Turning 40: I Don’t Look 12 Anymore

Twenty-nine and seven one-thousandths. No, that’s not a fraction from the world’s worst third grade math problem. Twenty-nine is an age and seven one-thousandths of an inch is the diameter of an average human hair. When I was twenty-nine, a single, coarse, dark-brown hair sprouted from the underside of my chin. I already had a handful of gray hairs tucked under a bed of various browns on the front, right side of my head, but at least those grew from the part of my head that female hair is supposed to grow from. Continue reading →

Running Season

On March 7, I went for my first run since October 21. That’s right, the woman who claims she is now a runner went almost five months without running at all. But when my first half marathon of the season was only nine weeks and two days away, it felt like time to get moving. There are three main reasons I haven’t run in all this time. Continue reading →

Well I Would Hike 500 Miles

My two year unofficial hiking project is complete. Yeah, I missed my mark by a few weeks (February 19, 2017 to March 9, 2019) but close enough. In just about two years, I’ve completed 100 distinct hikes. I use word “hike” loosely in this context to mean anything from a two mile stroll up a wide, well-maintained, packed dirt road at sea level with no elevation gain to a nine mile, 4,000 ft + elevation gain, nine-hour slog that sometimes required my hands to pull myself up the steepest spots. Some of these were trail runs, some were on snowshoes, and one was completely through water that was waist high at some points. What they all have in common is that they were in nature, not on any kind of pavement. Sure, I put hundreds of additional miles on my feet in this time, roaming around Zurich, Venice, Milan, Madrid, Beijing, Shanghai, Portland, Kansas City, and so many other great urban areas, and I completed countless recreational runs on pavement and duplicated many hikes, but this post only counts unique wilderness missions.  Continue reading →

The Novel: To Query or Not to Query

As this entry posts to my blog, I am wrapping up my third year at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers retreat. This is a wonderful annual event held at a Franciscan Retreat Center in Colorado Springs. The center is in the perfect location, easily accessible from Boulder but far enough that I really do feel like I am getting away. The mountains are all around, making a quick hike or trail run easy to fit in between stints of writing in one of the quiet, cozy nooks of the residence hall. It is remarkably inexpensive but the rooms are so comfortable and they feed us three delicious meals a day.

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Sanctuary 2.0: Surrounded by the Best People

No, I’m not a Trump fan! Far from it. The Trump administration does not have the best people, but Boulder does. Prior to last week’s post, it had been a while since I posted about living in Boulder. But since my company is not moving to Broomfield (yuuuuuge sigh of relief!) and I’m staying in my adorable rental house another year, I thought I’d do a shout out post to a couple of local businesses who provide excellent customer service and make living in the People’s Republic of Boulder so awesome.

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Hands Off The Mutt

Back in January, I invited a date over to my house. Before he came inside, I gave him the obligatory warning about my dog. That is, don’t get in his face or near his food and generally just give him his space. It’s not that Trotsky Bear is vicious, but he does require human interactions to be on his terms. He’s not a cuddler—he doesn’t like any pressure on his body—and gets upset when he feels trapped, such as when strangers grab his face with both hands. I may be paranoid, but when your dog has nipped someone a few times—even if it was over three years ago and only happened because he was living in a stressful situation with a cat and a guy who was drunk and angry all the time—that’s how it goes. Better safe than sorry. Continue reading →

The Darkest Hike

Last weekend, Trotsky and I set out to do a five mile hike. But, as it seems too often happens to me in Colorado, Apple maps failed to take me to the trailhead. When it claimed we had arrived, there was nothing there. At that point, I was out of range of any cell tower, so I decided to head to a trail that I knew was in the area and that I hadn’t hiked yet. It was a 7.6 mile loop and though it was already 3pm and sunset was at 5:21, dog and I are fast hikers. I decided to go for it. Continue reading →

As Seen On Facebook

The topic of Crystal Light came up in a random discussion with friends a few weeks back. It was one of those “flash from the past” moments for me. We had so much Crystal Light in my house when I was growing up. I loved the canisters and little foil labels and picking out what flavor we’d have next. When my friends and I started talking about it, I could instantly recall the commercials – images, jingles, all of it. They are still there, forever occupying brain cells. Ugh. When I became an adult, I became a brand hater, mostly because of the commercials. I didn’t like being told what I should buy in manipulative ways that burrow so deeply into my subconscious. I got rid of television over a decade ago. I immediately change radio stations when there is a commercial. I buy generic products all the time. Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: Why Would I Ever Leave?

I almost bought a condo this month. Almost. It was 95 percent perfect, but aside from having a deck that faced a busy parkway instead of the mountains, it was also $8,000 over the max I wanted to pay. That really only adds about $50/month to my mortgage payment, so I was willing to go for it. But when the seller refused to fix anything I asked for in the inspection objection and refused to come down in price, I walked away. She hadn’t advertised the place as-is and the place had been on the market for several months, which is unheard of in Boulder, but she didn’t want to play ball. And two weeks after I terminated our contract, she still doesn’t have another offer. Continue reading →