November 20, 2007

My mother-in-law, God bless her heart, sent Eric and me an Olive Garden gift card for our 10th wedding anniversary last week.  That means nothing less than the fact that as I write this, I am happily chawing on leftover chicken Alfredo and breadsticks, which means that life is good, God is in Heaven and all is right with the world. 

If she also sends us that for Christmas, I shan't be at all disappointed.

My very favorite brunch (I eat between 10-11am and then usually don't eat again until dinner) is leftovers from the night before.  Even if I made dinner, which I usually do, it has been more than 12 hours since I made that dinner, so it's sort of like someone else cooked for me, which makes me feel very loved, spoiled and cared for since no one ever, ever does that.  Ever.  I trace this all back to my mother not breastfeeding me (using that tired old 1960's "My milk dried up!" excuse), thereby sentencing me to that crappy homemade formula that used Carnation instant milk and Karo, THEREBY sentencing me to a life of weight problems).  Since I didn't get my Mommybonding, I have nurture issues.

So I went out and for the first time in my adult life, found someone exactly like my real Mommy and gloamed onto her and forced her to adopt me.  Remember all that talk through all those years about how lost I feel without my Mom or "a" Mom?  Got one.

This is Liz.  Liz is the Queen Mum of the Grizzly Flats Queens.  I wub her.  She also watches all 3 ABC soap operas.  Bonus!

Next project:

A friend of mine, Naomi, sent me a DVD copy of "The Secret."  I had the book and then passed it on to Andrea, my exercise buddy, for her birthday because she had expressed an interest.  I never even cracked a page of it.  It was here and then gone.  After I got the DVD, it sat on my desk for a while and then one night a week or so ago, Eric and I got the urge to watch it. 

The movie itself is pretty hokey.  It's set up as a sort of documentary cum infomercial for the techniques with several expert speakers attesting to the effectiveness through the ages of "The Secret."  To make it as tantalizing as possible, it's not just "A" Secret but "The" Secret. 

Beyond breaking off The Secret to us, the other marketing ploy that is used is to quote a number of Really Smart Dead Guys like Buddha, Sir Isaac Newton, Henry Ford, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alexander Graham Bell, Aristotle, etc as being the Knights Templar of "The Secret."  The skeptic in me does not see the lengthy list of people who "knew The Secret" as a big Secret club, but more of people who figured out the premise of the book without ever needing the book.

The living advocates of the book are all affable enough. They range from physicists like Fred Alan Wolf to "Doctors of Metaphysics" (a degree available for purchase from the Universal Life Church).  The full range of expertise is present and ready to comment.

Again, the whole package comes off as really cheesy, but I have to tell you, the practice is something that I have known works for decades:  The Laws of Attraction.  In short, what you put out into the world is what comes to you. 

It was nice to be reminded of it again.  I have worked from that perception since the 1980's, but had not put it to the full use that is described in the DVD.  I sure do now!  As soon as Eric and I started to work together on the ideas presented, life really turned around in a positive way, which has been really lovely.  He has been chipper and positive and excited and that is really nice to be around.  It doesn't mean that frustrating things don't happen to you.  It just means that you don't let them knock you off of your positive perspective and your goals in life.  It was the booster shot that our spiritual life needed and I am really excited to share it with him.

Speaking of frustrating things, my dogs had to be let out to pee at the awful hour of 2:30 Monday morning.  It was bad enough that their little lentil sized bladders were fit to burst and they were yipping like coyotes at a time of night when I have zero interest in getting up.  It was bad enough that NO ONE in my house can hear dogs barking their lungs out except me.  But then, they flew outside like their fur was on fire and their ass was a'catching and jammed their heads under the shed to bark their butts off at what they probably thought was a raccoon.  We have one that sneaks through the fence and tries to get at the garbage cans in which we keep the dog and cat food.  It wasn't a raccoon and all 3 dogs at once ended up getting their whole heads utterly skunked.

There was mad shrieking and yapping and barking.  Their eyes got all teary and a little swollen and the kept shaking their heads and snotting around.  I was still half-asleep and blindly exhausted and just wanted to go to bed, so I figured I'd deal with it the  next morning.  I mean, I was getting up just 3 hours later and surely it could wait until then.  I shoved the dogs back into the laundry room and went back to bed.  If I left them outside, I'd have to dig up the bark collars from where ever they'd been last left and I was just too tired to do that. 

That was a big mistake.

The smell instantly permeated the whole house.  In case you don't know, the smell of fresh skunk does not smell like skunk.  It smells more like the stuff they put into natural gas so you can tell you have a leak (in case you didn't know THAT, natural gas is odorless and they put the stink into it so you don't die if it starts to seep out).  Since we have an all electric house, it was clearly the skunk.  It was terrible and as I tried to sleep, I kept wanting to get up and shove out the dogs because it was so bad, but I was trapped in that half-asleep place.  Got up at 5:30 and shoved them out.  The house was bad all day.  I washed their bedding and that didn't help much.  Today is a good bit better.  I had a headache from it yesterday and I don't today, so it must be better.

For those of you who are interested, Sherry Mercurio swears this works:

Sadly, I have no peroxide, so my dogs remained skunked for the time being until I can get to town.  Delena insisted that yesterday, he lunch smelled like skunk when she opened it.

Work has been going well.  I'm building my speed and learning more words all of the time.  A lot of the art of transcription is getting into the cadence of a certain doctor's dictation.  The problem I have is that I type for about 20 different hospitals, so I don't really get a chance to lock onto a few doctors and perfect my work with them.  There are some that I know pretty well and that helps.  Also, each hospital has a different way they want things done.  Some want the allergies typed all in capital letters, some want the physical exam in double spaced bullet statements, some want single spaced bullet statements, some want paragraph form.  Some want the date spelled out, others want only numbers.  Basically, for each report, you have to check the hospital profile and find out what they want done. 

I'm up to an average of about 90 lines per hour, which is not where they want me to be.  I'm supposed to do a minimum of 2000 lines per week over 16 hours (more lines and more hours if possible) with a consistent rate of no less than 100 lines per hour.  I am working aggressively toward that goal with the degree of proficiency needed.  It's kind of addictive, really, and I miss it when I'm not doing it.  Today, tomorrow and Saturdays are my days off.  My schedule assures me that I will hit almost every holiday and yes, we work holidays.

I took the job with no idea why I was doing it.  We were fine financially and didn't need the money.  It would be nice, but not vital.  It came my way through a bizarre series of circumstances and so I thought it prudent to pursue it.  Now, I'm glad I did because Eric's last day for the mail route is the 30th.  He also had a project he was set to do for his electrical business pushed out past what he though it would be, so now, the money I make has become completely vital.  Just shows that you have to follow those hunches!!

Plus, if I have to do a job, I like this one.

It does, however, take up a lot of my posting time since I work on Sunday and Monday now. 

This past weekend was the free community Thanksgiving dinner PLUS Bingo, so I was pretty busy. 

Jackie, my super bestest friend...

(That's Jackie on her quad at the July 4th parade)

...schooled me in the art of how to cook a turkey for the event.  Mind you, I *thought* with this being my 30th straight year in a row of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, plus a jillion turkeys in between, that I knew how to cook a turkey, but she informed me that I did NOT and she was exactly right.  I used to pop in a turkey timer, coat the turkey in butter, jam the turkey into the oven and let it cook for 4 hours or so, basting now and then.

Au contraire!

What you do is you put that bugger into a (deep, lots of juice this way) roasting pan, turn your oven on to about 200-250 degrees and slap that sucker into the oven around 10pm and go to bed.  When you get up around 8am or so, that bird is falling apart tender and ready for munching!  Add 2 hours if you stuff it, which I don't.  As Jackie said, "You will NEVER cook a turkey another way again!"

So that means my oven is going to be free for the ham and homemade bread as soon as I get up!

We only had about 60 people show up (about 15 or so of 'em were us and our hubbies and kids), but they all brought side dishes and it was just a big ol' ton of fun.  It was like having a giant family dinner together.

Now, I don't have any GFORCE activities until December 21 (next Bingo) and December 22 (Christmas parade and party).  After that, I'm done except for Bingo, which is once a month through April, then nothing until the July 4th parade.

I love the quiet!

Delena's birthday is today.  My bitty bitty baby girl turns 15 today.  She's having a party in town at the pizza place for about 8-9 of her friends.  Y'all are invited if you want to come.

They'll eat pizza and cake (she already made the cake - talk about making it easy for me!) and play video games and be silly girls for a while.  Her guy friends, Tim and Ed, are both out of town, but *gasp* a boy she met from is coming.  He goes to the charter school in town and if it's really a stalker old man, I'll be there to kick his ass anyway.

I hawk her MySpace account intensely and make sure she's being safe online, which she is. 

She's a really good girl and I am so lucky to have her.

Beyond that and Thanksgiving, I am looking ahead to a very quiet and not as busy as before time.  Sure, work throws a huge kink in my day, but it's a good kink and overall, I could not really be happier.

For Thanksgiving, Liz and Mike (a perfectly perfect adopted Daddy if ever I could have one, I mean he SINGS BLUEGRASS AND GOSPEL like an ANGEL and plays LOTS of musical instruments and is just the cuddliest, funnest, nicest man ever) and Jackie and Kevin (who, if Jackie is my fantastic, eccentric and wise older sister, Kevin is the PERFECT goofy, fun, lovable brother-in-law.

David and Amber (my son and his girlfriend) are coming and I think Josh might be coming up as well.

One of the things I have always missed most in my life is having an extended family.  My birth family is all either dead or missing in action, so having surrogates like this who fit in so nicely is such a joy.  The real benefit is that Eric likes them too, so that is just icing on the cake.

I am also pleased that my littles have the chance to learn to interact with people who are older than their parents.

I have had such a bountiful harvest of things I didn't even ask for this year.      All I asked for was the healthy weight loss and with that in the ditch, I figured harvest would give me a miss this year.  Instead, I got the best one ever.  I can't believe how incredibly different my life is from this time last year.  It just keeps getting better and better.

Life is good and blessed.

I hope yours is too.

Be really particular,

The cathartic 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