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, December 31, 2010


So. My final post of the year. Wow. I can't believe 2010 has come to an end.

In many ways, I'm going to miss 2010. It's been a good year. A really good year, even. It's been full of struggles, full of honesty, reflection and self realization, full of hard work and full of hope and the additions to our family of Bubster and Frank when Bugster and Bubster wed back in April and they took guardianship of Frank over the summer. 

How can I not miss it?

It's been a good year.

But I am so full of hope for 2011 and what it holds in store for our family, that I will gladly bid this year adieu.

In spite of having an infection in my incision wound, I'm feeling quite well. I'm so thankful that I had the surgery. I'm already wishing I'd done it years ago. I am hoping that it will make the difference in my health that I'm thinking it's going to make. 

Last year, I was at my heaviest weight of all time, having taken 6 or 7 courses of steroids after coming down with the swine flu. I was sick all winter. I eventually lost 15 of the 30 pounds I'd gained due to the steroids, but when I came home from surgery, I'd gained the 15 pounds back from the swelling and fluid retention I was experiencing. I wondered, if it was going to take another year to lose it.

It didn't.

Unlike most women who gain weight after a hysterectomy, I have somehow beat the odds so far. I lost the 15 pounds I brought home from the hospital plus an additional 15 pounds. And in spite of the fact that I still have over 100 pounds to lose, I'm 30 pounds closer to my goal and the least I've weighed in 3 years. It gives me hope that I will eventually be successful at losing the weight just like I'm going to eventually finish dehoarding and organizing my home.

I am confident that 2011 is going to be a wonderful continuation of the journey I started January 9, 2010

In the meantime, we'll be wrapping up 2010 in a couple of hours. About 30 minutes from now, I'll wake up Hopper, Scooter and Mom (We're still blessed with her company due to a storm that moved in yesterday! We're thrilled!), so we can ring in the New Year together. 

We'll be enjoying our annual New Year's fondue. We'll be fixing chicken, beef and Inside Out Cheeseburgers, and we'll enjoy fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and celery with a Ranch dip made with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream along with cheese and crackers. Once we're done eating, we'll toast with sparkling cider and watch the big ball drop while calling loved ones at the stroke of midnight to wish them Happy New Year. To top things off, it looks like The Hubster will even be able to join us this year!

Oh. You're wondering what Inside Out Cheeseburgers are. 

I understand. 

They're a fun fondue food and taste amazing. They're made by whisking up a couple of eggs and adding whatever spices you wish to use. I just use a little pepper and garlic salt. Add the lean ground beef, (it holds together better in the hot oil than turkey burger) and bread crumbs and mix it together until it's fairly dry but not crumbly. 

Form a ball using 1 to 2 tablespoons of the burger mixture and push a hole down into the center of the ball. Insert a piece of cheese in the hole. I've used Velveeta before, but it disintegrates in oil too easily and seeps out. So use something harder. This year I'm trying Colby Jack cheese, although I may try cheddar next year depending on how things turn out tonight. Anyway, you finish them off by rolling them in breadcrumbs, because they hold together better that way and cook them in your fondue pot until done, which will vary depending on the size. 

So there you have it. We're going to have fun tonight. I had an amazing 2010 filled with both ups and downs but an awful lot of growth and loss. And I'm going to embrace 2011 for all it's worth.

May each of you have an amazing New Year every day of 2011 and be blessed beyond measure! 

Here's to you. To me. To us. 


Monday, December 20, 2010


Not sure where to start.  

Things are going well, though.

The pod on the driveway? 

It's not there anymore. It was picked up last Wednesday. We are all so very thankful it's gone, and of course the neighbors are thrilled! The yard, the entire street, even, looks so much bigger with that thing gone! And do you have any idea how wonderful it is to be able to park in the driveway for the first time in 20 months? Let's just say we'll never take it for granted again. 

Last week, Mom helped me go through 20 boxes in the basement. Of the 20 boxes we sorted through, I only kept 4, and I'll eventually be going through them again and getting rid of more stuff. I just didn't want to take the time to do it now. Too much going on. So, like I said, Mom helped me sort through 20 boxes. I kept 4. For now. I'm looking forward to being well enough to sort through the rest of the boxes downstairs. 

I feel like I'm healing well. I feel well most days and had gotten to the point I wasn't needing the stronger pain medicines like I had early on. Then I wasn't thinking and was pushing the shopping cart this weekend when The Hubster and I were shopping. I was doing fine until I tried turning a corner. I felt it then and I'm still feeling it tonight. I haven't done much of anything yesterday or today. I'm trying to take it really easy, so I  can heal up from it, but it really irritated me that I did it without even thinking about things.

I really am feeling well overall, though. Much better than I expected to feel, and much, much better than I did after I had my c-sections. I am thrilled I had the surgery, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I just need to stay away from the shopping carts for awhile, so I don't overdo. I can do that. 

I'll be here sporadically while Mom is still visiting. I've never felt like I've gotten enough time with my parents as an adult, because we've always lived so far apart. Now that Mom's here, I want to spend every moment I can with her. It's been amazing having her here, and we're making lifelong memories. I want to be present for them, so I can store them in my heart.

So. That's what's going on in my life. I'll be back as I can. 

I hope each and every one of you is doing well!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An early Christmas.

I am ever so glad it was warm outside today. Well. Warm for Colorado in December. It was in the 50s, and we needed every degree of warmth possible to complete our task, plus the space heater, but complete it we did.

The. Storage. Pod. Is. Empty.

My mother and my husband did the vast majority of the leg work with a little help from Hopper. We thought of hiring Frank the last couple of hours to help out. I wish we'd have thought of it sooner. It was a great investment, and he was a huge help. 

Our basement holds most of the contents of the pod at this point, but it does not feel like it will be impossible to get through the boxes, even though they take up a large portion of the family room. It's going to take awhile to get through the crafts and get them sorted. There's a lot of crafts, and while I have quite the craft area I will not have room for everything, so I will be paring down as I go along. I think it's going to be a case of "easier said than done," but I refuse to be intimidated. I will get through it.

I meant to take pictures in the pod before we started unloading, but it's just as well I didn't. By the time we finally finished, I felt like a Popsicle I was so cold, and I doubt my fingers would have been able to operate the buttons on a camera. Now that everything is inside, I'll make sure I get pictures before I start going through boxes tomorrow.

I know we have a lot of games that we'd gotten for the girls over the years, but realistically, I know we won't be using them all, and many of them are still brand new. I want to go through them, get out the ones I don't think the girls will use, and donate them to one of the local toy drives in time for Christmas. Hopefully, they'll bring smiles to a few faces this Season.

I'm exhausted tonight from my role in today's adventure. I didn't lift anything. I left that up to The Hubster and Mom. However, I stood in the pod for the 5 hours it took us to go through and delegated. The craft boxes went on one side of the family room. The games, toys, and other boxes that are going to require a bit more time to sort went on the other side. The books all went in the workout room. 

Speaking of books, The Hubster was in shock when we came across 13 more boxes of books after he thought he'd already moved all the boxes down to the workout room. He's positive he's not going to be able to fit them all on the bookshelves we have ready for him to use. He's looking at paring down, too.

Emptying the pod today has been an eye-opening experience. It's made us very much aware of what it is that we struggle with hoarding, and it's made us very much aware that we do not want to continue down the path we'd chosen. We no longer choose to go down that road. 

We've decided to take a detour that will lead us to our real lives. 

Merry Christmas to us.

Just checkin in...

I'm feeling much better than I expected to feel 11 days post-op. I am just so relieved to have the surgery out of the way and to be feeling the way I am. I definitely feel better than I did at this point in the recovery after my c-sections, so I'm quite happy about that.

When I went in to get the staples out last week, I asked the doctor, if it was okay for me to go through the boxes that The Hubster was bringing in from the pod on the driveway. She said that it was as long as I rested, if I felt tired. So I've been sorting and resting as needed. I've gotten through quite a bit so far, and I couldn't be happier.

We're about halfway through the pod at this point. Things have either been tossed in the trash, cleaned for donation, set aside for someone else, or kept for our use. So far, we're keeping very little except the craft stuff. And we're on such a roll that decisions are coming easier for me all the time. 

We're about halfway through the pod at this time. Tomorrow, we're going to get it emptied. We want it off the driveway. Granted, that means we'll have to put what remains where it will fit, and it will take up quite a bit of room downstairs and in the garage, but I'll continue to work on sorting as many boxes as possible, so we can get the basement cleared as quickly as we can. 

We're hoping to completely clean the pod out tomorrow and call the company on Monday to come and pick it up. The company has up to a week after we call to pick it up. That being the case, we will be able to park in the driveway before Christmas! We are SO thrilled with that! The driveway is going to look so naked once it's gone. 

That's okay.

Nudity has it's place.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tea, anyone?

I'm exhausted but thrilled tonight. I'm feeling much better today. Almost human, even.

Three dear friends have provided 5 meals for us over the last 4 days. We'll be heating up one that was left at our door this morning tomorrow for dinner. It looks wonderful, and it's such a huge blessing! I have some absolutely amazing friends!

Hopper and Scooter were sick all last week, and they were still sick over the weekend, so they missed school again today. I know that it hit poor Hopper the hardest, because of the amount of stress she's been under with me going in for surgery. Now that she sees me feeling better, she's starting to feel better. They'll be going back to school tomorrow. They're excited and ready to go.

This afternoon, I was feeling well enough that I asked The Hubster to help me out in the pod. He helped me by getting boxes down and letting me peak in them, so I'd know whether or not I'd be able to do a quick sorting on them. He ended up taking 7 boxes downstairs for me to sort, and there's no evidence that they were even brought in. 

Thankfully, Mom was here when I went through the box of tea party stuff. It was nice to be able to bounce thoughts off her, and it made it easier to make decisions I knew needed making but couldn't bring myself to make. First out of the box were some acrylic stemmed glasses the girls had used to toast during the different tea parties we had when they were growing up. Because I am fairly certain they contain BPA, and I'm not willing to take the chance with the girls using them, I threw them in the trash. We'll come across something else eventually. Something that will be perfect and safe for them to use.

The box had 4 brand new tea dish sets in it, too. They were adorable, and they were once the girls had used when they were little, but they've been boxed up since we moved 9.5 years ago. They were returned to their original boxes after our tea parties, so the china wouldn't break, chip or crack. I wasn't sure what to do with them. They were gifts from Mom and Dad, and they were special.

But the news stories from the last several years kept nagging at me in the back of my mind. You know. Those stories about how China had laced toys of all sorts that were to be sold in the USA with lead. So we looked at all 4 sets of tea party dishes, and low and behold, they were all made in China. I was surprised to even find a label on the end of one box that said that it was not to be used as a toy nor for food service. Who makes a set of tea party dishes that's not supposed to be used as tea party dishes?

Mom gave her blessing for me to get rid of them. She agreed that it wasn't worth the risk to Hopper and Scooter's health to keep them around. So they're gone. It's such a relief to know that the decision has been made. It would have been a very hard decision for me to have made on my own. Thanks to Mom, I was able to make a very difficult decision that would have had me stumbling around for weeks. 

A couple of boxes had old photo albums or paper in them. I saved the albums that had no pictures in them or that had none, but I really liked. The rest went in a box to go to the thrift store. I saved all the paper for now. We won't have to buy theme paper for the next 20 years, I'm sure, but it will all eventually get used, whether by Hopper and Scooter or by Frank, Bugster or Bubster for school.

I also found my stash of construction paper that I'd always had dreams of using with the girls, lots of scrap paper that I currently have put up with the construction paper, but that I'm willing to donate to the girls' classrooms, and a bunch of scrap booking supplies that I look forward to using eventually. It is so nice for it to finally be in it's place!

When all was said and done, I ended up with 1 huge black bag of trash, 5 empty boxes, 1 box of paperwork that I'll have to get to sorting later, and 1 box that will be going to a charity thrift store. 

While I was sorting through the boxes, Mom worked on sorting the laundry and worked in the laundry room. And while it looks like the family room just threw up several bushel baskets full of clothes, the majority of the laundry room floor can be seen for the first time in years. I'm thrilled. We can't wait to get started on things tomorrow!

I'll still be taking it easy, and we'll stop for the breaks along the way, but I feel very hopeful that we may actually able to get this pod emptied and the craft area stocked. 

So am I tired tonight? Absolutely. But I'm also thrilled beyond anything at the blessing the last few days have held.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My apologies for this time warped string of drug-induced incoherency.

So. If you ever have surgery, your incision is rather long, and they give you the option of having a 'pain ball' make sure you take them up on the offer. It makes a huge difference. It dispenses a numbing agent along the entire incision, and it works for several days. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I almost wish I hadn't had to take it out today, but those were the doctor's orders.

I didn't realize the full extent of the usefulness of the thing until the numbing agent wore off within a couple hours of it being removed. I'll just say I'm in more pain than I was and leave it like that. I'm really hoping a good night's sleep in my own bed tonight. I'm tempted to sleep in the recliner, but I don't think I'll be any more comfortable in the recliner than in my bed, so I may as well go where I can really stretch out tonight. 

I can't describe how frustrating it's been to not be able to do anything to help out. I'm having a rough time with it, especially since I was having a hard time slowing down before I went in for surgery. I am hoping I'll be able to step up and work on things soon.

Bugster, Hubster, Frank and Hopper all put up the Nativity Scene that we use every year outside. I always love how it looks. It was a nice surprise to have it done when I came home from the hospital yesterday. It will be really nice, if we can get the Christmas decorations and tree up tomorrow. I know the girls would be thrilled. Plus it's not like I'll be able to move and stretch to put up the decorations, so the timing would be good, if we can get it up while I still have help with it. So it's the priority for tomorrow.

The medicine funk I've been in is interesting. Bugster and I were talking on the phone while I was still in the hospital. She asked me something, and being hopped up on pain medicines I answered in the only way I knew how at the time.
I told her she'd better not break up the checkerboard.

I have no idea where that came from, but I got poor Bugster to worrying. She ended up calling her dad, The Hubster, to ask, if I was okay. He assured I was indeed fine, but that I was loopy on pain meds. Ugh. I can't stand that.

I have no idea how coherent this post will end up being when I'm done with it, but at least I can cover the slurred words by typing. 

Hoping to post some pictures tomorrow. 

Right now, I need to go to sleep. I'm wiping up keyboard drool again.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

What does a snail say when it's riding on a turtle's back?

The netbook wouldn't work at the hospital last night. It was quite frustrating. I wasn't going to post much, but I was going to post something. And who knows? Maybe it was just Blogger that wasn't working. I couldn't get it to work from my phone, either. It may have been a drug induced post, but it would have indeed been a post. Oh well. I gave myself permission to miss a post or two, right?

I'm home now, so Blogger is working. Yay Blogger!

I'm a bit souped up on Percocet right now. It works wonders for the pain, but I hate what it does to my head. I would not be a good drug addict at all. Good thing, considering I've been on so many different pain meds recently.

I have to say that I am so thrilled that Susan from Ami.Mental. tie dyed a night gown for me. Those hospital gowns are horrid and horribly cold, and I was able to put my night gown on and keep my shoulders and neck warm. It helped so much! I will forever be grateful! Oh. And the walks around the floor I was on were much more comfortable with the nightie versus one (or even even two) of those gowns. I loved that it went so far down my legs that I didn't have to worry about flashing anyone! It made for a much more comfortable stay, and I appreciate the love that went into making it. The other patients and the staff loved it, too.

I am at the point I'm having a rough time staying awake again. It's rather frustrating, but I'm so thrilled to be home. I think I'm going to go take a nap.

Oh. You're wondering about about the answer to the riddle?

Scroll down...

A little bit further now....

And a little bit further than that...

Come on. You can do it......


My life as a snail may be a bit slower paced than others, but I कैन, and दो, still have fun. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Post: Surgery

Dear Everyone,

Mom asked me to let you all know when she was out of surgery...well everything went fine and she is doing well. She is in recovery right now and should be moved to a room within the next hour or so. Thank you all for your concern and support, and a special thanks to AmiMental for sending her the comfy tie-dye hospital shirt. She loves it. :)

And that's all for me. My daddy (AKA Hubster) may or may not post an update for you but, well, he's a guy, and doesn't care much for blogging. He's also gonna be taking care of mom so...probably not.

Your favorite closet hoarder sends her best. <3

Sincerely, Bugster