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.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
We've all had fun. Lots of fun. But we've kept insane hours and everyone is absolutely exhausted. It's finally hitting Hopper pretty good this afternoon. In the craziness that was last night we forgot to give the girls their theanine. It's very apparent today.
Hopper has been having a rough time with her dad's desire to go running today. This happens fairly frequently at home, but it hasn't happened nearly as often since we started her on the Theanine. She has these meltdowns that are so incredibly frustrating, because there's nothing we can seem to do to stop them or prevent them.
Every 3 to 10 seconds during the course of the meltdown, Hopper asks, if she can 'opi it' (open it). It doesn't seem to matter how often either my husband or myself answer her 'yes', she can't seem to stop fixating on it. Within a few minutes, she is in the middle of a meltdown feeling very much misunderstood, even though we repeat exactly what she says back to her, and she agrees that we have understood what she wants.
Once the hubster takes off on his run, the sobbing tends to stop, but the question of "Done. Opi it?" lasts awhile longer. However, it's not stopping quite as easily this time. I'm not sure what the problem is. I do know it's exhausting for everyone involved. I so wish I knew what to do. Hopefully tonight's dose of theanine and some extra sleep will get things back on track.
I do know that part of her problem is anxiety. No doubt about that at all. She said goodbye to Bugster today when the newlyweds started out to drive back home. It's the first time her sister has left earlier than her to return home from vacation. She also has had to say goodbye to several cousins, aunts and uncles over the course of the last few days, and it's just been a bit much. Just when she starts to get to relax and spend sometime with family, they have to leave. It's heartbreaking, and i really wish we lived closer to family, so she wouldn't have to go through this each time.
The other thing was pretty major. The town the hubster and I grew up in had a tornado hit it in the last week. It was pretty major. We weren't anywhere near it when it happened, and we were in fact about 50 miles away. In spite of this, it's been a bit overwhelming to hear about the storm and see the devastation. She's always been very interested in the weather and often gives us her own version of a weather report, but this was a bit over the top.
So. That's what's been going on in my neck of the woods. Hoping for a little more sanity in the next few days! Hope things are on the saner side for the rest of you!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Having a blast. Trying to keep hoarding in mind even while I'm up here. I've gone to garage sales a couple of times with my sisters, and the one thing I did buy (a robotic vacuum cleaner), I ended up taking back and getting my money back, because it didn't work. He gladly gave me my money back, so I bought a small hard suitcase from him for a buck. I mentioned awhile back I wanted to buy a couple small suitcases for the girls and paint them. Now I have one, and it was much cheaper than I would have spent on the ones I looked at the thrift store. I'll keep looking for another cheap one and see what I can find.
I'm really hoping I'll get used to this netbook by the time we get done with vacation. It's driving me nuts the way my thumb keeps making my cursor jump all over the page when I hit the touchpad. I wonder, if it is disabled when a mouse is plugged in. I'll have to check into that. This is driving my nuts!
I'm going to go enjoy my family some more.
Wishing Daddy was here, so I could give him a Father's Day hug.
Hope all you father's have had a wonderful day today!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Get it out of your system.
I can see you rolling your eyes! Hello!
Please. Just get it over with.
Are you done now?
Good. Just let me have my little moment, okay? I'm tired. It's been a long week. But I'm thrilled that I can start to compose a post from my phone while I'm at the doctor's office or waiting at the DMV or wherever one might find me. And I have to admit that I'm excited about not having to have a computer at hand in order to post to my blog. It's very freeing.
For whatever reason, I didn't realize this option was available. I guess I just haven't looked for the option, because I've had other things on my mind. No matter. I figured it out. But the entire time I've had a blog, which hasn't been all that long, I do things a specific way.
I go to blogger.com, and I look to see which blogs have been updated. And although I don't always comment, I do read all posts at least 95% of the time. But I access them from the homepage. I have such a rough time remembering to look at the posts in the RSS feed that is delivered to my inbox. It's out of the ordinary, and I like the way I do things now. So why should I change? Unfortunately, that also means I catch up on some blogs only once a week or so when I check my email. Will I do it any differently now that I'm very much aware of it?
I tend to resist change. I don't know, if I've just had my fill of change, or if it's part of the hoarding mentality or what, but I don't like it. Well. For the most part, anyway. Some change is good. Watching Hoarders for the first time months ago was the catalyst to an entire lifestyle change. That was a really good change, and yet I find I still resist it on some days.
However, my friend came over the other day with her son. He's going to be watering our outdoor plants when we're on vacation, and she wanted a visual of what was expected of him. She wanted to see the pinatas I'd made, and I wanted to show them to her, so I had her come in. The house was a bit of a disaster, but it was better than it was the last time she was here. But the big change came with me.
I surprised myself by boldly opening the door and not only inviting them in, but shuttling them through the house to look at the pinatas I'd made and the cookie jar, etc. We then went through the garage that makes me cringe every time I go through the door, and I led them into the backyard to the plants. The thing that surprises me the most is that I was so at ease. Normally my pulse is racing, my palms are sweating, and my breath quickens when I have to let someone in the house. This day? I didn't even flinch.
I'm not sure, if part of it is that my trust has deepened with this friend. I know she won't judge me for the hoarding in spite of the fact that she's pretty much the exact opposite of me and gets rid of almost everything. I'm not sure, if this confidence has to do with becoming comfortable in my own skin, because I know I have a problem, but I'm working really, really hard to overcome it, or what. I just know that it was a little victory for me to allow someone in my house, give them a tour, and not even flinch in embarrassment.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still embarrassed by the mess, but I have come so very far in the last several months, that it doesn't bother me like it used to. Like it did when the kids were little, and I'd pretend I couldn't hear the doorbell or someone knocking, because I didn't want to have to open the door and expose the mess. I didn't want to expose me and my shortcomings.
Yep. I'll keep this change.
I'm no longer paralyzed by stuff.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I love that they all look like they're having so much fun and they're getting the message out about breast cancer. If you haven't checked this month, consider this your reminder! :)
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Hi there blogger!
Just visited your "Confessions of a Closet Hoarder" blog and I was super impressed by its design and content. We just opened up our site ******** for beta testing. It's a place for people to have discussions, share tips, and ask questions about fashion. Currently, memberships are by invitation only and I would love to have you on it! Use this invitation link to sign up if you're interested: (Link removed, because I'm not giving them any free advertising).
And we would love to hear your feedback.Ciao!
When I got the email, I read it on my cellphone, because I hadn't been on the computer yet. In fact, I just remembered to look at it again in my inbox, because I haven't even checked my email in days except on the phone. So anyway. I read it on my cell phone, and I was slightly flattered that I'd been invited to join this site as a blogger. Then I read it again.
And I have to say I burst out laughing. The first thought that went through my mind was, "Yeah. Because what says FASHION more than hoarding?" Seriously. What is up with these people?
I don't think anyone from this outfit visited my blog at all. I think they probably found my blog name from a different source and decided to spam my inbox with an 'invite'. I didn't click on the link. I looked them up on swagbucks instead. I wasn't really impressed, but it's because I honestly have a bit more going on in my life than wondering about fashion right now.
That probably doesn't sound all that nice. I have no problem with people being interested in fashion. I don't. But it just isn't the be all end all in my life. Shoot. I haven't worn makeup in over 20 years. I'm sure it's been at least that long if not longer since I've looked fashionable, too. And you know? I'm okay with that. Really.
Anyone who has read my blog knows that this is the first time fashion has even been mentioned. It's also probably the last. At least as far as I'm concerned. I may comment from time to time about Scooter's or Hopper's fashions, but definitely not my own.
Who knows? Maybe they got the idea I was into fashion, because I mention doing laundry a lot.
Yeah! That's the ticket!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Normally the kitchen/dining room area of the house are fairly warm compared to the rest of the house. And the bathroom right next door that also has a west facing window is usually a little bit warmer than the kitchen. When I walked into the bathroom yesterday when the house was at it's warmest, it was at least 15 degrees warmer than the kitchen.-
Our apologies. We interrupt this post due to a big fat hairy speedy spider crashing our mellow otherwise known as running across our desk, falling onto our keyboard, trying to hide under our keyboard to eat us at a later date and then falling quickly to the floor when we accidentally knocked the entire keyboard tray out of the desk and onto the ground knocking 3 keys out of the keyboard. Again. Our apologies. Including referring to ourselves in the plural and not erasing what our keyboard decided was a good thing to type when we had no control over it.
Now. Back to your regularly scheduled post:
Shoot. I've totally forgotten where I was going with this. I guess I'll just leave it at the fact that I noticed a huge difference in the temperature inside the house with the roller shade in the window. We'll likely be getting one for the bathroom, too.
I just hope I don't see speedy black hairy spiders when I close my eyes to go to bed tonight.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Let me just say this:
They are totally worth the effort!
I made this little bowl the other night when I was doing the pinata. I wasn't sure what I was going to use it for when I was making it, but I knew it would be put to good use and Mom would like it. It wasn't until I was done making the caramels that I knew it's purpose.
To give you an idea of how many caramels are in there...the bowl is 9.25" in diameter and 6" tall. The doubled recipe I made makes 5.5 pounds of caramels. We did eat a few, but that's still over 5 pounds of goodness in that bowl!
I got my recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens CANDY cookbook that I've had for years, but it's also all over the web. If you want to try the recipe for yourself, you can find it here.
Oh. And the cookie jar?
Yeah. It's full now. I added 3 dozen more cookies after this picture was taken. The kids have been so good about not begging for any out of the jar, but I did go ahead and sneak one out for each of the girls today. It's such a temptation for them.
Speaking of temptation...Scooter really likes the caramels. Hopper does, too. And I did give them one here and there while I was wrapping them up today. The last time they got one, I gave Scooter hers and she immediately popped it into her mouth. I handed her Hopper's caramel and asked her to go give it to her sister. No sooner did I put it in her hand than the little turkey decided she wanted it. I caught her hand on it's way to her already full mouth, and told her it was her sister's. She grinned from ear to ear at having been busted, and I followed her to make sure she gave Hopper her caramel.
If you don't want to see your child become a little caramel thief, you may want to stick with store bought goodies!
Monday, June 14, 2010
I baked 9 dozen gingersnaps today, and I couldn't even smell them. Fine. It was only 8.75 dozen. I can't roll them all evenly. Ok? To add insult to injury, they didn't taste right, either. It wasn't the spices. They were brand new. It's this broken smeller I have. I wish I had a warranty on it. I'd return it for a refund.
The electrician did get the dedicated outlets hooked up today. I so hope it helps keep the breakers from popping all the time! Thankfully, it's cool enough today we didn't have to have the air on at all, even with me baking. That was nice.
The hubster got the roller shade yesterday. Had it cut especially for the window. It's a tad on the narrow side, as we still get a little sunlight on the sides of the shade, but overall we're very pleased. We had a decent little rain earlier, but now the sun is out. So I decided to feel behind the shade to see, if it made a difference. It does. Yay! It was much warmer on the other side of the shade.
I think this will help a lot this summer. I'll miss the light that it blocks out, but I figure I'll still get some, if I leave the shade up in the morning and pull it down when the sun goes around to that side of the house. We decided to leave the mini blinds up in front of the shade. At least for now. Two layers should be better than one. Right?
Opened the sweetened condensed milk, so I could make the caramels this afternoon, and it was no longer off white. It looked like it had already been caramelized. Oh yay. Thankfully, Bugster was over at the grocery store and picked some more up for me, so I could get the caramels going. I'm sure I'll be wrapping them for a few hours tonight.
For anyone who makes their own caramels, I have a little tip. You know how they stick to plastic wrap and to waxed paper? Isn't that just so frustrating?? You don't have that problem? Hmmm. Must be something I'm doing wrong. Oh well. I did discover they don't stick to cellophane, so I highly recommend using it. The only problem is that you have to tape each little packaged caramel shut or tie it off on each end. They look superdeeduper cute, if you then tie them like a little gift with curling ribbon whether you tie the ends, or whether you tape the package shut and add the ribbon as a little decoration.
I am a bit frustrated with the spice drop cookies. They're supposed to be rolled into a tube shape in plastic wrap and refrigerated before cutting and baking. The recipe says to cut them 1/4" thick. Uh huh. Go ahead. Try it. Doesn't work. I'll be interested to see how many dozen cookies the doubled recipe makes, because there is no way it will make 18 dozen cookies like purported. Ha. I'll be glad to get 8 to 10 dozen out of it. We shall see.
So. I left my post for a couple hours, and I've come back to finish it up. Bugster came over and helped pour the caramels for me. Trying to pour them pretty much kills my neck and shoulders, so I was very happy to have the assist. They're cooling now, and I will try to get them cut tonight or in the morning and get them wrapped. From the little that was left on the wooden spoon, they taste really good, too.
I'm off to go finish baking the spice drop cookies and clean up my messy kitchen. I think I'll probably finish up the caramels in the morning. I have a feeling I'll absolutely crash once my head hits that pillow tonight. I just hope I don't dream about baking. I think I've had enough for one day. :)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I totally pimped out the meese pinata. It looks pretty darn cute. Pictures and how-to post to come.
The girls are having a rough night. Scooter broke her bracelet and it has Hopper sobbing, because the bracelet is broken. It's going to be a long night.
I can't concentrate worth a darn to try and write a post.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
The outlets look really nice, even though they had to be put up by the windows, instead of down below like typical outlets are. If they weren't being installed on an outside wall, it would be no big deal, but it would have been a lot more work to have them lower than it was worth, so we'll just deal with it. And like I said. They look nice. And it's going to be super nice to have the air conditioners each on their own dedicated outlet, so they're not popping the breaker every few minutes when it gets hot out!
I finished my meese today! Well, except that I can't post pictures just yet, because I do still have to finish the groom's hat. But it turned out really cute. I think they'll like it. It's full of 7.5 pounds of candy, and it feels like it weighs about 30 pounds tonight. Amazing how heavy things feel when you're tired.
I did etch a cookie jar for Mom's upcoming birthday. It's a 2.5 gallon clear glass canister. It's hard to see in this picture, but there are two ladybugs below the flower*. I'll be doing what I can to bake a bunch of cookies to fill it.
First on the agenda are Spice Drop Cookies. We always had them at Christmas time when we were little. There's something so good about biting into that chewy spice drop goodness in the middle of a cookie. The spice drops have already been sliced and are just waiting to be used.
This gives a bit better view of the ladybugs. It's funny how silver the etching looks in the pictures, because it's not silver at all. Just etched glass.
I realized my great need for bifocals while trying to cut the pattern out for this design. Getting old just isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not that I'd like to be getting younger. There are just certain years I'd never like to live over again. Life just seems to get better and better!
I've got to go to bed. I have to bake tomorrow. And hopefully make caramels that are to die for. It's going to be another really long day, but it will be good.
*Now for the small print. Please do not copy, reprint or reproduce this design in any way, shape, or form, as it is my own personal design, and I'd really rather not see it anywhere else. Thanks!
Friday, June 11, 2010
I've been so busy working on the pinata and getting some other things together for our family reunion that's coming up next week that I had to scramble this morning to get things ready for the electrician to come over. He was supposed to be over at 1:00 this afternoon, but he almost always shows up early, so I wanted to be ready, and I had a ton to get done.
The other night, Bugster came over and watched the girls for me, so I could run some errands and get some stuff I needed for the pinatas. While she was here, she boxed the stuff up that was all over in the office. There was a lot on the floor, and it kills me to pick things up from the floor, especially when there's a lot to pick up, so she boxed things up for me. Plus, it gives me a better frame of mind to be able to walk in the office and not have something underfoot the entire time, and it may be easier to just deal with one box at a time when it comes to sorting things. So it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I know that boxing things up isn't always a good idea. But I just needed the space something fierce. One of the air conditioners is in the office, and the electrician is going to install a dedicated outlet for each of the air conditioners, and I needed to make room. And the night that Bugster came over and boxed things up for me it was hot in the house. It had been a very warm day, and the air conditioners kept popping the breaker, and by the time I got back from running errands, she was feeling half sick from the heat. So she left the rather large pile on the floor for me to finish.
I put it off for a couple of days, because I knew I'd hurt when I was done. Sitting on the floor kills my back, and I'd have to sit on the floor, because sitting on a stool and reaching to the floor hurts it even more. So I grabbed the home phone, my cell and my drink and sat down on the floor to get busy. I was able to get rid of 3 more bags of shredables, 5 grocery bags of trash, found some missing socks, and put the small pile of stuff I saved away to sort later. I didn't have time to do it this morning.
By the time I got done and had worked a bit more on another pinata, I realized it was getting sort of late, and I needed to work in the bedroom. So I woke my husband up and told him that I was sorry, but that I had to get things cleared for the electrician to work in there. He understood and got up and showered and then did what he needed to do in the garage, so the electrician could get to the panel without a problem. He also helped me move the bed, which is a Goliath of a piece of furniture. I couldn't move it without him.
I was flabbergasted at the amount of dust under and behind the bed, and I went on a cleaning frenzy to get as much done as quickly as possible. I found several pair of socks that had slid under the bed, several medicine bottles that had disappeared over the months since I'd gotten things cleaned under the bed (most were empty), and several pair of shoes I'd thought I'd thrown away. I'll be going through the shoes as time permits and wearing them around the house. If they're horribly uncomfortable, or if my back hurts after wearing them, I'll pitch them in the trash. Otherwise, I'll have an extra pair or two to wear outside when I'm gardening or working in the yard. I think I actually filled the canister vac up with dust bunnies. They were thick to say the least.
When I was done there, I realized that things were going to fall over in the hallway, if I didn't straighten things up a bit. I threw a lot of stuff away and condensed what I will be going through later into two much smaller stacks than had been in there. However, when I came across one box, I froze in my tracks for a minute. And I was angry. I have no idea how this box came to be, but it frustrates me to no end. I know that it wasn't me who did it. That being said, I'm not angry at the person responsible for putting the items in the box, because I know that they were trying to help. It just didn't work out that way.
I hate just filling boxes to go through later. I despise it. I'd honestly rather have the mess than the boxes most of the time, because I know that I'll eventually get to it, if I can see the mess. When things are boxed up, it makes it harder for me to remember what I've got to do. Needless to say, Buster was shocked I'd asked her to just box things up in the office the other night, because she knows how I feel about it.
Well, what I found today just confirmed why I hate to have things boxed up. The box was only about half full, and a gallon water jug took up most of the space that had been used. However, when I pulled back the newspaper that was under the water jug, my heart sank. There in the bottom of the box was a bag of potatoes and an onion. There were probably only a couple or 3 potatoes in the bag. It wasn't like a full bag went to waste. However, there was evidence of rotten potato juice on the newspapers that were under them. And the onion was hollowed out. It has sprouted at one point, but the sprouts were long since brown. There were also carcasses of several small bugs in the box. They looked to be little beetles, but I didn't examine them very closely.
Finding this box explains so very much. Rotten potatoes are one of my biggest asthma triggers. And these had been dead a long time. But I can't help but think that they have played a major role in my asthma over the last several months. The asthma I've had to take oral steroids for 6 or so times over the last 8 months. I have had so many sinus issues as well, and that's probably why I didn't smell them. At this point, the smell was pretty much gone, except for the smell of dust. And it doesn't help that this box was in the hallway that has the air intake for the furnace. Yep. This box has played a very negative role in my recent health. No more.
Finding this box released all sorts of emotions for me. Shame. Frustration. Anger. Humilation. Relief. Understanding. Inspiration. Motivation.
I am so motivated to see this dehoarding to an end. I am motivated that the health of our family will improve greatly once we get through this ordeal. So as embarrassing as it was, I'm glad on so many levels that I came across this box. I can't wait to get everything finished, so we can have the duct work in the house thoroughly cleaned, since it will never again be as bad as it's been. We will be breathing easy then!
Oh. And the electrician? Yeah. He didn't show up. He'd been out of town for a funeral and had gotten stuck out of state an extra day. He'll be here at 1:00 tomorrow. And it won't even bother us that we won't be able to use the electricity while he's working on things, because it's going to be nice and cool! We're getting a break from the heat. The high tomorrow is in the 50s! That just sounds heavenly!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
My mouth is a bit sore where he gave me the shots, but I had more than the normal amount again. He was getting 2 teeth ready for their crowns. I had root canals done on these 2 teeth a couple years ago. But get this. Root canals leave the teeth with no feeling, as the nerves/roots have been removed. However, after the first course of shots, I could feel pain. So he gave me a second course. Once again, I could feel pain. So he ended up giving me an entirely different deadening agent, and it worked. It also totally numbed my left ear and my nose completely, and my mouth didn't work for several hours, but at least I could no longer feel anything.
There's just something about the way the nerves run in my face. It's genetic, I think, because several in my family have the same issues. In fact, one brother refuses any sort of deadening when he has to go to the dentist. It just makes his face numb, but it never seems to reach the nerve that is attached to the tooth that needs to be deadened. At least I know I'm not alone.
I finished the meese pinata today. Why is the plural of moose moose when the plural of goose is geese? I personally like 'meese', so I shall henceforce refer to plural moose as 'meese'. So. I finished the meese pinata for the most part. I still have to do the finishing touches and fill it with copious amounts of candy. Like probably 10 pounds of candy. We fill our pinatas well.
I did send a couple of people pictures of the meese as they look right now with only nostrils, ears and antlers. I don't want to post the pictures here until I'm finished with it though. I still have to attach eyes, eyebrows (bushy ones for the groom), long fake eyelashes for the bride, a top hat and bow tie for the boy and a veil and a string of pearls for the girl. When I'm done with all that, I'll post pictures. Right now, they're sitting in front of the fan trying to dry out.
Speaking of fans. It's hot today again. Not quite as sweltering as it's been, but that's okay. We'll get that tomorrow. We'll also get dedicated outlets for the air conditioners tomorrow, so they won't keep popping the breakers! That is going to be so nice! The electrician will be here in the early afternoon. Hubby will be running the line in the attic to help keep the costs down.
I'm really, really hoping that hubby can maybe install the junction box in the girls' room, so we can get the ceiling fan installed that we bought for there a few years ago. That would really help with keeping the house cooler, too. Besides, it has butterflies on it, and you can't go wrong with butterflies. Right? At any rate, I'm really hoping we can get it installed this weekend, if not tomorrow.
We also really need something to keep heat out of the kitchen window now that the tree is gone. I've got some ideas that I'm kicking around. If I can get a roller shade wide enough for the window, I could line it with a space blanket to reflect the light back outside. I'm thinking it might be the most affordable way to do things, but it depends on whether or not I can get the right size. I could trim it, if it was too big for the window. I just don't really care to put two side by side, if I can't find one wide enough. I'll be looking into this option for sure.
Well. It's that time again. Time for me to do something. Sleep, I think is what it is, although my memory is sort of fried in this heat.
I'm sure it will come to me soon enou
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tomorrow will be a long day, too, beginning with a dental appointment. The tooth I broke off several months ago is finally going to be fixed. As much as I'm not looking forward to it, I am thankful it's going to be done. It feels like a little more has come off the tooth lately, so it is good that I'm going in.
I worked on the moose pinata for a good portion of the day. Right now it looks about like a flying pig. Tomorrow, it should look more like a moose. The antlers are currently in front of the fan drying thoroughly before I put the light brown fabric on them and attach them to the head. The rest of the moose will be a darker brown fabric. It will be interesting to see how it looks by tomorrow night. I will post pictures. Promise.
Right now, I'm going to bed. I'm sorry I haven't replied to any comments the last week or so. I've read every single one of them, and I do plan on responding, but as insane as my life has been the last couple weeks, I feel like I just can't take the time right now. You are all so very appreciated. I am not sure how I'd be getting through days like the last couple without the support I've been getting from everyone.
From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I thought I was doing fine all day. I've done really well thinking happy thoughts and preparing for some upcoming adventures with the family, but as I sit here, things are starting to sink in. I went from coping well to not so much.
The most important man in my life before my husband died 3 years ago today. Daddy died a short 5 weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was in excruciating pain and his body was literally a shell of his former self. He had to have lost at least 75 pounds in about 3 months. It was so hard to watch.
Lung cancer is such an insidious disease. It's almost always a death sentence, because it is so small it's rarely detected early. It typically has 6 to 12 years to grow and spread before it's ever diagnosed. I remember being absolutely stunned when I researched it a little bit the night I heard the news. I sobbed when I read that the average survival rate without treatment was only 3 to 6 months. With treatment, it was only marginally better. As in only weeks to months better. It accounts for the most deaths amongst all cancers. And it's devastating.
All day today, I've tried to put my feelings aside and busy myself. I've done my best to try to put the pain of losing Daddy off to the side. To only think of the good things.
That he was lucid when he said goodbye, and that he knew every single one of us.
That his death was as beautiful as a death could be.
That Daddy was a one in a trillion father.
That he loved my mom and us kids with a passion few are blessed to know.
I miss you, Dad.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Of course the little window air conditioners have been totally overwhelmed today. At one point when the one had flipped off, I took about an hour and rewired all the outlets that were on the circuit. Unfortunately, that didn't even help. It was just. too. Here it is 10p.m., and it's still 80°. It's just not cooling off yet, and the air conditioners are still popping off, even though they're set on 78°. It's going to be a long, hot, and miserable night.
As much as I'd wanted to get stuff done downstairs, I didn't. I'd totally forgotten that there is not place down there to sit. None. And I was miserable enough with just the heat issues. I didn't want to add back pain to the misery, so I stayed upstairs and flipped breakers and tried to stay in front of a fan. I was also able to get a couple loads of laundry done, but nothing like I was hoping to accomplish. Maybe tomorrow.
Bugster did come over after work, and she, Hopper, Scooter and I watched Tooth Fairy. It was silly and cute and helped get our minds off the heat.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I plan on working in the basement tomorrow, since it will be cooler than upstairs. I'll work on laundry and painting furniture and finishing up some of the trim work that Bugster didn't get to when she worked on it awhile back. I have plenty to do down there, and it looks like the heat will force me to get to it whether I feel like it or not.
Had a wonderful time with my husband today. It was nice to have some alone time with him and to get away for a bit. And it was so nice getting to see the girls when we got back home. They really missed us and were ready to come home, and we really missed them. Now that we're all back under the same roof things seem right.
Got the tour of the freshly decorated and unpacked house at Bugster's tonight. She's (they've) done such a good job. It's just really cute, cozy and homey. It was fun getting to visit for the little bit we were there before we had to get the girls home, and they are currently snuggled down in yummy smelling bedding that had hung on the clothesline to dry.
I'm off to spend some more quality time with my guy. . . another thing that just seems right.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
The Bugster and her husband offered to watch Hopper and Scooter for us today and have them sleep over at their house, so we could have some time to get things done that are harder to get done when the girls are around. We gladly accepted the offer.
We worked for a couple of hours on the trees before our son-in-law made it over to help out. After he got here, we worked another 3 hours or so. We're still not done. However, I think we got 85 to 90% of the tree cut up or put through the wood chipper. We just had to stop. It was starting to get dark, and we just couldn't even move anymore. It's exhausting work, but we feel so good about getting so much of it finished. What's left to do we can easily do on our own, and we can just do a little at a time, or we can do it all at once. Either way, we'll get 'er done.
Looking at one of the logs from the tree that was closest to the bitter widow next door today made us very grateful we'd gotten the trees down. We noticed that right where the tree branched into two main branches that it had begun to split. The crack or split or whatever you want to call it was at least 18" long, and it was obvious it had been there for awhile. If we'd have gotten a really good wind that blew in just the right direction, the tree likely would have taken out part of her house. Yep. Very, very glad we got it down!
Besides working on the tree, I got 7 loads of laundry done, with 5 of them drying outside in the sunshine! Mmmm. Love the smell of clothes dried out on the clothesline. Especially sheets. And most of the laundry was the girls' bedding. It will smell so good in their room when we go in to tuck them into bed when they get home!
I also got the holes in the headboards all filled in, so now I can work on sanding, priming and painting them. And the people we bought the headboards from? Yeah. I hope they reprimanded their children. Destructive little things.
Taking the day off tomorrow to spend with my wonderful husband. We've earned a day of rest after today! I'll try to catch up with all of you Monday. In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday!
Friday, June 4, 2010
It is too hot for the beginning of June. We had record or near record highs today. Regardless, heat in the 90° plus range is just too hot for the first few days of June. July I can see. August and even September I can see. Shoot. I can even see temps in the 90s for the middle or end of June. Just not quite this early.
The heat made quick work of our little window air conditioning units. They just kept popping the breakers. Over. And. Over. Again. I finally left the one off completely and replaced the outlet. I'll be replacing the outlets that are on the rest of the circuit tomorrow hoping that will help. It was just stifling today even with the fans going. I know to a lot of people 83° inside they're house doesn't seem that hot but shoot. We just had snow a couple of weeks ago! It's just hard to think that it was still actually cooler in the house than it was outside at the time.
The breaker blowing also kept me from being on the computer at all. I finally thought of plugging the power strip for the computer into an extension cord that wasn't on the same circuit. I finally had access to the computer around 10:00 tonight. And both window units are set on 69° to try to get the house cooled off. It's slow going, but it's working. Hopefully, we can get it cool enough in here tonight that it will stay cooler tomorrow when it gets so hot.
When I finally got the one air conditioner to stay on in the bedroom, I took advantage of the cool and cleaned out my armoire. I've been putting it off for months, and I'd even started it a few time to finally just throw everything back in and shut the doors. It was a little victory, but one I'll take, since I didn't have many today.
Tomorrow the hubster and the son-in-law are going to get the pair of mammoth trees cut up and out of the backyard. The new chippers will be put to use, and it will be so nice to have the backyard cleared and have plenty of mulch to put in the flower gardens to get the weeds under control. I'm sure the garden plants will appreciate the extra sun, too. I think they've grown a good 2" this last week since they've had more access to the sun.
Right now I'm freezing. I've got my thermal underwear shirt on with a blanket over my head. I'm sitting in the same room as the air conditioner that kept popping me off the computer, and the air conditioner seems to be working quite well right now. But I forgot to dry my hair after my shower tonight, and I'm just aching from getting so cold as a result, so I'm going to go relax with my trusty heating pad for a bit before crawling into bed.
That just sound yummy!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I've made pinatas for a couple of my brothers who got married several years ago. They turned out really cute. I wish I knew where the pictures were, and I'd post them, but I have no clue where they might be. Maybe someday...
One brother collected Mickey Mouse stuff his entire life. He just loved Mickey. So as a bachelor, he had the Mickey phone, the sheets, the pillows, etc. It was just a part of who he was, and it was really kind of neat. So the pinata I made when he got married was the head of Mickey Mouse. However, one side of the head was Mickey and the other was Minnie. Minnie wore a veil, a pearl necklace, false eyelashes that went out to here, and blush. Mickey had a top hat and a bow tie.
We bought 3 5lbs bags of candy to fill it, and I apparently made it a bit too strong. After all the kids had gone through blindfolded, they then went through several times w/o blindfolds to hit it. Eventually people were getting a bit restless, so the men in the family took a baseball bat to it with no blindfold, and it still took several swings for it to break open. Still, I'd rather have a pinata that is tough to break than to have it break with the first hit and leave the little kids without a turn at it.
A couple of years later, another brother got married. He'd loved elephants from the time he was tiny. He'd collected quite a few over the years, so it was a no-brainer to choose to make a Mr. and Mrs. Dumbo pinata. Again they shared the same head and ears. But this time they both held flowers. Dumbo held his trunk way out in front of him and had a single red rose in the tip of his trunk, like he was presenting it to his bride. I can't recall, if he had a top hat, but I think he did as well as a bow tie. Mrs. Dumbo held her trunk much closer and it was curled around a little bouquet of roses as though it were her bridal bouquet. She also had the false eyelashes, rouge and veil. I can't remember, if she had the pearl necklace, but I think she did. They never broke it, and as far as I know, it still has 15lbs of candy in it. They've been married for over 10 years now, so I don't know how much I'd trust that candy!
I included a little card with each of the pinatas with the verse from Genesis 2:24 on it. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The pinata was just my very loose artistic interpretation of the Bible verse. Everyone loved it, and I always thought of how I wanted to make one again.
Enter my nephew and his new wife stage left. The only thing is that I'm not sure what they like. So I'm going to do a moose....er...a Mr. and Mrs. Moose. I'm not sure how close it will look to Bullwinkle, but I'm leaning somewhat in that direction. It will at least involve a two-sided moose head. And once again, I'll make sure I enclose a note card with Genesis 2:24.
I got started on making it today. I put the first 6 coats of paper on the balloon. I'm hoping it will be dry enough tomorrow I can add the string and 6 more coats of paper. If not, I'll just work on the smaller balloons that will be the tips of the noses. My fingers are going to be so wrinkled and pruned for a few days. That's okay. It's for a good cause.
I'll take pictures as I go along and post them all in one post when it's done.
And I'll be using plenty of lotion before bed!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Normally, I'm interviewed about them, but my friend lives across the country from me, and with her work and school schedule and the time difference she asked, if I could just write as much as I could about them in an email, and then she'd call me and ask me any questions she might have once she got started on the paper. I agreed to that as well, but I was surprised at how long it took me to write everything out. There was a lot to remember. Six hours later I pushed the 'send' button.
I found myself back in time watching the movies in my head of different things that happened over the years. I realized that we really went through an extraordinary amount with the girls, and I realized that I don't know that I've really processed it all. I think in many ways that I've pushed it aside to deal with later, and as a result much of it feels like it didn't happen to me. I know in my head that it did. I know my heart broke a thousand times with what they went through. And while I know how much our little darlings went through, I don't know that I've honestly acknowledged what we've gone through - what I've gone through as a mom.
This morning when I awoke, my back hurt a little bit. Nothing more than normal, but enough I took some ibuprofen for it. However, the more I wrote about our girls, the more my back hurt. It got closer and closer to spasming, and the less the heating pad helped. I tend to carry stress in my back, and it started feeling like I was carrying quite a lot.
I know that hoarding tendencies (as well as eating at times of stress, becoming an alcoholic, drug abuse, compulsive shopping, etc.) can be present in a person's personality and not be acted upon, but that often a traumatic situation can bring that tendency to the forefront and kick it into overdrive. Especially, if that person doesn't acknowledge the trauma or deal with it or grieve it. And I've always been like Scarlett O'Hara and put off dealing with things, because after all, "Tomorrow is another day!"
Well, I think tomorrow is quickly approaching for me. I've talked with my husband to see, if he was comfortable with me blogging about different things that have happened over the years. He is behind me one hundred percent and told me he thinks I should.
I'm thinking I might. I'm going to think it over and pray about it for a few weeks, before I make a final decision. But I really do think it might help me. There are times that I feel like I've pushed so many feelings down and tried to get it so far away from me that, if I'm bumped just right I'm going to explode.
So yeah. I'm thinking about it.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
When I have a day when I'm not able to accomplish as much as I'd like, I do try to remind myself of the fact that I'm a hoarder and that I need to keep on task, so I can get out of this rut. So I did 'homework' today in the form of watching the latest Hoarders episode. It was an update (filmed a year later) on 4 different people that they'd helped in the first season.
Of the four, there was one complete failure. The home looked just as bad as it did before the show went in and helped the family out, but in all fairness, there was such a resistance to the cleaning at the time that the crew was not able to completely clean the house up when they were there initially. It apparently didn't take long for the woman to fill the house back up, and she now faces jail time, if she isn't able to get the house cleaned within the time frame given. At the rate of progress she's making, it looks like she's probably going to serve time.
The second situation was similar to the first in that the crew was not able to completely clean this man's property. He is still getting citations on a weekly basis to get things cleaned up for 'criminal littering'. He has several acres, and he has literal tons of metal scrap, old appliances and vehicles. If I remember correctly, he has 17 vehicles in all. That's the bad news. The good news is that he hasn't added a lot to the mess. He's added 2 semi trailers and a refrigerator, so that in and of itself is progress. However, he hasn't gotten rid of enough, and he may lose his property, if he doesn't clean it up.
The third situation involves a woman who hoards food. And while she did not completely get her home finished when they were there, she has maintained for the most part. You can still see her floors, tabletop and counters. However, she also still has food in the refrigerator and freezer that is outdated by 6 months or more, and she insists that it's not bad. That she'll throw it out, if she's worried about it. And while I do believe that some expiration dates are included just to make people buy things more quickly, I would be afraid to eat most things that were outdated by more than 6 months or that were growing green fuzzies on them.
The last situation is the only one that seems to be a complete success story at this time. It's a young man with an alcoholic father. When Hoarders came to their house and cleaned it out, they found hundreds upon hundreds of wine bottles from the dad's drinking stash. They were empty, but he'd consumed the contents of each one. He was drunk the entire time the crew was there. The young man is now going to college and the father has stopped drinking wine entirely and seems to be getting his life together. He's still drinking a couple of beers every day, but he was clearly not drunk during this interview like he was a year before.
It was eye-opening to say the least. It's scary to think the recidivism rate is so high amongst hoarders. But I can't help but think that a lot of it has to do with how willing the person was to participate in the initial cleanup in the first place. I really do think that a person has to be willing to make the changes themselves, or they won't be successful, and even then it's going to be a daily struggle.
I know that there are days it's easier for me physically and mentally than other days. I also know that I want to be free of clutter and the hoarding mess from the very depths of my soul. Due to circumstances, it may take longer than I'd like it to take to get all the way to the goal, but I will get there.
It will happen.