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, February 22, 2014

Mind Clutter.

In the last couple of years, I've watched as my computer time has been cut to nearly nothing. It wasn't that I was purposely trying to scale back. I have just found myself accessing the internet from my phone more often than not, but even with it, I'm not online much. Add the fact that I dropped my phone, and the face has this huge spiderweb crack all over the face, and I'm on it even less than I had been. 

One problem is that the desktop is in the study, which is filled with boxes of paperwork that I still need to finish sorting, and it tends to be pretty dusty in there. Add the fact that the window air conditioner is in there and runs for a good part of the year, (especially when we have had fires in the area and can't have the windows open for fresh air), doesn't help at all. The cold not only flares my asthma up but makes me ache all over. Fibromyalgia and cold don't play well together.

And while I do have my little netbook that Hubster got me for our anniversary a couple of years ago, I find myself not using it for weeks at a time. I'm not exactly sure why. It isn't nearly as comfortable to type on or on my aging eyes as the desktop is, so I find myself avoiding it. That definitely plays a role in it, but I think part of it was that I was wanting to keep from dealing with things online, as well. 

Needless to say, the number of emails I have amassed now numbers in the thousands. I have deleted hundreds of them already, but I do need to pare down even further. In the meantime, I have started to deal with some of that stuff that is in the back of my mind on a continual basis. The master list, so to speak. In other words, mind clutter.

Because it's been so long since I logged into my yahoo account, I can no longer access it. Funny thing is that I was still getting emails from the groups I belonged to when I was using it. So I unsubscribed from the group through email and will consider the entire account a thing of the past. I closed down a group I used to manage on another email and unsubscribed from the other groups I belonged to. It sounds silly to say, but it was a bittersweet thing to get rid of it. I'd had the user name for well over a decade, but I realized I just wasn't using it, and it was a thing of the past. So rather than hanging onto it for old times' sake, I chalked it up to moving on with my life and left it behind me with a smile. 

In the spirit of moving on, I also cleared out many of the blogs I was following. Unfortunately, so many of them went by the wayside a year, or 2, or even 3 years ago. I went through the list and checked whether or not the blog was still active. I unfollowed
the blogs that hadn't had a post in the last 12 months. I didn't unfollow all of them. There are a couple special ones that I left on my blog roll. I am hoping the people will eventually show up and miraculously start to blog again. I really miss them. All told, I deleted almost 50% of the blogs I'd been following. It saddened me to see so many of them give up the ghost, but it did feel good to clear them out.

While it might not seem like much, making the extra room in my head helps. I can't think straight when every nook and cranny in my brain is full of mind clutter.

 Cleaning up one mind closet at a time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Colorado Dreamin'.

So I've been having some really odd dreams lately. Even odder is that I'm actually remembering some of them longer than the first 5 minutes I'm awake. I've heard that dreams are our brains' way of working out problems while we're sleeping, but I just can't see how some of them are working anything out at all. They're just, well, silly.

The other night in Dreamland....

Jacob, the Marine who lost his legs in Afghanistan 18 months ago or so, sought me out to go to the thrift store. Mind you, I've never met him in real life, as we know his wife, not him, so I was quite flattered that he wanted to spend any time with me. 

Instead of going to the typical thrift stores, we went to this big building with lots of corridors and rooms that didn't seem claustrophobic but airy. He was looking for something to surprise his wife, Ella, but he wasn't sure what it was. Finally, we came to the corner of the room, and there was a big dollhouse on the table. Because he and Ella are expecting a little girl in a few months, he was very interested. And as soon as he saw a little plastic Nativity scene that was in the shape of a ball that all the little characters fit in neatly. Sort of like one of those puzzle balls where you put the star block in the star-shaped hole. 

They wanted $40 for it, but he realized he'd left his money somewhere else, so he asked me to stay and watch to make sure nobody else bought it. While I was waiting, I noticed some sort of a lottery or bingo or something going on where they were giving little gifts away. As I watched the participants, I was acutely aware of the fact that I didn't want any of them to get Jacob's dollhouse, all the time sizing up the gifts that they were starting to fight over and trying to determine, if it was even worth getting a late start into the game.

It wasn't. So I decided to walk around and see some of the other rooms I hadn't seen yet. (So much for watching the dollhouse!) I came across a vendor who was set up in the stairwell landing. The shop owner was being told by the owner of the building he was no longer allowed to sell his wares, which greatly distressed me, because I found something I wanted. They were white flannel pajamas with all of the NFL team helmets on them along with a list of each player on the teams for the 2013 season. I knew that Hopper would love them, so I talked him into selling me the set I was already holding onto when he was told to pack things up. 

I wrote out a check, since he'd had to pack away his credit card machine. As I reached for the receipt, he held up my bra with a smirk on his face! (It was the same one I'd seen in the wash earlier in the day when I was washing laundry in real life. I remember thinking at the time that I really needed a new bra. It no longer really fits right after I've lost weight. Plus I had to remove the underwires after they snapped in half. So it really is a mess!) 

I was about ready to die of embarrassment when he started swinging it around! I told him he needed to give it back. Now! And he responded, "It's not doing you any good anyway. I mean, look at your physique!" Unfortunately, that physique looked the same in the dream as it does in the real world, so I was pretty much mortified at my lumpiness when I woke up. 

Obviously, it's time to get a new bra. I've lost just under 30 pounds since August, and while that's nothing compared to what I need to lose, it's a start. And losing that much weight really does change how a bra fits, so I'm thinking I need to stop dreaming about it and actually go shopping and do something about it.

Still, I wonder, if Jacob got the dollhouse and what Ella thought of it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

They really DO exist!

In spite of the fact that I am feeling better than I have in well over a week, I'm getting a bit tired of the nightly visits from the Phlegm Phaeries. And while I have not personally seen them during their visits, I can attest to the fact that they do exist.

From what I've ascertained, they have magical bags of phlegm that they carry around-much like Santa's magic bag of toys. No matter how much phlegm they loosen from its insides and pass around, the bag never seems to lose any of it's ooey gooey grossness. And one thing's for sure, those Phlegm Phaeries are generous to a fault! They just give, and give, and give. 

I'm pretty sure mine is a Phlegm Phaerie in Training, though. In her exuberance to impress the Phlegm Pharaoh with her skills, she's accidentally gone overboard and given me more than she was supposed to. I'm hoping he notices soon and gives her the proverbial boot.

You know. 

Before I give her the phinger.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gurgling along.

My lungs sort of sound like Snap, Crackle, and Pop are in there trying to catch the herd of frogs that crawled in there to die. Stupid wheezing. 

Scooter had a much better day today than she did yesterday. Awhile ago, Hubster got Hopper and Scooter some used field jacket liners like the one he uses all the time, because they'd steal his and wouldn't want to give it back. They love them, but the liners look so much alike, they often grab the wrong one. So for a little Valentine's surprise, I took an old scrap of fabric and went all Laverne and Shirley on them.

I made a huge heart-shaped pocket on the right side, and then I cut out the initial of their first names and sewed them on the left breast. Hubster put the little heart shaped box of candy he'd bought them in the heart pockets, and tossed in a small box of conversation hearts. We left them on the couch, so the girls would see them first thing in the morning. They were thrilled with them, and Scooter wore hers most of the day.

Scooter was in a great mood all day and 'sang' and 'danced' all morning. Because Scooter is completely nonverbal, she doesn't actually sing, but don't tell her that! When she's panting in rhythm and tapping her foot, (especially while standing!), she's singing and dancing. And she was singing, dancing, and grinning from ear to ear most of her waking hours today, which was such a nice change after yesterday!

Hopper's day didn't go quite as smoothly. She had a bit of a meltdown, and we're not exactly sure why. She had a panic attack over Hubster changing from his thick wool long johns to a lighter weight pair. We have never figured out, (other than her OCD), why his long johns and running gear set off panic attacks and meltdowns, but it absolutely kills us that we can't seem to help her. Thankfully, medication does help some, but it still doesn't prevent it completely, and it breaks our hearts. Panic attacks and anxiety are hard enough to handle when you are capable of knowing what they are. They're doubly hard when you don't understand what's happening, and that they'll eventually go away. She was fine after Hubster left for work, but I'm sad she had to go through it at all.

I'm hoping the weekend is a bit more restful for all of us, since we're fighting off this crud. We need as much rest as we can get. Hopper seems to have already seen the worst of it and is on the mend, but Scooter and I have a ways to go. 

Hopefully, we can sing and dance our way through it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Of Dying Frogs and Honey.

Lately, I've had the worst time trying to concentrate. It's as though someone is sitting on the remote that controls my thoughts and their butt is sitting squarely on the + button causing the channels to change at a dizzying pace, all the while an elephant sits squarely on my chest making breathing close to an impossibility. I have to remind myself that the elephant will eventually get bored and will move on, but for now nebulizers are the only thing that helps, and they don't last nearly as long as I'd like them to. This junk that Hopper brought home and decided to so generously share with Scooter, Hubster and me is awful. I'm hoping the stupid elephant clears out soon and takes whoever is sitting on the remote with him. 

The last few days, I've worked on things that are on my master list that don't take too much energy. I've mended, altered, and added new elastic to a dozen or so of Scooter's skirts. She's thrilled, because she absolutely adores skirts, but I really do need to get it finished up soon, so I can reclaim the kitchen table for meals once again. It's harder to get anything done with the girls home sick, but ...(this sentence was interrupted by the need to clean up the remains of a wall plaque my parents got me that was broken by Scooter in a fit of irritation)...I'm hoping to finish them up tonight when they finally go to bed.

I feel horrible that I made Scooter feel bad about breaking it when I yelled at her. She has this habit of intentionally breaking things when she's not happy. She's done everything from chucking dishes across the room to bending/tearing toys in two, to ripping her necklaces and bracelets that she absolutely loves into pieces when she's angry. It's been very frustrating for all of us. She also has a habit of going over to a hanging plant we have in the living room and pushing it so it swings when she's irritated. And I don't think Scooter broke the plaque on purpose, but I think she figured she'd make it swing like she makes the plant swing back and forth when she's mad. To be fair, she isn't feeling well today, but I really do wish there was a way we could curb this behavior. We've been dealing with it for 20 years now, and although she's gotten better and not doing it all the time, she still can wreak havoc when she's riled. She apparently has her mama's temper from what I understand. 

My younger self pleads the fifth at the mere suggestion.

When I talked to Bugster the other day, she said I sounded like a dying frog. I feel like one, too. And the only thing that seems to quell the cough is honey. 

So I'm off to feed the frog.