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”.

Oh Snap!

I will rise, but I’ll be damn if I’ll shine… or at least for a few more hours.  I am dragging a bit today, and geez, I think I have a right to be.  It is nothing catastrophic, but it is overwhelming.  So what’s got me down.. this time?  Well, besides my beloved Mini is in the shop for a bs sensor issues, the idiot hardwood floor people are showing up today (maybe) to check out the roots that has been growing into my carpet from the pile of wood that has been in my dining room since Christmas, I didn’t get home from work until 9:30 p.m. last night and am back here again at 7:30 a.m. dressed as a flapper (which believe me is getting very very very old), I missed my kickboxing class (due to above grievance),  let’s see.. oh yes, my doctor, who says he  has important information regarding test results from last week’s visit, didn’t call me yesterday…and an incredibly long list of other piss-ant crap.

So, what to do about it?  Since it is not on my Keto diet to have tequila for breakfast, and sorry Lisa S., I can’t kill anybody, I guess I will do the Red Shoe Life thing and work my way up from the bottom.

1).  I will drive husband’s hooptie really fast,  eat all of his sugar-free gum,  and leave my coffee cup in the holder 🙂

2). Put red underwear on the pile of flooring and when the guys show up, I’ll ask them to leave it just a little longer….

3).  Call my doctor to ask for note for work since I was unable to go due to my “important” medical issue.

4).  Give note to employer and take the rest of the week off. 🙂

5). Go to kickboxing class tonight and beat the shit out of the heavy bag

I guess some days you just have to “suck it up buttercup” and today, I’ll do it dressed as a flapper!

Deb’s Dreads

Life on the farm has been a swampy mess lately.  It finally thawed out and now has had at least two weeks of monsoon conditions, causing my girls to be cranky and not their usual glamorous selves.  Even Andrew, my Southdown Baby Doll sheep is moping.  I miss his smiling little face as he waits patiently for the other roller rink floozies to fight over the sweet feed.   I just muck around in my waders, schleppin’ hay and tidbits to higher and higher ground.  I’ve even been eyeing a pile of old fence wood contemplating building an ark.  BTW, thanks Bri and Brandon for the IKEA bag… it is working great for hauling hay and keeping spiders out of my hair!

So yes, I have a collection of sheep that I originally got to spin their wool and make art yarn. I love their wool.  It’s soft and fluffy… and so plentiful…  I even have a wonderful spinning wheel that I use to hang clothes on in my bedroom and drag out to the Mid-South Spinning Club once a year. The tubbies in my garage are really stacking up.  What to do… what to do?

I guess I lost my enthusiasm for yarn when I realized that I just can’t knit or crochet…  tried it… can’t do it. Perhaps I should have taken that into consideration before I purchased the sheep…  The other downer is that most people in Memphis just don’t wear woolen socks and hats.  Go figure!  I just had to come up with some other way to use all this wool.   That is when it hit me…  woolen dreads!  If you are unfamiliar with these cool beauties, check out Google or Pinterest and see all the vibrant colors and adornments.  My brain exploded when I saw how creative I could get with it and immediately fell in love with the whole process.   Thus, Deb’s Dreads were born.

Today the dreads went even further out on the limb of the crazy tree… One of my awesome sisters has a beach side gig where she sells wooden nautical art and driftwood masterpieces.  It’s called “The Wooden Peg” (her name is Peggy) and if you are ever near Jensen Beach, you’ll have to check her out.  One of the biggest sellers at The Wooden Peg are mermaids.  She hand cuts them, paints them, puts on the do-dads and voila… Ariel swims off the shelf faster than Peg can make them.  So one day we were yakkin’ about a new project and it suddenly popped up that it would be cool if the mermaids wore dreadlocks.  Hmm…  hot pink perhaps??  This conversation resulted in me making a set for her today which will be ready for the dying process tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to sew on the little pink sequins and tiny sparkly shells!

This got me thinking about other types of dolls.  I rang Florida and asked if she could make me a stand up version that I could make colorful dresses, head raps and dreadlocks.  Now my head hurts… I’m going to have to get more sheep…

Stay tuned for the finished projects and let me know if my knitting days are over.  In the meantime, making dreads for my human customers keeps me happy and insures that I can continue to use my spinning wheel as a clothes rack… or better yet… use it as the helm’s wheel on my new ark!

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27 Week Challenge

Over the holidays my transformation progress really slowed.  Although I didn’t gain any weight, my motivation was elsewhere and I was just trying to get all of the festivities under control at home and at work.  (I am an event and programs director).  When the last of the  Christmas boxes went up into the attic (ok, ok.. there are still a few at the top of the stairs….)  I started looking around wondering what the hell happened to my year of change.

March 2017 started my journey, and although I had come at it with a long list of things I wanted to work on, I realized that there must have been an awful lot of “back-peddling” to achieve so very little.  My pool is still a swamp, my hardwood is still in a pile in the middle of the Dining room, I only lost 50 pounds not 100 pounds, I still had the same job, same routine,  no new adventures, epiphanies or triumphs.  WTH???

Although the journey was supposed to be an overall transformation involving my whole self, I decided to narrow it down a little and concentrate on my physical appearance, hoping to achieve at least ONE part of my list.   I had actually lost 50 pounds, which isn’t chump change, but somehow, I was still wearing most of the same clothes and I looked exactly the same.. just smaller.  I would go so far as to say that I looked worse.  Now, everything that used to be fat, was smooshy.  I wasn’t even CLOSE to what I thought 50 pounds lost would look like.  I HATE those commercials when women say they lost 15 pounds and 3 dress sizes… Good grief.  I guess there was a lot of exercise in my future.

So, while I was thumbing through FB, I saw an ad for a 27 week physical challenge.  Why is it 27 weeks?  I have no idea.  The ad said that it involved kickboxing among other things, and it was at a Jujitsu Studio.  There is nothing I like to do more than kick and punch things.. so  this was right up my alley. The class was local, inexpensive and didn’t involve a bathing suit.   I was a little nervous about being the oldest battleship in the fleet, but I signed up anyway.  The only real thing I was worried about was whether or not I had TIME to do this.  I have crazy work hours, a farm, a family and a lot of time spent commuting…. it was going to be rough.

I am happy to report that this old gal has been hanging in for five weeks now, going to class 3 times a week, and 2 times a week to the gym for weight lifting and walking the track.  Do I feel better?  Hell no!  Every single day I have a new ache or pain, but my commitment remains solid.  The fear of failing at my transformation is greater than the pain in the ass of the break-neck schedule.  Sooner or later, something is bound to happen.

I knew there would be issues.. there always is.  I swear everything else in my life has spiraled out of control, mainly due to me spending so much time exercising.  Dinner has not been regular, and the house looks worse than ever.  My workmates jaws drop as I run out the door at the stroke of 5 wearing my workout clothes.  No longer are the days that I stay after work to finish a project or stop by the store on the way home to get that special something to go with dinner… Sorry gang, but  ya can’t have it both ways.

After the 27 weeks, I will slow my roll and try to create a utopia where I have time for everything…   yeah right, but for now I’m living out of the Mini Cooper with boxing gloves in the backseat right along with my cocktail hour attire and rubber boots.

My year’s transformation has been nothing like I thought it would be.  It was so much harder than I had planned and although I will not reach my goals by March, I will keep the list where it has been all year and cross them off one by one as I smash my way to the finish line!

Family Fun

Today was a stress free “fun” day with the twins.  As you know, part of my Red Shoe Life is to spend more time with my friends and family.  It is rare that I get the boys all to myself without endless tasks revolving around their school, scouts, karate or marching band, so I made plans to do some cool stuff.   I really try to make the most of what little non-working time that I have and today the sun was shining and I had the whole day to do what I ever wanted to do.

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So, of course, I let them sleep in while I ran and got hay from Brunswick Feed.  I sorta like going to BF.  There is usually one or two woman my age working their ass off hauling bales of hay or 50 lb bags of feed.  There is always a mental “thumbs up” when I shop there.  The place let’s me play at being “farmy”,  while not being intimidated by a bunch of “farmers”.  Does that make sense?  I always think I hear something like that salsa commercial when I walk into some of the more redneck co-ops…”There she is…New York City…”  aw… screw em!  I enjoy my little place and just because I’m wearing a tiara and  red high heels while I’m on the tractor… too damn bad!

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The rest of the day was filled with baking Winter peppermint cookies, snowflake Pizzelles and drinking hot cocoa.  Of course, the boys were more enthused about baking when I said we could take some to their girlfriends, but a mom’s gotta do, what a mom’s gotta do.

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We did manage to get the animals all re-organized and ready for more cold weather as well as get the hay put in the barn.   I even put dried rosemary in the chicken nesting boxes.  (Thanks to all the  trimmings from my friends, Hardy and Mary Patricia!)  I hear rosemary makes the chickens lay  more eggs… who knew?  At least it smells better than poultry poop.

All in all, it has been a great day, and although we will spend all of our time tomorrow putting away the last of the Christmas decorations… today was all about fun!

 

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!

 

Keeping Keto

As the days of Fall Break speed by, we had one last chance for a sunny day lunch excursion.  It seems like I have been doing nothing but eating this entire week, but when I hopped onto the scale this morning, I was actually down 2 pounds.  Go me!  So with a positive attitude, we headed south into Mississippi.  It was a toss up between Holly Springs and Olive Branch, and as I had heard so much about O.B., the Mini Cooper led the way.  I was so excited to find this quaint and beautifully coiffed old-fashioned Town Square, chock full of antique stores, one-of-a-kind cafes and all sorts of artsy shoppes.  It was so hard to choose where to eat, and as we only had a short window of time, we flipped a coin and headed towards an eclectic little coffee house.  I would imagine that parking could be a challenge during peak times, but as luck would have it, the mighty Mini squeezed right in!  Pink’s Coffee House was not hard to find with it’s hot pink door  completely decorated with irresistible Halloween cuteness.   I just had to check it out.

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Pink’s did not disappoint. The place smelled like heaven and there was so much cool stuff to look at, it took a minute to figure out what the hell was happening!  The front room with it’s mismatched cafe tables and chairs had piles board games and there was artwork from local artists, funky statues, and signs about everything covering the walls. There was even a pile of stuffed fish net stocking LEGS, with leopard print shoes hanging out of a basket.  No sure what that was all about, but sooo whimsical!

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Along with the books and board games, each table had a large empty can with a roll of paper towel stuck in it and a pair of stripped witch legs showing off high heeled Red Shoes.  I knew I was in the right place!

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The menu was vast covering all kinds of breakfast goodies as well as sandwiches galore!  I started looking for my Keto selection, but didn’t have to look far.  This restaurant was all about it’s low carb customers and was ready with some amazing menu items.

First on the list was some scrumptious looking crust-less quiches.  I saw broccoli, mushrooms, bacon etc..  FABULOUS!!  I also snapped a pic of the quiches WITH crusts, just so you could compare how good it all looked!

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I finally decided on egg salad with olives (which should have been called Egg & Olive Branch, haha!).  It was served on a couple of lettuce leaves with a homemade pickle.  I LOVE  olives, so this was a big treat.  I hadn’t had that combination in years.  Wow!

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There was also pimento cheese, spicy and non-spicy, tuna and chicken salad and some mighty BLT’s to name a few, but here is the BEST part!  You can have your “sandwich” ingredients served on bread of all kinds, croissants, rolls etc..  but for Keto lovers, you could have it all served on a salad…

OR on two giant rounds of crispy bacon that serve as the “bread” that holds it all together.

Holy Crap!!!

I recommend this Coffee House with a Red Shoe Life thumbs up!  Thanks, Pink,  for keeping it Keto!

Be sure to look for an extensive interview with Pink and her other Keto recipes in my upcoming eBook full of dining-out options!  In the meantime, check out her extensive coffee and tea offerings and enjoy it in their outdoor seating area.  She has it all!

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