Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is This a Sign?

THIS is what happens when we neglect our daily chores to complete a major home improvement project! This is the floor in Z's room. The surface of his bed and the rest of the floor are just as bad, but I couldn't walk far enough into the room to get a picture.

Part of this chaos is due to normal teen laziness. Z's main problem, however, is Executive Dysfunction. This means that Z has zip for organizational skills. He sees the mess, but he has no clue what to do with it. It's overwhelming to him.

I've spent weeks of my life sorting Z's possessions and placing them in labeled bins. This system works quite well IF we police Z's room EVERY DAY. We used to have to stand right there while Z picked up his stuff and put it away. Now that his ADD is improving a bit, we can give him a list of what needs to be done in his room. Then we check in on him a couple of times to make sure he's staying on task.

As you can tell from the picture, we haven't had time to police Z's room for the last few weeks. Our garage project was occupying all of our off-work hours. Now we'll have to sort through EVERYTHING once again.

An overwhelming sense of panic engulfed me when I turned the page on the calendar on November 1st. OMG, it's only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving!! We can't possibly get this house into order before we put up the Christmas decorations on our 4 day Thanksgiving weekend!

As most of you know, I'm a holiday fanatic. I usually get our house whipped into shape in September, so we can put up our Halloween decorations on October 1st. We then progress into Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's, and Easter decorations. Due to our major projects, we haven't been able to get our Halloween decorations up for the past 3 seasons. However, we've ALWAYS been able to get our Thanksgiving decorations out. Not this year.

I was even beginning to despair that we wouldn't get our Christmas decorations up.....UNTIL....this happened......
My Christmas cactus burst into bloom!

Somehow, this event calmed my anxieties. I resolved not to let my depressive state ruin my favorite time of the year. In our home the Thanksgiving/Christmas season equals cozy family time, good memories, candles, luscious scents emanating from the kitchen, and most importantly, a heavenly sense of peace descends on our household. THIS is worth fighting for!!

I immediately put a Christmas CD in my truck and dug out the Christmas videos. Immersing myself in the holiday spirit has helped me immensely.

We've made significant progress in the last 10 days. Last weekend we got most of the outdoor winterization completed. Z decluttered the living room, while L vacuumed and dusted. L is now tackling his clutter in our bedroom. I washed the summer jackets and will exchange them for our winter coats and boots today. I went online and finished 90% of the Christmas shopping. Now I'll be ready to mail our Christmas/birthday package to SME's family by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

This week we'll start on Z's room. *sigh*

Things are looking up around here, and I owe it all to my Christmas cactus. Do you think that my plant had a bit of divine help?


At 11/13/2007 7:01 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Hurray for the Christmas cactus! We all need one of those I think. I was thinking today that I am not decorating for Thanksgiving because I just have no time. (I'm only on the blogs tonight because I forgot and left my case file at work.) I think everyone's house gets like that. There's only so many hours in the day and only so much work you can get done. You have to let one task go while you focus on another one. You're doing fine. I think I'm going to go look for my wassail recipe and get myself in the holiday mood too.

At 11/13/2007 7:44 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

My Christmas Cactus is blooming, too!

I noticed that Z has a GURPS book on his floor, does he actively play? Dan and his friends are die-hard Gurps RPGers.

At 11/13/2007 7:47 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

VV, it's weird but everyone else gets frantic during the holidays, except me. I get an overwhelming sense of calm and peace this time of year.

Stir up your wassail, light a fire, and cozy up on the couch with M. Feel the peace with me.

At 11/13/2007 7:55 PM, Blogger Sonja said...

I'm not much of a Thanksgiving decorator, but I usually wait with the Christmas stuff until after TG is over.
This year, I decided to blow caution to the wind! Christmas is never long enough for me, so I decided to start early. You, me, and the cactus - same wavelength!

At 11/13/2007 7:56 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Good eye Courtney! Did you happen to find any of our spoons or bowls in there? ;)

Z has been trying to get his friends interested in GURPS, but he hasn't found any serious takers yet.

At 11/13/2007 7:59 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I agree Sonja. We get so little time at home to sit and enjoy our decorations. So I don't think it hurts to extend the season a bit.

At 11/14/2007 3:44 AM, Blogger SME said...

Well, considering the circumstances and that awesome bloom, I guess you can dip into the Christmas music a bit early this year!

Wish I was there: Executive-dysfunction clutter stands no chance against someone who lives in a 550-sq-ft space!

I'm a little nervous about Christmas decorations this year, not knowing how Sophie will respond to a treeful of tasty-looking ornaments...

At 11/14/2007 7:42 AM, Blogger Jeannie said...

The cactus is gorgeous!

My two ADULT kids' rooms are just as bad and if the 3rd still had a room (God knows where we'll put him when he comes home!) it would be almost as bad.

When I was home, they kept their rooms up somewhat - I'd have to get at them - then I went to work. And they just stopped. Drives me batty.

At 11/14/2007 8:44 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Holy crap! With something that overwhelming I find it's best to just do a little at a time. Take 15-20 minutes a day, and put a few things away. It's less daunting when you take it in pieces - especially after it's all cleared up. Put one or two things away every day. Sound advice for us all, I think. John is cleaning out under his desk and found enough stray cables, cords, and do-dads to fill an entire shopping bag.

I had never heard of a Christmas cactus before. I'm surprised it's on time at all with the kooky weather been the past few years

At 11/14/2007 11:30 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

I wish we had a few more decorations for the house this year but if my plan works we will. I got a link from Courtney I am going to try later on today and see if i can get some more money for some of my stuff I have made here.

At 11/14/2007 1:11 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Ohh... that first picture reminds me of my sister's room. Basically, she had a little path on which to walk, but everything else was just junk.

I have a Christmas cactus and it's starting to bloom. I'm amazed it's lasted this long - I usually kill plants.

If it makes you feel better, Thanksgiving is early this year. We are not even decorating around here. With the baby coming soon, and K not visiting for Christmas, I figure "what's the point?". Maybe I can live vicariously through you. :-)

At 11/14/2007 1:20 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Hooray and thank heavens for that little gorgeous plant and its blossom!! Just got the Christmas bug today myself, and today wasn't all that good.

That room looks like an earthquake hit it, but I understand Z's dilemna too.

My Christmas cacti are blooming also. Lovely lovely lovely.

((((((((((hugs)))))))))) Love ya, Sista!!!

At 11/14/2007 5:46 PM, Blogger Cherie said...

Your Christmas cactus brings back fond memories of Grandma's cactus. So beautiful, and definitely a good omen of things to come.

Thanks for this post. I feel encouraged that maybe I will be able to get 'er done this year. Feeling behind, feeling overwhelmed, but you know what, I'm going to do the online thing, too. Worked before! And getting the shopping done is more than half the battle.

Kudos to you - and a mighty salute!

I shall engage the holiday with spirit!

At 11/15/2007 7:49 AM, Blogger Gardenia said...

My gosh, you are organized! Even if you did miss October - I'm trying this year -

When the Christmas cacti bloom, I always feel hope.

I make files, labeled boxes - etc., nothing works with my daughter - other than the cleaning lady is good with hanging her clothes and stacking things. I have to find my kitchen table, which is deeply stacked, and my daughter has taken over the area by the table as well with stacked boxes of - who knows probably too small clothing, shoes she forgot she had or unopened mail or both.

Boy's jeans disappeared last spring - we bought him new ones - all of a sudden now he has 10 pairs of jeans hanging in his closet ???? Where did THEY come from - I lay odds on Mom's room.

Family has made me out to be a crazy woman as I try to keep clutter minimized - but I don't think it's MY mental health problem - when did cleaning up a mess become abuse? Ah, this season may take lots of wassail - they took down the Christmas tree and threw the decorations out in the garage - every thing is broken, lost - perhaps I will just go raid the red-berry tree and string popcorn, drape it in the tree - I see that box - unless something else is in it - and that will be our tree this year.

At 11/15/2007 4:46 PM, Blogger Candace said...

What does it say about me that I killed my Christmas Cactus many years ago? :-P

Z's room looks all too familiar. It's amazing how fast things can deteriorate here when we get involved in other projects.

Hurray for the Calming Cactus!

At 11/15/2007 6:25 PM, Blogger SME said...

You were all smart to get Christmas cacti. My cactus just sits there, looking prickly...

At 11/15/2007 9:22 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I had to share this e-mail with you because I don't think my sister Pat was able to post to your blog for some reason.


Hey, I was looking at tsmsmom blog and she had a photo of Z’s room. In addition, as you know that we had the same issues with Braden, and we thought we were the only ones. It actually brought a grin to my face. As well as a memory. One of the times we were hounding Braden to get his room picked up, he had no clean clothes, as well as we were missing a lot of glasses and silverware. We tried to give him small tasks, and help him to get organized.

Well he had disappeared into his room for a couple of hours. And came out to proudly tell me that he had his room cleaned up. Would I come check, so I walked over, stuck my head in his bedroom, and was pleasantly surprised at just what a good job he had done. I gave him the ok to go off with his friends for awhile. Maybe an hour later I heard John just a yelling. I went to find out what the commotion was. Apparently, Braden decided that any thing that was on his floor, should be picked up and chucked out his bedroom window and there it was on the ground outside. To this day I'm not sure what he was thinking.

At 11/17/2007 8:44 AM, Blogger Squirl said...

I know there was some divine help there. It showed you a positive sign when you were feeling low and overwhelmed.

I'm glad you're getting into the Christmas spirit. It seems that I always have music going through my head. For the last week or so it's been morphing into Christmas songs. Must be that time. :-)

At 11/19/2007 10:49 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

I have to admit I am getting more into the spirit with Candy Minx's idea about selling my stuff on my blog. I wil have to post the blanket that Zombie's wife special ordered.. LOL..

At 11/19/2007 11:13 PM, Blogger SME said...

LMAO at Vancouver's story...though I would have been furious, I'm sure. He took shoveling everything under the bed a few steps further. The things kids come up with!!

At 11/21/2007 7:48 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME, duct tape the cords to the floor.

Jeannie, that's exactly the problem here!

Laura, I try to set a goal every day for his room. The first day we have him put everything on the floor into big plastic bins. The following days we try to clean one shelf, or drawer per day. Then we sort through the bins of stuff from the floor. One day at a time is the best we can do. :(

Tweets, just worry about getting the bills caught up this year.

Notta, next year you won't be able to slack on the decorating. Babies LOVE all the lights and pretty doodads! ;)

Bridg, love ya too!!

Cherie, SPIRIT is what it's all about! ;)

Gardenia, I KNOW!! It's hard enough clearing clutter without our family sabotaging us at every turn!

Candace, don't feel bad. The dog killed my cactus several years ago. I've only had this one a year.

Pat, thanks soooo much for sharing that story. I know that Z and Braden shared a lot of the same quirks. I'm just sorry that Braden isn't there to keep your life "interesting". :(
You really need to get a blog Pat. You have so much to say and I enjoy every word of it!

Squirl, isn't it weird how God shows up when we least expect him? ;)

At 12/01/2007 5:32 AM, Blogger www.Edmonton911Truth.com said...

Oh My Word Z... Now I know where SME gets it from...ooops did I say that out loud?


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