365 Days in Aspen


In like a lamb, out like a…

Welcome to Aspen in the Spring. 

For several weeks it's been warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, if not tank tops. It was nice – but sad, because it was too soon to have such warm weather while it was supposed to be ski season. 

Then we have the last day of ski season and BOOM! Snowy days.

I'm not complaining. Okay, I am, but not for the reason you may suspect. Yes, I would have loved to have had another month to ski. No question about that. But I did get a fair amount of skiing in this year and I also enjoyed the warmer weather for hiking, so I went along with it. 

And I'm not complaining about having a few snowy days. I'd rather hike in the snow than the rain for sure. And it's been quite interesting to see snow on a sunny day. If I were in Atlanta today I'd be "enjoying" 77 degrees – and oppressive allergies that force you to stay inside. Instead, I get to still cuddle up in a warm bed and sleep like a log. 

Besides, it'll be warm soon enough, for long enough.

So, no. It's none of these things to complain about. It's the implications for this planet are worrisome. And the fears of their getting worse due to the massive corporate and poliitcal corruption rampant in today's society. 


spring2017-04-25 08.35.54

April aspen

Stand By Me


faith-hill-stand-by-meI listen to music as I write and work, and I especially love discovering new music and albums. Two favorites are Sting's new album 57th and 9th and Faith Hill's album, Deep Tracks

There are several deep, inspirational themes in her new album. And anyone who knows me knows I like it DEEP.  wink

The lyrics in song "Somebody Stand by Me" really stood out to me. 

One thing about moving is that you get the opportunity to see yourself differently.  Ultimately everyone wants someone to believe in them. To stand by them.  Sometimes we just assume this.  And other times we just accept whatever support we can get – which often isn't enough.  

In Faith's song she suggests, "This girl's gonna have her day."  

It's quiet here tonight
There's a light burnin' far away
It burns in my heart
In the rain, in the dark
Well, this girl's gonna have her day



Sometimes life gets so dark, so scary, so terrifying all you can do is escape.

For me it was to take a long hike up the mountains and into the woods. Here are some pictures:




All Hallows Eve

halloween2According to Wikipedia, to hallow is "to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate."  Halloween is supposed to be about remembering and honoring the people who have died, but somehow has evolved into dressing up in costumes and handing out candy. 

Okay, even though I don't see the connection, I can go along with that. Nothing wrong with having a day to celebrate trying on another persona. And unless you're a diabetic, nothing wrong with some sweetness in your life. 

But how did that turn into horror films? 

While I don't share the emotion, I understand some people like to be scared at the movies. (I'm not opposed to a psychological thriller, but the slasher films are frankly disturbing). What's ironic is that so many people are afraid of death. Like "deathly" afraid. (Forgive the pun but it was so obvious). 

I see nothing wrong with facing your fears. 

But I do think it's dangerous to perpetuate fear, especially the fear of death and dying. Experts estimate that as much as 75% of our medical expenses in the U.S. are spent extending terminal patients' lives an additional 14 days. Think about that. Think about how we could actually prevent so many deaths at younger ages if we didn't have such a fear of death. 

What if we used this day instead to honor those who have moved on to the next plane of existence? 

I know I'll never change this. But I did have to voice my thoughts. 

Meanwhile, Happy All Hollows Eve!



Go Take a Hike!

hiking-heartbeatThe expression, "Go Take A Hike" has multiple interpretations, the most common of which relates to "get lost" or "leave me alone." 

Yet maybe it is (or should) mean something else. Like advice. 

This article (below) explains the benefits in hiking. From increased creativity to helping to manage ADHD. No wonder people are so much more balanced here in Colorado. 

So maybe the next time you want to tell someone to "go take a hike" what you're really suggesting is that they experience these benefits before they come back to you. 

Is it ironic that the increase in elevation will actually make you more grounded? Hmmm…

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

Altitude Adjustment

altitude-adjustmentI've been here over 100 days (118 to be exact), and now just reading the article below on how difficult it can be to adjust to a higher altitude. I had heard about some of these differences. For example, I knew that a lot of Olympic athletes train at the center in Colorado Springs because the altitude pushes them harder and makes it easier to compete when they go back to lower elevations. And now I've learned first-hand how it can affect heart rhythms. (Btw – no, I haven't tried the product in the image here. I wish I had tried it sooner, but by the time my symptoms became alarming I was in the hospital and following the strict advice of my doctors). 

Thankfully, I'm also learning the benefits. I immediately loved the cooler air and warmer sun. Like the best of both worlds. And the lower humidity (especially here). Now I'm starting to appreciate the longer-term benefits as well. 

According to this article – and others I've read – the key is the 3 month mark when things start kicking in. Like higher red blood cell count. I knew the Sherpas in the Himalayas lived longer because of less oxygen. And I knew that oxygen is one of the major contributors of free radicals. (Why else do they call them anti-oxidants, right?) 

When I had my cardioversion "shock" a few weeks ago the nurse said it was probably happening "for the best." He suggested that yes, the altitude was accelerating my conditions, but that it was better to fix it now than later. Which is difficult to argue with. 

So in addition to learning to adjust to a new environment, new system, new politics, new place and new friends, I'm becoming as "well-adjusted" as I can to the altitude too. 


And because it always helps your "altitude" to sing…


autumn-quotes-24autumn-2When I lived in Atlanta, I lived for Fall. The freedom from the oppressive heat. The break in the hot, humid weather to finally breather in cool, crisp, less-humid air. 

Yet moving here in the summer was like a perpetual autumn, with its cool mountain breezes and low humidity. 

Now that it is, indeed, autumn in Aspen I'm able to snuggle into my blankets (the upstairs window still cracked a bit to let in some air and hear the river behind me) and slumber sooo much more peacefully. 

Little did I know it would help me live longer!  smiley

Video: If You Like To Sleep In A Cold Room, You Will Live Longer According To Science



colorful-coloradoIn today's post I'll just simply share some photographs from my trip.  Let the pictures speak 1000 words…



Back in the Saddle Again

btl-independence-pass2homeI've been off for a few days – traveling to Taos and Santa Fe, with a few stops along the way. In this post, I'll talk about how happy I am to be back in Aspen. 

snow-view-10-7It snowed while I was gone. Here's the view from my place. Snow in the fall. Beautiful, isn't it? 

It's extraordinary to call a place I've only lived for a little over 100 days "home." But it feels that way.  

I've always known I'm more of a "looking forward" person vs. someone who looks back. When I invented the DrawSuccess game and became an expert in personality types, I finally "got" myself. How I see the world.

According to research, roughly 15% of people think like I do. The rest either live "in the moment" or are more focused on history and the past. My "type" is 

So while I was traveling, I was enjoying the experience. Yet I was also looking forward to coming back. To coming home. 

I'm glad I got to see Taos and Santa Fe.  Both beautiful places. Just not a place I would enjoy as much as Aspen. 


On The Road Again

santa-fe-rulesI'm taking my first road trip since moving here (not counting a few trips to Glenwood Springs or Basalt). 

As the image suggests, I'm going to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Places I've never been before. But I've certainly heard – and read – a lot about it. I've read several of the Stuart Woods books, many of which are set in Santa Fe. 

As a voracious reader, I often feel like I've been someplace I've read about. I even sometimes do online searches for places the author mentions. And I'm not the only one. I've heard about the tours in different cities based on novels (if not television shows).  

As an author myself, I love imagining places as I write. Especially worlds like The Old West and the Ottoman Empire. While I could not have been there (at least in this lifetime), I do try to do some research to add authenticity.  

But there's nothing like travel – real travel – to spur the writer's imagination. 

More later!