John Denver Ruled My Childhood – Day 4

In more ways than one. I still think the first music or John Denver’s I listened to was either his Rocky Mountain Christmas (my favorite) or his Some Days Are Diamonds album. I didn’t get around to his greatest hits until I hit my late teens, which was odd because my father had both of his Greatest Hits albums. And by albums, I do mean vinyl records. I actually love that I’m from a generation that still knew what records meant. The poor kiddie saps of today who think everything is digital.

I’ve posted plenty of times about John Denver, probably because he has had a pretty big impact on my music listening life. My father was a huge JD fan; I think he actually did see him in concert once, and I’m too lazy to go downstairs and ask Mr. B if that is correct, so let’s assume it is. It’s much more fun to think that he did see him in concert. Something I wish I could have. (I have never been to a concert. It’s on my list of things I want to do.)

But I’ve always known about John Denver, mostly because of the two Christmas albums we listened to without fail every year. It’s tradition to turn on his Christmas Like a Lullaby album, which my sister loves more than the Rocky Mountain Christmas, which I adore. There’s something about that 70s and 80s vibe that takes me back in time to when I was a child, but without actually having to go through the time period as an adult. There are things that the music brings back to me that I really can’t explain other than a deja vu moment.

As for all his other music, well, it’s probably the most calming music I’ve ever listened to and probably know by heart. I can sing a few bars of almost every song of his, with a few exceptions.

And I have a list of general favorites that I know almost all of the lyrics. Aspenglow is probably one of my all time favorites these days. It’s Christmas without actually stating it’s Christmas, not to mention that it is THE song of December for me that takes me back to being about 5.  Gravel on the Road (the message in the song), Sunshine on My Shoulders, Some Days Are Diamonds, The Cowboy and the Lady, Thank God I’m A Country Boy, Starwood, Leaving on a Jet Plane, and Take Me Home, Country Roads. There are probably lots more, but those are particular favorites.

His music has influenced my love of folk and a specific type of country music you don’t hear much these days. It’s the music that makes me feel solemn but also comfortable. He’s mocked by many and loved by many. You have to be a specific type of person to love John Denver, but his music has spanned the decades. I might be old school, but I’m glad my life has been filled with the music of John Denver.

So, thoughts? Have you been a Denver fan or do you mock him? Listen to him? Love him?


October 15th – Write 31 Days – Aspen Gold

aspen-goldWe are halfway into the Write 31 Days Challenge and it’s been amazing finding poetry and sayings to go with the fall images I have been taking. Sure, I planned ahead, and several of the pictures were taken on one day, but not every day is a photographic kind of day. Depending on weather, where the sun is, if I forget…. <—- That last one is a huge one.  But I keep finding new things to see and take pictures of. It’s been really good to get back into photography after not doing that much in the scope of things this year. Writing has been a bigger influence and seeing the shots I get is always this heart pounding feeling of amazement with God’s creation.

I hope everyone else has been enjoying this challenge as well.  Has there been a favorite image that has stood out for you?  Whimsy Mum and Mushing Around were Mrs. Austen‘s favorites so far…. though she mentioned the Milkweed picture.  I have to say the Calendula day was my favorite, due to the cheeriness of it all.

Today is Aspens. The aspens are changing and this little beauty, while it looks like it might be hanging, is laying flat on the ground. (the other image turned out blurry. booo!)  They are like golden medallions scattered to infinity. Nature’s money floating around.

Of course aspens make me think of John Denver. And Colorado and Interlaken…. and sometimes it makes me want to cry. I’ll never know why, but maybe I can explain it some day. Pure beauty.  Psst, don’t tell Mr. B, he might laugh at me.

It’s a long way from L.A. to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise

Springtime is rolling ’round slowly
Grey skies are bringing me down
I can’t remember when I’ve ever been so lonely
I forgot what it’s like to be home
Can’t remember what it’s like to be home…..

Starwood ~John Denver


Dreaming of Colorado

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been dreaming about Colorado a lot lately.  At random moments, a John Denver song will pop into my head and I’m thinking about the Rockies and the way Colorado felt. I lived there for two years in my early teens, and while at the time I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have, now I find myself missing it horribly.

Just recently I was watching a Tiny House, Big Living where a young couple converts a bus into a tiny home. The couple was out of Boulder, but they traveled to outside of Denver and Red Rocks. I watched the weather and the scenery wishing desperately that I could be there or go. Red Rocks has been one of those places I really want to go and see a concert played. Unfortunately, who I want to see play is either dead (John Denver) or won’t play the concert I want to see (Mumford & Sons version of “I Will Wait”. With all of those amazing lights strung across the stage.)

Recently I have started a story that takes place in Vail though I have never been there. In face, I have never been to Denver, Boulder, Red Rocks… I lived in the middle of the state, half an hour from Leadville (been there), an hour from Aspen (haven’t been there), and a few hours from Ryal Gorge and Canyon City (been there!). I wish I could have seen Aspen, but Mr. B didn’t want to see how it had changed from the 70s when he had seen it. I can understand that. But oh, Colorado aspens, can I rave?

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But occasionally I dream of living where John Denver made his home. I love that he wrote songs about it, like Starwood in Aspen and his Christmas song, Aspenglow. Then there’s Rocky Mountain High. Seriously those songs sum up Colorado perfectly. (Ironically a John Denver song came on a the doctor’s while I sit here, but it’s Country Roads, so not technically about Colorado- and I wrote this two days ago and I’m just now typing it up. I’m not actually at the doctors right now)

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO.

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure why Colorado is calling to me, except for lately not really feeling like I”m in the mountains. Strange since yesterday was one of those perfect stormy, mountain days. A day where the mountains were obliterated by clouds and we woke to snow all the way down. But since I live on the valley floor, I feel like I’m more in the country. Strange as well since I have to only walk fifteen to twenty minutes and I can be climbing up the mountains. I’m that close. But California mountains are different from Colorado mountains. I remember telling a boyfriend, who visited from Pennsylvania, that we did everything big out here, but our mountains are nothing compared to the amazing beauty of the Rockies. The sheer size of 14,000-foot peaks can’t be explained.

There is a wildness about Colorado. Still untamed. Still undiscovered, though I doubt that is the case. I just remember visiting Tincup and that had once been something, but was no more. Okay, there was sort of a town, but one place we stopped outside of Tincup was what you see in the pictures above. The way the wild had claimed everything again. The way the exploding brightness of the sun shone on the clear mountain streams, being so high up the air was crisp and clear. The air was so pure. So clean. So cold and brisk.

The mountains, lakes, and aspens were magic.

I love California with all of my heart. This is my state. This is where I come from. I’m a fifth generation and the Sierra Nevada mountains are my ‘home’. But there is something about colorado that just makes me want to come stay a bit and visit again. With my camera where I can take so many pictures I couldn’t possibly forget.

To visit St. Elmo where the hummingbirds take over the historical ghost town….. while across the street the chipmunks enthrall people…. that is one place I definitely want to see again.

Well, I’m dreaming of Colorado, wishing for a Rocky Mountain High…



I Smell Snow

Tonight, it smells like snow.  Or December.  I think December has a very distinct smell that reminds me of The Carpenters, John Denver‘s “Aspenglow” song, Columbia, California  and clearly Christmas.  It’s this woodsmoke and cold, mountain air. It’s misty cold from the pines. It’s pines.  It’s the smell of Christmas trees and old candy canes.

Snow smells. People that don’t get snow wouldn’t understand, but snow has this metallic, slightly dirty smell. Like damp dust.  Only it’s cleaner and fresher. And colder.  I know it sounds strange to say snow smells like dust, but every snowflake is made from a speck of dust.  you would not have snow unless you had dirt.  Sounds even stranger.  But seriously, melt snow and the water isn’t very clean at the bottom.  And it tastes weird.  Definitely dirty.  I like to eat snow, but even it doesn’t taste like clean water. Yet you think it is because it’s white.

So, tonight, it smells like metallic cold pines and woodsmoke.

Tonight I smell snow.

That being said, I don’t know if it’s going to snow, but it might be in the mountains. All of California is getting much needed precipitation of some sort.


The Soundtrack of My Life

So yesterday I wrote about having songs for certain people in my life and Kat replied with something I think that I have thought of way too much in my life. I wish my life were a soundtrack.

Here’s Kat’s comment.

Sometimes I wish life came with a soundtrack so I would be able to more fully express and experience interactions with people and what is generally happening “on screen” at that moment.
I used to assign ringtones to each person in my life and to this day whenever I hear “Carry on my wayward son” by Kansas, I think of my little sister because of our mutual love for a little show called Supernatural.


Wow, do I wish that was true. I wish I had music play at those moments in life where it explains what the heck is going on.  I want to wake up to that snazzy tune that is just perfect on the radio.  Like Gemma Simmons on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. going through her morning routine to “God Help the Girl by God Help the Girl”.  For those interested, it was just the third episode of the second season…. (side note, I love Marvel. S.H.I.E.L.D, Captain America, Coulson….. I can go on)

Phil Coulson

Phil Coulson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyways, I love music and I put on specific music for specific times.  I love Art Garfunkel‘s “Breakaway”.  I love James Taylor’s “Something In the Way She Moves”.  I can never get enough of John Denver’s “Gravel on the Ground”.  And I think all of these apply to my life along with a plethora of music that I play, including, but not limited to, pop, country, rap, classical, oldies, jazz (I love some really good jazz), blues, rock, electronic, dance, soundtracks…… Right now I’m really into Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”. (Don’t judge me, I know, I know.)  And Echosmith’s “Cool Kids”, and Pitbull’s “Fireball”…. I have my moments.

So, I’m curious, what songs would you have in your soundtrack of life?  Give me a list, or heck, that one song that makes you , YOU!

Signing off


Starwood In Aspen

I’ve been on a John Denver kick the past couple of weeks. Normally, my autumn time music of choice is James Taylor, as I’ve stated in the past HERE, but for some reason John Denver has hit the spot.  The melancholy of it all hits me and I wonder how I could have ever appreciated his music at a younger age when I get it much more now than I ever did ten years ago. I guess growing older makes lyrics mean so much more.

One song that just keeps playing in my mind is Starwood in Aspen.  I was singing it the other day as I baked thinking, oh wow, wouldn’t it be great to see Starwood if it really exists.  Clearly I was forgetting the article I read a couple months ago about John Denver’s home going up on the market for only the second time since his tragic death in 1997. And yes, it is in an exclusive development called, wait for it, Starwood.

Honestly, I kind of want to own this.  I want to live in this house, and yes, part of it is because it is so John Denver, and well, it’s a gorgeous part of Colorado, a state I called home for a couple years.  But this house is excessively cool, far out, and just beautiful.  (at least from the images it appears this way)

I would like Boris to buy this house for me. Darling man, you can, can’t you? It would be the perfect place for me to write.  And hey, you could come visit.  I could invite all kinds of people to visit.  And it’s in Aspen……

Take a look at the official real estate pictures below. I mean, come on. This is just perfect.

It’s a long way from L.A. to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Signing off

Vintage Craze – Part 4 : Vinyl


It conjures up a host of images.  Or at least it does for me.  Vinyl seats at a diner.  Vinyl flooring.  Vinyl outfits that are really just too kinky and weird for my tastes…. Okay, moving on.

Isn't that a gorgeous look?

When I say vinyl, and I can’t believe this can be considered vintage because I grew up with this, I mean records.  Am I really that old? (ok, my parents and grandparents are older…)

Yes.  Gasp!  Those giant, round discs that existed long before cds and mp3s were ever thought of.  Do you know there are some people kids  who have no clue as to what a record is?  Now that is a horror to me.  And I’m not even how “vintage” records are, but well I’m calling them that.

I grew up with records.  We had stacks of them.  All my Psalty the Singing Songbooks.  All those goofy kids records we had.  We had tons.  Then all the records my parents had.  Oh my gosh did we have quite a few.  And then we would wear my grandmother out playing the records at her house when she would babysit us. (and she had one of those cool turntables that would take a whole stack of records, which really didn’t work for the story records as it would only play one side before dropping down a new record that was a different story…..)

I am in a record mood right now.  There is something so very nice about putting that large black disk onto the turntable.  Hearing that first scratchy sound of the needle hitting the edge.  Then the music finally playing in that slightly scratchy tone with it muted and mellowed out.  Not so super clear that the treble needs to be played with.

There is actually some music that we have on records that we also have on cds now. I prefer the record.  The cds are too clear.  Too perfect.  Too much treble.  I like the mellowed tone.

Today it was side B of Art Garfunkel‘s Breakaway album.  (by the way, people. I know quite a bit of 70’s music.  People are always surprised at what I know.  Yes, I like Chicago, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, etc.)  Oh and yeah, side B…  I could go on about the flipping of the record, but I won’t.

And after the Breakaway came Watermark, by the same artist, and finally one of my father’s John Denver albums.  I love to hear music from the turntable.  And can you believe that my parents got rid of a whole bunch of records when I was little because they didn’t listen to that music anymore, and now that I’m older, it’s stuff I enjoy!  It breaks my heart.

Now, I don’t do it as much as I used to.  I am quite in love with my mp3 player and I love cds.  And the record player is in a tricky spot so I don’t find it easy to play records all day long.  Besides, I don’t really want to hear all those kids albums so much these days. Hmm, I wonder why?  But I still love playing the old recordings.  There’s a homey feel to it.

What about you? Do you remember vinyl? And do you ever miss it?

Signing off