Category Archives: I Own a Home. WTF?

Children of Hoarders, Delving into the Psyche, I Own a Home. WTF?, Witchy



When my mom died and I had to clean up her house, her kitchen sink was clogged. We didn’t get to it right away because, frankly, a sink full of gross water was not a priority in that house. It took a few weeks to drain fully.

Later, as I was sorting through all her old papers, I came across a move out list from when we moved in 1989. This was the house we lived in when she fell apart. It was the worst of all her toxic waste (literally) and her hoarding. She fucked that place up. Once the toilet was broken for I don’t know how long. But we couldn’t call a plumber because of the state of the house. In the move out papers I found that she’d clogged that kitchen sink, too. And then I remembered her telling me that an old landlord of her in the 70’s had charged her for a broken garbage disposal when she moved out.

The woman had serious problems with draining, with letting shit GO. And this is metaphorical as well as literal. She was a hoarder with clogged sinks and grudges that were 30 years old. I feel like the clogged sinks were a desperate cry from the Universe to JUST LET IT GO, WOMAN.

When we first came to view this house, I could tell the woman who owned it at the time was a hoarder. She was clean, but her hallway shower was storage and that’s never a good sign in my experience. I don’t know how I find all the hoarders in the world, but I do, somehow.

Anyway, she put these stupid metal hair catchers in the bathroom sinks and they are forever getting clogged. She couldn’t let things drain, either.

I haven’t done anything about them in almost four years for a few reasons including not really knowing what to do (cause they were STUCK in there), being super busy in other, more important, areas, and, simply, being lazy tired. But today I yanked them out with jewelry tools because that is how I roll and I replaced them with cute little plastic cups from Daiso. I am so ready to let shit drain now. DRAIN AWAY, SHIT. BEGONE. (Certified witchy spell right there.)

I pulled a random goddess card for my altar last night and it was Ostara. Fertility. At first I almost burned it and ran away BECAUSE THIS UTERUS IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS OKAY (despite the fact that it would have to be the son of god or some shit bc the vagina isn’t exactly a party zone either right now) but then I read the card and it can also apply to the fertility of art, creativity. I read that as: the goddess who motivates you. So, yes, I am choosing to tap into Ostara’s energy of motivation and creativity. I did a deep cleaning of the living room yesterday, pulling all the furniture out and doing battle with the sentient dust bunnies who have been trying to set up civilizations back there. I feel so much clearer in my head without al that dust. I feel so much lighter in my core now that my drains drain. Household cleaning is the same as soul-cleaning and I too often let it go because it feels too overwhelming, despite the fact that I know damn well how much better I’ll feel once I’ve just sucked it up and done it already.

These past few months have been filled with a lot – a lot – of psychological work, much of which has been the Universe’s way of forcing me to do the work of psychologically untangling myself from my mother. I spend so much time and energy worrying about whether I’m turning into her and apparently the Universe has decided it’s time to stop that bullshit and figure it out once and for all. So I’ve been tested by being put in triggering situations that mirror my own traumas and I’ve worked it out each time. When I used to knit more often, sometimes I’d have to untangle yarn. Sometimes I’d have to untangle a whole skein of yarn. I’d declare THE YARN NEVER WINS and it never did. I untangled it every time (except one time, but that was some of that fancy yarn with fringy stuff and so that doesn’t count). That’s what this felt like. I’d struggle with it, and then suddenly, I’d find the key knot and I’d feel it loosen and come undone. And just like that I was me and she was she. And – surprise! – turns out I’m not my mom.

It’s fitting that I’d finally get around to making my drains drain after all that. It was like closure on this chapter of the psyche work I’ve done recently (KNOCK WOOD, UNIVERSE, PLEASE NO MORE PSYCHE WORK FOR AWHILE OKAY). I untangled myself from the shit, and now I’m washing the shit away. Furthermore, I’ve worked to redo my drains in such a way that they won’t clog again. The little cups I’ve got in them are easier to clean, and semi-disposable. In the mean time I’m looking for a more permanent solution, but the point is that things are flowing away again. Just as they should be.

I Own a Home. WTF?

Where you get to decorate my house!

Well. Kinda. Basically only if you suggest things that I like/can afford/can make happen without much effort or skill. You can think of this as a sort of contest where you don’t win any actual prize except the knowledge that I picked the color curtains you suggested.

Clicky on the photos to go see larger versions at Flickr.

Exhibit A. My living room.

living room panoramic

living room panoramic 2

I am hoping to get curtains up really soon and I’m leaning towards a dusty kind of teal to offset the red and tie the living room in with the colors in my bedroom. But what I can’t figure out is what to put on the walls. I have these cool vintage hanging lamps that I think I’m going to put at staggering heights behind the TV there (but first I have to get them rewired). You can see one in this picture next to the desk. So I’m not planning to hang anything behind the TV. And in the space between the book case and the shelf the TV sits on, I’m not really sure what to hang there because in the future I am hoping to get a fish tank that will live in about half of that space. I’m hesitant to put things up knowing I may move the room around and not be ready to totally repaint (I’m worried that patching the paint after a couple of years won’t match). So if there are amazing, yet flexible ideas for that space share them, but I may be just happy with the plain red, too. Because it’s gorgeous. Really.

But that tan wall behind the couch – no clue. It leads down the hallway which has two more large spaces that want me to fill them with something. I’m thinking at least one will be old family photos. But not hanging from a mural of a family tree because A) no skills and B) no effort. Anyway, right now the cat tree is against that wall and so I have to be careful what I put there. I thought about buying cat shelves, but I’m not sure I want to encourage them to climb. I am actually less sure that they even WILL climb. Lazy bitches.

Exhibit B. The hall bathroom.

hall bathroom panoramic

I originally chose to paint the walls sage to go with the striped towels I already had. But I loved the walls so much and the towels could never live up to them. Also, they are roughly 100 years old now and I’m thinking maybe time to aim for something else. But I don’t know what color? I hate that brown rug on the floor b/c it’s too dark for the room (I think?) and shows every damn piece of litter ever. The tan(ish?) curtains there dividing the laundry closet are a good color, but that feels so bland I don’t know that it works. So you tell me: what color towels do I need?

I don’t need much art in here because I will eventually have one of those shelves that go over the toilet there against that wall. Because this house has very little in the way of places to keep toilet paper and towels.

Exhibit C. My bedroom.

bedroom panoramic

I love this room so, so much. You know how much I love my red walls in the living room? I think I love this room even more than that. A little bit. Cause those red walls, man. Is is possible to have a crush on walls?


I need major help with the curtains here. What color curtains? My bedspread is that same dusty teal I was talking about but in here that feels too heavy for curtains (I think?). My bedsheets are “elephant” gray and I LOVE them and they looks GREAT with the orange, but I’m not sure that would make a good curtain color? Would turquoise be too bright? Should I go with the aqua color to match the towels in the adjoining bathroom? HELP ME.

To complicate the curtain issue, I’m pretty sure I’m going to hang another curtain rod behind my bed and drape fairy lights behind it for a beside light (the current bedside light will probably wind up on my future sewing table). So the question is – do I fully pretend I have two windows and make them a matching set? Or do I go with something totally different?

Exhibit D. My bathroom.

bathroom panoramic

bathroom panoramic 2

That bottom one there shows you the VAST AMOUNT OF WALLS I need help with. I’m going to put another above-the-toilet shelf in here so that wall is spoken for. And I have an idea for an art piece I’ll hang on the wall in front of the toilet (abstract, comprised of the color scheme of the two rooms: oranges, teal, turquoise, and purple), but I’m not sure about that other wall behind the door. Ideas?

I wanted to go into all my plans for organizing and situating, but I think this entry is long enough for now and I need to go and do some homework anyway. So I’ll do that another time. For now just tell me what colors I need to focus on for each of the rooms? Once the curtains are up and ready I’ll come back with more future plans.

Can I get a group SQUEE? No? Too weird. *ahem* Never mind, then.

I Own a Home. WTF?, Just Life, Random

Because Rainbow

rainbow fairy lights

I wrote up an entire post just now about a weird electrical thing in my apartment (THAT IS HARMLESS AND WILL NOT KILL ME) and then I realized how very boring the entry was. So I deleted it. But I’d already taken this picture and uploaded it so I’m posting this here without the boring bit. I know. You’re welcome.

7 Days, Children of Hoarders, I Own a Home. WTF?

Evolution of My Living Space

7 Days Final Run: Day 5 (Season's Greetings From My Home)

I think threeish years ago I started taking birds-eye views of my living room for 7 Days shots. Tonight I took the final one. It went from a place where I felt very trapped and suffocated by all the clutter (as an adult child of a hoarder this is a really sensitive thing for me) to a place warmed by red walls and cozy and welcoming.

7 Days: Day 6 (Peek Into My Chaos)
December 2010

I’ve moved a few times in my life and I’ve always kind of enjoyed it. A new place holds a kind of excitement. But moving to this place back in September has been actually surprisingly difficult for me. Maybe because I hadn’t moved for like 14 years, or maybe because I actually own this place and that alone was a huge step. Or maybe because any of the 467 other things that were happening this fall heightened my anxiety. I don’t know. But people would ask me how my new house was and even though I knew I was happy to be here, I also had incredibly amounts of anxiety about it. In the last month or so I’ve finally started to feel like I’m settling in, and seeing this living room makes me really, really happy.

7 Days: Day 2 Looking Down on My New Space
March 2011

Now if only these &*%$! &%!!@#&% &@$%!& !!@!! @$#!&! ants will die I can see myself being happy here for a long time. If they won’t die, I’ll just have to move to Canada.

7 Days: Day 4 (Chocolate)
December 2011

PS. those extra shots in the collage up top there were after I’d taken about 50 shots I didn’t love so I was getting a little loopy. And by “loopy” I mean “hilarious”.


7 Days, I Own a Home. WTF?, KITTIES!, This Shit is Thursday as Fuck

I’m just a *little* homicidal.

7 Days Final Run: Day 2 (Preparations for Game Night)

Today was the first day in probably 100 years that I haven’t had anything that absolutely MUST be accomplished. Aside from the minor genocide of the ant colony in my kitchen, of course. So I didn’t actually get moving until 4pm. Oops. Or yay. One of those.

So my murderous preparations didn’t go as planned because it was harder to find food grade diatomaceous earth than I’d expected (in large part because when I’d called ahead Home Depot told me incorrectly that they carried it). Tomorrow I’ll try a feed store.

Instead we prepared to play Clue. Which is also about murder, actually. And, as it turned out, I was the murderer. I was hoping the game night spin on this theme might prove to be more light and Christmassy. I’m a brutal killer either way, I suppose. Festive!

Bonus for blog-readers. A photo of a very pouty kitten who’s not allowed to play with the game pieces which are clearly THE BEST TOYS EVER.

mean humans won't let the poor kitty play with the fancy toys

Depression/Anxiety, Happy Things, I Own a Home. WTF?, This is a Woman

Happy Things: Round 2

Happy Thing: Heart-Shaped Coffee

Oh look! It’s me not blogging!

I hate being a broken record. When I have to work my way through something, I get sick and tired of hearing myself use the same words to describe it over and over again. I suppose that using certain words is a normal part of psychological growth and healing, but holy crap I wish I would just shut up.

And so here I am not blogging about where I’m at in my life. Because it’s fucking boring. Blah blah blah depression. Blah blah blah loneliness. Blah blah blah anxiety. Because I don’t want my blog to be everything I hate about me, and I don’t want it to be a broken record.

I’m also having a hard time talking about it because I’m supposed to be happy right now. I bought a home and it’s lovely (and it is) and that’s exciting (and it is) and this is a time full of new beginnings which are supposed to be happy things (and they are). I feel like so many people are so excited about this for me that I’d be letting them down if I feel anything different.

And to complicate things, I actually do feel all the things I’m “supposed” to be feeling, but I’m also feeling all those key words I’m so sick of writing about.

And so here I am. Struggling to get by. Some days are pretty good. Some days are cloudy and hard. Logic and instinct tell me that this will pass as I settle into a routine and get used to all the changes. And I know that they (the logic and the instinct) are right. But the depression and the anxiety are big fat liars that terrify me with thoughts of never recovering.

In the mean time I think I might get back to my Happy Things project. From now until the end of the year (at least). It was like a meditation for me. To take a moment and dedicate it to at least one thing that brought me joy. To photograph it and make art out of it made it my daily prayer.

Does anyone want to join me? I think I’ll do it all on Instagram this time (since I’m still avoiding my big camera since it’s broken and I’m afraid it’s broken forever). We could use one of those newfangled hashtag thingamajigs people use to find each other’s projects or something. What do you think? Are you in?
UPDATE: the tag will be #findinghappy2013 Hope to see you there!

I Own a Home. WTF?

The House So Far

I wrote some entries last week. I even posted them. But then I had a fit of depression/anxiety/insecurity and removed them. They will probably come back in some form, but I felt all cloudy-brained and I felt like that didn’t make for very good writing. I’m clearer now (in more ways than one) (not physically, though. I don’t mean I’m more invisible than I was last week) so hopefully I can rewrite them in some more coherent manner. In the mean time I have only about 15 minutes before I have to do my next chore and that’s just enough time to throw together an entry of befores and afters. Of the house I mean. Not my process of becoming invisibler.

(By the way, if you click through on the after photos, you can read some of the notes I’ve added to them on Flickr. Or if you want, you can click here to see the whole set.)

Living room!
living room

living room

Entry! And Dinette!
dinette and front door

dinette back there

the kitchen


My bedroom!
that is one damn pink room

my orange bedroom


master bath

two oranges

Elliott’s room!
elliott's room

First night.

elliott's room

Chalkboard doors!  And a weird light ghostie.
(OK I didn’t have great after pictures of his room.)

Margie’s room!
margie's room has the best reading corner


margie's room

And the girly. That green room looks very cute on her.
(OK or of her room.)

Obviously we still have work to do. We need some organizational stuff in order to finish unpacking. I need to get updated photos printed in order to put out new photo albums. I think I’m supposed to, like, hang pictures or art or some shit on the walls, but how can I dare to hammer anything into those beautifully colored walls? Except curtains. I’m rather sick of living without curtains. Very soon, hopefully, I’ll be able to afford some and also to find the confidence to learn how to actually do it.

In the mean time this place is becoming quite cozy and homey. Whenever the Universe allows it, I’m feeling quite happy here.

I Own a Home. WTF?, Just Life, The Zebra


Right now I’m moving. Well, actually, the move itself happened over the weekend. But you know. I’m living out of boxes. And by “right now” really I just mean “over the last month and into the next” anyway. So my life have been one third packing, one third painting and fixing the new place, and one third studying neurons n brain shit. And about 10% sneaking in episodes of Supernatural when I should be painting, packing, studying, or sleeping. Also I’m bad at math. Things I am not doing right now even though I should be: planning my kids’ school year, returning emails, working on SOAM, sharing Lady Links, cooking any meals at all, eating food that is not cold pizza, shaving my legs and armpits (of course those last ones are debatable “shoulds”). And so the Universe was all, HEY BONNIE YOU DON’T LOOK OVERWHELMED ENOUGH LET ME FIX THAT FOR U. And these are the things that have turned a busy month into ONE GIANT LONG THURSDAY.

The weather has been 90 and muggy for like three weeks straight
The kids caught colds (and I had to drag them along with me anyway)
Ants. Are. Everywhere. In my closet. INSIDE the dishwasher. ON MY SHOPPING CART AT TARGET.
My uterus started falling out
The cat got fleas despite being fully medicated
I ordered a mattress from Ikea and spent 9 hours waiting for it to be delivered and it wasn’t. It took four trips back to the store, and two hours on hold to figure that shit out. (They refunded my delivery fee.)
The cat got worms from the fleas
When I was taking my test for my psych class, the test froze when I was halfway through and I had to start over from the beginning.
I keep throwing away things I need.
I actually returned something really important that was my own thing and not even supposed to be returned.
Having to deal with the financial aid office at the college. Enough said.
My son’s mortal enemy (no. really.) turned out to be in his class this year.
We came home to a surprise planned power outage. No. Really.
I have a major spam problem going on here because I haven’t had time to figure out how to stop that yet because I am computer-stupid sometimes and I currently have 1,591 comments to approve or delete. NO IT’S OK I HAVE TIME.

So to sum up:

You know what I love? My pretty red wall.


Being a Mom, Depression/Anxiety, I Own a Home. WTF?, The Zebra

One Green Bedroom

Someone's a comedian.

My son thinks he’s hilarious.

(He’s right.)

I amuse me.

(He gets it from me.)


I put the kids to work with the painting. It was helpful to me, but there was a lot of screaming and tears (my son is a perfectionist who doesn’t handle mistakes and/or dripping paint very well). So I made a rule about how we aren’t allowed to scream unless there’s blood or fire. Or maybe if you’re the mommy and you just really need a good scream.


Because. Really. I kind of need a lot of good screams right now, but it’s too hot and muggy to bother. I don’t know why the Universe wants me to move and/or clean out houses in the middle of summer, but that’s how things seem to work for me. Of the six times I’ve moved in my adult life only once has been not in July or August. And many of these occasions have been entirely out of my control. Landlords (more than one) pushing back move-in dates for one to four months (no. really), my mom’s death, this six-month-long short sale. Like. I don’t know what the message here is. But clearly it’s something. Something sweaty.

Done. Except for trim.

But things are moving along. I hope they are moving along in a timely fashion. I have cycles of emotions right now. Moments where I feel confidant things will work out, and moments where I lay awake all night panicking about all the things that still have to come together.

At least I’m still adorable with the labeling of the boxes.

Another Furby.

I Own a Home. WTF?, The Zebra

I have no idea at all what this post is about. If you figure it out, can you leave me a comment?

The house is coming along. Some days I feel overwhelmed by all there is left to do, other days I feel confidant that everything will work out and even if it doesn’t it will. Those days, apparently, I am full of zen contradictions. I’m like a damn hippie riddled with anxiety.

These are the things I have learned about myself.

1. I am a picky person when it comes to paint colors. I didn’t think I would be. And then, when I started to notice that I kind of maybe was a little bit, I tried to deny it saying things like, “Oh I don’t really care except I hate all those colors except this one and no I actually hate that one, too.” At some point (I think it was the point where I bought the 36th sample of orange paint to try in the bedroom) I had to admit to myself that I am a picky paint person. I don’t know why this is such a hard thing for me to embrace, but I suspect it goes back to my extreme need to please ALL THE PEOPLE. If I’m picky, I might be frustrating, and if I’m frustrating I might lose all my friends and live alone forever.

I may or may not have been a drama major in high school.

2. I forgot this thing that I learned about myself. If I remember it, or re-learn it, I’ll get back to you.

3. Painting and fixing up an empty house is not unlike cleaning out a hoarder’s house, as it turns out. You spend all day working and at the end of the day you feel like nothing’s been accomplished. You feel certain that this will NEVER EVER END. The jobs just keep adding up. They seem endless. Overwhelming is an understatement. And, yet. My mom’s house got cleaned up. So here’s hoping that someday September will be over and I’ll be settled in my orange-no-purple-no-brown-no-back-to-orange bedroom writing a post about how THANK GOD 2013 is almost over and perhaps I’m about to become superstitious about odd-numbered years.

I’m sorry. I don’t think this post makes any sense whatsoever. Have some pretty pictures of the sky to make up for it.

The sunbeams were crazy awesome tonight.  Like the sun was grasping desperately before being dragged down into the underworld against his will. Or something less demonic. Whichever.  Adjusted in #snapseed

Today has been stupid in that I can't stop being tired and I'm PMSing like emo as hell. But I had to leave the house to buy pads and the Universe was all "Hey. You. Have a sunset."