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Well Jingle my Bells part 2, tortoise or hare?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last week's Jingle Bell Run I set a PR of 27:15 for a 5k. Today was another local Jingle Bell Run and I wanted to see if I could get under 27 minutes, which was last week's goal.

I had my new lined base layer (very soft and warm), my mid-layer pullover and the bright red Christmas-y race t-shirt, two pairs of running tights (full length and a Capri) and a pair of red and white striped knee socks with faux fur trim, red gloves "top" it red & white striped elf hat with lights and a large bell, that sings and moves to the song Candy Cane Twist (aka Peppermint Twist). And last weeks jingle bells tied to my shoe.

Hey, ya gotta have fun with these things.

I was ready to go and get a new PR.


Yesterday afternoon it started snowing little, which melted as soon as it hit the ground. Then afternoon turned to evening, it got colder, the wet pavement froze and the snow stuck. Hardly a dusting, but the damage was done.

It was slippery. Not a major hazard but enough that you could feel your shoes slipping a little with every step. So a minute into the race I decided safety before glory and gave myself permission to go slower when and where needed to avoid slipping and getting hurt (I can break an ankle just walking through my front door so slipping is entirely probable for me).

End result...finished in 28:10, almost a full minute slower than last week. Even though I decided to do so I was still kind of bummed, I felt so slow.

And yes, I fully remember that not too many months ago a 28 minute 5k seemed like a complete pipe dream, not something I would ever do; I thought those people were so incredibly fast (and the even faster runners were probably cyborgs or something to be able to move that fast).

And now I'm one of them!

But I was still feeling slow and disappointed.

Here's some perspective though:

I came in 7th of 37 in my age 20% (if you're data obsessed like me that is the tip 18.9%)

One of the running coaches I worked with this summer was only one minute faster than me. Even though she is a distance runner, not speed, I am still mightily impressed with this fact.

There were 56 women in the 20-29 age group. If I compare my time to theirs I would have been 20% again (or 17.5%, I'm moving up!).

I placed 141 out of 381 overall, top 37%.

So I didn't really do too "bad"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS_DOLLY 12/19/2011 3:38PM

    Great job! Taking precautions over glory is a WISE move! You must include a picture of you in your running gear. It sounds like a "must see."

Keep it up and you will have the new PR real soon!

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AIRPEACH 12/19/2011 11:28AM

    Congratulations! I think you did famously well, especially under those conditions. emoticon

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MCJULIEO 12/19/2011 10:53AM

    If you hadn't chosen the wiser path we might've been reading a very different story...

"Ambulance carries off jingling runner: would have broken PR, but broke hip instead."

You don't want to be THAT guy...

Congrats on the slower, but smarter, race...

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/19/2011 10:01AM

    "Too bad"???? You did FANTASTIC!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EUPHRATES 12/19/2011 4:35AM

    Dude - I can't get my 5K under 38 minutes yet (still working up to more running, less walking). 28:10 is FABULOUS!

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APIRLRAIN888 12/19/2011 1:12AM


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INIT2LIVEIT 12/18/2011 11:10PM

    Good job! but hey - can we get a pic of you in all your glory? Now that sounds like the purrrrfect Christmas card to send around....! emoticon

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DOODIE59 12/18/2011 7:13PM

    Good job!

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JENN03275 12/18/2011 6:59PM

    What an awesome job you did! Wish you had a picture in your gear. So very smart to let safety come before your own ego. That is very hard for many of when we are working on our PR.

Great job!!!

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CODEMAULER 12/18/2011 5:37PM

    I think it sounds like an awesome finish - WOOHOO!

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 12/18/2011 5:10PM

    I would've loved to see your outfit - it sounded so fun!! Congrats on doing a great job in such slick conditions!!

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LESLIESENIOR 12/18/2011 5:05PM

    Yikes, Congratulations!! What an accomplishment in the icy weather. I'm glad you could see the positive. You are a super runner in my eyes. I started running 1 1/2 years ago. I'll be 60 next year and anything under 30 minutes seems like a pipe dream for me. So you are a SUPER STAR!!!

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EMMANYC 12/18/2011 5:02PM

    Never mind "not too bad". You were awesome! Congratulations on your performance, and it sounds like you had a lot of fun, too.

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KAREN42BOYS 12/18/2011 5:02PM

    AhROOOO, you sound plenty fast and fearless to me!

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Well Jingle my Bells, I've got Bling

Monday, December 12, 2011

Or at least one of my shoes does!

Yesterday's 5k was a local Jingle Bell Run and all participants received a pair of jingle bells to tie to their shoe. And this blue etched metal thing, not sure exactly what it is but I can hang it on the tree as an ornament.

Almost 1000 people running along with bells jingling at every step¡Kpretty cool sounding. And I PR'd, finishing in 27:15, which is just about what I'd hoped for. I'm thinking of doing another 5k this coming Sunday to see if I can get under 27 minutes. I should have done it yesterday but at the 2 mile mark I was at about 17:22, which was ahead of what I expected, and I think I mentally relaxed and slowed way down, figuring I had plenty of time.

In other news it was a busy weekend. This is probably the worst time of year for a shopaholic, when stereotypical American culture EXPECTS over the top shopping; nay, almost demands it. Very, very dangerous times.

Each year at work we obtain a list from a local organization that works with the developmentally and/or economically disadvantaged and sign up to be Christmas presents. Most are kids / teens, but usually there are some adults too. What we give is, in most of the cases, the only Christmas present the individual will receive. So how can you decline to participate when you have the means to do so? Or only give the child's first wish (we are given 2 in order of priority), especially when it is for a coat or pair of pajamas? It is very sad when a child's first wish (and sometimes second as well) is for basic necessities and not for something to enjoy (or, more likely, a parent's wish for their child; necessary, but sad).

So I sign up for 2 kids each year and Saturday I went shopping for them. I love to shop (*raises hand, recovering shopaholic here!*) and especially since I am not buying anything for my own kids this year (they have requested $$ instead) I was overdue for my fix. I did pretty good, only going over my unofficial "try to stay in this range budget" by $25 and got everything on the wish lists, necessities AND fun stuff. And I only used cash AFTER paying bills, so no extra debt to worry about or unpaid bills going into collections. Yes, I could have used the money to pay off some more debt but some things are more important. I am talking about the kids here, not my shopping fix ;-)

And then I went shopping for myself, because once I start spending it is hard to stop and there were some things that I needed to get. But again, I did pretty well. I went into a store where I had a "get $10 off a $10 or more purchase" coupon intending to buy some socks or something for just over the $10 so they would be basically free...and walked out with just the socks. Huge improvement for me, I NEVER go into a store for just one thing and walk out with only that one thing.

But then I succumbed to the lure of Bed, Bath & Beyond, buying a drawer knife rack to replace the block sitting on the counter and a new K-Cup storage thing that has 4 stacked slide out trays so it can fit in the cupboard to replace the counter-top carousel. I have limited counter space so this freed up an entire corner for me. I also found a tissue box cover & q-tip container that I repurposed to hold the empty k-cups and paper wrappers from the sugar packets, which further reduced the amount of space taken up by the basket I used before. Plus they are more esthetically pleasing than a white plastic basket and Subway bag. I had intended to get the knife block only but...well, these things happen.

Sunday - before the race - I cleaned my carpets, cleaned the kitchen and cleaned out the garage (mostly) so I can park inside for the winter. I Freecycled about a dozen items yesterday and have another dozen listed today, in addition to the things I put out at the curb as "Free" before the garbage guys arrive. All but 2 items were gone before I left for work today and I'll bet the other 2 were taken as soon as it was light enough for people to see they were there. I could have listed these things on eBay or Craig's List but for what I could earn vs. my time to manage it isn't worth the time & aggravation. Now I just need to contact Purple Heart to come pick up the old minivan and other donations, and drop off the old blankets, towels & sheets to the animal rescue (along with a big bag of dried catnip from my plants) and I'll have made a good start on decluttering.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIQUEY73 12/19/2011 9:17PM

    Sounds like an awesome shoopping weekend! :)

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DOGSTARDADDY 12/15/2011 3:38PM

    Sounds like a busy weekend. I almost am looking forward to January, when things settle back down!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/13/2011 10:27PM

    Oh how purdy!! Love it!!

Here's some more...


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NYKIMMIE 12/13/2011 5:57PM

    Sounds like a great weekend,Jingle Bell sounds like fun :)

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CANDOK1260 12/13/2011 12:15PM

    boy after the cleaning you did on sunday I am surprise you as energy to run a race but good for way to go

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CODEMAULER 12/12/2011 9:48PM

    I'm learning to love de-cluttering. It's a lot like working out; takes a while to work up the motivation, but feels SO good when it's done!

Sounds like you had a busy and productive weekend!

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KAREN_NY 12/12/2011 9:31PM

    Wow, you've got it all going on! Congrats on smacking down your goal time!!!

And bless your big heart for spreading some holiday cheer. We do something similar each year, and it's tons of fun to shop for someone knowing you're helping to care for him (or her) and bringing some joyful playtime too. :)


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GETSTRONGRRR 12/12/2011 8:36PM

    Sounds great....SWMBO and I do a thing called the "Angel Tree" here in the local area too....she stocked up her Angel with some basic goodies (socks, shoes, underwear, etc)

I bet those jingle bells will sound pretty cool on a summer 10K!

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DOODIE59 12/12/2011 8:20PM

    First, it is very kind of you to make those purchases, and second, I am most impressed with your efforts to tidy, organize and declutter. Awesome job!

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AIRPEACH 12/12/2011 8:15PM

    Go jingleshoes, go! :)
Way to go on shopping for the kids and yourself, and staying within your limits.

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KAREN42BOYS 12/12/2011 7:21PM

    Wow, sounds like lots of good things you're making happen!

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EUPHRATES 12/12/2011 7:11PM

    I was SO disappointed the Jingle Bell Run was the weekend we'd planned to go to the NEO (but Over The Rhine playing Kent Stage trumps everything during the holidays). :) Glad you had a good race!

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/12/2011 6:01PM

    Nice job on the race--love these Christmas races, they are fun to do and often have cool bling to boot! Well done on the shopping (with cash no less) and cleaning things out, too. WOO HOO for you!

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APIRLRAIN888 12/12/2011 4:11PM

    Awesome and wow fast u are! Must have been a noisy run ;) emoticon

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BLACK-SWAN 12/12/2011 4:10PM


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    What a loving, generous thing you did! I imagine you had a blast shopping for the list! And what a great idea to have the jingle bells on your shoes, AND an ornament to remember your race! I just loved your blog today! emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 12/12/2011 3:05PM

    Love those bells! And, that's a neat addition to your tree. Congrats on your time!! I hope to/plan to break 30 mins for a 5k in 2012!

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Monday updates

Monday, December 05, 2011

Haha, you thought I was done! No such luck.

My son plays fife in the 1st Michigan Fife & Drum Corps, which focuses on Revolutionary War era costume & music. They march in parades and play in a number of events each year. The biggest event is Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village (an extremely large historical village with homes/shops/exhibits/etc. of life in the US from the 17th century to early 20th century, started/supported by Henry Ford / Ford Motor company). Each year the Corps. stands around one of the fires and plays period & Christmas music for the people who come to the event; they do this for 14 nights total (taking turns, not everyone plays every night). Given that my son does not yet drive I get to spend the evning there as well. This year he is committed to 4 nights, and possibly a 5th. So that's where I was Saturday night, sitting in the admin building catching up on e-mails and playing mah jong for 4 hours. Parents don't get to go into the village unless they've also bought a ticket for that night and, quite frankly, if you go once there's not much point in going again as very little ever changes. I'm hoping his dad agrees to take 2 of the remaining nights. Other members have also offered to drive him but we tried that last year and it didn't work out very well.

On Friday night my son wanted to go to the Holiday Nights as a spectator, with his girlfriend. And my daughter also wanted to go again so I bought the tickets and away we went. I had a Groupon so beforehand we had dinner at a place called Black Market - a bar/grill type place with a standard menu of appetizers, sandwiches, pizza and burgers. Their claim to fame is that the burgers are made from exotic meats (all farm raised, no illegal poaching or trafficking despite the name). On the menu Friday was bison, ostrich, alpaca, kangaroo, yak, alligator...and african lion.

They were out of everything except bison, yak and alligator so my son & his girlfriend had alligator and I had the yak. Yak is (un)surprisingly pretty similar to bison, it was good. I was taken aback though by the african lion. I have to think about why since none of the other meats made me stop and think and somehow ordering lion for dinner just seems...wrong? You can argue that all meat eating is wrong, starting from the living conditions of the animals right up to killing a feeling creature for food...I don't necessarily disagree although I am not a vegetarion; I respect the choices of those who are and expect the same consideration. Although I'm going to have to really think about why lion bothers me and yak does not.

My karate dojo found a new location so the increase was reduced a little bit. At the end of the day I'm paying $10 more per month total; the space is supposed to be larger. So that worked out in the least for now.

Sunday I am running the Jingle Bell Run locally, a 5k. They give us bells to wear and the race happens regardless of the weather. Some previous races were run in heavy snow conditions. So far the forecast is partly sunny with a high of 36F.

I need to sit down soon and figure out races for next year. Not necessarily to register yet but at least get some on the radar. I was not able to find one in the London area for the period I am there so don't think I will be able to run any races in London or Paris. Kind of bummed about that but I suspect I will live LOL. I did find one about an hour north of London but the logistics of getting there in the morning are more than I want to deal with (if you have ever seen me drive you would understand why I don't wish to rent a car in a country where they drive on the opposite side of the road) so I will probably pass on it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Good food for thought! I'm with you on the lion meat. Although I'm not a vegetarian, I see way too much lion in my sister's cat to even fathom going there. There are a lot of animals I can't fathom eating because of the "cute" factor, for that matter. Totally hypocritical of me but we all have our own definitions and limits. Interesting discussion!

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/6/2011 1:43PM

    Busy days! I have to say, I feel the same about lion versus yak--I think I could do yak no problem, but lion? Nope! Too bad no races available while you'll be in London, but yes, I'm sure you'll live--just try to find somewhere to run there so you have that memory. Doing great!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/5/2011 9:31PM

    Very cool updates and plan. When we were in Boston, I lived real close to Minuteman National Park and really enjoyed going to see the re-enactors stage the Battle of Lexington Concord and the siege of Boston. The Fife & Drum corps had us standing tall in patriotic pride!

Forget London, if you're going to race on holiday, book a trip to Hawaii!

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    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I don't know why either, but I feel the same way you do about the lion! I'm not sure about yak! LOL I'll be interested to hear what you come up with after you think about it! emoticon

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DOODIE59 12/5/2011 2:29PM

    It cracks me up how busy you are. Now, I was probably just as busy when I was in my 30s, but I can't remember:)

All power to you!

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CANDOK1260 12/5/2011 2:09PM

    Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. You seem to be doing great my spark buddy/ Hey bison don;t sound bad to me but yak nah.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/5/2011 1:56PM

    Wow, I have never heard of a restaurant that sells those meats. Good for you for being so adventuresome! (smiling) Have a good day.

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APIRLRAIN888 12/5/2011 1:24PM

    Wow busssssy!

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Sunday updates

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Oh wow, I am behind. Time flies when you're fighting hibernation.

On 11/18 we had our company "soup kitchen", where volunteers bring in crock pots of soup and the employee activity committee provides the crackers and dessert for a communal lunch. We usually get quite a variety of soups with almost no duplication. This year I made vegetable beef soup; except for the beef and the barley every single ingredient, including the seasonings, came from my garden. That was immensely gratifying...and pretty tasty too.

On Thanksgiving Day I ran the 10k Turkey Trot in Detroit, before the big parade. That was my first official 10k; there were 20,000 people in the races (there was also a 1 mile and a 5k). Nearly 8000 people ran the 10k. That was also the biggest race I have been in and it was pretty cool running with a lot of people. In every other race I've done I've run alone for stretches of the course; in this one I was surrounded by a lot of people every step of the way. I met my goal of 60 minutes, finishing in 60:05. And I did it without any idea of my progress during the race. I never saw a single mile marker (complaint #2) and so never had any idea of my pace. Complaint #1 is that people did not respect the starting corrals so you had walkers starting with the faster runners and getting in the way, people with baby joggers not going in the back of the corral as required, and even a group of people carrying a float that took up a lane or more right at the starting line, which slowed everyone. It was still a great experience though and I plan to do it again next year.

Although I am disappointed that I was not in a single posted picture. I was in costume, having found a pair of leopard print spandex pants to match my skort in the costume shop after Halloween and a full face cat mask.

Last Sunday I had to have an emergency plumber visit for a large water leak in the basement. I was having visions of having to pull out the bathtub and two floors to get it fixed; the plumber walked downstairs, never even looked at where the water was dripping and - I am not exaggerating - in 1 second said "it's your ice maker". Sure enough, the water line to the refrigerator had a hole in it; he replaced the hose and was gone in less than 20 minutes. Everything is now dry and no more leaks can be found.

Last week I had several go-arounds with the high school administration. They expelled my son for "making a bomb threat"...except he never made a threat. Well, they said, he didn't really violate any rules but we're not comfortable letting him back in school and we had to write it up somehow (meaning we're afraid some parent will sue us if we let him back in and if you try we will find some other way to get rid of him). So, they said, have him take his classes online through this program and you can apply to the board next year to let him come back (meaning after everyone has had the rest of the year to forget about what he didn't do). Except that the online program costs $4000 and the school district will not pay for it.

So, I said, it took you 3 weeks to figure this out? 3 weeks of telling us you are filling out the applications, yada yada yada, and then you tell me oh by the way it is all your cost, here is the web site so go take care of it all yourself? I asked to see the formal program description, which details how the program is run, who is eligible, etc. Oh, they say, we don't have anything written down, maybe we should. You think? So they don't have the program formalized but they "know" beyond a doubt that he is not eligible for the district to cover the cost. And, of course, this is the only program they will accept to transfer back into the school next year (although it isn't written down anywhere of course, they just "know"). Gee, I wish I had the ability to just "know" everything too.

Some people just shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

Instead I have decided to home school him. I found an online high school program for him to follow and we will supplement with community college classes as an early admit student. He will end up with a home school diploma once he meets the State's subject requirements and won't be going back to the high school next year.

I picked up my new running shoes Friday. I'm a bit disappointed that my old ones did not last longer, but these are a half size bigger and fit better. I'm glad they came in early enough for me to break them in before my race on the 11th.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 12/5/2011 5:04PM

    Just for the record, I LOVED homeschooling my kids! (We had them at home from grades 3-8) They transitioned perfectly back into public school when the time was right, were National Merit scholars and then later were honor students in college...

I even overheard one explaining that home schooling is what taught him How to Learn! emoticon They all are also very Other oriented, socially interacting easily in many situations (across cultural, economic, and other demographics), so that often heard caution about socialization is a bunch of bunk IMHO, and though they were back in public school for high school, only one went to prom (the others weren't interested and had better things to do)

It sounds to me like your son has been self motivated to find out about certain topics already, and I can see tailoring a curriculum to exploit those interests (you might need a little help in finding the specific ways to integrate the math and sciences into the history subjects he already wants to know about- I think I remember his being fascinated with some social studies, wasn't it?)

There's probably a whole community of home schoolers in your town, and I'd bet you could find them on Facebook, or by asking at your local library. There are even some interesting court cases that have been heard regarding public schools having to offer sports and facilities to homeschoolers... your state home schooling group will know....

A helpful resource for us was the Home school Legal Defense Foundation
They "get it"!

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BUTEAFULL 12/5/2011 12:37PM

    emoticonbureaucracy and red tape, funny how the schools can go all vigilante without any proof of wrongdoing and the innocent have no power to defend themselves

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    Oh, that is so sad about the school! School's can really be ridiculous, and I'm afraid it's only getting worse! My poor husband is such a hugger, and he has to be afraid to put his arm around any student unless he is in the hall in front of everyone. I hope the homeschool situation works out for both of you and that you can keep your sanity through it all!

Too bad you don't have the wherewithal to get an attorney to sort this all out for you! Ugh! emoticon

Hang in there, my sweet friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEZZIEJAMES 12/5/2011 9:57AM

    Oh you have so much going on with your son! I really feel for you. Really sucks for him too - I'm guessing home school means no prom? No extra-curricular activities? No social interaction with his peers. (I might not sound pro- home school, but I am.) Is he upset at missing all of this? What a bunch of jerkwads the school admin. are...

Grats on your 10K. Your time is just amazing!!! I'm bummed there were no photos either! I would love to see them!!!!


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DOODIE59 12/5/2011 8:35AM

    Hi Becky
You are so busy! Getting your son educated will require lots of focus and determination -- luckily, you've got it in spades. You will do this!

Best wishes, and congratulations on all the races you've been doing -- Runner.
Take care

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CODEMAULER 12/5/2011 8:22AM

    You HAVE been busy! I hope you find a time for a break in all the holiday and school stuff.

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INIT2LIVEIT 12/5/2011 5:50AM

    Way to go on your run! and for your awesome support of your son.
Which sneakers did you have and what are the new ones?

Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 6:04:54 AM

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EUPHRATES 12/4/2011 10:55PM

    Good for you going to bat for your son - seriously, my daughter fell through every educational crack known to man, there are SO many things I'd do different knowing what I know now. They always blame the parents, but then they keep us in the dark about what our children's options are...makes me SO angry!

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APIRLRAIN888 12/4/2011 10:13PM

    first woohooo on your fitness accomplishment and sorry about the school and add on responsiblity at home

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 12/4/2011 9:59PM

    All's I can say is - You Got It Going On!! All those things & still a sense of humor!! Way to go!! I lived to Royal Oak for a year & worked in Auburn Hills while there so the whole people thing at the Turkey Trot & the pot holes comment on your main page make total sense to me! Kudos also on deciding to home-school! :)

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/4/2011 9:55PM

    Sounds busy....rough and busy.

That's a big investment in time for you, but sounds well worth it for you and your son...good luck!

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    I wanted to do the Detroit Turkey Trot as well, but I worked the night before so I knew that wasn't going to happen. I'm glad I didn't run it now by what you've said, wayyy too many people for me. That was the problem with the Detroit Half in October. I missed my goal by 3 minutes (which I was ok with) because of all the people.

Awesome job on meeting your goal!

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AJB121299 12/4/2011 9:20PM


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The Red Fox in the Closet

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In lieu of having a skeleton in my closet I have the story of The Red Fox.

Last night while doing laundry my son and I had a "discussion" about whether he gets to keep an old souvenir t-shirt. I got it for him a few years ago when we went to Big Stone Gap, VA. Their claim to fame is an outdoor theater where each summer they put on The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, which is now the official Virginia State Outdoor Drama.

The play is based on the book by John Fox, Jr. in the early 1900s and which was quite famous in its day. It was made into a silent movie in 1916 and redone in 1936 with Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray. The book is historical fiction, based on events that took place in and around Big Stone Gap, which was also the author's home. The story is about a feud between 2 families in the Appalachian Mountains.

The important part here is one of the characters, Dr. M.B. Taylor, otherwise known as the Red Fox. A minor character in the story but important nonetheless. Taylor was a faith healer and a "revenuer" in the employ of the government, hunting down moonshiners. He was ideally suited for that role as he traveled constantly throughout the Appalachians as a healer and had the opportunity to find the moonshiners and stills.

In the book, and in real life, there was an ambush of one family as they were traveling somewhere, and several members were killed including a woman and teenagers. The family that was ambushed had, the story goes, been plotting to have the Red Fox killed because he was a very effective revenuer; they offered to pay a "hit man" $300 to kill the Red Fox.

According to the story/history the Red Fox learned of this and decided to pre-empt the hit by ambushing the Mullins family as they took a load of shine into town. The Red Fox and his compatriots opened fire from behind some boulders and killed most of the party. One of the survivors said she identified all the gunmen from hearing their voices, and after a number of days the Red Fox was captured. He stood trial, was convicted and sentenced to hang.

He wore a white suit to his execution. On October 27, 1893 he was escorted to the scaffolding where he preached his own funeral, and was then hung by the neck until dead. At least according to official history.

Except it didn't really happen. The Red Fox was my great-great-grandfather (or maybe it is 3 greats, I can't remember). According to family history he was cut down from the rope before he was dead and placed in his coffin, which was taken to his home. He was then smuggled out of VA across the border into eastern Kentucky where my Dad's family is from (and many of whom were and are moonshiners, including my great-uncle who hedged his bets by running shine as the Sheriff).

There is a museum in Big Stone Gap, much of which is concerned with that period of it's history. It was pretty indescribable to go into a museum and see your ancestor's pictures and life history hanging on the wall. And then to drive half an hour to visit family who have the same pictures and more in the photo albums and to know a little piece of history has immortalized one's family tree (however infamously).

My family bias aside it is a pretty good play so if you are ever in the area (northwest VA more or less) I recommend going.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEZZIEJAMES 12/1/2011 1:26PM

    Very interesting!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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FUSCHIA6 11/25/2011 8:43AM

    That is really cool, cooler than your running skort, and that is way cool. I too want to know what the verdict on the shirt was. My brother-in-law's great-great-great....was a Stoker, Braum Stoker, the dude who wrote Dracula. Any chance of royalties?
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DOGSTARDADDY 11/24/2011 4:49PM

    Not to be confused with Red Foxx the comedian.

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MCJULIEO 11/24/2011 9:56AM

    So, let me get this straight... Part of the family were moonshiners, and part were revenuers.... must've made for some interesting family reunions!

Reminds me of the classic hillbilly song
"Her Daddy Was a Moonshiner But I Loved Her Still"

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CODEMAULER 11/24/2011 7:58AM

    But did the t-shirt survive?


That's an amazing story, rich in history and local lore; thanks for putting that up!

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CANDOK1260 11/23/2011 10:20PM

    happy thanksgiving and thanks you for being you and love the blog and history lesson

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DOODIE59 11/23/2011 9:15PM

    That IS a great story ... there isn't a boring bone in your body:) Historical fact.

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APIRLRAIN888 11/23/2011 8:11PM

    Wow cool :)

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/23/2011 8:06PM

    Very cool....I recommend a re-make of the movie with Ryan Gosling as the Red should have a cameo role as well. You can be in an action sequence running through the woods with a jug of moonshine in your arms, vaulting over flames and muddy streams!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/23/2011 7:49PM


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DEBBIEOLMOS57 11/23/2011 7:31PM

    how cute

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