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happy-1 - Saturday Nov 02, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 52 of 60 of no contact with ex and making every day count.

Box fans have been running on low a couple of days and I woke up without the sore thoat and flu-like feeling. I am ridiculously excited about what the results for the mold test from what I scraped off dad's oxygen machine filter.

Just need to conquer the back and neck pain.

Today I got a haircut. I also made sure I got the hairstylist a gift certificate for the market next door for the holidays. I think this is the first time I have ever consistently gone to the same hairstylist. She always makes me feel better, the cuts she gave me were life changing and she deserved a little holiday cheer. I'm almost never this organized.

I also gave myself the morning off to sleep. Yesterday was just exhausting.

I made today count by working on the rugs and reassembling the living room.

I got dad some chocolate chip cookies and I had too many while doing chores. Got dad Del Taco to get him to go over the bills list I made and ended up getting myself a taco and a chicken avocado bacon salad which I added power greens to to make it more filling... After my birthday I just don't have the will to fight him anymore... but I end up eating badly too.


Wall heater isn't working and turning it off doesn't stop gas from flowing, even in the pilot box switch. Up late waiting for a technician and decided to compound it by pulling everything out of the kitchen into the dining room so I can donate as much as possible.

Probably not making it to church tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another day.


Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

Grannyannie on 11/03/2019:
Hope the mold issue gets sorted soon!

I tried many hairdressers before I found one I liked.

happy-1 on 11/04/2019:
But I bet your hair is fabulous

Donkey on 11/03/2019:
That is AMAZING about the air filter.

That chicken bacon avocado salad sounds amazing. Was it?

When my step-father was declining, he was on a no-sodium diet. At the end, the doctor said that it was more important for Step-Dad to eat anything, sodium or not. The no-sodium diet probably gave him a little more time with us, until it didn't.

All you can control is what you eat. You do not have to participate in the unhealthy eating, although it's hard. Very hard.

happy-1 on 11/06/2019:
Meh... Del Taco is not exactly haute cuisine.

The same thing happened with my mom... Tried desperately to get her to eat... But couldn't. Dad is bine-eating so it throws a different slant on the low sodium diet... I'm really strict about what I bring home so that as he piles on the food he can't pile on as much sodium. So lots of fruit... lowest sodium options for deli, bread... single serving slices of cheese.

Donkey on 11/03/2019:
You are really doing so well with your 60 day challenge!

happy-1 - Friday Nov 01, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 51 of 60 of making every day count.

Made yesterday count somehow. Barely remember. I was so tired everything is a blur and I just wanted to fall over almost the whole day yesterday.

  • Worked with pro organizer to get through more of mom's boxes
  • Got to yoga
  • Drove around a couple of blocks on the way home to see the trick or treaters
  • Got dad a Halloween treat of coffee ice cream and Del Taco (mom would have laughed and said I'm trying to get out of taking care of him when he's old... er)
  • Built 2 box fan HEPA filters 
  • Spot treated carpet with blacklight and urine destroyer

Making today count by:

  • Going through dad's current mail, seeing what companies I can just call and deal with and which ones I need to have forms on file for
  • Finishing the carpets
  • Reclaiming the dining room from his latest horde
  • Reclaiming the kitchen

And another milestone date...

Nov 1 is the milestone I set with dad 90 days ago with the bereavement counselor of being ready to open the doors and invite life in together and also make a decision about whether to stay together with me as his caregiver (with in home assistance) or to split apart and have him go to assisted living.

I haven't reminded him about this yet, mostly because I can't really say what I want yet. I thought it would only take me 30 days to get him into a bedroom... But it took me almost the whole 90. Paperwork takes so much more work to go through than clothes or anything else and I had to clear a 10x25 room packed to the ceiling of it with a professional organizer. I lost count of how many trash and recycling bins we filled. If I had to decide based on the last 90 I would say no, pack him off to a nursing home and I'll take the pets and go live in my car if I have to. Every day has been an unbelievable amount of work and struggle with both of us at each other's throats.

Most likely I won't be willing to say that to anyone for another 90 days... have things in order enough to take immediate action on any communicated decisions. There's still another packed bedroom and a garage. Logically I don't need to go through them and toss stuff. I could put him in a home and hire a hoarder cleanout service... But emotionally... Oh geez. I feel like I'm camping in the wilderness excavating a airlplane crash to find pieces of my mom and reassemble the body. Whenever I find something she lost that was precious to her I put it in her beloved cedar dresser with her self portrait on top... and her ashes in it... Like all her missing pieces put together will let her move on.

But I can say that by the end of today, we will be ready to open the doors and invite life in. When the rug dries, I will be able to do yoga. And I will likely be ready to cook Thanksgiving dinner here. If I have anyone who wants to come.

And who knows? With a private bedroom, space to walk, and things in place to have people over, dad might be easier to be around.

Side notes...

The box fan filters were an amazing improvement. I woke up without asthma for the first time since I started sleeping in here. I was so shocked I just laid there trying to figure out why I felt so good before I realized. Nose was still a little plugged and throat was still sore, but I could breathe. If I had the bike in the right spot and my coffee maker in my room I could have hopped right on it and gotten my workout in. Tomorrow.

Black light search revealed cat is shockingly innocent of peeing the house, except the 3 times he looked me square in the eye and pissed the carpet in a fit of rage post-dental surgery. This morning he came to give me wake up snuggles and finally took up teddy bear pose under the blankets. He even rested his throat on my ear so I got the full effect of his purrs. He also snores. We have so much in common. 


Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 11/02/2019:
This post really speaks from the heart. There's a lot for you to sort through, mentally and emotionally, not just in the house.

Trivial perhaps but thank you for your review of the HEPA filter box fans - I know someone who could benefit from this, and Christmas is coming soon.

happy-1 on 11/02/2019:
They are phenomenal. I used these as the cheap filter over the good filter and I think they help with gross rug and pet smells.


BearCountryGG on 11/02/2019:
You are making great headway....!!!

happy-1 on 11/02/2019:
Thank you. One foot in front of the other.

happy-1 - Wednesday Oct 30, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 49 of 60

Chased an ice cream truck for my dad today and felt weirdly out of breath. (Aside from the irony of a fat, middle-aged woman chasing an ice cream truck... I'm not actually in that bad shape. I can do 1/3 of a mile without getting out of breath.)

Possibly moving into this room was a really bad plan. Had the lightning strike that I could check the air I am breathing by ordering another mold test kit and shaking the dust from my dad's oxygen machine filter into it... see if there's any mold spores in it at least.

Did 5 more boxes with the organizer today. Of the mountain of papers my mom hoarded, there are 6 boxes left that I really need to get through this year before I try to tackle my dad's paper hoard... then onto the remaining 119 of their shared hoarde. Who keeps all their junk mail since the 70's???? My parents. Maybe they were worried about running out of tinder. The stuff I find just rips my heart out. She wanted so many things, and got buried under too much stuff.

So tired. 

One kitchen cabinet is caulked and contact-papered. My mom was the master of contact paper... she has box after box covered in designer contact paper. When I was little, she made amazing blocks of milk cartons covered in bright, cheery contact paper that I built castles and forts and cat condos with.  They were the stuff imaginations are built with. My contact paper on my kitchen shelves is... there. More or less clean... How the hell did she do it? It was a battle of it sticking to me, the counter, the dog, itself... I gave up on the 3rd shelf and didn't even peel the backing off.

Two bright spots... I did catch the ice cream truck. Also, the cat slept at the foot of my bed last night without complaint and did not have to sleep in a cold dark bathroom. He has taken up the position again tonight. Life is so much better when all members of the family sleep happy and warm.

Organizer comes back again tomorrow. One foot in front of the other.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

grannyannie on 10/31/2019:
Yes, be very sure no mold spores.

I used to use contact paper decades ago - looked nice, easy to clean but lasted forever!

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
Flashback to the 80s for sure.

legcramps on 10/31/2019:
You get so much done every day, it's amazing! And I agree with you on the difficulties of contact paper...I had some I was going to do my cupboard with, and I got so frustrated with it, I threw it all out.

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
I think everything stuck to it but the cat... who sat on his transfer bench and laughed at me the whole time.

BearCountryGG on 10/31/2019:
Bleach gets rid of mold but then everything in the room is suspect.......sounds like possibly a dehumidifier is needed. Basically mold needs dampness and I'm sure you already know that.

happy-1 on 11/02/2019:
Dad's oxygen machine is a good dehumidifier and it is the only room where dad can't hear it going anyway. I rather like it as white noise.

My struggle is with the carpet I think... I probably need to drench it in sanitizer to kill the spores in the subfloor and pad.

Donkey on 10/31/2019:
^^De-humdifier and air purifier.

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
Yeah... The two box fan hack filters are working well... The oxygen machine seems to take the moisture out of the air as well. I might try to add some plants to try and take some moisture out of the air as well. I feel weird buying anything new since we might only be here till June, but a good happy vibe might help me be nicer to dad. I'm picturing some kitty-friendly herbs for my meditation table.

happy-1 - Tuesday Oct 29, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 48 of 60

Gave up on my dad eating healthir today and bought him Del Taco and Diet Coke. I was mostly just so relieved that he was still up and moving around and felt bad that he has felt so deprived he had to go for all the treats for my birthday dinner. Tought I was easing up on him. Mom would berate him and say hard mean truths to get him to back down and behave. But I can't do it... It feels like I am kicking a puppy. Just heard the 10pm phone reminder that plays a message from my mom that dad should check his numbers, take his meds and have a healthy snack. It's like a smack to pick myself up and keep trying.

I just want to hug my mom.

Made today count by clearing 6 boxes of junk mail from mom's hoarde. Still nothing useful. 124 boxes left to go. We keep finding more boxes.

I conquered my mental block about the kitchen and cleared, scrubbed and sprayed one cabinet in the kitchen. It is drying. I will line it with contact paper tomorrow. Debating caulking the cracks inside the cabinets. It would require extra drying time and the kitchen is a horror show.

Why am I going through piles of boxes, scrubbing the kitchen and doing laundry instead of looking for work?

One foot in front of the other.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

grannyannie on 10/30/2019:
I understand how you feel. :(

happy-1 on 10/30/2019:
Hugs. Thank you.

Maria7 on 10/30/2019:
I think you are doing well to get your surroundings you and your Dad live in, in order before looking for work. That will give you great peace of mind and you surely won't have much energy to get it all done after you go to work because work will consume so much of your energy. You are very smart.

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
Yeah, I want to control the chaos so I am a reliable employee.

Donkey on 10/30/2019:
I understand about the Del Taco. It's not giving in, but sometimes you just have to let it go...

That's the thing, all this stuff - the embodiment of the past - is consuming your time and energy when you could be channeling this into your future. Sometimes the only way over it is to go through it. Painful...

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
Thank you.. Just putting it all together one step at a time.

happy-1 - Monday Oct 28, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 47 of 60.

Making today count by:

  • Going to the bereavement group
  • Updating my project plan
  • Finding one task I can cross off my list
  • Following up with my dad’s friends
  • Getting cardio in before I go to bed.

Fell asleep with the lights on again last night. Just sat down for a break and passed out. Woke up at 5:45 this morning which is getting closer to being on track. Could have done cardio on the trainer but I was just too hungry. Snuck out of the house in sweats without a shower to get coffee and breakfast before the bereavement group. Banging around in the kitchen would have woken up my dad and after birthday dinner last night, I just wanted a peaceful, conflict-free morning to get my week started.

Made progress on my pain cave last night by ordering furnace filters for my box fans to clean the air in my bedroom. Surprisingly expensive, but it will turn 4 box fans into air filters with high draw and possibly keep me off my inhaler and nebulizer. I sprang for secondary filters with baking soda to remove odors. Today I need to find earthquake straps for the mirrors and I’m in business. Could possibly cancel gym membership and save some cash but on days like today, I am glad to have the option of a place to shower and get a cheap healthy meal.


It felt good to get dressed up for my birthday and go to church. There are some beautiful things on H and M right now, but I will hold off. I am currently working on replacing my canvas sneakers (full of embedded glass shards) and my windbreaker (finally disintegrating and shedding little black flakes).

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 10/28/2019:
The nebulizer and inhaler...I remember them well.....game changer for me when I figured out that a cup of coffee worked as well for me.......also just sitting down and relaxing....my airways cooperated....I still do keep 1 emergency inhaler as a back up...and haven't used it in years.

happy-1 on 10/28/2019:
Yeah. I do the cup of coffee thing too. Cutting dairy also helps. I carry a couple of inhalers in my bag and have the nebulizer just in case. The mold test wasn’t kidding when it said that this particular mold causes headaches, allergies, and asthma. I’ve hit my inhaler more since I moved into the front room than I have the whole year.

legcramps on 10/28/2019:
That morning coffee and breakfast away from the house sounds really nice; i'm glad you were able to start your morning that way :)

happy-1 on 10/28/2019:
OMG it was the best choice I made today.

legcramps on 10/28/2019:
Also - i'm very excited to see what your trainer looks like and if it is similar to mine

happy-1 on 10/28/2019:
It is a super cheap one I picked up at Aldi's for a super cheap mountain bike I bought years ago. It's not anything worth writing home about, but for $30... It will get me doing cardio while bingewatching tv instead of sitting on my butt.


Donkey on 10/29/2019:
I got my exercise bike(s) for the same reason!: cardio while bingewatching TV!!!

I really liked how you made today count by being able to cross (at least) one task off your list. It made me realize the significance of the successful completion of one thing. I tend to get down on myself when I don't get everything done. That doesn't matter. If I can get one thing done, then the battle is won.

happy-1 on 10/29/2019:
Hugs. One thing at a time, right? Just keep picking away with a pickaxe.

Maria7 on 10/29/2019:
Happy Birthday! That is cool that you went out for breakfast and coffee.

happy-1 on 11/03/2019:
Thank you! Gotta get your fun in while you can!

happy-1 - Sunday Oct 27, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 46 of 60.

Happy birthday for me.

The bike trainer is all set up. I will post pictures soon, I just have to work some of the kinks of the setup out so it is messy. I did 45 min cardio on it this morning. I then went to church and breakfast with dad's bereavement counselor. It was a very kind invitation. We went to a restaraunt on the beach.

My meals today were very on track... I made some blueberry protein pancakes this morning for first breakfast. At brunch I had 2 eggs, fruit, and one muffin (they serve 2???? who needs 2 muffins????).  Then I had a whole box of figs (yum) and a leftover protein pancake. At dinner I had a spinach mushroom omelette and 1 piece of toast. As a bedtime snack I had a slice of cheese and a slice of turkey.


Dad talked me into going out to dinner tonight. We went to Spires which does have some decent menu options, but I was so tired I didn't pay attention to what he was ordering and was apalled when it came. Full cream chicken gumbo, 2 giant slices of garlic toast, burger patties smothered in gravy and a double order of fried zucchini... so much cholesterol and sodium for a normal person, let alone a congestive heart failure patient. It resulted in a big fight. It wasn't a birthday dinner, it was unwitting assisted suicide. He says it's my fault he ruined my birthday dinner. I set him up. I didn't tell him beforehand what he could order if we went out. I didn't think I needed to. We've been out twice with other people and he's ordered simply both times. I just relaxed for a second and then watching him eat was a slow motion trainwreck. I wanted to push it off the table and drag him out by the ear.

I hope he lasts the night.

I hope I don't dive head first into what remains of his personal papers tomorrow before he wanes up and try to find a piece of mail that qualifies for submitting an application for a meal delivery service for people with serious diseases including congestive heart failure patients.

My head is pounding and my back hurts. So glad I have meds that knock me out.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 10/28/2019:
Ooo, a bike trainer - can't wait to see pics!

Today I have a taste for an omelet. Of course, I won't get one, but reading your breakfast and brunch sounded so yummy.

I'm sorry about the birthday dinner though. We've had similar "discussions" with my husband. My daughter still gets disgusted, but I no longer say anything.

happy-1 on 10/28/2019:
I’m so sorry. I feel for your daughter. My dad says I don’t respect him enough, but it is hard to respect someone who abuses themselves and doesn’t respect their family members to take better care of themselves so they can be there for them.

BearCountryGG on 10/28/2019:
Well...one thing is for sure we can only control what we eat...others...not so much...hope he enjoyed the food fest.....it may be a long time before he gets to do that again. Hope you had a happy birthday......

happy-1 on 10/28/2019:
Hugs, ty.

legcramps on 10/29/2019:
It's hard to watch someone go through something and know that they are the only ones who can truly change their lives for the better. Even though your dinner didn't turn out as nice as you were hoping, I hope you still had a nice birthday day :)

happy-1 on 10/30/2019:
Thank you. Hugs.

happy-1 - Saturday Oct 26, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 45 of 60. 3/4 of the way through.

Made today count by:

  • Going to the “Coping with the Holidays “ bereavement workshop at Kaiser
  • Took my bike to a bike shop for a stuck axle nut (doh). But bike is now ready to be put on the trainer.
  • Stayed home for the workers to come and finish window installation
  • Cleaned fridge 

So very tired. In my bones. In my soul. Everywhere.

Workshop was surreal. Kaiser is a health agency facing epidemics of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The snacks they served were donuts, coffeemate, junky granola bars, and cookies. At the end everyone got up and said who they were mourning and how they had passed. Everyone except 1 or 2 people looked fat, sick, and nearly dead (including staff). Every reason for passing was a disease related to diet and nutrition. I had this sudden feeling like the leadership at Kaiser had set it up so that my mother never had a chance in that system. One snack won’t do you in, but by serving that they make it seem like eating donuts and coffeemate, and bars with simple carbs won’t negatively impact your health... I had the same claustrophobic reaction to a nutrition class and a diabetes class I went to with my mom to support her. They were focused on how much of foods with simple carbs you could have and made it sound like you could eat white bread and ice cream every day and still expect good health.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 10/27/2019:
I hope that you can find a way to rest your soul. Physical rest is one thing, mental rest is yet another. But when you are that tired, that your soul is tired... that is tired.

That is so odd about your meeting at Kaiser. I bet it felt like being in an episode of Walking Dead...

happy-1 on 10/27/2019:
It felt exactly like the Walking Dead.

I need to find out what the organizer charges to be a pet sitter so I can take a couple of days off and not have to talk or think about my dad.

Maria7 on 10/27/2019:
I hope you get some good rest soon. You are such a wonderful, caring Daughter.

happy-1 on 10/27/2019:
From you, that is a lot. Hugs.

happy-1 - Friday Oct 25, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 44 of 60.

Tired. Made yesterday count by taking dad to see some friends he used to work with. One will give me a referral to a much needed service. Win! I made it count. I fell asleep almost immediately and slept around the clock. Felt almost human this morning.

Having a hard time making today count. Poor air quality due to fires and it is super hot... 97+. I woke up early and moved tables for my dad’s computer setup around so he could have more space, went grocery shopping, and picked up mail and it about wore me out. 

Cat is back to peeing the carpet again. This time because he wanted into my closet and I closed the closet door in his face.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 10/26/2019:
I was wondering if you were affected at all by the fires, as you had not mentioned them before today.

My sympathies about your cat's behavior.

happy-1 on 10/26/2019:
Hate locking him in the bathroom all day, but we have an ammonia problem that borders on hazmat. Took him for a walk tonight so that should help.


grannyannie on 10/27/2019:
I had a cat once that refused to use the litter box. Had to give him away.

happy-1 on 10/27/2019:
I can see why. The ammonia is terrible. Dad wanted him out with him today. So he is out and free to pee the house.

happy-1 - Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 42 of 60

Made yesterday count by

  • Helping dad complete a critical business task
  • Taking him on an outing to Ralph’s
  • Continuing to work on the bedroom switch

Made today count (so far) by:

  • Finished setting up the front room. There are some cleaning and organizing tasks left but I can be in there and get dressed
  • Calling around to find out about mold removal and carpet cleaning  

Having a lot of behavioral issues with the cat post dental surgery... He’s going number 1 and number 2 everywhere. It’s only been a few days but it is impossible to breathe and between that and the mildew in the front room, I had the worst asthma attack this morning.

I compounded the peeing problem with the cat this morning... I sleep with my door closed and he likes to be out with my dad... so I brought him into my room for kitty cuddles... he went straight to my dog bed and peed on it. I panicked picked him up and flipped him over. He looked deeply into my eyes and kept peeing like a little fountain. I was covered in it. The cat was covered in it. My bed and clean laundry was covered in it... I had no idea a cat had that much inside... They aren’t that big. I shut him in the front bathroom, grabbed his litter box and when I opened the door he rushed out and I dropped it on him. I then had to chase him down so he wouldn’t smear poop everywhere. He went straight into my moms art storage tower. I tried to pull him out but he wrapped himself around a cross bar and I couldn’t pry hm. I chased him out with a storage tube, then he shot across the room and scaled the curtains. I pulled him down, shoved him in the front bathroom again, and gave myself some asthma attack recovery time. Hadn’t had one that bad since I was a kid. When i was ready to be friends again, I let him out and gave him some deli turkey. He promptly wanted out to the rest of the house from my bedroom. When it was not provided immediately, he peed again. 


I think this cat now lives in the front bathroom.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 10/23/2019:
I'm wondering if the anesthetic changed his personality.......cats can be pretty easy to agitate...I know our cat doesn't like any kind of change....he races around the house and scratches his scratching post when things don't go the way he wants.

happy-1 on 10/25/2019:
Augh. Anesthesia can’t change it forever. He was back to normal yesterday afternoon. Then he peed the carpet again today.

legcramps on 10/24/2019:
Oh boy! That sounds like a very long day.

happy-1 on 10/27/2019:
Such a long day...

innerpeace on 10/25/2019:
OMG I've never had a cat that peed on everything, he must must really be angry with you.

happy-1 on 10/25/2019:
Yeah... I’m the mean lady that has him confined to the front room so he can’t pee on my mom’s artwork

happy-1 - Monday Oct 21, 2019
(Make each count for 60 Days No Contact till 11/8)
Weight: 216.3

Day 40 of 60.

1/3 of the way through. I’m 80% near a nervous collapse (but still have 20% left, lol). Possibly 60 days of making every day count may have been ambitious. But shoot for Rodeo Drive and you might make it to Nordstroms.

Made yesterday count by getting another window replaced, clearing out more stuff from the middle bedroom, handling a bad plumbing problem like a boss, and making more progress on setting up my bedroom for success.

Made today count (so far) by:

  • Getting up at 5
  • Having a kitty cuddle and feeding the cog an upgraded breakfast
  • Going to bereavement group 
  • Grocery run for dad favorites
  • Signing up for a waitlist for an adult loss of parent support group 
  • Nudging my dad to look at the forms I need him to sign for senior center, meals, and other business so I can take my life back

Remaining for today...

  • Kitty dental follow up (augh)
  • More work on front bedroom... I will have space to exercise first thing.

Interesting article on getting organized for weight loss. I liked what it said about controlling your hot zones...


Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 56.3 lbs to go!

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