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Hard-wired for hoarding?
Hard-wired for hoarding?

This morning, I found nine eggs under the banty hen at my grandmother’s. I thought she hadn’t been laying, as earlier today, was the first time I’d found any of her eggs since I brought her home. When I checked for eggs the first time today, there were two little banty eggs along side of the morning Rhode Island Red egg. I thought, “she’s finally comfortable enough here to start laying, fantastic.” I patted my self on the back for being a good chicken keeper and took the eggs in the house. I came back out later in the day to see if there were any more eggs (they often lay twice per day). I couldn’t find the banty hen, so I looked for her in the chicken house. There she was, up in the roost, brooding on a clutch of 9 eggs. I gathered up the eggs and brought them inside, as it is the wrong time of the year for her to be hatching chicks. It will be pretty cold and quite wet here soon, which is a recipe for disaster for chicks. I will use the eggs to make pysanky eggs with, and hopefully she will be broody again in the spring!

I’ve been wondering now, what causes someone/something to hoard? Our little banty came to us from a different home a few months ago from a previous owner who became ill and could no longer keep them. It took all the hens a while to get over the stress of moving and start laying again. I wonder know, if the stress is what caused the banty to hoard the eggs. She wasn’t clearly brooding, as they eggs weren’t in the nest box and they weren’t fully under her. I hope I haven’t traumatized her by taking them after she’d saved them up. It is conceivable that in response to moving and changing her environment she decided, as it were, that is is time to start saving eggs up for brooding. It is much cooler here than where she was, perhaps she thought it was spring. Who knows?

The bigger question, for me, is why do people hoard, specifically, why do I? There are so many possible reasons, some that I am aware of and some that I am not.

I have had hoarding tendencies for as long as I can remember. I remember a specific attachment to a red velvet jumper and a pair of cowboy boots from when I was a toddler. I was beside myself when they were given away. I remember really mourning the loss of the cowboy boots, for a couple of years, I was no more than two and half or so when they were given away, and I was already incredibly capable of being attached to inanimate objects. I still have a stuffed blue bunny my maternal grandfather gave me in the early seventies. Part of that is sentimental, and part is compulsive.

I have loaded up in the back of my car, so far, three white plastic garbage bags full (mostly) of clothes, a paper grocery sack of the same and a bike rack. I plan on adding to that, momentarily, as well, as getting rid of a HUGE pile of recycling that has built up. It has built up for two reasons. The first is that I don’t have garbage service and the second is that I keep thinking I will take it all in for the return value! I haven’t and it isn’t worth keeping, or deluding myself that I will.

I am adding to the thrift store load: a pair of weird cream colored sweat pants, I’ve never worn, but that were left on a bag on my porch, A pink striped pillow case, a grey half shirt, a t-shirt dress with petroglyph-y navy print, a pair of pleated dockers, and 2 pairs of beige cotton yoga pants -all from the same bag. (As if it isn’t bad enough I hoard all on my own, I seem to have collected a hoarding fairy who drops off  ‘offerings’ on my front porch, periodically. Seriously!) Also included are two other t-shirts, a scarf, a strapless bra and a training bra (that has not been needed for quite some time!), and a nice quilted jacket that will keep someone else nice and toasty!First official "Three Blogs, Three Boxes" donation, despite the lack of actual boxes.

 Okay, I have filled 2 large (outside) garbage cans full of recycling, and loaded up the last of the donations for today.

Recycling ready to go!

Recycling ready to go!

Lastly, I am giving myself credit for using something that could easily have remained something I was hoarding, rather than putting to good use. My son and I salvaged 26 4×4’s when they re-did the local dog park. We had to load them up, cement and all and bring them home. They were incredibly heavy and took two of us even to move. When we got them home, he smashed the concrete off with a sledge hammer. They have been sitting in the back yard ever since. This weekend we cemented 7 of them, strategically in  out yard and anchor posts for out fence, including two gated areas and have set up the rest in all but the seven holes which still need to be dug.gate posts from salvaged 4x4's

gate posts from salvaged 4×4’s
Posts on the side of the house waiting to be aligned and cemented!

Posts on the side of the house waiting to be aligned and cemented!posts in the front yard waiting to be aligned and set

So, something to think about: What is the line between hoarding and thrift? At what point would I have been hoarding the posts if I hadn’t used them? When is it okay to keep something and when is it okay to let things go?

I’ll leave you with that until Wednesday!


  1. As someone who has had Dermatillomania her entire life, I would offer up that the reasons people hoard, have OCD, trichotillomania, etc is due to anxiety – specifically trying to have control b/c we feel like we don’t have control.

    I’ve been learning that WHY we are compulsive is often illogical. And perhaps our goal is to learn to live a more logical life?

    Anyway, I think you’re doing AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thank you so very much Nathania!
      I do believe this is about anxiety and control. Sometimes I find that the root is fear. For example, I HATE taking my garbage out. I don’t want people to see that I have it. This is entirely illogical. I think it has to do with ideas of (unattainable perfection). It is also about protection, on some level, as I think I have said in other responses.
      I really hope I can work through this and change my behavior.
      I have gotten rid of things before. I go through phases where I do, in an attempt to change.
      this is the first time I have outed myself, and I have made a commitment to myself (and anyone reading the blog) that I will continue and try to get to the bottom of my behavior so I can understand it and trade it in for some thing better, more livable.

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