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!

 

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!