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.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Will a tonsillectomy cure the hiccups?

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted! So much has happened in the last 5 weeks, and yet it feels as though nothing has happened at all. It's just sort of a blur.

We woke up the day before Thanksgiving with a horrible cold. Within a few days, it had moved into our chests, which resulted in nebulizer treatments, fever, chills and exhaustion. Scooter ended up with an infected ear to go with her sinus infections, and I ended up with another abscess on the back of my throat. 

Antibiotics and oral steroids followed by a second course of antibiotics and IV steroids, and I'm finally free of the infection in my throat. But I have not been able to warm up the last couple of days, so I'm really hoping I'm not coming down with something else. In the meantime, I'm scheduled for a second tonsillectomy in mid-January. Once is usually enough, but a small portion, (about the size of my small fingernail), of my tonsil grew back, and it's what is causing the repeated abscesses. It just needs to go. 

The day after Thanksgiving, Frank twisted his ankle while he was playing Extreme Frisbee in the park with his friends. He severely sprained it and has only been able to put weight on it in the last week. We thought for sure he was going to have to have surgery to fix it, but since he got the right kind of boot on his foot, it seems to be healing much more quickly. I know he's more than ready to be done with it all and to get back to walking without pain. 

Thankfully, the health issues we've had have been nothing but hiccups. They're not going to kill us. They're just a little annoying and last longer than we'd like. 

You know. Sort of like laundry.

I hope each of you had a Blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas! And in case I'm not back here before 2013, I wish you all a New Year full of the Lord's blessings!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yay! for Ramblings

11 pairs of jeans
6 gloves
1 backpack
1 pair of jean shorts
3 shammi cleaning cloths
and room for the girls' denim jackets, even though I didn't include them.

That was what was in the first load of laundry in our new washing machine, and even though we had a pretty big top loader before, there's no way I could have fit that many clothes in one load before. I'm in shock at how much I can wash at once, and I'm thrilled! It's already cut the time I've spent in the laundry room down drastically, and we just got the machines on Saturday. I think I'm finally going to be able to get caught up and stay caught up on my laundry now. 


Because the new washing machine is a front loader, it uses much less water, so our water bill will go down. But the best part is that because it uses so much less water, there is less water to drain out of the tub, which  means there is less water going down the drain. I know you're wondering how long it took me to realize all that, but I really was getting to a point. The fact that there is less water being drained out means that the overflowing drainage pipe behind the washing machine should be a thing of the past!

Double Yay!

I'm still walking on the treadmill. Haven't missed a day. Started Week 7 on Saturday. The first week, I pushed myself hard and was able to complete a total of 1 hour 46 minutes. It was so hard. My fibro flared non-stop, and there were many times I wanted to give up and skip it, but I am important enough to do it for me. So I kept on keepin' on. I just ended the 6th week on Friday. I'd done 6 hours 40 minutes and 9.3 miles total. I'm going to do my best to do no less than an hour a day from now on. I'll keep it at an hour for a couple of weeks before adding anymore time, but I'll be trying to increase the mileage each week. 

So. Yeah. I'm happy about that. 

Yay! Again.

I've been feeling my age, though. Got my first pair of bifocals almost 2 weeks ago. They're going back today, and I'm going to get a single vision lens. I can't handle them. Every time I wear them, I end up with a horrible headache and a watering eye that drips down my face, not to mention the nausea. I'm thinking that progressive bifocals are just not for me. I may try lined bifocals at some point in the future, but for now, I think I'll just get a pair of reading glasses to use in conjunction with my regular glasses. 

The lack of nausea, headaches and drippy eyes will be yet another yay!

Never finished cutting the trees down in the backyard, but I can't breathe around the molds, mildews and pollens that rear their ugly heads this time of year. I don't know when it will happen, but we will get them done. 

I got the tomatoes all prepped to freeze and then forgot them in the fridge when everyone was sick. They had to go in the compost bin. But I did get the apples all processed and ended up with 10 pints+ of yummy goodness for my effort. We'll be enjoying them for awhile.


And besides it being the time for turkeys and holiday celebrations and such, it's the perfect time for homemade soups. It seems like every year I forget how good homemade soup is, and I get to experience the yumminess anew every Fall. We enjoyed our first homemade soup last week, and it was, well, yummy.


I also just hung up the phone. Someone is interested in the bunk beds I've had up on Craigslist for a few weeks. It will be so nice to have the room they're taking up in the garage!

Um. Yay!

And I'm done rambling for now, but I'll be back.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Forever in our hearts.

They, whoever 'they' are, say that time heals all wounds. It may heal wounds on the outside, but I don't know that it does. I think there are some things that one just never, ever gets over. 

The edges of the wound may start to come together and form a scar, but it's still tender. It still hurts. And no matter what you put on the wound to soften the scar to make it less noticeable, no matter how much it fades, it's still there. The scar reminds you of the original trauma when you feel it as the wind blows or the sun hits it just right, when you feel it as you get dressed or bump it on the doorway. 

Eventually, a certain amount of numbness creeps in. It's as though you're in a constant state of shock. It's hard to feel anything but the pain. It never really gets better. It never, ever goes away.

It's still as fresh today as it was when I wrote this post 2 years ago about the loss of my nephew, Edward, to suicide.  It's still as fresh as it was when we lost him 5 years ago. Still just as senseless today as it was then.

Please don't choose a permanent solution for a temporary problem. It really will get better. 

Edward, we will always love you and miss you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I haven't been purposely staying away from the computer, but I just haven't been online much lately. I find that I've been staying busy with family, doctors' appointments, tomatoes, apples, and dehoarding. You know. Life.

When I finally slow down and come to a stop for the day, I fall into a deep, deep sleep. It's rare that I have enough mental energy at the end of each day to check email let alone write a blog post, and I've been okay with that. I honestly feel the best I've felt in months. Maybe even years. 

I've been making progress with dehoarding here and there. I've even tackled some jobs I've been putting off for years...

Several years ago, there was a local company that went out of business that manufactured craft paints. They donated the leftover paints to the thrift stores, and we happened upon them. The price couldn't be beat. They were bagged 6 bottles for just under $1, but they were half price the day we were in the store. So we got some to resell.

We bought several cases of 48 bottles each. I packaged up sets in pretty gift baskets, selling the sets for the price of $2 per bottle of paint in the basket. It was a fun little hobby while it lasted, and it helped out financially at the same time. The problem was that I ended up having a few cases of paints left even after I got to the point of giving several sets of paints away. 

In the meantime, I never had an official place to store the ones I wanted to keep, and several of the bottles had started to dry up. I didn't want to just throw all of them in the trash, because a few were dry, but I could never seem to find the time to start the daunting task of sorting through them-until the last few days, that is. 

I finally knuckled down and dealt with them. I tried to deal with them a couple of years ago, but I was conflicted about throwing out 'brand-new-never-opened' paints just, because they were dried out. I know. I doesn't make sense. Then again, hoarding is like that. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense. 

I felt like I was somehow responsible for finding a good home for each and every bottle of paint. Including the dead ones. I knew that hot water thins some paints, and turpentine or paint thinner has been used to thin other paints, and I felt like it was my job to figure out what would thin this paint and bring it back to life once again. So I shelved the whole thing and let it weigh me down for the last couple of years while I tried to figure out what to do.

It happens that the craft cupboard that I want to store the paints in permanently is in my line of vision from the treadmill. So for the last 3 weeks, I have thought of the paints every single time I've been on the treadmill walking. And I finally took the time to tackle the colorful beast.

While trying to figure out what to do with the ones that had started to dry out, I realized that all of these were permanent paints. Once they were dried out, no amount of paint thinner, water or turpentine would resuscitate them, and I need not feel guilty throwing them away. 

Huh. Imagine that.

I had to check each bottle of paint to see, if the paint in it had dried out. A lot of them had a dry plug of paint in the top, but many were fine, so I pulled the plugs on the ones that needed it, trashed the dried ones and set the good ones aside to sort. I pulled out 1 bottle of each color to set aside for Bugster, Hopper, Scooter, Mom, my sister, and myself-roughly a dozen for each of us. I also set aside 3 dozen bottles for Scooter's classroom to use and sent the rest of them, (probably 11 or 12 dozen), to the day program the girls attend. 

I will get my sister's and Mom's paint sent to them this week, and Hopper will pick hers up in the next few days. In the meantime, the drawer which I had set aside to store paints is neatly organized and ready to use. It will be so nice to know whether or not I have a certain color for a project, so I don't go out and buy duplicates of colors I already have. 

It will be so nice to have this monkey off my back once and for all...

...even though I had to pry the thing off one big fat hairy finger at a time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Red Rover...Red Rover...I'm really all over.

I feel like I've been all over the place the last couple of weeks. I can't seem to stay on task for beans, but at least I'm getting little bits done all over the place.

We haven't gotten back out to the yard since Hubster almost fell out of the apple tree. I'd had every intention of getting out there myself and cutting down some of the smaller elms that I could just snip off with hand clippers, but it hasn't happened. I'm hoping it will happen next week. We'll see.

Scooter came down with a wicked cold and then decided to share it with Hopper and me. I don't really think it's the flu, (and am I ever grateful we already got our flu shots this year!!). I don't think the flu has hit our state yet. It's some sort of a nasty chest and head cold that's resulted in breathing treatments and cough syrup with codeine on a daily basis. Thankfully, the cough syrup is no longer needed, but the nebulizer treatments are still a nightly thing. At this, Scooter has missed 2 straight weeks from school from this stuff. We're hoping she'll finally get to go back to school on Monday.

I finally made it in for my doctor's appointment and blood work. Everything was fine, which is really good. I've had a lot more energy since I changed the time I take the amino acid I use for nerve pain. It definitely seemed to be interfering with my thyroid meds, and I was just exhausted all the time. It's nice to have a little extra energy.

I've got so much to do it's not funny, so the energy spurts are much needed! I still have to finish up with the tomatoes and apples. We have quite a few tomatoes that we brought in when we closed down the garden that have ripened up that I'd like to can, so we have them for this winter. The ones that are a little over-ripe will be cooked down for sauce and canned, as well. I'll still have some green ones, so I'd like to actually try fried green tomatoes, since I think I'll try it every year and never get around to making them. I've heard they're good.

I've got probably a couple of bushels of apples left from the tree. They're going to be a bit more work. I've got to peel, core and slice them up before canning some apple pie filling. I might make some apple butter, too. I haven't completely decided. It depends on how much energy I actually end up with for the day.

And while I haven't been posting here regularly like I used to, I am making progress. I have gotten into the habit of walking on the treadmill for a very short time every single day. I haven't missed a day in 2 weeks. I'd love it, if I could say I hadn't missed a singe day in 2 years. Stay tuned. It's only 102 weeks before we'll know, if I can do it. 

Since the workout room is downstairs, and I have to walk by the boxes in the craft area every time I go to the treadmill, I've been trying to sort through something each time I go through. Some days I get a full box sorted. Other days, I only get rid of one or two things, but it's progress. Still. I'm amazed at how much easier the decision making process is today compared to when I started this journey almost 3 years ago!

Yesterday I had to dig some stuff out in the garage, so I could put it up for sale on Craigslist. I filled up a big outdoor trash can with stuff I realized I could part with while trying to find all the parts of the bunkbeds I needed to get together. I decided to bring in a box of paperwork that had been packed away 5 years ago shortly after we lost Daddy. 

It's been a difficult box to sort through. A lot of emotions have come up while going through it, and it was a bit too much for me to try to do in one sitting. I'll continue working on it in the next week. The apples and maters are the bigger priority.

In the meantime, duty calls. 

'Tis time to get off my butt and get busy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


We've been busy the last week or so. 

Hubster took last week off, so we could work in the backyard and cut down trees. Hah. You know the saying about your eyes being bigger than your stomach? Yeah. Well, our want to was bigger than our can do. 

The first half of the week was hot enough that we struggled with getting overheated while we were working on getting the apple tree down. Then a cold front kicked in, and we had a hard freeze with a couple of dreadfully cold days that followed. Needless to say, we didn't get nearly as much done as we'd wanted. However, we did at least get the majority of the apple tree down, and we got the apples that the worms, squirrels and hail didn't get harvested as well. We had to be happy with that, and we were. 

Of all the trees that need to be cut down in the backyard, the apple tree was the one that was the biggest priority. The branches were long enough we were afraid of one taking down the power lines in a windstorm. That would not have been good. Thankfully, Hubster was able to cut pieces of the branches off before getting to the bulk of each branch, so the power lines were never in jeopardy. 

He was at one point, though. For whatever reason, I hadn't thought of taking before and after pictures until there was only on major branch left on the tree. I figured I'd at least get a few pictures of him chopping that last upright branch down when I heard, "Crap! Jude! Help me!"

He was losing the grip on the chainsaw, and the ladder was starting to move. So the last picture I took shows the camera being set down in a hurry. I was able to get the chainsaw and set it down just in time to grab the ladder and keep it as steady as I could while he clung to the tree and kept himself from falling. He wouldn't have fallen far. His feet were only about 5 feet off the ground. But he'd have fallen on some rather sharp parts of the tree that had broken off before and were vertical, jagged spears that would have impaled him, had he fallen. 

While Hubster was working on the apple tree, Hopper and I were harvesting all the tomatoes we could. There were still quite a few left that were on the verge of ripening as well as lots of green ones of various sizes. We brought them all in the house, covered the peppers and lettuce up and came inside. We were done. I didn't want to take a chance on losing the tomatoes to a hard freeze, but the peppers were all so small I didn't care, if they were lost to the cold or not. Thankfully, they stayed warm enough with the frost blanket and plastic that covered them, and they will hopefully get some size before the next hard freeze comes along. There are still about a dozen peppers out there, and I'm so looking forward to enjoying them!

I've got to get busy with the apples in the next couple of days. I need to wash, core, peel and slice a bunch to put in the freezer for apple pies this winter. I'd like to make some apple butter, too. I just don't want them to go to waste. We figured we'd save some of the seeds to see, if we can get a tree going. These are such good tasting apples, that it would be a shame to not have any in the future. 

I'm tired tonight but I'm feeling the best I have in months. I feel like I'm getting back in a groove and will be able to get back to dehoarding in earnest, if I can just get the girls' health back on track. They've both got some nasty cough and congestion. Taking Scooter into the doctor tomorrow. It makes us a little nervous after her bout last year with pneumonia. 

I'm thinking the best way for me to deal with it is to get enough sleep myself, so I'm heading off to bed. I've got a long day planned for tomorrow. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


I am so tired tonight I can barely move.

Hubster took the week off, so we can try to get the backyard in shape. We've got to cut down several trees-a small peach tree, a huge apple tree, a few ash saplings and hundreds of the dreaded elms. Most are less than 3 years old and only about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, but there are a couple that we've cut down so many times that the trunks are quite a bit larger and the new shoots coming out of them are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. 

We got started on them today. Between raking and shoveling up the fallen apples that have fallen and begun to ferment, sorting the apples from the tree that are still edible and cutting a few branches down I can hardly lift my arms tonight. Good thing I don't need to live them in my sleep.

We all got our flu shots today, too. The girls did amazingly well with getting them, and it was 1/100th of the struggle it usually is. Last year when Hopper broke her leg, I had to give her shots of blood thinner in her stomach twice a day. She actually did very well with it, and the repeated injections seem to have desensitized her to getting the regular vaccinations. 

Who'da thunk it? We wouldn't have. I can't begin to explain the fear that we all had when we found out we'd need to do her injections at home! At the time we weren't really happy that we had to do it, but now we're are so very thankful that it wasn't an option.

I'm off to bed much later than I should be, but I'll sleep like a log tonight. 

I'll take it. 

I'm thinking logs sleep pretty well.

Well, unless they hear the chainsaw revving up in their dreams. Then they probably don't sleep very well. 

Here's to chainsaw-free dreams!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I don't even know where to begin.

This past year has had more than it's share of rough spots, and I've written about many of them here, but there was I never quite knew how to approach. I started writing the following post last August. I decided to finish it up today. I'm hoping that by posting it, I let go of the emotions involved a little better, since they still creep in from time to time.

From August 11, 2011, (a full month before Scooter's head to toe rash from the antibiotic overload):

Obviously, I've had a lot on my mind this summer with our nephew's wedding we went to the end of May/beginning of June to Hopper's broken leg, emergency surgery, hospitalization, and heart stoppage the end of June/beginning of July to her convalescence at home since then, to Bugster and Bubster's wedding mid-July, and the in-laws' visit and the stress that ensued. Not to mention the mounds of paperwork I need to go through to find birth certificates and social security cards, so we can get guardianship of the girls, (which is another post entirely!). 

So I've pushed a few things to the back of my mind to recall at a later date when I can deal with them with my whole mind in the race.

A couple of things I'd totally forgotten about were the girls' IEP staffings. School staff set the dates and times back in May when we were on vacation, and I'm sure we got some sort of a notice mailed to us, but I have no clue where they might be. Any mention of said meetings was promptly forgotten with the stress that has been our summer.

So I was a bit taken aback when I recently received a reminder call for Hopper's staffing I'd totally forgotten about it. That simple reminder call triggered something I'd shelved in my mind all summer. Something concerning Scooter and how she'd been mistreated at school by both her teacher and a classroom aide. The situation has not been far from my mind since it resurfaced with the call...

We pulled the girls out of school a couple of days early last May, so we could make it to the wedding. With it being the end of the school year, there were several phone calls with different people working with the girls in those last couple of days they were in attendance. There was just a lot going on, but one phone call in particular stood out from the rest.

An employee of the school confided in me that they witnessed Scooter being mistreated. They insisted that what they were telling me was strictly confidential, but that there were other witnesses to the behavior, and they would deny having told me anything, if they were asked. The person didn't want to lose their job, and I can completely understand that. I didn't want them to lose their job, either. So their name, their sex, and their position as an employee will not be mentioned either on the blog or in the meeting we have tomorrow to deal with this situation.

But let me back up a minute....
I've mentioned before that Scooter couldn't sit up until she was 4, and that she only weighed 21 pounds at the time. She was a tiny, very sickly little girl. She was hospitalized repeatedly with asthma and pneumonia that was a direct result of constant vomiting. A few months before her 4th birthday, we found out she was missing her esophageal sphincter, which meant there was no way to hold down anything she took in. Everything came back up.

As a result of the discovery, Scooter was scheduled for surgery. The surgeon had to detach her stomach from the surrounding tissue it was attached to, wrap it around her esophagus, and staple it in place to make a substitute sphincter, so she could eat and actually keep things down. The surgery reduced the opening of her esophagus from the diameter of a quarter to the diameter of a pencil. The most beneficial result of the surgery, is that she is not able to throw up more than a teaspoon or tablespoonful of anything, and she finally started to thrive. 

The major drawback to the surgery is that she can't burp. And everyone has gas. And gas has to come out one way or the other. In Scooter's case it always comes out 'the other'. We give her simethicone tablets every morning and evening to help make the gas less painful and make it easier to pass. If we don't, when she lets loose, let's just say she really lets loose. 

It's something that can't be helped. She has no more control over it, than you or I have over the color of our skin. We've tried the enzymes for gas that you take before you eat, so you'll have no gas, but they don't help. Simethicone is the only thing that helps, and even then there are days it can't keep up with the amount of gas her little body produces. 

And there is really nothing we can do about the smell of said emissions. And yes. It can be gross and take your breath away. Literally. But it also can't be helped. We can always tell she's had a particularly malodorous day, when I get a note home about how horribly gassy she was and isn't there anything we can do about it? Did we perhaps forget her simethicone tablets that morning?

It gets old, no doubt about it.

But you would think that people who work in a classroom with children of different developmental ages would understand that bodily functions are not something that can be helped. 

I found out otherwise with the phone call back in May.

The school district employee, (I'll call them, Pat), told me that they had witnessed both the teacher and one of the aides making a huge production over Scooter's gas issues. Not only would they fan themselves in an exaggerated fashion, but they would exclaim loudly (so the entire class could hear) how horrible Scooter smelled.

Unfortunately, the aide didn't stop there. She would apparently get the industrial aerosol disinfectant/cleaner or air freshener (it depended on what they had on hand at the moment) and spray toward the floor all around Scooter's chair. And although she had the spray aimed at the ground, there was a large hole in the back of Scooter's chair, so it would fall on her back and on her legs. Once she was done doing that, she would spray a huge cloud above Scooter's head. The droplets of aerosol spray would drift down and cover Scooter from above, landing on her back and chest. 

There have been several times over the last 2 years that Scooter has come home from school with a rash that covered both her back and her chest, and I never even thought it might have stemmed from abusive actions by those we were entrusting her with in school. I just assumed it was hormonal or a heat rash. I never once imagined what had caused it! She would scratch it in her sleep and wake up with little spots of blood on her night shirt where she scratched it so hard she bled. I would have to give her antihistamines to calm it enough she could sleep at night. 

We saw what it did to her skin. I shudder at the thought of what it did to her lungs. She's had severe asthma since she was tiny. She's been hospitalized roughly 3 dozen times at this point, with most all of them involving asthma or pneumonia for part of the stay.

Scooter had this teacher for 1.5 of the last 2 years, but she's had the aide for the 2 full years she's been at this school. So for the last 2 years, these sick witches have bullied, ridiculed and abused our little girl over something that she can't physically help, over something nobody has any control.

I can't tell you how relieved we are to know that the teacher left in the middle of the school year last year and won't be back. She's not fit to be a teacher, if she allows this sort of stuff to happen in her classroom, (let alone participate in it!), and doesn't stand up for the most innocent and defenseless among us! 


That's as far as I got in my post. I had to step away from it, because anytime it came to mind, I'd end up having to take meds for my anxiety, so here's the update:

We took the matter before the superintendent of special education as well as the principal of the school. The school employee who told us about all that had transpired refused to come forward. They were afraid of some sort of reprisal from the school district, in spite of the fact they no longer worked for them. Unfortunately, we didn't get very far with the school district as a result.

The employee said that several other employees had witnessed this behavior over those 2 years. Unfortunately, none of them stepped forward against the aide that was still working there when the situation was investigated by the school district. However, someone did come forward with information that Scooter had been sprayed by Febreeze by the teacher on at least one occasion! Dumb b*tches.

It is so infuriating to picture. They are nothing but big bullies picking on a defenseless child. Scooter can't speak, so she couldn't tell us about it. Even if she was using her speaking device to try to let us know, she would not have been able to find the words to use. There's no pre-programmed button mixed in with the buttons she pushes to let someone know she wants a salad or a slice of pizza for lunch that says, "My teacher is picking on me!" or "I had gas at school today, and my teacher and the aide ridiculed me for having gas." or "I HATE when my teacher sprays me with Febreeze! I can't BREATHE when she does it!" "HELP ME!"

I think of how utterly alone and defenseless she must have felt. It's no wonder she would tell us she was tired and did't want to go to school or would pull the covers up and roll over to pretend she was still asleep when we came in to get her ready for school. 

And it's not like she could just get up quickly and get away from the spray. She moves like a turtle in molasses most days. With her spine having been fused, she is severely limited in her mobility. She can walk, but even with the lift  on her shoe, she has a limp. She was a captive but unwilling participant. 

While we don't believe the aide had any disciplinary action taken against her as a result of the investigation, (they told us they could not substantiate our claims), we insisted she not be allowed to ever work with Scooter again. She is now working in the other special needs classroom. And while it is not ideal that she is still working with children who have no defense against this sort of abuse, she has at least been put on notice. I have no doubt that every single person who works with her now is keeping her on her toes.

For now things are going well, but I still think the system is broken. I'll go into that more in a different post, but suffice it to say that Hubster and I would like to see things change.

I just don't know, if I'm the right dog for the fight.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


That's the number of posts I've published on my blog so far. In many ways I wish that I'd have been able to keep up with daily posting. I'd be close to 1000 posts right now, if I had, and that would have been sort of cool. That being said, I want this to be a place for me to unwind and decompress, and pressuring myself to keep up with daily posts is not conducive to decompression. 

So 500 it is.

At the same time that I want this to be a place to decompress, I don't want it to just be about kvetching about my life. My mama taught me that if I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. I think there can be a happy medium, though, so I'll probably be back here complaining from time to time.

It is what it is, and I am who I am.

So I figured something out the other day. One of the amino acids I'm taking to help with the neuropathy sort of counteracts my thyroid medicine. I don't know why I didn't see that when I researched the amino acid. I don't know, if the information just wasn't there, or if I overlooked it at the time, or what. What I do know is that I've been absolutely dragging the last few months. I've had no energy, and that's a major symptom of hypothyroidism. 

I've been taking the amino acid for over a year now, and I hadn't noticed a difference in the effectiveness of my thyroid medicine until somewhat recently. I don't know, if it's because it took awhile for the effectiveness to be altered, or what. Unfortunately, my neuropathy has been out of control lately, so giving up the amino acid isn't an option, and in fact I'm needing to double up on it and take it twice a day. It's the only thing I can take that makes any difference in the pain level. I'd love it, if the prescription nerve meds worked for me, but they don't. If I take them, I sleep for days, and that just isn't an option. So I've made an appointment with my doctor to discuss it all in the next couple of weeks. 

In the meantime, I'm hoping we'll all be feeling well enough soon, (This hit and miss stuff that always happens once school starts for the year is so frustrating!), so we can finally officially celebrate the 4 birthdays that have happened since the end of June. 

We're also hoping to get a bunch of yardwork done and get rid of a bunch of elm trees in the backyard that have once again grown into a jungle back there. We'll take down our apple tree when we're back there, too. A windstorm took about half the tree a couple of years ago, and another wind took half of what was left back there a couple of weeks ago, so it has to go before it falls on the house. And then there's the scraggly little peach tree in the corner of the yard that has been slowly dying over the last few years but is tall enough it's in the middle of the power lines. 

Once we're done getting the trees down, we're hoping to toss some grass seed down and cover it with straw to help it stay alive over the winter. If it survives, we'll just rake up the straw in the Spring and have an actual lawn instead of the dirt pile we have back there now. We'll also be chipping the trees with a professional chipper and we're hoping the wood chips put down between the fences will prevent future saplings from taking root. We so need to get the trees out of there, so we can lower our fire risk. After all the wildfires we've had in Colorado this year, we don't need to add to the problem.

And to end this on a good note...I spoke with the attorney today, since we still haven't gotten our paperwork in the mail showing that we are officially the girls' guardians. He said that he mailed them yesterday or the day before, and we should be getting them any day now. 

We can hope.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting there...

I'm doing my best to get out of the rut and into a groove and having some success...

Went to the dentist first thing this morning to see, if I needed another root canal. A few weeks ago I went in and had one of my molars prepped for a crown, and it hasn't stopped hurting since then. The dentist tapped my tooth with a fair amount of force, and it didn't hurt, so no root canal is necessary. That was a nice surprise.

When I was done, I had to return some headphones of the girls that had broken. This is the 2nd pair in the last month that we've had to return, but they lasted quite awhile. One pair lasted 8 months - the other 9. The really good thing is that the store no longer carries them, so we'll get a store credit for them, and we can still buy the headphones online for less than half what we paid for them in the store. Plus we'll get to go shopping and spend the store credit. It's a win/win.

When I was done returning the headphones, I ran to the hardware store. I needed to ask a few questions about small fluorescent light that we bought to go above the kitchen sink. We'd had one for a little over a year, but the ballast couldn't be replaced. If we'd known that when we bought the thing, we never would have bought it. Who buys what basically is a disposable light??

Got the information I needed, picked up 4 packages of light bulbs for 50 cents a pack, since each was short a bulb or two, grabbed a fluorescent bulb that is in the sunshine spectrum, (hoping it helps with my seasonal depression over the winter months), and came home to wire a cord onto the replacement light Hubster picked up this weekend. It was supposed to be hardwired, but there's no wiring in the area we wanted it installed, so I just reused the cord from the disposable light. Wiring it with the cord took no time at all, but I got distracted by the garden once I was done...

Picked over 3 gallons of tomatoes today. There are still a few that have pockmarks from hail damage, and they'll spoil quickly, so I need to do what I can to process them tomorrow. I'll be blanching and freezing most of them, but I'll make some sort of sauce with the really ripe ones. I will just let it simmer on the back burner for most of the day and make some sort of pasta dish with some of it and toss the rest in a freezer bag to use later.

After taking the girls' temperatures to see, if they'll be going to school and the day program tomorrow, (they won't be - they are both feverish), calling them in sick, and getting them to bed I started working on installing the light above the kitchen sink. It took quite a bit of work to get it installed, because the only stud I could mount it to was centered above the sink, and the screw holes were on either end of the light. I took a scrap of 1x6 that was out in the garage and attached it to the stud centered above the sink and into wall anchors on either end. Then I just screwed the light fixture onto the 1x6. It worked well, but it was a literal pain in the neck due to the odd angle I had to crane my neck in order to see what I was doing.

By the time I was done, my head was throbbing. It's obvious that the girls have shared, and I've got whatever is giving them the fevers. The good thing is that I will sleep like a dream tonight. Hubster helped me put plywood between our mattress and box springs, and it has made all the difference in the world! It's the first I've awakened in a really long time without my back hurting me all day long. 

So yeah. Now I'm ready to go to bed and see, if I can't get rid of the rest of this headache.

Monday, September 3, 2012

On the tip of my tongue.

I get so frustrated when I am trying to remember something, and I am so close I can almost taste it, but it never completely breaks through the surface. In many ways, it felt that way with the guardianship thing. It felt like it was just out of the grasp of our fingers and we couldn't quite catch it. It still feels like it's a bit out of reach, since we haven't gotten the official paperwork in the mail yet, but at least we know it's coming, and the resolution will be complete when it finally shows up.

Triggered by a sound, which triggered a smell, I had to go on a web search for a toy from my childhood. Anyone remember Incredible Edibles? I'm talking about the electric toy that heated small plates filled with edible goo to solidify, or maybe I should say, "rubberize" them, so older brothers could terrorize their younger sisters with them. I can't count the number of gooey spiders and snakes that were put in either one of our beds or our hair or  chased us around the yard at night. I'm betting the inventor of Gummy Worms had an Incredible Edible machine when he was little, and I'm betting he chased his little sisters, too!

Seeing the picture of the plates brought back an almost physical reaction for me. There's nothing that smells quite like the gel that was used when it's baking, and for a split second, that smell was so strong that I was back in the home I grew up in, sitting around the machine with my brothers and sister waiting for the goodies to be done, so we could eat them. I could smell the dampness of the basement, feel the coolness of the concrete against my knees, and feel the anticipation as though I were 8 years old again. 

What wonderful memories!

It's funny how a sound or a smell can transport a person back in time. For years, there was a single phrase that transported me back, but it was like I was stuck in a time machine, for I could remember but one line in the song. I wanted to have the full experience of the memory, but no matter what I did to remember the rest of the song, I couldn't. 

Thankfully, my brother came through for me when we were back home for Mom's heart surgery. We were at the park with the kids, and I was standing around with one of my sisters, one of my brothers, and one of my sister-in-laws. I told them that I needed help! That there was a song that played on the radio when we were little that I wanted to hear again, but all I could remember was the phrase, "And find me a pretty girl!"

Instantly, my brother started singing the song! He remembered the words and the artist, but I've got to call him up and ask him who sang it, because I've already forgotten. I'm hoping it will lead to me actually finding an old vinyl record with the song on it. I really, really want to actually hear the song again, instead of just hearing the memory of it in my mind!) 

Do any of you remember this song???

I'm gonna get on a riverboat,
And go down the river,
And find me a pretty girl!

And if that pretty girl
Falls in love me,
I'm gonna marry her!

And if that pretty girl
proves to be untrue... 

I'm gonna get on a riverboat,
and go down the river, 
and find me another girl!

I've searched everything I have access to search, and not only can I not find the song anywhere, I can't even find the lyrics. It's frustrating, because in spite of being instantly transported to my childhood when my brother sang the three verses of the song that he remembered, I still feel like the rest of the memory is on the tip of my tongue. 

I want to be transported back in time to the black and white checkered floor in the kitchen with the sunlight dancing on the kitchen cupboards and stove top again. I want to feel like I did when I listened to it with my family when I was little. When I knew that Grammy and Grandad were just across the street, and that Daddy would come home every night, and that Mom would always be there when we got home after school. 

Just for awhile, I want to be transported back in time when the biggest worry I had was whether I was going to wear barrettes or ribbons in my hair that day, and whether I'd be able to stay awake and watch 'Connie Jarson' with Mom and Daddy. 

It's so close I can just about touch it...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just when things were getting better... begins again.

Scooter missed the first 3 days of school due to illness and fever and the 4th day of school for the guardianship. After attending school for 4 days, she's home sick again. This time, she's shared it with the rest of us.

I'm glad it didn't come at a more inopportune time - like when we were scheduled for court last week, but timing really isn't good. I was just starting to feel more normal and like I was returning to a good place mentally. 

I'm just hoping that by the time I start feeling better physically I'll be at the top of my game mentally, so I can get something accomplished! 

Maybe tomorrow? After all, it *is* another day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's a jungle out there.

I am a little surprised that I feel the way I do tonight. Maybe it's a bit of emotional and physical fatigue. I just thought that finally getting through the guardianship process would have had a bigger impact on my state of well-being. 

We met with the judge on Tuesday and finalized guardianship. It is such a huge relief to have it all done, but I also can't help but wonder, if the relief is why I'm so exhausted. I'm. just. Tired. Really, really tired. 

The judge was very sweet. The whole process took about an hour. We will get the official documents in the mail next week sometime. Once we get it, we'll have to get copies to the doctors' offices, day programs, school, etc., and keep a copy on hand to bring to the hospitals, should the girls ever need to be treated there again. 

The day itself was a bit stressful, though. Hopper started getting anxious when we kept having to drive around the block to find a parking spot close enough for Scooter, since walking long distances is a bit rough for her. We were hoping she'd settle down once we found a place to park, but no such luck. It only got worse.

I'm assuming all courthouses have security similar to the one here in town, but I don't know for sure, and you know what they say about assuming. It wasn't as rough having the TSA  get us through security, but I think Hopper thought it might end up in a strip search. 

OK. I'm exaggerating a little. She doesn't even know that happens, and I'm SO thankful she doesn't! She'd have really freaked out!!

The way it was, we had to empty our pockets and put the contents in a bin that went on a conveyor belt and through an x-ray machine. She did fine with that part, but when the metal detector beeped because of the underwire in her bra, she sort of flipped out. She was afraid to go back through it again and started getting worked up, sporadically yelling, "no!"

The water works started and the "NO!!'s" got a lot louder when the uniformed policeman had to use the wand to make sure she wasn't carrying any weapons. She was having a huge panic attack, and he was very sympathetic, but he was struggling with getting her to stand still long enough to pass the wand down her back and then her front. After multiple attempts, he was finally satisfied that she was not a threat and continued on with checking the rest of us. 

The only thing we can think of is that poor Hopper thought that once he was done he was going to frisk her. And we all know what comes after the frisking...
handcuffs! I wish we'd have though of explaining that part of it before we went in, but both Hubster and I were nervous enough about the whole thing that we didn't even think of it. 

I've been absolutely exhausted since Tuesday. I think it's just relief that this enormous monkey is off our backs at this point. 

I think the headache I have is from him holding tightly to my hair as he jumped off into the jungle.

Stupid monkey.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Throw me a line.

There are times I hate my brain and the way it seems to short circuit. I get tired of the fight, and I just want it to stop. 

I get tired of hating me.

No. I'm not suicidal. I'm not homicidal, either, (although it's still probably not a good idea to poke the bear right now). I am just struggling. A lot. And it is at times like this that I can understand why some people turn to drugs, alcohol and food to drown out the unwanted thoughts.

I know that this is a temporary thing, but I am ready for it to ease up already. I'm tired and losing the will to fight. Losing all motivation. And that person is not who I consider myself to be, nor whom I want to be. 

I find myself withdrawing from life, and I need to find a way back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun! Fun! Fun!

What's more fun than waking up soaked from the wonderful hot flashes that hit when you're dead asleep? Waking up soaked from night sweats, mouth watering, wondering if you'll actually make it to the bucket in time and then trying to carefully arrange the pillows to prop yourself up on an incline while trying not to wake your bed buddy, of course.

I'm feeling better today than I did yesterday, but I do have to admit I'm ready to stop having so much fun. 

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things and have gotten several loads of laundry done in the last few days, but it will take several more before I'm caught up. And being caught up with laundry lasts, what?, maybe 10 minutes? Still, I'll be glad to be done with the extra laundry from our trip and the winter clothes that I had started to work on before we left for Mom's.  It would be nice to actually have them put away in storage for awhile before we have to get them out due to the cold again.

I had a small victory the last couple of days. Back when we bought the girls the cubbies for their bedrooms to use instead of dressers, we got got a couple of units to install in the cubbies, so they'd have doors on them. They were really pricey, or we'd have gotten more of them. In fact, they were expensive enough that I contemplated returning them. 

Alas, they've sat in the boxes for months-long enough that I likely wouldn't be able to return them anyway. So I got past my intimidation, put Scooter's together and installed them yesterday. She loves them-especially the fact that one is a mirror, and my only regret is that I waited so long to get it done. I'll work on Hopper's tomorrow, and hopefully, she'll be as happy with hers and Scooter is. I know I'll be happy to have the extra space.

Know what I'd be really happy to have? A nice cool pillow to help me get rid of this headache that has crept up in the last hour. The glare from the screen isn't helping at all. I think it's time for me to bring this one to a close.

Until next time. . .

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Encouraged. Yet not.

It is such a relief that the Waldo Canyon Fire is now 90% contained, and they're predicting it will reach 100% tomorrow! There is still fire burning within the containment lines, but at least it shouldn't be growing and spreading anymore. We're supposed to get rain over the weekend, and I'm just praying it snuffs out the rest of what's left. The smoke that has been drifting and settling over the city has really impeded my breathing ability.

I've been so discouraged lately as a result of not being able to breathe and not being able to go outside. I've been outside twice this week. The first time I took the trash out. The cans are less than 15 feet from the front door. I was taking my rescue inhaler so often that I ended up on steroids. 

Then yesterday I went out to check the automatic timer that we bought, so I wouldn't have to go out to water the strawberries and rhubarb until the smoke had cleared. Due to a brain burp I had when programming it, I accidentally set it to water every 7 days instead of once a day and the strawberries were drooping. I reset the timer and was back in the house within 2 minutes. 

I've been sucking on my inhaler ever since.

I know that this is just a temporary thing, but it's so frustrating. When I was back home for the 6.5 weeks, I was going all the time. I had no choice but to be capable and in control of my life, and I actually enjoyed it. 

For quite some time, I've been intimidated into going out into public with the girls alone. It's time consuming, difficult, and an all day task that always seems to culminate in a backache and a neck stiffened by tension. But I had no choice when I was back home, since I was on my own for 4 of the 6.5 weeks. It was still time consuming, difficult and ended in the backaches and stiff necks from time to time, but I felt so confident in my abilities. 

I've doubted myself for long enough that I'd gotten to the point I never left the house alone with the girls for more than a quick trip to the grocery store. It's left me too dependent upon Hubster and even on Bugster from time to time. It's allowed me to ... well... to sort of give up on myself. 

When I got back home, I was riding the momentum of the personal success I'd had when I had no choice but to get things done on my own. I was ready to seize each and every day and make some progress. Get things done. Get on with my life and my new-found independence. 

Instead, I'm back to where I started before I left. My asthma is out of control. I'm dependent on Hubster and occasionally Bugster to do things away from home that I can't do due to the smoke in the air, and it's driving me nuts. My asthma is even bad enough right now that I'm not accomplishing jack in the house. It's an absolute mess, and I'm horribly saddened and embarrassed by it. 

I hate this. 

I'm hoping that with the rains that come in this weekend clear the air of smoke and the steroids that I'm taking kick in full force so I can I get back on track. 

I need to get out of this funk.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good news, bad news, and heroes.

Sadly, the Waldo Canyon Fire has completely destroyed at least 346 homes, and they did find 2 people in one of those destroyed homes. It's incredibly sad, and I'm heartbroken for the families who have suffered such loss in the worst wildfire in Colorado history. 

That being said, and being a 'the glass is half full' kind of girl, I am amazed that the loss wasn't much more substantial. The neighborhood that was decimated by the fire was just on the edge of the area where roughly 20,000 people were evacuated. If the firefighters hadn't done such an amazing job, if they hadn't foreseen where the fire was headed and the potential devastation and called the evacuations when they did, it could have been even more catastrophic than it was.

I shudder at the thought, and I am so very thankful for the brave firefighters who have saved so many homes and so many lives! They are heroes, no doubt! 

Today, most of the evacuation orders have been lifted, and people are slowly finding their ways back home, and firefighting efforts are making a huge difference. Containment at this point stands at 25%. This morning, it was at 15%, while yesterday, it had finally made it to 10%, and it stood at 5% containment for 2 days. And while that may not seem like much, 25% containment of a larger fire is an awful lot better than only 5% of a smaller fire. 

There is huge progress. 

Thankfully, the weather has cooperated, and we've gotten a bit of moisture here and there to help with efforts. The raised humidity levels have helped as well. Sunday is the day where the weather may cause a lot of problems. There is no rain in the forecast, and the humidity levels will once again be dangerously low. I'm praying the firefighters will be able to hold their lines and gain ground on this fire in spite of Sunday's weather.

In the meantime, we got more amazing news!

Ella and Jacob's parents were able to fly to Germany to be with him late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. They were able to fly back to the States with him today, and he is safe at Walter Reed. I'm so very thankful that Ella was able to find her way back to Jacob, and that they will be able to get through this together. 

Their church is collecting donations to be able to help them with expenses. And t-shirts have been made up to not only raise a little money for the kids, but also to show support for them. The t-shirts say, 'Jacob is my' on the top line, followed by the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, which is the Marine Corps symbol, on the center line with 'HERO' on the bottom line. 

As much as I would love to use their real names and give the address out on my blog I feel I must respect their privacy. I don't know that I have the right to share without asking, and I don't feel like now is the appropriate time to ask one of them. They just have so much going on right now. Once things settle a bit, I will find out, if they're comfortable with the information being out there. In the meantime, if anyone wants to contribute, buy a t-shirt, or wants to write a card of encouragement to Jacob, please email me, and I will send you the information privately. 

I'm so very thankful for the heroes in my life. I hate to think of where I'd be without them. 

I'm glad I don't have to know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I have no words.

My heart is so heavy tonight. I can't seem to shut the television off, yet all I see makes me sad and sucks my breath completely from my chest. 

My city is on fire.

My heart goes out to all of those who have been evacuated, which is upwards of 32,000 people as I write this. More evacuation orders have just been published, and the numbers have not been added to the total.

They have no idea yet how many buildings have burned to the ground. The historic Flying W Ranch is now gone. Kissing Camels, the famous rock structure in Garden of the Gods appears to have been kissed by flame, and the housing area behind is being evacuated. 

I am so saddened by this. 

I feel helpless as I watch the town go down around me.

Please pray for the people of Colorado Springs.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Time warps.

When I think of Life Before Hubby or Life Before Kids, I have a hard time remembering things clearly. It's hard to imagine life without Hubster, Bugster, Hopper and Scooter, but it's even getting hard to remember what life was like before Bubster and Frank. My life just changed so drastically with the addition of all of these wonderful people that it's hard to remember Life Before. 

It's funny how that can happen. You know. How time can warp our very senses. Like when you fall and time seems to stand still, and you can see what is happening, but you can do nothing to stop it? Or something traumatic or even amazing happens, and you start using it as a reference point in your life. 

The last few days have been like that for me. 

No. Nothing has happened to me or my family. For the most part, we're fine. But what has happened is the Waldo Canyon Fire, and it's warping time. 

It's been burning for what feels like an eternity-especially when the smoke drifts our way and flares the asthma up, if anyone opens the door. But in all reality, it isn't even 72 hours old. It's still a baby compared to the High Park Fire which has been burning for over 2 weeks.

It sits on the edge of Colorado Springs waiting to strike. It threatens landmarks, like Garden of the Gods, that up until now have stood the test of time. It threatens thousands of homes. (At one point, over 11,000 people had been evacuated because of the risk). It is forcing wildlife into town putting both the residents and the animals themselves in jeopardy. 

To say the smoke is oppressive is an understatement to say the least. The ash floats like cotton from the cottonwood trees to the closest flat surface, settling in like fresh fallen snow. The smoke hangs in the air waiting to strangle even the most robust of lungs. Time seems to stand still, as though we're in quicksand. We can't seem to open our eyes and end the nightmare in which we find ourselves. 

If we could only will ourselves to wake up.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Putting things in perspective.

Most of the time, I'm not the only one on my mind. It may come across from time to time that I'm really self-centered, but I'd like to think that isn't the case. I just sometimes get caught up in what's going on in my own little world to the exclusion of anyone else's. Typically, it's nothing but survival and usually comes about as a result of overwhelming stress.

The other day I was completely snapped out of my reality and realized that my stress is nothing compared to others'. I fully understand that what someone else is going through does not negate the stress I am feeling, and that I shouldn't ignore that I have struggles of my own. But it does help me to not focus on my own stresses and build them up in my mind any larger than they should be...

I've known Ella for the last 10 years or so. She's a beautiful young lady with a heart for God. I've seen her grow from a precious child to a capable woman in what seems like a blink of an eye. She and Jacob, a young man on his first enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, married in December. Shortly thereafter, Jacob deployed to Afghanistan. 

She got the call a couple of days ago that Jacob was severely injured in combat. She was told that he had broken his hip, had a compound fracture in his wrist, and that he lost one leg at the knee. Horrible injuries, no doubt. But today she got more of the story...

Her husband not only has a broken hip and a compound fracture to his wrist, but it appears he has lost both legs and is much more severely injured than she was first told. He's on a ventilator and is, according to Ella's brother, "pretty much injured all over his body". 

Jacob is at a hospital in Germany. Alone. No family over there to help him through this. My prayer is that we can find Ella a way to go to Jacob and be with him. To pray with him. To support him. To love him. To hold his hand. To bring him home. 

This has definitely put my problems in perspective.

They ain't nothin' but a thing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm not giving up. Just having a rough day.

I'm tired and a bit frustrated. It seems as though my pants are super glued to the seat of the chair since we've been home. Not all the time, but enough of the time that it's hard getting anything substantial done, and Lord only knows I've got substantial amounts of things to do!

I haven't gotten nothing done. I just haven't gotten enough done to be satisfied with myself. 

Maybe tomorrow?

It definitely depends on how my breathing is. The altitude has taken longer to get used to than I expected. I'm sure the fires are part of it. We've had smoke down here, in spite of the fact that we're quite a ways away from the fires. It just sort of lingers in the air. I'm staying inside as much as I can to limit my exposure, but I really need to get some shopping done, and I'm concerned about going out with the way I'm feeling.

Oh...and get this...

One of the fires that's affecting us is the Springer Fire. It's near Lake George, CO. And some idiot has decided that now is a good time to light some arson fires in Divide, which is just a few miles down the road from Lake George. In fact, there were 7 such fires put out today alone. It seems as though the entire state of Colorado is burning right now, and some idiot thinks he'll add to the drama? I hope when they catch him they'll... Let's just say I hope they catch him and stop him before he ends up killing anyone with his twisted game. 

What is with people these days?!?!?!

I have a headache even trying to figure it all out. Guess I'll try to go sleep it off and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I'm back. 

Sort of.

We returned late Sunday night after 6.5 weeks back home. Thankfully, Mom is doing very well after she had her surgery, and she's finally home. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! We're all so very grateful and very relieved she's doing so well. I am incredibly thankful the girls and I were able to be able to stay as long as we did, (Christmas Miracles revisted!!), but it was hard saying goodbye.

In spite of the fact we left in such a huge hurry, and the house is a disaster area, it's wonderful to be home again. We've all been exhausted since we got back. I think a lot of it is due to the higher elevation. That, and something about being gone so long under stressful circumstances wears a person out. I'm hoping we'll feel rested by next week. Sadly, the house isn't going to clean itself. 

I'm hoping that as I get back into the swing of things I'll get back to blogging again. I've really missed it and the people behind the screen. 

:::waves hello to the people behind the screen::::

I hope to see you around!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'll be back...


Without giving too many details that aren't mine to give, Mom had to have open heart surgery. We found out within hours of my last post and left a few hours after that. Although Hubster went back home a few weeks ago, Hopper, Scooter and I are still in my hometown and will be here through the weekend. 

Mom is doing well. I just knew there was no way I'd be able to relax going home before I knew that everything was going to be okay or while Mom still needed me. She's done so much for us that it's the least we could do for her. 

I'll be back home and back to dehoarding and blogging soon. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fessing up

I've decided something. I've decided I'm wishy washy. I can't seem to make up my mind. Then again, I think it's pretty obvious to anyone who reads my blog. I step away for awhile. Then I come back with plans to post everyday, and life happens, and I don't. So I've made a decision. I'm not going to worry about whether I post daily or not. I'm still getting things done, and when I have time, I will post about my success and my failures. 


It's decided.

I've been working in the kitchen again today. We have some hooks on the wall under the telephone that we use to hang reusable shopping bags and purses, etc. While I was sitting at the table trying to sort that last little bit of stuff that seems to take all my concentration to get finished, a purse hanging on the hooks caught my eye. It had been hanging there unused for over a year. I had taken it out of our closet last year when I thoroughly cleaned our bedroom. 

I decided I was not going to let it escape my grip yet again and dumped the contents on the table.

It's not like there was a lot in it. A pocket Bible Hubster had gotten me, a small emergency kit that held bandages, hand wipes, samples of headache medicines, 2 lip balms and a small tin of mints with 2 mints left in it. There was also a book of cards I'd kept in my purse for several years. At one point it probably contained over 100 business, credit or store perk cards. I've gone through it a few times over the years and slowly but surely purged what I could handle getting rid of at the time. 

Today, I emptied it. Most of the contents went in the shredables bag. The rest have been set aside to go in my purse, because they're still relevant. There were perks cards for 2 stores that have gone out of business, old business cards of our realtor who recently retired, and business cards from the insurance guy we had when we bought our house. I did keep the old prescriptions for our glasses and 5 or 6 cards, 3 of which were library cards, that were in there, but overall, I felt pretty good about it. I even threw the book away. I've been putting off cleaning out that purse for close to a decade. The latest date I saw on anything was 2003.

I momentarily thought I'd wash the purse. It's made of blue denim and canvas, but there were a couple of quarter sized brown stains on the light part, and I didn't figure I could get them out. Well, I probably could, but it also had an insert in it made of cardboard, and I knew that it would be ruined, if it got wet, so I just pitched it. I didn't succumb to my old way of thought and undo the seam to remove the cardboard, so I could wash it. I just threw it away. 

I threw the makeup case that had held the emergency supplies, too. I saved one bandage out of it, the mint tin, the fingernail clipper and the Swiss Army knife that I'd had in there. But the little makeup case, which was in good shape overall, had a sticky zipper. And it was dirty inside. I didn't feel like rubbing a candle over the zipper or washing it, so I just pitched it, too. 

It's amazing how empty the wall looks without that purse hanging there. Since Bugster took her bag of stuff home that I'd had hanging there waiting for her, it looks downright bare. I like it. I really like that my purse won't be sticking out anymore, too. I hate when it hits me in the thigh when I come around the corner. 

Awhile back, I wrote about buying pants hangers in bulk, so I could get rid of the ones that didn't match. They were taking entirely too much of my attention. When the new hangers came in, I immediately went to each room and switched out the old hangers for the new ones. The problem was that I neglected to get rid of the old hangers. I'd put them aside, so I wouldn't have to make a decision about getting rid of them. Even though I knew I needed to do it, I couldn't seem to bring myself to list them on Craigslist. 

I had no problem knowing I needed to get rid of the clear plastic ones. They were made of cheap plastic and broke easily. But I really struggled with getting rid of the opaque ones. They were a much higher quality. They looked clean. Plus they all had the clothespin-type clamps on them. Only 2 of the black ones had them. I just kept thinking of how handy they would be to hang jeans. Jeans are so heavy, and they need a durable hanger, or the hanger tends to bend.

We've used the new hangers long enough for me to realize they're decent hangers, even though they aren't all that heavy duty. They still hold the jeans tight, and they don't bend or break from the weight of the jeans. So I sorted out the different types of hangers, listed them on Craigslist, and someone picked them all up within an hour of emailing. It was such a relief to know that I'd finally dealt with them.

I did find one opaque hanger after the others had gone out the door, but I didn't hang onto it. Well, not really. We took the ends that clamp off the hanger to use for chip clips and tossed the rest in the garbage. They're really handy, and they're a lot cheaper than buying clips that don't work or don't last and make you feel cheated for having made the purchase in the first place. 

So yeah. The hangers are gone. 

:::looks guilty:::

OK! OK! I kept the 2 black hangers that had the pinch clips! I didn't put them in the closet or in the laundry room. They're sitting in the study for me to deal with later. I'm don't know what I'm going to do with them just yet. I'll probably change my mind a few times.

I'm sorta wishy washy like that.

Don't judge me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How dost thou tempt me, oh Spring!

The battle with caffeine withdrawal has gone pretty smoothly. I was able to stave off the excruciating headaches until almost a week after giving up the evil that is caffeinated soda, so I don't think these headaches have anything at all to do with withdrawal. I just think I have whatever Hubster has that is making him miserable. A bad head cold.

I'll live.

Granted, it will be with the aid of meds that can help with the headache, but I will live.

I'm still trying to plug away and get things done in spite of how I feel. I have more success some days than others, but that's nothing new. I do feel good at having gotten some more deep cleaning done. I moved the stove and refrigerator out and cleaned underneath them. There was something really sticky under the edges of the appliances that seeped further under the refrigerator than the stove. My guess is that Hopper spilled something when she was attempting to fill a glass. Considering the stickiness of the spill, I'm assuming it was rootbeer. As dirty as it gets under appliances that get cleaned under every 6 to 9 months or so, I can't imagine what they'd look like, if I'd have waited any longer. Yuck.

This weather is making it doubly hard to be sick. It's so nice outside that I am dying to get out there and do some gardening. I've got some major cabin fever. I want to get my hands in the dirt. I want to turn the soil and plant the seeds. The fact that the apple and pear trees have just finished blooming and the strawberries are doing so well that every single plant has blossoms on it makes it so much harder! I am so tempted to go out and plant my garden already, but I know it would be a mistake. It's still too early to plant, in spite of the current gorgeous weather.

This is Colorado, after all. I know that the moment I took the plunge and got my hands dirty in garden soil, I would regret it. We would get a monumental frost, and I'd lose all the effort that I'd put into the garden in an instant. I'm doing my best to fight that primal urge that Spring brings every year.

I will not be able to resist temptation much longer. Thankfully, I shouldn't have to. It's usually safe to plant Mother's Day weekend. Only 3 weeks to go. Not that I'm counting or anything.

I just hope I can hold out that long...

Monday, April 16, 2012

I wish I'd learn to listen to myself.

Over the years I've really struggled with drinking caffeinated pop. A lot. Daily. As in a 2-liter bottle every single day. A few years ago, I stopped drinking it, and I stayed away from it for 3.5 years. Then I started drinking it again, because the caffeine helped with my asthma. I eventually stopped again, because the caffeine was bothering the neuropathy associated with the fibromyalgia. It felt like I was being used as a pin cushion from the inside out, and it just wasn't worth the pain. 

I'd been off it for right at a year again when Hopper broke her leg last summer and ended up in the hospital for 10 days following surgery. I felt like I couldn't keep up with the physical demands of going back and forth from home to the hospital every day, because I was ready to drop from exhaustion. It at least gave me the energy to make it through each day. 

But then life sort of exploded, and I figured I'd just stop drinking the 2 to 4 cans of soda I was drinking each day when things settled down. Except that they didn't really settle down. In fact, they got worse, and I started struggling with anxiety like I've never experienced before.

I started anxiety meds several months ago, and although they're helping me, I'm needing another dosage increase. It's getting rather frustrating. I don't know, if the caffeine is adding to the anxiety or not, but I'm giving it up again, anyway. 

I'm on day 3 of withdrawal. 


For the umpteenthed, and hopefully final, time in my life.