Thursday, November 29, 2018

When Showing Our True Colors

         In the fall
                    when days grow short,

                        when less sun shines on orbiting earth,

                             then leaves’ chlorophyll dies,

                                 thereby showing their hidden colors.

          In life’s autumn,
                        when our days grow short,

                              when our turns round the sun go dearth,

                                    then the green takes leave,

                                         thereby showing our true colors.

                from “A Rich Spirituality” via https// By Rich Thompson

By: Kirsten Hartman

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Morning Wake up

The way I start my day is:  SLOW.  S-L-O-W.  I just can' t rush around any more.
I get up early, pour a cup of coffee and head for the couch.  There is a great view of the Rockies from my picture window and  I love to sit there watching as the sun lights up Long's Peak.  Sipping my coffee,looking at the beautiful mountains, feeling peaceful.  
After about an hour or so, most of my aches are gone and my mind is clear.  Then I am ready to begin the day.  I like taking it SLOW.
Is it just me, or is this a part of getting old?

Written by Jesse Kerchenfaut  By: Kirsten Hartman

Sunday, November 11, 2018

 In late October my husband and I spent a week in Haiti on a learning tour of Mennonite (MCC) development projects. MCC is doing an impressive job of picking its battles, identifying rural communities where it can have a real impact on health, well-being, and self-sustainability. They have become involved in a variety of projects including help with reforestation, partnering with local health organizations, teaching more efficient gardening techniques,  strengthening the capacity of local private schools, providing materials for sanitary latrines and clean water, developing overseas markets for local crafts. The Haitians we met obviously welcome opportunities to turn basic assistance and counsel into sustainable projects that they can ultimately administer on their own. That is the good news. But the big picture is of a corrupt and greedy Haitian government unwilling and incapable of maintaining the safety and well-being of its citizens and of providing individuals opportunities for a more secure future.

With two such conflicting images I find it difficult to create a vision for the future of these people. They are unwelcome as immigrants in almost every country so that leaving for a better life elsewhere, even if they could afford it, is not an option.  At least in the rural areas their sense of family and community is strong and their work ethic is impressive. They look after each other. That is the hopeful and heartwarming part of their story.
Rural moms bring their very young children to a
neighborhood center where the kids are assessed by local
nurses and moms are given nutritional advice and
supplies of food supplements.

After school programs include many children whose families
cannot afford to send them to the public schools which charge for
an education. Local teachers volunteer their time to work
with these kids after school hours.

By: Bonnie Wolfe

Thursday, October 11, 2018

“It’s like Dr. Seuss for Old People” named by my 11 year old daughter

Grey in my 30’s, how can that be?
A friend exclaimed, “But that’s your choice!” 
And she’s right, I choose to be me.

My mother said, “It must be a Colorado thing.”
And maybe it is. Natural and delicate, like a dragon fly’s wing.

A silver tiara shining with Colorado’s 310 days of sun. 
A badge of honor for another year won. 

Strangers stopping me with praise at first, 
“It’s so... well dispersed.”
Others with brows furrowed a bit, 
“Clearly, that can’t be natural, can it?”

I don’t want your pity. My friend was right you see. This IS a choice, to live my life full of authenticity.

“You are too young to let yourself go grey. It’s a disservice to your beauty,” they say.
But I disagree, these glittery locks pave the way to living life every day. 

Growing older is a gift not given to many. And this hair, it isn’t worth but a penny. But to me, the value is beyond compare, for these silver strands prove I’ve shown up, lived life, and cared.

Last I checked, this hair on my head is mine.
If I choose grey, that should be fine. 
My husband has never said a word. He’s either a smart man or a turd! 

My daughter lets me know when it’s all in disarray. And she likes to point out old photos that are browner than today. 

I’ve laughed and I’ve cried, until I’ve hit my stride. To the end it will be, silver and grey, maybe even a little white, guiding me straight to that bright light.

Poem written by Kristy Wygmans
By: Kirsten Hartman

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

20 years later--they did it!

They did it!

Diane and Pat McCary, ages 76 and 78, completed the three Ironman distances in Kona, Hawaii to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their performance in 1998. That year, along with their daughter Kristen and son Mike, they became part of the first family of four to ever complete the Ironman together. This year they took their 16-year-old granddaughter, Autumn, along to enjoy the fun and allowed themselves a week to complete the Ironman distances--a 2.4 mile swim, 100-mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run.

They needed to make a few adjustments to get the job done. “The traffic was so bad that I only did about 30 miles of biking on the roads,” Diane explained. The rest she accomplished on a stationery bike. “So boring,” she said. “But I did it.”

The ocean was so rough that they were forced to do some of their swim in a nearby pool. They divided the run up into several segments and allowed themselves a “walk-run” option when that was necessary.

"It was the consistency of lifelong training that allowed us to do this," Pat said.

Bob Laird, former medical director of Ironman took the photo.

The McCayrs spent their time in Hawaii staying with old friends. They heard stories of four miserable months of thick fog caused by the erupting volcano. At last, the air is clear, but record high temperatures were a bit of a shock to the Colorado mountain residents.

“We feel completed,” Diane said. “Afterwards we celebrated with friends. And we’re happy to be home.”

A four-inch snowfall in Allenspark greeted them on their return.

By: Libby James

Monday, October 8, 2018


Yesterday afternoon I went to a birthday party for a beloved friend who has just turned 65. She has a ton of friends and I think most all of them were there to honor her passage into the realm of Medicare benefits.  The place was packed and the enthusiasm was loud. Those of us of a certain age found ourselves shouting into each other’s ears and nodding blankly at  bits of conversation we could not begin to hear. The food, prepared by a loving son, was abundant and delicious, the atmosphere warm and caring, but as I grow older I find myself less and less able to function socially in a crowd. Give me a quiet room with four or five good friends talking one at a time and I am a happy camper.

By: Bonnie Wolfe

Monday, September 24, 2018

Old dog learns new trick

This old dog just learned a new trick and it sure does make me happy.

I’ve been a hot tub addict for a long time now. Eight years ago I got a new one, probably the smallest size made. It’s an odd “kidney” shape and in a pinch, two people can enjoy it at the same time. I love it. Lately, the lid has become saturated with water and difficult to move. Not impossible, but not easy.

Figuring that after eight years, I’m probably due for a new one, I went on a search. I checked with the company I bought the hot from and I checked a couple of online sources, concluding that I’d need to spend between $415 and $449 to buy a new one. Of course, there were more than several options from “economy” to “deluxe,” to “ultra.” It was not easy to make comparisons. I wanted a good quality lid and I wasn’t sure how to choose the best one for my purposes.

That was yesterday. This morning I went for a long walk and at about mile three a thought popped into my mind. Even though I’d read that there was nothing you could do about water saturation in your hot tub lid, I decided to ask Mr. Google if there might not be a way.

Eureka! There is a way. Unzip the vinyl cover. (I had never bothered to notice that the vinyl lid did indeed have a zipper surrounding it.) It came off quite easily revealing a two-piece foam core. One side was quite light. The other was very heavy, a bit of a puzzle.

The two foam pieces are now residing on my patio in the Colorado sun which I hope will soon bake the water out of them. The inside of the vinyl cover was a bit slimy but easily scrubbed clean using an anti-bacterial cleaner. Then I placed the vinyl cover over the hot tub to keep out insects and debris during the drying out period.

Unless I have an impossible wrestling match getting the two foam cores zipped back into the vinyl cover, I’ve saved myself some cash and had a fun time doing it.

The moral of this story is keep on walking. It helps you to think!

By: Libby James