What’s the Best Gift You Ever Received?

For my 60th Birthday my family and friends gave me National Carpe Diem Day!
A special sign was made and the “Carpe Diem” Fish had the names of the people who had contributed

Freakonomics – No Stupid Questions Podcast

I rarely take the time to respond to podcasts, but it’s January 1, and I’m always motivated to take action in the New Year. Also, I have a great answer to these questions!

What’s the best gift you ever received? Who gave it to you? Why was it so great? If you have an answer to that question, make a voice memo. Use your phone. Just talk nice and directly into the phone, in a quiet place. Tell us your name, and send it to NSQ@freakonomics.com, and we may play it on a future show.

The best gift I ever received is “National Carpe Diem Day”! My friends and family, led by my daughter-in-law, Stella Min, were able to purchase and register National Carpe Diem Day on February 26th, my birthday, in the National Day Archives. The gift came complete with a Registry write-up that still makes me tear up. I was been inspired by my friend, Craig Dunham, who, despite an ALS diagnosis, lived fully until his death in December, 2010. Since then, I’ve spread the message of “Carpe Diem” in his memory.

Since receiving this gift, I’ve created a Website, CarpeDiemDay.com, and use my blog and social media to try and promote the same kind of Carpe Diem attitude that I learned from Craig.

Note 1: I learned about this No Stupid Questions podcast episode from Stella’s Stellar Recap newsletter!

Note 2: Stella is the most Stellar gift-giver EVER! I have to resist from telling you what she gave me for Christmas… ok, ok, I’ll tell you. I’m getting a photo collage every morning in my inbox of times we spent together.. On Dec.25th, there were 63 days until my 63 birthday, so it’s a 63-to-63 gift!

Boulder: My Happy Place

Boulder is my Happy Place

How fun for me that Downtown Boulder has been celebrating Happiness Happens Month all of August, 2022!

This is so cool for me for many reasons:

  1. Boulder really IS my Happy Place! I love so many things about it! (In fact, it will be hard to limit the length of this blog post. I might have to write an eBook about why Boulder is such a wonderful place.)
  2. I personally know Pamela Gail Johnson, the Founder of Happiness Happens Month. (I’m even quoted in her new book, Practical Happiness!) Pamela has been a great inspiration and mentor for me in my promotion of National Carpe Diem Day!
  3. I’ve lived on the outskirts of Boulder for 22 years but I’m always discovering more. Now that I’m retired, I’ve wanted to learn more about its history and really explore all it has to offer. I also love scavenger hunts and games. The Happiness Happens events gave me the perfect opportunity and appreciate Boulder on a deeper level!

Getting Prepared

I started the month with a trip to one of the Boulder Visitor’s Centers to pick up a lot of great information about Hiking Trails, Pearl Street, History, and Walking Tours.

I also subscribed to the bi-weekly Downtown Boulder newsletter, which is always filled with fun events going on. For example, the email I got this morning told me about these upcoming September, 2022 events:

So much to do in Boulder!!

Here are some of the things I love best about Boulder:

The Hiking

Chautauqua Park – One of my favorite places to hike in Boulder

I do a lot of Boulder hiking! What a great way to get exercise, experience nature, sunshine, and beauty – all things that increase our happiness!

Pearl Street

There are so many wonderful restaurants and stores on the Pearl Street Mall! I once wanted to try and experience every one of them and then I learned there were over 1000 businesses! I love the many unique and local businesses. But one of the things that makes me really happy are all the flowers that line Pearl Street!

The Events

The Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival welcomes Spring to Boulder
Artisans show there wares at Boulder Art shows
More Art at First Fridays in North Boulder
The annual Bolder Boulder 10K race has been a special tradition for me since moving to Boulder in 1999.
The Boulder Band Shell offers up bands and dancing at Memorial Weekend and Labor Day Weekend Festivals, and is a community gathering spot for many events.
Band on the Bricks – Weekly summer outdoor concerts
The Boulder International Film Festival
Mapleton Hill PorchFest

Other Iconic Boulder spots

The Dushanbe Teahouse
Boulder Creek
CU Football games at Folsom Field
The Boulder Library.
Dancing on the patio at St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Dancing at The Avalon Ballroom
Another shot of the Boulder Library!

This is just a sampling of the beauty of Boulder. I didn’t even include pictures of the University, the playhouses, the music venues, the 29th Street Mall, NCAR, the Breweries (I don’t drink beer, but I hear the Breweries are awesome!) I could go on and on.

I think we so often take for granted the beauty in our own back yards. This Happiness Happens month in Boulder has reminded me of how lucky I am to live in one of the most beautiful, cultural, and friendly places in the country.

Microadventures #79 and #80: Celebrating National Ice Cream Month

I’m not usually tempted by ice cream since my internal temperature seems to run lower than everyone else’s. I gotta say, though, even I have been hot lately! Not hot enough to complain about it, but hot enough to want ice cream! Mmmm. Nothing like that soothing, creamy, sweet cool comfort on a hot day.

During these hot summer days, I’d been looking forward to July 17, National Ice Cream Day! I invited my friend, JJ, to join me since he often humors me in celebrating these wacky holidays. I suggested Reis & Irvy’s, this very futuristic looking place in Superior where a robot prepares your frozen yogurt.

Out of Order 🙁

It was quite disappointing that the robots were out of commission.

Luckily, the place next door did have ice cream (the old fashioned type) so we were able to celebrate after all!

Microadventure #79: Celebrating National Ice Cream Day with JJ

But that’s not the end of the celebration!

Darcy, a leader from the Boulder Ramblers, planned a whole ice cream extravaganza Meetup event for July 23! She led a group of walkers all through Boulder to 11 different ice cream shops!

Check out this itinerary:

  • Start – ice cream shop 1: 10:00 am, right when Sweet Cow South Boulder opens. We’ll be the first customers! Stop by and say hi, and maybe even join me for the 3.5-mile hike to Chautauqua Park.
  • Ice cream (or coffee!) stop 2: 11:45 am, Chautauqua General Store. We’ll leave a little after noon for the short (0.8 mile) walk to Sherry’s.
  • Ice cream stop 3: 12:30 pm, Sherry’s Soda Shoppe on The Hill. Join in for the 1-mile walk to Gelato Boy, leaving at 12:50 pm.
  • Ice cream stop 4: 1:15 pm, Gelato Boy on West Pearl St. Take a leisurely stroll with us down Pearl Street to Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs – just 5 minutes away. We’ll leave Gelato Boy at 1:35 or so.
  • Ice cream stops 5 & 6: 1:40 pm, Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Dazs on Pearl St. (I’ll check in at both – choose your favorite!). We’ll leave Ben & Jerry’s at about 2:05 pm for the 15-minute walk to Sweet Cow.
  • Ice cream stop 7: 2:20 pm, Sweet Cow North Broadway in the Community Plaza Shopping Center. Join in for the half-mile walk to our second Gelato Boy stop, leaving at 2:45 pm.
  • Ice cream stop 8: 3:00 pm, Gelato Boy at 14th and Pearl St. This will be a quick tasting stop only – we’ll leave at 3:15 pm for the 1.4-mile walk to 29th St.
  • Ice cream/food stop 9: 3:45 pm, Shake Shack at the 29th St. Mall. We can hang out here for a little break – maybe even a burger and fries! – and some social time. We’ll leave Shake Shack at about 4:15 pm for the quick, 6-minute jaunt over to Ripple.
  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt stop 10: 4:25 pm, Ripple Frozen Yogurt in the King Soopers plaza at 30th & Arapahoe. This would be a great place to come celebrate with us, as we’ll stay as long as people want to socialize! Come ask questions about the Boulder Ramblers, meet and greet, and give high fives to the long-distance walkers!
  • And finally, we’ll walk the last 3.5 miles back to Sweet Cow South Broadway, arriving by about 6:00 pm – but who’s timing at that point? We’ll be so sugar-infused, we might just want to keep going! 😉

Darcy invited people to meet up at any of the stops along the way, so Scotty and I met them at stop 10: Ripple Frozen Yogurt.

Scotty picking out his Frozen Yogurt at Ripple

It was a fun frozen yogurt place that had plenty of flavors and lots of toppings! Yum!

Soon Darcy arrived with her big group of walkers! They’d had a full day of walking and tasting.

Darcy at Stop #10 of the Boulder Rambler Ice Cream Extravaganza Tour
Microadventure #80: Frozen Yogurt at Ripple with the Boulder Ramblers

Even though we didn’t walk with the Boulder Ramblers, Scotty and I had logged about 5 miles of walking on our Randonauting adventure that day, so our frozen yogurt was enjoyed without guilt.

Darcy hadn’t even been aware that July was National Ice Cream Month when she set up such a fun themed event! What a very cool idea for a hot summer day!

Happy Pi Day!

Yay! Today is one of my favorite quirky holidays because I, along with my family, have always been a lover of Math! I have many happy memories of Pi celebrations over the years, which included doing Pi puzzles, eating Pies (Pizza, Chicken Pot Pies, or, of course, just good ol’ fashioned yummy fruit pies), dressing up in Pi Attire, making foods that look like Pi, and, of course.. memorizing digits of Pi!

One of the activities that I think was the most creative was my Pi Poetry in which I (playing the role of Professor Pi) created 3 new types of poems using the number Pi with examples of each. Though I was very impressed with myself, the judges from the comPItition that I’d entered did not even give me an honorable mention. What a PIty!

I still believe I will become famous some day for these creative PI Poems. What do you think?


Derived from Haiku (俳句 high-koo)which uses a 5-7-5 syllable pattern.

Definition: A Poem in which the number of syllables in each line, matches that of PI: 3.1415


What is the


Of Never-ending PI?

It’s irrational.

Iambic Pi-Tamiter

Definition: A poem in which each line has double the syllables and the number of metrical feet as that of PI.

MatheMatical Ratio a Fraction

a Number-Crunching disTracTion

let Go

for You will Never reach SatisFacTion

Pi Sonnet

Definition: a poem of fourteen lines following the rhyming scheme: aaa.bccccbddddd; Typically a love poem.

Diameter, a straight and simple number

Alone and feeling down and umber

In boredom she would simply slumber

[Pointed pause]

But wait!

A number of a different sort

Up front, she finds he’s rather short

Oh, but past the point, there’s no report

of ever reaching an ending port.

It’s fate!

He’s different, yes, not Hex nor Bi.

This irrational number was her guy.

At last she’d found her Sweetie Pi.

And so, she proposed with an excited cry,

“Let’s go full circle and multiply!”

That’s my most creative Pi-Day contribution. This year, I’m just doing the good ol’ fashioned eating some Key Lime Pie!

How about you?

2 Poems for 2morrow

In Preparation for my Family 2 party 2morrow night I decided to write 2 poems.

Two Love

2day is the day 2 celebrate all 2s

I’m writing a poem, you can 2 if you choose

2morrow’s 2 late, 2sday is here

So go 2t your 2ba 2 toast this great year

It’s the 2nd month and 22nd day

Of 2022 and it’s time 2 play

Do things all2gether silly or witty

Like Catch 22 from this silly ditty

It’s Margarita Day 2, so go grab a drink

Let’s find our 2 Love or get help with a link

Carpe Dee

The second poem is one where I started with an existing song and rewrote the lyrics. The original lyrics are from Jay-Z’s 22 Two’s. I’ll refrain from doing an imitation of Jay-Z in CarpeDee attire (though that might be fun, come to think of it..)

My changes are in caps:

Too many DO GOODERS MARG DRINKIN’, and too many NERDIES on a mission

Doin’ our best CARPE-DEE rendition

Too many LOUD CELEBRATORS, I got my suspicions

That you’re just a fish in a pool of sharks PEOPLE, listen

Too many FLAMINGOS wanna be DOVES, so if you a BIRD

I’ma call you a BIRD, too many BIRDS CAN’T FLY

Too many GOODIES give these NEGGIES too many chances

Too many WINERS wannabe lovers don’t know what romance is

Too many PSEUDOHEROES TRYIN’ too many sexual DANCES

No question, CARPE-DEE got too many answers

I been around this block, too many times

Rocked, too many rhymes, MOCKED, too many MIMES, too

To all my FOLLOWERS it ain’t too late to come together

Cause too much JOY and too much love, equal forever

I don’t follow any guidelines cause too many NERDIES ride mine

So I change JAY-Zs every two rhymes, ha, what the HECK

That’s twenty two too’s for y’all SUPERNERDOS out there, YAKNOWWHATIMEAN?

Shall I continue? Check it out, what?

Carpe Diem Seizin’ 2022

Seizing the day can be as simple as enjoying a meal. Every day joys are especially important during difficult times. Come share your joys on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook page.

Woo Hoo, People! February 26 is Carpe Diem Day so we are in Carpe Diem Season or as I like to spell it Carpe Diem Seizin’! Let’s seize those beautiful days of February.

Last year, I created a video and hosted theme-day contests throughout the month:

Even though we still have not completely kicked Covid to the curb, we have made progress. Still, 2021 was another tough year for our country. And it ended with the most destructive fire that Colorado has ever seen, right in my neighborhood!

My house was spared, but over 900 homes in Superior and Louisville were burned to the ground. While I certainly was relieved that my house survived, it hasn’t felt right to promote “Seizing the Day” when so many people are experiencing so much grief.

On the other hand, I know from personal experience, that finding and celebrating every day joys is more important than ever during times of sadness or grief. Gratitude for what we do have and for the people we love is what helps us get through those very difficult days.

My project for 2022 is to have a “Microadventure a Week” with someone else and to blog about it. This has been fun and it often pushes me a little bit out of my comfort zone. It takes planning and finding someone to join me and involves learning and socializing – two things that keep my brain healthy.

So, that takes care of “Seizing one day a week” but what about the other 6 days? Every meal is an opportunity!

Yesterday, I “seized the day”, enjoying a refreshing glass of white wine while having a healthy dinner with the lentil and eggplant meatballs that Becky had made. Becky lit some candles and joined me for a delicious conversation to go along with the delicious food.

This morning, I spontaneously bought an unusually vibrant blue and purple orchid. I was so impressed with the color that I bought it (and only slightly disappointed to learn that it was artificially colored.) I love orchids and will still enjoy it when it comes back white after its dormant period. Eating a big healthy breakfast is always a “Carpe Diem Moment” for me and now I can do it in the presence of our new orchid.

Even though I’m not hosting contests this year, I’m still hoping to see pictures on social media of those every day joys that we all experience and so often take for granted.

Please come share your pictures or Carpe Diem moments on the Carpe Diem Connections Facebook Group!

Happy Relaxation Day!

Going Fishing!

I’ve been blogging daily on my other blog about things I’m grateful for. I try to pick out just one picture to blog about, but today was too hard because there were so many pictures that make me smile.

This morning, as I took a walk at Harper Lake in Louisville, I saw this father with his two little girls, fishing. It was just such sweet scene. The two little girls, ages 3 and 18 months, with their cute, colorful hats and outfits, mindfully learning to fish.

I’m always hesitant about taking pictures of children but when I asked this young father if it was OK, he said, “Of course!” and was very friendly!

Hopefully, you can see from the picture, how he is patiently teaching and encouraging these two little ones – it was such a Norman Rockwell-like moment. It really warmed my heart!

Though fishing may be a great way to spend “National Relaxation Day,” taking care of two toddlers is rarely “relaxing,” yet this father seemed to be enjoying the outing as much as the kids were.

Since my kids are grown and I’m retired, I get more than my share of relaxation! Sometimes I miss the days where I was the mother in a scene like this.

Instead, I can just enjoy, smile, enjoy the sights and scenery, and feel “relaxed” on this summer morning!

How are you relaxing today?

Sister Love for National Sister’s Day

I’m so grateful for the love from my sister, Michele.

I have lots of wonderful pictures of Michele, but I picked this one because when we have our hair the same length, we look so much alike, and people ask if we’re twins! That makes me happy, because I’ve always admired (OK, I’ll just say it…  been jealous of..) how pretty my sister is.

In the month of August, I want to blog daily about things I’m grateful for…  things that make me happy, things that I don’t want to take for granted. 

The most important thing I don’t want to take for granted is the love and acceptance I feel from the people I love most. 

Here’s a list of 63 Reasons I love Michele..  I made the list with 62 things last year for her 62 birthday, but since she just had her 63rd birthday, added one more: You listen to me!

63 Things I Love about You, Sis!

  1. You leave mints on my pillow when I visit
  2. You can find treasures at flea markets 
  3. You patiently teach me how to take better pictures
  4. You introduce me to your fun friends
  5. Tú hablas español conmigo
  6. You look out for me
  7. You laugh at my jokes
  8. You love to celebrate birthdays (including mine!)
  9. You find fun, creative, things to add to theme parties
  10. You keep yourself pretty and healthy
  11. You will talk to me while I’m walking
  12. You like learning new things
  13. You are empathetic of the troubles and joys of others
  14. You like surprises
  15. You love your Golden Retrievers
  16. You’re a caring mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend… and person!
  17. You love family
  18. You’re a great cook
  19. You send me pictures of purple flowers
  20. You are a talented photographer
  21. You are a founding member of The White Bathrobe Club (and include me in meetings!)
  22. You are very flexible with your yoga poses!
  23. You bring me joy
  24. You’re a talented gardener
  25. You are friendly and a popular neighbor
  26. You are playful
  27. You find the perfect presents for me
  28. You like the smell of lavender
  29. You’re relearning the piano!
  30. You like massages
  31. You’re great at interior design and home improvement
  32. You can confidently advise me on paint colors
  33. You love old books
  34. You love new books!
  35. You love bookstores!
  36. You’re smart
  37. You like to try new things
  38. You’re sentimental
  39. You can balance an oar on your chin!
  40. You influenced my early music tastes: James Taylor, Jim Croce, Van Morrison, Chicago, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
  41. You’re my confidante
  42. You’re a wonderful hostess
  43. You like celebrating goofy holidays
  44. You care for Veterans
  45. You’re patriotic
  46. You likes to play games
  47. You built a successful food photography business
  48. You’re a confident driver
  49. You’re a scuba diver
  50. You participated in my virtual Academy Awards Party
  51. You had a Royal tea party 
  52. You’re stronger than you realizes
  53. You’re continually improving yourself
  54. You’re respectful
  55. You’re insightful
  56. You introduced me to Ham/Apple/Brie Panini
  57. You surprise me with flowers and little gifts when I visit
  58. You make strong drinks that put me in a happy, mellow place
  59. You like holiday lights and decorations
  60. You are authentic
  61. You are creative
  62. You listen to me
  63. You are older than me!

All About Scotty Party

All About Scotty

Yesterday was the first in-person family get-together I’ve had in two years. Last summer, my youngest son, Scotty, had moved to Dayton, Ohio because of his job. Between that and all the Covid restrictions, this was the first time I was able to physically be with the people who are most important to me – my kids and grandkids.

Since I love a good theme party, I checked the “special days” on July 8th (Scotty’s birthday) and July 13th (the party day.. and his due date):

  • Be a Kid Again Day – July 8
  • Coca Cola Day – July 8
  • Math 2.0 Day – July 8
  • National Freezer Pop Day – July 8
  • National Ice Cream Sundae Day – July 8
  • National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day – July 8
  • SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama) – July 8
  • Video Games Day – July 8
  • Embrace Your Geekness Day – July 13

Any of these would match Scotty’s personality!

However, the ultimate theme was just to have the party be “All About Scotty.” My youngest son unabashedly loves to be the center of attention. As a Mom, who has been missing having kids at home, I capitalized on the “Be a Kid Again” theme with plenty of low-budget party treats and games.

I enjoyed printing out photos of Scotty at various ages and told everyone to come dressed in his typical attire – sports shorts and a T-shirt and then we all held up one of the photos for an “All About Scotty” family portrait.

Alzheimer’s diagnosis motivates Dan Jaworski to fulfill his dream: Participate in the Kona Ironman

Dan Jaworski is fighting Alzheimer’s and participating in his dream of participating in the Kona Ironman.

“I thank God for the gift of TODAY – CARPE DIEM!” ~Dan Jaworski

When Dan Jaworski received a devastating diagnosis and a recommendation from his doctor to move forward on his bucket list, he knew what he needed to do.

“Within hours of my diagnosis, I contacted Sarah Hartmann at The IRONMAN Foundation. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to race Kona on October 9, 2021”

The month of June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

You can read more about Dan and his inspirational story here. His attitude of resilience and strength is the same “Carpe Diem spirit” that I saw in my friend Craig Dunham when he was faced with an ALS Diagnosis. It’s the reason I started CarpeDiemDay.com.

Rather than ask for money, Dan asked for 140 names – one for each of the 140.6 miles of the race – of others who are battling Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

His list of 140 names, along with notes and tributes are listed on his site. And despite not asking for money, he has currently raised over $70K in donations for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Gratefully, I don’t currently know anyone personally suffering from Alzheimer’s, but I certainly understand the devastation and fear most people would have in the face of such a diagnosis.

Dan’s optimistic attitude, his drive, tenacity, and resilient spirit will most certainly work in his favor in the coming months, both in his training and in his overall health.

Let’s follow his lead! Whether it’s participating in an Ironman, writing a book, or repairing a relationship, don’t wait. Follow your dreams.

Carpe Diem!