ready to start the weight loss process again. Prior to the cancer adventure, I had lost 100+ pounds, had all kinds of energy and was rocking the yoga world (at least in my own head..LOL) but then...well, you all know what happened. It has taken me YEARS to regain my energy and my body has stiffened considerably. I have a FitBit and that sometimes is motivating to me. I know how many steps I go on an average day when it's just work and home time without intentionally trying to hit the 10,000 mark. I am going to revisit my yoga studio for a gentle yoga class. There is also a studio near my job that I might revisit but honestly, I prefer to be closer to home after my yoga. I have a sitter lined up for one day a week (ok, two days a week but I'm starting yoga for one day a week) and see how it goes for the next month.

So, there it is. I am committing to focusing on ME and both my nutritional and physical needs for the next month. If it's manageable, we can extend the time.....but for now, the next 30 days are going to be a time of change. :)

Be well.

Michelle


12 Nov 17 - 08:18 PM (#3888236)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

I just got some excellent notes from a well-listened-to brainstorming session of this morning; what I came up with addresses house, joints, balance, nutrition-- and real life in a clergy household. My partner in that session is a grandma-aged preacher's kid and gardener, who lives now with someone of my aporoximate degree of disability, so she HEARD me without advising me. Yay! No distractions!

The days of the week each already had activities and gained a new activity, many of which are OUT of the house. It's realistic, allowing for body repair via active rest (as distinct from sloth). It's all stuff I like to do, and can adapt with mobility aids on hand.

The notes have already been shared with the best cheerleaders on the planet, to be sure Thyroid Brain Fog doesn't push me back chairwards.

It was hell dealing with all the emotional issues in the way of progress, but since I had excellent support in that department I was able to entrust the solutions to the spontaneous insight process we all possess when support IS adequate.

Another recent new gain is a spiritual director who firmly and gently insists I slow down, PERIOD, twice a day for five minutes-- and that I connect with a better-organized medical practice to address the many health issues whose intersections make all the solutions so darn hard: an end to struggle. Not an end of solving problems; not an end to problems. An end to approaching them via isolated struggle. The group she suggested I explore is in Ohio, so if they're as good as she says that will solve THAT question. Now I need to see if PA doc and OH doc can work together. I think I know how-- via OH consult in January with report to PA doc because until the foreseeable future, I'm halftime in each state.

~S~


12 Nov 17 - 08:42 PM (#3888239)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Thyroid brain fog reminds me of diabetes fatigue.

Three car loads of declutter junk is done with three to go.

Three days to go until a windows install.
Its going to be close.
I just don't have the ambition to ebay obsolete electronics and such.
Its embarrassing but I am just doing a purge.
1/4 of the basement is just canvas and pictures, I'll save that purge till later


12 Nov 17 - 10:27 PM (#3888248)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I go in spurts as far as the eBay listings, and when I have multiples of things I list them one at a time and then relist using new photos but most of the description and sales particulars the same. I have one box to put in the mail tomorrow morning. Despite the eBay sales, I also have items that just don't merit the work and go in a bin I keep in the laundry room for donation items.

I worked my way through several pounds of fresh mushrooms this weekend, using the new dehydrator to preserve them. I wanted to put them in vacuum sealed jars (put the lid on, not completely tight, insert lidded jar into Food Saver vacuum bin, attach hose, and turn it on. The jar inside also loses the air and then it's lid seals.) To have the mushrooms truly dry enough I took them from the dehydrator (much reduced in volume) and put them on a cookie sheet in a very low oven. I ended up with about three quarts of dried sliced mushrooms.


13 Nov 17 - 05:51 AM (#3888290)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall

Kitchen got thorough vacuuming tonight after a window pane I'd left leaning in its track, fell while I tried to better my position to fit it in properly.

Am now faced with the tasks of finding a glazier to replace the glass in the empty steel frame and disposing of the shards and small pieces of a 30 inch by 36 inch piece of glass.

rags


13 Nov 17 - 09:45 AM (#3888341)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

You have my sympathy, Rags. I did the same thing a few years ago, and isn't it interesting that such events never happen on a fine clear day in summer?

The electricians are back, making more holes and plaster dust. I'm going to the gym as much to flee the racket of the electric saw as to improve my physical fitness.

We have been living in the basement for a week now, and a clumsy sort of routine is setting in. Two more weeks of this ... Ack!


13 Nov 17 - 10:19 AM (#3888348)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Working up to the prep for leaving to go to Montreal for 10 days. On the plus side is my grand d and the father of her daughter, due in Feb. I am SO looking forward to seeing her and meeting him. I HATE leaving my home to get cold and have been wrestling with how to maintain the plants with least expenditure of electric for little heaters. Will be using the "magic" outlet, Maggie, for the Bathroom but still need a place for blooming diplademia (too awkward to transport) and Af. violet - in full lovely bloom.

Today is final prep day: clean a cheap tea trolley that was in the studio, put all the geraniums on it and put in studio which I have been keeping above freezing - kept hoping for energy to pot if solar gain warmed it enough - neither happened but I shall keep it going as I do NOT want clay to freeze and do not feel like moving it into bathroom. Also put dahlia and canna roots in there. All to be re-thought when I return.

Eyes are not bothering any more! Ankle has been better - hot bath and comfrey poultice! The moving of firewood into house is making me stronger day by day and energy level is better. May have lost a couple pounds, too.

The carrots are frozen into the ground but I am hoping today will thaw enough to get them out. Carrot soup! I put a window over them in hopes solar gain might help but there is no solar yet today, just pale grey sky!

Leave for the mill in the morning at a time that will not have me driving east into the rising sun. Then to Montreal on Weds to have my head organized, at least, in that disastrous house. All meals will be eaten out. A series of musical events are planned. And I suspect some museums will be visited. Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, and leave on Monday am. Then I rest!

RE those darn engine lights! Double darn!!! My 12 year old car needs an emissions check to be licensed for next year. It will not pass if the lights are on. So, Tues I go back to that dealer, where I did not get the lights tended to a few weeks ago... (DID NOT know about this test back then!) Hope it is simple! Then wait two days before emissions test. Will stop at dealer in Belleville on way home on Thursday. arriving home poorer but hopefully with test passed. The actual test is free.

Life really is fraught with hazard.


13 Nov 17 - 10:33 AM (#3888355)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

DP, not sure this is applicable but clamp lamps with small bulbs kept newly hatched chicks warm in a winter barn.


13 Nov 17 - 02:05 PM (#3888379)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

I've been reading about leaving root vegetables in the ground till you need them, but that presupposes the absence of mice. I have had sweet potatoes attached by mice, so I dig them now, don't leave them out there.


15 Nov 17 - 09:06 AM (#3888701)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The electricians have arrived for what they claim (and I hope) will be their last day on the premises. The washing-up tackle has been removed from the laundry hole (where the electrical panel is located), and all food secured. The cats have gone to ground.

Today's plan includes a visit to the gym and some grocery shopping: frozen entrées, because preparing raw ingredients is just too messy for our current situation, and salad ingredients. I am already heartily sick of lasagna and cottage pie, but must acknowledge the great improvement in the quality of such ready-to-heat comestibles over the last 20 years. Himself wants salmon ...

The electricians are invading the sitting room today, and when that task is completed every single space in the house will have been affected by the kitchen project. Truly, a modern house is a framework containing a web of plumbing and wires, and we live in the heart of the web like a couple of spiders.


15 Nov 17 - 08:27 PM (#3888817)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

Since I'll be away for tomorrow's planned purge date upstairs, I took some of today's active rest day and put a better work chair and a pack of leaf bags up there, then purged the rest of the books stored in the garden room. A large box awaits 3 or 4 more books from another room and then it can be taped for delivery. Also purged the master bedroom's trash and recyclables (Rx bottles), leaving a recycling box set to catch the ongoing RX bottles.


15 Nov 17 - 08:46 PM (#3888819)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Steve Shaw

We've had three huge downstairs windows replaced today. We've waited for many weeks after first ordering them, and whaddya know? Pouring with rain when the men arrived first thing this morning. However, the job's done, the chaps were thoroughly professional, even vacuuming the house before they left, and we are now totally double-glazed downstairs for the first time ever. It should be a cosy winter! But what a day it's been. Lovely fellers but they took a liking to my cappuccinos so I ended up making eight! Mrs Steve abandoned me for tea and cakes with her mates in town...Thank God for this bottle of Negroamaro...


15 Nov 17 - 09:56 PM (#3888823)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I need to replace the windows in this house, but there are a number of things that won't get done until the foundation is stabilized. So nothing big will get done anytime soon. The big project this weekend is to replace the sewer line; calls to the plumber are expensive and the mess that must be cleaned when the line backs up mean this is an essential job now. That will certainly declutter my pocketbook considerably!


16 Nov 17 - 05:45 AM (#3888850)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Steve Shaw

Living in old houses generally means sensible-sized rooms and a cosy feel but there's always something to fix. We still have a few totally knackered single-glazed windows that desperately need replacing. We have an extremely deep stairwell that needs decorating and there's no way I can do it myself. We need new radiators throughout. I worry about the chimney. The kitchen needs a new floor covering. We have a damp wall. I need to dig out a new soakwaway in one place. We need new gutters all round if I'm honest. But it all works for us. I need a sugar-daddy. 😂


16 Nov 17 - 08:42 PM (#3888940)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm pretty sure what You consider an "old house" is way older than what people around my area consider old. I've read the exploits of several UK folks working on their houses, and it is a different world, with historic structures and craftsmen working on things built decades or centuries ago. My house was built in 1976. I also worry about the chimney on my house, it doesn't draw well and it water has worked into the masonry so the mortar around the ugly stone hearth is crumbling.

If you find that sugar-daddy, see if he wants to travel to the U.S. also. :)


17 Nov 17 - 05:42 AM (#3888965)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Steve Shaw

Our house was built in around 1890. It's made with stone walls two feet thick. It has a slate roof that we had to renew at huge expense about ten years ago. It stands on its own in a big garden surrounded by farmland. We're a hundred feet above sea level (by my reckoning, safely above tsunami reach) and less than half a mile from the Atlantic and we're fully exposed to the westerlies. In thirty years we've had to make five insurance claims, three for roof damage (but none since the new roof - the slates are individually clipped down now) and two for demolished greenhouses! Via lots of shrubs and trees I've gradually managed to create quite a sheltered garden, in contrast to the open field we had when we moved in. The climate is mild but lots of shrubs and trees wouldn't be able to take the salt winds we get in winter. A good overnight blow often means we can't see through the salt on our windows next morning!


17 Nov 17 - 07:53 AM (#3888982)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

A house is a hole in the ground into which you throw money, shovelful by shovelful.

The gas-fitter arrived at half-past seven, and now they're making holes in the walls and calling to each other in distressed voices. "Can you see that?" "Have you got enough room?" Rumble, rumble, rumble. I don't hear any positive responses, so I sit up here in the study thinking dark thoughts.


17 Nov 17 - 09:33 AM (#3889004)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I just skimmed through this thread to find my May and October reports of having the rotorooter guys come get the roots out of the sewer line, the outcome of needing a new line, and I've set everything in motion. The excavator arrives today, the yard is flagged by the various utility services to protect any existing lines nearby, and tomorrow it happens. I have to sign for the equipment when it's delivered today, then all will be revealed to the neighborhood - something big is happening. If, until then, I work in the back yard and leave the garage door closed with the SUV inside, the code enforcement guys (who cruise past regularly in their white pickup trucks) won't see I'm home to ask about it. They're off on weekends (they suffer from the "big fish in a small pond" syndrome and are busybodies in their little fiefdom).


17 Nov 17 - 11:29 PM (#3889066)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's difficult (but essential) to have the sewer line replacement happening this weekend before Thanksgiving. I need to start staging the meal, making space for a thawed (or fresh - I don't have one yet) turkey, and all of the other stuff. Tonight I worked on something I would have kept till tomorrow, to get ahead. When I make batches of kidney beans (based on a recipe from my late Puerto Rican mother-in-law) I empty a lot of things from the fridge. I have decluttered the fridge of a pint of fancy little tomatoes my ex gave me last week, about 8 ounces of canned pumpkin leftover from last week's pumpkin bread, a bowl full of poblano pepper that came in from the garden right after the first frost of the year, a container with garlic and half of an onion, etc. The resulting batch of beans went into 11 12-ounce jars in the freezer for lunches. It cleared about a half-shelf for holiday ingredients.

Charmion, did the electricians really finish this week?


18 Nov 17 - 07:34 AM (#3889104)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Steve Shaw

Never keep tomatoes in the fridge, Acme! More than a day or so of fridge temperatures switches off genes that produce volatiles that give tomatoes their flavour and aroma, and they don't recover when you warm them up again. It's one reason why shop tomatoes can look lovely and red yet taste of nothing - they've been cold-stored for too long.


18 Nov 17 - 10:20 AM (#3889127)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Steve Shaw

Talk about clearing out. Mrs Steve's away for the weekend so I'm mopping up forgotten-about food. Just had an omelette made with out-of-date eggs, whacked on top of a plain naan bread that was five weeks out of date (grilled it and tipped the omelette butter on it first). Delicious!


18 Nov 17 - 11:01 AM (#3889129)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

These were store-bought tomatoes at the point when they were going to deteriorate, and they'd probably already been in a fridge. My garden tomatoes don't go into the fridge until they absolutely have to, and I then try very soon to process them (canning or freezing).

I regularly share garden produce, and my former next door neighbor called one day to see if I had some tomatoes. I'd given her a bad time about buying some the week before, when the garden was going great guns. I was getting ready to can and she laughed when she walked into my kitchen and saw every flat surface covered with a layer of boxes and bowls of these ripe tomatoes.

The work is underway in the yard, and we have a wind advisory all day today as a cold front moves in. It won't be too cold to work out there, but it is going to take some of the pleasure out of the task. I realized pretty quickly that standing around watching isn't helping, it kind of cramps their style, and though I brought an offered-and-accepted array of shovels (they had their own, but you can never have too many when it comes to the specialty ones - trowels, short shovels, sharp shooters, etc.) and at one point some needed duct tape. For tomorrow: I'll have to replace a chunk of concrete in the path. That's easy enough with 2x4s edging and bags of quick concrete, but it means another step in the job.

I need to work on my self-assigned task for today, to rebuild my wheelbarrow with new handles. I think I'll move this activity into the greenhouse. That wind is a killer. And while I'm at it, I'll straighten out the greenhouse. Truth be told, gardeners are packrats, you can never have too many pots, etc, but I should probably get rid of some of the really lightweight stuff that occupies space but rarely gets reused. I'll need the wheelbarrow - I had visualized a tidy line of excavated dirt through the front yard, but there will be quite a bit of shoveling and shifting to do out there when they finish, and the refurbished wheelbarrow is instrumental in that. (I could buy a new wheelbarrow for probably twice what I paid for the new handles, but there is nothing wrong with the barrow itself and I hate the idea of throwing things away instead of repairing them.)


18 Nov 17 - 11:34 AM (#3889136)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

When is the purchase of Twenty-five Fashion Scarves not hoarding?

I noticed recently that the scarves I'd bought from eye lust for eye candy are getting not only polite compliments.... but blurted exclamatory compliments. So I started paying more attention, and I hypothesized that their eye-catching contrast with "my" olive drab, pastel, or grey-tinged colors somehow draw the beholder's eye away from my thin hair, my tetracycline smile, and my too-casual garb. Hm. So I tested that hypothesis with a full length mirror-- not a loved item due to a recent thyroid-slump weight gain I'm just trying to LOSE, even if all that fits comfortably is sweat pants and drab t-shirts!

I've had three scarves to alternate, all Goodwill purchases. Yesterday I went back for another one or two. Deep in the bins I found 50 of the length that has been working. About 10 are the texture I love next to my skin. A few were very dressy, with sparkle. One is actually a sash belt that will either fit or be used as a scarf tied differently.

Now I can stop worrying about getting more food stains on my shells and shirts-- the scarf du jour is unwound as a crossover bib. I can leave the scratchy ones at the gourmet restaurant whose high-tech entrees have ruined many a blouse. I can divide the duplicate color ranges between PA and Ohio. I can leave a generic color in each of our two cars. I can tie scratchy ones on my scooter and walker handlebars to tie up my hair or cargo, or stream in the breeze. I can reduce the amount of paper I use as kleenex or extra napkins. One had necklace-conversion jewelry I can swap onto any scarf, and a pendant to convert to a necklace using that really narrow scarf too narrow to use as a scarf and too short to use as a scooter tie.

I can consider them disposable after several uses, because 25 cost $25. Now they're off to wash out a trace of mothball scent, and then sorting begins!


18 Nov 17 - 10:18 PM (#3889218)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Too many distractions to work on the wheelbarrow, but I need to do it tomorrow, before the guys come back to finish backfilling the trench. The sewer line is finished, though there is a drip where sweating a repair in the water line (got hit by the excavator) didn't close it perfectly. While one of them fixes that, I'll be putting edging back, trimming, and planting to give the yard the look that I was landscaping all weekend.

It was rough today but tomorrow will be calm and feel warmer since the wind died down. The repair didn't go all of the way to the house because there is a part of the foundation (that went under a long gone planter) that is in the way. There will be more garden work out there over the long holiday weekend.


19 Nov 17 - 09:37 AM (#3889295)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

So....the new food plan in our house is working out fabulously! We are both happy with it, not feeling hungry at all (weirdest thing ever for me....aside from uber-stressful times of not being able to eat....I can't remember a time when I haven't been somewhat hungry) and I'm down 6.8 pounds this week and I am not dragging in the energy department! Yes, I know...water weight....probably but it's a rockin' start!   I did not get to yoga...chickened out and opted for some other activity/errand/thing to do. Maybe this week I will get to yoga....maybe not...overtime hours will need to be put in due to an early closing of the office on Wednesday and subsequent 2 days off (while we get paid for those days off, we get 7 hours of pay and not 8 and I'm kind of anal about getting in my 40 hours).....anyway, we shall see.

After a week of the above plan, Pete and I decided it was something sustainable for us so yesterday I did a major grocery shopping expedition to overhaul my kitchen.

Something else I've been thinking about is my closet. I've started working in there but the thing is, I just want to ditch everything that does not currently fit, with the exception of maybe 5 favorite items. I have a huge closet that is full but most of it are items I can't wear anymore. So this morning I approached my thought with Pete. "Dear Heart, what would you think if I got rid of EVERYTHING in the closet that doesn't currently fit and just start over?"   He said, "Go for it, it's probably all out of style anyway." While I tend to wear more classic clothes instead of trendy, I'm happy with the go ahead! :)    I have approximately 10 solid work outfits I'll keep and 4 days of play clothes/after work clothes, etc. The rest is going buh bye! I can't wait to have the space and it will make it so much easier to find things. :)

It's cold and damp today and I have seen a few snowflakes this morning. The pellet stove and woodstove are both on making it very cozy here. I've spent some time this morning, picking up and am just about to sit down to breakfast which my beloved has made. :) Lazy Sunday mornings are my favorite.

Have a great week everybody!

Michelle


19 Nov 17 - 09:55 AM (#3889297)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Finishing my morning cup of tea, then out into the yard to transform the heaps of dirt into the look of landscaping.

We weren't able to replace the entire line. The section close to the house is sound, but it is under a corner of an extension of the foundation, so the new piece is a few feet out from the house. And down at the curb - there is a gas line somewhere under there, and these guys regularly work for a public works department in a neighboring city - they know better than most the risk and danger of hitting a gas line. So they dug to within a few feet of the curb and connected to the line from the street. I'll still have to use root killer twice a year to treat that end of the line, but the breaks in the connections that ran through the yard will no longer be part of the equation. The cast iron segments were held together with rubber boots held in place by hose clamps. The rubber had failed and roots had been going through.

Now that I know that that shallow bed in front of the house is a couple of inches of soil over a true part of the foundation, I'm going to take advantage of it and extend a porch out there. That's a project for next year.

P.S. Michelle, your closet plan sounds like a winner. If you find something exceptional you'd forgotten about as you clear out, you can decide to add it to the keep pile or not - but feel totally virtuous about clearing the space. I have a few bins up on shelves in my closet I should probably do that with also. They're clear bins with a paper in view on the inside telling me the size and contents - I kept what I felt were the "classic" pieces of sizes I hope to get into in the future. Those bins have been taking up space for a long time now. I'll have to ask myself what else I would do with that space. Congratulations on deciding what direction to move with this project.


19 Nov 17 - 03:09 PM (#3889328)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

No, Acme, the electricians are not *really* finished. Wires dangle from every connection in the work area, waiting for the carpenter to repair the walls and ceilings; the plug receptacles in the sitting room are dead again for no discernible reason; and half the circuit breakers in the panel have misleading labels, as the circuits have been rewired and now cover different parts of the house. Also, the range and its exhaust hood have yet to be installed, a project that will involve both a gas-fitter and an electrician.

We must also summon back the plumber, as the sink in the second-best bathroom drains very slowly despite several doses of Drano. This condition makes it possible to see that water from the new supply lines laid in when the leaking pipe was discovered contains grit. Although the sink drains so slowly that we have not been able to flush those lines as thoroughly as a plumber might want us to, I believe that the water should be running clear after nearly two weeks of use.

Mayhem begins again tomorrow, when Tony the carpenter returns to start hanging drywall. Sean the contractor allowed as how we probably have three more weeks (Three! More! Weeks!) to wait before we can count on making tea in our new kitchen.


19 Nov 17 - 05:19 PM (#3889344)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My yard isn't finished, but most of the piles of dirt are gone and I've put in a bed near the curb and transplanted in herbs and iris and filled in with mulch. I'm headed out for a batch of mulch, and maybe a second if it doesn't get dark.

The excavator will be picked up tomorrow morning, and I'll be spending next weekend working out front taking advantage of all of this softened and moved dirt and top soil. (The time I'm taking to type this is also when I'm grabbing a very late lunch/early dinner.)

Resting up from the weekend tomorrow at work.


19 Nov 17 - 10:02 PM (#3889373)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Two batches later (from a place a few miles from here where the city has free mulch from trimming trees in city parks) I've spread some around and left the full bags blocking anyone from tumbling into the hole left out there - the water line isn't completely mended yet, it has a slow drip but is on so I have water in the house. My friend will finish the repair tomorrow after work, then we'll finish filling in that hole. And over the next couple of weekends I'll take advantage of all of that disturbed soil and extra dirt and redo more beds. I also have to fix the wire for the Invisible Fence. That got clobbered and a repair at the break doesn't work - it must have broken in two places, and we haven't found the other one yet. I'm sure the company will have a solution.


20 Nov 17 - 02:31 PM (#3889490)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA

The 25 scarves are sorted, and the PA lot are hung up on hooks that were sitting there, empty, inside the door of the closet in the room where I dress (bathroom). The Ohio batch is packed.

I used some of the jewelry on one to modify another one (it was actually not a scarf) that was more fabric but lighter fabric, and too big for a scarf overall; it ended up making a long, simulated ruffle in blue tones, running all down my front.

One was a continuous-scarf-type I want to make into a regular one with fringe; I opened uo the seam but its too filmy to fring it myself; so I'll look for some fringe to sew on, at our next Surplus City trip (on a day off).

I'd scored some t-shirts on my way to Ohio, there, that solve another problem-- I like t-shirts with messages, but my message budget and message drawer have hit their limits. I discovered via YouTube that Sharpie can be used to make a message shirt or a tie-dye effect (or both on one shirt). So-- as I stain the fronts of these in everyday wear, I'll use the same idea tattoo artists use to cover a bad tattoo, using Sharpie art with a message, as phrases come to me for one-of-a-kind messaging. $2 each. I'll fringe a few of those, because they are extra long; I did that with another long t-shirt and got a lot of compliments. Apparently, fringing my big butt balances out my big bosom. I'll expreiment wit shapes-- longer on the sides, for instance, so Im not sitting on fringe knots!

~S~


21 Nov 17 - 11:47 PM (#3889688)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After cleverly arranging to do the sewer work over the weekend and have the excavator picked up early on Monday morning to remove evidence of major earth moving, it is disappointing that the rental company still hasn't removed the equipment by Tuesday evening. It's a pretty clear advertisement that we were up to a big project. The city code enforcement folks work Monday through Friday, and as obtuse as they are, they have probably noticed this appliance in my yard by now. Next: #Obfuscation

The water line was broken on Sunday and fixed, but needed a better repair (done today). The dog containment (Invisible Fence) gets fixed tomorrow. The only thing remaining on the project is to put in a new section of concrete on my front path, once that dirt settles a bit.


22 Nov 17 - 05:00 PM (#3889834)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The house is a mess, there is dog hair piled up in corners and under furniture, and I have tons of cooking to do by tomorrow. The next 24 hours are some of the busiest of the year. Miracles will happen. Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone!


22 Nov 17 - 09:22 PM (#3889865)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

I lost 5 of the 25 pounds I gained during the last thyroid slump.

~S~


22 Nov 17 - 09:39 PM (#3889869)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't expect to lose any weight in the next couple of days. I will pay careful attention to sodium and calcium.

On a bright note, my replacement fitness tracker from Nokia arrived today. It died in the middle of last summer and they didn't replace it with the same model because they all had a condensation problem. I've been patient (and they sent me a free scale to lessen the blow of waiting so long). I did find it helped me do a better job of getting exercise.


23 Nov 17 - 09:00 PM (#3890040)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Today was all about family time. We did not do a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and such but what we did do was wonderful, fit the plan we are working and the company was fabulous! We helped to put up a Christmas tree, fixed up some very interesting remote controlled candles, played games, talked, laughed....it was a most wonderful day!

I am not partaking in the Black Friday madness. No. Just NO.

Tomorrow I will be working in my sewing room. I am working on a quilt for the House of Care which is where I often stayed during my cancer treatments. I have sewed together several pieces that have been signed by survivors and now have to piece the rest of it together. A friend of mine will be doing the long arming. She lost her mother to cancer and she wants to be part of this quilt. :)

I have an enlarger in my sewing room that will be looking for a new home. I must get it advertised and get it out of here. I wish I could use it but a darkroom just isn't in the plans. It's time to part ways and make some room.

My closet remains in the same state....I predict that half of the closet project will be completed by Sunday....as long as my quilting gets done anyway. :)

I hope everyone has had a spectacular Thanksgiving!


Michelle


23 Nov 17 - 11:52 PM (#3890046)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

What a difference a year makes - I'm tired and my feet are tender after all of the standing and walking around the kitchen, but last year I was struggling through the full-fledged pain of Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR for short). I've been on a treatment since April of this year, and though I've had to adjust my dosage back up a bit recently, I'm back to my old self muscle-wise. I was able to lift, get up and down, and use my hands (I could barely open a jar last year).

That's the long of it. The short of it - thank goodness for dishwashers. :)

Too bad about no darkroom, Michelle. Do you use Photoshop and Lightroom? That's where the processing happens these days in my world.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


24 Nov 17 - 09:21 AM (#3890109)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I'm glad to hear that the Thanksgiving madness is passing down south, with much churning of dishwashers and inventory of left-overs. We don't have a major eating holiday in November, so the kitchen project at our house is not disrupting our social life -- much.

A new character joined the construction drama this morning: Patrick the painter, who pronounced the existing decor "really ugly" and agreed to quote on the rest of the house once the kitchen project is finished and our bank balance has recovered somewhat. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Tony the carpenter is building a new door frame for the ground-floor loo, which thus will become usable again by close of play today. Sean the contractor says he will start installing cabinets on Monday, so today I must call the appliance dealers and tell them to deliver the new range, refrigerator and dishwasher next Friday.

I remember the excitement of Christmas when I was five and had convinced myself that my parents would buy me a pony. I remember the breathless anticipation in the week before the "formal", which is what we called the big dance when I was in high school back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. That's nothing to how I feel about our new kitchen appliances, the first such items I have ever chosen for myself, to meet our needs as cooks and householders, rather than accepting what was supplied by a landlord or housing developer, or was cheapest at Sears.

Whenever I leave the house these days, I seem to buy or otherwise acquire something before I come home again; I'm such a frequent flyer at Canadian Tire that the cashiers smile and wave. When all this tumult is over and the house is fully functional, I intend to launch a no-acquisitions regime. I wonder if I can get through Lent next year without bringing anything into the house that is not food or something required for cleaning or emergency maintenance. Interesting challenge ...


24 Nov 17 - 11:24 AM (#3890149)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Between an early Thursday morning death notification and Gregs pastoral call, and a Friday morning Columbarium service just concluded, our always-flexible "holiday" plan sustained us with brunchy turkey salad and brie... after late rising Thursday... while we prepared and roasted a whole leg of lamb with spinach creamed in feta cheese sauce. There were grapes as well. Now it's on to a Black Friday bulk meat sale for chix at $0.29/lb and freezer packing fun.


24 Nov 17 - 05:05 PM (#3890235)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Fifty pounds of chicken at $50 (all breasts and leg quarters), plus several pounds of lamb (free), plus Monday's free turkey will equal one very full freezer for two people.

We cooked the chicken leg quarters and about 2/3 of the boneless/skinless chicken breast. The white meat will become either stir fry (six 2-portions ziplocs, shredded and frozen). The lamb went into two big ziplocs for meals already cooked for later, and several more smaller bags' worth are yet to be sliced and divided as sandwich or curry packages. Half of the cooked turkey is frozen.

I'm glad to be leaving Hardi with a full freezer in January, but the most fun part was Newbie and her leg of lamb bone.


24 Nov 17 - 09:43 PM (#3890264)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I didn't do much productive most of the day, just lounged around and enjoyed a day off. Something I rarely do.

This evening I made a pot of turkey soup; it's finishing simmering to let the rice I added cook completely, then it's into the fridge for meals over the weekend and next week. After having people in for the meal yesterday, the house is looking good. As the soup cooked I reduced the size of the dining table and put my sewing project out on it again. I puttered in the kitchen, clearing up, gluing, repairing, tossing a few things.


25 Nov 17 - 09:23 AM (#3890321)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Last weekend I completed my self-assigned task and replaced the handles on my wheelbarrow. There is a brace between the posts down at the front end, and when the old handles were still on it shifted and the wheel scraped against it. I had to stop and move that loose brace to do much; now everything will stay where it is supposed to be. It feels like a new device. Today I'll use that barrow to pick up and move some of my concrete stepping stones that were moved across the yard out of the way of the work. And I need to mow the lawn for the last time this year (though I'll have the mower out a time or two more for mulching leaves.)

My fridge is full of food, even after I sent a lot home with people. Sweet potatoes for breakfast this morning - mmmm!


25 Nov 17 - 11:41 AM (#3890354)
Subject: Bad Back in Motion for Rebuilding Stamina
From: wysiwyg

PA

Bad Back in Motion, for Rebuilding Stamina

We were both so tired last night that we went to bed before 10pm and slept til 7:30 am. After a lazy wake-up Hardi planned to head out back to put on the snow plow blade (first bringing me cooked chix legs and breasts into kitchen), and I got to work with the next round of dishes-- big pans to dishwasher after a quick soak/scrub. Started chicken packing, which Hardi ferried to freezer as he passed by.

Next I grabbed more DW items from LR (keep that sore back in motion), added those, staeted the DW, refilled the vinegar jug, and took a bag of lamb to LR table to slice. This resulted in one feta-sauce glass pan of weekend eats, and 2 small bags for sammy/curry while I'm in Ohio (labeled).

I discovered the lamb shank cut off ydy but not cooked and frozen, that I chuckef into the freezer instead of poaching-- we need to close this project, and shanks are always slow-cooker fare anyway; so freezing twice = no problem for a future shared meal and bone for Newbie.

There's one giant pan left of chix thighs to pack, once the Lodine kicks in, at the LR table where I've already gathered the supplies. The glass pan with feta/lamb is in the nukerater for Greg to fire up when hungry after snow blade is installed. I'm not hungry, yet, having snacked on meat shreds as I packed meats.

It was an intense 1-1/4 hour in motion before my back screamed SIT. So Ah settin'. Oh yeah I spent an hour early this AM picking out 6 months of Saturday music and setting up the year's planner which involved removing half the pages to recycle-- it includes ALL saint's days for possible planning, but we use this only for Saturdays and leave the rest to the organist.

~S~


25 Nov 17 - 04:25 PM (#3890405)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's hard work preparing all of that meat but in the coming months you'll thank your past self again and again. I read a Boston Globe story from 2015 about former Gov. Michael Dukakis and his love of turkey stock - he takes the turkey carcass home with him from dinners at friends or family homes. I make stock with the carcass of turkey or chicken, though won't recruit other birds. There's a batch of soup in the fridge right now, and the fixings for another batch soon. He's also a gardener, and believes in not wasting food.

The back yard has been mowed, now to the major job out front - hauling the remnants of the vegetable garden back to the compost area. A friend gave me a compost enclosure thing I'm going to try out for some of this (including the food scraps from buckets can go into this - they've already broken down for weeks in a covered 5-gallon bucket, but you'd be amazed at what my pit bull will dig out of the regular compost pile). The front needs a lot more work, but I wanted the back to be ready to receive anything I haul from the front. I pulled out the holiday lights and I'll put them up this afternoon as well. There's a juniper that is perfect for decorations this year.


26 Nov 17 - 10:10 AM (#3890507)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme,

Yes, I've managed our meat supply that way now for years, and that's why we were able to squeeze in an actual Thanksgiving between a death call and a funeral (two different people/families, 36 hours apart), very smoothly. The difference this year is packing the freezer, also, in light of my planned absence and return, with the surprise meat sale... for which I had packaging materials already on hand.

A big change I'm looking forward to, when we retire, is not having to run it this way. We're actually too old for all this bulk management. I just wish my DIL's lived close enough to learn this approach to kitchen economy.

~S~


26 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM (#3890508)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion! Thank you for a good laugh - but so true!!

"A house is a hole in the ground into which you throw money, shovelful by shovelful."

Beaver is getting further tightened with rigid insulation on the floor upstairs and plywood on that. Dan says it looks like a real room now! It is high enough in the centre for a not-too-tall person to stand so we will be using it as a sleeping loft. He found lots of holes where cold was getting in. He is also going to do some structural strengthening before I get back. He also made styrofoam insert for me to put in the hole for the trapdoor-to-be. Currently, there was only a piece of plexiglass - which is great for letting light come down from upstairs windows but not very good for keeping heat downstairs. At night I can put insert in place; daytime have light!

I finally arrived at the house in Montreal to find R had actually decluttered enough of the LR that there is room for 5 chairs! and we can see the floor! Far from nice middle class gentility but a tremendous improvement. He did not have time to vacuum, alas!!! I am too fearful of dust to do that so it remains filthy around the edges. He did wash the wood floor. And cleared enough surface in the K that food prep was possible - with care.

Thank heavens for airbnb!

My beautiful granddaughter along with my 3rd ggd in utero and the father of such, arrived on 16th. We had a terrific weekend - at least from R and my point of view. A marvellous accordionist at the cafe in St. Isidore on Thurs, and a good meal. Fri, Ali and I went to a special Quaker meeting at Friend Molly's long term care facility; Molly was in far better shape than I expected - So terrific!

Then we picked up Jeremy and I took them to Old Montreal where we wandered around and had lunch in a small cafe. The big event was an evening at the Yellow Door Coffee House - where I worked for years and my young sons hung out, perforce! This was top priority for son Troy as he has such positive memories and it started him on the music track that has so enriched his life.

A quick side trip to the All Night Bagel Factory was also on the list and elicited a surprised response from the young ones. J posted an excellent pic on FB! Saturday, A & J walked up to the Fine Art Museum, spent the day and then walked back down to our place where we had chili, family photo albums and visiting until they walked the 5 blocks to their airbnb.

On Sunday, A, R and I went to meeting and pot luck then picked up J to go to a museum/house dating to late 1600s. Wow! Then to a big buffet restaurant - crowded bit not overly.

We got them to the plane on Monday and I collapsed. R went to work. Tues took car for a new oxygen sensor, thinking this was it - but NO, something wrong in the front wheel; have to order part from US, come back next week. Thursday, it started making a nasty noise. Fri, I arranged to leave it at the dealer en route to cafe; R followed me in his truck and we left my car and continued in truck. Good music, went to mill to pick up distiller as we were running out of distilled water. Stayed the night and left early (for us!) and had big BF at a restaurant.

My 10 days in Montreal is turning into almost 3 weeks. A friend is arriving next week to stay for 18 days. We will give him upstairs BR which is --oops, we cannot move our clothes up there until after this visit. R did live trap the rat!! We will use the new-to-us futon downstairs. Hope it is reasonably comfortable.

I have triaged a bunch of stuff to take to thrift shops and some to Beaver. It is a relief to be able to "swing a cat" in the LR. R is happy to have me cooking him good food. I am feeling appreciated. It was so wonderful to have Ali visit, and to meet J; they are fine young people. It does help de-clutter the mind to have assurance that the younger gen is fine.

Today R & I are having lunch with a very dear special friend from the 60s, and his wonderful wife. They have moved back to Montreal after many years in the USA.

I have given up thinking about dieting for now. Just eating good food.

My health consultant Connie, rose to the occasion after we talked a couple days ago about my discomfort/pain that resulted from the removal of lymph nodes 12 years ago. She found a post on line with good explanation and suggestions for self healing! R and I are so happy as it was becoming a serious issue. I posted it on FB.


26 Nov 17 - 10:14 AM (#3890509)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

As I was drifting off to sleep last night I figured out how to use the broken up concrete resulting from two segments of my front path that were broken up during the sewer line replacement. I'll place them a couple of inches apart and fill in around them with pea gravel next to the front porch.

I did the same thing a number of years ago when next door broke up their concrete driveway to put down bricks. I put down chunks and pea gravel in an area where the dogs were always making the lawn muddy near the back gate. There's a lot of grass in it now, but the area is stable as far as the dogs running over it. Out front it will be easier to keep out the grass because the pavers and gravel will be on that bit of foundation. I was thinking about building a deck over the area, but this will work better and I can still put potted plants and a bench on that spot.

After yesterday's yard work I'll pace myself, I can feel a few sore muscles today. Dorothy and Charmion, I am amazed at everything you're doing these days. All of that activity is a great way to stay warm in winter.


27 Nov 17 - 12:05 AM (#3890616)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The seasons are changing - and I'm chasing the Labrador retriever off of my sofa, so it's time to put the waterproof dog cover over it and it's theirs for the next couple of months. I need to declutter all of them of long nails so they don't rip it - I have a clipper, I just need to nerve myself to do it, without scaring them in the process. I can give them their annual immunizations, certainly I can clip nails.

Three Shark vacuum canisters full of dog hair emptied into the trash today. I went over all of the rugs and ran the wand through all of the corners.

It seems to be mostly dog stuff in this report - I also set up the compost enclosure, reinforced with three fence posts (the kind you pound in and catch the chicken wire in the little notches). I filled it with garden stuff and contents from three compost buckets. I scooped dog droppings from around the yard and scattered them in the bin and around the base. That will repel at least two of the three.

In the front, it will take me a while to empty that shallow bed and move in the pavers, but the shovel can live beside the kitchen door and a bucket is handy - a few minutes a day will get me there. My next door neighbors were glad to see the lights up already - for some of us, it's a sign of life. Someone got out and did something the neighborhood will notice (though I daresay the trench through the yard probably achieved that even more than two strings of lights). :)


27 Nov 17 - 09:13 AM (#3890697)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I spent the weekend wiping and vacuuming and mopping plaster dust off everything on the ground floor, where the sitting room furniture was once again veiled in grey and the cats were picking pussy paw-loads sufficient to mark every surface in every other part of the house. Then I did the same in our enormous bedroom, which contains five chests of drawers and a row of three floor-to-ceiling bookcases as well as a queen-sized bed. Upholstery got vacuumed and cushion covers laundered. The dryer whooshed and thumped for two days straight. My feet are a pair of hurtin' units now.

Only the study (seven floor-to-ceiling bookcases), Himself's office (two floor-to-ceiling bookcases), the guest room and the basement (eight floor-to-ceiling bookcases and five sections of storage shelving) to go. Not to speak of the furnace room and the laundry hole, where sawdust abounds ...

Cabinet installation begins today, hooray hooray hooray hooray! The cabinet-maker and his guys were loading their trailer when I called at 0850 hr to find out the order of march. I look forward to a week of visible progress!


27 Nov 17 - 08:07 PM (#3890806)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

Charmion! You are living in a situation that would make me dreadfully ill in minutes. Breathing drywall dust and sawdust are very much not recommended. Perhaps you could, at least, tightly close the BR so you are not breathing in that stuff all night as well.

Tonight, I hope to broach the subject of finding a home for both of us in less urban Quebec - 30 minutes from the centre of R's work area rather than 15 minutes. I found 4 on line today at reasonable prices - small, suburban, with yards and parking. One even backs onto a nature preserve! This will be an initial suggestion and maybe shot down instantly but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I am concerned that he does not eat properly, by his own admission, when I am not in residence, cooking and serving his tired self.

Considering the condition of this house and the fact that he actually is considering the possibility of selling it, which, of course, does not mean it will happen in my lifetime but hope does spring eternal. Being rid of this derelict heritage house could be the most monumental bit of de-cluttering in both our lives!

We visited a friend of 49 years, and his wife, yesterday. We sat down in their modestly furnished but clean, comfortable and tidy LR and my first comment was "On my, a nice gentile, middle class LR!" (Very dear friends!) What a pleasure to be in an uncluttered LR, and DR! Maybe I have been away from Beaver too long.


27 Nov 17 - 11:10 PM (#3890815)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I remember seeing photos of the neighboring house - it's in a great area, someone should get it and actually do the fixing-up, Dorothy. And treat it the way it needs to be treated. And you two can move on, as you say, to a less complicated and tidy living space.

I took the year off of the title of this thread. It's puttering along quietly, and with mudcat loading faster now, should do well enough for at least the next year. I can add 2018 into the title in the New Year - if the number is what helps you spot the thread.

One more eBay item sold, they're going at about one a week now, and I'm keeping up, getting more listed every couple of weeks. This isn't fast, but they add up to enough to pay at least one bill each month. For now, it'll be a modest vet bill as the oldest dog is kept comfortable. I have a lot more stuff to list.


29 Nov 17 - 10:35 PM (#3891341)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's amazing to consider how much activity and information is packed into the tiny space that is my smart phone. And how naked I feel without it. The phone or the battery died suddenly today. I tried various things, nothing worked. I have another one on order, should arrive on Friday, and if this is fixed before then I'll return that one unopened. I found a battery place in town to go test this Powerbear battery (that has a warranty); if it's dead, I'll wait for the replacement. I've lined up my ducks to get the battery replacement if that's called for (I hope they still make it.) I wish I'd kept the other battery; it lost it's charge quickly but still worked, I could have used it to test the phone now. I seem to keep everything, but not that. :-/

Fairly recent used phones can be sold on eBay; I've done it. But I can't sell a non-working one because it's full of my data.

I have other things to do around here, but that is a major distraction. I am continuing a project from last winter, soaking some old lace table cloths and linens to see if I can bring them back to white or cream color. Some to keep, some to sell on eBay. And I have sewing stuff spread out on the dining table again.


30 Nov 17 - 10:03 AM (#3891435)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The dining-room floor was laid yesterday, and it is beautiful -- even though it is very obviously not the same shade of brown as the abutting floor in the sitting room. That's the last time I consult Himself on a colour comparison and let his opinion over-rule my doubts.

The sample board provided by the flooring supplier was more of a hindrance than a help. No matter how I held it, I could not align any of the most likely samples with the existing floor. Also, during the week we had it, Stratford lay under a blanket of cloud that made high noon look like supper-time, making colour discrimination that much more difficult.

We had a short, blunt discussion of the issue yesterday and decided that we shall never mention it again. If necessary, we can use it as a litmus test for potential jerks; he who mentions it in criticism can be safely identified as a jerk and never asked back.

Cabinet installation is going well, and the shape of the kitchen to come is now clearly evident. It will work, and it will look "sharp" as Himself says. The counter-tops (five slabs of granite) and the new appliances are due to arrive on Monday, which will therefore be fraught with incident.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the forest, I am cleaning up after the plaster work. The forced-air heating system distributed grey powder throughout the house, so I have been wiping and vacuuming as if expecting an inspection by the Admiral of the Fleet. After a day of cleaning dusty books, my voice is reduced to a creak and I sneeze volcanically -- but the damn' books and the shelves they sit on are clean! Well, clean-ish. As clean as aging books can be expected to be.

The north-facing window of the study has proved perfect for my collection of orchids, which are putting out flower spikes at a great rate. They look a bit ... shall we say ... surprising, among the computer equipment and bookcases, but their continuing vitality perks me up no end.


30 Nov 17 - 11:08 PM (#3891544)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It appears to have been the phone, not the battery at fault in my lack of connectivity this week. The new one should arrive tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have taken WYSIWYG's advice and looked at root killers. My new sewer line is attached to the old one near the house, and it's fine there (and has a new two-way cleanout a few feet from the house), but the last segment that dips down to the street level may still be subject to roots because they didn't want to get too close to the gas line during installation. The connection left some of the old line down there to be safe. (Wise men.) I picked up a jar of the foaming root killer (yes, $20 seems expensive, until you see the bill from the plumber!) to do this weekend, and a bottle of Zeb, that will be used every few months after that to maintain the line free of roots. One evening this weekend I'll pour the powder into the cleanout out in the yard then flush a couple of times to push it to where it needs to be (to stay in the line overnight). The guy at Home Depot was impressed with my description of our setup and we discussed the options - the folks who work there enjoy being more than just sales clerks.

eBay stuff is starting to move - even for small sellers this is the season. I'll put up more listings this weekend - the plan is to spend days in the yard, evenings working in the sun room.


02 Dec 17 - 12:46 AM (#3891771)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Killed most of the day today waiting at home for the phone delivery. I did get some work done for work, but since my existing phone was dead I wasn't able to uninstall many of my security two-factor accounts, so I've had to set them up in the new phone or logon via the computer and disengage then reinstall so they point at this phone. It often involves a barcode displayed on the computer that the phone software then scans. This is necessary phone clutter in this day and age.

Lovely weather, no rain lately. The yard will be drying out (soil gets rock hard) but after so much disturbance, I imagine I can still get a shovel into it to start working around the front porch.


02 Dec 17 - 10:30 AM (#3891849)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Last night before bed I poured Roebic foaming crystals poured down the nifty front-yard sewer cleanout, then two flushes of the toilet to position the chemical in the line to kill tree roots. I'll be doing some landscaping around that area today, moving defacto paving blocks (broken concrete from the front path) into position next to the porch.

Charmion, we all await news of the progress at your house, and Dorothy, keep us abreast of news of your various domiciles. Susan, are you still moving as much stuff now that it's winter (and presuming snow season)? Lurkers - have you performed some magical clearing of your homes that you'd like to share with the declutter thread readers?


02 Dec 17 - 11:43 AM (#3891854)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion! Orchids amongst the computers sounds great!

New modem: Netgear aircard is working SO much better than the old model which was driving me crazy. This one turns on an off in a moment so I hope it will be more efficient and less expensive, though I do not understand what it is that costs...

I visited the two possible home sites off Island - after car was finally repaired Thurs - with two new tires on front due to one having been destroyed by broken coil spring rubbing on it. After over $2000 in repairs there is the - maybe I should have gotten a new vehicle instead! But we never know. Well de-cluttered finances! And the thought of planning to be able to obtain a new car in the next year or so. R says, "wait until something goes wrong"! NO! I do not want to be at the mercy of a car dealer at the wrong time of year...

So I picked up the car in Chateauguay and started looking for these two houses by "instinct", for lack of a map. I found a marvellous treasure! Totally lost I ended up following signs for a "refuge faunatique" and found a beautiful facility - cafe and visitor's centre for the wildlife refuge which entails most of a large island between the Chateauguay River and the Saint Lawrence. Ile St. Bernard was a "nuns" island so it is historic, with a convent as well. I was vibrating with excitement; it was so wonderful. The nice man at the cafe gave me directions to one address - a small suburban house tucked between others but backing onto another huge nature preserve! The whole area is mainly swampy! What else can be done with it!!! It is half a block (west) of the Chateauguay R. as well. The pics on line look good; we have both looked at them thoroughly and find it OK. A big clean basement and a shed in back yard, 3 BRs (one for a library), and a decent K, back deck, etc.

Then I managed to find the other one which has a darkness to it. I have not bothered to show R. So, IF this house sells, it is possible we can buy something else. Whether or not R will go for the extra distance...? But I have not yet taken him to Ile St Bernard! He has seen the booklet and seen it on line - Beautiful, Maggie! To be five minutes away from real country - not agricultural!- and near two rivers!

The plot would be to spend more time with R so he eats better... Meanwhile, someone is coming tomorrow to see house and R has some de-cluttering to do!! This is an "as is" sale, if at all but a person has to be able to SEE it! I cleaned up some dust with a damp cloth and have a headache for my trouble. Back to Beaver on Monday for a couple weeks then back here in hopes of getting R to Beaver for Christmas.

It would be such a joy to have a decent home here and be able to spend safe time with R. AS we get older, this is becoming an issue - in my mind, at least. Driving still affects ankle and dust is my worst enemy!

My big job to day is to concoct something substantial for a potluck to night. Starting with beans (on stove), rice (next in line), veggies and seasoning. Ah, yes, ye useful onion, celery...


02 Dec 17 - 11:55 AM (#3891856)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme, thanks for the Roebic update. Great use of it.

The job now is not weather dependent-- identify/package purgeables, and trash/recycle weekly w household trash/recycling. There's room here to hold donations til weather and schedule and strength coinicide-- as they did yesterday, when 5 small book boxes went to the accessible-entrance library.

To top off the last book box, I had to venture into a second rooom's bookcase, and surprised myself at the ratio of Purge/Maybe Keep; I had thought those would be mostly Def Keep... but nope! Away 60% went-- painlessly. Half the shelf is already done, because I grabbed another box and Hardi was available to carry them down to join the two brought down earlier. (There's a downstairs table where 2-3 donation smalls can sit until transit, plus more space I created upstairs).

Perhaps the book equation is different in light of Kindle technology, and knowing who is getting some of the categorized items also helps-- I have another 5 categorized boxes, almost ready to deliver/media-ship.

This is very encouraging when I contemplate more shelves yet to confront: the feeling of being overwhelmed is disappearing because I do know, now, how I can handle those areas.

Thursday, I rearranged another upstairs space slightly-- which improved that space as well as opening access to a closet to store more packed items out of the way. Half its contents can flow to Ohio now, into the linen closet shelves I added-- away from annually-invading barn rays and into the space for instant decor when our king bed moves south. So that box will be packed next.


02 Dec 17 - 12:00 PM (#3891860)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Posted separately due to fone limit on post size....

Yesterday the kitchen recycling end of the house was wrestled back to My Way instead of Bachelor Way, because My Way is ACCESSIBLE way. The food program has been heading that way as well, so the result was a nutritious hot breakfast made with minimal fuss, instead of a power bar.

We worked together to identify the issues and solutions, and then to implement the changes... then ran off to dinner and hockey FUN!


02 Dec 17 - 01:48 PM (#3891883)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Kitchen re-organization....

I'm battening down the kitchen hatches for winter, knowing how hard it will be sometimes to get out for supplies-- and how the annual/attempted barn rat invasion will go.

Forty pounds of potato flakes and previous bulk rice purchases... minus my late mom's waffle iron... I've just about done it. There's a 20 lb bag of tater flakes yet to stow-- just need one more popcorn can, and I'm sure to spot one at Tuesday's grocery run.

I think store-bought tubs of mashed also can be frozen so I'm going to try a batch; there are days I'm too sore to deal with making them. I have a bunch of turkey/chicken stock to make them with.


02 Dec 17 - 11:15 PM (#3891939)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I've gotten 3 large garbage bags ready to be donated. In addition, today we did the majority of the decorating for Christmas and I have a tote full of things we haven't used in years...time to donate those as well.

I'm struggling with bronchitis...second round of it in just under a month. UGH. I have 3 full days of on the road work coming up next week not to mention 2 normal in the office days....I do NOT have time to be sick! Given my coughing fits, we decorated, took a break, decorated more, took another break, etc....it took longer than usual but the tree is up and several favorite pieces are out with normal items packed up until January. The tree is probably the most beautiful tree we've ever had. It's about 7 feet tall, perhaps a bit taller and covered with 750 colored lights plus all the ornaments. I love sitting here beside it in the quiet with the all the Christmas tree lights to add soft light to the room.

Michelle


03 Dec 17 - 12:12 PM (#3892040)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I started digging out around the front of the porch - that foundation for the former huge garden planter seems to rim where the wall went, it isn't a platform extending out from the porch. I'll uncover what I can and figure out how deep I want to dig to remove roots and put down gravel to support my pavers. I see a couple of trips down to the creek today with buckets to tote up to the wheelbarrow. I've done this before - the creek is an endless source of limestone pebbles.

The challenge this morning was to get the phone to upload backup photos to the correct dropbox folder. Virtual storage is as important as avoiding clutter.

I gave a few family members one of the Jacquie Lawson advent calendars that Jacqui C got me hooked on several years ago. I wonder how long it will take them to discover the mindless joys of crunching virtual hard candies (the online equivalent of popping bubble wrap) or working puzzles. :-) Charming time-wasters, or therapy, depending on how you view it.


04 Dec 17 - 09:24 AM (#3892191)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

This morning we have a trifecta of tradesmen with not only the cabinet installers, but also the plumber and a brace of electricians. Appliances -- fridge, stove and dishwasher -- are due this afternoon. But just as we were getting all excited, the contractor told us that the counter-tops won't come until Thursday. Bummer.

Today we enter the fifth week of Operation Kitchen. The dining-room floor is laid -- not quite the right colour, but we're trying to put that behind us, and the cabinets are built and about 80 percent installed. The door to the ground-floor loo has been installed and most of the pantry is in place. Still to come (as well as counter-tops): the wash-basin and its cabinet in the loo, and door-handles and pulls for all the doors and drawers. When all *that* is done, Patrick the painter will make a return visit.

Oy, I forgot: I chose the wrong colours. I must talk with Patrick ...

While the house is in tumult, life goes on elsewhere. I sang in the chorus in the annual production of Handel's "Messiah" on Saturday evening, the first such concert I have done in years and years. It was a blast; thanks to its theatre festival, Stratford has lots of great musicians. Himself is on a bit of a health kick, working out at the gym, hiking miles and miles, and tracking his diet with an on-line diet diary. About five pounds from now, he will fit into his kilt and Sheriffmuir jacket, an objective for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, he went to the butcher on Saturday and ordered a goose and a tourtière -- there's no way I'll have time to find a source of ground venison and bake it myself. I must, however, strain every nerve to find a fishmonger who will sell me a salmon appropriate for making gravlax. Stratford lacks a fish supplier, so I might have to go to Kitchener or even London for the right stuff.

With two refrigerators, I won't have to juggle beer and salad makings to make room for the marinating fish. Luxury!


05 Dec 17 - 01:23 PM (#3892264)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Tremendous bragging and nearly no complaining? messiah.
You are obviously on the right track and will have a wonderful holiday.


05 Dec 17 - 08:17 PM (#3892332)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

A friend of mine from work had to empty his small (1500sf) house in order to have the wood floors completely redone after they buckled badly from moisture damage. As he puts things back (some went into the garage, the big stuff was packed and taken by movers to storage) he is choosing to put back just enough in each room, and the rest will be tossed or given away. He'll end up with a house that looks larger because it isn't so cluttered (he's an artist, and has an eye for interesting objects, so there will be some good stuff going out to the curb).

I suppose one way to emulate that kind of transformation would be to empty everything out of a given room and then put back just what fits. Charmion has been doing a version herself. Perhaps a good project over the long holiday break.


06 Dec 17 - 09:57 AM (#3892426)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yeah, I guess I'm bragging; I feel entitled to after all the sturm und drang of power tools and filth. I don't dare complain; we're too close to completion and anything that doesn't actually hinder the next (last!) stage of the project will just have to wait.

Further to Acme's remarks about emptying rooms: Yes, traumatic as it is at our age, moving across the province and into a very different kind of house forced us to do just that. We de-cluttered significantly before the move, and when we got here we could see immediately what more to shed. I'm not sure that all the stuff we should shed will actually leave, but that's a work in progress.

Tony the carpenter is back, so the house is shaking and vibrating again. Today is primarily baseboards and window trim, getting ready for the arrival of the stone counter-tops tomorrow. The gas-fitter should be coming today, too, and the cabinetmaker's journeyman to install the range hood (maximum suckage!). Lots of work boots in and out; I hope the cats hunker down for the day.


06 Dec 17 - 10:34 PM (#3892536)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

You're going to have one heck of a xmas season, Charmion, trying out the new spaces and deciding what to toss from the storage areas.

I am seriously thinking about emptying the part of the house where (currently) my kitchen table, the extra freezer, and lots of cook book cases and the Kitchen Queen (this isn't mine, but it's similar - mine is painted in ivory enamel and doesn't have the flour sifter like that one) live. I've wondered if it would work as an informal living area with the sofa, coffee table and TV, and move some of the big furniture pieces into the nearby den. It would be better if there wasn't a six-inch step down into the den - one of my top-of-the list projects (filling in that six inches with concrete to level the house.)


08 Dec 17 - 10:55 AM (#3892817)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

The guest room bookcase purge done. Packed 1 large donation box, 2 sm boxes to media ship to the Liberation Library I house and curate in Ohio, and added many nature items to a FFA/4H box to donate.

Upstairs landing closet: found batting to fix one flattened pillow and a zippered pillowcase for another, and put those on.

Packed 1 contractor bag w linens for transit to Ohio. Found lap fleece for chilly computer corner.


08 Dec 17 - 11:22 AM (#3892821)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Last week I brought home some posters that I described to some facebook friends; they had to relax from being rolled in the tube for a long time, so today I finally stood on a dining room chair and photographed each one laid out on a sewing cutting board (for the grid background). For the cost of a mailing tube and postage, I'll send them to new homes. My intent was to rescue and rehome these old posters (and keep only one of them to put on my guest room wall - one room with sparse decoration).

It's the time of year to wrap up medical things (for this tax year), get the holiday letter written, prepare to mail gifts. I also need to plan for the long holiday break - I try to do at least one project around the house. What will it be this time? Paint is usually the most affordable material for makeovers, though the hall bathroom floor is crying out for new tile.


08 Dec 17 - 09:52 PM (#3892905)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Are your new counter tops in, Charmion? How does the kitchen look?


09 Dec 17 - 09:49 AM (#3892980)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The granite was installed on Thursday, and it looks grand. Just grand. We also now have a fully functional sink and dishwasher, and a stove with an exhaust hood so real cookery may resume.

The dining room table is still out with the refinisher, so we brought the plastic folding six-foot table up from the basement and we're eating off that (how vulgar). But dinner tonight will not be something pre-fab from the freezer, but roast chicken with our favourite accompaniments, especially a nice sauvingnon blanc drunk out of actual wine glasses.

Life is good in Stratford.


09 Dec 17 - 03:33 PM (#3893046)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

Bronchial crud breaking up this AM. Rest ydy appeared to be needed but attrition to back muscles bad (very sore). Done (working together) tdy:
Sortes freezers.
Cleared attic stairwell of tarps.
Sorted/visual inventory of attic boxes.
Whipped kitchen.
Crockpotted misc weird freezer stuff.

Packed for transit to Ohio: wedding linens and a few Liberation Library books (to fill box), plus canvas drop cloth. Linens to be ready for next joint OH trip (Valentine's hopefully).

Car space for large car boxes for January trip is now committed, so now I'm down to choosing among small items. Even with the hitch-mounted cargo platform, it will be tight... but I don't plan to take the scooter because I do NOT want to tow in January thru 3 snow regions!


10 Dec 17 - 07:19 PM (#3893246)
Subject: Garage Attic and Archive Storage
From: wysiwyg

PA:

I don't plan this idea-generation in advance-- ideas just come to me so I note them, to recall them later.

Here's one-- I used to picture my work product archive in an Ohio garage office, with floor space. Then I got to liking the garage for other stuff!

The new, better idea is to commandeer the overhead space I've been clearing of seller's crap since the closing-- *none of which, I now realize, was water/insect damaged.*

Over the garage door is a superb shelf, easily accessed for my archives. Over the back end of the garage is another planked area for larger boxes. Our music books could go up there (or vice versa).... and . . . I'm sure my mind will fill in the blanks. And all that is stuff we could move NOW.


12 Dec 17 - 12:01 PM (#3893550)
Subject: Putting-Away Trick: Fly-By
From: wysiwyg

I acidentally discovered that some chores are better done as a fly-by.

It was clean and folded laundry in need of being put away.... for various logistical reasons, this time I couldn't just pick up the basket, take it to the waiting, empty shelves, and unload.

The full basket happened to have landed in a place I have to pass every hour on the way TO the shelves... so I spontaneously grabbed just a few items off the top of the basket, took them with, and stuck them on the shelf.

By the end of the day, not one but two baskets were empty, yet I had never "done" the job (the way my brain had been trained to do the job). Therefore neither the practical barrier to do it was here, nor any dread/hoardy habits/processes either.

I'm going to start doing other things that way as well. A tall, skinny trash receptacle, for instance, can sit in these walkway areas. I'm pretty sure my eye can spot purge-able items to sweep up as I walk around in here. A folding tray table can also be deployed to hold baskets or boxes of items that need to be on their way elsewhere.

I'm going to try this technique with pesky boxes of "sort later" (boring) things, too, several of which are annoying me by still being here. They do have a very small amount of buried stuff I need to pull out, and are in boxes I can use for moving!

....

PA:

Hardi relieved a ton of my accumulating stress this AM by dry-fitting a box in the car, which is the same size as two very heavy, large boxes I'd begun to worry might not even fit thru the car doors for the Jan. 1 trip to Ohio. He not only got the empty one in-- he turned it in way that creates SO MUCH more space than I had envisioned. Now I know that eveything else I want to take can go, and these boxes don't need to sit on the exterior hitch platform (blocking the license plate). But the scooter and my walker can, UNDER the plate!

~S~


13 Dec 17 - 10:20 AM (#3893734)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Today, the painters are back, the cabinetmakers are due to complete tomorrow, and the dreaded electricians will make their final visit on Friday. Then I get to pay them all, which will flatten our bank account to a very thin scraping of capital, if anything is left at all. Whoopee.

Perth County lies under a thick blanket of new snow, after two days of squalls. Everything in Stratford stopped dead yesterday afternoon at about three when folks who live out in the country realized they had to go home RIGHT NOW or find a flop in town. The lady handling the contract to make our very special bedroom curtains called to apologize profusely because the custom-made traverse tracks had not arrived from London. I told her that I did not want anyone going into the ditch on my account (a ferocious cross-wind scours Highway 7 in these conditions), and she was almost pitifully grateful. She must deal with a lot of diva clients.


13 Dec 17 - 10:59 PM (#3893872)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Have helped rearrange other people's clutter today; a co-worker (the one with new wood floors) got rid of what he realized was an ancient mattress when he emptied his house in preparation for the flooring work. He has been pricing new mattresses, and after extra expenses on the floors feared he'd have to sleep on his air mattress for a long time until he can afford the new mattress. But wait! My ex has a barely-used queen-sized mattress in his garage.

The backstory: he bought a high-end latex mattress, they are incredibly heavy and durable. When the box was opened, there was a conspicuous cosmetic flaw. He called to complain, they replaced it but said "don't return the other one." The shipping was too much for a return. The second mattress also had a major cosmetic flaw, so they sent a THIRD expensive latex mattress. So, he took the standard mattress off of our son's bed at his house, put it in the garage, and put the flawed latex on the box springs. I claimed the other one when my standard mattress began to cause back pain from years of use.

The standard mattress in the garage was wrapped in plastic, and is in excellent condition. My friend will borrow a truck and pick this one up, freeing room in the garage and sparing himself much more time on the air mattress.


14 Dec 17 - 01:43 PM (#3893992)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

The winter freeze has hit with arctic air settling over our region. This can last days... or months.

Remarkable what a little sleep will do! I awoke thinking about the annual attempt to warm up the kitchen, resulting from annual house sinking, and whizzed up a dog-corner curtain to reduce drafts, using a bolt of flannel I'd found in the upstrs landing closet-- obviously don't want to spend anything more on the house at this point.

It's a 170" continuous length of flannel hemmed at each end, folded in the middle to form a ruffled rod pocket. The two layers of the finished 85" panel hold insulating air, hung a few inches to the inside, in the 82" tall door's framing.

I mocked it up with safety pins before Hardi left for work and he hung it on a tension rod already on hand... it covers the door to Dog World. Newbie learned how to nose thru a hallway curtain in Ohio I'd hung for privacy, so she'll have no trouble getting thru this one, but we'll also rig a string thru a screw-eye to pull it aside when not needed on warmer days.

By hanging this and Hardi's work last night blocking the draft at the threshold with a cut piece of rubber stall matting-- and then turning up the morning thermostat a few degrees-- it's no longer too cold in the kitchen to breathe with bronchitis.

I've been cycling thru the dnstrs comfortably all morning putting away laundry, groceries, and clutter; Hardi may stitch up the hems and top pocket tonight and cut the stall mat threshold in half to make a double-thick layer of it. We're also thinking of adding a strip of it across the lower edge of the door, to hang meeting the threshold.


14 Dec 17 - 02:34 PM (#3894000)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PS I have a local taker for the ancient Game Boy and games-- a friend is making a display for her kids on ancient gaming history and these were in the sort/donate box Hardi and I started upstairs. She's a home schooler and will also take most of the box of farm/nature books, leaving a smaller and more specialized subset to media-ship to our homesteading son in Californy.


15 Dec 17 - 09:48 AM (#3894122)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The cabinet-makers finished the dining room yesterday, and we unpacked all but three of the last 10 movers' boxes. Garage parking à deux begins on Sunday for sure, possibly Saturday evening. I can hardly wait; I have already spent way too much time scraping ice off the car and winter has barely begun.

Sure enough, a new nest of household excess is now forming in the basement in anticipation of the church rummage sale in the spring. The coffee cups alone could fill a table -- Hmmm. Gotta find the local drop-in centre and move those on right away.


15 Dec 17 - 09:15 PM (#3894219)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm not fessing up to My Fitness Pal about the state of my caloric intake today. It was one of those days that I need to declutter via a couple of days of fasting in the coming week. A sandwich before going to an afternoon movie with co-workers (a holiday tradition) and then the temptation of theater food . . .

eBay things are starting to move - several this week, so I need to list more over the weekend. Since friends are coming for lunch on Sunday I'm motivated to vacuum and put out more of the ornaments for the house. If it warms up a bit I need to work on the area in front of the porch, where those broken concrete pavers will go. Down here we don't expect to be covered with a layer of snow, so that kind of work can happen year-round. There is never a shortage of stuff to do around here.

The bin where I collect items to donate is full, so that's another trip, along with recycling the paper buildup. Charmion, I had a whole bunch of coffee mugs and decided to take the extras to work and add to the community kitchen. Some of them disappeared because people liked them and took them home, but I still see a few floating around the office. At least they're getting used.


16 Dec 17 - 09:23 PM (#3894257)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

It's snowing again, and both our cars are in the garage. Yes!!!

Neil from across the street dropped by to discuss our busy month and take a peek at the results. He says we might be the only people in the neighbourhood with a two-car garage who use it for -- gasp! -- parking two cars! He walks his dog for what seems hours a day, and is therefore an expert on what Stratford people do with their houses. If Neil says every garage on the street is full of cardboard boxes, I believe him.


16 Dec 17 - 09:25 PM (#3894258)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Donation box emptied, all dropped off at Goodwill. Large bag of recycling dropped off at the bins behind city hall. Post office checked (this time of year I need to go more often, a few people do send cards there.) The kitchen is clean, the laundry is finished (alas, as tissue was in a pocket and had to be scooped out of the dryer lint in pieces).

re: Susan's "ancient technology," I always search eBay before donating or adding electronics to the e-waste bin at work. It is amazing what people are still buying these days. Often times they are listed as for repair or parts, but they still sell. There are lots of garage tinkerers out there just looking for the right part to come along to fix something else, or keeps a steady supply of refurbished devices on the market for those who are still analog, etc.

Charmion, my ex didn't park his car in the garage for many years. After a guy who needed space to work on the new garage door opener and some drywall moved everything out of the center of the garage (compressed it), he has been once again parking there, amid boxes and mattresses. One mattress will soon be given to a friend, giving more door room for the small Toyota. When I built the garage at my house I swore that 1) I would no longer pay for storage and 2) I would clear things out enough so I could park in the garage. There have only been a couple of times when I wasn't able to. I parked outside by choice for a while when one of the dogs decided it was a game to run down the driveway to greet me once the door opened; I put up a gate to keep them out of the main part of the garage and that no longer happens. I now park in the garage every night.


17 Dec 17 - 07:09 PM (#3894437)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver: (14 December)
The signal here is SO iffy! I lost the last post even though I copied it, in case. I gave up and turned off the computer ready for trip to Montreal and when I turned it back on, no copy. So writing this as draft email; they do not get lost. Have not had a signal since 10th. Tech support cannot help. I need a different system; this is de-cluttering my wallet and cluttering my brain.

The trip to Montreal is put off to tomorrow due to minus 26 C this am and a DEAD battery! Not even a whisper. My neighbour tried but DEAD! So, plan D, called friends who always say, "call us if you need..." It took over two hours. Carol, wisely, stayed home. Yes, it was dead. So dear John took out the old one - with great difficulty, and we drove to Canadian Tire (about 6 minutes.). They tested it; definitely need new one. Purchased it and we drove back. It took him about an hour, again, and a trip home for something to help the job. A retired engineer, he is meticulous about doing the best possible job. I wonder what I can ever do to return this incredible favour. They will soon be leaving to winter in southern Texas. I am sure they are preparing their house here for its lonely winter.

The last time this happened - in the mid-80s - I was able to remove the battery, hitch into town (5 miles) get a new one and hitch back, install it and - Voila! Nice little Datsun.

While I waited for John and while he was working, I brought in lots of firewood!

By this time is was after 1 pm and I went to town (4 minutes) and picked up newspapers, went to Community Care and read onto computer, went to the "Family Health Team" office and turned in my application to have a doctor, nice chat with his super nice receptionist. I might need a doctor someday so I thought I had best take this opportunity, for which I have waited several months. He is young; I hope he is willing to learn. I shall put off meeting him as long as possible.

I got here on 5th and did laundry but not much else. It is fairly tidy but could use vacuuming; maybe before I leave in the am. Geez, I was doing so well getting ready this am, was right on time - and then... tried to start car... But now I can get an early start and get into city before rush hour and find my way through the construction on the highway - due for another year or two but changing almost daily - while it is still light.

I did phone R this am and told him, "My car won't start! I need you to come right now..." Joking of course; our house guest had gotten that call from wife on a Gulf island (BC) about two weeks ago so he left a week earlier than planned. She did get a mechanic to fix car. The situation required a lengthy one on one therapy session with him; R said I did a good job! He has elephant ears.


17 Dec 17 - 07:21 PM (#3894439)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

Now that my son in the Toledo area has an extra car he can loan me to use in Ohio, I'm planning to drive a rental truck to Ohio instead of beating my old car to death with towing a heavy, open cargo trailer-- and stay there til Hardi joins me for summer vacay and then ride back with him.

~S~


17 Dec 17 - 10:09 PM (#3894450)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Plans were made today for the upcoming holiday break. Jeremiah currently has the smallest bedroom in the house..there simply was no need for a little boy to have a larger space. The time has come for me to downsize my quilting room and switch rooms with him. He needs more space to spread out, room for a table to draw on or leave a puzzle or lego creation out. I'm not opposed to things being out in the general living areas of the house except our animals seem to love the Legos as much as Jeremiah.....Oatie, in particular, likes to chomp on them...not good for him or the Legos. This switch will give him about 150% more room than he currently has. And if the truth be told, I only use half the room I currently have for quilting. The rest is a catch all and most of it can go. There's an old chair that was my Nana's but hasn't been used since we moved here in the late 1990s, an enlarger for a darkroom that I had hoped to build will be looking for a new home and just random STUFF. I even have toys in that room that were purchased for Jeremiah, tucked away to use for Christmas or birthday gifts and have been outgrown. Can you say donation? Some of my coworkers have smaller children and they will get first dibs and then things will be set out for our clients with young children to take as desired.

I just did some thinking about the room I currently am using...it has 8...yes EIGHT...bookshelves! One is all photo albums, 2 are loaded with books and the rest have toys or fabric....*cough*   I am thinking of selling some of my stash. I have so much but my sewing time is so limited. There are so many quilters in this area that I don't think it would take much to sell it off piecemeal. Hmmm. I don't know.......I'm going to have to go the IKEA route...vertical!   LOL   We shall see how it pans out. I have very little time off for Christmas but I think we can make a good dent and get it started. Jeremiah is excited to have ALL his toys in his room. I am excited to have some extra space in our living room!   

I'd say I have about 85% of my Christmas wrapping done. I'm proud of myself for not going overboard this year. :) Jeremiah is getting his first real camera. He currently uses a Kindle to take photos and like me, he LOVES to take pictures. I can't wait to see what he does with a real camera.....it's incredible what he does with the Kindle.

Michelle


18 Dec 17 - 09:37 AM (#3894505)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm still working on stuff to mail - as long as it's postmarked before the 25th that will be the accomplishment, I think. I thought I did better last year with my holiday cards, but I've received only a couple so far, so I must have fallen off of a lot of card lists in the last year.

My real (SLR) camera is used for durable projects, but so much of my photography happens with my phone these days. My last phone, the LG G4 that died suddenly had an excellent camera; I'm not as thrilled with the LG V20, but I have to sit down and learn how to use some of the features I turned off for the time being. Like the double camera - maybe its meant to take stereoscopic photos? I saw an offer from Shutterfly that will make square unframed mounts of phone photos that can be put up in a grid - I can't find it now, it was probably in an email somewhere, but it was a cute idea, something Jeremiah could be infinitely creative with.


18 Dec 17 - 03:51 PM (#3894571)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After I wrote that last post I gathered up the leashes and took the dogs on a short walk into the woods across the road - this is their absolute favorite place for walks, best in cool weather without ticks and when the leaves are off of poison ivy. We did one last full-sensory walk for my elderly pitbull, because I called this morning to make her final appointment at the vet. She'd been ill for a while, but over the weekend things started go to more wrong, and there was no getting over this. There were still wags and kisses left, but they were few and farther between and she wasn't happy any more. The other dogs kept examining her, and one of them sat quietly and licked her eyes yesterday, like they were maybe hurting and needed attention. She loved to have her face and ears rubbed.

I realize I haven't walked the dogs much lately because she wasn't feeling good, but now walks will be therapy for the other two. They have to adjust to the pack being smaller (seriously - if you take one dog out without the other two, that dog is distressed because they feel they need to go everywhere together.)

I've had better days, but as sad as this is, it is a relief, because I realize that keeping her on medications (hoping to keep her comfortable) was more for me than for her when the kind thing would have been to do this months ago. I was trying to spare my own heart, yet mourning her soon-to-be departure every day.

Pets are complicated. I don't call them "fur babies" or act like they're my children, but they are definitely non-human people in the family. I had to tell the next door neighbor, who has been giving each dog a biscuit a day over the back fence for the last dozen years. And the kids. And the ex. And the friends who I think sometimes come to see my dogs more than to see me. . .

I don't plan to start a special thread or post any more about this, but I'll use this one day and this one thread to share. There are all kinds of loss, categories of mourning. We expect to outlive our pets, so as painful as their loss is, I don't expect it to rise to the level of other passings discussed in this thread.


19 Dec 17 - 09:47 AM (#3894696)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Life is much less complicated this morning, no pills to administer, no dithering over food choices, the two dogs like their dry food and inhaled it like usual. The weather is another matter - thunder and lightning had them complaining and in my room at the crack of the unseen-dawn. Life goes on.

I've continued to list a few more eBay items and as close as we are to the holidays I've included a photo with holiday decorations in the background to suggest the gift-worthiness of some of them. After the holiday I'll revise those listings and change out the main photos on any that don't sell by then.

Looks like the weather is finally lifting. Thunder instead of snow is typical. We rarely get a white xmas here, and over the last couple of years it was positively balmy. I may be able to choose between indoors and outdoors for my big project over the holiday break. Outdoors, work on arranging the broken concrete pavers into position by the front porch; indoors, put down new tile in the hall bathroom.


19 Dec 17 - 02:18 PM (#3894745)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

(((Acme)))


20 Dec 17 - 12:44 AM (#3894804)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Has anyone noticed that about now the stores like Home Depot start clearing out the holiday ornaments and start putting out and running sales for the huge plastic boxes with lids for storing all of the stuff we've set aside now we have new stuff, the stuff we've accumulated, and the stuff we've perhaps even organized? It's the harbinger of clutter.


20 Dec 17 - 08:47 AM (#3894875)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

I've lost track of the total book-box count, but three previously-packed boxes are in my car now for delivery to library book sale and a homeschooler. I'm liking how neither Hardi nor I feel the faintest regret or desire to open taped boxes for one more look! Begone and buh-bye!


20 Dec 17 - 11:56 AM (#3894926)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Today I sorted and re-organized our clothes. Found a blouse that fills the bill! OK, I've had it for years; made it back in the 90s. But it is what I need - full, comfortable, covers tummy etc., and looks good. With any luck I will find the pattern at Beaver and make a couple more, from some of the fabric, of which I have about a ton. But I cleaned up the clothing area and am, at least for now, inspired to make a couple nice shirts. That is better than the day I did an entire mall trying to find one like that - and it was there all along - under that other stuff. Also found needles and hooks so may be inspired to start a hat tomorrow.

Great to read about Charmion's amazing progress! She will truly be "home for Christmas". And now I realize the town of Perth is not in the county of Perth.

Maggie, you gave that dog a good life! I have lost a few in my life and know that each one hurts - then we usually end up with another one of equal value, more or less.

The LR here is still fairly clear; just a few bits of non-functional heaters, etc and a bag for the thrift shop and... Well there are places to sit. The desk still resembles an old "Shoe" cartoon: "Oh, that's not a sofa, that's a pile of papers that looks like a sofa." Not my papers. And while I was at Beaver, an 18 inch wooden hippo climbed onto the buffet here; huge but rather interesting. Oh, well. I started to clear the top of a cabinet but had to quit before I finished - dust inhalation. Got back out of bed for an allergy pill and -yep! Here I thought I was getting "sick".

After driving all day Friday to get here, including about 45 minutes in a nasty snow storm, I then drove the hour to the cafe, and back. Tired! Saturday, R and I went to the Laurentians, where you can barely see the once beautiful hills for the houses, condos, etc. He needed to do some work on the two airbnbs. After an interminable and traumatic (snowy, windy roads, steep hills) trip, I sat in a not warm enough house and read. I used the sofa cushions to keep warm! Then had something akin to a panic attack as we drove down a super steep hill, with a ravine at the bottom. Crawled into bed about 1 am. Never again. R needs to de-clutter his life, and mine, of that situation.

Quaker meeting and potluck helped the mind, and the frig! Time spent going to see a house for sale - I like it. I especially like that the yard backs up to a very large nature preserve. Then we paid a short visit to Isle St. Bernard so R could see it. Great place; I would love to live 5 minutes away. I would love to be out of this dreadful house.

I am perceiving that is is hard on R when I am at Beaver. If he can find a way to buy us a decent house, I would want to be here for him most of the time. Hopefully, I will still be able to spend time with my friends in Ontario. I can see that 5 hour drive becoming more and more difficult but R loves it there also. ... Pipe dream?

I must de-clutter my life of even thinking about a friend of almost 50 years, but not seen for many years. I would drive myself crazy trying to deal with her. Sad. Hans Selye would refer to my re-action as altruistic self-centredness. My natural inclination to want to "make it better" has no chance of succeeding. Wonder Woman I am not. Not easy to let go. Cannot accept that she is not worth the effort but self-care needs to prevail...

R has been in Laurentians since Monday! So much for spending time together! Tonight (he will be back) an end of Chanukah meal at a friend's and tomorrow a pre-Christmas one with other friends.


20 Dec 17 - 11:57 AM (#3894927)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

I need to make my front room back into a reading room, it has been a dog room for too long. I should also put the television in there, it doesn't need to be the centerpiece of the den (like it is now) because it rarely gets used. Better to put it in a cozy room for occasional enjoyment. What I really want is to level the den with concrete (it's a six inch step down) so I can move the piano in there. Then the front room would be easier to use.

I have tons of books I haven't looked at in ages, but letting them go - that's difficult. At least at this point they're mostly contained in just a couple of areas. Okay, several areas. But there's only one stack that is waiting to be read or filed.


20 Dec 17 - 09:46 PM (#3895025)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Whoa, Dorothy! I hope you get that new house - but I wonder at the location and if it is flood prone? Are you exchanging one difficult house for another?

Mission accomplished on the mattress transfer this evening. My friend delayed getting the box spring because of yesterday's rain, so has only the mattress but sent of photo of the made bed on the floor. He's mighty tired of sleeping on an air mattress! It took four different parties to make this happen but one man's clutter is another man's comfortable bed.


21 Dec 17 - 12:26 PM (#3895164)
Subject: Truck loading brainstorming
From: wysiwyg

PA:

Now that I know that I'm driving a truckload of furniture to Ohio in May, I'm trying to wrap my head around what to take and how to prep for it.

Whatever I take, I have to remove an Ohio item occupying the space where it will go, or put the delivered items in the garage. And I like where the Ohio items are-- I use them!

All I really know I'm taking is the 2-piece china cabinet, my corner desk/cubbies, my antique dresser, and the white bookcase. That's not even a full trailer load, much less a truckload. There are three chairs I could take (2 pink and 1 striped). OTOH I can visualize putting those in the garage without a strain. Maybe I'm not focusing enough on boxes. I could take all my archived papers and the music books because I know those will go up into overhead garage space.

Artwork-- I could take a bunch of large

artwork that would not travel well on an open trailer.

White cube from guest room. Germination supplies and equipment. Maybe the brown LR shelves to go straight into the guest room. The side table by the front door. Cookbooks-- ours and the ones we're giving Dave. The large file cabinet that will live in the garden. My summer clothes.

~S~


21 Dec 17 - 11:57 PM (#3895253)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I think there will be a lot of sewing here next week. Using some materials awaiting assembly, but other new items will have to enter the picture also.

Today I was thinking out loud, discussing the pleasure of filling in one recessed room with six inches of concrete to get rid of the sunken den. It's as annoying as hell when it comes to moving furniture. But if I did fill that in, I'd have to take apart the hearth to fill the space completely. That could add up to a large project, depending on how it attaches to the stones on the wall. Oy. For a few minutes today, I had it all worked out. I'll get there eventually.


22 Dec 17 - 12:16 AM (#3895254)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: mg

I am confused by cement idea. If you plan to sell not sure it is an asset. What about just having a carpenter just put in risers and have higher wooden floor..even just carpeted plywood. Or a ramp of some sort. Agree that a drop is a nuisance and falling hazard for some.


22 Dec 17 - 10:44 AM (#3895275)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The house is in a flood zone. While it has never flooded and it is only the yard that gets the water when the creek rises, if water should ever get close enough to the house to come in, it would end up under that flooring. The concrete is actually probably less expensive than having the wood flooring put in. This house is on a concrete slab, so it's simply adding to the existing slab. It should cost about $1000. The house would be less dated and much easier to move things around and live in. Especially in this world of more and more ADA features in homes.


22 Dec 17 - 08:14 PM (#3895346)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Christmas break has started for me! I did some puttering around the house today and just enjoyed my boys. :) We both are in need of this break and did some considerable relaxing today. :)

Tomorrow begins the big switch of the bedroom and my office. It is my hope to have enough done that he can sleep in his new room tomorrow. :) Also, I found a home for my enlarger which makes me most happy.

I'm sorry to hear about your dog Maggie....they are family and part of us.....much love to you.

Michelle


22 Dec 17 - 08:54 PM (#3895353)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Thanks! And I concur about the rest needed before the break really begins. I took a half-day off from work and about the only thing I really accomplished this afternoon was taking a nap.

Our holiday is delayed this year until all parties arrive, probably after Jan. 1, though we'll do a big breakfast for anyone who is here on Monday. It's disappointing that the nice warm weather petered out with the work week, leaving cold rainy conditions for the weekend of crowds and final chores. But the delay in our celebration means I don't need to finish up this weekend - I can let things calm down a little and finish during the week next week.

Now, to get the fuzzy slippers, warm robe, and watch a movie with the dogs. I hope each of you has a great holiday season, and in case a Grinch pays a visit, a good backup plan.


22 Dec 17 - 09:23 PM (#3895359)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

We were meant to leave for Beaver today but R still has stuff needing doing. Grrr. However, the weather is not good and freezing rain is predicted for tomorrow... And R needs to go north again - stress me out until he is safely home! Maybe we can leave on Sunday; the traffic can't be too bad???

I have been de-cluttering emails by unsubscribing to numerous ones. I doubt it is a one-step process; I need to look before I delete in case it can be unsubscribed.

walking better and better balance; just set up a small trampoline so I can bounce while folding on to a doorway. Hope to move from bouncing to minor jumping.


23 Dec 17 - 05:12 PM (#3895550)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Well.............change in plans here. The bedroom switch will be happening but not today. I finished wrapping all the gifts for my boys but still need to wrap things for my mom, thankfully, that won't take long.

I cleaned out all of Jeremiah's books that I had set aside for homeschooling. My niece is homeschooling her boys beyond kindergarten (which is when I homeschooled Jeremiah) and I no longer have a need for the 1-3rd grade books. I kept some science books and one practice book for math but the rest is bagged up and ready to go. I've been meaning to do this for some time. It took me about half an hour and it's one of those things that feels so good to have completed!

We are having some unexpected company for Christmas so instead of the bedroom switch, we are going to do a bit of deep cleaning and general cleaning of surfaces...nothing crazy and truth be told, it needs to be done anyway.

Michelle


23 Dec 17 - 07:25 PM (#3895559)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

I did check on flooding, a major issue up here. The big problem is the extra time/distance for R to travel. Somehow 15 minutes is a lot better than 30. Anything closer is prohibitively expensive. My hopes dangle!


24 Dec 17 - 10:34 AM (#3895666)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

December 24: The day's objective is to have the house looking good for family visitors overnight tonight and coming up next weekend.

During that work I will endeavor to actually put things in the donate bin, the recycle bin, or where it belongs and consider disposal later. None of the old poke stuff here and here to have it out of sight and loose track of it.

We won't exchange gifts till around the first of the year because it's harder to get the whole family together when we don't all live in the same place.

Have a great holiday, everyone, whatever you celebrate. Us, we're an eclectic bunch of atheists who get together and exchange gifts to celebrate family. We're glad to have the shortest day of the year behind us. The weather has finally caught up with the season here and it's darned wet, cold, and windy out. But this gives us more incentive to cook and bake. We will try to not pack on too many calories that have to be decluttered next year.


24 Dec 17 - 01:29 PM (#3895692)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The kitchen project is finished except for the ceramic tile --
backsplashes and the repair of several gaps in the floor tile. The last element, a great big wall rack for flat things (pans, lids, skewers, aprons, griddles) was installed on Thursday, barely in time for the dinner party à quatre we staged on Thursday evening. Thank God, the new kitchen range performed perfectly.

Two batches of fruitcake have gone down-range, and Christmas dinner should happen without incident -- that is, if I get the pudding made correctly.

The Brother and his wife arrived last night from Ottawa, and are now lounging around reading. Himself is out shopping for the last food items either of us can think of that we might require. I have a batch of bread rising.

The holiday is successfully under way.


26 Dec 17 - 09:57 AM (#3895876)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

We got together for breakfast yesterday, but our holiday and gift giving will wait a few days.

Fitness continues in the form of dog walking. I hear the nails of my two remaining dogs clatter on the pavement and know the time is here to trim those - I did Cinnamon's nails a couple of weeks ago and she tolerated it, but she was in a weakened state. It'll be interesting if I can get near the feet on these two (I hate to have to pay someone to do this, but these feet can be destructive with such long nails).

Decluttering - sometimes it's piecemeal, like this morning when I decided to toss all of the socks that won't stay put in some shoes, but creep slowly down under my foot and drive me nuts. I've experimented with the brands in the sock drawer and decided to cull close to a dozen pair this morning.

Now to approach The List - things to work on over the long holiday break. It looks like another cold day of rain, so the choices will come from the indoor side of the page.


26 Dec 17 - 12:25 PM (#3895895)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Mrrzy

Well, I thought I wasn't a hoarder any more... I decluttered massively, moved, and I had the impression I was keeping the house uncluttered except for my room, where I had a thin line between things that I could walk to get from the door to the side of my bed that wasn't completely covered in piles of things.

Note - I am not a *slob* - those piles included nothing food-related.

So I finally decided to re-declutter my room and got a friend to help.

Many hours later we had decluttered the living room that I had thought was fine.

Many, many hours later, we had decluttered the kitchen, which I had also thought was fine.

We finally got to my room and I couldn't let them touch anything, as they would do it "wrong" - I know *that* sounds familiar!

So a couple of *days* later, in my room is a floor, chairs, and a bed, all with nothing on them but a husband (one of those chairbacks/arms pillows things) and some folded balnkets... even the card table towering with craft things and papers has been cleared, folded up and put away.

Sigh. You can't take the hoarder out of the person as fast as you think you can.

But right now I have an uncluttered house!

Well, not counting bags of stuff that has come back from Santa Claus and which will need to find places to live.

Success! And right at the end of the new year! I am happy! But... I wonder how long it will last.


26 Dec 17 - 03:01 PM (#3895910)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Sounds good, Mrrzy! (And I've reconsidered the socks - anyone else is going to have the same problem I did, so they're headed for the trash.)


28 Dec 17 - 07:16 PM (#3896199)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Some of the things I wanted to do over this break rely on nice weather, and it has been anything but. Not like the deep snow and icebox temperatures of the northern tier and New England, but still, off-putting as far as yard work for Texas. On the other hand, I could pack the contents of my upright freezer in cardboard boxes and set them on the table on the back porch and they'll stay frozen for the brief time it takes to defrost. As I prepare to cook for company, I find walls of icy buildup in my way, and I didn't defrost this fall.

I gave some of the freezer contents to a friend when I realized dietary shifts would mean those foods will go uneaten by me. I might as well pass them along and make space. And I know there are some ham hocks in there somewhere - it's split pea soup weather and if I buy more, the ones I already have will meet them at the door as I bring in the groceries.


29 Dec 17 - 12:09 AM (#3896232)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

After an hour of tossing ice chunks into a bucket and mopping up water draining into a cake pan, the freezer is once again defrosted and organized. And I did (finally!) find the ham hocks. The compost pile will grow some this weekend if it warms enough to go out and do a little work around the yard. I have two 5-gallon lidded buckets next to the side door for kitchen waste, and this latest project uncovered some very elderly garden produce. The dog who was the worst about getting into the compost is the one that we lost last week, so I can start putting more stuff directly into the pile, not having to leave it in the intermediate bucket to break down until she'd leave it alone in the pile.

Calendars for the new year are in place. I forsee a lot of exciting changes coming in this next year. I hope everyone has a lot to report as January rolls around.


29 Dec 17 - 10:02 AM (#3896299)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The electric mixer is whirring away in the kitchen as Himself makes cookies to take to his brother's family in Toronto tomorrow -- not that his brother is not up to generating his own cookie supply. In fact, we will almost certainly come home with a box of his fudge, reciprocity being the Only Way To Go.

The design and construction of the new kitchen, dining room and loo have decluttered our capital funds of a stunning sum, well north of twice as much as I expected, but I have to confess that it's money well spent. Now we have to knuckle under and deal with problems in the rest of the house -- starting with a paint job (Himself's office is still Pepto-Bismol pink). Also, a humidifier added to the furnace would make my sinuses much happier. How much will that cost, I wonder? Should I think of a number and double it?

On the decluttering front, I have decided that my mother-in-law's prized Wedgwood majolica (bright green, raised designs of vines and grape leaves) must find a new home. The dear lady died almost eight years ago and the settlement of her estate landed us with what remained of her fine china. Over seven years of possession, I have never used it. Not once. When I removed it from the china cabinet in the dining room, suddenly there was enough space for everything we do use. The True Sign ... Sigh.

I shall canvass the nieces, but I'm fairly sure that I'll get no takers -- the younger generation wisely prefers crockery that will go into the dishwasher without complaint. EBay, then.


29 Dec 17 - 12:09 PM (#3896334)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, you can also check and see if Replacments.com has any of it and wants to buy more.

This morning I was going to make spritz (cookies) for the kids since my son arrives soon and the whole family will get together this weekend. But instead, I'll have him help me make them. We (the parental units) concluded recently that after several years of cooking Puerto Rican favorite dishes together at the holidays that we've managed to pass that baton. They will continue to be part of holiday meals, but we don't need as big a production to teach everyone. We'll find other dishes to teach them, and it dawned on me this morning that their favorite cookie is a good one to do now.


31 Dec 17 - 11:23 AM (#3896619)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

What a year - people with new jobs, people with new houses, people with remodeled houses, people with improved health, and much more.

I propose to let this thread continue - a while back I took the year out of the title to this end - but one issue that sometimes arises as threads get longer is that they are slow to load on portable devices. If several people have this problem, let me know and I can reconsider. In the meantime, if you open the main Mudcat page and see this thread in the list, if you click on the number to the right of the thread title that will open it chronologically from the beginning but with only 50 posts and links to the rest of the pages. You can click on that last link to get to the current page. OR, you can click on that little blue d next to the number and that will open the thread at the most recent post and read in descending order.

I have a few articles that I return to for inspiration, and The Tyranny of the Heirloom from the New York Times is at the top of the list. I love the philosophy espoused in Don Aslett's Clutter's Last Stand (I linked to the author and his many books on cleaning and decluttering).

A friend of mine lives in a small (~1000sf) house that recently needed to be completely emptied in order to take up the warped wood floors and replace the sub floors. Much went into the small 1-car garage, the rest was packed up and moved to storage until the job was complete. My friend now has a new lease on his house - he is setting up each room with just as much furniture and decorating as it needs and is donating the unneeded furnishings and decor. It's difficult to let go under normal circumstances, but taking a fresh look at everything has helped him make the house look roomier and made rooms (like his largest bedroom that serves as his office and art studio) an efficient space, and he will no longer be tripping over possessions in order to get into the room and try to use it.

I continue to move items into my sun room where I list eBay items from. The bench beside the door is stacked with boxes ready to ship. I'd like to use the bench for sitting, but right now it's higher purpose is to help me clear these things from the house and make a little income in the process. The proceeds in my PayPal account pay a couple of bills a month and I use it for things like paying online postage and making donations to charitable organizations. The goal is to not have to transfer bank money into PayPal, but always the opposite.

It feels like we're entering darker times, when charities will be strained because of new tax legislation in the U.S. affecting the deductible nature of donations. Take care of yourselves, and if you have the ability, please continue supporting good organizations if even if you can't deduct the donation.

To close on a positive up note (this is a music site, after all!) you might enjoy this story from Weekend Edition Sunday on National Public Radio. Twitter Wants To Help You Welcome 2018 With One Climactic Musical Moment. It started with Phil Collins recommending the timing of one of his songs so the drums hit right at midnight. What a great idea - the Guy Lombardo "Auld Lang Syne" is as hackneyed as they come. Looks like a good thread topic. . .

Onward into 2018.


31 Dec 17 - 12:52 PM (#3896629)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Thanks for maintaining this thread, Acme. All through this tumultuous year, I have found it a useful place to pound out my dread and frustration, and to brag when I have accomplished a mission, however trivial.

I refuse to believe that neatness is trivial, but some of the steps I take to get there sure can look that way.

I have a tentative taker for the Wedgwood majolica, thank God; Himself's sister-in-law nibbled gently at the bait and may be convinced to take ten fruit nappies and a frankly gorgeous 12-inch serving bowl off my hands. The rest, I think, can be safely consigned to the church bazaar in the Spring.

It's New Year's Eve and a Sunday, and so it is washday. I like to start the new year with clean towels and a clean bed.

Not too much to ask.


31 Dec 17 - 02:47 PM (#3896641)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Great minds think alike - bed linens changed, and for a while the down comforter is in place. I didn't use it at all last year. We still have a big family event - probably tomorrow - it'll be our xmas and new year rolled into one. I have to keep cleaning and clearing, wrapping, and putting things away. I don't have many decorations out this year, I do need to make two xmas stockings (we've used temporary ones for a couple of years for repeat visitors - that writing is on the wall.) The goal is to have things ready for the event and afterward be able to put away the few ornaments and the house is finished with the holidays. I'll turn off the dusk-to-dawn sensors for the outside lights after the family event, then take the lights in when it warms up a little.

The big box stores put storage containers on sale this time of year but I've managed to declutter enough that I disaccessioned several of those bins, stacked for now in a little-used closet. No more buying bins. I'm not ready to get rid of them, they help when it comes to sorting (whatever - fabric, crafting items, paper, etc.). I have to sort the craft room soon, but for now I'll use the bins to stash things piled on the bed so I have two guest rooms.


02 Jan 18 - 11:50 AM (#3896932)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

I was supposed to leave for Ohio this AM, but lingering crud-bugs have held me up. I'm hoping the antibiotics get me underway by Friday!

I've been "enjoying" a premature opportunity to bid farewell to more PA items as I focus on what to truck out in May. I always did like pre-grieving inevitable goodbyes; this round seems to be about furniture-repurposing projects I'd have loved to have done, that we will definitely never be able to do.

It turns out that it's enough for me that I've enjoyed finding out/planning how to have done them. (There are only so many clear-coated antiques I can put in my garden-- and the Ohio house can't possibly hold more pieces than I've already planned.) So, more to leave for the parish yard sale.

One item that was hard to decide about was a much-loved antique rocker my SIL gave me 30 years ago. She had wanted it back at one point so she got first refusal. It's a reddish-stained oak, someone's homemade craftsman knockoff of a well-known type. (I can tell because it's not quite square.) She and I decided together to avoid the Californy shipping hassle and donate it to the church. Afyer we decided that, at first I envisioned it in one particular church location... but I have some fabric that's almost a dead match for some church hangings, and it will be a lovely addition to the Chapel that houses the Columbarium, for folks to set a spell with the memories of loved ones inurned there. I'll add a donors' plaque and a rug to go under it, to keep it in the Chapel and out of the yard sale. There's an almost-matching companion chair we're also leaving, to pair with it, that also sees occasional duty for bishops' visits. (We've talked for YEARS about a non-pew sitting spot in there!!!)

In a recent spelunking of an upstairs closet, I found some of the priscilla curtains I've loved so much here in this old house that are no longer available; some of the downstairs priscillas may be too old to wash once more, but I think the found ones can replace any that do fall apart. They are spead out around in two adjoining rooms, so the color doesn't have to match perfectly. One set is ivory and one is white. (A tan dye job should make them all work well enough.) As long as I have enough intact for the living room, that works!

I was able to fill out a truck-sized packing list after several relaxed chats with Hardi, about priorities-- we love those long drives where we dream about retirement dates we still can't plan. I'm wondering if our final move will happen while we still have two cars to deal with, in which case a pod would be better than a last truckload.... or whether by then we'll be down to one vehicle. (I do like the idea of a pod we can take our time UNloading, but I'm sure keeping em ain't cheap.)


Wishing all a good year with house-happiness,

~S~


02 Jan 18 - 08:57 PM (#3897025)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

2017 was a good year, I managed to clear out my house and sell it. Had an epic moving sale which went very well, aside from all the other hauling-off and selling and donating. Did keep a group of things in storage that are worth keeping. My goal for 2018 is going to be to organize and thin that herd too, but can't work at it daily since I'm roaming around the country, seeing the sights.   As far as my little house on wheels, still a bit too much stuff, but mostly there is a place for everything and everything is stowed away, at least on travel days.

Anyway, Happy New Year, clutter-busters. Hope everyone is able to simplify or optimize or whatever your personal goal may be.


03 Jan 18 - 10:48 AM (#3897149)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

People seems to do more shopping over the holiday break. I had a number of small items ship yesterday and more today. No going outside in this cold, might as well check out eBay, apparently! I have quite a few decommissioned but functional electronic items to list and now seems a really good time to do it since I'm not going out in the cold, especially with this new year sinus infection. First bill of the year was a co-pay at the doctor's office.

Patty, you had a great year with everything you managed to do. I'd love to hear where you're traveling (and I hope you're staying warm right now - there aren't many places in the U.S. this week that are comfortable for mobile dwellings!)


03 Jan 18 - 11:05 AM (#3897156)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

It is definitely a prime time for selling things. I sent off a good many tools, gadgets, and stereo components to guys snowed in on the Great Plains and upper Midwest last year. I could just picture them down in the basement workshop, bored by not being able to get out and do much.

I'm in the Rio Grande Valley where the weather has been nasty, palm fronds are blowing off the trees, constant cold rain and drizzle, but at least not below pipe-freezing threshold. I know everyone else is suffering worse, except for those in the far Southwest. Will shove off towards Arizona in a couple days when the hard freezes let up.


03 Jan 18 - 12:19 PM (#3897168)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

(Have not used computer since 23 December.)
Montreal:
The following is a note I wrote to friends about our craze life:

"Since John gave me near half a day of COLD labour for which I am beyond grateful, I have spent a week in Montreal - to spend time with Robin, who was away for most of that time, and the house was beyond terrible. We managed to get back to Bancroft in time for the Christmas Dinner at the Legion and a quiet week of recuperation for him, which was not enough time. We came safely back to Montreal on First, to frozen pipes and a 34F house. Put on as many little electric heaters as the circuits would hold and went to supper. It was almost up to 40 when we returned.

I was going to leave on Tuesday - enough is too much! - but it was snowing when we went out for BF - after sleeping with ALL my clothes on, including my coat. I called Harvest Moon (in Bancroft) while we were at BF, to see what it was doing there: "If you are safe there, stay there!" said Arlene. Darn!

By late afternoon, the house was about 58. (It warmed up outside.) How could he have lived here since 1982... But he had only been camping out - work has been his life and I am in the way in a sense. He is glad to have me but this house has never been a priority ....... He is trying ---VERY!

Last night, he got enough heat in the upstairs BR for a comfortable night! There is actually some baseboard heat up there! The LR is still 59! I sit with a cube heater on my feet and read or watch TV or use computer, with a throw on my legs ... Resigned to being here until Saturday when we will be between snows, or so the forecasts say. Is it really only Wednesday? I feel like I have been here at least a week!

I intend to stay in Bancroft for an extended period. At least there I can be warm - throw another log on the fire! Here, I feel like setting the house on fire. Robin did that as he was thawing the pipes; he "found" the rat's nest under floor of the kitchen counter. Arghhh!

The saga of the battery continues: Car would not start after Christmas - at -30. R warmed up the old battery in the K sink full of HOT water and boosted the NEW one. He believes there is a bad connection somewhere but he is not looking for it in this cold. He bought a booster pack. (I used to have a really good one but he needed it somewhere else and...)

How can someone so brilliant be so dumb, so totally disorganized. I wonder how he has managed to live 70 years with so little attention to self care or comfort. He cheerfully agrees!

Gee, I was thinking I might go to the Atwater Market (about 6 blocks away) but R went out ... - Oh! He has not taken my car... but he will need it to get to his truck (elsewhere!), with the battery for it which someone caused to go dead after being told to be sure and close the door or the battery will run down... He brought the battery here yesterday for TLC ... It was a new battery...

Then he came down from upstairs where he had been texting, etc in the warm BR! Now he has gone off ----but he forgot the battery for the truck!

So, here I sit... I delight in Charmion's new kitchen!!! And in mrzzy's success! and whoever I have missed... May we each have a de-cluttering new year! And stay warm! or cool, as the case may be.


03 Jan 18 - 12:31 PM (#3897170)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

CLUTTER-BUSTERS

I like it!

We are truly that amazing group of women and men. I for one cannot begin to calculate the sheer volume of gone goods we might have amassed-- it would be fun some time to estimate and add up our respective cubic yards of goners!


03 Jan 18 - 12:35 PM (#3897172)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Separate post due to fone screen limits... leaving PA Saturday for OH without wifi and on ridiculously slow data plan. Will try to keep up as conditions permit, maybe via fone memo app composition but batch-posting at odd wifi hotspot opportunities. Lot of measuring on this trip planned but budget precludes garden purchases for spring planting.


03 Jan 18 - 01:35 PM (#3897190)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dorothy, it sounds like time to declutter yourselves of that house to someone who will come in and completely redo the insides. Clearly you're not going to be the ones to handle that. The smaller projects have sounded great, but that big one is too much!

A shower helped clear my head this morning as a sinus infection runs its course. It's sunny today so when it gets above freezing I'll walk over to the sheltered spot in the yard next to the greenhouse and stand for a few minutes with my face in the sun. That always feels therapeutic! No doubt I'll have dogs for company, they also enjoy that sunny nook (they're the ones who use it most of the time.)

Many rest areas along major highways have free WiFi connections. They may be slow, but they're there. My old phones were kind of clunky for connecting, but smart phones of the newest generations (in the last five years or so) are much better at finding and connecting.

I sent a note to Patty about some of my favorite spots to visit in South and west Texas.


04 Jan 18 - 06:26 PM (#3897385)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I currently have 5 bags of books and 4 bags of clothes decluttered from Jeremiah's room.

I had a stressful recertification exam at work (which allows me to run assessments) and it was making me twitchy nervous so instead of doing the assessment right away I dumped two desk drawers that have been getting on my nerves right onto the top of my desk. I puttered, sorted and organized and ended up with some spectacular looking drawers and THEN I took the assessment. I passed on the first try (it will let you try different versions only so many times and then you are blocked for the year of administering that particular assessment).   Hooray for decluttering relaxation!   

I have an impressive collection of pens, post-its, paper clips and clasps.......all very neatly organized with all the other things that make my office run like a well oiled piece of machinery! :)

It's bitter cold here, many schools are already closed for tomorrow. Temperatures are predicted to be -20 to -30 with the windchill. Stay warm everyone!

Michelle


04 Jan 18 - 08:33 PM (#3897405)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've wondered how it is for you and Max and some of our regular New England participants. On NPR this evening someone described seeing a man on skis being pulled down the street by a pickup - in South Carolina.

Susan, I hope your bug clears up enough so you can comfortably make your trip. There's nothing worse than trying to travel when all you want to do is curl up somewhere warm and take a nap.

Holiday ornaments are down, the lights are still in the yard until it warms enough to retrieve them comfortably. Photo cube is set up on the dining room table and I'll be using it for the next batch of eBay items. It's a cloth device that allows light to diffuse and give clear photos uncluttered with background objects or shadows. It folds down to about the size of a stack of dinner plates when compressed.


05 Jan 18 - 09:47 AM (#3897540)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The new patio door was installed in the dining-room yesterday with maximum strain on a crew of three carpenters. The outside temperature at noon was about -13C and never clambered any higher than that, so the house was thoroughly chilled by the time they finished.

Everything went fairly swimmingly until the original garden door was extracted and the new door -- carefully measured not once, not twice, but four times -- DID NOT FIT. Close examination revealed that the two-by-four framing timbers were set in crooked, so the opening did not have four 90-degree angles, but instead was a parallelogram wider at the top than the bottom. Much agony ensued.

Every installation job of this type involves extensive shimming, so the shop materials brought for the job included one great big box of long, skinny wedges of wood used to square up the new door (or window, or cabinet) from side to side, and another great big box of thin, flat shingle-like pieces to be stacked on the sill-plate to bring the door to a certain height -- usually about an inch -- above the level of the interior floor. By the time they had finished, both boxes were empty and the crew chief had sent back for more.

To set the new door into the irregular opening, the carpenters had to left it into the frame, add shims, add more shims, take out some shims, put in more shims, check the level, and then take the whole thing apart and start again -- at least six times. They all went for lunch at about 2:00 p.m., then came back and resumed the attack. I offered tea and biscuits at 4:30, but they had finally achieved the correct degree of plumb-ness and level-ness and could not stop until the job was finished.

The entire job was supposed to take "a couple of hours". The crew arrived at about 9:15 a.m. and the last guy left at about 6:30 p.m., sweeping up plaster dust as he went.

We now have only the tiler to go, and I'm not sure if the kitchen contractor even knows where he is, let alone when he is prepared to tackle our backsplash and the holes in our floor. That will be the last major messy and expensive thing we do to this house for a long, long time.


05 Jan 18 - 10:26 AM (#3897549)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Thanks, Acme; hope you're feeling better too.

We're in the same weather LF just described.

Yesterday AM Newbie-Dog manifested that her cold and drafty corner was beyond her ability to stay warm, so we added layers under her at bedtime and into her corner she went... but I wasn't sure she'd handle the dropping temp and faster dropping wind chill so I came back down due to not falling asleep and added much more, thinking that if she used it instead of taking it apart to shred I'd spend some time today putting in a small chair to really get her off that drafty floor-- the one I can't stand to stand on myself.

Making the too-small seat big enough without making it all too big for the tight space where it will have to fit .... I had enough cheap quilts I'm not married to, and she's busy now making it her smells and lumps.

Later it will go into her corner for use tonight (and next winter), and the pretty and thick rug I folded for her will cover the bare, cold tile at the foot of the chair so that she has a cool-off spot, cuz she likes to alternate. The rug available hapoens to be GORGEOUS, and the chair is an old boudoir chair given to us years ago. I think using these for Her Highness's palace boudoir makes sense! The flounced are safe from chewing now that the crappies qhilt has gone on top to use and discard.

~S~


05 Jan 18 - 10:30 PM (#3897665)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

We've made a neat arrangement w a Mudcatter to take our old vinyl, and maybe auction off some of it to benefit Mudcat. My end on that today was researching best practices (and best shipping boxes), so that he and Hardi can work out the transfer while I'm in NoWiFiLand (sporadic access online) thru March 1. Hardi's next step is figuring how many boxes he'll need.

~S~


06 Jan 18 - 11:55 AM (#3897748)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
Bitterly cold. Going out for BF --- well lunch. Well, if it is lunch, there is soup ready that I made yesterday! I would, however, like a room that is at least 60F, not the 49 it was when I came down a short while ago. The BR is warm! May be where I spend the day.

Yes, Maggie, I do wish for this house to be sold. The one in Bancroft is so much better but too far for R. I suspect even that might be cool at minus 35C! But over 49F!

Charmion- ah yes, the joys of an old, poorly built house. We know it well! Congratulations on one more nasty job completed.


06 Jan 18 - 08:40 PM (#3897818)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Today warmed to about 65o so I wrapped up the two strings woven through the juniper and cut a length of cardboard to use for wrapping the two strings of different types of lights that were on the front porch. The wreath that I'd completely forgotten is now also put away and I've disassembled the macrame basket that used to have lights wrapped around the hemp cords and blinked various patterns or glowed and dimmed until two of the colors stopped working completely. Now that set is in the electronics recycle bag. I found some new lights on sale a Walgreens and have added them to the basket to assemble next year.

Picked up a steam humidifier that will live under the bathroom cabinet when not in use. I cleared some of the towels out of there a few weeks ago so there's room.

For the holidays this year my ex gave me a kind of a joke (but practical) gift - for years I've had several dozen old terrycloth wash cloths that were used at the table when the kids were little. I still pull them out but they're tattered, and mostly I use them for cleaning surfaces in the kitchen. He gave me a box filled with new terrycloth washcloths. They're already in the bin in the kitchen, ready for use. The others are in a ragbag right now, and as they get too stained, will be tossed into the trash.


07 Jan 18 - 11:22 AM (#3897906)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There seems to have been an explosion of paper over the course of the last week. It's the usual transition from one year to the next, but my having been out of sorts for several days meant I didn't attend to it. Today it greeted me in all of it's glory around my office. Looks like it's a day of shredding and filing.

Charmion, that door sounds like a smallish nightmare - does it end up looking like a normal doorway after all of those shims were put in?

Congratulations on the recertification, Michelle! (And the drawers!)

Stay warm, everyone!


07 Jan 18 - 12:54 PM (#3897930)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

65F sounds heavenly! Forecast is for 32F at least one day soon. I need to check on snow conditions - and icy road conditions, in hopes of getting back to Beaver SOON! Before the snows start again. Emailed next door neighbour to, please, check the bathroom. If pipes break, pump could pump until it burns out - gallons of water flooding the house.... A major clutter I would prefer not to have.

Brunch yesterday ended up at a buffet: it was warm and we spent almost 2 hours eating and eating. At $12.99/each, it was well worth it and yummy. I only ingested veggies and protein until 2 small cake squares for dessert. The house was still cold but we ingested enough calories to cope. I ingested enough to go to bed with a book, after falling asleep downstairs with coat and hat on - ah warmth! And was able to cook porridge for BF this am; the house still 52F!

I have had to accept that plants at the mill and some at Beaver are probably history (category of brain de-clutter).

It is supposed to be warming today but no sign of it yet in here. Guess I need to go back upstairs with my book - or wrap in a quilt.


08 Jan 18 - 08:47 PM (#3898223)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Several items on eBay sold this weekend; it seems that when they are forced to stay indoors people shop online. I need to get more stuff listed while it's still cold outside. It's nice to send these things to a new home and see the shrinking pile of boxes on my bench in the sunroom.

After two weeks close to home I did some running around today; a trip to the airport, personal errands, and shopping. My fitness routine will start up again next week with returning to exercise classes (hopefully the coughing will have cleared up). I visited a favorite thrift store and found an item for eBay and one for me.

I have done some more paper filing and while organizing my computer desk I dug out the previous set of speakers to replace the poor results I get from the built-in monitor speakers. That about does me in for the day, this cold hasn't completely lifted yet.


09 Jan 18 - 11:14 AM (#3898364)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I signed up for a year of personal training at the Goodlife Fitness gym here, at no little cost. While I sign on the dotted line and mentally add the price to our burgeoning monthly budget, I mentally castigate myself for lacking the willpower to do the workouts on my own, like the wiry seniors and buff young people I see routinely on the gym floor. But then I tell myself -- sternly -- that the trainer not only prevents me from hurting myself, as I have done in the past, but also ensures that I get my arse to the gym in the first place, and that I do the exercises I don't like as well as the ones I don't mind. (I can't honestly say that I like any of them.)

So much of the fitness industry's rhetoric is about finding something you love to do, or find amusing ("fun"!), but when I'm honest I have to admit that the activity I like best is sitting and reading, followed closely by doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. In third place is cooking. None of these pass-times does a darn thing for my cardiac efficiency or the capability of my waning musculature. Damn it.

It has just finished snowing after two days of accumulation, and the temperature is hovering around the freezing point. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow and Thursday, which means that the highway from Stratford to Kitchener will be quite unpleasant when I set out on my monthly pilgrimage to the doctor for my dose of the magic anti-asthma drug. The GPS always directs me to the county road that parallels the highway a few kilometers to the north, but in foul weather that is a terrible idea; the last time I took it going east, the wake from a west-bound farm truck doing no more than the speed limit literally covered my windshield with slush. The heavier highway traffic will have cleared most of the crud off the asphalt by the time I leave home, so the extra driving time the highway route requires will pay for itself in stress reduction.


09 Jan 18 - 06:58 PM (#3898443)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

No extra decluttering this week but I did join the YMCA and went walking on the treadmill last night. :)

Michelle


10 Jan 18 - 04:27 PM (#3898642)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Charmion,

A good friend on mine found a Baltimore, Maryland gym program that has some neat features i can see spreading thru the US retired-folks marketplace. Maybe Canada has these here and there, too.

As I understand her reportage thru my own envy, the first signup period includes physical-therapy-level trainers to assess what FITNESS workouts-- not PT routines-- are possible as the new member's gentle and DOABLE starting point. It's a 60 or 90-day program with many incentives to come 2-4 days/week and form the habit.

Then, there's a huge discount on a second, ongoing membership on the other side of the facility-- which looks more like most gyms most folks start with and then fail to keep up with.... group work, classes, self-led rotation thru strength/cardiovascular machines-- the whole candy shop with staff to facilitate machine use... and the option to get back with your 1st trainer anytime you want their tweaking.

The idea is that max help at startup can train we brilliant retirees to have fun NOT hurting ourselves.

My friend and her much-more-challenged roommate are having a ball now, having graduated to that 2nd level's harder machines and colder pools.

And this theory of fitness marketing seems to be percolating into the Ohio Y near the house we hope to get into fulltime (before we 'decrep' our way into more restrictive levels of senior living).

Now the big advantage there, cost-wise, is that Y memberships are adjusted for income. Yeah baby! The local Y pool is great (I have used it every Ohio vacay), they have a great basement full of strength machines plus main level cardio with windows and... wait for it....

The brand NEW facility-- blocks from our little house-- breaks ground this fall. Walk, walker, bike, and/or scooter range! Pension benefits include part of membership fee! :-)

~S~


10 Jan 18 - 05:02 PM (#3898652)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

OH:

Let's see... I left PA Saturday in subzero/windchill hell, and had some road budget hiccups causing my planned overnight stop to come an hour earlier than planned, at a cushier known motel where I was forced to sleep in and take Newbie to the inside-hallways on site Mexican restaurant for further svc dog training. They remembered me and fed/watered her as well.

When I got back on the road I drove thru the Sharon Pipeline section of 80, which is totally owned by the semi's needing to change lanes fast and dangerous to "swing" the hills surrounding that areas multiple, intersecting truck routes. The wind had gone but it had left the ditches full of tipped-over and broken semi's. I was grateful for that inner voice insisting I not push thru the Pipeline to reach my planned motel!!!

Having NOT put away everything in the Ohio house to welcome myself back with a tidied magazine layout, I had zero confusion upon entry-- and feel like I never left. The first night I could have sworn Hardi was right here with me-- he must have been praying while missing me again. Newbie likewise settled right in, first night. It has usually taken me several days to adjust my mind.

So I've had a very productive few days here. Hardi loaded what I'd packed in such a way that I had only one small bag, my heavy purse, and the dog to unload upon arrival thru the frozen slush blocking the front door. I'd left a lot more food in the freezer and pantry than remembered-- dinner on hand and brekky to thaw. No need to shop thru icy roads.

The next morning (Monday), I found the snowboots here, got the garage unlocked, moved the jam-packed car into it, and brought one more bag in (meds). And slept a bunch more.

Ydy (Tuesday), was given to haircut (goodbye old styles), doc appt prep (paperwork), dog meds refill picked up, two bags' essential groceries-- no room in still-loaded car! Jammed to ceiling! And phone calls to restart sociopolitical stuff from the fall. I planted the paperwhites I'd left myself in the fridge, using up gravel I'd also left-- in pretty glass tumblers I'd found in November in the garage..... more napping....

Tdy was the actual doc appt (they OKd Newbie coming next time), MY meds picked up, and a toenail trim for Newbie at the enormous kennel where they know her, on sight, by name. Then before my new cold's fever could catch me, I 'girl-power'-unloaded 2/3 of the car into garage space cleared in November, and was able to catch the 12-year-old neighbor getting off the bus for muscling the cargo over the next few days, during the anticipated Friday snowstorm. I brought in one strategic armload.

That leaves tomorrow (Thursday) to fill the car back up w groceries and dog food, bringing in only what must come in, tmrw-- a lot can sit in the car for me to bring in gradually, in my snow boots.

Till then, the thaw and sunshine between snowstorms here has shown me a good look at my thriving, sleeping gardens.


I can mostly only skim the thread to see everyone's great progress: GogogoGO!

~S~


10 Jan 18 - 09:41 PM (#3898681)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The head cold symptoms are decreasing so I got some exercise today climbing stairs at work and walking the dogs when I got home. Paper is still on most horizontal surfaces, but I managed to clear my computer desk. There is micro glitter on my desk and keyboard because I finished the holiday cards and mailed them on Monday. Not in time for the holiday, but at least people will hear from me!

I need to make a push to clear out old containers in the fridge (condiments rarely used that are now way past shelf date, etc.) but that can wait till the weekend. And I need to move buckets of compost slurry from the side of the house back to dump into the big compost pile. The dearly departed pitbull illustrated perfectly the term "dogged" in her pursuit of food, even digging deep into the compost. The other two have a typical dog-like interest, but I can police dog poop from the yard into a bucket, cover it over with water for a few minutes then pour that dog-dropping tea over the compost and they have no more interest in eating anything in there. It didn't always work with the pitbull.

Susan, that fitness program sounds organic and welcoming. Does it have a name? I'd like to look at the program and see if they are affiliated anywhere else.


11 Jan 18 - 03:59 AM (#3898700)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme, I don't know and won't be talking with my friend for several weeks, but I bet Google can find it.

....

Apologies if this has been run before, but it describes several things I've found helpful in our downsized little Ohio house:

5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do:
http://thenester.com/2016/03/5-things-people-with-tidy-homes-dont-do.html

~S~


11 Jan 18 - 09:20 AM (#3898819)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Hi, Susan wysiwyg: I have been on the gym routine for many years now, and Himself is less than a year out of the army and very fit and well, so we don't need either the assessment service you describe, or the specialized facilities -- which is a good thing, since Stratford has nothing of that sort. In fact, I doubt that we would find anything like that outside a hospital or rehab centre, where admission would require a doctor's referral.

The habits in question are well formed, but my attitudes remain unreconstructed. Way down in the heart of me, I am just as lazy as ever, and my child self continues to whine and complain at the requirement to get off my arse, pack my gym bag, assume the habiliments of the great outdoors (in January, a significant barrier), and actually GO TO THE EFFING GYM. When I get there, I play all manner of tricks on myself to complete my self-appointed tasks: row just 5,000 metres and you can quit; keep trotting until the treadmill counter says you have worked off your breakfast; etc., etc. I am way too old to learn to love what I have to do at the gym, so I have to make do with the knowledge that it is good for me, which -- as you know -- is not always enough to overcome the frailty of a slothful soul.

That said, I can at least say I am a "tidy person" as described in the article you referred us to. I do all those five things, so I guess I could be worse.


11 Jan 18 - 07:41 PM (#3898964)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Lol, Charmion; that kind of gym is also designed with exactly the motivation you're blaming yourself for not having, but yes I agree that if you're generally tidy you're probably head and shoulders above many of us on that account!

~S~


11 Jan 18 - 09:44 PM (#3898970)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I'm selectively tidy - some rooms are in much better shape consistently than others. I can fix a meal at the spur of the moment and not worry about the cleanliness of the kitchen and work surfaces or materials, but you're liable to find dust in a number of other rooms that are somewhat neglected.

If I have a tax refund this year it is tentatively going to cover the cost of the ceramic tiles I want to put down in the hall bathroom. The trouble with tax-time is that if there is a refund, some major appliance gets it into it's tiny machine brain to die or need a major repair, messing up any plans. I'm thinking it might be time to actually sign up for one of those home shield insurance accounts - most of the appliances in the house are upwards of 15+ years old.

There were some great sized and shaped boxes in the recycle bin at work today that came home with me, though right now the state of the sunroom is such that boxes seem the last thing I need to stock up on. It's the variety of sizes and shapes that I try to keep in stock. This weekend I'll flatten and store them in a cabinet I use to organize them by size.


12 Jan 18 - 07:44 PM (#3899211)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Three full bags of children's books, 2 bags of children's clothing and a bag of shoes delivered to Goodwill today. Two bags of clothes in especially excellent condition delivered to a co-worker with 2 nephews in need. The smile on my coworker's face was priceless. <3

I have a 3 day weekend ahead.....as usual, I have lots of things I want to get done but I'll just wait and see where the day directs me. :)

I put in a very full week and am happy to be home with Oatie snoring on the couch and Jeremiah upstairs playing "The Fight Song" on his guitar and singing his little heart out.

*Big, happy, contented sigh*

Have a great week everybody!

Michelle

PS. The temperature at 6:30am was 52 degrees, by 1:30 it was 62 degrees.....and predictions for tomorrow say 12. LOL   Craziness! Like the moon phases, I think these extreme weather swings have a very large effect on behavior.


13 Jan 18 - 01:04 AM (#3899240)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I also have three days off, and after a week of not doing much due to recovering from a virus, and the virus itself the week before, I have a lot of catching up to do. And the week before that the weather didn't help, it was so cold, so I'm way behind on a whole bunch of chores.

Yesterday the temperature was in the 50s, this morning it was again in the mid-20s and enough wind to make the walk into my building at work really painful. Last year I think we had one really cold day all winter.

This evening I've sorted a lot of paper, shredding some and recycling most. I've also filed some as I've uncovered notes for several projects that were buried in the stacks. Some have been moved to the appropriate part of the house (shopping lists on the kitchen counter, notes for eBay in the sunroom, etc.) The rest will wait till tomorrow, when I start again.


13 Jan 18 - 09:57 AM (#3899316)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Today I can see progress from my work yesterday, but it has reached the point where I must go outside (it has been very cold here again lately) to muck about with the compost (empty bins at the side of the house into the pile in the back of the yard) and haul a large bag of glass and plastic and a large basket of paper over to the city recycle bins. That way I make room for myself to finish emptying out the fridge and to continue emptying paper out of my office.

It is also the day to flatten boxes. That act alone will free up many cubic feet of space. I'll pick a few that fit specific eBay projects now and flatten the rest. I have a place to store them flat, but I can't reach it till I flatten everything in the path.

Dorothy, where do you find yourself today? Last week you were in Montreal hoping to get out to Beaver soon. Did you manage that, and is there water (no burst pipes), heat, and a wifi signal?


13 Jan 18 - 07:56 PM (#3899442)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

OH:

With expeditious kid help, the car is now unloaded (mostly into the house), and I have opened and rough-sorted boxes' contents towards their destination rooms. Along with groceries awaiting their pantry destinations, these all flow towards their spots as I pass them, and in this one-story house it's easy to keep moving; this morning I felt terminally un-tidy-able (and ooky from antibiotics), but already it's looking sane here.

I think "selectively tidy" may be different from "serially tidy" which this place really is. It's a rhythm reflecting that real ppl live in houses, living organically messy lives. It's all good. I guess actually I'm doing both-- there's that curtain dividing off the BR areas from the public mtg spaces..

I would also observe that decluttering is different for retired folks. Those of you still employed with paychecks have different challenges than those faced with retired/partly creaky schedules and bones-- we have time but not always capacity. I hoped the lessons I'd learned 10 years ago would serve me well, now. ... but AFGO. ;-)

One ginormous box left, too big/busted to tote-- but a smaller box, for fetching some of contents at a time, is ready and waiting for a warmer spell.

And I'm sorry-- but it was hilarious seeing how 4" of snow are a big deal here. Decrepit I may be, but I guess me and Newbie are northern-hardened, cuz it was not so bad to deal with after the driveway was plowed by the mow/blow/snow service. I shoveled to the garage, being old enough to have set the shovel handy before the brief blizzard.

~Susan


13 Jan 18 - 08:47 PM (#3899452)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Basic picking up happened in spurts here today but far better was the hours of ukulele playing, some with Jeremiah playing along on his guitar (I think it's SO cool that he can play along...his collection of chords is becoming impressive) and then a few more hours of reading (Currently reading "Endurance" by Scott Kelly....I'm am freakishly attracted to all things related the International Space Station) and just plain old family time.

It was a good day to do lots of nothing more than hang out in jeans, a t-shirt and slippers, doing whatever the heart dictated. :)

Michelle


14 Jan 18 - 02:08 PM (#3899620)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Today I am working on one of the bookshelves that is 7 feet tall. I have only attempted to get through 2 shelves. One of those shelves was full of medical paperwork for when I was going through chemo. Tomorrow I celebrate 8 years of being cancer free and I have decided that I don't need that paperwork anymore. Looking through it makes me cry and there is no earthly reason why I need all that. I kept a few select books that were helpful, the book that Maggie made me (a treasured item), the video I made of my journey, a copy of the speech I have given when asked to be the speaker at a few Relays for Life, a Relay for Life calendar that has my and Jeremiah's photo in it along with a favorite quote and a book published by Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance that has my written story and photo. I did keep (and it has been tucked away for years now and NOT on the bookshelf) all the cards full of love that I received during that time.

I have also removed several books that just aren't being used here and I'd much rather have the space than the books. One shelf is binders of neatly organized and divided into categories.

It doesn't sound like much but it took some time and I dusted as I went through. Also, I have all my favorite books together on one spot.   Looks and feels good.

Michelle


14 Jan 18 - 08:09 PM (#3899680)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

So it's been a busy day here. In addition to the stuff I posted previously, I got all the Christmas things put away. The tree has been down since the day after Christmas as it was getting droopy despite daily fresh water.....guess that's what happens when you get your tree early and have very dry heat!!! Anyway....the nativities are all packed up until next year and the garlands, Santa items, angels, etc. I love Christmas and all the decorations but I equally love when it's all put away and all the surfaces are empty (for the time being..LOL).

Michelle


14 Jan 18 - 11:38 PM (#3899698)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It sounds like you kept the best memories, Michelle, and there's a lot that could be added to that book, all good stuff.

Today I did the work on the compost, wheel-barrowing two five-gallon kitchen waste buckets back to the pile that has a heavy-duty plastic frame holding in the contents (to keep the dogs out of anything that still smells tempting). I also did a deep purge in the fridge; sauces past shelf dates, crystallized jelly, ancient pickles, things that were in plain sight and totally forgotten. This evening I went through the side-by-side freezer for oddball frozen things that will never get used (like ancient chicken backs, frost-burned veggies, old plastic bags of frozen herbs, etc.), and that's my last thing this evening because I'm putting a heavy duty contractor bag out at the curb tomorrow with all of the things that can't go in the compost. (When I took a bucket of the veggies to the compost I heard something rustling around in the brush behind the fence. This will probably give the wildlife something to poach out of the bin when the dogs aren't looking.)


15 Jan 18 - 03:53 AM (#3899710)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

We spent a happy weekend turning out all our wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, and sorting out all the clothes we no longer need or wear, and all the tins of food that are in date but not likely to be eaten.

The clothes were sorted into those my husband can take to Africa on his next trip and those we can take to a Charity Shop.
The tins all went to the supermarket Food Bank crate.

It was amazing how much dust gets into wardrobes and drawers, so we had a good old go with a damp duster and some polish.

Here in Norfolk, this is called a 'fye-out'!


15 Jan 18 - 10:10 AM (#3899784)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Senoufou, after going through several pages of search results I finally found a link to the 1895 A Glossary of East Anglia in Google Books by Walter Rye.
Fye. To clean or purify. To fye out the pond; to fye up the corn [Spur.]. See Fie.

[skipping back a few pages. . . ]

Fie, or Fye. To cleanse out a ditch, a pond, or any other receptacle of mud or filth.

Learn something new every day!

I added a couple more things to the large trash bag (it has a simple square knot holding it closed, easy to untie, and when the trash guys come by, easy to pick up). Things I thought better of and decided I would never use.

The weather is nice this morning but supposed to be snowing and bitterly cold by overnight. I'd best finish up any outdoor chores early and play on the computer later.


15 Jan 18 - 12:03 PM (#3899795)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Acme, that's fascinating! The word is pretty generally used round here.
It's also encountered in that song, "Martin said to his man, "Fye man! Fye!" Which I think means "Clear off"!" (much the same thing)

I notice you put your rubbish in a sack for the bin men. We have very robust polypropylene wheelie bins, (three different colours, recycle, landfill and garden waste). Foxes and cats can't get into them as they're too high and shut firmly.


16 Jan 18 - 10:01 AM (#3899980)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

As usual, Eliza Senoufou comes up with the mot juste -- a fye-out. I feel as if I have been fying out our lives for the last year, and I'm damn' well ready to be done with it. Himself is so ready to be done with it that he now automatically digs in his heels at every new proposal to disembarrass ourselves further.

I keep thinking I have finally unpacked the final box from the move, only to find another lurking on a shelf or in a corner, pretending to be something else.

Yesterday it was a large carton that once held a vacuum cleaner, sitting on a shelf in the garage. At first I thought it was empty, kept against the day when the vacuum cleaner might require repair, but then it occurred to me that it might contain framed pictures or other ornaments that we had no room for and had therefore stashed in the basement of our house in Ottawa. (We both inherited many framed items from our deceased parents, and acquired many more over the years -- and then got married and multiplied the problem.) So I hauled it into the house and pried it open, and what do you think I found?

No, not a forgotten Rembrandt, or even a neglected set of dishes. It was a dead vacuum cleaner, the wreckage of the Hoover central vac we gave up on in Ottawa when the manufacturer went bankrupt and we could no longer get parts. Dang! How did that escape my decluttering efforts before the move? This enquiring mind really wants to know.

So out it goes to the landfill next garbage day, at the cost of two City of Stratford garbage tickets.

As for the excess art, our new church has a potential solution. In Spring, St. James's holds its annual "variety sale" -- what we Anglicans used to call a rummage sale. People like us abound in this prosperous town, one of Canada's top retirement destinations (honest, we didn't know until we got here!), so Stratford basements abound in decorative items that have not found display space. So an enterprising member of the congregation, who just happens to be a retired curator, collects paintings, graphics and objets de vertu and organizes them for sale to the benefit of the parish, which has a handsome Victorian church complete with ring of bells to support, not to speak of its real work in the community, and needs every penny it can scrape up.

Now all I have to do is persuade Himself that we can contribute a significant stack of framed items. Wish me luck with that.


16 Jan 18 - 01:52 PM (#3900027)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

A 'variety sale'! What a good idea Charmion.

We have lots of car-boot sales round here during Spring and Summer, and table-top sales in village halls when it's cold outside.
We're planning on doing a garage sale on our front drive (and inside the garage of course) at Easter. It's much easier than carting stuff away from the house to a car-boot sale.

We have a Facebook page for our village now, and we can also advertise it in the Parish magazine. I have lots of kitchen equipment I no longer use, garden tools, planter tubs and pots, odd pieces of furniture, rugs, excess Christmas decorations, arty crafty stuff, no end of clutter.
We love doing it because everyone natters away, it's like a party. And many of them bring their lovely dogs (who all know us) My husband offers orange squash in paper cups and I do small cakes.
At our last house many years ago we did one and made £250 - not bad.


16 Jan 18 - 09:39 PM (#3900092)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

This year we exchanged a lot of kitchen equipment at xmas, and the items that work but were insufficient to the task are now in a drawer where they can be called upon if spares are needed, or, more likely, the next time someone needs a donation of kitchen equipment.

The larger city around our village has very strict trash collection rules; it must be in the correct bin (black for trash, blue for recycling) and the correct stuff must be in each bin. They write tickets if it isn't correct (after random checks or complaints from the collection truck folks). Here in our village it's a crap shoot as to what people will do about trash - I have a couple of cans, but when the guys collect the trash from cans they don't usually put them back on the curb or lawn, they often are dropped on the concrete driveway or at the curb in the street. They can get knocked over, blown away, run over, etc. If I don't have much it goes in a small bag in one of the cans, and waits near the garage until I have more that makes it enough to bother putting out for collection. I recycle and have a compost pile, so there isn't much trash. They collect it two times a week and I put it out about once every other week.

I put that kitchen waste in a heavy bag (a "contractor bag" that can be used for collecting building waste on a work site) in a trash bin, but by morning when I looked out they hadn't picked it up yet but would be by soon so I left the bag at the curb and put the bin up by the garage. Dogs and coyotes don't usually bother trash during daylight hours.


17 Jan 18 - 12:54 PM (#3900181)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

(Ohio)

And I'm transferring duplicate kitchen stuff to Ohio every time I come down from PA-- because if it works well enough to have been kept or recently acquired, I'd rather not take a chance on a worn-out Goodwill item. And from my Ohio stash I was able to give a few items to a friend lvg a domestic hot mess, because I knew I had a parallel item to bring down on my next trip-- and a backup item already here to use til then.

It's good to have enough gear on hand for group cooking, or to be able to leave dirty items soaking when sick or all hell has broken loose.


17 Jan 18 - 01:12 PM (#3900183)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

It's interesting to hear about rubbish collection and removal in other places.
We have three wheelie bins and all have strict rules about what can and can't go in them:-

   - a brown one for garden waste, no sticks or branches over a certain diameter, no stones or lumps of wood.
   - a black one for recyclables such as glass bottles, tins, plastic containers (milk, cooking oil, ice-cream tubs etc), paper and cardboard
   - a green one for landfill stuff

We have many urban foxes, rats, mice and feral cats etc which used to get their noses into the old large plastic sacks, and spread the rubbish far and wide. Now they can't do that.
The bins can weigh quite a bit and I have to get my trusty husband to trundle the correct one out the front for me. But they have inbuilt wheels, so it isn't as hard as it sounds.

Does anyone on here get furious (as I do!) about the totally MAD amount of plastic used for wrapping up food in supermarkets? Even onions, potatoes and nuts are sealed in plastic. Meat can have two or three layers if one includes the outer tray. No wonder the oceans are awash with the stuff.
In the early fifties, I can remember that NOTHING was wrapped like this. One bought vegetables loose from the greengrocer, and meat at the butcher's was cut in front of you, then wrapped in white paper, as were loaves of bread. Our metal 'dustbin' was only for ashes from the coal fire!
There's a move afoot recently to reduce all this pollution. It can't come soon enough for me!


18 Jan 18 - 01:46 AM (#3900256)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: ketchdana

"Let's recycle" sung by the McCalmans. Fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01x9PXN5dI

..Bob


18 Jan 18 - 09:41 AM (#3900314)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, the amount of plastic packaging is mad. On the other hand, that awful plastic film keeps fruit, veg, meat and baked goods clean, and easier to handle at the check-out counter as long as the cashier can be prevented from flinging one's carefully bagged fragile comestibles. If our society insists on marketing food as if apples and animal parts were widgets made of stainless steel, then plastic film is essential to the maintenance of even the pretense of food safety.

People talk a lot about food poisoning and fret noisily about botulism and E.Coli contamination, but the actual incidence of food-borne disease has declined radically in industrialized nations over the last century. That's mostly attributable to public health inspections, vigorous prosecutions when negligence is found, and widespread use of impermeable food packaging.

There is such a thing as biodegradable plastic film; I've seen it in several Ontario grocery chains. I have a nasty, sneaking feeling, however, that it is more expensive than the bog-standard kind, and I know from messy experience that it is not as strong.

The Ottawa "solid waste" (i.e., garbage) system is so complex that the city distributes leaflets and calendars to every single municipal address to ensure that people know what is collected and when. I suspect that every household that manages its garbage competently has a member who has accepted the role of Garbage Guru, and spends anywhere up to an hour a week rounding up and sorting debris.

The collection and composting of animal waste -- everything from chicken bones to dog droppings -- was one of the city's most debated programs, second only to the construction of a multi-billion-dollar light rail system that includes a tunnel under most of downtown.

In Stratford, garbage is a little simpler, but not much. We have plenty of raccoons in this neighbourhood and a large community of crows, so I am just as particular about garbage management in this leafy small-town suburb as I was in the big city.


18 Jan 18 - 10:15 AM (#3900324)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

The thing is, most of the vegetables will be peeled first and then cooked. The fruit will be well washed before eating. Meat will be cooked. I can see that, say, bread will need to have some sort of cover, as it may not be heated before eating. Similarly ham or tongue.

Our milk came in glass bottles which one later washed for the milkman to collect. They were refilled at the dairy.

But decades ago, we had a nice compost heap where the peelings went.
We never became ill from food poisoning. In fact, I'd say we were healthier in those days than people are nowadays.

I'm so tempted to do what has been suggested on 'green' websites, and after passing through the checkout, unwrapping/removing all the plastic junk and leaving it for the supermarket to deal with! It amounts to absolute piles and piles from a single visit.


18 Jan 18 - 10:25 AM (#3900327)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

By the way, loved that McCalmans' song Bob!


18 Jan 18 - 04:13 PM (#3900390)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

The trash processes here are about halfway between easiest and worst. Two big bins. Robotic arms pick up the bins weekly, into mega-trucks too big for our little streets. One is for recycling.

They distrubuted guidelines as rules when they transitioned from 'human-handles/sorts one small bin' to this robotic approach.... they threatened that if you recycled stuff not on the list of authorized items, they'd leave the whole bin curbside, not emptied. Not ticketing us, but massively inconveniencing us.

While I was away, apparently citizen pushback occurred. Now its pretty much, "Just NO styrofoam, people!" They adapted to US-- because WE are their source for income-producing material. In kindness to them and the longevity of their sorting/processing machinery, I do disassemble boxes thst process as misc paper-- not only large cereal boxes but tiny raisins boxes.

Never once have they left anyone's bin, in this big little neighborhood, un-emptied. Hmpf! :-)


19 Jan 18 - 04:40 PM (#3900575)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Since I obtained the new modem, I have rarely been able to use it here. The old one could be put up in a window to catch a signal but this plugs into the computer. Useful in Montreal but not here! I am seeking a new system and a friend suggested a local company which tells me that in a few months there might be service on my road. Very local! When I asked where they were located, I had just driven past it on the way to and fro mechanic. She told me she also goes to Pete! (about 6 minutes away.) I have been taking vehicles to Pete for 32 years, but not the years I lived away. I missed him then.

Happy to come home to a warm bathroom - where all the pipes are warmed by a small electric heater. When it was SO cold, I asked a neighbour to check- just in case. If the pipes broke, the pump would spew water until it burned out! So, Sue happily informed me that all was well!! However, the door to the studio had blown open due to heavy winds. All the plants and clay... Oh well.

Car did not wake up on Saturday after minus 26 C night. Neighbour Larry came to rescue but could not start it; But he did leave it to charge from his car for about 15 min while we had a cup of tea. He doubted it would help and went home. After a bit, I went out to close the hood. He had disconnected one of the terminals. So, I put it back on with a "why not give it a try" attitude and -it started right off. I was able to do errands after leaving a second voice mail to friends canceling the first one - a request to send out an email to the group to try for a ride to a Celebration of Life on Sunday! I got through the next few days, and am still, doing errands then disconnecting overnight. The mechanic thinks he fixed it but the nature of electrical problems has me still disconnecting so I can get running the next day. The day Larry charged it, we found their were small lights on even when the key was not in the ignition!

I emailed #2 son a request for a phone consult re my concern that this car may be reaching the end. I could have made payments on a new one for several months for what I have spent on it the last three. Well, having written that - maybe that is not too bad, if this run of repairs does not continue.

I came back to Beaver on 9th after having to wait out snow storms in Montreal. SO glad to be back: warm house, friends, fresh air and the exercise of bringing in the fire wood. The latter is wonderful exercise and I really detest "made up exercise". I also clear snow off back deck almost daily. There was quite a bit when I arrived; wonderful neighbour had cleared driveway! Then we had rain which uncluttered a great deal, but not all. But two above freezing days were welcome. Each one is a gift. I am hoping the next couple - on the weekend- will warm the studio enough for me to feel inclined to pot, which I have not done since early October.

Trying to get back to a modified Keto diet. A friend lost 25 pounds with NO wheat, dairy or sugar! What a challenge! She looks terrific. I have trouble with the no dairy but I am beginning to see that cheese causes me to cough; of course, it builds up mucous and my throat is constantly tickled into coughing.

Being here has many advantages. The nature of the uncluttered house, in which I can stay organized while keeping warm; the uplifting views, the sense of being home, the freedom to run to town (4-5 minutes, going into shops where I know staff and they know me. This is a generally friendly community where folks smile and greet each other even if they do not know who!

I finally gave up and took the computer to the library on Tuesday and shall do so again, maybe tomorrow. The air made me cough but I put on my mask and stopped. I love to go out on the back deck and just breathe in the wonderful air.

I am still lobbying gently for a better house in Quebec so I can spend more time with R. He has eaten up the food I left for him. I do not intend to go back there until the weather warms. He is not home much but it has been about 48F in the house. No fun getting up in the morning!

I have still not gotten into sewing. Waiting for .... I hope to surprise myself by just starting. I did not have to put Christmas things away because we never got them out! R was so tired we did almost nothing.

So, while I have finally managed to get in here: This am I managed to do the ironing for the last ten years, more or less. Not a lot but finally done and put away! Came to A Place for the Arts to use my modem. warm and friendly. Just about freezing today. Wonder what tomorrow will be!


19 Jan 18 - 05:10 PM (#3900583)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Auntie Soup is happily exhausted from joyous, spontaneous playtime with brilliant 2-year-old Gavin (and modeling nonviolent discipline for daddy)-- fun!

It had been a long time since the last folkbaby sat in my lap... and aside from the fun of finally meeting my helper's son, it was a good chance to gauge my current fitness for childcare (and the house's fitness too.) I had lots of fun and creative things readily avsilable to hold happy interest. Not toys. Real THINGS hed never seen.

Potential housemate issues with his daddy were identified, named, and worked out. However, Tyler needs to stay in Dayton for work, and I need the jazz room as a daily setting spot-- but it would also be fine if something changed and he used that room. (Of course, it's still a guest room, and he'd be a guest.)

I was definitely right that past housemate issues have arisen largely from not physically being here for an actual trial period, when each of the previous incumbents moved in.

S~


19 Jan 18 - 05:56 PM (#3900592)
Subject: Artwork Planning
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

One of my designated hats to wear in Ohio is to be the "Merge" team/decorator. And I shop the PA house for decor. (Google that TV progran.)

When we married/blended kids/started in another rectory, my tastes kinda got squished under his tastes plus the house's rental limitations. Here-- I get to make us a home, and finally blend beautifully what we both love into this house made just for us.

I'm thinking about artwork today. Nothing of real value-- framed prints and posters mostly.

I'd been picturing two particular favorites together in the LR on one wall-- love the wall color and assumed they'd harmonize on that color. WRONG!!

These two look hideous together! But the frame sizes kinda work here and we have other pieces in that size to pull from. That Renoir print that looks awful here needs to live either in the loo, my office, or our bedroom over the dresser. And with that realization, I can suddenly see our whole artwork plan. Here it is.

Each Ohio room has one large potential art wall, with room for two big pieces and several smaller ones set among the bigger ones. Each room also has a small area for an arrangement of 2-3 smalls. Many of the rooms have already have nails in the right places-- eerily superb.

We will have to rotate pieces within each room seasonally, to enjoy all the ones we love-- but I was worried that we had more than the house can hold. They can stay right in their assigned rooms-- one set, up on the wall, and the alternate-season set, slid behind furniture-- won't need to go into the garage at
all!!!

All I'll need to do is label each item when I pack, to go into the parallel room here. The wall colors differ some-- but all go together well. I'm ready now to bring it all down in May.

Exceptions-- Hardi's gold-framed degrees and certificates I've been worrying about can be treated that way in either his sewing room or on the wall on his side of our bed. Family photos now in the PA DR can go above our headboard.

Sculptures/3D items-- the sellers of this place left, of all things, 3 pretty cube-cubbies that hang on the wall. Add a sculpture on top, a small knick-knack inside-- boom! Interest and texture and shape variety, scattered between framed items. (Hardi has a woodshop to duplicate more!)

~S~


20 Jan 18 - 01:46 AM (#3900625)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My work this week has been technology-driven; an outage in the neighborhood that the Internet cable company didn't recognize as an outage meant that I went and bought a new modem because the customer service office person did their test and said it was my modem. My router was blinking out lately so I got both. Only to learn the problem was the cold contracting the lines so much that a fitting at the pole in the yard next to mine pulled apart. But since I have the new equipment, it's in for now. I like the router interface a lot more than on previous models and the modem is just another modem, same protocol (Docsis 3.0) - amazing how devices with no moving parts can wear out, but apparently the connections inside are made of very thin wires or printed circuits and they burn out after a while. I'd had the previous modem long enough that it was due to die one of these days.

Paper inventory and organization improved for a while there, but got out of control again during the week. Round two this weekend.

I also liked your song, Bob. Are you a lurker here or did you come across a good song and go looking for a place to park it?


20 Jan 18 - 03:24 PM (#3900747)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The U.S. Federal government non-essential employees are not going back to work until the House and Senate agree on several bills. The Post Office is self-funded so our mail will continue to arrive and shipping will be possible. The main thing that will be put on hold is the IRS - and I've prepared to file my taxes early. That will have to wait till a budget is approved. If any of our participants are U.S. federal employees they will have some free time to work on these projects (and here's hoping there is back pay at the end of these days of political turmoil.)

Thank goodness the cold temperatures have moved out of the region; I've had yard work waiting on good weather and my improved health. Today I'll start out by trimming out all of the dead asparagus fronds and moving some soil into the depressed area where the fill is settling in over the new sewer line.

I hope some of our lurkers will drop in and tell us what they're up to. New blood is always welcome!


21 Jan 18 - 12:18 PM (#3900882)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Yesterday I did several loads of laundry - I used more bulky clothes during the cold spell but I didn't like doing chores that brought me in contact with moisture, it just makes you feel colder. There were a number of mid-layer garments (shirts or sweaters) that are now back in the closet, no longer lying on the trunk or chair in my room in case I decide I need something to take the chill off. The bedroom looks like it's had a makeover.

I need to do another donation run since the bin in the laundry room is filling. I find this a particularly useful way to clear stuff out of the house. Once I've decided an item will be donated it stays there, out of sight (the lid is opaque, the sides translucent), until I notice through the sides that the bin has filled up.

The discount grocery I visit had a good selection in the produce warehouse yesterday; I was out of poblano peppers in the freezer, they had nice salad greens, and I loaded up on several fruits. The trick now is to use these fresh items fast enough that they don't become compost contributions due to neglect.


21 Jan 18 - 04:03 PM (#3900931)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

YAY!!!!! I did it! I did it! I actually vacuumed the whole (little) house and then left to come to the grocery store that offers free wifi! Dual purpose: escape the dust and use the internet. Also did a load of heavy clothes this am that are hanging in the house - much nicer in this weather. The jan Thaw has been wonderful, enabled me to go out to back-back shed and find hepa filter for shop vac and clean it. It is due to end in a couple more days and dump a new load of white stuff.

Feeling caught up. Well, still no sewing... But feeling stronger each day and was able to go out last night to hear wonderful Bobby Dove. Now back is tired of sitting here so I shall go home to finish one of the 3 "seven day" books on the pile. And think about the next thing to complete. One bag went to thrift shop this week, another is started.

I was doing a good job of eating good stuff, not bad stuff. But spent the aft nibbling cookies and cashews. Home for veggies and chicken.


22 Jan 18 - 06:17 AM (#3901017)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Yay DP!

Ohio:

PTSD after an oral surgeon visit years ago (people died in that chair) = no dentists for 30 years. Great teeth genes (no significant cavities), but gum issues.

Finally found great PA dentist/practice who can work w that-- a week b4 getting on the road. Made March appt for major gum job.

Oops! Not in time for two particular teeth-- may lose 'em b4 appt. Joy of living in 2 places! Not worth 7 hour drive for teeth past saving!


22 Jan 18 - 08:35 AM (#3901034)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: billybob

Been reading your posts for many months, I think I did pop in a thought a few months back, so as it is a new year here I am. Two years ago my mother died, she moved in with us 6 years ago and after settling her in a lovely room serrounded by her precious bits and bobs , everything else went into big boxes and into the loft. Putting the Christmas decorations away I looked at mum's boxes and thought the time is here to start going through everything. I started with a box full of discs that Father had transferred all the families home films and photos onto. Thousands of slide photos (which are in boxes in a blankèt box in one of my bedrooms) and years of family history. We spent a happy evening with my daughter and grandchildren yesterday watching them , how lovely to watch the children watch and listen to the voices of their great grandparents, Bunny had told me recently she couldnt remember Nanny's voice.
So one box out of the loft,and kept, about 12 to go!Lots of paintings and certificates in frames.Suitcases full of books that can go to the hospice bookshop after I have looked through them. Now I have joined this group I have no excuse, time to begin?


22 Jan 18 - 09:42 PM (#3901169)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

billybob, good start! And though 12 more boxes doesn't sound like a lot compared to the housefuls some of us are looking at, that family material is probably densely-packed heavy lifting.


23 Jan 18 - 07:26 AM (#3901225)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: billybob

Yes Acme there are some very heavy boxes that may have to be unloaded in situ. One is full of brass candle sticks, horse brasses and a Victorian fireplace set that belonged to my grandmother. I have thought I might polish it and put it in our fireplace.Luckily the loft is in the eves of the house so there is a door from my bedroom. no ladders!When the weather gets better I shall get Bill to tackle the garage, we did empty it 2 years ago but it has accumulated lots of "stuff" again. Bills idea of throwing away is stage 1 from house to garage stage 2 when garage is full, local tip, or hire a skip.Out of sight out of mind!
My father never threw anything away, when he died at 91 he still had all his railway season tickets from when he commuted daily to London and all his old cheque books!I have all his RAF ties and cap and his medals , I think it is time to get them framed and give them to my son.
So this weekend I shall venture into the loft and see what I can find, somewhere in the box of framed things is an original copy of the Times of London telling of the death of Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar and mother kept all the Newspapers for George VI Coronation and the abdication of Edward the VIII.There is also a huge book that celebrated Queen Victoria's Coronation. I am looking forward to seeing what I can find not sure how much will be disposed of though ?


23 Jan 18 - 11:58 AM (#3901264)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Today, I took screwdriver in hand and proceeded to remove the ugly, ill-fitting Venetian blinds from the study and guest room windows.

I'm on a roll.


23 Jan 18 - 02:45 PM (#3901317)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Go CHARMION!!!

Ohio:

It's official as of last night's parish annual meeting: Hardi is now contemplating an actual date to retire, and will announce it when he's ready.

This modifies so many of my Ohio plans! For one thing, it changes a lot of the May truckload contents, and that means getting a jump on my clothing storage here.

The timing is excellent-- all my laundry is done and folded. I've got a good sense now of getting dressed in my actual bedroom-- not possible in the 2-story PA house, where I've been dressing in the cold, small bathroom for 23 years.

Here's my new clothing storage plan:

Narrow 3-drawer antique dresser-- that will sit either in the LR as it does in PA, or preferably in the alcove outside the master BR. This will hold accessories for going out, and emergency off-season basic outfits because the master BR closet may not hold all seasons' items-- they may need to rotate via garage storage. (I have zippered wardrobes to keep them fresh, which successfully housed camping linens for 2+ years.)

Low, wide BR dresser-- dailywear for housework/gardening/errands, which can be folded; undies and nighties for all occasions. This will free up closet rod space.

The closet presently has an upper and a lower rod, with deep shelf between and another shelf in thrre up at ceiling height. No doors-- curtains (as I prefer). I'm only using the lower, now, and it's jam packed-- because the upper is too high for me (and therefore suited to some offseason storage).

Until last September, there was no BR dresser. All my stuff was in a tiny alcove dresser (4 child-sz drawers)... in plastic drawers on the low closet shelf... and on the low closet rod.

In September, the housemates who departed left a dresser I'll replace, in May, with one currently holding kingbed linens in PA. But altho the drawer depths are a tad different, no reason I can't train myself to use it NOW the same way I'll use it when #1Son/DIL unload MY dresser! Cuz my closet's making me NUTS, I have more here now than fits in there, and madame likes leisurely boudoir dressing so much!

So-- since life in Ohio facilitates female friendships, as well of course as social stuff w Hardi, I do stuff here with friends at least twice a week. And since the grocery, etc are a short scooter-ride away, I'm shopping every few days instead of twice a month. That means I want my dresser to facilitate OUT more than staying IN.

TMI:

Current dresser configuration is a bit different; instead of deep, wide drawers, it has shallower drawers; narrow ones on the left and 2x wider ones on the right.

L top: panties and socks

R top: bras and eventually slips/shapewear


L middle: shirts, flat

R middle: shorts, jeans


L lower: playtime and pretty nighties

R lower: cotton nighties, loungewear. Roll heavier loungewear and stack nighties.

......

Now that I know the dresser layout that will best support our Ohio lifestyle, I can start the switch, and transform the closet a little at a time.

Yaaaaay!

~S~


23 Jan 18 - 04:00 PM (#3901332)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

All clean laundry plus one plastic closet drawer-- in dresser. Almost exactly as planned!


L lower: gardening/grub shirts

(playtime and pretty nighties all fit with other items in R lower)


24 Jan 18 - 06:26 PM (#3901558)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
23 January
3 inches of beautiful snow followed by freezing rain last night and today - thawing in the 30'sF. I have cleared the back deck and the wood pile area, tried to put the wood covering in a useful manner to avoid trouble when the next snow comes. Had to go out the back door and around to the front as the snow and freezing rain precluded opening the front screen door; OK now. cleared front and around car. R removed the back screen door in Dec. Snow is melting well. Road seems to be plowed up the hill but not from here out to the more main road (peculiar). I could get out but no reason; tonight's meeting (horticultural society and for once I had prepared for the "competition", a nice succulent/moss affair) canceled. I have lots of wood inside in prep for --whatever comes next. And plenty of food.

Wrote a letter to editor and was concerned about sending it. Went out to car to peruse road and decided to see if modem would work outside. It did! So emails were sent and received. Came in and dealt with new ones and went out and sent new batch! Great! It has been SO frustrating to be out of touch, having to drive somewhere to get a signal. So, I can sit in house and write, go out and send - maybe - as long as it is not precipitating! On a sunny day, the car would be warmish; we have only seen the sun for short periods about once a week since - I don't remember when!

In Montreal, R reports a flat screen TV which has been sitting around for a couple years - in the box! is now installed and working in the - warm! - BR. "Richie did it". Richie may be on the Spectrum; no social skills but smart. Now R can fall asleep watching TV and wake up to the news. Arghhh! Not if I am there. He talked about putting the other one in LR. Yep, when one did not work, he bought another one. Now we know why de-cluttering that house is ....

Well, life is cosy here and a nice veggie stew is on the stove burbling. 2pm - brunch! Cannot believe I accomplished all that on a handful of delicious German cookies. None left so I can get back on track after a "way out there" day yesterday.   

Today:
Have found that sometimes I get a signal outdoors; it was warmer yesterday and I was able to send off emails. Today - Brry -10C. So I came to Foodland. What a misnomer! There is very little in here that I consider food due to chemicals,....

Happy that eating everything in sight plus working really hard on snow and wood - I may have lost a couple pounds - enough to encourage a better effort.

Did a bit of straightening up in studio today and have a couple small sewing projects lined up, and machine on table. That's a start.
1


24 Jan 18 - 09:34 PM (#3901593)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The cold weather really torqued up my appetite - I keep track on MyFitnessApp and while I'm doing okay on calcium and sodium (most days), the calories are over the top several days a week. As it warms up I'll get back to my old self; there's no point in beating up on yourself when your metabolism is responding to the weather.

My energy is gradually returning after that virus hit a couple of weeks ago. The garden got some attention last weekend, and yesterday I worked my way through the entire house with a broom to chase the dog hair out of corners and crevices. Losing a dog this winter didn't affect the amount of hair - the pitbull had a simple short coat and didn't shed at all compared to the lab and the blue heeler.


25 Jan 18 - 09:09 AM (#3901671)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Okay, fellow declutterers, please consider the problem of electronic debris for a minute.

I found a beer box full of cables, connectors, docking stations and other computer-related doohickeys last night. Each item is carefully packaged in a zip-lock bag, so I must have decided once upon a time that this stuff was worth keeping; today, not so much.

Sell? Freecycle? Trash?

Opinions?


25 Jan 18 - 02:04 PM (#3901736)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: mg

Many thrift stores take them. Or if you feel like it, they can sometimes bring in a few bucks on ebay. Feng shui people say they store bad energy in a house.

I am down to almost nothing but i am finally admitting i will never ever learn one song from my fiddle book so i am donating it and a few cds to rainycamp auction..camp this weekend.


25 Jan 18 - 02:06 PM (#3901737)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver (via library!)

Charmion: Stratford must have a place for such things. Maybe phone a couple smaller computer places? A couple years ago I bought a CD from Apple to upgrade computer then gave it to small computer outfit; Patricia said she could use it. I am considering giving her all the odds and sods of cables, etc. If she is willing!

Yep, Maggie! minus 20C this am and choc chip cookies... I also seem to need the house a few degrees warmer - 70F rather than 66. If I keep that in mind, I may not ingest so much sugar.

Oddly, I am happier doing wood and snow than getting into the sewing. Love the fresh air! Due for above freezing weekend, then snow. So nice to have the option of a warm home!


26 Jan 18 - 10:50 AM (#3901941)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It's an unexpected day off for me today after hurrying around to clean the glass on my SUV at the gas station last night and tripping over the hose in the tank. It was a slow-motion unceremonious toppling over that wrenched one ankle and this morning I can also feel it in that hip and in the opposite knee. I have a very long walk from my car to my building at work and didn't want to get half-way there and find I couldn't walk further on it. Step just wrong and it really smarts, but I have plenty of low-impact declutter activities around here for today and the weekend.

Charmion, I weed out extra old cables every so often and used to donate them to Goodwill, which has an e-waste recycling component to the company. These days I take expired devices and extra cables to work where we have a large rolling gray bin for e-waste, including batteries. The university has a contract with a company that collects this (bins in several buildings, I lobbied hard to get one in my building!), including things we bring in from home, and the company refurbishes and reuses things that can be fixed. The rest is stripped and recycled as wire, plastic, glass, etc. I took in a lot of VHS tapes, but now I find that people still buy even the used ones as "blanks" on eBay. And many of the small cables and devices - sell them as working, or for repair or parts. I can even illustrate why those old bits are sold there:

Last week my dozen-year-old HP laserjet printer was acting up, and I printed the self-diagnostic sheet. I never look at those, but this time I skimmed the list and realized this printer has a DIMM slot that I'd never put any memory in. Typically if I print something like a PDF or article with photos it takes it a minute of humming before the output between each sheet. I found the right card on eBay for $6.64, including shipping. New, sealed in it's anti-static container. This little 64MB SDRAM card is not the largest available, but it will considerably speed up any printing I do. As long as there are people like me keeping old devices up and running, we will need parts for them.

Dorothy, I also love those out-door chores, as long is it isn't so cold or windy that my eyes do nothing but tear up and make my face chapped. A northern climate in winter would be difficult for me these days. I don't remember if I mentioned recently trimming out all of last year's asparagus shoots, but the garden looks tidier and I'll be able to spot the new ones as they emerge. There's more to do out there but I typically use my right foot on the shovel or spade fork and that's the ankle I twisted, so that will wait a few days.


26 Jan 18 - 11:03 AM (#3901945)
Subject: Tidy or Organized?
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

The 'tidiness' cycle vs being 'organized'?

For a number of health and other reasons, this little house can be untidy-looking pretty quick. (For instance, when we're no longer paying utilities on two houses, I look forward to occasional, inexpensive kid help in the living areas).

But despite some tidying up on the docket for today, there's a small project I've been itching to do. Since I woke up knowing exactly how to go about it (finally), I started by looking for tools and hardware-- some of which got relocated to the garage, right at the end of the Fall visit here.

I was thrilled to find that I'd been smart when I sent stuff to the garage: my little cordless screwdriver and bit case were in a kitchen drawer, right where I expected to find them. Good! There was even a long drywall screw in the bit case, where odd screws left from previous projects are often found.

But-- better-- right next to them in the drawer was a loose handful of the ubiquitous drywall screws every project here seems to use.... the shorter ones best for this project, even!

So I think that tidiness is nice for many reasons, but that being organized is actually more important.

~S~


26 Jan 18 - 03:19 PM (#3902004)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

"Why do we give away furniture?"

"Because that's where you'll find some good stuff you've been missing!"

;-) Of course, the real reason is because it helps someone, like the mom getting custody back, whose daughter's room that sweet little dresser will grace. Bye, dresser. I loved you! Have a great new life!

But I can't hekp being tickled to teclsim these items long stored in the camper, thst i cannuse now:

. THREE ultra-lightweight, woven cotton nighties with eyelet trim
. One knit, heavy cotton nightie suitable for stomach flu
. One sexy, black satin nightie
. One satin peignoir belt like the one I use to hold my jeans up-- was just wishing for a 2nd!!!
. One filmy leisure "bra" someone snuck in there (and I'm sure I know who).
. A satin twin sheet with lace trim to use for a sewing project.
. A red plaid print, longsleeved knit nightgown for cold winters (so now I have two!)

~S~


27 Jan 18 - 10:56 AM (#3902177)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

This morning I bagged the slender strips of frozen poblano peppers that I picked up last week to add to the freezer. They first go in on large baking sheets and when they're bagged it's possible to pull out as many as I want instead of breaking a piece from a large brick of peppers. To be efficient I need to now remember that those peppers are in there. In the past I've printed out a list of the freezer contents and left it on the front as a reminder. Since I recently defrosted and organized this is possible again.

The postal carrier just stopped by and I handed over an eBay parcel. I made enough in sales this month to pay a couple of smaller monthly bills, and I use the PayPal account to pay for any personal shipping and some online purchases. It may not be as charismatic as Bitcoin, but it does the job. I'm set up to do some more eBay listings today.


27 Jan 18 - 01:14 PM (#3902234)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver, via A Place for the Arts:

Thinking the library might be crowded on a Saturday (am I hopeful?), using the modem here instead of the free wifi there. Get to say hello to a few folks who wander in, bagged a payment for bottle of supplements I left for a local artist some months ago! In the spring, I shall go look at his painting ($600) that I would love to have. Might have the money by May. Amazingly quiet in here for a saturday. Not many tourists in town in January!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the broken ankle. I am careful, very careful not to hurry or make any sudden moves. Every step with mindfulness! So happy to be able to walk normally - only in the last few weeks. Most of my life I moved full tilt ahead. I do not want anything else to break!

I managed to un-lose that couple pounds, some of it anyway. Discovered these wonderful cookies ... Today is a new beginning! Maybe tomorrow will be also.

Thankful for the exercise of bringing in wood! Did a bunch this am and then covered well in case of rain. Still waiting for the spirit to move me in the sewing dept. Maybe today?

Days ARE getting longer! We are having another thawing day. Unusual number of thaw days in January.


28 Jan 18 - 12:37 PM (#3902394)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

The upcoming week promises to be a challenging one (several of my charts are being audited) so I am decluttering the fridge today and making all kinds of food so I don't have to worry about prepping and cooking after what will likely be an exhausting week. I have a pot roast in the crock pot, cheesy vegetable soup will soon be simmering and I have a bunch of summer squash to use up so I'm making Zoodles to go with some spaghetti sauce and meatballs, maybe some sausage.

Tonight our church is having a Singspiration that I am looking forward to. Pete will play his guitar and I will be playing my ukulele. It's going to be a fun evening with a great group of people!

No real decluttering going on here this week....I imagine next week, after a good long sleep and the audit behind me, I may just take a weekday off to have the house to myself and work on the things I think need the most attention. For now, I'll settled for pre-packed lunches and breakfasts and my clothes all lined up to go so I can hit the ground running tomorrow morning. :)

I love my job, even though this past week and upcoming week are somewhat stressful! :) I just wish I had a little more free time and energy to complete all the things I THINK I should have already done! *shrug* :)

Have a great week everyone!

Michelle


28 Jan 18 - 03:03 PM (#3902441)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Now that Hardi's retirement clock is finally audibly ticking, its time to start actually re-purposing some stuff in the house to see if things'll actually work the way I envisioned when we furnished the little house as a camp.

What style do I actually LIKE? Thats easy-- Frank Lloyd Wright mansion with supermodern simplicity. I wish! How do we actually live within an accessible footprint we can afford? Answer: real stuff with memory stories, in a Crazy Quilt design proportioned to the footprint. Not a fan of matchy-matchy or contemporary furniture. If we could afford it, I still wouldn't buy that stuff.

There've been some indications of this direction. There are two mirrored "faux windows" on nails the sellers had left. On the day I opened the house with a few pieces of furniture now 4 years ago, I hung quilted placemats as faux valances everyone loved. Since then... the house looks more colorful than those placemats... which I've loved but am tired of looking at.

Now, I have a pile of colorful fashion scarves, which look great draped there instead. They "go"-- but don't match--and I can swap them around anytime I pull one off to wear.

Living here so much of the year has caused many well-loved "first-looks" to evolve just like that.

Today's "lets just check" project will involve some sweat equity:

Measuring the bigger, newer, and bluer rug currently in my office here, I find that yes, it will replace a smaller green LR one as planned (which will then be available as a front door and/or kitchen door mat).

The bigger/bluer rug will have ongoing traffic wear at one corner... which happily turns out to be diagonally opposite to the least-wearing corner, for periodic rotation. All these can be cleaned periodically (out in the patio).

The LR area it will cover extends from abt where the smaller green rug is now, across to near the dining table that is also in the LR. In other words-- again happily-- it won't get a lot of food spills! It will be under recliners in 3 corners to help prevent shifting. A LOT of the existing (stained) beige wall-to-wall carpeting will be covered, and left in place for now.

When finances permit, that old beige carpet and padding will be replaced by laminate flooring, but I much prefer removable rugs to wall-to-wall carpeting. (We might even just keep the existing asphalt tile under the padding, which is a faux cork pattern I like and am about to live with in my office.)

I'm hoping to swap out these rugs myself with zero paid labor, because altho furniture coming in May will sit on it, every spare penny is going towards consumer debt payoff.

After I try getting that rug out from under the library shelving, I'll know if I need to call upon BIL an hour and a half away.

Wish me luck!

~S~


28 Jan 18 - 08:48 PM (#3902530)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Bad news: my mom's antique dresser won't quite fit where I want it (but Plan B is already working).

Great news: BIL and his Boy Scout son are down with helping with a little prep here, before the May 1 truckload lands on the house, so that their brother/uncle (Hardi) can arrive for his August vacation without a Honey Do list waiting for him.

I'm very relieved! Since I re-manufactured 3 squashed pillows today, I expect to sleep well!

~S~


29 Jan 18 - 01:02 PM (#3902624)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We have painters in the house again, this time tackling the Pepto-Bismol pink of Himself's horrid office. The walls were so badly damaged by the previous occupants' inept installation of a television and a shelving unit that the first day of work is nothing but plaster repair.

Himself's sister is minding her grandchildren down the road in Waterloo, so we had supper with her last night. Alas, it appears that she intends to maintain a well-established tradition that drives me nuts: she turns out her husband's wardrobe and gives the clothes he doesn't wear to Himself, whose own wardrobe abounds in items he does not wear! I said, several times, that she should donate these unneeded garments to the Sally Ann or the church rummage sale, but both of them literally ignored me; it was as if I had not spoken.

Aaaaagh!


30 Jan 18 - 12:10 AM (#3902750)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I have a few sheetrock repairs to make around here, with or without a paint job coming up. Most are dings, one is an intentional hole because the carpenter didn't install the cable the way I wanted in the wall between two rooms (a cable to each room, not one that would get a weird loop and somehow be used in both). I had to make room for my hand to fit in to redo the cable. And I know how to fix it, if I ever get around to doing it.

I recently visited the village recycle bins and picked up a sturdy box that was 1/2 full of styrofoam peanuts. I'm using that this evening to list an item I found at the Goodwill that I think will bring in considerably more than I paid for it on eBay. The trick to selling on eBay isn't having the items to sell, it's having the proper packaging to ship the items you're selling. It's always good when the box doesn't cost anything.

The tomato seeds I ordered arrived, now I'm thinking about where I can rig a homemade grow light for them. The greenhouse isn't reliable enough, not very insulated for starting plants this early. It means I'll have to declutter a space to rig up the light and put the pots. And think about weeding the garden in preparation.


30 Jan 18 - 12:11 PM (#3902851)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Acme, I'll be watching your "where the grow light" goes progress-- space is tight in Ohio. One option I'm considering is a re-purposed full-spectrum fluoro fixture I wired onto a mic stand for vertical sunshine. It will mean a lot of manual rotating of trays of pots, but I like to visit the babies and see the details of what's developing!


30 Jan 18 - 07:51 PM (#3902927)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver: Catching a signal by the front window!

Charmion! what could stop you from giving those excess clothes to a thrift shop!

Grow lights: trying to determine how soon to start plants or if i shall. Have a nice shelf unit with attached lights in the bathroom! Perfect spot for the job. Too bad I did not use it for the geraniums while I was away after Christmas. Door to the studio blew open and everything froze. One plant in Bath survived and is doing well. Today I bought a $5 orchid (pot broken) and it graces the table in the east window. I needed something flowering as the A. violet is done for now.

I continue to get small things done. Trying really had to eat carefully. The cookie binging was a call to action! Time for a salad!


30 Jan 18 - 09:35 PM (#3902942)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

The dispersal of furniture, etc. continues. One minute I love something so much I never want to let it go, and 5 minutes later I can't wait to say goodbye and bring this little house to our vision for us in it.

Friend Trish is gettin most of those hard-to-let-go pieces-- I've decided I'll ask her for photos of them in their new home, so I can remind myself that they've gone on into somenone else's story. Also departing this weekend is likely to be the weight rack and bench the sellers left in the gaage here; scrap iron prices here are pretty low right now, and I do not have the trailer here. I had thought Hardi would incorporate then into his garage gym, but he says no-- so more gardening equipt room for me, I'll take it! It's fun surprising people with these offers, abd it's good neighboring, plus easier than FreeCycle.

I registered myself today for home services in Ohio with the reputedly stellar local Area Agency on Aging. The thyroid brain fog rollercoaster has me taking a social wokerer friend's advice to et on their list now before it gets too full. Odd feeling, reporting my own need when, as a clergy spouse, I've usually been on the other end of getting someone else onto services. Six weeks till a care manager visits to discuss.

And I filed the paperwork today for Medicare. Who knew I'd BE here?!?!?

~S~


31 Jan 18 - 09:23 AM (#3903032)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Dorothy: Yes, they will go to the Sally Ann as soon as I can open a brown paper bag. What drives me nuts is my dear sister-in-law's refusal to stop buying clothes for her husband who doesn't want them, or to give them to the perfectly good Sally Ann in her own neighbourhood. Why foist them onto us?

Painting continues. Himself's horrible pink office is now the same gentle shade of duck-egg greenish blue (or bluish green) that graces the dining room, and the change reduces the clamour of "God, but I hate that!" rattling around in the sub-basement of my mind. Next is the stairwell, which requires a special ladder. I'm so glad I'm not doing it.

The new curtains are up in the bedroom, and boy do they look great. Thick, cream-coloured inner drapes with sheers made of a soft voile with a herringbone weave, they improve privacy (not that anybody is really looking) and eliminate most of the draught from the windows. Good thing, 'cause they cost the earth.

I have the local cold, and am therefore officially hors de combat. The headache has passed and I'm a little less shaky than I was yesterday, but the cough is reaching for full resonance. It's gonna be no fun for anyone.


31 Jan 18 - 05:16 PM (#3903088)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

That "Tidy People" thing about clear floors kerps coming back to me as I plan decor, which involves using higher sections of the walls than my 1950's upbringing led me in the past.

Visual balance without packing the floor.
Resting points for eyes, in spaces between interesting textures. Oy! I need to see some examples!

~S~


31 Jan 18 - 11:09 PM (#3903139)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I think it might have been the Nate Berkus show that always had some excellent design tips - don't keep things at the same level around the room, or keep all of the furniture against the wall (the furniture is "under arrest" - "up against the wall!) Tall things interspersed among shorter objects. I have a couple of things hanging from the picture rail around my living room and I have some pieces of furniture that are tall alternated with shorter pieces. It is visually more interesting.

This evening I finally made it into my dance studio for an exercise class. I have to learn how to avoid flare-ups of the bursitis in my hips before I go back to the dance classes. After class I headed back to REI to exchange the too-small pack for a larger one. I thought I was going to have to pay more but it was 30% off, nice surprise! North Face with lots of pockets and compartments in the front zip pouch. I need to walk without having to hold straps across my shoulder if I want to get the most out of my fitness tracker, so I'm substituting this pack for my shoulder bag, my messenger bag, and frequently, my lunch bag. The principle behind these trackers is that we move our arms during exercise, primarily swinging them back and forth when we walk. I want a more accurate reading when I'm walking around at work or elsewhere. I have a small long-strapped bag in the pack to use for those times during the day when all I need is my phone and wallet.

I tossed a few more items into the donation bin this week and other unneeded items have been listed on eBay. Wouldn't it be interesting to reach a point when I could live in a small portable house like this.


01 Feb 18 - 04:24 PM (#3903295)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Thx Acme but what I'm looking for specifically is about going up high on the wall.

~S~


01 Feb 18 - 05:18 PM (#3903302)
Subject: GOING HIGH WITH DECOR
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

So I got WIFI installed tdy and had a little search time. Results:


GOING HIGH WITH DECOR


What I noticed in the ones I liked in the 14 pix I saved is:

. The balance between densely decorated space and sparsely decorated space
. The use of linear visual pathways to organize the eye's tour of the space
. The mix of textures
. The leading of the eye to look UP
. The balance of proportion: frame sz or groupings/scale of furniture/doors/carpets
. Setting an upper boundary all the way around the room-- same space of paint-only at the top, to define where the wall actually ends and prevent chaos effect.


What I'm DIDN'T see-- that I think will be important-- is circles and ovals. Too many rectangles, and not enough curves.

~S~


01 Feb 18 - 06:16 PM (#3903312)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Your list pretty much amounts to what I was saying, without spelling out how to do it. I think we're on the same wavelength there.

It took only one day of experimenting with items from the purse in the front compartments of the new pack to remind me of one issue--while I want this to replace lugging several bags and items to work, I don't want to carry the entire thing around when I go into the grocery store, etc. So I've pulled a small handbag (too small to use everyday) and put the essentials in it, put the rest in the front compartment of the pack, and the large compartment is where papers, books, and the handbag will go. When I need just the handbag out it comes and the rest can stay at home. My hands will be free when I walk with the backpack on my back or with just one handbag over my shoulder. It's not rocket science, but in this first day I think I'm getting a more accurate reading on my fitness tracker.

This morning I set up the next batch of pages in the Bullet Journal. It's nice to look back and see most of the things on my task list checked off. The rest get moved forward to try to get to this month, with a few new ones added in.


01 Feb 18 - 11:44 PM (#3903349)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

cleared about 4 inches of snow - light and fluffy - off the back deck. Larry stopped in for a visit and cleared the pile left by the plow. I was just going to leave it.

Getting a good signal from this east window; no hills in that direction. Also, remembered there was something else in the box of the new modem: ah yes, a short cord so I can actually but the modem up on the window sill! This is such a relief, so much better than sitting in the library or grocery store!

Sent R an email explaining my feelings about the Montreal housing. He actually "heard" me and is making an effort toward being able to buy the small house we looked at -- or something! I feel like there is hope! It would mean spending more time in Quebec but in a real home, out of the city, without the worry of finding a place to park, with a nature preserve in the back yard. I love being here but miss him and am concerned for health care if either of us needs it and we need to be able to dare for each other. We would still be able to come here and I will spend time here in the gardening season. Hope...

Second son phoned this eve and decluttered some of my concern for him as well as my questioning my car situation. I was confronted, however, with the fact that my son(s) are now "old" as he talked about working with people "in the 20s and 30s! It just never occurred to me before; he is still "the kid" - 55 this year and having trouble getting the younger co-workers to understand him.

Communication: like Charmion not getting across that they don't want those hand me downs!


02 Feb 18 - 11:15 AM (#3903457)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

A rare day at home alone for me. Much needed on many levels. I'm spending the day between puttering/decluttering and resting.

Just the short time I spent in the kitchen has made a HUGE difference. My nana always said that when things look overwhelming, start in one corner and work your way around. Such a smart woman! She would be proud of me I think. :)

Weekend plans here include soccer for my little man, playing with a group of local violinists, some quilting time and relaxation, maybe some cards or a movie at home and popcorn.

One construction size garbage bag filled with things we no longer need went with Pete this morning to be dropped off at Sally's on his way to work.

I also have some plans for this weekend to go through a big cupboard that is full of CDs that belonged to my Nana. I've had them for over a year now and haven't played one of them. I will keep a few that I remember listening to with her but the rest have already found a home. There's lots of big band music and other music from the WWII era. It's funny how sometimes I feel like I need to hang on to some items because they had belonged to someone I love. I really do struggle with that which is why my house is so overloaded. I'm getting better at it but there are just some items I can't part with, it's the connection, I'm sure.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Michelle


02 Feb 18 - 12:46 PM (#3903481)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

Michelle, I inherited my father's CDs and it took me a while to realize that I needed commingle them with my own CDs to start using them much. When there were my CDs and Dad's CDs the separation was a reminder of the sad loss. Once I "owned" them, I used them more. I did the same with a windfall of classical CDs some years back, I had them on a separate shelf, but I finally filed them in amongst my "regular" CDs and then began using them regularly.

And we all know that your Nana was extremely proud of you (as are we!)

Dorothy, I'm glad R got the message - you'll both be much comfortable in a house that doesn't have regular theatrical breakdowns and rats nibbling at your toes.


02 Feb 18 - 02:25 PM (#3903493)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

A six-foot curtain rod lies on the floor in front of the patio door in the dining room, and I'm too damned sick to get on a stepladder and put the damnable thing up. Dizzy and shaking from this damnable cold, I just don't dare. Besides, I'd probably get it crooked.

Patrick the painter is finishing the first coat on the stairwell, and the improvement is dramatic. No more baby-shit brown, but a pale shade of duck-egg green that brightens up the whole going downstairs experience. This is important, because the light fixture in the upstairs hallway was located so as to ensure that no light from it would fall more than five steps down.


02 Feb 18 - 05:22 PM (#3903528)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Two good chuckles from today's posts! Thank you! Charmion does have a way of expressing things. And - just leave that rod until a more propitious time! The bit about "owning things" is good. Own them or disown/dump them! And tackling a little bit at a time! Just what I continue doing and eventually... The studio is ready for work but I am not ready to do it in this cold weather even though the inside is warm enough, the trip (25 feet!) in the bitter cold is off putting. But today, with the sun on full, I could have done a couple hours so I took note of that to encourage another day. Brought in a LOT of wood in lieu of making pots.

Wrote son an email of my delight in his taking charge of his life. And a neighbour to see if he can use some of my excess wood ash.


03 Feb 18 - 02:35 PM (#3903663)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion and our occasional visitor Ranger1 are both recovering from viruses or worse, so trying to do anything more than resting and getting better means you'll likely have to re-do anything you attempt now. Might as well save it to do correctly when you're feeling better. Now is the time to look to the list of NetFlix videos you wanted to watch or to read a book you've been meaning to get to.

It's cold here today also, a day when I think the best use of my time is to tackle the sunroom, allowing me to move things back in there that have strayed to other parts of the house.


03 Feb 18 - 04:17 PM (#3903673)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Despite the continuing Cold From Hell, I moved Himself's office clag out of the study and the guest room, where it had been moved so Patrick the Painter could work his magic, and back where it belongs. This activity did not require any task more demanding than toddling gently up and down the corridor with armloads of books about murder, rape, robbery, fraud, and what to do when your client has been accused of some of all of the above.

I will not deal with the curtain rod today; that can wait until next week.

Much against my will, I have concluded that we cannot re-use the pleasantly bland unbleached cotton curtains that we brought from Ottawa; they are just about four inches too short to cover the patio doors while hanging high enough so the rod finial will not break the glass in the door of the china cabinet. Fuck. It.

I have to go to Kitchener next Thursday for my monthly needle at the allergy doc's office. While I'm at it, I'll hit the big-box mall for a pair of 96-inch panels as much as possible like the ones I recently bought for the sitting room. I can hardly wait to find out that they're about one inch too long ...


04 Feb 18 - 05:28 PM (#3903829)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Day two in the sunroom: I've rearranged some things, flattened more boxes, and stumbled across some wiring items I was looking for a while ago, including some I don't need any more (I'll put them on eBay). I no longer need to install phone jacks, but I bought a few extra data port jacks to wire around here and I can't find that bag now. I did find the wall plates that work with either phone or data jacks, so everything I need is somewhere in the house.

I've managed to stir up some dust around here but after a sweep and vacuum that room will be a pleasure to work in. I'm thinking about putting up a shelf above my packing materials to place the TV in that room (I have them on in a couple of rooms as I work back and forth, watchinglistening to the same program). The shelf location happens to sit above the jack with the data port. This little smart TV has WiFi but would stream a better picture through my wired network.

This work has also contributed to a bag of discarded e-waste - it's filling up enough that tomorrow I'll take it to work to the bin put in place by the company the university contracts with to recycle, reuse, or destroy e-waste. Better than to the landfill and it saves the Goodwill the bother of recycling it. (In the US they handle a lot of the electronics recycling collection in large cities).


05 Feb 18 - 10:35 AM (#3903924)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Work began yesterday on removing some drywall to widen the nook where my antique dresser will go. We resume Tuesday.

~S~


05 Feb 18 - 09:12 PM (#3904006)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Winter has returned so the hats, scarves, and jackets I keep on a rack in the hall are back in use. They used to live in a closet where they were out of sight and forgotten. I suppose in the summer I can hang my various ball caps on it. This is a new system for me.

I'm clearing more space in my office by slowly moving cassette tapes into a box for eBay. I have a lot of them that I no longer need the contents or they've been transferred. Surprisingly, cassette tapes sell on eBay. I pop a tape into the office console, hit record with nothing playing on the radio or turntable or CD changer and it erases the contents. After a few days I have enough to list. I have a lifetime supply of cassettes around here, these are the ones I used for recording class lectures, phone calls to the cable company when the diddled the bill, radio programs that I thought I might want to keep.

On the way home I stopped at a small but well-stocked Goodwill store and found two items for eBay and one for me. I love the large acrylic food storage containers that have the silicone ring seals. I find if I don't have beans, grains, pasta and such in clear containers I forget what I have here. I've also incorporated my Food Saver for storing some things in vacuum sealable jars.

The rest of the week looks pretty yucky weather-wise, but I have none of the challenges of declutterers in Montana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, etc. Except Jeri, who's gadding about the Caribbean somewhere right now. :-)


06 Feb 18 - 11:03 AM (#3904101)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I now have pneumonia, so climbing ladders is off my agenda for a while.

On the other hand, it really is amazing what one can do when one must. Patrick the Painter is at work in the sitting room, and yesterday I rolled up the rugs, emptied the cabinet and moved all the furniture into the middle of the room. I did not tackle the curtain rod, or spread out the drop cloth; by the time I had finished, I was ready to face reality at the ER.


06 Feb 18 - 11:27 AM (#3904106)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Charmion!?!

Ohio:

As I dropped off to sleep last night, an epiphany started that's continuing this AM. A closet epiphany of all things.

There's a double closet in our master BR here that, so far, we've divided into a L and R pair of tall, 36" apiece closets. It came with high rods on each side that I can't reach, and a low rod on the L side. Being short, I chose the L side. Both sides have easy-out shelves resting on 2x4's. There are many 2x4 supports at various heights, from previous owners' preferred closet configuration.

I've been assuming those 2x4's will be replaced with supports stealing less hanging space.

In another part of my brain I've been considering the best spot for an 18" wide x 15" deep x 55" tall metal cabinet. I thought about the guest room closet..... then, last night, dropped off thinking about putting it in Hardi's closet.

But DUH! Divide our closet horizontally, not vertically! I'll take both lower halves, and Hardi's can take the top halves!

A shelf on top of that cabinet (and a tension rod between cabinet and wall) will just suit me for accessories and hanging dresses. Hardi's an excellent framer to configure the top halves just like he wants them, but I bet he'll keep the sturdy shelf I put in last year.

~Susan


07 Feb 18 - 11:27 PM (#3904306)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I love the eBay phone app - any time anything sells you hear the "ca-ching" sound like was made by an old-fashioned cash registers. I need to keep adding new items - a number of them have watchers, but it may simply be other people selling similar items watching mine. Another item sold this afternoon.

A co-worker has been making much of ordering flower and vegetable seeds for this year's garden. I need to get some tomatoes started and possibly a couple of other crops, as well as buy seed potatoes and get those in the ground. It's cold and unpleasant for yard work now, but it's a good time to plan. I organized the potting bench that's in the sunroom and I think this weekend is when I need to get that grow light rigged, probably over the potting bench.


08 Feb 18 - 03:54 PM (#3904433)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

You know, Acme, we COULD be shooting short YouTube videos of our projects and posting links to them here.... ;-)

I have used those to show Harding some ideas in progress....

~S~


08 Feb 18 - 04:12 PM (#3904436)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: robomatic

I am creating an organizing book to have something physical and not on the hard drive. Better with a solid book with no ability to simply remove pages or a loose leaf? I'm staring with a looseleaf but I'm feeling that it's better to have a solid tome and leave the mistakes and things undone in it. But it won't organize as well....then, do I need to organize well?


08 Feb 18 - 08:25 PM (#3904483)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

robo, you may be ripe for the new form of note-taking called Bullet Journaling. I have one in a book I was given at work, bound and with an elastic loop from top to bottom on the back to keep a marker at the current set of pages. It's not the neatest method (the way I do it), but I use it to keep track of various things, not just the declutter project. Actually, when you ask this, I could add notes about my eBay sales that I haven't documented anywhere. If I were to be more businesslike instead of a hobbiest this would be a good starting point. I'd go for the bound book.

Look at places like Tuesday Morning, Big Lots, used bookstores (in several states you'll find Half-Price Books) - I've been seeing these with a couple hundred bound pages for about $5. They're durable enough to use and carry around every day.

I use this as a calendar, an appointment book, to keep short lists, to make quick notes that I want to keep and not have to hunt around later for the piece of paper I scribbled it on. It usually ends up with the left page for the calendar, the right page for the task list, the next page for more general outcome notes, and the second right page for other stuff, I just label it "notes." So four pages per month.


08 Feb 18 - 09:18 PM (#3904497)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Big oops. Grand daughter called Monday night and told me she had mailed pottery to dad. I hoped she had re-packed it because it was certainly not packed for USPS. Son phoned Tuesday am. One piece survived and, boy, was he upset. He waited almost two years for those.

Nothing compared to me, faced with re-doing 8 pasta bowls and 8 dinner plates. Clay froze while I was away - door blew open... Thawed clay has to be laboriously reworked before using. I started out on it yesterday. Shoulder said, "Forget it. I can throw or I can wedge..." The ankle did not protest its time on the wheel pedal!

Major clutter is a 6 hour round trip to Toronto for fresh clay so I can, hopefully, produce this order by early March. Son and wife will come east to visit daughter and brand new (third) g-daughter and visit Montreal to pick up pottery --- and visit me??? They will get an airbnb. I shall brave the dreaded house.

Snowed today but tomorrow I am Toronto bound. Weather predicts about freezing point on weekend, and more snow! But I can make the studio comfortable (it is well insulated and small). I am highly motivated to get this done. Just hope the shoulder holds out: lots of MSM, Glucosamine Sulfate, magnesium and the heating pad.

Meanwhile, snow and wood have provided exercise, and some sorting of archives. Watching snow fall is nice entertainment - from warm indoors!

Maybe this will get me out of the "doing nothing" phase.

oops again. Wrote that yesterday and went to Toronto to day - a long day starting with a car not starting and finally Larry pressing really hard on the clutch and it did start - not the battery but something in the clutch - maybe ice. It was minus 29 C this morning!

Nice visit to Richter;s Herbs and only bought two small plants: an aloe vera and a Golden Rain Rosemary to form into a Christmas tree. There was a beautiful one there the staff person had formed in only two years so she showed me and told me how. Bought clay, conversed with a potter whom I had not seen in about 25 years. We remembered each other! Then long trip home. Exhausted - decluttered of ALL energy!


09 Feb 18 - 01:23 PM (#3904640)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Better now, thanks to Prednisone and the world's ugliest antibiotic. I still have next to no appetite, and I have yet to regain the capacity for horizontal sleep, but I'm definitely on the mend. Tonight I take the last 40-mg whack of Prednisone, so I hope this is my last night of sweating and fitful dozing interrupted with coughing fits.

Patrick the Painter has finished the sitting room, and it's just beautiful. I put the furniture back where it belongs last night, and this morning I tottered up and down the basement stairs with trays of china out of the one cabinet affected by this late phase of The Project. Hanging pictures will have to wait; I've had it for today.

It's snowing in Stratford, too, probably part of the same system that's hitting Dorothy's place, and it's expected to continue for
days. Himself wants to go to Sarnia in the morning to watch the Six Nations rugby tournament (not available in Perth County), but he's still sniffling and sneezing. He promised that he would not go if the road conditions are bad, but I am firmly convinced that he will go whatever the roads are like. He can be such a blockhead sometimes.


09 Feb 18 - 02:47 PM (#3904657)
Subject: Honeymoon linens
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

A few years ago, I discovered how helpful were the recycle bins the city had issued-- for sledging a whole carload of groceries across the snow from driveway to door, by adding a rope pull. I kept the bins when the city later went with the huge curbside (ugly) bins, which   now live out of sight by the outer garage door.

So, trash and recycling now go thru the patio and garage to those bins. Usually I just carry the paper grocery sacks I now use to catch recyclables, but an injured shoulder led me to use that trick again today, to get rid of a bin full of recyclables.

As I dragged it, thru the narrowly-shoveled patio path, I widened the path with the bigger shovel that lives out there (with two brief sitting breaks). And after dumping and refolding the sacks, I spied the big broken box still in the garage awaiting unpacking, full of fabrics. So a big load from that came IN, via sledge (with two more brief sitting breaks).

The patio path to garage is now 2x wider to facilitate dealing with more snow/ice and/or ice from mini thaw. Hard to know which way Saturday night's ice forecast will go, but have better foundation forrit now.

Among items brought in-- honeymoon fabric to continue the master BR design-- how it plays with the existing green paint, and what color may be needed to bridge the two palettes as sheers, art, etc. Goal: not painting!!! This is a beautiful coverlet and pair of drapes from our wedding gifts 25 years ago, that I've envisioned here since we bought the house. (As we blended our families and household goods amidst ministry chaos, this set was the first thing we ever picked out TOGETHER.)

We're finally old enough to appreciate how the brocaded coverlet reflects heat back to the body; Hardi is in the habit of making the bed daily; there are no longer cats to wreck it; the windows here are the right size for the drapes; the king headboard is the width of the valance for hanging coodinating faux bed curtains at the head (one side of which will run into a draped window). The bed is biger now, but the coverlet is large enough to form the top for coordinating, gathered sides which hobby-sewing Hardi will add.

I was concerned that the colors might not go as well as I'd hoped, and.... the prettiness of this fabric against this existing green paint couldn't be photographed faithfully, unless I set up bright photog lights... but it's just.... so gorgeous! I can't wait to show Hardi the mockup when he's here with me for summer vacay!

I think the pattern of the fabric worked w/the paint mostly because:
. Any brown works w/any green
. The green in the fabric is minimal but any green goes with any green
. The blue in the fabric has a lot of green in it
. Both the green paint tone, and the fabric's ground color, are creamy/warm-- not bright white/cold (or one warm and the other cold)
. A white ceiling

This also means that Hardi's room-sized heirloom oriental rug will work, because it's why we chose this coverlet, and our first bedroom together had that rug.

These weekly forays into making our dreams come true (and adjusting where needed) is SO.MUCH.FUN.

!!!

~S~


10 Feb 18 - 12:24 AM (#3904735)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, I hope they don't have you stop the Prednisone cold-turkey; even a short dose of it usually requires some kind of tapering off of it.

Dorothy, that irresponsible shipping of ceramics sounds rather passive-aggressive. What a shame so many pieces were demolished.

Hard fought week but I finished a big project at work; the proof now goes back for final examination and next week my third of three print projects begins. All of this design and editing means I have less interest in doing similar projects on my own behalf on the weekend.

Last week I took a co-worker/friend to a "First Friday" party so he could meet the hosts - passionate gardeners, as he is. Turns out they had met in passing and knew each others yards from walks around the neighborhood (they're a few blocks apart.) It's fun to see now they are planning their gardens and consulting and planning visits. I enjoy this kind of networking. I get to do some networking with new next-door neighbors this weekend; my other next-door sent a text today saying the new neighbor wants to get together to talk fences. I hope our conversations are as forward looking as those last week.


10 Feb 18 - 10:33 AM (#3904787)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Darn. Yesterday was warm and bright but I had a series of events and work that kept me not only indoors all day but I didn't get home till late. So today now that I have free time it's cold and not expected to get above about 40o. The forecast for the week shows lovely weather on Wednesday and rain predicted for next weekend. Grrrr.

This morning was one of those times when I got up, looked around me, and decided I needed to start picking up right there and move outwards. Hung up or put sweaters to air before they're put away, hung up jackets (two of them on the cedar chest in my bedroom), dusted and picked up in the bathroom, got rid of hand lotion and products I never use, finally tossed those orphaned inexpensive earrings whose partners are long gone, dusted some more, put shoes away, the usual drill I've ignored for a few days. Piled all sorts of stuff into the laundry basket and changed out all of the hand towels and such. As cold as it is, this feels like a response to the longer days - more daylight means the Spring Cleaning impulse has me in it's grip.


10 Feb 18 - 04:42 PM (#3904840)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Happy Weekend!

I am here to report that I am doing lots of NOTHING.

I walked up the hill to my car on Thursday morning, opened the door and promptly fell. I twisted my ankle, thumped my head and landed...I thought...on my tailbone. Apparently I arched my body and landed on the side of my tailbone. I am SO sore.....I feel like I ripped a bunch of muscles from my navel, up the right side of my body, wrapping around my back to about my armpit. Yep. I'm sore. I've had a hot shower, did some dishes and general picking up and have been told to plant myself with the heating pad...so here I sit. I'm good as long as I'm not moving around much. Crap. But.....believe it or not, I did NOT spill my cuppa coffee while flying through the air...LOL.

So....all kidding aside, I'm taking it easy today. Weekend coffee, popcorn and a movie...and maybe some uke playing a bit later.

Charmion, I'm glad to feel that you are starting to feel better. I hope Himself is feeling better and stays safe in his travels.

I liked Susan's idea of linking updates to YouTube...that could be motivating and fun!

Have a great week everybody!

Michelle


10 Feb 18 - 05:52 PM (#3904850)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Acme, the doc really did tell me to halt the Prednisone abruptly. It's a regimen developed for asthmatics; five daily doses of 40 mg in pill form, then go to the low-dose steroid from the inhaler. It's far less hassle, it gets great results, and the side-effects are over in a week. And if the Prednisone won't get the job done, you find out much faster so you can try something else.

Today I did almost nothing. I have all the initiative and follow-through of a dead haddock.


10 Feb 18 - 10:52 PM (#3904873)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Michelle - I'm so glad you saved that coffee! ;-) Take care, rest up. We have a winter weather advisory for tomorrow - slip and fall is not a good way for any of us to get our gymnastics exercise. (The mental image of that maneuver is astonishing! Pardon a chuckle, but you described it beautifully.)

I thought I'd lost a backup of work photos on a hard drive that seems to have failed, but I found today that I had a preserved backup on a good drive that I was using also for general computer backups. Those full backups are on a different drive now, so the photos are in a place where there is lots of room for more.

Charmion, life with steroids is complicated - it makes a world of difference in clearing up illness, but it does have side effects. Good luck sorting out your side effects. My dose is much lower but it is every day, for months, possibly years. Tapering isn't always easy.


11 Feb 18 - 01:37 PM (#3904997)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

A microscopic layer of ice has turned bridges into Disney E-rides here this morning so it's just as well I had no plans to do anything but stay put and putter, starting with bringing four large boxes in from the SUV. I helped a friend pick up some boxes of tiles at a local store - they were shipped across the US to go into his tub-surround next week, packed one case per very large box, and I put dibs on the boxes and cornstarch packing materials. I brought four home because I have some items to list that need those large boxes. I'll keep the cornstarch peanuts until I decide I don't need them, at which time they can be dissolved with a little water. Sometimes decluttering requires packing materials.


11 Feb 18 - 07:28 PM (#3905060)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

I mocked up another small wall's art plan today, and started a FB album of before/after pix.

FB can be helpful to share planning when parts of the team are in distant locations! Hardi is measuring frames on an Art Hunt through our crumbling PA house, and as soon as my eye tells me where main pieces should go, I cut out a paper placeholder, label it, and stick it up w mortite putty. If I don't like it, I can adjust it before hammering nails.

Today I found a perfect corner for the mounted jackalope head to lurk, where no one will mistake his antlers for coat hooks. He promptly became the centerpiece for a critter collection-- deer antlers, jackalope, Groot, plus animal knick-knacks/pix.

:-) I USED to do my art/picture layouts in the usual ways.... but I have frames from a 4000'+ house (blended families and goods) to Merge into 1000'. (Oy! I don't have Lisa Rinna's body-age or pro designer/crew, unfortunately!)

In that album, I'm also putting in the relevant worklist for each area or item; not Honey-Do tasks awaiting Hardi, but things I can do myself or that family, friends, and my paid helpers will assist with.

For example, say X is coming to help and wants to know what tools may be helpful to bring: tag them to that picture/info. Or say I decide which mutually special item goes to which display shelf-- a note to self, right in the album. (Then as I unpack it won't be quite so overwhelming, I'm hoping!)

At this stage of life I'm enjoying the planning, sharing/showing the process to hubby in PA, and the prospect of orienting helpers when the truckload of stuff arrives May 1. Then, I'll be able to hand a helping friend this or that corner's pile of frames, and let THEM eyeball and go for it working from that album, while I work on the more handicap-accessible spots and wash knick-knacks.

I also moved a bookshelf today, to clear space when bigger items arrive. It's fun living in a working puzzle if you get to move the pieces yourself!

From everything else I swapped around this last week, I have a small pile of expired 'important papers' to go thru-- plus the 'lost' garage door opener to reprogram so Hardi can have his own.

~S~


13 Feb 18 - 06:26 PM (#3905535)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Michelle! Ever since a friend told me of breaking a wrist when going to get in car, I have considered VERY carefully any move near the car - getting in or out, I hold on to whatever is available!

Acme: not passive aggressive, just purely flaky! Hope she does better as a Mom! It really is hard to package so the shippers can drop things off a tall building or use as a football. And we are told never put "fragile" on the package. This one had it written all over! It did not have a chance. There are lengthy discussions on "clayart" about how-to.

Meanwhile, I am de-cluttering LR of boxes of lovely fresh clay - turning bags of clay into plates at the rate of 6/day, since Friday... With days of rest in between! When I have the energy: 12 thrown, nine trimmed and me worn out today after shoveling too much snow yesterday. Then backed the car into a snowbank, went and trimmed 9 plates and tired! - realized I can either pot or shovel - not both. So I phoned a neighbour who contacted another neighbour who came and dug out my car! Car actually started this am - was about minus 30C last night - and I did a couple errands, act everything in sight and was too tired... Took a nap and now this, then will read until I fall asleep. It is only 5:30 pm and I am ready to sleep. Next box must await tomorrow.

Lotta snow out there!


13 Feb 18 - 10:51 PM (#3905561)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My sunroom was looking good but now it has empty boxes sitting in it - for a little while, anyway. They're meant for some of the bulky things that need to be listed (and sent away once they sell.)

This evening laundry is put away and I have a bag full of old wash cloths that get used for cleaning that need a place to live. A basket or box in the laundry room, I think. I have new wash cloths for use at the table (in lieu of napkins) that have a sliding basket in a cupboard in the kitchen. The old ones (that used to live in that basket) aren't ready for the trash or compost, they're perfect for cleaning the stovetop, windows, etc. But like I say, I need a place to keep them separate from the new nice ones. A problem to solve next weekend.

The garden seems to be waiting for something - the daffodils don't have blooms yet (they're about 2 weeks late) and the asparagus hasn't sprouted. The days are longer but the temperatures are much cooler than usual. I'm going to be putting in a new piece of concrete walkway out front once it warms up - like everything else, I need warmer weather. Everything is charging, waiting for the moment to burst forth.


14 Feb 18 - 10:54 AM (#3905678)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yesterday I put up pictures.

I'm really, really fussy about pictures: they have to be at exactly the right height, centred precisely in their space, and straight. So the picture-hanging kit includes a tape measure, a ruler and a spirit level as well as my dear little hand drill and a ratchet screwdriver. The hangers I use are oblong plastic things that screw to the wall and hold the picture wire in a groove across the top, steady and straight. I bought a bunch of them years ago at a Home Depot in Ottawa, and they work so well that of course I can't find any more; they seem to have vanished even from Amazon.

It took me all afternoon to hang three paintings, two etchings and one Japanese wood-block print. The sitting room finally looks finished, complete with curtains, carpet and art, and I did not fall off the ladder.

My lungs are slowly recovering, but the cough is still a definite presence -- I have to sleep propped up on two pillows. I'll know everything is back to normal when I can lie flat on my back without wheezing.


14 Feb 18 - 04:24 PM (#3905757)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Dodged a bullet on a home repair today when the outside unit of the small heat pump was worked on. It came out a lot less than I feared but I ended up spending the whole day here so I've been listing eBay items. The only order I'm listing in is by what's the most in the way right now.

I understand about your favorite picture hangers, Charmion. When I moved into this house I decided to put up xmas lights and went looking for the metal clips we used on the house I grew up in. They were like a barrette - the backing had spikes and the whole thing was pounded onto the eve, then the heavy-duty wire loop was lifted up, the lighting wire run under it, then you pressed it back down over the raised bit. It snapped easily into place and they were durable and sturdy. Can't find them anywhere, no how.


14 Feb 18 - 06:51 PM (#3905784)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

This house's sellers had left a weight rack with lat pull bar, and coordinating weight bench, in the garage. The set has been moved twice in that garage while Hardi decided he liked his PA set better, and said it could go.

I offered it to neighbors, with no takers, and I need the space for furniture coming May 1. One neighbor said he wanted it, then hung me up for a wk waiting on him to get it, then changed his mind. During that week I'd had a helper here who could have dragged it out.... won't be offering them anything else!

So I spent the warm rainy AM clearing items blocking its removal... I thought an afterschool helper would move it out later.... who I never heard back from. "I'll only do as much as I can...." and by the afternoon, I started to see an empty corner...

It turned out, after several breaks, that I was able to drag out both pieces and set it them in the driveway. More offers... incl seller who has wanted other items back..... more non-responses... took pix,,listed it on a local FB sales group, specifying pickup TODAY. Free!

Gone in an hour, picked up by a person interested in the weekly antiracism mtgs I've been doing. With a pickup truck I suspect he'd help me out with, sometime.

Now I'm sore, but it's OUT. And better yet-- GONE!

Next.... PantpantpantSit....

The foam guest twin bed is being replaced with my old boondocking cot, which has its own narrower linens. Fam crew coming 2/25 to put foam and frame in the garage. So... the guest bed linens except mattress cover and box spring cover-- some heavy/bulky/unwieldy/big (down comforter)-- were stripped, folded, and put away.

A mystery black trash bag I'd come across in the linen closet was opened, and most of its contents left in it to create a Goodwill bag I will fill later with closet/dresser purges. I put away the kept items.

So far, all guest linens except pillowcases are accumulating in the guest/sewing room closet pending another round-- the guest bedding and inflatable mattress may go into furniture arriving May 1, or into zippered garage storage that formerly held camping linens with no attrition.... or stay in this room on high sewing room shelves, over the murphied cot. Hardi decisions.

All this was supposed to have had Cameryn's paid help (and more)-- still no response. :-(

In prep for the first of several planned fam crew visits, a huge load of laundry including curtains was folded. Linens were put away. Stuff for my closet/dresser, not yet. I have another huge clean load awaiting purging/hanging up, so I'm hoping to get to all that tmrw-- purged some of what I just folded (and will keep purging during weekly laundry as well).

Forgot to drink water much today, so sitting for muscle recovery and rehydration. May have energy to do a round of evening closet purge with news on via fone stream. That black trash bag is calling-- once full, it can leave... and a Friday appt could include drop-off.

~S~


15 Feb 18 - 08:25 PM (#3906033)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Newbie is napping on the guest bed about to be stored, on a mat with her smell, for Overnighting Service Dog training. ('Up' only when invited, as she already knows for chairs/laps.)

Huge laundry backlog sorted out during (radio) hockey game intermission, resulting in much cleared space in the master BR. Most items hung or folded/stowed. A few items added to Goodwill bag. One needing repair set aside. Linens folded and ready to stow in closet. Laundry in progress.

Lovely to see closet space available due to using a bigger dresser!

~S~


15 Feb 18 - 11:06 PM (#3906054)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

I came up with a fabulous storage solution for the white wicker set I've collected, a few used pieces at a time. The garage here is framed in 2x4's, while the vintage modular house was originally framed in skinny lumber. I tend to forget this.

But the empty space left by the departure of the weight rack/bench spoke to my eye. It said, "Get a few of those heavy bike hooks you have on the other wall-- and put your wicker up on this wall!" And I could immediately see lifting pieces up and down as needed for warm weather use, to be left out a few dry days at a time.

Across from this newly-opened spot are the wrought-iron summer yard chairs I use for song circles and gardening breaks. It only makes sense that those live right in the front of the garage, where they can be used on a whim... and then easily set back after use!

The wicker loveseat actually rode home from Goodwill, the day we bought it, on the van's bike rack-- so I know it'll survive being hung up! MUCH better than anybody trying to get it up into the rafters! ;-)

~S~


16 Feb 18 - 09:59 AM (#3906172)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I just signed the contract for the last phase of the kitchen renovation: repairing the divots in the ceramic tile floor, and installing the tile backsplash. Work begins on 1 March and is expected to take three days. I can hardly wait.

For the first time since I got sick, I actually slept all night --
nine whole hours! -- without propping myself up, and without waking for a coughing fit at zero dark stupid. With the new (ridiculously expensive) custom-made double curtains now hanging in the bedroom's huge windows, the crack of dawn failed to jar us awake and even the cat did not succeed in getting our feet on the floor until almost 0730. I count this a major improvement.

As well as two weeks out of my life, this bout of pneumonia cost me about ten pounds that I *so* don't want back. Today I'm going to the gym to stretch and walk on the treadmill. I will stop before my knees start to wobble.


16 Feb 18 - 03:29 PM (#3906202)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Charmion, housemending, sleepmending, bodymending. (Keep it up!) Stealing: "zero dark stupid".

Ohio:

SO relieved that son and DIL heard my request for her to come on an overnighter to help-- and translated that into BOTH of them coming for TWO days to catch up and help move stuff out! Tomorrow!

This means that if BIL w two kids has a family flu outbreak precluding NEXT weekend's work day, we'll have gotten a lot done. And if he CAN come as planned, there are tool-oriented jobs galore. But this wknd we'll focus on clearing SPACE.

WinWin!

~S~


16 Feb 18 - 08:51 PM (#3906251)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Master BR cleanup in progress; area on my side of bed DONE-- spilled meds, errant q-tips, empty meds bottles that didnt land in thecrecuvle bin, stray receipts and biz cards.... uck! Amazing how they find hiding places!

A little sude table ive really loved was unpacked and is now ready to go to the friend who has taken most of the passed-aling furniture. (An even smaller spare table was found to hold that corner's lamp untol Hardi's tall dresser lives there.)

But clearing out that table unblocked a window, and we can put up its honeymoon-fabric window panel this weekend! Can't wait to see!

~S~


17 Feb 18 - 11:48 AM (#3906301)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I think the day has come for the messy job of decluttering the buildup inside the fan over my stove. I clean the filters periodically, but this is on the moving parts themselves. It makes a clunking noise in low, probably due to the uneven collection of hard grease. If the thing is too far gone, I'll have to replace it. I think it's about 16 years old, so the time may be approaching for upgraded technology.

Lovely gentle rain overnight, so it's time to start removing weeds from the garden. Still no buds on the daffodils, but the leaves are growing taller fast. The A/C repair guy who was here this week tends to keep a good eye on the weather, and the tells me the blooming right around the first of February we saw for a few years was very early, that this winter is more typical.

Before the kitchen hood I think I'll procrastinate by picking up and filing or recycling some of the paper around here.


17 Feb 18 - 10:21 PM (#3906388)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Son and DIL kicked ASS on things I'd prepped late last night or got back from mtg in time to physically help with:

LIBRARY:
Removed tan rocker-recliner to garage, near scooter. Iron chair now there in garage added to stacked iron chairs.

Removed all cot coverings except metal/wood base and foam mattress. Misc ofc items on cot went to desk chair. Bag of role-playing dolls went to top shelf of closet. Pillows went to middle BR closet. Thick cot covers went to master bedroom for mattress adjustment.

(Tmrw: Secure cot for standing upright-- fold legs, tie mattress to frame w cord. Stand it up. )

Items under cot (big bag) went to middle BR closet. White shelf full of fragile items unloaded, moved into library where cot was,,l reloaded.

HALL LIGHT: Bulb on hand changed.

GARAGE DOOR REMOTE: Reprogrammed.

SEWING ROOM (middle BR):
Stripped mattress pad and washed. Mattress covered for storage. Mattress, box spring, folded frame to garage. Bar clamps under bed stored. Headboard shelves unloaded and headboard to garage.

Tomorrow: Pull white rug closer to door (all the way!), and cut rug neatly around closet base behind door, after seeing that it's reasonably parallel along wall.

LR:
Brown bookshelf unloaded, contents moved to hallway shelf. Brown shelves went to garage.

Unloaded antique 30' x 6' kitchen pantry, moved pantry to side of fridge, reloaded pantry.

Restuffed my mattress and remade bed. (I REFUSE to buy new innerspring mattress here! Will never buy FOAM mattress again!) Small BR table taken out to garage.

After GF pizza, hashed put the May 1 truck dates. Son and DIL will meet me halfway, so 3 drivers for 2 vehicles. (Can hire local unloading crew now.)

~S~


18 Feb 18 - 07:49 AM (#3906440)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

PS, They brought me their spare car so that when I drive mine to PA to pick up a truckload of furniture, I'll have theirs to use until Hardi joins me for summer vacation, and I can ride back with him to PA.

~S~


18 Feb 18 - 04:39 PM (#3906551)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I didn't do the fan - yet. I did list a lot of eBay items so I'm up to 20 items for sale. I sell most as Buy-it-now and for 30 days with 2 automatic renewals. If I keep adding things as they sell I'm more motivated to do this regularly. And when I sell often enough there are extra ratings buyers can look at that show your previous customers rated you highly for description, speed of shipping, quality of item, etc.

I seem to be to a stage of swapping out some of the old electronics with newer low cost but much more versatile versions. I think some of the old ones will end up on eBay.

Cold windy day today; clearly it was a mistake to think I could do yard work today. All of our nice days are all landing in the middle of the work week.
:-(


19 Feb 18 - 08:29 AM (#3906673)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Cleaning inside the range hood is one of my least favourite jobs, right up there with cleaning the oven. Both require me to assume an uncomfortable position while using noxious materials. I'll know I have been condemned to Hell if in the afterlife I find myself down on my aching marrowbones and dabbing awkwardly at caustic soda while clicking my neck in a vain effort to see what I'm doing.

Housework it's not for the weak.


19 Feb 18 - 09:41 AM (#3906682)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Ugh Charmion, that's a rotten job, cleaning the oven or anything to do with the cooker.
Here in UK there are cleaning companies who will come and do that job, dismantling the entire thing and making it shine in every corner. But it costs about £70.
Our cooker is self-cleaning, and the extractor has a paper filter which only needs changing. The hob is a ceramic one, completely smooth, glassy thing, so quite easy to wipe over.

This morning we've just tackled the utility room. This room isn't heated, and so in winter it's running with condensation. We get a lot of black mould on the walls, window frames and even the window panes, so my husband went round with various products and several cloths, plus his trusty mop. It's gleaming now and smells lovely and fresh.
The poor man then got into his uniform and set off for seven hours' cleaning at the school where he works. He really is a treasure!


20 Feb 18 - 09:30 PM (#3906835)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

One of the huge boxes I inherited last week has gone to list a lot of binders on eBay; tonight I used another to package a large terracotta clay baker (Romertopf) that needs either a very specialized styrofoam molded form or a lot of packing peanuts to deliver it safely. I have a smaller clay baker I use for roasting chickens - there's something about that method that makes the moist meat fall off the bones.

I decluttered parts of the yard of stands of henbit that are growing rapidly now that the days are longer. The lawn in the back is still dormant (Bermuda) and the henbit is a striking green against the golden brown dead grass; in front I have lots of Rescue grass, like a poor man's Rye grass that is wild and comes up every year. I used the steel rake and pulled through the henbit to dislodge most of it; what remains is easy to pull by hand. I'll be doing this for a couple of more days and adding the weeds to my compost. Hopefully I won't have to do the first mow of the yard for a couple of weeks yet. And that reminds me - I need to get the starter cord replace on my string trimmer. Long story, but a repair (changing out the fuel line) I was doing myself went awry when the plastic handle on the broke upon release and the whole cord wound up inside. I looked at the YouTube video to fix it - what takes that guy 15 minutes would take me ages. I have a guy who does this kind of thing, and if I get it over there now, he won't have a long line of things ahead of mine.


20 Feb 18 - 10:59 PM (#3906842)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Going nuts over which curtains get swapped around to which windows when the furniture comes, because it'll be easier to get at the windows first.

Trish came by to pick up the 2 items I'd known she'd take plus the one I'd hoped she'd take, and offered to be on the truck-unloading crew!!! She is about 50, very strong, knows how to turn things to get them to go, is hilarious AND reliable-- and knows that the world runs on #GirlPower. She's worth the whole block full of hormone-assaulted teenagers who won't commit! Whoo-EEE, I got my crew!

This means I do NOT have to unload the dresser she's taking-- the one from PA will come in, she'll swap out my stuff, and out the door will go her new dresser! She wants to buy DIL's car I'm borrowing!

~S~


22 Feb 18 - 12:38 AM (#3907081)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The carpet cleaner was set on "spill pickup" as I hoovered up the water that puddled around the fireplace and back door from all of our rain. I have to put up a rain gutter to keep it from pouring onto the poorly-grouted bricks of the chimney and working it's way into the house. The roof is good, the masonry, not so much. Add to this that it was a complete turnaround to read about New Hampshire temperatures up to 78o today while in Texas it was 36o and raining.


22 Feb 18 - 09:18 AM (#3907162)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The temperature is back to its normal late-February position below freezing today, but it won't last; Environment Canada promises a high of 10C for tomorrow. That's just nuts. Okay, Stratford is not as cold as Ottawa, but it's not supposed to be like central Europe! The last time I lived through a winter like this, I was in Baden-Wurttemburg where the asparagus season started in early March.

It's time to start packing up doohickeys for the church variety sale, which I hope will result in an empty cabinet in the basement ... so I can then declutter the basement of the cabinet! I'm learning to love Kijiji.


22 Feb 18 - 02:26 PM (#3907217)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

The crew of 2 expected for Sunday has grown to a full crew of 4-- two adults, their tall young son, and their very young artsy daughter. So some curtain-swapping will defintely be added! And more placeholders for the framed art on the way.

A new project will involve patching a door... The sellers apparently had installed an interior-grade door on the patio side of the garage, which (predictably) has been rotting away inside the hollow core.... the 2×2 inside the bottom edge of the core dropped out, and took a ragged 3-4" of outer door skin with it.... so I can't just put a new 2x2 up in there-- nothing left to attach to it.

I have to buy a sheet of plywood for another project we're doing Sunday, of which we'll use less than half. So, since Hardi will want to choose its replacement and probably install it himself, we'll install plywood kick plates from inside the garage and probably outside as well, to discourage squirrel intrusions.

We'll cut and attach these XL plates high enough to connect with good wood; a spray of clear-coat on the exposed edge ought to prevent the ply-peeling from getting too far along before Hardi can see it in August. I'm betting he'll opt to just paint all that and defer replacement until he retires! ;-)

~S~


22 Feb 18 - 08:54 PM (#3907296)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Tomorrow evening I'll be busy straightening for company on Saturday. The mature approach is to put things away and tidy; the quick way is to stuff everything into the sewing room. I have company for a couple of nights next weekend as well, so there's no putting odd stuff in the guest room.

I've read Susan's discussion of the stuff stored in her garage and considered how to sort and compress what is in mine. I can park one vehicle inside, and I have only one vehicle, but it is technically a two-car garage. I may move some of the storage shelving on one side and see if I can give more floor space. Stack up on shelves but not on wall steel shelves perpendicular to the walls, as it is now.

A new fence is soon going up next door, along the true property line. I'll be able to dismantle the existing fence that is about 18 inches closer to my house and recycle it into a couple of places around the yard where planks are deteriorating. I'll have to dig up the metal fence posts and knock the concrete footers off, then reuse them or more likely offer them up on one of the freecycle services in my area. These are truly signs of spring. It's not here yet, but it's close (my asparagus are beginning to sprout.)


23 Feb 18 - 08:58 PM (#3907499)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Menu for Sunday crew:

Panful of fried cheese grit patties
Crockpot of bbq
Raw sweet peppers
Clementines
Bananas
Vanilla or strawberry yogurt
Cereals
Corn chips
Shredded cheese
Halloween candy and dark chocolate

The bbq is chicken thighs and breasts, plus a pork steak, all slivered and shredded into marmalade bbq sauce, after a reboiling of all the meats.

Dog will be boarded this time-- this combo of ppl always results in an overly revved up service dog, and I'm tired of being ignored on ignoring the svc dog-- she'll love playing with her human friends at the kennel.

~S~


24 Feb 18 - 01:07 PM (#3907639)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

This part of the state has recently decluttered itself of a drought. I thought we'd done that last year, but apparently there were still remnants of dryness. I read an article this morning about how the cold and rain should combine to let the peach trees to my west become totally hydrated and because of the cold the blossoms have been delayed. This should result in a bumper crop. I, on the other hand, have been washing towels that line the back door and will make a point of putting up a rain gutter next month. I don't consider all of these dirty towels a plus.

Company coming so the dogs will spend much of the time in my office. I'll crank my desk into standing position to move the cables out of tail reach - the prospect of a dog tangled in this stuff is why I usually keep the door closed when I'm not in here, to keep them out. (If I put left them in my bedroom unattended they would make themselves completely at home on the bed and with Poppy's trip to the vet this morning and a yeasty-smelling hot spot just treated, it would be hard on the bedding).

Asparagus are sprouting but still no blooms forming on the daffodils. It's already about four weeks later than they've bloomed over the last several years. On the other hand, it's so wet right now it's difficult to step over to the asparagus to pick any so some have gotten too tall to eat so what's out there is under appreciated.


24 Feb 18 - 06:18 PM (#3907723)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

The weather in north central PA has been so very strange for this time of the year. Last week it was pushing 70 degrees and then we had a very fast moving storm that dumped enough ice and snow to shut things down for the day.   Now it's all rainy and in the high 30s. My yard is a super highway of MUD. However, with the odd weather, we have seen flocks of geese returning, a friend recently posted a photo of a bear under her feeder and a photo of a robin. Today we noticed some flowers about to bloom in the back yard....small whitish ones...not sure what they are though. I think Mother Nature is going to have a very good laugh about all this sometime in the next month or so. We really haven't had winter to speak of.

Today we decluttered the entire family of excess hair...LOL...we all got haircuts this morning. It's amazing to me how getting a good haircut (taking care of oneself) or decluttering a section of my home make me feel equally fabulous!   :)

My crazy work audits are over but this week had me training a new hire and doing 3 additional intakes so I'm dragging a little bit. I think if I can catch a nap here shortly, I may get some work done tonight. If not, there's always tomorrow but then again, I've been asked to go out for the afternoon with someone. I would like to go out but I'd also like the time at home so we shall see. Decisions! Decisions! ;)

Pete and I are trying to decide how to handle the room switch....my sewing room will soon be Jeremiah's bedroom. He thinks we should let Jeremiah pick the color. I think we should pick out 5 somewhat neutral colors and let him pick that and THEN he can pick out what he wants for his blankets and such. He loves one of the Avenger characters a ton at the moment but as we all know, that will be fleeting. I don't mind changing out linens but I do mind the thought of having to repaint every time he changes his mind about his favorite character/animal.   If we were to paint the walls in a neutral color, those changes in his likes would be MUCH easier to handle and continually look good...at least that's my thought on the matter!   Currently that room is a very soft pink color so it absolutely will be changed for Jeremiah. Jeremiah's room was designed as a nursery with gender neutral colors as we didn't know what gender our child would be. The walls are a soft buttery yellow and there is a soft grass green carpet on the floor. I love the looks of it the way it is and will not need to make any changes to the walls or floor when that becomes my sewing room.

Speaking of sewing, I am ever closer to finishing the House of Care Quilt. Next weekend, I will be joining a group of friends for a day of sewing (interrupted by orchestra practice) and then an evening of theater, I am looking forward to that day with great anticipation! :)

I did declutter the front seat of my car this weekend and left office in stellar shape for the week ahead...I say those things count as they make my life run more smoothly.

Enjoy your week friends!

Michelle


24 Feb 18 - 08:58 PM (#3907752)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Today I picked up all the materials for tomorrow's work day. It was already a full day, so no energy left for the funny story it included. (Story will keep.)

But not only do I exoect 2 energetic adults younger than me, tomorrow-- helper Tyler is looking for Tuesday hours next week, which means he can work with me to finish anything not completed when the family must depart early tmrw evening to get the kiddoes off to bed. So I'll prioritize the list accordingly.

~S~


24 Feb 18 - 10:11 PM (#3907770)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Great news! R has decluttered our lives of the odious house! It is actually sold but he needs to live there until December; keep it occupied until the buyer is ready to start "renovating". When I go back to Montreal in a couple weeks, we will be able to consider what we can buy for the next phase of our lives. I am still hoping for a house near those nature reserves. He seems to be amenable. Whew! He texted me, "There are squirrels in the attic! They aren't ours! YAY!" What a relief, we are each feeling. After all these years, he no longer has the "house needs to be renovated" hanging over him! The buyer is going to totally gut the interior so nothing matters!

We will still have "Beaver Haven" but I have agreed to spend more time in Quebec. This also is a sort of de-clutter - so we are in the same place if either of us has health problems. Being a prisoner in that dreadful house last winter ...

The studio and house are totally cluttered with drying pottery! That is GOOD clutter! Monday looks like it will be a decent day to deal with loading the kiln for the first bisque firing. I have a fair chance of finishing by 5th or so. Load car and trek to Montreal - on a non-snow day. And hang out until son and wife come up from NYC, where they are visiting third grand daughter (my third greatgd), Ali's first child, to collect his pots - And have a short visit! Troy lived in Montreal in his teens so it will be a bit of a pilgrimage for him - showing Julie the highlights of his youth.

Packing pottery: Double boxing is highly recommended, with the outside one lined with spray foam, or maybe the interior one and the pottery wrapped in bubble wrap, placed in a plastic bag and then into foam lined box which is then filled with more foam. Then the outer box could have foam or some other filler. Strong boxes! I had good success using bagels as filler - instead of foam!

Not much else done but managed the laundry in two loads/two days, drying in house. Warmer days and solar gain in afternoon means less wood needs to be brought in. A week without snow is a nice break for my shoulders. Another day or two and I may be able to get to the car without risk of falling. Using gravel in a large yogurt container to strew in front of me as I make my way - very carefully! I can see small patches of bare ground.grass! But fully expecting more snow before April.


25 Feb 18 - 12:46 AM (#3907782)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

R is being held hostage by the buyer? How is that possible? What conditions of sale would require the seller to continue to live there?

Last year the Photobucket photo storage site made a huge change, blocking users from third-party hosting of photos unless they pay $700 a year for the privilege. I've finally found a place that I think will work and I'll have to upload then reassemble the photo links into an organic garden site I've contributed to.

The yard is a sodden mess, guests today left with muddy shoes after trying to look at the garden to discover any pending blooms and to admire the asparagus. I have four pairs of my own shoes and boots by the door that I'll have to knock the mud off of once it's completely dry.


25 Feb 18 - 11:30 AM (#3907861)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I can relate to the muddy mess. I have to roll my pants up x3 so that when I get to work I don't have it all over my pants from mud that splashes up as I walk. Ick.

Michelle


25 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM (#3907873)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

R is being held hostage by the buyer? How is that possible? What conditions of sale would require the seller to continue to live there?

R is SO happy to be rid of the albatross and receiving an amazing amount for it, that he would have just said, "How high would you like me to jump?"

Laughing at your mud! I am still under ice and snow! This morning I could not safely walk the 20 feet from back door to studio - on the wood walkway! Now it is over 40F and I am hoping for the energy to go to work - after lunch.

I actually did about 15 minutes on the sewing machine - made a pouch for the comfrey so it doesn't go everywhere while in use! The ankle was being somewhat painful but the poultices the last couple days have cleared it. Comfrey everywhere! This summer I will be drying quantities of leaves AND putting them into a animal proof container.


25 Feb 18 - 08:26 PM (#3907963)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Workday-- 6:30pm ending before dark; started at 11am with a crew of four helpers. (30 man-hours on top of my time to prep, plan, purchase, work, coordinate/teach, and clean up.)

The 2 trickiest jobs on my wishlist were done well, to completion. The rebuilt HVAC-enclosure wall is especially lovely, and involved a lot of thought and tricks-- but looks just like it was always just the way we did it.

Several other jobs were not completed fully, but were started in such fashion that I can finish them with Tyler's help Tuesday. Others I can finish on my own-- in both cases, the helpers did the parts I can't possibly do. And brought me a Coke when I badly needed it.

One of the best parts was teaching my awkward-age nephew how to use a cordless drill/driver, work smart, use a framing square, and lay out a project. He is a certifiable genius-- super-quick processing-- but SO bored and awkward, and also at the age of not wanting to know a thing his ma and pa try to teach him. I finally got to that magic smile with him, that'd vanished of late under too much AP schoolwork, and far too many structured afterschool programs. He got very handy with that little tool, relaxed, and gained confidence-- good for him!

~S~


26 Feb 18 - 10:24 AM (#3908093)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Not much going on in Stratford, now that the ground floor is just about finished (only the kitchen tile to go, and that is scheduled). My lung complaint is gradually ebbing, currently down to occasional coughing fits that still sound awful but don't leave me reeling with exhaustion as they did two weeks ago.

I went back to the gym on Friday for a full workout, and boy did I feel it on Saturday. Every muscle in my legs, butt and back had criticism to offer, which tells me that I need to do that workout again today, and on Wednesday, and on Friday, too.

Himself is looking particularly fine these days, after almost four months of watching his diet and working out vigorously. He's lost almost 25 pounds and is back into his snazziest suits; the new one he bought last summer now hangs on him like a tent. The gym staff are so impressed with him that they just about offered him a job, on the theory that if the flabby old guys see an fit old guy behind the counter, they might be a little less reluctant to sign up.

I'm looking a bit gaunt, myself, having lost my jowls and a full size in trousers to the pneumonia. I thought I had come to terms with advancing age, but it's still always a bit of a shock to look at myself in the mirror and see the same lines on my face that I remember on my granny.


26 Feb 18 - 08:18 PM (#3908176)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, it sounds like himself also took advantage of the extra work involved in moving. I always lose weight when I pack and move for hours at a time for days at a time. Right now I've gone back to alternate day fasting, managing two or three days a week. I got the idea from Dr. Mosley's Eat, Fast and Live Longer program that originally broadcast on a BBC science series. It comes and goes on the Internet, but it looks like BBC has a YouTube channel now. He tries several different forms of fasting; the one I adopted shows up about 38 minutes into the program. (It's also on a Spanish language Vimeo channel, in English with a less distracting background.)

Thanks for the note, Dorothy. That is an interesting outcome after sitting on that property for a long time.


27 Feb 18 - 09:18 AM (#3908310)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Actually, Acme, the move left both of us fatter than we had been in years. After so long in Ottawa, and with all the shenanigans surrounding release from the Army after 30 years of service, we were wined and dined a great deal during the spring and early summer of last year, to the extent that it seemed we were in one fancy restaurant or another pretty well every weekend for about two months. Then the move itself put us in hotels for almost two weeks in high summer, and eating all our meals in restaurants and diners. We both got seriously chubby.

When we finally finished unpacking the books (a job that took ages), Himself looked at me seriously across the dinner table and said, "We have completed the task of Moving To Stratford. It is now time to start Living In Stratford." Within a couple of days, he had entered into a contract with a personal trainer at the gym and joined the local hiking club. Then he downloaded MyNetDiary, a diet-tracking application, onto his phone and started weighing and measuring his food. He said it made counting calories into a video game.

Neither of us is any good at fasting. Himself gets grumpy and impossible to live with when his low-food light is flashing, and I find that I really must eat when my stomach starts rumbling. I don't have to eat much, mind you, and it's important that I wait until I actually feel hunger, but if I don't eat when those signals start arriving I am likely to gorge when I finally let myself eat at all.

With the kitchen renovation project and the redecoration of the rest of the house to manage, I do not really feel that the Moving To Stratford phase is quite finished, at least not for me. In fact, just the other day I found yet another box with movers' tape on it, cracked it open, and decided that its entire contents could go to the Sally Ann. I won't really settle until the bedrooms are patched and painted, and I've put up curtains in the upstairs windows.

It's another unseasonably beautiful day in Perth County, sunny and warm, so I have decided to jettison my original plan for extensive housework in favour of a nice walk downtown to mail my brother's birthday present. Yesterday's workout did not leave me with the stiff legs I suffered on Saturday, so my body has evidently decided to forgive me and get with the program.


27 Feb 18 - 04:50 PM (#3908419)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

It turned out that both helpers planned for today bailed at the last minute, and the weather was too warm and sunny to waste, so I finished the patio door project, as well as I could on my own. I was not able to totally secure the lower edge with bolts, but I was able to screw thru the front plate into the back plate with extra long exterior grade screws which, unfortunately, were a tad long for the width of the door and will have to be nipped off.

Unfortunately they also were to have loaded a chair into my car after first unloading the full hatch area; I need it for a pain-free weekend workshop Friday-Saturday because I did not bring my walker-seat which is perfectly set up for 90° joints.

Since I now can't walk at all after that door project, I'm not excited about attempting the chair move on my own. It may just fit in DIL's open trunk and the workshop is right here in town. If I don't take it, my back will be fried after the first hour. :-(

~S~


27 Feb 18 - 10:42 PM (#3908462)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
Energy level kind of hit the wall today. Hope it renews! Two bisque firings complete and two to go ---- I looked in the glaze bucket and OOPS - need more. I have the materials but the scales I have are iffy and I do not have the required sieve. It's at the mill. Considering possible solutions... Trimmed more pots today - threw yesterday - and hope they will dry fast enough to get into the last bisque load. House is de-cluttered of pots!

I did a wonderful job of restraining myself from buying some epiphytes tonight but passed on to the presenter (at the horticultural Soc) my copper tubing plant support idea. Copper kills epiphytes but the dipladenia is doing great in its "cage". I am down to one geranium - about to bloom!, two neophyte spider plants, one af violet and my new rosemary and aloe vera - all doing well. I do tend to be a plant-aholic!

Trying Keto diet again. All lost is regained; I alternately give up and try again. Spring is giving me hope but there is still a lot of snow out there.


01 Mar 18 - 02:33 PM (#3908849)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

It's a cold storm blowing over the top of our UK members - stay safe, warm, and dry. And here's hoping your buds and blossoms survive this weather.


01 Mar 18 - 10:10 PM (#3908913)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

I came home from a lunch meeting during brief break in the huge all-morning downpour-- "Aha! Load that chair NOW!" I immediately changed into grubs, unloaded the dog crate and suitcase from the hatch, and had the car in front where the chair was for my workshop-- just in time for middle schoolers coming off the bus. In 3's, there is ALWAYS one raised right who responds if I yell, "Hey, could one of you guys give me a quick hand?" One will always gallop over to do a lift and be invited to leave his number for paid work.

So I was able to park the wet faux wicker lawn chair to dry out in the car, in the garage,

~S~


02 Mar 18 - 09:27 AM (#3908987)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

The time has come, I think, for the new fence next door that will be between our properties but will actually follow the property line (my request - the current fence is about 18" inside my property line because the previous owner was a bit of an idiot when it came to cooperating with neighbors and put it up willy-nilly in a hurry.) It means the old fence is up to me to take apart (my request) because I have a heavy-duty wire stapled to the base that is part of my dog containment system (it carries a radio signal that their collars respond to if they get too close). I also have to possibly make a connection between my old fence and their new fence at the street facing narrow end or we could end up with an odd gap.

The last week was mostly heavy rain but it's forecast to dry for a few days. Today should be nice and though the ground is soggy there is yardwork to be done. A wedding and houseguest this weekend mean it was prudent to take a couple of days off to get the usual weekend stuff done ahead of time and have the house looking good. I need to take my gas trimmer over to the repair shop and have the pull cord fixed (the handle broke and the cord pulled inside the machine). Gotta beat the regular spring crowd.

My eBay listings are up and running and I'm adding more regularly now. It still seems the best way to declutter and get a little extra income at the same time.


02 Mar 18 - 11:09 AM (#3909019)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

We are having an unexpected family day at home due to the snow storm.    Pete made a wonderful breakfast, Jeremiah is cleaning his room and I am soon going to tuck away into my sewing room in hopes of completing a quilt top for the House of Care this weekend. It is a signature quilt and over 70 cancer survivors have signed different blocks. There are still at least 70+ open blocks to be signed. My hope is that the quilt top will be at Geisinger by the end of the week and then folks at the House of Care and people at the clinic will be able to sign the remaining open blocks. It was offered as a gift of love and thankfulness for my time at the House of Care but the higher ups want the quilt on a given date and are breathing down my neck about it so now it feels more like a chore. I overestimated my available time and energy when calculating the due date. I work 60+ hours a week, drive 30 to 45 minutes each way to work (unless it's snowing and then it's longer), take care of my family, take care of our home, grocery shop, cook, take Jeremiah to soccer, swimming and guitar lessons and then church on Sundays sometimes if the weather is good and I'm not completely wiped out...and the quilt. I don't think I will ever commit to creating something handmade for anyone ever again. I will simply make something and share it when it is complete. *whew* I will spend a few quiet moments handling each block and reading each signature/quote focusing on that to bring me back to my original heartfelt wish to make something out of love for people who are so very deserving.

So.....my hope is that by tomorrow, my sewing room will be decluttered of one more quilt top. :)

Michelle


02 Mar 18 - 12:40 PM (#3909040)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

That's a wonderful project, Michelle. They're lucky to have someone with your passion and experience working on this on their behalf. An idea occurs to me, but I'll wait and look for your report about handing over the quilt to see if I was correct.

As I started on my eBay work I realized I needed more clear desk space, so have spent time filing, shredding, and recycling paper. I can see some of the wood on the second desk in my office. A few more eBay items have moved into the sunroom, and I'm also finding more donate items.

I'm setting up the dining table for a sewing project. I have to spread out the cutting board to place a pattern on fabric, and have enlisted my son's girlfriend to remind him again to send me measurements I should have gotten last time he was home for a visit.


02 Mar 18 - 03:41 PM (#3909096)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Michelle: you are amazing! Two hours and I am pooped!

I drove about two hours this morning - to fetch my fav yogurt from the next town, where an independent grocery is willing and able to special order. A flat of 6 was supposed to come on Tues but it did not arrive and Jeff did not call me and Amanda has been feeling badly for two days that she had not had time to fetch it for me (she lives there). SO: Jeff will phone whether or not it comes on Tues. I will have the smarts to check before I leave. I will not ask the overbooked Amanda to fetch it. I am muddling through the weekend with 6%.

So, any throwing for today is cancelled. I unloaded and re-loaded the kiln. Looks good! But did not do any of the lots more tasks that could be done. The tiny kiln room is still crowded but less so.

I need to check the local Gallery for what pots I have there as next week I could take in a few more.

No rain. No snow. YET. I feel the impending rain that is taking its time. Time for me to relax and recuperate.


02 Mar 18 - 09:14 PM (#3909145)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My gas engine string trimmer is now in the shop. Last fall I was working on it, I swapped out the silicone bulb to prime it and changed the fuel lines, and on my first attempt to start it, the starter cord plastic handle broke off and the whole cord pulled completely into the engine. The YouTube video shows a guy dismantling the trimmer and fixing the cord in about 15 minutes, meaning I might finish in 2 hours and have parts left over.

I have "a guy who does" who I took it to this afternoon and he said it takes him about 45 minutes to do the job. That'll work. And when he depressed the bulb he said the resulting clicking sound says there is a diaphragm that might be dried out. Okay. $6 for that item, $23 for a new carburetor if needed. We're still looking at a repair that keeps it well under the cost of buying a new one like this. There is a kind of depressing pile of dead trimmers on the side of his building, but this one isn't destined for that heap yet. I trust this guy to do the job right. Why? Because the first time I took this trimmer over he said he didn't have time to get to it for weeks, but I could do it on my own. He sold me $2.00 worth of tubing and told me how to do the repair myself.

This, then, is my way of not having to declutter myself of a defunct trimmer after buying a new one. I prefer to keep this tool in service.

In other activity, I've set up another station in the house for playing audio books from my phone. Goodwill and other thrift stores have discarded iPod docking stations that have auxiliary plugs, so they can be used to play from any device. In the kitchen I have one that is bluetooth (no port needed), and now one in my office that I can use with a cable or with my spare bluetooth receiver. I'm using GoodReads.com to keep track of books, mostly audio books, and the last one I read was 600 pages (equivalent to two typical books) so I'm pushing to catch up to my goal of 24 books this year.


04 Mar 18 - 01:10 PM (#3909427)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Young Tyler has renewed thoughts about a temporary house-guesting arrangement! I'm excited, because I was just thinking how I had not set up garden care while I head back at the end of the wknd for furniture.

~S~


04 Mar 18 - 07:56 PM (#3909472)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

Well, I did not reach my goal. I put in over 16 hours on it but it still likely needs another good 8 hours or so. I was going to work on it more today but my eyes were burning, likely from small fabric dust particles. Pete said it was enough. I ended up taking a 4 hour nap. I had no idea I was that tired. I slept so hard that I was disoriented when I woke up. I guess those *higher ups* are just going to have to wait. *shrug*

I did clean out 4 drawers of a desk that was my Nana's and sits in my living room. Two of those drawers were full of crafty this and that. No more!   All crafty things have been relocated to the sewing room which is really where they belong anyway. I paid all the bills today and sorted through various paperwork and am now using those two drawers for highly organized bills/medical/school papers. It clears out a bin that I have had out for paperwork for years which means there is another surface that has been cleaned off. :) I made homemade muffins today too. It's been a lovely day.

Have a great week everybody!

Michelle


05 Mar 18 - 06:45 PM (#3909669)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio:

Tyler is all moved in and getting settled. The guest bed we'd hoped to Murphy up for the sewing room worked a treat! All the organizing of linens I'd done came in handy!

~Susan


05 Mar 18 - 08:11 PM (#3909681)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I decided it was time to empty the bins arranged by garment size in my closet. The smallest size is 8, but it'll be a while till I can fit into size 8 again - the stuff in there is really nice and I'll be sorry not to have the garments if I do reach that point, but anyway - that little "what about eBay?" question crossed my mind as I was preparing to bag them for the Goodwill. Someone else in the same situation I was in, with a modest budget but needing serviceable and attractive pants and slacks to wear to work, including some gorgeous black jeans, linen pants, wool pants, gabardine khakis, and more, will have an opportunity to bid for the lot on eBay. If it doesn't sell, then they can go to Goodwill.

A care package was dispatched to my son; he's getting to be a good cook but from his standpoint it's still nice to have your favorite banana bread shipped in time for your birthday. Soon it will be too warm to ship such delicacies from my location; the hot weather that the parcel travels through causes it to mold pretty quickly.

Making progress around here as I've continued to file, shred, and put things away. Spring must be near!


05 Mar 18 - 10:41 PM (#3909700)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

So, on Sat am, the kiln had not turned off so I did it for it! After it cooled enough, I determined that the kiln was dysfunctional and, with two firings to go and the deadline closing in, I packed the car with all the pots, complete and various stages of incomplete and drove to the mill where the kiln would work - hopefully. I will prob be able to fix the kiln later when not under pressure of deadline.

In the meantime, I have all but one bowl (of 8) and the 8 plates are complete and lovely! Another firing went in the aft and I will go back in am to the mill to open the kiln and do one more firing of misc pots that are still to be fired.

My west coast (Whidbey) son and wife will be driving up from NYC, after the 10th, with GD Sarah from San Diego to visit and pick up pots - a chance for son to show wife and daughter his old haunts in Montreal. They will get an airbnb! And lots of pots!

Hoping R will have a bit of time while I am here to look at a couple more houses. We are each looking forward to the move; I have some trepidation as I wonder how much of his Stuff will become clutter!! I think we will need a house with a garage - just for his stuff! I came in tonight to find a seriously Ugly sofa in the LR. NO! IT does not deserve house space. I hope it is en route to somewhere else!


06 Mar 18 - 09:14 AM (#3909778)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The Brother and his wife are coming for Easter, and bringing with them a box of Bohemian crystal wine glasses that belonged to my Dad. Sigh. I thought I had successfully parted with them, but no; I had merely kicked the can down the road a few months. Consequently, I must re-think the contents of the china cabinet and decide what I really, really want to keep and what I'm willing to let go, and then persuade Himself to agree with my conclusions.

The kitchen tiling is almost finished; only the four square feet of backsplash in the pantry remains to be grouted, and then the entire kitchen project will be finished. Oh, except for the kick panel under the cabinets on the sink side of the galley, where the tiles were broken and had to be replaced. Oh, and putting a bevel on the hinge side of the china cabinet doors so they don't have to be opened to their fullest extent before the drawers can be pulled out. Come to think of it, is such a project ever quite entirely finished?

Dorothy, I sympathize with your grim thoughts of what might become clutter in your next abode. Our neighbour Neil, who walks his dog for hours a day around the neighbourhood, informed us that our two-car garage might be the only one on our street that actually contains two cars. The furniture restorer who repaired my old rocking chair also pointedly remarked on this unusual characteristic of our household; apparently he sees a lot of garages crammed to the rafters with everything but the family car. I guess it would have been easier to let some of the moving boxes stay packed and stacked out there, but both Himself and I utterly loathe scraping ice off the car, especially in the early morning when one is in a hurry to get somewhere.


06 Mar 18 - 08:20 PM (#3909849)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion! "When your house is finished, you die!"
It will take a great deal of patient Dealing to keep R from filling however large a house we purchase from filling with stuff! I will NOT live with clutter. I am making it clear.   

In de-cluttering our lives of this odious house, I have spent about 4 hours on web, looking for possibilities! This will be a long process - but Chamion can also relate to that! Clearly, the dear little house is not going to make it! But I continue to seek something close to the nature preserves, and to the city for R.

And big enough for STUFF! I peeked into the room that was once screwed shut and ... Gulp! Full of stuff!! Daunting!

R took delight today in observing that he no longer needs to deal with the burgeoning Manitoba Maple!!!! But he spent time putting a hole in the wall to install a large TV????! One more chance to remove a pile of dreadful towels from the LR and, I have told him, they are going out on the sidewalk for whoever needs them - rags! (we have enough!)

Still not apprised of when family is arriving! But the pottery is ready!!! Super YAY!


07 Mar 18 - 01:07 PM (#3909964)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Ohio hoping for AM departure tmrw:

Tyler is such a gift. The free workday he offered to support my going in return for my support around his sudden move-in-- kewl Adding his younger brother ALSO-- free-- PRICELESS! Because until he got a full time job, Caleb worked for me and for last housemate-- knows the house and the cleaning info!

~Susan


07 Mar 18 - 11:58 PM (#3910019)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've had a couple of periods of time when things that came out of storage were placed in the garage and there was no room for a vehicle, but I decided when I bought this place to stop using remote storage and to use my garage for my vehicle. I did put in joists when we built the garage so there is robust storage in the attic of the garage, or support if I push it up to a second story studio, etc.

My ex has finally gotten to where he can park his car in his garage, and I encourage him to call me when he needs help moving some bulky object out (especially to donate to the Goodwill rather than the trash).

There are occasional break-ins around the village when cars are left on the street, and I had someone come into the back yard years ago before I put up a gate and steal a wet saw. Having the yard nominally blocked (if someone really wants they can get in, but with a lot of noise and fuss) and the vehicle in the garage means people can't really tell if I'm home or not, and the house and SUV are safer. It isn't like having a castle with a moat, but it's the same principle.


08 Mar 18 - 08:58 PM (#3910126)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I seem to have hit the sweet spot price-wise on eBay; in the categories where I'm listing the sellers offer a flat price and free shipping; I have calculated the shipping and offer the item a few dollars lower but they pay for shipping. In the end there is only a couple of dollars savings to the buyers, but it seems to work. My listings are just enough lower that I get the sale.

Spring break is coming soon and my yard is going to get some much-needed attention. I finished a series of big projects this week so feel able to take time free of compromising any deadlines.

A local broadcast channel plays old episodes of some of the Canadian design programs from the mid-2000's; I saw them new on cable but now they're old repeats on TV. I am getting a couple of ideas that are relatively timeless, in particular the replacement of a solid bathroom door with a French door with translucent glass to let more light into the dressing room. This would be wonderful.

For now I'll concentrate on selling off the items in boxes in my sunroom, and perhaps sooner rather than later they'll add up to the price of a new French door.


09 Mar 18 - 09:26 AM (#3910187)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I wrote a substantial post about cars yesterday, but the Cat crashed and it vanished. C'est la vie.

Although I lived in downest downtown Ottawa for so long that putting away and locking up any and all useful things became second nature, my car was burgled twice, once in a shopping centre parking lot (bag of maps stolen) and once when parked overnight on the driveway in front of the house (radio stolen). It never ceased to amaze me that a burglar would go for an ancient VW Diesel, that most unstealable of cars, and surely nothing of value would be found in a 16-year-old car, but there you go.

When Himself was finally able to tear himself loose from his last court-martial client and come to Stratford to see the house I had bought, we found the seller in a state of agitation awaiting the cops, whom she had called because she found her car broken open and minus a tool kit anmd a substantial stash of parking change. The car, of course, was normally parked on the driveway in front of the garage door. Clearly, our leafy corner of idyllic Stratford shares at least one threat with grungy old Ottawa: opportunistic burglars. The very first thing I did on taking possession was to call a locksmith.


09 Mar 18 - 04:28 PM (#3910259)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Cars: At Beaver, I never lock the car. In Montreal, I always do; if I forget, something is gone, for sure! At the mill, no locking; no one nearby; also large barking do in front part of building - well contained but LOUD! Same with buildings. Beaver is never locked. Mill only when we are leaving for city.

De-cluttered R's head of several inches of hair! He looks less like Einstein! weeks overdue.

Being away for 7 weeks was TOO much! Getting our mutual lives back on track has been worse than clutter. I recognize this must change; clutters my life to de-clutter his? Well, I'm retired.

Looking at two houses tomorrow. Looking forward to this next step. I spent a couple half days, looking at the neighbourhood and learning the area. Also managed to fire all pots. Son's are completed. And a few more. De-cluttered bill paying by picking up a goodly sum from the consignment shop for the pots she sold. She needs more pots so I need to see about energy to drive to mill and throw and trim. Son not coming before Weds! I thought I would be back to Beaver by Sunday! Oh well! Need to call someone to water the plants! Henceforth I shall have to stick to outdoor plants for there.


09 Mar 18 - 06:01 PM (#3910271)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There are times when I've forgotten to lock a door or close the garage door, and when nothing happened I considered myself lucky and vowed never to do that again. I think we don't communicate well amongst ourselves as neighbors to compare notes on criminal activity, and I find the online "Nextdoor" site offputting. I can look in if I wish, but I've turned off their email function because there are too many racist and bigotted reports that come through that moderators should be blocking.

This year I took my string trimmer into the shop early enough that he wasn't loaded down with mowers and other trimmers to fix yet and only a week later it was ready. As it happened he didn't need to replace the rope (the handle broke and it rolled into the housing). He showed me the washer that he put in the new plastic handle before he tied the knot - he said that the washer is enough to keep the rope from fully contracting into the machine again if the handle breaks. I'll do that trick on a couple of other devices to save possible later repairs. It was $29 well-spent—trying to do that job myself would have taken ages.

On my way home I stopped at the gas station and noticed a couple of 25 gallon black plastic nursery pots that had blown up against a barbed wire fence with other trash. They join my collection of pots beside the house where I'm experimenting with planting crops in pots.

My next little audiobook listening station is set up in my office; I have a bluetooth setup and have my audiobooks in my phone. I can listen to it while I work. The book is on the computer because I ripped it from a CD to the mp3 files I'm listening to now, but this little phone app (Voice) knows where I stopped listening and does a much better job than my former player (a Sony Walkman - I had to manually tell it to go to the next folder in each book). The player is a thrift store find that fits nicely in the desk corner next to my monitor.

The top task this weekend is to tackle the yard since the weeds have bolted into a tangle of tall greenery.


10 Mar 18 - 11:03 AM (#3910363)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Spring Break for many in the US school system, and ♫ I've got a little list. ♫ (Someone should have told Mr. Gilbert that the correct grammar is "I have a little list," but whatever).♪ ♪

My jeans that are so worn they are designated to yard work are soon to go in the laundry so I'll putter around the house until they're ready, but this weekend is the Big Push into the yard. And the garage. I may never have enough room for two cars, but I still have plenty of things I can dislodge from the space.


10 Mar 18 - 03:32 PM (#3910395)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

The drive back was pretty awful due to lack of sleep plus poor weather plus an early AM DV.

House here.... the main floor is full of furniture in my way that needs to go out to porch for pre-loading, but that awaits a warm day to prep the porch. ....

Packing brain still spinning. About all I can do right off is purge, and start filling trash bags and Goodwill boxes. If we have time together we can sort thru the next round of the book purge-- the ones we have to go thru together. None of these are calling me to get going.... yet... Still in drive recovery and unpacking car bags.

An Equinox bearing is shot, again. :-(

On the plus side, Black Panther is playing in Wellsboro and we're going tmrw night.

~S~


10 Mar 18 - 08:14 PM (#3910420)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

This has nothing to do with decluttering but I'm going to share it anyway...today we celebrated Jeremiah's 8th birthday!!!   We had a birthday party for him at the bowling alley, complete with arcade games, pizza and cake. He invited several friends and a grand time was had by all!!!

:) What a wonderful day!

It's more quilting/piecing for me tomorrow.....can't wait for that project to be wrapped up!

Have a great night everybody!

Michelle


10 Mar 18 - 08:39 PM (#3910424)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Amazing how fast the time has passed - but it is such happy news, considering the cancer that you were battling when Jeremiah arrived. Such a great outcome!


11 Mar 18 - 04:12 PM (#3910540)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

"since the weeds have bolted into a tangle of tall greenery." !!! I am looking forward to seeing something like this in the next few weeks!

And Wow! Jeremiah is 8 already! ---geez, I think my great granddaughter is almost that old!

Just spent an hour or so on the phone with tech support re internet connectivity. He was very nice but nothing monumental was accomplished except that I have to try harder to use less mb!

Pottery is ready for pick up. Family may be here on Weds - I hope! Had to email a neighbour to Please water plants left in Bathroom. This is the last time I leave indoor plants; I hate losing them.

House search is probably complete. R "fell in love with" the 6 BR brick house as soon as he walked in the door and saw the beautiful wood staircase, circa 1915, more or less. Wonderful house with room for everything we want - all R's age appropriate furniture, studio in finished basement with outside entrance, airbnb potential in beautiful two room and bath addition with sep entrance, room for gardening, old garage for storage, old side of basement for wood working area and woods behind. Ten minutes to nature preserve, about 30 to office, river down the hill about 100 yards, public boat ramp if one is in to boating. This is a house to be treated with great respect - all the beautiful wood is intact, marvellous pantry, decent K but not the original one- I'll bet the old cabinetry was amazing. Rooms are large and lovely. We are both excited. ( you can google 17 Dupont Ouest, Chateauguay, QC)

Hardly know what to do with myself now that the search is, hop efully, complete.

Hot water heater quit so R has a project - working on it now. Will really need that hot water when he comes back out of the cellar!

Will try to go out to mill tomorrow to throw some pots. Will take some things there to start clearing this house. I bought a pretty set of dishes at the eco-centre yesterday - for the new house! And R has not even put a deposit yet!


11 Mar 18 - 06:40 PM (#3910557)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Nice looking house, Dorothy, and it sounds like all hobbies will be addressed.

Today was cooler than I expected after an 80o high yesterday, but it will warm up more during the week, so I spent today cleaning my office - one of those tasks that takes you all over the house putting various small items away after they were carried into the office and left in various nooks and crannies. It also involves pulling together all of the pens, pencils, markers, and various implements that accumulate in offices and putting them into centralized cups and boxes. The shelves need dusting big-time.


12 Mar 18 - 10:22 AM (#3910653)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Beautiful house, Dorothy. Noting the electric baseboard heaters, I would ask pointed questions about energy costs if I were you, and take a hard look at the windows (have they been updated?) and the weatherstripping on outside doors -- since moving to this house, I'm relearning everything I had forgotten about drafts.

I have a date with Patrick the Painter, who returns next week, on Himself's birthday, to deal with the grey walls and damaged plaster in the guest room. The timing is good; I can get the curtains up and hang some pictures in there before The Brother & wife arrive for Easter. That leaves only the spaces with too many bookcases: our bedroom (which also involves an enormous and very overstuffed closet), the study (six full-sized bookcases and a filing cabinet), and the basement (eight bookcases and a full wall of storage shelving). Unfortunately, the bedroom and the basement also feature quite disastrous colour choices by our predecessors: baby-shit brown in the basement, and aubergine purple in the bedroom. The study is quite tolerable, by contrast -- probably because the walls are almost completely covered with bookcases.

Last week, I started on a massive editing project for Army Headquarters. It's a three-volume book on Canadian operations in Afghanistan, a project that has been badly handled over the last six years and is now seriously overdue. I hate it when a book is already in layout when somebody with signing authority finally notices that the editing sucks and decides to get it fixed. I have done this before, and it always means hot breath down my neck as I trudge through a massive hard-copy edit, followed by many rounds of proofreading as the layout people input only about 80 percent of the marked changes. I still don't have a contract in hand, as the poor, suffering staff officers in Ottawa wrestle with the civil service administration -- as close to wrestling with a pig in mud as you can get without actually rolling in mud. The Canadian federal government has a continuing crisis with its civil service pay system (google Phoenix and Canada, and see if you can figure out why they're not up to their necks in class-action lawsuits), so I kinda wonder when and if I'll get paid.


12 Mar 18 - 11:05 AM (#3910665)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

The purge is on. 1 33 gal trash barrel full of clothes for Goodwill is full enough to GO. Whej the bag is loaded in the car, the next bag will be trash.

~S~


12 Mar 18 - 11:30 AM (#3910670)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, that is the kind of editing project to drive one round the bend. If the editors insist the copyediting is complete when a task is handed to me there are usually a few corrections to be made (I can do those) but after it is designed the only change should be typos, not content. At least InDesign has a good find/replace feature.

The house (https://www.centris.ca/en/houses~for-sale~chateauguay/10733476) is spacious, but I agree with Charmion, ask about those windows and the electric. That's a nice big basement for shop activities. The creeping decor changes from over the decades will have to be treated as part of the charm of the place. :)

My attention shifts to outdoor work today and I foresee several trips to Home Depot. The alternative is to drag the kids' wagon over to the bridge and drag buckets of creek pebbles up to the house as part of this project, but the pebbles aren't uniformly small so they're harder to work with than store-bought pea gravel.


12 Mar 18 - 12:55 PM (#3910684)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Energy costs: $4000/year. Comparable to current house. Door drafts can be dealt with. I am looking at keeping heat costs down - close off rooms not in use, if possible. R has considerable experience with all manner of buildings. First major will be new shingles but we are assured roof does not leak - yet! Windows would, obviously, be frightfully expensive but maybe someday. The fireplace is open and, of course, a heat escape which can be managed. We could not find the damper; will look again. I reached up inside but felt nothing in the way of a lever. The owner may be able to help. He is a surveyor and may well have some ideas to share.

I would be concerned about 9 foot ceilings; R loves them. Need a bathtub in main house but see way to do that efficiently, adjacent to powder room on 2nd floor.

Doing airbnb will help with expenses and I enjoyed it the last time I could do it. A good garden will be a big plus. Might even share pottery studio with a couple others. But R is not concerned.

R points out: airbnb will be helped by being adjacent to Mohawk reserve, to Ile St. Bernard refuge, boat ramp down on the river, and 20 min to Montreal. And I only have to do it when I feel like it.

I am looking forward to the de-clutter of: having room for things, an amazing pantry in hall between K and big DR, having a guaranteed place to park, room for company for supper, for overnight, maybe even for house concerts, picnics in the back yard, the "real life" that has been missing from this derelict house. And visits to the wonderful nature preserves, walks in the woods, meeting new people in the area...

Of course, today R is working on re-storing hot water! So, I am hanging in to provide food at intervals and encouragement as needed. There is quite a pile of dirty dishes so far! There is very little around a house that R cannot do himself and he loves doing those sorts of things. Thankfully, he would not try to roof this house himself!

Once again, or as usual, my life has the "Arkansas Hard Luck Blues" feeling of: "And the only reason I'm hanging around is to find out what the heck is going to happen next." Starting over once again and thankful that Beaver is there to actually live in, in the meantime. And, once again, had to ask neighbour to stop in and water plants. Next trip, I will bring them here so I don't have to ask again.

That editing job sounds horrific! will be thinking uplifting thoughts for you, Charmion.


12 Mar 18 - 03:35 PM (#3910710)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Today I started the task of re-arranging the defacto pavers left over from the sewer line work last fall. I've brought the soil to a level I want with a mix of old rocks, brick fragments, and soil then put down a layer of landscaping cloth, topped with sand to level each paver as I position it. Looks like a 50lb bag of sand might work to level about three pavers, and I have a dozen at least to move. Then the pea gravel goes in between the pavers to level it. The whole thing is going to slope away from the porch for obvious reasons, but will be level enough to hold a few potted plants. This work is okay for me, I can move the concrete blocks end over end on the ground, but I will have the lot loader at Lowe's help move the sand into the SUV (when I get home I'll roll it out of the SUV into the wheelbarrow). One trip today with several stops and back to the yard work.

This week is bulky waste pickup in my neighborhood (once a quarter); I put some stuff down at the curb for regular trash this morning but now I'll see if I can't bag up more stuff that is gathering dust and mud dauber nests. I pulled a bunch of flimsy nursery pots and plastic trays out of the greenhouse so far and got rid of an ancient tarp that may have had sentimental attachment but was one of those old coated nylon ones that smells like vomit once it gets to a certain age, and that never goes away. I feel a tug at my former camper's heartstrings for it, but my kids won't want it and I won't be using it for anything. The Goodwill would toss it. Counting back, that tarp was about 45 years old.

Other things that need moving in the yard - I had some sticks cut to short lengths in case I got a small fire pit built that I liked, but that didn't work so the sticks got tossed over the back fence to rot in the woods. I have to take the wheelbarrow and some heavy-duty kitchen tongs out to pick up the broken-off pads from my prickly pear down at the bottom of the driveway and toss them into the back also. I don't want more cactus by the street but don't mind if they want to sprout and hold down the soil by the creek.


13 Mar 18 - 06:19 PM (#3910934)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I've moved enough of the randomly distributed chunks of concrete so I can safely push a mower through the tall grass and weeds in the front yard. Tomorrow, I think. I have a couple of more hours of daylight in which to move and tamp in more stones and then shift gears to take the dogs for a walk.

My closet doesn't have an echo, but there's a lot less stuff in there now. I pulled out a 30-gallon plastic bin of long pants and shorts that are way too small and put most of the slacks in a lot on eBay. I have a pair of Levis to sell individually and some shorts to put in smaller lots. I also pulled down the bin the next size up to list. Finally, there was a last 30-gallon bin full of cotton summer tops that are dated, too small, and will probably be donated to Goodwill and labeled to be put in the rag bin.

I have sweaters in a basket that I forget about because it's tucked into the knee-hole under my dressing room counter, so I'll put the ones I might still wear into one of the now empty bins for next winter. I use a plastic sweater organizer that hangs from a rod in the closet for my best sweaters, and there are some that need to be culled. The goal is to have everything on the rod be something I can wear. Things I'm not quite into yet will go into the last bin and back up on the shelf. I'll see if any of them fit during the summer, or sooner if my current pants get too loose (who doesn't dream of that?) ;-)


15 Mar 18 - 12:11 AM (#3911110)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Mucking about in the Windows 10 computer since an automatic update went sideways. I had to refresh the C: drive and discovered that my favorite anti-malware program Malwarebytes had somehow been uninstalled (it's one I pay for, all the more reason to keep it).

I finally tackled the over-the-stove hood that was making funny noises when running on low. I think it was a buildup of grease that was making it off balance; careful application of a hot soapy cloth in each louver of the fan cleared it up. Not a fun job.


15 Mar 18 - 05:33 AM (#3911135)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: mg

i couldn't find my malwarebytes either..


15 Mar 18 - 09:46 AM (#3911175)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

So, after all that mad dash to get pots made and son's trip being put off a few days ---and greatly anticipated----- it did not happen. Yesterday was dark blue as I sat here and processed and recovered - what else can one do! The weather.... He has promised to visit in June. but just he and wife, not GD from San Diego... Meanwhile, the pottery will sit here waiting.

R got the water back on track, the dishes are washed, I am going back to Beaver on Sunday by way of a friend's open mike in Kingston Sunday aft. R is working on the logistics of purchasing THE house. I am looking at trying to get every non-essential out of this house to the mill over the next few months. Having loaded stuff into the car for next trip to the mill, I realized the pile of snow that prevented me from getting close last week is still there. I may end up taking some extraneous stuff to Beaver rather than carry it an extra 100 yards across the snow. Another -Oh, Well.

Having agreed to spend less time at Beaver and more time here, I shall need to bring the portable wheel and some clay next trip and set up to work upstairs - lest I lose my mind - with nothing to do except prepare meals. Yesterday, I considered "shopping" - for what?? where??? just for something to do? I would go to a toxic mall and look at all the stuff - of which I want nothing? So I read a book and watched a little TV and wished I could vacuum - but that would fill the house with dust and I would have to leave - go where? shopping??....

The sound quality of the new TV seems to make it possible for me to understand the verbal rather than have to read the CC - mostly! The picture being clearer has me amazed by the way the persons look! The newscasters look older!

R actually seems to need me here; I need to prevent total chaos in house and frig! The greatest "de-cluttering mode is prevention! I will come back in a couple weeks with pottery wheel, and hope.


15 Mar 18 - 11:45 AM (#3911208)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Mary, the computer knew the account was active once I downloaded the newest Malwarebytes version, but that disappearance is disconcerting.

A large black bag of crumbling nursery trays and pots is at the curb for regular trash; I never managed to generate enough bulky stuff to put out for the large-scale pickup that can happen any day this week in my part of the village. I did clear out files and the resulting six-inch stack of papers with account numbers would have taken ages to shred and another bag to fill but I bought a 20-gallon burning barrel to put that stack of documents in on end and propped up with a couple bricks. They burned for several hours and I prodded them to keep from smoking. The barrel will live under a shelf in my greenhouse, it isn't super sturdy and would probably rust if left outdoors, but for burning documents a couple of times a year it is perfect.

A week of spring break has contributed to the clearance of a number of parts of the house, but I usually leave the radio on in the kitchen and it has been depressing to listen to so much political news. I've switched over to the classical station for a while. (Keeping a radio on to a station with conversations all day long is one of those home-security tips - someone considering breaking in will hear voices and think twice.)

Dorothy, good luck with all of that house juggling. It sounds interesting despite the amount of labor involved. I spoke with a neighbor yesterday about our gardens - we use the same handyman for some of our heavy lifting and outdoor tasks, and as late as gardens are going in this year (so much rain made the soil unworkable) that handyman is probably going to be very busy visiting neighbors to till garden spots.


15 Mar 18 - 04:22 PM (#3911268)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA:

After almost 11 hours of badly needed sleep.... a productive day.

Headbands sorted, only 1 is trash now that my hair is short.

Brought down fabric for Goodwill and cushions for chair. Then 1/2 hour at hard labor undoing :-( chaos, with one stair climb :-) . Net = 2 trash bags, not 1, for Goodwill; night chair I can sit in upstrs; streaming-movies platform to use upstrs now or dnstrs later when dnstrs chaos gone; fabric for spare swimsuit found; fabric for tying mattresses found; fabric and pattern for shorts found.

Uupstrs linen closet purged and keeper fabrics stored therein YAY. Net: reclaiming landing floor space for sorting/packing/staging boxes.

Gardening room visit = more chaos noted. Will be hard to find space for two to finish book purge in process there-- take stool up.

Later, 1/2 hour by desk emptying a laundry basket. Net: found eps for tater flakes. One wallet to Goodwill w usefull or shreddable items removed. One pair sweats and socks reclaimed. One box safety pins reclaimed. Several items trashed. Reclaimed items put away.

Then 1/2 hour emptying and wiping contents of shampoo-soaked toiletries bag and replacing trashed items. Found missing salt sub for MIL to send her with Hardi. Bag in wash to dry, repack, and reload.

Off to a movie!

~S~


15 Mar 18 - 09:05 PM (#3911318)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: mg

I am going to check out lush shampoo ..bar one..for that reason. I rarely travel with shampoo.


16 Mar 18 - 12:49 AM (#3911325)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Since I am allergic to coconut (read "Sodium Laurelth Sulfate" on most shampoos, soaps, even in lotions and toothpaste), I use Old World soaps made with olive oil or shay butter. This includes using them to wash my hair, and I alternate every few hair washes with a shampoo that is sulfate free (and seems to push coconut lower down on the ingredient list). "Kiss my face" is a nice lavender-scented olive oil soap. It isn't inexpensive, but it seems to fall in the category of "hard milled" and each bar is large and lasts for a very long time.


16 Mar 18 - 10:59 AM (#3911419)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Still in holding pattern due to wanting to get to open mike on Sunday: it is 3 hours from Montreal and just about 2.5 from there to Beaver. I have been wanting to get to one of Kevin's events for over a year so this is it! I can be home by about 9 pm, being very careful on the last 60 miles, watching for deer. Hitting one would create a dreadful clutter!

R is trying to connect with real estate agent. Business keeps intervening. This aft, a realtor is producing a video (having it produced) to sell one of the business properties; R has a role as a geologist (which he is!) in this endeavour to sell an extremely historic piece of property. This darn business does clutter up his life!

Having discovered a stash of clay here, I plan to do a few hand built pieces today and moisten a bag of forgotten for too long clay for future use.

Latest snow is being cleared - not a big deal but it has frozen. Seriously cold the next few days. It will be challenging getting the house warm - thankful for electric heaters and heating pad! And the wonderful wood stove.

Time to get to work! Enjoy spring - those who are in its midst!


16 Mar 18 - 03:59 PM (#3911456)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I lowered the middle row of seats in the SUV to transport some very large flat cardboard shipping containers (from a desk) to the recycle bins at City Hall. Those bins are emptied on Tuesdays and with spring cleaning weather here now I knew I'd better get this over before the weekend crowd fills them again. When the kids were small large pieces of cardboard might have been put to use building forts or doing art projects. Now I don't need to hold onto that in case someone needs it.

Also dropped a few items at Goodwill because I was going to be in the neighborhood. There will be another dropping off/shopping/delivery run this weekend as I help my ex transport two new toilets to his house because they won't fit in his little Toyota. One thing I don't envy about the house hunting and interesting remodeling that Dorothy is doing is all of the driving that is involved. I enjoy driving but I also enjoy not frequently filling up the tank.


17 Mar 18 - 03:19 PM (#3911532)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

In for a cool-down after coming close to finishing the leveling job on the north side of the front yard (where the new sewer line meets the street). The soil has settled into the trench mark and soil that was still piled on top of the former lawn level was scooped up and dropped into the dip and packed down. Mulch over the top. I moved bags of leaves that were sitting there to distract the eye from noticing the depression (they'll be mulched into my garden plot soon). There will be more fine-tuning as it continues to settle and adjustments to a spot near the front path where I'm going to put one of the broken concrete pavers and place a potted plant.

Moving rocks is a slow and steady job, and now I'm finishing removing the lowest level of what I call a "wing wall," an extension from the house that was popular in the 1970s. Placed on each side of the house, they had a light coming out of the small column at the end of it. I took down one wall years ago but this one languished. Now it's coming out and the debris of the crumbling mortar that held it together is being used to level the flagstone area in front of my porch. I had to get the wheelbarrow out for this so I figured I'd do the leveling on the other side of the yard as a break from rock moving and because it looks like I actually finished something. :)


17 Mar 18 - 09:03 PM (#3911557)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I spent a little over 10 hours working on the Survivor's Quilt today. It currently is a queen size but I still have maybe 6 more rows worth of fabric with signatures on it which I will finish up tomorrow. The rest of the quilt is in ONE (finally) piece. I still have to cut the fabric and add two sets of borders. I chose teal and purple for the borders.....teal for ovarian cancer (my mark on the quilt) and a wider outer border of deep purple for survivorship. There are 16 rows, each row has 52 pieces of fabric.....that comes out to 832 pieces of fabric that have been cut, ironed, sewed, ironed some more and sewed more. Whew. I love the finished project and the intention with which it was made but I will NOT be doing another one.

It will be hand delivered to the House of Care next week when I head down that way for an appointment.

Michelle


I speak for all of your followers: 👍


18 Mar 18 - 12:00 PM (#3911683)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:


Sun 3/18

Benasleep ~9.

Sorted two med boxes from Mom's estate that had been in storange at church. Kept and packed or put away a few items, pitched anything broken or junk, anf divided the balance to give away.

~S~


18 Mar 18 - 01:43 PM (#3911706)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

It's DONE!!!!!!!!!!

The quilt is DONE!!!!

That's one very large project seen through to completion (I have about 70 hours of cutting and sewing put into this one). My sewing room is decluttered of all that went with it (except the garbage..that still needs to go out). *WHEW*

Time for a break and then I think I'll go back up and do some sorting. I have far too many quilting books (thank you dear friends who shared your stash when I was just beginning) and I will take those to an upcoming quilting retreat to pass on to others. There are several...magazines too!

My sweet husband made both breakfast and lunch today (and all meals yesterday) so I could have uninterrupted sewing time. Today was tomato soup and a quesadilla.....YUM. I'm sitting in the sun and expect that a nap will be sure to follow. As soon as I close the computer, Oatie comes to snuggle on my lap.   Zzzzzzzzzz.

Happy Sunday Everybody!

Michelle


18 Mar 18 - 07:38 PM (#3911769)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Several small chaos boxes opened and much trashed. Other items allocated to gift, or packed for Libetation Library. A partially filled Knicknacks box found to combine w other stuff from china cabinet when I pack that. Lots of looming distraction GONE.

~S~


19 Mar 18 - 04:59 PM (#3911919)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver!!

Home on schedule last night. Music was great. Shopped at a large nearby grocery and discovered a new yogurt. Plan to do the whole trip in reverse in two weeks. thanks for solar gain, house was 46F when I got here. First: washroom! then fire in stove and heating pad. Bed was still cold at 9 pm when I was ready for it! moved heating pad to a different section and crawled in.

Today has been clean up - critter got in some how, and out again, thankfully but made a mess of plants. The special rosemary which I wanted to shape is no longer close to the shape! Geranium survived in K! I forgot to put it in warm bathroom. Dipladenia is partly eaten. Af violet is half eaten! The aloe was untouched! Parsley sprouted and is doing OK; moved it to sunlight and opened lid to give it room to grow. Lots of it! Oregano - only a few sprouts OR maybe the opposite!

Mystery is how the animal was in both Bathroom and LR/K; they are separate. Need a consult with neighbour who watered. Hot bath and hair wash!! Two loads of laundry drying in house. Studio went up to 70 with just solar gain. I will put the heater on when it gets back down to 60 so I can possibly work tomorrow. I still need to clear the back deck. There is about 6 inches of frozen snow but supposed to go above freezing this week.

Driving back and forth: My vehicle, a Scion is fairly efficient - about $40 each way. I plan to continue the trips about every two weeks for the summer and fall. Once we have the new house (December)- hopefully - I will spend more time there and less here. Imagine! a house with real heating system! And space! A kitchen that is not falling into the basement. R is so enthralled by it, I feel confident he will keep it in good shape.

Offer went in on house Saturday and response due tonight.


19 Mar 18 - 08:37 PM (#3911953)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Today Chaos becams Order, with a card table, a marker, white tape, a recycle bin, a laundry basket, and leaf bags. One set of these is upstairs and one set will be downstairs in a day or two. Bring it on!l, clutter!

The overall plan: I'm looking to take mostly FURNITURE AND DECOR May 1-- not boxes of stuff to put away. Therefore, as I empty each piece of furniture I'm taking, only a rough sorting, heavy purging, and good labeling need to be done.

The Ohio storage options will only be knowable once the furniture is in place THERE. And that will guide the last purging rounds.

Exceptions: my archives and our purged music book collection, which already have garage space designated.

Two stair trips, laundry started, and multiple ramp laps (salting the ramp and clearing the porch). Lots of stuff for Goodwill already, and I started a "St. Paul's Yard Sale" box also,   which is filling up. The east end of the front porch was cleared on my own and later w Hardi, and the ramp is emptied of garden items to clear space for furniture dolly. The porch was then measured for truck equivalence: perfect! Hardi found lots of 2x4's and 2x6's to keep items off damp flagstones. It was too cold to do more, but we're ready to go with clearing the LR of items he'd brought downstairs. Then two huge bags of Goodwill items left tonight, and one bookcase was disassembled and boxed.

I have several small boxes partially full of decor to finish filling, and I'll be able to carry those out to the porch as they're filled so the crazy making clutter is NO MORE.

~s~


20 Mar 18 - 10:35 AM (#3912060)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:

Laundry #4 in process!

Offer on house accepted!!!! We can start to move in on 15 November. Seems like a LONG time away! We can start organizing by getting rid of extraneous (hopeful!) and taking small stuff to mill so when the time comes, large furniture can be loaded along with boxes and boxes and boxes of books and other boxed stuff.

Now, to go on errands and sort out life here! Did not turn on heat yesterday because it will take WORK to clear ice so I can open door to studio - hopefully today as there was not enough energy yesterday. Also need to clear ice from tarp over wood pile and bring in more wood - priority.


20 Mar 18 - 07:43 PM (#3912152)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

I was patient in my shopping for the solution that goes in my carpet steam cleaner and yesterday picked up a gallon at a store near my work that costs about the same as a quart of the same product at the stores around in my part of town. I only have a couple of carpeted areas so this will last a while.

I wasn't so lucky trying to update some small electronics (memory) at the same place; they have a new policy of putting out signs on the sale items that you used to just hunt for and then give the Promo Code at the register. But everything I picked up the other day turned out to have a blue tag that was expired so nothing was on sale. I saw this when I got home so I took back the items that were too high. Today I was barely more successful in finding the replacements. I guess Amazon Prime will get my business until that store gets their act together.

I had a visitor over the weekend so some chores were postponed; laundry tonight, but before that, a walk with the dogs. The lovely brown face of my chocolate lab has been nudging my arm for the last five minutes telling me we need to go out. Then I can do the rest of the stuff, he says.


20 Mar 18 - 07:55 PM (#3912154)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Hardi removed all but one big item out of the first floor and out to the porch, this afternoon, and then moved a big easy chair from DR to LR to facilitate my access to the DR china cabinet to pack its contents. I wisely stayed out of the way, and the last big item is not in my way at all.

It's on me now to fill boxes to set into the items carried out, before the next furniture items go out (to be filled in turn).

I've decided to color-code the boxes to make organizing the Ohio effort easier on all hands.

~S~


21 Mar 18 - 10:08 AM (#3912244)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON

The logjam in my mind broke and productive work is finally moving. Here's the overall plan:

Upstairs:

Master BR: Dresser 3/21 prepped to move, linens divided; Closet

Bathroom-- purge books

Guest Room: crib and closet, purge stuff

Sewing room-- Hardi deal

Garden room-- vacuum and roll rug; book sort and pack/donate. Pack aerogardens and grow lights for loading. Disassemble potting table and bring down lumber, 1 tray table.

Hallway-- explore/purge


Downstairs:

LR: Dresser, Bookcase, Bin, Cubbies, Kk

DR: Decor, China cabinet, Ship or donate farm books

Bath: pack art

K: Hutch; Stop filling pantry!!!

Weight room: Prep shelf for transfer to K, Clear items blocking books and purge/pack books, Check built-ins to purge; file cabinet and purged archive boxes

Back porch:, Move wicker and winter decor
Bring in paper for packing-- 1 upstairs

GRAB BOXES AND PACKING MATERIALS; COLORED DOTS


SEPTEMBER: Re-purge and pack rough-sorted boxes; transit via trailer; meet with Mark and poss Danny

JANUARY: Next round furniture/boxes

2019: Too soon to plan


21 Mar 18 - 10:22 AM (#3912249)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Oh, Dorothy! Congratulations on landing the house you want. You think November is a long way off? HA HA HA HA! Before you know it, Move Day will be coming at you like the noon freight, and you will have three times as much work left to do as you have time to do it. May you enjoy good weather when the time comes; it makes all the difference.

Both Himself and I are semi-laid-up today: Himself with low-back pain and me with a nasty spasm in the left side of my neck (torticollis). How the hell we managed to hurt ourselves at the same time is a big fat mystery, but we did: on the very morning when I woke up feeling as if I had slept with my head under my wing, he bent over to open the mailbox and felt his lumbar region go Spunnnng! Ever since, we have been alternating between heating pads and doses of Advil in the faint hope of looking -- and feeling -- rather less like a pair of crocks fairly soon.


21 Mar 18 - 02:20 PM (#3912310)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

The afternoon packing stint was productive, after I realized that I could start with appliance duplicates I've wanted in Ohio-- to think of packing as 'shopping the house'!

So the hutch base's purge began after I realized I can take my old faithful rice cooker to Ohio now that Hardi just HAD to buy an instant pot. Looking for the rice cooker, I saw 2 small crockpots and a huge antique turkey roaster which I bagged (dust and all) for Goodwill. I packed the rice cooker box with a china teapot, because social life in Ohio has me serving tea weekly and that teapot will finally see regular use. Also added, 2 more place settings of our flatware, and a silicone drainer.

Hardi will hopefully pull out the rest of the hutch base's contents I can't reach, tonight, and dust out the shelves, which will make room for boxed cookbooks now clogging the hutch's upper section. Also to be packed for Ohio, a special one plus my late mom's waffle iron for my Ohio son. A box or two of cookbooks will go to the library sale, along with misc farmette books.

~S~


21 Mar 18 - 08:05 PM (#3912380)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

In my office, there are a few of us that have cubicles that we don't have to share with anyone. I am lucky enough to have one of those spaces with a window (where I am currently growing Forget Me Nots and two kinds of zinnias from seed, two spider plants are growing roots in pretty vases and a small potted white rosebush with a miniature trellis).   The cubicle behind mine was recently given to a new hire. She has been decorating which has given the other people in the surrounding cubicles the decorating bug which means I now want to fuss in my space. I had an extra long day yesterday and spent the final 30 minutes cleaning out the one drawer in my desk where I keep personal things. I emptied the entire thing, found things I forgot I had, ditched most of it and reorganized the rest and put it away neatly. I also emptied 3 binders of outdated Department of Health materials (which I had in page protectors...so all papers came out, page protectors saved) and put the binders out in the office for others to use, freeing up space in my bookshelf. Honestly, I would like a day to really do some purging but alas, I am incredibly busy at work so it's going to happen in small bites where I can. I have a webinar scheduled for next week....always a good time to go through things that don't require much thought as I'm listening to the presentation.

I'm ready to do some spring cleaning! Alas, it will have to wait. Tomorrow I am taking the quilt to the home of a local friend who has a 9 year old daughter in hospice care. The child opted for one more round of chemo as she is excited for Easter and doesn't want to go to Heaven just yet.....

She wants to sign the quilt and so tomorrow I am taking the quilt to her home (along with an Easter card that Jeremiah made for her) and once it is signed, I am hand delivering it to the oncology department at Geisinger. They will keep it and gather more signatures and then send to a friend of mine who will quilt it. I will return it to Oncology in early May where the quilt will hang for the foreseeable future.

We have plans for the weekend too...can't wait for that but will tell you about it after it happens. :)

Happy Decluttering Friends!

Michelle


22 Mar 18 - 12:07 AM (#3912391)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

That's heartbreaking, Michelle. Thank you for making the trip so she can leave her mark on that quilt. And that is such a generous project that will in the end be larger than the parts because of the love that is going into it.

I also cleaned my work cubicle recently, right before Spring Break, getting rid of duplicate copies of proofs of documents (that adds up to quite a stack of paper after a while). Organized, brought home a few things that weren't needed, etc.

I agree with others - Dorothy, congratulations on that house. It does seem a long-time off, but when they day comes you'll be ready and very busy. Enjoy that new space.

Recently around the house I updated several old radios (with good volume and reception but the CD players and ancient cassette players stopped working and none of them have auxiliary in). I listen to audio books in my SUV and last year stopped with the Sony Walkman and switched to using an app in my phone. At local thrift stores have I've found small bluetooth or iPod docking stations that I can use with my Android phone to play books in my office and sewing room. Yesterday I resisted the impulse to buy a Sony player on sale in a local electronics store--it had a cassette player - who needs that?--I have players for my father's folk music collection, they are enough. Today I found a nice iPod Shuttle docking station - I don't have an iPod but I will use the radio and the aux-in for my phone to play my books in the kitchen. I had to spend a few dollars more for a remote and AM antenna (eBay), and I'll leave the current kitchen radio in the sunroom to play NPR talk programs to make the house sound like people are home during the day. After all of this I can probably donate a couple of the old radios to Goodwill.


22 Mar 18 - 07:59 AM (#3912427)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: HuwG

I turned sixty years old a few weeks ago. I celebrated by having a declutter.

I threw out a load of Dusty Springfield memorabilia.

But now I just don't know what to do with my shelf.


22 Mar 18 - 01:45 PM (#3912514)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Finally hitting a rhythm between work, packing, and fun. OUR cookbooks, an antique drip coffeepot to supplement the Ohio espresso machine, and 3 collapsible coolers/insulated lunch bags packed and out to ramp rail. GOODWILL Mr. Coffee-type coffeepot added to Goodwill bin with last night's found double hotplate-- we used it the two+ years it took to get a new cooktop. Clean clothes put away in the closet-- it got left out several days whole I culled items from it for Ohio and trash. And I figured out how to download old Amazon purchases to a free fone app for Bluetooth-speaker driving and decluttering.

On the downside, the fone is not recognized by my laptop today, at all.

Back to cookbook packing for gifting to Son, DIL, SIL. Going to use clothe store bags!

I packed the books Hardi had said he wnted, and then a cute FB exchange about our three Fanny Farmer cookbooks broke out:

Greg Hinton, I packed master recipes, fannie farmer, Greek, and good housekeeping cookbooks. French-- keep or pass on to Amy?

He replied, I only want my Fannie Farmer and Masters recipes and the instant pot booklets. The rest can go. I don't really use GH cookbook.

Greg Hinton, :-) we'll have to pack your fanny because I already packed mine, but I'll separate yours out. (What is GH cookbook?)

GH Good Housekeeping


One more package was then packed and went out to the ramp rail-- guest towels, scarves, scarf hanger, headbands, fleeces, Mmarioshawl1 (Mmshawl2 went to a Mudcatter with an urgent issue) several short, dressy skirts. There's room for one more big nox or two small cubes on that covered rail. (When it's full I'll go down the ramp, onto the porch at the base of the ramp, and lift the boxes down to stack on skids set on the flagstones.)

Then, the cookbook sorting done, the FB coordination resumed in the group I use there:

Greg Hinton, for you to see and bag: Kept Indian, Spanish, French, Thai, and paperback Joy of Cooking. SIL can be offered any that Son or DIL do not want, and housemate Tyler may want a basic book also (the 3rd fanny/boston for instance because everyone needs a fanny). The All-Asia book in the pass-along bag is priceless, though the covers are long gone. I suppose if we were really nice we'd re-bind that one. DIL, what do you think about us re-binding that one for you guys? Sorry it's already packed, can't take pic of TOC now, but maybe later.

That FB group has been a huge help, and I mention it with the above example because-- that group is searchable. So it will be handy later when I want to know where the heck I put items, and what's packed with them as filler.

Tyler BTW is turning out to be the dream housemate I needed-- he not only watches the house and waters the garden on request-- he checks in with me to see how I'm doing (and to remind me that at least in Ohio I do have PEOPLE despite my isolation here). He'll help unload and unpack in May, and he just had his first long overnight custodial visit with his toddler son-- I like knowing that the house is being used for its envisioned mission. He moved in with just enough days before I left that we were able to work out housie parameters and boundaries. And he landed a great job, in walking distance of the house. He opes to start online school in the fall.

~S~


22 Mar 18 - 02:21 PM (#3912527)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

There is a shoe drive going on this month on campus and a collection box is in my building. It seems to be working, the box filled and emptied a couple of times. I've added two nice pairs of BØRN leather clogs that I just never get around to wearing. There are probably others I could add, I'll check out my dressing room shoe rack this weekend. (The clogs resided on a shoe rack under the bench in the sun room, where I in theory sit to change shoes when I come in; for a number of weeks that bench has been stacked with prepared eBay parcels - once they sell they're taped shut and handed to the postal carrier.)

Good luck with the cookbook distribution. I have several I regularly use and I have a bunch that are novelty items because my Mom collected cookbooks. We'll have company over and someone will pick up one of those to thumb through, resulting in an interesting discussion about whatever oddball thing that cookbook was for. There are quite a few from Norwegian farmers and the WWII years, and lots of things handed out by companies in the grocery store or offered for a nominal fee if you mailed in box tops.

I just mowed the back yard, a very large lawn, but the fitness tracker doesn't show many of the steps because my hands are stationary on the mower handle. It needs the swinging arms of free walking to show steps - so perhaps I should fasten it around my ankle when I mow, those steps might show up! :)


22 Mar 18 - 09:15 PM (#3912587)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

While I was at it I pulled out the bow saw and trimmed about eight feet up the pine next to the dog kennel. My old pitbull used to love to scratch her back against the lower limbs so I didn't have the heart to trim that tree, but we lost her in December. Today I took out most of the limbs that were shaded out and dead and it opens up the yard nicely. I may be able to run most of those branches through my little electric chipper.


23 Mar 18 - 07:50 PM (#3912804)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

It was a long week, and I have things to do this weekend, but at least they're on my own behalf. Time to make a list and cross things off as I progress through it.

The first daffodil emerged today, a welcome harbinger of spring.


23 Mar 18 - 08:47 PM (#3912809)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

The quilt top is done, signed by Miss Callie and delivered to the House of Care. They will gather more signatures and return it to be quilted. There are photos on FB for anyone who would like to see. :)

Tomorrow is Date Day...I can't wait!!!! We are going to do some antiquing, a trip to a music store (I will NOT buy more music. I will NOT buy more instruments. NO. NO. NO. LOL), dinner out and a concert. I've been looking forward to this for weeks!!! HOORAY!!!

After a long hiatus, I've decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. I lost 107 pounds with them previously, regained a good chunk of it after I'd been so sick and while I've made other attempts, I just wasn't feeling it but I am now.....tomorrow's the day!   :)

Sweet dreams everybody!

Michelle


24 Mar 18 - 10:10 AM (#3912909)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Thanks, Acme. Some of the cookbooks have family history guiding the gifting, but the recipients also are free to pass them along further and/or donate them to Goodwill.


PA PACKATHON-- GARDENER'S EDITION:

I awoke in the early morning hours with a wonderful surprise gift-- my mind had spotted WHERE to set up "grow light central" for Camp Ridgebury!!! It presented me with a mental picture of my Aerogardens and grow lights on the SIDEBOARD that now divides the kitchen from the living room! In time to get PA's Surplus City discount sheet plastic or oilcloth cut to size!!! Near an under-utilized outlet, water, and kitchen island!!! THIS spring!!!

I'd completely written off Spring 2019 gardening, because the logical kitchen counter for the setup is currently without power. This permanent change means also means that when power is restored, Hardi's favorite appliances can live on that counter as planned. (It also solves where the tabletop Christmas tree will go, because this also means that the sideboard becomes the place to feature rotating Seasonal Displays.)

I proceeded to get the two Aerogardens boxed and into a waiting, larger box, and was thrilled to see that there'd be room in it for the two small grow lights I use with peat pellets. I went back to bed and slept hard! Within an hour of getting up again, the entire germination supply kit was all packed and ready for quick assembly, in one big box!!! A re-usable plastic flat even fit in there-- I use that in the woodstove garden. Everything but soil, peroxide, and seeds.

The big overhead fluorescent fixture will still need to be packed for garage setup over the lab table, in case I need it for hardening off. I can wrap that in lasagna paper, and the truck we rented includes furniture pads to wrap it into a contractor's bag.

~S~


24 Mar 18 - 01:51 PM (#3912954)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

My list includes so many items that need doing and with the sunny warm weather suddenly they all need doing at once. Hard physical labor is high on my list - digging the garden. So I'll start with something a little easier, I'll put in a load of laundry.


24 Mar 18 - 06:38 PM (#3913024)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Beaver:
The amusing - daffodil! I look out the window and mine are still under a foot or more of snow!
Inspiring - Susan's incredible planned moving!

My plan is simple: get as much small stuff out of the house as possible - down to the mill. Robin will rent a truck and move the furniture and I will not touch a single piece! Hopefully, we will have agreed on what goes where! But there may always be changes. I will come along with essentials - pots, clothes, dishes... I can start on K and pantry while they move furniture. "They" = whoever R gets to help. Mahogany is HEAVY!

The big project - totally mine - will be digging up garden and planting it at mill so I don't loss everything. I am sure it will all suffer imminent death during renovation of Montreal house.

In the meantime, I am enjoying Beaver, where we have had almost a week on sunny days! - and slightly above freezing days. I am triaging things for the new house which I will take to mill when I go back to Quebec on 1or2 April, by way of music in Kingston.

Found a pattern for tunic at thrift shop and fabric in cupboard, also some lovely lavender cotton/silk yarn for ???? But have had low energy all week and only doing little things - but a lot of those so I do feel as tho I have accomplished something. I cleaned out the cradle which serves as a wood box today!! Then took it outside so I could thoroughly clean where it has sat - then put it back. YAY!


25 Mar 18 - 09:03 AM (#3913057)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Rain is due early next week so anything I can get planted now will be grateful for it. I transplanted some asparagus that were coming up in the wrong spot and have some bedding plants to put in. And a lot of digging to do before the garden is ready for plants. To start this morning I'll put the mattock in the vise grip and give it a quick sharpen. They are generally dull tools meant for hacking, but it does improve in functionality with a bit of an edge in place.

Today is the last day for the garden jeans I've been using. I think they've about reached the point of no return as far as spots worn thin. After today's garden work they'll go through the laundry one last time then into a bag labeled for rags that goes to Goodwill.

One of my eBay parcels needs repacking. It's large and ceramic (a clay baker) and if I can put it in a somewhat smaller box the shipping cost should come way down. That's a big part of successful selling, but it means keeping flattened boxes handy. Today's need may require a visit to the village recycle bin to see if anyone has discarded a corrugated box of the proper dimensions.

Some virtual decluttering - over the last week I eliminated a number of apps that used Facebook to sign on - I'll set up their own unique logon accounts instead. There remain a half-dozen directly tied to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and out of curiosity I looked at their permissions. Yes, they're meant to post from one site to the other, but a couple of them had way more default permissions set than needed. And though I hide my friends list even from my friends, those accounts were still able to access that information. It is discouraging how often you need to go back and look at what they've put in place without telling you, and turning off the intrusive elements.


25 Mar 18 - 01:50 PM (#3913078)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I received an incredibly warm welcome from friends at the Weight Watchers meeting. I had talked with some of them before hand to let them know I was coming and there are two people in particular who I was looking forward to seeing and they not only met me with hugs and saved me a seat but they brought me some on plan snacks! Since WW has tweaked their program since the last time I was there, I stayed for the orientation and gave myself a good foundation to start on. The meeting is in a new location as well so it feels like the fresh start that I want. I actually was going to go the week before but found the meeting in the same old space and decided to skip it so it would be a brand new program and place to start in.

We saw Davina and The Vagabonds last night as well as the Squirrel Nut Zippers....both were fabulous in their own way! Davina and The Vagabonds were the opening act but honestly they were so good that I could have left the show and been ecstatic about the evening. Simply INCREDIBLE. Both very HIGH energy acts....one very bluesy and the other was swing/blues/eclectic with the best fiddle player I have EVER seen in my life (my apologies to Betse....I still love ya girl....you are still amazeballs in my book)!   

It's been a while since Pete and I have had a date day/night and last night was a great reminder to clear away the time clutter in our lives so we can do things like this much more often.

Today I am doing some sorting and straightening and ditching of stuff in my sewing room. YAY. Pete and Jeremiah are off to spend some time at his mom's house......I need some down time and I'm sure she will love the boy time. :)

It's a four day work week for me but it's also the end of the month, crunch time for billing although I've got myself pretty well set for that. I'm not sure what I will do with that extra day...it's going to require some stewing on my part. I don't get many days off so I don't want to *waste* it.

Have a great Sunday everybody!

Michelle


26 Mar 18 - 07:40 AM (#3913209)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Thanks, DP. The final move is still a ways off-- Hardi has not set a retirement date yet, or even year! We knew it would take quite awhile to move out of this barn.


PA PACKATHON:

Hardi and I are both sick and I'm trying to work a weekly rhythm of packing weekdays, dental Fridays, church and breaktime weekends. But I needed fresh air and a stretch yesterday, so yesterday I moved the 4 boxes on the ramp rail down and stacked them on porch pallet lumber, with stacking and pallet space ready for more.

Since the sewing room is now occupied by our housemate, I am not taking (nor emptying) a LR bookcase destined for it. The major furniture to empty is downstairs now-- the china cabinet, antique dresser, abd desk cubbies, which are scheduled for my work this week. I also put a few boxes together to start with. One is a large, leftover U-haul box, the last one of which burst. So I reinforced it with preventive tape.

Despite a lot of chair napping ydy, I fell asleep quickly last night after straightening out an mp3 player issue, and slept hard about 4 hours. Then I came down and purged the antique dresser to about 1/3 of its contents-- noting various categories of stuff retained.

The next area to purge will be deskside cubbies and the lower shelves of the bookcase, which will, together, net a med lg box of stationery/office supplies. There are also enough items to set up a 2000 - 2018 archive box to add to my archived work product in storage, so it's good I started with the dresser! The bookcase I'm leaving will get the Christmas decor I saved from the dresser drawers.

Another Goodwill barrel is now very full. Someone is going to get a very nice extra long tablecloth!

I guess since the dresser held old (nice) pierced earrings and I wear my hair short now, I'll save them right in their drawers, and pack most of my necklaces into the dresser as well. The Ohio spot for the dresser makes it ideal for an accessories chest, so dress purses and shoes may as well travel right in the drawers as well.

~S~


26 Mar 18 - 11:41 AM (#3913275)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Desk cubbies purged and printer documentation/disc loaded in printer tray for return to parish. Think I still have box.

~S~


26 Mar 18 - 06:06 PM (#3913348)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PA PACKATHON:

Christmas items found in the dresser: boxed and loaded into LR bookcase.

Office materials (hardware, software, cords, stationery, HDMI, etc): boxed and labeled for transit. No path so far to remove it to ramp rail.

Card table of miscellany, work product, and memories: remains to be cleared and moved to DR to address DR books w Hardi, many of which may be headed to parish. There's a large box that may be the perfect size/weight for that, before I start packing China cabinet decor.

The items presently on the card table can go into the dresser drawers until there's enough to box. Some of the items need an archive box, and the rest of the items to fill that box are upstairs. I'm inclined to leave all that for the September packing trip and keep focusing on the furniture.

~Susan


27 Mar 18 - 11:58 AM (#3913497)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The convenors of of the church variety sale have announced the dates when they are prepared to receive donations, and it is clear that this fund-raiser is a Very Big Deal in the parish. They collect all manner of stuff, but it has to be Good Stuff -- that is, items that people might actually pay serious money for. Not tat.

Well. I'm not sure that everything I would like to unload on them qualifies as Good Stuff, but it all survived the cut last year before the Grand Derangement from Ottawa to Stratford, so I guess I did not think any of it was true tat.

Collection begins next week. I hope to clear the basement of china bits (mostly English bone china), two or three sets of glassware, at least half of our abundance of beer mugs, and rather a lot of framed art. A book purge would be a good idea, too, especially of music and Canadian history.

I have some boxes, a stack of newspapers, and about two bin-bags of bubble-wrap. Let the games begin!


27 Mar 18 - 08:05 PM (#3913572)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Charmion, I have a friend who lives in Green Valley, Arizona, where there is a charity thrift store called The White Elephant. They have a bout 600 volunteers all told, with various tasks. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9am till noon. That's all - just three hours a day. (One of the volunteer jobs is to list some of the better but easy to ship items on eBay.) Everything is tested before it's sold, the clothes are checked to be sure everything is intact. They make bundles of clothes that need work that are given to some of the immigrant support groups so their members can do the repairs then sell the garments in other stores or donate them to families arriving from across the border who have nothing. Their prices are extremely reasonable, they sell everything you can think of, and the business has donated millions to various good causes in the region. When they're done right, those kinds of charity shops are amazing. My son was in nearby Tucson for university and we stayed with that friend when we first got into town, so we loaded up on household goods when he moved into a house with roommates his junior year. He has turned into quite a cook, and I'm guessing those pots and pans we selected may still be with him.

The Goodwill bin is filling up. And my thrift store iHome docking station is perfect; the remote control and the AM antenna arrived yesterday and it is now up to speed. I love having digital tuning and buttons like on the big receiver in the living room (or on my car radio like forever). The whole thing came to about $18, and interestingly enough, most of my old boombox Sony radios will sell for about the same amount on eBay.

Rain was heavy enough today, and is expected to continue through tomorrow, so I won't be able to have the garden tilled for another week or so. But the leaves I cut up with the mower are all plastered to the ground in the garden plot. The magic will happen when the tiller pushes the leaves into the soil and pulls the roots to the top. I'll rake out roots and shape the beds and be ready to go. For all that I have tried a couple of times to have a tiller of my own here to use, in the long run it's better for all if I hire my friend to bring his tiller. Then his gets used and stays in working order and he has a job for the morning.


28 Mar 18 - 01:55 PM (#3913698)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

PP:

One big U-haul box packed from china cabinet cleanout:

Tablecloths
Apple tea towel set
Cloth napkin collection
(Pitched all old placemats in Goodwill bag)
Topped off w picnic basket
Gordon Parks book and other LL items
Old denim purse
Jackals fleece
Scarves
Sm plastic plate stands
Sm hepa filters (for xee bedside air filter?)
(Box labeled LL/Laundry)

Goodwill: Mike peacock
Dave glass decanter
Cloth napkins matching lg tablecloth packed previously
Bent faux silver revere bowl

Found: Louise Brown charm bracelet and charms. Put into silver heart box for Stephen. Three pizza boxes of kitchen decor (china and silver plates), packed and ready to travel inside china cabinet. Used the Ducks' Rexford Times for packing plus cut-up egg boxes for corner padding. One more "box" packed-- manufactured from leaf bags-- for large silver serving tray (which also contains 4 large plate stands). One more box packed with sleigh basket and silver candy/relish dishes may also fit in china cabinet for transit. Card table almost ready to move to DR for balance of china cabinet contents-- break/die china and wine glasses, plus madonnas and misc.

Dinner also cooking and dishes done.

~S~


28 Mar 18 - 05:27 PM (#3913708)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada

This morning, as a small gift to my slightly future self, I cleaned up the kitchen while the water boiled and tea brewed.


28 Mar 18 - 06:45 PM (#3913711)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Good for you, VN!

PP:

I just made a highly productive foray up to Box Central in the attic. I brought down a huge clean bag of lasagna paper to use for knicknack/decor/picture frame wrapping, a few small boxes, and enough egg boxes (square 4-doz size), for the break/die china.

And I checked my gut and then made some decisions about that china and the good wineglasses-- they're going to go into the Daily Use kitchen cabinet-- not into the On Display china cabinet they're coming out of.... A company set for small dinner parties/buffets that will actually get USED.

I also spotted and failed to throw down a large, very heavy amp box to fill with sub-boxes of fragile decor. I'll ask Greg to bring that down soon. But I also grabbed 3 nearly-square flat boxes presently full of small sheets of brown packing paper, FOR the small decor, and the bag of packing peanuts/bubble wrap for the china and glassware. These materials will also help w/wrapping upstairs decor for transit.

Whew!

Oh and the pizza/small boxes I packed earlier today did get stowed into the china cabinet, as described upthread.

~S~


28 Mar 18 - 07:33 PM (#3913720)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: mg

I am so glad I am now a minimalist...if everything in my house broke i could take a $20 bill to a garage sale and replace everything. And think of how you want your house to be found if you have a stroke or something..which my brother just did. My sister is taking care of his stuff..which fortunately is not excessive. (this is not aimed at anyone..). She said she thought he was going downhill since around Thanksgiving, and it turns out he had two previous small strokes which he had failed to tell us about...but think if you have embarrassing stuff, or hoarder stuff...a very good reason for de-owning.


28 Mar 18 - 07:51 PM (#3913725)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
From: Stilly River Sage

Mary, you were probably occasionally at my father's house for the Song Circle meetings? The house was 800sf and packed to the gills - he loved to entertain and had lots of kitchen gadgets and serving containers and flatware. His shed across the road was 2500sf and he had two tall upright freezers and the box for every electronic/music device he ever bought. I spent quite a while matching boxes and owners manuals (filed) to the devices, and family members carted those things away happily. Mostly, happily, anyway. I kept household items and his music collection. But I'd dealt with other family estates, from his side of the family, and they were all not hoarders, but they always knew things would eventually have a use.

When I moved into this house I took everything of mine out of storage (I'd been in an apartment for a couple of years) and stuff from my parents' estates out of storage. For a while there were a couple of rooms here packed tight with furniture and boxes of stuff. I hadn't intended to keep all of it, but over time the things I thought I'd sell have become less popular and other things have become trendy (all vintage or antiques). I'm slowly moving things out via eBay, a few things went via Craig's List (but that is a dangerous place, I won't use it any more - no one wants to consider the price you're asking, they don't turn up when they say they will, etc.) I used to donate some things and take a tax break, but I don't have enough deductions to itemize any more.

Every now and then when I'm reading through this list I think of the backpack you must live out of. :) I have duplication of stations (music, TV, computers) all over the house so I can plop down anywhere and work and listen or watch while I work. But in other things, I'm paring back and recycling, selling, donating, or discarding. Something Dad never got around to. I did a pretty good job of filling a 30-yard dumpster with stuff that came out of his house and shed before we ever divided the rest amongst family members. I don't want my kids to have to do that.

When it came down to it, Dad really loved entertaining people, music, and reading. If he'd given it some thought I think he could have gotten rid of a lot of stuff and kept the books, the chair and the good reading lamp, the computer and music devices and instruments, and kitchen stuff. That alone would have made his house comfortable without being crowded.