Saturday, March 5, 2011


I had to "hide" my trash today.  I usually have to be pretty sneaky since it's really hard for my mom to resist "rescuing" empty containers, bones, bottles or boxes . . . and if I can get it in there and cover it up somehow then it generally will stay there.

Today I had to toss these VERY MOLDY oranges.  My mother brought them over in this bag - but I don't know exactly when.  I just had to subtly take the whole bag and covertly stuff them down the trash - otherwise mom would pick the bag out saying that not ALL the oranges are like this and that some might only have a bit of mold which would be easy to cut off . . .

If mom would have found the bag - she would have taken it back out, but it's doubtful that she'd actually sort and cut said "good ones".   It's her M.O.

It may have been true - and I may have been entirely too wasteful,  but with childhood years of having dealt with moldy food, and in a position where I don't have to eat them now, I reserve the luxury of choosing not to save them.

I groan with annoyance as I tuck them under some crumpled trash - because I specifically told her not to bring over fruit or foods since we have all we/she needs or wants here, and have the means to buy anything she would like - but perhaps that why I found the bag- she didn't tell me about it.

She has an orange tree in her yard and it produces oranges abundantly - but she only likes to bring the oranges that have fallen from the tree (a lot!) so that we get the "eat em now or they mold" oranges.

We don't eat oranges that fast.

To her it is torture to think that the "perfectly good" oranges will be wasted.  Torture.

That's the way it is with everything.  So, big issues have been had when a little bit of milk at the bottom of my gallon jug has slightly soured.   When my mom is here I do not have the liberty to just toss it.  She insists on drinking it, or using it.  Even when we've had a fresh gallon ready in the fridge.  She absolutely insists.

So generally - if I want to throw something away while she is here, it has to be a covert operation. - I usually wait until she's gone and then I go through the house, the fridge, and freezer, around the bed she used, the one drawer designated for her when here, it's top, and toss out any other little surprises, salvaged trashed, bits of leftover toast or other foods someone didn't finish.

I'll stop there for now.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Doesn't everybody?

My mom is a hoarder, although mostly she will deny, deny, deny.  This isn't a picture of one of our houses, but it is strikingly familiar.  I can even tell you how it smells there  . . .

The first time I watched to show "Hoarders" my heart was racing the whole time.  I recognized and related with EVERYTHING!  That was my childhood . . . rooms like this pictured here, PLUS we had animals (most of the real bad hoarders do) and those animals wet and defecated all over the house, and that was left there.  But I'll talk about the animal situation in another post.

So, added to the animal smell, there was/is a rotting food smell - especially citrus.  And a moldy smell.  This mix is still with my mother.  When I go pick her up - from her house that looks pretty much the same - maybe a bit more walking space - everything about her has her oder . . mildew and more.  Her clothes, skin, etc.  

Since she IS a hoarder she constantly is picking up stuff for us and her grandkids - but if the items have been in her house for any length of time they come over smelling bad like that.  We accept it gracefully, but usually the items (if they can't be washed) disappear from the my house.

My kids love their grandma - but I did need to instruct them that grandma MAY smell when we pick her up, but to make a big TOO DOO about it would hurt her feelings so kindly, and for the love of Grandma , be kind.  When my kids have told her of her oder she either thinks that the kids are being mean to her, or that it was because of one specific thing - like she was working in the garden and my be sweaty . . . deny, deny, deny.

When I've asked her about a PARTICULAR room (of the many  all of them) she'd say "Oh that was just that room and EVERY ONE has a room they use for storage . . ."  Or something like that.

Rotting food, animal waste, mold . . . oh - and human stink.  One thing that is peculiar to mom is that in whatever home she has lived (with or without me and my siblings) the bathroom is either broken, or it breaks down.  For a while there we lived in a house that had an unfinished bathroom so we used a bucket outside.  I was about 13 then.  It was mortifying.  I can't remember what happened to the bucket once it filled up.  I think mom just made us dump it out somewhere.  

Yes.  Made us.  The kids.

When my mother had her period . . . GOOD LORD!  But I really think I'll save that for a different day.