Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

August Goals and a Question for Other Bloggers

Have I mentioned how happy I am that August is here? I’m old so if I’m repeating myself I’ve got an excuse. Yes, I’m not above playing the Old People Card or the Absent Minded Flake Card or the Woman Card---whatever works for you.

August, for me, means new goals and a break from e-Baying to do Facebook Market Place sales.  Hopefully. I’ve never done them before but others seem to make them work. I’ve got a Hoosier cabinet, a vintage butcher block/kitchen island, my childhood dollhouse, an antique fire hydrant, a dog cage that Levi out grew, a large glass sided showcase and some art I’m hoping to move. I’ve already started ganging this stuff up in my garage so buyers won’t have to come inside, but I have to wait for the son-I-with-I-had to help me move the showcase into the garage. That sucker is big and it held hundreds of tiny things that I’ve mostly sold off over the past year. And you have my heartfelt promise if I ever get married again to a collector he’d better collect classic cars or something easier to dispose of than obscure-but-valuable tiny things that nearly wore my brain and eyes out to research.

August will also include sending another lot of stuff off to a local auction house. With the last load I sent off in the spring I proclaimed it would be the last one and I proclaimed the same thing with the lot before that one. But I keep identifying stuff that I’m ready to let go of locally---lower prices with less work than shipping with e-Bay, so I’m playing the Woman Card here that says it’s our prerogative to change our minds. I’ve got the lot almost ready to be picked up and it includes stuff like my husband’s teddy bear, a WWII helmet, glassware too fragile to e-Bay and some cast iron collectibles too costly to ship and still be a good buy for those who want them. My beloved antique folding chairs are going this time, too, because let’s face it I’m too old and ‘fluffy’ to be sitting on antique chairs created two centuries ago when butts were obviously small and compact. Ditto on the 1854 patented piano stool I’m sending. I’m up to 94 items readying to send off. My goal is 100. Gotta admit, though, that pickings are getting slim and choices are harder. Mostly I’ve got rare books and art left to sell and neither are good candidates for the local auction house where all bids start at a dollar.

August will also bring me something exciting to do---actually two exciting things unless our state slaps another hard, lock-down on us. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. The first ‘something exciting’ is a hardhat tour of my future home at the continuum care campus that is being built that I have a deposit on. Apparently by mid-August there will be enough progress for us to see to get our excitement level back on track.  Masks, hardhats, orange vests and goggles required plus social distancing and we had to read and sign a safety-on-the-site document. Before the pandemic struck in March, the non-profit building this place was holding monthly get-togethers as part of their marketing budget. I’m hoping they will re-schedule a few of their programs that got canceled. I was just starting to get to know (and remember) some of my future neighbors. The second exciting something I’m looking forward to doing is making a trip out to my oldest niece’s cottage and we’re working on getting my youngest niece to come over too. I haven’t seen either one of them in forever…at least a year. We keep in contact with occasional emails, Facebook messages and text messages but it’s not the same as being in the same physical space where organic conversations take place.  

Okay, I’ve got to ask those who read here who are also bloggers a question. Are you getting a daily dose of a comment that promises a naked photo if you click on their link? I been getting them for a couple of weeks now. They usually come with a meant-to-be-playful line that includes kissing, begging and teasing, short but just as obnoxious as the long, anonymous commenter whose been hitting us all for months with the baby-boomers-are-evil nonsense. Putting these comments in the spam folder does absolutely nothing as far as I tell, not like when you put them in your e-mail spam folder that your provider evidentially finds and stops them from coming. So I pulled out the Delusional Card thinking I could find some help at the (fictitious) Blogger support forums but all they say is to just delete and forget the comments and change our settings to not to accept anonymous comments.

So my second question: if you stopped accepting anonymous comments did that stop the flasher and/or the hates-baby-boomers comments? Some of my favorite commenters use the anonymous feature and I don’t want to shut them out if the juvenile spammers just find a way around that setting change. I double these spammers even read any of the blogs they poop comments on but just on the off chance one is reading this post I liked to say, quit playing the Dumb-Ass Card! You will never, ever get past the moderate comments feature. ©

52 comments:

  1. Ha - no offer for nude photos here. I've heard about the baby boomer haters, but I haven't received any comments.
    I know you're excited about your new place. It sounds like a good fit for you. I can't believe how much stuff you've sold and how much more you still have. What a job it must have been to research everything. When you move, you will be so glad you did all that. Travel light, girl!

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    1. The research really is interesting, what attracts a lot of collectors in the first place. For example I had a pair of snowshoes that I thought were just old and decorative but when I found markings on them, I was able to find out they were made in England in 1940 and used by U.S. soldiers who where assigned to certain European countries and was part of their winter gear. You get side-tracked learning how old stuff fit into history and imagining the people who once owned stuff. You have a passion for old furniture, so I'm sure you know what I mean. Another example is I have a Minnie Mouse with a patent number that was the very first patent Walt Disney took out. I found his patent application and drawings for the figure. It was an exciting find.

      I don't have a lot more collectables left to sell, I should be done by late fall, even taking August off. I still have my Cracker Jack stuff but only a dozen of those are turn of the century and have real value and I'm not sure I want to sell those. Furniture is going to be more last minute because I need it to show the house. So many decisions when you're going from a 1,600 square feet house with a full basement and 3 stall garage to a 1,000 unit with an underground parking stall.

      I vacillate between looking forward to the move to being scared to death. I need to sell this house to make it work and who knows whether anyone will be buying then.

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    2. I heard that prospective house buyers are coming back to the market. I have no idea if that's true, but as Donald Trump says, "Someone told me."
      I know I would be fascinated by the research.
      Before our last move, we worked for a couple of months - little by little - getting things out of the attic and auctioning off furniture, etc. We went down in square footage about the same as you are doing. I totally get having a little anxiety about a move. I hate the actual move and most everything related to finding and buying and moving into a new house, but you will be so happy once it's over. :)

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    3. I hope do, know so deep inside. It's just been such a long wind up which has both a good side and down side to doing it that way.

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  2. I haven't gotten any spam comments of any kind for a few years now. I still have it set for anonymous comments, and I don't moderate them. Maybe they don't want to read about heart transplants and death. And I agree, the Google help for Blogger is just about useless!

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    1. Wow, you are lucky not to get any spam. I started getting the hate-filled guy when I started following a few blogs with 'retirement' in the titles but I know he's hit other blogs that have nothing to do with that theme. The flasher is just funny and like an annoying mosquito. I've never clicked on his link and I never will.

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  3. When I stopped taking anoymous comments they made up names. Famous names or just fake names. It didn't stop a damn thing. Putting them is spam does nothing but get them off your comment section. There is no way around this on blogger I'm afraid. Unless someone knows something I don't. Sorry Jean

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. That's exactly what I thought would happen, Peg. So I'm going to continue taking anonymous comments. Spam doesn't bother me all that much, it just wastes a lot of time.

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  4. I accept no Anonymous comments, period. If someone wants to comment, they'll make the effort to make a Blogger/Google account. I also get comments to my email from people who want to say something but not comment directly on my blog. That's okay, too.

    I also set my blog to moderate comments on posts older than two weeks. That catches tons of spammers. But I've never gotten any of the sort you mention. I get commercial junk.

    As far as facebook marketplace, please be careful. My neighbor--also an elder widow--was trying to sell some property and got some major weirdos. One man asked if she drank and what kind of liquor he could bring. Another man shoved his way into the back of her garage and started going through all of her things. Another man made all sorts of personal remarks that became demands. She confided this to us, and my husband told her to never, ever be alone when these "buyers" came to the house. He said he would be glad to be there with her. Please be careful, Jean.

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    1. I really don't like getting blog comments through my e-mail unless it's from a personal friend and there are only two of those who read here. I don't even connect the two to make it possible.

      Well, now you're scaring me. I had already thought that I will lock the door between the house and the garage is someone comes over and now I'll use some folding tables to block access to the part of the garage people aren't welcome in. I'm not doing a general garage which I think does invite more pushy people. I've got specific items to photograph and list. I'll take it slow. Thanks.

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  5. Yep, I have been annoyed for a while now by yucky spam. I use comment moderation so they never get published but that doesn't stop them. I have had them use names like Beyonce Carter, Peter Parker and Kim Kardashian but they still don't make it to print. They show up on old posts but moderation brings them right to the front so they are easy to put in spam and delete. Keep hoping they will get tired.

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    1. I used to get the Peter Parker too. I put them all in my spam folder for about three months before deleting. It takes my email server two weeks to find and deal with my spam folder there so I'm hoping Bloggers crawler eventually finds them. I do notice a decrease in certain spammers but who knows if it's the crawler catching them or just give up commenting. I don't like the new interface's way of all your comments show when you hit your dashboard as their default. I can't figure out how to change that default, probably can't.

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  6. I’ve had the “baby boomers ruined the world and now I should die” comments but they had names attached, not anonymous. Have not had any with offers of naked pictures (yet!). I use WordPress and have a spam filter so most spam does not even make it into my Comments section and even fewer make it onto the blog without me having to approve first. It cost me some money but for me it’s money well spent.

    Deb

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    1. Bloggers is free, at least the version I use does. The boomer person is is nothing if not persistent.

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  7. No offer of a nude photo, but a couple of times Amanda tried to tell me she hoped all baby boomers would die. My spam filter works great at keeping her out.

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    1. Deb, The Badass Widow---the person above you---also uses WordPress and also says the spam filler works good. How do you know that Amanda was blocked by your filter? Can you still see the comments on your dash board?

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  8. Very exciting about being able to visit your future home AND go to the cottage! That's a lot of "time-out" and long awaited and well deserved. I hope all goes to plan.

    I can't remember if I allow anonymous commenters. I think I do. I get spam maybe once or twice a week, usually poker games and Hey Boomer! stuff, especially around covid-related stuff. I moderate comments now and so they never get posted. No nudie girls on mine.

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    1. Ya, the upcoming tour makes it all feel more real. And you know how much I miss cottage life, so the second half of August will be good with those two things on the agenda.

      I've never gotten the poker comments. Don't know if the flasher is a man or a woman, never clicked on the link. I just assumed it was a guy. I guess I shouldn't have. LOL

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  9. I’ve not had the naked offers but plenty of baby boomers and quite a few others too. i take no notice or put them into Apple spam, where they eventually get the message and disappear.

    As for the rest, did you say you are old? You are far too energetic for that to be true.

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    1. Oh, yes, I'm old. In dog years I'd be over 11 years old. LOL

      Apple spam? I'm beginning to realize from the comments here that I don't know much about various spam folders. I know it takes two weeks for my Charter email spam folder to get emptied out by the server. After that the same spammers don't show up anymore but boy they can really hit me in those two weeks. I see no signs that the Blogger spam folder works the same way. Sounds like Apple's does though.

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  10. Great news about a construction walk through! Something to look forward to, as well as getting out to the cottage.

    I just delete blog spammers. Most are caught in my "junk mail" catcher and I delete from there.

    You were fortunate to get so much time to pass on your treasures to other collectors. Yours is a BIG downsize. I hope it makes you feel serene and comfortable as my move did.

    NEVER meet a stranger alone. Drive to a McDonald's parking lot if you can't find someone to come over to be with you. And get a special pen to determine counterfeit bills. I do that and no one has ever been offended.

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    1. The things I want to sell on Market Place are too big for me to haul to McDonald's parking lot, but here the police station parking lot is where everyone goes to exchange small stuff. I have less than a dozen things to sell of out of my garage. If I had more I get one of those pens. That's a smart idea.

      My email server catches spam on my emails but I'm asking about spam of blog posts and I did get the answers I sought regarding changing settings to not accept anonymous comments....they just make up an account and make them anyway.

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  11. Not getting any of those comments. But then my readership is miniscule....because I'm too locked down no doubt. I think I mostly write now for myself and for whatever future generations will find and maybe care about the "Blog to Print" books I publish at the end of each year. And I write for you, Jean, my one faithful reader. (And that means the world to me, by the way.)

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    1. I think the idea of printing a blog to a book at the end of the year is a great one, especially for someone like you who writes for yourself. I did it a few times and once I get past moving and I have more time I want to make more books with choice posts and photos I'll take. Those will be just for me.

      Okay, the pressure is on not to miss any of your posts. LOL

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    2. HAHA No pressure! LOL I'll be happy to see you whenever you show up. ❤️

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  12. I don't have goals or gaols as I kept writing and reading in my head sp annoying as they have differernt meanings.......lol

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    1. I know what you mean about writing in your head. I do that all the time and it is annoying.

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  13. I haven't visited my blog in so long I don't know it there are obnoxious comments being posted! Hasn't been a problem in the past except for a couple ad type things that I just deleted.

    Isn't there great relief in having most of the downsizing behind you? Or have the past few months of staying busy with it all and the ennui of the pandemic postponed that pleasure?

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    1. People keep asking me that but to me it's just a sad reminder that I'm getting closer to the grave. Having interesting things has been so much a part of who I am for decades that I'm not sure who I'll be without those show-and-tells in my house. That said, I'm still glad I'm doing it because it's been a huge job and I wouldn't want to stick someone else with all the work.

      The pandemic has also caused major depression and extra doubts about whether or not I'm doing the right thing at the right time by planning a move.

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    2. Doubt and depression have become commonplace for many of us because of you-know-who, and the pandemic so I can relate to that very easily. As for who you are without the show and tell items, I can assure you that's the least of what your readers value you for. I come here for your wit and insight, which we're all grateful you've chosen to share with us!

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  14. Great news on the new place tour! I hope you will wear name tags so you can identify the neighbors you already started to know. I was checking out of a store the other day, and the person in front of me turned around and said, "Hope?" I looked confused, I'm sure, as he persisted: "Are you Hope?" I agreed that I was, and he identified himself - a guy whose wife I worked with and have been out for drinks and dinner with multiple times. People in masks all look the same after a while, and I've stopped looking for anyone I know. LOL.

    As for FB selling, I've done a fair bit of it lately, and so far, it's been great. You can also look at the person's profile on FB before you answer once they message you. If they don't look legit, don't respond. This area seems fairly safe, but of course, caution is prudent. Do you have neighbors nearby? Or maybe you can get a screeching alarm to attach to your wrist and if anything untoward happens, set it off and deafen/frighten off the person. Pepper spray works too...we have some attached to our dog's leash. ;-)

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    1. The CCC always has us wear name tags, I'm thinking that will still happen. I know what you mean about not recognizing people with face masks on.

      I'm really not too worried about FaceBook Marketplace sales. It's really not much different than garage sales that we've all done for years. My friend says there is a communication exchange trail too which keeps them honest. Your idea of checking out their profiles is a great tip, too. I wear an alarm around my neck that will call the police or medical help with one or two presses. Before I sell anything I'll need to review which connects with 911.

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  15. I just don't get the point of those spammers. No one ever reads them and you can just delete them so why do they bother? Just bots being annoying? It will be nice to have a visit to your new place - it will remind you of all the positive things about your future move. Change is difficult but often good!

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    1. I don't get it either with the spammers. Who buys anything from a cold-canvas like that?

      I've got to wait until the 19th for the tour. I'm pretty sure it's going to get me excited again. I follow the newsletter and Facebook page for this CCC and I'm totally impressed by what they've been doing for the older section's residents during the pandemic, to keep spirits up and keep them safe too.

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  16. Baby boomer hater, yes — nude photo-ee, no. (One day I got over 300 from the boomer Troll. Boy did I feel special. Had to get out my laptop to delete them as it’s too tedious on an iPad.)

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    1. Wow! Knock on wood, I've never gotten anywhere near that many. That's one sick puppy with too much time on his hands.

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  17. I get a lot of spam (Baby Boomer hater, hot porn, and just stupid stuff but WordPress does a pretty good job isolating them in my spam folder. I just go through it every once in a while to see if there is something there that shouldn't be, then delete the rest. I do get a lot of the same comment in Spanish that is obviously spam which I wish that WP could get rid of without me having to deleting it, but apparently they can't/won't.

    I'll be interested in how you do with FB Marketplace. We have some things too delicate or big to ship so I'd like to sell them locally. You are OK with strangers coming over?

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    1. The friend I call the son-I-wish-I-had and I were talking yesterday about Marketplace, he does a lot of it and has never had a problem. Over the years we've both had a lot of garage sales which are basically the same thing...strangers coming over. I will take everything I sell to the garage, not let anyone inside and keep the large overhead door open and the one between the house and the garage locket with a key. I also wear an emergency dialer all the time anyway. Here, people like to meet in the parking lot of the police station to sell smaller items. He says with Marketplace you have a communication chain, too, so people aren't totally anonymous either which is another level of safety.

      Word Press sounds like they do a much better job with spam than with Bloggers. In our moderating box we have to manually put stuff in the spam folder.

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  18. I can't really comment about your spam, because it's a non-issue for me. WordPress uses an anti-spam program called Akismet, and it does a fine job of catching the obnoxious ones. Every couple of weeks I go in and double check the list, just to be sure they haven't accidentally flagged someone who's not a spammer, then I bulk delete the whole lot. Very occasionally one will get through, but since I have to approve anyone's first comment, they don't get approved. I just mark them as spam, and that's the end of it.

    Occasionally, someone I've approved turns out to be a troublemaker of some sort -- maybe once every six months. We can block those people by name, email address, and IP address, and once that's done, it's like they go Poof! and disappear forever. It's so nice.

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    1. WoodPress has a great system, from what I'm hearing in this thread. Do you use the free version or the paid? I like that you don't have to see your spam unless you're in the mood to look at it.

      I can't imagine me changing after so many years with Bloggers but I am kicking the idea around to start another blog fresh after I move, so who knows maybe I will check them out if I do.

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    2. P.S. to my post added Friday. I just did a quick google search of the user name on the spam I got this morning telling me my clothes would look good on his bedroom floor. Apparently the spam does get through to the public in some places because there was four pages on google listing various blogs where similar comments appeared in the snippet. Also found out the same user name is responsible for 'do you know the hidden meaning of your name' spam. Can you tell I'm pandemic bored! This spammer, at least, does have a website but I, of course, will never click on it.

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  19. I accept no anonymous comments. I learned the hard way about that. I also will send any spammy-looking comment straight to delete without a second thought. I blog for fun, not frustration.

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    1. I don't find the spam all that frustrating but during a pandemic when you can't go anywhere you have to find something to write about. I have 5-6 infrequent commenters from overseas that I enjoy hearing from time to time and they all use anonymous.

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  20. First, the Spam, I mark it as such, get the same lame ones circulating that you speak of, probably picked them up by visiting other fav sites, they latch on sometimes to Blog Friends and hitch rides over. *LOL* Don't get so many that it's too annoying and takes me seconds to mark them Spam, then Delete. I think Blogger does Block any who have Names since once Spammed they never return, unless they make up another fictitious name to get in. Which is more Work for them than me I figure. The Anonymous is a hard one coz some of my legit Visitors aren't Spam but might have comfort being Unknown, which is Okay to me and I wouldn't wanna block those Visitors. Next, you just answered my desire to know more about how the CCC is coming along and your Downsizing, I'd been wondering and thought to ask you in the next Comment I made... and here you now are, doing it without a request! *LOL* Boy, you are making enviable progress, 100 items, I bow down to you, Master Jedi Queen of the Downsize!!! I have barely entered the RV Garage, too Hot, to dispose of anything but those Magazine bundles at Two bucks a pop, which ain't really elevating the Bottom Line, just disposing of a lot of cheap stuff shoppers are devouring eagerly. Ah well, I could count it as Progress I suppose? So, your Clothes would look good on someone's Bedroom Floor, I need that Spammer to come over here then and pick up all mine off our Bedroom Floor and call him/it my Personal Housekeeper? I need Staff. *Winks*

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    1. I've decided to keep anonymous comments. The clothes-on--the-bedroom-floor actually has some clever and funny spams. Nothing gross and always one liners.

      After my tour I'll do a whole post on the CCC.

      Once I move, I never want to hear the word 'downsizing' again. On other blog someone called it 'rightsizing' and I wish I could get into the mindset. But you above all the other bloggers I follow know exactly how hard it is to divorce yourself from the emotions of downsizing collectibles. Each item comes with two stories, on of the day and place you found it and one of the history the piece brings with it.

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  21. Dear Jean, I use the "moderate comments" on my blog and that works for me. For a while, I was getting long comments that made little sense to me. I just spammed them on the blog.

    As to e-mail, I got one last week that was absolutely one of the most obscene pieces of writing I've ever encountered. I trashed it, but I'm not at all sure that whoever found and used my e-mail won't come back again to say what she would like to do to my body and have me do to his. The enjoyment the sender gets in this eludes me.

    Take care and watch your back--lifting, turning, etc.--as you take everything to the garage. Oh, it's going to be so wonderful when you have your new digs and you've been so diligent about preparing for them. Letting go isn't easy and yet you've leet go repeatedly of things that once--and perhaps even now--meant a great deal to you. You are to be congratulated. You're inspiring! Peace.

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    1. Dee, I don't get what spammers get out of doing what they do either. But that could be said of other parts of life too, couldn't. There are always a few selfish and mean-spirited people trying to swim upstream.

      Too late on the warning to be careful. I hurt my arm earlier this week and it's not going away. I will wait for help with heavy things that need moving.

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    2. Dear Jean, so sorry to learn that you hurt your arm. As we age, we really have to let go of one thing after another and one of those things is doing something the way we used to. It's that old advice: "slow and steady wins the race!" Peace.

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    3. Thank you, Dee. Monday I need to call my bone doctor and get in to get some x-Rays. I'm pretty sure the injury is going to sideline me for awhile.

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  22. The visit to the construction site sounds like fun and just the kind of pick-me-up we all need right now to convince us that there will be a future with pleasure and fun in it.

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