Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

I’m writing introductions for my niche blogs. I was going to include this one too but… after writing a few I’m feeling tapped out and lacking new stuff to say about myself.

You can read them all :

Wrecky Rat Bird

Creative Blogging

Word Grrls

Green Living History

ASCII Artist

This all started for the WordPress Blogging 101. Not sure if it is a challenge or a workshop. I’m hoping to find some focus as I work through it all. Writing the introductions has set me a couple of days behind but I am all but caught up on them now.

Ideas for Halloween Blog Posts

happyhalloweenTired of the same old holiday posts? Try writing about these!

How to make your lawn look ghastly for Halloween using simple stuff like zombie flamingos, garden gnomes and such which you can buy on eBay and poke into your grass.

How to dress like a slut for Halloween without alarming your Mother

Lingerie in Halloween colours to perk up the late night trick-or-treaters.

How to keep your kids from eating too much candy on Halloween – give them healthy snacks instead and threaten to hang them off the roof while they barf if they don’t eat the healthy snacks

Dress up your pets for Halloween so they can guard your kids from the pumpkin bashing bullies

How to store your Halloween costumes, especially those which are not flame retardant.

Halloween gifts for your boyfriend who didn’t return all your 1,000 text messages yesterday

Play with trick-or-treaters: Get a stuffed dog for Halloween and put on tapes with spooky music and a dog barking in the background. Let kids think the dog is safe and then sick your real dog on them.

What to do if your child is choking on Halloween candy? – feed him more until it all goes down

Decorate your house in pink for Halloween – for breast cancer. Don’t forget to use your husband for the big boob in the centre

Old fashioned Halloween costumes – spray paint your children

Gather all the children’s toys you’re tired of picking up and recycle them into Halloween monster toys like babypedes and other monsterish, gruesome things.

Shoes to wear for Halloween, wind, rain, snow or slime

Halloween movies to watch with your dog, or cat. Write about movies with dogs or cats, or goldfish with a Halloween theme

Halloween tapes like Monster Mash which you can play over and over to torment teenagers who don’t appreciate the 70’s… yet.

Use mannequins to create a Halloween family eating dinner around the table. Make this the night you invite the neighbours for dinner. (They don’t need to bring anything but extra seasoning wouldn’t hurt them).

Tacky, trippy or just plain terrible sweaters for your loved ones at Halloween

Safe chemicals to throw on your children when their cheap Halloween costumes ignite

More reasons why candles are not a good thing for children to carry while trick-or-treating

Creepy Halloween toilet paper to use for papering houses, cars, people, pets, etc 

How to make your own creepy sound recordings for Halloween without really harming any children or pets.

How to spray foam on cars which is not shaving cream (which melts paint apparently)

Use cookie cutters and hot wax to shave creative Halloween patterns in your chest (or back) hair

Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa  was a blog I kept (beginning in about the year 2000 and ending in 2002) while my husband and I were going through the fiancé Visa process. I’m Canadian, he is from the US and now we are divorced and I’m back in Canada and he is still in the US. Anyway, I am keeping these old posts – just moved them to a new location. 

Some of these were originally written by my husband, Todd. He wrote his name at the end of the post. I have included them because they were part of the old blog I copied all of this from. Part of the adventure. 

Following is the checklist:

  • Petition sent.
  • Medical Appt.
  • Consulate Interview.
  • We’re married.
  • EAD
  • Advanced Parole
  • Fingerprinting

The following are from the CanAm Couples Club where Todd and I have found great advice and support for our adventure.

Note: The CanAm Couples Club was part of Yahoo Groups. I can’t find it (at least not still active) so I am not giving the link. 

This list of posts is in reverse order. Start from the bottom if you want to read them chronologically. 

The End

Fingerprinting in St Louis

Got the Parole

Got the EAD in Chicago

Chicago INS Office

Re: Needing Patience

Hello CanAm Club

EAD OS?

Seasons Greetings!

Crossed the Border

THE Interview

Re: Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Night Before Rant Part 2

Yet Another Moment of Panic

December 6th, 2000!

Wait for Interview

Between Checklist and Interview

Re: Medical Experience

First NOA Received

Return Receipt Returned!

We’re off and running!

SheDragon in Toronto

ADIT pics

Reading (even skimming it) has made me feel sad. I can still clearly remember all the emotions that went along with this adventure in my life. It didn’t end the way I thought it would, the way I wanted it to or expected. But, I’m still going, having adventures and finding new things to learn and do. 

How to be a Better Hoarder

It starts out small. You don’t suspect at all. One day you just have a bit more stuff than space, more stuff than time or energy. So you make a pile of it. Maybe on the seat of a chair, a stack on a shelf, a junk drawer in the kitchen or a few things tossed on your bed while you tidy up the rest of the room.

Hoarding comes along easy.

That pile of stuff on the chair doesn’t get dealt with and next time you want to use the chair the stuff is in the way. A minor annoyance so you stash it somewhere else. A temporary fix, right?

Sometimes you may get caught up and avoid the start of a hoard. Usually you don’t. I don’t. I have a stash of unfinished work on nearly every surface available in my bedroom, most of the floor space is taken up with bags of stuff to do.

The rest of the house is tidy. Right now. I don’t live alone half the year. But, that’s part of the problem too. She is a clutter freak. Anything left out bothers her. I like having my coffee pot and the coffee grinder out on the kitchen counter. Why not, I use them every day at least once. I clean up any spilled coffee grounds or drips from the pot. There is no mess, just two pieces of kitchen gadgets out in open space. It took time but I’m now allowed to have them out.

Anything else I want to keep much be stashed away. This means adding it to the other stashes, stacks and piles of stuff in my bedroom. Stuff gets lost in there. It is a jungle or piles and stacks and stashes of assorted stuff I need or at least don’t want to have taken, thrown out or lost.

Ironic that I keep things here to avoid losing them when I’ve long gotten past the point of being able to keep track and find much any more.

Hoarding happens when you need to hold on to things and run out of better options, or space.

Don’t think this is taking the easy way out. Living this way is frustrating, for me more than anyone else. They may think whatever they like and they believe the problem is me. It is and yet it isn’t just me.

A lot of the stuff here are things other people want me to do for them. Tasks and jobs and demands I have not found time or energy to do. Do you know the old joke about a round tuit? Look that one up and if you ever do find that legendary round tuit please send it to me when you’re done tuiting.

I need to say no but that isn’t so simple. I won’t get into all of that. It’s an exercise in frustration to explain my need to be perfect and fix everything, do too much and prove myself to anyone who isn’t inside my own head. So, just know that it is very hard for me to say no to family and friends who ask for simple, small favours. I add their photos, their lists and assorted other things to my hoard of to-do.

I don’t think anyone outside of hoarders can understand the pressure of having too much stuff around them. It weighs on you, it pushes against you and it limits you mentally, emotionally and physically too. I hate having just a small path trough my bedroom from the door to the bed with the computer desk being along that same path. I can’t put my clean clothes away because I can’t reach the closet. I can’t start tidying up because I no longer know where to begin. It’s all a chain. One thing leads to another and another. To pull one string means pulling another and finding a place to put the first string before I can pull the next string. But, there is no more room to put anything.

In frustration I toss a pile of papers and old photos onto another stack of papers piled up on the floor. Another task demanded and no time or energy to do it. Another weight added to the pressure. Another layer added to the stuff I already can’t deal with! It lands atop the other stuff and I’m angry because this was demanded of me and I know I can’t do more and this is just more of more.

People think a hoarder is an awful thing: dirty, miserable, derelict. I’m not any of those things. Not ever miserable. I live my life around this hoard and I try to function in spite of it all. I can’t let go and give up the things in this hoard which I actually value. I can’t give up on the things I said I would do, even the things I never actually agreed to do. I feel pressure and guilt and anger.

A simple solution is to deal with some small part of it each day.

Seems simple enough. Until you start somewhere and get caught up in one thing for too long. One thing leads to another problem when you don’t have enough space to work in. Too many things are buried and it is frustrating to know they are there but out of reach. To begin finding what I need causes the moving of the hoard which means the things which were on top (the things I could locate) will now be moved and become the things I can’t find.

Hoarding is a trap.

During half the year when I live here alone I take a few days and then begin moving things out of my space and into another spare room. I get some clearance, some room to move and work. At first the release of having space and feeling hope again is just nice in itself. I haven’t thrown anything away but I have space again. Having space makes me feel I have some control, and can actually do something about all of it.

I make some progress. The hard part is choosing where and what to start on. Last time I began with clothes. I sorted out a lot of clothes I haven’t worn in years and those which I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing now that I’m no longer 20-something. I had them all ready to go to the Salvation Army thrift store. I felt good thinking some other woman would be able to wear those clothes. But, I got caught up in road blocks.

I was stopped from giving away the clothes because other people thought I shouldn’t just give them away. You can’t just give away something that still has value! Some day you may fit into that again. That dress used to look so great on you.

Isn’t that funny? I thought I was the hoarder.

I originally wrote this for Medium but no one is reading it there so I have moved it here.