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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte 01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM
Acme 01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM
Acme 01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM
Charmion 02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Jan 17 - 03:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Jan 17 - 12:48 PM
ranger1 09 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM
Acme 09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM
Thompson 09 Jan 17 - 05:52 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 17 - 08:40 AM
Thompson 10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM
Acme 14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM
LilyFestre 14 Jan 17 - 07:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 17 - 01:14 PM
Acme 16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM
ragdall 16 Jan 17 - 10:41 PM
Acme 17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM
Charmion 18 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM
ragdall 21 Jan 17 - 07:48 AM
ranger1 21 Jan 17 - 09:28 PM
pattyClink 22 Jan 17 - 06:35 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Jan 17 - 07:47 PM
Acme 22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jan 17 - 11:54 AM
Acme 24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM
Charmion 25 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM
Acme 25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM
pattyClink 26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM
Charmion 26 Jan 17 - 09:23 AM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Jan 17 - 08:00 PM
Charmion 31 Jan 17 - 09:15 AM
Bat Goddess 31 Jan 17 - 01:55 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Feb 17 - 06:16 PM
Acme 02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM
Charmion 03 Feb 17 - 08:29 AM
Acme 03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM
Senoufou 03 Feb 17 - 01:50 PM
Acme 04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Feb 17 - 04:40 PM
Charmion 10 Feb 17 - 09:06 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Feb 17 - 04:12 PM
Acme 12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM
ranger1 12 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM
Acme 12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM
Charmion 13 Feb 17 - 08:05 AM
ranger1 13 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM
Acme 14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM
ranger1 14 Feb 17 - 12:44 PM
Acme 14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM
Charmion 15 Feb 17 - 09:02 AM
Acme 15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM
Charmion 16 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM
Acme 16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM
Bat Goddess 16 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM
Charmion 16 Feb 17 - 05:25 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Feb 17 - 07:06 PM
Charmion 24 Feb 17 - 09:34 AM
Acme 24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM
Donuel 25 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM
Acme 25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM
Acme 26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM
Donuel 26 Feb 17 - 04:58 PM
Donuel 26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM
Acme 26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Mar 17 - 12:26 PM
Charmion 02 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM
Acme 02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Mar 17 - 05:01 PM
Acme 07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM
billybob 08 Mar 17 - 06:27 AM
Dorothy Parshall 08 Mar 17 - 11:14 AM
Charmion 09 Mar 17 - 08:39 AM
Acme 09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM
ranger1 10 Mar 17 - 01:08 PM
Acme 11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM
ranger1 11 Mar 17 - 10:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Mar 17 - 09:18 PM
Acme 16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Mar 17 - 11:24 PM
wysiwyg 18 Mar 17 - 06:38 AM
Charmion 18 Mar 17 - 09:24 AM
Acme 18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM
Acme 19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM
Acme 19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Mar 17 - 04:47 PM
Charmion 22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM
Acme 22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM
Charmion 23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM
Acme 23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM
Acme 25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM
Acme 28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM
Charmion 29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM
Acme 29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM
Charmion 31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM
Acme 31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM
Acme 02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM
Acme 07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM
Charmion 09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM
Charmion 10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM
Acme 11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM
Charmion 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM
Charmion 14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM
Acme 15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM
Acme 16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM
Charmion 21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM
Charmion 23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM
Thompson 24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM
Charmion 24 Apr 17 - 09:57 AM
Thompson 25 Apr 17 - 04:33 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Apr 17 - 04:54 AM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 01:53 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 04:31 PM
Thompson 26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 04:42 PM
Thompson 27 Apr 17 - 04:45 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 05:54 PM
Acme 27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM
Acme 30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:39 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM
Acme 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM
Acme 07 May 17 - 11:36 AM
Dorothy Parshall 07 May 17 - 04:20 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 May 17 - 11:40 AM
wysiwyg 12 May 17 - 11:56 AM
Acme 13 May 17 - 10:56 AM
Dorothy Parshall 13 May 17 - 12:16 PM
Senoufou 13 May 17 - 02:31 PM
Acme 13 May 17 - 06:31 PM
Acme 14 May 17 - 02:49 PM
wysiwyg 15 May 17 - 02:46 AM
Senoufou 15 May 17 - 03:14 AM
Dorothy Parshall 15 May 17 - 09:23 PM
Acme 15 May 17 - 10:26 PM
ranger1 16 May 17 - 08:28 AM
Acme 16 May 17 - 09:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 May 17 - 09:14 PM
Charmion 18 May 17 - 09:08 AM
Acme 20 May 17 - 12:38 PM
Acme 21 May 17 - 04:10 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 May 17 - 02:25 PM
Acme 23 May 17 - 10:27 PM
Charmion 24 May 17 - 08:30 AM
Acme 24 May 17 - 10:40 AM
Acme 27 May 17 - 06:22 PM
Donuel 28 May 17 - 09:42 AM
Acme 28 May 17 - 10:55 AM
Acme 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM
Charmion 29 May 17 - 08:24 AM
Acme 29 May 17 - 09:37 AM
Acme 03 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM
Acme 04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 17 - 12:49 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 17 - 12:55 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Jun 17 - 03:10 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM
Charmion 11 Jun 17 - 05:26 PM
Acme 12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM
Charmion 15 Jun 17 - 08:43 AM
Acme 15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM
Acme 17 Jun 17 - 12:03 PM
Charmion 17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM
Bat Goddess 19 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM
Acme 20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM
Charmion 21 Jun 17 - 08:31 AM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 09:28 AM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jun 17 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: Declutter & Fitness - 2017
From: GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM

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).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM

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!!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM

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 ...


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

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!


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM

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.


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

Wow, Charmian, you must like wine!


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM

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.


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

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


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM

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!


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

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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


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

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


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

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.


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

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...


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM

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.)


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM

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.


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

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.


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

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!


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

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.


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

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


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM

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.


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM

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.


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

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.
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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.


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

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?


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM

Good job!


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

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?


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

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM

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).


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM

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.


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

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?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM

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.


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

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


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

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.


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

Montreal

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


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM

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.


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

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!


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM

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?


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

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


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM

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. :)


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

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.


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM

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?


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

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!


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

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~


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM

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.


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM

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?


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM

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. :-/


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM

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


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

Here it is:Home of Charmion & CET


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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.)


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM

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.


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

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!


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM

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.


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

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.


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

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


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM

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.).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM

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?


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 May 17 - 11:36 AM

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! ;-)


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

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!


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

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!


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 17 - 10:56 AM

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?


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

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!


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 17 - 06:31 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 May 17 - 02:49 PM

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.


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

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


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

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!


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

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 May 17 - 10:26 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 May 17 - 09:18 PM

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.


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

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!)


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 May 17 - 12:38 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 May 17 - 04:10 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 May 17 - 10:27 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 May 17 - 10:40 AM

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?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 May 17 - 06:22 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 May 17 - 10:55 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 29 May 17 - 09:37 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM

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.


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

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


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

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!


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

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM

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.


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

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM

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.


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

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM

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!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM

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


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

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.


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

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).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM

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.


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

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.


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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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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: 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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