HAPPY LABOR DAY!

In my line of work, every holiday tends to spill over into theme related fun for at least a month leading up to the big day. Movies, historical discussions and art projects, to name a few, and of course our big cookout with a Rosie the Riveter Look-alike competition.

I have been celebrating Rosie for many years now, and it always warms my heart when the ladies that I work with don their bandanas and show off their “can do” attitude for the camera. Sure it’s awesome to check out the gun show, but the cool part is that these ladies are the real Rosies. When their world was turned upside down and all of their plans for family life with a picket fence went marching off to war, these were the ladies that rolled up their sleeves and carried this country.

While speaking with some younger people this week, Rosie the Riveter came into the conversation. Most had no clue who this icon was, and some said it had to do with Women’s Rights. Sigh….

I looked around the room at the young women and realized that the concept of women carrying the country was nothing new to them. They have always known the power of women in the workplace and have never known the concept of a required role of “stay your ass in the house.” In their lifetime it has always been expected for women to work outside the home and in fact, most couples could not afford the homes they live in without the second income. Women are no longer holding the bag, they are involved in every aspect of ..well everything… and of their own choosing. Women have the power to be anything they want to be. I am sure someone will argue with me about that point, but I cannot think of one thing, including being a Boy Scout, play men’s sports or be the President of the United States, that I could not be if I wanted to. Please do not give me grief on this point. I am aware that there is injustice in women’s equality, but here in the United States, I am free to pursue my Red Shoe Life in any way I would like. In my lifetime, when I graduated from high school, my options where pretty much, secretary, librarian, nurse or teacher and although it wasn’t exactly said, the only reason girls attended college was to find a husband.

I now have a daughter and she has the internet. Where I would never have imagined what could be possible, there is now nothing in this world a woman can’t find on Google and pursue. College and beyond is discussed from birth and if they would like to get married and have a family, she can do that while she works, attends school and climbs Mt. Everest.

The role of women has gone from mere cheerleaders of their families, to hardy participants, and leaders of the world around them.

I am proud of today’s women and am honored to be one of them. We not only bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, we are doing whatever else is takes to “Git HER Done.”

Rosie started it all and had the right idea all along. You CAN do it. You have always had the power to do it, and now you can do it with a pair of awesome red shoes.

Happy Labor Day, ladies, and for more awesome “can do” videos, check out my YouTube Channel called Red Shoe Life!

Technology- Push the Button

It is unfair to say that I am not a fan of modern technology, but I would say that there sure as hell are parts of it that are not my friend. I do not know what is my issue with keeping my devices charged, as it would surely be a simple thing to plug them in each night. This small move would assure that I am rip roarin’ ready in the morning, but in my defense, you can only plug the damn things in, if you can find them! It is a running joke about where have I left my phone in the office. I spend time each day looking for my iPad, to view the App that tells me where I left my phone. Oh it’s comical alright. Little do they know that I also misplace the bugger at home, in the car and well, just about everywhere I go. My husband, Chance, gives me a lot of grief over this, but in fact, he is likewise missing a lot of expensive hats! Just sayin’

The frustration with my electronic items does not stop there. I also cannot find the chargers that go with them. In the rare instance that I do have a charger, it is not the right one. Why the heck do they make so many different kinds and that does not even count the cords that hook them to other uncooperative things like my computer or my car.

It has been my greatest triumphs to figure out how to FaceTime with my kids, down or upload videos onto YouTube (I’m never sure which one it is) and set up my iPod with a killer playlist which is Blue Toothed to my new mini speaker. Booyah, this girl is on fire!! My Nikon can magically send pics to an App on my iPad, my FitBit can tell me when to pee, and I can set my coffee maker to perk a cup of Frappe latte at 4:30 a.m. every morning. What more do I need?

A lot. These are just gateway devices. There is a hell of a lot more to explore, but I gotta take it slow. Keeping up with technology is imperative for living my Red Shoe Life, but I usually end up in a virtual reality nightmare of an endless warren of wires, and the monotonous hum of a aol dial up.

Figuring out technology can be frustrating, but it is key to keeping up with current events, medical breakthroughs and of course, the Kardashians. Surfing the internet helps me carry on an intellectual conversation, save money on my car insurance and experience world events as if I were actually there. It stimulates my brain, keeps the temperature in my home at a steady 72 degrees and allows me to order a 50 bag of sheep food to be delivered without ever leaving the house.

If you think that sounds exciting, be sure to check out my latest YouTube video called Red Shoe Life-Virtual Reality for a good laugh. The kids gave me a quick tutorial on a few simple technical games and had a hearty snicker at my expense. Truly, if you want to know how to figure out something technical… ask a kid.

Guys, all joking aside, this is serious. Being able to use technology is a key component to living a Red Shoe Life, and it is very easy for it to get ahead of you. Don’t let it intimidate you. There are whole stores full of people just standing around waiting for you to ask them a question (and sell you the latest gizmo). Ask them. Ask everyone until you understand. Don’t be afraid. There isn’t a button on any home gadget that will end the universe. Live your Red Shoe Life and push the button. Push all the buttons.

I do, when I can find them.

Unexpected Transformations…

Lately it has been feeling  a little like my house is possessed.  Friends have been suggesting that I may need an exorcism to rid my abode of the ghosts and gremlins that are causing so much havoc.  I laughed when they said it, but deep down, I was beginning to think they were right.

When we bought this place year’s ago,  the previous owners handed us a book about our house that she had written called “Under the Sycamore”.   It was appropriately named as we have several big ones around the property, however, the book was not about a summer tea garden.  It was about the house being haunted by a Civil War widow, whose husband is buried in the historic cemetery across the street. Great.

Scoff I did, though there has been times when I am in the oldest part of the house that I think of the book, and glance around to see if there might be something to this ghost stuff.

Naw… this is not a post about how I saw spinning furniture or flying statues of the Mother Mary (which my family in New York swears happened in our living room).  I will tell you this, however… there has been so much miserable luck at my house lately, I did actually visit every room with burning sage and then just for luck I made a circle around the house with salt.  Whatever that ritual is supposed to be good for, I sure do hope it worked.  I have seen my Catholic friends bury one of their Saints headfirst in the dirt to help find lost items… I have seen my old neighbor’s nanny wear chicken feet around her neck to ward off evil demons and I don’t even want to mention what my Cajun friends do… so burn baby burn (btw, sage smells pretty nice).  Do I believe in this? Let’s just say, I like to cover all my bases.  If it will stop the hemorrhage of cash surging out of my wallet, then I would put a totem pole in the front yard and do a nekkid dance with sparklers shooting out of my ass… don’t judge me.

So here is where the story gets good.  Seven years ago while Chance and I were vacationing in Switzerland, we bought a crazy expensive cuckoo clock.  We figured this was a once in a lifetime purchase and though it cost almost $100 to send  home, we did it.  Needless to say, like everything else I own, it stopped working immediately and has been collecting dust on the Sunroom wall ever since.

Yes… here it comes.  Two days ago the damn thing started working.  I nearly jumped out of the chair where it hangs on the wall behind my seat.  What in the world???  Not only did it start working, but it has been ticking all week!  Craziest thing ever!  Why would it start working after all of this time?

My only guess is that the house and all it’s bug-a-boos has finally started figuring out that I am serious about my kick-ass rampage and that if it isn’t going to be with me on this transformation … it will end up at the curb with the other gifts to the gods of garbage.

I think that the ghost is happy with the improvements I have been making, and can appreciate the effort and strife some of the construction has put me through this year.  Then I thought, maybe she is just happy with the cemetery clean up that we did a few weeks ago during the Eagle Scout project and has granted us a little break in the money pit saga for sprucing up her hubby’s digs.    Either way, I am glad to have something work out right.  I hope this is the beginning of a new trend and an omen of things to come.

If I start to see weirder than usual things happening around the house, I’ll keep you all informed, but until then, it’s nice to know, I’m not the only thing around here that is “cuckoo”.

Woman vs Wild

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Although I was home for a week and wanted to work on my projects,  my toe surgery was still an issue, so climbing ladders or moving heavy crap was not on my radar.  I DUD have the place looking rather spiffy with every nook and cranny decorated for fall, but I wanted the house to look extra good because I was actually getting ready to have COMPANY.   This was the first time in a very long time to fuss around and I was having a ball.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were visiting from Vermont, and we were planning BIG FUN!

As usual, however, it was a major clean up to get ready and there were a few things that didn’t get finished.  I was kinda bummed that it wasn’t perfect, but I had to remember my own advice and try not to sweat the small stuff.

The good news is, my sister-in-law is a wild woman too and the home renovation project got a little shot in the arm when she demanded a power drill and climbed up on top of a conglomeration of chairs and stools to reach the top of the sun room. She is a tiny little woman, so this was quite a feat!   I dug screws and various items from the deepest scary parts of my garage, and I held the damn rack while she drove it home!

I now have my beautiful wrought iron rack proudly displayed over the windows where I can see it from the kitchen and my metal wall art that looks like a quilt, positioned over an old bench on the porch (don’t even ask how she did that!)

Thank you, Faith, for being YOU, and helping out in my “Woman vs. Wild” Home Improvement project!  You Rock!

 

Video Interview with Bob Magowan, Dulcimer Artist

Check out Bob’s video at the end of this post!

Let me introduce, Bob Magowan, who enjoys his AWESOME Red Shoe Life, by designing and INVENTING dulcimers.  He has always been involved in music, but has really embraced his folk side by creating beautiful stringed instruments and teaching students, like me, how to play them!  Check out other musicians on YouTube by putting Bob’s name in the search bar and you will see how famous this guy is!

Bob plays in several groups around town, but has spent time in workshops all over the US, continuing to learn his craft and grow as a musician.

Thanks again, Bob for hanging out with me and sharing your gift!

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Dumb Ass

Ok, drum roll please….the award goes to ME for being a great big dumb ass today.  As you know, I had some foot surgery on Wednesday.   I’m not the first person in history to have foot surgery, and considering I am surrounded by much stronger women on a daily basis, I didn’t think  f&&^^*%ing  around with my big toe joint was going to be much of a problem for me.

Surgery was Wednesday, and although my kids were really messing with my head by saying it was morning when it was still the same day (rat bastards), I stopped taking the pain meds on day two.  My foot has about a 5 inch cut from my toe nail up my foot, and I only saw this cause I took the bandage off, which I was also not suppose to do.  All in all, I’ll probably never be a sandal model now, but there really has never been any real danger of that with my size 10 clodhoppers.

I rented a knee scooter, which I thought was the bomb and had vision of me racing up and down the halls at work, merrily bringing coffee back to my desk, where I would put my foot up and spend some quality time with my computer.

Well, truth be known.. I couldn’t work the scooter.  I was so unsteady I thought I’d break my other foot.  My thighs were shaking and the handles hurt the rest of my rheumatoid so bad I had to steer with the palms of my hands.  I broke out in a sweat and my head hurt until I nearly threw up just taking the damn thing out of the box.  There really should be warning labels on it….  “Must be a Tri-athlete”

So, of course, I parked it in my den and left it there in case I need a footrest.

I couldn’t arrange a ride , so I drove myself to work after removing my boot and made the one hour trip with relatively no pain….. until I got out of the Mini-Cooper.

I hobbled up the sidewalk with my kid’s martial arts cane,  stopping only every time I wanted to pee my pants.  This was not going well.

Needless to say, the day was awful and unless I put my foot up on top of  my desk, it was not elevated at all.   #hurtslikehell.

Ok, ok, I called my boss and told her that I surrendered.  I am staying home tomorrow and most likely the rest of the week until I see the doc on Friday who will undoubtedly kill me.  I don’t know why I just had to go to work, maybe I just didn’t want to use up all of my vacation time on something so stupid.  I think perhaps we just get used to being the work horse.  In fact, I do not care for women who are weak and frail and whine about their various illnesses all the time.  I avoid them like the plague especially  when there are people who are truly ill that plow through their issues and live their life anyway.

I know that there must be a happy medium between  being my hypochondriac grandmother and my martyr mother who’s favorite saying even when you were bleeding out was “Eh, go take an aspirin!”

As far as today…I was wrong.  I made a huge mistake and I am sorta embarrassed to have been so stubborn.  What will I do about it?  “Eh, I’ll go take an aspirin…  and sit my dumb ass on the couch where I will await further instructions from people who know better.”

Wyncies Woolery

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Named for the lovely lane in England where my husband’s grandmother lived.  “The Wyncies'”  thatched roof cottages and winding country lanes stole my heart and began my obsession with all things sheepy!

My little flock include Old English Southdown Baby Dolls and Shetlands, who boast names like Agnes, Andrew and Penelope. Both breeds are miniature in stature, but surely make up for it in personality!

Of course, I will be blogging now and then about my escapades with wool, but today my post is about making woolen dreadlocks.

I know, I know, unusual you say. Well, not really. Just unusual in MY world until now.  I have been having so much creative fun with this.  Just Google woolen dreads and you will see the most amazing works of art. They are dyed awesome colors and adorned with beads, fabrics and beautiful jewelry… All of which is right up my ally.

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It is a lengthy process if you start by shearing your own sheep.

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Then the fleece is sent to a fiber mill…which takes six weeks and eventually it returns to me like this!

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then comes the fun part of making them into dreads.

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and dying them.

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And then you get to wear them!!!

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Hahaha! You guys should never let me stay home by myself!