Another "Oldie, but a Goodie" post from my COH group. I posted this on July 28th, 2006, I titled it "Knee deep in it and laughing":
Well, It's begun again... Mom's out of town for a week and we started in on the food storage room yesterday morning. We have been able to keep sane using our sense of humor though. Here is a little list of stuff we have found so far:
-4 dead and decaying mice (more to come judging by the amount of mouse feces covering the floor).
-3 cases of pears canned in 1989 (they were black, but kept their shape).
-2 cases of cherries canned in 1983
-1 case of apricots -1984
-2 cases of grape juice canned in '88 (my sister thinks that's a good year and maybe we should test it out!)
-6 cases (a case consists of 6 #10 cans)
-2 five gallon cans full of powdered milk -dates ranging from 1979-1990
-16-20 metal cans of pineapple juice(the big ones)-two of which were bulging so badly at BOTH ENDS that we were afraid to touch them lest they explode on us!
-Hundreds of cans of expired food -everything from spaghettio's to green beans.
-About 60 bottles of vitamins & health supplements - all expired by1998.
-Hundreds of bags and boxes of everything from cake mixes to elbow macaroni, we didn't even have to look at the dates, they were all mice-infested!
-The most disturbing thing that we found was that my Mom (who has always marked the dates of when she buys something on the cans or boxes with a black permanent marker) had been going back through the cans she could find one bag at a time AND CHANGING THE DATES to newer dates!!!! We discovered this through a little simple detective work (why are these smudged and written over?) and because in some cases the dates written were later than the best by date on the bottom of the can.
-We also found about 12 cases of food storage bought from a company in 1980, the shelf life is clearly written to be 15 years maximum for some of the products and 9 years max for the rest, so here we are 26 years later throwing it out!
The irony of all of this is my Mom is always complaining that she never has enough room in her food storage room and that is why there are cases and bags of food all over the rest of the house. She also claims that there is a system in the food storage room and we just don't know her way of organization -LOL!!!
We have already filled the driveway with at least 2 truck loads of stuff to go to the dump and if a normal person took a look in the storage room they wouldn't believe it all came out of there
because there are still boxes piled right to the ceiling with only a u-shaped path throughout it.
Well, give me an hour and I'll be back over there for round two! I hope my Mom is having a nice vacation, because she is going to freak out when she gets home! Until tomorrow, Jamie
P.S. Where is this weirdest thing our parents hoarded contest? My sister reminded me that when we did the cleanout 3 yrs ago we found hair from all our haircuts she ever gave us in our lives, in little baggies with dates and names labeled on them. The weirdest one being from a haircut our 21 yr old brother received before leaving the country. I bet he had no idea that Mom was going to sweep up all that hair off the floor, bag it, date it, and label it for all future generations to cherish!!! Just a note: it was interesting seeing the color changes our hair had gone through over the years - BUT NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH FOR US TO KEEP IT!
My next post was on August 1st, 2006 and I titled it "Not laughing anymore"...
Here's an update on our cleanout. Well, by Saturday morning we were ready to give up. We had loaded up 5 full truck loads to the dump and there were still stacks nearly touching the ceiling in the storage room. It was very depressing to not see much change after 2 and 1/2 days of backbreaking work, but we perservered and somehow got it all out by the afternoon.
The final count on dead mice only reached 8 (surprising) but I'm confident there are at least 20 more in the walls and heating vents. I did find about 25 lbs of split peas from my birth year (1976) and a lot more gross stuff, but the fire in me is gone and I don't have the energy to recount it all.
Mom got home last night and there was a calm before the storm for about 2 hrs, then it all broke loose. I'll probably never hear the end of this one bucket of honey that we threw out (because it had a deep crack in the lid and was covered in mice feces). Mom said we could have scraped off the top layer of honey and ate it anyway. She also said we never should have thrown out ANY food, regardless of expiration dates, because she could have hauled it down to my grandpa's farm (6hrs away) and FED IT TO THE PEACOCKS!!!!
This is where I start to feel myself detaching, I can't stand to watch the craziness come out in her. She actually believes these illogical excuses she comes up with!
After I lay down to go to sleep last night, I remembered when I was growing up and I would clean my room out - I would bag up all the garbage and take it to the outside trash can and just pray Mom didn't know. Then the next day when I would come home from school I would see the broken pencil stub I had thrown out on the kitchen counter and know that nothing actually made it out of the house. Mom would tell me how wasteful I was and how the mess was all my fault and not hers. You know, I am grateful that as an adult I can see through all the excuses, but I can't help but wondering if I would have had a happier childhood if I hadn't believed all the crap she told me. Well, tomorrow's a new day and I'm sure my Mom will start out by calling me and freaking out about the powdered milk I threw out from 1979. Later....
In case you were wondering, we haven't done a cleanout since then. I think my Dad was too scared that she might have a nervous breakdown or some other psychotic episode. In fairness, it was a scary time to be around Mom for a while there.
She is still mad about that bucket of honey I threw out. I get to hear about it on a regular basis.
Mom is going out of town again for a few weeks this summer and she wants us to replace the floors upstairs - Hallelujah!
Of course she doesn't realize just what she is asking of us... IT'S CLEAN OUT TIME!
I will be documenting this one with pictures and will keep you all updated.