Friday, 20 October 2017

A Pinch Of This, A Sprinkle Of That . . . Bork! Bork! Bork!

It's a mixed bag of stories today, because I've been reading so many good articles on different topics that I can't pick just one to talk about. I'm still in crafting mode, in addition to work deadline mode, in addition to family birthday mode, so I'll keep my comments to a minimum and provide links to the original articles that caught my eye.

Rent control gone awry:
Many countries have a bleak history where their indigenous people are concerned, and Canada is no exception. As our country marks its 150th birthday this year, not all our citizens are in a celebratory mood, and no wonder. The original inhabitants of this country got a raw deal long ago, and things haven't improved a whole lot. The latest item in the news: First Nations seek to raise Canada's rent after 150 years of $4 payments

Another blot on the Maple Leaf . . . literally:
If you read Steve's blog "Shadow & Light", you will have already seen the pictures he took of maple tar spot disease on maple leaves in England. We have the same fungal infection here in Canada, not on our native maple species (sugar maple) but on the Norway maple, which is an import from Europe and Asia. Here's the link to Steve's post with the pictures, because his photos are excellent and mine are not: West Wickham to Hamsey Green (scroll to the final photo). Thanks for that, Steve :)

On to some lighter fare . . . or maybe not:
If you've ever considered seriously decluttering your belongings, you may have turned to books or blogs to get tips and encouragement. Books by authors as diverse as Peter Walsh and Marie Kondo have been available over the years, and there are many blogs on the internet to help people pare down their belongings. Now there is "dostadning" or "Swedish Death Cleaning" which is defined as ". . .  slowly and steadily decluttering as the years go by, ideally beginning in your fifties (or at any point in life) and going until the day you kick the bucket . . ." , the purpose being ". . . to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with . . ." This is the real reason behind my decluttering these days. My husband and I are both "savers" and although we've donated and shredded and discarded many things, there are miles and miles to go before we sleep . . . so to speak . . . and I don't want our grown up kids to have to do any more work than necessary when the time comes.

Okay, some truly lighter fare, also from Sweden . . . sort of:
How many of you remember the Muppets? The Muppet Show was big here in the 1980's, and my favourite character, hands down, was the Swedish Chef. With his unintelligible commentary, his signature "Bork! Bork! Bork" windup to his intro song, his carefree tossing of kitchen implements (and other things) over his shoulder, and his trusty blunderbuss, he stole my heart.  Just the other day I found some compilations of Swedish Chef segments from the shows, and fell in love all over again. Check out one example here: Swedish Chef Compilation Part 1

That's it from my house to yours. Have a good weekend, friends!

Fear not: Procrastinating Donkey keeps one ear to the ground for all the latest news :)

 

 

40 comments:

  1. I hope your weekend is FULL of lighthearted positives. There is too much negativity around at the moment and it weighs me at least down even more than the acres of possessions which I should dispose of.

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    1. Wishing you the same positivity, EC. And "acres" is an excellent description of our things, too!

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  2. That Swedish Chef was amazing! Toss a few ingredients up in the air and down would come a perfectly baked dinner complete with all the trimmings and served on a tray.
    I agree with the decluttering to make things easier for our kids when the time comes. I did a lot of decluttering already, but there's more still to go.

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    1. It seems like there's always stuff creeping in the door, River! It's a constant struggle.

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  3. Happy weekend and may your de-cluttering go smoothly...

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    1. Thanks, e. The de-cluttering is an ongoing thing.

      Take care of yourself there, eh?

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  4. Hi PD, was Ernie a muppet? Sorta? Not really? Oh well, he is still my favorite muppet-like creature. I saw an article about Swedish death cleaning and didn't have time to read. I'm so glad you linked to it- now I can come back to it when I get home tonight. I love the concept.

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    1. Ernie was a muppet; I can't remember if he crossed over from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show or not. They were all quite endearing, weren't they?

      Swedish death cleaning has a certain ring to it that gets a person's attention, doesn't it? and the idea behind it makes so much sense.

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  5. You are to be applauded for finding time to blog in the middle your busy schedule. Do you think that you will ever be able to declutter to the point where you appear to be living in a minimalist Scandinavian magazine home? No papers or knickknacks, no shoes left lying around, no souvenirs or photographs - just a spiritually soothing environment with plenty of pine, co-ordinated fabrics and mood lighting as Mehler plays soothingly in the background...

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    1. In a word, NO. But I do hope to get rid of the hobby-related excess, the paperwork from volunteer jobs long gone, and the cat hair.

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  6. When we moved to California nine years ago, we went through and reduced our four bedroom house with a garage and two storage sheds down to what would fit in a small Uhaul truck, that was great for reducing the items that we didn't really need, but nine years later and I still look for items that I though we had kept.

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    1. Do you find you have replaced many of those things? We tend to keep things "in case" . . .

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  7. I have been decluttering for years and when I look around, I don’t see that much progress. Many items have gone, but it is the clutter of memories that still stay. I have been putting my gardens away these past two weeks and every still blooming flower I throw away, my heart aches. I become too attached.

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    1. Personally I think the memories clutter is okay. Some people say you don't need the item, you have the memories. But maybe I'm strange, or just forgetful, but a lot of my memories are prompted by "things" and if I get rid of them I'll lose the memories, too. My approach is to toss the things that don't have a use or memories attached, but keep the rest. We can't live in a sterile house :) I have a hard time throwing away plants, too. Usually I wait until the frost kills them. Although that sounds cruel, too!!

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  8. I was an adult when I watched the muppets when I watched the muppets with my kids. My favourite was Ernie.

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    1. There were so many good characters, all lovable. It was a great show to watch with kids, something for everyone.

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  9. If the First Nations would have invested wisely that rent could have turned into at least a thousand dollars. Think of how much that could do! Or not.
    Watch out for your maples!
    I have started my Swedish death cleaning, but have a long way to go. Everybody loves the Chef. He always made perfect sense to me.

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    1. So, what did bork bork bork really mean???

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  10. "Swedish Death Cleaning" - what a fabulous concept! It sounds more like an extreme sport than a decluttering strategy. I don't have kids, so I intend to live in my current place until I have to move to an old folks home, at which point I'll pack my clothes in a suitcase and hire an auctioneer to sell everything else in the house.

    And I loved the Swedish chef, too - thanks for the giggles down Memory Lane!

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    1. That sounds like a pretty good plan, Diane!

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  11. Well, that treaty is quite the rip off, isn't it? I love the Muppets. My favorite is Beaker.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. A rip-off, indeed. Among many.

      So many muppets, so many choices :)

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  12. Spring chicken, ping pong ball eggs, chocolate on the moose ... but the best one of all was the blunderbuss pancakes. Thanks for the smiles.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had a ball watching them :)

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  13. I liked Statler and Waldorf as well. Lots of great memories attached to the muppets! Have a great weekend.

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    1. It was really a great family show. I'm glad the clips are on the internet :)

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  14. After moving my stuff around for decades and just finding space for it wherever I happened to live, I encountered my first post-stroke move and changed the way I see everything, about my possessions, anyway.
    We had to move out of our warehouse space by July of 2011, and in the month I had to prepare, I mostly threw things away and gathered up the necessities I used on a daily basis and carefully packed them in easily carried containers.
    What I came up with was two bags of clothes, one bag of bedding, my Timbuk2 bag full of everything I need to live (papers, medicines, strawberry soda, etc.) and my computer set up, which was a Compaq desktop back then.
    Everything else I owned went into a storage.
    We moved again in 2013, to another warehouse-y kind of place, and a few months later got the contents of that storage moved there also.
    Mostly it just sat in a corner, still packed for storage. It turns out that I don't really care that much about stuff I don't use anyway.
    Then, at the beginning of last year, we had to move again, and we were lagging in finding a place, so the owner of the old foundry building made us a 4X8 storage spot inside the building, and I set about making all of our stuff fit in it. The hardest part was throwing away some of my older disused music gear, but when it came time to go through those crates of stuff I had been carrying around for all of those years, I was ruthless. As I dug through them, the reactions quickly changed from "Oh, wow, I remember this" to "Die! I can't keep you any more!"
    I got it all to fit. By myself. Meaning that everything I kept was something I could roll fifty yards on an aluminum cart and stack into a 4X8 locker. Remember that I walk with a quad-cane. The dual 15" folded horn bass cabinet was the hardest.
    By the time we moved out, leaving that stuff in the locker, I was back to my three bags and computer, and this time the computer is a laptop my friend Sara gave me, so I was pretty much mobile.
    When we moved the stuff from the locker to here, I went through some of it again and threw away some more, and now almost all of it lives in the living room closet: a few crates of books, five guitars, a few hundred pounds of amps and PA system equipment, and the fifty or so pounds of wires it takes to make it all work.
    I don't have any kids, so I guess I am responsible for making it all go away before I croak, but now that it is a much more manageable size, that doesn't seem too tall of an order.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Wow, you have moved a lot. But, along with the deficits caused by the stroke, that has clearly been a good motivator for you. We've been in this house for twenty-nine years, and it's got a lot of storage space, so we didn't even realize the problem until about year ten :)

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  15. Thanks for sharing all of that information. I am going to have to read up about the Swedish Death March. We could use some motivation to declutter and maybe that will be it. I love the Muppets. I was big fan of Animal. Have a great weekend as well.

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    1. Animal! I forgot about him! But it's been years since I thought of any of them, to tell the truth.

      If you're doing the Swedish Death Cleaning, be careful how you phrase it to your kids for heaven's sake :) Don't want to scare any young 'uns!

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  16. The Swedish Chef! My favourite. Such a silly one. OHMYGOSH...I should draw him. I'll have to check on YouTube. Someone must have a drawing tutorial for that. I also loved the grumpy guys, Statler and Waldorf. Sometimes my husband and I behave that way (lots of heckling) when we're watching some ridiculous TV show.

    I really enjoy decluttering. Every time we ditch stuff I feel like I can breathe better. Plus, the girls will be happy when we I check out and they don't have a lot of cleaning up to do.

    Oh, the First Nations and that rent. I'm embarrassed just thinking about it. Shameful!

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    1. It's amazing the physical effect that decluttering has, isn't it?! And yes, I think your girls will appreciate the work you've done ahead of time. Big time.

      Drawing the Swedish Chef: yes!

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  17. Thanks for the link to my blog! I loved the Muppets and the Swedish Chef -- though my favorite Muppet was Janis from the rock band "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem." I liked Gonzo a lot too.

    My mom did a HUGE amount of decluttering when she downsized and moved from our childhood home to her current apartment. We all helped, and it felt so good to have pared down all that unnecessary stuff!

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    1. Those are interesting favourites! I love the name of the band.

      Your mom was lucky to have help, and you're right, getting rid of what you don't need is a good feeling.

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  18. I'm not sure how I feel about Swedish Death Cleaning. Something mildly disturbing about it...

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    1. It does have a catchy name though, right? :)

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  19. wow,lot of information here,

    i want to check the swedish death march ,sounds weird

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    1. The Swedish Death Cleaning isn't as bad as it sounds. It's just to try to get rid of unnecessary things as we get older, so that our children don't have a pile of junk to deal with after we die :) Maybe this is more of an issue in North America, where a lot of folks seem to buy a lot of stuff they don't need, or hang on to things they should give away when they are finished with them.

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