kitchen katastrophe

December 12, 2010

Part #3 of 6

This was the first room in the house that I had to tackle…I just couldn’t bring myself to cook or EAT in there! As you can see the dining table was awash with things. It is constantly crushed with cans and boxes of dried food, among a load of other crap that nobody knows what to do with (or is simply too lazy to do anything with). It’s not uncommon for mom to go grocery shopping and buy many items that they already have stashed somewhere else. Too lazy to look or she just doesn’t care, I don’t know. So in order to make things a little easier and more accessible for both my mom and my gramma and hopefully prevent some of this stacking up on the dining table, I moved the pantry items into the house from the garage and the washroom. Gram can’t navigate the steps into the garage anyway so it made sense to do that for her.

What angered me most during the process of this part of the cleaning was how much waste there was. I dumped box after box of canned goods and several hefty trash bags of other food stuff that was no longer good or WAY out of date. I even found some canned goods hidden in some wood kitchen cabinets that were stashed in the front of the garage (way far away from the pantry area)…they were sitting on the ground by themselves which tells me they were probably a yard sale find and it was an odd place to store or hide something like food, so I’m assuming they were just put there after unloading the car and then forgotten. Either way, I felt guilt for having to toss it all. And then angry for my mom for having spent so much money on more stuff that would go unused.

It was shameful to see how much food made it to the dark side and how little was actually worth keeping.  I never did get to the freezers in the garage to clean them out … yes, two full size freezers sit in the garage pushing AC for food that is also bad and needs to be thrown out. Stocked full of old freeze burnt unrecognizable meats, breads, and stuff. When I went to visit in June I went to clean the pantry and noticed one of the doors ajar…upon closer inspection I realized there was a 2inch gap in the door, of solid ICE! No one had chipped it off to close the door in MONTHS! Mom said she knew about it and just didn’t fix it. It took me several hours to take every piece of food out and chip away all the ice that had built up on the door and the shelves that kept it from closing entirely. I was so pissed I could see red for days.

Anywho, the kitchen was another all day event and then the pantry was half a day…the dumpster was stuffed by the time they came to dump it…and probably heavier than heck too!


Relax. Breathe. Focus.


bathroom blues

December 11, 2010

Part #2 of 6

So you’ve probably seen most of these photos of the bathroom already, and considering all the work that needed to be done throughout the whole house, this room seemed easy enough…in my mind! As you can see by the photos, it was a lot more than simply straightening up a couple of extra bathroom items and makeup. I think I hauled out 3-4 hefty bags full of stuff…and had plenty more that I could have thrown away if I thought I wouldn’t get murderized by my mother! Turns out the bathroom was quite cozy with just a few minor tweaks, some new artwork on the wall and good scrubbing on the floor! I was right at home with the new floor rugs and room for my travel goodies too! =) Me Happy. Mom Happy. Win. Win. YAY!



Relax. Breathe. Focus.

living room limbo

December 10, 2010

Part #1 of 6

It’s been several weeks since I posted, 2 weeks and 2 days actually, because I had a meltdown on my birthday in the midst of the clean sweep extravaganza. Once I hit the wall, I knew I needed to step away from the keyboard and a few others things and live by my own mantra: Relax. Breathe. Focus. I felt like my world was coming undone in that tiny little house, with the mounds of crap scattered all over the place and my mere tiny pockets of success, and on top of that there were the math studies I had to be mindful of…whew. I also knew that somewhere somehow I would have to spend quality time with my gMa before I left and figure out how to prepare ourselves for the shitstorm my mother would bring upon us when she came home.

I worked diligently on the house for the remainder of my stay and managed to finish most everything. How I ever thought I could do both the house AND the garage, I do not know. Apparently I was having some sort of illusions of grandeur, but it was fun thinking it could be done! So even though I did pull up short on the entire project, each and every room got a makeover as well as every closet, drawer, nook and cranny. I managed to completely revamp every square inch of the house except my grammas room, the china cabinet and a few of the kitchen cabinets. Everything else was sorted, purged and discarded or rearranged. Only select things that were saved went out to the garage, most of it went to the Goodwill, 8 or 9 trips in total. Two full dumpsters of garbage. 5 car loads to the dump with extra paper goods. Countless items went to the curb for drivers-by to pickup. And a bunch of heavy stuff in the garage went to CraigsList fanatics. 

 I worked all the way up until 1pm on departure day, and then had an hours worth of last minute errands to run; Goodwill, Post Office, Grocery Store, Bank, etc. I finally put my tired butt in the chair about 3pm and sat with gMa till the shuttle came to pick me up later that evening. She kept watching the clock and cursed the quickly passing hours. She was really reluctant to see me leave and although exhausted and SO ready to be home again, I was also very reluctant to leave her. The trip was quite successful all in all and the pictures will never do it justice. They just don’t give you the same awesome feeling as it does in person.

There was so much work to be done, see for yourself. Click on any image within the blog text to get a larger version…


Relax. Breathe. Focus.

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.