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, March 31, 2010

The sun *did* come out today!

And it shone. And it was warm. And it was soothing. And it was good.

And it made me sleepy. So I got caught up on some much needed sleep after the girls went off to school. I didn't want to get up when I finally dragged myself out of bed, but I did get up.

Didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to get done today, but I did some, and somedays that's going to have to be enough.

We found some cute melamine dishes at Target for our replacement dishes. It will be nice knowing that our middle daughter can't accidentally break them very easily, and that our youngest daughter won't be as able to break them purposefully, if she's throwing a fit. They're cute. They look sort of like linen. Some have polka dots. Some have flowers. And the main colors are sage green and a dark lavender. They're very fun and whimsical. Just what the doctor ordered. :)

And just in time, too. The youngest was beating one of the older dishes on the table tonight trying to break it, because she was in one of her moods. We are ever so thankful her moods aren't that often, because she can really wreak havoc. It takes a bit of an emotional and physical toll.

I'm very excited for tomorrow. Not only will I be dropping off all my old stoneware and Tupperware, but I get to meet my friend's new babies and give her a big hug! I look forward to that 'new baby smell' and getting to drink it in! It's been entirely too long since I've had a little one in my arms! Holding a newborn trumps emptied out cupboards any day. Still. It will be nice to be rid of the dishes and have a little extra cabinet space for what I do want to keep.

I'll be taking the time to enjoy tomorrow for sure. We're possibly going to get snow again on Friday. I'm going to soak up the sun while I can! :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The sun'll come out tomorrow...

I wrote yesterday's posts on Sunday night, so it would post first thing yesterday morning. I rarely do that, but I do on occasion. However, in doing so, I didn't get to tell about what happened in the middle of the night...

The phone rang around 12:30 or so. It was my friend who was pregnant with twins. She made it to 39.5 weeks, which is absolutely incredible. She said she'd been sleeping when a mammoth contraction woke her up. She was on her way to the hospital to have her babies. I got a couple more wonderfully fun updates when her sister called me. The last call came in around 3:30 a.m. She had her two beautiful baby boys, and everyone was doing well. I think I smiled the entire time I was sleeping just thinking about them.

We got the kids up at 5:15 to get them ready and off to school, and as much as we'd have liked to get a little more rest, it didn't happen. The phone started ringing and didn't seem to stop all day long. Hubby had to call the dentist to get a same-day visit. He has an abscessed tooth. The dentist needed to know which one. It's the same one he needs a root canal on. Today, he had to call for a different antibiotic, since the one he started on Saturday doesn't seem to be working. His tooth is getting worse. He's been out of work for a couple of days with it, and it doesn't look promising that he'll be in this week at all. It's sort of illegal to drive while taking the pain medicine the dentist has him on.

In spite of the lack of sleep, I felt better yesterday than I have in a couple of weeks. The haircut definitely made a difference! I'm so very grateful for the bit of relief I've had!

Today, our youngest daughter had a doctor's appointment for her physical. She needs a physical, or she's not allowed to participate in Special Olympics. We're glad we had it done, but she was just having a really rough day. We got a referral to a dermatologist to have a mole on her leg looked at. It looks about like Mickey Mouse's head, which isn't good. We're hoping that it's just a few small moles clustered together.

When we were done with that, we had to take her to her eye appointment. She needs glasses. Not only is she due for her exam, but her glasses are literally in pieces. They were running late, because they're computers were down. So we waited for 45 minutes before she was called back. By the time the doctor came in for the exam, she was falling asleep in the chair, so we had to try to wake her up. We walked her around a bit and got her a glass of water. At this point, she was awake, but her mood had deteriorated even further.

So of course, this is when the doctor tells us that she needs to have her eyes dilated. It's not that it came as a shock. It didn't. I just wish they could have dilated them while we were in the waiting room, so we could have gotten out of there sooner! It took another 45 minutes for the drops to kick in. Once he checked out her eyes and got her prescription written up, we had to pick out glasses. Thankfully, we'd looked at them while we were waiting for her to be called back, and we knew what she was going to get. It took right at 2 hours just for the eye appointment. The glasses should hopefully be in next week.

It's just been a really long couple of days, and I've gotten nothing accomplished around the house. I've been productive, just not on the dehoarding front.

There's always tomorrow, right?



I love ya, Tomorrow.

You're always a day away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I don't know how to title this. Doo da doo da day!

Got nothing done yesterday but getting my hair cut. I'm hoping it makes a difference with these huge knots that now comprise my shoulder.

Hung out with the family. Went shopping for dresses for our eldest's wedding. She's getting married in a couple of weeks at the courthouse. Then they're going to have an actual wedding a year from now when they're more set financially. We had fun. Didn't quite find the dress yet, but I'm sure she'll find something in time.

I am not sure, if it's just because my shoulders already hurt so much, or if it was all the noise or what, but the day was very stressful for me. The knots in my shoulders were double tied by the time we got done. I don't have any great fear of going out in public. At least I don't think I do. But it did feel like a heaping does of sensory overload. I guess I need to force myself out of the house a bit more often, so I get accustomed to being out in the fray again.

Hoping to get something accomplished today before going out with our oldest daughter again tonight to look at more dresses. I'm really hoping we can find one.

More than that, I'm looking forward to some alone time with our baby girl. :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Well laid plans and all that.

Yeah. So. I wasn't as productive Saturday as I was hoping to be. I needed help with making the cubby for above the stove and refrigerator, but hubby couldn't help. He ended up in pain from an abscessed tooth. Was on pain medications all day, but they only took the edge off. And it's really hard to work under such circumstances. You know? So spent some time with the family hanging out.

We finished using up all the ketchup packets. It's nice that the only ketchup in the fridge is now in a bottle.

And we sold the shower enclosure. The guy came and picked it up. Yay! We can add $110 to that found money I talked about awhile back. It's motivational to see it adding up!

We're sort of looking into infrared saunas. The heat is supposed to go deeper into your body than a conventional heating pad. It seems like some days all I do is have my heating pad set to high. Anyone have any experience with them? I'd love opinions from people who have personally used them!

Hanging out with the family tomorrow again. It should be fun. Hoping that I can really get back to things on Monday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eating at the kitchen table. What a concept! It's like eating on the floor - only higher!

The kids were very happy to be able to sit at the table to eat. I feel so bad that it's been as long as it has. It's not like the kids weren't fed. They were. Just not at the table. I will be doing everything in my power to not allow it to get covered again.

I did go through the condiments and got them ready for hubby to take to work on Monday - a full 8 days before my phone will remind me to send them in. I only saved 5 packets of honey from the one box. The rest is going in. I was really sort of grossed out by the 'honey sauce' that was in there. I'd never paid any attention to it before. It's a mixture of honey and high fructose corn syrup. At least honey has some nutritional value, but 'honey sauce'? What's the point?

Got a thick thermal underwear shirt on clearance. I'm hoping it will help keep me warm and keep things a bit more under control with the fibro. Getting winter weather again seems to have an impact on my achiness. I'm hoping it will help.

Working on putting up the cubby above the refrigerator and stove this weekend. We had to tear the old cabinets down several months ago when we bought a new refrigerator. They were so low the new refrigerator wouldn't fit. So we're hoping to get the cubby up this weekend, so we can get the small appliances in the baskets we bought and put them away. That will help tremendously with the clutter in the kitchen area. It's been really frustrating having to work around it all this time.

So. Now you know what we'll be doing this weekend. What are your plans?

Friday, March 26, 2010

I feel the earth move under my feet.

Something I am just getting the courage to share from the other night. . .I really, really struggled with getting rid of two things when I was cleaning off the countertop in the kitchen.

We had a tin that was in the shape of a Christmas tree that one of us got as a gift for Christmas a few months ago. It had been filled with chocolates, but they've been long gone. I've been trying to make a decision as to what I was going to do with that tin from the moment I laid eyes on it. So I've had this in the back of my mind for 3 months at this point. However, decision time had finally come, because it was on the kitchen counter, and I needed to do something with it.

I kept moving it from one part of the counter to the other until I finally confronted it full on. I thought of putting it in the donation box, but I realized that they'd likely throw it away anyway. Our oldest daughter didn't want it. I asked. And as neat a shape as it was, I couldn't figure out what I'd do with it. It had raised ornaments on the tree and a raised brand name, so other than the shape it was rather ugly. After much contemplation, I threw it in the trash.

The other thing was a cylindrical tin can that had held some of those stick-shaped cookies. It was in great shape, and there was nothing embossed or raised on it, and I just knew I could use it for something. It made its appearance in our household about a year ago. And I've hung onto it this whole time, because I just knew I'd use it for something. I reluctantly confronted it and threw it back into the trash. Yes. I said it. "Back into the trash." I'd thrown it away once already. I'd thrown it on Sunday and then took it back out of the garbage bag. I wasn't ready to let it go.

I get that it sounds stupid. I do. I know in my mind, in my heart of hearts, that it's not logical.

After I'd thrown them, I thought of everything that I could use them for that I hadn't already contemplated.
I'd already considered decoupaging the tins with either paper or fabric and making little gift boxes out of them. But after I discarded them, I thought of how, "they'd be perfect to store my polymer clay! :::Gasp!::: Better yet!! I could cover them with polymer clay, and they'd be adorable gift boxes. I mean, think of how cute a Christmas tree shaped, polymer clay covered and decorated gift box would be!! Oh my goodness! I need to get them out of the trash! Now!"

At this point, I started getting physical symptoms as I thought of retrieving them from the trash. I was shocked that I could feel a physical pull to go get them. My pulse was racing. My breath grew more quick. And my anxiousness was palpable. It felt as though I had to command myself to stay where I was. That if I didn't think very hard about staying there that my legs would start moving on their own, and I'd be at the trash can ready to rummage. It was a very odd and somewhat scary sensation.

About that time, my husband finally made it home, and I was telling him about it. I told him I felt what would seem like withdrawal symptoms. That I had to make myself not go get them. He assured me that I don't need them right now, that I won't be able to do anything with them anytime soon, and that we will indeed find really cute tin boxes in the future that I can cover with polymer clay when the time is right.

I thanked him and then asked him to please get the trash taken out as soon as possible, because I was concerned I'd get them out anyway. Plus, if they were outside, I wouldn't go out in the snow to get them, and trash pickup was in the morning. Once the trash was picked up, it would be out of my hands.

I talked before about how sometimes creativity can be a curse. It's incredibly hard for me to discard something in which I can see such great potential. However, I have to limit what I keep. If my house didn't look like it does, if I didn't already have 10,000 projects waiting for me, if I hadn't gone almost 18 months without having a clear kitchen counter, I may have felt okay keeping the tins. And while the thought of little polymer clay covered gift boxes sounds so wonderful, a clean, dehoarded house sounds better.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our clothing optional refrigerator.

Just a quick post.

Still not feeling the best, but things did go better today than yesterday. For that I'm very grateful.

Made an executive decision the other night. Instead of tossing the ketchup packets in the trash, we got turkey hot dogs. We only eat them 3 or so times a year. This will be one of those times. we've used about half the ketchup packets. I'll send the packets of other condiments (except the honey) to work for the hubby's breakroom, and we'll have only 1 container of condiments left in the fridge. We'll always have some condiments, but we really don't need as many as we've had. The refrigerator will look naked without them. But the artistic, good kind of naked, not the ewwww, gross kind of naked.

Also. Got the table cleaned off today. The countertop still needs work, but at least we'll be able to eat at the table again. That will be nice.

Off to spend time with the hubby. He had some dental work done today and stayed home. I so appreciate the company.

Hope everyone's having a great Thursday! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It must be the weather.

Warning:I'm having a bit of a pity party. I'm not asking for anyone to join me. I have enough pity for myself right now. However, I just needed to write it down and get it out. It helps me to get over myself...

I have to admit that I pretty much loathe days like today. At least the way today has started.

Woke up with my neck and shoulders killing me. I think my hair is too long. It's just past my jawline. However, having no neck, when my hair gets this long it gets stuck under my shoulders when I sleep. It causes me to tense up and not be comfortable when I sleep. I need to get it cut. I need my rest.

I also woke up in the middle of a major fibro flare. I hardly have the strength to lift my arms up again today, and I hurt all over. Barely putting any pressure on any part of my body sends pain shooting everywhere in close proximity to the original touch. It wouldn't be so bad, if the pain didn't linger, but it does. It takes several minutes, (sometimes, it's hours), for the pain to dissipate.

Our middle daughter had a massive meltdown again this morning. She wanted her dad to stay home from work. She yelled at the top of her lungs for him to "STAY! HOME!" The entire time, I just kept telling myself, "Don't make eye contact. Don't make eye contact." If I don't make eye contact, she can usually get herself under control in about 15 minutes or so. If I do make eye contact, it seems to exacerbate the problem, and the meltdown lasts at least 30 minutes.

This is the first time she's actually tried hurting her dad. She kept grabbing his leg and trying to pinch it with her entire hand. She stopped when he casually asked, "Why are you hurting Daddy?" I'm so glad he was able to appear calm on the outside. There's no way he was calm on the inside. It's impossible when she has meltdowns to keep your nerves under control.

Part of what set her off this morning was that he was wearing his long johns. He wears one of those one-piece red union suits like you'd see in old Westerns. He really has no choice with his job. He's outside a lot, and with the colder weather and the wind he freezes, if he doesn't have them on. She kept yelling at him to take them "OFF!" with tears streaming down her face.

We have NO idea what it is about them that sets her off. All we know is that it's beyond exhausting. He's supposed to go out of town for the weekend in a few weeks. I don't know how I'll handle it, if she starts freaking out. Mostly, I'll be praying she doesn't, and that I have the strength to deal with it without making the situation worse.

She's calmed down now, but she's still really loud. Her vocal chords are paralyzed. They can still vibrate, so she can talk, but they don't open and close like they're supposed to. As a result, it's very difficult for her to regulate her volume unless she's reminded repeatedly. I will be reminding gently all afternoon, I'm sure.

One small good note to this otherwise depressing post: It appears as though we may have sold the shower enclosure. We'll find out this weekend.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm done for the night.

The last few hours, I've been trying to stay calm. Hubby's out in this horrible snowstorm/blizzard that is hitting the area. Cars off in ditches all over the roadways, white-out conditions. Just not good. And I can't think worth a darn when I'm worried, so I'm done trying to make decisions on where things from the counter or table go tonight.

On a good note, I got 4 loads of laundry done today. I still have several loads to do, but I made a dent.

I also vacuumed the stairs which was no easy task. We have carpet in the basement for the first time ever. And while we have an upright to vacuum the carpet downstairs, my back can't take trying to use it on the stairs. So I had to use the canister vac to clean the stairs, and it probably took 30 minutes or more. It allowed me to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in today, so I'll take it.

And although I didn't finish the counter or the table, I'm about 90% finished with the countertop that has not been clear since Christmas '08. I'm horribly embarrassed to admit it's been that long.

My husband has finally made it home safely. It took him over 90 minutes to drive 28 miles. It's supposed to snow all day tomorrow, too. I'm so relieved we're all warm and safe at home.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What am I supposed to do with all these ketchup packets??

Several weeks ago, I saw a Hoarders episode in which I saw myself again. In this particular episode, the woman who had the hoarding problem had an almost empty bottle of dish soap. She had a full bottle as well, but she really struggled with tossing out the emptier bottle. It wasn't because she had any emotional attachment to the dish soap bottle. She didn't. She figured there was enough for at least 2 sinks full of dishes, and she wanted to use it instead of letting it go to waste. I have so been there. And while I don't think that there is anything wrong with someone wanting to get the last couple of uses out of a bottle of shampoo, dish soap or laundry detergent, I think it's okay to throw it away, too.

I've been working in the kitchen again today. I finally got around to wiping out the refrigerator. (Why does it always take longer to clean it than the amount of time you expect to spend on it? Or does it just take me longer?) I came across a bottle of strawberry jam that probably only had enough jam left to cover one piece of bread. It wasn't moldy or anything. I'm sure it was still good. But I did give myself permission to just toss it. I tossed several things that I didn't toss the other day when I cleaned out the fridge. It was liberating.

I also peeled and washed 4 pounds or so of carrots that were starting to get little roots on them. They were all still good, but I didn't want them to go to waste. We'll eat them. And we'll be more likely to eat them now that they're peeled and washed and ready to just lift out of the storage container and start munching. I got the carrot peels and the limp celery together for the compost and noted that we'll need to get the celery eaten in the next couple of days, or the rest of it will be headed to the compost.

Overall, I feel good with what I've accomplished today, and what I'll continue to work on once I'm done posting. But for the life of me, I can't tell you how much I struggle with those little packets of ketchup, honey and soy sauce. I seriously never know what to do with them! We rarely, if ever use them. The little containers of ranch dressing go fast, though. I often send them to school in the kids' lunches, because they're perfect for dipping the celery and carrots in. But ketchup packets? Forget it!

We probably have 40 or 50 in a little box in my refrigerator. We also have 6 or so horse radish packets, 10 to 15 honey packets and half dozen or so soy sauce packets and sweet and sour packets. Add 6 sweet & sour dipping containers, a couple of BBQ sauces, a couple of containers of marinara sauce and 3 or 4 little tubs of teryaki sauce, and you get an idea of what's in the picture.

We'll likely use all the little tubs of dipping sauces eventually. But I have no idea when, or if we'll go through all the packets. I suppose I could squeeze the ketchup ones all into my ketchup bottle, but realistically that's not going to happen. I guess they'd be handy to hang onto to use at a picnic, but we usually just toss the bottle of ketchup in the cooler. It's not as messy as the packets.

I don't know what I'll do with them. All I know is that I really struggle with throwing them away and wasting them. Each packet contains maybe enough for a single use, so why can't I think of them like the jar with the 1 serving of strawberry jam and just chuck it?

I know it sounds strange to not be able to make a decision on what to do with ketchup packets. It seems like such a simple decision, but for someone like me - not so much.

I've decided that I will allow them to take up residence in our refrigerator for 2 more weeks. If we haven't used them by then, they will be sent to work with my husband for others to use in the break room. I even set the calendar on my phone to remind me to send them to work with my hubby. Once they leave my house, they'll no longer be my problem.

The kitchen table and counter on the other hand? I'll do them tomorrow.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Realized it was almost midnight, and I hadn't blogged yet today. I hate when that happens. I feel rushed to come up with something to say when I really just want to hang with the hubby. But I also feel it's important to blog daily, to keep the dehoarding in the forefront of my thoughts. If I'm constantly thinking about the big picture of dehoarding when I blog, I know I will eventually be successful and finish dehoarding the house.

Got a lot done in the kitchen today again. Although the counter top and table are not quite cleaned off, they're pretty close. I'll be able to finish tomorrow. I was able to get rid of a few more things, too, so I'm okay with what was accomplished today. I'll get the counter and the table finished tomorrow.

I'm hoping for some decent sleep tonight. Not 12 hours, but 8 would be nice. I function best on 8 hours, so the 7 hours I got last night didn't help with the headache, sore throat and overall achiness I woke up to. Hoping tomorrow is better. Our middle daughter didn't seem to cough as much today, and she's not been coughing since she went to bed, so I'm hoping this is a fairly quick bug and not as drawn out as the last one we had.

Don't you wish the viral bugs were like real bugs? You could just step on them, squish 'em good, wipe them up with a piece of tissue and flush them down the toilet? I'd wish for that very thing when I blow out the candles on my next birthday cake, but I think I'll be wasting my breath.

Now watch. I'll be dreaming of whooshing toilets carrying bugs away all night long.

At least they'll be good dreams.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I guess I needed the sleep?

I slept for 12 hours last night. Woke up with a sore throat, but the knots in my neck had loosened some. Middle daughter coughed most of the day, too. I'm glad the girls don't have school next week due to Spring Break. I'm afraid that there's a good chance they'd miss school from illness anyway. At least this way it doesn't count against them.

I've been mildly productive today working in the kitchen. Went through the one cupboard we have canned goods in and organized it all. Washed the cereal keepers and threw out stuff I didn't figure anyone would eat. Cleaned the old stuff out of the refrigerator, but I didn't get to the point of wiping it out just yet. And tossed even more plastic stuff.

All things considered, I'm happy I got a little bit done today. I'm hoping that I don't sleep for a full 12 hours tonight, but I figure my body is trying to tell me I need it, if I do.

Right now, it's telling me I need my heating pad turned on high...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tension, unhand me!

Middle daughter had a gigantic meltdown at 5:30 this morning while getting ready for school. The tension put the muscles in my neck and shoulders into gargantuan knots, and I've yet to be able to untie them.

I was able to get quite a bit accomplished in the kitchen today in spite of things, but I think I'm taking the entire evening off. I'll be doing homework...I'll be reading Buried in Treasures, but I'm done with anything physical. I'll be sitting with two heating pads set on high for awhile, and then I'll be going to bed early.

Hoping I can finish the kitchen tomorrow. . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Decisions. Decisions. I hate making decisions!

Had a harder time getting started today. I feel like I'm coming down with something again, but it's par for the course. The girls started back to school on Monday, and it usually only takes a few days before one of us is sick with something. Hopefully, it's just a 24 hour stomach bug and nothing more.

I haven't found anything that indicates that melamine comes in clear for a color, so I'm assuming that the glasses are likely something with BPA in it, since they're not marked otherwise. I'm still not 100% in favor of melamine dishes, either, so I just don't know what I'm going to do. We'll keep our stoneware for now, but if we replace it, it will probably be with melamine. Ugh! I hate not having enough information to feel like I can make a decision!

I am still working on finding something safe for our middle daughter to use in the microwave. She loves to be independent and heat up burritos, and it's good for her to be able to do it. However, I'm getting rid of all my plastic microwave stuff, so I've got to figure out what she can use instead. She's using the stoneware for now. It doesn't get too hot for her to handle, but I'm not sure how long I'll have the stoneware, so...

I did think of another potential solution today. Silicone. You know, there are silicone baking mats, silicone bakeware and silicone spatulas. But how safe is it to use when heated? I know it's supposedly safe to 428 degrees, but will we find out years from now that it's no different than polycarbonate? Will we find out it leaches chemicals into food? I may come to a point where I feel reasonably safe with using it in the microwave, but I'm not there yet. Still, it would be ideal for her to use to heat up burritos where it doesn't hold the heat like other things.

I don't know. I had a wonderful chat with my cousin tonight. She used to sell Pampered Chef and is thinking of doing it again soon. I asked, if it was safe to use in the microwave. It is. And you know, I could teach our middle daughter to use pot holder gloves to take it out of the microwave, so she wouldn't get burned. Plus, stoneware isn't as slick and hard to hold onto as glass is, so she'd be less apt to drop it and have it break. Plus, if it did break, it would just break. It wouldn't shatter like glass.

You know? I really wish I was more comfortable with Corelle.

I did get more of the kitchen sorted today and tossed more plastic. The thing that is going to kill me to get rid of water mug. It's one of those insulated mugs like you get when you're hospitalized. I have ice water in mine all day long and drink close to a gallon a day. I love water. Especially cold water. So I'm going to have to look for a PBA-free water mug.

Tried the caffeine pill this morning. I didn't get overly jittery, but I also didn't stay up. I was not feeling well, and I did go back to sleep for awhile after the girls went to school. I'm hoping that I'll have a better idea how it's going to work for me tomorrow. My breathing did seem better today, but I'm not sure why. It could just be that the weather was nice and the furnace didn't kick in as often.

I guess I'll know tomorrow. I can hear the storm blowing in now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I need a kitchen aide. Anyone? Anyone?

I've been working in the kitchen trying to clean things out and purge things. I'm not exactly sure why I've been working in there. I've got plenty to do everywhere else, but I want to get things cleaned up in there and get the table cleaned off. I hate when the table is cluttered and we can't sit down to eat as a family.

Yesterday, I did clean out half of my mugs. I just realized that I didn't use the majority of them. We don't drink coffee. I drink hot chocolate or tea on occasion, but not often enough to keep the 8 extra mugs I decided the thrift store needs more than I do. I may still get rid of a couple more, but I just haven't decided yet. I'll think about that tomorrow, if I've made enough headway with the table.

I also threw a bunch of plastic dishes that had the recycle code 7 on them. They likely contain BPA, which can cause endocrine disruption. I also tossed the water bottles that we had left that were made of the plastic that has BPA in it. On one hand, it's made it much easier to decide which dishes to toss. On the other hand, it's frustrating, because we will need to replace these things. Finding replacements for the Tupperware that we used in the microwave will be the hardest part, although I do have a couple of broken pieces. I'll at least get a credit to buy something that doesn't have BPA in it. I can always use more storage.

I do have some plastic glasses that were bought new a few years ago, but they don't have any code on the bottom. I *thought* that all plastic had to have a recycle code of some sort on it, but apparently not. Unless there's such a thing as clear melamine. Anyone know? I'll be looking into it a bit before I toss them. They're a handy size for juice and for the girls to use.

I'm going to bed now. I'm hoping some sleep will take care of this headache and leave me refreshed for tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She's with me.

(Christmas 1994 Ages 1.5, 4, & 7)

This afternoon, I was on the phone when the PBS station went from Arthur, (our youngest's favorite show ever), to BBC World News. It's the driest type news ever, and it drives the girls nuts, so I switched it over to the CMT videos. I wasn't really paying attention to what was being played until a little girl in a special needs stroller appeared on the screen. She caught my eye, and I knew that I had to see what the song was. So I paused the station (I have to admit that I love our DVR and being able to pause live tv!), so I could watch the video when I got off the phone.

Collin Raye was singing about his granddaughter. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The words completely summed up 1,000 conversations my husband and I have had over the years about our girls. I understand that many people don't like Country music, but I highly recommend everyone take the time to listen to the song. I think it will greatly touch your heart.

She's With Me by Collin Raye

She’s with me
I proudly tell the maitre de as we arrive
He seems surprised
In a clumsy moment as he looks for room, for her blessed chair
A table stares, and their eyes show only pity
as they try to sympathize
Oh, how difficult that must be, look away
Day after day, they’ll never see, the joy you bring
Only happy at the times I know that she’s with me

I wear it like a badge of honor at the mall
I hear her call, the only way that she is able with a cry
Time to go bye bye, she can’t say why
Maybe tired, maybe hurting, god I wish that I could tell
Do I ever make her happy for awhile
To see her smile, makes my week,
Though she can’t speak,
She let’s me know she feels my love when she’s with me

I know just what heaven looks like when I see that perfect face
For no other mortal heart could be so fair
I myself so weak and weary, so imperfect as a man
How could I be the one you chose to care for our girl
Never done a single deed to earn the right to share her light
Though it’s such a painful road we walk each day
Lord you have your ways, this I pray
On the day I stand before you, she’ll stand right by my side
When you look upon me, head hung down in shame
I’ll feel the blame, she’ll look at me,
And then she’ll speak, in that precious voice
Don’t worry ‘bout him my lord, cuz you see,
He’s with me

Monday, March 15, 2010

I think I may be onto something.

For over 20 years, I drank a 2 liter bottle of one cola or another every day except during my pregnancies. My pulmonologist said that caffeine naturally converts to theophylline in the body, and that drinking the constant small amounts of caffeine all day long likely helped keep my asthma in check all these years.

Three years ago in January, I stopped cold turkey, and I didn't have any to speak of until this past October. I did have an occasional iced tea, but I found that the caffeine made the neuropathy associated with my fibromyalgia to flare. I felt like someone was sticking me with needles all over, and I'd jump every time it happened. It was miserable, but it didn't happen, if I didn't have caffeine, so I just stayed away.

Then in October we ended up with the Swine Flu at our house. I craved ice cold colas during this time, so I ended up adding a glass or two a day to my diet. Nothing like I'd had before, but enough that I felt better. I've had a few 2 liter bottles since October. I try to only drink it when I have a bad cold or bronchitis and my asthma is acting up. I've gotten used to drinking it enough that I don't have the problems I was having with the neuropathy, but I really can't afford the calories, and the diet sodas give me horrid headaches, so I figured I'd just stop completely again.

However, this afternoon, a rerun of The Doctors was on in the background for noise. My ears perked up when one of the doctors started talking about how drinking a cup of coffee or tea right before a workout helps with muscle pains. My head was spinning as I thought about the last 3.5 years.

No sense in going into great detail, but the 3.5 years included our youngest daughter having a complete spinal fusion, losing my dad to cancer shortly after his diagnosis, the tragic loss of our beloved nephew to suicide, losing another to incarceration after an accident in which someone died, and my nephew was driving drunk, significant medical issues for me, including being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a severe allergy to dogs, countless sewer backups in the laundry room and then the pipe freezing and flooding the basement.

Stress affects fibromyalgia. And although I can trace the fibromyalgia back to when our oldest was born 23 years ago, and we've gone some amazingly stressful years with the kids and their medical issues, my fibro never got to the point of being debilitating until 3 years ago. After I quit drinking soda and caffeine. It had gotten to the point that some days I couldn't even raise my hands above my chest from the pain. Also, in the last 3 years my asthma has been the worst it has been in years and years - more out of control than in.

Needless to say, I'll be talking to my doctor and doing a bit of experimenting with caffeine doses to see, if it makes a difference in my health. However, I will be giving up the soda again. At my weight, I don't need the extra calories or any of the other unhealthy ingredients. I haven't completely decided, if I'll just trying drinking a cup of tea every morning, or if I'm going to try some caffeine tablets like NoDoz.

Regardless of the method I chose, I think I'm onto something. And I'm hopeful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The color of love.

Yesterday, I wrote about our adventures with our youngest daughter and cleaning off her mess on the love seat. Today, I'll tell you how things went with her older sister...

Our middle daughter has a severe anxiety disorder. It's severe enough that she'll likely never be able to hold a job or live on her own. In a way this is a good thing. We will not have to endure that empty nest syndrome that devastates so many parents when their children fly the coop. We will not have to worry that someone is taking advantage of them. We will have them in our daily lives for the rest of ours. That right there is some good stuff!

On a bad note, our daughter has a lot of anxiety over things that people normally just don't stress about. Seeing family for the first time after a long break is incredibly difficult for her. We live several hundred miles from 'home' and as a result don't get to visit nearly often enough. She has been known to sit in the car for a good 30 minutes before she's comfortable with going in to see everyone. People who she adores. People who adore her. It's something she just can't help.

One of the things that helps with that stress is her strings. She has had a love for strings, especially shoe strings, from the time that she was tiny. She likes to pull them through her fingers, to flick them around as they dangle from her hand, and in general just to have them near her. For years we had to tie our shoe laces into our shoes between grommets, or we'd wake up with no shoe laces - in any shoe in the house!

She's never really cared for stuffed animals or toys. Give her a string, and she's happy beyond happy! And she is devastated, if one goes missing! Her strings usually just look the same to us. She has several white ones, (or maybe more of a shade of gray born out of much love for the string), some red, some pink, and some multi-colored ones. But the ones she likes the most are the skinny white ones that usually come in athletic shoes. And they are her babies! If one goes missing, she will not rest until the car has been thoroughly searched and the sidewalk scanned for her missing prized possession.

She has a similar obsession with markers, pens and pencils. She has so many we ended up buying her one of those totes that you often see used to carry cleaning supplies. One half is full of pencils, colored pencils, and pens. The other half holds her markers. And yesterday she needed to cull the dry markers and throw them away. It was not an easy task for her.

She was already a bit anxious from watching her sister work on the couch. She was very proud and supportive of her younger sister and even cheered her on and told her "good job!" But we heard a lot of "NO!"s yelled in a panicked voice when it came time to sort the instruments of her affection.

We started by grabbing a notebook that had the front and back covers torn from it for her on which to test her markers, and she grabbed a grocery bag to use for her trash. I explained that I was going to just sort the pens and pencils into one side of the tote, because they would be easier for her to sort, if they were presorted. Wrong answer. Noting that the anxiety was increasing, I changed tactics.

I told her we were just going to take them all out of the basket and put them on the floor for her to sort. We were again met with vocal protests. But once the pens, pencils and markers were all on the ground, she was ready to get busy. She started by sorting all the pencils into one side of the tote. She made the decision to throw the few crayons in her stash in the garbage bag. I think it was partly because the crayons didn't fit into either category. They were neither pens or pencils nor were they markers. So it made it easy for her to toss them.

The markers were a bit of a different story. I explained to her that I see her take all of her markers out to use every day, but every day she has to sort through which ones still work and which ones are dry. That if she could sort them, she'd know that all of them were good, and she'd have more fun using them. Wouldn't you know it, but the first one she sorted was really quite difficult for her to let go. It was a vibrant blue marker that wrote like it was brand new, but the lid had been put on cockeyed enough that the plastic on the marker itself was bent and wouldn't allow for a tight fit.

I realized I needed to get on the floor with her and help her remember what she was doing with each marker. She was getting confused and often throwing the good ones and keeping the dried markers, which would have sent her into an entirely different sort of frustration and meltdowns. I was not making the decisions for her. She made them all on her own with a 'yes', if she was keeping one or a 'no', if it was dried out. I just helped her remember where the yes ones went and where she was putting the no's.

All told, it took her a good 30 minutes just to sort through her markers. Something that would typically take about 5 minutes to do. But there was so much thought put into each and every decision she made.

When she had finally tossed the final dried up marker in her trash bag and tied it shut, she was so relieved! I think the relief was as much from being finished as from what she had done. She was quick to remind me to tell her oldest sister, her daddy and her grandma what she and our youngest had accomplished. She was proud of herself. We were proud of her, too, and let her know throughout the day.

It was eye opening. She's always stressed about her things when anyone even comes near them. We've even heard her yelling from the shower, in a very terse voice, at her little sister to stay out of her things. It's always comical, because her sister is never anywhere near her things, but it's evident that she lives in a near constant state of anxiety.

This dehoarding thing has been stressful for her. She knows that eventually we'll make it to her things, and we'll have to do some purging. Hopefully, though, this will help her realize that she can and will have a say in what goes and what stays.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A tisket. A tasket. A blue and yellow basket.

Our youngest daughter loves to have all of her favorite things beside her on the love seat. She will get her favorite clothes out of the dirty laundry pile, her favorite toys, and the magazines and catalogs she loves to flip through and put them on the love seat. It's often piled as high as the back of the furniture itself, and it never leaves room for anyone else to sit. For that matter, it leaves no room for her to sit comfortably, either. She usually sits on the front three inches of the cushion or on top of her favorite things.

In the mornings, we dig through everything to find her shoes and her favorite bracelets and necklaces that she wants to wear to school. We've tried repeatedly to find a solution, but we always seem to fail. The last basket we got at the dollar store wasn't big enough to hold anything but her six red bandannas, her jewelry, a favorite lavender scarf that she likes to sling around her neck at all times of the year, and her broken necklaces that she can't seem to let go, because she likes the way they feel in her hand and the way they dangle and sway when she flicks her wrist. Not only was the basket not large enough to hold her most precious of belongings, but the handles were constantly coming off, and we'd have to look through her pile to find the handles and reattach them before she carried the basket to her bed to keep watch over her while she slept.

This morning, things changed.

I happened to notice our daughter's basket, now empty, sitting atop all her favorite things on the love seat. One of the little slats that helped to hold things in was broken. It didn't surprise me. We weren't expecting quality. After all, we got it at the dollar store. One particular basket that we've used for the last decade to hold mittens, gloves and scarves kept breaking into my thoughts. It's about the size of a basket a person grabs to carry their groceries at the grocery store when they have only a few items to buy and want to make a hasty trip through the store. It's a pretty blue and made of very durable plastic. It's also probably four times the size of the little yellow one whose slats betrayed it this morning.

I grabbed the basket, wiped it out and notice the slow grin creeping onto her face as she eyed the basket. She knew I was going to ask, if she wanted to have it for her own, and she trembled with excitement at the thought. I told her that she could have it, but if she wanted the basket, that she had to help clean off the love seat, and that she could not pile all her things up around her anymore. That the love seat needs to be cleaned off, so other people can sit with her, if they want. When I asked, if she wanted the basket enough to keep the love seat cleaned off, her little fist shook up and down, saying 'YES!' instead of just 'yes'.

We started by gathering up the dirty clothes and tossing them downstairs to be laundered. Then, we put her to work. We used the yellow basket for trash and the blue basket for things that she really wanted to keep. The first thing in her new basket was a musical dome she had when she was a baby. She spent hours listening to the soothing lullaby it played as it cast it's rotating pictures on the ceiling when she was little, and in spite of the fact that it no longer works, she can't bring herself to let go just yet.

I had her make all the decisions on what was to be thrown in the garbage and what was to be saved, and it was fascinating to watch her. It was very obvious that there was anxiety involved with many of the decisions. She had the hardest time deciding what to do with catalogs, magazines, and little pieces of paper that had been torn from the pages. When she struggled with what to do, I simply asked her, if she really wanted to keep it or whether or not it made her happy. It got easier and easier for her to make the decisions she made, and we cheered her on every step of the way telling her we were proud of her for doing it by herself. Within thirty minutes or so, the love seat was cleared, vacuumed and ready for company.

She was so excited! She proudly hoisted her new basket full of her favorite things up on the couch beside her and seemed genuinely satisfied that she could scoot all the way back and not sit on the edge of the cushion. She took a few things out and played with them as the day wore on, but she dutifully put them in their place when she was done. When it was time for bed, she lugged the basket down the hallway to her bedroom with a satisfied little smile on her face.

I think we may have made a break through today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

W-croak-t! W-croak-t!

My Woot won't work.

All that comes out is 'W-croak-t! W-croak-t!"

Our youngest find this rather amusing. Our middle daughter finds it rather unnerving, and although she laughs, she also is concerned that I've had laryngitis for the last 4 or 5 days now. Her worry manifests itself in whining.

But let's not go there. This is a happy post.

A happy post that didn't know, if it was going to start off as a happy post...

My hubby picked up a flash drive last night on his way home from work, and I transferred all the files needed with the claim onto it straight away when I woke up. Feeling rather good but unwilling to breathe until it was safely in the adjuster's hands, I waited.

Our adjuster is rather difficult to reach. It often takes him a couple of days to return our calls, and we've had many calls that have not been returned due to his extremely busy schedule. We always eventually got all our questions answered, and he's always been quick with helping us. Just not returning calls. Who knew that an insurance adjuster could be busy with all the broken pipes, house fires, burglaries, etc.?

At any rate, the hubster left him a message last night asking him to return his call first thing. Surprise! We didn't hear from him. So hubby placed a call to our agent this morning and asked advice. They told him to bring the flash drive to them, and they'd download it and email the file to our adjuster. So off the hubs went.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I waited with 'bated breath.

You knew it. It didn't work. The agent couldn't open the file on his computer. :::sigh::

So my darling husband went to Kinkos to see, if they could put into a pdf file and send it on it's way. The short answer: They normally can. But they couldn't in this case, because they couldn't figure out how to convert this particular office program into pdf.


So my better half called our agent on his way to work and asked what they would recommend. Apparently our adjuster returned the call they put in on our behalf. When told of our plight he put in a 30 day extension for us, so we wouldn't go past the one year deadline to file. It's on Monday. I still can't believe it's been a year...but I digress.

Our beautiful, talented, wonderful daughter happened to text to see, if I still needed help putting things back in order on the computer. (I did something last night to the toolbar and thought I was going to lose my mind!!) I told her that I didn't need her help, but she was welcome to come over and visit, anyway. I'm so glad she only works a couple miles from us. It's always such a blessing to get to see her. :)

Today, we were more than blessed...

She walked in as I was finishing the phone call with her dad. Neither of us had any idea of what to do, and the 'bated breath was sounding more like hyperventilation at this point. To say we were stressed was an understatement.

She asked what was going on, and of course I obliged by filling her in on the happenings of the day. She immediately knew how to fix the problem and went to work on it. We're ever so glad took that computer class in college! She said that the file just needed to be converted to a different format in order to be opened by another computer. Into a format that most computers recognize and not the original format the adjuster sent to us.

Within a matter of minutes (seemed like light seconds to this old fogey), she had the file converted and saved for us to put on the flash drive. But this meant we'd have to wait until Monday to drop it off, because the Mr. would have to bring the drive back home again.

We were one step closer, but I've been holding my breath for quite some time at this point, and I felt like I was going to pass out figuratively.

Well, leave it to our genius offspring to think of putting it on an SD card. You see, our insurance agent is a hop, skip and a jump from her job, and she said she could just drop it off on her way back from lunch, if the agent had a card reader. She called. He did. She left. I held my breath once again.

She called to let me know that it worked. Yay! She left the SD card at the agent's office, so he'd have it, if there were any problems sending the file to the adjuster. I am so glad she had such incredible parents to teach her how to think on her feet, I tell ya!

Not 20 minutes later, I got a call from our insurance agent. And although he could open the document on his computer, the file was entirely too big for him to send to the adjuster.

Imagine that.

So, he is going to mail the SD card (that he still had in his possession due to the daughter's quick thinking) to the adjuster when he leaves to go home for the day.

I feel like I'm breathing again.

I just wish my Woot wasn't broken. I want to do my Woot Woot dance!

W-croak-t! W-croak-t!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm done. Sort of.

Ok. My work on the insurance claim is done.



It's not for lack of trying.

I did.

It's not for lack of finishing the paperwork.

I did that, too.

It's because no matter how good an email client one has, they're just not built to handle close to 1GB of any sort of file. And this file is awfully darn close to 1 gig. If I were to keep trying to send this through email to the insurance adjuster, I'd have to send over 50 attachments.

Yeah. That's not happening.

We'd put it all on CDs, but we don't have a CD-R installed on the computer. We do, however, have a DVD-R that also writes CDs sitting in a box in the study waiting for the Reformat Fairy to do it's magic on the computer, so we can install it.

I don't know why I have such high expectations from these fictitious fairies. They never come through for me.

On the other hand...there's someone who always comes through...

Just got off the phone with the hubs. He'll be stopping at Walmart and picking up a jump drive to put everything on. He'll be dropping it off at the adjuster's office tomorrow on the way to work.

I will probably hold my breath until then.

I'm hoping it will keep me from coughing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I think I can. I think I can.

So today, as I thought I was almost done with the insurance claim, I remembered I had pictures in my phone and on our camera. It's been hard going through them, as most have been the artwork the kids did that was destroyed.

I did figure out what I'm going to ask for the artwork. I feel it's fair. If not, I'm sure they'll tell me. I'm asking $10 each. That way, I can get a photo printed off of each one in the same approximate size of the lost artwork, and I can pay someone to photoshop the mildew and stains out of the pictures. I'm hoping that they think $10 each is fair, since otherwise we won't be able to use them. Besides, I personally think they're worth hundreds of dollars each, since we can never again go back to when our children were little and have them make them again.

Once I figured out how I was going to handle the claim, I got busy numbering each piece of artwork. I knew there were quite a few pieces, but I didn't really know how many until I started counting. My hands are actually cramping a bit from all the typing I've been doing on them. I think it's a touch of carpel tunnel. It's irritating. I want to just get this done, so I've put on my wrist brace, and I'm hoping that will keep it in check until I finish up.

All told, we lost 79 pieces of the kids artwork. Virtually everything that our oldest made was in the box that got wet. And I *did* have plans to use it. You see, I have this really cool murphy table. When it hangs on the wall, it looks like a picture frame. When you're using it, it comes down and the picture frame is underneath the table to be protected until it's visible again.

Here it is in the folded position on one of the pictures for the insurance claim.

And that wall? The one that's painstakingly painted in pastel stripes? Yeah. That took me forever and a day! It had been really dark, super ugly and depressing paneling. I was about halfway finished painting the room when the flood happened and ruined my paint job. I had to laugh. One of the guys working on the removal of the molded and mildewed things asked, if we wanted to try to keep a panel or two that I'd painted. I thanked him, but asked him to please get it out of my sight!

Working on this insurance claim has had my emotions running the gamut. Up. Down. Up. Down. It's spurred me on to dehoard, no doubt about it. But it's also been hard looking at the things we lost. I know that once I submit the claim I'll be fine. It will no longer be looming, and I will be able to move on.


I will finish this and get it sent tomorrow.


I know I can. I know I can.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Voice sounds a little squeaky."

I don't feel like posting tonight. I'm just exhausted. However, posting every day reminds me (from the title of my blog alone) what I'm doing this for. So..I'm posting.

Took the kids to the doctor today. Middle daughter has an ear infection. Youngest daughter has a sinus infection and gunky ears. Antibiotics for both, and nebulizers for the youngest, because "she's not moving air well". She hasn't been coughing like her sister. She's mostly just been clearing her throat. She's not in distress. That's good. She was smiling all day, and I fully expect her to be back in school in a day or two.

I went in, too. I've got a sinus infection and laryngitis. The nurse actually wrote in my chart that my "voice sounds a little squeaky." I thought that was funny. I brought my script for antibiotics home with me without filling it. I figured I'd give it a couple of days, and if I'm not any better, I'll fill the prescription.

Sorta bummed I didn't finish the insurance stuff today, but we were gone most of the day, and when we got home there was dinner, and nebulizer treatments, and going to the store for groceries. So, I'll be finishing up tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm going to be visiting my good friend, Pillow, very shortly!

I've earned some alone time with her, I think.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Boopada ba ba ba ba boo. Boopada ba ba ba ba boo.

I'm punch drunk tonight. Too much caffeine today. Too little rest. Too much coughing. Too little sounding like myself and a little too much resemblance to the great Louis Armstrong. And for whatever reason, with my gravely, raw voice, I find that I cannot stop singing scat. At one point on the phone with my daughter tonight, she asked me to please stop, or she would have to hang up. :::sigh::: I get no respect.

But you's not often that I have a voice that sounds like Mr. Armstrong. And not often that I'm punch drunk enough to not be able to stop. Oh well. I may as well go with the flow and enjoy myself.

I was not able to finish the insurance paperwork today. With the hubby being at work, the middle daughter hounded me. She believed I spent enough time taking my test and I should be done. I did make plenty of progress today. I just didn't finish.

I have to make a couple of phone calls tomorrow for last minute price checks. I only have to figure out the claims for 6 things. Well, sort of. One of those 6 things are adorable things that the kids made in school and brought home. Their masterpieces. And how am I possibly going to assess a value to them? They're irreplaceable.

I did take pictures of each individual one, so I have the memory. Unfortunately, the memory now includes the mildew, mold and water damage on these priceless works of art. I'm hoping I can use some photo editing software and cover the mildew somehow. Eventually, I'd love to put all the pictures in an electronic picture frame, so we can enjoy them whenever we want. Still. It won't be the same, and I have no idea how to calculate what they're worth.

One of my favorite things that was destroyed I had every intention of hanging on the wall for eternity. I just hadn't gotten around to it. When our oldest was about 9, she had to make a family tree with her parents. We spent hours on it, and it turned out beautifully. It was a huge tree, because I come from a very large family, and by the time both mine and hubby's families were combined on the board, it was hard to fit everyone on there.

After cutting out several individual leaves and making the background for the tree, she cut out roughly 60 hearts. They each hung from a small piece of yarn like apples waiting to be plucked. Each heart had a different name on it. From her grandparents on down. All of her aunts and uncles and cousins and sisters were on this big, beautiful family tree. She was so proud of it. We were so proud of her. She worked so
hard on it!

I loved the fact that she chose to put hearts on it instead of apples. That she wanted everyone to know that family symbolized love to her.

How do I possibly put a price tag on something that beautiful?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Did you check the perimeter for spiders?

Worked 13 hours straight on the insurance claims today. I'm done for the night. Thankfully, I'm down to just a few things that I should hopefully be able to find online fairly quickly. This is just so time consuming!

Still. I should be able to finish up tomorrow and without having to spend another 8 or 13 hour day on it!

Watched All About Steve last night with hubby. We both thought it was very funny. It was good to laugh. Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, though, and she's so good at comedy. It was fun to sit back and laugh with my husband! :)

Oh. That cold sore I felt coming on last night? I feel another one on the other corner of my mouth trying to make it's way to the surface, too! Very thankful for the meds for sure!

k. I'm going to go sit with my hubby and my heating pad for awhile before going to bed.

Wishing everyone sweet dreams!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Still working on the insurance paperwork, but I'm about 75% done with it at this point. Yay! I will hopefully be completely finished by Monday, so we can turn it in.

Having hubby home today helped keep the interruptions from our middle daughter to a minimum. We explained that it's very important that I get this done, so she needed to ask her daddy, if she had any questions. She responded with, "Test? Quiet?" I thought that summed it up quite well! She knows that in school she has to be really quiet when someone's taking a test, so we went with that.

And it all went fine for the most part. However, occasionally when I was deep in thought and concentration, I'd about jump out of my skin when she'd yell, "TEST! QUIET!" It's her way of reminding herself that she needs to be quiet, but she struggles with realizing that a person must actually be quiet even when saying we should be quiet. She makes us giggle. :)

I'm thinking about taking a break for the night, watching a movie with my husband and going to bed. I'll do much better working on this after some sleep than trying to stumble my way through things tonight. Besides, rest will hopefully help me get over this latest cold/fever/sore throat a little quicker. Very thankful for prescription cold sore meds, too. I felt the tingle tonight, so I immediately got it started. Hopefully, it won't turn into much of anything.

I hear the blessed sound of the tea kettle whistle.

Hope I can find the honey...

Friday, March 5, 2010


The other day on the Hoarders board, Dr. Deibler suggested I read a book called Buried In Treasures Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee. It came in today's mail. I've been working on the insurance claim (and actually making progress), so I haven't really check the book out too much. It's sort of a workbook with self-assessment tests in it to help people in my situation try to find their way out of the abyss.

I am very much looking forward to reading it in its entirety and using the suggestions in it to help make decisions on what to keep and what to toss. I hurriedly did the first self-assessment test, and it showed I have mild hoarding tendencies with a but more of a problem with knowing how to let go of things. However, I think I may have rushed through things a bit or wasn't totally honest with myself, because when I look around I think it's more of a problem than the initial test result shows. I'll be asking both my husband and our oldest daughter to take the same assessment test and see what numbers they come up with as well. I think that will give me a better idea. I think it can just be really easy not to see things in ourselves sometimes.

I'm really looking forward to finishing up the insurance claims. I'm in a groove now and have finally figured out how I'm doing things. Part of the difficulty I've had is that there are several hundred pictures of damages that I've got to sort through. Then I have to describe each item that was damaged and remember what I've gotten done and not forget to do it all. I've gotten to the point of being on a roll. As I'm finished with putting the item on the claim form, have labeled each picture accordingly and have accounted for everything, I move the pictures associated with the item in a documents folder on the computer.

I've gotten some of the more frustrating items out of the way, so I'm hoping the rest goes a little more quickly. I am looking forward to getting this monkey off my back, so I can work on dehoarding again. It's weighed so heavily on my mind the last several weeks I've felt almost paralyzed. I'll be glad when I'm done with it.

I'm really looking forward to getting to that book and back to dehoarding!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mom. Mom. Mom? Mom! MOM? MOM!!

I've been trying to work on the insurance claim paperwork today. It's daunting, let me tell you! Not only do I have to try to remember where we bought each item, but how much we paid for it, and if we paid by cash, credit card, or check. And when I'm fairly certain of those things, I have to try to find how much it would cost to replace each item. I have to list each item separately and not lump them together. So I can't have one category that says 'toys'. I have to list individual toys.

Which I suppose would be okay, if I could concentrate. I woke up this morning with a knot in the back of my throat. If the girls weren't sick and had gone to school, I'd have probably gone back to bed and slept the day away. I am beat. I did try to doze in the recliner for a few minutes, but my 19 year old snooze alarm was working overtime. I'd get to doze for maybe 3.5 minutes before hearing, "Mom?" "Mom." "Mom?" "Mom!"

Unfortunately, once I was totally awake after my failed attempt at a nap, I heard the same "Mom." ("Huh?") "Mom!" ("What?") "Mom?" ("Yes?") "Mom." ("Hmmm?") "MOM!" ("What? What do you want?") every 2.3 minutes while trying to work on the insurance paperwork.

It's not her fault. It's like her brain has a skip in it like an old LP. Like it hiccups when trying to remember what she wants to say, and nothing that I say can help her get out of the hiccup. I think it's a combination of a few different speech issues. She has a combination of echolalia, (She often repeats the last word or two that someone says, and she adds a question mark. This happens quite often, if she hears her dad say a cuss word. It both frustrates and tickles him that of course those are the particular words she picks up), apraxia (I think of this as dyslexia of the speech. She turns words inside out. I did this when I was little with one word in particular. I couldn't say "shampoo" to save my life. I said, "Hampshoo" instead), and I think that the "Mom. Mom. MOM? MOM!" is considered palilalia, but I'm not 100% sure. I do know that it's involuntary when it goes on and on, and she's not just asking me a question. It gets worse when she's PMSing, sick or tired.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about her. Knowing what's going on doesn't change how we feel about her. It just helps us understand a little bit better and hopefully be more patient. And while I'm a little frustrated at not being able to get much of anything done today, it isn't her fault. It's my fault for having procrastinated for so long. I will get it done and submitted before the deadline. We need the money. And I would SO miss the Mom! Mom? Mom. MOM!'s if they weren't here!

I'm merely explaining how today went. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm a daydream believer and a ... Ok. Scratch that. I'm just a daydream believer.

I was inspired and even excited when Ami suggested Corelle for the dishes situation. I went to Amazon to look around and even picked out my 3 favorite patterns. I figured I'd get some to mix and match, and they'd be so much fun to use.

Unfortunately, the entire time I was looking around, an uneasiness crept in, and I couldn't shake it. My husband had told me to order it, if I wanted, but I never got that far. The uneasiness just kept growing.

I realized I need to stop looking at dishes and try to figure out why I was feeling this way. Pushing it's way from a distant memory to the front of my mind was an image from when I was in junior high. I was in the kitchen. I'd just turned away from the sink, and I had a Corelle cereal bowl with little green flowers encircling it in my hand.

I lost my grip on the bowl, and it fell. It didn't just break. It exploded. It shattered into what looked like a million shards. Sharp. Pointy. Shards. We were finding pieces of it for weeks - often with our bare feet. The pieces couldn't be picked up without a little nick in the end of the fingertips. It wasn't a fun thing.

Over the years, very few pieces were broken. In fact, they're still in use at my parents' house. But every single time a piece broke, it exploded. Every. Single. Time.

And all I can think of is a piece exploding in front of one of the girls. They lack defensive reflexes, so they couldn't even turn away to protect themselves, if they saw it coming. It has the potential of seriously hurting them. Of propelling itself like shrapnel. And it would kill me, if either of them got hurt, lost an eye, had to have pieces of glass removed with slivers, when I could have prevented it.

Since I can prevent it, I will. We will not be getting Corelle. I'll be looking around for some fun Melamine to take the place of the heavier stoneware. There is such a wide variety available. It amazes me that some of it costs more than fine china. Then again, it looks like fine china! It does not look like plastic at all. My favorite pattern is entirely out of my budget.

We'll be going with something much more affordable than that.'s fun to dream. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Footprints in the sink.

Well, that's what it looked like to me. I found evidence of a herd of trolls in my sink when I was doing dishes today. Yes. Trolls roam in herds. At least at my house. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Ok. No I'm not. We had just used most of the dishes, and I hadn't gotten to them for a couple of days. Ok. For 3 days. So I filled the dishwasher. Twice. Plus I still have a few kettles, knives, etc. that have to be hand washed. I don't like what happens to them in the dishwasher.

I don't have an over abundance of kettles or knives, but I am thinking I might have a few too many dishes, glasses and mugs. It's not like they're not all used, but that's the problem. When we run out of dishes, when everyone is sick, it takes forever to wash everything! It's handy that we rarely run out of dishes, but they can really pile up quickly. So I'm thinking it might be a good idea to purge some of the dishes. If we don't have as many, we'll have to wash the ones we have more often, and things won't pile up as easily.

I'm not sure exactly which ones I'm going to get rid of, though. We use the stoneware in the microwave, but it's so heavy! It really does a number on my neck to unload them from the dishwasher and put them away. Plus, they're heavy enough that our youngest has a really hard time walking from the kitchen to the dining room with even one plate, if she's helping to set the table. Not that we've set the table for awhile. But we will be again soon, and she needs to be able to help.

The Tupperware plates that we use the most can't go in the microwave. But they're so handy! Both girls can carry a stack of them, and they're not too heavy. They don't break, if they're chucked across the floor. Have I mentioned that our youngest has a bit of a temper? We've lost more than a few glasses, mugs, or dishes that way. She'd grab them from the table and fling them several years ago, if she was in the right mood.

I do pare down the number of mugs and glasses we have from time to time. I go through the mugs at least once a year and get rid of some. It's amazing how they multiply, though, isn't it? The glasses, though...that's a different story.

I have no idea why I like so many glasses, but I do! We probably have 24 glasses. For 4 of us, that doesn't necessarily sound like too many. However, the girls use water bottles almost exclusively. And since the hubby is at work most of the time, 24 glasses for my use seems like a bit of overkill. It's just so handy to not run out.


I must purge. It will make my life simpler.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I think the Kitchen Fairy died.

At least I'm assuming that's why she didn't do my dishes while I was sleeping last night.

My jaw aches tonight from being propped open to take care of my dental work. It's a little sore from the shots of deadening, too, but nothing a little ibuprofen can't handle. I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help it feel fine tomorrow.

I am frustrated tonight. I feel like I'm having a hard time getting back on track with the girls home sick. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't send them to school sick, and I feel bad they don't feel well. It just feels like I can't make much progress with them home from school.

So tonight before I go to bed, I'm writing a list of things I'll be working on tomorrow. Things I can do when the girls are home and awake. Lists really do help me to stay focused on the task at hand.

Besides, I have a feeling the Kitchen Fairly will be a no-show again tonight.