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Friday, February 12, 2010

Hoarders, part 2

So there I was, stewing in my own self-conscious guilt about why I have never been able to get rid of useless junk like a normal person, and not able to come up with any insights. All this stuff had been floating around in my head for many months. At least since Kristy made her teaser post about organizing last September.

Meanwhile, one of my friends on Facebook was posting about making her packrat husband throw out all his old love letters from his ex-girlfriend. And I thought, "But you're not supposed to throw away old letters!"

Why do I think this way???

I was pretty sure that someone, somewhere had the answer. Written down. I didn't care if I had to trudge my way through a psych textbook to find it. I needed it, and I was GOING TO find it.

In desperation, I poked around the Hoarders website, and ended up at's Understanding Hoarding page. It had lots of links and was pretty overwhelming, (I am really starting to think that the older I get, the worse my ADD-like tendencies get. Especially since FB. But that is another rant for another day.) but I did notice there was a short book list. I got on Amazon and looked for those books and added them to my cart. Then, like the good little money-conscious wifey that I would like to be, I ignored the cart and looked for them in my library's online catalog.

I found a few - not the one I most wanted to read, but decided that was OK (this is big. The old me would have gone back to the Amazon tab and ordered it on the spot!) and hoped the others would still be helpful. While I was waiting for the books to arrive I saw the 40 Trash Bag Challenge on Sue's Blog and thought, "How timely!" A few days later I saw it again in a link Danielle Bean posted on Facebook. I loved the idea, but didn't start it. The problem, again, lies in actually being able to make the decision to put things IN the bag.

"Why, oh why, can't I do this?!?!?!?!?! What in the world is wrong with me?!?!?!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hoarders, part 1

Have you seen A&E's Hoarders? I saw some friends chatting about it on TimeSuck Facebook and was immediately curious. We don't get cable/satellite here, but I've been watching episodes on the website. They put up a new one every week.

I suspect the show was started for shock value, to make you wonder how anyone could live like that. But I cried all through the first episode I watched, because I could totally relate to the hoarders. I looked around my house and wondered if they might be coming for me next. Realistically, my house is not nearly bad enough for them. But to me it seems like it is! Then, I thought of two different relatives for whom they probably OUGHT to come. But don't ask for names, 'cause I'm not interested in incriminating the guilty. (I probably shouldn't even have gone there. But if you know who I'm talking about, you know who I'm talking about.)

I don't think I'm entirely a hoarder. I do not (or should rather say no longer) have the problem of always acquiring new things without getting rid of the old ones. I just can't get rid of the old stuff. This problem has caused me to be stuck in an organizing rut lately. Lately being the last, oh, 4 or 5 or 30 years! I can get 2 or 3 rooms COMPLETELY CLEAN, only to have all the other ones go to pot. I can't ever seem to get caught up, because by the time I can get back to the piles of homeless stuff, they have been picked through, pulled at, strewn about. Moved somewhere else. Fallen over onto the floor. You get the picture. Not to mention all the toys that get strewn everywhere while I am paying attention to my stuff instead of my children.

So I get mad. I get frustrated. I get discouraged. I get depressed. I get to hating myself. I go hide my head in a silly Facebook game. All the while The FlyLady's words "You cannot organize clutter - you can only get rid of it!" float around quietly in the back of my head. (Side note - apparently sometime since I stopped getting her emails 4 or 5 years ago, this phrase was modified to "You cannot organize clutter - you can only organize the things you love!") But I couldn't just get rid of things. I couldn't even tell you WHY I can't get rid of things, but there is something there, some idea (or ideas) buried deep in my belief system, that keeps me from throwing away or even giving away most of the stuff.

The more I thought about this, the more it bothered me. Why should my mistaken impressions, or worse yet somebody else's, rob me of multiple hours every week that I could spend doing something else? I have much better ways to spend my life than to keep picking up the same piles of stuff that get knocked over, or need to be moved so we can use the space they're occupying. It's like my FlyBaby friend Erin said, "I don't want my kid to grow up hearing, 'No, Mommy can't take you to the park today. I have to move this pile of crap from over here to over there.'"

I thought and thought and thought (and even prayed a little. Though not enough. Another story of my life I intend to change) about why I cannot just say, "Oh, I haven't used that in x years, it's OK to get rid of it." I desperately wanted answers, but no amount of introspectiveness brought them out of hiding.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Adventures in King Cake making

What do allergies and living in Colorado have in common?

Neither are conducive to getting a good King Cake when you want one. (Plenty of yeast, dairy, & eggs in there.)

We tried to make our own tonight. I used this cinnamon roll recipe (subbed whole grain spelt flour and rice milk) and pinched the ends together instead of cutting out the rolls. Then we made the frosting out of powdered sugar and rice milk, and colored organic cane sugar with food coloring (I know, I know!!! But it's a King Cake!) for the toppings.

The results were pretty, but left a lot of room for improvement taste-wise. I think we will have to try again tomorrow! :)



Can't wait to eat it!

Can't let the extra frosting go to waste!

We couldn't stop handing out slices until SOMEONE found the baby!

Sammy wanted to make sure Katie had a turn at the baby, since he got the one last year.
(Or so he says. The post says otherwise!)