November 8, 2007

I have taken some of the after pictures.  I snapped them as soon as the kitchen was almost done.  I still have to paint the inside of one cupboard and touch up a couple of things.  After that, I want to paint a couple of things in the family room, then I'm done.  Eric is going to brick behind the wood stove and paint the laundry room.  Everything was done on a shoestring budget.  The dishwasher did not fit under the counters, so the idea was scrapped and I'm back to dishpan hands.  The drywall did not come down to expose the wood ceilings.  Unfortunately for this round of redecorating, it was going to be too destructive to the wood to get it down. 

Here are the photos.  I hope you can follow the before and after shots.  No, I'm not doing your house next.  That's your job. I'm tired.

Be particular,


November 6, 2007

Several of you have written asking about photos of the finished result of Operation House Remodel, as well you should since those were promised to you.

They absolutely will be taken and posted as soon as there is an "after" to report.  At the moment, things have been at a standstill, largely due to starting the new job, which I suspected might happen.   I've worked almost every day since I was given clearance to begin, just to get my speed and accuracy up, as well as getting into the flow of transcribing.  It is definitely an art form to put your head around the words these doctors are slurring and butchering.  Suffice it to say that they don't speak nearly as well as they write.  I've had to do a good bit of research, which has helped me to learn a lot in a short amount of time.

My supervisor sent me an email yesterday that said, "Call me when you get a minute."  I called and got voice mail, so left a message.  Not sure what she wanted.  Part of me still hopes to hear that they don't need my services any more so that I can pack up the computer, send it back and return to my life of leisure.  More likely, she wants to answer the couple of questions I sent her way a day or so ago.  It's so weird not to be emotionally invested in a job, knowing that if it ends, my family will be destitute.  It just is what it is.  I'm good either way.

I decided to take today off from transcribing.  I kind of miss it in a way.  Instead, I lolled about and actually wrote a soap column and got other columns posted and then put up the rest of the border in the kitchen and pasted up my little bear and pine tree appliqués.  Tomorrow, I want to get the cupboards painted.  That will take me more than halfway through what is left to do.

Eric is currently painting the balcony, which should really look lovely when he's finished.  After that, he'll paint the deck and then he will be almost finished with his part of the project.  He has his VA certification, so we'll get an appraisal and then go loan shopping.

Eric is getting really good news on the bids he has submitted for different projects.  He is pleased to have dumped the mail contract and miracle of miracles!  They have found a couple of people who want to bid the mail route!   That means he is likely completely done on December 1, which is lovely. 

Transitioning from an assured paycheck to relying solely on Eric's (relatively new) business to support us is scary, even breath-taking, but it feels right and he isn't really going to have a fully successful business until he can devote his entire focus to it.  I'm just really excited that he is so dedicated to this one goal because usually, his attention is going in about 8 different directions at once, trying to decide which avenue is better.  Having him apply all that energy onto one goal is going to be pretty impressive to watch.

I am so excited that life seems to be slowing down.  We were running and on the go all summer and we had a really great time and accomplished a lot, but I am a person who really values home time, silence and relaxation and there has been almost none of that.  Morning starts at 5:30am, Delena gets on the bus at 6:15am and then I either sleep until 8am or do site work or clean house, depending on how tired I am.  The boys have to be up by 8am and then get on the bus at 8:45.  I usually start transcription by 9:15 - 9:30, so I grab breakfast in the interim.  I type until 2-2:30, then get up, stretch, clean house a bit and the kids are home at 4pm.  Get them through homework, make a nice dinner, clean up afterward and pretty soon, it's 10pm, time to sleep and get up and do it again the next day. 

The really nice thing about Eric not doing the mail is that he won't be obligated into 6 days of work a week. 

The GFORCE events are slowing down.  We have bingo once a month until May, a community Thanksgiving dinner on the 17th and the Christmas parade and community party on December 22.  Other than that, we're finished until July.  Intellectually, I can see that life is slowing down, but I am still ramped up on the adrenalin it took to get everything done that we needed and wanted to do.  I know I will feel a lot better once the house is finished, so my goal is to get that done by November 13, which is when the kids go back to school after Veteran's Day.  It's also Eric's birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary.  That will be a nice goal point. Also, Eric is gone on the 11th and 12th to Reno, so that will be a nice hunk of time to finish up anything I didn't get done.  My goal is to have it done before then, so I can settle and relax during that time, especially since I have to work both days.

As promised, here are Delena's homecoming photos:


It was quite a day on Saturday.  Eric had a Fire Safe Council meeting at 10am and wasn't able to start sorting the mail on 12:30pm.  He called me at around 1:30pm and told me that he would need me to sort and deliver the Grizzly Flats mail, but since the post office was already closed for the day and Eric had the keys, I'd have to wait until he made it up here.

Delena was being picked up for Homecoming Dance at 4pm.  At 2:30, I told Delena to do a test run on her dress and such so we could fix any problems.  I came in about a half hour later and she was about to cry.  She couldn't wear the dress we bought.  We didn't just buy the dress. We bought the dress and shoes to go with it and stockings and jewelry and a special bra and the material and such for me to make a wrap for her to wear.  I spent two nights making that pain in the ass thing until I was blind from it.  The material was this slimy, silver stuff that was impossible to pin and sew and handle.  Got that done on Friday.  Agh.

Now she couldn't use any of it.  I didn't go into the dressing room with her because it was crowded and she came out saying the dress fit and she loved it.  She tried it on with her bra on and now that the dress rehearsal was on, she realized it was way too low cut for her comfort.  Evidently, she didn't see how low cut it was with the bra on.  I was completely stunned.  The only dress she owned that would be at all appropriate was packed away.  It wasn't just packed away, it was packed away in the new shed that was completely stuffed to the gills.  Not only was it in the shed, but it was in the very back shed, on the left, under about 10 (literally) layers of boxes and bins.  Heavy ones. 

By now, it was less than an hour before she was to get picked up, PLUS I was going to have to leave to do the Grizzly Flats mail as soon as Eric got here at the halfway point of his route.  All of that had to happen in just under an hour.  I started plowing through the shed, going through all of the bins to find the one with the dress.  I found it after about 20 minutes or so.  I threw the shed back together just as Eric walked in.  I tossed Delena the dress, told her to get ready all but her hair, which I would fix for her and I was off to the post office.  I sorted, packed and delivered the mail in less than 30 minutes and was home by 3:45.  Delena was dressed and had the curling iron hot, so I started curling.  The lady who was giving her a ride called to say she'd be about 15 minutes late (yayyy!).  Delena was ready and waiting when she pulled up and all was well.  *Whew*

I told Eric what happened and was a little frustrated that around $120 worth of stuff (we are very thrifty shoppers) was going to go unused.  He said it was worth that much to him to have a 15-year-old daughter who is worried about her tits showing in public.  I was really grateful for that perspective and that silver lining.

I'm glad I didn't have to sew that silver lining.

Man, do I hate to sew.

Delena had a wonderful time at the dance, so it all turned out well despite a very hectic beginning.

Almost immediately, it was time to get the boys ready for the Grizzly Flats Halloween party.  Eric left as soon as he got back from delivering the Somerset mail to help work on the haunted house.  I got kids ready and got me ready (I wore my Pink Lady jacket, a black sweater and jeans rolled up with bobby socks and loafers) and we were off.  When the event was over and we were home by 9pm, it was time to collapse.  Eric picked up Delena and they were back a little after midnight. 

Sunday was quiet and calm. I took Dylan to town and we had a very nice time.  Eric could really feel the year slowing down after the Halloween party and I wasn't quite there yet.   As I said, I can intellectualize it, but it's going to take the rest of me a little while to catch up.

With any luck, completely the home project will put my mind there and then I can settle down for a long Winter's nap.

Mercury has already gone direct and on the 18th, will be back to the position in Scorpio where it was when it went direct (so all you mixed up little scorpions will be feeling normal again).  This one didn't kill me like they usually do, but there have definitely been moments.

For now, I'm off to loll about a bit before making dinner (pinto beans and ham with cornbread on the side) and easing into the evening.

Be particular,

The cathartic, middle-aged ramblings of an occasionally confused woman

Name: Katrina Rasbold
Location: Grizzly Flats, California

I am a happily married broad of a particular age who lives in a rural mountain community on the edge of the El Dorado National Forest.  Grizzly Flats was once a thriving mining town (think "Deadwood"), but is now a quiet, remote town with a few hundred year-round residents and several city folks with a country home up here where they come to rough it a few times a year.  No more saloons or hotels or livery stables, just an unmanned fire station, a 2 room schoolhouse, a ranger station and a post office. 

It's heaven.

I am a writer and webmaster.  I am also a medical transcriptionist and a student of life and the world around us. 

I deeply honor all religions and whatever (harming none) path others use to reach God and their most sacred selves.  I completely reject the premise that there is one path/ one religion that "fits all" and is the "right" one.  Just as people speak in different languages to one another, I believe God also speaks to us in different languages.  God knows us well enough to understand that our spirits vibrate on different levels and must be accessed in different ways with different words and practices. 

Mike Rowe ("Dirty Jobs"):  "Are you a religious man?"

Septic Tank Cleaner:  "No, but I am a spiritual man."

Dirty Jobs
General Hospital
All My Children
One Life to Live

Big Love
Rescue Me
The Deadwood Movies to tie up the canceled series