January 30, 2008


Ever have one of those days when you repeatedly dissolved into crazy laughter over something? It happened to me yesterday and I am only now beginning to regain my composure.

The morning after the State of the Union address, it was reported in our local newspaper that the town planning commission, after much consideration and input from citizens, had passed a resolution to allow the keeping of chickens within the town limits.

I know this is not really a laughing matter. Many people in our little town are avid organic gardeners and it follows that they would like to be able to keep chickens so as to have fresh eggs on the breakfast table. Apparently there was a city ordinance banning the raising of chickens within the town limits, but this past December, after some public outcry, a moratorium was placed on the its enforcement, pending review. It now appears the anti-chicken ordinance will be repealed at the next town council meeting in February.

The planning commission has recommended a limit of six chickens per household, absolutely no roosters allowed, and "it would be a persons own prerogative as to whether they want to fence their chickens."

Now, I'm not a big-city gal, having lived in the Colorado mountains for most of my adult life. When I was a kid, we lived way out in the country and my mother did, in fact, buy eggs from some folks down the road. People in rural areas all over the country are raising chickens and I apologize to any who might be offended that I found this story so amusing. I read the article again and again and each time I dissolved into uncontrollable laughter - not at our town or at the lovely people here who want to keep chickens. I, myself, am pro-chicken.

It's just that it delights me beyond belief to be living in a place like this! While the State of the Union may have been front-page copy elsewhere, the big story here is the chicken resolution.

What a wonderful world!

January 23, 2008

my inner hermit

I really need to get out more.

Once a month, I drive to the mountains to visit the shops that carry my jewelry. It's always worthwhile financially, but I'm so in touch with my inner hermit, that making this trip, especially in the winter, seems like such a chore. It's been snowing for weeks on end up in the high country so I put off my last trip as long as I could, hoping for a break in the weather. That break finally came on Sunday morning.

Sunday Morning
leaving town

I wasn't a mile from my home when I had to stop on the highway to allow a herd of deer to cross the road. There were 7 or 8 of them and each one took its turn to jump the fence along the side of the road and cross slowly to the other side where they gathered together again near some trees before heading up the hill. The last one in the group seemed to ponder for a very long time and watched his companions as they went on ahead without him. Finally, in one graceful leap, he was over the fence and then v-e-r-y---s-l-o-w-l-y trotted past my waiting car. All the while I was feeling around in the pile of bags, hats, gloves, CD's on the seat beside me, searching for my camera. Not wanting to take my eyes off the deer, I gave up the search and just enjoyed the show.

When I was sure none of them were going to dart back onto the highway, I was on my way again, just as a flock of geese flew overhead, low enough for me to see their golden underbellies.

And I found myself thinking that if I hadn't dragged myself out of bed this morning to get on the road and take care of business, I'd have missed this.

I really do need to get out more.

January 19, 2008


Brrrrr....It's Cold....

I'm off to the mountains for a couple of days and am hoping for warmer weather - that would be anything above Zero!
Also hoping for clear enough skies to get some good pictures.

Is it too much to hope for? I'll let you know when I get home.

January 12, 2008

paradise lost and found

I once lived in an affluent resort town in the Colorado mountains where the homes were huge, impressive and expensive. Tourists and second home owners outnumbered the locals by about ten to one so most people were strangers to one another. It is so fabulously beautiful in the Colorado high country that - who can blame them - everyone wants to be there, so they come in droves to grab their little piece of an ever more crowded paradise.

A couple of years ago I moved, just one hundred miles away, to a completely different world. I'm still astounded by the contentment I've found in the funky little town I now call home. The pace here is slow, the weather more agreeable and the people are friendly. They smile and look you in the eye and say hello as you pass on the street.

I live in a tiny rented cottage with 70's wood paneling on the walls. Where I come from, little houses such as mine would be torn down and replaced by luxurious log homes, but here, thankfully, they are saved for people like me! I can see the wide blue sky from all my windows and when I open the door to let in the cool fresh air, there is no traffic noise at all, just silence and the chirping of birds (even in the winter!) My neighborhood has an abundance of my favorite things - weathered wood, peeling paint and rust - things you hardly see anymore in the wealthy resort towns.

The most telling difference though is that where I used to live, the freeway that carries all those people from Denver to the mountains, ran right along the edge of town and although the speed limit was 65, most people pushed it to 75 or 80.
Here, on the highway just outside of town, the speed limit is 45, but most people don't actually go that fast.

January 07, 2008

zen habits

I took a little quiz once that was designed to identify core values.
I think it was in a magazine but I don't remember which one. It was a very long time ago.

The first page was a list of 100 words like beauty, sincerity, wealth, luxury, and on and on. The reader was to go down the list and mark each word to which they felt an immediate emotional connection.
On the next page, we were referred back to page one and told to narrow our list down to 20 words that were the most representative of our core values. We were then challenged to choose just ten words, and finally only the top five. Thinking that was it, turning the page - surprise - we were now asked to narrow this list down to just ONE word.

My one word was 'simplicity' - my most fundamental core value.
I had not realized it until I took the quiz, but of course it was absolutely true.

It was true even back in the seventh grade when I first discovered Henry David Thoreau. At an age when I might have been more interested in clothes and boys and sharing secrets with my bff, I was day-dreaming of living in a cabin at Walden Pond. (I did, many years later, live in a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, as I posted here).

I've taken the long road to reach the point of this post, which is that I've discovered another blog I'm just crazy for - Zen Habits.

An example of the gems to be found there:

The Four Laws of Simplicity and How to Apply Them
#1. Collect everything in one place.
#2. Choose the essential.
#3. Eliminate the rest.
#4. Organize the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.

No, it's not a joke. Yes, it is crazy simple. That's the point.

There's great relief to be found in Zen Habits for our stressed, pressurized, complicated lives.
There are roads back to quiet contented simplicity.
If that's where you'd like to go, I wish you happy travels.

January 01, 2008

same old me

So I woke up this first morning of 2008 feeling just like the same person I was on the last day of 2007. It always used to amaze me when I was a kid that birthdays and new years did not automatically transform me into an entirely new person. I thought I would (and should) wake up at a new age or in a new year, being wiser and more graceful than I had been the day before.
Never happened.....but still I hold out hope that one day....