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, March 30, 2012

It's all downhill from here.

I don't know, if it's hormones, (I am approaching *that* age), Bugster turning 25, or everything that's going on with Mom and living so far away, or all of the above, but I'm a mess. The last couple of days, I can't seem to keep from crying, and I rarely, if ever, cry. I'm the queen of emotion stuffing, remember? 

It's driving me nuts. 

It's time like this I fall into ruminating about all sorts of stuff. The thoughts range anywhere from past slights from people who proved they weren't the friends I thought they were to how I feel unloved. I really struggle with turning off the negative thoughts, and I'm exhausted from it all. Most days, I never give those people who have hurt me a second thought. And even when I am feeling unloved, I know in my heart that it's not true. I have absolutely no doubt that I am loved deeply by my family and many friends. But it's really hard to get that through my thick skull when I'm in the middle of an episode.

I get that my feelings are valid. I know I'm entitled to feel negatively about certain people either in my current or past life. But I can't handle it when the thoughts, the churning in my gut, and the tears don't stop. I hate living like this, because it's not really living.

Hoping the anxiety meds kicking in a bit and hearing how much better Mom is doing has helped a bit. It's just that when it all starts, it's like I'm trying to race down hill to catch a ball in front of me to try to get it to stop. It takes awhile to catch up to it and get it under control, and by then I'm out of breath.

Trying to catch my breath now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Once again, I'm getting to bed entirely too late. My head is racing with thoughts, and I'm having a hard time turning my mind off to go to sleep. 

I hate when that happens.

I spent about 12 hours today working on part of Bugster's birthday gift. Even though none of it was difficult, I'm tired tonight. Cold, too. 

Bugster's birthday gift.

The other day, I talked about cleaning about our dryer, because it was absolutely filled with lint in places that should not have lint. 

See what I mean?

That greenish lint? It wasn't moldy, but it was very thick. I couldn't get over how much lint there was! 

After I cleaned all this lint out, I took the covers off that are shown in the picture and cleaned the fan and the area where the lint filter goes.  In where the lint filter hung down was the only place I found actual caked lint where it had gotten wet and dried hard. Scary to know that fire starters are made by scouts out of dryer lint!
Just days after I completely cleaned the dryer and vent of lint a local family lost their home to a dryer fire. The lost everything. They were home when it happened, and they were able to get out alive, but it spread so quickly that they lost everything. I felt so bad for them, but I was also very incredibly thankful that our dryer didn't catch on fire in spite of the lint.

So, if you haven't cleaned your dryer out any time recently, please do. 

Go now.

I don't want anyone to lose their homes or their lives due to something so preventable. 




Monday, March 26, 2012

Did you see any ruby red slippers?

It's been windy here today. Seriously windy. I saw Dorothy and Toto fly by at one point. Toto was more scared than Dorothy, though. I think it's because nobody was steering the bicycle. I even saw the remnants of the Scarecrow in the front yard. He didn't look so good. I'm fairly certain I heard parts of the Tin Man hit the side of the neighbor's house. I suppose it could have been trash cans, but does anyone even use tin cans anymore? That's what I thought. It was him!

I was thrilled when I woke up yesterday, and my wrist no longer hurt. I'd worked so hard on the project that I was really hurting when I was done. I'd taken ibuprofen but nothing else for the pain. Actually, I did take half a muscle relaxant, but they don't always help with the pain. I think the thing that helped the most was the supplement I took after I showered. 

It was a creatine supplement, and it's supposed to help rebuild muscles after a workout. They, whoever 'they' are, are finding that it is helping those with fibromyalgia recover from the muscle pain they get after straining their muscles. It tasted horrible. It was a super sweet fruit stuff to be mixed with water. It reminded me of those horrid sweet drinks I had to drink when I was pregnant to test whether or not I had gestational diabetes. I gagged on them, too. 

Still, it helped. I was quite surprised when I woke up with the least amount of pain I've had in years. Seriously. Years. I will be keeping the supplement around to use when I overdo it, but I think I'll also be getting some capsules, so I don't get sick to my stomach from the sweet gunk. I am so encouraged by this, I just can't tell you!

'Cause if I told you, I'd have to kill you, dontcha know?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's all in the wrist.

I can hardly move tonight. I worked for several hours on the project I've got going for Bugster's birthday gift. The extra elbow grease resulted in a sprained wrist. but I completed one major aspect of the project, and I sort of thing it's worth it. 

I hoping the wrist splint and pain meds are enough that I'll hardly notice the pain in the morning. 

Unfortunately, typing hurts, so I'm already done. 

How's that for brevity?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Can you keep a secret?

I probably should have worn a mask today, but I didn't. One of these days I'll learn.

After working in the laundry room and doing as much laundry as I could (3 loads of sweats before I ran out of pretreater), I worked for a few hours on Bugster's birthday gift. I'm taking before and after pictures, which I will post once I'm done, but I dare not say what I'm doing. She reads my blog. Sometimes.

When she was younger, she had a habit of finding out what her birthday or Christmas presents were entirely too often. Often enough that we finally told her that, if she found out what her gift was before the special day, she wouldn't get it. In spite of the fact that she claimed she never went looking for the presents, (she claims I was horrible at hiding them but don't believe her), she sure was good at finding them. I don't recall taking anything away. We threatened once, but I think we kept it and gave it to her for whatever the next holiday was. Let's just say it was an effective deterrent. 

We've learned to hide her presents better than we apparently did when she was little. It helps that she has her own home now, and she isn't over here snooping all the time. I'm just wondering, if I'm going to be able to keep this one under wraps before we celebrate her birthday. 

She's definitely going to want this one. =)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What a spaz.

It's cold downstairs. Cold enough that when I'm working down there I often have to have a space heater going in the cooler months, or I ache for a few days. The laundry room is the worst, because it has unfinished cement floors. I can't handle being in there for very long, if I am not wearing my shoes. Would't you know that the other day I spent several hours working in the laundry room in nothing but my slippers? 

You would think I'd learn, but... 

The last couple of days my back has been spasming as a result. I'm not letting it keep me from accomplishing things, but I'm not able to do as much as I'd like. Maybe tomorrow will be the day it decides to stop. Regardless, I will be wearing my shoes down there from now on. 

In the meantime, I've been cranking out the laundry and trying to get it finished up once again. I am hoping I'll finish up tomorrow, but then again, I've said that the last few times I've posted, and it hasn't happened. That's why I don't like giving myself deadlines. Instead of them inspiring me, I feel horribly guilty, if I don't meet them. I know the laundry room will get done eventually. Soon, even. But life happens in the meantime, and finishing the laundry room is just not my top priority. 

Besides, I'm still making good decisions and processing things. I've been able to let go of things that I wasn't able to even a year ago. I didn't think there was even enough in the laundry room to fill 2 trash bags full to throw away, but I surprised myself and made it happen. I tossed things like old paintbrushes and rollers, buckets that I realized I really didn't need, and old clothes that I realized were just taking up space and weren't good enough to give away. I feel as though the weight upon my shoulders gets lighter each time I'm able to get rid of even one more thing.

The biggest thing taking the weight off the shoulders? Mom seems to be doing better now that she's home from the hospital. Further testing is needed, so we know what the next step is, but we're all just very thankful she's doing better right now. 

Now if I could just figure out how to stop the political calls. And to think we have months left before the election. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My favorite F words.

When we moved into our home, the laundry room was almost empty. The washer and dryer were in there as well as the hot water heater, water softener, and furnace, but that was about it. There was one small closet at one end of the laundry room that had shelves on side and an open area to store mops and brooms on the other side, and a double wide closet with stationary shelves at the other end of the room. There wasn't a single shelf on the wall, and in spite of the fact that the room was huge, it really lacked efficient storage space.

We stored everything from canning jars to toys to under the bed storage containers with the kids' projects and out of season clothing to gallons of paint in the closets. The shelves were too deep and were spaced too far apart to be practical. I finally got wise and took them out of the large closet at the end of the laundry room a few years ago, and it made all the difference in the world. It's where we now store all the holiday decorations packed away in plastic totes. We finally realized a year or 2 later that the smaller closet was more convenient to store the outdoor Nativity scene than under the stairs where we'd stored them for several years. It took awhile, but we finally figured it out.  

Hubster helped me put adjustable shelving up on the wall above the washer and dryer, the wall above the water softener, the wall above the dresser that I sold on Craigslist last week, and above the double tub mud sink we'd had installed. It made all the difference in the world. We finally had a place to store some of the extra kitchen appliances, the laundry and cleaning supplies and extra rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. 

I've probably gotten rid of a full 1/3 of what had been on the shelves initially, and I periodically go through and purge even more from time to time. The last time I tackled the shelves was when Mom was here a year ago helping me out, and I got rid of a lot back then, but I decided, while working in the laundry room the last few days, that I needed to purge a bit more.

About 10 years ago, we bought a new mattress set, and we got a small plastic tote with cleaning supplies specifically for the mattress. It included different cleaners that worked on various stains and deodorizers to take care of any leftover smell. We use mattress protectors that keep the mattresses clean and stain-free for the most part, so we didn't use it. We used it once after a particularly bad stomach bug, but other than that it. just. sat.  

I realized as I was dusting it last night that I would probably never use it again. I didn't need to hang onto it 'just in case' any longer. It dawned on me that the reason it was so hard to get rid of was because of that stupid little plastic tote. The sticker on the outside announced the store we had visited, and it held everything very neatly. And while I know that the tote itself only cost the company about a dollar, it made it somehow made the contents more important than the other bottles of cleaning supplies on my shelf. It made it nearly impossible for me to get rid of.

For years, I have dusted that thing and placed it right back on the shelf, because I just couldn't seem to let it go. But I am stronger now, and my thoughts are clearer, and I made the decision to get rid of it. I put the bottles of cleaner in a plastic bag for Bugster to use at her house, since she has pets. I thought it might be useful, and if it isn't, she can throw it away. I took the sticker off the outside of the tote, washed it out, stored the floor cleaning pads and replacement duster heads in it, and threw several half-empty boxes in the trash. 

While it was a small victory, it was not the only small victory I had yesterday. We had 3 bottles of the same disinfectant on the shelf, but only 1 of the bottles worked properly. Two bottles always leaked from the sprayer onto my fingers when I used them, eating into the flesh on my fingers. I could never remember which one worked, so I put on a rubber glove to protect my hand, and checked to see which bottle worked. I emptied the 2 that didn't into the one that did, put the rest of the cleaner in the refill bottle, and chucked the others in the trash. 

I came across 2 more sprayers for the gallon jugs of laundry pretreater, and threw them away, as well. I'd tossed 4 the day before and kept 2. I tend to find one that works well and use it until it wears out. I know. I know. The new bottles come with their own brand new sprayers, but they have been known to be defective. I have had to open 3 brand new sprayers before to get to one that actually worked. I hate to be caught flat footed, and I think that's why I felt I needed to hang onto all the extras at the time I'd set them aside. I certainly did not need to hang onto 8 of them, though! I'm going to have to be more conscious of that when I get a new bottle of pretreater.

I have a bit of dusting and laundry to finish up today, and I should be done with the laundry room. It's nice to know that I should never have to tear it apart to organize it again, since it is... 

Finally. Fully. Functional. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This? Hardly!

I feel like I can finally breathe. Mom is no longer in the hospital, and is finally doing better tonight. Praying that she will continue to heal and will be back on her feet soon.

My OCD got the best of me yesterday. I was working in the laundry room. I'd started at the door and was working my way around the room with the cleaning, organizing and purging. I'd made it to the dryer about 2/3 of the way down the opposite wall when I realized how horribly dusty it was and decided to do something about it.

We have always been diligent about cleaning out the lint filter, but it seemed like we always struggled with dust collecting behind, under, and around the dryer. In years past, it has had to do with the vent going from behind the dryer to the outside. It seemed like we could never get the thing tight enough to keep the lint inside the vent. It leaked out at every seam. I finally fixed it with a couple of large hose clamps and quite a bit of duct tape. It was such a relief!

But even though it cut down on the amount of dust in the laundry room, it never completely took care of it. So when I came to the dryer yesterday as I was cleaning the laundry room, I tried to take the dryer apart. Turns out it's not as easy as it sounds. I could undo the front panel, and that allowed me to get to the more accessible dust and lint, but I couldn't get to the rest. I tried taking the back off the dryer, but it's sealed in some way to prevent access. 

So I went back around to the front of the dryer and took a look at what might be a bit easier to get to. I saw there was quite a bit of dust around a black case. I took it apart and realized it was the case that covered the lint filter. I was in shock at the amount of dust and lint in it, considering I poke the upholstery attachment on the vacuum cleaner down in there several times a year. The lint was not only several inches deep, but it was also hard as a rock. It had definitely been accumulating for years. 

It was the stuff of nightmares! I have no idea how the thing didn't catch fire. There but for the Grace of God and all...

I took the cover off the fan, so I could clean the blades and try to vacuum up the dust, too. It's amazing that clean clothes thrown in a dryer to dry produces lint that eventually turns into what looks like dirt. Maybe more like a silt. Just dirty and gross. From looking at what I found in the dryer, a person would think that we only dried nasty, dirty clothes year after year. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get the dryer put back together just yet. I'll be doing that tomorrow. We had errands to run today, and we forgot to pick up a coil brush that is used to clean the dust off the coils under a refrigerator. We have one somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. When I do, I'll give it to Bugster, so she has one to clean under her refrigerator, and I won't have 2 floating around here. I'm hoping to get the laundry room finished up completely tomorrow. 

Once it's done, I don't think I'll need to do anything but minor dusting from time to time in the laundry room. I'll eventually go through the holiday decorations and pare them down, but I'm totally okay with leaving the rest of the room as is. 

Now, to just get it done...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pass the ice melter stuff, please.

I have so much on my mind. I'm trying hard not to let it paralyze me into not getting things done. So far, I've been moderately successful. I've been working in the laundry room, but it's been taking longer than I anticipated. It all goes back to that not being able to gauge how long things will take me to finish, but I really *am* going to try to get it finished up tomorrow.

I keep forgetting about taxes and other must-do paperwork, so I'll have to get busy on that in the next few days, too. Paperwork that takes up valuable space in my head. Space that is at a premium. And I need to get it done, so I can think straight once again. 

Each time I think of the paperwork, the laundry room, or Mom and what's going on with her health, my stomach starts churning. It's been so bad the last couple of days it feels like my gut is a figurative snowbank, and there's a tire spinning without getting the least bit of traction, because the car is stuck in said snowdrift. 

I'm think I'm ready for Spring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

1, 2, 3......375, 376, 377........793, 794, 795....

Praising God and counting my blessings tonight. 

Mom is out of immediate danger with her heart, and the surgery has been delayed for the foreseeable future. I have been weak with relief all day and so very, very grateful. Thank you to all of you who have had us in your thoughts and prayers. They have been very much appreciated!

I spent much of the day working in the laundry room and making some decent progress. I'm hoping to finish up in there tomorrow. 

The laundry room is  huge. It's approximately 1/4 the square footage of the basement. Granted, it has the hot water heater, the furnace and the washer and dryer in it, but there is still a lot of room for storage. There's a double utility sink, an upright freezer, a small closet with our outdoor Nativity scene stored in it, a small dresser with a hutch on top, the 6ft long credenzas we just put in there over the weekend, and a couple of closets at the end of the room that contain roughly 3 dozen plastic totes of holiday decorations. 

Like I said. It's big.

I had to do some rearranging in order to get the everything in its place after bringing in the credenzas for storage. Part of the reorganizing was back near the holiday decorations where we had a bit of miscellaneous stored. The wrapping paper has been stored back there, but I haven't really simplified it in years. Last year when Mom was here helping out, Hubster brought a huge plastic tub in from the garage that had most of our wrapping paper in it. It kept the paper clean, but it was a major pain in the backside, because it stored the paper horizontally instead of vertically. 

It was one of the things I decided to tackle today. I gave myself permission to throw a lot of small scraps of paper today that I'd hung onto for little gifts. I also threw out paper I'd saved thinking I'd use it again, because it was pretty. I haven't used it in all these years, and I realized I never would, so out it went. I sorted what was left into 2  plastic wrapping paper holders using 1 for Christmas wrap, and the other for everything else. It is so nice to have it all upright and easy to see. 

When I was trying to get thing put away in the laundry room yesterday, so I could get to the washing machine to do laundry, (it was torn apart before we knew about Mom, and I had to get some semblance of order in there, so I could get clothes washed, in case we headed out of town), I had to sort through what I had left of school supplies. I'd had them stored on a small bookshelf, so I'd have access to them when we needed something, but when I started going through things again to put them in the credenza, I realized I still had way too much stuff, in spite of having gotten rid of so much already.

Since I started dehoarding, I can't even count the number of packages of theme paper I'd give away. Yet when I was rearranging things in the laundry room yesterday, I counted over 50 packages still on the shelf, because I'd put it there as I came across it while dehoarding in different areas of the house. I have to admit that I was shocked I still had that many. It was obvious to me the hoarding still had a pretty strong hold over me when I was going through the theme paper a year ago, or I wouldn't still have that much left. 

I packed up over 25 packages of 200ct  notebook paper, (I didn't actually count them), for Bugster, Bubster and Frank to use for school, so they don't have to buy any for awhile. 

Notebook paper for Bugster's family.

In fact, the stash may actually take them all the way through school. If they can't use it all, Bugster will take donate it. I also gave them a couple packages of pencils, since they're always needed for school. I did keep just under 25 packages of 150ct theme paper for us, so I ended up getting rid of well over half of what I had on the shelf. All of the school supplies fit in one area of the credenza, and I love having the perfect place for them to call home. 

What's left of our notebooks and paper. A shelf sits right above them with the rest of the school supplies like markers, pencils, crayons and glue. I love that we will know at a glance what we have, so we won't buy anymore!

I'm hoping to finish up the rest of the laundry room tomorrow. I don't have too many loads of laundry left to wash, but I do have some I need to fold or bag up for donation. It will be nice to get all of it out of there and put it where it goes. And it feels really good to be making progress once again. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Prayer request.

I don't want to go into much detail, as I want to respect Mom's privacy, but prayers are greatly appreciated. 

Mom was admitted the ER last night. It appears she's going to have to have heart surgery soon. 

I'm doing my best to get things together, so we can get in the car and leave as soon as we know when it will happen. 

It's times like this that I really wish we lived closer to family. 

Like I said, prayers are greatly appreciated.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Like something out of a fairy tale.

I sat down to write my blog last night and promptly fell asleep on my heating pad. It was the first I'd felt warm all day. I finally woke up at 4:00 a.m., freezing and with a crick in my neck. I couldn't seem to remember, if I'd written a post or not, but I knew I wasn't going to try at that hour of the morning. I shut my computer down and  woke up enough to crawl into bed. I slept like a log. Hopefully, I won't have too many more of those days. I don't like it when I miss out on posting. 

It's not like yesterday was unproductive, though. I didn't get a tremendous amount accomplished, but I did finally make a decision that I'd been putting off for some time. 

About ten years ago, when Bugster and I were coming home from across town, I noticed a dresser at the side of the road a couple blocks from our house. It had a 'FREE' sign on it, so we loaded it up and brought it home. I thought it would be perfect to paint up and use down in the laundry room for storage of some of my cookware. My kitchen is so small that anything would help!

So we brought it home, I painted it up, so it looked cute, and I tried to use it for the extra baking dishes, etc. Except that in the ten years we've owned it, it never really worked for what I needed. Most of the baking dishes were either too large to fit in the drawers, or they were so heavy I was afraid they were going to take someone off guard when they pulled the drawers out, and they'd crash to the cement floor and shatter. So for most of the last ten years, the dresser sat in the laundry room with empty drawers looking cute as can be. 

I can't tell you the number of times I thought about getting rid of it. But every time I thought about it, I'd think of the work I'd put into it, and how I should surely be able to find a way to make it work, and I'd change my mind. I mean, I should be able to use it for one of the girls in their rooms, right? Except that they can't seem to do dressers. The drawers are shallow enough that they'd never be able to keep their clothes in them. They clothes would get bunched up and get stuck when they would try to shut the drawers, or the clothes would get holes or splinters in them from becoming wedged when the the girls shoved the drawers shut. 

I went through the same arguments in my mind over and over and over. For whatever reason, I could never seem to make up my mind to get rid of the dresser. I just knew I would be able to find a use for it, and we'd live happily ever after, my little project and I. 

Still. I kept my eyes open for anything that might work to replace it. I really needed some sort of cabinet or shelving unit instead. Something that I could store things in just like I'd be able to in a kitchen cabinet, if I actually had kitchen cabinets. A few weeks ago, I saw something on the local Craigslist that might work, but then I forgot about it. When I happened across the ad again yesterday, I realized I'd exhausted every possibility for the dresser, and I was completely ready to let the dresser go and move on with my life. 

I took a couple of pictures of the dresser and posted an ad on Craigslist. I wasn't sure what price to list it but decided to be hopeful and aim high. I listed it for $50 or best offer. Within moments, I got emails from 2 different people who were interested in looking at it. I was thrilled, because no matter what I got for it, it would be more than what I paid for it.

This morning when I woke up, I started on the task of bringing it upstairs. I was able to maneuver it up the stairs on my own after having taken the drawers out. I took it outside and put it back together, so it was ready for whichever person showed up to take a look. I probably should have waited for Hubster to wake up to help me, because it turned out to be a bit much for my back, but I just wanted him to be able to sleep in a bit. I'll know better next time.

The first gal who had responded to my Craigslist ad wanted the dresser for her little girl. She offered me $30. We agreed on $40 and helped her get it loaded in her truck, and she was on her way. 

I found a couple of credenzas to take the place of the dresser. They're 6ft long and stacked, they'll be right at 5ft high. They each have 4 doors with the 2 center doors opening to a larger area than the doors on either end. Each compartment has an adjustable shelf, and they are going to be absolutely perfect!

One of the best things? The credenzas cost $30 each. Considering we got $40 for the dresser, and it didn't cost us anything, the credenzas are really only costing $20 total. I am absolutely thrilled we found the perfect solution for such an affordable price! 

And we'll live happily ever after. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Like a box of chocolates left in the sun.

Long day today.

Sick and melting children.

I've been freezing again all day today. Just can't seem to get warm all the way through to my bones. 

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Today was a repeat of yesterday, except that Hubster ended up getting hit and stayed home, too. 

Hoping tomorrow is better.

Really hoping we can maybe see the solar flares tomorrow night. How cool would that be? The videos and pictures always look so amazing. Would love to see it in person. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Some days you're the windshield. Some days you're the bug.

It appears as though a stomach bug has arrived at our home.

Fever. Chills. Upset stomachs. 

I'll spare you the rest of the details.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Unlike Ugh-A-Roni, which can be cooked on the stove by adding a little water and served up for dinner, Ugh-A-Roony is a malady born of fatigue and a severe lack of sleep. Its symptoms include a general inability to concentrate and to hear the voices of pillows calling from the other room.

Thankfully, it's a temporary condition. Usually resolving itself after a full eight hours of sleep without interruption, Ugh-A-Roony is not to be taken lightly. Repeated doses of Ugh-A-Rooney can result in a severe episode of Don't-Give-A-Lick. 

Since I do give a lick, I guess I'd better nip this current case of Ugh-A-Rooney in the bud and go to bed. 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Scattered thoughts.

Besides getting some more laundry done today and hanging out with the family, I haven't been all that productive in any measurable way.

I was able to toss a few pair of socks that I think I've had since I was in high school. The girls wore them a time or two, but they're not really worth saving. So even though they were clean and were still usable, I threw them away. I have to admit that I was surprised how easy it was to do. A year ago, I'd have had a mild panic attack over throwing them. In fact, I probably did struggle with anxiety over getting rid of them back then, and that's probably why they were still here. 

Over the course of the last couple of years, I've found that, if I just walk away from something and leave it until I'm ready to deal with it that I'm more often than not able to let it go. It may have once been high on my list of anxiety-provoking things to deal with, but by the time I get back to it again I'm ready to say goodbye. There have been numerous things that I've not been able to make a decision about getting rid of in the past, like the socks I threw away today, and I've been able to get rid of them without a second thought just weeks after the last struggle. 

I think a lot of it has to do with allowing myself to feel the anxiety with making a decision instead of pushing it down. Even if the decision I make is to not make a decision right away, feeling the anxiety allows for me to actually make a decision about the item when I come across it again. Most of the time, I am ready and willing to part with whatever it is, and I find that I'm looking forward to tackling those decisions I've put off in the past. 

Some other thought work I did today has to do with a project I'm working on for Bugster's 25th birthday that's coming up in a few weeks. Because she's been known to read my blog from time to time, I won't be mentioning details just yet. But I am thrilled I have a really good idea of what I'm going to be doing with it. I'll be taking pictures and post them when I'm done. I'm really looking forward to working on the project, and making it special. 

I'm also looking forward to bed. Once again, I'm up entirely too late. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Busy. Busy.

We've been busy today. We went through the last little bit of stuff in the workout room that was still in boxes. We only kept about half of what was left, and the rest went in the trash. That was a nice little surprise. It's such a relief when we can get rid of stuff as easily as we did today. 

We somehow managed to remember how to set up the TV. I'm amazed that we got it together on the first try, but I'm thrilled, too. It's one of those little 13'' TVs that has a DVD player in it. We had to hook it up to a VCR, so we could play either type of video in there while we're on the treadmill, if we want to watch something, and then we had to attach it to a converter box and an antenna, so we could get something on the TV itself, if we don't want to watch a video. All of it is sitting atop the small entertainment center we took down there a few weeks ago. The height of the screen is absolutely perfect. We won't be straining our necks in order to see the screen when we're on the treadmill. 

It is just all coming together so well. Yay! :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Laundry, hooks and court dates. Oh my!

Today was a good day. It feels good to be doing something again. It's like the fog has lifted in my brain, and I'm back to working on dehoarding and being productive once more. 

I was able to get 6 loads of laundry done today, and I got one more thing crossed off the list I made the other day. I hung up a set of hooks in the workout room in order to hang the packs Hubster uses when he runs. I can't believe how much better it looks, and it feel so good to know they have a permanent home, and we'll be able to find them when we need them. We may hang another set tomorrow, so he can hang some of his running clothes when he gets home from a run. It will be nice to have an actual place for them, too.

I am happy to announce that the spam filter is working once again on my blog. Hopefully, it will continue working, and I won't have to put the word verification back on anytime soon. 

And the best news of all? The attorney called, and we finally have a court date for mid-May to finalize guardianship for the girls. 

It will be so nice to be done once and for all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Continuing Saga Of The Blue Basket. Part 2.

A few weeks ago, I was perusing Craigslist and found a pair of matching end tables that I will eventually paint for each of the girls to use as night stands. They were in great shape. Solid oak. Probably around 80 years old and heavy duty enough to stand up to the use and abuse the girls will put them through. Each has a shallow drawer that runs the length and width of the table as well as a small cupboard on the top with doors that look like picture frames. They're going to be perfect for the girls, and I can't wait to get them painted. 

In the meantime, Scooter has been using hers since we brought it home. The drawer is perfect for her bracelets, headphones and mp3 player and her belts. She loves being able to pick out which bracelets she's going to wear for school, and she loves putting them away. But when Hopper scoops everything up and tosses it in The Blue Basket, they don't always get put away, and it makes for a very frustrating search, not to mention broken necklaces. They end up getting tangled in her strings, and when she tries to separate necklace from shoestring, the necklace almost always breaks.

Unfortunately, I've had to take a lot of her necklaces away, because they've broken, or to prevent such a fate for those that have somehow survived her clutches. Some necklaces went in the trash, and others were saved to be mended at some point when I had time.  

Yesterday, I had time.

I was working in the kitchen when I came across a small paper bag that I'd put some of the broken necklaces. I decided to mend them, and I had them all laid out on the couch for Scooter to see when she came home from school. She was absolutely thrilled! She wanted to wear all of them, but I told her that she could only wear 2, because we didn't want them to break. Then I explained that they needed to be hung up, so they didn't get tangled or broken. She would know exactly where they were when she got ready for school, and it would be easy for her to pick out the one she wanted to wear that day. 

She did really well with leaving the necklaces where she'd hung them for several hours. Right before before bed, she did try to take them down to put them in the drawer, but I explained again that I would have to take them away, if she took them down. I'm really hoping I finally got through to her.

Because Hopper and I had another talk yesterday, she helped keep Scooter on track tonight instead of adding to the problem. When Scooter tried adding Hubster's shirt to her basket, Hopper took it in our bedroom for me, and Scooter was fine with it. Normally, she'd have gotten frustrated and retrieved the shirt for herself, so it was a step in the right direction.

I am so proud of both of them, and I'm incredibly hopeful that we finally have this under control. I will keep enlisting Hopper in the battle that lies ahead, and I will continue to let them know how proud of them I am that they are helping to keep their rooms clean and keep the mess out of the living room. 

After all, it was a lot easier to only carry The Blue Basket into the bedroom last night than it was to carry a quarter of the contents of her bedroom back in there.

Unfortunately, when we woke up this morning and got Scooter up to get ready for school, we saw that she had taken all of her scarves and necklaces back down and put them in her basket. I reminded her that she would not be able to wear either a scarf or a necklace to school today, and that I would be putting them up when she was gone. I'd told her before she went to bed last night what the consequence would be, and I do believe she understood. But she also has always loved to push the limits and see how serious I am about something. 

This morning she needed to know I was serious. 

When she got home, the first thing she did was sign that she was sorry. In fact, she did it most of the evening. She was wanting so badly to get her hands on her things. I explained that we'll try again tomorrow, but if she takes them down and puts them in her basket she will be grounded, and I will have to remove them again.

There's no doubt that it's going to be a battle. But it is a battle worth fighting, and it's a battle that can be won.

Several years ago, she would untie her shoes at least 20 times an hour. It was exhausting, but we finally broke her of the habit. It helped that I had the backing of her teachers and aides. And it helped when I realized that she had to have her shoe laces tied perfectly. She needed the bows to be symmetrical and they needed to be triple tied. She counted. Every. Single. Time. She still does, and if you don't do it right, she sticks her foot out for you to try it again. 

It took quite awhile to get her to relax enough with her shoe laces that she could allow asymmetry or only double knots from time to time. She doesn't seem to have much of a problem with it anymore, so we have hope that we can break this habit eventually, too. 

It's going to take work, but with Hopper actually helping instead of 'helping', I know we can do this. Scooter needs to be comfortable with just being able to see that the necklaces and scarves are there and that she doesn't have to have them with her all the time.

It's going to be an uphill battle for sure, but we've got our figurative hiking boots on.