::Katrina Rasbold: Queen of It All::
June 10, 2008
After a lot of meditating, praying and
tapping, I was able to
jettison or resolve most of my feelings of frustration, fear, anger and
resentment that were around in my last entry, even though some other
sources of those emotions reared their funky little heads. It took
a few days, but I am in a much better place now.
My dear friend, Kathy, wrote
wonderful journal entry about the benefits of objectifying our
feelings so that we can learn more about and from them and resolve the
ones that are not creating positive energy within us. I have
always admired her amazing ability to find the holy and sacred in the
situations that frustrate us the most. That is ultimately my goal
in those circumstances; it just takes me a while to get there sometimes.
Another past friend of mine, who was also named Cathey,
interestingly enough, used to use the "IOB" method of problem solving:
"Identify, Objectify and Banish." You first identify the root
feeling you are having in any situation that is causing distress (Are
you frightened? If so, of what? Are you feeling threatened?
If so, in what way? Are you feeling personally diminished or
disrespected? etc). Once you have traced the line back to
the base feeling that is causing your distress, you then objectify it,
removing yourself from the emotion of the situation and carefully
observing it from all sides. When the emotion is set aside, we can
often see things much more clearly. Believe me, this is a process
that is highly beneficial, but takes years to get down pat. Once
you have objectified and studied the circumstances as well as the
emotion, you banish the negative feelings and work with the positive
that is left.
Here's an example of how I have used these techniques
As I have mentioned, Eric has had a chronic problem
with not being paid by his general contractor. The main problem is
one contractor who never pays when he says he is going to do so.
Often, it is because he, himself has not been paid and the whole trickle
down effect of money isn't trickling to him, so it's not trickling to
Eric and his other subcontractors. While that is understandable,
it's not good business and he's not particularly honest about it.
A result is that his credit is not good, which means that Eric cannot
factor those invoices (get paid by another entity who, for a small fee,
then waits until the contractor pays them instead of the contractor
paying Eric). The contractor is "unfactorable." You do not
know if a contractor is "factorable" when you begin work with them.
That doesn't come up until you are trying to get money from them.
Eric was unable to bid other jobs because he had to be
on standby to go in and finish up the jobs that he was contractually
obligated into by the guy who isn't paying. He had to be ready to
move as soon as the electricians had done their job enough that Eric
could go in and do his. If he was doing other work, there would be
a chance that he would be unavailable when he had to move (and move
quickly). Since Eric is inevitably the last person to work on a
particular job, the whole job gets held up until Eric is finished and
since general contractors tend to underbid their time, they are usually
already over their time allowance by the time Eric gets the call to get
busy, so the pressure on him is pretty high to close out the job.
So anyway, all of his eggs were in this basket since
his company is not big enough to have employees. He does all of
the work himself.
Now, the general contractor has put a "stop order" on
the whole job, which means that no one does anything, including work or
getting paid, until the pay issue with the owner is resolved. So
everything is on hold and once it eventually does start moving, it will
move very, very fast. This could be tomorrow or this could be in a
year if it goes into lawsuits, which is very possible.
Meanwhile, we have barely enough money to live on for
the rest of the month and then that's that. Eric is aggressively
exploring every option to fix the situation. He has made 2 calls
to go back to work, which is really stressful for him since he is a
business owner himself and obligated into this work once the ball starts
rolling again. It also means he will be paying several hundred
dollars a week on gasoline (and has to front that before a paycheck even
hits) since we live so far away from where his work would be. He
has been mining like crazy and working on other ideas to come up with
money as well. I cannot fault him in his pursuit. He has
been anything but lax about finding avenues to explore to come up with
money to get us through.
Last night, he finally cracked open the books to his
business and showed me where we are financially and it was staggering.
The thought that after 3 more weeks, there is no money on which to live
is pretty mind blowing. Because of his intense efforts, there are
several places where money could come in, but there are no
assurances at all.
All that being the case, it became clear in a matter
of seconds that I could not justify spending hundreds of dollars on a
special trip for me and Delena to the GH Fan Club Weekend in July when
our situation is this dire. Whereas the last time I wrote, my
concern was about being stressed over money when I went, now it has come
to whether or not I was going to go at all.
I was instantly consumed with feelings of deprivation
and loss and being forced by the world to sacrifice something I really
did not want to give up. It was ugly, that's for sure. Eric
never asked me not to go, but I did tell him that I understood it might
not be able to happen and that I would work on finding peace with that.
He asked me to wait a week and see how things were then before deciding
anything. There was no reason why I couldn't do that. The
only time related issue on it was airline tickets and if it came to it,
I could rent an economy car and drive down if the money showed up even a
day before the events. I knew if I gave into the emotions I was
feeling, Eric would be extremely sad for me and take on the feelings of
responsibility for the situation himself, which isn't fair at all since
he has literally done everything within his power to make things
So there I was left with all of this fear and anger
and resentment and nothing to do with it.
I started meditating and praying and tap, tap, tapping
away, working to find the seeds of the feelings and to objectify the
situation so that I could banish the negativity I was feeling.
Negativity in my emotions makes me physically ill and I can't afford to
let it sit around and eat at me. I know some people who thrive on
it, but I'm not one of them.
I thought of how to our knowledge, we have both done
all we can do to rectify the situation and here it sits. I thought
about how hard Eric has worked to take care of us and provide for us.
I thought about the other 6, count'em, SIX GH Fan Club Weekends I have
attended and how much fun I had at them. Those are memories that
will never go away, whether I am able to go this time or not. How
greedy is it of me to just presume that no matter what, I'll be able to
go every year? Sometimes, it just might not be in the cards to
happen. If it doesn't happen, I'll be OK and I'll probably go next
year. I'll survive without many bruises on my spirit.
I thought about the sacrifice Eric is already making
when he looks into the idea of going back to work for someone else after
being a successful business owner for 2 years and how hard that is for
him. I thought about how we are all in place, moving around the
chessboard in different directions for a purpose. Maybe if he does
have to go back to work for someone else for a while, he'll make some
vital connection with a person who would line him up for even more work
for his own business. Maybe he'd meet someone who would serve
another purpose in his life to put him on a track he needs to run for
Maybe there were reasons I could not see for why I was
not supposed to go on my trip. There are just too many variables
for us to always understand, until we are looking in retrospect, why we
are led to be in a certain place at a certain time or
forced encouraged by the Universe to
make choices we really do not want to make.
All any of us can really do is move forward as we are
guided to go, following our instincts and what life is showing us should
be done rather than trying to dictate all aspects of our life all the
time. If I had my own wishes granted every time, I would still be
in a dysfunctional marriage to a man who really didn't like me very much
and with whom I had little or no common ground. I would still be
living in a suburb of Sacramento listening to traffic outside my window
and police helicopters over my house at all hours.
The last thing I wanted in my life was to move into
the remote mountains and not have access to anything close to what could
be called a "town." In that case, I had no clue what was best for
me or what would lift my spirit to its highest place. The Universe
had to take over and guide me, kicking and screaming, toward my own
All I have to do to find peace is to look to my own
past where I have been clearly shown that everything I didn't want to do
and did anyway because it was right was what I needed most. Why we
are always so hesitant to trust and have faith in that idea, I don't
know, especially when most of us have plenty of evidence to support the
idea that if we listen to our spirits, we'll know what to do, even if it
isn't what we want at the time.
Interestingly enough, I have also found that
sometimes, all The Universe wants to see is our willingness to
make a sacrifice and at the last second, does not demand the sacrifice
itself. It's sort of like the story of Abraham and Isaac in the
Bible. God demanded that Abraham make a human sacrifice of his
very beloved son, Isaac. Abraham was devastated that God would ask
such a thing of him, especially since he and Sarah only had one son who
had been conceived, miraculously, after Sarah had gone through menopause
(which back then was around 25 or so). (The Baha'i faith states
that it was actually Abraham's other son - by his wife's handmaiden,
Hagar - named Ishmael who was almost sacrificed). God persisted,
so Abraham went through with it and as the knife was coming down to end
his son's life on God's command, an angel of the Lord appeared and
stopped the knife. God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead
and all was peace and love again. (Except for the ram, who had a
particularly bad day).
I do believe that sometimes, God just wants to see if
we are willing to do it.
I am finished feeling sorry for myself over this and I
am open and ready to see what miracles lie in store. A lot can
happen in a week and even more in a month, so after the world turns a
time or two (and Mercury goes direct on the 19th), life could be
completely different than it is now.
In the meantime, I have choices of whether to spend my
days in joyful gratitude for the fantastic experiences I have been
granted in my life and the many more to come or wallow in self pity that
one of them might not happen.
I choose to be happy and wait and see what The
Universe brings. If the end result is that I am to not take this
trip, then it is what it is and I will trust that it is for my greatest
At one of the lowest times in my life, I determined
that for me, GOD meant Grace, Objectivity and Dignity and it is
important to me to maintain those qualities in my life more than I have
been so far. I am grateful for the lessons that tell me that
I need to work on nurturing those aspects of my life and I intend to
honor those lessons with action and not just words.
I've said it before and I still believe it:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
June 6, 2008
I started to begin this entry with "Is Wayne Brady
Going to Have to Choke a Bitch?" just because my overall feeling
is of frustration and dissatisfaction.
But then I thought that would be too negative, so I
didn't. I really do try to approach the world with a positive
outlook and expect the best, but that falls fairly sour on the tongue
when I feel like we just keep getting knocked down.
Same old, same old. I think it's true that
insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different
result. I have come to the assessment that unless you are already
independently wealthy or have a huge line of credit from which you can
draw, construction is an impossible profession. Here Eric is with
work he did months ago and still not getting paid. The mortgage is
in for June, which is a relief and there is a little in the bank to go
on if I don't pay any bills, but here we are, sitting and waiting.
"The check's in the mail," "Oh wait, no it's not, my bad," "We
will definitely be paying you next week." "No, seriously, next
week we'll be paying you." "Absolutely next week, no doubt."
Meanwhile, the weeks just add up and add up. It's hard to believe
he just stopped delivering the mail (and receiving a monthly paycheck)
in December. It feels as though we have been doing this forever.
I do try really hard not to appear discouraged about
the money and the lack of any kind of security. It doesn't help
one thing and only serves to make Eric feel worse about something he
already feels bad about. He did the work in good faith and it's
not as though he let us down. His part was completed with
flying colors and now we sit and wait for the general contractors to get
around to paying their bills (us) so we can pay ours. In fact, an
electrician who is working on the same job as Eric called and asked him
yesterday morning if he'd gotten paid yet. So it's not just us and
it's not just this one general contractor. It's all across the
business field. He factored his last job after waiting for months
to get paid, which means that he sent his invoice to a factoring company
and they paid him in advance and then they are the ones who wait for the
general contractor to pay. Of course, there is a fee. It's
little more than a glorified payday loan with "payday" going directly to
What is really a downer is that the current general
contractor is not "factorable" because his credit is so poor. Of
course, you don't find out things like that until you try and factor a
job and you can't factor a job until you invoice the general contractor
and you can't invoice the general contractor until you've already signed
a contract and completed the job. So it's a whole cart and horse
So yeah, here we sit with thousands of dollars owed to
us and a good invoice and wait and wait and wait.
Eric and his partner have been mining their gold
claims aggressively since dredging season opened the end of May, which
mostly means putting on a wet suit and going underwater to dredge out
literally tons of river bedrock to check for gold veins. They have
definitely found "color," but not hit a big strike yet.
Meanwhile, my annual trip to the GH Fan Club Weekend
is coming up in a little over a month and I do so wish there could be
one year where I could do it and not feel as though I am financially
raping the family and robbing from Peter to pay Maurice and basically
yanking money out of my babies mouths to get to do it. Mind you,
that rarely keeps me from doing it. One year, I stayed home at the
last minute because we literally had no money, but every other year
since I started EOS, I've gone and no, we never suffer any long term
effects from it, but it's invariably stressful and the pangs of guilt
start closing in on me. I am trying not to think about it and to
believe that it will take care of itself. Not that history has
given me any indication that such is the case.
I also have evidently grossly overestimated the sock
monkey market and it's particularly disappointing because those little
bastards are a pain in the ass to make and that's all I'm going to say
Especially now, I am trying not to make any kind of
assessment on anything because we are AGAIN in a stupid Mercury
retrograde and won't be direct again until June 19th and won't be back
on track again until some ridiculous time in July when Mercury gets back
to where it was when it started going backward, that little piece of
shit. I hate that it's so damned predictable. I'd believe it
was a bunch of crap about the retrogrades except for the fact that I
never, ever look ahead to when the retrogrades are going to fall.
I just let the damned things happen and then one day, I'll be scratching
paint off the wall with my fingernails and writing things like "Is Wayne
Brady Going to Have to Choke a Bitch" in my journal and then I'll think,
"Hmmm. I wonder if Mercury is in retrograde..." and
I'll check a page
on the net and sure enough, there it is. Since Virgo and
Gemini (I'm a Virgo) are both ruled by the planet Mercury, we really
tend to get jerked around by the retrogrades. Three time a year...
three and a half weeks at a time. Gah.
Because forward motion is pretty much impossible
during this time, I have always found that the best thing to do is to
either go to bed and sleep it off (not really possible at this point in
my life, sadly, although I do look forward to it in the future) or
getting super busy and productive in a physical way, like doing a
complete house cleaning or remaking the yard or cleaning the shed or
some other horrible project. Mind you, I can't do that for 3 1/2
weeks straight, but I can at least invest a day or two at a time into
burning off the energy of frustration and feel as if things are changing
even if they aren't.
It took me a lot of years to realize that I really
don't thrive in chaos and clutter, so any time I am feeling particularly
fragmented, I've found that it helps to get my environment in order,
especially if it's in order and different in some way. My house is
not particular conducive to moving the furniture. Everything
pretty much fits where it fits and none anywhere else. I did the
repaint and redecorate last Fall and I'm still happy with how that
turned out, so nothing can really be done there. Mostly, I'm just
cleaning out closets and my back work room and putting Winter clothes
into storage and pulling out some of my bigger clothes to put into the
swap meet on the 14th.
Isn't this absolutely riveting for you to read?
We finally heard from Josh who left for boot camp on
May 23rd and got an address for him that is about a yard long. He
has to do push ups whenever he gets mail, but he wants us to write to
him anyway. It's not been easy for him. Apparently, he wasn't much
listening to the people who'd been in the military and tried to tell him
what it would be like and set up his own expectations. Adaptation
has never really been his long suit and one of the backlashes to the
military loosening their restrictions on who can come into service is
that they are not all that eager to let you go once you've signed on the
My beans are growing exceptionally well. I
planted, back at Spring Equinox, Joy, Health, Love and Peace = 4 beans.
They grew up surprisingly well and fast and now they have about 6 beans
on them and some more blooms from which the beans come, which is
exciting. Usually, no matter how many beans I plant, I only get as many
beans on the plants as the number of my goals that will manifest.
This means, based on experience, that I am going to be harvesting a lot
more than I planted, which makes me a little giddy and thrilled.
The diet is going well. I started exercise this
week and promptly pulled a lateral muscle, so I'm going easy on that
side. I still have not done the belly dance work out, but it's on
Today, for no reason whatsoever and despite all I
wrote above, I have a really strong sense of anticipation, as though
something big is about to happen. I believe I will capitalize on
that energy by lighting some goal candles and dedicating the energy of
my work to that direction. Who knows? Maybe there can be
some kind of turn-around when Mercury is in retrograde, especially since
it is retrograde in the sign of Gemini, which is one fickle bitch of a
sign. With the duality of Gemini, you can never really tell what's
real and what's not. It's like both sides of Alice's looking glass at
With that, I should stop hiding and putting off the
work of the day and get to it. I hope you forward progress is full
steam ahead despite the pain in the ass astrological challenges.
Hugs & well, you know what my advice in all things
May 29, 2008
Hurray! I've almost made it through the first
week of summer vacation with flying colors. The kids have been
great, although Dylan and Nathan have started to pick at one another for
the first time in their lives, no doubt a side effect of their rapidly
approaching puberty. Nathan has demanded his own room, so I told
him to start building. He did not. Without tens of thousands
of dollars lying around with nothing to do, I don't foresee building
onto the house any time soon. Other than that, life has been very
slow paced and nice. I can't testify enough to the healing
abilities of sleep. I feel so much better now that I am getting a
minimum of 8 hours' sleep a night.
No word from Josh, but I didn't really expect to hear
from him until well into boot camp. No word from his wife, but I
hadn't thought I'd hear from her either.
Slowly, but surely, I am making my way through the
house, power cleaning room by room. I am so very grateful I
finally got my ass in gear and painted that last remaining cupboard.
It was so frustrating to have it right in front of me all the time as a
symbol of my inability to complete any project. Now it is done and
looks so much nicer.
The only major cleaning I have left to do is Delena's
room, which is on hold until she does a preliminary clean. The
rest of the house is down to basic maintenance, which has not been done
well today, unfortunately.
Eric's construction business has hit a low, so he has
been out in the river, diving in his frogman suit, dredging for gold.
He has about 160 acres on the Cosumnes River of mining claims and his
partner has a claim or 2 as well, so they have most of the river in this
area. His partner has decades of experience making a living
through gold mining and they make a good team. It's great to see
him doing something he really loves that also can be profitable.
I'm doing the same thing, just not making much money
at it. It's just not an economical time for people to blow money
on sock monkeys and teddy bears. The incense, however, is selling
The diet has its own momentum and is rolling along
almost effortlessly. Now that I have become accustomed to the
portion control and times I can eat, it's on cruise control. Every
day, I feel thinner. I'm ready for the exercise, but it just
hasn't felt right yet, so I'm waiting until next week. I'm not
sure what's holding back, but I am still having progress without it, so
I am following my instincts. My bellydance workout DVD arrived
yesterday and another will be here today. That will be great fun.
We have gotten so very much needed rain in the past
week, which is fantastic. We never had our final snow of the year
and quickly went into 90 degree temperatures, so the fire danger was
high and the land was really thirsty. For the past week, the temps
have dipped well into the 50's and 60's and it has rained every day
except for today. Our little Grizzly Flats world is much, much
happier now and the trees are practically singing out loud.
Sorry I am so boring lately. Life has been
blissfully quiet and I have very much enjoyed the slower pace.
It's rare to see me now and not find me smiling.
May 22, 2008
Well, THAT week went by fast!
Here I am just 2 days away from the last day of
school. The kids are tremendously excited and I have to say, I am
getting caught up in the positively blissful notion of sleeping in until
8-9am each morning. Ahhh.
The plan is that after I wake up at my leisure, put on
a pot of coffee for the mister and get fully awake, I will grab whatever
kid is handy and go out walking for at least 30 minutes or so.
Walking is so...organic in terms of exercise and it's my least hated
form of it (other than yoga). I also have ordered this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015FJYV0 (watch the
movie included with the reviews)
I'm totally going to do that. It's an advance
order, so I don't get it for a week yet.
The diet is going well, just a day by day thing.
I actually got up to 1800 calorie yesterday, which is a good bit more
than I normally eat now. It's because I went to the movies and had
some kettle corn. I am meticulous about logging every bite I eat
and work to stay below 1500 calories.
I do feel much better doing it.
As an aside, however, I am not convinced that the
average person is fully aware of how much (in terms of volume, not
frequency) they will poop if they significantly increase their fiber
intake. It is truly impressive. That's all I've got to say
about that. (More green leafies, Shredded Wheat for breakfast)
I spent the past two days cleaning the kids' room,
which sounds as though I was logging in major hours, but it was only 4
hours yesterday and 3 today. Still, 7 hours is a good bit of time
cleaning up messes you didn't make. It is now sparkly and clean
except for the carpet, which is not likely to ever look nice again.
In my opinion, kids and carpet just do not go together. They
aren't even allowed to eat or drink (other than water) in their room and
the carpet is a mess.
Slowly, but surely, I am moving through the rooms and
getting them streamlined and nice. It has been quite a feat to
divide my time between site work, business work, spring cleaning and the
basic home maintenance, but day by day, I've gotten it done. The
areas that are still awaiting a good cleaning really show that they've
not been on top of the list, but I am confident that I will get to them
within the next few days.
Tonight, Josh is in the hotel in Sacramento in
preparation for a day of Army sign in tomorrow. He will spend
tomorrow night at the hotel with his wife and children and then leave
out early Friday morning. He will be gone for a minimum of 6
months for basic training and tech school and then will find out where
he will be stationed. It has been a real exercise in "letting go
and letting God." He is so completely determined to do this and so
convinced that it is his only hope. All I can do is stand back and
watch and hope for the best. I wish him well and of course,
safety. It has left me a bit raw and emotional at times, but it is
what it is and there is really no practicality in grieving something you
cannot stop that could actually go quite well, so I am investing my
energy into this being a good thing for him and for his family.
Tomorrow night is the "End of the Year Celebration"
for the boys' school. Dylan will graduate from grade school and
next year, move up to middle school. He is singing a solo, plus
performing Weird Al's "I Love Rocky Road" with 5 of his friends. What's
funny about that is that when David was in the 2nd grade, he sang a solo
of that very same song at a school program, which was around 23 years
So that's really about it. Life is good and
You just be particular, OK?
May 15, 2008
This week has been a "just do it" week where I have
worked to accomplish some of those tasks that have been hanging over me
for a long time, waiting to be prioritized and completed.
About 7-8 months ago, I did the home makeover. I
completed it for under $1000 and got quite a lot done. One thing I did was
to take the doors off of my kitchen cupboards. I was very hesitant to do
so because it's what I consider to be quite unconventional and let's face it,
those doors can hide a multitude of sins. I left the lower cupboard doors
on and removed the ones from the upper cupboards.
I can tell you with absolutely assurance that I have no
intention of ever living in a house with cupboard doors again. It's great
not to risk wonking my head on one all the time. It encourages me to keep
the cupboard contents straight and it makes putting dishes away so much faster.
I love it.
What I had not done, for reasons I cannot even remember, is
paint the very inside of one last cupboard. The outsides were off white
(very bad in a kitchen, in my opinion, especially kitchens used by my hands) and
the insides were still unfinished wood. I painted them a color called
Black Rose, which is pretty much what the name implies: almost black with
a hint of reddish purple to it. The color was recommended to me by
Carolyn, who got it from Sherwin Williams where it is called Black Bean.
It it a wonderful color that does a great job of looking classy and hiding dirt.
I can't remember why painting the inside of the last cupboard was delayed, but I
do remember (in October or so) thinking that I would paint it the very next day.
As of the past two days, it's done, finally. It looks wonderful and as is
always the case with these things, I wonder why it took me so long to do it.
Cleaned out the fridge for the first time in months.
Sad, I know. Got floors all mopped and went through my bajillion spices
and packed away the ones I seldom use. We have very little storage in our
house, so I have to be frugal about what I keep out. Slowly, but surely,
the list is showing more cross offs than to do's. I still have to clean
the kids' rooms thoroughly and I am putting that off because it's always such
amazing drudgery. There isn't a job in the house I hate doing more than
cleaning my kids' rooms, but I want to get them in a good place for summer so
they can be easily maintained, so one day out of the next 8 (a week from
tomorrow is the last day of school), I will suck it up and wade in, hoping to
get most of it done before they get home because it's easier to just do it
myself. Delena's is the real challenge because her room is very small and
she has a lot of cherished things... in her floor.
My desk and workroom needs to be re-organized again. I
have to work on the line of July 4th bears, some before Sunday when we go back
to the Swap Meet again. That is happy work, however.
In that vein of thought, another item on my list has been
crossed off and that is the finalization of our Mountain Divaz website.
I have added extra monkeys and bears and put up the shopping
carts. We were really struggling with how to handle the shipping because
we want it to be fair. It's very different to ship 12 candles versus 12
boas and we want to stick to the flat rate Priority Mail boxes as much as
possible. I think we have finally come up with a plan that works.
So head on over and see what I've been doing. :)
For now, I'm off to spend some time updating
Grizzly Flats Online and working on
That weird, encompassing, peri-menopausal depression is trying
to ease in and I am doing my best to ward it off, mostly by keeping busy.
Funny how our heads work.