Friday, April 5, 2013


I've been watching episodes of "Hoarders: Buried Alive!" on Amazon Prime.  I had stopped watching them for a couple months, but then, we went and worked on my mom's apartment last Sunday.  My boyfriend came with my sister and me to work on it.  My mother is getting over 20 subscriptions to magazines and book clubs at the moment.  She and my father also had not been staying in their apartment for the month of November, so, the magazines, packages, and mail had piled up.
I too have numerous subscriptions to magazines.  This year, I bought a Kindle Fire.  After my subscriptions run out, if I renew any of them, it will be on the Kindle.  I do not want any more paper coming into my apartment!
Ian and I were watching an episode of "Hoarders" last night.  After seeing my parent's apartment on Sunday, he has started thinking about the situation.  He asked, "Did your house look like that when you were younger?"
I answered, "Sometimes. Yes."
I talked to him about how instead of teaching me how to clean my room, my parents would just let it pile up.  Then, when we couldn't walk through it any more, my mom would sit on the pile of stuff on the floor with a trash bag, and just throw it all away!  I have problems getting rid of things to this day!  This is where my hoarding tendencies come from.
I have this vague memory from when I was really young.  My dad had eaten grapes with seeds on them, and the seeds accidentally got spilled on the floor.  They stayed on the floor, a carpeted area of the living room for a week or two. (The time frame of how long the seeds actually stayed on the floor may be distorted by how young I was when this happened!) I thought they looked like spiders and would jump over they area every time I had to go near them.  Even after they were finally cleaned up, I would still jump over the place, remembering the "spider seeds."  
One of my hoarding tendencies is with food.  I save something I really like until I really want it!  I know now as an adult, I can go buy more, but as a child, I didn't think my parents would go buy me more.  I had a bag of candy from Halloween.  It ended up in the pile in the middle of my bed room that hadn't been cleaned for months.  My nieces and nephew came to visit and found the bag of candy.  They climbed up on to my top bunk and ate it!  The funny thing was, it was MONTHS past Halloween!  I wasn't even mad about it, because I had completely forgotten about the Halloween candy.  I think my sister in law, who found her children randomly eating the candy, was more upset about the situation than anyone else.
When my mother had triple bypass surgery, I went to my parents' house to help them out a bit.  There was an ironing board sitting out with a bunch of clean laundry on it.  I decided to help out, I would fold it and put it away.  I did this. I went home for a few days and came back.  IT WAS ALL BACK OUT!  I asked my dad why?  Was he ironing?  Did he need help with the folding?  He said, NO. He just didn't want it put away!  Now, I realize, my mom was in the hospital, and this was just weeks after my brother had past away.  This was just not logical to me!  I was trying to help out.  Plus, the hospital said they were going to come and make sure that mom could get around the house post-op!
Now, as an adult, I watch the hoarding shows, and yes, sometimes I say to myself, "Well, I'm not that bad!"  Other times, they inspire me to throw things out.  Sometimes, they just make me sad knowing about what my childhood was like.  I often feel like I don't have a lot of the adult skills that I should have been taught in my early years.  I know that Ian picks up a lot of the slack with cleaning.  I really appreciate him for that! 
It's hard for me to listen to my mom's logic when I go to her apartment.  Just recently, we went to visit, and a new kitchen chair appeared. Now, my mother has a whole matching kitchen table with chairs set that are absolutely beautiful.  She also has a very large couch and three living room chairs, one of the living room chairs belonging to the cat.  ALL of this furniture is in the same room!  She doesn't have a separate dining room from her living room.  There is even more furniture aside just from seating.  I said, "Mom, why did you get an extra chair?"  She answered, "I needed another place for my home teachers to sit!"  WHAT!?!?!?! 4 Dining room chairs, three living room chairs, a very large couch, and she's buying chairs?!?!?! I explained to her how this was beyond ridiculous! She did NOT need another chair!  She said, "But it was only $3!"
I was done.
I will re-access every thing I own and get rid of things. I know I'm not perfect in this situation. It's going to take me time to get to the point I need to be at.   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How the Love Story Began Three Years Ago

I met my boyfriend on an online dating site.  It was love at first reading.  He contacted me by sending me an email through the site.  Then, we exchanged instant messenger screen names, and the rest is history!  We did the obligatory first coffee date.  The funny thing is, I don't think either of us ordered coffee! That night, we bonded over a story he told me about taking a return at a department store of a camera.  The lady had brought it back and told him that it was broken and she could see the wires and the inside of the camera.  This grossed her out!  I said, "Why would it gross her out unless she was some kind of Droid?!"  We both laughed, and he agreed with me!  From that point on, we have barely spent a moment apart!  This was three years ago.  We are still just a couple of geeks! 
He's the best boy friend in the world. He does so many nice things for me, that sometimes, I can't even believe it!  I know by his actions that he loves me. He's always cheering me on in all of my endeavors.
I love him very much!
Happy Anniversary, Ian!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Years Goal Update: Finances

Here's a quick update on my financial goal for 2013 of getting out of debt.  After much encouragement from my friend Brian, Ian and I took and finished Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University! We have started the Baby Steps, and this is what I (we) have accomplished so far:
Step 1. Save a $1,000 for a cushion during emergencies. 
I have done this.  I actually finished this a couple weeks in during the class, because I had already started it.
Step 2. The Debt Snow Ball
This is the current step I am working on.  I'm in a crapton of debt, if you didn't know.  Well, now you do!  My debt included two credit cards, a car payment, college loans, and moneys owed to the government.   During the class, I paid off a credit card that I had been working on paying off since 2004.  It was the card I used to pay for medicine and other necessities in college. This was a MAJOR accomplishment for me!  Not that I wasn't working on having it paid off this year, but now it is done! It is off my back!  The load is getting lighter!
I'm currently working on the second credit card.  Using the Debt Snow Ball, I plan on having it paid off by December! 
Originally, at some point last year, Brian was working with us and explaining how would could be out of debt withing seven years.  At first it was hard to see how that was even possible!  Being in debt sucks!  I was to the point were I was like, how did this even happen?!  I mean, I know where debt comes from. I get it!  But when your at the bottom looking up, it's hard to see the light.  Well, my friends, there is light at the end of the tunnel! (I'm trying to see how many cliche puns I can throw in this blog!)
Ian and I are setting goals and working on this together. These goals include everything from getting out of debt, buying a home, and even vacation planning!
I hate to seem like I'm all hopped up on Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, even though I know I am.  The thing is, it works! If you have any questions about it, please ask!  Ian and I will try to answer them, and if we can't, we have some really good friends that might even teach the class!
I'll give more updates later in the year as we work on the Debt Snow Ball.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mental Misconceptions: A House

When I was little, I didn't understand what a house was.  I know this sounds very strange.  My family lived in a trailer until I was 11 years old.  It was pretty small.  I thought we had this tiny mobile home because we were poor.  That may have been part of the truth, but not all of it. When I visited other peoples houses, they all seemed to be these grandiose mansions to me.  Maybe I had really rich friends.  I'm not sure.  But I never understood that, most homes average around 2,000 square feet or smaller. (This could also be a misconception as an adult.) Or maybe as an adult, the average home is getting smaller.
As a teenager, it started to sink in a little bit.  My friend's mom started to look for a little home to move in to.  She would take my friend and me with her when she toured these houses.  They all seemed extremely small to me!  The idea that someone would by a home so small was a little baffling!  The thing was, it was just my friend and her mom.  They didn't need a gigantic home.  They just needed a enough space for the two of them.
What does this all mean now?
I'm currently an apartment dweller.  I'm O.K. with that!  I do have a thing with space. I like having a lot of living space.
I do want to get a house eventually, but I'm in no hurry.  Getting out of debt first is more important.
I've learned that I need to decide what I think is most important in a home, and make choices based on that.  For me, that would be an amazing kitchen! I do want space in other rooms, but a kitchen that has space, whether that's counter space or cabinet and storage space will be the important things to me.  
I've had to tell myself, a house for two or three people with cats is not going to be gigantic. In fact, it's probably going to be on the small side.