Walk This Way

rundmc-aerosmith[1]Aerosmith or Run DMC with Aerosmith?

Either one, the message is still “move your a$$”.  Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being, especially if you can get out and connect with nature.

man-1225488_1920During my work week, I take a half hour walk at lunchtime.  Beyond the exercise, it gets me out of my chair and out of the building.  The first five minutes are a bit stiff-legged and my feet are tender.  Sometimes my thoughts match that movement. Then the blood flow kicks in, joints get lubricated and most all of the pain and stiffness goes away.  There are two ponds located near my building, with a variety of birds, a few turtles and an occasional muskrat.  Just moving past water drops my stress level.  If I tune into the sights, smells and sounds of nature my thoughts slow down and make room for the Universe to give me suggestions for problem-solving.  A bonus, for sure.

nature-243483_1920Yesterday, I battled with a database not giving me the information I needed.  I fussed with it for a half hour and it resisted.  So I went for a walk.  My thoughts calmed down as I enjoyed the beautiful day.  And then, lo and behold, I heard a voice in my head [that would be the Universe, not a psychotic episode] tell me to delete the problem data and re-enter it.  When I went back to working on it, I did that, and . . . you can guess the results.  Bingo!

As I have gotten older, I have discovered that walking doesn’t necessary cause weight loss like it did in my younger years.  This seems to be a common complaint, especially amongst women.  I read an article about menopause that said when your estrogen drops your body looks for another place to find it.  Apparently, belly fat is a source of estrogen.  WTF.  Fat gut or hot flashes from h*ll.  I don’t think there is a choice.  I think sometimes your body gives you both as payback for all the abuse you’ve put it through.  You men don’t get hot flashes, but that beer gut might be replacing your lost testosterone.

Enough about guts and sweating to the oldies.

Walking is still one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Movement keeps you moving and as you move forward through life you will want to enjoy it as much as possible.  If nothing else, being able to walk to the bar to support your beer gut and avoid a DUI.

Slainte!

So Shoe Me

IMG_0117I love shoes.  I’ve written about them many times, probably more than anything else.  I guess I can’t help it.  I just love them.

I probably have too many.  Big Deal.

No one is starving because of my obsession with shoes.  If anything, the person who makes them is likely feeding their family from the proceeds.  I would like to think I am helping the economy.

The economy is like energy, there has to be a give and take flow in order for it to work.  When you buy shoes, or food, or cars, or homes or even just a pack of gum you are contributing to the flow.  When you go to work and create or support or provide service you are contributing to the flow.money-2159310_1920

Not doing any of those things merely stops up the energy like a two-year-old tossing a plastic dinosaur into the toilet.  I suppose that, too, contributes since you have to call a plumber to come dig Dino from the sewer.  Plumbers eat well because of two-year-olds and toys.

If you take something without an exchange or create harm, you might have to pay a fine, go to jail, or get sued.  All of which also stop the flow of energy.

By keeping the energy flowing, you create room in your life for more abundance, prosperity, success and just plain joy.  Allow yourself to receive and it will be easier to give.

Or just go buy a pair of shoes so someone can have a nice dinner with their family.

I’m Better Than I Never Was

photo-256887_1920Remember when you could run a seven-minute mile?  Wore a size 2?  Could live on five hours of sleep a night?

What if these and many others things like them that you tell yourself on a regular basis are really just lies to avoid accepting yourself for who you are now?  If you quit saying them, could you embrace your reality, could you be kind and loving to you?

And if you did, might you be better than who you thought you were?

It is easy to get caught up in the past.  It is about who you were, but your memories might be tainted.  Maybe things in your life aren’t going very well.  Struggles with a lover, unsatisfying work, body image, bank account a little low.  Not surprising you might wish for what was.  Not surprising you might think the past held better times.  Maybe it did.

What if you could change now?  The good news: you can.  How?  Think differently.  You are better than you were or you wouldn’t be here now.  You are better than you were because you have experience.  You have more knowledge.  You know what you really want, but did you know that your thoughts create your reality?  What you focus on is what appears in your life.  The more you think your life is crap, the more crap appears in your life.

Start by thinking of all the good things in your life.  Write them down.  Put a sticky note on your mirror to look at when you brush your teeth.  Stay focused on the good things.  Like attracts like.

Before long, you will realize that life is better than you thought it was.

Gra-feed-me

IMG_0443                                All photos from the RiNo area of Denver.

Graffiti has long been considered an eyesore and often gang-tagging.  There is obviously some beauty in it since many graffiti artists are being commissioned to decorate the sides of large buildings.

Denver has two areas with extensive wall art.  River North, known as RiNo, on the north side of downtown has gorgeous work of graphics and bold colors.  I’ve taken several photos and plan another trip for more.  The colors just grab my creative soul.  The other area is on West Colfax, known as the 40 West Arts District.  They actually have painted a green line on the sidewalks and pavement for people to walk around and view the art.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve driven past much of it.

The history of graffiti is attributed to Cornbread, a high school student in Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl.  Sigh.  Everything starts with love.

Graffiti is about getting attention, and probably for the purpose of feeding the soul of the creator.  How many times have you sat in a meeting and doodled while you listened to some talking head?  Feeding the need to quell boredom.  Or maybe designing the next rocket ship.

Graffiti is the most raw form of creativity.  Spewing out colors, shapes, swirls, maybe people or things.  The contents of your heart spread out for everyone to see.  I guess you could say posting a blog is some sort of graffiti.  A bunch of nonsense on an electronic wall.  Well, not everyone’s blog is nonsense.  But really, don’t we write in the hopes that someone will “Like” it?  No head trips here, just random thoughts.

However, I just might start adding some swirls and bright colors to my posts.  Gotta feed my soul, you know.IMG_0453

Forever 21

Yes, I know it is a clothing store.  And No, I do not shop there.  Would I want to be 21 again?  Oh, Hell No!  Too much work, too much silliness, too much learning to do all over again.  Even if I knew then what I know now, I would not want a do-over.  I would not be the woman I am now if it were not for the stupidity of my younger self.  Stupidity might be too strong a word.

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 Twenty-one is a time for learning.  Twenty-one is a time to do crazy, but hopefully not detrimental, things with all the joy and exuberance of youth.  It is best at any age to try to act in a safe manner just so as not to leave this life too early.  But where would you be today if not for some drunken night with your besties?  I so do not miss those days.

 I think the only thing I miss about being 21 is just the physical aspect of it – not waking up stiff and sore, the strength and resilience of your body.  But would I do anything different physically if I had that body or would my wisdom tell me that I really do not need to be different?

 You cannot go back to your youth and you really should not dwell on those times.  Doing so causes you to miss out on all the beauty and wonder of the present moment.  Love the self you are now, love your body, love your wisdom and love your sh*t. 

 And do not try to replay those drunken nights.  It is bad for your skin.  And you will smell like the cat box.

Waist Not, Want Not

belly-2354_1920Remember when a tiny waist was so important?  You would measure yourself daily and if there was a slight variation, you would starve yourself or do those twisty exercises or maybe just suck it in for the next week.  Once you are in the menopause-ing years, that tiny waist should be as forgotten as eight-track tapes.

I read a story once about maiden, mother and matron.  The maiden had a tiny waist to attract a really good husband, as a place for his hands to hold her.  The mother’s waist expanded so that when she held her child, the head was supported and placed for nurturing.  The matron’s waist was much thicker as to provide warmth and comfort on a cold night.  Hmmm.  Seems like our waist is only for the benefit of others.

Our middle section has been a focal point of our physical body since we discovered we had one.  Thick, thin, poochy, six-pack muscles, we spend more time on it than brushing our teeth.

Does your waistline trouble you?  Review your diet.  Do you need to clean up your eating habits?  Maybe go grain-free and check out the plan in “Wheat Belly” by William Davis M.D.  A ketogenic diet might work well so read “Fat for Fuel” by Joseph Mercola M.D.  If you have health issues, review them with your doctor.  It might be time to ditch the TV watching and go for a walk.  If you are physically impaired, roll your wheelchair down the sidewalk and experience the healthful benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

If you have taken the necessary steps to be your best self and your waistline still is not what you want, then it is time to accept this change.  Wrap your arms around your middle and give yourself a big hug.  That is what Loving Your Sh*t is all about.

Note: while the story about the waist was a cute fictional version, Maiden-Mother-Crone is considered the Triple Goddess in Neopaganism and often a woman’s power symbol in Celtic lore.  I also like to consider the waist area as symbolic of the third chakra – the solar plexus – as the area associated with personal power.  Claiming your personal and feminine power might actually strengthen and tighten up your waist.

Bird Brained

statue-185435_1280We have been “Liked” by some pigeons for a couple of months.  Oh, cute! You might think, unless you have read about why they are not so cute.  Their poop could likely destroy a building, not to mention the parasites and other yuck that they carry.  Sigh.

When we first discovered them, they had found a little hidey-hole between the gutter and railing on the roof.  There was a little nest and two little eggs inside.  How sweet, we thought.  Bird-brained, we were.  The poop began to build so we decided it was time to encourage them to move on.

Do you know how difficult it is to relocate pigeons without harm?

Kind of like getting your adult child to move out.

We removed the nest and covered the entry to prevent their access.  Well, we have two rooftop decks so they just scouted out the other one.  Again, a long space between the railing and the gutter became their new apartment.  My sweetie had to make a perilous extraction and a cover for their access, all the while chasing them away.  He had a career as an ironworker so this wasn’t such a frightening thing for him.  Me, let’s just say it was better that I neither saw this nor found out about it until after.

These winged rats from h*ll do not give up.

Lest you are wondering, no harm has nor will be unleashed upon these creatures.  We just want them to relocate out of the neighborhood.

Tippi-Halloween-Costume[1]It appeared that we were birdless, until I decided to go out onto the roof and listen to the music from a weekend street party.  Tippi Hedren would have had a case of PTSD.  Too bad I wasn’t wearing a green Chanel suit.  The f*ckers swarmed my head and there were only two of them!  I might have started screaming, but my sweetie had followed me out and proceeded to scare them away.  I discovered their new nest, complete with the two eggs, lurking behind the lounger.  A small poop-fest too.

Enough is enough.

Short of having roast fowl for dinner,  eewww, I took to my favorite form of waging war: look it up on the Internet.  Results: spikes on their perch.  Hmm.  Ultrasonic device.  A little too much $$.  Fake owls or hawks.  Okay.  Noisy or reflective things.  Okay.  Reflective stuff sort of works with birds like staring at the ocean without sunglasses works for us.  Next stop: Amazon.  Reflective tape and spinners.  We’ll try that.  We have a couple of windchimes we can relocate to the roof.  They might drive the neighbors batty, but they’ll appreciate not having a pigeon condo next door.  I bought some shiny pinwheels at the store and stuck them along the railing, close to the ground.

We washed down the roof and moved the furniture around to eliminate as many hidey-holes as possible.  Once we get the shiny stuff from Amazon, we are going to create a webbing of sorts with fishing line to discourage a landing zone.  We’ll hang some of the shiny stuff from it so it can blow in the breeze.  Maybe then, the rat b*stards will relocate.

My apologies if a pair of persistent grey flying rats descend upon your roof.  Better stock up on shiny pinwheels, if nothing else they will look cute.

Some Like It Hot

saguaro-2714996_1920We recently spent a week in Phoenix.  Yes, the middle of the desert, in the midst of summer.  I like warm weather.  I like sunshine.  I like being outdoors.  I like swimming pools and gardens and outdoor cafes.  The temperatures in Phoenix were pushing the low 100s, so we spent more time indoors with the frigid air-conditioning than I would have liked.  I hate cold blowing air, but I realize it is a necessity.

Some don’t like it hot.

I would much rather float in a swimming pool to cool off.  Fortunately, our friends have a little pool in their backyard so I got my wish.

Some like it wet.

The desert is an interesting place.  A kind of stark beauty, with cactus and shrubs and the eerily lovely green-barked palo verde trees.  They are a much-needed contrast to the terracotta and sand tones of the desert.  There is very little grass, as there is very little water and what there is fills up the many swimming pools.  All-in-all, I’d say the dryness contributes to the heat.

Some like it dry.

To my very great relief, I did not see any scorpions or tarantulas.  I’m told that the scorpions are usually very small and you can’t see them unless you use a black light.  Seriously.  WTF.  I stored my shoes in the dresser while we were there for fear that one of the little buggers would take up residence in them.  I’m not really sure what I would do if I saw one.  Probably something similar to my reaction of the high-rise hotel in Honolulu.  (see blog post “Defcon Five”)  Is there such a thing as Defcon Six?

Some don’t like creepy crawlies.

There are some pretty cool (no pun unintended) places to live in the Phoenix area, if you are into year-round heat.  If you are an active over-55er, Sun City West would cure you of permanent boredom.  There a several golf courses and rec centers, and when I say “rec center” they are on steroids.  If you ever had one boring day living there, then you are probably dead.

Some like it busy.

Still, I’m not sure I would want to live there.  I like being warm, but I would miss having seasons.  As much as I b*tch about being cold and go nutty long about April, changing seasons is interesting.  The birth of flowers in the spring, orange and red and yellow leaves in the fall, a touch of snow, well it’s the cycle of life.  Plus I would miss wearing my purple [faux] fur coat.  And the leopard one too.

Some like fuzzy stuff.

It takes visiting different places to make you appreciate where you live and what you have.  I like my little neighborhood.  I like the lake.  I like seeing the mountains in the distance.  Right now, I have the window open and I can hear the music from the weekly street fest.  It’s home and it’s where I am happiest.

Some like to call it home.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Recently, at work, the subject of dress code has surfaced again.  We have a new director, and he is getting his feet wet in all areas of the business.  After initiating the topic of shoes, he wisely turned the dress code idea over to a team of women.  Women police each other, after all.

59745-2001_CEREZA[1]Many a man, to his everlasting regret, has ventured in to the female shoe closet thinking to discuss the quantity, cost, necessity, appropriateness and style of female footwear.  Many of them wisely retreated when they notice the squinty eyeball staring back at them.  A brave few thought to continue the topic, and then determined that there is a fine line between brave and dumb.  Some hearty souls continued on, and were grateful that the living room sofa was a comfortable place to sleep.  And some were never heard from again.

The only men who can safely traverse the domain of the female shoe are those of a “different persuasion”, or the Great Oz of Shoes himself: Mr. Manolo Blahnik.  Should Mr. Blahnik ever appear in a woman’s shoe closet, especially if he were bearing gifts, she could succumb to a heart attack at that very moment and consider her life complete.

51g35jLUYvL._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Shoes represent the Holy Grail to women.  They are the ultimate form of self-expression.  We willingly spend thousands of dollars for coveted pairs, suffer untold agony and blisters for a few hours of wearing a spindly high needle for the praise of a friend or stranger.  Women have made new friends over a pair of shoes.

A beautiful pair of shoes can brighten a woman’s day.  Knowing that pain could come later, she will still step out proudly and with confidence that she can kick a$$.  An ugly pair. . .well, can make a woman feel ugly.  They are the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite.  A necessity, if you will.

Oh and if you are available, Mr. Blahnik, my closet is open. . . size 7, if you please.

Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.