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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

wysiwyg 16 Aug 17 - 02:19 PM
Charmion 16 Aug 17 - 09:07 AM
Acme 16 Aug 17 - 08:29 AM
Donuel 15 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM
Acme 15 Aug 17 - 08:29 PM
wysiwyg 15 Aug 17 - 09:28 AM
Acme 14 Aug 17 - 11:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Aug 17 - 09:18 PM
Acme 13 Aug 17 - 09:52 AM
Acme 09 Aug 17 - 12:04 AM
Charmion 08 Aug 17 - 12:21 PM
wysiwyg 08 Aug 17 - 08:03 AM
Acme 05 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM
Acme 04 Aug 17 - 10:55 PM
Acme 03 Aug 17 - 10:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Aug 17 - 08:40 PM
Acme 31 Jul 17 - 09:59 PM
Dorothy Parshall 31 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jul 17 - 12:44 PM
Acme 23 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM
Charmion 23 Jul 17 - 04:53 PM
Acme 22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM
Charmion 22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM
Acme 21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM
Charmion 21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM
Acme 12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM
Acme 10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM
Acme 08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM
wysiwyg 07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM
Acme 03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM
Acme 02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM
Acme 01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM
Vashta Nerada 30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM
wysiwyg 30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM
Charmion 30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM
Acme 30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM
Acme 27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM
Jon Freeman 25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM
Acme 25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM
Acme 24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM
wysiwyg 23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM
Acme 23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM
Acme 22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 02:19 PM

Housie did pay billed overage costs, yay!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 09:07 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 08:29 AM

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM

Well the time has arrived. Without kid help I will call on professional tree and debris removal crews for the back yard.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 08:29 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 09:28 AM

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!"


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Aug 17 - 11:18 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Aug 17 - 09:18 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 Aug 17 - 09:52 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Aug 17 - 12:04 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 12:21 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 08:03 AM

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).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 10:55 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 10:14 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 08:40 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 09:59 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM

Beaver:

Something went askew and erased what I just wrote!!!!!! I am alive and well and ....


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jul 17 - 12:44 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jul 17 - 04:53 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM

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. :)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM

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!)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM

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~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM

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~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM

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.)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM

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!


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