December 11, 2007

Well holy shit.

What a life this is.

I have found over the years that it is really easy to sit here and have deep thoughts and pontificate about things like forgiveness and the Laws of Attraction and how great life is when you apply yourself to joy and attitudes of gratitude.  It's a whole other thing to stay with it when the chips are down and not give in to the whining and self-pitying that is so very, very tempting during the challenging times.  As seductive as it is to give in to the fear and dejection and frustration that surrounds the times when you are down on the Wheel of Life (or under it), it's so important to remember how devastating it is to the overall process of hastening toward our own greatest good.  Focus is everything and that's hard work.

That's what I have been doing during my most recent absence...and typing.  Lots and lots of typing. 

So to give you, my dear friends, an update (I realize even as I type those words that I have almost no idea where to begin), here goes:

The last week of October, Eric came to me with something that completely blew my mind.  He said he felt that he was being led to turn in his resignation to the Postal Service, cancel his contract and shift his total focus to his electrical business.  GTE (General Telemetry & Electric, the company he owns that installs fire alarm systems, data systems, security systems, nurse call systems, etc) has been a wonderful supplement to his mail contract all through the year, but has been a part time situation.  He felt he should give his 30 days' notice since October 31st is the close of the Harvest Year when we are supposed to release what no longer serves us.

In our dynamic, for all my big talk, I am the one who tends to worry.  I don't like to embrace the changes and leaps of faith whereas Eric is willing to just fly bravely off the cliff and try to soar.  I usually am the one who focuses on the craggy rocks below.  For that reason, I know he was reluctant to share with me what he was thinking about terminating his contract, but when he did say it, I felt an overwhelming sense of rightness to it and relief and immediately told him that I thought he should do it.  He did.

Every other time this contract has gone up for bidding, no one has bid on the job.  This time, 14 people did.  It ended up going to Eric's substitute mail carrier who already knew the route well and is very good at what she does.  That further told us that it was the right thing to do because she really, really wanted the job.

Almost immediately upon deciding to resign, Eric signed a really good contract with Beale Air Force Base (about 2 hours away from here) to do work in their newly renovated child care center.  That also seemed to be a very good endorsement of the direction we were taking because it would be very difficult for him to do the Beale job and also deliver the mail, even with a substitute carrier.

We still believe it was the right thing to do.

The Beale job now will not begin until later in December and Eric was last paid by the post office on December 1st.  We felt confident about the interim time of nearly no income because there were several avenues through which financial relief was imminent.


That seems so long ago.

So this has been my last week, taken from an attitude of gratitude:

I am grateful that I feel as secure as I do in my marriage.  A woman who is (still) married to a friend of Eric's who he met through a previous job evidently fell in love with him (Eric) at first sight. She phoned him and told him this in February and he told her he was completely not interested in the fact that she would "give anything for one night with him," that marriage is a "sacred bond" to him and that she should basically fuck off.  for the most part, I forgot about it until this woman resurfaced a couple of weeks ago, writing me a letter of apology.  As a result of the letter, I found her online Live Journal where she had, as recently as November 11th, written about her love for Eric saying, "his beauty so captivating his voice resonating in waves soothing my shattered nerves like liquid bliss..  his breathtaking deep eyes.. his demeanor, his mind,... well he is perfection, he is a walking God.."

After the exchanging of a few emails (I sat on her email for a week or so, not sure if I was going to even bother to address it or not), I let her know I forgave her, but that as a result of the fact that she had disrespected our marriage) she was not welcome in our house or in our lives.  She got really upset about that and ranted and raged and told me that she'd hoped that because I was so spiritually evolved, that I would be more understanding and forgiving.  She used words like "mean," "cruel," "terrible," "harsh" and "strange" to describe my treatment of her and lamented about how awful grudges are.   

All this time, I was marveling at how differently I felt about the situation than I would have a few years ago.  I felt detached from it for the most part and had to poke at Eric a bit about being a "walking god."  How often do we get a chance to use something like THAT to tease a hubby a bit?  He would ask me to do something and I would lament that I was "but a mere mortal."

Then we got into the whole "YOU'RE Thor!  I can barely WALK" old joke reference.

Basically, a situation that I honestly kept forgetting about forced me into confrontation and made me realize the importance of being very discerning about who you let into your life and your home and that it's important to be able to say, "No.  You can't be here" and mean it.

It also showed me how grateful I am to have a husband who is so dedicated and loyal.   I am grateful to be secure enough in my marriage, especially after having been previously married to a man who cheated on me in a very painful and deceptive way, that I could go through this experience with humor and patience rather than big drama and outrage.  The end result, if this is indeed the end, is that if anything further happens, we'll be moved to things like restraining orders.  Fortunately, they live a good distance from us and I do not foresee any further fall out from it.  Now I am going to go back to forgetting she and her fantasy world exist and just hang onto the lessons and positive feelings this created in me.

I am grateful that I can follow my hunches, even when they do not make sense.  As many of you know, back in October, this transcription job came to me and I could not for the life of me figure out why.  Between his two jobs, Eric's income kept us well afloat and what I would make doing this job would be so miniscule in comparison that it seemed like a waste of my time.  I went through the training and found the mentors and supervisors to be so kind and supportive and positive that just that in and of itself was very nice, so I saw it through, going through the motions and not knowing why.  The work itself is challenging because I have not been in the medical or the transcription field in over 13 years.  There is a feel and cadence of transcription that does not come naturally to humans. You have to warm to it and find your rhythm with it.  Mine was seriously rusty and I made a lot of really stupid mistakes in the beginning.  I still have a long way to go to be proficient, but I can feel that I get better at it every day.  Most doctors are either foreign and barely speak English or sound like they're on the end of a 10 day bender.

That all being the case, at the time I took this job, there was no reason to take it other than the fact that since it came to me in a really weird way, it felt as though The Universe had sent it, so I went for it.  It was humbling and challenging, but I am feeling good with it now and as it turns out, it's the bulk of our earned income for a while to come.  Also, the job is set up so that I am required to work a minimum of 16 hours per week, but I am allowed to literally work as many hours as my fingers can type... 40, 50, 60, whatever.  The more I type, the more I get paid.

Needless to say, I've been typing a lot.  :)  I'm grateful for the opportunity that would not have been there if I'd done what was logical instead of going with my gut instinct.

There are other things that have happened that gave me a sense of gratitude instead of panic and worry.

We found out that we cannot refinance our house out of the variable interest rate that is increasing our mortgage payment by $400 a month.  During the housing market bloom in which time, we purchased our house, a lot of people bought house up here.  Like us, a lot of them were facing a balloon payment with a variable interest rate.  Many of the people who had this mature a few months back have lost their houses to foreclosure, resulting in a number of bank sales of houses up here.  For instance, the house next door to ours, which was appraised at $450,000 last year is now on the market for $323,000.  That is very, very common up here as of late.  (Trust me, my house appraises at nowhere near $450,000)  Houses that are not in foreclosure are not selling because the houses that ARE in foreclosure are so cheap.  The result is that the value of everyone's houses has plummeted and despite our upgrades, our house now appraises at less than our mortgage principal.  That makes a refinance impossible, so we pretty much have to just pay the extra and shut up.  We would have been able to skip a month or two of mortgage payments at this very critical time if it had happened, but I am going to trust the process and believe that everything will work out just fine.  The potential good news is that our mortgage company has a hardship program that might help us out for a few months until he begins to get paid for the electrical contracts he's working.  I am grateful that this potential assistance is available.

I trust that the delay in refinancing is in our best interest (especially since the Fed keeps lowering the interest rate) and that ultimately, all will be well.

We found out that Eric's father, who thought he had funds to invest in Eric's business, returned home from his trip to find that he did not.  I am grateful that we won't owe money to family from this experience.

Poor Dylan spent most of the night vomiting and having diarrhea.  He woke up with a fever and a headache and has slept most of the day (likely from not sleeping last night).  Today was the first time in around 2 years (literally) that he has missed a day of school.  The poor kid was vomiting so hard I thought was going to see toenails in the mix.  We went through 4 changes of bed linens.  He has only had Sierra Mist and water today and a little bit of Lucky Charms with milk.  His fever and headache are gone and he is now just sleeping a lot.  I am grateful that my children are rarely ill and that when they ARE sick, I don't have to leave my home the next day when I am a walking zombie (as opposed to a walking god) from not sleeping.

There were wonderful things through the week.  There were moments when my eyes teared up from the joy of it all, of everything that blesses my life.  There were moments when I had to stop and reseat myself in the joy because I could feel that I was beginning to drift into fear and worry.  I found that all I had to do was stop, breathe, clear my mind for a few minutes (what can I possibly do in those few minute to fix anything anyway?) and just let go of any control or worry or fear that I am attaching to the situation and then consciously release it all to the Universe.  I tell myself that all I can do is affect positive change to the best of my ability and beyond that, I have to let it go.  I am grateful that the joys in my life are separate from and not compromised by the challenges in my life.

I remind myself of all of the times in the past that I have been worried and fearful and in a panic when in the end, everything worked out just fine.  All of the energy poured into trying to control the situation, trying force it into being what I wanted it to be and worrying about where it would go was all wasted energy that could have been used more productively. 

I have a pattern of experiences behind me that has demonstrated unerringly and without exception that even the challenging times are taking me to exactly where I need to be.  If I have it in my head that I need to take a bus to a certain destination and no matter how hard I try, I keep ending up at the train depot, should I freak out and cry and make a scene and throw a fit or endless analyze why I'm at the train depot or should I just take the damned train to where I'm going and be grateful for a second form of conveyance?  (And watch the bus I was insisting on taking explode in the distance?)  Sometimes, we just have to "let go and let God."  Sometimes, we have to rest and let our ego take a break from trying to control how we think the situation needs to be and let the world turn a few more times and allow the situation to evolve without our input.  We think that we are so powerful that we MUST be required to take an action or make a change to fix what's wrong.  Sometimes, there's literally nothing we can do because it's not our place to do anything.  It's not our move yet.  Sometimes, there's nothing we can do because despite how it looks on the outside, there's really nothing wrong and everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.  I am grateful to be able to look back and see the challenging times as necessary stepping stones to get me to places in my life where I very much needed to be, even if I could not see them at the time. 

Life is like a giant tapestry.  We're so close to it that we can only see the little bit that is around us and sometimes, it looks like a big giant mess.  But later, if we can step away from it and look at the whole picture, we can see how important that blurred, deceptively garbled section is to the flow of the gorgeous picture it has created.

With all of the experiences I have had that support the theory that all things work for the greatest good, why should I doubt?  Why should I think this is any different?  So I am being still and watching carefully and listening carefully and waiting for the nudge that will encourage me in a certain direction. 

I am waiting and trusting completely that all of the perfect components are coming together behind the scenes to create the best of all outcomes to this situation.  Just because I cannot see how the circumstances are resolving does not mean they aren't hard at working doing just that.  O The Ego Have We to think that if we can't see it, it's not there.  Just because we cannot see antibodies fighting off an illness in our bodies does not mean they aren't there and they can do it with or without our help. 

There were other tough times through the week that don't really bear going into.  Things needed to be said that were said and things needed to be heard that were heard.  All through the week, I could feel The Process active in all things.  It was like the energy that carries the flow of a river.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm almost tingling with the unfolding of The Process.

I am not afraid or worried.  Society would say that I should be, but I am not. 

How can I be afraid when there are fun things like this in the world?


That has got to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my whole life (rated R for language - no sex content unless you count my reaction to a plethora of Bruce Willisness).

Take care,

November 26, 2007

Hello all!

I hope you had an absolutely stellar Thanksgiving.  I think ours was the very best ever.  Had Joe and Sandra been there, it would have been perfect.

First, I used the new method I learned for cooking turkey.  Jammed that hummer in the oven around 10pm at 250 degrees and it was done by 8:30am with no effort on my part whatsoever.  It was falling off the bones yummy.  I did run into a minor calamity when I went to cover the turkey.  I pulled out the aluminum foil and it rolled out about a half inch and was done.  Yikes.  I ended up taking the foil from a few hamburgers I'd wrapped and covering just the breast with it and it was still fine. 

The spiral ham did not fare as well.  I, for one, do not prefer spiral ham.  My favorite is the shank ham that is not spiced and comes off in big ol' chunks.  Without foil, I was left to shove it into an oven bag and hope for the best.  It was edible, but that was about it.

We had Liz and Mike and Jackie and Kevin over, plus my two sons and their families.  It was a total of *counting* 15 people.  Nothing burned.  Liz and Jackie brought side dishes, so I didn't have to cook as much.  Still, I look forward to the days when I can sit on the couch and yell into the kitchen asking if it's done yet.  But then there's no leftovers, which is absolutely tragic.

I'm in a happy lull until Christmas comes.  We celebrate on the 23rd this year.  I have not started shopping beyond just picking up a few things here and there.  I don't expect to start for a bit (although I would welcome the opportunity to do so), so it's relaxing time.

Work is going well.  I'm still on a schedule of 4 days a week, 4 hours a day, but I try to add in as many extra hours as I can.  I'm getting much better at it and if they're still willing to have me, I'm still willing to type.  Mind you, I wouldn't cry if it wasn't in my life and all that time just fell back into my life, but as jobs go, I'm good with it.  I does tend to make my brain tired since it's more strain cerebrally than carpally for me.

Eric and I are still exploring the ideas behind the book and DVD called "The Secret."  As I said in my last entry, the concept is not new to us.  Nearly all spell work involves visualization, positive affirmation and invoking the Laws of Attraction, so it's very familiar to me, but given the way this information was sent to me this time, combined with a few other fortuitous coincidences, I believe that I am being called upon to walk the talk and live these premises as a spiritual path and way of life. 

We watched the DVD again last night and I was able to get even more from it.  Now that I have been more carefully monitoring my thoughts and words, I have come to realize how many time I have negatively affirmed situations and circumstances into my life.  I am absolutely determined to surround myself with positivity and attract wonderful things into my life.  

One premise of which I am absolutely 100% certain is that The Universe completely believes whatever we say is so.  If we say that we are lonely, The Universe believes us and we become more lonely.  If we talk about how poor we are, the Universe believes us and we attract more poverty to us.  Whatever we affirm, we become. 

I have had to catch myself frequently from expressing doubt in whether nor not I could be successful in something.  It's very challenging to reform every thought and statement.  Even something like "We are not going to have enough money to pay our bills this month" sends a vibration out that creates the effect that we have stated.  It can be reframed to say, "I am grateful that all of our bills are going to be resolved safely and satisfactorily this month."  That opens up the door not only for the bills to be satisfied by more money coming in, but also by bills just disappearing. I just had a $248 loan payment disappear this month because Eric refinanced the loan last month and the paperwork was miraculously not completed for billing on the new loan yet.  That not only allowed that debt to be satisfied for the month, but freed up that money to take care of 3 other bills.

The more you can avoid limiting the avenues for The Universe to help you, the faster and more completely you can be helped.

I am, as I said, really stunned at how many times I say a negative affirmation and don't even think twice about it.  It's quite an act of discipline! 

Speaking of discipline, I have finally decided that I need to get back onto the diet train again.  For a couple of months now, I've been eating whatever I want whenever I want.  It's very nice not to have to think about dieting or count calories or protein grams or carbohydrate grams.  It has affected my health and I like the way I feel when I am eating better, so I am, for the time being, working first to change the way I eat and then working to tailor down the calories.  I know myself well enough to know that I have to do something fairly dramatic to transition myself.  In this case, I am cutting out all sugar products and cutting way, way down on any flour products.  Today, my focus has been solely on lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and tiny bits of carbs here and there.  I cannot graze any more, as is my usual way of eating.  If I feel as though I am hungry, I have to take the time to make myself a small meal, sit down and eat it, savoring every bit.  I had steak and eggs for breakfast, on the mistaken idea that if I had a big breakfast, it would hold me for a while. I felt hungry again a few hours later and had a scrambled egg with a little tiny bit of sausage wrapped in a low carb tortilla.  Then I had a lean turkey sandwich on low calorie wheat bread.  Then a few hours after that, I had a can of white tuna in water with a few crackers.  No way can I just start grabbing things and nibbling.  For dinner, Eric is grilling steaks and I am making some oven baked potatoes, along with some salad.

Once I've definitively broken myself of my grazing and gotten used to eating real meals through the day, I will begin cutting back on calories a little at a time a time until I am under my daily calorie level to lose weight.

I have not gained any weight, which is a blessing, but a lot of muscle has been replaced with fat since I stopped working out, so I know that getting back into a work out routine will take care of that rather quickly.  I'm surprised how quickly a body will respond once you really start working on it.

With that, I'm going to sign off and go start the evening.  Take care. 

Be really particular,

The cathartic ramblings of an occasionally confused but usually joyful 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