Just Under the Wire

Sliding in head first, just under the wire, I have finally fulfilled my New Year’s resolution of writing a post in January.  I just couldn’t get started.  Not that I didn’t have things to talk about… just the opposite.  So much has happened.. better start at the beginning.   For those of you who are new to my Red Shoe Life Transformation Blog, you’ll have to scroll back through some of the old posts to get the gist. In a nutshell, it has been an account of last year’s efforts to transform everything about my life from my grass to my ass.  I had a lot of trials and tribulations with failed attempts to renovate certain areas, but in the end (no pun intended) I finished the year minus a crap load of well.. crap, a few re-organized areas on the farm, and give or take 50 lbs. vanished off the scale.  As my readers will attest, it wasn’t without a fight.  Every single thing that was accomplished was so freaking frustrating, but I am blessed with superhuman stubbornness and a psycho’s persistence to throw fits until I get my way until I get what I’m after.

An example you ask?  Well, the 30 foot mud hole in my backyard, that was once our pool, is now a fabulous party mecca complete with ice buckets  and red beach balls.  It only took three summers and 6 or 7 pool companies to make things right.  At last, I can sit poolside with my keto lemonade  and not worry about beavers building condominiums under the fiberglass slide.  Yes, I have jackhammered holes in my relatively new cement, the lawn is incredibly rutted up, and, of course, my bank account took about a 10 thousand dollar hit, but my fabulously fixed oasis now shoots jets of sparkling water hard enough to tear off your tankini and the water actually stay IN the pool.   If you have ever spent a summer in Memphis, you’d know… this is a wonderful thing.

If you are keeping score, the simultaneous floor debacle has at last resolved itself.  We got a raw floor just before Thanksgiving and the project finished  one week before setting up our Christmas tree. After two years of living without a floor and 1 year of living with nothing but dirt… all it took was a shit load of money and a new contractor.  Who knew?  I now happily slide around in socks singing “Just Give Me That Ol’ Time Rock and Roll”

Needless to say, I am very thankful for closing the book on those chapters, but am ready to finally move on.  You see, at the end of last year I almost got to the point where I was going to throw in the towel.  The contractors, lawyers, employers and doctors ALMOST got the best of me, and unfortunately I stopped blogging about it, mainly because it just sounded like whining. Friends said I should have just kept blogging, but it seemed like such a broken record.   I had followed my own advice and put myself out there.  I tried new things and met new people, and frankly, it didn’t work out as expected.  At all.  The drama, the frustration and the disappointment were crazy. Here’s the good part though.  Even when it sucked that it didn’t work out the way I planned, in the end it was EVEN BETTER!!!  I’ll have many more posts regarding each aspect of the transformation, but just note that I’m happy to be back in the game” and all of the blubbering from last year is finally over.  I am excited to say, however, you’ll need to get ready for some new blubbering.  January is the beginning of the second half of my transformation.  It will include another 50 pound loss, a fitness challenge, another renovation, new friends, new skills and a brand new grand baby!  Hang on for some really deep stuff…hahah, not just the hike through the Grand Canyon deep… but holy crap I’m almost 60 deep.

Happy New Year Red Shoe friends, and welcome to Chapter Two. I’m not just sliding in under the wire,  I’ve got my sights set on a whole new finish line.

Blueberry Hill

It’s blueberry time here on the farm and I spent a lovely morning in the shade watching my husband pick blueberries. I had my little official blueberry picking basket, but really wasn’t feeling up to crawling around in our forest of fruit. The berries this year are enormous and juicy, so if you are interested, we will be having our driveway sale in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve wandered back up to the house after several conversations with the animals, found a good book, made a blueberry smoothie and will be planting my butt on the porch for the rest of the morning. I’ll be glad when this pneumonia plays out as I am already bored with sitting around.

Check out my pics for an anti-inflammatory treat: Almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, flaxseed and stevia.

Summertime at the Farm

One of the most wonderful things about being at home, is watching everybody else do yard work…haha! Pneumonia has it’s benefits.

Honestly though, I thoroughly enjoy just being at home hanging out on the porch or vegging by the pool. It has been a rough couple of years with the frustration of pool companies, but I am so thankful that this summer, all systems are GO!

As you can see by the pics, it was certainly worth the wait.

Many thanks to the most handsome pool boys EVER!

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 Home Repair Update

Well, I bitched my way through the entire year (2017) with endless contractors coming and going, and yet the same pool and hardwood floor projects never did get fixed.  Short of standing in my driveway with a t-shirt cannon and my cash, only a drunken trip to Vegas could have wasted more money.

Did I mention that we are now on our seventh pool company? Yes? Well, sorry, but you’ve got to admit… SEVEN????  Each one dogging the last and each one peering into the swamp of doom and declaring somewhere around a $500 fix.  Several left running with their rubber hoses between their legs and didn’t even have the balls to jackhammer up the cement pool deck like their other chlorine cousins.   One company charged us over $400 to just point at the problem and put blue painter’s tape in an arrow… I’m assuming this was to let other pool sharks know where I kept my checkbook.  This latest company seems to know what they are doing, however, the bill has already soared to over $3000.  I’ll keep you posted.

We are also on our 4th hardwood floor in the same room in just one year.  Yes, I know you have heard this story too.  Again apologies… just trying to bring my new readers up to speed.  Just imagine moving your furniture into a POD every couple of months, taking all of your paintings off the walls, and living for a week or more in your bedroom with a Sheep dog, a Sheltie and various other menageries… only to find out that they screwed it up again and we will be waiting until the planets align to give it another go…  Now they are stating that they never put a floor into a house that doesn’t have a vapor barrier.  I guess that’s a new rule, since these are the same people who put the last two floors in.

Me: “I thought I had a vapor barrier?  I paid Onyx Interiors for one, and didn’t you say you were concerned about the barrier being messed up by our cats????

Them: “Lady, I look under a lot of houses.  I guess I made a mistake.

Me:  Considering how many times you have F*CKED up my house, wouldn’t you pay more attention?”

Them: “I don’t have to listen to this.”  Click.

I’m just saying… it’s a good thing that this conversation wasn’t in person.

So here is the “Woman vs Wild” Home Improvement Update:

Last Sunday as I was putting away my winter clothes (Ok, I was premature about that) I went into an obscure closet in our office.  It is a very old house with closets like Narnia and  clothes rods longer than any firehouse I’ve ever seen.  The roof pitches like an “A” frame which makes it great for shoving shit in there that you never want to see again.  However, on this trip I noticed a white shirt that now looked tie-dyed… WTH… it was wet and hanging next to a red jacket (also wet)  The F*CKING ROOF IS LEAKING!  I couldn’t believe it!  This is in a totally different section than the last leak (that caused all the problems with the hardwood floor), and may I remind all of my readers that our metal roof is only a few years old.

I spent all of Sunday hauling weird clothes to the spare bedroom floor (yes the one I just beautifully painted and decorated).  We called a repair company, but in almost a week’s time, they have not called back.

So with buckets in hand and the most rain I have seen in many years, I sat on the floor and just tried to figure out what in the world to do.

Money Pit: 10,000  Deb: 0

 

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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