My Motto: Be Prepared!

There are two ends of the preparedness spectrum that I would like you to consider as you read this post.  At one end you have my obsession with canned goods, and the other end is my 17 yr. old twins who are Boy Scout camp tonight without sleeping bags.

I guess it all began for me around the the time of the Millennium.  I started worrying about world catastrophe and my family’s survival.  According to the experts at the stroke of midnight as the year 2000 rolled in, all computers would misfire, malfunction, or melt down….  I can’t remember which, but it had to do with computers not being able to type three zeros.  Of course I knew the devastation of not being able to use my credit card, and it didn’t seem that bad, but it kept getting worse.  Although 2000 came and nothing happened, it seemed to start a chain reaction of craziness.   There was political unrest, wars with unidentifiable countries, racial tension, tornadoes, tsunamis, terrorists, killer bees, viruses and many other nasty things that Hollywood made songs about.  You name it and it was happening all around me.

I started watching shows about “prepping” and survival.  I took notes as two people were dropped into the wilderness and fought their way out from near death by eating pine cones.  I took notes as people built fortresses out of shipping containers and I even took notes when I watched a weekly show about two people who went into extreme places NAKED???  I’m sorry, but if it comes down to that…I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it.

Needless to say I stared hording canned goods, medical supplies, firearms and all types of weaponry.  My whole family is into martial arts, so we had everything from throwing stars to blow darts and we began booby trapping the yard.   Then I bought a farm and started raising farm-type animals.  This was no easy feat for this New York girl, but I was a quick learner.  I raised a garden, planted fruit trees and bought rain barrels.  I doubt I could ever bring myself to eat my sheep, but one sign of apocalypse and the rooster is a goner!

After that it was a downward spiral of prepper meetings and seminars about virus outbreaks, criminal outbreaks and basically every kind of scenario that would leave me in a Rambo outfit  up in the neighbor’s pine trees fighting off zombies!

It was never enough.  Each week there would be something else to prepare for and some other scare that would spin me in another direction, never really getting that feeling of being fully prepared.  When would I ever have enough stuff?  When would I be ready?

I finally had to draw the line, it was making me crazy.  I had to figure out how to live my Red Shoe Life and stop all the anxiety.   I finally made a tally of all of my duct tape, batteries and glow in the dark distress signals and wrote it all down.  I vowed to collect only a dozen of each item and call it quits.  At least I had a stopping point.  I had 12 cans of corn, 12 boxes of band aids, 12 hand grenades… you get the idea.  When I couldn’t think of anything else that I would need, I declared that I was DONE!  Now, as I use something, I replace it.  Done.  I don’t think about it any more.  I don’t worry about it anymore.  If there is a catastrophe that needs more than 12 rolls of toilet paper, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Simple preparedness is a part of the Red Shoe Lifestyle.  There is no need to get crazy, but you must take your safety into your own hands.  Don’t think you will be coming to my house if the Walmart bread is gone, because I am not responsible for you.  You are responsible for you.  Some might say that they don’t have the money to prepare.  Not true, no matter your income.   I’m not talking about a bunker of stuff.  I’m talking about a flashlight, some candles, a few granola bars under your bed.  Start small.  Simple things like never leave your car on empty.  Keep your shoes by your bed.  Write down phone numbers in case you lose your phone.   Hell, maybe we need to start even smaller.   Make an extra car key or house key in case you lock yourself out.  Keep a small amount of cash on hand in case the ATM doesn’t work, and  take some comfy shoes with you in case you have to walk home! (I can testify that heels are not meant for this purpose!)

Moral of the story…  It is impossible to know what the future holds, but a person living a Red Shoe Life is  ready.  It is sorta like being a Girl Scout, always being prepared.. except without the Thin Mints…   or maybe I might need a box of Thin Mints (or 12)!!!


Amazin’ Miss W.

What a day this has been!  I tell you that you have never lived until you have taken a wild woman to downtown Memphis for her 101st birthday!

The sky was blue, the champagne chilled and she was wearing a Jackie O. sunhat that matched her flowing white lacy skirt perfectly.  We were ready and this was going to be perfect!

We arrived at the Peabody and briefly let the ducks acknowledge our princess.  Miss W. used to own this town and knew everyone and everything in it.  Her long time career as an “Executive Secretary” afforded her many secrets and wildly ways of the city’s upper crust (secrets she would never tell).  No one knows dirt like Executive Secretaries!

Her Cinderella carriage awaited her arrival, complete with red velvet seats and a mighty Clydesdale steed to pull it.

I thought we would have trouble getting her in, but she flung her purse to one of her fellow passengers, grabbed the side rails with both hands and hopped right in.  She wobbled for only a moment, straightened her hat, and slid all the way in with a look as if to say “Watch out world, I have arrived”.

Our tour was perfect as she pointed out this or that significant building and I felt so happy to have made this happen for her. Every so often you could see in her eyes that she knew that she may never pass this way again.

Miss W. has been my inspiration and my source of laughter every day  since I met her.  You may remember that she was the first one to dance on the stripper pole when I rented the party bus, and she was also the daredevil that shouted to “her city” from the top of the Bass Pro Shop last year on her 100th birthday.  Hell, it was only by the skin of my teeth that she changed her mind about jumping out of an airplane this year!!!!!

She has no words of wisdom as to how she got this far or how she barely looks 70.  She is kind and witty, and winks at me when she is up to no good.  She is the Princess of Memphis!

Happy birthday Miss W.  I know I will see you at Happy Hour!

Of course, you know I’m going to tie this whole day into the Red Shoe Life Transformation summed up in one word “Attitude”.  I don’t mean the type of attitude my kid’s get when I make them do chores, but an attitude of confidence.  Miss W. has confidence and “swag” like no other woman I have ever met.  I wish you could meet her so you can see how it is done.  You have got to stand up and hold yourself with an air of style and positivity.  You may be crumbly Feta on the inside, but with practiced confidence, sooner or later you are going to start believing it yourself!  Look people in the eye when you speak and think about your words before you do.  Be sincere and genuine.  You know you’ve got this!  Now show everyone else that you do!

Until tomorrow-  Deb


Zumba, Zut Alors!

I am sure that zut alors used in the title is incorrect, but you get the gist of how I feel about Zumba.  Actually, I love the IDEA of Zumba, it’s just how I feel while I’m attempting Zumba.

I once described my dance moves as M.C. Hammer trying to take off a girdle full of bees.  I’m all over the place, but zut alors, I have moves!  It doesn’t matter.  Most of the other people in the class were also hanging onto whatever dignity they have left while we vigorously tried to improve our “core”.

My adventure back into the public exercise arena was hard to get started.  It had been a very long time since I tried on a pair of yoga pants, and was woefully ill-equipped.

First there was the issue of sneakers, otherwise known in the South as “tennis shoes”.  Since I was determined to buy something with some substantial support, grandiose grip and stupendous style, I headed to “The Mall”.

Truth be told, I have a fear of “The Mall”.  It always seemed to be a place where I could be sucked into an alternate universe or  possibly  killed by droves of angry teens.  Even worse, everyone is always talking about. having my identity stolen…maybe not a bad thing.   Well, although I hadn’t ventured outside of Walmart in years, I needed new sneakers and I figured Arnold Schwarzenegger was  in there ready to sell me some.

Five seconds after hitting the first store, I realized this was not my world, and drove straight to Shoe Carnival where I bought a $39.00 pair of turquoise tennies.  They don’t jump high, swoosh when I walk or pump up for action, but they do match my new socks.. and that was good enough for me.

Next I needed tunes.  I had an iPOD,  I could neither load songs, make a playlist or even charge it up, since I had long ago lost the cord.  Grrrr..    Second purchase, charging cord and Blue Tooth headphones??  Are they called headphones… I don’t know.. they stick in my ears and play Brick House in my head.  I call them miracles!

So tonight, sporting all my new stuff and hoping not to stick out too much, I Zumba’d my way across the gym and parked my butt on the bleachers waiting for the class to begin.  At this point I realized I had sat in a giant puddle of hopefully water, and soaked my stretch pants and the bottom of my Memphis Tiger’s T-shirt through and through.  Great. So much for faking my way into letting people believe I was cool.  Sigh…

No worries gang!  My new attitude and my wet pants jumped up off that bench and boogied with the best of them.  I was leary that  I was too old for this, but the group was mixed and I wasn’t the worst or the best.  Ok, not even close to the best, but at least I didn’t fall down.

Ok, time for the moral of this story.  Part of an Optimum Life is Physical Wellness.  If you want to live a better life,  you gotta get out there and do something!  Anything.  I ask all of my Life Coach clients to choose a physical goal.  Each goal is unique to it’s chooser, but it should be something of an ultimate challenge.  Once they decide what they would like to achieve, we get a calendar and mark off smaller goals to get them from point A to point B.  As my boss always says….  “one bite at a time”.

My physical goal is to hike Havasu Falls in the spring of 2019.  Google it.  It’s amazin!  It is 10 miles to the bottom of the canyon with my camping pack.  I get to sleep in a hammock and frolic in beautiful aqua water.  Holy Crap,  did I pick quite a big goal.  I know it is achievable and if I can do THAT, I can do anything.  So, I have a lot of training to do. There will be strength training, endurance training… oh and the cool part is I get to buy hiking shoes!  I have laid out my workout plan with small goals leading all the way up to practicing 10 mile treks.   This month I have chosen to do a 5K.  It is certainly not 10 miles, but I gotta start somewhere.  Dream big, reach far, and Zut Alors, get off that couch!

sneaker pic


Best Made Plans…

Everyone in our house woke up early (notice I didn’t say “bright and early”) to get a head-start on this Sunday morning to Hardy, Arkansas.  If you have never been to the beautiful state of Arkansas, you are really missing something, and I was actually looking forward to the long mountainous trek.  Right off the bat, things started to go to hell in a hand-basket. While doing the last minute check list,  the twins discovered that they were supposed to take two online courses before showing up for their month’s duty at Kia Kima Scout Reservation as Camp Staff.

“No worries” I mumbled, and headed towards my peaceful porch with a steaming cup of Bulletproof coffee as they ran up to the office to fire up the computer.   I had already resigned myself to the fact that this day was going to be devoted completely to the twins’ transportation and starting a little late wasn’t going to be so bad.  It did mean that we would not be having bacon and eggs at a roadside Stuckey’s, but it wouldn’t ruin the day.

I grabbed a bunch of glutenous  noodles from last night dinner, a bucket of chicken/sheep food, two sheep dogs and a hot pink scoop full of Meow Mix for our menagerie and sprinted for the coop making sure to knock out all outdoor chores before we went to save myself from doing it in the dark on our return.  Once I was back inside, I kicked off my rubber yard shoes while expecting wails of “Hurry UP MOM!!!” from the front door.  Instead I found everyone still milling around the computer with one twin “almost finished with his first course”.

After another cup of coffee, I started my pacing and grinding of teeth, now furious that my last weekend day was being RUINED by what is a typical expedition with this crew.

I snatched my dulcimer, headed for the porch and started banging out some Arkansas Turkey in the Straw at an alarming tempo, enough to scatter all the cats to yards unknown.  Why are they always so unorganized???  This is the usual plot to piss me off again!!!!  I must be the only one at my age that still has kids without driver’s licences!!!  Maybe if they didn’t always have that cell phone up their ass, they would READ their emails and know about things like mandatory online courses!!!!  If it were up to me, they shouldn’t even be GOING to camp, especially since they just got back from Sea Base in the freakin’ Bahamas!!!! (Don’t even get me started on how MUCH that cost!!!)

As my temper calmed down a bit, I began to think about my Transformation and my vow to break the habit of me always ending up in this state of mind.  Short of  kicking someone, what could I do to change my mood?  I know that people will always do stuff to rile me up, but it is up to me as to how I react.  I began to play my beautiful dulcimer like it is supposed to be played (well at least as beautifully as I know how to play) and forced myself to think about how nice it was to sit on the porch and enjoy the morning. I am not going to say that I magically became an enlightened fairy with butterflies in my hair and flowers sprouting from my cleavage, but I did try to look on the bright side.  The bright side was that, all things considered, I would still get home with 2 hours before I went to bed. I’d get to spend untold hours in the car listening to “their” music, and the best part….  they were going to be at camp for a month!

So now I am home after more than 7 hours in the car, and as I ran back down to the pasture to tuck everybody in for the night, I noticed how quiet it was.   Could it be that I already missed them fighting over who helped me last and that they definitely did NOT want to do the chickens?  Nope…   and I might even enjoy that for a little while!

Only you can let yourself be mad.  Only you can make words come out of your mouth, and only you have the choice to react to other people’s actions.  So if you’re mad…  that’s up to you and to quote some of my ladies at work:  “You can get glad in the same britches you got mad in!!!”

I hope you found some time this weekend to find your special red pair of shoes and I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about how to wear them. Until then –Deb.

Where to start?

Although I wouldn’t change most of my 30+ years as a mom, (well, except for those times at Band Camp) I did kinda lose “ME” in the process.  Taking a good look at myself, it was not a pretty picture.   We won’t go into all of the mental issues of suddenly being an “empty-nester” (and some of my kids surely did make me MENTAL), but will focus on my more noticeable issues.  I was no longer at soccer practice, scouts and school anymore, and did actually find a career where I could excel, but I didn’t feel like a successful business woman and I certainly didn’t look like one!  My purse weirdly resembled a diaper bag, most of my clothes looked like maternity garb, and, oh yeah, I was still driving the family hooptie to my new executive job.  The car thing really chapped my ass, and although I admit the mini-van was an improvement over the hunk magnet ride “Clifford”, our 15 passenger cherry red monster, it still looked like a preschool shuttle bus.

So, with new found determination and checkbook in hand, I headed to the local dealership to announced I wanted to buy a car.  With one shaky swoop of my Kroger pen (found in the bottom of the Purse of Doom)  I was suddenly a chick with a hot car! This was freakin’ fantastic! Notice I didn’t say I was a hot chick with a car, but I felt I was headed in the right direction.

I have not regretted one single monthly payment since then and I love it when I hear people say “Hey lady, I like your car!”  The chromium plated, fully illuminated, genuine accessory shift knobs, along with sunroof top, cute key fob and the oh so wonderful seat warmers would make any woman swoon!

I will always be the mom of six wonderful kids, but for now…  they have to ride with their dad.  This car is ALL MINE!

Change is scary and change is hard.  Sometimes we arrive at a moment in our lives and we look  around and wonder “what the hell is going on????”  It’s OK!  The hardest part is just figuring out which direction to go.  After that, as I always say… “All you need is a plan, and a shiny red pair of shoes!”

“Why does she keep saying stuff about RED SHOES?” you may ask.  Remember the Good Witch in the “Wizard of Oz” told Dorothy after she had spent the entire movie running around asking people to help her, that she had the power all along.  She only had to figure out how to use it and that is where I come in.

As a Life Coach, I help many people find their goals, make a plan and help them begin!  Check out this BLOG each day for ideas, suggestions and comic relief about life and Transformation Together we can take a look at where you are, what the hell is going on and see if you need  a hot car too!   See you tomorrow!


If the Shoe Fits…

Lions, tigers and bears, OH WTH???  I suddenly realized that the life I was living was EXACTLY like the Wizard of Oz!  Flying monkeys, herds of munchkins, bad fashion choices and even a couple of wicked biotches.  This was ridiculous! When I really started to think about it, it was almost comical.   I was spending my days with people who were “heartless”, “clueless”, “chicken shits” and definitely people who wanted to blow green smoke up my ass, pretending to be someone they were not.  Hell, I even have a little dog!

Just like the movie, I was running around asking everyone’s advice and never really finding the answers.  I knew I wasn’t getting where I wanted to go, and I sure as hell wasn’t getting any younger.  Who could I blame? Surely, it wasn’t a giant gust of wind with sailing chickens.  Then who’s fault was it and who could help me figure this out?  I spent a lot of time fussing around and though I hated to admit it, the answer was clear. If I got myself into a life that didn’t thrill me, like Dorothy, I was going to figure out how to use my power to find the answers myself.  I didn’t need anyone, not even a fairy godmother.  All I needed was a plan… and a shiny pair of red shoes.

After many years of helping other people achieve their Optimum Life, I decided to take my show on the “Yellow Brick Road” and see where my own Transformation leads.  As a Life Coach, I would be happy to pack a bigger  picnic basket if you would like to join me.  If you are ready for YOUR Transformation, or you just want to cheer me on for mine, check out my Red Shoe Life Transformation Blog each day for tips, suggestions and overall comic relief.