Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Judgement is Cluttered

I had to giggle at how many of you mentioned you had old Mary Kay Satin Hands.
Loved the stuff, but how many of us are going to go through all those steps?
I would if my hands were not going into water about 4,283 times a day.
Ma Kettle Burlap Hands.
That's what I've got.
55 comments so far on "I'm Stufficating"
I think I hit a hot topic.
I only had about ten minutes to work on my declutter project today, but in that short time - this is what I pulled out of the office/sewing room/pantry/everything room.
If one of my local friends sees something that they gave me here - I apologize.
You know me well enough understand.
I hope.
Four empty glass bottles
Two tablecloths
Large blood pressure cuff
Ear piece for telephone (never used)
Trackball mouse
Cellphone case (it's Aaron's - I hope to God he isn't reading this)
Two bottles of wine (We don't drink anymore)
Three books behind the pillow
Asst. Cookie Cutters
Wooden Painted Box
Recipe Booklets
I should add the total of this up together and see what it comes to, I bet it's a few hundred bucks.
It all went to a good home.
I toyed around with the idea of having a yard sale.
I started freaking out a little over the money that was spent on all of this stuff that I was now basically 'throwing away'. 
I thought - wait - let me pile all of this on the front porch, start pricing it - and....
and then I realized that I would doubtfully have it this fall, and then it would sit there all winter taunting me - and then I would work my fool head off for the sale and make a couple of hundred dollars if I were lucky.
It didn't seem worth it to me.
I want it gone now.
I wanted to talk about the cookie cutters for a sec.
Let me preface by saying that the few times that I've watched 'Hoarders' - I usually gasp in disbelief, and I think 'oh man, I just don't get it - how could ANYONE live like THAT!?'
Today, when I pulled the cookie cutters out - I had SUCH an emotional attachment to them.
I actually had a bit of a pain in my stomach - and it dawned on me - "So this is what THEY feel like when asked to throw away a broken hanger?"
I still don't really understand it.
But I get it now - I can sympathize.
If you are wondering WHY I got rid of the cookie cutters - I'll tell ya.  I just don't bake anymore - well, hardly ever - and if I do - it's gluten free, and semi-healthy.  I don't see myself making rolled sugar cookies for every Holiday anymore - just Christmas.  I just saved a few back.  I still struggle at times with the whole baking/cooking thing being my very identity.
Truth is, I just really don't want to feed my family and the people I love all of that unhealthy food anymore.
One of the questions recently that my therapist asked me -
"You seem to judge yourself so harshly - do you judge others as harshly?"
My first reaction was 'oh goodness no - I'm seriously like the nicest, most tolerant, understanding person in the Universe'.
She just asked me to watch for judgemental thoughts towards others.
So I did.
In the course of 24 hours, I felt that I judged people three separate times, quite harshly.
While Aaron was testing for his GED, I sat and waited in the school hallway.  There was a woman there preparing for a big school Open House the next day - and she was running around like a headless chicken - and she seemed to be in pain, and have a hard time walking.  She was quite overweight.  I offered to help her - and ended up folding some brochures and ironing tablecloths while I waited on Aaron.  See, I am nice.
I had thoughts like this - 'well, girl - if you'd get some of that weight off, you could probably get around much better.'  At the end of the night, she told me she'd had a double knee replacement 8 weeks ago.  All of the sudden, I thought she was getting around famously.
I'm not really sure how this all ties in with the decluttering - but I noticed in many of your comments, you seemed to be upset with yourself, or shaming yourselves for your mess.  Do you feel judged for your mess?
Don't do that.
It's not helping anything.
Be kind to yourself.
Let's pare down and spruce up!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Stufficating

It's been a couple of years ago now that I started my life transformation.
Many of you have been with me through the whole blasted thing.
It really wasn't a conscious 'I'm starting Monday' type of a transformation - it was more of a 'this ain't working for me anymore' kinda thing.

I started with the house.
Too many hobbies.
Overly decorated.
I was stufficating.

I gave the whole place a clean sweep. After I finished the house - I worked on my body - decluttering that - then my mind - decluttering that.

It's been an incredibly journey of priorities changing, shining light into mental blind spots, realizing that less is truly more and learning that a bank account full of happiness and peace is more satisfying to me than money.

Guess what?

It's time for Phase 2.

I still feel like I'm stufficating.
I still have too much 'stuff', and yet I have less than most people I know - but it still seems like too much.

I'm determined to die with next to nothing...ha!  I don't want to be one of those old ladies that passes away and the family has to come in with a dumpster and deal with all of my stuff.

This time - I'm being brutal.  Nothing is safe.  Yesterday, I opened my Tupperware cabinet and it all tumbled down on me.  Girls - no one needs 38 plastic containers.
No one.
They shall disappear very soon.

The garden is over stuffed, I've been digging things out and simplifying it.

Thanks to thrift stores and yard sales, I have way too many clothes.  I bought things that I liked but didn't love, just because they were in good condition and cheap - it's still a waste of money if you don't wear them.

It's a little (a lot) overwhelming to think of where to start, isn't it?

I started in the bathroom yesterday - cause I knew I could just finish it up quick and it would feel like I finished something.

I ended up with a garbage can full of old products, expired antibiotics and allergy meds and my extra large blood pressure cuff that I no longer need since I've lost weight.

When I realized all the money spent on lotions and tinctures that I never ended up fully using, it frustrated me so much!  I had some Mary Kay Satin Hand stuff that was at least 7 years old.  Two years ago when I did my decluttering I vowed to use it - and I never did.

It actually felt really good to just throw it away.

My ultimate dream - although I know Glenco would never go for it : -)

I've decided that Pinterest, magazines and other blogs are pornography for housewives.  I think at times, if we aren't careful - it truly promotes 'more is better' and we will constantly feel that we are less than because we don't have everything we need to set an elaborate table setting for every season and holiday.  It takes a LOT of stuff to do that. 
Am I the only one that lived for years in a state of discontent whilst reading Martha Stewart magazines?
Am I the only one that was a raging lunatic that my family didn't want to be around on Thanksgiving because I was trying to make everything 'perfect'?

Oftentimes, I think we focus on our homes being perfectly decorated at the expense of our hearts and relationships being cluttered, or bare and poorly 'decorated'.

A tidy home filled with love and laughter is the coziest of all, if you ask me.
I'm determined to only keep those things that I find useful, necessary and beautiful.  
I want to find the balance of being deliberately simple, yet cozy and warm.

Who's with me?
What are you gonna get rid of today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

She Lives....

I'm alive!
I'm here, I'm here.
In a very quiet mood lately - and there ain't nothing wrong with that.
We've been quite busy - here and there.
Found out that my B12 levels were rock bottom.  My legs had been going numb on me and I was getting severe Charlie horses in my calves.  I've been getting B12 shots weekly for a month, and now just a got a prescription to give them to myself.  *gulp*.  It's funny - fatigue is a big symptom of low B12 - and it's funny - cause I didn't feel tired until I found I had low B12.  I know.  It's psychosomatic or something, eh?  I'm thinking that I never allowed myself to feel tired - I just kept pushing.

I'm tired y'all.
I can tell the B12 shots are helping....and I'm taking like 5mg sublingually as well.
Aaron did take the GED, and feels confident in the outcome.
We have to wait a few weeks for the results.
He's vacationing now in the Smokies with his parents.
I will never get tired of saying 'parents'.
So glad my sister found someone to share her life with.
We've gone camping a time or two -
In the process of finding a place for Aaron to live while schooling in Chicago - trying to work out the financial end of school as well - grants, scholarships, financial aid.
I'm a fish out of water here girls.
I don't feel like I have anything important to say - so I'll say no more -
not that it's every stopped me before.
: -)
Life is good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Romancing the Coop

It dawned on me for the 694th time, that I romanticize life way too much.
Meet Clarence.
Some of you know that I'm raising birds for meat this summer - well, I'm trying to.
It's a long story, but rest assured that I shan't be posting pictures of headless birds and sharing gory details.
I decided early on that I would choose one bird to grant pardon to.  There was an Araucana rooster that was an early favorite.  Beautiful bird.  Too pretty to eat I thought.
Then this nut bird keeps getting picked on - almost to the point of death, and the soft spot in my heart knew he was my bird.

I had romantic visions of a pet rooster, hanging out with me on the swing whilst I embroidered dishtowels in my apron - a cool summer breeze blowing through the yard - my fat furry black cat Mocha at my feet. 
Clarence would be preening, Mocha would be purring, I would be stitching, my perfectly manicured perennial garden basking in the summer sunshine - and I'm sure there would be some perfectly brewed iced tea in a lovely vintage glass somewhere nearby, gathering condensation from the humid summer weather.

Reality check.
Yesterday, when I gave Clarence clemency, the fool bird was so shocked and happy to be out of harms way that he DID seem to want to hang out with me, and let me pick him up readily, and stroke his glossy neck feathers and play with his flaps and in general, give him some lovin'.
An hour later - he would attack me any time I got near him - relentlessly biting my hands, trying to pull chunks of flesh off.   It was open season on my calves, and I've got the bruises to prove it.  The cat wasn't safe either - Clarence chased both cats around the yard, fur and feathers flying.
My sun scorched perennials were fair game as well - nice big holes where there were some flowers.

Call me stubborn or stupid, I'm determined to have my bucolic view of life left intact.
In honor of my fantasy world - let's share some Instagram photos.
There's nothing like Instagram to fancy up a picture of a sandwich, a cup of coffee, or even a chicken dropping, I'm sure.  Let's compare fantasy and reality for a moment.

I got my new bifocals.  I love them.  Super cute.  You can't even see the sides here, and they are super cuter.  Don't I look cute here?  Notice the offset head - adds such an artsy touch?
Reality - I just paid $308 for these glasses and that was after insurance.  One minute after I snapped this picture, I recieved a frantic phone call from my sister and Aaron.  If I didn't get the the DMV and straighten out some paperwork for Aaron's driving permit - I think there would have been bloodshed.

It doesn't get much sweeter and cuter than this, does it?  A kitten on a quilt.  I mean COME ON.
Reality - this kitten should be named Damien, not Jax.  He's destroying that quilt with his claws.  The only time I can get a photo of him is when he is sound asleep, otherwise he is a blur.  I'm anxious to neuter him to see if it calms him down.  The house is in shambles from his shenanigans.

For all my friends that love that old fashioned, peeling paint look, like I do - you'll love these two pictures.

My front door.
We never do use the front door - so I've decided to let the Virginia Creeper and Morning Glories have it.  It's incredibly romantic isn't it?  Doesn't it just make your stomach ache you love it so?

Yep.  Until it's actually on YOUR house, and then you feel like a complete slacker that hasn't painted your house in years.

Sunflowers and zinnias frolicking happily along my driveway.
Don't hate.  Isn't it fabulous?
It is.

Reality.  It was all supposed to be zinnias - just like last year.  But, I, the Master Gardener - planted the spot halfway full of sunflowers before I realized they were sunflower seeds and not zinnia seeds.
Lord knows I know the difference, in fact, I'm sure you could blindfold me and I could tell by feel alone.  So, when "I" see this lovely sight, I worry about early dementia.

This is just a picture of a rebel sunflower.  It refuses to look at the sun.  Cracks me flat up.

My first pair of size 6 pants were purchased this week.
I'm over the moon with joy of course.
Had my first friend seriously worried that I was becoming anorexic.
The reality of these size sixes is that I've worked incredibly hard and put in most of my life looking like this -

I deserve those size sixes, ya think?

Isn't this cute?  Me eating ribs.  You might be thinking 'wow, she has so much fun - she takes rides in the country to BBQ stands and eats fun things and enjoys life so much'.  You'd be right - but - reality - I went to bed with a killer stomach ache.  There was something in that rub mix that ailed me - I'm thinking it was the yeast extract.

Aaron and I picked 48lbs of tomatoes off of my plants.  I have 8 tomato plants that are going gangbusters.  Isn't that awesome?
Reality - I did not expect to spend my entire day yesterday processing tomatoes - but that's what happens on Monday's in August when you go out to the garden - what you also don't know is how I've been nagged to water said tomato plants by Glenco.  You also don't know how many tomatoes the banty hens have eaten before I got to them - probably this many.

Isn't this a cool picture of beeswax?  I love it.  Smells so good too.  I keep bees.  Yes, I am very cool.
Romantic visions of me in my bee suit - smoker smoldering - bees quietly buzzing about thanking me for planting all these awesome flowers - ya, that's what I thought too.
By the time I harvest the honey, I'm stung, suffering from heat exhaustion and usually decide that I don't like honey that much after all.
(speaking of honey - for those of you that have emailed me that you want some - I'm planning on shipping this week - and there was SOMEONE that wanted some - needed it for medicinal purposes, and I'll be darned if I haven't deleted your email somehow - please email again!)

Reality aside - I like living in my fantasy world - where my kitty is beyond adorable, my chickens adore me, the garden blesses me with it's bounty and I pretend that all the peeling paint on the house is exactly what I intended.