Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Very, very thankful that our middle daughter has not had a meltdown with her dad being gone. Considering that twice earlier in the week she almost melted before school, this is huge. It is just a huge breakthrough, and I believe it has to do with an antioxidant we've started her on about a week ago.

Normally when she starts to ramp up into a meltdown she gets to a point where she can't stop. Both times this week she's gotten to *that* point, but she's been able to pull herself out of it. And it seems that she has at least one meltdown monthly that is uncontrolled. I know hormones are involved, but the Theanine really seems to make a difference, and I'm so grateful that my friend told me about it.

I am going to start taking it myself as well, as it has immunity boosting properties. Besides that, it helps destress a person, and it's like fibromyalgia feeds on stress. I figure I'll know how it helps me in another week or two. My friend has noticed that she has less body pain after having been on the Theanine for awhile. That sounds wonderful.

I'm hopeful.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Of doctors and dentists and root canals and dogs.

So. I was supposed to go to the doctor today. Didn't happen. When they made the appointment yesterday, they asked, if I could come in 'tomorrow'. I said yes. Apparently, 'tomorrow' was supposed to be Friday, because the doctor I'll be seeing doesn't do morning appointments except on Fridays. I rescheduled for next week, because my hubby will be out of town for the weekend, and it's an appointment I don't want to go to alone.

Finished working in the kitchen in the kids' new house. I can't handle being there anymore, because of our old dog. I love the dog, don't get me wrong. But I developed a severe allergy to dogs sometime over the years, and we had to get rid of her as a result. We were just thrilled our daughter wanted her. Still. I need a break. I've been over there several days in a row, and my nose is running and I've got the whole sinus thing going on from being around her. Benadryl is in my present and my future for awhile.

Was very, very thankful for a surprise phone call this morning. It was my dentist's office saying they had a cancellation at 10 and offering the appointment to me. Since I missed my scheduled appointment last week through a comedy of errors, and I'm on antibiotics for an abscessed tooth, I was thrilled to get the call. Until I realized I had the above mentioned appointment today. When I called the doctor's office to see, if they'd gotten the paperwork from my doctor faxed in yet, they told me that my appointment was Friday and not Thursday. So I called the dentist's office back only to find that the appointment was still available. I showered quickly, dried my hair and got to the appointment right on time.

While I had a doctor's appointment today that ended up turning into a dental appointment, I was relieved. I had a spur of the moment root canal. I was surprised when the cotton swab with the topical anesthetic started hurting my tooth withing moments of being placed between the tooth and my cheek. Even though he'd already suspected I needed a root canal the sudden pain from the cotton swab confirmed it. I now have no pain in the tooth at all. My cheek is sore from the shots of numbing medication and from being stretched, so he could work on my tooth, but I'll take that over needing pain medicine from an abscessed tooth any day!

I will be catching up on blogs tomorrow and this weekend. I'm behind a few days. I'm also behind on laundry, so I'll be working on that as well. I also plan on making cookies or a cake with the girls over the weekend. I'm just praying things go well when they realize their daddy is gone for the weekend.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long 3 days.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh Fiddle-dee-dee.

I hate hormones. Really. I detest them. And now that I'm getting older, I'm feeling more like a teen again. You know that age when the hormones kick in and you have horrible mood swings, and you feel like you can't do anything right, and you go from crazy angry to crying jags that last for hours? The kinds of hormones that convince you that something that was said in jest was really said to hurt your feelings? Yeah. Those kind of hormones.

I hate that raging hormones like this make me feel like I've lost total control over my life. I hate that they make me doubt myself and hate myself. I hate that they make me cry. I rarely cry. I hate that they make me feel so vulnerable and exposed. I hate that they make me doubt others and their feelings toward me.

I cannot wait for this decade of my life to be finished. At least this part of it! The rest of it can go slowly. The hormones have my permission to high tail it out of here and NOW!

So. I'm feeling a little better today. Went to the newlyweds' house and finished putting the red gingham shelf paper in the upper cabinets. I'll do the drawers tomorrow, and they get to do the bottom cabinets. My back can't handle getting down that low. Actually, I can get down that low, but I can't guarantee getting back up again.

In the famous words of Scarlett O'Hara...

"Tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do you ever

hate yourself? I mean truly loathe yourself?

I do. Not as often as I used to, but it still creeps in at times.

Today is one of those days. I hate myself for letting people get to me.

I don't care a flying fig about what someone who doesn't know me thinks of me. Seriously. The only ones in my life that can hurt me are the ones I love.

However, loving someone doesn't mean that the feeling is mutual. I need to learn to deal with that and toughen up and not give a flying fig.

Instead, I think I'm just going to go to bed.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

All that and red gingham shelf paper.

My t-shirt is splattered with little gray specks from cleaning the kids' cabinets in their new house today. The kitchen always seems to be the most neglected room in homes, and this was no exception. The grease and grime on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts was built up at least 1/8" of an inch. More in places.

They looked much cleaner once I was done with them, but cleaning them with a scrub brush took some of the finish off. They're all wood with just a little stain - they aren't sealed with anything. So I was able to spruce them up with some Old English Furniture Polish Scratch Cover. Love the stuff! The cabinets look new, and the kids are thrilled.

I ache all over. Not sure, if it's just from working on their kitchen, or if I'm coming down with something. Got sick to my stomach last night, so I guess it could be a stomach bug of some sort, too.

Found out today that I missed my dental appointment last week. They said they'd called with a reminder call, but it doesn't show up on my Caller ID. My name's been put on the wait list for cancellations, but if nobody cancels, I won't get in to be seen until the middle of June. I just hope this antibiotic kicks the infection, and it doesn't come back before I can get the tooth looked at.

Hoping to finish up in the kids' kitchen tomorrow, so I can concentrate on my own house!

Right now...I'm off to bed.

Tomorrow will come early enough without me waiting up to meet it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A day of rest.

My tooth was feeling better when I woke this morning, but my body protested. Loudly. When prescription strength ibuprofen didn't do anything to curb the pain, I allowed myself a prescription pain med.

It took care of the pain, but it also made me extremely tired and nauseous. So my wonderful husband took the girls with him on some errands, and I crawled into bed. I slept hard and deep, and I felt much better when I awoke. However, I still am not at 100%.

I still have some deep cleaning/scrubbing to do at the newlyweds new house, but I decided to stay home today and give my body a break. I'll go over tomorrow and try and finish up while the kids are in school.

Aside from a really nice nap and a couple loads of laundry I did nothing today.

And I'm okay with that. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Here's to a more exciting tomorrow.

Exhausted tonight.

Tooth becoming abscessed.

Back spasming.

Helping newlyweds with cleaning their new house today.

It's dirty. Sat vacant for over a year.

So. Yeah.

That's all for tonight.

Will be crawling to bed soon.

Friday, April 23, 2010


That's how old I feel today.

I worked in the girls' room today. It's the one Mom had helped me with the other day. I spent 5 hours working in there, and I got rid of a lot of stuff, but I'm still not done. My back is spasming, so I'm relaxing with my good friend, Mr. Heating Pad, as I write this. It will probably take me a couple more days in there, but I made a really good dent in things.

I finished filling the extra large outdoor trash bag that Mom and I had filled half full with trash the other day. I then proceeded to fill another huge trash bag over half full, and I found a smaller black garbage bag full of paper garbage where I'd last sorted in there. So it went out to the trash, too. I had to toss the Little Tykes grocery cart that we'd gotten our oldest over 20 years ago. It was broken. And while it made me sad to throw it, I felt released of any guilt over disposing of it, because it was broken.

I also finished filling the 2'x2' box of stuff to give away and started filling another, smaller box with donations. It's full. I need more boxes. But that's a good thing. I also removed a full pillowcase full of laundry from their bedroom and started filling another.

Overall, I'm pleased with what I've accomplished today. I'd love to finish it up this weekend, but I won't be disappointed, if I can't get back there until later next week. The best news is that neither of the girls were stressed today about me working in the bedroom. Last week, our middle daughter started getting stressed when Mom and I were working on it, so we stopped. Just glad it doesn't seem to be bothering her now!

Oh! And the newlyweds closed on their house today. The sellers covered the graffiti in the house, but it's obvious, so they'll still have to paint. They also fixed the locks on the windows that were broken. Don't think they fixed the doggy door, but the kids should be able to handle that on their own.

All in all a good day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The great cake fiasco.

Friday before the wedding, I asked our oldest what they had planned for a cake. They hadn't. They figured that anyone who wanted dessert could get it from the pizza joint they were going to for dinner after the ceremony at the courthouse. So I decided to make some phone calls. I thought it would be fun to have a little cake there for them. Something. Anything. A wedding seems somehow incomplete without a cake to me. You know?

I just thought maybe it would be fun to get them something different. They'd never had a donut cake before, so I thought I'd call around and see, if I could find one locally. A donut cake is literally a huge donut filled with Bavarian Cream and iced with chocolate or vanilla icing. I thought it would be different and fun, but I couldn't find anything withing 100 miles. I did ask for a call back from a bakery who thought they might be able to do one, but I didn't get the return call until three days before the wedding. At that point, it was a little too late.

So silly, silly me decided Sunday morning, a mere 5 days before the wedding, to make a cake for them. However, I have no experience whatsoever with making cakes.

When I make birthday cakes, I'm usually in such a hurry that I make a cake in a 9x13" and frost it in the pan, buy one, or cover a roll of toilet paper to look like a German Chocolate cake. That's it there in the picture.

In fact, I think I've literally made 1 layer cake in the 24 years we've been married. I just get so busy around birthdays that I never seem to have the time to even try with one. So I have no
idea what prompted me to think I could manage making a wedding cake, let alone a fondant covered cake.

Before we left the house on Sunday, I printed off 8 40% off coupons for Hobby Lobby, but since Hobby Lobby was closed, we went to JoAnn's. It just made more sense to give it a try and have the supplies for future cakes than to spend extra money on a cake to have it made in a rush. We scurried to get the supplies I needed before our daughter met us for some last-minute wedding shopping. I didn't want her to know what I was attempting for two reasons. If it didn't turn out, then she wouldn't be disappointed, and if it did turn out, it would be a fun surprise.

While I was shopping, the hubby went through the checkout line for me repeatedly saving 40% on supplies each time he went through and used a coupon. They were really good about all of it, and I know we couldn't have gotten the supplies without the coupons. Plus I have all the stuff to make future birthday cakes.

Wouldn't you know that I forgot the cake pans? I have a silicone cake pan my husband bought me as a gift one year, and I like it just fine. But I like it for cooking in the microwave. For some reason, I have the worst time trying to bake cakes in them. Some instructions say you still have to grease silicone pans. Others say you don't. And yet others say to grease and flour it. But I always have such a hard time getting the cakes out of the pan. They always come out in pieces, but I still gave it a try.

So Monday night, I tried my first cake. In the silicone pan. I followed the high altitude directions for it, but the cake came out as crumbly and coarse and yellow - not white. And I really wanted it to seem like a wedding cake. And wedding cakes are white, and moist, and dense, and not crumbly. Hah. I piled myself into bed around 1:00a.m Monday night. I was exhausted. And I still had to clean the kitchen counter off and figure out this whole cake baking thing.

Tuesday came early. After getting the kids off to school, I worked on getting the kitchen cleaned up.I really wanted to work on the cake some more, but I knew I needed to get the kitchen cleaned, if I was going to be able to relax enough to concentrate on doing the cake. By the time the hubby came home, the countertop was cleared, and I was ready to try my hand at baking again. He'd stopped and gotten me a couple of sets of metal cake pans to use, so I got them washed up and popped them in the oven with a fresh batch of cakes. This time, I only used cake whites, and the cake was whiter, but it still stuck in the pan. Plus, of all things, the oven turned off in the middle of the cycle, and the cakes didn't finish baking like they should have. It was a mess, and I was stressed.

So I crawled into bed after 1:00 a.m. again and just died. Got up at 5:15 to get the girls off to school and realized that it was an early release day. It was one exceptionally stressful day with our middle daughter freaking out over bringing the trash cans up to the house early, and the youngest one being obstinate about wearing her glasses. Because I was so swamped and so stressed, hubby ran to the grocery store and got me three more cake mixes (this time without pudding in the mix), so we could maybe have a white cake and not a yellow one.

He went to work, and I set to cleaning cake pans and trying to find high altitude directions on the cake mixes. Yeah. There weren't any. And even though I followed the directions on the package to a T, and they turned out white, they were very, very fragile cakes. At this point, though, I'd already baked 6 sets of cakes - 5 different white cakes and 1 chocolate. And the wedding was the day after tomorrow!

So I threw the cakes in the freezer to firm up while I made homemade buttercream frosting. I needed to frost the cakes in order for the fondant to stick. So I got busy with that, and did a quick crumb coat on the cakes and stuck them back in the fridge to harden while I attempted to color the fondant.

Coloring the fondant wasn't as difficult as I'd expected, and I have to admit that I got motivated as I saw the colors turning out right. But by the time I'd gotten the fondant colored and the ladybug parts cut out, it was once again well past midnight. So I crawled into bed again. After all, 5:15 comes early, and I had to finish getting ready for my Mom's arrival and I had to get some rest. I had to be done with the cake before our daughter came over to spend the night before her wedding with us.

Thursday was a bit of a blur. I got busy as soon as we got the girls out the door and on the bus to school. I had to make even more buttercream to ice the cakes with and got that out of the way. Even though I had the ladybug parts cut out, I still had to roll out the fondant and I'd never done that before. Still. It seemed to go fairly smoothly. Until I actually put in on the cake.

I'm not sure, if it was just no longer pliable enough, or if it was too floppy, but I ended up with extra folds on the cake. No matter how I tried to smooth them down, I couldn't seem to make them disappear.

So I rolled even more out and made a grass border to cover it up. At this point, there was only about 29 hours to go before the wedding, and I had to do something.

When my husband woke up and was on his way to shower for work, he stopped by the kitchen. He only had one word to say. "Unbelievable!" I wasn't even finished with the grass yet, and I hadn't gotten the daisies on, either, but I figured that was a pretty good sign.

So I finished throwing it together, got it boxed up, and had him take it downstairs and hide it until he could take it to the pizza joint before the wedding the next day.

Then I cleaned up the mess I'd made in the kitchen, hid all the decorating supplies, so our daughter wouldn't see them when she came over later that night, and dragged myself to the shower. Oh. And I sent a few pictures of the cake to friends.

All in all, I think I did okay for a first attempt. I know I'll do things differently the next time. And I know for sure that I'll be looking for a non-fragile cake recipe, so the cake doesn't get lumpy on the sides from collapsing on itself. It really didn't look that way before the fondant. It's all a learning adventure, right?

Most importantly, the kids were surprised, and they had a wedding cake for their special day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My mom, the straight man.

Let me just start by saying that I can never seem to get anything over on my daughter. I guess I'm not good at keeping secrets from her or at least at not keeping a straight face when I'm trying to pull something on her. So the fact that we pulled this off was huge...

A week or so before the wedding, I finally convinced Mom to come for the wedding. I'm still not sure how I did it, but I'm so glad I did! She said that the only way she'd come, is if we didn't tell our oldest. Which also meant I couldn't tell our middle daughter, because she'd tell everyone! So I told our youngest daughter, because...well, being non-verbal, she can keep a secret! It helped me, and it sure made her happy! And even though he knew it was supposed to be a surprise, my hubby almost gave it away on a few occasions. He covered well, though, and she didn't suspect a thing.

Mom would be flying in on Thursday night. The night before the wedding. A couple of days before they were to get married, I got a text from our daughter saying she wanted to spend the night before her wedding at our house and get ready here. It couldn't have been more perfect. So we made plans to watch Survivor and eat pizza with her little sisters. We'd make a night of it.

However, we were so excited when she got there that we kept pausing the tv to say something, and it took almost an hour and 45 minutes to watch Survivor. At one point, we even had to pause the tv, when Mom called from the airport during a layover. She talked to both me and our oldest and told us all about my nephew's ballgame she was supposedly attending. It was perfect timing and added credibility to her not being able to make it for the wedding. It was just perfect all around.

Except for the fact that when she called me back 2 minutes later to tell me what time the 'ballgame' was, she was laughing hysterically when I replied, "Good. I'm glad you'll have plenty of time to get there!" I have no idea how I kept a straight face! Inside, I was squealing and screaming with excitement. I even caught myself smiling at the tv when I was thinking about it and having to get myself under control. It was hard work!

The younger girls are used to going to bed really early, so they went to bed 15 minutes or so before we finished watching our show, and they were asleep by the time I left 20 minutes later. Mom's plane was supposed to land at 9:10 or so, and by the time we got done with Survivor, my stomach was flipping with excitement.

At 8:45, I told our oldest that I'd forgotten that I had to run to Target. Would she mind sitting with the girls? Then I ran in the bathroom and freshened up a bit and brushed my hair. I mentioned that I should change my shirt, because it's rather worn, but she said, "Mom, it's only Target. It's not like you need to dress up!" (I realized then that I couldn't change clothes, or she'd suspect something). "What are you getting, anyway?" When she asked what I was getting, I had to act offended and like it was a gift she couldn't know about. She accused me of being obvious. I had to do everything I could not to bust up laughing and give something away. I can never seem to surprise her. It drives me nuts.

I finally got out the door and had my cell phone in hand to call my sister who knew all that had been going on. I had to actively remind myself to be securely locked in my car before I dialed, because I was afraid my voice would carry, and our oldest would be able to hear me in the house. I felt like I was going to burst!

So I called my twin sister, and we talked and laughed while I drove to the airport and tried to figure out where I was going. I'd only been to the airport one other time, since we seem to drive everywhere we go, so it was an adventure. One I got to share with my sister. It was so much fun, and I'll cherish the memories forever! I didn't realize exactly how close we lived to the airport, and I actually had time to burn before going in to pick up Mom, so we had more time to talk.

Being in such a silly mood, I decided to make a sign and hold it up for Mom. After all, it had been a few years since we'd seen each other, and I didn't know, if she'd remember what I looked like. I got a piece of notebook paper out of my purse that I'd written a list on, and I wrote MOM in pen on the back, since I didn't have a marker with me. I made the O into a ladybug, and I held it impatiently in front of me while I waited to see Mom's face.

My sister asked for me to have my phone on speaker, so she could hear everything as it happened, but I found out later she couldn't hear a thing. I'd pick up the phone every once in awhile and talk to her, but for the most part, it felt like I was just holding my breath in anticipation. I think 3 planes all landed within 10 minutes of each other, and I thought I'd never see Mom come through the crowd. Well, I guess I didn't. At least 200 people came by before she did, and there was no crowd around her by the time she came down the ramp. She was alone. She'd thought that I would be picking her up where she deplaned, so she'd sat down and waited for me. I'm so glad she didn't wait too long!

I was SO excited to finally see her, and it killed me that I couldn't walk to meet her, because of the safety restrictions, so I just willed her to walk fast. We couldn't seem to talk fast enough or hug hard enough. She didn't have to wait for luggage, so we headed out to the car after calling my sister back and letting her know Mom made it in okay. Then we began to plan how we were going to surprise our oldest daughter, and we hardly had time to get it straight before I pulled up in front of the house.

My twin sister wanted to be able to hear the surprise unfold. So I called her on my cell phone, and walked into the house while talking to her. That way, the bride-to-be wouldn't question me being on the phone that late, and she'd be able to hear everything. In the meantime, Mom called her granddaughter to talk to her a bit more and would wait in the car for a few minutes before coming in. I don't know for sure what they were talking about. Mom was asking for me, but I was asking our daughter to talk to her, because I was on the phone with my sister. Our daughter was definitely confused by all of it.

Whatever they were talking about, it had our sweetheart's attention. She was engrossed in conversation when the door squeaked a little bit and Mom walked in. You should have heard the blood curdling scream! Followed by sobbing. And laughing. And screaming. And more laughing. And the blubbering continued for at least 20 minutes. It was priceless! And on the other end of my cell phone was my twin sister sobbing over the beauty of it all.

And it was beautiful. And it made our daughter's night. It made all of everyone's night!

Mom helped make our daughter's wedding complete. Thank you, Mom. We love you with all our hearts!

I will forever be grateful that Mom gave the gift of herself to our daughter for her wedding.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard to say goodbye.

I'm exhausted tonight. I think my body is finally letting go of stress I've apparently been carrying the last week or two.

Took Mom to the airport this morning. The younger girls and I were able to get gate passes to help Mom to the gate, so we were able to hang out with her until she left. We stayed and watched the airplane taxi down the runway, but the windows weren't facing the right direction for us to see the plane take flight.

Our middle daughter was somehow able to hold herself together, but she lost it a few times before we left the house. I'm not sure, but I think the 4 hour nap yesterday was her way of avoiding the thought of her Gramma going home, because she did have a couple of mini-meltdowns yesterday.

Just got off the phone. Mom made it home safe and sound. I'm glad. Now I feel like I'll be able to sleep.

I'm totally wiped tonight. I'll put some thought into a better post for tomorrow.

Promise. ;o)

Monday, April 19, 2010

I don't want to go to sleep.

If I do, it means that when I wake up, I'll only have a few short, precious hours left with Mom before taking her to the airport. I don't want to have to say goodbye.

Mom's coming down with a cold and isn't feeling the best today. Has a sore throat, and her ear hurts, too. It's nothing major, but I know she's not real comfortable. I know it's not going to be the most pleasant flying tomorrow with an earache, and I'll be glad when she calls from the airports to let me know she's doing okay, and that she's made it home safely.

Didn't get much done today. I guess we got a little done today, but it wasn't much. But that's not why I wanted Mom to come down (although that's one of the reasons she wanted to come down - to help me get something done). So it was nice just hanging out for the most part today.

Our middle daughter took a four hour nap today. She was either tired, because she didn't want to think of Gramma going home, or because she's getting sick. It could even be a combination of the two. I'll take her temp tomorrow to rule out being sick. Regardless, I'm sure we're all going to be beat tomorrow when we get home from the airport.

Got an email from the insurance adjuster this afternoon. He said our flash drive froze his computer and wrote it in all caps. Said he needed the information in a specific format (which is exactly how we did it and how we put it on the thumb drive in the first place!), and that he really needs the files. :::sigh:::

Our daughter and her new husband were coming over tonight to spend a little more time with Gramma, so I was able to pick their brains about how to get the info to the insurance adjuster. Our son-in-law graciously offered to put in the DVD writer drive we've had for almost a year. So I was able to put all the information needed on a DVD for the insurance adjuster. Hopefully, he can get this to work without crashing his system. If not, I have no idea what else to do.

Sounds like it might be awhile before we get our insurance check after all. Oh well. It will be here when we need it to be.

I'm finally feeling sleepy, so I'm off to bed.

I'm hoping tomorrow morning goes slowly, so I can savor every moment with Mom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crawling into bed again...

I will still definitely write about the wedding and the list I made the other day, but I fear it will need to wait until Mom goes home. I cherish every moment I have with her, and I just can't bring myself to tear away from our moments to do the blog, so I'll write more later.

We had a very busy day today. It started with a hazy, dark morning that allowed us to not wake up nearly as early as typical. Still...we had lots of fun and got things accomplished to boot.

First, our newlywed daughter treated her gramma and me to tea at a quaint little place downtown. It's a cute little place with a hodge podge set of furniture and mismatched dishes, and it felt like home. It was so very comfortable, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time visiting and looking at the antiques in the place. I will definitely be going for tea with our daughter again sometime!

We met the kids' realtor at the house they're buying. She graciously agreed to meet, so they could show the house to Mom, but there were problems. The kids showed us the backyard, and when we opened the gate, it was obvious someone had tried breaking into the house. The doggy door had been pried apart and there were hunks of plywood from it strewn about. Then when we went all the way into the backyard, we noticed that one of the window screens was bent up and on the ground. Two window screens were missing completely.

When the realtor finally got there a few minutes later, she couldn't get the key to work in the deadbolt, which was locked. She was surprised the deadbolt even worked saying that deadbolts are often disabled while vacant homes are on the market, or if they've been foreclosed upon. It's just added security, so people aren't locked out of the house. The only way the deadbolt could have been locked was from the inside.

She was finally able to get into the house through the side garage door, where we saw even more of the doggy door in pieces on the floor. The only thing that kept the punks from getting in the house was the 2x4 that had been screwed diagonally across the doggy door. It didn't look all that good.

Upon quick glances, it looked like nothing was amiss. On closer inspection, however, it was obvious the kids who broke in wrote on every wall in the place with ink pen and pencil. They'd gotten in through one of the windows in the back. When we discovered that, we checked all the windows, and two of the locks were broken. They got in one of those two windows.

They wrote death threats, vulgarities and just teenage crap on the walls. But they hit every single wall in the house. They went into the crawl space, but our son-in-law went in to check it out, and he said it looked and smelled okay. They called the cops, but heard nothing until after waiting an hour and a half. The phone rang. It was someone at the police station. They apologized for not being able to make it out, but they said they were so swamped they couldn't get away. So they took a statement by phone and gave the kids a case number. Unfortunately, even though the neighbors are sure it was some of the punks in the neighborhood, it appears nothing much will be done.

It could have been SO much worse! There are local stories about feces, paint, or food being thrown around inside vacant buildings at least once or twice a year. This was just ink pen and pencil. However, it also means that every single wall will need to be painted before the kids can move in. We're very much hoping that the sellers will give a paint allowance or send someone in to paint before they close on the house toward the end of the week. Otherwise, it's going to cost a few hundred extra dollars they weren't expecting.

When Mom and I got back to our house, I told her of so many of my plans. She was very encouraging. It was wonderfully fun being able to share my vision with someone who could see exactly what I was talking about! She also told me that I really need to concentrate on what I've already gotten done instead of what I have yet to finish. It makes sense. It is definitely a more positive way of looking at things, and I think it would likely help to keep me motivated.

After showing her around, she insisted on helping me in one of the rooms. We chose to tackle the girls' bedroom. Mom said it reminded her of cleaning out a toy box from when we were kids, but it's the entire room. We got more accomplished in an hour and a half than I'd be able to do on my own in a day. We filled a box that has to be 2' square 3/4 of the way up. We'll finish filling it up tomorrow, and it will go to the car, so we can drop it off to be donated. We also got a big box of laundry out of there and filled a huge black trash bag half full with garbage. We'll finish that room up tomorrow. Once the stuff is out of the house, it's going to be so much easier to keep the room clean! Visiting with Mom while getting things done definitely makes things go faster. I've loved every minute of it!

We stopped for the night when the newlyweds came over for supper and pineapple upside down cake for dessert.

It's been a long and exhausting day, but full of fun and productivity. I fully expect tomorrow to be the same.

I'll do what I can to catch up on blogs after Mom goes home.

Right now..I'm going to drag myself to bed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It all started off with flowers.

The night before her wedding, our beautiful daughter brought me tulips. They're my favorite flower ever, and they were even before I read Welcome To Holland. The poem just made them even more special. She even picked yellow, which has always been my favorite color.

We put them in a pitcher my parents gave me years ago. They looked perfect together.

She said she wanted us to know she'd always be our little girl. :::sniff:::

The following morning, the doorbell rang. There was a delivery for both me and my husband.

I have to say that I really do adore Children of the Inner Light.

I have quite the collection of mugs and large vases thanks to our oldest. She and her new husband added to that collection with these:

Hopefully, we can do better than the stereotypical in-laws.

I know we'll give it our best shot, and we hope he feels welcome and part of the family. I know we're up to the challenge!

Friday, April 16, 2010

One tired

I am SO exhausted. What a long few days!

I'll write more about it tomorrow, probably, but I'll tease you a little about upcoming posts...

1. The wedding and details-including a sweet surprise from our daughter first thing in the morning!

2. The first surprise of the weekend for mom flying in a a surprise! It was a complete surprise!

3. The second surprise of the weekend...I attempted my first ever fondant cake for their wedding. Shoot. I think I'd only done one other layer cake in my life. So it was pretty much a first all around. All in all, I was pleased.

4. My sister's little ladybug miracle. It's pretty neat. :)

Right now...I'm beyond exhausted. I'm going to bed now, and I will write as I have time in the next few days. I'll post pictures, too. I promise. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.

So. In the midst of the chaos that is the day before any wedding, we realized we still had to pay our state taxes. It's not like I didn't have other plans! Sheesh!

Got it out of the way, but I feel like I could jump out of my skin. Just glad it's done.

Got my 'project' finished. So, Dear Daughter #1, if you're reading this, you'll find out what it is tomorrow. :D

I've been up since 5:15 this morning. That was a full 8.25 hours ago. Which isn't that big a deal, if you're getting your sleep and aren't stressed. It will be a good 10 hours or more before I'll be in bed. I want a nap now!

Hoping I'll still get a chance to blog tomorrow. I guess I'll have to play it by ear.

Right now - I'm off to take a much needed shower to hopefully wake me up for the rest of my day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What a day.

I'll go into further detail sometime after Friday. For now, let me share these two things with you...

Today has been a very stressful day. The kids had early release from school for one reason or another, and I had SO many things to do today, and I just didn't seem to be able to get them done without the girls adding a bit more stress to the day.

First, as I was walking our youngest daughter to the house from the bus, I asked our middle daughter to check the garbage cans. I asked her to bring them back up to the garage, if they were empty. Well, she apparently didn't hear me or misunderstood me, and in her zeal, she grabbed the garbage cans and away she went.

As I got the youngest in the front door, I turned around in time to see the garbage truck speeding down the street. As they neared the house, the guy riding on the back looked for cans, and seeing none he waved the driver on. I instantly realized that the middle daughter took our full cans to the garage. So I ran out to the street to catch them. I started yelling to get their attention, but I couldn't seem to yell over the noise of the truck. Just as they turned the corner off our street, the guy on the back saw me, but they drove on.

I was a little bit frustrated, and I got a little verbal when I went into the house. This caused the middle daughter to get upset thinking she'd done something wrong. So hubby said he'd take care of it and take the trash to work, if need be. Well, that sorta helped, so I told him I'd bag up any of the little stuff, if he could do me a favor really quick. He agreed, so middle daughter and I went out to bag up the trash. Low and behold, they'd come back! Granted, they only emptied 2 of the 3 cans, but I was thrilled! Plus it helped alleviate any guilt-ridden feelings our middle daughter was having.

However, my stress level continued to climb...

The youngest was in a bit of an antagonistic and contrary mood today.

She went in for new glasses a couple of weeks ago, and we picked them up this past weekend. She really needs to get used to wearing them, but she immediately takes them off and puts them away when she gets home from school. When she's been there the entire day, it doesn't bother me, but when she comes home early, I'd like her to wear them a few hours before taking them off.

She was having none of it. It's obvious that her teacher or one of the aides in her classroom either have reading glasses or need bifocals, because she kept wearing them on her head like a pair of sunglasses. So I'd tell her that she needed to wear them and ask her to please put them on right.

She'd pull them to the middle of her forehead.

Again, I'd ask, if she would put them where they belonged. To please put them down. So she would.

With one lens centered over her nose.

This went on for hours. Me asking/telling her she needed to wear her glasses. Her purposely playing like she didn't understand what I was asking. Being contrary.

And although it really was somewhat humorous, it wasn't really funny. My stress level the last few days has been at a level 37.45 on a scale of 1 to 10. Nothing's all that funny when you're stressed like that.

Oh. And adding to the stress? As of Friday, I'll be a mother-in-law. That somehow makes me feel really old.

Then again, it could be the stress. ;o)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I did it!

I finally cleaned the counter completely off and bleached it well...just in case. It looks so empty. So foreign. Still, after 18 months of only seeing part of the counter, it's nice to see the entire thing. I put my fine china in a box, and hubby took it downstairs to a room we don't use much right now to protect it.

Eventually, I'll put it completely away, but I'm not sure when that will happen. We're giving the kids our china hutch after they move into their new house in a couple weeks. No sense in putting it away to turn around and have to take it back out in such a short while. I'll be boxing the contents of the china hutch up soon anyway, so this just saved me a step.

Tired tonight. Still trying to get things done for the wedding. Still not saying what I'm doing in case our oldest decides to read about it beforehand. ;O)

Got a call at 9 tonight from someone wanting to know, if we have anything that we'd like to donate. They'll have a truck in our area next week. I find it so irritating. I don't think I'd mind as much, if they were at least local, but these people are calling from almost 100 miles away. I can't help but think that it's a scam. There are about 6 different 'charities' that call from the same place but with different names. I've asked repeatedly for them to take me off the call list, but they won't. I don't think they have to, because they're a charity.

In my befuddlement over the phone call, I accidentally posted this post empty. Ok. So maybe it wasn't just over the phone call. :)

Off to get busy on my project. Hoping I can keep my countertop cleared for at least 18 months straight! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

When laundry multiplies faster than rabbits.

I got quite a bit done today. I should be able to finish up the counter and the kitchen tomorrow. Considering the counter has been covered for the last 18 months or so, I'll be thrilled! I also did a few loads of laundry today, sorted even more to donate while I was drying dishes and putting them away, and even cleaned out and organized the freezer drawer. That freezer drawer has been driving me nuts, but I'm ever so glad it's done! Little bits of food in the bottom drive me nuts, and there were more than just a few bits.

I wanted to be asleep by now, but I've got to start another load of laundry as soon as the washer is done in a few minutes. I honestly don't mind doing laundry. I somewhat enjoy it. I just wish that there were times I could stay caught up for more than a day or two. It seems to breed with ferocity!

I have several loads to do in the next few days and so much more besides laundry I need to get done. I can't say what all I need to get done, just in case *she* is reading, but I'll do what I can. ;o)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I got absolutely nothing done toward dehoarding today, but I had a lot of fun! We went shopping for last minute stuff our younger girls need to wear for the wedding. Found exactly what we were looking for, which is good.

I got the skirts they're wearing ironed tonight. Our oldest loves, loves, loves ladybugs, and she's thrilled about the skirts. They're red satin w/black polka dots and a little bit of black crinoline sticking out from the bottom of the skirt. They'll wear black blouses w/white tank tops underneath and black leggings.

Our oldest will be wearing ladybug shoes when she ties the knot. Yep. Ladybug shoes. I'll post pictures eventually. It ought to be fun!

I thought of something I'll be doing for the big day, but I won't be writing about it until after the fact. If I write about it now, she'll probably read about it, and I don't want that to happen! (So, #1, if you're reading're outta luck! :D)

I'll hopefully have more to write tomorrow and will get caught up on reading the blogs I haven't had time to read today.

I've got to get up at 5:15 to get the girls ready for school.

Don't you think that time should be illegal? It's entirely too early!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The spririt's willing, but the flesh is weak.

Yesterday, after I scrubbed the shower out and washed the shower liner, I hung the clean liner up with a shower curtain we've had for years. I was hoping that by having a shower curtain on the outside of the shower, that the liner would stay inside the 4" shower pan. In theory, I think it would work, but we've had this !00% cotton shower curtain for so long, that it's shrunk probably at least 7". It came nowhere close to the length of the liner, so we'll have to pick up something for that bathroom.

Unfortunately, between hanging the shower liner and curtain up again and doing several loads of laundry, I can hardly move today. My neck and shoulders are screaming. I had to take a muscle relaxant earlier to try to get them to calm down. I'll be taking another one soon, since the ibuprofen did nothing to dull the throbbing. I'm hoping that I'll be in tip top shape tomorrow or at least well enough I can do something.

I try hard not to complain about being in constant pain, but sometimes I find it very difficult. I work through it most days, but when it's like today, I simply can't. It can be quite frustrating. Especially because I really want to make progress with the dehoarding more quickly than I am currently. Also, I know that complaining just sounds like I'm making excuses for not getting things done. I am trying really hard not to use it as an excuse but rather as an explanation.

Besides. I really, really, really want to get the house totally dehoarded, so we can get some sort of a hot tub or an infrared sauna. Something to help relax these silly muscles!

In your mind, is there a difference between an explanation and an excuse in a situation like this? If so, what do you see as the difference?

Friday, April 9, 2010


I don't remember the exact time frame my parents gave me my bedspread, curtains and hangers, but I was still in high school. It would have been for my 15th or 16th birthday, but I just don't remember for sure. I do know, though that they meant the world to me, and I still have them almost 30 years later. It's stuff like this that makes decisions hard for me.

The bedspread they got me was a very pretty floral design with lavenders and roses in it. It wasn't your typical cotton fabric that can be so stiff and hard, but a soft, sort of silky taffeta. I'd fall asleep stroking it. I just loved it.

The curtains had sort of a romantic way of falling on the window - light and airy. They were semi-sheer with a valance sewn on the top, and when they were criss-crossed one behind the other, you couldn't see through them at all, but they let in the light. I felt like I was in a fairy tale in my bedroom with the lavender carpet and my matching bedspread and curtains. My bedroom always made me feel happy.

Mom spent hours sewing on a flat lavender lace to the edge of the bedspread and the 4 curtains to make them match, and to make them more special. She put so much love into dolling them up for me, and I was in heaven!

Years later, after my hubby and I were married, I found more of the curtains at a store in North Carolina. I bought another 2 sets, so I had 8 curtains all together. We had a lot of windows in the house where we lived, and I wanted to still be able to use the curtains my parents had given me. I put the ones without the lace in behind as liners, which allowed me to criss-cross the ones with the lace in the front. It allowed for brightness and privacy at the same time.

We used the curtains and bedspread until 8 years or so ago, when we finally bought our bedroom set and changed color schemes, but I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of them. I mentioned the other day that our daughter gets married next week. She and her husband will close on a house a week later, and they'll be getting the curtains to use in their bedroom, as they'll match color-wise. It makes me feel good knowing that they'll use them for awhile, too.

I still am not sure what I'll be doing with the bedspread, but I'll be doing something special with it. It's been too big a part of my life to just give it to someone. It was something that has never, ever made me unhappy. Not once. There aren't many things in one's life that can be said about. I have Mom and Dad to thank for all those years of happiness!

At the time that I had the lavender lace-trimmed curtains and bedspread and the lavender carpet, I needed hangers. This was back in the day when plastic hangers first came out, and they were only available in a few select colors. So imagine my delight when my parents surprised me with a new package of lavender hangers for one of my birthday or Christmas gifts! I was thrilled! They lived with me in countless homes and traveled the US with us. They've been a very big part of my life for the last 30 years.

So when I went through the hangers the other day, I made the decision to finally let them go. I put them in the bag with all the other hangers I decided to give to my friend. But it hasn't been easy. I had to request that she send her son to come pick up the bag as soon as possible, so I didn't dig through and retrieve my lifelong companions. I've been okay as long as I haven't thought about them, but even while writing this post, I keep wanting to email her and ask her for the lightest blue hangers with the lavender tint. My heart is racing, I'm feeling quite anxious, and I'm regretting giving them away.

I know that this feeling will pass. I may still have twinges of regret tomorrow or even the next day, but I'll make it through.

I have the memories. Memories of love, of Mom and Dad and the sacrifice they made to give me such a happy room. The memories will be enough.

Nobody can take them away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

If I had my druthers...

The other day, my friend Susan asked me, if I'd rather be a hoarder or have a neat freak problem. I've been thinking about it ever since. Obviously, I'd rather not have either, but that wasn't the question. So..

Honestly? I'd rather having a hoarding problem, if I had to have either, although I sometimes think I have a combination of both. I at least have some of the OCD issues that a neat freak has, or I wouldn't alphabetize my spices or have to sort hangers. Yes. I alphabetize my spices. They're easier to find that way!

I don't mind my inlaws too much. I really don't. I've gotten to the point that I can disregard the majority of things that bother me about them. I hope they would do the same with me, but I think I bother them more than they bother me, but I digress. I've written before about my inlaws and how they don't exactly like me. I'm the complete opposite of them in so many ways, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.

My mother-in-law is a neat freak. No doubt in my mind. Everything has to be in it's place immediately after it's been used, which is fine and dandy and easy enough to do when it's just 2 of you in the household. (We have a really hard time implementing that one, though!) She never seems to relax when we're there. Even when she's sitting down, she looks around for whatever else it is she needs to clean and never seems to really be 'in the moment'.

I want to be able to live in the moment and actually enjoy my kids and my family. I want to be able to relax and be with them. And I do a fairly decent job at that. But I was also brought up knowing that I was supposed to get my chores done before I was supposed to go play. So even though I can relax a little more than my mother-in-law seems to, I too suffer from trying to figure out what I'll be tackling next on my ever growing to-do list as well. However, I can allow myself to just enjoy being with my family.

When my parents met my husband's parents, my father-in-law introduced his wife as 'the best housekeeper in the world'. Which is great. I'm glad he's proud of her. However, my dad always introduced my mom as his wonderful wife and talked about how she was the best mother us kids could have. Both Mom and Dad had experience with hoarding in their lives. Daddy collected little things that didn't take up as much room as what Mom collected, though. And both of them did a good job of keeping things neat, in spite of the fact that they had a lot of stuff. Still, when outsiders would blame anyone, they'd blame Mom for the boxes or the knick knacks that were displayed in the house.

Personally, I don't think it's anyone's business whether or not my parents had a lot of knick knacks or boxes stored in the house and garage. It was their lives and their home, and they had the right to do with their possessions as they saw fit. They loved each other and us kids with an intensity that is unrivaled. We were not well off, but I never knew it as a kid. Seriously. I didn't. My parents did an amazing job of making ends meet even when there was much more month than there was money. There was always room at Mom and Dad's for friends and loved ones who came in from out of town. They made room. And people felt welcome. And loved.

So if I use these the examples of neat freak and hoarder, I'll go with hoarder any day of the week. My husband doesn't introduce me as the best house keeper in the world, and I'm totally okay with that. But he does introduce me as the best mom and wife he or our kids could ask for. In spite of the hoarding and the clutter. And while people may be uncomfortable with the mess in our house, they know that, if they're in our home, that they're welcome. That they're loved.

For now, that's going to have to be good enough. Eventually, I hope to find my equilibrium and find a happy balance between hoarding and neat freak.

The scales are starting to tip, and I'm good with that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One Fish. Two Fish. Red Fish. Blue Fish. brought to you by the letter H.

For years, I've done laundry a certain way. In many ways, it's tedious. I get that. Our clothes didn't show wear very quickly, because of the way I do laundry, so it saved us a lot of money by not having to buy new clothes. My trick? For the most part I only dry sheets, towels, undies, socks and sweats in the dryer. The rest gets 'fluffed and hung'.

During a 'fluffing and hanging' episode, the clothes go straight from the washer to the dryer, and heated until the wrinkles come out. The clothes are still quite wet when they're taken out and hung on hangers to air dry. In the summertime, the hangers of clothes are hung on the clothesline to dry and to have that incredible hung-in-the-sun smell when they're brought back in.

Over the years, clothes were passed down from one daughter to the next, and they often looked like only one child had worn them when we did finally part with them. The fading was minimal, and shrinkage was almost non-existent. It saved us money on the utility bills as well as on clothing replacement costs. I felt it was my duty to save as much as I could, because my husband works so very hard to support our family. I felt it was the least I could do.

Over the last couple of years, I've let up a little. I've dried a few more loads and fluffed and hung just a little less. But one thing I haven't let up on is a little obsession I have with the hangers. They have to be sorted according to color and style.

We have big fat chunky ones we use for coats, the kind with the notches on them to hang strappy things on, regular plastic hangers, and some big chunky ones with swivel heads on them. Some with swivel heads are orange. Some are yellow. The chunky ones for coats are yellow, white, blue and green. The notched ones for hanging strappy things were bright pink, teal and white. And then we had 2 colors of light blue, dark purple and white regular plastic hangers. And they had to be sorted according to color first and style second.

So not only did I sort hangers as I took clothes off them to fold or when the clothes were removed to be worn, but I also had to sort the hangers as I got things out of the dryer and fluffed and hung them. The lightest blue held my clothes. The darker light blue and dark purple were for my husband. The bright pink, teal and white were all for the girls. But sometimes I had strappy things, but I didn't have any light blue hangers for mine, so I had to use white. And the swivel hangers were used when we ran out of hangers and still had clothes to hang.

It was all quite tiresome. It wasn't just that I felt an obligation to sort the hangers. I couldn't stop myself, if I tried. And I did try. But they were such a jumbled assortment of hangers that I always felt stressed when I saw them messed up. It was distracting and it made the laundry room look less neat, and let's face it. I need all the neatness I can get.

But at what cost?

I have no idea how much extra time I spent on sorting hangers, but over the years, I wouldn't doubt, if it added up to an entire week. At least an entire business week. A M-F 8 to 5 sort of week. I know I spent a lot of time sorting hangers.

Today, I sorted hangers in a totally different way. I sorted them to give them to a friend who has a lot of kids and never seems to have enough hangers. She doesn't have the sorting problem I seem to have. All our hangers now are white, except for the chunky coat hangers. There are still two styles of the main hangers I'll use.

But that ain't nothin' but a thing. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Say what?

The other day, our oldest daughter dropped off a basket full of things she no longer wanted. I took what the younger girls could use and got rid of the rest. It was a painless thing and I didn't feel bad about it, because we'll use the things she brought over. The only thing I wondered about was the basket itself.

It's a wire basket with one of those canvas liners that Velcros in place and doesn't slide around. But the edge of it was bent, and the canvas itself had what appeared to be a coffee stain that was on it when it was given to our daughter. I was able to bend the wire back into shape fairly well, so I took the liner off, cleaned the dog hair off it with one of those lint rollers, and then I washed the liner. It shrunk a tiny bit, in spite of it being hung to dry, but there wasn't enough shrinkage to concern me. I needed to replace the blue basket that we'd given our youngest for her things a few weeks ago. We needed a basket for our scarves, gloves and mittens.

So tonight, I stitched the corners to the wire basket, so it wouldn't flop around too much, and stuck some of the gloves from the closet in it. I also cleaned off the shelf in the coat closet for the first time in a few years. The coat closet never gets too dirty, but the shelf hadn't been touched in quite awhile, and I had to clean it in order to put the basket up. If I put it under the coats, our youngest would forever be getting in it to get scarves out to play with. She's a bit obsessive about scarves and plays with them year round. I'll no sooner get them washed and put away when I notice that she's gotten them out again. So the basket is going on the top shelf of the closet, and she won't be able to see that the scarves are in there. Now I just need to wash the scarves, so I can get them put away until next Fall!

I got rid of most of what was on the shelf, which was a nice surprise. I did keep the big foam #1 fingers for the local baseball team, just in case we get to catch a game or two this summer. I still have to clean the bottom of the closet out and wash the winter coats before all is said and done. However, I also have to put some shelves back in under the coats. We had made a couple of shelves when we bought the house, but they're sort of rickety. We need to cut some more and get them in there, so we have a permanent place to store the phone book again.

I was thinking we might be able to get to that this weekend, when I realized that in actuality, we probably won't, so I'm not going to put a firm time limit on it. I'm just putting it toward the top of the to-do list. And actually, I could probably do it on my own, if I only had a piece of plywood to cut. I may have to run to the hardware store in the next few days.

Our oldest took me off guard tonight, when she mentioned that they'll be getting married next week. I knew it was coming up. I've known the date for quite awhile. But for some reason, it shocked me that it's already next week! It will just be a simple ceremony at the courthouse with her family and some close friends.

Still. I don't know that my mind will really be into making shelves for the coat closet. I guess we'll see!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My life in pictures.

Had a wonderful day with our little family yesterday. After the younger girls had been in bed for awhile and the older one and her fiance were on they're way out the door, I realized I only took pictures of our oldest. I have no idea why, but that's how it happened. Oh well.

I don't know why I don't take very many pictures any more. When our oldest was born, hubby thought I was going to blind her from the flash going off all the time. Seriously. I took so many pictures of her it's not funny. I took fewer and fewer as the years went by. I'm not sure, if it's because we never invested in a really good camera, and it seemed like each one we had at the time wasn't worth the money we paid for it, or if life just got in the way. I think it might be a little of each.

We started off with a little 110 camera. It took horrible pictures, though, so when we got the money, we got one of the new fangled Kodak Disc Cameras. The pictures weren't much better than the 110s, but the flash seemed to work better. It was really nice not to have to advance the film like in the 110. I can't count the number of shots that I missed as the result of forgetting to push the little thing in with my thumb.

We've had several 35mm cameras over the years. I remember thinking that the pictures had so much better quality than anything we'd ever tried before. I know it now pales in comparison to digital photography. We captured a lot of memories on 35mm over the years. Several months ago, I turned in over 30 rolls to be developed. There were pictures of people I took and haven't seen in close to 20 years, and I don't even remember their names. There were a lot of grainy pictures in the as well as good ones in the batch we had developed. It was fun and yet bittersweet getting to see our lives laid out before us in Kodachrome. Where does the time go?

I do admit that I love the digital camera I have now, it's much better than the previous 2 we had, but eventually, I'd love to get more than one of the little point and shoot cameras. In time. In time, I'll also find all those exposed discs and rolls of film (I'm sure I have 110s and 35mms around here somewhere) that have yet to be developed. I'm hoping that we'll be able to find a developer by the time I get my hands on them again. It's not like I'll be able to just drop it off at any store to get it developed.

As far as our oldest going blind? It didn't happen. In fact, she's the only one in the family that doesn't wear glasses.

Maybe I should have taken more pictures of the younger girls?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter, church, toilet paper birthday cakes and such.

With everyone being sick this year ...again, we won't be going to church for Easter Sunday services. It bums me out. As a Christian, I want to be able to go to church and fellowship, but the last few years has not been really conducive to us attending. I'm hoping that as the dehoarding progresses, our daughter's anxiety issues and our overall health improves that we'll be able to find a church we like and go on a regular basis.

Tomorrow, we will read the Easter Story to the girls and have time together as a family. We won't be having a traditional Easter dinner like usual. Instead, we'll be having Chinese takeout. We'll be celebrating our oldest daughter's birthday as well as Easter, and Chinese is her favorite food. So we'll be celebrating a little unconventionally this year.

The girls will still get their baskets. They like the candy. They know that we put the candy in their baskets and that the Easter Bunny isn't real. In fact we don't even mention EB We just fill their baskets (or whatever they would know was theirs-this year we used a purse and a jewelry box) with candy. We made the decision to let them know the truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus when they were fairly small. We didn't want them to one day think that because the Easter Bunny and Santa weren't real, that Jesus must not be real either.

Just a quick note here...we in no way judge anyone who wants to celebrate their holidays with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. It's a very personal decision. We made ours knowing that our daughters will never be over a certain point developmentally, and we felt that we needed make a decision that was best for our family, and our family alone. A typical child can come to the realization that the EB and SC are wonderfully fun traditions, but we just wanted things less confusing for our children who might not get the difference between the two. So they'll get their candy, and we'll celebrate the sacrifice that Christ made on the Cross for mankind. :)

We'll also be giving our oldest her gifts and her birthday cake. Her toilet paper birthday cake. We've never done this before, but I'd seen it on Cake Wrecks the other day and realized I just had to do it. And while mine doesn't look as fancy as the one on CW, it at least does look like a mom-made German Chocolate Cake. She'll still get a GCC, but it will stay in the pan, frosted in the oven until she discovers her toilet paper cake is actually toilet paper. And I'll try to post pictures in the next few days.

We are really looking forward to spending the day together tomorrow as a family.

I hope each of you is able to be with your loved ones tomorrow as well.

Wishing a very Blessed Easter to each and every one of you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flip side of the same coin?

When I was a little girl, I was apparently a clean freak. Everything had to be in it's place. It had to be perfect. So it has been very frustrating to me that I can't seem to get away from this hoarding thing.

Still. It got me to thinking. Are they possibly opposite sides of the same coin?

My mother in law is a neat freak. It is fairly extreme, and it can be hard to feel comfortable when you're there. Like you're somehow infringing on a museum space. If you've been drinking a soda or a glass of water and get up to use the restroom, the glass is gone when you get back. It's either been washed and put away, or it's been rinsed and put in the dishwasher. No matter how many times it happens, you're never quite expecting it, and it always feels like you're not quite welcome.

And I know for a fact that the inlaws are not comfortable at our house. There's too much clutter for their taste, even when the house is clean. I understand that. I'm uncomfortable in my house sometimes, too. Certain times are worse than others, but I'm okay when I'm making headway in the dehoarding progress, or if there are rooms that are relatively clean but just a little messy. You know. Lived in.

I just can't help wondering, if they're the same disorder manifested in opposite ways.

It sure would explain how I now appear to be the polar opposite of a younger me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And so it begins...again.

Our youngest missed school today, because she was up and down all night with a stomach bug. I've got it now. It appears as though the middle daughter is getting it, too. As a result..not a lot happened around here today.

I called my friend and canceled on getting to meet her newborn twins until we're past this. I was so frustrated about having to cancel but knowing I must, that I actually dreamed about it last night. In my dream, she said she wasn't worried about it and to please come in and see the babes. Yeah. That didn't really happen. Instead, I got a "Right before Easter? Yeah. No thanks. Please keep it there. And thanks for letting me know." I appreciate a bit of sarcasm from time to time, so all was well. :)

When the time is right, I'll get to hold her little bundles of joy and breathe them in.

I did get rid of all of the old dishes and glasses today. That was nice. It's amazing how much space I freed up in the cupboards. I also went through the mugs again and got rid of 3 more. One had my name on it along with it's definition, but it also had a chip, so I chucked it. One had my husband's name and it's definition, but there's really no sense in keeping one without the other, so it went into the donation box. The last one I liked, because it had one of my favorite Bible verses on it, but I realized it (the mug, not the Bible verse) no longer made me happy, and I only want to keep things that make me happy. So it's gone, too.

I still have some arranging to do in the cupboards, but it's a start.

Not sure how much of anything I'll get done over the next few days. It will depend upon how I feel.

I won't go into detail.