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!

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.

My First Podcast

When you work over 5,000 hours in one year what would you expect your pay to be? Mine was $1202.94. Hear what I did to earn $4.34 an hour.


Things are coming together with my book, podcast and Patreon site.

I hope you take a minute to listen to my latest podcast entitled 1986.

The Sea Org Living Space, Hollywood California

My mom and brother. He was sent to the Cadet Org/ATA everyday all day while she worked to clear the planet. And lived in a dorm…this is so disturbing to me.

This is a photo of my mother when she lived in the Hollywood at the scientology dorms there. There is a giant “Scientology” sign down the front of the building. I think it was called the HGB? Hollywood Guarantee Building.

The next photo is where my brother slept in this dorm.

He was at the Cadet Org/Apollo Training Academy all day and night while she worked.

This post is a test to see if I can get it under my PRIVATE PATREON PAGE.


In a sleeping bag under the bunks. Nice. Jerks!!

Next is a picture of my brother so you can see how old he was when he was taken to the ATA/Cadet Org every day. Seriously.

They are sitting in Sea Org dining near Lebanon Hall. That is Thom or Tom Krapp in the photo. Is he still around? In?

Life Changing Journal

Trying to lose weight, handle depression, exercise more? This is a page of our journal that successfully helped close to 1,000 people do it.

Here ya go.

I wrote this journal for our boot camp program and it helped people improve their health and nutrition.

Keeping track of when and what you put into your body is tough to do on your own.

This page is compliments of Randy and I for you to use if you want.

Legal notice: no part of this may be copied or reproduced without our express permission. This is in no way a guarantee to a healthier life or better quality of life. It is for personal use only.

If you need or want the entire journal (6-weeks of journal pages as well as guidance, meal ideas, inspiration, graphing and more) we ask that you check out my Patreon page and help us there.

Your Legacy?

For 3 decades I learned how to NOT feel or express certain emotions because they were bad and meant I was a bad person. Like love, compassion, grief, sadness, failure, anger…now I am feeling them and it is hard to manage.

My Grandfather, Robert Vaughn MacCaughey (I never met him… unfortunately).

Grief, for me, makes me think deeper about life and purpose.

I also have the same question pretty much every single time: why?

Why are we here and what’s the point?

When so much sadness envelopes our mind it makes life feel like sludge. I cry a lot and it makes my head heavy mentally and physically. That’s new for me, by the way.

The first few decades of my life wandering this planet were so different than the last 5 or 10 years.

I was raised with philosophies that should be illegal! My once free and clear mind was bent, nailed, locked and forced into a mold of “correct thinking” that was (and I firmly believed it) supposed to make the world a better place and SAVE MANKIND.

What happened!?

Napoleon Hill points out in his book, “The Creator gave man complete control over but one thing, that the Creator must have intended that that was the most important thing in the world. How strange it is, my friends, that civilization has not included in its education and religious the importance of this marvelous gift from the Creator, a gift so powerful that it enables one to practically proclaim and carry out one’s own earthly destiny. That gift, need I remind you again, is the control that you have over your own mind.” -1

My mind (which I consider the part of me that does all of my ‘thinking’) was put into a cookie cutter mold for 30 years! After time I was unable to think any other way and it was scary and terrifying. I just didn’t know HOW to feel! I depended on a cult leader’s teachings to TELL ME HOW TO FEEL.

I believed it all and even began forcing it on my own kids.

That cult got 3 generations of my family tree!

Part of the cult explored your deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams. You openly and willingly shared this information to have it “judged”. If they were “wrong” then you were sent to fix that thinking – more brain washing to remove that critical thinking or dream that was NOT part of the cult leader’s master plan.

30 years. Dripping on me and telling me how to THINK PROPERLY.

Now, 2019, I can feel things I did not LET MYSELF FEEL. Like grief.

Maybe having 3 decades of it and not being allowed to FEEL grief have suddenly hit me like a tsunami and when I feel emotional I REALLY get pushed to the edge. I’m so delicate now and feel so much pain for OTHER PEOPLE and worry and concern that they are OK. I can’t sleep at night because of it. I wake up every 2 or 3 hours worried about things.

The day my cousin Bekah passed away, 5/23/19 at 5:23am, I was awake staring at the ceiling at 3:14am (I always pick up my phone to see what time it is HOPING it’s close to 6:00am). I knew Bekah was on her last days of life on earth and had spent hours crying all by myself at home while I cleaned, ironed, cooked, worked on our business…just so much crying and sadness and the feeling of UNFAIRNESS and INJUSTICE on someone that was so good.

In the darkness I focused on that original question: why are we here and what’s the point? I did it with a feeling of anger and hate just pushed out there in the universe not really directed toward anyone or anything. Maybe you get what I mean on that feeling?

I have lots of questions for Bekah.

I began making a list of all of the beautiful people I’ve known and beautiful creatures I’ve cared for myself or known personally that have passed away. It was depressing and way longer than i realized.

2016. Me and my little sister with Bekah on her FEEL MY BUCKEYES road bike ride up the California Coast. She shared some deep stories with me that changed my life.

Maybe one post I’ll just put it all out there for the world to see…

In the meantime, I realized one thing I could offer that I wish my cousin Bekah had, my mom, Amanda, my Grandpa William MacCaughey, my Grandma Mary Kay Xanders, my uncle David MacCaughey…what was their life story? What secrets did they go to the “next place” carrying? What questions did I have unanswered? I want to know!!!! I want details.

I care so much and I’m TOO LATE. I’M TOO LATE.

Have you ever considered putting your story into words?

I heard a fantastic radio show host last week put it perfectly. I’ll paraphrase it (I was driving at the time and had no way to document it without taking my hands off the wheel and we’d just had 2 feet of snow overnight so I was being super-careful!)

“If you want something to be remembered you have to write it down. Put it in PRINT. Videos and sound bytes are fun and entertaining but I don’t see people keeping this at their fingertips.”

A book or a diary or a memoir is a place to share your thoughts. It can be closed shut at any point and placed on a shelf for decades or a century or a day.

I realize more now than ever: you are a sincerely amazing person and you should write down your stories and your experiences. Your favorite things, like color or movies that influenced you and why. It’s an encyclopedia of YOU that would be the best legacy. It doesn’t have to be a perfect piece of work. What would you give to know more about your own parents, a best friend or family member that has passed?

What question would you ask them today? What confuses you about the history you DO know about them?

I have a million questions…

Would you like to have your story written?

I’ll help you.

-1 Success Habits Radio Program 1952 Paris Missouri, by Napoleon Hill Chapter 5 Applied Faith