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Clean and Clutter-free: And so begins the saga-

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handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 9, 2011
5:40 AM

Post #8681634

I have about a year to clear away many years of "clutter" consisting of antiques, other peoples collectables, (a whole lot of white ardalt porcelain) vintage and antique clothing ( I mean really vintage and antique, not 90's stuff), vintage and antique french and german bed linens, vintage tablecloths from the 50's antique barkcloth yardage, and the like, so I can sell my house.
The thing is is that my house is an absolute disaster! My ex husband died suddenly about 9 weeks ago, and much of his less desirable stuff came to me. These are items that have no intrinsic value, such as old and outdated medical books, even beach towels and his collection of dvd's and cd's, but my kids want to keep them. I know it is kind of too soon to ask them to part with this stuff, but its everywhere! I have an old pair of scuba diving flippers sitting on my dining room table as I write this, along with about a gagillion pieces of paper from his house. I just found a check for thousands of dollars buried in the paper rubble that came here that he got by mistake from a refund on MY home owners policy. The garage is filled to the brim with the regular garage stuff, and now with a fairly nice sofa that was in my sons bedroom at his dads, a solid cherry round pedestal table and chairs, a mattress and box spring, and a mahogany queen size sleigh bed that needs repairs. It's not perfect, but it is nice.
So I need strength! I need to find a way to tackle all this stuff with a clear head and a clear eye, but its really hard. My stuff has started to "own me" instead of the other way around. So much of me wants to just call someone and donate this stuff. Still, I keep holding on to the idea that the money I could get from this could help my youngest get some college, which would be very good for him, but I'm probably dreaming. I'm sure that its not worth what I think it is. So here I am, feeling like I need to contact Clean House, or that show about hoarders! Any suggestions are so appreciated, I promise not to do a "yes, but" thing to anyone who replies...
I dont think I'm quite computer savvy enough for ebay for the other stuff- the ardalt and linens, and wondered if anyone here has used an estate buyer? Most of these items came from family members who passed. I live in a gated community that does not allow garage sales, which really puts a damper on my being able to go that rout! I have other things too- like a very unusual and expensive chandelier for example. If anyone here has had to contend with this, or something like this I sure could use your advice! To be honest, I think I might need psychiatric intervention if I dont begin to get a handle on this...
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 9, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8681740

Dear Handbright - I hear you. Oh boy, do I hear you. Hopefully some folks who have had to deal with this sort of thing will chime in later and give some tips that helped them get through the process. Yes maam, many of us have had to deal with estates belonging to others and make decisions about things that were often hard to do.

My story sort of goes that after moving in to a house half the size of my previous one, both my parents died and left a very large amount of quite nice furnishings and glass ware. After my brother and myself and our children went through and chose the items we wanted, I sent the remainder to auction. Kind of along the same lines as an Estate Sales Planner would do. Since you mentioned a gated community, before you decide which route to go, you need to find out if auctions or on site estate sales are allowable. If not, most companies are equipped to come and get the items and sell them at another site. If you have't dealt with either of these types of businesses, I would ask around for local referrals

It was not long after closing out my parent's estate that my husbands parent's folded up house and moved to a small apartment in a Retirement Community. So...here we go again. My husband spent what seemed to be a gosh lot of time on weekends along with his siblings going through his parent's home and dividing up possesions. Here again, our household received more items in our already limited amount of space.

My husband has a four bay detached garage, I have two outside storage sheds and everything was packed full until last winter when we did a major de-cluttering of our home and out buildings. Once again, I relied on the same Auction Company I dealt with when selling the remains of my parents household. I didn't have enough items to carry a whole auction myself last winter, so my items were put in with other smaller lots. A person definitely won't get rich by selling via auction, but it is a way to get rid of things rather quickly, and the auction companies do the required work to sell them.

I suppose if I were you, I would start making some phone calls next week and find out how different companies work and then choose which route you want to take. Oh yeah, you need to be willing to let things go for probably much less than their value. I was the same as yourself and didn't have the time or patience to deal with online selling and needed to get rid of things quicker than that would have allowed me to.

While we were doing all of this, we did run some ads in local papers regarding specific items we thought we could get more from selling individually than be sending to auction and ran in to folks who will take your items and sell them online for you. You would have to work out a deal with the seller, who might already have a cost guide set up. You might make more this way than selling via auction too, because at auction when it is gone, it is gone, where with selling on line, a person can change their mind usually if they are not getting the amount for the item they wanted for it.

So, really there are many options out there for you. It is up to you to decide. I can tell you that it really helped to keep me centered and motivated by keeping in touch with the others on this forum. Sorry that things are kind of slow at the moment on the board, as the weather began to get warm, the boards became less and less active. Lots of folks gardening I suppose. Hopefully your question today will be read by some others who have some tips to offer. Just know that you don't have to go through this alone, I will try to keep up with the posts here so that if I can think of anything else to pass along to make things easier for you, that I can do it.

Good luck, it is a process to be taken one step a time. It may all seem very overwhelming to you now, but taken a step at a time and having some support as you go through it will help. You mentioned psychiatric care to help get through. You may want to contact your county mental health board and see if there are any services available for someone dealing with this issue. Hoarding and accumulating too many items is epidemic, so the mental health associattions ought to be able to direct you for some help. Whatever you decide...I wish you great success. It seems like a lot, but guaranteed it can be done...with support and you are the person who will decide how much and what sort of support you will need. Thankfully this time, mine was found here at Dave's, was free and the end result has been priceless.

Good luck...it will be okay...

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 9, 2011
7:33 AM

Post #8681804

Thank you so much for your quick response Ruby... I am taking your advice and I am going to run with it! Monday is going to be spent on the phone with auction houses. When they come do they go through the stuff, or do I have to have it all organized?
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 9, 2011
11:09 AM

Post #8682198

Hi - No need to spend precious time organizing things right now. I never did that. What they will probably propose is to come to your place and see what you have. When they come you can just point to the things that will be included in the sale. If you have valuable coins, papers, any sort of small collectibles, I would get them together for the auctioneering service to give you an idea how things such as what you have are selling for currently. If you interview two or three different auction companies, you can decide which one meets your needs best. Heck, they may come in and say nothing is worth sending or they may be able to tell you that the things you have for sale are really hot now and selling for good prices.

You will have to sign a contract at some point as to how things will be settled. They have set charges for their services usually. We saved a little money by transporting our items to the auction site ourselves versus having them come and get them which they usually charge for.

Look on line at some local auction houses and see what they have to say. Again, you don't have to go with the first company you talk to but can speak with several before deciding which fits best. Again, if I didn't have an already full life, I could sit idly by and wait for things to sell online, but I have sold on line in the past and it is a lot of work that goes in to doing it. People don't think of the time involved in taking pictures, writing a description, learning the rules of the online auction site, etc., etc.

The auction houses or an Estate Sales person are your best bet depending upon the quality of your items. The auction house I used is actually called The Cow Palace Barn because it is a converted dairy barn. The specialize in selling whole estates, so sometimes have some pricy things, but a lot of times they are just selling household contents of closing estates and nothing fancy or really pricy is sold.

If you have never attended an auction, go to one some time and get a feel for what goes on. The way I ended up selling online some years back is because I then lived very close to The Cow Palace Barn and often attended their auctions twice weekly. I ended up buying many things that I would never use, so had lots of extras, and a much quieter life at the time, so could devote the time and energy to selling my extras online.

Whatever you do...good luck. This as with most anything in life business wise, be wary of possible rip offs and such. Most of the reputable auction companies are bonded and insured. Again, if you know anyone who has used any particular company, get a referral from them.

You can do it and I am here reading if you choose to share the things you are learning as you step in to this. It is the weekend and I am having extra computer time which doesn't always occur during the week, but if you write, I will respond as soon as I have read the message.

Again, best of luck...who knows, you may be sitting on a mint and don't know it. Be cautious, but not paranoid.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 10, 2011
3:24 AM

Post #8683201

Yesterday I sent all my "big dog" stuff to a neighbor with a big dog. I used to have two big dogs, and then fostered boxers for awhile, before I got my new guy, Pepin, a french bulldog. I sure didn't need the massive pillows anymore. The bedding alone was taking up so much room, and now its gone- it feels great! My neighbors were more than thrilled to get the stuff, and wonder of wonders, their son has an ebay site and he said he would help me if I wanted him to! I still have to get my two boys on the bandwagon, but we're getting there. I also was able to give some of the vintage clothing to a friend who likes them and will wear them. She was overjoyed, and I felt better knowing they would be appreciated and used. What I really wish is that it were possible to hook up with a family who needs help with furnishing a house- I could do a whole house from soup to nuts, no problem.

I cant tell you how good it feels to get this off my chest here, and to have your support. Thank you for sharing your story here- you must have felt at least as overwhelmed as I do right now. I am all my sons have now. Some days it takes all my energy just dealing with their pain and sadness. Still they look to me to set the tone, so to speak. They are counting on me keeping it together- so thats what has to be done!

I'm glad to hear that I don't have to organize all this stuff. Your tips about how to go through the hiring of an auction house are really appreciated. I'm in south Florida, so it shouldn't be hard to find one. I do need to clean up before I let anyone in here, but at least now I have a goal and a plan. That helps a lot to keep me from feeling like pulling the covers over my head and saying to heck with it. I did go for counseling, and the mental health worker told me that what I was experiencing was a normal response to a very difficult situation. It may sound strange, but it was actually a relief to hear that. I still see her, but not as frequently, more as a check in.

Today is going to be devoted to "just toss it". Tomorrow is garbage day and I am going to have a massive pile at the curb! One room at a time- one room at a time. But one thing is for sure- today I'm flipping the flippers out the door. Thanks so much Ruby...

Amy
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2011
9:00 AM

Post #8683768

Dearest Bright, How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I have told some of my story on the other thread "What will you leave for others?"

First, DH is an only child. MIL is 93 and the queen of controlling. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary and it has not been an easy road mostly because of her. Last September, 2010, it became necessary for her to make me POA over her financial affairs. By November she had fallen one too many times and we brought her here with us. Lasted 2 weeks. She is now in an assisted living facility near us. Her home was over 75 miles from us, 2 acres, 3,000 sq ft, 2 outbuildings on the waterfront of a major lake. God truly blessed when a neighbor offered to purchase the place almost immediately. Problem: took over 6 months to close the deal. In the meantime DH and I had to clear everything of over 40 years. I truly thought we both would loose our minds before this was over. With the help of the people on this forum we made it. She didn't have very good taste and there was nothing of much value. We found someone nearby and they simply cleaned out the outbuildings and took the junk as payment. We had to close our eyes and put a lot of "stuff" into the recycle bin as there was no other choice. Had two sales, one there, one here. Still had the majority of the kitchen left...lots of Corele and Corning Ware. We took a lot to the thrift store that employes handicapped adults. Still had "stuff". A friend made a plea on Facebook that she was going to Joplin, MO. and did anyone have a donation. Voile! The kitchen was completely furnished with what we had. Through all of this I took a deep look at my "stuff". I do have a lot of things that are very old family heirlooms and I used to be an antique dealer and have a lot of other things worth something. Now there is the crux of the matter. Anything is worth only as much as someone else will pay for it. Right now people are buying groceries and gasoline and "valuable stuff" is not on their plate. There is antique coop in our community and I have #1. thought of selling some of my collections to another dealer, #2. Renting a space and selling myself (been there, done that). I have cleaned out many things and sent them to the thrift store several times a week so I won't change my mind. I have a nook so there went a boatload of books. What a relief. I'm still in need of encouragement as we have lived here almost 45 years. Have given away, had sales, thrown away and still we are strangled by our "stuff". My father used to say,"He had never seen a u-Haul trailer in a funeral procession, so why keep all this junk".

It takes determination and separating memories from "stuff". You will always have the memories. I think of the thousands of people on this planet that have had everything swept away in a heartbeat this year by multiple natural disasters. A lesson from God, The Father, depend on Him, not "stuff".

Will be with Ruby cheering you on as you tackle this elephant.
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 12, 2011
4:41 AM

Post #8687540

Thanks for posting LouC. The stories here really amaze me- I am only having to do the house and garage and one little unfinished room that is kind of like an attic. I cannot imagine outbuildings! I think part of my problem is I have no income now and everything seems "valuable" though I do know in my heart of hearts that it definitely is *not*.

Yesterday I got a whole lot of stuff out to the curb and had the kids move the sofa out of the garage and into a bedroom. Now at least I can bring in the groceries without having to carry them through the front of the house. My biggest problem seems to be what to do with all the papers- there are literally years and years of them that have arrived- and going through it piece by piece is such a daunting, time consuming job, but there are passports in there somewhere and I've got to find them.

The good news is that it looks like one of my sons is going out to California for a couple of weeks to visit his sister. He's the one who dragged the flippin' flippers off the garbage pile and brought them back in yesterday! (They made it as far as the front foyer). I'm going to be cleaning and organizing like a mad woman when he is gone. The biggest problem for me with them is the amount of clothing they have. Hundreds of tee shirts, so many tee shirts! When son #2 gets back he will go off to school, which will be a big help too. He and his brother fight a lot and the energy in the house is not so nice, to say the least. The older one just lost his job due to cutbacks, and he is at loose ends. I talked to him yesterday about the e-bay thing, and he seemed really interested. He is much more computer savy than I am, and he has a beautiful camera. He used to take photos for realtors before they started taking their own, so he know how to do all that stuff. I know you are right about the economy LouC, but if he can help me, at least it's worth a try!

Today I am going to find every darn set of sheets that are in this house and write on them what size they are with a fabric pen, and put away all but one set for each bed, and donate the rest. I've also got to bite the bullet and tackle these papers- there are laundry baskets and cardboard boxes full to the brim with them, along with being scattered all over the floor. I have an empty 3 drawer file cabinet in the garage that is coming in today though. Its on my master list. I'm having nightmares about these papers, honest. My stomach starts to hurt every time I think of it. Also I have to take in another big piece that was at a friends- it's a really heavy tea chest (5 feet high, 6 feet across and about 30 inches deep) made from temple doors in Viet Nam. Its really beautiful, but its also really huge and heavy. So there goes that corner of the garage. Its really too hot to work out there right now, so the garage and the attic are both projects that has to go on the back burner till fall.

Still, I know its doable after reading your posts. Even though I know I don't have to be organized to have an estate buyer come in, (thanks for that tidbit, Ruby) I know that I have to go through this stuff to see what is there. The rooms have got to be clear enough to walk through them. Did you ladies have master lists or anything like that? I like lists, but i dont know where to begin.

I am finding so much of this is psychological. Today I am going to take my second bite of the elephant though, and get rid of at least 25 of these tee's. And work for one hour on these papers...

You guys are inspirational! Thank you for your replies from the bottom of my heart...

Amy
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 12, 2011
4:55 AM

Post #8687556

Had to add- the only thing on that so called "master list" is:
Get the file cabinet inside
give away tee shirts.

Some master list- huh?
-Amy
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 12, 2011
8:42 AM

Post #8687917

Hey Amy - So good to hear of and sense your excitement about this versus how you were feeling when you first wrote over the weekend. Good on you girl!!! Lou, so glad to hear from you too. Sounds as if things all finally fell in place for you too. Good, good, good news on both fronts.

Amy, I have daily lists, but don't always stick to them. One thing I found when using lists is they are a guide and not a LAW...use them as reference for things that you still want to do, but certainly don't beat yourself up if nothing gets crossed off in a day. How appropriate you brought up this topic. I have a list that was first dated last Saturday...it is now Tuesday and nothing much has been crossed off yet. If I have mandatory things on my list such as appointments or whatever, I try to write them down first and put an asteric or star beside them and that lets me know that they have to be done that day, no carrying over til tomorrow or longer.

You may also find while in this process that you will jot down a chore to do, and end up having to do ten chores before you can actually get to the main one. By this I mean often before we can accomplish our main goal, there are other things that need to be done before that is done, so that will often cause more time to be eaten up.

As for the papers...I hear you on that. I actually left paper work for the last things to tackle, but as in your case, you are looking for something in particular, the paper work might have to be addressed earlier rather than later. Whatever...the things you have mentioned such as getting others involved to help by selling for you and things is great. I gave a few items to another person to sell for me while I was in the middle of doing other things too. Just agree ahead of time how he profits will be split.

That you jumped right on the ball and have already given neighbors and friends things is great. It does feel good and I am really excited for you. Yep, as Lou mentioned, it won't be done over night and often it is slow going and really frustrating, but as you have already tasted...it feels good to be rid of "things" that have no good purpose for us at the moment.

Amy, you also mentioned the psychological end to all of this. You will find as you purge that there are emotions tied to a lot of things. There may be items that you don't want to let go of now but may change your mind later. Go ahead and hold on to these for now. I know that I did get rid of many things last winter, but I still have loads more that can go...but it will be when I am ready to let it go and not sooner.

Lou, you have lived the life I sort of wished for myself. I dabbled in selling collectibles and antiques some years back and loved an auction as much as the next guy, but for six or so years now, my efforts had to be used in other directions. I sometimes miss it, but know that I no longer have the time to do it. No truer words ever spoken about the state of the economy though. Dear Lord get us through this recession soon please. Anyway...the recession has been an opportunity for many Americans to look at our consumption habits and see that we are truly a very wasteful and spoiled bunch.

Oh yeah, one more tip that I gathered early on from this group here was one way to cut back on the amount of clutter I had was to STOP bringing it in. One of my greatest pleasures used to be shopping for deals. I had to cut that out due first of all to the shrinking pocket book, but also because it made no sense to have so many little odds and ends that I needed extra storage for them. I have done pretty well staying out of Dollar Stores this year and for a while have only allowed myself inside of one while on vacation and not a routine stop I made each week. I no longer have a a dozen shopping bags sitting in the floor of the spare bedroom. Hooray!!!

Anyway...both of you ladies have made my day. Such great reports from both of you. Lou, just let us know what sort of things we can help you with. I hope that some more of the past regular members will show up and put in their two cents on the situations. They may be happily gardening though or any number of things that we find that keeps us from using the computer. Whatever...to all reading...have a super day.

Ruby
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 12, 2011
9:10 AM

Post #8687967

I'm sort-of a list maker. Quite by accident I discovered some years ago that if I verbally asked DH for help, he called it nagging. One day I made a random list of various chores with no priorities. We both benefited. He took the list and nearly killed himself trying to do everything on it in one day. We have gotten more realistic with the list since. It helps to clear the mist in the old brain just to have it written down. Somethings never get done because the list itself helps to see what is a compulsion and what is a need. I truly have obsessive-compulsive disorder along with a lifelong problem with depression and anxiety attacks. DH gets very annoyed and says I am a perfectionist. I am on meds now that have helped immensely. Once told the doc that the word "lazy" could never be said in the same breathe with my name, but I now did not work ALL THE TIME. He told me that I had been truly ill and the meds have helped me become more normal (whatever that is). Not by any means suggesting anyone should seek meds. Just part of my story.

Don't try to sort all of the papers at once. One bite at a time. As for greeting cards, a quick look to be sure there is no money inside. Then...THROW THEM AWAY. When my mother died we three siblings threw away 3 black trash bags of cards that she had saved since God was a boy. I have since purged my collection and do not keep cards any longer. #1. They are very personal. #2. Have nothing to do with you. #3. It is a myth that there is someplace that will take them for crafts. #4. Just adds to the burden of storing paper and when you are gone, someone else will throw them away.

Keep at it, girl. Back to the sewing room today and will probably donate some quilting supplies to my mother's friends.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 12, 2011
9:15 AM

Post #8687974

Amy, I love your 'master list'. Yes, everything in my house and life is on my 'master list' as every thing needs my attention asap, so my lists are not as helpful as they have been in my past. Need a different tool here as the smorgasboard of cleaning and decluttering choices before me would fill more than all the plates in 15 sets of dishes another person mentioned! So, I fill my plate with some 'low hanging fruit' . Forinstance, instead of masterlisted redo bathroom, I took 15 mins to replace 7 fallen wall tiles, emptied two shelves so that towels could be placed there and picked up a replacement tub/shower faucet replacement set so the waterbill will be lower. I put "Replace tub/showerfaucets" on my Dear Partner's list!!! If he doesn't accomplish by Fall I will call a plumber to do it along with several little projects that will be accessible by then.

As far as the papers are concerned...I'd take 10 clear mins and focus on just what in those boxes/totes. etc Must Be Saved/Found and then call around to see if there is a mobile shredder who will come and shred the remains...or free shredding services and when available to do bit by bit.

Isn't it amazing how the laws of science like "Nature abhors a vacuum" work in regards to decluttering!! Just cleared space in garage to be refilled with large hutch! Have your photo/computer literate son take a pic of it and try posting on Craigslist much simpler than ebay.

For me, a constant challenge is enough space to empty a space I want to declutter into . Can all those papers to be gone thru be accumulated in one space? Maybe the garage that's too hot for work space can serve and one or two boxes could be gone thru a nite. Once gone thru each box could go to other side of garage for Shredding. Maintain a wide clear path between to carry in groceries, etc

Maybe your unemployed son could clear out the attic and set up some overhead garage storage. Each of your sons couls then have a designated storage area in attic or garage so their lives are less cluttered, too. Maybe each son could also have a nice tote for "Things I want to save of Dad's" large enough for swim fins!! lol

Just some thoughts... You are doing well. If your papers are in order that is enough...try not to lump yours and his together again after they have been separate...too confusing for sense of self to not get blurred.

Are your sons newly living with you since death of ex? Remember one of the stages of grieving is anger. Hope the tensions in household begin to lighten up.

Judy
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 13, 2011
5:09 AM

Post #8689596

About the psych stuff:
My sons are very angry. What happened to them is very sad, to lose their dad so young, but it is further complicated by the fact that he left his entire estate to his daughter from another marriage. He even took their college savings and liquidated them and put it all into the estate. He left 1.5 million dollars to his alma mater, and his condo and properties and all his investments to his daughter. What hurts my sons the most though isn't about the money he left to his daughter- its that he took their college funds. (He also cancelled the life insurance policy that our divorce required him to keep for me, and told no one).

My sons had cared for their dad for about the past two years, living with him most of that time. His daughter came to see him maybe once a year, though she lives here in the same state, it was a 5 hour drive, so she didn't come very much. He died because he had aplastic anemia, (aka pancytopenia). He was admitted to the intensive care unit at the hospital where he worked, (he was a radiologist, an MD) with "flu like symptoms", but didnt call anyone, not even his primary physician. The only reason I found out was really weird- I just had a very bad feeling about what he had told my younger son the night before when they talked, that he needed to go to the emergency room to check out a sore throat. - so when I callled his cell phone the next morning and got no answer, I began by calling all the hospitals where he worked. When i finally found him, a nurse told me his diagnosis and so I immediately called my step daughter to get here fast. Then I woke my sons who were both with me here for once and told them to get to the hospital asap. It was St. Patricks day, and I made them wear green, as my ex really loved his irish heritage. I was an intensive care nurse myself, I knew what this diagnosis meant, I knew it might be the last time he could actually see them) The day after he was admitted and they saw what he had, he was put into a medical coma and never "came to" again. He lived for 45 days after he was admitted. I am positive that if he had been able to recover from this acute abut deadly illness he would have made adjustments to his trust, but that was not fated. I also called his primary physician and told him what was going on, and he was astonished, astounded, and really sick at heart that he was not notified. He said there was a new thing called a "hospitalist". Please look this term up- its a new speciality that excludes the primary doc from being notified of an admission to a hospital from an emergency room.

So, anyway, some background. My kids dad had a severe weight problem and though he continued to work, he was in a wheelchair and needed help with transportation, grocery shopping, doctors appointments, stuff like that, so he depended heavily on my sons. They didnt like living here as much as there, he was in a big condo right on the beach- very glamorous- I'm in a suburb. Also, I had rules. Rules like clean up after yourself, take out the garbage, make your beds, change your bed linens, fold your wash, dont do a whole load of laundry for one tee shirt (those stupid tee shirts once again). He had a maid and a laundress. I told them "get in school or get a job". *He* paid for their car insurance, their cell phones, and gave them big allowances, paying them to take him back and forth to work. I asked him over and over to let them go- to give them responsibility, to help them grow up. That fell on deaf ears. They also had total freedom there, not as much here as you can see.

My younger one is having the most difficulty, he was his dads "favorite", and he just found out that the money that was saved for his college is gone. It's very hard on the two of them. My goal is to preserve this house for as long as I can and be able to leave them something of value after I am gone. If not this one, then another one. That may not be possible, but its what I am hoping for! I was recently diagnosed with pericarditis and told it will take at least 6 months to get over this. My heart rate hasn't gone below 110 bpm, even when I am sleeping, for the past 12 months, and to hear that its going to take another 6 months is kind of a downer. Right now it is hard going up and down the stairs, and nearly impossible to carry stuff up to the second floor. I'm trying to take this slow, to give us the time we all need to adjust to these new circumstances, but still whittle away at the clutter and to just keep the faith, to remember "this too will pass" is a really good kind of thinking. I just feel so overwhelmed right now.

Just writing this here each morning has helped me so much especially today. To read your stories gives me hope. I break down a lot lately. To read the stories here, to know that others have dealt with so much and are now feeling better and more positive gives me hope- it's the light shining at the end of the tunnel- and you all are the ones holding the lantern.

So, ahem, (clearing my throat here, really) thank you all very much for your posts, your kindness and of course your giving me hope and coming through with a practical, very practical "can do" way of thinking. To read your responses to me gets me out of my own head...
Amy


rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 13, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8689746


Thank you for sharing this with us Amy. Gosh honey, you really are under a tremendous amount of stress currently. You have the right attitude though in regards to This too shall pass. It may not pass quickly or smoothly enough for your liking, but it will pass and you will be able to look back and claim that once again, you got through a major hurdle. It really does stink about your son's education money being gone. Maybe this will turn around some how and they will take it upon themselves to earn the money to go. Maybe they can be the sorts that when faced with an injustice they will become better and not bitter.

Some of the parts of the story you are telling is much like what I am dealing with regarding my 21 year old live at home, very immature son. I have to admit that I have to take the blame for making things easy for him up to this point and not allowing him to suffer the consequencs of his bad choices, but I have turned over a new leaf and from here on out I am going to let the chips fall where they may. I told him yesterday that no amount of my talking and praying has seemed to make any sort of difference in his behavior, so maybe if he begins dealing with the courts, a difference will be made. He has a few monthly bills that up until now I have seen to that they are paid. I am letting him do it this month and he will be over due as of tomorrow on one that will certainly land him in front of a judge. I hate with all my heart to have to do it, but have come to a point where I realize my pulling him out of every situation has done nothing to help him and in reality has hindered him. So...it will be interesting to see what occurs.

Lou, that hubby of yours sounds much like mine. He asks me why I often repeat myself and I answer that evidently it takes me saying something several times for it to click for him and realize that I want something done. Good luck working in the sewing room. Sounds as though you are making good steps in ridding yourself of excesses. Keep up the good work.

Good to see you Judy. Continued good luck with your de-cluttering too.

Anyway Amy, I am so glad you wrote. This is definitely one of my favorite topics and I could read and write about it from here to eternity. I hope our side line cheer leading will continue to help you get through. As Judy mentioned, you are in the midst of working through a grief process and need to allow yourself to feel any way you happen to feel at any given moment. You will be back and forth for a while which is normal. Please let us know what we can do to help you as walk through the process.

You folks all have a good day and stay cool.

Ruby

handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 13, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8689883

I'm very tired,
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 13, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8689936

Bless your heart. The time has come to take care of yourself, first and foremost. All of this "stuff" means nothing at all when it comes to your wellbeing. The physical clearing out will in some ways help with the mental clearing. When I am the most distressed is when I clean like a mad woman. It is as though, I have no control over "whatever" but I sure can move this dirt around. With your heart condition, that is not a really good choice for you right now. I can well understand your sons hurt and resentment.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 13, 2011
9:30 AM

Post #8690045

Qh Amy, of course you are!

Maybe the two weeks with son out of house could be a respite in stead of a clearing marathon...?

Just remembering that what all of us are rooting for is you, not your perfectly decluttered life! Or fewer t shirts in your home!

You have my unofficial permission as a member of the clean and clutter free forum to rest, renew, and take a break as much as is needed. We want you around to cheer us on through our rough spots, too.

handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 14, 2011
3:26 AM

Post #8691368

Thank you all so much for your support. I meant to write more but my power went out, and though it came back on pretty quickly, I couldn't get back online again till just now. I am going to take your advice and pace myself. I do get tired very quickly right now. Thats part of the reason the house looks like it does at this point, I had let it go. I have been sleeping downstairs because it is just too much effort to go upstairs, and I have let myself go, too.

I cant begin to explain what strength I take away from your posts here. I reread them all each day. They cheer me up so much- my self confidence has been at an all time low lately. I have a difficult time making decisions, and feel paralyzed and unable to just settle down and go forward. I second guess every decision that I finally do make and its driving me batty! Your posts, especially the ones giving me permission to go easy on myself, really make a difference in how I navigate my day. As you said in your very first post to me, Ruby, its "priceless"!

Today I am going to bite the bullet and pay the homeowners insurance- I mean what good is this house if it's destroyed by a hurricane and I have none, right? (I've been dithering on this one for far too long) Then I am going to pay my health insurance bill- and begin payments on my hospitalization.

And *then* I am going to use the reward points I have saved on a credit card to get a new T.V. We really do need one. The picture is fading on this one, and its one of those giant room hogs thats really getting very old. The rewards points will go a long way toward a sleek design. I'm also going to take before and after photos of this house, room by room. And make some appointments- one important one is with a veterinary surgeon to have Pepin neutered. I had to wait till he was 18 months old to do it, and because he has that short squished in face, he needs a specialist. He will be able to be a therapy dog then, as he was trained to be. I am trying to focus on what I can be proud of, and that is one accomplishment that I am very very proud of! This is me and my older son, and Pep, when he was still pretty brand new- happier times!

Thumbnail by handbright
Click the image for an enlarged view.

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 14, 2011
7:25 AM

Post #8691704

My grandson, Aaron, drowned at 25 years of age just 2 years ago. Without the prayers of the people here on DG I would not have survived myself. I could actually 'feel' the angels around me when they were praying. You might post on the Prayer Forum as there are a host of people who go there everyday and give their encouragement. Not saying to abandon this thread as we are here for you always.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 14, 2011
8:46 PM

Post #8693176

OMG, I have so much to say but I have been up since 4am. DH could not sleep, woke me up when he got out of bed and I never went back to sleep. Tried to take a nap, but I guess naps are not to be planned.

Every one on here is your angel and you are so lucky. I will be back tomorrow. I just wanted to check in.

Ruby, I got your package today. Mother Winter
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 15, 2011
6:14 AM

Post #8693605

Oh LouC! I am praying right now for you, and have been. I always feel kind of unworthy to post on the prayer forum. Maybe it's because I am so German, I think to myself "self, just buck up" after reading what others have to endure in their lives, my problems seem so small in comparison. I do go to that forum and read posts about every two days or so, and pray for everyone who has requested prayer, adding in the new ones. I don't read all the posts in the thread, but I try to catch updates from the original poster. I remember starting praying for you back then- for the strength that is required to endure such pain. I have posted there too- at first when my ex got so sick, but I closed the thread when I realized that there was no way back home from this illness he had, it was like he had already left us when he was put into that coma. I will go post over there and get off this thread- maybe I will start a new one here when things (in general) start to progress, and I can add more positive posts... I guess I am still in the acute phase of the adjustment process, and things in general will begin to progress soon!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me here. It has helped me to begin to focus and start to get things DONE.

SkeptikSharon
Ontario, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 15, 2011
8:13 AM

Post #8693794

Hi Amy,

I've been reading your thread and wanted to post, but haven't been sure what to say in way of encouragement or whatnot. I haven't been through the kind of situation you are going through. So I just wanted to say that you seem like a very strong person, and a good person at that. It takes a special person to be going through the kind of thing you're going through, and still be concerned for others enough to go read the prayer requests and pray for them. I'm rooting for you here. =)

-Sharon
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 15, 2011
8:23 AM

Post #8693809

Don't know where my post went. Never in a thousand years am I suggesting you abandon this thread. Only that there is always more and more support on the prayer forum. One can never have enough people praying for them. We are with you every step of the way.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 15, 2011
4:08 PM

Post #8694545

No, please Amy...don't go away. Lou was suggesting that you add the Prayer forum along with us. Please, please don't leave. I have been wondering for months why the Clean and Clutter forums became so quiet all of a sudden during the spring months. Having someone new who is just getting started to de-clutter and shape up areas of their lives is something I need in order to try and continue to keep myself in shape. Evidently others feel the same way because they have chimed in...even Sharon who I really missed on this forum. She often wrote things to encourage me and now that I think about it, I probably never wrote her personally and told her that...but I would always get a charge out of the way she handled some issues in her life and I wanted to be more like she is. So, there Sharon...now you have it.

All the others too, I have really missed having activity on these clean and clutter topics because it is an on going thing with me. I packed one box today in my plant room, so that is one box closer to it being ready to make the changes I want to make before fall.

Okie doke, kiddies just woke up...off I go for now.

Ruby
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 16, 2011
9:10 PM

Post #8696844

Well here we go again...lull...it is after midnight and I have had an off day due to be awakened at 3 AM, staying up, going about my day and then finally pooping out a bit after 4 PM and sleeping til 7 PM and waking up and starting again. I have a load of blankets washing as we speak. They were not on my list to do but I suppose it gives me some sort of comfort to hear a washing machine going and a good washing of the blankets that lay on the sofas where the dogs spend most of their days is required from time to time and this seemed like an opportune time.

I had two really nice surprises today in regards to folks on Daves Garden. This morning handsbright called me and we spoke until my phone batteries died. This afternoon my hubby brought in the mail that was delivered and I had a very heavy box from Las Vegas. We were wondering how in the world and what in the world could weigh so much because we were only expecting some plants from a trade that Sharon and I made on another forum. Anyway...I just looked at the contents of the box and Sharon had been thinking of me and grand kiddies and sent what she called her clutter to me which consisted of some very nice and much needed children's stories. At least 25 or thirty paper back books that are very much appreciated because of all the toys I have here for the kids, childrens books, other than coloring books were not in the collection. I have given the children book sets over the years but they are at their home and not here and I hadn't had a chance to purchase any. Now I won't have to be concerned about it because thanks to Mother Winter they now have a nice library here. I can't wait to begin reading a story to them on the afternoons they are here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Sharon, they were perfect.

Amy, I hope that you are reading this and will check in. I sensed your excitement earlier in the week and I hope that you are able to keep up the positive attitude in the midst of a grief process and allow us to minister to you here. I don't believe that things happen per chance, I believe that each of us are in each other's paths for a reason, most likely some life's lesson we need to learn. If your current lesson is to begin to learn to put your needs higher on your priority list, just hang here. The very little I know of the others who have posted here is that despite some really tough times, we are all survivors of some things that would have taken lesser willed folks out a long time ago. The little that you have shared here with us leads me to believe that you are finding yourself at a point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Your turn now to reap some of what you have sowed over the years.

Your chosen profession shows a kind, caring and giving person. It sounds like much of your life has been spent ministering to others and what you may need to realize is the load you currently have on your shoulders is a heavy one and you need folks rooting for you whether they send it through words of religion and the spiritual or whether they send it with just saying they care words and without religion coming in to the conversation at all.

Dave's originally had a very strict policy regarding political talk. I heard that politics was banned here and I was thrilled to death. I left a live chat room that I had been associated with for over seven years due to someone, a person that I met on a couple of occasions for lunch as she traveled through the area and someone I regarded as a good friend to me...but each and every morning early, early when I was upon wakening chatting in the health room she would each and every day start her rant over the particular administration that was in office at the time. I had different views and after a while I just cut all ties except a very few special folks I met in the chat room and still have contact with...I left the room because it just got under my skin each and every day to hear someone go on and on over politics. I have always heard that talk of religion and politics will surely end some good relationships. I had this happen to me. I could have said something to her I suppose, but at the time I was ready for a change anyway and found Dave's Garden much by chance when reading reviews about vacuum cleaners and decided that I liked gardening so I would join and see what was up here.

Taking politics out of the discussion has been good for me. I haven't had to leave Daves's due to differning pollitical views thankfully. I have always heard that talk of religion and politics can destroy many a fine relationships. I know what my religous or spiritual beliefs are and I try to live the best sort of life I can. I don't need to put religion in to every sentence of my speech. I am hoping that just by my speech and behavior a person can realize who and what I am attempting to emulate without having to profess it all the time. I may be the only copy of a Bible some folks ever read or are exposed to. If I am asked, I would love to share my beliefs with others, but don't find it necessary to always associate with Church folk. I kind of feel like Jesus must have felt when he had a rage over the way the temple folk had done to the supposed house of God when they made it in to a market place rather than a sanctuary. I gather from my Sunday School teaching that he went in to a rage and began toppling tables and all sorts of other less than what we think of as Christ like attributes. He was half human and at that particular point, he was fed up.

I know myself well enough to know that I too am like Teresa on New Jersey Housewives and Jesus and am very capable of some table toppling. Thankfully, it has been many a year since I have associated with people who have driven me to such extremes. I have two ex husbands who can attest to my rage throwing fits. They were both very deserving of every single time I became enraged over their behaviors. But, I know that sort of behavior is still inside of me, waiting and ready to act the very next time that someone else behavior creates rage in me. I must warn everyone that it won't be pretty. Good God in heaven but the hillbilly, wild mountain woman in me is there alive and well, just waiting...waiting, waiting.

I grew up in a family where there have been physical illnesses creating what looks to be very fragile, handle with care types of individuals. I was talking with John earlier explaining the type of men that my grand dad and my dad were...the greatest sort of person anyone would ever want to meet, people that would give you their last dime if you needed it. This was 99.9% off the time. No one ever wanted to be the person who stepped over the line or was the camel that broke the camel's back when dealing with either of these men because when they had had enough, everyone in three counties knew about it. The men could exhibit rage like no one before them.

Looking at myself and knowing my past, I see that I come by my disposition honestly, because I am the same sort of person, laid back, easy going for the most part, but as the Motto of Virginia states...Don't tread on me.

This is written for no one specific and I am not sure why I have shared this here other than to recap my earlier conversation with John about our families and as a warning about differences in views regarding politics and religion don't good mixers make. I have one more thing I feel the need to add here but will close this post and make the comment on a new one.

I hope you ladies know that I love you, am very thankful that each of you have been here for me in the past, and I hope that I can some day return a kindness unto you.

Ruby
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 16, 2011
9:31 PM

Post #8696889

This is for those of you who haven't gone to sleep with my latest very long post. (This is my therapy y'all.) I have been associated for over twelve years with an online support group that caters to folks with the rare illness I had the misfortune to acquire in my late twenties.

Anyway...this group has rules that folks agree to abide by but one of the rules happens to be that no talk of religion is allowed. Now, you take a group of very ill people and tell them they can't speak of what has most likely been each person's saving grace in dealing with the horrors of the disease and you have a whole group of up in arms people on your hands. The message board has been rather lax about enforcing this rule and many folks will say things such as I am praying for you, God Bless You and the like.

This is a group of Americans and for the most part we are all WASPS. About a year or so ago a woman of Muslim descent began posting here and almost every other word was Allah this and Allah that. I suppose that everyone was trying to be politically correct and as far as I know, the board moderators never said anything to her, nor did I ever hear any of the other posters voice complaints about her choice of speech.

Anyway... a few months back a new diagnosed person wrote to the board and said she felt as though God had forsaken her. Of course big mouth, long typing me had to put in my two cents and a couple of others followed my lead. Well, by golly that got the moderators attention and for weeks there was controversy on the board about whether we could mention the Lord's name or not. Good grief, it was a good thing that I for the most part am able to constrain myself for the most part, because most wouldn't have wanted to hear what I had to say on the topic. I stayed out of it for the most part. Since the controversy there has been a new message board group started that is faith based, all faiths welcome.

I hate to see the division happen and a division didn't really didn't happen but there was a need for another place for folks to go where talk of a religious nature was okay. There have been a hand full of members join, but so far things have worked out where the ten or so members are still members of both boards. It would have really been so terribly sad if the group had divided over the religion issue because the ministry that board makes available to a new sufferer is truly needed in order to support someone new the disease. The God I believe in doesn't need to blow his horn, or hang banners, he wants to exhibit a special something that makes others wonder what the secret is and be attracted by a person's mannerism rather than their speech. What is it that they say about actions speaking louder than words?

Anyway...off my band wagon. Have laundry to tend to. I suppose the point I am attempting make is that there are rules and regulations that are set up for good reasons often times. And we need to remember that.

I will close once again with sending a message of many thank yous to the very strong women I have met due to the topic of clutter. You all enjoy your Sunday.

Ruby
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 16, 2011
9:39 PM

Post #8696902

Well Ruby, I tore out all the used pages so you and your grandchildren could start anew. I did not send the crayons because I discovered colored pencils are better. They just eat or break the crayons.

If you look at the back of the books, they are at least 10 years old. Been sitting in a very large brass oblong shallow bucket for years in the great room behind a chair. Now the container is back in the great room and has DH's junk in it that he cannot live without. I think there are at least 5 different neck pillows and his magazines.

My handyman did some work this week and he took the crayons home to his grandchildren. AND, I really thought the crayons would not make it through our heat to get to you.

Do you have a little table with two chairs for them to sit at. Our youngest grandson, 2 in November, and probably the last grand baby, sits at his table about 2 to 3 hours a day to do his thing.

If you plant the larger bulb rain lilies right away, they will bloom for you. Your babies are planted in my holding garden to get them used to Las Vegas' dry heat. It is a protected and special irrigation area. I got smart about 7 years ago. When I ordered something, I planted the plants into the garden and they would die. They needed time to acclimate to the climate and dryness. I have saved a whole lot of money when that light went on and now I am on a FAST. I am not buying any plants for the whole month of August. I am taking offm thr month of August.

My son and his family are flying in the first part of August and using my SUV to go to Newport, California and Lake Powell, Arizona. So I have not scheduled any appointments except hair and nails. I have DH's car but I plan on staying home and enjoying all my hard work. FIRST year I have ever done this. STOP and smell the flowers. Love you all, Mother Winter...
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 16, 2011
9:40 PM

Post #8696905

Cross Post. Good night...
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 16, 2011
9:57 PM

Post #8696938

Somehow we have several new boxes of crayons and a bag of used ones...so we are good on those. Hey, the children will love these things. Where they tend to play is my coffee table. I do have two children's chairs that they can pull up there to use for quiet time hopefully. Emily who just turned four is interested in learning to write now. Her dad has been working some with her and I worked a little with her last week on writing her name. She can count to a pretty high number and I am happy to see that she is interested in learning to write. Whatever my topic of the day is whether it be her mom's work schedule or a recipe, or shopping list, she wants to make one. She already does mainly scribbling, so when she was actually able to form fome good looking letters this week, it made me happy.

To have the books to read to them will come in handy too for hopefully more quiet time. Some of the time they are just ripping through the house running. It has been so hot that we don't normally taken them outside until the sun sets and it is cooler. My son and I discussed getting a swing set and setting it up here for them, so that is in the plans before too long. Anyway...if things continue to go well, we will be running regular old day care here. I love it even though it is quite exhausting at times.

We are getting better used to each other now, I feel as though I have a lot of good I can teach both of them and never in a million years thought I would as crazy about grandma as I am. Makes aging all worth it.

So, thank you so very much for the added gifts. I also wanted to say that I loved your enclosed note card. A bit oriental in looks, and that is one of my very favorites.

Nitey nite to all.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 17, 2011
6:01 AM

Post #8697244

Oh Ruby! My greatest source of strength comes from my faith! To not be able to publicly say I will pray for you would mean to me that I was just adrift in chaos, with no compass. There are two psalms that carry me through my day each day, the first: Psalm 27-1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? is the bedrock of my life. To not be able to share that on a message board, especially one that is about support for an illness, would be impossible for me. The other is psalm 18-2 "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

I am so sorry you had to go through that... and still do have to, if you want the support from this other site...

Today I will try to:

Get rid of art supplies. I have a little friend (well she's 13 now, so shes really not so little anymore, but I have known her since she was 4) who has turned out to be a very good little artist. I am going through my garage today and boxing up some of my art supplies that will help her to grow as an artist. Awhile back a friend of a friend closed her families art supply store and gave me so much stuff that isn't doing me any good at all. (thank you WLSharon for the inspiration) I have to share the wealth here. This will free me up a little I hope. I know I need to loosen up! I used to teach watercolor at a local art museum here, but haven't been able to paint for years. Well, thats not entirely true, I have actually painted, but just have not been able to grab a hold of that *spark*, and though the paintings were lovely to others, they just seemed insipid to me. I gave so many away that I used to sell because I just felt they were not "up to snuff". The ones I put out in the garbage were garbage picked, so I guess thats a good sign. I was hoping I could get "unblocked" and ordered some of my favorite paper, which I have "kept out in clear sight" and am supposed to touch every day in order to unblock. I have to admit that I have not done this, though they are out, I just walk past them every day. Perhaps that is due to the fact that I don't want to get my hopes up. So today I will open them up and feel the paper- I will run my fingers over the surface of the paper, I will *feel* the work that went into creating this paper for me to fill, so that I can understand this doesn't just belong to me, but to the artist that made it, expecting it to be of some use to someone. I will do this one thing. I will do as you suggested, LouC- I will eat this elephant, one bite at a time... This one, getting rid of art supplies, is going to take real intestinal fortitude.

On another note, I would so love to grow lilies here, WLSharon! I have to substitute amaryllis (so expensive!) to get that long stemmed flower and bottom foliage. I have two pots of peruvian daffodils that a neighbor gave to me after I helped her move- big big BIG cement pots. I have offered to share them with others who have seen the blossoms, but I really dont know how to do it. I think the type I have are pretty rare right now, and I would love to divide them. I just have to find out how to get to my photos that I somehow got on my facebook page, but now are lost somewhere in the nether regions of my desktop files. That may have to be for another day, though. I dont want to sit here all day trying to find these photos to share, when what I really need to do is just get at least two boxes out to the curb!

:D
Amy


handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 17, 2011
6:34 AM

Post #8697282

I found the photograph. As you can see it doesnt match the peruvian daffodil pictures here at Dave's, so I wonder if they are not something else entirely. They sure are pretty though, so I thought you all might like to see them. These were in the pots the neighbor gave me, they had never bloomed for her, so she didn't know they did, and they were kept in deep shade under a a porch over hang. Also they were given to her by someone else who had also just used the foliage in the pots as decoration. So that person didnt know either.
Imagine my surprise when they bloomed!

Thumbnail by handbright
Click the image for an enlarged view.

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 17, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8697380

What a beautiful bloom. Good for you with the art supplies. I am currently enjoying my mother's quilting stash that she left. Way more tools and fabric than I could use in a lifetime. Thinking about calling some of her friends in the Quilt Club she belonged to and sharing. I know they would put it to good use. I do intend to keep some and piece a quilt since they are already cut and ready. It is like spending time with my mother when I go to the sewing room and rummage through all of her fabric.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 17, 2011
9:39 AM

Post #8697602

So good to see you posting Amy. One of these days if you have pictures of some of your art, I would love to see them. No pressure for doing it soon. I really despise working with photos on line because I do it so seldom that I forget half of what I am doing between postings. Getting a better photo system set up and organized for easier access and usage is on one of my future TO DO lists. Along with setting up a better photo system I need to set up something that will allow me to find my favorite recipes easier plus one more notebook or computer file listing each of the very many elephants I have collected over the years. I have a nice collection which I love and I plan to name and number each one and record the facts I know of the piece such as where it came from and the cost if I know it.

My summer project which is moving along slowly but surely is to switch out bookcases and put my glass covered bookcases in the living room where I will finally be able to display the elephants so I may enjoy them daily versus having them in bedrooms where I don't go every day. I realize it is a big project but like what you are facing Amy, I too will be doing it a bite at the time. I am still in the process of packing up the odds and ends that are currently on the Barrister Bookcases and when they are emptied I can then proceed to cleaning them well and bringing in to main part of the house versus being hidden away. Getting the bookcases out of the plant room will allow me more space for my plants too. Love, love, love the beautiful blooms. Thanks for sharing the picture.

Lou, even though I have never been a seamstress and very much lack the talent it takes to create with fabric, I do love fabrics and in the past have bought pieces that sadly are now just packed away doing no one any good. I suppose the most creative I have ever been with using fabrics is that over the years I have on several occasions covered chair or bench seats with fabrics I love. That has always brought me great pleasure.

Enjoy your time with the memories of your mom as you work with the fabric today. One of these days I will address my stash and send it on to someone else who will put it to better use. Speaking of sending stored items on to folks who will put things to good use...I love your idea of gifting the preteen friend with the art supplies Amy. I know she will be thrilled. I can remember times as a child when receiving gifts from folks who were downsizing or whatever and the complete joy I felt having items all my own and it is also made it special that the donor of said gift thought specially of me. You are going to make her day.

Hope that everyone has a calm. cool and collected day plus a productive one. In a bit I will move from this seat and get started on something productive. Hubby is grilling a huge turkey on outside grill and I will be responsible for preparing the side dishes. A request for mashed potatoes has already been made. A delicious dish of corn pudding will go along well with too.

Again, enjoy your day all.

Ruby

WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 17, 2011
5:54 PM

Post #8698471

Amy, those flowers are beautiful what ever they are.

I bet if you post on plant identification, you will have an answer soon and many requests for a bulb.

I would love a bulb but need to know if they will grow here in the southwest. They are probably worth something if you need to supplement your income. I am willing to purchase some if they will survive here...

They look a little like a naked lady. What a wonderful surprise for you. They will be easy to separate. Just need to know what they are so we can determine how they are divided. Hardest part of dividing is turning over the heavy concrete pots. I have concrete pots that take two workers to just move.
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 18, 2011
7:39 AM

Post #8699263

Hi I landed over here after seeing your prayer request Amy I know the name of those lilies ( not really a lily) but I cannot for th elife of me remeber their names. You are in wonder company with Sharon and Ruby who I know from other forums!! I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Hi Sharon and Ruby!!
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 19, 2011
2:29 AM

Post #8701086

I put the picture on the plant ID board and got an answer right away WLSharon and Desertdenial. This is called the eucharis grandiflora and can be found here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2678/. Here on Dave's it says this in the amaryllis family, but on the USDA plant profile it says the family is liliaceae. I read on one website that it is a bulb that will outlive its owner. Good to know!

Things seem to have come to a standstill here. I need to get my sons on some kind of schedule. I am up at three am every morning which is the time*they* go to bed. By the time they wake up my day feels like it is over, so nothing is getting done. I am following y'alls advice here though and trying to let this situation sort itself out a little bit. I know everyones emotions are very close to the surface. I sure will be glad when my younger one goes out to California. It will do him a world of good, and his brother too. I am really trying to be very zen about this energy here now. It doesn't always work, but I feel calmer and more focused when I can take a deep breath and try not to just flat out react to some of the shenanigans going down. In fact, the more I feel something is terribly urgent and absolutely must be addressed at once, the more the situation benefits from practicing a little patience. I do have to say though that my younger son is driving me bonkers and it's hard to hold my tongue. *sigh* All three of us will benefit from this visit. He goes off to school not long after he gets home, so things in general will quiet down here. He has many friends, and they are over here all the time, they have been doing it for years. He's very social, and before, when I could afford to just order pizzas or cook or grill large amounts of food to feed everyone, it was really fun. Not so much now...

Your bookcase project sounds like it's going to bring you a whole lot of pleasure, Ruby. And more room for plants- what a great motivator. I love barrister bookcases, I'm sure they will be beautiful filled with your collection. I have to arrange to have that big tea chest moved today- why is moving so dang expensive !?! The art supply thing didnt get done- the girl is on vacation.

I need to do mundane everyday chores too- like really clean my fridge and wash windows and the french doors. I always feel better when the windows are clean and since the kitchen window looks out over the patio it's rejuvenating. My patio is the only really organized place left!

My zen saying for today- "Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water."

Thank you all, you lovely people, for your postings. May your day contain at least one glimpse of something so dear and beautiful it leaves you breathless.

Amy

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 19, 2011
7:19 AM

Post #8701380

Oh, dearest Amy, no doubt you are moving forward. Today you are encouraging others. I had my two grandsons live with me while in their late teen years. The constant commotion of them and their friends is enough to frazzle anyone's nerves. The two boys apparently team up against your schedule. Just a gentle reminder that they are still grieving and even more so having been abandoned by their father. Grief causes people to act out in many different ways. I love the part about taking a deep breathe, stand back and assess the situation. Works almost all the time. Today, I shall pray not only for you, but your sons. I understand about the need to clean. Sometimes when I finally get myself to going and get a particular area all spiffed up it has the effect of clearing my mind as well. My environment is definitely a reflection of my mental state at most anytime.
Don't worry about the art supplies, your little friend will be back. The refrigerator is always a good place for me to start as I have to look inside so often. Helps to get rid of the penicillin growing in the covered bowls. hahahaha

Just sit down and have cup of coffee/tea and let your mind rest. I think that is called meditate. I usually have that time in my garden but the heat has precluded much gardening right now.

I can see the Texas Star Hibiscus with it's multiple blooms from my desk window...takes my breathe away.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 19, 2011
1:42 PM

Post #8702118

Desertdenial5, did you change your name on here perhaps? Not sure I know you. Only person I can think of from AZ is Marie that I used to chat with on best/worst thing that happened today. Marie????

I've got three houseplant pictures on the ID forum but haven't had time to check back and get their names yet. Will do so shortly.

Amy, yes...even though you may not see that any thing much is progressing...it is. You sound calmer and it sounds as though you are beginning to think in terms of how the boys aren't living up to their end of the deal. I hope you won't be like me and be aware of the kids needing to do something differently, but don't know how to get them to do differently. Hmmmm...just answered something in my mind regarding myself as I was typing that. Thought I would share here. Please know Amy that I am not judging any thing you do or don't do...I find that often when I am thinking of other folks dilemmas, and trying to think of something helpful to tell them, I kind of stumble upon the answer to my very similar dilemma too.

What I was thinking as I typed the words..."being aware of the boys, mine included, needing to do something differently, but not knowing what to do in order to get them to do it"...as I thought of that, I remember my wise counselor many years ago, almost twenty years ago now...tellling me that I will always waste my time by trying to get others to change. It just ain't gonna happen. What I can change, is myself. When I begin changing myself and my responses or often, reactions to what others do, I can pretty much count on them changing too in order to deal with the new me. Does that make sense? So, trying to change another human being is futile...changing myself works to change them though. So, I shared with you during our phone chat over the weekend that am now going to let my son be financially responsible for the messes he has made. I have seen to it that things have been paid that belong to him for over a year now. I am tired it, I can no longer afford it...so we will see.

For all others here...what I basically told my son who has been employed on and off over the four or so years that he has been out of high school, but has ended up losing the two different jobs he has had due to absences...I told him that all amount of talking, praying, yelling, threatening and all the ideas I have tried to convince him that he needs to be working haven't worked to convince him of that need, so maybe dealing with a judge for non payment of three monthly bills he has, will convince him. It truly breaks my heart to think of him possibly spending time in jail, and also having this go on his record, but my having made sure his bills were paid did nothing to motivate him to work...so I quit. I officially give up trying because my way hasn't worked.

I used to have a girl friend who allowed her adult daughter to live with her and not contribute anything to the household and I could very easily see that my friend was actually doing a dis-service to her daughter by not demanding she go out in to the world and get a job and begin being responsible for herself. It was so very easy for me to see that she was not doing her daughter any favors because in my mind I could see that the daughter would be up a creek without a paddle if her mom was suddently gone and she hadn't been out surviving in the real world.

A couple of weeks ago when one of my girl friends used that same tactic on me, I finally heard it and let it get in to my heart. The same thing basically could happen to my son tomorrow if I am gone. He knows nothing thus far of being responsible for himself because I have always been there to make sure things were done on his behalf. I feel that I have to begin doing things differently at this point because I am doing the same with him that I accused my friend of doing with her daughter some years ago.

I told him that by the time I was twenty one years old I had a mortgage to pay. That has been the difference in some of today's youth...I couldn't wait to leave home and be on my own...he would be satisfied living here for the next ten years it seems. Anyway...I know there will be growing pains for the both of us...I will hurt for him as he muddles his way through but am convinced that it had to get to this point in order for him to begin to take some responsibility for himself and his life.

So, that was really way off topic, sorry folks.

Anyway Amy...as Lou pointed out, you are making progress because you are here encouraging others. There is no hard rule on how quickly and how much cleaning, organizing, housekeeping any of us have to do. I hung around these boards for months and months discussing clutter before I actually made the first step towards doing anything. Right now you have an intent, and that is all that you need now. Hopefully most of us will still be here when you start going at it at a faster speed. I missed all these folks when the boards became quiet for several long months. I am always thrilled to see folks post that are either new or are returning here after an absence.

I have lots of hope for you Amy, because at least at this point you are aware that some things need to be done at your home. Becoming aware is the very first step in correcting something. As I pointed out and am serious as a heart beat...I chatted on these boards for many months before something clicked for me and I began moving things out of here. Only you can set your pace, none of us are going to call the clutter police on you. hahaha Hey, there are no clutter police to start with and hopefully you don't feel any judgement from any of us.

Gonna scoot along now. You ladies all have a good afternoon and restful evening.

Ruby
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2011
2:12 PM

Post #8702167

Yep it is me Marie. Sorry I forgot about changing my online name!!
Ruby I am going to have to do the same thing with my 20 year old son. Although because he is ADHD and ODD . I am going to offer him the opportunity to pay rent to me before sending him on his way!!
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 19, 2011
9:49 PM

Post #8702900

Well, I was going to tell Ruby that it was you Marie.

I was ADHD, OCC and probably so many other disorders you could not count them. But when I was raised it was just called disorderly. I was sat in the front of the class, to control me, got nothing below a C but never got an A. A's were for the very quiet, not opinionated students. surprise, I was not one of them. One day in as meeting with the principal, I was told if I did not conform, I would not succeed.

My parents could not send me to college because the boys had to go. I was suppose tlo get married and have children.

My parents meant well. They did not no any better.

One day God came down and kissed me on the forehead and told me he was putting me into 'Mortgage Banking". And I would love it. And I did.

I and my children ate pork and beans with hot dogs for days and week on end because I would never admit to my father that I had married the wrong man and had no money.

But life goes on and here we are today.

Ruby, kick that young man in the butt and tell him to get a life.

I will return tomorrow. 112 here today but Marie had a worse day with the weird Arizona dust storms. Marie is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Love you all, Mother Winter
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 20, 2011
2:47 AM

Post #8703031

It's not as hot here, probably only in the 90's but its like walking around in a hot soaking wet blanket to be outside. It's hard to take a deep breath the humidity is so high. The thunderstorms that come rolling through each afternoon are huge and rumbling, the downpour is torrential, and the plants absolutely love it! I swear to you I can almost see them growing.

I opened that prayer request again LouC- then when I went back it was closed again, so I opened it again and then it was closed again. So I opened it again. I probably didn't do it right the first time- but I could swear I did. It takes me awhile to get the hang of things. Anyway, I was so glad to read of that hibiscus outside your office, I could almost see you at your desk.

I am glad to read you all see me improving. It is reassuring to read that when I still seem (to myself) to have so many fears. My zen saying for today is from Albert Einstein:

Three rules of work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

I think one of the reasons I am not doing as well as I could be is that I haven't really internalized that simplify thing. I need to stop being so afraid of what the future holds, and just do what needs doing. I am procrastinating on paying some very big bills that are due soon (yep, the one I mentioned before that I was going to pay that day but didn't) because they involve home and health insurance and I am just flat out afraid to spend this money. I need to pay it for peace of mind, if I don't I will be worried all the time about getting sick or losing the house to a hurricane! But- if I do pay it, I'm down over 11,000 dollars, a big chunk of cash for me, cash that I may need later. Then I go back and forth- should I pay one and not the other? Both? Neither? Debating in my mind all the pros and cons, all the ins and outs, and all this just gets me nowhere, which in turn makes me even more fearful. The hamster wheel in my brain has hit warp speed. I am complicating everything to the point it is paralyzing me. I was taught to be very very prudent, frugal, detail oriented, to analyze everything and then make, in the words of my dad, an "informed choice". Since I am so rattled right now, I cant even go there. And, to be sure, no amount of analyzing is going to change the fact that there is no right answer here. Wow, just typing this out has let me see what I have been doing is exactly what you said Ruby, about your son. While I know that change has to happen, I do not know how to go about it. I am my own worst enemy with all this dithering. I need to do the best I can and trust in the Lord to show me His Way. Jesus said "I am the way"- I need to give this to Him.

I have been reading a book on how to practice a more zen approach to life. (in case you couldn't tell- lol!) This has been amazingly helpful to me to accept that "it is what it is". I cannot change the economy so my son can find work. I cannot change what is happening here right now. I cant change the fact that I have major decisions to make at a time that isnt optimal for making major decisions. All I can do is the best I can do for *right now*. ( I do wish this board had an italics button, but I cant change that either- lol!)

I am reassured by your post Ruby, that wasnt off topic at all. Having to make the decision to let the chips fall where they may for your son is probably the hardest thing you have ever had to do. Your post also said something that I am just coming to now- that all I can do is change myself. While I have always told my sons that as long as I had a roof over my head, they had a place to live, I wasn't clear on the "how to be a good room mate" part. They truly got away with murder at their dads- girls overnight for the younger one, parties all the time with no supervision. My younger one is doing the exact same thing over here, just bulldozing though any rules. He had a girl overnight here night before last. He did this at his dads too, and to be honest, I think his father thought it was perfectly okay. This is partly the reason I dont sleep- I seem to be in a hyper-vigilant mode.
So anyway, all i can do is ask him to rethink what he is doing and try to reach him differently than i have up till now by screaming and yelling. Perhaps when they see me moving forward in my life to get organized and be proactive, they will want to join me. If not, then all I can do for right now is going to have to be enough. I. myself. me. I am the only one I have any real control over.

WLSharon- "but life goes on, and here we are today." that is very, very VERY zen. It was what it was, and now it is what it is. That acceptance is hard won- it is inspirational! To go forward knowing that these past events are part of where my sons and I find ourselves right now. To acknowledge them, but to not allow them to dictate what path we chose for ourselves for right now. I am going to use this expression when I speak with my sons today. It means to me that life is wide open, and we are the writers of the next chapters of our lives...we can chose to dwell in all the pain, all that pain informing our decisions today, or to let it go.

I love you all, and I thank you for these posts! Each and every one of them is helping me to grow, and leading me to insights that I might never have stumbled on without your input.
Amy



This message was edited Jul 20, 2011 10:56 AM
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

July 20, 2011
3:00 AM

Post #8703036

I encourage all of us to remember that, while we might personally be suffering, there is a whole wide world of hurt out there that is bigger than our clutter.

Let's keep looking for the light, ladies ...

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/41/116206/The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field (Part 2)?destId=358061
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 20, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8704142

You are correct summerkid. And I pray for them every night. And my prayer list gets longer everyday.

But I try to verbalize my thoughts for my friends here because no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. No one ever knew I was in trouble financially but me. And in those days, if you changed your name, you disappeared and so did your debts if you moved. That cannot happen today. I was not a crook, just young and stupid.

I have always been a hoarder. Food, things, plants, you name it. But you could not tell because I have plenty of room to hid them. I have been working on my problem long before I came on here and these wonderful people just gave me a place to unload. I, like most individuals, had no one else to talk to, that would understand. And they held me accountable and cheered with my successes one at a time.

Sharon.
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2011
1:39 PM

Post #8704260

I used to be really bad about buying something nice and then being afraid of using it. I would just store what ever it was in my closet. Perfume, towels, specialty foods. Hoarding stuff but not in extreme amounts. That still happens now and then ( I too have been working on this a while and have come a long way) all though I started out buying mass quantities of items like shampoo and tp ( some of the stuff I did not always have in some of the homes I lived in) and hoarding them.
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2011
2:05 PM

Post #8704305

I inherited the love of fine handmade linens from my mother and her mother. My mother and I loved to garage sale, estate sale, flea markets, anywhere we might come across linens. Of course, all three of us did all of these handcrafts ourselves so we know the value. I am the only one left. My sister and my daughter were never interested. Came upon a website for the designer Magnolia Pearl just this week. I am inspired once again. One bedroom has been my sewing, creating area for some 30 years. You won't believe what all I have hidden in here. I didn't either until I started digging out a few days ago. I am impressed. In the late 80's I had a partner and we did embellished, wearable art that was over the top and sold through the Dallas Apparel Mart. When my mother died, I inherited her things. You won't believe the treasures I have unearthed. These aren't going anywhere. It will take the rest of my life to piece the quilts she left already cut and after looking at some of the apparel I made and saved (for what?, I don't know) I will be decked out forever.

FYI. There is no machine in the world that can crochet or weave a basket. Whenever you see either of these, remember it took two hands to make it. I crochet. As a result one of my main collections is crochet hot pads and aprons. You won't believe the handwork that it took to make these everyday utilitarian pieces. Represents humankinds need to create something beautiful.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 20, 2011
2:50 PM

Post #8704363

Hello dear ladies - Amy, I am so happy to hear that you are thinking along the lines that you are. Gosh, as for procrastinating about the insurances you need to pay, I am at a loss for what to say. Why such a large amount due if you don't mind me asking? I know that annual or bi-annually is difficult for us to pay, so many, many years ago we went on a monthly plan for everything. I am not a good saver and always had difficulty putting aside the amount of money that a couple or more vehicles cost when paying that way. Can you check to see if a monthly payment schedule is an option. That way, at least you won't have to put out so much at one time. I hope that you will choose to continue your coverage, because not being covered would scare me more than not having money. Or...I don't know...I don't really know the specifics well enough to advise.

Sharon...I know that you are a self made woman, and that is one of the things I respect so much about you. Doesn't sound as though anyone has handed you anything much, but you have worked for all that you have and enjoy today. I believe that people who earn their own way appreciate what they have more than those who have just had it handed to them. I am like St.
Paul and I have known plenty and I have known want. I much prefer the plenty, but wouldn't have a proper appreciation for the plenty had I not known want before.

Marie...so good to hear from you. So glad that you are joining the discussion. I am just recently beginning to chat on another forum where I ran in to Dawn who I had lost touch with, same as yourself over the past few years. It is so good to be back in touch with both of you.

As for your son...I believe back years ago, you were having issues with him too, same as myself and my guy. I am finally figuring this kid out. He has the same way about him that his dad, my ex had. They know exactly where to NOT cross the line in their behavior. They have a way of stretching ones nerves to almost breaking point, but they always go just far enough to upset a person a bit, but usually don't cross the line and create a big mess. Tucker has been living so close to the edge of getting kicked out for some time, but usually stops whatever he is doing, right on the edge of losing whatever it is he needs...such as a place to sleep in this particular case.

I am not sure what the future will bring for either of us, and I don't really feel qualified to tell anyone else what they should do, because I too am at a loss for the most part. I do know that we are moving closer to a change being made in him, because I have now changed. I try to remember the definition of insanity that I heard some years ago and know that it really applies here. The definition of insanity is - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results...in other words...I can keep doing what I've always done and I can expect the same results.

Anyway... haven't accomplished too very much today. Slept late and then had the kiddies for a few hours this afternoon. I am planning to prepare a squash dish that everyone liked a while back when I fixed it. John brought in five very nice looking yellow squash earlier.

The small dog needs brushing and I might touch the larger one up again too. Those dogs and their shedding and the many, many hours I have spent cleaning up the mess is really something. If there are to ever be more dogs come here to live, a requirement will have to be non-shedding.

Lou, your treasure find sounds like fun. Isn't it great to find things such as the items you found and just enjoy their beauty? Have fun with all of them.

Thanks for writing everyone. Enjoy your evening.

Ruby
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 20, 2011
9:02 PM

Post #8705079

Amy, I am a retired Mortgage Banker from JP Morgan Chase. That and $7 will get you a Starbucks.

Believe it or not, I have only had one Starbucks. And I think someone purchased that one. Not my thing. But do not ask me what I spend on plants. AND, I am now working on that.

Anyway, Amy, I am educated in financial planning and very good at telling you what you should do, whether you want it or not. When I was working, parents would bring their children into my office so I could tell them how them cow ate the cabbage. My office was designed in the era of "big offices". I bet my office was bigger and more opulent that the Presidents. But we did hold sales meetings in my office. And when I got sick, I rested on my couch. I spent more time there than I did at my desk the last 6 months. My illness was Depression and Anxiety. Took forever to diagnose because I was such a ba** buster. Only to the enemy. Not my customers or my employees.

Anyway, you should try my services. First the price is right, free. And I do know what I am doing and it will all be confidential. You can d-Mail me and I will tell you what information I need. After receiving what I need I can give you a game plan.

I did not have a good day. Mr. Winter decided to tell me today that he was dealing with a backed up bowel today. Forth day into it. That is how he ended up in the hospital at the first of the year. It is a good thing murder is against the law. So I went to Whole Foods and got some pro-biotic after talking to one employee and 4 customers. And then another item recommended by the customers. We had quite a circle going. I think the employee thought we were all nuts. I have never met a stranger.

He does not drink enough water. Early in the year he had to be hydrated in the hospital for 2 days because his kidneys were failing. And he has fallen twice this week. I knew of one and then this afternoon I asked him about bruises on his lower arm and he confessed to falling again. Men are so frustrating because they do not want you to know they are sick until they are "Really" sick. I wonder if they allow you computer access in prison. Well I know the answer because I would be in the "Hole" 90% of the time. My DH watches "Hard Time" so I know all the lingo.

I did go to HD today to get my neighbors some keys made and walked through the garden department. Did not buy anything in the garden department.

Well tomorrow the landscape people will be here and I have several very large pots I want moved. So I have to get up early.

Amy, give it some thought and let me know. ?And the offer is out to whomever. Just let me know. I have made the majority of the mistakes so I should know the solution. I will be 69 in a few weeks and the only thing that bothers me about that is next year I will be 70. OMG, I will be 70. But I can still work most 50 year old men into the ground. They always ask, "Do you not ever rest". I reply, "No, you quit when you are done, not when you are tired". I heard that from my father from the time I was 10 years old. But you know, I love that statement.

Love to you all, Sharon.
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 21, 2011
4:39 AM

Post #8705524

Wow- each one of these posts hit home! I love antique linens too LouC. I feel like I ought to actually be using them, but the thought of ironing them is just too much, so they sit on a shelf, taking up space. I used to keep one set in my guest bedroom, but since I don't have one of those anymore, thats now a moot point. I have offered them to my daughter out in California, but she doesnt want them. She has a friend that I like very much who does appreciate items like these with two beautiful little girls. She has just renovated a beautiful craftsman home in the middle of Los Angeles right down to boards- and loves vintage as much as I do. Hmmm, I think you just gave me an idea... lol!

Desertdenial- me too. I have to admit that those fine soaps are now in the bathrooms. Well some of them anyway, since I had a ton of them, I have enough soap to last me a long time. Same with the hand towels, though I kept one or two in the closet unused for when I stage this house. I gave the little hotel soaps a place to go, to St. Vincent DePauls. The pantry is slowly being emptied of those specialty items I bought that just were too pretty to resist. Like the mix for "summer sparkling lemonade" in a beautiful paper bag that had thin little straws with tiny beach umbrellas that is supposed to go into a bottle of sparkling water? On the use it list. The pretty cellophane bag of herbs and spices "Imported from Italy" tied up with red white and green ribbon? Opened now after sitting out for "decoration" for the past year. I totally get this kind of thinking. Then this happened, and I began the "who am I saving this for exactly?" phase. I dont have any company of my own, just the kids. I used to entertain, not a lot, but a little bit. I used to go out, but not anymore. Since there is no income anymore, these things will not be replaced.

Ruby- Yes! That is precisely what my younger one does. Same as my son and just like his dad did. He pushes the limits, crosses the boundaries, then retreats just in the nick of time, but only after a bunch of screaming and yelling. His dad used to do things like this too, like go to meetings for a week or more and not tell me how to contact him, or even that he was going. Once, when my youngest was 2, he got a very bad virus and went into a coma. I could not find his dad for a whole day. It turned out he was in San Francisco for a week, at a vacation/meeting. He did not cut the meeting short, but stayed for the week. Some role model. It took me a long time to get the courage up to divorce him, and four long years to get it.

My health insurance is a little over 1,200.00 a month (no meds covered) and my homeowners is 5,600.00 per year. I couldn't continue to pay for health for my sons, as that would have been about another 1,000.00 a month on my policy. When my son gets in school, I think I can get a student health policy, I hope so.

I humbly accept your offer, WLSharon. I feel like I am just winging it for right now- flying by the seat of my pants... I'll drop you a d-mail and you can tell me what you need to know.

Summerkid- I agree with you. I have one charity that have been part of a dream for me for a long time. I wanted to go to Chiapas, Mexico to volunteer, they need medical volunteers very badly. That dream had to be put on the back burner- maybe forever. This, what is happening right now, doesnt make that desire go away, but it does make it harder to feel like it may ever be realized. And I know, the one thing I do know, is that because the people here on this board have held out their hands and hollered "HERE GRAB THIS!" to yank me up out of this seeming abyss it has a better chance than it did before I started this thread. They have acted as Missionaries to *me*. And I count, as LouC has told me over and over and the others here have demonstrated by sharing in their replies to me. This has turned out to be much more than a thread on the "clean and clutter free board", for me this has been a lifeline. Every single day I thank the Lord that they are in my life.

So, today- I am going to go get my drivers license renewed. This is the first place that I will have gone besides the grocery store since the funeral. I am going to put on some make up, again for the first time since the funeral. For me thats a giant step forward and I thank everyone here for helping me to regain some balance.

OH- my zen thought for today:

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened."


Thanks for shining the lanterns everyone.
Amy









Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 21, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8705786

Amy you sound exactly like me. It kind of feels good to say it out loud and I know I have to work harder!! I am much better than I was even 2 years ago and it does help that i am fairly claustrophobic so I cannot stand to have lots of "things" around but I can stand them if they are neatly tucked away in a closted, drawer, attic etc...

i was going to ask about why your house insurance was so much but then I realized it was because of the hurricanes. I do not have health insurance because it is so expensive and I still have 3 kids at home under the age of 11.
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2011
8:35 AM

Post #8705901

Amy, Everyday sounds better than the one before. Without my kind friends on DG, there are many times I would have driven off a cliff. This is truly, truly a lifeline and there numerous souls holding onto your rope. I love the zen comments.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 21, 2011
11:18 AM

Post #8706359

I about had a heart attach when I saw the home insurance annual premium. That is outrageous.

Have a fun time at the DMV.

On your D-Mail I need to know what your home is worth, balance owed. Also what is your deductible on your insurance. That looks lime a great place to start. Have you or when was your last claim. If you have had a claim, how much. How long have you owned the property? I know, a lot of questions, but they all paint me a picture.

Amy, how old are the children? I sure it says somewhere, but i could not find it. Was your ex husband a veteran? How old was your ex husband when he died and how long were you married before divorce was final?

Sorry for so much info requested but I need it. Take your time.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 22, 2011
6:29 AM

Post #8708182

I too can attest to Dave's Garden filling a need in my life and doing a great job at it. I happened upon DG in either 2005 or 2006 when reading reviews about vacuum cleaners of all things. Somehow I was referred to a forum on Dave's discussing vacuum cleaners and I decided to look at the website and realized that I really always loved gardening but was never able to get in to it to any degree due to financial lack.

Anyway...I joined Dave's and settled in to chatting a bit on the Mid Atlantic Gardeners forum. I grew to love all of those folks, many of who no longer chat here but participate in the other group which I haven't been able to get a feel for. The first year I began chatting here, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lovely people on the Mid Atlantic forum kind of nursed me back to health for a good period of time. I ended up having five surgeries during a two year period due to Mastectomy, reconstruction and reducing the "good" breast size. The folks here were with me all the way. It was nothing for me to open my mail box and have either a card or a small gift from someone to brighten my day.

I found that the MAGardeners group was a bit slow and at the time I had more time on my hands so I ventured out in to other areas and topics on Dave's. Over the years I was involved, I met some really great folks who have all served to reinforce my belief that most people are good and decent. I have had the misfortune to also become connected with a very few people who ended hurting my feelings quite a lot. I suppose a person who puts themselves out there the way I do can expect a few errors along the way. Even though I felt badly for short time periods, it hasn't turned my belief in the goodness of most I have met here.

I left Dave's for a period of time and thankfully that is when the group kind of split, so I missed all of that and didn't have to make a choice about leaving or staying. I came back around about a bit over a year ago when I contacted members of MAG forum to see if they were having a plant swap. The plant swaps that John and I have attended over the years since being involved with Dave's have truly been the high lights of our years. Such great people. Good food, fun and fellowship plus much of our gardens today are due to the generosity of Dave's members sharing their bounty with us.

Here I go again...this becoming novel length. Anyway...I agree with Amy and Lou in that Dave's has truly been a garden of healing for so many.

Sharon, each time you write, I find more and more reasons to admire your spunk. Keep on spunking...your take on turning 70 is the same one I think of with each passing birthday. How the heck did this happen? Aging sure brings along some not so wanted aches and pains, but the wisdom gathered over the years is priceless and I wouldn't trade my age today...fifty five for any other age.

Marie - I am really thrilled that you are posting here. You too are really good people and you have always consistently treated me with much respect and I am truly appreciative. I wish you the very best of what life has to offer. You can't say that life has been a parade, but you are doing very well to hold up under your own stresses and not be a belly acher which I might have been labeled early on as I listed all my woes for all to see.

Here is hoping that everyone will enjoy their weekend. No big plans here because the weather reports are calling the temperatures unbearable. I wanted to possibly go out this morning to the grocery and a thrift store to look for some flower vases but believe I can wait until next week when the temps are more suitable.

I too love you gals a lot. Take good care all.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 22, 2011
6:30 AM

Post #8708185

Okay- so the drivers license is in the wallet! Yehaw! I renewed it right when it was due online about a week before my birthday 2 years ago- got it in the mail and stuck it in my wallet. So a couple of days ago I go to rent a truck and it shows as expired! Seems they sent me a replacement instead of a renewal. But its done now, and I have the right one. And not only that but this forced me to gather all kinds of ID that was scattered, and now its in a huge file, all together. I am so bad at paper work and this forced me to do a search that nearly drove me crazy. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

And there has been other really good news- seems the money the life insurance policy that was supposed to be in place but was cancelled has been included in the trust (as was required by law). My step daughter didn't bother to tell me that part, she just told me the policy was cancelled. AND- I can tap into my ira savings in I year, when I am 59 and 1/2.

So: breathing room! Of course I still have to be careful, prudent and wise, but now I can focus on projects that need to be done and go forward with a little bit of a safety net. I have an even greater incentive to get this house in order and be able to move to something more manageable and smaller. I never wanted to live in Florida, that was my ex's decision. It is beautiful here, but it really is very expensive. I feel like I have at least a year to get this all in order, to spiff up and really clean up and get the most I can for this house.

Getting out of the house yesterday was great. I figure that if I can do the DMV, (which is like walking on hot coals for someone who has been pretty much a shut in for three months), I can do anything! Including the IRS. Which is a whole other story...

In many ways this is a real journey for me, outside of the situation. In less than 2 weeks you all have taught me that. I know that each of you has so many things to deal with in your lives. Still, each one of you here taken the time from your day to respond to me, to offer support and to commiserate, to allow me to vent my fear and frustration, and be gentle and kind leaders. You have told me your stories to help me to feel less alone. That takes a lot of courage. I feel like I have been in the company of some of the most emotionally honest women I have ever encountered in my life. I read all the other threads here on the clean and clutter free forum every day. I love the practical advice, the tips and the recommended products and I take information from each and every one of them. This one is a little different though- it isnt so much about the practical ins and outs of getting things in order, seems to me that you all reached out from a place in your hearts that was about the impact of getting "things in order". The emotional impact.

Thank you all so much- I know this is a journey that may never reach a destination, but thats the point I think. I believe this is a work in progress- forever.

Love to you all, and of course, got to add my zen thing:

"It's not the destination, it's the journey"

All I can add to that is happy trails... and thank you for being fellow travelers.

Amy




LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 22, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8708295

Amy, you have switched parts in this play. yahoo! Now you are the encourager and we are the recipients. That's the way it is supposed to be. Whenever one of us down, there are others to throw us a rope. Glad for you that you accomplished so much yesterday. Each of these ladies has enriched my life and hope we can continue for a long time.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 22, 2011
9:27 AM

Post #8708505

This thread has become the one that I look the most forward to reading each day too. I love it. Amy, you are such a great soul. You may have taken things from us that are helping you, but we too are receiving a great gift, one of being able to pay back to those who have reached out to us in the past. The new catch phrase is "paying it forward." I like it. It doesn't take too much effort to be available to those who are hurting. It is an added bonus when we get to see the improvment with another whether it be tangible or emotional. Sounds as though you are progressing both ways.

There are folks in this world who are takers and don't understand the concept of giving back. They believe that everyone else thinks the way they do and they are mistaken. What I have seen in you over the little over a week now is someone who is taking in the advice and suggestions and trying. There would be people who may have found themselves in the same boat you have been in and they cannot seem to move forward. They seem to somehow be stuck in their misery and too much is never enough for them. You are growing by leaps and bounds and it is obvious to all of us. I am sure I speak for the others when I say that it does me good to hear of your realizations and the work you are doing in order to be better.

One of my pet peeves is a whiner and a complainer, and I have not sensed that with you at all. You originally reached out, admitted a problem and then set right to work on correcting it. It won't all be done over night, because you didn't arrive where you find yourself today, overnight either.

So, keep up the good work, you are doing great. It is great that you got outside the home yesterday after not doing so for months. That is great progress. I too often find just getting away from the four walls I spend most of time in, does me good in terms of feeling better too. I currently have an excellent excuse for staying home though...record breaking temperatures here at my place. It is supposed to cool down starting Monday, so I am really looking forward to it.

You folks take good care.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 24, 2011
4:56 AM

Post #8711959

I've still got a long way to go folks- the house is still in the same condition it was when I started this thread. I'm much more optimistic now though, thanks to you all! The roof leaked pretty heavily in the garage where much of the stuff from the kids is stored, along with all the christmas decorations, and I was able to be calm about it. Thats a huge change for me, before this thread I would have broken into tears and thrown my hands up in despair.

I feel like I have rejoined the land of the living. A very wise lady (Ruby :D ) told me that I will still have my bad days but to remember that they are normal and to keep on plugging away at my goal to get this house in order. Well Ruby you were right on! Friday was horrible here, my younger one had a total meltdown. Then he left for California with not a dime in his pocket, and only a briefcase sized piece of luggage. He had a friend drive him, he refused to go with either me or my older one. Even the dog was trembling, it was pretty bad. So yesterday I took the whole day to just recover from all that crazy emotional turmoil, and voila'!, even though today I am still a little jittery inside, I feel ready to tackle a project or two. I'm taking it slow, going easy on myself. I'm trying to remember that this didnt happen in a day and it's going to take more than a day to turn it around.

I have given up on trying to "fix" all the pain my sons are in and that is a huge weight off my shoulders. I am powerless here when it comes to their feelings of abandonment and betrayal at the hands of their dad. What I can do is take the steps necessary to stop living in chaos and disorder, which right now is a big contributing factor in our recovery.

Ruby, even though we spoke, somehow I missed the post to me above my response the other day,the first one on the 22nd. I don't garden as actively as I used to, but keep my subscription here for the very reasons you mentioned. You are so right, there are all kinds of gardens and all kinds of gardeners... I found one full of flowers right on this forum.

So, I am going to start posting on all the other threads here as I make my way through the uncharted territory of the "great upstairs", taking all the strength and tips and organizing advice I can along my way. All I can think of are those old timey maps that showed uncharted territory with the notation "here be dragons". There are lots of "dragons" up there disguised as "things that I might need someday". I'm going to vanquish as many of them as I can, armed with all the tools I have learned and will learn here.

Ah, my zen quote for today: :)

I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
- Hellen Keller

Thumbnail by handbright
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 24, 2011
6:23 AM

Post #8712048

Oh my gosh...Helen Keller was such a great and wise woman. Where did much of her greatness and wisdom come from? Most likely due to living a life that demanded she become more sensitive in areas that those of us more fortunate to have all of our senses are never called upon to exercise. We humans are so wonderfully and awesomely made and the majority of us are never called to do great things. This brings to mind the paralyzed artists who do paintings with their mouths or something comparable.

Amy, last winter while I was actively de-cluttering it kind of rubbed off on those around me. My hubby became involved as did my clothes horse son. Hey, must be something about the boys at that age...Tucker has a closet full of shirts too. Anyway...with me not having to say a word, but I suppose just setting an example, those around me began to follow suit. In times past whenever I had spoken to Tucker and asked if he wanted to donate any of his clothes, he would answer no.

A couple of times last winter, again with no prodding from me...he asked if he could put a few things in to the boxes and bags I was donating. Of course and very gladly. So, you set the tone and I bet the others will follow. Everyone in this household still owns too many things, but we did make a major dent last year.

I am so sorry there was major drama as your son left for his trip. Again, know that you are not alone in dealing with that sort of thing. One of the things I have tried to work on over the past few years or so is to not allow other people's bad moods to affect mine. I call it - not allowing anyone to steal my joy. I have worked very hard over the years to reach a place where I am satisfied with my life and can truthfully say that most days are joyous. Just because someone I come in to contact within a day is having a snit, doesn't mean I need to jump in and join the pity party. It is not easy, what is easy is allowing them to steal your joy and bring your mood down. It takes some work, but maintaining a positive attitude is possible even when those around you are losing their cool. You and I both know that young men this age are willy nilly, back and forth with their emotions and our job is not to be the same.

You are making wonderful progress. To be able to see all that is going on around you is the first step in learning to correct it. Good grief...I just thought that you have double the trouble I do with young men in our households. My hat is off to you lady. But...you can do it and can be a success for having done it.

Your message is full of growth and realization. You will do alright with what lies ahead. I am betting on you.

All you other ladies...hope that you are having a good weekend. Our temperatures are supposed to begin being back to normal beginning today so that thrills me beyond belief. Up until today the temps have been truly brutal.

Anyway...looking forward to hearing from you gals.

Ruby

handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 28, 2011
3:03 AM

Post #8720372

Oh My! The air conditioner went out yesterday at 5:00 pm- just moments after the cut off time to make the difference between an emergency call and a regular one! The bad news: I need a new unit. The good news: more energy efficient, so hopefully less in monthly bills, and a good selling feature. Not exactly where I wanted to put any money, but it is what it is. Cant live without air conditioning in Southern Florida, for sure.
Also I have an appointment with a lawyer on Friday- one who is going to look at a letter I received that seems to indicate that my sons and I need to sign off on the trust. I don't want to do that because I haven't seen it, and nobody is talking to us about this. (Talk about having trust issues.)
I also had a nice talk with my sister yesterday about my future move. We talked a long time about Pensacola Florida, house hunting online together. It would be so nice to live near family again.
I hope everyone is doing well-
Amy
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 28, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8721511

Hi Amy - so glad you wrote. So sorry to hear about the air conditioning. We had to put a new heat pump system in shortly after moving in to this house a few years back too and they aren't cheap, but as you said, they are necessary. This cool house feels so wonderful when the outside temperatures are blazing.

I believe you would be very, very smart to demand a copy of the trust before you signed off. Having an attorney to look out for your interest and the best interest of the boys is smart too. Yep, my dad left my folks estate to a trust also, so I know it can seem to take a long time for things to be settled. I would hope that the attorney can find some way that makes sure they boys are provided for. I know this all must lay very heavy on your shoulders, but it too is a process to get through one step at a time.

It is good that you may possibly move closer to family. I live very close to much of my family and even though there is not always a lot of visiting back and forth, we do know that we are here for each other if the need arise.

What a major difference in the tone of your first post and this one. Major emotional growth in a short period of time. Keep up the good work.

Ruby
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 29, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8723040

Amy...come out, come out wherever you are. I am missing reading the Zen thoughts for the day. Hope that you are enjoying a quiet week and that things are coming along for you. Message to all others...have a good weekend.

Lou, missing seeing you post too. Hope that things are going well in Texas.

Ruby
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 29, 2011
10:27 AM

Post #8723153

Handbright hope appointment with lawyer goes well today and your house gets cool soon. Sorry about the ac going out and having to find major outlay funds.
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 29, 2011
11:30 AM

Post #8723275

Been really busy. Kept GGD on day and made her a dress from a linen tablecloth with all kinds of lace on it. Yesterday used the rest of the cloth and made a sunbonnet and trimmed with crochet. Have been outside since around 8 this morning and had to come inside...it is just too hot. Will probably have to start the flower garden from scratch next year. Even the Texas natives are dying. Water all the time but can't overcome 105 and burning sun.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 29, 2011
11:42 AM

Post #8723304


Oh yeah, plants are suffering here too Lou. The country really needs some rain that is for sure. Thanks for dropping in and letting us know that you are doing okay. I would love to see a picture of the outfit you made for you great grand daughter. I bet it is really cute.

Have a good weekend all.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 30, 2011
5:37 AM

Post #8724790

I read this morning that that tropical depression- Ned was it? fizzled out. What a disappointment! We are in a drought too, but not as bad as Texas. My backyard is almost all native now, but they are all evolved to conditions that included much more rain. It''s sad to see them suffer, I know Lou. Sending prayers for relief for you. I too would love to see that dress and that bonnet if you decided to post a photo, I bet its adorable!

I know that Va. And Md. are suffering too- it's so uncomfortable everywhere it seems. I am thrilled with the new air conditioner, I didnt realize how the other one was limping along till it went out. The man told me I could fix it, but there were no guarantees, and I figured what was the point, I was going to have to replace it anyway, the prices werent going to come down, for sure. Plus its a lot easier to proceed with the decluttering when it's truly cool in this house! I am saving the outside and the garage for the winter- there is just no way to be out in it right now.

The meeting went well Ruby, thanks for asking! The lawyer is very steady and calm, he is an elder care attorney, and he was very sympathetic without getting too personal. I feel better knowing that he will help to get this settled soon.

No matter how many times a day I get down in the dumps and feel that all of this is just beyond my talents to cope with, all I have to do is come back here and read these posts. I've gotten to the point that I skip my first one here, mostly because I know I can slip back into that place pretty easily right now and I dont need the reminder of where I was. It's really easy for me to be a "dweller". So, I am trying to stay focused on this moment, this time, and where I am right now. It may not be perfect yet, but I have moved forward I know, with your help here, all of you.

Heres my zen thought for today- : )

Some people confuse acceptance with apathy but there's
all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish
what can and cannot be helped; acceptance makes the distinction.
Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it
by relieving it of impossible burdens.

Arthur Gordon

May love and light shine all through your day...
Amy
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 30, 2011
9:28 AM

Post #8725235

Oh my gosh! Thank you Lord! My best friends niece just wrote to me and asked if she might come to stay with me while she goes to school here, just 3 nights a week for a few months. She lives in Naples, is very successful, I really thought she was all done. She is very buttoned up, a go to kind of gal. She is one of my favorites, always has been. It seems she has decided, at the age of 33, to go back to school for a bigger degree. She has been offered a graduate school assistant position at FAU, and needs to be on this coast for days at a time. This means she has to be here at least three days a week. She doesnt have much money right now, what with giving up her regular job, but it doesnt matter- who was it that said nature abhors a vacuum?

So, heres that vacuum: Luke is going off to school and so suddenly there is an empty bedroom to offer, and I do hope this will all work out. I have worked really hard to let go of my ideas that I need to have a picture perfect home, that I need to be perfectly organized before I let anyone step a foot into this house, that I will be judged as a person based on my how good I am at being a mini Martha Stewart. What a motivator this is too- there are two people here now from my best friends family- a nephew and a niece. I am very blessed indeed! I have found an incentive- these "kids" being here is such an inspiration! And I just had to share this with you all, in many ways you have mentored me. If it were not for you, I would have read her message to me and thought "oh this is such a bad time" and to be honest, that was my first thought. Then I realized that it is what it is, ( my circumstances are what they are). Her situation is what it is, too. Hopefully the two situations can work out together! I already feel more motivated and energetic.

I really think this will give me a way to go back into the world at large, to be connected with something bigger than my messy house, and motivate me to get the stuff done instead of wallowing in the bad place of "oh poor me, this is just too much" for me to do. It's increased my appetite for that proverbial elephant...

Praise the Lord! He sure does work in mysterious ways, and even if this does not work out, it sure has given me a boost to think it might- which would NEVER have happened before this thread began and I read your responses.

LOVE to all- and another big thank you! Four weeks ago I would never have ever even entertained the idea of her being here at all- I was too reclusive and withdrawn and judging myself as unworthy, stupid and inept at handling all the stuff that seemed to have just appeared overnight. It used to be I couldnt stand a fingerprint on an appliance, or an oven that was dirty for more than a day. Then things started changing, and I just let it go, and to be honest, I dont know why that happened. I think now that my being so intent on perfection might have finally just gotten to the point where it wasnt sustainable anymore, it wasnt about being clean and clutter free in general, it was me being exhausted from the neurotic cleaning.

To be sure, There are days still where I cant get off my couch, when I just cant even look at all the piles of laundry and papers and the general discombobulation and I think to myself "just go lay down". As if someone else is going to come along and sort this all out, as if some fairy godmother was going to let me win the lottery and I could do what coleup said- go sip lemonade and watch while someone else sorted, shredded, and organized my life for me. Seems that only happens on tv though- and while I may not do all those tasks as perfectly as someone who is trained to do them might, I can at least give it the good college try.


rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 30, 2011
10:26 AM

Post #8725300

Oh boy am I amazed at the obvious growth shown on this thread for you Amy. No, you needn't be reminded of the mind set you had when composing the first post here. That was yesterday...gone forever. You are taking the bull by the horns and doing what you can without expecting perfection. This idea of perfection is one of the reasons that many of us are at a stand still when faced with issues that need our attention. We have this perfection idea and know there is no way on earth that anything can be done perfectly, so as the Zen saying states - we become paralyzed and nothing gets done but the issue continues to grow and grow.

Some of the suggestions I have heard for folks having a hard time getting started with organization or decluttering is to do it very, very slowly. By getting rid of one thing a day even, we will eventually begin to see progress and the progress motivates us to do and more and there comes a time when we actually enjoy the challenge of getting rid of or better organizing our belongings.

What is it they say...inactivity breeds more inactivity. The same for de-cluttering, just the first act of getting rid of one item breeds the idea of more and more and more. I am so happy and thrilled to hear the tone of this very exciting for you post. Yes maam, the Lord do look out for us. I have had occurrences and events such as you described about this young lady happening to need a place and willing to pay for it just when you needed something along the same lines, isn't just a coincidence. It is someone up there looking out for the both of you. I hope that it works out well for both of you.

Need to scoot along for a bit. Will be back in a bit to comment more. Just know I am happy for you and yes maam, thrilled that things are looking good for you.

Ruby

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 31, 2011
8:11 AM

Post #8727142

Amy, to reiterate my former post, you have become the encourager to the rest of us. Your up attitude is contagious. With someone else with you there will a listener. Don't intend that to sound as though we don't want to listen, but is always good to have a body there to hug your neck. Which I would do if that were possible.

My sister is 14 years my junior and is my very best friend. She lives only a mile from me but her work hours preclude us from getting together as much as we would like. Well, she has had her entire home under renovation since May. Just now about to wrap it up. She works at the Dallas Market Center (wholesale to the trade) and the showrooms are constantly changing their decor. They simply put the items outside their doors as the hallways are extremely wide. May be part of their line or furniture that they used for a styling. Also, one floor is only lighting companies. Anyway, she has purchased some of the most fantastic things you have ever seen for practically nothing. She is doing everything in a very high-class Mexico City style. Called me yesterday and said she had finally gotten to the point of putting the furnishings together would I come help. We had a super wonderful day. She has custody of her two grandsons 8 and 9 years old and the entire upstairs is dedicated to them. If I ever figure out how to post pictures from iPhoto I will show you. We each have many heirlooms that are way over 100 years old. They worked in just perfectly.

Another hot,hot week. Predicting 107-108 everyday. The local nursery posted answers today about why are plants that are in the shade and watered faithfully are dying anyway...high air temperature.

Love to all.

Christi
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 31, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8727161

Christy, didn't know that was your name...I love it by the way. Thanks for checking in. Sounds as though you have been a busy lady. What fun for your sister to be remodeling and to get real deals on things is a real bonus.

When visiting San Antonio a few years back, I too fell in love with the mexicana look. I loved shopping the area because the goods are so different from what we find in stores here. We were there attending my niece's wedding which took place in one of the oldest Missions in the State. We loved the trip but haven't spoken of returning. Your description of remodeling job has me yearning to return at some point though because it is certainly a different world than which I live here on a mountain side surrounded by forests and hilly fields.

Anyway...hope you can figure out your photo program soon. Sounds as though you have some gr great pics to share.

All reading, please take care and enjoy this day of rest.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 31, 2011
12:24 PM

Post #8727728

I'm doing really little things right now- yesterday I divided a big basket that came to me from the ex's funeral. You know the ones, they look beautiful for the funeral parlor, but are a mix of plants that have all different needs, light and moisture, that stuff. So they are all in little pots now, and I have one big pot of parlor palm that is beautiful. I was avoiding that task, but now that it is behind me I feel better. Out with the crowded old way of thinking and in with the new.

I think the secret to all of this, what I am experiencing right now, is to take it slow. You all taught me that. It was hard, in the beginning. I wanted everything to get done at warp speed~ I have never been very good at inaction, and my sons seemed more paralyzed than I did, and even less motivated to help me "GET THIS HOUSE IN ORDER, CHOP CHOP!" I was being unreasonable, and really hard on everyone.

Nothing has changed in terms of all the clutter, really, except I've grown better at accepting this now that I have "talked" with you all here. You gave me permission to grieve. To take a little space. As a result of that input, I am gentler on myself than I was before I started this thread. I realize now I had set unreasonable goals and was trying hard to live up to them, mostly because I felt compelled to always be in control. I equated being strong to going it alone. Thanks to you all here, I dont have to.

Christy,you are so right, I still do need someone to hug my neck once in awhile. I was suicidal when this all went down in the beginning, my thoughts were messed up. I actually thought my kids would be better off without me. My mind was working like this:

1. I could leave them the house, they could sell it. My savings would buy them a couple of years of school if I were not spending it on health insurance, meds, and food.

2. A funeral seemed to be a real option, it was cheaper than being alive, after all.


So many people, even my best friends, patted me on the back and told me how strong I was, that they just knew I could deal with anything, and then they just left. And I didnt feel very strong at all. But they were just gone. Not only did I feel weak and scared, but now I felt it would be an imposition to ask for understanding or help or support. I was supposed to be so strong, after all!

I still have my down days, but now I know that its okay to feel sad. (and I realize how selfish those thoughts were.) At the time those thoughts felt perfectly logical and even altruistic. Now I see it for what it was: sick thinking. Perhaps those thoughts actually were a way to escape what felt like too much work for me to handle. It's really hard to admit that here, it's really ugly.

So, I have learned from you all to go slow, to take my time wading through all of this. I am grateful to all of you here who responded to me, who still do. This isnt about being strong, or competent or brave, this is a process that takes time to get through, a time to be gentle with ourselves, and with others.

Anyone who is doing a major downsizing or decluttering project due to a death, or to a change in financial circumstance is going to have to deal with significant psychological issues. Mine are pretty profound, but no worse than others here who have had to do the same thing. It's not a game of oneupsmanship. I'm suffering, you all either have suffered, or are suffering still. I'm not sure it ever goes away completely. I wish there were a forum that was just about this here.

So for today, my zen thing: (from someone who I admire very much)

Softly and kindly remind yourself, ''I cannot own anything.'' It is a valuable thought to keep
in mind as you struggle to improve your financial picture, worry about investments, and
plan how to acquire more and more. It is a universal principle which you are part of. You
must release everything when you truly awaken. Are you letting your life go by in
frustration and worry over not having enough? If so, relax and remember that you only
get what you have for a short period of time. When you awaken you will see
the folly of being attached to anything.

Wayne Dyer


I am very grateful to everyone who has posted here...
I hope anyone who reads this thread through from beginning to end will find some courage and maybe even a little hope when they feel everything is hopeless and beyond them just as I have. I send a prayer of thanks for all who have taken the time to share here with me.
Amy
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 31, 2011
1:11 PM

Post #8727798

You have given as much or more than you have taken. You are truly a value.

My daughter just called and is on her way here. It was her first born that drowned April 14, 2009. My first grandchild. She said when she got up this morning it was as though someone had just informed her he is gone. Her grief is as heavy today as it was in the beginning. I have those days myself. We have been to grief counseling and shared with others who have lost a child. There have been many in my life who are no longer of this side of the River Jordan but none are missed with the intensity we miss Aaron. My faith reminds me that he is in a far better place than I. Doesn't stop us from wanting here with us everyday.

rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 31, 2011
2:31 PM

Post #8727964

Dear Sweet Ladies - If I were with either one of you now, I would give each of you a great big bear hug, and hugging anyone other than my son's or grand children is very hard for me. I know of grief also and it changes a person. To be cliche, it can make us bitter or it can make us better. I believe that both of you have chosen the "better" route.

Christy, that your daughter is able to come to you with her pain today is a wonderful thing. I didn't have that sort of relationship with my mother. Yes, there is a Grief Process which has steps to it, but whenever seeing or hearing of the grief process there is always a note written saying that we will be back and forth, back and forth with these steps and even though we reach a place where we are no longer debilitated by our grief, we still have moments that we feel as if we are. I suppose during those times, we just have to ride them out. They will pass, we have each lived long enough now to know that.

Amy, I know it wasn't easy for you to admit what you just shared but as Christy pointed out, there may be a fellow sufferer out there who will find your words and cling to them and prevent losing their life because of it. I have reached those same depths in the past due to physical pain. There were times that I wished hard for death but thankfully my oldest son was a preschooler during those times, I didn't want to leave that legacy to him. Praise the Lord there finally came a day when chronic pain was but a memory for me. I was healed as far as I am concerned. I still have many nagging little annoying physical complaints but nothing compared with the ten plus years I walked the earth in a state of pure misery.

Christy, I don't know how much value you put to psychics and such, but even having the faith of mustard seed in their abilities would allow you and even the bible teaches that though we dearly miss our loved ones who have gone before us...they truly are in a better place. I dare not claim I know God's mind or ways and believe any one foolish enough to make that claim is fooling themselves...but my mustard seed size faith in what God's word tells us is that there is no suffering or pain where these souls are.

My heart breaks for both you and your daughter as you hit a rough spot today. I hope the two of you are able to minister to each other in love and that by the time you two hit the pillow tonight, you will rest knowing that your grand son is happier where he is than any of us are while living this life. We can only understand things with our limited minds and it is hard to know what may await us after death, but again...I believe your grand son would send the message to both of you that he is alright, happy and he too is awaiting the day that you are reunited.

Okay ladies...I thank both of you for your honesty and openess. I must say that I have to agree with Christy on you being a real blessing to us also Amy. You are very highly intelligent and personable at the same time which seems sometimes to be conflict for some. I do love the Zen thoughts and they are helping me.

I have actually begun reading another book regarding ways to unclutter your mind. She gives one minute tips on how to become a calmer and thus more productive person. That is what I am seeing in you Amy and the transformation has been exciting to watch.

Gonna run and fix something to go along with the chicken John is preparing on the grill. Please keep sharing...this is such a wonderful and real healing spot for me.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 1, 2011
6:23 AM

Post #8729248

LouC- I hope you were able to be present really present for your daughter, and she for you. I cannot know the depth of your grief and pain, all I can do is pray for you both, and for your family, for all of you who suffer now because he is gone from you in such a tragic way. Prayers sent for white light to shine down and surround you, and you and your daughters angels to circle you both and hold you gently now.

handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 1, 2011
7:23 AM

Post #8729368

my zen thought for today:

Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be
that events should happen as they do, and you shall have peace.

Epictetus
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 1, 2011
10:05 AM

Post #8729672

God is good EVERYDAY.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 2, 2011
4:12 AM

Post #8731509

And so the saga continues one heart beat, one breath, one step, one day at a time. Joy commeth in the morning.
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 2, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8731525

That is beautiful Coleup! It's going to be a beautiful day!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 2, 2011
6:21 AM

Post #8731670

Lol Amy! On my horizon today (since we got some unexpected rain overnight so I don't have to emergency water) is to check for any tree branches that might cause damage to house if strong winds/hurricanes come thru. My latest homeowners insurance specifically excludes wind damage! And Maryland no longer writes hurricane insurance. Curious shift from these events being termed "acts of God" to "forces of nature" Me thinks would be good to do some before pics as several large dead branches on neighbors trees literally are hanging over my head and property! (Long story) Recycling out for collection, now in to grab camera, enjoyable temps outside...whoo hoooo.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 2, 2011
8:09 AM

Post #8731812

I am jealous of the rain and lower temps your speak of Coleup. Please send them south.

Christy- I am thrilled to hear you exclaiming your one liner. To say that says it all.

Hello to Miss Amy...hope that you continue to grow and experience the wonder of God's goodness that is all around you. Some times we get so bogged down by the negatives that seem to come from every direction that it is hard to see the goodness of the minute at hand. Your Zen saying is good for thought. Yes, if we internally fight the externals in our lives, we waste such precious energy and wear ourselves out. If we can begin to "Live and Let Live" we can experience a peace that surpasses all understanding.

I remember my older son asking me how I was so calmly handling the news that I had Breast Cancer some years ago when first hearing of the diagnosis. I thought about it and answered that by age 50 which I was at the time, I had seen and experienced so much grief and pain that this news just seemed to be just another bump in the road to handle.

Thankfully he doesn't have too much recollection of the hysterically emotionaly woman of my youth when I looked at every situation as being the magnitude of life and death. I suppose I learned some years back that when faced with another new set of bad news, that I needed to compare it to some of the situations I had dealt successfully with before and gauge my response or reaction accordingly. So, I really try when faced with more bad news to compare it to the many times I have successfully navigated through more dire situations and it usually takes the sting out of whatever the issue for the day is.

If by this point in the game...senior citizinism...we haven't yet learned to grin and bear it, we probably won't ever and we can look forward to more years of misery and woe. I decided some years back that the first half of my life had been spent struggling through situations and ending up being exhausted and unhappy. I chose Abe Lincoln's way of looking at the life handed to me...I could choose how happy I was going to be despite all that was going on around me.

Now, I set and write this today, feeling strong emotionally...the medications are working. A few months ago for some reason or the other, I would label myself as being somewhat of a basket case. For some reason my antidepressant wasn't doing its job, I now believe its effects were counteracted with another medication I took at the time...but I found myself in a pitiful state in which every thing looked bleaked, I felt insulted by many around me and took every little thing that occurred as a personal affront. During the time I was so very uncomfortable, because I was aware of what was going on but was unable to change my thinking about it for a very uncomfortable two or so months. Praise God the day came when I was back on track and have been doing a lot better.

So, I can come here most of the time and be sky high...the world is a beautiful place...but believe me folks...I too can reach some very low depths...similar to he** I imagine and I understand the low depths we can go in our minds. I work very hard to try and maintain a positive outlook.

So sorry for the novel length post. Must have needed to say all of that. Thank each of you for being here and reading...I often find as I write that what comes out is what I need to hear myself for the day, rather than so much what the reader needs to hear. So thank each of you for allowing me to remind myself as old Abe would say...I can be just about as happy as I make up my mind to be. Love that man.

Ruby
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

August 2, 2011
7:25 PM

Post #8733209

Good one Ruby. I have been up to my ears getting ready for youngest grandchild, Luke, 2 and his Mommy and Daddy. I have to move my meds to higher level than my bedside drawer.

And gardeners moved me to Tuesdays so I had about 4 hours of gardening to do before they got here. I like to take care of my plant beds because they would think some of my prized plants are weeds.

Ruby all is well and i will D-Mail you when I come up for air. I know you understand what I mean by this.

Looks like Florida is going to get some low winds. 70mph. Please be safe everyone. Sharon
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 3, 2011
4:43 AM

Post #8733731

Boy this thread is better than medication! I hear you on the insurance stuff, Coleup. Each year I wonder if I am going to be dropped, and each year less and less is covered and the premiums go up and up. It's not just homeowners anymore though, its asset protection. Since one of my biggest assets is this house, there isn't much choice but to pay it and just hope I never need it. I'm keeping my eye on Tropical Storm Emily though- it looks like she might be visiting come saturday. I've simply got to get some of these plants that are in nursery pots and just hanging around in the ground today. I don't need them to become missiles. Years ago I put in impact resistant windows and doors because I couldnt handle the big aluminum shutters by myself. The downside is having to watch the stuff just fly by- not fun at all- Wilma was the worst I've seen.

My younger son is coming home tomorrow. I have to say that I feel much calmer now that we have had this break from one another, and I am just hoping that calm spills over into his return. I have changed a lot (well, maybe not changed so much as regained my footing) over the past few weeks, but still have a way to go, I know. I am praying for flexibility and the understanding that he is taking his frustration and anger with his dad out on me. I am also coming to understand that its not personal. Even though I know this, that much of it is misdirected, its hard to take when he targets me. I have better tools to use to help me through this now though, thanks to you all.


Ruby that is my favorite Abe Lincoln quote of all time. Happiness is a choice, one we can make consciously. I believe that. Unfortunately my sons have lived through three really "crazy momma" times- the divorce itself, which took four years, (and several hundred thousand dollars) the fight for custody, and now this. Got to say, this one sure has been a lot shorter though. You live through it, and come out the other side, for sure. It's up to us how we emerge though. We can be battle scarred and weary but alive to tell. We can use our experiences, or let them use us up.

You are so right Lou- God is good EVERYDAY. and He has a plan for me. And that plan is to accept the things I cannot change (for right now, in this moment) and to change the only thing I can (which is me).
Which, come to think of it, thats my zen thought for this thread for today!

Love and light to all who pass this way!
:)
Amy




LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 3, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8733983

Sharon, it is amazing how much alike we are. My garden crew comes on Fridays. I usually have a big mess all over the yard for them to clean up. I weed, deadhead and whatever and just throw it behind me. If it is small enough I just have them mulch with the mower right where it is, otherwise gather and put in the compost pile. Kind of like cooking and having someone else clean up behind you. (I haven't cooked in years) The weather is truly unbearable and I am outside very briefly to hand water the potted plants. 110 yesterday and the same is predicted for the next 7 days and after. I really hate having my house closed up but we have the plantation shutters...shuttered...and the blinds drawn to help insulate. Had a new roof put on in February and it seems to increased our insulation value a lot. We are lucky we have a "den" to hibernate until this weather passes. The worst part is that the only way this high pressure system will dissipate is with a tropical storm/hurricane. That I don't want for anyone.

Gotta go read a story. GGD, Erin is here today.
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

August 3, 2011
7:34 AM

Post #8734022

Amy it seems the kids always take everything out on the moms. I believe it is because thye know we love them no matter what!
Christi have you all gotten any rain yet? I feel so bad because so much of the U.S. is suffering from no rain.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 3, 2011
10:40 AM

Post #8734312

Marie - I believe you just quoted the truth of the century. I have often wondered why so much of Tucker's anger seems directed at me, when I am an innocent party in some of this stuff. You saying that they know we will love them despite their behaviors sometimes sounds like a very logical way of thinking. Thank you so much for saying that. I will have to keep it in mind the next time I am tempted to bite his head off. Phew!!!!! That feels good, to have some idea of what I am dealing with. Wise woman you are Marie.

Oh gosh Amy...That Serenity Prayer has always jumbled me up. I know that a lot of folks have been able to use it and be quite successful in having it work for them.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I suppose where I often stumble is when it gets to the wisdom part, I have to admit that in most situations I don't always act wisely so end up getting bitten in the hind end. hahaha What probably works the best for me is just using the first line of the prayer, then stopping and not going any further, just have the faith that God will work it out on my behalf. Sometimes that is all I am capable of. I admit to not always being courageous in some situations. Not automatically anyways. I suppose looking back over issues that have been major things in my life, I usually have to be pushed way back in a corner, no where else to go before I finally relent and realize that I haven't been handling a situation very well at all and that all my efforts haven't worked. I believe it is human nature that we usually need to be pushed so tight in that corner and become so uncomfortable, and that is when we usually decide to try another way of doing things.

I am currently exercising this different way of doing things by allowing my twenty one year old to go down with his actions or inactions. For over a year now I have begged, pleaded, prodded and insisted that he come up with the money to pay the three bills he receives monthly. Yes, I have often paid them myself and made note of him owing me that sum. What a waste of my time and pen's ink...I never expect to see another penny of payment from him. But...just this past month, I threw up my hands, decided that I am not going to do it any more and we are sitting here waiting to see what the collection agency decides to do next.

My last words on the topic a few weeks ago was that I hadn't been able to convince him of his need to further his education or to get a job, and so maybe the courts will be able to convince him. I have been pushed in the corner finally. I have put my hands in the air, I have surrendered, it is his baby from here on out. You all will know how heartbreaking it will be for me to watch him possibly go to jail for some period of time, but if that is what it takes, that is what it takes.

Oh me...a place of healing...yep this is one for sure Amy. Feels so great to see all you other ladies that I have grown to love and respect too. Here is hoping everyone is enjoying their day. I have been just about useless this week without my baby sitting chores. I have business issues to take care of that I have put off, but by golly I am sure having a hard time getting started with them. Someone give me swift kick in the rear. NOT...I can do it and will do it. I have put it out to the universe, I have three important matters to address this week and I need to get started.

Thanks everyone.

Ruby
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 4, 2011
7:10 PM

Post #8737537



Thought you might enjoy this.


How many dogs does it take to change a lightbulb?


Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, weve got our whole lives ahead of us, and youre inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

Border Collie: Just one. And then Ill replace any wiring thats not up to code.

Dachshund: You know I cant reach that stupid lamp!

Rottweiler: Make me.

Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

German Shepherd: Ill change it as soon as Ive led these people from the dark, checked to make sure I havent missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Jack Russell Terrier: Ill just pop it in while Im bouncing off the walls and furniture.

Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? Im sorry, but I dont see a light bulb!

Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or We dont need no stinking light bulb.

Greyhound: It isnt moving. Who cares?

Australian Shepherd: First, Ill put all the light bulbs in a little circle

Poodle: Ill just blow in the Border Collies ear and hell do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.


When the same question was asked of cats, the researchers got quite a different response:
Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?


Amy, can you tell I can't stop thinking about your therapy dog!?! Does he have a litter mate?

Seriously, I hope all is truly well for all here and our kids will *by turning, turning, come round right"
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 5, 2011
3:16 AM

Post #8738093

I love it! My guy hasnt been anywhere to therapy anyone for awhile, he isn't neutered yet so our local group wont allow it. The Delta society doesnt care, but this local group does. He is a "dwarf dog" so he needs to wait till he is at least 18 months to 2 years old to be neutered, for complete bone growth to be finished. He really has been ministering to us, actually. So he is keeping up his skills... :^)

If you asked how a french bull dog would respond it would be:
"It's cooler in the dark, and I can see perfectly fine, but if you need some light, I will be right beside you as you search for a bulb in the dark"

This is the most laid back dog I have ever had. Everyone is sure there are some feline genes in there too, he is a great mouser, or in our case here in Florida, a great lizard-er. He walks along the back of the furniture and does cat like stuff like hiding in the bushes, silent and still and then slowly crouches and pounces like a cat. Can you tell I am in love? LOL! I got two species for the price of one!

My younger son comes home from California today, and we have a ton of work to do. The school he is going to does not have any dorms, the new thing is for private companies to buy up apartment complexes and turn them into student housing. I guess its the "wave of the future". (I am getting a little tired of all this wave of the future stuff, btw). We have to shop for cheap pots and pans and small kitchen appliances. I have enough dishes and glasses and bathroom stuff, but its not exactly masculine, like the dishes are pink glass for example, so we'll see how it goes. When we talked the other day he told me how much he misses me and loves me. Music to my ears! We aint out of the woods yet, but we seem to have at least found a path.

I finally feel like I will be able to turn my attention to helping my older son now. I think I have mentioned that he has a learning disability called NVLD. (http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/nld.htm) It's very mild, but it is a big presence in our lives. He hardly leaves the house anymore and it concerns me. He is very loving and quiet, he doesn't demand much of anything so it has been easy to just let things ride with him in terms of attention. I really didn't see it until his brother left, it was so hectic around here all the time, and he could just interact with his brothers friends when they were here. He didn't have to make any effort at all. Perhaps this idea of ebay will act a catalyst for us both to get moving. It wouldn't be about the money, though that would be a very nice perk, it would be more about engaging him in some way without pushing too hard right now. I would love your thoughts...

So, my zen thought for today:

Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes
or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be
time. Let the tree first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.

Epictetus

The photo is one I shared with another member, it sits on my desktop, so its easy to get to! This is who Luke has been kind of babysitting out in Cali. , my grand daughter, Georgia.
Love and light to you all today and all the days to come!
:)
Amy





Thumbnail by handbright
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 5, 2011
6:21 AM

Post #8738274

What a beautiful blond angel that youngster is. Is that you with her in the picture? Seems as though both parties in the picture are really "into" one another. Gazing upon each other with loving eyes. Oh gosh...little ones are so great. I have missed having my two little ones around this week. Really a quiet household currently. They will return on Monday.

Coleup...loved the dog light bulb question. Yep, their comments were right on the money. I had a mixed collie/shepherd and he really was one that we had to work hard to keep occupied. He died last August from old age and I sure miss his presence here too. John always said that Lucky was the smartest dog he ever knew.

Amy, when I was thinking of a therapy dog, I thought he was a therapy dog for you in regards to some medical issues you may have. I now believe I understand that he is a dog who will be used as therapy for others with health or age issues that need his presence in their lives. So, even though you really love the pup, seems that you too ought to get some of the credit because I assume that you will be involved when he is used for therapy.

I actually believe that all dogs, or all dogs I have owned have been therapy dogs. Lucky, the collie/shepherd mix I had certainly should win a gold medal for having come in to my life at my very lowest time and gave me a purpose to go forward. At the time I needed something to love and something to love me, so that was his life's purpose here on earth as far as I am concerned.

After grieving his death last year and finding my mood getting in to a very low and uncomfortable spot for me, I finally realized that his earthly purpose had been to make me happy, and I had to believe that he would be grieved if he knew he were responsible for the deep grief I was feeling the week he died. I was able to then go forward and when thinking of him, thought of good memories versus how forlorn I felt due to his death.


I will read the link you sent regarding your son's condition later Amy. In a hurry at the moment. Yep, the Zen quote for the day is right on target. Oh gosh...patience is such a difficult thing to master. We are raised it seems and live in a society where not much patience is practiced, and we want what we want now and not later. Learning to sit back and allow the univerals laws to work on our behalf is very difficult it seems. Now, now, now seems to be the world's mantra.

It brings to mind a question I have heard posed to us - What if God had answered yes to all the things you have ever prayed for? How would your life have been different? The great lessons we learn while practicing patience are priceless. In my case if some of the answers would have come at the time I wanted them to, my life would have gone in a completely different direction than it has and I am willing to bet that I wouldn't have a learned any life's lessons at all and I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Anyway..wishing you both a happy Friday and hoping the weekend is a pleasant one for both of you. Hope that things go extra well with you and your returning home son Amy.

Ruby

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 5, 2011
10:14 AM

Post #8738672

I absolutely love the dog story. Made me laugh out loud. I have a schi-tzu and a king charles spaniel. I don't think either of them would do anything at all. Well, the spaniel would definitely panic.
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 6, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8739827

Thats not me, Ruby, that is my son in law... I wish I had his hair though.
My son is home, we did pretty well all things considered. This two weeks with his sister and her husband and his niece was not just a break, but appears to have been a learning experience to the max. I think he is really far more appreciative of his life now, than he was before. For me, it was really a time to just let go of all my expectations and to refresh myself.

Christi, I love me a King Charles Spaniel! Oh, have to share, that dress my granddaughter has on is a hand me down from Billy Crystals grand daughter. How cool is that? I made the wreath though, my contribution. lol!

My zen quote of the day:

Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.
Ashleigh Brilliant

Thumbnail by handbright
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 7, 2011
1:35 PM

Post #8742416

Another beautiful princess picture. Cool about the dress.

Oh gosh...the Zen thought for the day is very right on spot too. That is what I have found to be true in regards to resting and taking time outs and then returning to the task at hand with renewed strength. That is exactly what I am doing at the moment. I just spent a bit over an hour straightening out my master closet which tends to become a wreck in quick order. It feels so good to have the job completed but before starting next thing on my agenda I am going to read Dave's for a bit.

It really bothered me this past week when I didn't complete or even work on the plant room. Time is going to run out on me if I am not careful and my houseplants will return indoors to a less than completed room design. That would really bother me until next spring when sending the plants back out.

So...I am putting this out here for any readers who might have some ideas to help me get started on it and work to completion. I knew that I had all summer to do it, so wasn't in a big hurry in the beginning. It will probably be later in September before the plants need to come inside...but I am experiencing some sort of mental block regarding the whole situation. Maybe as I write about this, I can figure out what is caausing the block for me.

I know one thing...I hate the idea of buying any more bins to pack stuff in. That is costing up there in the bucks and so I am hoping by using carboard boxes and such to pack in that I can get the job done soon. There really isn't much more to be done, just unpacking a few shelves with odds and ends sitting on them.

John suggested this morning to bring out a blanket chest that is in there to the living room to use as a side table beside the sofa instead of the table that is there. I like the idea and will probably do that before too long. That will open more s pace for me to work around.

I believe one thing that may be bothering me is that he keeps reminding me how full the storage shed is becoming again. I need to send this stuff to the storage shed even if just temporary in order to set the room up the way I want it. So, we will see.

It has been really hot and muggy here today but the sky is darkening now. I am hoping that we get some rain. It has sprinkled two days in a row and I am very thankful for that...but we need much more of it.

I hope that all who are reading has enjoyed a peaceful and restful weekend. It is coming to a close and the weekly grind starts again tomorrow. Have a good one until we meet again.

Please keep up sharing the Zen thoughts Amy. They really are excellent and aren't calling for us to do any grand sort of things, but just common sense things that we forget to apply to our lives and have to be reminded. They are really helping me to go a bit slower and to do things a bit differently than usual.

Ruby

Take good care.

Ruby
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 10, 2011
2:09 PM

Post #8749128

Okay ladies...where is everyone? Been quiet on here. Again, I am missing the Zen thought for the day and hearing from each of you. Amy, I hope that you are having a good week as you count down the days before your son leaves for school.

My major accomplishment for the day so far has been to use a new borrowed comb on the two dogs. I have ever seen so much loose hair in one place at time in all my life. The small dog isn't quite finished yet, but the children are asleep and I decided to use the time on the computer when I could.

Have decided that dinner will most likely be either take out or tomato sandwiches. John visited the garden earlier and brought in about a dozen small green peppers and a good mess of potatoes. some of the potatoes he stabbed with whatever he was digging with and they will need to be used soon so they won't rot. I will probably try making some potato salad tomorrow.

Anyway...I am going to open a new thread regarding 10 warning signs that you may be a hoarder. I hope some of you will check it out.

Have a great evening all.

Ruby
handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 11, 2011
6:04 AM

Post #8750063

It is just over one month since I started this thread. It took me a long time to get up the courage to post to begin with after I made the realization that I really needed help, that I really needed some outside point of view. When the only person you are talking to is yourself, its mighty hard to get out of your own way. Thanks to you all, each and every one of you, I feel like I am in a much better place. I really felt so pressured to get everything done, and not only that, but to be perky about it. When I didnt feel especially perky about anything at all, much less cleaning this house, I felt that I was a real failure because I didnt have everything under control. You have taught me that this is an ongoing process, life is. There will always be a plant that needs repotting, a toilet that needs fixing, a counter that needs to be replaced. It's always going to be something. That will never go away. That is life.

You all have given me such fine advice and support. You shared your stories to make me feel less alone, and your expertise too. You took the time to post to me here with words of encouragement and sympathy and to remind me that there is always joy... somewhere there is joy, even though sometimes it's hard to see it. If anyone here had told me that one month from the time I wrote that original post I would be much more realistic about my goals, I would have laughed! I didnt think they were unreasonable you see- I felt like I had to be responsible for getting all this done and to be perfectly organized, AT ONCE. I didnt see this as being hard on myself, I saw it as just doing what needed to be done and doing it. I didnt count in the very real work it is to deal with two grieving children and a huge change in circumstances, and my own adjustments to loss. I just barreled ahead as if we were all some kind of robots. Now I see myself for what I was, a workaholic homemaker for many years who just could not adapt to lower energy levels and less stamina when this crisis hit. After all, I was the lady who had 30 white towels that were folded into perfect little bundles without a selvage edge showing, all lined up perfectly in the linen closet, perfect salads in the fridge and a hot meal on the table every night! I was known for it. Now I'm lucky if there is a clean towel handy to wrap around my hair, and I am OKAY with that! Now, I grab one out of the laundry room basket that hasn't been perfectly folded and put away yet before I shower, instead of beating myself up about it. Now I understand that I do not have unlimited energy, (thank you Ruby for the spoon theory) and I am easier on myself, and by doing that I am easier on others. I have completely forgotten about that ardalt china, and the antique linens- I have more important things to do right now, just for this minute. I will get to that stuff when I can. Right now I have two sons who need me to focus on them more than I need to focus on how to get rid of that stuff- and there will be time for that later. I have 11 months after all! If I can do this much in just one month, I can see the truth in the old fable that it is the tortoise that wins the race, and adjust my pace. As flylady says, baby steps. Since I have never ever liked shoes, I will settle for my flip flops! I have grown fond of the noise they make.

This is not to say I have lost touch with my ultimate goal- to get rid of almost everything I can to lower the cost of a move, and to get to a place where my "treasures" are few but important to me. I no longer want to be owned by my things, or to chose where I live by how many cupboards and closets there are for storage. That will happen eventually, but for now, just for this time right now, there are other things that take priority.


So thank you folks. I'm far from well, but I am on the road to recovery. And that, that, is thanks to all of you.

:)
Amy

handbright
Coral Springs, FL
(Zone 10b)

August 11, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8750072

Oh- the zen thought:

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently,
but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of
appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.

Katherine Mansfield

LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 11, 2011
6:48 AM

Post #8750120

Oh Amy, what a great turn around you have made. All the while you have been encouraging each of us. Love and understanding spreads like a wildfire when allowed. We will all leave this earth as we entered, with nothing. Relationships should be at the very top of our concern. All these "things" will pass away. I have benefited enormously from each one on this thread as well. As mentioned somewhere else, I have been attempting (not easy) to live in the moment. Sure does uncomplicate things. Four year old GGD has been here since yesterday and I am absolutely amazed at her intelligence. I don't believe she is a genius, just a product of today's technological society. Starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks and she can already read. I could go on and on. She was only 2 when her "Bunky Aaron" left us. The last couple of weeks she has begun talking about him a lot. She remembers every detail of the times they spent together. All she knows is that he lives with Jesus which makes her happy.

Another scorcher ahead. Need to get busy.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 11, 2011
10:21 AM

Post #8750352

Lou, Bunky Aaron will continue to live as long as the grand daughters memories of him stay alive. It is completely okay to talk about our losses and if I hadn't been afforded that opportunity during any of my great losses, I don't believe I would be the same person I am today. It is healing to talk of our loved ones and to remember them and pay honor to them in any sort of ways we can.

Amy, I will state one more time that you are teaching and supporting us at the same time we are teaching and supporting you. How wonderful to read of changed attitudes, especially when the old attitudes were killing us. I know that my house keeping standards have lowered a notch or two since having two little ones around as much as they are currently. I still like my surroundings to be nice, but like yourself...they don't have to be perfect at all times.

As you are beginning to realize that you are really under a tremendous amount of stress and thus allowing yourself to go easier on yourself, you are getting in touch with the person that lives within you who has been pushed in the back ground for a long time due to the busy-ness that we often allow to take over our lives. Since my age and health demands a much slower life style, I now have time to get to know the real me and what is really important to me. So much of the time we keep our occupied in order not to deal with what is on our minds. By slowing down we have the energy to get back kin touch with ourselves and maybe for the first time begin to understand who we are.

I have been amazed over the years how little some who are close to me, seem to know the real me. I suppose I could take some of the blame for them not knowing the real me because I have chosen not to share certain parts of myself, so how would they know that about me. Just last week my older son seemed to be amazed when I shared that when I was his age I suffered with a lot of anxiety and worry. He has seen me be the strong one, able to stand up to pretty much whatever has been thrown my way. He doesn't know that for many years I was almost incapacitated by fear and worry.

I pointed out to him that many in our family operate that way and it is an exhausting and unfulfilling way to live. I was first able to see in others the behaviors that I needed to work on in myself. I would look at my dad and his incessant worry about every little thing and was able to recognize that he couldn't see the forest for the trees. Yes, he had many things in his life to make for depression but he also had a great amount more blessings than curses, but his thinking on the bad often negated being able to enjoy the good.

I still have moments when my thinkin' can becomine stinkin' but I really work hard at trying to remain positive and look for the good even during my most down times. Our attitudes towards something makes all the difference in the world what our quality of life is going be. I pointed out to Ben that two different people can have the same thing happen to them and depending upon their attitude they can choose to become bitter or they can choose to become better.

I became so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I wanted a new outlook on life. My old attitudes towards life stunk and life didn't look too promising and left much to be desired. When learning that I could choose how I was going to look at a situation it gave me ability to begin looking for good even in the bad situations. At this point of the game, I can look back and know that in every situation I've ever encountered, that I came through it...often kicking and screaming but I made it through and today regard myself as a survivor.

These days when faced with burdens that seem too heavy to carry, I try to remember to think back on the burdens I have successfully manuevered through and it takes a bit of the sting out of the new issue I need to deal with. That gives me hope of being able to once again withstand one more thing and survive it.

For those of us who have know great losses and suffered worse than we could have ever imagined, it is good to look back and be able to say that we came through that...maybe wounded and battle scarred, but by God, we are still here and hoping for a better tomorrow.

Okay, just rambling now. Gonna close...yes, do give thought to how our attitudes will affect the outcome of whatever the issue at hand. Are we going to become bitter or better?

Love you gals.

Ruby
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 11, 2011
2:34 PM

Post #8750768

I am strict with Erin in all the places that count. But the number has greatly decreased. She gets to play with just about anything I have. When she leaves I have a great deal of picking up. She does her part to try and put things back but at 4 she needs help. DH just broke a chotske and he was so upset. There was a time when I would have been too. Now I think, oh well, one less thing to dust. Now being a great grandmother I have definitely backed off of what I used to think was important. Very little actually. When I have days where I let go and let God I am at peace. I earned a reputation with my friends of being very anal about my house. What a waste of time that was...
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

August 11, 2011
8:04 PM

Post #8751354

Well I am back. Been in a mess for over a week. Using my DH's laptop which is a HP. Mine is an Apple. My new one should be up and running late tomorrow.

My camera is in San Diego. My DIL loves my camera so I offered her use of it. I am lost without it.

Ruby, you were ucky that you knew you were in trouble. I was depressed for over a year and did so many unusual things, that I thought was completely normal, until I was diagnoised.

Amy, your attitude is remarkable. And I learned a few years ago the most important things in life are not things. I would spent so much time acquiring things that is was unbelievabe looking back.

Amy, you hit it on the head. Storage space. Ten years ago, when I designed this house, my main concern, besides my garden, was storage space for my "Things". Now that I am getting rid of things, I have empty space everywhere.

Christi, I saw on the news that you did not hit a 100 degrees today. Maybe cooler weather is on the way.

Good news for all of us old people. Interest rates are going to remain low. All time high temperatures so everyone power bills are out of site. We are OK but I worry so much for the majority of retired seniors that are barley making it. Had another foreclosure hit mthe neighborhood this week. Plastic Surgeon. Left the landscape in a disaster, pool is green, breeding mosquitoes but drove out of the community in his Lamborgini.

Amy, sorry for kidnap your thread but I needed someone to talk to that understands me. Like Ruby, most people do not know the real me.

I stopped my physical therapy on my shoulder. Seems to be better. Without that appointment, three times a week, I am having a ball. I do not and have not left the community for over a week except to drop off my new laptop. I have found I enjoy being home and doing my thing, whatever that is. I am going over to de-clutter to tell youmwhat I did today. ADD, OCD, ADHD and all others were in full force today. Come join me.

So I am sending my prayers to all of you. Christi, I am so glad you are at peace. Ruby, you are a strong young lady. And Amy, as they said, "You have come a long way lady".

rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 12, 2011
6:50 AM

Post #8751815

It is so good to see you posting Sharon. I knew that you would probably be missing for a bit while tending to your visitors during the last weeks. I hope that everything went as smoothly as possible. Hey lady...I too am so very comfortable mainly staying at home. I don't have to run, run, run the way I used to. I am much happier and healthier for it too. i can sometimes go weeks and not have to leave the property. I have a go-fer to do errands and that it a true major help.

I was reminded last week how much stress John lifts off my shoulders. I had some business to tend to at our County Office Building and decided I didn't need him along that I could just basically drop some forms off and be done. So, I drove myself to town which is about 20 miles. Parked in the handicapped parking area, reached for my walking cane and proceeded in to the door and the hall that I have walked dozens of times over the years while tending business. Upon looking at the distance the the Finance Dept. was down that hall, I knew I might be in trouble. Thankfully there were not too many visitors that day or they would have seen me walk a few yards, stop and rest, walk a few yards and stop and rest again. I mean that walk really made an impact on me and allowed me to see how down hill I have gone over the past five years.

Anyway, the same day I had planned to stop at a Dollar Store for a few things and also the grocery store. By the time I arrived home that evening, I was whipped out and very aware of how much John contributes here by running most of the errands. I am able to walk probably miles a day withing this house as I go about my chores, but it is truly different when faced with a long walk without a dozen reasons to stop while walking it.

Anyway...that too was very off topic, but needed to share. I have now officially reached the point that in the future when faced with what may be a long walk, I will be taking a wheel chair and let someone else do the work. hahaha

Anyway...it is Friday...I will have the children this afternoon and then get five days in a row without them. I could win an award for top procrastinator for my plant room. I have decided that the next five days need to be focused on getting things out of that room and other things put back in.

I am hoping that I can count on some of you good folks coming out and cheerleading for me as I proceed. Please...please...I am gonna need someone to serve as butt kicker, telling me to get it in gear, but do ask that you do it kindly. hahaha

Again, great to see you back Sharon and here is wishing all readers a wonderful weekend. Love you ladies.

Ruby
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 13, 2011
8:31 AM

Post #8753621

Cheering you on here, Ruby!!!

I really appreciate your sharing how long and difficult that walk down that hallway is for you. Many "spoons" worth.

When you began your whole house decluttering last winter the overwhelmingness must have looked as long as that hall! And, I for one have benifited greatly for your willingness to share your journey and wisewoman ways and graciousness with so many. Like Amy's zen thought for the day, I look forward to being wished a good evening or weekend by you and being reminded to keep posting and putting one foot in front of the other.

And, it is obvious to me how far you have come! It is also obvious to me that you have made much progress (not that bugaboo "perfection") And as hard as it is for many of us to get started, it is equally difficult to continue and then to complete our projects...A few more rest stops, a wheel chair ride or two and friendly faces along the way will see you to a plant room that suits the new decluttered you and yours.

May all your spoons contain a full measure of loving kindness for the rest of your journey.

PS I don't think that having clutter or projects or crises are the price of admission here, just saying..,Judy
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 13, 2011
1:37 PM

Post #8754078

Hey Coleup - Is the universe sending you messages that I need cheering up? If it is, then the universe is correct and your positive words and reinforcement here today are helping me. I was cheered earlier when I called and spoke on the phone with Amy. I woke up earlier today than usual and have had my mind in the pits.

My older son called with a work dilemma concerning having a few words with a fellow work mate. I pretty much told him I was in the same sort of dilemma myself and currently had no really wise words for him. I noticed last night that it is either a full moon or on the cusp. Am now wondering if that is doing something to me.

I do know my mindset isn't where I want it to be and am at the point that I am going to have to make some sort of changes in order for me to get back to the better mood that I so prefer having. I visited facebook earlier and someone had shared the following quote - it was right on target for me and very appropriate for the day. Anyway here goes the quote, paraphrased - "Don't always blame your less than desirable mood to suffering depression or suffering with low self esteem, it may just be that you are surrounded by a bunch of a**holes."

I love it, and feel as if I weren't so sensitive and a bit down at the moment, I would love, love, love this quote. Anyway...you know, the more times I read that quote, the stronger I feel about it. I believe I have just had the chance, as of yesterday to be in the company of at least one a**hole and time will tell if it proves to be a whole bunch of them.

Anyways...I have already told Amy on another thread that after my pep talk from her, I did tackle the plant room and made good enough progress. As far as I can tell, nothing else needs to leave the room and I am at step number two which will be re-arranging furniture and opening up the space a bit.

After that is done, I can either start displaying my elephant collection in there or just take a break and wait until it is time to begin bringing plants in from outside. Anyway, my strong bodied hubby has some trips back and forth to the storage shed in order for me to complete this project.

Just added another possible step...I will officially invite all of you who have heard me belly ache for many months now on getting this room set up to a room warming type of get together...Not, but I will certainly thank you for walking with me through this process.

Okay, John is carrying out boxes as we speak, I can now get in there and start doing the few last things before the moving furniture begins.

Amy...where is the Zen thought for the day?

Ruby

This message was edited Aug 14, 2011 2:43 PM
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 13, 2011
1:45 PM

Post #8754091

Just went back and re-read some of the posts. Sharon...the cheerleading I need from you is to not feel so damned insecure. You know what I am talking about. I feel as though I have been run off from a certain place. It is now late afternoon here and no one has posted on the very busy thread since I dared say a word. I am sitting here imagining what dmails must be zooming to and fro. It sure has made for another lousy mood for me. Sorry about the A word folks...in that sort of mood I suppose. Anyway...instead of a Zen thought, I think the most approprite thought for me was the A thought...I am getting angry thinking about it.

Anyway...time will tell I suppose, but I refuse to spend another minute thinking about it. As I said, I am in contact on dmail or other threads with those that had any meaning to me. I guess the devil got in to me yesterday when I kept seeing my name referred to as the reason there was a controversy when I have been told by Dave himself that it had nothing to do with me. So, what you think of those beans???

Phew!!!!!

Sorry for spewing here, will try not let it happen again.

Ruby

This message was edited Aug 14, 2011 2:42 PM
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

August 13, 2011
1:52 PM

Post #8754115

Ruby, I D-Mailed you. Mother Winter
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 22, 2011
10:15 AM

Post #8770930

Oh my gosh...didn't realize it had been so long since anyone had posted here. My but does time fly. Amy, again I am missing the Zen thoughts. They gave me something to think upon and usually a nudge to go in the right direction to reach peace and serenity...two things that I strive to have in my life.

Actually, now that I think about it, I realize that there was a time in my life when all I could think of needing or wanting was a sense of peace. It was during the time of a divorce, and I was anything but peaceful, and the years leading up to the divorce were anything but peaceful...so that it something I really longed for in my life. Now that I have successfully removed most of the offenders of my peace from my life, I can report that usually life is really good.

What I need to do now is be more alert to these sort of offenders and shy away versus allowing them to interfere with the calm and accepting place within myself that I worked so hard to achieve.
I need to maybe dig up some of the handouts I received when involved in abuse detection therapy. Red flags they called them. Signs that things aren't on the up and up and there are folks out there who would as soon I fall off a bridge and die as to see me flourish.

I have been reading with much interest a case that happened within our local University in which a family of a man who committed suicide due to workplace bullying is suing the institution. In the months leading up to his death, he had filed 18 complaints with the human resources department and nothing was ever done to try and rectify his situation. Local folks made the Today Show last year when this occurred and it made a ripple across the nation to put a name to what occurs so often when dealing with overbearing people.

Workplace Bullying was a popular catch phrase for some time after this death and I am hoping that as the case makes it way to court that some folks are held accountable for their actions or unactions. What monetary value can be put on a person's life?

Anyway...by writing this here today, I realized that I need be ever diligent as I walk through the world and protect myself and my loved ones from those who may mean harm to us rather than good. I wonder what Zen has to say about bullying?

Love you Amy gal and other readers. Hope the upcoming week will be a good one for all. Off and at 'em.

Ruby
rubyw
Crozet, VA

September 18, 2011
7:42 AM

Post #8813286

Alright, gonna say once again...that it sure is quiet here. Even though I haven't spoken with Amy for some weeks now, my hopes are that she is continuing to put her sad past behind her and stepping in to the new life that she finds herself in. As Lou pointed out, it did not take very long for Amy to pull herself up by her boot straps and get pointed in the right direction with all that she finds herself responsible for doing to seeing that her two precious sons are also headed in the right direction.

It often takes traumatic experiences to motivate us to try different things or different ways of doing things. My hope for all readers is that life is treating everyone decently and that even though we all carry quite heavy loads from time to time, life is still beautiful and there are many reasons to feel joy each day in our lives if we look for them. Stopping to smell the roses is a way to look at it. We often become so involved in whatever project we find ourselves involved in that we forget to slow down and just take in the beauty that is all around us.

As I write this, once again...I see that I am more sermonizing myself than anyone else in particular. I suppose it is appropriate on this Sabbath that I should be thinking on slowing down a bit and just being...verses always doing. My personality is one that finds it difficult to just be. Somewhere along the line I bought the line about always being busy doing and I often have an inner battle raging over do more, do more. If I happen to find the secret to not experiencing guilt over being and doing more, I will certainly share it. For now, I just thought I would share what my pea brain is thinking about this morning.

Here is wishing any readers a great week coming up. Take good care all.

Ruby
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

September 19, 2011
8:55 AM

Post #8814799

Ruby good to hear from you. Amy check in and let us know how you are doing!!

This message was edited Sep 19, 2011 11:00 AM
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 19, 2011
9:41 AM

Post #8814843

Hopefully, having her niece with her now is keeping her very busy.

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