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.

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.

Daikon and Decongestants

FD236E7E-218B-4A51-AEC8-F92A668A0FF1.jpegAfter several punky days of sniffling and sneezing (thanks Margaret), I finally crawled under the covers and succumbed to this dreadful head cold.  I doubled up on my Vitamin C and Zinc, along with a few other ancient motherly remedies, followed by a vat o’vicks and a soak in my salt water pool.  Needless to say, I still felt like crap and turned to the big guns with nasal spray and DayQuil.  It was so pitiful on Monday as I rolled into Walgreens for the above ammunition, only to find myself in the parking lot like a junkie trying to pry off the childproof top of the spray bottle.  I actually had to go back inside where my friend October (yes, that is her name) tried to help me, but was eventually forced to get a pair of pliers out of the drawer and two cashiers gripped and wrenched until it finally popped off.  (Glad it wasn’t just me.)

I stayed at work long enough to know I needed to go back home, and dragged my sorry self back to bed.

By Tuesday, all the chicken soup in the world wasn’t working and I gave up the fight and went to the Little Clinic at Kroger.  I was happy to note that I was their only customer and the young man who listened to my tale of woe, was very patient and quite comedic.  I have so many issues with the medical profession and it takes a lot to make me go, but if you have to go…  this place was ok.  They called me in some antibiotics and some kick-ass head-meds, and they were ready at CVS before I even made it to the car.

So for the rest of today, I will be sitting around watching my favorite cooking shows in a mild haze of antihistamines and ginger water.  I imagine I will be back at work tomorrow, though I am not planning anything too strenuous.

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This is what happens when I’m home alone with the cooking channel.  Grilled chicken, fresh spinach and daikon salad with homemade dressing.

Thanks to all of my buds at work who have been checking on me  (Hey, are you dead yet?) and taking up the slack while I’ve been out.  Just in case I have spread my cooties throughout our team.  Here is the recipe for a quick recovery:

Cut up ginger, lemons, limes and mint leaves

Soak above ingredients in the water overnight in fridge and enjoy with a shot of tequila for medicinal purposes, of course!

 

Nailed It

The “Woman vs Wild” home transformation has been getting hot lately… literally.  Yesterday we started on the front half of the storage building which we creatively call “The Shed”.  It’s a dark oily smelling place full of tools, gardening stuff  and  all manner of supplies for home and garden upkeep.

A few weeks ago, which has it’s own upcoming blog post, we gutted the camping end of The Shed and ridded ourselves of massive amounts of tangled fishing poles, mouse eaten tents and empty bottles of propane.  It now has lovely new plywood walls and shelving units full of organized and usable camping and fishing gear.

Since that side turned out so nice, I wanted to keep the magic flowing and dug into the mess where we keep such things as the lawnmower, broken weedwackers, piles of rakes, shovels, bags of bug stuff, etc.  It isn’t as bad as most other projects that we have tackled, and once we ditched some big stuff, it really just came down to organizational storage.

So with gloves up to my elbows, I got up early and started in on two enormous rubber totes full of small “cha-chi” type house stuff, leaves, dead bugs and unmentionable mouse “presents”.   These totes are the type that you put a Christmas tree in, so you can image how much crap we had thrown in there.  Now, don’t think I didn’t want to just dump it, but there was probably a hundred bucks worth of wood screws, pounds and pounds of galvanized nails, and countless peg board hooks, paint brushes and duct tape that I was surely going to need.  So in I went.

As you know, it wouldn’t be me unless I found some humor in the mix, so I started labeling the resulting smaller more organized totes with my kind of fun.  So when I am working on a project, and go looking for supplies, here is what I will see:

Tote #1:  Nailed It

Tote #2: Screw You

Tote #3: It’s Got 2 B Glue

Tote#4: Electric Avenue

Tote#5: In the Paint

Tote #6 Watergate Tapes

Tote #7 Hooks on Phonics

Tote #8 Chicken Shit (this one headed to the barn)

I am never a fan of spending my whole weekend working on the house project, but tonight, as I sat on the porch, with the yard mowed and my new wicker twinkle lights overhead, I heard a little voice inside my head… “Yeah… you nailed it!”

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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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!