An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

I get some ‘cute baby’ time with Cash!

An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

I’ve always been enamored by big family gatherings. And what’s the holiday that’s most known for big family gatherings? Thanksgiving, of course!

This year, the Thanksgiving dinner attendance was a record 26-people with representation from every decade. We had the babies, the kids, the teens, the young adults, the parents, and (the category that I fell into), the “elders.”

My son-in-law’s mother, Lynn, and her sister, Rebecca (aka “Lolly”) skillfully planned this extended family 4-day outing. They even created a multi-page brochure describing our luxury retreat accommodations, activities, and hiking options!

Rebecca (Lolly) and David (Pops) hosted the traditional feast on Thanksgiving Day at their gorgeous Mesa home. On Friday, the crowd went on to Moab, UT for the weekend for more hiking, feasting, and family bonding.

When I was a kid, I always envisioned being the matriarch of big holiday dinners. As it turns out, it is SO much less stressful to be a guest, rather than the host!

The years that I did host it was usually for 8 people for an afternoon, not 26 people for 4 days! I was so busy worrying about cooking and helping everyone find whatever they needed, that I barely had time to just enjoy myself.

In this case, the whole adventure was extremely well-planned and executed! The fact that it seemed seamless and smooth tells me just how much work was being done by a lot of unsung heroes. The planners worked hard at preparing all the meals and making sure everyone was happy and comfortable.

There was a lot of laughter, games, eating, playing, and family bonding as if everyone all jumped out of a Norman Rockwell scene.

Since I’ve retired, I’ve become much more aware of the importance of social connection. Between the Covid years and the family moves and changes, family gatherings are something I especially treasure.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

I know it was a lot of work to create such a successful weekend and I’m so appreciative to all of those who worked so hard. Though I’m sure there are a lot of people I’m not mentioning, here are some of the people and things I’m grateful for:

  • Scotty, for making the trip from Virginia to join us and be my hiking buddy.
  • Lolly and Lynn, for planning such an extraordinary holiday.
  • Lolly and Pops for opening up their home to all of us and providing so much food, warmth, and love.
  • Whitney, for all the food planning and preparing many of the meals throughout the weekend.
  • Megan and Chris, for inviting Scotty and me, and sharing rooms with us.
  • The gorgeous scenery we all enjoyed while hiking.
  • The way so many people pitched in with food preparation, clean-up, and helping each other.
  • The thoughtful conversations and the chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.
    • The fun of being around babies and little children.
    • Being with my grandchildren and seeing them interact with their cousins and extended family.
    • Reneya’s creative Turkey Cupcakes.
    • The glow-stick dance party!
    • Steve’s expertly prepared cafe lattes each morning.
    • Scotty’s driving throughout the weekend.
    • Everyone in attendance for their friendliness and thoughtfulness.

This will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember!

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Carpe Dee O’M

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Dee O’Malley

Carpe Diem Day Superhero

Carpe Diem Day is coming up this week and in that spirit, I’d like to honor Carpe “Dee O’M” (aka Dee O’Malley) as this year’s honored recipient of the much acclaimed Carpe Diem Day Superhero Award!

The last time I picked a Carpe Diem Award Winner it was Carpe “Lee M.”! Lee donated her late husband’s book collection to a Rehab and Nursing Center.

The original Carpe Diem Day was inspired by Craig Dunham, who lost his life to ALS in 2010. His initials, CD, along with his “live life fully” attitude are what prompted me to pick “Carpe Diem” as my mantra.

What do each of these three Carpe Diem inspirations have in common besides living life fully?


Yes, each of these three Carpe Diem Superheroes have earned admiration from me, not just because of living life fully, but because they do so (or did so), despite challenge, grief, and hardships.

Dee, at age 88, was told she only had a couple of months left to live and was put on hospice care. That was almost 2 years ago! I wrote a blog post about her then titled:

The Ultimate Adventure Awaits

Dee is not afraid of dying. In fact, she is very much looking forward to, what she calls, the “ultimate adventure.” Dee is also very dynamic, witty, happy, and full of good humor. She looks and acts much younger than her 90 years!

Despite physical ailments, she never complains! She has had falls and broken bones and so many problems that I’m sure doctors are scratching their heads trying to figure out what the super-power is that keeps her alive.

Dee’s Superpowers: Optimism, humor, fearlessness

Could it be that Dee’s longevity is due to her optimism, humor, and lack of fear? According to studies, the less we fear aging and death, the longer we will live healthy, happy lives.

Certainly, that’s not a universal truth as we all know. Many happy, optimistic people, such as Craig, still die young.

And we all die, no matter how optimistic we are. It will be hard for me to accept Dee’s death, even though I know it’s inevitable. Just because she’s accepted it (and even is looking forward to it!) doesn’t mean those of us who love her are in any rush for her to die. Every minute that she’s on this earth is a better minute for those of us who love her.

My Guardian Angel

Dee, my mother’s best friend, has always referred to herself as my “guardian angel.” She has been close enough to our family that I think of her as a beloved Aunt. I’ve always admired her spunky confidence and fearless attitude. She’s been my guardian angel in life and will continue to be so after she dies.

Now, in this final chapter of her life, she’s still guiding me with her humor and grace. Though I doubt I will be able to show the same good humor when my time comes, I’ll remember that she’ll be wherever I’m going and show me how to live the afterlife to the fullest!

(Of course, given her uncanny super-power, she may out-live me and I’ll just have to hang out with all those other dead people until she joins us.)

3 Blogs and Resources for Single Retirees

Happily single with my granddaughter

Singles are celebrating, too!

Happy Singles Awareness Day! Single retirees: Are we ready to celebrate? Keep reading for resources for single retirees.

Yes, this is the season of Galentine’s Day (Feb.13), Palentine’s Day (also Feb.13), Valentines Day (Feb.14) and Single’s Awareness Day (Feb.15). (And if that’s not enough for you, don’t forget about Carpe Diem Day(Feb.26.)

I spent many of my post-divorce years looking for love. I even wrote a whole book about it, The Laptop Dancer Diaries! In fact, I’ve been blogging since 2005 on my personal blog about relationships and the ups and downs of the single life.

Now, retired and in my early 60’s, I realize I really like being single! Sure, there are great things about being in a relationship, too, so I’m not saying one way is better than the other.

Usually when you search for resources for “singles” you get a bunch of dating sites. This is somewhat irritating to me because it does feel like society views that all singles want to find a partner. However, here are 3 websites with blogs and resources for singles that don’t have to do with finding a partner:

Sites with Resources for Single Retirees

  1. Bella DePaulo – Dr. DePaulo is a writer, speaker, and professor who specializes in the practice and study of the single life. I’ve read some of her work and she is making a difference in changing stereotypical viewpoints about singles.
  2. Living Single in Retirement – This Website has a lot of articles and resources, specifically for older women who may be looking for travel companions or single friends in a similar time of life.
  3. Solo Traveler – This site has some good resources for solo travelers of any age. Since traveling is one of thing many retirees love to do, this site is another great resource for single retirees.

Celebrate love by sending cards

Celebrate love with DIY Cards. This screenshot was taken at the AARP free class: Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Cards and Envelopes, Hawaii 1/31/23

It’s February! That means it’s Carpe Diem Seizin’ – or for you language purists, Carpe Diem Season (I love a good pun!) There are so many February holidays that celebrate love.

We all know about Valentine’s Day, but peek into one of those sites that list all the many, many holidays you never heard of and you’ll find that February also has little-known special days that celebrate love.

Of course, you can celebrate love by sending a card on any of these thousands of holidays, but I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites:

Carpe Diem Day (Feb.26)

Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin'
Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin’

That’s right people, Carpe Diem Day is coming up on February 26th, but of course every day is a good day to celebrate! (Note that this Website, was created in honor of CarpeDiemDay!)

I love that Walmart has an option to create your own custom cards with photos! This was such an easy and affordable option! For those of us that have difficulties getting our traditional holiday cards out on time, this is an opportunity to write back to those who sent us holiday cards! I love including photos with memories of the times I spent with the person I’m sending the cards to.

Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb.17)

February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Celebrate love with kindness

Not only does kindness spread happiness to all those around us, but it improves our health and longevity!

Letter to an Elder Day (Feb.26)

I love that Letter to an Elder Day is on February 26th! That’s the same day as Carpe Diem Day! This is a NEW special day. But what’s even more cool is that I’ve volunteered for the organization that created this day: Love for our Elders.

As I blogged about before,

Every Day is a Good Day to Celebrate Love

Whether with a card, eCard, text, phone call, smile, song, picture, hug, kiss, or whatever else you can think of, seize this day and show your love.

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, 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,, 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!