And so begins the saga-

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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 These are items that have no intrinsic value, such as old and outdated medical books, even beach towels and his collection of dvd's and cd's, but my kids want to keep them.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...

Crozet, VA

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. 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 will be okay......


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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?

Crozet, VA

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.


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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...


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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...


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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?

Crozet, VA

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 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 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. all reading....have a super day.


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

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.


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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...

Crozet, VA

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. 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.


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

I'm very tired,

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

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.

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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
Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

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

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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.

Ontario, CA(Zone 8b)

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. =)


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Crozet, VA

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 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 I go for now.


Crozet, VA

Well here we go 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.


Crozet, VA

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? 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.


Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

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......

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Cross Post. Good night...

Crozet, VA

Somehow we have several new boxes of crayons and a bag of used 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.


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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!


Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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
Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Crozet, VA

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.


Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

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.

Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

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!!

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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: 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.


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Crozet, VA

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 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" 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 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 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 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.


Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

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!!

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

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

Coral Springs, FL(Zone 10b)

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.

This message was edited Jul 20, 2011 10:56 AM

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