George Clooney's Open House
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Post by Admin on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 20:26

Hi folks, how's everyone doing in these covid times?  Still ok?  Out demonstrating?  

Must admit, I'm just keeping my head down and enjoying the unseasonably sunny weather in my garden.  Think I've pretty much given up on the world.  

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Post by carolhathaway on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 05:27

Hi Katie,
how's your house renovation going on?
I'm really glad you do have a garden to be able to enjoy the sunny weather! It's so much easier to stay at home when you actually have a house and a garden...
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Post by heartlove on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 16:40

Admin wrote:Hi folks, how's everyone doing in these covid times?  Still ok?  Out demonstrating?  

Must admit, I'm just keeping my head down and enjoying the unseasonably sunny weather in my garden.  Think I've pretty much given up on the world.  

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Keep in touch Neutral

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Post by LizzyNY on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 22:53

Admin wrote:Hi folks, how's everyone doing in these covid times?  Still ok?  Out demonstrating?  

Must admit, I'm just keeping my head down and enjoying the unseasonably sunny weather in my garden.  Think I've pretty much given up on the world.  

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Got room in that cupboard for one more?
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Post by PigPen on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 12:10

Sorry Lizzy... George is already taken that space.

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Post by heartlove on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 13:42

Shocked

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Post by PigPen on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 14:10

That's why Katie is enjoying her garden....

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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 14:55

If he brings the whole family I don't know how much Katie will enjoy it. Much more fun for her if he comes alone. Very Happy
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Post by heartlove on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 15:03

scratch

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 17:52

PAN - Hi! Did I hear correctly that your schools will be opening soon? I'm very curious to know how they plan to deal with social distancing and masks. We aren't expecting our schools (in NYC) to reopen until September, but it's really hard to see how it can be done safely. We can probably get the kids used to wearing masks all the time, but with at least 25 kids to a room how can they be safely separated? (My last few classes were 32-33 on register.) Add to that that none of us trust that the buildings will be adequately sanitized and it becomes a real mess.

I'd love to know if you guys are doing anything we could learn from.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sun 07 Jun 2020, 02:09

Schools reopening scares me to death. If it's handled here as poorly as the decision to close, and the subsequent joke of the "remote classrooms," we're in for chaos.

Personally, I think every school should have its own reopening plan based on a multiple regression formula that considers student population and classes, number of teacher/coach/counselor/administrator staff, functional square footage of buildings and grounds, and available time schedules. Obviously, not everyone can or should be at school at the same time all day, every day.

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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 07 Jun 2020, 13:45

Lizzy, schools here have been open  throughout the whole lockdown period for critical workers children during the pandemic and also for assessed vulnerable children who would be safer there than at home.

(There were a number of parents who tried to beat the system on that too, but were turned away!)

So as of last week parents had the option to send their children to school but only in two year groups - 1 and 6 and only half the class then presumably the other half on other days - with social distancing and obviously very different ways of learning and fun. I'm guessing playtime would be interesting. All schools have put in place one way systems etc. But I suspect the numbers are very small.....

Online teaching continues for everybody at every age including university - it's impressive but I suspect many children - and parents! - would like the break. And some parents will have got to know their children rather better!

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Post by LizzyNY on Sun 07 Jun 2020, 14:19

PAN - It sounds a bit confusing. There were some facilities for children of essential workers here as well, but the majority of our students have been at home driving their parents mad. Teachers are having a tough time, too. They're expected to do online instruction for their students - and the parents - as well as taking care of their own children. It's exhausting.

How large do your primary school classes tend to be? Ours (NYC) are fairly large, with anywhere from 25 to 35 children crowded into one classroom - and often 3 or more classes on a grade. We're so crowded it's hard to see how we can get all the kids back to school without enormous changes. Just one more disaster for our country to deal with. Maybe it will be used as an opportunity to make some  much needed improvements. I hope so.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 07 Jun 2020, 23:52

Yes, classes average 30 here and usually 3 classes in a each year - sometimes a year group is 2

classes of 30 each.

Clearly in this unknown situation with no previous road map, teachers who have children are

regarded as different. And at the moment it's a slow process of getting the children back so I

suspect that the teachers without children would have been asked to go in at this early stage.

Staff rooms are usually pretty good at this stuff if left alone by the hierarchy!

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 00:42

Interesting. There isn't usually a lot of autonomy for the staff here when it comes to major decisions. They are usually consulted but the final decision is rarely theirs. It either comes from the Dept. of Education or the principal.

Nobody knows yet how classes will be scheduled or who will be called in to teach. I doubt very much that whether or not someone has children of their own will be considered.

The major concerns I'm hearing here are how to social distance in a crowded classroom and a lack of trust that the schools will be adequately sanitized. Most of our schools are pretty old and aren't in great condition at the best of times, so people aren't sure they'll be safe.

We probably won't know what reopening plans are until mid-summer at the earliest.
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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 01:31


Here's an idea, Lizzy!

Just find a parent with yurt company:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8397095/School-holds-lessons-giant-tents.html

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 20:39

Very Happy Not sure that would work once the weather turns cold. We'd have to find a way to keep the kids warm or they'd either get sick or build a fire to huddle around - and then get sick! Not exactly a winning solution, but interesting all the same.
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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 13:19

For anyone who likes a capella music, check out Jared Halley on YouTube. He's a one-man a capella group! Amazing medleys and covers of many groups, from Michael Jackson to Queen. Has to be seen to be believed. Very Happy
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Post by Admin on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 13:01

Hi folks, where is everyone??? Missing you all.
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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 14:17

Hello! Hi, Katie! I think we're all still here. There just isn't much to say when you've been locked away so long that half the time you don't even remember what day it is! George is still pretty much off the radar, and talking politics is interesting but headache-inducing and depressing. I've been living on YouTube for weeks. Embarassed

How are you doing? Are you out of isolation yet? Have you been able to get work done on your house? Is there still much to be done? I hope the work is moving along quickly. My place needs a paint job, but every time I think of all the work involved I shudder and think "Nah! It can wait a while longer.".
Way too much work.

I hope things are getting back to normal for all of you. It's happening much too slowly here.
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Post by Admin on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 14:30

Oh, thank goodness at least you're there, LizzyNY.  Hoping everyone else is also still  here - although it seems there aren't all that many George Clooney fans online anymore.  Kind of sad to see, but hopefully if he's starting to do more publicity for Good Morning, Midnight, we'll be seeing a bit more of him.

Life's good here. Officially lockdown eases again on 4th July, but unofficially everyone's already gone back to normal (or as close to as possible).  I'm still hiding out at home, mostly. Not sure about the second wave but not wanting to risk it.

The house is finally coming along!  Had builders in all last week, and with any luck should have a kitchen by mid next-week.  Then all I need to do is get floors put down, and then what's left will be just the things I can do by myself.  

I know how you feel about painting. I'm supposed to be mist-coating my kitchen at the moment, which why I'm here instead. Obviously!

I've been loving having a garden - first time in my life I've had one.  Was watching foxes play in my neighbour's garden last night, and yesterday found what I though was a weird, ill-looking slug, until I poked it with my shoe and found out it was tarry and most definitely not slug.  A friend of mine says that it's hedgehog poo!  Very excited.  

Yeah, that sums up covid-19 for me: getting excited about hedgehog poo!  Hope your life's going better than mine!
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 15:56


Much excitement here in the sticks, Katie - new forms of weed that flowers in grass and

paving. Have decided to leave while it looks attractive along with moss which apparently is

the best thing ever for absorbing greenhouse gases. Who knew? A great excuse to leave too.

Wine is helping and my wine tasting bunch has been moved online - but you have to report in

but you have to report in your views once a month....if you can...


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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 17:03

:DKatie - I'm so glad your place is finally coming together. I'm curious. What is "mist-coating"? That's a term I've never heard. I hope it's not too much work.

I'm so jealous. The closest I have to a garden is a bunch of flower pots on the windowsill. Two of them are growing some aloe-y thing that I can't kill no matter how hard I try, one is growing plain old grass (not the good kind) and the rest are just growing dirt. I think they're cursed.

I can't believe you can see foxes playing in your garden. How cool! Other than squirrels and pigeons the only wildlife I've ever seen around here were a possum that wandered out of a nearby park and some wild parrots that used to nest nearby, but they're long gone. (Do mice count as wildlife? scratch)

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy PAN - Just how much of that wine have you been tasting? Have to admit, though, that puttering in the garden sounds more exciting than a weekly trip to the grocery store.

Enjoy your freedom, you two. Thumbs up!
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Post by Admin on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 19:27

Lizzy: mist-coating is where you dilute paint 50:50 with water, and use it to paint over fresh plaster.  Apparently you can't put 'full fat' paint on new plaster because it'll crack and fall off or something.  I've got the ceiling and four walls to do, so that'll be the whole day and have to start early (well, early-ish) tomorrow so I can get three coats of paint on because the guys are coming on Monday to install the kitchen and I won't be able to reach awkward areas such as the ceiling above the wall units after they've done their stuff.

PAN - don't even talk to me about weeds!  Have discovered how many of the damn things we have in this country and they're all bloody growing in my garden!  At least I don't have Japanese knotweed, although I have the second-worst thing: bamboo.  My neighbour was growing along his back fence and of course the stuff has come under the fence and just infested my garden.  I'd read the stories about how quickly that stuff grows, but never realised what that meant: it can easily add an inch or two a day!  It can push its way through anything except thick concrete and its roots are tough and fibrous, so really hard to cut.  Not that it makes any difference if you cut the roots: it's got this clever system of growing little rhizomes underground which are individual and separate plants from the mother plant, so even if you chop off the root, it can carry on independently growing by itself. Grrrrrr.  Had to get a gardener in to dig up the stuff for me as it's too tough.  Eventually we got up close to 100m of roots from my garden!  I'm still digging up individual plants as they come up in my flowerbed, gravelled area, garden pathway . . .    That stuff should be illegal to sell or grow.

Rant over.  Take a look at two gorgeous things I've found in my garden:

This one's an elephant hawk moth. I had no idea you could get pink moths!
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And this one's a rose chafer. Not a good thing to have, but soo beautiful - like a walking iridescent emerald - that I couldn't kill it.
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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 20:11

Katie - Maybe you could drop the rose chafer over the fence into your neighbor's garden. Does it eat bamboo? That moth is beautiful, but has it been munching on your plants? It looks like something has.

Maybe I'm not so jealous about having a garden after all... Very Happy

Thanks for explaining mist-coating. We call it "priming", and yes, you do have to do it to prepare the plaster for actual painting or the paint won't dry properly and will flake off as it dries. Do you have to apply it with a roller or can you spray it on? That might make it go faster, although it might not work as well. Good luck! It sounds like you're going to have a long day ahead of you.
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Post by Admin on Mon 29 Jun 2020, 15:09

Bloody nothing eats bamboo. Apart from pandas, of course, but the local council won't let me have one. The rose chafer will be culprit for holes in my plants. That, and the caterpillars. A sad thing about the world that we all love butterflies but hate caterpillars.

My arms ache today: two coats of paint in the kitchen (ceiling and four walls), plus digging up more chunks of bamboo from sodden earth yesterday have done for me.

Anyway, good news: the builders are here and my kitchen is taking shape. Can't wait to have a washing machine and a freezer after three months without. Whoo-hoo!

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 29 Jun 2020, 15:31

Wheee! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're finally getting a livable kitchen! I bet you can't wait til all the work is done. After all that painting, is there a spot where you can sit with a nice glass or two of wine and watch someone else do the hard work while you relax?

I asked my garden-blessed friends if they knew anything that killed bamboo, but they all just said "No" and sent you their sympathies. My uncle said you should get a machete and a blowtorch - but didn't think even that would make much difference. It seems bamboo is a forever pest! Sorry. Sad

Enjoy watching the builders work! Very Happy
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Post by annemarie on Mon 29 Jun 2020, 17:54

Congrats on the new Kitchen Katie.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 29 Jun 2020, 22:11

bounce New Kitdhen...

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Post by Admin on Tue 30 Jun 2020, 20:46

Work in the kitchen continues apace.  Tomorrow I'll have electricity in there!  Can't tell you how nice it'll be to eventually be able to boil the kettle in the kitchen!  Plus the electrician is going to wire up all my lights, so no more bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  I won't know myself!

Anyone else having a hard time believing it's July tomorrow?

Interested to know what the 4th July plans are for US friends.
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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 30 Jun 2020, 23:20

I'm so happy for you! Is everything turning out the way you hoped? How did the floor turn out?

Are all your appliances electric? I only ask because my stove/oven runs on gas and I love it because it's so easy to adjust. My mom had an electric stove and I found it really hard to get used to.

No special plans for the 4th this year. We're still being told to avoid crowds and wear masks whenever we go outside. Everyone's still a bit leery about getting together. With the virus spiking in so many places everyone's nervous. I think you guys have done a much better job of this virus stuff than we have.
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Post by annemarie on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 01:31

No plans for the 4th staying safe at home.

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Post by annemarie on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 19:25

Hugh Downs has passed away, he was 99 years old.

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