forty one candles

Tuesday, November 23rd – my birthday

The holidays are typically a tough time for me and for thousands of other people too. I have a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all bundled together. None of which were typically very happy growing up. I think it hit me all in one day though, because I am totally sapped today as I’m writing this. I’m dreading filling up another bag of trash or another box to go to the Goodwill. I usually find pleasure in purging, not today. Today I just want to feel warm and fuzzy, and special.  

I worked all night clearing out the damn pantry and some of the kitchen cupboards and then I relaxed for an hour watching one of my favorite late night shows, Criminal Minds. I finally stumbled my tired butt to bed about midnite and prepared myself mentally for today, my 41st birthday. Ever have one of those birthdays that felt something like a scene out of a movie, “Sixteen Candles” perhaps? Where everyone you love and care about was so caught up in the their own stuff they forgot it was your special day? Hmmm, that’s precisely what today was like. Gramma, I can let off the hook cause she’s old and doesn’t remember where she put her glasses (usually on her face) and my mom for whatever reason has hardly remembered my birthday (on my birthday) for well over 10years. The other party that forgot, well there better be some sweet deal coming my way later, cause aren’t boyfriends subject to a special “honey” clause when it comes to Birthdays, Valentines Day and Christmas…? Just asking.

So I made it out to get my grande latte this morning and almost busted my kisser on the icy driveway, and the parking lots running to and fro! I never realized how everything could turn into a skating rink with just a smidgy bit of snow! It was especially fun trying to pry open the car door that was frozen shut! Anywho, I made my way to Starbucks and then to Michaels for a couple of things and back to work at the house. The chimney sweep came and got the wood burning stove all sorted out while I worked on the pantry some more. Its’ too dang cold out there to work right now and I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing I may accomplish out there on this trip is clearing out the pantry and breaking down the excess of empty boxes that were launched into space. And maybe I’ll even toss out all the old canned goods, plastic and glass crap that’s hoarding all the shelves and floor space.  

In between Facebook messages and a couple of short phone calls I’ve had a pity party about being alone on my birthday and having to work so hard on this disaster by myself. I’ve felt the tears well up in my eyes a few times but I’ve managed to suck it up. I can hear someone telling me to stop being so stubborn and to relax the rest of the day, but this has to get done, it can’t clean itself, and I guess it might as well be me doing it. When I told Danny last night about all the work I’ve been doing and the impending work ahead of me, even after I get home…he said that I was doing a lot, and that I could handle a lot, but how much more? Honestly…it’s starting to wear on me. I’m tired, physically and emotionally. But who else would step up to this? And how much longer could it possible wait? I mean seriously…it’s been waiting for years sure but it was out of freaking control. Surely the garage can wait another few months though, right?  

For now I’ve decided to put something in the crock pot, pick up this mornings scattered mess and work on my centerpiece for my Christmas Brunch at church. Maybe I’ll even get a bottle of wine, and then I can boohoo and whine about how I’ll have to buy myself a cake with 41 candles on it … and eat it alone.


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

Tomorrow…I’ll be happy I’m one day closer to done.


off the grid

Monday, November 22nd

Been off the grid all day running errands…grocery shopping, delivering Goodwill donations, going to the post office, shuffling Craigslist stuff, preparing things to ship for eBay…making lunch, making dinner, breaking down boxes…*catching my breath*. And now I’m just gonna try to enjoy the rest of the evening, it should be relaxing now that I’ve finally eaten something. I just have to unload the shelves in the kitchen, move the pantry items from outside in, throw out the old canned goods, move the coffee stuff, make room for the dry goods in the kitchen, sort old plastic containers…*catching my breath* and then, well then it’ll be time for bed no doubt.

And when I wake in the morning, it’ll be my birthday – do you really think that’ll slow me down? Doubtful. But I will go treat myself to a latte and some coffee cake, enjoy the cold weather (maybe some snow even!) and call a few friends. And when I’m done with that, I’ll move moms furniture, clear the living room for the chimney sweep to come in, vacuum the floors, clean out the hall closet, etc etc etc……………….


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

Tomorrow…proof that there IS a floor and another wall in my moms bedroom! Astounding.

anything but this

Today, November something-or-other

Just a quick update…I think my gram and I are both totally worn out. She’s been trying to sort thru her old mail in an effort to contribute to the clean sweep, or impress me with her super human gramma abilities, but for now she’s in her room napping! Poor thing, she wants so badly to do something, she will wear herself out while I’m here trying to keep up. I love her so much, she’s been my rock over the years. I just wish she wasn’t so damn stubborn…I guess it’s inherited. *coughcough*

I have been working in my mom’s room today, that is, the part of the day that I haven’t been dilly-dallying around trying to AVOID working in her room! Two problems with that; one, it’s a lot of junk to go thru and two, when I’m done there it’ll be time to move out in to the (<–SEE WHAT I HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO) garage more or less…ugh. Not really looking forward to that although that seems to be the part gram wants done more than anything. I hope I find her Bible in there somewhere, she’s been pining for it for years. And I hope I find her paintings too, they’ve been MIA for at least 5-6 years. . .I want to bring one or two home to frame. She was a fantastic self-taught oil painter. Beautiful scenery that was just breathtaking, she shakes so much now she can hardly hold a pen let alone a brush and paint.

Grams suffered from Parkinson’s and Diabetes along with a few other health and weight issues for a many years and it’s getting worse…she’s probably just a short road away from Alzheimer’s as well, her memory slips past her often and we don’t know if it’s the Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Either way it’s a shame to see someone you love and know so well turn into a stranger right before your eyes. It makes me sad. I’ve found so many things that she wrote years ago, she had the most elegant handwriting. I always admired her penmanship. And then I get angry about the way they live now, it should be different for her…she told me the other night that this is NOT how she imagined growing old. What could I say to that? I just turned my head as a tear slid down out of sight.

And my mom’s room is simply plaguing me, out of the 5 boxes I have sorted, 4 of them have been full of old mail, catalogs and trash! I’m seriously getting fed up with this sh*t. I feel nausea coming on…maybe its all the dust and dirt I’m kicking up, maybe it’s because the heaters on too high, maybe it’s because I don’t have my shit waders on to get thru the pigsty…one may never know. Maybe I just need to eat. I hardly think that a latte, a slice of coffee cake, a bologna sandwich and some peanut butter slapped on a piece of bread is enough to sustain my energy with all the calories I’ve burned today! Perhaps I’ll wrap up the mess for tonight, load up the car for my morning donation delivery and make some soup for me and the ol’ lady *hahaha* She does love some soup!

Anywho, I guess I’m down griping for now…back to the job at hand, cause it aint gonna clean itself!


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

in the land of OCD

Friday, November 19th

Hey, what day is it? I’m so confused. Is it Friday or Sunday…what month is this? When am I going home? It seems like I’ve been here so long in the land of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorientation) that I’m really discomboobulated. My writing is only two days behind, but for some reason I can’t quite remember what happened on what day now! I’ve been fractured into so many pieces along the way, I’m not even sure that anything has been finished entirely! Every time I walk into a room I see more stuff that needs to be cleaned and/or organized. Every nook and cranny of this house is filled with trash, junk and things that will never be used.

*Hey, it’s actually Sunday right now, and I just happened to look out the window and I’m so excited…it’s SNOWING outside! (Just thought I’d share that with you!) Anywho, between running out to the transfer station with the extra recyclables and going to the Goodwill with all the donations I have most certainly lost many many hours of my life that I’ll never get back. Countless minutes loading and unloading garbage in and out of (2) cars. It took me an entire hour to unload and dump all the boxes of PAPER at the transfer center Friday morning, then another hour unloading stuff at the Goodwill. By the time I got back to the house, I was ready for some breakfast and a short siesta!

But there’s no rest for the weary, or the wicked, depending on who you ask! However, I deftly dove into the litany of garbage collecting in my mother’s room. Several years ago I spent an afternoon with her in that room hanging all of her clothes. But since her usual modus operandi is to take it off and pile them in a heap in FRONT of the closet there’s no reason to use the closet. People, the hangers inside had DUST on them. Nothings been hanging in there for years. YEARS. WTH?

I started on the heap and hope to make my way around the room. So far I have uncovered empty boxes of things she has purchased, I even uncovered boxes of things she purchased and simply never opened. Mostly (and this is the case throughout the entire house) I unearthed boxes of old mail, coupons, circular ads and magazines, catalogs, trash etc. Just shoved in a box to “sort” through at a later time. It’s a shame we can’t recycle paper goods the same way we recycle bottles or cans…I could buy airplane tickets for two to Tahiti if that were the case! And trust me, I’d much rather be there than here at the moment! ‘Cept the snow is rather pretty…oooh snowflakes. Sorry, got distracted.

Within the rubble I found a filing cabinet, which doesn’t appear to house any of her important ‘current’ documents, paint and crafts that are dried out and unusable, clothing that is torn, stained or moldy. Personal items that have been sitting for so long no one even remembers they exist. And my oh my how she loves a good yard sale and thrift store find, apparent by the plastic bags and stickers still attached on each treasure, too bad they’ll never get used. Empty pill bottles galore. Adult bed pads overwhelm. Wire hangers dangling to and fro. Just a sidenote that anybody who knows me has to know that is one of my biggest pet peeves, no wire hangers, EVER.

This room has given me some joy to revamp, it’s been a semi-cleansing if you will. I am far from being done, but it’s a good start and since I’ve been sleeping in here, well now I can stop worrying about the boogeymen living in the piles of crap! Plus, as much as I hate to admit, I want to make this a safe haven, even though it’s for the one person who could have prevented the majority of this calamity. I’d like to produce a “grown-up” room for her in hopes that she’ll want to follow suit and keep it that way, for a while at least.


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

Tomorrow…more ramblings…