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Earth to Red Lips, Come in!!!

No pictures today. Not because I’m a slacker but because I haven’t been taking very many! Ya see, there’s a point where every gorgeous sunset just can’t be contained in a photo. It’s something you have to see. Of course, as I’m writing this we have a freeze warning in effect and possible snow flurries. Gotta love October!

But that doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down…au contraire, mon frere!

In fact, things have gotten awesomely crazy around here! There’s the fact that I am now a radio host for a weekly morning show in town. You can now hear me and manager/super cool guy JJ on KLMX 97.5FM The Bear (click here to stream it!) and we JUST got up the AM side, 1450AM Country Crossroads; some lightning storms did some pretty good damage to really important parts but it’s all fixed and all working now. The AM is not streaming yet but JJ’s working with the radio station owner to update our song library and get that going, too! We are live on the air every weekday morning from 7a-10a MST.

Yes, yes I just plugged my own radio show. But, hey, how many radio DJ’s do you know? (Ok, someone out there is going to say something crazy like they know 45 DJ’s but still…)

The second thing keeping me going is my fitness class. This is a big reveal. Ya see, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my classes and the members that come to class every week. I had to take some time off because of that silly heifer that twisted my wrist (I call it HeiferGate) and the summer time was just hard for people to commit; family time, camping time, summertime….so I took some time off. Good for them, good for me.

Well, I’m back. Better than ever. And now I’m working towards operating MY OWN FITNESS STUDIO. That’s right!!! Red Lips ‘n Cow Chips is getting her own space in town! Lemme tell ya, it’s been a whirlwind of activity. At the beginning of September I was just talking to a friend about how great it would be to have all our local instructors under one roof, how our downtown area needs more businesses operating, how great it would be to have a place where everyone could come workout together. The next day I was looking at my friend’s building that happens to be on the main street of town and a few days after that I was cleaning and renovating the building. One month later and just about everything is done with a few details left to figure out!!! I’m truly blessed to have other local instructors coming into this venture with open minds and hearts and seriously amazing landlords who are excited as I am to make something vibrant happen for our community!

The funny thing is that I’ve never dry heaved so much in my life. The excitement, the stress, the Oh-my-goodness-is-this-really-happening-what-if-they-don’t-come thoughts in my head…I worry about it for a minute and then I say “But what if they do come?”.

If you build it…

So with all that in your mind, it’s my great honor and deepest pleasure to welcome you to Hi-Lo Studio, Clayton’s premier group fitness experience! We are located at 110 Main St in Clayton, New Mexico, and offer all kinds of great classes. Check out our Facebook page for more information.  

So how’d you come up with it? What’s with the name? And why the little person for a logo?

Once upon a time, there was a young man who bought a ranch in our little slice of paradise. He painted the scenery and then wrote a few books about this area, which he nicknamed the Hi Lo Country. One of those books was turned into a movie called The Hi Lo Country and  you can watch the trailer here.  The ranch owner’s name was Max Evans and you can find his books that inspired this (and other movies) here. When I realized just how important Mr. Evans was to capturing the unique spirit of our land, I knew I had a name. The logo comes from this sculpture piece my mom found years ago. That sculpture is now in the front window display, happily reaching up and inviting everyone in for a great workout! The turquoise echoes our ranch color. Plus, I’m pretty sure turquoise is our unofficial State color (red and yellow are the official ones but, let’s be honest; we love our turquoise).

Um, Andrea? I don’t live anywhere near you.

I know! But you might be traveling through town one day and decide to stop in for a workout and a hug; you never know! Tomorrow we’re supposed to move the cattle back down to the home pasture but it’s cold but not heavy jacket cold. More like “warm sweater but not too warm and wear layers” cold. Next week we hit up our favorite event with our favorite kid for her 6th birthday: BALLOON FIESTA!!! You’ll hear from me for sure very soon.

 

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The Cow Chips Guide to Exercise: Winter Edition 2016

Ok, two weeks in and December did not disappoint! Remember in the last post how I basically threatened December to not screw up its weather? Well, today we woke up to howling winds which led way to blowing snow and freezing fog and snow drifts! Yay!

Andrea, you are crazy. Well, yes I am and thank you for noticing. I LOVE cold weather. Well, I love it as long as I don’t have to work in it. Which brings me to the title of this blog post. Ya see, I learned that the Cow Chips Winter Workout is just as ridiculous in the summer as the winter. So let’s get a good taste of what you get to do to burn off some holiday calories!

  1. Do you love the sound of ocean waves? Maybe you just adore the open water. You know what else likes water? Cows. Burn out your shoulders, biceps, and core with a session of Breaking Ice!
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Woman with pitchfork. And LipSense.
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Just broke this…it’s already slushy!

Let me clear: breaking ice is right now my most despised chore. You start with a pick ax around a 20 foot stock tank and “chop chop chop”; you hack out pieces of ice. Then not only do you have to break the ice, you get to rev up your cardio and biceps with a pitchfork and haul out the 3 inch blocks of solid ice and heave them onto the ground. Go fast, though, so you don’t drench your gloves and have icicles for fingers. Also, make sure to use the strength in your core so you don’t pull a muscle in your back! Just breathe deep, heave, haw, and build that amazing strength with every stupid load of ice! SUPER FUN.

You’re not done, don’t be fooled. As soon as you break all that ice and haul it out, no sooner than you turn around does it start to get slushy and ice over! More into intervals than one long ice breaking event? Maybe you’re built for speed rather than endurance: no worries! Ice breaking is a fun sport that must be completed before breakfast, at lunch, and again before dinner. Talk about interval training!

Andrea, this sounds silly. Why don’t you get a heater for that? Well, that’s my husband’s project next year. Install a damn outlet for a heater so we aren’t breaking ice in single digit temperatures.

2. Hey, Andrea, I remember one time when I was a kid that all the water froze up in the house. How do you deal with that? OH! Lemme tell ya what happens. You and your gorgeous manfolk get to hang out in 40 degree temps (that day was balmy compared to the next workout – keep reading) and work on a well pump.

Wait. What?

Ya see, a few days before the pump went kaput, there were some freezing temps at night but the days saw somewhere around mid-30’s. We figured since the well pump was covered, all would be fine. Well, as ranchers tend to obsess over the state of their cattle, we went to check on their water and make sure the stock tank hadn’t frozen over. It wasn’t too bad so I got in some light ice breaking time. But then we realized the pipe that brings water was frozen solid. And nothing was happening when we turned on the pump. Whoops! So, a day of insulating and we hoped it was enough. It wasn’t. The next day, we ripped off all the insulation and got to practice our static Olympic lifting. Hubby lifted the entire pipe (the one that goes in the ground) while I learned how to use grip vices. Only 200lbs of pulling up – gotta use those legs! Then we lifted the thing and cobbled something and put things back together and then put on more insulation and THEN we prayed a lot. It worked! The stress and worry of hoping we hadn’t blown out the pump motor is an exercise in itself. Your heart beats rapidly when something like that happens. Replacing things like that, especially with cattle depending on the water and a wife being cold, gets EXPENSIVE. It’s like needing to pee but you’re stuck in traffic and your house is a mile away but you’re not sure if you’ll make it to your exit but you breath deep and think of ANYTHING besides waterfalls. But you live next to Niagara Falls. Yep. That kind of heart pounding fun is just GREAT for burning a few calories!

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Fixing the Well Pump. Please work…
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Water!!! And ice. Of course.

3. What’s a Cow Chips girl going to do for fun? Well, exercise needs to be fun at some point otherwise you won’t do it. May I present stock tank ice skating? Yes, seriously. This is the stock tank on the other part of land we raise cattle on and it is solid ice at least 6″ thick. Now, I do love cold weather but I ain’t crazy. So I let my husband demonstrate how we ice skate in the desert.

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Ice Skating, Cow Chips Style

4. Walking is great for you! Walk the Cow Chips way and you’ll never want to go for a stroll in the city. Now, there are some varmints that, as long as you both respect each other’s boundaries, you can live in peace and harmony. It’s very nice! However, there are some varmints that just…it’s not even about me or them. They ruin the land, eating everything they can see and leave behind holes that are literally dangerous to animals and humans. Fall in one and you’re looking at a good sprain or maybe broken ankle. Not cool. So, we ranchers have to sometimes gain control of these things. I love seeing wide, open country, not dust and patches of missing grassland. So, yes, we baited for crowd control. Then we had to check our bait to make sure anything that ate the bait was destroyed properly. How does one do that? With a nice, long walk up and down the side of a hill checking every hole and making sure nothing goes unnoticed! THERE’S ONLY ABOUT 300 HOLES. Add that all up and you’ve just done at least 3-4 miles of walking. Just imagine it, no picture needed.

5. Still not enough burn for you? How about next time you’re here you help us stack some hay? It’s only 65 lbs a bale and we ONLY have 270 of them. C’mon, it’ll be fun! Don’t forget, you need wood to burn in the stove! Build a stack as tall as her (about 4 feet) and you’re sure to need tickets for the gun show! And if you need a full body shakedown, go outside and just stand there. Did you know shivering burns calories, too? If you’re lucky enough to be my daughter you don’t shiver much because your mom (me) dresses you up in every warm thing you’ve got so you basically sweat in the snow. You’re welcome, little one.

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Move it over…there. Sure.
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I hauled ALL of that. You’re welcome.
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Gotta Stay Warm!!!

Every great workout includes a good warm up (reading my blog – thank you!) and cool down (some quality time by the fire re-reading my blog because the brain needs exercise, too). Enjoy all the pictures below from our family to yours. Have a wonderful Christmas! Along with the great “workout” ideas above, we also decorated outside, put up the tree, made a ridiculous Gingerbread Farm House, made some Christmas spice to boil on the stove, and just enjoyed our time together. Oh, and Santa and Mrs. Claus made an early debut with wine. It’s all AMAZING and you can get it here via my amazing friend Becky. Plus, a portion of profits from every bottle goes to a great cause! My current fave is the Cabernet Sauvignon but I can’t wait to break into that Rosé! Seriously, I’m already planning my next order. Oh, and I finally made the most perfect soft pink color just for me with my LipSense collection. Even Red Lips needs a change of lip color. You can order your perfect, all day color (I wear it almost every day – the cows appreciate it and my daughter loves that it doesn’t smudge on her cheeks when I get my kisses!) by clicking on this link here. Not sure which color is right for you? Join my FB page and message me: I am happy to help everyone in the world have gorgeous all day lip color! Y’all have an amazing Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

Week 2 Recap

Que cute! First pic is Lily when she fell asleep on Dad in the 410D. I guess it’s comforting enough.

Second top pic is a bug. I don’t know what it is, but it obviously gets good reception.

Last pic is of the girls in the coop. 8 of them!!! I need a bigger coop.

 

Wow, it’s almost the end of week 2. Seriously? I mean, where did the time go? It’s been 13 days as of today and I have learned so much and gained so much more patience than I thought was capable. So here is a recap of the week AKA Things I Love:

  1. I lifted salt blocks. I don’t love them, necessarily, but the cattle did. That counts, right? Those little buggers are 50 pounds each. We had 6 of them. I had to unload them off the back of the truck, loaded 3 of them onto the flatbed and into our storage container and the other 3 went by the watering hole. The cattle were very happy to see me that day. Nothing like a good, clean salt lick! The whole point of all that moving was that I needed to lift something. I might not be teaching a fitness class but I need to know that I’ve still “got it”. Guess what? I still got it.
  2. I’m not as squeamish as I thought. Big beetle the size of my thumb? Cool. Chicken poop all over my shoes? Awesome. Cattle poo on my jeans because a certain little girl needed to be picked up? Just a part of life. Just a lot of poo out here. Then again, I haven’t had to help birth a calf yet. That squeamish thing might just be a fluke.
  3. I love my lip balm. Remember when I was procrastinating and didn’t want to pack so I made some lip balm instead? Well, thank goodness I did because that stuff is coming in handy. The weather up here is gorgeous – perfect sunsets, rolling clouds, breezy/windy conditions most days. But all that wind and sun and dry air can really rob a girl’s moisture. When I’m not rocking my LipSense (I am always rocking that, FYI), I’m using that lip balm. Usually it’s right before bed. A little dab and I’m good to go! Plus, I made it so I know what’s in it and can make more. Want the recipe? It’s crazy easy. I used my doTerra Peppermint Oil in mine to give it a little zing and also used a bit more beeswax so it doesn’t melt as easy in the hot summer sun. I bet orange, lavender, lemon, or ylang ylang would be nice, too! Click here for the recipe or Click here to order your doTerra Essential Oils.
  4. I love chickens. Like seriously love having chickens. I started off with the 3 we brought up with us. Then our amazing friends came up to help install stuff for my mother-in-law’s house and brought up 5 older hens. I currently have 8 chickens total and 2 eggs. I’m obsessed with improving their living conditions and making another coop for the guinea keets that will show up after the 4th of July. Yes, guinea keets are coming! It’s still too cold according to the breeder in our area. And how can I argue? Yesterday was high 80’s, today is low 70’s, and there’s a chance of moisture till next weekend. As I finish this entry, the wind is blowing in the tail end of a storm…we might get rain today!
  5. If you’re in Las Cruces, the amazing people at Horse ‘n Hound Feed and Supply are amazing. I wanted to get their Chick Days emails but deleted them all a while ago. Rachel not only sent me the blog link but she also is an incredible graphic designer. Check out the Chick Days blog here and check out Rachel’s work here. I need to go work on the ramp for my coop. There’s already plans there!
  6. I love small town living! Seriously, a tight knit community is amazing. We’ve been able to get things done so quickly. And it’s literally done with a smile, a handshake, a hug. Love it.
  7. I can’t believe I’m saying this because it almost doesn’t make sense to me (especially since my last post featured my favorite mug) but….I’m learning to love the mornings. I’ll let that settle in for a bit.

Till next time!