Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Massacre

Seeing ads for Mother's Day presents reminded me of everyone here. Like most holidays, Mother's Day is a time of the year that I cringe at adverts. Amazon suggested for the outdoorsy mom, I should give her a plant and gardening tools. But you've all seen her "garden."

For the fashionista mom, I should give her a pair of hot shoes, or some banging jeans. But you've all seen her "closet."

For the hoarder mom, Amazon doesn't have many suggestions. Neither do I. I waited the whole week to see if I would hear from her, telling me what she wanted or where she wanted to go to celebrate. I never heard anything so Sunday was spent celebrating the beautiful day with grilling out and relaxing at home.

After 3 p.m. I received a text from my sister asking if I had texted my mother. I had, at 8 a.m. that morning, texted her "Happy Mother's Day!" Apparently my sister had contributed a facebook post along the same lines, and my mother posted a rebuttle on facebook. Something along the lines of "I hope those who still have their mothers appreciate them and cherish them. It's pathetic that a three word text or facebook post is the only thing a mother gets anymore." My sister had to share this with me, since I'm not facebook-friends with my mother. The whole thing is ridiculous, but because my mother and sister like to push each others' buttons, my sister also responded and spoke for both of us; saying it upset us and was stupid that she expected anything without telling us what she wanted.

I've had a beautiful cutting board on my counter, for my mother. It matches the rolling pin from a few Christmases ago. I expected them to come to town, or ask us to come to their house, and I wanted to have something to take, even though I knew that it would never be used or would quickly be lost or broken.

Later Sunday night, my mother sent me a facebook message that explained her reasoning behind her post:
I understand you are up set about a posting I made. I don't know why you would think it was addressed to you since you and I aren't even fb friends so Why would it be directed at you? Since you read the first post I hope you read the second one as well and more clearly understand that my posting had to do with my grief and sense of loss of my own mother. And although that post wasn't "aimed" at either of you, yes I am disappointed that you sent me an early morning 3 word text and Amanda sent a 4 word fb other effort or time invested. I get that you both think I have been a lousy mother, it is something I live around but a day like today it is a major slap in the face and incredibly hurtful.

Reading this again makes my stomach fall. I'd been able to forget about the worst parts of my mother because it had been a while since I had seen her, and even then it's only been in public, at a movie theater or restaurant. When this is the way she communicates with me, this much of the reason I avoid contact. No one should have to be this stressed about a greeting-card holiday. I suppose nothing I could have done would have made her happy. We don't talk much normally, but I guess she wanted us to fake it for the holiday. It's a shame.

Before all this, a few weeks ago, my parents took in water in their basement during some heavy rain. My dad texted us girls suggesting we call her and chat because she has been depressed that she has to throw out our baby clothes because they're ruined, and she's upset that we haven't given her grandchildren to pass all of our stuff to before it goes to waste. She later called me and hung up when she realized I would not give her the drama-filled response she wanted.

1.You should have cleaned the basement out years ago
2. How dare you guilt me for not ruining my life so that you can have a plaything on the weekends.

I've come out on the other side and it's now Monday evening. I had a great day at work, and I'm looking forward to going home to my loving family that consists of myself and my partner. No needy mothers, no spawn. I will continue to do what I can for my mother, as she allows me. I'd rather leave now before things get worse.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Decluttering Schedule

This is a great pin I found on Pinterest while celebrating *ehem* National Margarita Day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

IKEA bump

I am a sucker for IKEA, and I am so glad to refer you to these links.

IKEA Living Together 
IKEA Chuck Out That Chintz

7 Month Update

 The Master bathroom has less wallpaper than before, still featuring the stink of a cat litter box.

 Many of the doors and walls still sport these little renovation notes with no sign of progress.

"Small Bath: flooring, cabinet under sink, elevated stool"

The half-bath between the full bath and master bedroom is more cleaned out, the white carts are gone, but all horizontal surfaces are covered.

The master bedroom is...bad. It's clear that only one person sleeps here, and while my mother may have thrown away a few things from her closet, we are definitely of the breed that tends to make a mess while cleaning. There are still two walls of horizontal surfaces between the full wall dresser/entertainment cabinet and the dresser in the far corner. Again, every horizontal surface is full. The photo frame on the wall, however, seems to be in order.

This is the room my dad sleeps in. This room is in much, much better condition than when I first moved out. But this room also makes me the saddest. My dad is trying to seclude himself from the hoard and it's a sad existence.

The foyer isn't bad, always boxes in front of the closet, which means it's probably full, but the doors shut which is a good sign. The living room is pretty much like it's been for the past 4 years. No seating on the couch to the left, one open cushion on the couch to the right. The table was cleared off dinner, which was encouraging. The new window is in, but not finished so there's spray foam all around it to secure it until the framing is done. If it's anything like the kitchen windows it'll be several months. Also, note all the wallpaper is now gone.

The kitchen was decent before dinner was started. I am the first to admit that I make a mess when I'm making a meal, especially from scratch. But every night we clean it up. I didn't get an after shot of the kitchen, but I could tell the dishes would hang around for a quit a while.

The view from the kitchen to the dining room (made better by the margarita). The (2nd) dining room table is still covered with random things, and the floor between the freezer and closet was full.

The refrigerator wasn't worse than the last time, still several dishes of uncovered and improperly stored leftovers.On the door, was an assortment of receipts. My first reaction was "that looks awful." Then I realized, oh shit. I do that all the time. I keep receipts on the side of my own fridge. I usually feel like it's warranted, a short exchange policy, or something, but the fact of the matter is I don't need to keep more than maybe one a month for a valid reason.These receipts were dated for 2011 and 2010.

The silverware tray...was disgusting. Dried lettuce or something, and lots of bits of who knows what. I didn't look too close for fear of regretting my use of the utensils.

The back deck is about the same too, the only addition I noticed were the two dog pools, one broken in front of the grill, the other full of ice.

The family room was only empty right before eating, so I had to graph a photo quick and could only get the one angle. The hot tub is covered with papers and junk. There are still three vacuum cleaners next to it. My mom even mentioned that the cat refuses to use her two cat houses, but she refuses to get rid of them. There was just enough seating, but the room quickly filled up because we exchanged Christmas presents. We really did appreciate the pillows, but we got lots of little things that don't have a place in our home. My mom even texted to let me know she found another one of my gifts on her desk down at the shop.

I didn't want to sneak around too much, and the point of all this is certainly not to embarrass them, so I didn't get every space in the house. This is what I saw of the basement. Compared to my last visit, the hoard seems to be encroaching on the stairs. Notice the only clear path is to the right, which is where the laundry is, their only reason for going downstairs.

The current pile in the hall closet over the stairs. The inner door is shut, at least. I did wonder where all of the Tupperware had gone.It wasn't on the living room couches, and there wasn't near as much in the kitchen or dining room. Then I checked what used to be the game closet.

Thinking of my preface post, I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I saw my family. What I learned from the visit though, made me pretty sad for my family's future.

Spring Reasoning

 I'd like to preface the 7 month update post with the good. I want to begin with what I've learned from my experiences up until now. It's very simple in concept, and very complicated in practice.

Yesterday, during our weekly house cleaning...I'm cutting myself off here: our cleaning routine. We share the space, and we share the responsibility for it. Sometimes, I have the best time of the weekend when cleaning with my boyfriend.

...we started pulling things out of closets and finding things all over the house that we didn't need, and suddenly didn't want anymore. We had gone shopping and all I could think about was how I wanted to buy art and decorations for the house to add color for spring. When we got home and started looking around we still had art in the closets that we hadn't gotten up since moving in! I put up a great piece in the living room, and the many of the others suddenly didn't seem so necessary (nor did the urge to purchase more).

So on the guest bed we collected a scrapbook album from my art modeling days, several cheap prints in cheap frames, curtain rods, an old slightly decrepit dell laptop/parts/bag, two yoga mats, pull up bar, and a plastic bag of random things. I made an appointment at our local consignment shop and it seems silly that we kept these things so long after disuse.

After all this, I still had the tiniest hankering for something new. I had grabbed snap shots of the art I liked at a store (commercial, not original works!) and decided I could incorporate my favorite in my own way. I did a mini art project and my boyfriend even joined in!

Time + Love = Appreciation + Happiness
This is not a strict formula, but it sure as hell made my weekend. We usually do everything together on the weekends, but this was special. Watching X-Files and was sweet.

 And in the end, I got exactly what I wanted. Buying myself or the house something would not have made me happy. Instead, I had quiet time with my family and got to express a little creativity in the process.