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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I haven't been purposely staying away from the computer, but I just haven't been online much lately. I find that I've been staying busy with family, doctors' appointments, tomatoes, apples, and dehoarding. You know. Life.

When I finally slow down and come to a stop for the day, I fall into a deep, deep sleep. It's rare that I have enough mental energy at the end of each day to check email let alone write a blog post, and I've been okay with that. I honestly feel the best I've felt in months. Maybe even years. 

I've been making progress with dehoarding here and there. I've even tackled some jobs I've been putting off for years...

Several years ago, there was a local company that went out of business that manufactured craft paints. They donated the leftover paints to the thrift stores, and we happened upon them. The price couldn't be beat. They were bagged 6 bottles for just under $1, but they were half price the day we were in the store. So we got some to resell.

We bought several cases of 48 bottles each. I packaged up sets in pretty gift baskets, selling the sets for the price of $2 per bottle of paint in the basket. It was a fun little hobby while it lasted, and it helped out financially at the same time. The problem was that I ended up having a few cases of paints left even after I got to the point of giving several sets of paints away. 

In the meantime, I never had an official place to store the ones I wanted to keep, and several of the bottles had started to dry up. I didn't want to just throw all of them in the trash, because a few were dry, but I could never seem to find the time to start the daunting task of sorting through them-until the last few days, that is. 

I finally knuckled down and dealt with them. I tried to deal with them a couple of years ago, but I was conflicted about throwing out 'brand-new-never-opened' paints just, because they were dried out. I know. I doesn't make sense. Then again, hoarding is like that. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense. 

I felt like I was somehow responsible for finding a good home for each and every bottle of paint. Including the dead ones. I knew that hot water thins some paints, and turpentine or paint thinner has been used to thin other paints, and I felt like it was my job to figure out what would thin this paint and bring it back to life once again. So I shelved the whole thing and let it weigh me down for the last couple of years while I tried to figure out what to do.

It happens that the craft cupboard that I want to store the paints in permanently is in my line of vision from the treadmill. So for the last 3 weeks, I have thought of the paints every single time I've been on the treadmill walking. And I finally took the time to tackle the colorful beast.

While trying to figure out what to do with the ones that had started to dry out, I realized that all of these were permanent paints. Once they were dried out, no amount of paint thinner, water or turpentine would resuscitate them, and I need not feel guilty throwing them away. 

Huh. Imagine that.

I had to check each bottle of paint to see, if the paint in it had dried out. A lot of them had a dry plug of paint in the top, but many were fine, so I pulled the plugs on the ones that needed it, trashed the dried ones and set the good ones aside to sort. I pulled out 1 bottle of each color to set aside for Bugster, Hopper, Scooter, Mom, my sister, and myself-roughly a dozen for each of us. I also set aside 3 dozen bottles for Scooter's classroom to use and sent the rest of them, (probably 11 or 12 dozen), to the day program the girls attend. 

I will get my sister's and Mom's paint sent to them this week, and Hopper will pick hers up in the next few days. In the meantime, the drawer which I had set aside to store paints is neatly organized and ready to use. It will be so nice to know whether or not I have a certain color for a project, so I don't go out and buy duplicates of colors I already have. 

It will be so nice to have this monkey off my back once and for all...

...even though I had to pry the thing off one big fat hairy finger at a time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Red Rover...Red Rover...I'm really all over.

I feel like I've been all over the place the last couple of weeks. I can't seem to stay on task for beans, but at least I'm getting little bits done all over the place.

We haven't gotten back out to the yard since Hubster almost fell out of the apple tree. I'd had every intention of getting out there myself and cutting down some of the smaller elms that I could just snip off with hand clippers, but it hasn't happened. I'm hoping it will happen next week. We'll see.

Scooter came down with a wicked cold and then decided to share it with Hopper and me. I don't really think it's the flu, (and am I ever grateful we already got our flu shots this year!!). I don't think the flu has hit our state yet. It's some sort of a nasty chest and head cold that's resulted in breathing treatments and cough syrup with codeine on a daily basis. Thankfully, the cough syrup is no longer needed, but the nebulizer treatments are still a nightly thing. At this, Scooter has missed 2 straight weeks from school from this stuff. We're hoping she'll finally get to go back to school on Monday.

I finally made it in for my doctor's appointment and blood work. Everything was fine, which is really good. I've had a lot more energy since I changed the time I take the amino acid I use for nerve pain. It definitely seemed to be interfering with my thyroid meds, and I was just exhausted all the time. It's nice to have a little extra energy.

I've got so much to do it's not funny, so the energy spurts are much needed! I still have to finish up with the tomatoes and apples. We have quite a few tomatoes that we brought in when we closed down the garden that have ripened up that I'd like to can, so we have them for this winter. The ones that are a little over-ripe will be cooked down for sauce and canned, as well. I'll still have some green ones, so I'd like to actually try fried green tomatoes, since I think I'll try it every year and never get around to making them. I've heard they're good.

I've got probably a couple of bushels of apples left from the tree. They're going to be a bit more work. I've got to peel, core and slice them up before canning some apple pie filling. I might make some apple butter, too. I haven't completely decided. It depends on how much energy I actually end up with for the day.

And while I haven't been posting here regularly like I used to, I am making progress. I have gotten into the habit of walking on the treadmill for a very short time every single day. I haven't missed a day in 2 weeks. I'd love it, if I could say I hadn't missed a singe day in 2 years. Stay tuned. It's only 102 weeks before we'll know, if I can do it. 

Since the workout room is downstairs, and I have to walk by the boxes in the craft area every time I go to the treadmill, I've been trying to sort through something each time I go through. Some days I get a full box sorted. Other days, I only get rid of one or two things, but it's progress. Still. I'm amazed at how much easier the decision making process is today compared to when I started this journey almost 3 years ago!

Yesterday I had to dig some stuff out in the garage, so I could put it up for sale on Craigslist. I filled up a big outdoor trash can with stuff I realized I could part with while trying to find all the parts of the bunkbeds I needed to get together. I decided to bring in a box of paperwork that had been packed away 5 years ago shortly after we lost Daddy. 

It's been a difficult box to sort through. A lot of emotions have come up while going through it, and it was a bit too much for me to try to do in one sitting. I'll continue working on it in the next week. The apples and maters are the bigger priority.

In the meantime, duty calls. 

'Tis time to get off my butt and get busy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


We've been busy the last week or so. 

Hubster took last week off, so we could work in the backyard and cut down trees. Hah. You know the saying about your eyes being bigger than your stomach? Yeah. Well, our want to was bigger than our can do. 

The first half of the week was hot enough that we struggled with getting overheated while we were working on getting the apple tree down. Then a cold front kicked in, and we had a hard freeze with a couple of dreadfully cold days that followed. Needless to say, we didn't get nearly as much done as we'd wanted. However, we did at least get the majority of the apple tree down, and we got the apples that the worms, squirrels and hail didn't get harvested as well. We had to be happy with that, and we were. 

Of all the trees that need to be cut down in the backyard, the apple tree was the one that was the biggest priority. The branches were long enough we were afraid of one taking down the power lines in a windstorm. That would not have been good. Thankfully, Hubster was able to cut pieces of the branches off before getting to the bulk of each branch, so the power lines were never in jeopardy. 

He was at one point, though. For whatever reason, I hadn't thought of taking before and after pictures until there was only on major branch left on the tree. I figured I'd at least get a few pictures of him chopping that last upright branch down when I heard, "Crap! Jude! Help me!"

He was losing the grip on the chainsaw, and the ladder was starting to move. So the last picture I took shows the camera being set down in a hurry. I was able to get the chainsaw and set it down just in time to grab the ladder and keep it as steady as I could while he clung to the tree and kept himself from falling. He wouldn't have fallen far. His feet were only about 5 feet off the ground. But he'd have fallen on some rather sharp parts of the tree that had broken off before and were vertical, jagged spears that would have impaled him, had he fallen. 

While Hubster was working on the apple tree, Hopper and I were harvesting all the tomatoes we could. There were still quite a few left that were on the verge of ripening as well as lots of green ones of various sizes. We brought them all in the house, covered the peppers and lettuce up and came inside. We were done. I didn't want to take a chance on losing the tomatoes to a hard freeze, but the peppers were all so small I didn't care, if they were lost to the cold or not. Thankfully, they stayed warm enough with the frost blanket and plastic that covered them, and they will hopefully get some size before the next hard freeze comes along. There are still about a dozen peppers out there, and I'm so looking forward to enjoying them!

I've got to get busy with the apples in the next couple of days. I need to wash, core, peel and slice a bunch to put in the freezer for apple pies this winter. I'd like to make some apple butter, too. I just don't want them to go to waste. We figured we'd save some of the seeds to see, if we can get a tree going. These are such good tasting apples, that it would be a shame to not have any in the future. 

I'm tired tonight but I'm feeling the best I have in months. I feel like I'm getting back in a groove and will be able to get back to dehoarding in earnest, if I can just get the girls' health back on track. They've both got some nasty cough and congestion. Taking Scooter into the doctor tomorrow. It makes us a little nervous after her bout last year with pneumonia. 

I'm thinking the best way for me to deal with it is to get enough sleep myself, so I'm heading off to bed. I've got a long day planned for tomorrow. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


I am so tired tonight I can barely move.

Hubster took the week off, so we can try to get the backyard in shape. We've got to cut down several trees-a small peach tree, a huge apple tree, a few ash saplings and hundreds of the dreaded elms. Most are less than 3 years old and only about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, but there are a couple that we've cut down so many times that the trunks are quite a bit larger and the new shoots coming out of them are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. 

We got started on them today. Between raking and shoveling up the fallen apples that have fallen and begun to ferment, sorting the apples from the tree that are still edible and cutting a few branches down I can hardly lift my arms tonight. Good thing I don't need to live them in my sleep.

We all got our flu shots today, too. The girls did amazingly well with getting them, and it was 1/100th of the struggle it usually is. Last year when Hopper broke her leg, I had to give her shots of blood thinner in her stomach twice a day. She actually did very well with it, and the repeated injections seem to have desensitized her to getting the regular vaccinations. 

Who'da thunk it? We wouldn't have. I can't begin to explain the fear that we all had when we found out we'd need to do her injections at home! At the time we weren't really happy that we had to do it, but now we're are so very thankful that it wasn't an option.

I'm off to bed much later than I should be, but I'll sleep like a log tonight. 

I'll take it. 

I'm thinking logs sleep pretty well.

Well, unless they hear the chainsaw revving up in their dreams. Then they probably don't sleep very well. 

Here's to chainsaw-free dreams!