Sunday, June 26, 2011

Urban Decay......

"Condition where part of a city or town becomes old or dirty or ruined, because businesses and wealthy families have moved away from it."

Urban decay is fascinating to me. I regularly try to find websites the document the decay of buildings, or areas. The pictures are haunting, sometimes surreal. I am intrigued by how fast nature starts taking over an area, that we once claimed as our own. Also, by how fast things go to ruin once someone stops maintaining the building.

I am disturbed by the amount of things that are left in buildings once it has been abandoned. Such as wheelchairs, medical equipment, lawn chairs, golf carts, etc. I don't understand why these things are not given away, but allowed to rot. I assume that no one takes the time to find homes for these items because they just want to be done with the task of "closing" the building one last time. THIS REALLY BOTHERS ME. This is the reason for my post.

Look here for the lawn furniture, and kitchenware. I know this stuff was dated, but surely someone would have been able to use it?

Look here for medical equipment. I just can't believe that somewhere these items weren't needed?

There has been a slow awakening in me about the waste that I encounter on a regular basis by society. We dispose of the barely old to get "new", that will in turn be disposed of in short order. I am very guilty of this...I have 3 iPods at my house that are not used. I lusted after them, had to have them, and then promptly quit using them. I have gotten the latest and the greatest cell phone, to only use it for calling out, and an occasional text. I hate trying to use the web on a cell phone, screen is too small, cell phone can't handle the graphics, etc. So where I am going with all of this? I don't know.

I don't know the solution, and barely understand the question.

I just know that it bothers me. Everything being disposable. But, there are some things that are great (at least for me) because they are disposable. Like diapers...the poo factor never became easier even though it came from my own child. So I really can't imagine me doing loads of diapers and having to deal with the mess a second time. In writing this I see my own dichotomy, and so maybe I shouldn't criticize others who couldn't be troubled to find homes for unwanted items. But....really couldn't someone have used a wheelchair? A country that has an impoverished health care system? Or couldn't it have been used for parts?

I also wonder if someone just couldn't bear to part with it for free, and so rather than give it away, just let it rot?

I really try to be altruistic. I would rather give my things away to someone who could use them, than throw them in the trash. I am not good at garage sales for that very reason. I end up making next to no money because I just want the stuff gone, and almost feel guilty charging someone else to take my crap. Case in point, last weekend we did the great garage purge, and got rid of a ton of stuff. I put stuff by the curb, figuring that someone would stop and pick up the good stuff. This very nice lady came by and went through our entire pile, and repeatedly asked me if I wanted money for the items she was taking. She felt bad that we were just giving it to her, but in truth it was a win-win for both of us. I no longer had babies who could use a stroller, or car seat, she had a daughter that was pregnant and didn't have money to buy those items.

OK....enough rambling. Please take a moment to look at those site above. The pictures are just great, just from the artistic stand point alone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catharsis....kind of

Today I was reading Green Apples blog, and her newest post struck me. You can read it here.

So this is my response, or at least my gut reaction.

I was struck by someone who is so very thin ever having a worry about their weight. She is tall, and lithe, and clothes look fantastic one her. But her stories about growing up and the constant reminders that fat was just one bite away reminded me of my childhood. I instead of becoming obsessed about calories, went the other way and became cavalier about my eating habits.

I should preface the rest of this post with, I love my mother deeply. The rest of the post may make her seem insensitive, and at times mean. But no parent is perfect, and she was the better of my two parents, especially during an abusive upbringing with my dad.

One of my earliest memories with my mom, was her putting me on a diet at age 6 or 7. That time we ate tons and tons of pickles, because they were calorie free, or at least much better than potato chips. Today I like pickles, but, I would never eat one buy itself. This diet was followed by many more.

She would tell me:

"I was a butter ball. I didn't want to get fat because I would be made fun of, and not have friends. I didn't want to be know as the fat girl. I had a pretty face, but I needed to stay slim to have boys like me. "

I got the message that my self worth was dependent on my body type, and the only body type that mattered was a slim one. In the summer between my 8th and 9th grade years of school I finally lost my "baby fat", because I started walking everywhere, and biking everywhere,I just couldn't stand to be home. I got really skinny, like scary skinny. I remember thinking, my mom would let up on the weight thing, but instead it became not losing the weight, but not gaining it back. If I gained it back I was failure.

I then spent my teenage years attracting boys, being flirtatious, being whatever I thought they wanted me to be, to show my mom that someone did like me. I also treated those boys like crap, because once I got them, I didn't want them, and I used them to boost my ego. I had one boy in particular that stayed around, and we eventually got married. I didn't love him, I just wanted out of my house for good.

I wanted to be excited about my wedding, because at that point I was still fooling myself into thinking that this was the man I was going to be with the rest of my life. I let my mom plan most of it, but the one thing I was interested in and was excited about was my dress. I didn't have ideas of what I wanted, but I knew I would find the perfect dress, and that did make me excited. I found the perfect dress. I loved it, and couldn't wait to wear it. But my mother turned that dress into something to hold over me. By the time I got married, I hated the dress, and I just didn't care about the wedding at all. I had the dress a full year before I wore it. My mom told me that if I didn't keep my weight off and in fact lose some more that I would have to pay for the dress. Every dinner was torture, I was forced to go on walks with my mom every night. That dress became my nemesis. I was so young and naive, I thought my mom could make me pay for the dress. Not only did we have a strange relationship about my weight, but also about money. It seems my life revolved around the two, and were often intertwined. My feelings on my wedding day were ambivalence. Getting married was the lesser of two evils, and at least in the new scenario I was going to be in control

After the marriage, I started to think on my own for the first time. Before that my life had been survival mode, stay under my dad's radar, don't upset my mom, and try to find peace in my own way. I won't say I bloomed, because that would make it sound like it was an easy wonderful thing. I would almost say that the process was of me struggling up through the soil to find some light. I got really dirty, and it was painful, and hard, and tiring. I started to gain weight at that time, and haven't really stopped since. I was bullied in my old home, my weight was made fun of, and when I was finally on my own, I could thumb my nose at it. I didn't have to explain to anyone why Ben and Jerry were my best friends, and why I had a third helping. I was free of the constant criticism. My first marriage didn't make it 2 years, and I feel bad that I married him, but we both didn't know better.

I am still trying to reconcile being healthy and the old feeling of not being good enough if I wasn't skinny. I struggle, with wanting to show my mom that I am just as lovable at 200 lbs as I am at 115. That my weight doesn't change my core being.

Obviously that post hit something visceral in me, and I need to let go of some of the weight that has been on my shoulders about this subject. Thank you for reading it......

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

While I was away......

My Oldest turned 14, isn't she beautiful?
We got a new table and chairs! Table $50.00 from antique store. Chairs $1.00 a piece from Garage Sale, need to be recovered, but what a great deal! Look at the base of the table, how ATOMIC age can you get???? It totally matches our ceiling fan! YEAH!

Spring Has Sprung......My Lillies first blooms!Flower boxes planted and painted!

My Makeup Table before: Chaos & UGLY!

My Makeup Table After: Organized and Lovely

Tablecloth is an old Laura Ashley Sheet. Lamp from Goodwill that my Jaded J fixed. Soup Tureen ,Old Platter, Cream Pitcher, antiques given to me by my mom, so I finally found a use for them. Fruit Crate from awhile ago that I used a book shelf before, and now it stores my nail polish and extras. The make up mirror, another garage sale find. It sells for $110.00 at Bed Bath & Beyond, I got it for $5.00!!!!!!!!

Joan update.....She gets to go HOME early next week! Can you believe it? She is walking (still with a walker). She can go up the stairs, and has learned to get back into a car. She promised me that she would do NOTHING for the rest of summer but rest and be a lady of leisure.

Life is pretty damn good....!