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I dumped box after box of canned goods and several hefty trash bags of other food stuff that was no longer good or WAY out of date.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.

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…