Wednesday, October 29, 2014

De-Hoarding Day

I had a very productive day today. 

Took 2 carloads of stuff to Goodwill and sold a bunch of furniture on Craigslist.

I was sorry to see the furniture go .... the items were not those that I really wanted to sell but, given the current situation, there is nowhere else for me to put them.  I still have some furniture in the garage that needs to go and I advertised those things on CL this afternoon.  I'm sure those items will soon be gone, and again it is stuff that I don't really want to part with.  Expensive furniture, still looks very good, still has a ton of life left in it.  Bah.

Here is how a hoarder operates from my perspective:

I will sort out closets and boxes and rooms and put back the stuff I absolutely want to keep.  The stuff that I know needs to go will then get put in bags or back in boxes and then I will store it sealed up in my closet or out in the garage or in little piles somewhere throughout the house.  Then, the stuff will stay there for days, weeks, months, years sometimes.  Because I think I'll need it.  After time passes and I am back sorting again, the stuff will probably make it into the garage and there it will stay for days, weeks, months, years while I look at it every day and while it gets in the way, pisses the spouse off and generally falls underfoot.  Eventually, I will get hit with a real cleaning bug and that is when stuff makes its way to Goodwill or on to Craigslist.  Mind you, I might take the ad off and change my mind about selling .... or just bite the bullet and pray for the stuff to sell.  Which it does.

This morning, I blew a kiss after my office desk as it left out of my garage and down the street, along with a hammock and a gorgeous lamp that I really, really wanted to keep.  This lamp had the most elaborate red velvet pouffy beaded shade EVER .... with tassels!  And embroidery.  I didn't want to sell it at all but I have/had nowhere for it.

A friend is buying some more stuff from me and that will leave out of here tomorrow.

The place continues to empty out .... I'm getting rid of anything and everything that we don't use.  Some of this stuff has been with me for decades.  Since childhood, some of it.

You might think that I couldn't possibly have anything left to get rid of, seeing as how I started dehoarding back in 2008.  But.  I brought too much of the old hoard with me when I moved from the ex-custom house and this is the stuff that I am still trying to part with.  But I will tell you ...... I am really coming to the end of it, to the bottom of that endless barrel.

My house is ever more streamlined and clutter free and I love it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday

The spouse took off by himself on Sunday and came home with a shaved head.

He said that, seeing as how everything is out of his control, at least there's one thing he has some control over.  When he presents himself for surgery, there will be one less thing for the nursing staff to do.

No word yet on a surgery date.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Surgeon, Wills, Home Improvement and Mortgage Update

The spouse is waiting for his referral to The Surgeon.  In the meantime, we are going to be busy turning our downstairs 'bedroom' back into ..... an actual bedroom.  Out will go the office desks, exercise bikes and random clutter.  In will come a new king sized bed.  The spouse is going to be on bed rest anywhere from 3 to 6 months and I have already had family members ask if they can spend the night with us and I really don't have anywhere to put them because all the other bedrooms are occupied .... so, it's time for an accessible bedroom/guest room.  Plus we have the holidays coming up and I already know that we will have guests.  So, that's that.

The room will have to be painted, stripped and upgraded.  That means new windows because the ones that are in there are old and leaky, letting in cold air in winter and hot in summer.  The carpet is coming out too, being replaced with tile.

Mortgage update: we have paid almost $10,000 off in principal on this loan.  That's a first.  We have never paid $10,000 down on a home loan before.  Mortgages are a good thing .... when one can afford them.  Having been on both sides of that particular fence, I can say that our mortgage is very manageable, even if the spouse can no longer work.  I have no plans to return to the work force.  I will rent out rooms before I do that.  Not being lazy.  It's just that I have been down this road many times in the past, earning high incomes that were blown on bullshyte.  My goal in life is to manage what I own and live strictly within my means, whatever those means turn out to be.  I'm fine with it.  The spouse is fine with it.  We have a finite number of days left on this planet and that has never been more apparent than right NOW.

We are working on a basic will to be notarized ..... I see now why so many people die intestate.  It's difficult, doing this stuff.  But I'm sure we will be relieved when we are done with it.  At the very least, there are instructions that we both know the other would want.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Uncertainty

So now we are beginning a whole new battery of tests this week.  One would think that an expensive CT scan would be the ultimate medical test, the one that tells what is going on inside the human body like no other test available.  Apparently, however, this is not the case and the spouse needs one more definitive test before being referred to The Surgeon .... just to make sure that the route ahead is the only one to take ... and our insurance company is already balking at the foreseeable future medical costs involved in this surgery and rehabilitation.

This next test has been marked 'pending' in the insurance company's files, while 'they' decide whether or not to pay for it.  No matter, the spouse will be going ahead with the test anyway because it is absolutely necessary to do so and I guess we will end up paying the entire bill ourselves should it come to that.  We are not going to wait around while the insurance company plays with lives.

We are lucky to be in the position of not having to worry too much at this time about medical bills although, let me tell you, the costs incurred with this medical issue are going to be in the six figures.  THAT is worrysome.

I can see all the headway we've made in setting ourselves up for an early retirement disappearing down the Suwannee.  Every single darn cent we've saved could very possibly be spent on medical bills and then what?  We won't have anything to live on.

Our plan is for the spouse to take a medical LOA while dealing with this medical issue so that, should it come to it and he is deemed healthy enough to return to work, he can go back for a year or two longer than planned.  It sucks but there is no other recourse.  It would be foolish to quit a high paying job when the future now looks so uncertain financially.  We are going to have to be very careful here.

Either that, or we can take in roomies.  Our house is certainly big enough for a few roomies, paying rent and living under our roof.  We might have to do this for a couple of years .......

And this is what happens when you live life without a thought for the future, as we did for decades.  It's all coming home to roost now.  We sure could use some of that 7-figure income we pissed away.

Monday, October 13, 2014

SHIT

We received the results of the spouse's CT scan today and the news is not good.  Not good at all.

I am used to sneaking my 'crying' jags ..... I have had to do it for years.  Crying in the shower, crying on the sofa with a bottle of wine when everyone else is in bed, crying during the day when I have the house to myself.  I release my internal pressure this way.  The Lord knows.

The spouse is facing a life or death situation.  Literally.  It does not get any more life or death than this.  And fuck it, right before he plans to retire too.  He does not deserve this.  Absolutely does not.  He has been a rock for all of us in this family, a stable and smart individual who steadies the boat when it's about to go over because I've rocked it too hard..... a staunch supporter, stalwart to the end of this marriage he entered into with me.

Now, we are facing our 'for better or worse, in sickness and in health' part of the vows we took and I'll be DAMNED if I am going to flake on him.  I will be fucking damned.  This is not about me ..... but my eyes are red and sore from crying, I have drunk too much wine, and I am scared to death of losing him.  I have no idea what will happen to any of us if that happens.  I can't fucking imagine it.

He is receiving a battery of further tests this week to make absolutely sure that there is no other way than surgery.  Because the surgery is risky and as dangerous as it can be.  And he is handling it like the champ he has always been, this jewel that I never could really believe was mine even though he has been by my side since we met as little more than kids.

I need to not drink anymore if I am going to be half the rock he has been to me, because he is going to need me .... us all .... to be the rocks for him that he has been for us.

He told me that we have to make our wills this week, that he wants to make sure that I have a Plan B for myself should anything go disastrously wrong with this surgery.  It all seems a little unreal ... that we, Mr and Mrs Somewhatnormal, are having to deal with such a situation.  But here it is.  What goes around comes around.

If it comes to it right now, I must have faith in the medical team in charge of this surgical procedure.  Have faith in their years of training and intelligence.  When the spouse is in ICU afterwards, I must have faith that the nurses are well trained and taking the best of care of him.  He deserves it.  They won't know him at first but, god willing, they are going to find out that he is the nicest most mellow patient they'll have in the unit that week.

I love you honey and where you go I will go .... as always.  I do not want to be here without you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1:30am .... wide eyed ... sleepless

I had a very productive day today.  Once again, I ventured into my closet from hell, the one with all the old crap in it, the stuff I always tell myself I'd like to wear but never do.  The reason I never wear the clothing is because I am too fat to fit into it but, unfortunately, I bought most of this stuff years ago and it is now out of style anyway.  I have just grown tired of looking at it and therefore decided this morning that I was going to have another stab at getting rid of some more of it.  Success!  The dehoarding bug hit at precisely 9am and I went right to it ... spent literally ALL day sorting out the master bedroom, closet and master bath.  I got rid of two big garbage bags of clothes for Goodwill and one garbage bag of ..... garbage. It is amazing to me, even now, that I even have stuff to get rid of given all the decluttering I have done over the years ... but I do.  I still have pockets of stuff here and there to dispose of.

***
Working on scanning all the family pics to disc.  What a job.  Boring and slow.  I want to give everyone their own copy of all the pics so that there is no stupid family in-fighting a ways down the road.  Every single family I know who had to distribute items after the parents' deaths had to contend with fighting over who was to receive the family photo albums.  There will be none of that here.

***
Family members keep calling to ask about the spouse and while it's nice that people care, I am attributing my inability to sleep tonight to the anxiety that has gradually crept up on me this evening.  A combination of being worried about the spouse and having to hear the same thing from different people over and over again .... do you think you'll be having surgery?

***
I'm getting hungry .... it's 1:30am and way too late/early for food ... gonna go up to bed and lie and look at the ceiling.  Away from the temptation of the kitchen.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Food, Babe

Things are moving along here.  The spouse had a series of medical tests last week, some of them very invasive.  We already know what the problem is.  The question is:  how stable is the medical issue and how long before surgery is required?  We will know more next week.

As a result of these 'new' medical issues, the spouse and I are now forced to confront both of our unhealthy lifestyles of yesteryear/month/day.  We are making progress but it's difficult especially for me.  The spouse?  Not so much.  He accepts that he must make changes and is readily doing so.  The bitch has already lost weight :P j/k

I went through the fridge and pantry and donated all of our unusable food.  Nothing got thrown away, nothing was wasted.  Friends and family took everything.  It's not that I was giving away shitty food either .... no processed meats, or soda, or sugary junk ..... just that the spouse is now on a ZERO SALT diet.  Or as much as that is possible given that salt is everywhere.

Oh and I came across a very interesting and thought provoking website:
www.foodbabe.com
The very beautiful and smart Vani has given both the spouse and I aLOT to think about ..... Subway and its poisonous bread/'fresh' ingredients (EAT FRESH, my arse) and the entire commercial pizza industry and its poisonous dough/ingredients .... Dominoes et al, I always knew we were slowly killing ourselves when we ate your crap but now we know for sure.  I am so pissed about Subway though .... I ate there many, many times thinking that I was doing myself AOK .... only to find out that I was actually poisoning myself!!!  And my kids too!!  Screw ALL of these restaurants .... it's official .... we are DONE.

We are now only buying organic vegetables and fruits.  Same with chicken (we don't eat fish anymore (radiation) or beef (haven't for years)...) ... hormone/antibiotic/preservative free.  Here's a good brand: https://www.justbarechicken.com/  I feel bad that we are eating our animal friends more often than not these days but the spouse cannot subsist on veggies alone .... he becomes ill and he already has enough problems.  I also buy organic brown rice, raw honey, organic eggs, salt free bread and now we are looking at a list of 'clean' beers.  The spouse has been given advice by his doctor to have a drink a day .... beer is fine .... but, thanks to Foodbabe, I discovered that our favorite beers have foam destabilizers in them, amongst other crap.  NO THANKS.  Coors is my fave beer so that's a bummer because Coors uses FDs and that is a flippin' poison.  So, out went the beer at the weekend.

We also drink a lot of coconut water but, in our ignorance, did not realize that every leading brand of coconut water on the shelves is owned by either Pepsico or CocaCola (boos) .... somehow, though, I knew that the ZICO we were drinking by the carton full was crap.  Heat pasteurized, sugary, dead liquid.  *sighs*  Here's what we are buying now and it's fabulous: http://harmlessharvest.com/  Really, if you drink coconut water try it.  It's expensive but, as with all food, you get what you pay for.

The spouse and I have already done 75% of the work towards eating a completely clean and organic food diet.  It has taken us years I'm afraid, but it's good to know that we have many, many food habits that have stuck for life.  We just need to go the extra 25% and that is what we are doing.

Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) is receiving a good portion of our weekly income.  I still go to Winco .... I buy my Bare chicken and organic rice, greek yogurt and other items there.  I go to Trader Joes too when I can't make it to Whole Foods .... it's a distance to drive but worth it when I am doing the grocery shop for the whole week.  I'm just careful now what I buy.  Just because it's Trader Joes or Whole Foods does NOT mean that every single food item sold in those stores is something that the spouse and I can eat.  There is a lot of junk food littered around these stores.  Case in point, the spouse and I were waylaid by a cider display ..... hypnotized eyes ..... we put two big bottles in our cart until, half an hour later, I realized that the cider is loaded with SUGAR.  Back into the display they went!!  Dang, you nearly got us again, Whole Foods.

We are sticking to organic vegetables, fruits, chicken, nuts and so on and I'll keep ya posted how it all goes.