Ow!

Or: I Just Took a Long Walk in Sandals

November 13, 2020 2 of 8

Okay this all starts in August of 2019. Phoenix and I went to Pedernales Falls State Park for a star party. On the way, we stopped at a Walmart that has a Subway for sandwiches and picked up some socks.

The socks initially felt pretty comfortable. However, at some point I noticed that the socks were too tight and made my feet actually hurt. I treated the pain by giving my feet days off by wearing sandals without socks. When the pandemic started and we were locked down, I didn’t get a chance to go shopping for new sandals and I thought that the last pair of sandals I had from 2018 were going to be the last sandals I would be able to get until 2021. So I’ve been wearing my athletic shoes with the tight socks and putting an adhesive bandage over the sore spot and toughing it out until i can get my act together and get some new socks.

Then, just the other day, I found that they still make my sandals, so I ordered five pairs (enough to get me through the pandemic and maybe even into 2022). Since I no longer have to preserve this last pair of sandals, I decided to give my foot a day off from those socks and wore the sandals.

After all, I reasoned, I was going to be walking on a broad, paved path and so the sandals would stay on well enough and give me adequate support for that walk.

Then I misremembered where the path went on the Leon Creek Greenway and ended up in OP Schnabel Park, which is a very nice park, but isn’t where I wanted to be.

I wandered around in the park for a while trying to see if there was a way out that wouldn’t require me to walk all the way back the way I came. I use Pokemon Go as a map of park trails, and Pokemon Go said that there was an alternate route, so I decided to try it.

It was an unimproved dirt trail, but it led the correct direction, so I kept going.

And then I found a steep, rocky, downward, I don’t want to say “slope” because that kind of downplays the steepness of this. Not really a dropoff either, because it wasn’t quite that steep, either. I don’t know. Is there a word between a slope and a dropoff? It was, like, steps, maybe? But not that regular.

Anyway, I don’t really like going downhill at all. I tend to cling to the railing when going down stairs. Up? Up is okay. Down, not so much.

So here I am, in sandals, of all things, trying to climb down this rocky stair/slope/dropoff thing. Fortunately the trees closest to the path were pretty small, so I used them as a railing. I checked my phone at the bottom of that slope and I was (fortunately!) still going the right direction and so I kept going down the unimproved what is now largely rock trail until I finally got to the regular paved path I was looking for.

On my way back to my car, I then continued my project of taking pictures on the Greenway looking for shady areas. It was overcast today, so I don’t know if the movie will really emphasize where the shady areas are (and there were shady areas!). I hope to post the movie once it’s done, but that won’t be for a long, long, time. In the last two weeks, I think I’ve done about 1/3 of the Leon Creek Greenway and 0/3 of the Salado Creek Greenway. So, assuming that the Salado Creek Greenway is about the same length as the Leon Creek Greenway (I think it’s longer), that’s at least a 12-week commitment.

So you’ll be seeing the movie on January 25, at the earliest.

Our Gratuitous Amazon Link today is The Dragonfly Season, the second book in the Streetlights like Fireworks series by David Pandolfe. I’m very sorry that Pandolfe has apparently stopped writing, because I really loved this series and also his Jump When Ready series. If he Googles his name and finds this comment, I really would love to see more from you, Mr. Pandolfe!

I Had So Many Writing Ideas . . .

November 9, 2020 2 of 8

Earlier when I was walking, I was, “When I get home, I’m going to write about this, and about that, and . . . .”

And then I got home and it all disappeared.

I was going to write about the recipe I invented by accident, but I’ve pretty much been writing about cooking while making the dish itself. I just texted Alex to see if he wants to have dinner tomorrow. If so, I’ll see if he wants that dish. If not, maybe I’ll stop and get chicken tenderloins on the way home and make it tomorrow night anyhow.

Oh, I was going to post about the weird dream I had last night. It was weird enough that maybe it could make a post of its own.

I also need to post about the two parks I went to yesterday.

As I said, I went for a long walk today. I think I’ve already posted about my greenway picture-taking project. Evelyn and I are looking for shady places to take the dogs for walks, and so I’m taking pictures every 10 minutes while I walk and am going to make movies of them so we can get an idea of which trails/parks are the shadiest. I’m up to 11 photos (the greenways are out-and-back, and I don’t take pictures on the way back. So 11 photos is 3.67 hours of walking.

Oh, and I’m working on my last? Next-to-last? hour of continuing education for my pharmacy technician registration. I need to knock those out tonight so I can get that together.

Since I’m on a Ms. Marvel roll with my Gratuitous Amazon Links, next up is Mecca, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Technically, this should have come before the one I used for my first post today, but since there’s no continuity here, I don’t think it’ll matter.

Home from My Errands

November 2, 2020 4 of 8

I went to the seamstress’s shop and dropped off my purse. I’m getting a new lining with the internal pocket and everything for a very good price. I hope her work is as good as it looks like because I will promote her services to all and sundry if it is.

Then I went for a walk and played Pokemon Go for a couple of hours. I also started a new (slightly imperfectly implemented) project. As I think I mentioned earlier, when Evelyn and I went walking with the dogs this summer, it was hot. Like hot-hot. Like “surface of the sun” hot. And the dogs weren’t fans.

So we’ve been looking for the most shady paths to take. It’s all pretty subjective, though. I mean, “Hey, that place we went walking last week was pretty shady.” So we go there and it takes X amount of walking in the sunshine to *get* to the shady place.

After I dropped off my purse, I hit the Leon Creek Greenway. While I was walking, I took a picture every 10-ish minutes (I missed one and took it three minutes late, so the picture before that was 13 minutes before and the next one was 6 minutes after). I stopped right after my sixth picture and the next time I have time to walk on the greenway (mid-November, probably), I’ll start from where I took that picture and then take pictures every 10 minutes.

This was the most shade I photographed on this outing. We’ll see what happens in future trips.

Then I’ll do the same thing on the Salado Creek Greenway and make movies of each greenway and see which areas of each seem to have more shade and next summer (if there is a next summer), Evelyn and I will take the dogs here.

Now, as I said, this is imperfectly implemented. Ideally, I’d take these pictures from, like 11 am to 1 pm or something, but I enjoy having a job. I don’t have the time to visit the greenway every day during that two hours in order to get a perfect view.

So, the shadows will be longer in some pictures and shorter in others. Maybe if my dad wins the lottery, I can buy a drone and zip the drone down a greenway at noon on a weekday during the summer when there aren’t many people on it and get one perfect shot of exactly what the shade on the greenways look like at noon.

But for now, as long as I’m doing this with shoe leather and a cell phone camera, we’ll get what we get.

For our Gratuitous Amazon Link this time, we have The Authenticity Project, by Claire Pooley. Julian Jessop, a fairly well-known artist, decides that most of our problems stem from an inability to be honest about our true selves. So he writes his truth in a notebook and leaves it in a coffee shop, inviting the person who finds it to do the same and leave it somewhere else. In the course of the book, six people find the book, and then they find each other and their lives become more intertwined. I really enjoyed this one and hope that by putting this here, someone else will also find it and enjoy it like I did. This is the Kindle edition.

And My Pedometer Counts Had Been Going So Well . . .

I know that getting a consistent 10,000 steps per day is not really likely to happen in my life at the moment.  I walk a lot, but I just stand still for even longer and standing is exhausting in itself.  So, when I first started using the SHealth app on my phone, I counted my steps for a couple of days and then added a couple hundred more to push me a bit harder.  The total I came up with for the day was 8,200.  And, over the first year and a half that I used the app, I got so that having an average of 8,200 steps per day for an entire month got to be pretty easy. I didn’t necessarily make it every day, but I did more days than not, and was able to make up the excess so that I got the average nearly every month.

Then May 2016 happened.

I got off to a kind of weak start because May 1 was a Sunday and I generally don’t work Sundays.  Alex and I went to see a movie and then walked for about 20 minutes, which works out to about 2,000 steps.  So that’s an average of 2,000 steps per day for the month of May.  Then I was off on May 4 and didn’t get an early enough start to do much walking.  By the time I got my act together, it was starting to get too warm to walk.  On May 7, I worked the municipal election, so I didn’t get my full steps that day, either.  Then I came down with some kind of virus on May 16.  For the next week, it took a Herculean effort to even hit my goal for the day, much less start on the shortage.

So now it’s about bedtime on May 25 and I only have six days left in the month.  I also am still 47,000 steps short for the month, which means that I need to average 7,800 steps per day for the next six days.  Two of these days are my days off, though.  If I don’t do any walking on either of those days,  I need 12,000 steps per day on the four days that I’m working.

Will I make it?  If I remember to do so, I will post on June 1 and let you know.