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Do Not Exfoliate in The Sauna

What is a newcomer to do with all that dry skin?

As I lounged, lizard-like in the cozy dry sauna I recalled my massage therapist at the St. Julien had said to me that on one of the Boulder city websites is a long list of the things our tax dollars pay for. One of those things is the open space beyond my backyard. I wonder if one day I’ll see exfoliating salons next door to oxygen bars downtown? And this would be added to the long list of things that keep this town vibrant and proud. I’m not complaining. I’m delighted. But I’m still afraid to enter the Unisex bathrooms I see in various places, including bars. Since this isn’t an Allie McBeal episode, I’m not quite ready for the real thing.

Some other things I’ve noticed in my new digs:

Some cafe’s don’t serve whole milk here. 2 percent or Soy? they say as I order my double late. Whole? I say, curiously. One guy squinted like I said a bad word in front of his child. The whole milk and 1/2 and 1/2 portion of Whole Foods is kind of sad. It’s small and the brands are a bit unknown. But I do live near some farms. Maybe I can cut a deal with a farmer. A blog about cows, with cow illustrations for weekly rations of unself-conscious Whole Milk. I love Milk. And this is why I get no sympathy when I complain about not being able to loose that last ten lbs.

And then there is, The Best Of’s. Mom and I noticed people had so many best of’s to tell us about. The best cafe, the best salsa in town, the best happy hour, sushi…and on.
It’s true Boulder is tauted to have the best of many things. And the list that follows is no mockery; right now I believe every word. I’ve added some of my own ‘Best of’s’:

The Best European Cafe sharing-the-table atmosphere
The Best Happy Hour–too many to list
The Best Lake for Dogs
The Best Feret
The Best Prairie Dog
The Best Muscles
The Best Socks
The Best non-flushable toilet (I made that up)
The Best Rock on The Best Trail with the biggest mountain lion
The Best ‘Issue’ of the Week
The Best Mindful of Mindless Beginnings and Fearless Endings (My mind has a mind of it’s own, I’m trying to demonstrate the Buddhist Calling here).
The Best Emissary of the Arts
The Best Curious Spirit
The Best seeker, evolutionist, mystic, cowboy poet, cowgirl alchemist, internet warrior, change agent of the integration of change
on the whole

Oh yeah, and the best air too…it smells like a baby’s cheek after a lukewarm bath in the atmosphere of the most patient (and best) Mom in the world.

And then there are the animals:

The wildlife issues I haven’t gotten a handle on yet. I hear debates about what to do with the mountain lions and bears. And I heard from someone that prairie dogs are being shipped out because they are in the way of baseball games. I’m sure the prairie dogs didn’t like their holes being clogged by baseballs either, but I’m sure there’s more to this story.

I like the Prairie Dogs:
I was on a mountain bike ride yesterday from my house to Boulder on the Cottonwood Trail (just a few miles on a gorgeous trail along a creek; I honestly can’t process how beautiful this place is quite yet) and there were many prairie dogs. They remind me of my rabbits–curious, and so adorable. They look like part seal, part dog and part rat. Anyway, I was talking to them, saying hello, etc. and one of them started wagging it’s tail really fast. I was pretty happy about this. I thought it was happy to see me. Then I did a little research on the internet. It turns out they do this when they think there may be a territorial dispute. It’s true I’m in my little pink bubble in my first month here. But hey, it’s not like reality stalls in getting back to us. So I’ll take a few more weeks of the pink bubble.

The Pretty Men:
My Mom and I were walking down the street and she noticed many good looking men about my age. She wondered how it is that I don’t see them. My mind was elsewhere like on the fine food and wine. I will say though that as I was swimming at the pool the other day I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by stunning, outgoing members of the opposite sex. In fact, I was the only woman in pool. Maybe there should be a registry for the this place…there probably already is.

On Fine Food and Wine:
I’m pretty excited about learning a lot more about food and wine. This town is passionate about it. In fact, there is a blog that is a great read. It’s full of knowledge, local experience and culinary inspiration: Culinary Colorado by Claire Walter.

Many things seem possible in Boulder. Well except for accurate predictions on weather. It’s hard to be bored here. Everything from Martini manicure outings to passionate politics, art events, blogs, and people who show up on time. Okay, that was a shot at my most recent past in Oregon. But I have to say, it’s been great how people are so on top of things here. But Oregon can really predict the weather; sometimes to the hour!

A little about the trip from Oregon to Colorado:

This photo is partially taken from the rear view mirror of the Penske from my camera phone and partially of the Flat Irons. A view from my neighborhood.

For those of you wondering how I made it across Oregon (I already miss everyone. Damn it, I hate this part of moving), Idaho, Wyoming in Colorado in 2 days towing my car in the yellow truck, bunnies by my side? No problem. Well, okay the first hour was hell. I wasn’t sure how I’d get through the next 21 hours. I coped by driving fast. I barreled down the highway at 75-80 and waved at other truckers, feeling that trucker pride. The only somewhat scary thing was when an impressed biker asked me to go to the Go-Cart field with him and trolly around in little boxes with engines. I told him I concluded that stage of adventure when I was 8 years old and wished him luck. I was pretty worried about the rabbits and was of course incredibly relieved to get them here.

My home is charming, cozy and so much more than I’m used to. The bunnies are learning to be indoor vs. outdoor and their room is next the art studio. And I’m fascinated by the big yellow tree outside my bedroom window which is now shedding the last of it’s leaves and showing it’s woody bones to the nearing winter.

I live amongst ponds, lakes, pumpkins, hay, sushi and IBM. An off-beat but charming combination of environmental infrastructure.

So, welcome me home to Colorado because soon you’ll be here and I’ll be welcoming you as a visitor. I’ll be sharing my best of’s, the cedar wine cellar, opinionated squirrels and wheat grass brownies. Dakota will be so spoiled by then he won’t need me so I’ll have to get a dog or tame a coyote or something.

ps: I don’t think there is any such thing as wheat grass brownies and yet somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if there were. But you’ll find mostly culinary adventures without consistency in my home and often without healthy ramifications. Not sure how long I can get away with that here in such a health inspired place–or even want to.


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  • Sarah on Apr 13, 2009 Reply

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  • Lisa Wilder on Nov 13, 2006 Reply

    I had to laugh at your description of the guy who reacted as though you’d said a bad word when inquiring about whole milk. I’m a milk lover too, and a dear friend just this past weekend, clued me into what he describes as THE best milk, delivered straight to your door. I’ve yet to experience it, but he swears it’s a milk-lover’s dream. Check out the Royal Crest Dairy – and let me know what you think.

  • Suzanne Lainson on Nov 08, 2006 Reply

    I got a nice comment back from Niya and wanted to respond publicly for those who might find it useful.
    After I finished graduate school, I looked around for compatible Boulder groups to join to make friends. There were several missteps, but I found two that felt right.
    One was the Boulder Media Women and the other was the Conference on World Affairs (through the University of Colorado, but open to the public to attend and also to help plan).
    Then I met quite a few members of the Boulder/Denver tech community (I used to write about those businesses). After the dot-com bust, I switched focus to music. Now much of my life revolves around young rock musicians and local singer/songwriters. (This means I spend many evenings in Denver and Boulder at live music clubs.)
    And one of my daughters lives about 10 miles from me and now has kids, so babysitting is a big part of my life as well. 🙂
    I know Niya knows about the Boulder Media Women, so that’s an excellent way to settle in to Boulder.

  • Suzanne Lainson on Nov 08, 2006 Reply

    I moved to Boulder in December 1991. I came for graduate school. Since I was at least 10-20 years older than my classmates and since I came as a single adult (my daughters were in college, so no opportunity meet parents through schools, and I was separated, so no meeting people through my husband’s work), I didn’t have any ready-made ways to make friends.
    It took years to develop my network of friends, but Boulder is home now.
    What I like about Boulder is that it’s a lifestyle place. We do enjoy being outdoors, having a great cup of coffee, people-watching on the Pearl Street Mall. Residents seem happy, and I think they are because most of us have chosen to live here.

  • Jody on Nov 04, 2006 Reply

    Even though I’m a Colorado native, I often feel like a newcomer in Boulder myself. Your post helped me to feel less alone in my love of whole milk and lifelong struggle with scaly skin. What a relief to know it’s not just me.

  • Cynthia Morris on Nov 02, 2006 Reply

    Oh my god, I want a hamburger after reading that, or do I want a ride on Rosemary’s motorcycle? Wait, I’m a vegetarian. Oh.
    Welcome to Boulder, where I’ll place my vote for the best walk along the creek path.
    Enjoy the wonder and weirdness that is Boulder.

  • Rosemary Carstens on Nov 02, 2006 Reply

    After living in Boulder County for fifteen years, it is fun to hear a newcomer exploring our area, your impressions and insights. I live in Longmont–not as far away as some would have you believe! We are growing fast, have a wonderful small museum, many parks and walking trails, and an historic district of lovely old homes that I love to wander through on daily walks in warmer weather. Lyons is another nearby community where I once lived. The red rocks and cliffs surrounding it jut up into the startlingly clear blue skies and are pure joy on a sunny day! When I need a quick break from the computer, I ride my motorcycle over to the longtime hamburger joint there and have a cheese burger with a chocolate-dipped frosty chaser–talk about GOURMET! Yum! Rosemary Carstens,

  • David B. Leikam on Oct 14, 2006 Reply

    Oh, I get to read it again! Yeah … 🙂

  • David B. Leikam on Oct 13, 2006 Reply

    It’s always a great pleasure to read your thoughts and wish we lived closer to hang out together, conversing in-person. Perhaps, next week … ?
    Take care and I laughed out loud a few times while reading this. You should really have a disclaimer! I’m in a good mood now, damn it! 😉
    Ciao, David

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