Donuts are no doubt right up there with hot dogs as the worst thing one can consume. Yet they remain a delectable delight in spite of our best efforts to maintain a healthy diet. My favorites are puffy, sticky glazed ones. With a hot cup of Joe they are especially scrumptious. I also enjoy me a blueberry cake donut (which is totally fine because blueberries are one of those healthy superfoods right?) covered in a bit of sugary icing. And I find chocolate bismarcks with creamy vanilla pudding tucked inside a most decadent treat.

A trip to the county or state Fair is not truly complete without digging into one of those little white bags filled to capacity with those deep fried nuggets of goodness sprinkled generously with sugar and cinnamon, am I right?

As a kid growing up in northern Minnesota, back when the danger of carbs was not basic knowledge, and I operated under the assumption that I would forever be slender and fit (aka innocence is bliss), I frequently would pop into the bakery next door to my parent’s clothing store after school.  Often I would purchase a long John with maple flavored icing which I’d wash down with a cold Coke. Good times.

Nowadays, I adhere to a new rule regarding the donut. I refuse to pay for them. Think about it this way: why would I pay (Hub’s) hard earned money for something that will be akin to poison for my body? Plus, think about all the scenarios in which free donuts are ‘a plenty: Community time after church, volunteer gigs, the break room at the office (granted, this is currently not a scenario I am a part of at this time, but surely have been in the past).  There’s a level of giddy excitement when treats like donuts are free for the taking, kind of like what I would imagine one would feel upon learning they had won the lottery.


So there’s this donut shop located in a sort of run down strip mall near us. It’s housed next to a pot dispensary and a liquor store we sometimes frequent. And it appears to never be open for business. It’s called Holy Donuts and sports large pictures of donuts in the windows with what appears to be either orange construction paper or perhaps curtains beneath them. Not sure what that’s about. I surmised several possibilities about the owners of this donut shop, ranging from this being a cover for a super secret spy ring, to it being run by a lonely old man whose kids are all grown and living out of state and  doesn’t have enough help to run the shop so he is only able to make so many donuts, hence the reason it is apparently closed 88% of the time.

However, I did me a little research (aka googled Holy Donuts). Turns out they are a “mom and pop” shop, so that blows my theory of this being run by a lonely old man using the last bit of energy he has slaving away in the kitchen making donuts by himself. And they only serve fresh donuts, no day old crud going on in this joint. And the coffee they serve is fresh roasted locally. And to top it off, their website states that they are “humble and privileged to serve a lovely community of folks”.

There is an exception to every rule, right?





Volume is today’s word prompt today according to WordPress. I found this ironic, as I discovered this while Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Till you Get Enough” began to play on my “Get Pumped” playlist. It’s one of those songs, at least for me, that simply begs to be heard at full volume.

Then I got to thinking about all the other tunes I enjoy most at higher decibels. The ones that will catch my attention from the first couple of chords and instigate bodily gyrations. The ones that make me wax a bit nostalgic about my younger, carefree college days. The ones that bring back memories from times spent with life long friends, moments that cannot ever be re-captured.

I remember in my college days, back in the 80’s, when my girlfriends and I were getting ready for “Thirsty Thursday” at one of the many local watering holes, cranking up Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” (funny that years later, I ended up living so close to the Rocky Mountains).  My friends and I would be frantically trying on different outfits, ratting our hair out and applying copious amounts of Aqua Net in an attempt to make ourselves as appealing as possible to those frat boys we lusted after. “Rocky Mountain Way” fueled me on many of those nights.

Joe Walsh Rocky Mountain Way

I am a lifelong fan of the Rolling Stones. “Honky Tonk Woman” with it’s cowbell opening, quickly followed by the drum beat and swampy guitar sounds, is most appreciated at a higher volume. When Hubs and I saw them on their “Steel Wheels” tour in 1992 in the twin cities, this song was the highlight of the night for me.

Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman

“White Wedding” by Billy Idol is another one of those songs best heard at a high volume. Hearing this song makes me smile like a fool. It brings me back to a time, many years ago, when Hubs and I were 4 wheeling through the woods in northern Minnesota with our oldest, dearest couple friends. We had this song cranked up to the max and laughed hysterically as we bounced around in the jeep like ragdolls.

One night a couple of years ago, Hubs and I were cooking up a little dinner in the kitchen of our sweet “Grandma” house back in Wisconsin, when “Burning Down the House” came on. I looked over at him and he looked at me. Words did not need to be spoken. I turned up the volume and the most fun dance party ever ensued. Thankfully, we were able to finish our supper making duties in the midst of our shenanigans and did not burn down the house.

Burning down the house

Then there’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. A song this dramatic is made to be played louder than others. I think you’d be hard pressed to find any Gen X’ers like me and the Hubs that didn’t appreciate the homage paid to this great classic rock song in the “Wayne’s World” movie.

wayne’s world bohemian rhapsody

So fellow music lovers, what songs compel you to “crank up the tunage”?

Women I have yet to meet


I think I have a lot of writing material on the topic of my relationships with other women. I also sincerely believe that 2017 is the Year of the Woman. Seriously. So I’m going to imagine/write about what broads/chicks/badass vagina owners I would like to hang  with.  Here’s some names and scenarios off the top of my noggin:

Chelsea Handler


I know she can be vulgar and off-putting to some. Sometimes, even to me. I say this after having recently read “Are you there Vodka? It’s me Chelsea”. Nonetheless, I admire her frankness and wit. And she’s an awesome story teller. And most importantly, she appears to me to be totally authentic.

Setting for my “gal date” with Chelsea: Some top notch wine, red or white, Chelsea’s pick. Discuss politics and social media with her. And she’s a dog lover like me. Her dogs Chunk and Tammy should most certainly be present.


Lisa Ling

For those of you not in the know, Lisa is a reporter with her own show on CNN, “This is Life with Lisa Ling”. She inserts herself into cultures that are different from her own experiences. She follows her curiosity. I’ve watched shows where she has spent time amidst biker gangs in L.A., with Satanists in Detroit, and where she featured  a “pick up artist” who holds retreats for nerdy single guys looking for love. I am fascinated each time. And impressed by her non-judgemental-ness that inhabits her as she is talking one on one with her interviewees. So naturally if I ever got the honor of hanging with LL, it’d have to be when she’s on assignment for her show.

Jessica Simpson

This one has all the hallmarks of a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” type video. Jessica and I would go shopping at fun boutiques. I would ask her for fashion tips. Pedicures of course would be on the agenda. I think Jessica is likely one of those people who is smarter than she appears, but fun loving and kind. And for some reason, I picture that she eats like a 400 lb trucker and loves sweet wine.


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“O” and I would sip tea in a her garden. I would need to allow plenty of time for this tete a tete.  Main question to ponder with her: What do you want to be known for and why? Get her best life advice. I’ve heard she does have a place here in Colorado…..

Tina and Amy

(like Oprah, last names are not necessary here)

Hear me out on this one: All my life, I’ve wanted to visit New York City. Hubs has no interest as he’s been there once and characterized the city as “smelling of urine” and made it clear he has no intentions whatsoever of going there ever again. So if I’m to go there I need a tour guide or two right? That’s where Tina and Amy would come in.  We’d tour 30 Rock,  Central Park, the Museum of Natural History. Of course I would need to check off one of my top “bucket list” items, which, not surprisingly to anyone who follows me on this blog, would be to be in the audience at SNL. No need for Tina and Amy to join me on this particular venture. They’d be way too much of a distraction for me.

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Sheryl Crow

Life long rock ‘n roll fantasy (ok, maybe since I was like 40 something): to, for one glorious moment, be a back up singer in her band during one of her concerts. Maybe in Austin, Texas. That’s a place I’d like to see some day. I’d wear some cool black rocker chick type outfit and croon along in the background to “If it Makes You Happy” or “Soak up the Sun”. Just a song or two, and I’d be satisfied. I’d also dig discussing the following topics with her: motherhood, music, and fashion. I like to think we could learn a little bit from each other.


Jen Sincero

Would bowing down in gratitude be too much?  Inspirational nuggets to which I cling, from Jen’s “You are a Badass” book: the interesting question of “What can I get away with?”, the line on page 65 which states “Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or raised a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone”, and this one from page 50: ” You’re on a journey, with no defined beginning, middle, or end. There are no wrong twists or turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be”. Jen has inspired me in oh so many ways. I just want to sit down and talk with her, one on one. The setting is not important to me here.  Of course my insecurity would require that I get her totally honest opinions about my writing and my blog. And I would listen with an open mind and heart to any advice she would wish to bestow upon me.



Helen Mirren




This woman looks damn good at 71, right? I have read about her online and the most surprising and relatable tidbit I learned was that she is a thrift store enthusiast, just like me! She doesn’t understand why a woman would spend like $888 on a new dress from a fancy boutique when they can purchase the same or similar frock at a thrift store for like 20 bucks. I am right there with her on this. Helen and I would sip tea together at Dushanbe tea house in Boulder. We would discuss her best quotes and best life lessons. This would be brilliant!

The boy who owns my heart

I feel like I’ve spent an ample amount of time and energy writing blog posts about past experiences in my life. I’m in a really positive frame of mind today, as the sun is shining here in Colorado and I just returned from my morning neighborhood walk.  I’ve had thoughts about writing stories of my encounters with nature, furry creatures, and people I don’t yet know whom I pass by on these walks. I’ve given myself a mental directive to practice mindfulness during these walks by counting the number of bunnies in my neighborhood (highest total was surprisingly only 7). But today I found myself thinking about a little boy who owns my heart.

He’s got the most beautiful head of golden blond hair. He speaks in complete sentences now and often says the funniest things. He loves playing with toy cars, eating strawberries and cucumbers, and when he is riled up and cranky, his parents banish him to the “crabby corner”. And he still loves the “stinky feet” game I play with him. It involves him laying down on a bed or floor while I take each one of his ticklish, chunky, silky soft feet and smell them, exclaiming “Pee-you!” each time I take  a whiff. This activity elicits the most gleeful giggles I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.

I’ve had it in my mind these past few months that this summer, he was going to visit me and the hubs in Colorado. It’d be his first ride in an airplane, not surprising at the tender age of 3. He’d flirt with fellow passengers, especially those of the female persuasion. He would be mesmerized by the clouds he sees through his window seat, to the point where he’d take a sweet little snooze for a while. However, this trip is likely going to have to wait till next summer, when he’s 4, due to financial and scheduling constraints. I am going to embrace this fact and use my time between now and then to imagine/plan the adventures we will have with him next summer.

Oh, the things we will do, the places we will go!

We will take him to the Butterfly Pavilion, located not far from us. There he will check out the in house beehive and Hubs (the scientist) can tell him why bees are so important to us humans here on earth. If he’s brave enough, he will let a big, furry spider sit in his hands while one of the employees tells him what spiders eat and about their natural habitat. He will walk through their amazing butterfly garden, with the sun streaming through the windows and ceiling. Maybe a butterfly will land on his foot, like one did for me when I last visited. We will be sure to dress him in something bright and colorful that day to increase the chance this will happen.

The Downtown Aquarium in Denver is likely to be very exciting for him as well. There I imagine he will cling to my legs as we approach the flood exhibit. He may cover his little ears because it gets pretty loud. The water will likely splash him a little bit, which will cause him to shriek with excitement. He will have lots of questions at the Aquarium to be sure, like “what is that?” and the favorite toddler question “Why?”.  He will giggle and point at the otters who flip and flop and glide through the water while simultaneously keeping their little eyes on the humans who are delighting in their antics.

Most certainly, he will be exposed to the wonder that is Rocky Mountain National Park. Hubs will need to take his Nikon to get shots of this little man exploring all the naturally stunning beauty to be found there. Beforehand, Hubs can take him to buy his own pint sized fishing pole. Then I can get some shots of Hubs teaching the little guy how to fish. A hike would also have to be on the itinerary, though with a 3 year old it shan’t be one that is overly long or challenging. It’ll probably involve a stop along the way to have a picnic lunch. I’ll have to pack some of those disgusting-but-loved-by toddlers mashed fruit pouches, peanut butter sandwiches, and juice boxes. And lots of handi-wipes of course.

Hubs and I will scope out the best parks with playground equipment within a 10 mile radius and visit them with the kiddo. We will take him to church, where he can meet our new church family and hear some great music. We will take him to the Science Museum in Denver, to which we have not yet been. And we’ll take him to one of our lovely Farmer’s Markets and encourage him to sample new and foreign-to-him foods, and capture his reaction. We will take him to a water and/or amusement park, accompanying him on rides which he is tall enough to be on.

This child of which I speak is our grandson Christopher. He makes my heart burst with happiness whenever I am with him. The highlight of this summer for me will no doubt be times spent with him when we visit Wisconsin in July. It’s hard to imagine there was actually a time, not long ago, when I was so caught up in my own self-image that I told everyone that while indeed, my daughter was having her own baby, I would not be called “Grandma”. Time (and love) has such an awesome way of changing one’s perspective, does it not?

About my belly weight

While I am not considered obese by any standards I am aware of, I’ve got a spare tire around my middle. It ain’t pretty. I could blame the two pregnancies I endured but that would not be completely accurate never mind fair. Lack of regular exercise and my love of craft beer and sweet treats are also to blame. I’ve grown to hate the expression “it is what it is”,  but in this case it’s true. While I attempt to shrink my spare tire by doing 50 sit ups each morning, getting a walk in every day, and eating healthy 88.8% of the time, I suspect that the chance  this belly fat will stay put is closer to 100%. The catch 22 is that I prefer wearing flowy, bohemian type tops for their style and comfort. However, to some who are not fashion minded, they may appear to be maternity tops.

It’s a really good thing that I no longer take myself too seriously, because it allows me to share the following stories about said belly fat.

So a few years back while working as a social worker, I was in the home of one of my clients for a visit. His (pudgy) wife was in attendance as well. After I seated myself, this wife comments that she “didn’t know I was expecting”. Awkward moment! I sat in shock and horror, and after sucking my gut in as best I could, I mumbled something to the effect of “no I am not expecting, I’m just fat”. Of course we all know that hindsight is 20/20, but…maybe I should have retorted in an innocent tone of voice “Expecting what?” At which point I presume she would have said “a baby” to which I could have replied “Why do you think I would be expecting a baby”, hence putting her on the spot so she could tell me I looked fat that day. I then could have pointed out that she in fact had a good 150 lbs on me. However, I was a professional and was/am a Christian so it’s likely best that I did not respond in this way.

Then there was the time that Hubs and I were walking on a lovely trail in the town we lived in in Wisconsin, when we walked past an older, scrawny looking man who was accompanied by what I can only assume was his wife and daughter (both overweight). After (I kid you not) we passed by them going the opposite direction, I hear this man’s voice saying “Excuse me ma’am? Are you expecting?” Again I maybe should have replied “Expecting what?” but I just turned around in shock and said “no” to which he responded “Well you look it”. I give myself credit for not immediately charging at him with raised fists, hollering something about his fat wife and daughter. Hubs thought it was hilarious. Fucker.

The most recent occasion in which I was suspected of being “with child” came more recently, during my weekly volunteer gig at a nearby food bank. I seated this middle aged hispanic woman and her husband in an office to begin the client intake process. As I sat down, the woman asked me “Is this your first?”. I was completely caught off guard yet again. For a second, as I am still a relatively new volunteer in this setting, I assumed she meant “first client”, but for clarification I responded “First client? No”, but when she said something about how she needed to be wearing her glasses at all times, it dawned on me that she thought I was pregnant. I agreed that she needed to be wearing her glasses and laughed it off. When I told Hubs this story later that day, he of course laughed his head off. Again-fucker. Then he came up with the line I should have responded with, which was “Oh, thank you for thinking I look like I’m still of child-bearing age”. Well, okay, that would have flipped things around right?

So the question I have for myself about my belly weight, is what am I going to do about it? I see several choices here: 1) Liposuction. Fact: out of my price range and I have a low pain tolerance. 2) Discontinue consumption of craft beer and chocolate. Fact: my life would be much less enjoyable if I did this.  Not happening. Life is too short to deprive myself of these pleasures. 3) Wear a corset under my clothes when in public. Fact: That would be so uncomfortable, not to mention itchy. And it probably would not be healthy for my innards. 4) Suck it up and suck it in as best as I can. Especially when in public. And memorize some great comebacks if (or shall I say when) a stranger asks me when the baby is due.

I think I’ll go with choice #4. Life is to be enjoyed, not lived for other’s approval. Especially for how you look.


Dear SNL


For the love of all that is comically holy, please put together a political satire special this summer. You have so much fodder! You owe this to your fans. And we really need humor right now, especially with the crappy White House reality show on our screens 24/7. Let me give you some specific ideas:

Alec Baldwin as Trump. Duh. As a devoted SNL fan, we need to see his take on Trump pushing aside the world leader as if he was the leader of a gang of bullies on the school playground.
Toddler Trump shove

I would also like to see a revival of the “man baby” skit (SNL man baby) which could very easily incorporate Baldwin as Trump.

How about a skit with Ivanka (Scarlett Johansson) making champagne popsicles with Martha Stewart (maybe Ana Gasteyer could make an appearance?)

We must see a skit of Jared Kushner wearing a swim cap with red horns on top. It’s all about his voice though. In real life, we know not what it actually sounds like. It’s got to be either like super annoying like Pee Wee Herman or Gilbert Gottfried, or it’s like Barry White or James Earl Jones. Obvs, Keenan is doing the voice (assuming James Earl Jones is not available. And Jimmy Fallon will be doing Jared, with Keenan in a bubble dressed like BW/JEJ). Bad lip syncing may or may not ensue. The bonus is that Jimmy would have a hard time keeping himself from busting a gut laughing during this skit. Jimmy doing Jared

I also believe we need to see the following: Puppets. Not like the Muppets. More like marionettes, like John Cusak used in Being John Malkovich (one of my favorite movies). So Putin is the master puppeteer. The puppet of course is Alec Baldwin as Trump, who is then the puppeteer of Sean Spicer. So basically you have the trifecta of political comedy, with Melissa McCarthy using her physical comic genius to the max as Sean Spicer, the poor pitiful puppet. Trump puppet speech

This extravaganza also needs to include Cecily Strong as Girl from the Party. But the party was at Jared and Ivanka’s place. Just imagine the goofy things she would say. She’d call them “Merveena and Joren”.
Cecily Strong

Kathy Griffin. This is a risky one to be certain. It has to be the right female comic to do Kathy Griffin (Melissa Villasenor who does the best and weirdest impressions. Love her so much). So it’s SNL-ified version of her apology video. Only we see Steve Bannon (aka the grim reaper) in shadow behind her. Maybe Trump/Baldwin would be in the periphery.

Melissa as Kathy Griffin

So get to work, SNL Writers! The fodder is much too plentiful at this moment to not take this opportunity to create the most epic political satire extravaganza to date.

If only I could be a fly on the wall in the SNL writer’s room……

Song Stories

I love how certain songs evoke specific memories, don’t you? Like you turn on the radio and a song comes on that just pulls you in. For me, sometimes I don’t even understand what the connection is that allows a particular song to invade my brain and heart with long forgotten memories. Like the song “Dance With Me” by Orleans, which came out in 1970 something when I was probably 6 years old. When I hear this song, I instantly recall my mom’s friend Bev. She loved me and I loved her. She had two daughters of her own, who were much older than me, in high school actually. My mom has told me that when I was little, I was actually the only baby amongst her group of friends, many of whom had children older than me. So I got a lot of attention back then. Especially from Bev. I remember spending afternoons at her house, just me and her, making craft projects using juicy fruit wrappers. Bev died of cancer when I was about 9. I knew she was sick for a while, and it made me so sad. I remember being in the hallway of the hospital, waiting for my parents and being angry at them because they wouldn’t let me see Bev. Of course, they were trying to protect me from emotional pain. I so wanted to see her again but never got the chance. My best guess is that “Dance with Me” must have been playing on the radio at some point on the way to Bev’s, on the way home, or when I was hanging out with this lovely woman making weird crafts.
Dance with me

And then there’s the song Sister Christian by Night Ranger.
Sister Christian
This one evokes memories of being a newly licensed driver at 16. I relished the independence of driving all by myself in my dad’s dark brown Ford Thunderbird through our small town in Minnesota. This song would come on which would prompt me to crank it up and sing along at the top of my lungs. If it was still on when I got to wherever it was I was headed, I parked and kept the car running so that I could listen/sing until the very end. This activity made me feel cooler than cool (though admittedly, I was by all accounts the opposite of cool at that point in my life).

Nowadays, when I happen to hear Little River Band’s Reminiscing, I feel a sense of light and playfulness. It vividly brings back scenes from a summer when I was probably 10 or 11, and my parents and I went tubing on the Apple River. We were part of a caravan of my parent’s friends, cousins, and their kids, who were mostly older than me. The sun was shining, the water was crisp and cold, and the beer was flowing for the adults as was the pop (Orange Crush and Dad’s Root Beer come to mind) for those of us under the legal drinking age. What a sweet childhood memory!

When Hubs and I got hitched back in 1990, I was adamant that the song “Evergreen”, originally performed by Barbra Streisand, be sung at our wedding. It is a dramatically beautiful and romantic song and I felt it captured the love I felt for my soon to be husband. I remember I had to actually put up a bit of a fight to get the minister’s approval for my cousin’s wife to sing this song. The line “you and I will make each night a first” for some reason apparently offended his Lutheran sensibilities. But in the end the song was sung. And it made me bawl like a baby during the ceremony. I was overcome with emotion and could hardly choke out the words “I do”, largely because of the sheer beauty and lyrics of this song.

Back around the time Hubs and I were engaged, I declared that “Kokomo” was “our song”. Kokomo
It is a sweetly romantic song that created in me a strong desire to whisk ourselves away to a tropical island where we could lay on the beach sipping fruity cocktails all day long. Just Hubs and I. No one else, no distractions. Just me and him and peace and quiet. We had to work hard for many years, but thankfully were able to take a splendid vacation by ourselves to Islamorada in the Florida Keys to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Kokomo was the theme song of course.

What’s your soundtrack, fellow music lovers?

Tales from a 50 year old optimist recently transplanted from Wisconsin to Colorado. Finding silver linings, lifting others up, sharing positively good stuff

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