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Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Post it here in this thread and chat away! :-)

message 2: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Miriam:

Wow, that's a LOT of stuff to deal with! You have my pity. And soon my total empathy. :)

That's why I'm doing ours next. It's overflowing with all of our "stuff" and my kids don't need to have to deal with it later. Plus it would be nice if they lived in a house that isn't cluttered. I'm not a hoarder thank God, but it has gotten out of hand with too much STUFF!!!

I totally understand why you weren't able to stay on top of stuff. That's what happens. What makes it worse, at least for me, is that I can spend hours looking for something that I know I have bought and just can't find it in all the disorganization in our house.

My husband's grandmother died five years ago, his father 3 years ago, and now his mother so there are LOTS and LOTS of memories, pictures, and keepsakes. For now everything but the pictures and valuables will have to go in storage (everything that we're keeping that is) until we have cleaned out our home and decide what to get rid of to make room for those "heirlooms".

I swear, sometimes I have dreams of a bedroom with a bed, dresser, wooden floor and gauze curtains blowing from the fresh air coming in through the french door that leads out to our small bedroom patio. That's it. That's all there is in the dream. Every thing else is GONE. Sigh. Yeah, perhaps my dream really should have been SIMPLIFY. :)

message 3: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Yes, I want to get things sold now so my kids won't have to try to deal with it. I don't know enough, and they know less, about dealing antiques. I have some really prime pieces. My grandmother was an appraiser, and would often get "paid" by chosing an item out of the lot. So she had a lot of very nice things pass through her hands. She ended up selling a lot of it to give my mom money when she needed it, and then would give an item of equal value to my aunt. She kept records to make sure that she was scrupulously even in the giving. My aunt was adopted (I suspect she was my great aunt's child) and then my grandparents were able to conceive and have my mother, their golden child. She was the beautiful, brilliant musician and artist, where my aunt was not very attractive, without the delicate bone structure my mom had, and not musical or artistic. My aunt tended to do things like garden, and woodworking. I am actually more like my aunt, and my aunt refered to me as the daughter she never had. After having my cousin, who was born normal and then developed encephalitis at 2 with consequent severe brain damage, she was never able to carry another child, although she did conceive several times. The stress of dealing with my cousins near constant seizure activity as well as aggressive behavior was too much. Now, knowing more, I have so much compassion for my aunt. Her life was really hard, but when I was younger, I only heard my mom's side, who was jealous because my aunt married a professor and got to travel some with him. My mom (who was severely mentally ill, remember) was also really mad because my aunt's husband rebuffed her efforts to get him in to bed to prove which of the two was more desirable. So she slammed my aunt all the time. It was only since about 1993 when I moved back to the midwest and saw my grandparents, aunt, and mom in their day to day lives that I really got an understanding of the family dynamics. Yes, my life has not been easy, in large part due to the family mental disorders and the chaos it has caused. But I must say that my life HAS been interesting! I have been told that I should write a book, but where to start?

message 4: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Yes you should write a book! You could start it with your childhood perceptions and then later dispell them with your adult "eyes".

message 5: by Miriam (new)

Miriam childhood perceptions plus family myths, might make for an interesting book! Good idea Terri!

Did your family have myths? Some of my family's were:
My grandfather was a great musician and wonderful person.

There was nothing wrong with my mother, poor thing, she was just mistreated by her husbands. (She actually had Bipolar Disorder type 2, Severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder with hystrionic features, and Munchausan's Syndrome)

message 6: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Not myths per se, but my Father's family had some serious problems (incest, alcoholic, etc.) so he and my mother moved away once they had children. My father only told us about these things later when he was already afflicted with Alzheimer's, those old memories kept coming up and bothering him. My mother would say things like "Hush Bill! They don't need to hear all that!" My father told us his dad was in a sanitorium for awhile because he was detoxing and had the DDT's very bad. (That IS what it's called, isn't it?) Anyway, my mother says "That's not true! He had an inner ear problem." Hmmmm...which would you believe?

message 7: by Miriam (new)

Miriam lol... the inner ear problem is the family myth! What they are supposed to say to others instead of the truth. And most of the family believes the myth. Too bad you had to learn of the genetic/ family history that way. How funny! Inner ear problem... staggering drunk... okay! (And it is DTs, Delirium Tremors not DDT a pesticide.)

message 8: by Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (last edited Feb 24, 2011 05:38PM) (new)

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) I think you should write a book too, Miriam. You write well and have plenty of interesting material!

I found this thread tremendously interesting but hard to read. I am just now involved in clearing my mum's house out before we sell it. I'm 5,000 miles away and the thought of all these strangers taking the memoria of my parents' lives is very hard although everything is going to charity. Someone from the estate agents took my mum's furs (they had a key and the house hadn't been broken into and nothing else was stolen) but what can you do? We can't prove it and the police aren't going to do anything.

I also have a family with a lot of weirdness in it, but its not really myths, it is true. My family is composed of an awful lot of eccentrics - a circus strongman, a prostitute who thoroughly enjoyed her work (and tried, at a wedding, to persuade me into it), a very religious great uncle who had a full bdsm dungeon in his house (discovered on his death) and plenty more. My brother is quite normal though, which is a bit odd in my family.

message 9: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Petra,
Wow, maybe you should write a book too!

I do feel for you having to deal with your mum's home and belongings, especially from so far away. We have always been the type to donate things, and buy things, from Goodwill, so for my family, that idea has not been so hard. I also grew up in early childhood wearing castoffs from my dad's congregation's kids,and sometimes having them recognize their old clothes. But the idea can be very upsetting for many.

Are you sure your mum didn't have her furs in storage? There are places (not as many anymore) that store furs in cold dry air over the summer months. You might look for receipts or call around.

message 10: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Believe it or not, it's not the things that bother me so much going through as it is the house itself. We are probably going to rent it out for at least a year before we make any long-term decisions about it. Even that makes me sad. I can't imagine someone else cooking in her kitchen or clipping her beautiful roses. I'd go dig them all up and pot them but I have no more room in my current house for MORE roses. Sigh.

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) It doesn't get warm enough to Wales to need cold storage!! When we went to the house after the stone setting/memorial service last August, the furs were there. Then we got the estate agents in and selected one (who didn't manage to sell the place). My brother went down on Friday and we went through things on the phone as he thought I might have taken them (to the Caribbean???) My mum was in a hospice for a while so I thought that would be a good charity.

My mum and my grandma were both directors of the Red Cross so charity was always a given in the house. I didn't grow up poor but not rich either, although my grandmother was somewhat. I once asked my grandmother if she was poor growing up and she said, "It wasn't so much a question of where my next meal was coming from, more where my next dress was coming from!" (She was a major eccentric).

message 12: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Miriam: I knew DDT sounded wrong! LOL!

message 13: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Terri, can you imagine how I feel when the beautiful house, built in 1934 by a contractor for his own family (and lost during the depression) that my grandmother wanted me to have, is now occupied by someone else? It is due to my grandfather's dementia/ schizoid personality and my mother's craziness, that he rewrote the will shortly before he died (when he was DEEP in to dementia/ paranoia/ hallucinations and the lawyer who did so should be disbarred since he KNEW). A coworker who lived down the street asked me for a ride home when her car broke down. As we drove past the house, she was looking at it, and asked, "does it ever bother you to see it?", then turned to look at me. I had tears streaming down my face.

message 14: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Oh Miriam! I'm so sorry! That is horrible. Houses hold so much more than just the things inside. They hold our memories, our past, our families. I understand completely where you're coming from, and no I cannot, and do not want to, imagine it.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I'm so sorry Miriam!

message 16: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I can definately identify with the feelings of loss over a family home. Four generations of my family grew up in the house my great grandfather built on our farm. When my dad died one of my male cousins was in the process of buying the house and remaining land. I was fine with this arrangement as I could not maintain a twelve room house and huge yard, but wanted the family home to remain within the family. Because of the economy and a couple of other unavoidable reasons my cousin had to make the decision to sell. We were all heartbroken because the "home place" meant so much to all of us. A young woman purchased the place and the last I heard is having trouble with the financing and also an abusive partner and there have been numerous calls to the Sherrif regarding violence and alcohol. At one point there was even a helicopter and police dog search in the surrounding cornfields trying to locate the abusive boyfriend. My parents would be so upset to hear of the events that have taken place in what was once a most happy home. I can't even bring myself to drive by the property

message 17: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments :(

message 18: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl, I am so sorry. Any chance of getting it back?

On another note, I am glad you are feeling better, and want you to know that I noticed you weren't here! I missed you!

I am fighting off another sinus infection with antibiotics, but also caught the cold virus the grandkids have had. So yesterday I satayed in bed most of the day. Doing better today.

message 19: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Feb 28, 2011 04:18PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) That's such a shame, so sorry to hear that Cheryl!

My mother's side has never had a family home, my grandparent's didn't own a home. My grandparent's on my father's side had a home I visited only once when I was little (mom and dad were divorced, he died a few years after their divorce) but I was young when my grandparent's both passed and the house was left to me with my mom as guardian; it was out of state in a place we didn't want to move to so mom sold it.

message 20: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Jo, my mom and dad were divorced, and my dad died a few years after the divorce! What an interesting coincidence.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) My dad was an alcoholic; ruined himself. They couldn't do anything for him after his 3rd heart attack. Opened him up, closed him right back up.

message 22: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Mine had pancreatic cancer that metasticized into his lungs, etc. Lived a year longer than they thought he would. He did quit his three pack a day habit when he was diagnosed. But pancreatic cancer was, and still is, a death sentence- very invasive and fast.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Yes it is, my Uncle passed from it in 1993.

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) My father had numerous (13+) heart attacks and two triple bypasses and then died of an unrelated heart disease. Still, at 67, he lived longer than any other male in his side of the family.

One of my best friends died of pancreatic cancer - it seemed to be excrutiatingly painful. He died four months after diagnosis.

message 25: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 01, 2011 12:37PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I'm on my cell so I can't see if I mentioned already or not but my father was 44 when he died.

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) I'm so sorry Jo. That is so heartbreakingly young for a family to die.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I appreciate that. In all honesty he killed our family starting on their wedding night. He wasn't a nice man to say the least; an abusive monster who ruined a good woman who'd had a hard enough life to begin with and as a result I've had a hard life dealing with what he left behind in her. But it is what it is and he was what he was! I've been able to make peace with it all; my mother not so much but 32 years later that's on her, I don't want that burden hurting my life anymore so I chose not to carry it.

message 28: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I'm so sorry to hear of so much family tragedy. My mom died fairly young by today's standards (75) after many years struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, but my dad lived to 92. They had the marriage everyone wants and very few have. I wasn't so lucky. My xhub died at 63 mostly from alcohol. He was mostly absent with my kids and then suddenly became Mr. Grandpa with the grandkids. Pissed my girls off in some ways as they never got that kind of attention from him.

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) This thread reminds me of the first line of Anna Karenina: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

My dad enabled my mother to abuse me and often joined in. Even his heart condition was held against me, I was blamed for it.

message 30: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 01, 2011 04:32PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Let us take comfort in knowing that we are among those who can not only sypathize with us but empathize with us as well! That in and of itself is uplifting!

message 31: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Wow...all you ladies have my deepest sympathy. After reading all of your comments, I've decided I had a pretty unremarkable childhood in comparison.

message 32: by Miriam (new)

Miriam My dad was 43 when he died. It was weird to pass that birthday knowing I was older now than he would ever be. I was only 8 when my folks divorced, prior to that my dad had been staying away to avoid my crazy mom, and after that he had so much anger towards her that he did some mean things to us kids the few times we saw him, but I think he was basically a good person. Both his brothers were good dads and husbands.

My mom with her depression and moreso her narcissism was very destructive in my life. To give you one example, she, with five young children, married a man who had lost all parental rights to HIS children due to his abuse! I don't need to say what that resulted in for seven years, but the last time I saw him was when he beat me so severely I got a concussion and black eye. Another example, that ties in with our discussion about parental deaths, when my dad died, she came in our rooms and told us, then made us go to school like nothing happened, not even telling our teachers, so as not to upset the stepfather. We had to pretend everything was just fine, no grieving allowed.

message 33: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Amazing. You are incredibly resilient to have made it through all that. We're all broken in one way or another--but I'm always amazed when I hear these kinds of stories and know that somehow the person made it through. Broken yes, but still having hope.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Ditto Terri! (Sometimes I cannot believe all I have survived, health wise and in past (abusive) relationships).

message 35: by Pamela (new)

Pamela aka Scottieluvr (scottieluvr) After reading this entire thread a quote comes to mind, but I will quote out of context, of course.

"We are only as strong as the problems we face."

Or something to that affect... can anyone improve this line? *S*

I survived an alcoholic/physically abusive father and a mother who abused alcohol and prescription meds which promoted her verbal/emotional abuse. As for me, even at 48 years old, zillions of self-help books and collectively 6 years of counseling I still suffer from insecurities due to that childhood. BUT! At least I survived it... :)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Yes you did Pamela! We are survivors!!!

message 37: by Miriam (new)

Miriam See Pamela, you really do fit in here! A bunch of survivors!

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) A little venting: Since making Mondays my "purge" day, my Mondays have been consumed by errands & what not! Usually Tuesdays are my errand day. I've been thrown off schedule for the past couple of weeks and feeling frustrated! Okay, venting over :-)

message 39: by Pamela (new)

Pamela aka Scottieluvr (scottieluvr) Jo wrote: "A little venting: Since making Mondays my "purge" day, my Mondays have been consumed by errands & what not! Usually Tuesdays are my errand day. I've been thrown off schedule for the past couple of ..."

Known as the Queen of Change amid family and friends, advancing age leads me to preferring a more routine lifestyle daily ... any deviation is unwelcomed. It not only throws my day off but my whole psychological and physical orderliness.

So I feel your “pain” Jo… (((((hugs))))). Next Monday will be normal. *S*

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) Proceeds from Michelle Obama’s book on gardening to go to charity

First Lady Michelle Obama has signed with Crown Publishing Group to write a book about the garden she started at the White House and her efforts to promote healthy eating habits.

Mrs. Obama is receiving no advance and will be donating the royalty proceeds to charity. The specific charity has yet to be named.

The Christian Science Monitor reports the untitled book will be published in April 2012 and will include photos of the White House garden, as well as other gardens from around the United States. The book is also expected to include an explanation as to what inspired her to plant the first edible garden on the White House's lawn since Eleanor Roosevelt's "victory garden."

Some of the Obama family's favorite healthy recipes will be included.

From the Southern Review of Books

message 41: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Petra X wrote: "Proceeds from Michelle Obama’s book on gardening to go to charity

First Lady Michelle Obama has signed with Crown Publishing Group to write a book about the garden she started at the White House a..."

Sounds interesting. I give Mrs. Obama credit for trying to do something about the eating habits of people in this country.

message 42: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Excellent--I'd buy it!

message 43: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 273 comments Wonderful idea and a very classy lady. I would be in line for that book

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) My son graduated yesterday on what would have been my mum's 82nd birthday. Law school next, if he gets accepted. My sister-in-law who is 94 is in hospital and very ill. I'm so proud of my kid, but its also such a sad day.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Congrats to you and your son! I'm sorry the day was bittersweet.

message 46: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Conrats on your son! What law school is he applying for? My oldest sis got a degree from Cambridge, when she was in England, but that doesn't count in USA.

Sorry about your mum and s-i-l.

message 47: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 273 comments So happy for you and your son . Kindness and caring to you.

Petra mourning Ollie, my beloved little kittie (petra-x) Thank you for those nice comments.

My son would be going to University of the West Indies (UWI), Barbados campus. I wanted him to go to the Jamaica campus as its law school is wonderful but the college doesn't recommend the tender little flowers of this tiny island go to big rough wild Jamaica. Jamaica is more of a country than all these little places - theatres, museums, lot of culture etc. but unfortunately there is also a lot of crime.

My sister in law hangs on. I found blue and white hydrangea and some baby's breath to take to her. I took her hydrangeas a couple of months ago and she was amazed by them, never having seen them before. So many flowers on one stem, and the blue is so intense.

message 49: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments I just LOVE hydrangeas--I'm in total agreement with your sister-in-law, they are amazing. I love them when they are that brilliant blue and when they are that gorgeous shade of pink. Every year I end up buying another one. I just can't resist them! It's a sickness, I think. :) I hope things get better with your sister-in-law. My husband's grandmother lived to be 94. That's a very long time to walk on this earth. I know for her, she was ready to go.

My father died on June 10th, and every year I think of him and feel happy and sad all at once. It's tough losing those you love so dearly.

message 50: by Miriam (new)

Miriam My dad died when I was 12, yet when Jan 2 rolls around every year, I would have a weepy day, even if I wasn't conscious of the date. My unconscious would take over (or maybe my ego would protect itself through forgetfulness, per Freud).

Anyway, 94 is a long time to be alive. But it is still hard to see someone you love leave you.

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