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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Continuing Saga Of The Blue Basket. Part 1.

I've written about Scooter's Blue Basket that she carries her strings and small toys in and takes wherever she goes before. While she did okay keeping things contained to her basket for awhile, things have been out of hand for the last several months. To be fair, there's been a lot going on the last 8 months, and I didn't make it a priority. 

Until the last few days.

Scooter has gotten into some really bad habits lately, and they've been fueled by Hopper. Hopper knows that Scooter likes to have all of her bracelets, necklaces, scarves, strings, bandannas and babies, including Penelope, with her at all times. She also likes to pick up any pair of slippers or shoes Hubster and I aren't wearing at the time and pile them with her things on the couch. Scooter also can't seem to get enough of our clothes, either, so she gets our sweatshirts, sweaters, or shirts and piles them next to her. If she's sitting on the loveseat, she covers the entire thing and sits on the front few inches of the cushion, and if she's on the couch, she ends up covering it completely, even though it's even bigger than the loveseat. 

Not only is it frustrating that she claims an entire piece of living room furniture for herself, but it's also frustrating that my attempts to quell things have been so ineffective.

But Hopper is part of the reason for that. There have been times that Scooter would have been fine with only part of her things being out in the living room with her when Hopper jumps in and drags the rest of the crap out for her. And where Scooter would maybe be happy with just some of the stuff, Hopper would seek out our shoes, slippers, sweatshirts, etc., and she would empty Scooter's nightstand of all contents, (usually bracelets, necklaces, headphones and mp3 player), and bring it all out to add to the stash. 

In an effort to dissuade Scooter from bringing all her things out every single day, we stopped helping her carry them. It would take her a good 15 minutes to carry everything back to her bedroom every night, and she often dropped her babies which was loosening the electronic innards. However, when we would be getting Scooter ready for bed, Hopper would drag everything back into the bedroom, and nothing would be put away where it was supposed to go. 

It's been exasperating to say the least.

So the other day when Hopper was in a really good mood, I told her I needed her help to teach Scooter to keep her bedroom clean and the living room clean. I showed how some of Scooter's musical bears, her babies, are clattering inside from being dropped and how they're not going to work, if they keep being dropped when Scooter is trying to take her stuff back into her bedroom. 

On Sunday, Bugster brought some belts, scarves and necklaces with her for the girls that she no longer used. Scooter loves to wear scarves to school, but Bugster helped us out and told her that she had to keep them hung up, and she couldn't keep them in her basket, or she would take them back. So we hung them up on her bedroom door and reminded Scooter they needed to stay up there, so she could wear one to school the next day. 

Well, Monday morning came, and the scarves were all mixed in with the pile of stuff that makes its way around the house. We told Scooter that, because the scarves weren't hanging up like we told her they needed to be, that she didn't get to wear one to school. She handled it all really well, until Hopper decided to help a sista out and bring one of the scarves out for Scooter to wear. When we nixed the idea, she was not happy! But we held our ground. She had an okay day at school, but the moment she got home, I had her hang the scarves up on the hooks on the back of the door. When she was done, she picked out a scarf to wear around the house. Just one. And she left the rest of them hanging on the back of the door. 



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Small victories. Enough said.

Our baker's rack has 2 shelves above a fairly large cupboard. At the top part of the cupboard, there are 2 shallow drawers. The inside of the cupboard itself is roughly 40" wide, 18" tall and 18" deep. It has the potential to hold a lot of stuff, but there was so much wasted space inside, because we didn't have a bunch of tall things to take up that much height. 

So yesterday, after almost 10 years of knowing we needed some sort of a shelf in there, I finally got around to making it. I only made the shelf 8" deep, so we still have room in the front for some taller items, but now all the smaller things can be stored more neatly, and I can get the bowls off the pot rack on the wall. They just looked cluttered up there, and it's so nice to have it look clean and uncluttered. Now, the only things on the top of the pot rack are the stock pot and the colander. No more plastic.

I did a bit of culling while I was in the baker's rack, too. I got rid of several lids that went to containers we no longer have, and I gave Bugster a few bowls that she can use. I'm sure I'll weed out more here and there, but I'm okay with what I have left at this point. 

I did have a little breakthrough when I was working on the shelf. It's just a breakthrough in my thinking. I covered the entire shelf in shelf paper, so I knew that both the top and bottom of the shelf would be clean enough to come in contact with bowls we use to prepare our food. Because I didn't use several small pieces of shelf paper, there were a lot of wrinkles by the time I was finished. 

Lots and lots of wrinkles.

And. I. just. left. them.

The old me would have had a conniption over the wrinkles. I would have spent hours trying to get the paper as smooth as possible. I would have been extremely frustrated with the fact that I not only hadn't done it perfectly, but that I had wasted so much time trying to make it perfect. The old me would not have been strong enough to just shrug the wrinkles off and say, 'forgetaboutit!'

But this is the new me. 

I am stronger than the wrinkles, and I refuse to let them take me hostage. Years from now, I may replace the board. Years from now, it may hold the same board that's currently holding my small plastic bowls.

But for now? 

The wrinkles stay.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Help for Hoarders

I've been working on a few extras for my blog. The following will be in a tab at the top of the page for future reference, and I will add to it as I come across things that I think may help others in their hoarding journey. 

Although I've done come this far in my journey without outside professional help, I know that not everyone can do that. I will be listing different websites that have helped me over the last two years or that may be helpful to those who are starting on this journey.

My very favorite and most used website is Pinterest. I'm a very visual person, and Pinterest is a very visual website where you 'pin' pictures to a pinboard, much like taping pictures of your dream vacation or recipes to the refrigerator. It's like a visual favorites list. If a recipe, craft idea, piece of clothing, saying, or anything else you come across has a picture, you can pin it to your Pinterest board. You can see at a glance what you're looking for, instead of going on a futile search through all your bookmarked favorites trying to remember what website you saw way back when and trying to remember what folder you put it in. I heart this website!!

**Just found out that there is some controversy over using Pinterest. I'm so sad. I'm not sure, if I'm going to delete my account or not, but use it at your own risk. You can read about the controversy here

Cozi - I love this website! I can not only make grocery lists but to-do lists, as well. The lists can be accessed by either computer or phone. As you check things off your list that are no longer pertinent, the check mark shows up instantly. So if you are shopping at the grocery store with someone else, and you pick up the milk and check it off the list, it shows up as checked off on the other person's phone, too! I love this feature! No more calling from the produce department to the hardware department to find out, if the other person picked up the bananas, and no more showing up at the checkout stand with extra stuff, because you both thought you were supposed to get it. No more lost little paper lists for us! No doubt we will be using this website for years and years to come.

A lot of people find iDoneThis very, very helpful. It helps to keep you on track for a goal you have set by sending you an email each day. You respond to the email with what you've accomplished that day toward your goal, and it keeps a log of it for you. I find that I don't use it much, because I'm using my blog to keep track of what I get done each day, but I think it's perfect for someone wanting to work on dehoarding without keeping a public record of it. Obviously, dehoarding is but one of many, many things you could track through iDoneThis. If I ever get out of the habit of taking my medicines again, I will probably use this site to help me remember to take them regularly. I think it's an awesome idea.

FlyLady is another site a lot of people find helpful. Most people have probably already heard of or tried FlyLady by now, since she's been around for over a decade, but it's still worth listing. FlyLady is a group of local internet support groups that fall under one umbrella group. They send out hints on how to clean your house and maintain it one little section at a time. You can be emailed daily reminders and encouragement to keep you going. I wasn't ready for the number of emails when I signed up for it, (although you can sign up for it without the daily emails, if I recall correctly), and I felt completely overwhelmed by them, but I know others who absolutely swear by it. I just think I should mention it here, because it might be the perfect fit for someone out there who is looking for hints and a way to stay on track. I don't really think it's geared for someone who has hoarding problems, though. I think it's more for someone who struggles with daily upkeep in a mildly cluttered home.

The International OCD Foundation has a plethora of information on OCD and other related disorders, including hoarding. Not only can you find an online support support group, but you can find a therapist that specializes in those different disorders, as well. It's a great resource for those who are suffering from or whose loved ones struggle with disorders on the OCD spectrum.

The Yahoo group, Compulsive Hoarding Community, or H-C, is a working support group that requires members to actively work at dehoarding their homes. This is an invaluable resource for those on all levels of dehoarding, whether they have dehoarded their homes and are now maintaining a clutter-free home, or they are just beginning. It's a great place to start, if you're not sure what to do.

I will be adding other resources as time goes by. If you know of any that I may have missed or that have helped you out, please feel free to shoot me an email.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A place for everything, and everything in its place?

For the last hour, I've been trying to sort my thoughts out enough to write a coherent blog. It hasn't happened so far, so I have a feeling it's not going to happen any time soon. I've got so many different things fighting to get out of my head, but I can't seem to untangle them, so I'll write about them another time.

Bugster, Bubster and Frank came over today for a few hours. It was wonderful seeing them and catching up. It seems like we never get to spend enough time with them.

I have my list of things ready to work on tomorrow. I've got plans. I'll be working on some stuff in the kitchen. We have a baker's rack that needs an extra shelf in it. We have such limited storage in the kitchen that it falls into disarray easily. I'm hoping that, if there's a place for everything it will be easier to keep up. It gets frustrating when there's no place to put things away, and then they tend to be left out.

I'm looking forward to working with the shelf. 

It means I get to use my power tools. :D

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to burn boiled eggs.

The refrigerator has been driving me crazy lately. I have been wanting to clean it thoroughly since before Christmas. And while there was nothing growing in there and it looked clean at a quick glance, I wanted to get into all the nooks and crannies and get it really clean. Every six weeks to two months or so, I tear it apart and thoroughly scrub it, but life happened, and I got behind.

One thing about this refrigerator that I really struggled with was that the glass shelf above the crisper drawers doesn't come apart from the frame. But some gunk had gotten between the frame and the glass, and I was bound and determined to get it out of there. Yuck! I can't stand that sort of thing! Thankfully, it's not like there's been food under there for years and years, (we've only had the fridge a little over 2 years, and I've kept it very clean), but it still grossed me out. So I started looking around and noticed that there was a little square plastic clip on the back two corners where the glass met the frame. 

I figured I'd pop them out, wash the glass and frame, and then put everything back together. Then...I broke one of the clips. 

My initial thought was one of very mild panic. Where would I get a replacement? In my mind, I started thinking of where to look for a new one. Do I maybe have something in my craft supplies that would work? If I found something, would I be able to find two, or would it bother me if they were mismatched? What about the hardware store? Would they have anything? Would I have to actually contact the manufacturer to get a new one? I wonder how much it would cost.

Then, I took a deep breath, assessed the situation, and considered my options.

I still had one clip in perfect condition. I could just use it on the one side. It wouldn't really show that there was only one, and I'd be the only one that knew about it unless I pointed it out to someone. I could try to replace it, but was it really worth the trouble? And then I realized there was another option that I would have never even considered a couple of years ago.

I could just... throw the clips away.


What a novel idea.

What would happen, if I threw them away? Well, I wouldn't have them anymore. But realistically, the world wouldn't come to an end. It wouldn't hurt me. It wouldn't hurt the refrigerator. In fact, there's a chance that the clips were put in there only for moving the refrigerator across country or from the appliance store to the home to keep the glass from falling out and breaking. But we aren't going to be moving the refrigerator anytime soon, except to clean under it. It's not going to be moved to the garage or downstairs or across town. It's staying right where it is.

It would be difficult for the girls to dislodge the glass, because of the way it fits into the frame, so that shouldn't be a problem. Even if Hubster or I put something in there in a hurry, it's still not going to move the shelf. It's secure. And if we sell the fridge, we can always just use tape to secure the glass. That's what we've done in the past, and the world didn't come to an end.

I did consider keeping the clip that was still intact, but I realized it would just take up room in the drawer, and it would possibly get broken in there anyway. Plus, by the time we would need it, I probably wouldn't be able to find it. So I threw them in the trash. Even the good one. 

I did hesitate for just a moment and felt my pulse quicken ever so slightly, as I tossed them in the trash. But I did toss them, and I didn't look back once they were gone. It was a relief to have made a decision and be totally comfortable with the decision I made. No second-guessing. No looking back. No self-criticism. Just relief.

So I finished cleaning out the refrigerator from top to bottom, and I'll work on the freezer later this week. My back couldn't take anymore stooping today, so it didn't get done, but I got quite a bit done in the kitchen that I'd been putting off. Got the dishes caught up and deep scrubbed the stove. I even checked the eggs in the fridge to make sure I only had fresh ones in there.

I put them in a gallon bucket of cold water and waited to see, if any floated. I took the three that floated, wrapped them in a grocery bag, tied it shut, and threw it in the trash. I dried off the ones that were the freshest and put them back in the egg container in the refrigerator. Then I took the 5 that were starting to bob in the water just a little bit and decided to boil them, so I could make potato salad. I put them on low heat and started making lunch.

I got the onions, peppers and cheese out and made quesadillas for lunch and sat down to eat with the family. We took our time eating, visited for awhile and just enjoyed one another's company. Then I went downstairs for about ten minutes to work on something, and when I came back up, I smelled something. I wasn't sure what it was. And suddenly it dawned on me that I'd left the eggs on the back burner on low! Sure enough. I'd boiled them dry. 

I added a bit of hot water out of the tap, and the pot and eggs were so hot that the water started boiling immediately. I was shocked it happened so quickly! After the eggs had cooled enough to peel, I decided to check one to see how bad they were. Sure enough, it was a dark, dark brown. I didn't even know it was possible until today, but now you know how to burn boiled eggs.

You're welcome.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I've had a lot on my mind today. Nothing really

I rarely dream. I struggle with getting all the way to REM sleep most nights. It is what it is. When I wake up and actually remember a dream, it's unusual. This morning I'd decided to take a little nap after getting Scooter off to school. Hopper had decided to go back to bed and start her day a little later, too, so I felt comfortable getting a little shuteye. So this morning, when the phone rang the first time, and I realized I was dreaming, I was a little surprised. 

It was Bugster. We had a bit of a freak snowstorm hit, and it was super icy outside. The defrost in her car wasn't working, and she realized the car was overheating. She couldn't get Bubster on the phone, so she called us to help her figure out what to do. She decided to try Bubster again, and I told her to call back and let us know, if she got a hold of her husband. If not, I knew Hubster would go help her out.

When Bugster called back a little bit later to let me know that she'd called in and let them know she wouldn't be able to make it to work, she once again woke me up from a dream. It was a weird dream with pieces of our past melded with pieces of our right now. It included lots of people from our past and present lives, and it was just sort of fun. But it did surprise me that I'd been able to get into the REM cycle twice within such a short period of time.

I was still exhausted, so I closed my eyes once again. It felt as though my head had hardly touched the pillow when the phone rang for the third time waking me from yet another dream - this time about someone opening my cupboard doors after my house was completely dehoarded and asking me why I still had so many cake pans. I tried pulling my head out of the cupboard in my dreams and bring myself back to the conversation at hand. It was Bugster once again. Her radiator had sprung a leak, but Bubster had been able to help her get the car home and was going to replace her radiator before he went to work. 

I took the third call as my cue to get up for the day, but I have to admit I'd have loved to have crawled back into bed. I heard from Bugster a few hours later that Bubster had indeed been able to replace the radiator and get to work on time. It made my heart swell with pride knowing that our son-in-law was taking such good care of our girl. The more we get to know him, the longer they are together, the more we are so very grateful that he is her husband.

We aren't sure how it happened, since he didn't learn it from either of his parents, but Bubster is such a responsible young man. As parents, we have always seen Bugster take her responsibilities seriously, so it didn't come as such a huge surprise that she's such a responsible adult. But they have taken on so much with Frank.

It's so incredibly unfair that he was first abandoned by his mother and then a short 3 years later was deserted by his father. Seriously, who does that? And it got me to thinking. What causes some people to refuse to take responsibility and compels others to take on way more than their fair share?

I get that there are a lot of different circumstances that can factor in.  Finances. Physical health. Mental health. Age. Maturity. 

I get that. I really do. And sometimes, I think that those factors are valid reasons not to take on certain responsibilities. But when does a valid reason turn into just another excuse for bad behavior? When does it turn into an excuse to pawn your responsibilities off on someone else?

I'm really struggling with Bubster and Frank's parents about now. The extra responsibility Bugster and her husband have taken on by taking Frank in is taking its toll. Don't get me wrong. Their marriage isn't in trouble. They're still very much in love and very much willing to have Frank live right where he is in the extra bedroom. But they never really have time alone. They've never had that awkward but wonderfully fun adjustment period with just the two of them against the world. And it angers me. 

It angers me that two adults who should be taking their roles as parents seriously are so selfish that they pawned their youngest off on young adults just starting out on their own. 

Mostly, I'm just so incredibly proud of Bugster and Bubster for being the amazing, selfless people they are that they continue to sacrifice, so Bubster's little brother has a home. A family. And love.

And I am honored to call them my family. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Ever have one of those days when you just can't seem to think straight? 

Yeah. Today's been one of those days. 

I slept wrong again last night, and my back has been killing me all day as a result. I was able to get a bit of paperwork done, but that's about it. I was able to get 3 bags of shredables ready to go out the door, but then I forgot to send them with Hubster. I won't add them to the list on my sidebar until they're out of the house.

I'm hoping to get a better night's sleep tonight and get my back to relax a bit. And I have to admit that I'm very thankful that my back doesn't bother me this much very often. It only happens a few times a year, but it pretty much knocks me to my knees.

Hoping to be back up on my feet tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


When I was working in the closet yesterday, I came across a pair of shoes that I no longer wear. I got them at a shoe store several years ago after having my gait tested on a treadmill. They were so comfortable, and I could walk in them for hours without getting a back ache. 

I vaguely remembered something being wrong with them, but for whatever reason I hung onto them when I went through our bedroom and the big purge a year ago. I must have felt they were irreplaceable. I do know I'd wanted to get another pair, but I don't recall whether or not I looked to see, if anything was available last year or not. So after I tried them on and realized what was wrong with them, (the air pocket in the right shoe had deflated), I checked to see, if I could find the identical pair online. 

I couldn't.

I found several pairs in different colors. I'm just wasn't sure they'd fit the same way this pair did, and I wasn't willing to take the chance and spend the money not knowing for sure. I took the shoestrings out for the girls and gave them each one. Then I took the shoes and tossed them in the bottom of the big black trash bag that goes out tomorrow. 

Scooter was bummed that I threw them. She wanted to play with them. She has a habit of taking every pair of slippers or shoes I'm not wearing at the time and piling them up beside her or walking around in them, and she wanted these shoes. Thus, the bottom of the trash bag. Good thing I had a shoestring to offer as a consolation prize.

Even though it's likely to be a glaringly obvious thing to others, it didn't dawn on me until today that I could just go get another gait test at the shoe store. When the time is right, I'll pack myself up in car, get myself on the treadmill at the store, and get myself a new pair of shoes. They don't have to be the same brand. They don't have to be the same style. They just have to be the right ones for my gait, and they'll be able to help me at that store. 

So the shoes no longer live in my closet. I think I was hanging onto them, so I wouldn't forget that experience I had when I had my gait tested the first time. It was such a neat experience. I could never seem to pick out a pair of shoes that felt right until then, and it was life changing. It allowed me to get out and walk trails that I normally couldn't walk. I was active and healthy and happy. I want that again, but I don't need the shoes to remind me. 

I will remember. When the time is right, I. will. remember. 

I'm slowly but surely remembering that I don't need to use objects to remember important things, and it's helping me to slowly but surely get rid of stuff. 

Relentless forward progress and all. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Goodness gracious!

I am beat tonight.

I didn't sleep as well as I could have last night. I slept wrong and woke up with pain in my hip. I did what I could to stay active today, so I wouldn't feel stoved up, but I'm enjoying my heating pad for awhile before I go to bed. I'm hoping this thing will work it's way out of my lower back and hip, so I can function better tomorrow.

I was compelled to work in our closet today. It was driving me crazy. It's just a tiny little closet that measures about 4x6 or so. The clothes hang on the smaller sides of the closet, so it's technically a walk-in closet, but it's more like a 'walk in and turn around' closet. Thankfully, neither of us have many clothes, so even though it's cramped it works for us. However, the shelves don't work so well.

There's a shelve that goes in a U shape starting from the edge of the closet, down the length of the 4ft wall, across the back of the 6ft wall, and then ending up at the front edge of the closet again on the opposite 4ft wall. It helps. I mean, it does give us more space for storage, but it's also a bit of a pain. It feels like there's a lot of wasted space above the shelves, since the space goes straight up 2ft, and today I changed that.

When we replaced our refrigerator in the Fall of 2010, we had to rip out the cabinets above the refrigerator and stove, because the fridge wouldn't fit under them. We made a set of pine cubbies to hold baskets to go over the refrigerator, but they were so warped we couldn't use them there. We put them down in the workout room thinking we'd use them there, but they just didn't hold enough for them to do any good.

Hubster brought them upstairs Saturday, and they've been sitting in the hallway ever since. We weren't sure, if we were going to put them in the garage or what. Then I thought of that space above the shelf in our our closet. These would be perfect! I measured, and they would fit in there just right. So after Hubby went to work, I got them wiped down and took them into the closet to see how well they would work.

You know what's coming, don't you?

Yeah. They wouldn't fit.

Well, technically, they were the right size, but I couldn't get the thing up past the closet bar. The cubbies were too long. So I brought them back out to the living room, grabbed the circular saw, and removed the last cubby, so they'd fit. Sort of. I did remove the cubby, but the circular saw got hung up on a knot in the wood, so I had to switch to the jigsaw to finish up the last few inches. It worked like a charm, and I was able to get the cubbies put on the long shelf in the closet.

I can't get over how much better it is! No wasted space! I was able to get stuff that was being stored on the floor up on top of the cubbies, and I was able to sort the stuff that had been on the shelves into the cubbies a bit better. I took the part that I'd cut off and placed it on the shelf above my clothes. It completely takes away the empty and wasted space, and I'm thrilled. 

It spent a couple hours in the closet getting things straightened up, vacuumed out and organized. I didn't get to the rest of the bedroom. I'll work on my side in the next few days, and I'll leave Hubby's side for him to worry about. It will be nice having things cleared out again, because it's getting a bit cluttered in there again. Hubster is looking forward to being able to transfer his books and a few other things down to the workout room/library. It's so cool that he finally has his own space, and I'm so excited for him. I'm pretty happy that it's going to make it a lot easier to keep our bedroom clean without the extra stuff in there, too.

So the end of my very productive 4 day weekend comes to a close, and I need to get to bed. 

5:45a.m. comes way too early...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feeling productive.

I'm exhausted tonight but quite satisfied.

Hubster and I were able to get the small entertainment center down to the workout room/Hubby's library today. There's still a little to be done in there, but we are well over 90% done with the room. There were only 4 boxes of books that weren't sorted, because they were either my books or they belonged to the girls. I'll have to get to them eventually, but I'm okay, if it takes me awhile.

Once Bugster has a quick look-through on the books and takes out what she wants, Hubster will take care of them. I'm not sure, if he'll try to sell some of them, or if he'll just donate them. The big thing is that after being boxed up for 3 years, (almost 2 in the storage pod on the driveway, and 1 down in the workout room), the books have been sorted and Hubster will be able to get to them whenever he wants.

He was funny when we were unpacking them. He just kept getting excited over seeing a book he'd forgotten that he had. He was like a kid in a candy store with unlimited credit. It's going to take awhile to do, but he's going to write down each book he has, so he knows what's there. He said he's really looking forward to 'shopping' in his books when he wants something different to read, instead of buying something new. 

I think the most exciting part for me with the whole thing is Hubster's excitement. I'm so glad that he has access to all his books after 3 years of them being stored away. I have a small inkling whathe feels like, since I've gotten some of my craft things sorted. 

I'm looking forward to getting to the point he is with his books with my own things. It's going to take me awhile, because I don't think there's much Hubster can do to help me. He could move boxes and such, but he can't really help other than that. 

I wonder, if I can talk him into doing dishes from time to time, so I can have that extra little time to work on my stuff...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Boo! 2

Went to the doctor yesterday. She put me on steroids. She felt it was my asthma and not bronchitis. I feel quite a bit better, so maybe she was right. I guess I'll know in by the time I'm done with the meds. 

My back is spasming a bit tonight. I overdid a bit when I was trying to help Hubster bring in a small entertainment center in from the car. It's going in the workout room to store a few more of Hubby's books and such, because the entertainment center we have down there for his books already isn't going to be quite big enough for everything. This one has 4 drawers to hold the miscellaneous stuff that won't go on a shelves. 

It was so heavy, so we tried using some of those straps that help with moving items by using leverage. I guess we should have read the instructions a bit better, because we didn't use them quite right, so it really wasn't much lighter than carrying it in on our own. It wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't just been hit by a huge wave of perspiration that happens to me every single time I am on steroids. So I was soaking wet when we went out into the frigid air to bring the center into the house. By the time we got the piece in the house, my muscles had already started to seize up a bit. 

It's probably a good thing I'm on the steroids for my asthma. They will likely help my back a bit while they're at work. In the meantime, I'm really thankful for my heating pad and muscle relaxants tonight. It will be easier getting it down the stairs tomorrow, (we can slide it down on its back or side), and then we can put a piece of cardboard under it to slide it to where it needs to go. 

We're still hoping to get the rest of the boxes of books unloaded down there tomorrow, but we'll be happy, if we can get at least 80% of them done. Hubster would be able to finish the last of them without my help, and with 80% of them put away, I'd be able to get to the workout equipment that I need to use. It's a win/win.

Had a little more fun with the girls tonight. I'd asked Scooter last night, if she wanted to scare Daddy tonight before she went to bed. She was thinking about it all day long and would periodically just start trembling with excitement. It was adorable! I clued Hubby in without her hearing me, so he'd know to act surprised, and we set things in motion.

I helped her in the bathroom and then we ran into her bedroom and hid behind her closet. Hubster asked Hopper really loudly, if she knew where Mommy and Scooter were. She told him we were in the bedroom and tried telling her daddy that we were going to try to scare him. She was laughing so hard that it was difficult to understand her, so Hubby just kept going.

In the dark bedroom, Scooter and I were hiding behind the door, and she couldn't stop giggling. Because she's non-verbal, she isn't very loud, but Hubster said he could hear her out in the hallway before he even came in. She was about ready to explode with anticipation, so when her daddy finally made it in the room, and I yelled, "Boo!" she jumped about 3 feet in the air and couldn't catch her breath from laughing so hard. She had the biggest smile on her face and was still giggling, when we turned out the light and shut the door. Hopper thought the whole thing was hysterically funny, as well. I'm sure we'll all be talking about it again tomorrow.

I love it when the girls are happy like that. They make me smile. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Serves me right.

I was on the receiving end of some poetic justice tonight, and I deserved it. 

The girls have always liked to be scared or startled. Just a little jumping out from behind a door now and then. It's not something that happens often, but they enjoy it and find it especially hilarious, if they sneak up on me and scare me. We always laugh about it, and it's been one of the fun things we've done since they're little. 

The girls usually startle me by sneaking up on me, and I turn around and there they are. Scooter usually gets to giggling til she can't catch her breath, and she thrives on it. I think she feels really special that she can scare me in spite of not being able to talk. And when Hopper happens to make me jump, she throws her head back, slaps her knee, and laughs loud enough the neighbors can hear her through closed windows and doors. She does the same when she gets got. 

Because Scooter is non-verbal and doesn't move as fast, it's really hard for her to get over on Hopper. So tonight, I helped her. We hid behind her bedroom door and left the door open, because we knew Hopper would be coming down the hall to say goodnight in a minute. As we were waiting in the dark for Hopper to come in, Scooter was quivering with excitement. We heard Hopper coming down the hallway, and I whispered to Scooter that we needed to jump out and say, "Boo!" I could tell she was giggling. She was having so much fun!

Coming down the hall, Hopper knew something was up. She kept saying, "G'nite!" She was waiting to hear me say it back, so she would know where I was based on the sound of my voice. I didn't say a word. I could feel Scooter's shoulders jumping, while she was laughing, and I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. 

As Hopper came into the room, she said, "Boo!" So Scooter and I jumped out, and I yelled, "Boo!" right back at Hopper. Everyone was laughing, and we were having a lot of fun. So I decided to keep it going after I had tucked Scooter into bed.

I decided to hide in Hopper's room with the lights off and jump out to scare her. 

The joke was on me. 

I'd totally forgotten about a bedside table we got for her bedroom a couple weeks ago being in there. I'm going to be painting it, but it will be by her bed for her to use in the interim. We just haven't put it in place, because we need to fix a portion of her bed. She broke off part of one of the legs earlier in the week, so she's sleeping on the trundle bed until we get the leg put back together tomorrow. 

As I snuck into her bedroom in the dark, in bare feet, I jammed my foot into the leg of the bedside table. Funny thing is that Hopper didn't even know I had gone in there. It took her another couple minutes before she came into the room. By then, I was doing my best to keep from putting my weight on my foot and was laughing at myself while cussing a bit under my breath. I told her what happened, and we both laughed.

It serves me right. We had a lot of fun, but I'm sure Hopper felt I deserved it for trying to scare her. 

I can't say that I or my tender toes blame her.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


The last few days, my asthma has seemed to be getting worse. You know. The wheezing-heard-round-the-room-kind-of-asthma. I've felt pretty worthless, but I've still managed to get some laundry, paperwork, and sorting done.

After working for several hours on paperwork and sorting today, I sat down to take a bit of a break tonight. I swallowed wrong and ended up in a coughing fit that had my chest muscles feeling the sting of lactic acid comparable to that of a marathon. Forty-five minutes later, the coughing was finally under control. 

I'm no longer wheezing, but it's obvious I've got bronchitis. I strained my voice enough from coughing that I sound like I swallowed a herd of frogs. 

I just wish it didn't feel like they'd taken a dump in my throat. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What to do? What to do?

I'm in a bit of a quandary.

My back has been spasming more often as of late, and I'm thinking I may need another series of epidural cortisone injections to get the pain under better control. I haven't had any for a few years, because they seem to lower my immunity, and I can't seem to fight off anything that comes my way once I've had them. 

I've already been struggling the last few months with my health. I get every cold that makes its entrance, and I've just felt drained. I don't know that I want to add to that. But I am so incredibly frustrated at how my back pain limits my progress around the house. It's really hard to concentrate on what needs done, if I take something stronger than ibuprofen for the pain. The ibuprofen doesn't really do much, yet I can't stay awake, if I take anything stronger. 

I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of getting injections again. 

I'm desperate to get some significant dehoarding done. 

Hopper had a bit of a rough day. Even though she thoroughly enjoyed 'work', she started sobbing when she got home. It's really sinking in that she can only go to work one day a week, and it makes her so sad. Our hearts are breaking for her. It's times like this we'd love to be independently wealthy, so we could afford to send her to her day program 5 days a week, but we can't even come close to affording the $1500 to $1700 a month. 

Hopefully, she'll get used to only going once a week, and then she'll just be happy and pleasantly surprised when funding comes through, or some generous benefactor shows up, and she can go more often.

And hopefully, I'll be able to figure something out to make my back stop spasming, my health to improve, and to help Hopper be happy with going to work only one day a week. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Candy is sweet. And so are you.

I worked hard today, and yet I have nothing to show for it. At least nothing anyone can see.

I spent the day working on paperwork that needs done for Scooter's hospitalization back in September. I spent the better part of 9 hours on the phone trying to get things straightened out. By the end of the day, I still wasn't done, but I at least know what I've got to do tomorrow. It's been nightmarish. 

And all because of a (insert cuss word of your choice here) contaminated blood culture. 

I still have hours of work to go tomorrow. I was going to work more on it all tonight, but I decided 9 hours is enough for one day. Besides that, I can't seem to get warm. I've been freezing all day long, and it's the warmest it's been in a week. My body is definitely trying to fight something. 

Have I mentioned recently that I'm ready for Spring to get here? Take my word for it, if I haven't mentioned it. 

I'm ready.

On a good note, Hopper is dealing with being home while Scooter is at school better than we'd anticipated. She was started on anxiety meds awhile back. It's the first medicine we've tried that has actually helped her with her anxiety without causing even more issues. We're very hopeful they'll help her through this difficult transition. More than anything, we're thrilled we finally found something that works for her.

She's so cute. She was so excited tonight that she gets to go to 'work' tomorrow that she tried going to bed at 2:00 this afternoon. I held her off a few hours, but she's beside herself with excitement. Without any prompting from me, she even got all her clothes laid out and ready for tomorrow before she crawled into bed.

I think I need to take her cue and go to bed early...

Hope you and all your sweethearts had a good Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Travel plans.

Things went well for Scooter with her first day back to school in several weeks. She fell asleep on the couch shortly after she ate, and she didn't give a second thought to going to bed - just got in her jammies and snuggled into her flannel sheets. 

I didn't handle the early wake up time nearly as well. I overdid things in the workout room a bit when we were sorting boxes of books yesterday. It kept me from being as productive as I'd have liked to have been, but I was able to get 4 loads of laundry done and some of the bedding changed. It's better than nothing, but I'm hoping to get a bit more done tomorrow. 

It's going to take awhile to get back on a schedule of zero dark thirty wake up calls. I think it's going to take me crawling into bed in the next 15 minutes and snuggling up under the blankets. 

I think Scooter had the right idea...

I'm off to LaLa Land.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

what's cooler than a full bookshelf?...(title by hubster)

Two full bookshelves, of course!

I felt quite a bit better when I woke up this morning, but I'm surprised I was able to function. I ended up getting 4.5 hours of sleep, which is decidedly less than the 8 hours I need. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up on it this week.

Scooter is doing well enough she'll be going back to school in the morning for the first time in weeks. I'm not looking forward to the 5:45 alarm going off in the morning. Why does school have to start so darned early, anyway?

Hubster and I worked on unpacking and sorting books in the workout room today. We unpacked and sorted 12 boxes of books. We have right at 2 boxes filled to donate, and the ones he's keeping are on the shelves, as we speak. We have 14 boxes left to sort through before we'll be finished. 

Hubster is thrilled, and I am, too. It's good to see him happy and excited about his books. Hopefully, we'll get them finished this week, if not by next weekend.

I'm going to go drag my sorry butt to bed. I can't stay awake. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

There's always tomorrow...

Haven't gotten anything done today. Woke up feeling off and couldn't get warm. When my body did finally heat up it over heated, and then I was feeling the effects of a stomach bug. 

Thankfully, Hubster doesn't work weekends, so I laid down and took a nap for a couple hours. When I woke up, my stomach felt much better, but I feel like I'm coming down with bronchitis. Thus, I got nothing done today.

I'll be doing what I can to get something done tomorrow. I really want to get some unpacking done on the books, so we can get to the workout equipment. 

Here's to hoping things go better tomorrow...

Friday, February 10, 2012


Last Friday, I called the attorney's office to see, if we had a court date yet for the guardianship thing.

Around 6 tonight, the phone rang. It was him.

"I know you called a couple of days ago." (Um. No. It was a WEEK ago!) "Sorry I'm just getting back with you."

"I've got a note here saying that the court visitor sent her reports for both of the girls, but I can't find them anywhere. I tried calling her twice. The one time, it said that her phone number had been disconnected. The second time, I got a recording saying that the phone number was no longer in service."

"Did you get copies of the reports?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Well, I don't know, if she didn't actually send the reports, (Um. Yes! She DID! I could tell just by the way she handled the situation with the girls! She knew how important this was to us, and she purposely got her report filed well before the deadline, so we could be done with all of it as quickly as possible!), or if I just misplaced them. I'm moving my office at the end of the month, so things are sort of crazy on my desk."

"Can you get me copies of your reports for each of the girls? You can fax them, email them, or drop them off at the office."

"You won't get to them until Monday, anyway, right?"


"Ok. We'll get them to you."

I was SO mad when I hung up the phone!! He has likely had the reports since we've had our copies. We've had our copies for right at 4 weeks! And he is just NOW trying to rectify the situation? He's just NOW noticing that we are his clients? At this rate, I highly doubt we'll get our court date until April or May, since he's screwed around and wasted our time for a full month.

It wouldn't be so bad, but when he let us know who the court reporter was, he said we needed to make sure we got copies of all the information that we'd brought in for him to the court visitor. When she got here, I apologized for not having it ready. She seemed taken aback. She said that our attorney should have already gotten that information to the court, and that she should be able to access it there.

So we're paying him, and he's having us do the work we're paying him to do!! 

I'm sure that he's doing this, because we have legal insurance through Hubster's work, and the insurance company is paying him. I don't know, if he doesn't think it's enough money, or what his problem is.

We can't leave him and go to another attorney at this point, because we've already signed a contract with him. I'm sure that he would try to collect a $2000 retainer plus $250 an hour for the work he's done, and I wouldn't doubt that he'd lie about the hours he's put into the case. 


As soon as the court case is finished, and we have the paperwork in hand showing that we have legal guardianship of the girls, we will be reporting him to the insurance company, and we will not be recommending him to anyone for anything. 

Stupid !@#$%^!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Scooter was a trooper when she had her blood drawn today. She glared a bit, because she wasn't happy to be there, but as soon as she was done, she was happy as could be. All was forgiven, and she was nothing but smiles.

She makes me happy. :)

When we got home, and I kicked my shoes off, I could hardly walk. My feet were so incredibly sore. I don't know, if it's the shoes I was wearing, or if it's still the IKEA shopping from a couple weeks ago that had my feet feeling bruised. I took the gel insoles out of my tennies and stuck them in my slippers. It helped. I'll take to wearing the slippers with the insoles for a few days until my new shoes get here. 

I decided to take my sore feet to the carpeted workout room and rest them up a bit. It's amazing how much carpet can soothe the tired soles compared to hardwood floors. I decided to kick off my slippers and let the carpet work its magic.

In December of 2010, we cleared out the storage pod on the driveway and took several boxes of books to the workout room. Even though it's been over a year since we emptied out the pod, we haven't unpacked any of the books. As a result, the only workout equipment we've had access to is the treadmill, and its accessibility has been sporadic at best. 

I really need to get some use out of the equipment that can help me with my back, and I can't use it when there are boxes piled all around. So I worked on getting some of the shelves on the simple case we made to hold some of the hundreds of Hubster's books. I was able to unload a couple boxes, but I realized I had no idea how Hubster wants them arranged, so I called it quits. It was time to stop. I'd completely soaked my t-shirt as my fever broke, and I knew it wouldn't be long before I got the chills again. 

Hubster and I will be doing what we can to get the boxes unloaded and the contents put away this weekend. At the very least, we'll get enough emptied that we can actually workout on some of the equipment. 

I'm motivated to get some dehoarding done. It's been entirely too long.

Now, if my body will only cooperate and kick this fever...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One of those days.

Talked to the pediatrician today. She wants Scooter to go in for blood work. She wants to rule out mono. We'll also be able to tell from the blood work, whether it's a viral or bacterial infection that's causing the fever. We're relieved that she's going to look into things further.

Mono would make sense on a lot of fronts. 

I guess we'll see.

Nothing else to report. I'm just trying to keep posting daily, so I don't fall away from my blog as much as I did last year. It helps so much to blog about what's going on, even when I can't seem to get my stuff together and get much else done. Like now. So I don't want to skip blogging, even when I don't have anything to say. Like now.

So it's off to bed for me. Hopefully, I'll have something more than, "I got a bit of laundry done today" to report tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It's been another one of those days around here. 

Scooter is still feverish and sleeping more than normal. I don't think the antibiotics she's on are working like they should. I will probably put a call in to her doctor tomorrow, so we can come up with a game plan. 

My back has been in a continual spasm fora few days now. I think I'm going to have to take a muscle relaxant for it to stop. I can't seem to think straight from it. It's so annoying.

I did my best to get some laundry done today. I was marginally successful. Worked on sorting some paperwork with limited success. I have a feeling that even when I am actually able to fall asleep that I'm not resting like I should, since I've fallen asleep every time I've sat down today. 

Maybe I'll be a bit more productive tomorrow. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


The guy came out and fixed the furnace this morning. It was just in time... It's supposed to be even colder tonight than it has been the last couple nights. It's good to know the space heaters aren't going to be getting a heavy workout tonight. Every year we hear of house fires caused by space heaters, and every time we use them, I can't sleep for worrying about them getting too warm and causing a fire. It just always sets my nerves on edge.

And even though those trusty space heaters got a workout, they had a rough time keeping up. It never got past 66° in the house and got as low as 62°. And while that might seem like a balmy Spring day coming out of the cold of Winter, it's too cold in the house. Not only does the cold affect my fibro and cause it to flare a little, it always sets off my asthma, as well. And of course it happens just when I was getting my breathing back under control.

I'm really looking forward to warmer weather. I don't mind the snow. I enjoy it, even. 

But my body craves warmer days.

Soon, Judy. Soon...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Where do I start to dehoard? Pt 4 - Too many categories.

When I first started blogging, I tried listing everything I'd gotten rid of in the side bars. I realized I was getting totally overwhelmed, and something needed to change. I had such a problem categorizing that I couldn't seem to sort things into only large categories like 'donations' or 'trash'. I would spend several minutes trying to figure out which category an action or item fit best, and before I knew it 45 minutes had gone by, and I still wasn't done recording my discards.

I would list the categories that I'd dealt with during that particular day. If I donated things, I listed them according to what the items were: toys, (subcategories being educational, just plain play toys, sentimental, or vintage toys), clothes, (with subcategories of children's, women's, men's or baby clothes), and then I even sorted the trash in my sidebars into several categories. And if I got busy and forgot a day? Yeah. That wasn't acceptable. I would sit and wrack my brain for 20 minutes trying to remember everything that I'd accomplished for the day I'd forgotten to list in the first place. 

It was completely stressing me out, so I removed the lists and decided I'd try to list what I'd gotten done every day instead. But I soon found that I was mentally trying to sort the things I'd finished each day, so I could list them in a certain order on the sidebars. It was never enough to just say I'd accomplished a lot and leave it at that. It was was stressful and so time consuming that I realized I had to stop. The sorting was getting the best of me once again, and I knew I had to delete it all. 

I find that I slip into the pattern of sorting things into too many categories quite often. It makes things incredibly difficult at times, but I've been working on changing things.

The most important thing is for me to be aware of what is happening at the time. The moment that I notice that I'm falling into the same pattern of behavior that led me down that destructive road I travel so frequently, I put on the brakes. I stop myself the moment I notice what I'm doing. 

I ask myself what I can do to categorize things into fewer groups. Which categories can I eliminate altogether? What do the smaller categories have in common with one another? Which similarities overlap? Do they overlap enough to combine them into one category and sort them that way, instead of making things harder for myself? 

When I can, I eliminate the categories completely, like I did on the sidebar with the lists of my daily accomplishments. Or like I did so long ago when I got rid of all the different colors and styles and decided to keep only the white shirt hangers and black pants hangers, so I didn't go through the tiring ritual of sorting them each time I walked by.

Being mindful of what I'm doing is definitely the most important thing I can do when I find myself struggling with a glitch in my thinking. It takes practice to recognize when I'm in that continual loop of thought that gets me nowhere, but it's worth the work I'm putting into it. 

It's getting me closer to living the life I imagined for myself. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brrr My nose hairs are frozen together.

So. The furnace went out tonight. 

Thankfully, it's only going to be in the single digits tonight, instead of below zero, but it's still going to be cold.

Got the radiator-style space heaters set up throughout the house. Hoping they're enough until we can get someone out here to look at the furnace. Hoping they don't ask an arm and a leg for after hours fees for someone to take a look at it tomorrow.

And we're really hoping the electricity stays on all night tonight. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

IKEA is bad for my health.

I think shopping last weekend was a bit much for me. I think it's the cause of the most significant fibromyalgia flare I've had in a few years. My feet and legs in particular have taken a beating. I'm hoping that soaking them in Epsom Salts tomorrow will help. 

I feel like all I've been able to do this week is say, "I'm tired... I hurt... I don't feel well... I need sleep." I can't seem to concentrate on writing, and I've got so much I want to say. 

It's just sort of stuck up there between the ears. 

Maybe the Epsom Salts will dislodge some coherent thought, and I'll be able to get a post or two up this weekend, instead of more whiny drivel.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Question about Google Friend Connect

So, I've heard we'll be losing Google Friend Connect. I know that it's the way I prefer to follow blogs. I'm not sure why I prefer seeing new posts on my dashboard rather than in my Reader, but I do. But I am not sure I exactly understand what it means...

Does it mean that we won't be able to follow blogs this way, that we will lose our followers, or a combination of the two? 

Anybody know?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Halo Moon

Bugster stopped by earlier, and when she got ready to leave, she had me come outside to look at the moon. It was the coolest thing ever. The moon had a huge halo around it. It was definitely worth seeing, but the smoke from the neighboring fireplaces flared the asthma even more. I started writing a post tonight, but I can't think clearly enough to finish the post I started earlier. I'm wheezy again, tired, and going to go to bed in a few. 

I did take Scooter into the pediatrician today, since she's had a problem with a low grade fever for the last couple of months. She doesn't show huge symptoms of being sick except that she's requiring more sleep than normal. It's not unusual for her to get 9 to 12 hours of sleep. She's always done that. But lately, (in the last week or 2), she's been needing 12 to 15 hours. 

Sure enough. She has a sinus infection. The doctor figures the antibiotics she had for a sinus infection back in December just didn't take care of it completely, and it's been festering in there. We're hoping this course of antibiotics kicks knocks it down quickly. Poor kid. She's always struggled with sinus and ear infections. It has to do with the bone structure in her head. Things don't drain properly as a result, so we'll go through this from time to time.

I'm just hoping she's back to her Scooterific self again soon!