7-17-17 – Four Years Ago

What would you do when death was suddenly a topic on a regular basis? When you realize you have not accomplished things you want to accomplish? When you’ve collected way too much CRAP to take care of?

I love numbers. They’re meaningful to me. 7-17 is a big deal in my world.

In early 2016 we had an epiphany.

ANOTHER friend died. Too young. Leaving his family way too soon.

He was successful – like off the charts successful! He was the kind of wealthy person that you’d never know. Not flashy or boastful. Just humble and kind and always shared his wealth and his experiences with his “people” (aka his friends and family).

I remember sitting on a boat in the marina – the boat he planned to have for his memorial send-off. It’s a blur of details. I felt honored to have had a few experiences with this man and his wife and now I feel that blanket of sadness that he is just gone. And it was a slow death so he could get things in order.

The list of people I know is giant. Last check I had 5000+ contacts in my phone. On top of that I’ve personally met every runner in every race we produced. Then there’s all the races Randy participated in that I was his “crew” and you make friends with all the other crews gutting it out.

I’ve met so many people in Nevada, Utah and now Colorado.

Knowing a lot of people means you’re gonna have death. Regularly. Suddenly. One conversation at the Start Line of a race with a dynamic runner has MEANING to me. Maybe not for them, but for sure it does with me.

I sat there thinking: what is important? What’s happening now that I want to change? What have I not been able to experience that I want to still experience?

Then there’s the other important topics: Last Wishes? A Will or Living Trust? Where will I be buried? Should I be cremated? Who would even come to my funeral?

Now I am older and have lost too many people and they did not all get a chance to finish that list, write down that recipe, decide clearly on their final wishes…nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

First things first: I want to get those EXPERIENCES in my head. I want to drift. Untethered! Free! But HOW?

Both of us have held jobs since we were teens. We were dedicated to our churches and put the responsibilities there above personal fun and experiences repeatedly. Vacation? None in my childhood that I can remember.

Our last “child” was leaving the nest. We lived in a 5 bedroom home which is just ridiculous in my opinion. We did not need all of this STUFF and it sure wasn’t making us happy keeping track of it.

We took a tenting camping trip north on the PCH.

On that route we have to pass Emma Woods Beach which is where Amanda’s life was lost in a terrible train accident. Normally we avoided that stretch of driving – but this trip we could not.

I was the driver and I remember the silence in our truck. I hate that silence. Nothing is comforting at all. I held my breath while we pass “the place” where it happened. I’m still very angry that this accident happened and that there are people that feel it was the way it was supposed to be – like some sort of supreme being INTENDED it. Don’t get me started, that’s for another blog post.

We arrived to our campsite. San Simeon State Park.

This is where we decided it was time to change things. Explore the unknown.

And we set the date to downsize our life and simplify.

So many questions popped up that we didn’t know the answers to. We kept our plan a secret for almost half a year and then we knew we needed to plan closing our business completely.

So 7-17 is a day of freedom for me. Free thinking. Free to go where the wind takes us.

That was four years ago.

We made TONS of huge mistakes and have learned a lot.

Social Media Kills

I want to get completely off of social media. My screen time is down 43% already! I’m headed in the right direction.

Have you noticed that every other post in your feed is some sort of ad?

Have you noticed that people befriend you (request to be a friend) with the sole purpose of selling you what they have to offer? They don’t know you, they’ve barely given you 2 sentences of conversation really, yet they want to let you into their lives?

But it’s the ads! All of it Social Dilemma driven…do you NOT believe this?

It’s boring to me now. Maybe that’s how it’s set up: I’m being penalized for downsizing the number of people in my Friends list?

This month I downsized from over 800 friends to 300. MAN did that reduce the noise.

I want to log in and see actual friends. You know, the ones that I could call on for help (and they’d help with more than a LIKE or COMFORT emoji). I want to see my family updates but hope I’d hear about it from a phone call.

What if that was what this social media thing became for each of us? How many people would be in your FRIEND list? How many are there now?

On that note, I’m reviving my goal to write letters and send them in my Happylopes to those people I think fall into the “friend” category. Of course I’ll keep up on my family too (we talk to each other often now…so much better than seeing a social media post by the way).

Artificial Intelligence = Loss Of HumanKIND

I do not like bait and switch. Do you?

People that want to befriend you only to put you on an automated playlist of funnel-ready canned communication…TO SELL ME SOMETHING.

Oh where are we headed HUMAN RACE?

I think we better be more human and remove this auto-pilot that is pretending to be human.

Pick up the phone and call someone.

Write a letter if you don’t want to commit to a 60 minute long catch-up call.

Just stop automating to people you are calling a friend.

If you are running a business on social media platforms I really hope you have your own website and you have gathered the contact information of all of the people you’ve met in your life. Maybe you could utilize that to promote to directly. Side note: when I first began with a FREE page on social media for our boot camp business (and every business since) I knew this gravy train would have to have an “end”. I knew we would need to keep tight reign on this incredibly valuable connection to each person…you should do. AND DON’T DO IT WITH A FREAKING “FUNNEL” (for older people it’s called a drip-campaign and I’m too busy to try to remember what we called it before that) – DO IT WITH FACE-TO-FACE CONVERSATION so people can know who YOU are and what YOU do then let them remember you when they need what you’ve got. That’s my preference and it goes against so much of what people are being taught is “marketing” these days. Ya, it’s got flaws but at least my flaws can be caught and responded to by someone that cares about me and I reciprocate.

That’s my 2-cents on this Shoemaker Holiday.

Take care my friends and family!

My Pet’s Food Menu and Recipes

Zoey (age 15) and Kona’s (age 12)

Meal Plan as of Dec 2019

We began Zoey’s meal plan in September this year. She was overweight, lethargic, unhappy (actually being a meanie) and refusing to just walk 30 feet. I have video footage of me forcing her to walk and her HATING it. For the record: SHE HAD TO GO PEE/POO so we had to make her walk to do it… see video of her now! She’s a spry happy fluff ball bounding through 6 inches of snow, smiling and enjoying life again!

Zoey Shoemaker – BEFORE. Hating this walk (and all walks for that matter!)

Not based on anything but common sense that we need to fuel our bodies with good nutrient-dense food so why wouldn’t that apply to our dogs? No doctor has approved or guided our choices. The pet food industry was useless in helping us balance the fat/protein/carb intake information.

Zoey is the following ingredients and measure amounts, Kona is double these for now. When he is off kibble completely he will get 3x these measurements (except chia and flax he will get double).

Kona and Zoey snoozing by the fire at Beth’s place.

Also, I keep the same recipe until the items are gone. So if I open a can of green beans then we use those until the can is gone. Neither dog has complained.

When I bake sweet potatoes I usually do 3 large ones in a baking La Crueuset in a ton of water. 1 spud works for both dogs for 1 day. I leave the skin on and the funky tips.

When I make rice or quinoa I begin with 3 cups of water and 1.5 of the grain/rice. This lasts for 3 days (6 meals).

To make the crushed pulverized egg shells I collect them up from Randy making his breakfast and rinse them then let them air dry and put them in my mini-food processor grinding until they are super tiny flecks. I add about 3T of water to 4 egg’s shells. That lasts a week.

I buy the giant 6-pack of chicken from Costco. 1 pack will last me 3 days (6 meals). I rinse chicken and place in La Crueuset pot fill with about 1-2 inches above the chicken (to make ‘chicken soup water’) and bake at 350 for about an hour. It falls off the bone. I also do this with chicken breast if that’s what I get at Costco. Randy convinced me that the fat is a good thing for the dogs…who am I to argue, right?

The following are my loose recipes.

Just remember you do not need to “flavor” anything up. Also, if you can give them organic I would. If you have a dog on kibble slowly ween them off so their bodies are not shocked. If you tell your Vet you are doing this be prepared to be judged and them be irritated that you aren’t interested in buying the dog food they offer at their clinic…stay strong!

Chicken 1/2c shredded or a chunk (so she has to chew more…inspiring the first stage of digestion: SALIVA)
1/2c whole grain rice
1/3c shredded carrots
1/4t of crushed egg shells
1T of chicken soup juice

Chicken 1/2c shredded or a chunk (so she has to chew more…inspiring the first stage of digestion: SALIVA)
1/4c whole grain rice
1/4c dry oats (not instant)
1/3c baked sweet potato (or yam)
1/4t of crushed egg shells
1T of chicken soup juice

½ jumbo scrambled egg (no seasoning cooked in pan not requiring oils)
1/4c dry oats
1/3c green beans
1t chia seeds
1t flax seed
1/4t of crushed egg shells
1T of chicken soup juice

Chicken 1/2c shredded or a chunk (so she has to chew more…inspiring the first stage of digestion: SALIVA)
1/2c quinoa
1/4c shredded zucchini
1/3c baked sweet potato (or yam)
1/4t of crushed egg shells
1T of chicken soup juice

Chicken 1/2c shredded or a chunk (so she has to chew more…inspiring the first stage of digestion: SALIVA)
1/2c quinoa
1/2c frozen (but thawed to room temp in warm water) sweet corn
1/3c baked sweet potato (or yam)
1/4t of crushed egg shells

Chicken 1/2c shredded or a chunk (so she has to chew more…inspiring the first stage of digestion: SALIVA)
1/3c quinoa
½ apple chopped, remove core (dogs should not have apple seeds)
1/3c boiled russet or yellow potato
1/4t of crushed egg shells

We began Zoey’s meal plan in September this year. She was overweight, lethargic, unhappy (actually being a meanie) and refusing to just walk 30 feet.

My dogs eat twice daily. 7am and 6pm.

We walk Kona every other day in the AM into the Ute Valley mountains (between 1-2 miles MAX) and Zoey stays on flat ground at the park on grass or snow (she loves snow…so does Kona).

Both dogs walk 30-45 minutes every afternoon at the park. I zig-zag across the grass to give them the enjoyment of NOT CONCRETE, CEMENT, FLOORING…real planet earth between their toes.

If we have enough energy they get a 15 minute walk at 7pm, or just a potty break outside.

Let me know how your pets do!


Sarita, Randy, Kona and Zoey

Piper (our cat) would have NOTHING to do with this although I did get her to lick up a tablespoon of the chicken juice!

Podcast Episode 9

Hey there!
We just moved (for the 2nd time) and are semi-settled in our new place. The pets are getting used to us NOT moving, we’ve gotten rid of all of the cardboard and bought a couch! Woo hooo!! Little things.

Meanwhile I’m busting out work on my book AND got another episode of my podcast finished and published.

Here are the SHOW NOTES to my latest episode DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE IN GOD OR A GOD?

I’m excited to have also recorded a “commercial” to help YOU get your podcast off the ground and rolling.

Thanks for visiting…


S1E9 SHOW NOTES Does Scientology Believe In God or A GOD?

Spicy! Butternut Coconut Curry Soup

Ghost Pepper Curry Powder is the kicker to my butternut squash soup that is vegan. Also, I add kale, spinach, mushrooms and carrots to add texture and flavor (and trick husband unit into eating all of them).

How I get my husband to eat vegetables he needs but doesn’t dig…make a soup!

Can we not do an entire PHOTO SHOOT of the items we want to share recipes for? OK great.


Equipment I use



Spice Time: CRITICAL

⅛ t ghost pepper curry powder
1/2t black pepper
1/2t ginger
1t salt
1 veggie bullion cube
1 pinch of cayenne pepper

5C water
1C Thai coconut cream milk
Drizzle EVOO

1 yellow onion chopped
3 garlic bulbs chopped

2 large butternut squash cubed
2 russet potatoes cubed (skin on)
2 carrots chopped (skin on)
2C spinach
3C lacinato kale chopped
3 white mushrooms chopped

Let’s do it!

Prepare ALL of your ingredients before you begin cooking. Chop, measure, prep is key. Blend your spices in a bowl and use a fork to make sure they’re nicely mixed.

In your Instant Pot:

Saute onion, garlic in the drizzle of EVOO just to soften. Not really necessary though!

Turn off Sauté mode.

Blend your chopped veggies in a large bowl (it’s easier than trying to do it in the IP).

Add veggies to IP.

Add 5C of water.

Chop bullion into tiny blocks and sprinkle into IP.

Place spices in coconut cream milk. Stir them in. (Take a teeny-tiny taste…it’s so yummy!). Add them to IP.

Push veggies into liquid as best as you can.

Place IP lid on, adjust steam release to CLOSED.

Manual time of 40 minutes (try 30…it’ll likely work. I live at 7,000’ so things take a little longer and require more fluid).

When IP done you will scoop all of the cooked ingredients into your blender small batches at a time then transfer into a big bowl. Once all of the ingredients have been liquified pour them back into the IP and turn off completely.

7 Oct 2019

I’ll post a photo of it all served up if I can. I’ve made this soup 10 times at least and it NEVER gets old. This recipe is a bit different because I was forced to get GHOST PEPPER CURRY…no, wait…I read it wrong and meant to get just plain old CURRY POWDER. That ghost pepper portion is what gives this a little MORE HEAT which my husband LOVES.

Serving with sourdough bread and vegan butter.

Making croutons to float on top (yum)!

It’s gonna snow here in Colorado today or tomorrow so I’m READY with this warm meal to enjoy.

Do you make soups? If so, what is your best recipe?

Sweet Tango Apple

Apple Porn has been moving through the US universities since the early 1800’s. Pollination (aka Apple Porn) is a thing.

Photo: Sweet Tango apples on vine. Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SweeTango

The Organic Sweet Tango Apple (Minneiska)
SKU 93603

This apple is DELICIOUS!!!

Crispy and juicy – far from mealy or soft. The skin breaks easily beneath your chompers.

The Sweet Tango Apple was developed by the University of Minnesota in 2000 and first sold in the USA in 2009.

It is a hybrid of two apple varieties the university developed: the “honeycrisp” (aka the ‘mother’) and the Minnewashta (called the zest! – the ‘father’ or the pollinator).

Apple Porn has been moving through the US universities since the early 1800’s. Pollination (aka Apple Porn) is a thing. You may have seen the work of the famous Minnie Specklebutt, Lance Bigcore and Ashley “DD” Seeds.

In the State of Utah the apple porn industry has been laying very low. Most apples stickers are removed from the apples before being served to the children for fear that they might actually inspire curiosity in this crazy sexual pollinating process.

Today there are over 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States. A whopping 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. THAT’S A LOTTA PORN if you asked me. Even still, the varieties have DIMINISHED according to Gizmodo. Matt Novak reports, “North America used to have much more diverse assortment of apples. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 14,000 different varieties of apples were grown here in the 19th century.”

The decline in apple varieties has everything to do with the rise of the fast food industry and not surprisingly obesity has followed the same trend.

Today an average American citizen consumes 65 apples a year! 100 years ago it was at least “an apple a day (to keep the doctor away”).

That Welsh proverb stems from the benefits of eating caraway seeds and the apple was a way to eat the seeds! So eat the ENTIRE APPLE and the seeds and heck, you might never visit the doctor again. Note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR…OBVIOUSLY.

Apple Porn is a thing. Wait, it’s called POLLINATION! Yes, that’s a thing too.
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SweeTango

Make sure you visit the produce section of your grocery store chain. Grab one of these beauties and start the “apple a day” challenge! Fall is the perfect time to do it too… it’s the SEASON!


Okay, okay…okay! You are right. I made some of these things up! Everything in red italics I pulled out of my funny bone.

I’m practicing my writing skills, imagination and entertaining Randy.

See, I pack him a lunch every day and write him notes and sometimes letters (like this one) to inspire him to eat the healthy item FIRST. Hopefully it will work.

Did it entertain you even for a minute? Are you going to check out this apple next time you are at the grocery? How about trying to eat more – did it inspire you to realize you need to eat more AND the seeds!?!

Happy Monday! Happy Fall! Happy October! Welcome to a glimpse of how Randy and I keep the love alive between us. We’ll be celebrating our 13th anniversary this year. Our marriage has endured a lot of ups and downs and in hindsight I know it was the perfect time for us to meet way way way way way back in 2005 on E-Harmony. We have helped each other through a lot. I love you honey!! xoxoxoxo

Me and my Main Squeeze. PS: WE LOVE COLORADO!

Happy First Day Of Fall 2019

Kona’s morning walk was a jackpot of beauty!

I was reminded that TODAY is the big day: FALL IS HERE!

It is officially the FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN.  Starts September 23rd and goes until December 21st  this year (2019).

For the past two years we have lived in places where there are actual seasons and the planet differences are so obvious.  Utah and Colorado.

We still miss the beaches of SoCal (always will) but this change in our environment has been magical.  We have WEATHER and need to pay close attention to what the meteorologists report.

It is much chillier in the morning here in Colorado and the afternoons are in the 70’s. There is a breeze happening off and on. I wear a sweater in the morning and shorts in the afternoon.  We live at 7,123′ elevation and this means we get the cooler side of things (as well s the sun being extremely strong!)

With the changing seasons there are so many events and activities happening up and down the Front Range. 

Today’s morning walk started off with brilliant pink and orange skies. We live where there are a lot of trees and I’ve had to hike to an open viewing space to watch the sunrises which is good for me and Kona.

I got to that spot to have the gift of this sunrise!

Within minutes…
Wait…what!!?? My stomach lurched as we rounded the corner.

Just an update on Zoey: she is doing better. We went to visit Beth in Parker this weekend and she was her old self again: bouncy and happy to join us all on a walk. The baby carrier has helped as well as the change in her food. I am baking chicken, rice, sweet potatoes, lentil and quiona. Shredding carrots, beets and green beans. She’s basically living at the Bellagio, including belly massages.

Manitou Art Center REBIRTH Oil by Teri Connolley $250
I love seeing unique paintings, art creatives and masterpieces by local artists.

Randy and I went on a date to the Manitou Art Center (the MAC) where one of his co-worker’s wives was having her grand opening of her art. Her name is K8e Orr. You have to say it Katie. She OWNS that and even had her named changed to that.

The MAC is a place that all forms of creativity are taught and displayed. You pay a monthly membership and have access to all of it. They have a 3D printer, pottery, quilting, looms, carpentry, machine shop…it was overwhelming.

From their website, “Music, theatre, pottery, printmaking, and other loud, slightly dangerous and intensely messy events happen here daily. Locals and tourists alike flock to our galleries, studios, exhibition space, classrooms and delicious café. “

Someone made this! I didn’t see the card with the artists information or price.

I hope everyone has a great Monday and great week.

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