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

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, 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!