::Katrina Rasbold:  Queen of It All::

May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day.

Mine was good.  I got to see all but one of my children.  Joe is in Canada, but I did get to have a nice long talk with him by phone.  Nathan is being a complete pill tonight about taking a shower.  Before he took his bath, I had him repeat back to me all he needed to do (wash his face, wash his hair, etc), but when he got out, his hair was dry and his face was dirty, so he earned a trip back through the shower and was NOT happy about it.  He has reached a very arrogant 8-year-old place where he is quite sure that his judgment is far superior to mine and carries around the attitude an older person has (and rightfully so - the older person, not Nathan) when they have to go to work for McDonald's and have a supervisor who is a third of their age.  It just grates on him that he has to do what I say even though I am not nearly, nearly as smart as he is.  Nevertheless, (I love the word "nevertheless."  It is so deliciously dismissive of everyone else's wants or needs.  "Regardless," is almost as good and "irregardless," for my uninformed readers, is not a word, so stop using it absolutely immediately.) into the shower went Mr. Nathan and I have not yet gathered the patience or the poker face to get upstairs and check out his handiwork.

I would normally not cook on Mothers Day, but today is one of those every now and then times that David's birthday, in this case, his 28th, fell on Mothers Day.  He was actually born on Mothers Day with 52 minutes to spare.  He requested Mom's Fried Tacos, so fried tacos it was, as well as baked beans and homemade white bread.  Eric is now being a lamb and cleaning the kitchen for me, God bless'im.  Joshua (who turns 26 on Friday) and his family came up as well, so there were grandchildren here.  All that were missing were my sweet Joe and his wife, Sandra.  Except for that, it was all in all quite a nice day.

I did, however, find myself missing my mom.

Guess I should go inspect the kid before he falls asleep.

I have returned and while not 100% impressive, the results were satisfactory and tonight, that is good enough for me.  Off to bed go they.

There is quite a "where to begin" aspect to this journal entry because so much has happened.

Jackie and I are expanding our line for Mountain Divaz (www.mountaindivaz.com).  We now include hand dipped, 100% all natural incense sticks, beautiful silk flower and ribbon halos (on a stretchy band) and post cards and note cards.  As I reported in my last entry, the site is incomplete because the shopping cart is not yet included.  We had to figure out some shipping issues since our inventory is so varied in terms of weight and volume. I think we have gotten all that ironed out, so I will be finalizing this week.  We still go to the Diamond Springs swap meet each week, but did not this week because we had the once-a-month Grizzly Flats Craft Fair yesterday.  That in and of itself would not normally keep us from our Sunday appointment with the masses, but she and I were just both beat, plus there was the whole Mothers Day thing, plus her husband got back last night from several weeks of being away for work, so all in all, we felt it was best to take a week off.  We really missed those folks, however.  They are really good to us.

I will also be offering some of the monkeys and bears on E-bay this week because I believe they will do well there.  Each one has such a personality.  It is so gratifying to watch them come to life.  As soon as their eyes go on, it's like their little soul descends in, they kind of blink at me from a spiritual standpoint and start telling me their names and stories.  It's as though I can see them wake up and hear their voices in my head.  More pictures will be posted this week on the website as well because I have several more monkeys and bears than I did before.

Tomorrow is the first time I will be alone since I can't even remember when.  Kids will be in school and Eric has to work.  I would love to go to town and get some necessities, but we are left with only one car and so it's not possible.

Speaking of vehicles, Eric had a really wild experience about a week before we left for vacation.  He was at the post office waiting to meet up with a guy about his mining claim and he started a conversation with a local guy who was reading the bulletin board.  Somehow they got onto the subject of generators and the guy told Eric he had a generator he could have if he wanted it (adoing!), but it "has a motor home wrapped around it."  Eric was curious and as it turns out, the guy had a very nice 1984 36' motor home that he really wanted to get rid of and couldn't seem to do it.  He put it on the market and no one wanted to buy it.  He tried to donate it to a charity, but they could not afford to tow it and weren't allowed to drive donated vehicles, so there it sat.  He signed the title over to Eric and there it sits in my driveway.  The thing is just immaculate.  It sleeps at least 6 people, has a shower, a toilet, a living area, propane stove and oven, air conditioning, a 6 kilowatt generator that has several hours of fuel left on it, central heating and a nice awning that rolls out.  We were completely stunned and grateful.  We would have driven it to LA when we went except that there would be the question of where to park it (his grandmother wanted us close by and she lives in a condo with very congested parking) and the thing only gets 8 miles to the gallon, so you practically have to fill it up while it's moving like a B-52.  Still, it's nice to know that if there is a wild fire or for whatever reason, we have to jam, there's some other place we can call home.  I looked at Eric in complete wonderment because things like this only happen to him.  He's one of the few people I know who can go to the post office to read the bulletin board and come away with a complete stranger giving him a motor home.  I told him he'd better check every storage compartment for guns and human heads and whatnot.

So Saturday came and after the Fire Safe Council meeting, we were ready to launch into the first Rasbold family trip in a good 7 years.  We rented a bigger vehicle to drive and Enterprise upgraded us to an Armada, which is even bigger than we expected, but very, very comfortable.  My friend, Andrea, let us use her wonderful, magnificent, life saving DVD player with dual screens that velcro to the back of the seats, so the kids were entertained the whole way.  I hit the $5 DVD bin at Walmart and got them "The Mask," "All Dogs Go to Heaven" and "Merlin's Apprentice."  I had no clue there was a sequel to the excellent TV mini-series, "Merlin" with Sam Neil, but hey, there it was.  What's funny is that when I popped open Andrea's DVD player, out came a copy of (get ready!), "Merlin's Apprentice."  Weird. 

Eric was in the process of loading the dogs into our Jeep Liberty to take them over to the home of the family who boarded them for us.  They foster rescued dogs all the time and have a number of kennels and dog runs.  As he was putting dogs into the car, Muggles, the one that is part cattle dog, saw her opportunity and bolted.  I mean, she was GONE.  This is a dog that lives to escape.  If she sees a door cracked, she will knock a person over to get out of it.  I have strongly considered burying invisible fence all around the front porch (the back yard is fenced) so she gets knocked on her dog ass when she tries.  I am serious when I say I'm completely done with this crap.  Anyway, we spent 2 hours looking and looking for the dog and had zero luck.  Not even a trace of her.  She and her mother, who is a dear dog, but terrified of humans and won't let us touch her (although we were able to trap her and get her spayed), will go running through the woods and get so deep there's no way to find them.  After two hours and a great deal of heated debated, we prayed for the best and got on the road.

The trip down was about as good as it could get for a person (me) who absolutely hates to travel by vehicle.  I am shocked that in all of the driving Eric did (1500 miles by the time all was said and done), I never did my usual thing of going into a death sleep until arrival.  I was awake the whole time, which is particularly surprising since I was very, very tired.  We got there in about 7 hours, which is standard, and got settled into his grandmother's 2 bedroom condo.  The TV room had a hide-a-bed that folds out into a full sized bed, so Delena slept there, the boys each took a couch and Eric and I had the guest room.  Sleeping on a full sized bed (this one was very hard as well) for 2 people who are used to a California King sized bed and not having body parts even graze in the night was quite a challenge.  Neither of us got a good night's sleep the whole time we were there.  Also, and I think this is a Southern California thing, his grandmother had the heater on the whole time and the house was something like 80 degrees 24/7.  I thought I was going to suffocate and die.  Our house stays at around 65 degrees or so typically.  I kept the window open, but as you know, I'm a country girl and in Whittier, there are apparently a good number of people who never, ever sleep.  Not a good situation. 

On Sunday, Eric's mother joined us for a trip to Knott's Berry Farm, which was even more fun and charming than I remembered.  On Monday, Eric's stepfather was flying in on standby and since we had no clue when he would arrive, we kept the boys busy at the condo development's swimming pool and waited for Sherman to get in, which he did in very early evening after having a cab break down and just about every other obstacle he could encounter come up.  We saw very, very little of him. 

On Tuesday, we went to Disneyland and it was an amazing day.  It was very cool and overcast (sweater-worthy) and there was NO ONE there.  We were able to walk onto almost every ride we wanted to go on.  The only one that got away from us was the new Nemo ride (they redid the submarine ride from 20,000 Leagues Below the Sea).  The lines for it were very long all day and they were not giving out Fast Passes.  We thought we'd ace it after the parade, but found it had broken down and would not be fixed before the park closed.  I still do prefer California Adventure, but only by a slight margin.  Both parks are excellent and a good time was had by all.  Delena's brother, Mykal (he is literally her "brother from another mother" as they both have the same father), was able to join us.  He is 19 and is just such a sweet guy.  It's always a joy to see him.  They think and act so much alike that they are almost as one mind when they get focused and focused on Disneyland, they were.  They ditched us for most of the day and had a great time.

Wednesday was Venice Beach day and again, it was cloudy and overcast and cool and no one was there.  I cuddled in a blanket my Daughter-Out-of-Law, Amber (that's her official title since she and David refuse to marry), gave me for Christmas, sitting on the beach in a camp chair soaking up the sights and sounds and negative ions.  The kids plowed right in with the boys even in swim trunks and the water freezing cold.  I don't know how they did it, but they had a divine time.  Here are a couple of photos for you:

They all went off to explore a rocky area that had a geyser in it:

I took that opportunity to crawl into the vehicle for a nap, listening to the ocean and drifting, trying to pare off some of the extreme tired that had built up on me.  As I was just about to fall asleep, I glanced across the street from the parking lot and remembered (??!!??), "There are SHOPS over there!!"  This means I had to scramble out of the car, leaving a quick note to the kids as to where I was and have a look see.  I bought a nice sarong and shawl for Jackie, whose birthday was on the 8th and who was watching the cats for us.  After poking around for a half hour or so, I went back to the car and drowsed for about 10 minutes until they returned.

On the way back, I saw interesting things, so I took photos:

Dancer hotline?

This would be "Le Sex Shoppe."

This is interesting only to me.  It's a little shop called "Funky Monkeys."  I once had a friend who owned a T-shirt shop in Alamogordo, New Mexico called "The Funky Monkey.

We left out for home the next day at 9am.  We got home at 11pm and that's a long, long, long drive.  As we were approaching Highway 14, we made the trip-lengthening decision to take the kids about 5 hours out of the way to go to Calico Ghost Town.  It was even better than I remembered, but it took forEVER to get across that desert.

When we finally dragged in home, the kids were so excited and I was as well.  It was so great to be back on my mountain top again.  Jackie found the dog the morning after we left and put her in our kennel and fed her every day, so she was safe.  Our closest neighbors, who are a good piece away, said they did not hear her bark at all.  Since all of the dogs have been accustomed to sleeping inside since they were born, I am pleased and surprised that they adapted so well to sleeping outside. 

I am still not caught up on my sleep and it shows.  My nerves are a little frayed and my body hurts from being tired.  I hope to fix that in the coming week.  Since it's now 10:30pm, it doesn't look like it will happen tonight.

Tomorrow, life resumes.  Eric has work to do at Beale AFB.  The kids begin their next to the last week of school.  I will update my websites and clean my bedroom, which has a LOT of clean laundry to go on hangers and still unpacking to do.  I also want to paint the inside of the last kitchen cupboard this week and breathe some life into the house in other ways as well.  It feels as though it was stale and spirit-less while it was gone and it hasn't gotten that back just yet.

One thing that has helped is that before I left, I bought myself a present.  For $25 on E-bay, I got a "chime box."  It looks like this:

It is around 9" by 7", I'd guess.  There are 3 chime bars inside and the top of the box has a sticky pad on it.  Inside, there are about 50 or so tiny steel balls.  You turn the box upside down and get as many of the steel balls onto the sticky pad as you can, then you turn it upright again.  Over the next several hours, the balls fall away by their own weight and hit the chimes.  It's all very random and very sweet.  When I hear one, I get that "an angel just got its wings" feeling.

My cell phone had been dying for over a year.  It was a little bitty silver thing and it had stopped ringing a long time back.  It would only vibrate, so I had to keep it in my bra when I was out or I would not feel/hear it ring.  If I get breast cancer, it will be on my left boob from keeping the cell phone there.  Anyway, I learned that I could upgrade to a really nice $200 PINK, PINK, PINK (did I mention PINK?) phone if I'd just promise ATT that I wouldn't change carriers for another 2 years.  So I did and added another line to our family plan for Delena and she got a free phone as well (black, definitely not pink), so now I can actually hear my phone ring.  I was excited to find that it had a ring tone that sounds like a phone ringing.  I'm not much on music for phone alerts.

Now, I am off to bed with the sincere home of revitalizing power sleep that lets me awake refreshed and ready to start the day tomorrow instead of wanting to cry because I have to get up (like every day for the past 2 weeks or so).  I've pretty much stopped imagining that I'm not going to cry.  I listened to Paul McCartney sing "Mull of Kintyre" and cried for about an hour today.  I picked up a pair of Nathan's new Spongebob underwear today and held them and cried about how it's likely the last pair of character underwear I'll ever buy.  I looked at the vacation photos and realized the giant, Jabba the Hut in Diva clothes in the photos was me and cried for a good while, then bought Slim Fast.  Everything makes me cry any more.

Lack of sleep will get you every time.

Be particular, folks,

Update:  Nope, not particularly revitalizing sleep.  Nothing wrong with the quality, just the quantity.  Some day, I'll be caught up and what a glorious day that will be!



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