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.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies

It's that time of year again. You know, the time when you have record temp lows and snow every Tuesday of April? Yep. That time.

Went out to the backyard with Bugster, so she could grab a planter to plant her mint in, and I couldn't believe the job the wind did on the backyard. I know a lot of it is just as we left it last Fall, but there is definitely a bit of a mess from the wind, too. 

It was a bit overwhelming to see the amount of work we're going to have to do to get the backyard back in order. The apple tree is still only partially down with the limbs reaching across half of the backyard. We'll be cutting it into smaller pieces and possibly splitting it for people to use in their smokers. We also have a couple of ash trees we had to cut down a couple of years ago that we have to finish up. Hopefully, if we get it cut and split, we can sell it as firewood or use it to barter for services and get some help on the yard.

As much as I'm overwhelmed with the backyard, I'm dying to get my hands dirty and work out there! I always feel so much better working outside and getting the fresh air. We're getting an old pickup truck soon, because we have needed one for years. We're getting a good price on it and buying it from a reliable mechanic, so we should get several years out of it, and we'll put it to use on the backyard first.

Well, that, and getting some pallets for gardening. We have an area that always seems to end up overflowing with weeds at the side of the house. It borders the fence between our house and the neighbors', and it will be perfect for pallet gardening. It's about 25'x3', and it will be home to all sorts of lettuce, spinach, peas and assorted herbs, as well as a pumpkin or two that will be allowed to travel the fence and make its way down the edge of the driveway. It may not happen this year, but eventually, I would love to grow enough pumpkins that the kids in the girls' day program can come out and each year and pick one. 

 And although it would be pretty growing in a pallet garden, I don't think I'll be growing any mint this year. Bugster brought some over last night that she got to plant in her own garden, and I made the mistake of smelling it. In fact, I smelled the peppermint and spearmint along with the other two varieties she bought. It brought on a lovely asthma attack, and it reminded me that I need to be careful of certain things. So when I want some mint-infused water this summer, I'll have to borrow some of Bugster's mint. Not that she'll want it back. I'll offer to return it, anyway. 

I'm thinking a pallet garden is the way to go to make the meddling neighbor happy, too. We put up a privacy panel with lattice at the top at the side of our house shortly after we moved in. It was a little on the narrow side for the space, so we took more lattice and attached it to our panel and the neighbor's fence post. Unfortunately, the lattice started coming down, and between the wind and a little extra help from our neighbor, there's nothing there now. It doesn't look very good at all. If we get her consent, we'll go ahead and put up a small pallet, attaching it to her fence on one side and to our panel on the other, add some flowers or ivy, and I'm hoping she'll be happy with it. It would definitely be an improvement over what is going on out there right now.

I think I need to start making some lists with all the big things we have to get done around here, so I don't feel so overwhelmed. It's funny how just writing it down makes things less stressful. 

I'm sensing a theme here...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today has been ... unsettling. That all-day-long-sort-of-unsettling that keeps a person from being able to concentrate on anything for more than a moment or two.

The thing is, things have been going along pretty smoothly, and I really can't complain. Hubster's layoff has been one of the best things that have ever happened to us. My back has slowly, but surely, been getting better, and my hips aren't killing me all the time anymore. I haven't lost anyone close to me, and except for the occasional cold or ear infection, we are healthy.

But I had a nightmare right before I woke up this morning that has had my head in a tailspin all day long. I'm sure it has to do with the recent terror attack in Boston, and the death and dismemberment of so many people and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX. My heart aches for all of those affected by it, whether they were direct victims, families of those injured or killed, or those who had to see unspeakable things when they rushed in to try to help those who were hurt.

I didn't really think I was gravely affected by it, since I didn't personally know anyone who was hurt or terrorized. I've shielded the girls from watching the news, and I've personally tried to stay away from it myself. I've found in the past that I can so easily be sucked into a great abyss of darkness, if I focus on tragedies like this too much. And my kids don't need for me to live in an abyss. They need me to be their mom.

Normally, I don't repeat bad dreams, because they're usually a distant memory by noon. But today, I need to write about my dream, because it will let me forget it and will let me sleep tonight above ground. Now is the time to x out of this post, if you are affected negatively by other people's dreams.  

In my dream, Hubster and I had taken a trip of some sort to a large city. I don't know what city we were in. All I know is that it was large and unfamiliar. It apparently had some good shopping though, and we'd stopped at some mega store to look for something for the house. I only remember that it was small, because we kept turning it over and looking at it and one next to it to determine, if it would be a good fit in our home.

After looking at the thing for 10 minutes or so, we realized that Scooter was gone. We were frantic. We started calling her name in a panic and panicking, because we knew she couldn't let us know that she heard us. We saw some checkers near the front registers, so we asked, if they had seen a young girl and described Scooter to them.

The gal we spoke with said, "I haven't seen her, but I know a young girl died outside the front doors a little bit ago!" She went on to say that the girl died on the tracks...I don't know, if they were subway tracks or from a trolley car or what, but they were apparently right outside the front doors of the store. 

Our hearts sank. We instantly felt guilty that we'd let her out of our sight pictured her tripping onto the tracks. I remember going down to the morgue and trying to identify the body, and being relieved that it wasn't her but being absolutely terrified that we'd taken the time to go to the morgue. That meant that we'd wasted precious time that we could have spent looking for her at the store. 

The dream then morphed into me telling Hubster's niece that I was so incredibly sorry that I had dreamed that she had died. She didn't want anything to do with me because of the dream. I think that even in my sleep it was too much for me to actually dream that something had really happened to her, and that I somehow convinced myself in my dream that it was a dream about someone else.

Around noon today, something the clerk said came back to me. When she was telling us that someone had just died out front, I'd asked her when it happened. She said that the girl had fallen 2 or 3 hours before, but that she had died about 20 minutes before we asked her about it, so I  have no idea why the timing didn't dawn on us in my dream, and we went to the morgue instead.

All I know is that this nightmare has clung to me like the smell of a bad cigar all day long. I haven't been able to shake it, and even recounting it to write it down has caused my stomach to lurch with anxiety. We've had a couple of close calls over the years with losing her for a few minutes, once when she decided she couldn't wait to use the restroom, and we found her in one of the stalls in the mens restroom at the zoo, and the next time when she decided to go visit the neighbor when we thought we had all the doors locked to the point that she couldn't get out. 

Both situations caused untold anxiety and worry, and rightfully so. Neither situation should have happened. At the same time, a parent can easily be distracted by one of their other children, a phone call or a conversation. We are fallible. After all, we are only human. Still. I think it's time we find something to aid us in finding her, if she's ever separated from us again.