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, after the closing, the previous owners handed us a book that she had written called “Under the Sycamore” about our house.   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”.

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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You Know Me…

Apparently bossing people around and making a “party” out of any gathering of people, runs in my blood.  So, of course, the minute I got to this 27 Week Physical Fitness Challenge, I started getting agitated about how they were missing out on a lot of opportunities to make it more fun!

By week, TWO, I just had to say something, and so I suggested to the owner that somebody should be taking “before” and “after” shots and talking to the participants about why they were in the class, their goals, and in general chart their success.  I told him that he could use it to inspire future participants, as proof that his program worked, and as a gift to his students for their hard work.

You already know what happened next.

So now I am taking everyone’s before, during and after shots, doing the interviews and putting it all together in a fabulous eBook.  Don’t roll your eyes, I love this stuff!  I am so excited to interview these people… find out their stories and write the bio with their pics.  You should have seen it today when I broke out the Nikon and started snappin’.  People were so happy to have their progress documented.  Too cool.

How was the class you ask? Well, I can’t lie… it was tough finding enough steam to show up.  It’s been a long week, it’s raining, and I have a lot of other things that I’d rather be doing… but if I can measure success by the amount of sweat pouring off my face and how great it felt when I held a plank for 30 seconds X2 or did 60 mule kicks each leg… then it was pretty damn good!

Will I ever slow down you ask?  You know me and my philosophy, if you don’t use it, you lose it baby, and that goes for your body and your mind!  Living a Red Shoe Life means you keep plugging away, growing, learning, doing, plotting,  trying new things and making sure you are living every single day to it’s fullest.   I plan to keep going at full speed until they find me one day on the floor of the Good Will…. with a margarita in my hand 🙂    RIP Margarite.  I will miss you.

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Figuring Out My New Life

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I had given a lot of thought about what I didn’t  like in my old life, but I hadn’t given much thought about what I would like in my new one. So, I made a list of what I thought an average day would look like, and with list in hand, I set off to try it out today .

7:00 a.m Wake up, drink Bulletproof coffee, do my Posture challenge exercises, drink more coffee.  No rushing, no cursing, no worrying about what to wear.  

8:00 a.m Listened to motivational speaker on You Tube, checked out competition and took notes.  No watching the news and getting depressed about the world.

8 :30 Threw in laundry, make bed, putz’d around.  Not mandatory  just a little housekeeping.

9:00 Took Sheltie (Maisie Moonbeam) for a walk on our country road, cut wild flowers and  took some pics.  No one hour commute.  No exercising in the gym. Loved the fresh air.

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10:00 Made flower arrangement, fed farm animals, showered.  No time clock or morning meetings.

11:00 Blogged, answered emails, wrote chapter on book while eating low carb brunch.  No, industrial coffee in Styrofoam cup.

12:00 Got dressed up and drove to work until 4:00 pm.  Still light outside when driving home.

So far so good. I could live with that.  Now I gotta figure out how to make that happen every day.  Ya know, I don’t mind going to work outside of my home.  I’ve stayed home all day with the kids, and all I wanted to do was go out!!!  Now I work from morning until night getting up at 5:00 a.m. and all I want to do is go home.  I’m looking for something in the middle!  Hey, it could happen, and I’m going to figure it out!