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.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I dream of Rip Van Winkle.

I'm making progress and have gotten a lot done in the last week, but I feel like I'm in serious need of a couple weeks' worth of sleep. Just straight through for two weeks. 

Ever feel like that?

I don't see it slowing down enough to sleep for 2 weeks straight anytime soon, but that's okay. I'm getting things done that need done. I'm making progress.

Friday of last week we got our flu shots, got state ID cards for both of the girls and got a bank account set up for Scooter's direct deposit for when she starts getting SSI payments. Then Monday I got Scooter's application in for SSI and got replacement social security cards ordered for each of the girls.

I worked on paperwork a bit for a couple of days and then headed into the kitchen to work on tomatoes from the garden. I got 9 dozen tomatoes washed, blanched and peeled to further process. 

I made some into a base for homemade chili for when it gets colder outside. I made chili  a few weeks ago with tomatoes from the garden, and we couldn't get over how much tastier it was than when I've used fresh tomatoes from the grocery store. There really was no comparison, and I want to recreate it as much as possible when I make chili again when it snows. I'm actually looking forward to the colder weather just so I have an excuse to cook a batch up again!

Several pounds of tomatoes were diced, along with onions and bell peppers to make salsa. I used my new canner for it, and I have to admit it was fun breaking it in. I'll really put it to good use next year when we have more to our garden than tomatoes, but I'll be happy with an abundance of maters next year, too. The rest of the tomatoes were frozen whole to be used as I need them over the course of the next few months. I'll definitely be using them to make homemade tomato soup. There's nothing that tastes quite as fresh and clean and yummy as that, and I can't wait!

We've been babying the tomatoes we had left in the garden for the last few weeks as it's gotten colder outside, and they were actually still blooming. Unfortunately, it got cold enough that the plastic we had up didn't keep enough cold out, and the leaves started to freeze, so today we cleared out the tomato beds. Thankfully, we only lost a couple dozen tomatoes to the cold, but it was hard to take. The tomatoes are so tasty I hate to lose a single one. Still, there were several dozen on the plants still, so the loss of the 2 dozen is just a drop in the bucket. There are plenty more.

Tomorrow, I'll be wrapping the greenest tomatoes in newspaper and putting them in a box in the garage where they'll stay cool. I have it on good authority, (Thanks, Mom!), that I should have fresh tomatoes ripening for several weeks, and I may actually still have some left in late December or even early January. I'm really hoping that's the case. It would be great, if we could get them to last that long!
I have to be honest. I am looking forward to having the tomatoes done and out of my hair soon. It will just be a relief to have them done, so I don't have to worry about letting them go and them being ruined, because I got busy and put them off too long. 

I'll have to do something with the pumpkins from the garden, too. We had so many tomatoes that the pumpkins didn't go crazy, but we did end up with 4 small ones. I am hoping to make a pumpkin soup with one and bake the others, so I can make them into pies or pumpkin rolls for the holidays. I've never tried pumpkin soup before, but I want to try it. I think it will be fun. I'm just glad pumpkins last awhile, so I can finish up the paperwork before getting to them. 

We brought the two pepper plants in that still have little peppers on them. I'm hoping I can get them to grow indoors, so I can harvest them and use them in the chili I'll make a bit later. I'm not worried, if they don't do any more growing, but I'll be thrilled, if they do. 

In the meantime, my bed is calling me from the other room. It's been a long day, and I doubt I'll get a full 8 hours tonight, let alone a full 2 weeks. 

One can only hope...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And let the stress begin...

After countless hours of sorting paperwork and getting rid of more than 40, (I really should have counted them), boxes I finally found the birth certificates I've been searching for weeks to find. I only have 2 or 3 boxes left to sort through that have come in from the garage. Granted, I'll have to re-sort some of the stuff I've set aside to scan or to keep, but it's mountains less than I had a few weeks ago. I can handle it.

I also still have all the paperwork that was already in the study before we started bringing boxes in from the garage to sort. Thankfully, there are only about 7 boxes or so. There is a chance that I will actually be able to get through the rest of the paperwork by the end of October. That would be huge. But, I have other things happening, so I won't be disappointed, if I don't finish it all up by then. I know I will be done with the paperwork and have the study completely cleared out by Thanksgiving. 

Again. Huge.

In the meantime, we will be putting the social security card found earlier and the birth certificates to use and start the process of getting guardianship of the girls. 

That's right.


Apparently after a child with a developmental disability has finished with high school, their parents are no longer in charge of their medical, financial, or other such life-changing decisions. They're treated like any other adult. They have the right to refuse medical treatment. They have the right to spend their money as they see fit, so if they want to do nothing but buy cookies and nothing else, they have that right. 

So this summer when Hopper broke her leg, if she had not still been in school, we could not have signed for her to have surgery. If she had not consented to it, the doctors would refuse to treat until they had the court's okay to treat. The delay that getting a court order could take could mean the difference between life and death. And we get that. We will never allow either of the girls to go through something so horrible.

However, it still somehow feels wrong that a parent has to get guardianship to be able to make the same decisions for their disabled children that they've made since they brought them home from the hospital as babies. It's a bit of a slap in the face. It feels as though your parenthood is somehow being siphoned away, and you will now just be called, 'guardian'.

Thankfully, it's just a legal term. 

We will always be the girls' mommy and daddy.

And nobody can ever take that away, no matter how hard they might try.

So for the next couple of months while we go through getting permanent guardianship of our own children, the stress level is going to go up. It will involve attorneys and court visits and home visits and . . . 


So let the stress begin. 

We're ready. 



Monday, October 10, 2011

October is a gypsy...

I'm still working on paperwork. I still haven't found the birth certificates nor the other social security card, but I'm still looking. Broke a tooth in my sleep while I was grinding away the other night. Dental appointment tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've come across a bunch of school papers from 39 years ago from when I was in the second grade. I didn't even remember who my second grade teacher was, and I'm not sure I ever would have, except one paper had her name on it. I can tell she was a tough teacher based on the number of red marks on my pages. 

It's been a bit odd seeing my middle name on some of my school work, because it's spelled wrong. In fact, it was spelled wrong until I was twenty. When I was born the nurse didn't think my parents had the right to spell my name the way they wanted to, so she corrected it to how she felt it should be spelled. Can you imagine anyone being so arrogant as to think they had the right to do something like that?

My parents had no idea how to fix it, or if it could be fixed. So I asked about it when I was at the courthouse so many years ago getting our marriage license. I found out that misspellings on birth certificates can be fixed at any time. Free of charge. So I surprised my folks and had it fixed. Granted, it was twenty years late, but they appreciated it. 

Even though it took awhile to get used to spelling it right, the way my parents intended all along, I am so very thankful I asked for it to be corrected. It felt right. It was right. Looking at my name spelled the way it was when I was little looks so...odd. So wrong. It's funny how it looked right for so many years, but now it no longer does. 

Oh well. 

I do have something that does look right. Right now, even. I came across this cute little poem about October in my school papers, and I thought I'd share it...

 Happy October

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm still alive in spite of being buried under a ton of paperwork.

I'm still working on paperwork. I've been putting in 8 to 14 hours a day on it, and I've made huge progress. The boxes of papers in the picture I posted earlier spanned an area 5 wide, 3 deep and to the ceiling in the back 2 rows. At this point, the boxes take up an area 1 deep, 1 wide, and the stack only goes about 2/3 up the wall. 

Unfortunately, the picture didn't include all the paperwork that needs to be tackled. There's more current stuff, (from the last 5 years or so), on the other side of the study. It needs to be addressed, so the study can be fully organized and functional.

Several people, including The Hubster, have suggested ordering the birth certificates again. And while it might be easier in some ways to order them, I'm hoping I will have found the ones I'm looking for by the time the new ones would have arrived in the mail, anyway. Because I can't just go down to the courthouse and pick them up, since the girls weren't born here, it would take several weeks for them to make an appearance. I know we ordered a new birth certificate for Hopper a few years ago, and I'm sure to come across it in the newer stuff that still needs sorted. I still need to locate Scooters, but for the life of me I can't remember, if I ordered a new one for her then or not. I guess I'll find out soon enough. 

While I was sorting through boxes this weekend, I realized the main reason I don't want to order the birth certificates is for totally self-serving purposes. If I order them, I won't have to finish the paperwork anytime soon. And I really, really, really need to get through this paperwork. It's been hanging over my head and weighing me down for far too long. 

I actually came across paperwork from the bank account I had in high school!

Did I mention how long it's been holding me back??

Far. Too. Long. That's how long.

As a result of the hours I've been putting in on paperwork, I haven't been online much at all.  

I've ignored my friends and family. 

I've failed to return emails. 

I've neglected my blog.

And unfortunately, I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future. 

In the meantime, I will continue to update the sidebar with the shredables count. 

I hope to be back to blogging daily, returning emails, and interacting with friends and family again within a week or two... 

Definitely by Thanksgiving.

I am also hoping to be finished once and for all with paperwork, so all I need to do is maintain things. 

Here's to hoping...