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!

Rumor Has It…

Today I played the part of  a gossiping tour guide on our “Trash Tour” bus outing.  We invited residents from my senior community to enjoy a tour of our town complete with pit stops for snacks (such as pork rinds, rag bologna and squeeze cheese, moon pies and grape sodas).

During our tour we would stop in front of each MacMansion and I would put on my trashiest Southern drawl to dish dirt on the fictitious person who lived there.

“Now on my little ol’ right,  you’ll see the home of Big Daddy Graystone.  He isn’t home right now though.  A little ol’ burdie called me this mawnin’ and said they saw Big Daddy creepin’ in the backdoor of that TRASHY Nancy Miller.  Y’all know her don’cha, Hon? The owner of the Germantown Bakery?  Rumor has it that there is more than buns in her oven!!!”

Oh how they would squeal!  After all, polite society ladies never speak of such things!

We went through the gamut of stories; there was the 2nd floor balcony of Freddy the Flasher, the tall spindly Victorian of old lady Boone with her 29 cats, the countryside compound of a real live hit-man, and the modern Californian+

type estate of Maylene Porter, who has more visits from the May Tag repairman than Sear & Roebucks!  The stories got better as the tour went along.

When the tour finally ended, we collected the remains of some mighty delicious delicacies, and gave everyone a hug promising to do this tour again soon.  As I bent down in my seat to collect my purse, I overheard one of the passengers say to the other…” Who was that woman and how does she know EVERYBODY in town?”

The smartly styled gray headed  tourist leaned over to whisper in her companion’s ear…

“Rumor has it…”

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Exorcise Your Pumpkin Butt

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Hopefully, your September posture challenge will finish up strong this week. I can say that my neck and shoulders have never been so traumatized, but after almost 30 days of lifting, stretching and flailing my arms around like I’m on fire, I do actually seem to be standing up a little straighter.  Posture Coach Challenge 

I am planning to continue the posture torture and as we go through our Red Shoe Life exercises, will  add the new exercises each month to our routine.

This next challenge will begin in October and I wanted it to have a Halloween theme.  Should it  feature exercizes for Bat Wings? Goblin Guts? Witches T*ts? No!! It suddenly became obvious ( uh for OBvIOuS reasons). October’s challenge will be all about the Base, or should I say our Pumpkin Butts!

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Yes, I have multitudes of friends who do everything in their power to make their butts BIGGER.  Sorry guys, that is just not the look I’m after and before I get in trouble, that’s all I’m going to say.   At this time, I am not shooting for buns of steel here… just a little less lead!

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So, Pumpkin Butts, be prepared to get BAKED!

Give these three exercises as often as possible throughout your day.  I have selected these three because they are relatively easy, do not require gymnastics, and can be done in the privacy of your own home (if you choose… I know what exhibitionists you all are!)

I have not listed a determined amount of repetitions, as it is different for everyone.  If you are after some “beaut glutes”, than do more.  If you haven’t budged from the Barcalounger for decades, than start slow…

Here ya go:

1. The squeeze…. And yes, if you are doing this in line at Walmart, people can tell!  Wait until no one is looking and tighten the muscles in your ass several times.  Done and done.

2. The lift.  Standing while holding on to a sink, bar stool or other stationery object lift your leg (one at a time) directly behind you with a straight knee  (no pun intended).  Increase reps each day.

3.The Badonkadonk Bridge. This one is done on the floor or while your still in bed, lying flat on your back with bended knees. Now hoist that derriere straight up with your arms at your sides for extra umpf!  Every morning and every night with increasing repetitions should just about do it!

There are a million other exercises for beautiful booties, and some look pretty damn ridiculous.  Check out a few videos that I recommend on my Pinterest Board under Health and Fitness. (see link) What do you have to lose except your Oh Lordy, Gourdy!

Red Shoe Life Transformation    Pinterest

What a Week!

Holy Crap!  This week has been a freakin’ doozy!  Besides a tornado, a flood and an audit, I had one of the worst flare ups of rheumatoid arthritis that I can remember.  As you can imagine between the storm and the stress of the apocalypse, it was only a matter of time before things got crazy.  Fortunately or not, the best remedy for weeks like this is to “just keep swimming”.   Dory had it right all along…  just keep going and you will get there!  So even though I had what felt like lightening bolts shooting out of my feet, I went to Tai Chi class, fed my vacationing friend’s farm animals, gave a massage, corralled dozens of people to a tornado shelter AND started my month of Posture Challenge.  What did I get for my efforts???  I feel better!!!

So, today is Saturday, and you all know that means the war of “Woman vs Wild” home improvement was full on.  After the exorcism, I did manage to vacuum the spiral stairwell,  drop a potted plant down the spiral stairwell, re-vacuum the stairwell,  clear  a bookcase of cookbooks, and take another load of oddball shit to Goodwill.  It is still early but my shoulders are screaming from yesterday’s Posture Challenge and I am cringing at the thought of today’s workout.   There are still a lot of hours left in this day, but I have to make sure I use them wisely.   I have intentions of making a run for the At Home store, work on my book, and, of course, there is always LAUNDRY.  Amazingly, there is no end to the FUN I will be having!  (sarcasm is my middle name).

Since this is a 3 day weekend, I hope to get a lot of things done from my long “To Do” list, but sometimes it feels a little hopeless, especially when things like storms tear up your trees and trash your yard.  Yeah, my improvement project might get a little delayed while I haul stuff to the burn pile, but in the overall scheme of things, I feel damn lucky compared to my friends and co-workers in Texas.  Yes, I felt a little terror as I had to engage the snorkel on the Mini Cooper, but I sure as hell wasn’t being swept away in a river.  I had cold cuts for dinner, but I had food, and even though I had to call every single person in my family to make sure they were OK, I found them all and they were “Fine mom (eye roll) duh!”

With everything that happened this week, I think my Red Shoe Life message today is to be persistent.  Although there can be set backs and obstacles, chip away at your goals a little bit every day.  Your goals are finite and with every inch that you progress,  it is inevitable that you will reach the finish line.  So, no matter how far you need to go, how much you gotta do or how big a pain in the ass it’s going to be to get ‘er done…  in the wise words of a little fish “Just keep swimming!”