The Dansko Difference

Last week Tuesday I had an appointment with Dr. Tornetta, an ankle specialist here in Boston. I started getting nervous a few weeks before, wondering what he would say, what he could do for me. But I suppose a little back story as to why I’m seeing an ankle specialist might be in order…

In the summer of ’05 I was in a bad car accident. Bad as in lay me up in the hospital bad. I had an open, dislocated fracture of my talus (ankle) bone. In other words, my ankle didn’t like where it was an decided to go on a little vacation and split from my leg bones for a while. Let’s jump four surgeries and five years later, aka this past summer. I had gotten a recommendation from my surgeon back in Michigan to see the best of the best for ankle surgeons here in Boston because my ankle was giving me all sorts of problems. I was walking with a bad limp, I had pretty constant pain, and my ankle was the size of a basketball on a regular basis from all the swelling. So I made the venture down to the Boston Medical Center to meet Dr. Tornetta. He was able to pin point the pain and limited ROM (look at me, using a fancy medical term) to really bad arthritis in all 3 ankle joints. Boo. Who wants to hear they have bad arthritis at age 26? Certainly not me. So he prescribed the usual trio — naproxen, physical therapy, and weight loss.

PT at Elliot Rehab here in Manchester is where the magic began to happen. My therapist Kristen was AWESOME. She would spend lots of time cranking on my ankle and making it hurt so good. Talk about a new experience. In the first year or two after my accident I had more pt than I care to think about, and usually I’d walk away in pain feeling frustrated that we accomplished nothing. While chatting about exercises and things I could do to help my ankle and walking, Kristen suggested I try out Dansko shoes, since the heel would be good to help even out the fact my ankle couldn’t get to neutral (a 90 degree angle) and the ‘rocker-bottom design’ of the shoe would help give me a more normal walking pattern.

The day that I bought my first pair of Dansko clogs my life definitely changed for the better. Talk about a miracle shoe! My first trip to the store I bought a pair of the Black Wide Professional Clogs and the Brown ‘Marah’ Mary Janes. It took me a little while to really fall in love with these shoes. I had never owned a pair of real leather shoes before, so breaking in the shoes was kind of a nightmare. I toughed it through, though, and now the only days I don’t wear my Dansko’s are when I need snow boots or am lounging around the house. The roomy toe box, all-day comfort, and rocker bottom that Dansko claims on their website is no joke!

Some of my friends think I’m a little crazy because I’m ALWAYS talking about my Dansko’s. But who wouldn’t? I’ve had a virtually pain free ankle the last 6 months. I’m walking better, I have less pain, and these shoes are super cute! They just came out with a new line for spring, I got got my Veda’s last week. They are super cute, SUPER comfy, and perfect for summertime! Be sure to check them out!

So there you have it, a first-hand testimonial of the Dansko difference. If you’re not already, you should ‘like’ them on Facebook and follow them on twitter. They’re a great socially-conscious company with a pretty good social network presence and dynamite customer service staff.

So I have two quick gems to share this week. I’ve been trying to collect healthy, small portion recipes since I live on my own. I made this soup for dinner last night, and yumm! I never knew I could make such a tasty, healthy dish. When you pair that with Adele’s ‘Tiny Desk Concert’ from NPR you’ve got a great night on the menu! Enjoy!

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“I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way!”

So I confess… I love Lady Gaga! I absolutely can not get enough of her great beats, crazy antics, wild videos, and what she stands for. Yep, I said it, I think Lady Gaga stands for something. From her twitter page, read these lyrics for her latest smash hit ‘Born This Way’ and tell me you don’t at least respect the woman.

BORN THIS WAY
WRITTEN BY: LADY GAGA
PRODUCED BY: LADY GAGA, FERNANDO GARIBAY, DJ WHITE SHADOW
MIXED AND ENGINEERED BY: DAVID RUSSEL

INTRO:
It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
’cause you were Born This Way, Baby

VERSE:
MY MAMA TOLD ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG
WE ARE ALL BORN SUPERSTARS

SHE ROLLED MY HAIR AND PUT MY LIPSTICK ON
IN THE GLASS OF HER BOUDOIR

“THERE’S NOTHIN WRONG WITH LOVIN WHO YOU ARE”
SHE SAID, “‘CAUSE HE MADE YOU PERFECT, BABE”

“SO HOLD YOUR HEAD UP GIRL AND YOU’LL GO FAR,
LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY”

CHORUS:
I’M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
‘CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON’T HIDE YOURSELF IN REGRET
JUST LOVE YOURSELF AND YOU’RE SET
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

POST-CHORUS:
OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
OOO THERE AIN’T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN-
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON’T BE!

VERSE:
GIVE YOURSELF PRUDENCE
AND LOVE YOUR FRIENDS
SUBWAY KID, REJOICE YOUR TRUTH

IN THE RELIGION OF THE INSECURE
I MUST BE MYSELF, RESPECT MY YOUTH

A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN
BELIEVE CAPITAL H-I-M (HEY HEY HEY)
I LOVE MY LIFE I LOVE THIS RECORD AND
MI AMORE VOLE FE YAH (LOVE NEEDS FAITH)

REPEAT CHORUS + POST-CHORUS

BRIDGE:

DON’T BE A DRAG, JUST BE A QUEEN
WHETHER YOU’RE BROKE OR EVERGREEN
YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE, CHOLA DESCENT
YOU’RE LEBANESE, YOU’RE ORIENT
WHETHER LIFE’S DISABILITIES
LEFT YOU OUTCAST, BULLIED, OR TEASED
REJOICE AND LOVE YOURSELF TODAY
‘CAUSE BABY YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY

NO MATTER GAY, STRAIGHT, OR BI,
LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED LIFE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO BE BRAVE

REPEAT CHORUS

OUTRO/REFRAIN:

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

While this song is already an anthem for the glbt community, I think that it is going to find it’s way into the hearts of millions of boys, girls, men, and women. I know I sure love to listen to it when I’m feeling a little down… who doesn’t love to hear “Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set.” Amazing. I really love this woman and how she uses her position on the world stage to be such an advocate and make millions feel good about themselves. More people need to look past her wild outfits and start listening to what she has to say.

Here’s her performance from the 2011 Grammys. Check it out, and pass it on to somebody in your life who may need to be reminded they’re beautiful in their own way.

Gingers of the world, unite!

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my first blackberry post. While I’m not sure how often I’ll post from my phone, I thought it’d be fun to give this app a whirl.

So I’ve decided today is going to be the day I make a big change to my look… I’m dying my hair! Eek! Now I know this isn’t a big deal to probably 90% of our society who dies their hair on a regular basis, but except for the blonde highlights I had in 1998 I’ve never died my hair. Ever since high school I’ve toyed with the idea of dying my hair red. The Ms. Evelyn Chevy Camaro commercial in the superbowl last weekend inspired me. It’s a beautiful color, and I think it’s dark enough that I won’t go into shock with the change. My cut & color appointment is for 2:30, so pictures to come later on. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this girl will be a ginger!

Crazy little thing called control…

Hi Everybody. Welcome to my first funk of 2011. While I could look at the fact I’ve missed a few and get all sullen and stop the blog, here I am, ready to get back on the wagon. Life has been a little bit nuts and felt slightly (who am I kidding… life has felt COMPLETELY) out of control the last few weeks. So… to say January in NH kind of sucked is a pretty big understatement. First thing that kept getting me down, was that we were pounded with snowstorm, after snowstorm, after snowstorm, after snowstorm. Yes, as a girl who grew up only minutes away from Lake Michigan I am used to snow and I love it… but, I love snow when I don’t live in the city. Back at my parent’s house in Michigan snow is great! It’s clean, you get snowed in and have to quilt/sew all day, there acreage to snowmobile/ski/sled/etc…. In Manchester, the snow is black or brown from all the cars and salt. And to say there is no where to put the snow after a while is the understatement of the year. I’m not kidding when I say there are piles of snow WAY taller than me at many parking lots and some intersections. Now I don’t want to just complain in this blog, but I really am hating driving in Manchester right now because on many intersections I can’t see oncoming traffic because of all the snow that has piled up. At least lately the weather has been nicer — no snow for a while week, woo-hoo! And the temperatures sure have been great (though it’s bad when you consider anything about 30 a good day). You can just feel spring in the air, and I for one, can not wait.

The other thing that kept getting at me in January was work — we had an AmeriCorps member working on this big nursing project, but the program we had contracted her through shut down really unexpectedly on 12/31/10. Talk about extra stress which I had absolutely 0 control over. It was really rough getting things going with her out. With her on ‘administrative hold’ for January that put me as the only administrative/full-time staff member for our program. While I was used to being the only one, doing my normal work PLUS hers got a little overwhelming. I managed to find a good groove, though, and everything has been going well. As luck would have it, they found a new host site to take over for PlusTime NH and she comes back to work on Monday. While I’m really excited to lighten my work-load, it’s pretty overwhelming to have to manage someone again. (If I haven’t mentioned before, I don’t think I’m a very good manager — I find it stressful, overwhelming, and I don’t like how unhappy it makes me). But enough work talk. I sometimes have to step back and remember how much I love working with refugee/immigrant youth, and that I’m grateful to have a job with a good salary that allows me to have a comfortable lifestyle.

So enough of the yuck that was January. While I haven’t been working lately I’ve been knitting up a storm. My lovely friend, Nicole, is opening up a consignment shop in Concord called New To You Concord that will feature work made by local artists. She asked me to sell some of my knitted/sewn goodies there, and to say the least I’m really geeked about it. For years people have asking if I sell the bags/hats/scarves/etc… that I make, and this is finally the push I need to get it started. I think after a few months if things go well at the store I may even open an etsy store. Exciting things, I know:) Here are a few pictures of some of the knitted gems I’m looking to sell (I gave the scarf away to my sister for her Birthday, so I’ve started a new one with the same colors)

So needless to say I’ve been keeping busy and am excited about the opportunity to make a little extra spending money for what I normally sit around doing on the weekends anyway. I can call the money from my sales my ‘Dansko’ fund, since I’d love to get some of the new spring styles and sandals.

So that’s all for this week. Thanks everyone for sticking with me, and let’s hope my first funk of 2011 is my only funk of 2011.

Now for my new favorite musical gem. I’ve loved both Bruno Mars and Passion Pit since first hearing their music. This week I saw that Passion Pit had remixed Bruno Mars’ most recent hit, Grenade. This song is my musical heaven! A great beat that makes me want to move, and Bruno Mars’ smoothe vocals. I LOVE it! I don’t how how to embed the song here, but make sure to check out the link on Nylon Blogs website and listen to the song. You’ll be glad you did.