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Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : What are you doing today 2023
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What are you doing today 2023

Posted: 14 April 2023 - 11:45 AM
post 2 today -

SubC - I hope you are not still feeling beaten down. I saw my other little tots on my trip. I have 4 of them. They may come visit me this summer so there goes the staging area. Well actually I can use it for a little while, to get things cleared out for their visit.

Tatoulia - you are a great example to us! You're still getting things gone!

CM - I too am going to start exercising. I can basically walk or use my recumbent machine. I need to do both, really. Did you start swimming yet? Your weather seems rather wild! I like stability and the weather here is weird too. But nice enough to walk today.

Lauren, hello! I am a mom in my 50s who had a hoarder husband who left last year. I myself have hoarded a lot due to fear of poverty. I am digging my way out but it is hard. I don't know what anyone else here would tell you, but I will say this board is the ONLY resource I have for help, and that is for moral support of these few friends who understand. A place to support each other, vent, encourage, celebrate when we clear an area or donate something. In my experience, there is no other help. Nothing. No resources to help with the hoard. It is overwhelming. What I would wish for is for a free dumpster for a week and a free trailer parked in my driveway for a week so I could clear out. But, if they wanted to use my name or advertise there is no way. I am so embarrassed and humiliated that the only way I could accept help is if I could stay anonymous. My dream scenario is if someone came and offered me $5k to donate/toss at least half my stuff, I could do it. Then I would have enough to replace anything I might truly need down the road. Being broke and in poverty, not on welfare, working part time, is the mental game. If I donate that box of new plates, I won't be able to afford them later if I need plates because mine all break. If I donate 6 bins of too-small clothes, I wont have anything to wear when I lose weight. That kind of thing.

I took the bathroom trash out, tosses 2 empty boxes, and am going to get the clothes out of the dryer now and put them away.
Posted: 14 April 2023 - 10:53 AM
hello SubC, Tatoulia, CM... and Road, are you here?

I am back from my 2 week trip. Ready to start working on the hoard again. I am so tired, but need to fix this now more than ever. My health is in the toilet, and my emotional well being is at stake, as well as relationships with my family.

I will be catching up on your posts today as I stay home and recoup from the 3 hour time change.

Very tired, but so far today I have:
- loaded the dishwasher
- made coffee and toast and had that
- did some reading
- looked up recipe

Yesterday I put in a load of laundry, which is in the dryer now. Also "cleaned" out the fridge (I use that term loosely, as I actually just went through it and threw out anything past its prime and wiped out one veggie bin where something made a mess.

I think there is a mouse in my bedroom and I am sad and upset about it. I thought I heard it last month and tried to move stuff around to locate it but saw no evidence of a mouse. But I heard it last night. I will have to basically empty one entire side of my hoarded up bedroom to locate it (and then what??) because I can't handle listening to it at night and wondering what it is ruining. Wish me luck.

I hope people will be posting today. I'll come back for accountability.
Lauren Leibman
Posted: 13 April 2023 - 11:33 AM

I just requested to follow you on Instagram. Looking forward to chatting with you!
Posted: 12 April 2023 - 04:14 PM
Yes, SubC, letting go of the items that went with a dream is hard. At least sometimes. Once in awhile I will have fallen out of love with a particular dream and that makes it easier.

Talked to the lady at church today. She is 88, looks younger. She said it would probably be more like 3-4 years. But I still should not make any new quilts for them.

There are some other charities in town that I could make quilt tops for, but I am undecided because of the thing about space to sew a quilt together where I live. I had been going to just make sets of blocks for the church and someone else could assemble them into a quilt (we've been doing queen size). I don't know if such an arrangement would be possible elsewhere.

And honestly I'm really feeling that surprising sense of potential relief, like I might be inclined to put quilts on the back burner and do more with other creative things. The only drawback, if the quilt bingo really goes away, is that it was the biggest way I could make a real contribution to the parish, financially strapped as I am. But, it's too soon to try and predict about all that.

Today the wind is still a bit much, and will be for the rest of the week, but after that it is supposed to improve, fingers crossed. Early next week I can hit it hard with the storage unit. If I plan ahead, I can be efficient.

The gym might be the thing in the meantime. SubC, the driving is 3/4 of the battle, so if I can get my butt there, I really will go for it! Lol! Maybe tomorrow or Friday. You know that if I do, I'll have earned bragging rights, so stay tuned. ;)
Posted: 12 April 2023 - 04:26 AM
CM, I am also sorry about your quilt club.

Drive the circle. Don't make yourself actually go to the gym if you don't want to when you get there, jus5 start driving the circle to get used to it.

I think we are all at the stage of "I will never do xyz." The fact that it is hard to accept is part of what makes it hard to get rid of the things that go with xyz.

Yesterday I pretty much kept up with my life. No real progress was made. To do list remained static. (One new thing added and done) recycling went out, mail left on couch.

Today my expectations are teach and go to my class.
Posted: 11 April 2023 - 04:24 PM
I don't feel the sadness, which is lucky. I feel that I'm happy with where I live and how I live. I grew up in beautiful homes and if I wanted to, I could again. I just can't do it in the city. So I look at it in terms of refining my goals and refining my dreams.

You will miss the quilt club but as you noted, this could end up being an opportunity for you! Focus in a different direction or find new people to quilt with. Keep your chin up. Opportunities abound.
Posted: 11 April 2023 - 03:30 PM
Tatoulia, yeah, that sadness about knowing I'll never have the roomy dream house, unless I win the lottery. Right now if I just can get my ducks lined up to be able to be self sufficient again... I hope I can. I know decluttering is essential to that.

SubC, the gym is actually on a loop sort of, e.g., if I go to Mass and then turn left out of the church and head west, go right at the next big intersection and back north, right again at the next light, I'm there. Then when finished, go right again and back east toward the route home. This is a good thing to ponder, how easy it actually is. And I did get my bag and clothes ready. I'm getting closer!

Well, as far as today goes, I thought it wasn't too windy when I got home at lunchtime, thought maybe I would go to the storage unit. But by the time I ate, it had gotten windier. And the afternoon is getting on. So I'm not sure. It may not get much windier this week though, so whether today or tomorrow depending on the direction it blows, I may still be able to get some done there. The other storage buildings may shelter enough if the wind is not ridiculous.

There are some things that are up in the air - the biggest being that I went to quilting this morning and learned they are possibly going to only do the quilt bingo for two more years. Because some of the ladies are getting older, and some other factors with the ones who do the food. I wonder if we could still get some of the younger people to keep it going. I need to ask this one lady I sit by at Mass. She would be able to tell me more.

If they do decide to stop, they already have plenty of quilts to finish for the two years. That means I would have no ready outlet for the ones I had thought I'd be making for them. I could maybe find another local charity - or I could put quilting on hold, pull some selected fabrics for doll clothes sewing and concentrate on that, and donate the remainder of my calico stash somewhere. I'm seriously considering that. I have soooo many special interests and crafts. Maybe God is telling me something.

We'll see.
Posted: 11 April 2023 - 01:28 PM
Lauren, Please follow me on IG, Susie.7010 and once I accept your request, I will send you an IM with details. Could you make that work? Thx.
Lauren Leibman
Posted: 11 April 2023 - 09:45 AM

I would love to speak with you if you're willing! How/when could I reach you over the phone? And thank you for the recommendation about Cory Chalmers, I left him a voice mail.

Posted: 11 April 2023 - 05:02 AM
CM, I am glad you are still getting to Mass! Is the drive from Mass to the gym longer or shorter than driving home?

I agree with Tatoulia that it is good you are finding easier things. And I'm very happy one of roommates things is gone from your room!

I'm sorry your storage unit is depressing.

Tatoulia, it's hard when we feel like we could solve our friend's problems, but that's why they have those problems and we don't. everybody has their own daemons to wrestle.

I had a good day with Bean yesterday. We built a cave out of couch cushions and pretended to be bears. He liked his Easter basket. I went overboard again, but not too far. I gave him a chocolate rabbit, candy in eggs, a bag of s'mores goldfish, and three of the little animals. Two animals and no goldfish would have made him just as happy. I sent it all home with him.

We met his daddy at the library, but we didn't go in because he skipped his nap and fell asleep in the car on the way there, so I just sat in the lot with the windows down. After they left, I went in the library, and it was hard for me to leave. The library is quiet and clean and orderly and full of books and chairs and tables that have nothing on them. I checked out a variety of 5 books that I hope will help me reset my life a little and I eventually came home.

Back to school today.
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 07:55 PM
I'm grateful that you have easier things, CM. I bet at one point those things were hard. Keep at it! I believe in you!

For me, it was hard to give up the idea that I wouldn't live in a bigger house. It was also upsetting to get rid of things since I moved so much as a child. Anything from my childhood was enormously important to keep. I felt that my mental health (such that it is) was dependent on the stuff.

Inside my house was the multiples of same items, in case someone needed stuff. Now that seems so silly to me. I'd buy things at a good price in case someday some unknown person would need it and I could swoop in like a hero and say, here it is, what you needed. In fact, take two.

Keep up the good work, CM. You are smart to think of what you might need in future senior housing.

Goodnight all.
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 05:32 PM
Oh, Tatoulia, I was at my storage today and I hate it so much - I know we are all different, and I don't feel like I can get rid of it yet, but when I can, what a glorious day that will be - I hope. I hope it is not a forced thing all depressing and shameful and stressful.

Furniture is generally something that I've come to view as very utilitarian for the most part. I do have some that was from my grandpa, just one bookcase and a small table, and a couple of small shelving things my dad made. Those don't take up much space and if/when I get a senior apartment or something they would fit easily. Besides, the table and one of the little shelves are here at the house.

I can neither afford nor do I have the desire for, expensive designer furniture or whatever that people feel they need to store indefinitely. Actually, at the storage unit, I often see people storing furniture that is of no real intrinsic value at all. Get rid of it, I say; furniture is not that difficult to pick up on the cheap. Of course that is my one area where I can be sanctimonious; small clutter is my downfall.

So... it was kind of depressing over there, and I didn't find a lot for the garage sale, though I did get a tub out that will hold garage sale stuff for transport and never return - it has no lid and a crack on the bottom, and it's too big. I don't like the big ones and am phasing them out. The space where the tub was was one of the most awful jumbled areas, and I was able to improve it somewhat - more work is needed but poco a poco.

Most likely the senior center garage sale will be a symbolic effort, to get the ball rolling as I said. The church rummage sale in June will be my bigger opportunity, I think.

Although the going through stuff is blech, there are bright spots - detachment is ratcheting up a notch and letting go is almost too easy. At least of some things. There will be harder things. But I am not to them yet. Getting rid of the easier things is progress for now.
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 12:04 PM
Hello, everyone.

Lauren, I might be willing to talk with you. I also suggest getting in touch with Cory Chalmers, who runs this site and was a staple on the Hoarders show. If you click the link, you can send him an email.

SubC, I am so sorry you are overwhelmed. Right now, I'm still working on reducing my stuff. I said to the friend I saw over the weekend, I have too much stuff, and she said as she left my apartment, you don't have too much stuff, not at all. So that was a good feeling.

Cm happy Easter! I was able to stream church for mom. And she enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, too. BF got up early to go to church at 9AM only to learn that they had cancelled the 9AM, choosing to hold a midnight mass the night before and an 11 AM mass. I wish I had gotten up early enough to go to the 11AM at my church. Anyway, streaming the services helped me.

The friend I saw this weekend has had a lifetime of money problems, and even at her age, nothing has changed. She makes poor decisions a lot. And now I find out she's paying for storage for all new furniture that she bought for her last apt and that does not fit in her current apt. I wish I could give her the advice to sell it but I don't think she wants to hear about it. I did share with her how several years ago I found myself in deep debt and how I cleaned out my $400 month storage space and kept nothing. That's when I started here on the boards. That was 2014! Wow! My life is easier and quieter now. Thanks to everyone here. My problem was sentimentality, I'm afraid. Her problem stems from being broke. She's been broke the entire time I've known her. Makes me very sad. She earns a good income so I'm not sure what poor choices she makes along the way. Not clothing or designer stuff. Not sure exactly.

Okay I must go for now. Thank you everyone for being here!
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 11:42 AM
Hi all, belated Happy Easter

Holy Week was very nice - my roommate went to the bunny therapy sessions and we did finally get one other volunteer. Hopefully we will get more. This week there is Tuesday morning, when I quilt, Wednesday morning but I don't want to try and do that one because it's sandwiched in between my morning Mass and my 1:00 p.m. holy hour, and on the other side of town. When I was younger I would do the flying back and forth but these days I'm really not up for it. Don't know if I'll regain that amount of energy someday or not. There is one session on Friday afternoon which I may do.

Spring is getting into that time of multiple conflicting demands, and trying to coordinate my schedule, roommate's schedule where there is overlap, and being mindful of the weather in terms of being able to get garage sale stuff out of the storage unit without things getting blown into the next county. Wind is not as bad this week but there still may be some; I need to get a read on what days.

Really want to get to the gym but already it's feeling like another stressful thing to coordinate... makes me anguished, hope I can calm down and see what's feasible, and carry through with what is and not feel guilty about what isn't. Somehow I'll be getting more physical movement in, but I hate that it is already mid-April and I'm still lagging, still feeling stressed by the planning and somewhat by the driving. It would help so much if I could get started back in the habit by going in the morning after Mass (I'm going to try and keep up with the daily on the days I can; I do think it helps me even though right now I probably sound frenzied but in time I believe it brings me peace).

Around here once you get past about 2:30 p.m. the traffic picks up noticeably with shift workers and school buses clogging the roads, and I would be so relieved if driving were just an incidental thing and not something I have to think about and try not to have anxiety over. Just to get started. Then when going to the gym again becomes routine, hopefully the driving won't bug me so much because I'll have the endorphins on my side and so on.

I really think it will work out, it's just a lot right now. And when it does, it'll also influence my decision making and other aspects that tie in to being able to make better progress on decluttering. Today I did find an air purifier of roommate's that has been stored in my room and was able to get her to take it and she'll probably sell it in the garage sale. It is at least 1 cubic foot! And I've been pulling out this and that, not a lot last week but a few things this morning, found four shirts to let go, two roommate might be able to wear, two definitely garage sale.

Again, I know that sale won't be a miracle solution, but it could be a good kickstarter.
Lauren Leibman
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 09:16 AM

My name is Lauren and I'm a student journalist at the University of South Carolina. I'm writing an article about individuals living with or recovering from hoarding disorder and the resources and support services that exist to help them. To make sure I am giving this topic the utmost care and respect, I think it's important that I include the voices of a few people who have been personally affected. Please let me know if anyone would be interested in doing a brief phone interview with me to talk about their experiences. I look forward to hearing from you all!
Posted: 10 April 2023 - 04:48 AM

I'm sorry we're leaving you all alone.

I'm not buying anything for the garden anytime soon. I'm too tired and overwhelmed for any new projects.

I'm glad you had fun with your friend.

I am burnt out and my house is getting worse and my weight is going up.

Yesterday I groomed the bunnies for spring. Today is a Bean day.
Posted: 08 April 2023 - 08:04 PM
Hi everyone.

I saw my long lost girlfriend and her mother today. Her mother was so surprised to see me! I took the train and then my friend drove me home and came in for a visit. Very good time. I had feared she was bringing her husband with her and luckily she did not.

I'm working on paring down my house. I feel so good with making decisions. BF will be here til May, maybe mud-May. I'm keeping it together on my end.

I feel so good about getting things out of my house. The too big clothes is an especially satisfying feeling.

I am washing my thin white quilt right now. I need to face facts that it is looking very ragged and I'm not sure that it was meant to last the 25 years I've had it. Kitty sneezed up a storm in it last night. So it's in the dryer.

I don't know what to do. I cannot find a reasonably priced white quilt that meets my needs in terms of where it is made and texture.

Hope everyone is well. I'm thinking about you!
Posted: 06 April 2023 - 09:18 PM
Hello! I do hope you can avoid an argument with your husband, SubC. Would it be possible to try not to buy anything for the garden while you see what else you might have?

I have the cat's box clean and the garbage out. I'll take my recycling out in the AM. I'll go into the office tmr. Should be just my intern and me, so that will be good. I doubt they will let us leave early for Good Friday. I don't think they've done that before. Of course, since I highly doubt anyone else will be on our floor tmr, we may decide to leave early. I will not be staying til my usual 8PM.
I see my friend and her mother on Saturday. There's a piece to that which is causing me some concern. But it will be fine.

That's the news from here. I hope I can fall asleep soon.
Posted: 05 April 2023 - 06:17 AM
CM, at first I thought "great drying weather!" Then I saw the dust..

Having driven across Kansas, I think you need more trees.

The student who is struggling came to see me on her own yesterday. We talked about a lot of stuff, only tangentially about the substance issue. She is trying to quit. I told her to come hang out with me any time.

Dh and I had a fight yesterday. He took a bunch of "metal scrap" to recycling. Some of it was things I wanted to save for reuse. When stuff like this happens I tell myself I will just use the joint credit card - which he pays - to buy new stuff instead. But I know I won't. Partly because we would then have this conversation:
Why is there $$ on the cc from store?
Because I needed xyz and you threw out the stuff I was going to use.
That was all trash. I don't want xyz in the garden.
It wasn't all trash, I do, and it's my garden.
Fight ensues.
Posted: 04 April 2023 - 04:26 PM
I do have more space, SubC, but sometimes it's hard to see. The closet definitely has more space. My friend will come over to see more of my artwork and see if there is anything she wants.

My closet is definitely looser. I don't have a lot in it to start because I'm not a clotheshorse. But getting rid of the clothes worn before the 30 lb weight loss is really great. I have some more expensive pieces to get rid of. Summer linen pieces.

Heading over to mom's, then will come back here.

Cm I want you to focus on Holy Week. The bunny club needs to take a backseat to this very meaningful week. It does.

I know the weather isn't helping you right now. It will. I promise.

I am excited about the garage sale table. Finding out what sells and for how much! Will be great!
Posted: 04 April 2023 - 05:46 AM
Sorry if that was rather strong... wish it was easier to have patience with the abrupt changes. To not notice them so much. Probably the overall pattern will be good, and I did enjoy the warm Monday and got several things done. I guess for now I can do some planning for the sale in my mind and decide what to look for when the weather is decent for going to the storage, what to pull out, etc.

I know this sale is not a huge thing and it's only one day, so it won't be a miracle cure. Mainly it will satisfy the desire to try and sell a few items to feel a token of recuperating for the cost of them. Like an additional avenue besides just donating, and to see what sells or doesn't. Then the focus will shift towards the church sale, and I like that they're having it earlier in June possibly before it gets super hot.
Posted: 04 April 2023 - 12:14 AM
Why CM Is Constantly Bitching About the Weather, Chapter 47, Subsection G, Paragraph 14.1:

Today the high temperature here was 82.94 degrees.

The forecast for the next couple of days, and I quote:

Another Weather Alert Day is coming up Tuesday for the extreme fire danger and strong wind gusts that are forecast for the entire region. Any grass fire that may get started could go out-of-control very quickly with wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph into the afternoon. Some of the strongest wind gusts will be focused in central and western Kansas.

It looks like most of the state will have another warm day, with highs ranging from the 50s in the northwest to mid 80s near Wichita. Blowing dust and potential power outages are a concern throughout the afternoon and early evening.

The wind will turn back to the northwest into Tuesday night as a cold front clears the area. Low temperatures by Wednesday morning will be down in the 20s and 30s, with gusts still around 25 early Wednesday.

Source: KWCH

I rest my case, and hope this is the end of the crazy for awhile, though I'm not holding my breath.
Posted: 03 April 2023 - 07:54 PM
Tatoulia, how can you have donations out and not more room?!

CM, I hope the bunny thing works out. Good for you getting the garage sale booth!

Somehow I am back in "no time, panic" mode. But I keep telling myself it will be ok.

I cleaned out two things from the freezer and a rotting pumpkin from the basement today.
Posted: 03 April 2023 - 05:05 PM
quick little check in

Weather was bothersome, though today is rather nice, warm and almost summerlike. Tomorrow we are supposed to have another round of nasty wind though. But maybe by about Thursday it'll move out and let us enjoy Easter weekend?

Learned Saturday that bunny club lined up a lot of care home therapy dates... which would be fine except that they scheduled them for all this week and next, three days per week! I realize they might not have had a choice because this outfit operates several small homes and maybe that's how their activity director has to do it to stay afloat. Hard to say. I will only do what I can, especially during Holy Week. The whole business kind of blindsided me and was upsetting but I did try and do what I could, put announcements up to try and recruit volunteers.

Today went in person to senior center and scheduled our garage sale booth, since I kept trying by phone and not getting anyone, and I hate leaving messages (because they are loose ends). The sale is < 3 weeks away. Praying the wind will not come after this week, so that I can get in storage unit and get lots of stuff out. Maybe stuff in my bedroom at the house as well, like some clothes.

I'm annoyed with my weight not budging. Hope I will finally get going with exercise soon. It's complicated getting to the place (especially with swimming, remembering what to take), but once I do it a bit the routine will seem less like I need a major jumpstart to do it.

Trying also to figure out what to eat (less of certain things, perhaps different things) without stressing about all the logistics of it or getting into my old "dieting" mode which was never much help in years past. Just trying to eeeeaaaaasssee into it and not overthink it.

When weather's nice, I could walk up and down the block like I did in February (weather here was nicer then than in March, but now April is finally - I hope - going to bring in a mellower pattern, after that wind and front move through.

Over the weekend I had migraines, and I suspect the shifting barometric pressures had something to do with those, though the triggers are never clear cut. Feeling better now, though - woke up with one today, so went back to sleep for awhile then got up and did payday errands and had lunch with someone I haven't seen for awhile. That was fun, and the migraine accompanying brain fog from yesterday did seem to lift by late morning.

Oh, and the bug man came on Friday, the culmination of our preparations of moving stuff around in the garage, etc. Roommate and I were both tired but relieved. And that was probably why I didn't like hearing news on Saturday of fresh demands on my time. But again, I will try to be assertive about how much I intend to take on with the bunny club stuff. Hoping we get more people. There are a few young ones who I hope will step up to the plate.
Posted: 03 April 2023 - 12:51 PM
Hello everyone.

I am working from home today. Bright sunny day. Cold. I'll take the sunshine!

I have meetings starting in fewer than 10 minutes and I may have mistimed my laundry.

I cannot underestimate the power of getting things out of the house. Getting rid of the painting and the bags of donations has made me feel so much better. I don't have any more room any where, but it is a good start.

I will be back later.
Posted: 02 April 2023 - 08:27 PM

Good car!

I'm feeling a little bit better because I got a big job off my list today.

I put a few small things in the trash bag while I was working in the barn.

Dd called and asked me for some things to use in eggs for a hunt Bean and his friends are having. I found four matchbox cars and four plastic animals she can use.
Posted: 02 April 2023 - 08:21 PM
Hello everyone!

I took the artwork to my friend's house today. I also got several bags of donations to the car. It was the first I've driven all year! My car has a thick layer of dust on it! But it started and drove fine.

That's the news from here. Getting things out feels really good.

Will catch up on your posts now.
Posted: 01 April 2023 - 09:14 PM
Some barn work done, no bookshelf.

The party was great. Bean and the birthday "girl" both seemed to have a great time, so what more could I ask?

My evening got harder.

I am just beaten down. Need to get to sleep.
Posted: 01 April 2023 - 04:13 PM
hello SubC! Good thoughts. And heaven knows I have plenty of 'healthy snack containers' in my bedroom that I can utilize for this.

The student situation sounds very hard. Youth with addiction issues have so much to face. Oh how I wish they would not start. What a long hard road to get sober. I have seen it myself (not me being addicted, but being close to the addicted). Prayers for this youth to find their way to a safe and more joyful place.

Today I had a work meeting and then came home and ordered my "last" pizza order for a long time. I wanted to cook but it is nearly impossible one handed, although, I am sure people who have one hand find a way. Perhaps I am a whiner with many excuses. But, we are leaving on vacation in a couple of days and when I get back it will be No-Spend Nine Months. Meaning the rest of 2023. Parameters will be established but fast food is not going to be an included approved spend.

I did manage to get the stove and one counter washed off with my left hand.

I also sorted a bin of papers last night, threw some away, and today I shredded all the mobile-deposited checks I had stacked up.

Most of the rest of what I will do is washing clothes and prepping for the trip, packing, etc.
Posted: 01 April 2023 - 07:32 AM
Good morning!

White rabbits!

Lila, I'm sorry I didn't respond to you last night. I just didn't have the energy.

You don't have to change everything completely all at once. That usually is what makes people give up because it isn't sustainable.

You got here gradually. You can get out a few steps at a time. Just keep asking yourself if the thing you are doing is moving you in the right direction or the wrong direction. And set yourself up for success.

One help is to try to make the good actions easier and the bad actions harder - so when you have fresh food come in - fix yourself some containers of healthy grab and go snacks. Then, when you have to go out, put your purse somewhere in the back of the car where you can't reach it, and put your healthy snack somewhere easy to get. Now you can't go through the drive through - you have to park and get your purse. But there is a healthy snack right there!

Use the times when you have energy to help future you.

I slept last night. Woke up with the beginnings of a headache and uneasy stomach which I think are from the ridiculous amount of caffeine I've been pumping into my body for the last two weeks. I'm having a slow morning with coffee and toast.

I'm also obsessing over a situation at school. I've got a student with a substance problem. I'm pretty sure she knows I know. I have no hard evidence - which is good because hard evidence would put me in the difficult position of being required to report her and have her expelled. That helps no one. What I want to do is help her quit. I'm trying to figure out how to start the conversation.

In other news, I'm going to try to get some barn work done this morning. Including some cleaning out of things into a garbage bag.

Then I need to take a shower and go into town - my heartdaughter is throwing herself a birthday party. She had a lousy childhood and never got an actually birthday party with friends and games and stuff, so she has decided to have one this year. She booked a venue where they do all the party stuff and invited a bunch of friends who she thought would get behind the idea. Bean and his parents will be there too. Dh is not coming because he is a curmudgeon.

The party venue is walking distance from where I take used books, so I might spend a few minutes with the bookshelf to see if I can find that not so great book I read some friends and drop them off.
Posted: 31 March 2023 - 07:44 PM
SubC, I'm sorry about the misunderstanding. That's hard. You were trying. Sometimes I feel like an alien in this world, too. Everyone else seems to function and I am just pretending.

CM, I hope your weather went okay.

I feel so sad today. I look at the state of my life and how it has spiraled into the toilet over the last year and I always go back to needing a whole new fresh start. Like if I don't do something now, I will look up in ten years, my grandkids will be growing up with no memories of me, if I am even alive, and I will still be sitting here in my dirty cluttered house, unhealthy, fat, alone, with a sad dog who is bored.

I am leaving on my trip in a couple days and when I get back I expect to change things. Everything, really.

- I am completely out of shape to the point I keep getting injured and/or sick. I gained like 60+ pounds since covid started, I do not exercise or even take walks anymore. I work or sit. This has got to change. I need to be active for my health, be strong for my grandkids so I can do things with them, and lose weight to function. Health simply must take priority and I must lose weight.

- I am admittedly lazy. And have no energy. And this ties to my last point of health. This has to change and will include less time on screens. I probably look at screens MOST of the time when I am home.

- Dirty cluttered house has to change. I am going to purge and spring clean when I get back.

- Wasteful spending has GOT to stop. This week I got some fast food and some candy, I keep making excuses for this kind of behavior! I need to start the no-spend thing. Essentials/bills only.

- prioritize relationships and stop being such an immense introvert. At the very least I need to put more effort into my family relationships. Good heavens. What is wrong with me?

All of this makes me frustrated and mad on a daily basis because I want it but I have zero energy, and when I finally push myself into doing it now I have a messed up arm and can't even wash dishes or carry anything. I am so frustrated!!!

Well, at least it is in writing and I will do these things. I am trying to make myself scrub the stove top with my left hand, next.
Posted: 30 March 2023 - 04:54 AM
The open house went ok.

My friend came with her little brother, so it was fun to chat with her.

I got to the studio early enough to finish my homework before class.

I need more sleep. Everything else rests on that.
Posted: 29 March 2023 - 04:31 AM
Good morning.

Didn't get anything done yesterday evening and stayed up too late anyway. I did make a fire because it has gotten cold again, and I set up a group discussion area online for one of my classes.

Full day teaching today, high school open house that I am not ready for and do not anticipate being ready for after school - my table is probably going to have three pieces of pottery, the description (but not syllabus) of my new class, and me to answer questions.

Then my class for which I have completed 2/3 of my homework.

When do we get to the other side CM?
Posted: 28 March 2023 - 08:05 PM
May or may not check in till weekend... today helped roommate put plastic covering on her old greenhouse because it will have to hold some items from the garage for when bug man comes Friday - but said items can't go out there too soon because it's going to rain, also we have WIND starting some tomorrow and a LOT on Thursday, and many indoor things will also be disrupted on Thursday day and into evening and nighttime. Thunderstorms are predicted for Friday.

I am not looking forward to any of it. I try to plan, and yes, I'm trying to remember Poco a Poco, but this level of crazy is hard. I will be so thankful when it is behind us. Perhaps we will get lucky and some of the weather predictions will miss us - although wind predictions never miss.

See you on the other side...
Posted: 28 March 2023 - 04:56 AM
Good morning!

Lila, I hope the bin filling went well. I'm glad you are using things.

I had a really good day with Bean yesterday. We played cars and zoo and drew with chalk, and then when it got warmer and drier outside we got the baby goat out for a while and moved some rocks and found a turtle and played on the creek bank.

But I messed up nap time and failed at understanding the return plan (in my defense "I will pick him up" sounds like the person is coming here - right? Even though the person usually meets me somewhere and meant that. - she usually says "I will meet you." or "can you bring him..") anyway Dd got mad at me, and then Dh and I had a long emotional conversation about my inability to function in the real world and I cried a lot and I just feel exhausted, emotionally drained, and uninterested in teaching today.

Also, it kept me from getting my homework done last night.

And my hip hurts a lot today. - I'm going to guess climbing down the hill to the creek and back and squatting on the creek bank for a long time. Worth it though.
Posted: 27 March 2023 - 02:39 PM
hi SubC, I hope you had a nice dinner with dh. I too have a bag full of plastic Easter eggs we reuse every year. They might be 15-20 years old. I am feeling a bit sad because I won't be here for Easter with Tot and Acorn (but happy I will be with the other grands). I would like to do something special for Easter with the girls before I go. Teen is going with me, and Son is staying home/working and taking care of the pets. His brother will come over every day to check on things and help with the pets.

My new routine is to actually eat or process the produce as I receive it. I have friends who grow things or buy things and share with me, as well as donated veggies. I am ashamed of how much of this I have wasted in the past by letting it go bad. I am not doing that anymore. So new routine is process veggies/fruits on my day off.

Today I have a bad headache and annoyed that my arm is useless. But, Son is helping me. He vacuumed for me. So far I:
- unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and it is running
- made coffee and oatmeal for breakfast
- cut and cleaned fresh kale. Some is soaking in the sink and some is in a vase to freshen it up. I plan to cook part and save part.

I am going to go in my bedroom and sort. I have a trash bag and an empty donation box. I also have an almost-empty tote that had a new bedspread in it. I bought it years ago and never used it and had some kind of complex about it. Teen asked for it so I gave it to them. Good riddance! I an put "save for later" items in that tote and put it in the garage or the staging area. Wish me strength to do more than look around and get frustrated.

Posted: 27 March 2023 - 04:36 AM
Good morning!

Hi Lila, I'm sorry you were left on your own. I was cleaning the chicken coop, and a good friend's daughter turned up on her way through the state with friends (just to say hi, pet the goat, and use the bathroom - haven't seen her in years!) I kind of had to rush them off so I could shower and get ready because Dh and I had a concert and dinner in the city with friends. Then home late-ish, chores, and bed. Full day.

I'm really glad your son is helping you.

What will he and teen do while you are on your trip?

Please clarify the "new routine" - cooking on Sunday?

Bean did not spend the night last night because of our date. I am picking him up at 8:30. Dsil is meeting me halfway.

He has a little playgroup of friends and the parents want to have an egg hunt for them, but as good millennial parents they are concerned about not wanting to buy plastic eggs and contribute to the destruction of the earth. My Dd told them she has the perfect solution - I will be taking the bin of plastic eggs to dsil today, they will use as many as they want, and then they will return them to me. All the fun, none of the guilt.

Meanwhile, I ordered more plastic animals. I am getting quite a stockpile. I couldn't resist because they had a special flash Easter sale with double points, free shipping on an order half the usual size and 60% off selected items. There were more than enough "selected items" I wanted to get me to the new shipping minimum, but I stopped there.

I really need to clear things out of the basement and organize - but it will have to wait for 9 more weeks of school plus a week of evaluations. I have a feeling that time is going to fly.
Posted: 26 March 2023 - 07:11 PM

- prepped and cooked a batch of collards
- roasted 4 heads of garlic and 4 sweet potatoes
- cleaned up after myself
- found a recipe for garlic mushrooms and have a plan to saute the mushrooms and put them over pasta for dinner

I am proud of myself for preparing all this produce today so it will not go to waste. This will be my new routine.
Posted: 26 March 2023 - 05:47 PM
ohhh I'm back and no one posted! Bummer, but I hope to hear from someone next time!

SubC, I like your "STOP" acronym idea. Thank you. I do pray a lot so it fits in.

I got so much done today even with my messed up wrist. Son has been super helpful. The things I am doing are to support my total change idea. I spent time processing produce. Son helped with some chopping and he cleaned off the stove for me.

- steamed 2 big batches of spinach. Froze one batch and put one in the fridge to eat. This was a chore because there was some small areas starting to go slimy so I had to pick through a lot of greens.
- trimmed and steamed a head of cauliflower, which is cooling and I will eat it over the next couple days. I like it mashed into oatmeal, believe it or not. Pretty tasteless but very healthy.
- sat in the sun for a bit
- Son put some things in the garage for me and put some things away. The table is not cleared yet---
- went through piles of mail and threw a lot away.

I am leaving on a trip to see my other grands next week so my goal is to eat and process all the produce so nothing goes bad while I am gone.
Posted: 26 March 2023 - 01:33 PM
Tatoulia, I'm with you on being bold enough to say no if someone is that pushy. Mine is not a money issue - no one would ask me for money as pretty much everyone knows I don't have it - but they ask for time, and effort. Will you come help me clean my house (but they really mean, will you come clean my house while I talk on the phone?) or will you watch my kids? Will you go run errands for me, or let me stay with you for free? I used to feel like I wanted to help and say yes all the time, but I started to be more discerning and now I only help when I feel spiritually led to. Of course if someone is in true need I will offer my help. That's different.

hi SubC, hope you have a good day today. I stayed home today due to not feeling well and I am glad I did.

I cant use my right hand but Son got up and helped me and together (me directing and doing light things, him lifting and carrying and juicing):
- sorted the fridge and tossed bad stuff
- juiced older oranges and drank fresh juice
- took trash out
- loaded dishwasher and it is running
- put some things away

He is off today and not busy, so next he is going to put the donations in my car and bring me a new empty box to start filling. I also am sorting some produce and he can help chop things so I can process them and have healthy things to eat. That is part of my 'big change': stop buying junk and letting produce go bad. Eat what I get each week. Lots of veggies I am given for free. I have dried beans, split peas and lentils and rice I can cook when I am thinking there is nothing to eat. I will learn some new ways to cook.

Goal: get the kitchen table cleared off today. I will need Son's help as I am dependent on him with my wrist messed up.

Also, I lost the little vent thingy that goes on the top of my instant pot. I NEED to find it so I can cook.

Putting the cancer plaque in the box and having son take it out to the car!! 200th item!
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 08:29 PM
Lila, I agree with you and SubC. It was given lovingly, you received it lovingly, and the gift has served its purpose. Great item to donate!

Reading a book is good, SubC! Even if the book itself wasn't very good.

I'm working on stuff. I know that the post about being vulnerable may have seemed strange. I am very kind and people sometimes prey on that. I'm generally pretty good but if I'm sad or feeling like I don't care, I'm more vulnerable. Just today I ran into someone in the street that I knew from BF's business (not that I could remember her name until I described her to BF) and instead of just saying hello, she stopped, asked me about a restaurant down the street, asked me if I'd eaten there (and I told her the truth, occasionally on a summer night for a burger on the patio) and she was rummaging through her purse, then saying that her check didn't arrive, and she's waiting on her taxes, etc. I was trying to get away from her because I was headed to mom's and she mentioned that she was going to the restaurant and she didn't know what she would do. And so I said, I'll tell BF you say hello she was trying to get me to pay for her meal or loan her money. After I was able to describe her sufficiently to BF, he was mentioning that she's a scam artist and he's glad I got away from her. These types of things. I tell myself, if people are bold enough to ask, I am bold enough to say no.

Getting g a few things done here!!
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 08:09 PM

I am home. Also I am your partner in "not getting the stuff I wanted to do done because of pain" today. Also, the wind took our power out for hours. It just came back.

Here are some things you can do -
start looking at smaller houses for sale online - imagine what stuff you would take and put in the rooms. Rethink the stuff you wouldn't take
Pray. - there are a lot of "stop" acronyms for dealing with challenging situations. One that might help you when you are facing something that leads you to bad coping mechanisms is "stop, take a breathe, observe your physical and emotional state, pray for guidance" t is also sometimes think, and o can be "open yourself to possibilities"
Look into long term possibilities for teen.

And YES! Get rid of the cancer plaque! I hate those pink ribbons. Every time I see a pink ribbon I am reminded that my grandmother died of breast cancer and I think how much she would have hated them.

Tatoulia, I'm glad you are making plans to feel more secure. Good for you and bf making progress on stuff!

Cm, how was the tea party?

I read a book today. It was ok, but not great. It can go now.
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 06:08 PM
Spending time with your mom is something, Tatoulia, so give yourself credit for doing that. And I hope you are working on the house and feeling good about it!

SubC where are you? I can't remember if you are still with your daughter or came home. My memory is so concerning that I am probably going to see my doctor. It happened after the 3rd round of covid.

So let me tell you a story. When I was dx with cancer last year it was very hard. I hope my testing next month shows it is gone, but I don't know yet. Well, a friend came over and gave me a little plaque last month. It is a poem painted on a plaque and placed in a little stand (she did not paint it or write it - she found it at a yard sale). It is a poem about cancer. It is meant to be encouraging, but seeing a plaque that says "Cancer" at the top in pretty script every day when I wake up is bothering me and making it ever-present. I wanted to get rid of it immediately, but she gave it so lovingly and the though was so kind that I kept it. I think that would be a suitable 200th item to put in my donate bin. What do you think?
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 05:16 PM
Lila, I used to wonder where everyone's stuff is, too. Now I know they just have less stuff. Not more storage, but actually less stuff. BF is getting ready to go overseas and he's getting rid of stuff and he's just reached the lightbulb moment. He is now taken a second look at stuff that just a few months ago he was saving, and he's found that more than 3/4 of the Must Save stuff can be shredded or donated. Pretty nice! I am setting up an Etsy shop for him and will sell some of his vintage stuff. Let's see how that goes.

I am sorry about your poor wrist, Lila. Try to nurse it as much as possible so that it will heal faster!

Hello CM! Let's hear about the bunny tea party! SubC, I'm sorry you made yourself sore from picking up the mamma goat. I am sure the students really love you for bringing them in.

I have nothing to show for today. I have one load of laundry in the dryer and I've emptied the dishwasher. I took mom a blouse that is too big for me and I also brought her dinner. She eats early, so I was there by 4:30 and I sat with her while she ate.

I need to see if BF will drive me to my car tomorrow. I'd like to take the painting my friend wants to the car as well as a bag or two of things to let go of. I have one full bag still here and I expect to fill one more tonight.

My BF and I are trying to get him ready for his trip as well as getting me ready. I have to get some things in place so that I keep my chin up when he's gone. For now, it's about getting him ready and making sure that I have what I need in place. The biggest fear in terms of me is not seeming vulnerable to certain people. So we are carefully telling people about his trip. There are a lot of predators and I'll likely be feeling vulnerable in the beginning after two decades of nearly daily togetherness. So far so good. I heard from a friend this week who when I mentioned his trip, she said, great, we will get together once a week. That's the sort of person I need to be around, not the ones that will see it as an opportunity to take advantage of me. I know it may seem weird that this is a concern but it can be tough out there. I'm personally very strong but then again I look at how I've let certain family members exploit me for time and money and so I have to tread carefully. He's coming back, we just don't have his game plan nailed down.

Okay enough about that. I'll need to get cracking on some stuff here. I want my house to look nicer. I know I can do it!
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 04:44 PM
Sitting here unable to work but thinking about what complete change would look like, a bit more.

- not living in fear anymore
- making room, literally and figuratively
- not emotional eating, but building habits of working out, walking, lifting weights, working in the yard as coping mechanisms along with meditation
- being able to find what I need rather than digging through piles. No more piles.

I FEEL like getting rid of things today.
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 03:04 PM
hello, friends. I WANT TO GO TO A BUNNY TEA PARTY!!!! It would probably not look like your tea party, but bunnies with little fancy hats sitting at the table with me...

Today is my day off. I planned to work hard all day and get boxes and boxes loaded up to donate, trashes full and out, and yard worked on. Instead, yesterday I fell on my wrist and spent 3 hours at urgent care for xrays. Thankfully not broken but badly sprained, so in a brace. Do you know how impossible it is to do work with a splinted right arm? Can't bend, turn a key, carry. So, day of rest. I hope it heals fast. I am typing with one finger and my left hand.

What would my complete change look like? without considering "how", what I envision is:

- reducing my belongings by 50%
- just getting rid of everything I am not using
- trusting that if I need something in the future, God will provide
- getting a smaller house
- stop sitting around. stop wasting time
- instead of watching tv, sleeping, eating, shopping, I work on my environment, my health, and my relationships
- I stop rotating my life around Teen's needs and begin to focus on my own needs more

I went to a friend's house yesterday and there was NO clutter. It was cute and neat. I kept wondering where all her 'stuff' is. I can't get my head around it, but I want it.
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 12:43 PM
Sorry you're having the nasty weather now, SubC. Hope it improves soon.

Bunny tea party fundraiser we'll be leaving for at 2:00. Hope we make lots of money and have fun and that it isn't more work than it's worth. You never know about these things when you're a very small nonprofit. The bigger ones have the rich donors and the people who really know how to put on an event. Ours is more fly by the seat of the pants.

Weather gradually improving here. Next week will be somewhat taken up with the annual push to get ready for bug man (termite inspection). Garage sort-of decluttering, it's been a work in progress for years. That's roommate's decision making area, I'm just the helper.

Need to remember, too, to make the reservation for the senior center garage sale. And really start gathering stuff in earnest.

Was at the storage unit the other day to get my steampunk hat. My, my. Everytime I go to that place I'm either "It's not too bad; I think it won't take too much longer to get the extraneous stuff gone, neaten the rest, etc." or "Yikes... I have so much stuff." This visit was more the latter. However, I will not lose heart. Besides, I was just popping in, so there wasn't a focus of a lot of accomplishment that particular day. When I go back to pull stuff for the sale, that should be a more positive thing.
Posted: 25 March 2023 - 09:41 AM
Good, well it is still morning.

Tatoulia I'm sorry you are stressed and having those dreams. I bet your definition of mess is my definition of orderly - lol!

Hello intermittent Lila, I hope you are getting some rest. What would your complete change look like? Maybe brainstorm some really crazy outside the box scenarios - don't worry about practicalities, and see where your thoughts lead you. There may be practical steps you can take that come out of the exercise. I still can't believe dd2 just dropped her entire life and moved to Denver.

I watched "everything, everywhere, all at once" on one of the plane rides. It was a very silly movie, but it had strong underlying themes. The idea that every small choice you make changes the path of your life. The protagonist in the movie was supposedly living the worst possible version of her life, but she "saved the universe" by choosing to stay there with her daughter. I am cynical about that narrative choice, but the idea of finding the best of the situation and focusing on that is good, and also - for crying out loud- make better choices! Even if they are only small ones - she had alternate paths that started with small choices and built on each other.

I took Shamrock and his mom along yesterday and we had lessons on her - The kids all loved it, but she wanted to lay down all day and I hurt my back lifting her to her feet over and over. I am stiff and hobbling today.

Dh had a long week as well, and suggested we get dinner out. The restaurant has changed hands since we last went (we can't remember how long ago) some of the food is better and some worse, but good enough, and the portions are huge, so we also have tonight's dinner.

We tried to get to bed early but Dh got a work call at ten pm that kept him working until midnight. I however went right back to sleep and slept nearly 12 hours. My brain feels much more clear now.

The sun is trying to come out, but the wind is roaring. CM, did you send this? Maybe it will dry things out a bit. We've had so much rain this week that the yard is saturated and has a coat of water most places - footsteps become footprint shaped puddles. There are flood warnings downstream from us. Our creek is already well into flood stage, but not up to our bridge.

I'll have to stay out of the woods today as I expect with the sodden ground and the wind we will lose more trees.

I intended to go down to the pottery studio today and glaze some things because tomorrow is the last day to put them up and we have other plans, but when my alarm went off this morning I decided I needed rest more.
Posted: 24 March 2023 - 09:24 AM
Good morning! Tea clinks!!

Lila, I can feel the pain and exhaustion in your voice. Good that you are seeing today's time with son through a positive lens.

My house is a mess. I'm a bit of a mess, too. I can only do what I can do. I have to get ready for a meeting soon. I need to look good or at least not terrible.

I dreamt that I missed this meeting and that I missed another important one coming up later today and I was mortified. Those missing school and missing test dreams never go away for me.

Have a good day, everyone. I'll let you know what I can accomplish today! Bf is overwhelmed with all he has to do. Not sure if he'll let me help him or not.
Posted: 23 March 2023 - 11:45 PM
hello again, the Intermittent Lila is back!

So busy, so much chaos and drama, so much work. My knees hurt soo much. I have to work tomorrow. I am really tired. And full of complaints. Will work on that...

I was about to say how happy I am that tomorrow I don't have to do ANYTHING in the morning until my 12:00 appointment, and then I looked at my planner and I have to take Son to an appointment at 9:30. And bring him home after. Oh well. I will have some quality time with son and maybe we will pick up a coffee or breakfast.

I am aggravated because I think I hot at least 199, maybe 200 items last week on the tally but forgot to update so not sure. I will take a peek in the new donation box and see if there is anything on top that wasn't counted.

I enjoyed reading about the baby goat. I am sorry for the hard and sad things and struggles you all are going through.

I feel like I need a complete change in my life. Like a big, complete change.
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