You Had me at Hello (Fresh)!

One of the many things I enjoyed about my stint as UPS driver helper was the opportunity to see all the different companies people order things from. We were usually too busy for me to take time to make any notes about something I’d like to look up later, but I delivered enough Hello Fresh! and Blue Apron boxes that I got curious about the companies and what they offer.

Baiting the Hook

I ended up choosing Hello Fresh! rather than Blue Apron this first time around. I may try BA at a later date, especially because they also offer the great introductory price I received from Hello Fresh for this first shipment, which arrived today. The companies have probably accurately determined that if they can just get you to try their product, you will be hooked.

Casting the Rod Thingy

To be completely honest, I haven’t been cooking dinner really much at all for a long time, maybe even more than a year. Both my sisters and my mother are always busy in the late afternoon cooking dinner for their families, and often creating new dishes, putting an entire hot meal on the table, vegetables and all. As useless as I think guilt and shame are for the most part, they still come around on a regular basis when it comes to some things. And dinner is one of those things.

whats-for-dinnerWhen I became aware of Hello Fresh I thought maybe, just maybe, if someone else would make it easy enough, I could manage to cook something. And I think Hello Fresh just may have succeeded.

What’s for Dinner?

Well, as you can see, Hello Fresh delivered all the ingredients and recipes for three meals.





They include the vegetables, the spices, the meats and cheeses, the FRESH HERBS, adorable little bottles of things like 25 ml of Balsamic Vinegar. Those who’ve known me since childhood know that I have always loved miniature things. (N.B. How did I not end up with multiple collections of miniatures??)

My Man, Jeeves

This is like having a domestic servant. Someone who can thumb through the cookbooks and surf through the websites and find meals that simple to prepare and very tasty. Someone who can make the list of ingredients and go to market with a basket over her arm to pick up the freshest ingredients. Someone who can organize the food so it is easily accessible to the actual cook.

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest

My big kids are troupers. They have had to fend for themselves for dinner for quite awhile. Fortunately, they can cook. Unfortunately, they don’t always feel like it or have time. But I’ve known that they could feed themselves, and haven’t worried much about actually cooking. Kepler needs more assistance, obviously, but his repertoire is pretty limited and I can manage his foods ok.

Moms Love to See Their Kids Eat, Don’t They

Today, I made a hot meal which included all kinds of food groups. It was healthy, tasted good, was easy enough, and left me feeling highly satisfied after watching my kids devour it. Since they rarely get dinner cooked by me, this was an extra special treat for them.

I loved it. Of course, I’m often highly enthusiastic about things from the get-go, but Hello Fresh has gotten me cooking again, and that’s pretty exciting.

Listen, if you want to try this, you can get a discount pretty much anywhere on the web that you can find Hello Fresh. If you use this link, I can also get a discount on my next order, so I’d be delighted if you choose to use the link.

Just one more improvement I am enjoying in 2017!

Sometimes You Just Have to Scream


Oh, somewhere along the way, maybe in my teen years, I was introduced to this idea that everything is connected… It makes more sense the longer I live. To wit:

Help Someone Declutter by Taking Their Clutter As Your Own

I may not have fallen far from the tree of my youth. I may have inherited a fair few characteristics of my mother. I may deeply appreciate her efforts to declutter her home, because I am always trying to do the same with mine. So when she mentioned today that she had a couple big bags to go to Goodwill, I offered to come and get it for her and take it to Goodwill. I may have thought it might be fun to go through before I dropped it off. This is all pretty much supposition at this point.

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

So when we got home with the stuff, I was carrying it in quickly because my car was blocking someone else’s car in the driveway. Kepler was holding the door and he was holding his nose. I didn’t think anything smelled. He pointed to the door. Oh yeah. There I see scores of carcasses of those June bugs or May beetles, or whatever they are called. And I realized that they have been there for a few . . . months now, so it’s time to get rid of them.

Thank Heavens for the Right Tools

It didn’t even take me forever to find my screwdriver, handheld vacuum, scrub brush, etc. Although I did have to make twenty trips to the kitchen because I kept figuring out new things that I needed for the job.

And This is Where the Screaming Comes In

I am not afraid of spiders. I look on them with benevolent omniscience and wish them good things (as long as they do not wish to bite me). I am also not afraid of insects, but I do not like them. I do not like to see them in my house. Dead or alive, they do not belong. So, once I got the door glass out of the way, I began the process of vacuuming up the carcasses. “GROSS!” I yelled over and over. Kepler tried to comfort me. “It’s ok, mom,” he said as he patted my shoulder and looked at me in mild alarm.

I don’t really think I could ever eat a bug. They are bad enough to just have to see.

Second Thank Heavens That Tomorrow is Trash Day

It could have been 15 below out there and I would have taken my little handheld vac out to the trash can to get rid of the bug pieces. SO GROSS.

As If the Bugs Themselves Were Not Bad Enough

A bunch of legs and parts were left behind. Is this not just so gross?!? Are you screaming with me?? So me and my scrub brush scrubbed the heck out of that ledge inside the door and got rid of ALL THE PARTS.

The Three Hour Stove Cleaning Job

Like I said, Dr. Dobson says not to get distracted when doing a job. I don’t think it was getting distracted as much as it was just noticing other aspects of the door and doorway that needed to be cleaned or otherwise fixed.

So, WD-40, more scrubbing, q-tips, and a few toothpicks to poke into corners later, and my entry way is not stinky at all. Just ask Kepler.

Lazy Susan


I was just sitting here minding my own business, and everyone else’s business on Facebook, when I realized I had intended to jwalk today at 11:30. Still out on errands at that time, I had to postpone the walk, and suddenly, it’s 1:15 and I’m sitting, not walking. And I wonder, “Am I lazy?” Is that why I am not leaping up and hopping out the door, ready to brave the elements, absorb some Vitamin D, and get the locomotion going.

What Else Could it Be?

Old thinking suggests immediately my stationary post indicates laziness. And then I remembered how many steps I took every day when I was working for UPS, as many as 23,000, so if we’re basing it on actual motion, I’d have to claim not to be lazy.

But if I’m going to forget all history and context, and apply the most negative assessment I can to the situation, then I suppose I could argue that sitting here writing instead of being out there walking means lazy.

Twenty Questions to Health

I decided yesterday to ask more questions. Yes, that’s something I’ve written about before, but I’m needing to ask Even More questions these days. When I come to a conclusion, I often find out later that I didn’t think about something all the way through. So, I shall apply my new “Ask five more questions” to this idea of me being lazy.

  1. What is the dictionary definition of lazy: unwilling to work or use energy. Synonyms include idle, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, underactive, sluggish, lethargic, remiss, negligent, slack, lax, lackadaisical.
  2. Looking at my day so far, do any of these synonyms apply to me today? Have I been unwilling to work or use energy? Without putting you to sleep with the long list of accomplishments so far today, the answer is no, I have not been unwilling to work or use energy.
  3. What would be my motivation for calling myself lazy? If I call myself lazy, it’s easier than actually embracing all that I have already accomplished, and even acknowledging that I could be physically tired from some of the things I have done today. Calling myself lazy would be me comparing myself to “the ideal woman,” who always does the next thing, and pretty much never gets tired, always follows through, and pretty much never misses a step; to “the ideal woman” who doesn’t even exist, except in our brains.
  4. What would I gain from walking? All the things. I’ve written elsewhere; the joy of listening to my music, being outside, fresh air, a change of perspective, possibly some sunshine, a feeling of accomplishment, and all the benefits of moving my arms and legs.
  5. What would I gain from staying home? Not all the things. I’m not opposed to rest, and when I need to rest, I do, but it’s the middle of the day, and the sun just peeked out, and even though it might take a little doing to get myself out there, I know that I want to.

Checking in with the Rest of the World

Do you ever think of yourself as lazy? Do you mean it in a momentary sense? Do you think it matters if you constantly talk about how lazy you are? It just seems to me like there are often a lot of other possible explanations besides laziness. Probably something that requires a little more thinking on my part, but right now, I’m going for a walk. See ya.



But Who Vacuums the Dryers of the Wealthy?


One thing I noticed during my whirlwind month as a UPS driver helper is that people who have large houses clearly have someone else to help with a lot of things such as landscaping and housecleaning. I also noticed that landscaped gardens and pristine entryways (the only part of the houses I actually saw) appeal to me.

It All Begins with the Pilot

Just ask the people on Sully’s flight. But I speak of the Honda Pilot, our Honda Pilot that worked fine for all those two years and then unceremoniously died on the side of the road. After six weeks of hemming and hawing, to-ing and fro-ing, fricking and fracking, pro-ing and conning, we made the decision to sell the Pilot as was, and we began the search for a new vehicle.

I Love all of You Who Do Not Have a Garage

Once again, we purchased a vehicle in the summer that does not fit in our Hobbit garage. Which was all fine and good until cold weather appeared. The high school senior who resides here now drives the Camry, which does fit in the Hobbit garage, and is all snug on the cold mornings, backing out with her garage door opener button and excellent sound system and most importantly, complete lack of the elements affecting her ability to get going in the morning.

The Joys of Dressing a Child for the Cold

As any and every parent knows, dressing a child for the cold weather takes approximately 45 minutes and yields a good 3 minutes of outside time as a reward. When one’s child must ride the Big Yellow School Bus® to school, one embarks on that whole rigamarole with the gloves and the hats and the coats and the shoes and socks and the scarves and the backpack and the extra paraphernalia for gym class and music class and the sock drive for the month of January.

Which Brings Me To Closer To My Point

Kepler looks forward to the bus every day. He asks me at night whether he is going to get to ride the bus in the morning. So, we have no problems when it’s time to get all the gear on for the trek down the driveway to the bus. Currently, though, we are navigating some new gloves (see Blaze Orange Glomitt below) which take some time because getting the fingers one per opening is eluding us at the moment. But I’m nothing if not patient and I work those little tiny fingers in and out of the slots until finally the right ones are in the right place.

I chose the pic for the Glomitts, but look at these other things: seclusion mitt? break-up mitt? a stand-up comedian could have a field day

Then, since we are also still developing fine motor skills, I help with zippering the coat, putting on the tricky socks, locating the hat, scarf, and aforementioned paraphernalia.

Today it only took 6 hours minutes to get it all done, and off he went with my “Be careful on the sidewalk walk in the grass it might be slippery” admonishments going in one ear and out the other. Slowly, he walks. Carefully, he makes it down the stairs and all the way to the end of the driveway. I watch from the window waiting for the exciting school bus to arrive. When suddenly . . .

. . . he becomes aware that Nature is Calling. Right now.

Back up the driveway, up the steps, carefully across the sidewalk, gingerly across the porch, when he decides oh never mind, so back across the porch, down the sidewalk, to the steps, when oh yes mind and he come back again. At this point, I know I am going to be driving him to school, as well as reupholstering him with all of his winter gear.

Remember the Garage and the Elements?

Yeah, my car greets every morning perched on the driveway, his little windshield wipers raised to the sky in greeting, his little side mirrors tucked in, his little windshield taking on whatever rain, moisture or snow comes by in the night. So, now I get to prepare my car for a drive, even though my major plan for the morning was going back to my snuggly bed.

And The Comedy of Errors Begins

We bought the car in the summer, so didn’t think to check and see if there was a snow scraper included. Not that there should have been; I’m just used to having a snow scraper in permanent residence in my vehicles. But this morning, I discovered there is no snow scraper. And unlike the high school senior who can just jump in the car and GO GO GO, my car takes hella preparation. So, back in the house I go, scanning my overly decluttered home for an extra scraper, can’t find one, settle on the litterbox scoop, and head back out. All of this for a 3 minute drive, mind you.

Got the kid dropped off at school and decided to use the $5.00 coupon I managed to have on my person rather than leaving it at home to purchase myself a new scraper at the hardware store. The scraper is $4.49. Bonus! I’m not even going to have to shell out any money. The decidedly serious cashier says, all alarmed, I can’t use that coupon on a sale less than $5.00. Oh. My. God. I try a few things — can you charge me more for it? Can you just make up a charge for something like “Used Air while in Store?” But no. She suggests a Reese’s Peanut Butter Christmas Tree, something I need about like I need the hilarity of the morning. Finally decide on a whatever, and now I OWE $1.49.

Do I have $1.49 in my wallet? Well, yes, but it’s in the form of a $50.00 bill. Blanche does not appear to be willing to take my $50, so I charge the $1.49. But at least I have a scraper now.

Maybe Getting Closer to my Point Now

When I get home, after the 60 minute process of getting my son to his school which is 3 minutes away, I decide oh what the heck I’ll stay up and start on the laundry. When, much to my surprise, I discover this:


The lint screen. Did someone wash a black sheep in here? What the heck? This was from one load, by the way, and I couldn’t see anything that would have done such a dastardly thing to my lint screen. So, of course I cleaned the screen, and then noticed that some of the sheep had escaped around the edges, and I realized it was Time to Clean the Lint Screen Area.

The Three Hour Stove Cleaning

Years ago, I heard Dr. James Dobson speaking about how his wife had gone to clean the stove and ended up really deep-cleaning it. What the point of the lesson was I do not remember, but I think it was something like stay focused on what you are actually trying to get done.

But really, that lint screen showed me that there was subterranean needs in the lint-al area, so I finally located a screwdriver, flashlight, vacuum cleaner, important vacuum cleaning attachment, ETC. And now that puppy is all clean. And it’s 9:42, and something that normally would be completed by 8:00 has brought me all the way here, JUST now ready to look for some sustenance, get STARTED on the laundry, and get started on the day.

And you, my considerate readers, got the opportunity to read about the last 1 hour and 42 minutes in fine, minute-by-minute detail, so all is not lost.

All this to ponder the question of who vacuums the dryers of the wealthy. Alas, I do not have an answer, but I am going to presume that there are people out there who are available for hire. Perhaps I’ve found my new calling.


Holy Cow, It’s Kepler’s Birthday!

In the past year, Kepler has gotten very interested in giving and receiving greeting cards. As someone who has gotten out of the habit, I appreciate his enthusiasm and I like to make sure he has the opportunity to give cards to family members on their birthdays. As we were preparing for his birthday, he made sure to remind me that he would like a birthday card. You can see it above. Holy Cow™ does not have blue light shining through his holes. He’s just letting my laptop help him stand up better since he is paper-thin. (Har.)

You can see his delightful reaction here.

So, he’s 11 years old today. He managed to find cards in his new pack of football cards featuring players wearing number 10 and also number 11. See?

Pretty much everyone has some opinion about Down syndrome and what “downs kids” are like. Oftentimes, people will mention that they think people with Ds are always happy. Anyone who lives with or parents a child (or adult) with Ds knows this is not the case, but there is something in Kepler that seems more innocent to me. Even though he of course has some worries and concerns, he is also most amazing at giving love and affection, and accepting love and affection in return.

And I think that his ability to give and receive love so beautifully may be starting to rub off on me. I’ve probably said this elsewhere, but having the four older kids so close together threw me into a PhD level course of parenting when I was really at a 2nd grade level, so I had to do a lot of studying outside of class to manage. And, as I’m sure my kids would agree, although I did my best, I couldn’t do it all!

So having Kepler at an advanced maternal age is sort of like starting over as a parent, with a group of one. I didn’t really know what to expect from my 40s and 50s, and I don’t think I really thought about it much when I was in my 20s and 30s. But the past 11 years have been  so much harder and so much richer than I would have ever imagined, and it is in no small part due to this child, who gifts us with laughter and challenges and joy and new learning and fun and innocence and being able to continue to see the wonders of the world through a child’s eyes.

I’m closing with a song that resonates for me in reference to all my children, and I daresay it may resonate for you as well. Today, I celebrate Kepler, my beautiful baby.


Happy New Year for Real!

Since we last wrote, much water has gone under the proverbial bridge.

But today’s post is going to tell you only a smidgen about the latest doings here at the Taylor house.

don’t look at the mess; this is for the purposes of the “before picture.”

Let’s just say that the man’s birthday was full of surprises. Here you see him, pledging allegiance to something or other, in front of the tv. Lucky me found some magic tv fairy dust online, sprinkled it on, and voila:


There are many tvs out there that are much, much bigger than this one, but it’s quite a step up from the old one. Would you just look at the bezel on the old one?? And as all of you with big ole tvs have already discovered, when you watch the game, it looks pretty much like you are right on the field with the players.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Just wanted to with everyone a Happy New Year and tell you I look forward to writing a lot more this year. Thanks for reading!

In Which Siouxsie Gets a Seasonal Job


As part of my ongoing journey of digging myself out of this dark hole of depression I’ve been in, someone suggested that I look for a part-time job. And while there are probably plenty of entry-level jobs at fast-food joints, grocery stores, and department stores, I just wasn’t excited about either minimum wage or smelling like a hamburger.

Not to mention, I have a little boy who gets off the school bus at 3:30 every day and who needs to have someone home to greet him. I’ve been that someone for all of his school years, and find it a little tricky to imagine anyone else being able to do the job. (No offense to my excellent older children who are quite capable of doing so.)

But in my semi-weekly internet job site surfing, I saw that UPS was looking for seasonal driver helpers. Having already concluded that I did not care to work inside, I realized that the driver helper position really appealed to my love of the outdoors, my enjoyment of variety, and the benefits of physical exercise. So, I applied.

That was a Monday. I received an immediate email scheduling me for an interview on Tuesday, where I was hired, and completed orientation on Wednesday.

The main emphasis in orientation was not to make the driver wait; that is, put your seatbelt on RIGHT NOW so we can move! Also, don’t make the driver wait.

I found waiting for a call the first few days to be stressful. They can call anytime from 7:30am to 12:00noon to ask you to work that day, and it is highly recommended that you not say no. If you say no, they may not even call again, because UPS is all about getting the packages delivered and ain’t nobody got time for voicemail and waiting around.

I’m the lady that waited on a particular fallen log in the Michigan wilderness for 8 hours one time waiting for a group of students to arrive, fearing that if I were to leave for even five minutes I might miss them and they might just walk on, missing the turn, and we’d never ever find each other and itwouldbeadisasterohmy.

I’m entering my third full week of being a driver helper, and have been working with the same driver most of the days, so it’s not quite as stressful wondering if I am going to work.

And I DO love being outside. We drive with the door open mostly, so there’s lot of fresh air. It’s also cold, but I’m dressed warmly and am for the most part quite comfortable. And I DO love the physical activity. I walk/run 6-7 miles five days per week on this job, made up of short bursts between the truck and the residences. It’s my own little form of high-intensity interval training. And I DO love the variety. Although it is the same route every day, my brain is getting a workout learning the layout of apartment complexes, and paying close attention to house numbers.

could just turn my brain off and run where the driver tells me to go, but I find it much more interesting to be watching the screen where the stops are listed and anticipating which way I will run.

Most people probably do not do a whole lot of thinking about what a UPS driver does. At least, I really didn’t. They deliver packages. Obviously. But I’m learning how much more there is to it, and I have a newfound respect for drivers. They work hard, and they are very smart. I’ve learned quite a bit, and not just about the mechanics of delivery.

There are two more weeks to deliver before Christmas. After that, I may work a little during the week between Christmas and New Years, but that’s it.

Oh, and being a woman makes no difference in the requirements of the job. I am expected to lift the heavy packages and “walk briskly” just like a taller and stronger person might do. The heaviest package I’ve handled myself so far is 65 pounds, and that was pretty tricky. I’m sure I looked like a waddling penguin from the back, but I got it to the porch!

I will say though that I doubt any of the college guy helpers exclaimed with glee like I did when I saw the FULL rainbow. But I mean, it was a complete rainbow from one horizon to the other. I could HARDLY ignore it.


The first couple days of work I was trying to make do with boots I already had on hand. I discovered pretty quickly that 6.5-7 miles is not a “make do” distance. Thankfully, I really hit the jackpot with my new boots. Not because they were on sale, but because they were comfortable from the first step.

So, I would say Brown has done a lot for me. And I’m so glad. And, by the way, I’m actually doing some things for Brown as well. I love bringing a smiling face and a good word to customers and caring about what I am doing.

One thing I’m sure the world in general will appreciate about my experience is it is making me a better driver. By observing someone who is trained in specific and extensive safety measures, I’m learning to improve my own driving as well.

Be good to your UPS men and women. They are the modern-day Santa Clauses!


Climbing out of the Hole

A mere 12 days ago, I posted online the following: “Don’t feel like I have anything important to get out of bed for. What do I do?”

And, OF COURSE, I have plenty of important things people to get out of bed for, not the least of which is ME! But I just couldn’t see it. This is sometimes why my blog is very silent for weeks at a time. Who wants to read day after day, “All the lights of my life are going out. Sad. Blue.”

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the Black Dog of Depression has been my faithful companion for many, many years. But I am frankly tired of the Dog running the show.

Darling Daughter #1 asked me a few months ago if I would like to do C25K with her. (Couch to 5K) That got me off the couch and out there moving and grooving, but after a few weeks, I felt like I was exercising too hard for my age? physical condition? BMI? And I backed off from the running part to find the sweet spot in jwalking, my preferred method of exercise, interval training.

I happen to find great joy in allowing my music to play on shuffle when I exercise. It reduces the number of decisions I have to make in a day. Decision fatigue is a real thing. Plus, so many of my songs are like treasures to me, and when one starts to play, I get a rush of something REALLY positive in my brain, oxytocin or dopamine or whatever.

One day while exercising recently, I was just minding my own business, alternating walking and jogging, listening to my music, and one of the “Depression Sessions” came on. This is a series of talks I purchased a couple years ago, and haven’t listened to. Usually, I move on to the next song. But for some reason, this day, I listened.

The speaker was Nora Gedgaudas, whose book, “Primal Body, Primal Mind,” is now in my library, read, underlined, and acted on. As a matter of fact, I bought the book the very day I heard her speak, which I RARELY do, usually settling for ordering it from the library and even waiting if it is not available.

Having taken an anti-depressant for years, and still having had ups and downs, I knew that the anti-depressant wasn’t the be-all and end-all. Perhaps the doctor never said it would be, but I figured it should take care of any brain chemistry imbalance, and therefore should fix me.

Every time I feel up, I think I’ll be ok forever. Every time I feel down, I think no one has ever felt this bad; I will never ever feel good again; and why should I even try.

As I began to act on some of what I read in Nora’s book, I started to notice that I was feeling better. Today I have drawn an extremely artistic rendition of my experience.

poor little me with no elbows

I FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY decided to believe and act on the idea that nutrition affects my brain. So far, what I have done is to go gluten-free (except on the airplane in first class, which doesn’t happen that often), eat a much higher fat diet, and kick sugar to the curb. Also I eliminated caffeine and artificial sweeteners. I have also introduced ubiquinol and acetyl l-carnitine into my daily vitamins and minerals.

Yesterday, after being on this new plan for a couple of weeks, I completed this:


What is that, you say? THAT is a table full of homework and games to do with Kepler. Nearly an hour of working and playing together. (It took ten minutes to convince him to cooperate!) And THAT is something I haven’t been able to accomplish in many a moon.

So, here I am, clearing space for joy in my own life, and hopefully inspiring you in yours to keep trying, keep looking for solutions, and keep reading my blog!




Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now!

photo courtesy of

Yeah, I’m a runner. That’s me. Someone who runs. Yep.

Six weeks ago if you had asked me if I were a runner, I would have snorted my frappuccino through my nose at you, coughed, laughed, shaken my head no very vigorously, and then fallen on the floor in a heap in exhaustion.

The Text That Changed My Life

Just then, my BRILLIANT daughter innocently texted me and asked if I would like to join her in the C25K (Couch to 5k) program. For you non-runners out there, that’s an app that helps anyone, sedentary or stationary, start out as a non-runner and emerge 9 weeks later, ready to capably run a 5k race.

I had started C25K a few years ago, but I remember being offended by the program because it increased the running portion too fast for my taste. I quit, deleted the app, and pretended not to know it when I saw it in the app store.

But, heck, the chance to do something with one of my kids is a real fine appeal, so I enthusiastically said yes to her, and began the program.

The Annoying Chronic Foot Pain

Ah yes, but who’s got plantar fasciitis then? Who’s had plantar fasciitis for approximately one year? Who has been getting out of bed in the morning and wincing, trying to walk like a cat, trying just to walk at all basically? I think you get the picture.

Thankfully, The Google told me that running with PF is actually possible. I had heard about the need for stretching the fascia in order to remedy the PF. I tried stretching . . . every 8 weeks or so. I would not say I was committed to this method of repair.

After four weeks of C25K, I felt a change happen inside me when I ran. I got it. I understood again why people run. It switched from a chore to a joy. And suddenly, I felt the fear of losing this joy through injury or illness, and I knew I’d better get serious about remedying the PF.

The logical approach was to find the Very Best Shoes on the Planet for Running with PF ™ for which I again consulted The Google.

The Shoes I Had All Along

Oh, lookee here! One of the search results was KURU shoes. Touted as THE shoes for running with PF. And pretty too. I was seriously considering buying them, but thought I would go a bit further afield and look for some independent reviews. Before I found the reviews, I found this little gem on Wikipedia: “Kuru is an incurable degenerative neurological disorder endemic to tribal regions of Papua New Guinea. It is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, caused by a prion found in humans.” Hey, nothing like naming your product after an incurable degenerative neurological disorder.

As I continued to look for reviews, I found, drum roll please, The Sock Doc. And he had a video specifically about running with PF. Here is it should you care to watch it. He was speaking my love language. He was reading my mail. He’s my hero. The tl:dr is that PF is actually caused by stress. That’s oversimplifying it terribly, of course, but makes very very very very much sense to me. The way to address the heel pain is to find sore spots along the shin bone and rub out the pain, which I think means to get the thingy in there to release and relax and lengthen.

Sock Doc is also an advocate of barefoot running. While I like the idea, I can’t imagine doing it. However, I do have a lovely pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Like so.

Don’t you love em!?

Running Without Shoes . . . or Almost Without

The idea with barefoot running is that you are much more conscious of how your foot is hitting the ground, and you will have more proprioceptive input while running, which will then give you the information you need to adjust your gait or how your foot is landing. Sock Doc recommended NOT buying kuru shoes because they would only be perpetuating the dysfunction and not actually getting at the root of the problem.

Today’s C25K then was carried out by an enthusiastic runner wearing Vibram Five Finger shoes, and the run went really well. I was able to tell exactly what part of my foot was hitting the ground first while walking and running, and I had an awareness of being cat-like, running and landing softly. Today was the first time I ever ran in these shoes and I was pleasantly surprised that the science that went into creating them works for me.

Feelin’ Groovy. Am Running.

So, yeah, me, the runner, just wanted to let you all know how my running program is going. I’m doing it; just doing it.


Accidentally Succeeded in Not Getting the Job

In other words, they looked at my skills and found me wanting. And can I just say how relieved I am.
Every so often, I get the idea that I should get a job where I have to go to a job site and do job related tasks. That impulse led to the cool transcribing job earlier this year, although I worked at home. And then just last week, I applied for a couple of jobs and actually got a phone interview for one of them.

The job I applied for was part-time, working in a call center for a large retailer. Miraculously, I got a phone interview, which I felt pretty good about, considering that my resume’s work section is unconventional and contains large gaps between jobs where I go somewhere else on someone else’s schedule and do tasks someone else wants me to do.

I was even more optimistic when they set up an in-person interview. I wasn’t nervous at all. I know I’m a good worker. But there was a little nagging voice asking me if I was sure I wanted to commit to a job (were it to be offered to me) that would require me to go somewhere five days of every seven to do job things on someone else’s schedule. Well, I figured, interviewing couldn’t hurt.

The interview went ok. I hadn’t been interviewed for a long time, and afterwards I knew there were a few things I definitely should not have said. They said they’d be giving an answer within seven days. I immediately began to figure out how I would structure my life with this new job.

Two of my kids work in retail and they have been clear about the problems that exist where companies are overly concerned with keeping customers, pretty much at all costs, so each of them has been on the receiving end of some very unpleasant interactions with customers who have been taught that the customer is ALWAYS right, even when the customer is most definitely wrong.

As the days went by, I came to realize that a job like this one might actually be mentally fatiguing for me, and I was concerned about using my brain power to do a part-time job that was for a purpose no higher than helping a company sell more products. 

My second realization was that I find it very difficult to understand people with non-native accents on the phone. And I would surely be taking calls from plenty of folks with accents. 

That second realization came to me about thirty minutes before I got the rejection email. 

Perfect timing, I’d say.