Category Archives: Colorado

The Stress Epidemic

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

It has been a very busy time here at newsofthetimes.org and I have not been able to write as much as I would like. I would like to write about the horrific events in Connecticut and about how proud I am that our Governor has made a risky political statement that it is time to do something about guns in Colorado. I am especially proud because he made this statement before the most recent shooting.I would like to write about the holiday season and what that means to me and to all of you.

I would like to write about missing family and the adventures of raising a quirky teenage pup.

But lately, I have been stressed. Work has been incredibly intense and taken most of my time and energy.

I love my work, but I can’t say I love those times when it is all-consuming. Over the years, I have been inexplicably drawn to fast-paced jobs with high levels of stress; I am drawn to these types of jobs like a moth to a flame.

I have tried to figure out how I can do work that I love, while not allowing it to eat me alive. I am encouraged that the older I get, the more I seem to be able to go with the flow and bounce back from stressful situations – this is a welcome evolution, to say the least.

I read an article this morning from the Harvard Business Journal that talks about how to manage stress in your work. I read a lot of these articles and always find some useful message or lesson to take away.

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

But I wonder how real people manage the stress in their lives. And about your personal evolutions in this area. And what lessons my wise readers have for me in how to better manage the stressful work that I love.

Stress is an epidemic in the United States. Is it also an epidemic in other countries? If not, why not?

I went to a class on stress at work last year where they showed the physiological impact of stress on a person’s heart and mind. It was scary stuff. It is not a luxury to find ways to manage stress. It is imperative that we do so.

What do you think? How do you manage stress in your life? Has your ability to manage stress changed over the years? What have you found to be the most helpful tools to help with this? Do you struggle with this at all? And do you have any resources you have found to be helpful in your efforts to maintain balance and calm in your life that you would be willing to share?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

46 Comments

Filed under Business, Career Planning, Colorado, Culture, Peace, Policy, Politcs, Role of Government, social pressures

Giving Thanks

 

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Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. What is better than a holiday with no presents, but with lots of food, family and friends?

My favorite part of Thanksgiving – aside from the mashed potatoes, which we have discussed here at length – is setting aside a day to think about all the things I am thankful for.

It is so easy to get caught up in daily life and to forget what I have and how fortunate I am.

This year, I am thankful for so many things, among them:

All of you – I had no idea when I started blogging that I would find such a supportive, funny and inspiring community. Thank you for all the comments, kudos and encouragement.

My family – it is hard to be away from Baltimore at this time of year, but I am fortunate that my mom comes out to visit and my husband cooks a fantastic dinner – how can I not be thankful about that?

The birthday boy
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My two year old pup, who actually turns two years old on Thursday and thinks everyone celebrates his birthday with a big feast! I have been looking forward to the maturity of two and we are finally here. Now, I will look forward to the further sophistication of three.

My friends, who know how to make me laugh until I cry. I exhale completely when I am with my closest friends.

My colleagues, who have dedicated their lives to helping low income families and vulnerable children and who inspire me on a daily basis with their passion, their dedication and their vision.

Simply to have a warm house to live in, food to eat and people to love.

Sometimes it is good to take a moment and just reflect on all the things that are good in life.

What do you think? What are you most grateful for this year? What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

Have a happy and safe holiday. And for a little Turkey-based levity:

34 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Colorado, Culture, Food, Home, Love

Travel Theme: Bright

Ailsa, at Where’s My Backpack, has issued a fun travel theme this week: bright. I happen to love taking photos of bright colors and am excited to share a few of my favorites here.

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Fall in Colorado

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More Fall Colors

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Joan Miro Sculpture, Barcelona

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A Taste of Summer

What do you think? What is your favorite bright thing to photograph? What is something that, when you see it, automatically brightens your day?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations on the Theme:
http://goomfh.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-2/
http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://managuagunntoday.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://sheladyanne.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-brights/
http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright-shiny-portugal/
http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://kattermonran.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://imissmetoo.me/2012/11/02/2145/
http://patriciaddrury.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://beyondpaisley.net/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://the-serenity-space.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://etolbagam.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://learning2hear.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/travel-theme-bright/
http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://photovignettes.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/travel-theme-bright/
http://theretiringsort.com/2012/11/02/big-bright-fireworks/
http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/bright/
http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/2012/11/02/11-2-12-travel-theme-bright/
http://seamlessstyle.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/weekly-travel-theme-brights/

 

 

 

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Filed under Art, Colorado, Environment, Food, Photography, Photos, Travel Challenge

Introducing JC Politi Photography – My first photo exhibit!

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One of my favorite photos from Patagonia, Argentina

Readers of this blog know that I have a passion for photography. I turned 40 this year and am dedicating this decade to the creative side of my brain.

With that in mind (pun intended!! ;-)), I purchased a DSLR camera, signed up for an intensive online course through the New York Institute of Photography, and finally asked our local breakfast place if I might be able to show my photos. And they said yes!!

So, this afternoon, I am hanging 12 photos from my adventures in Argentina at the Southside Walnut Cafe in Boulder and I couldn’t be more excited. I also printed business cards and started a website at: www.jcpolitiphotography.org.

It is not much, but I think it is a good start. I feel so official!! I hope you will take a moment to stop by.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
I feel kind of like a butterfly, transforming right before my own eyes!!

Honestly, the support and encouragement I have recieved through this blog are directly responsible for my willingness to put my work out there in the public.

When I look at my own photos, sometimes it is hard to see if they are any good or not, because I look at them so many times. Honestly, it feels a little vulnerable to show my work.

But I have watched fellow bloggers overcome similar fears. I have cheered them on loudly from the sidelines as they boldy chased their dreams. Now it is my turn to step off the ledge.

I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated all of your support and encouragement. It has made the world of difference, so thank you! I should also thank my sweet husband who has exposed me to so many beautiful places and joined me on so many wonderful adventures.

What do you think? Have you faced this type of fear? Would you be willing to share you story here? If you are over 40, what did you do when you turned 40 to celebrate the occasion? If you are under 40, what would you like to do to mark the day when you reach that age? And if you have an artistic website, would you be willing to share your link here? I would love to see other’s creative adventures as I embark on my own!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for reading!

70 Comments

Filed under Art, Blogging, Colorado, Photography, Photos

Tuesday Tunes: Ramble On and Awards Galore!

Fall in Colorado
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This week’s Tunes Tuesday pick is Ramble On by Led Zeppelin, who may just be my favorite band of all time. I chose this song this week because I am heading out of town for a 40th birthday and five year anniversary celebration vacation to Europe!

I will be gone for the next two weeks, so this post is meant to keep you occupied while I’m out. I will honestly miss all of you when I am gone and I may even peek in from time to time to see what is happening in your worlds. But for the most part, I will be eating chocolate croissants and tapas and drinking sangria and champagne…and taking pictures!!

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for must-do unique activities in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam or Berlin? Have you taken any special trips to celebrate a milestone? What is your favorite memory from that trip?

I will include the Tunes Tuesday lyrics below, but I first wanted to acknowledge some awards I have received over the past month. My hope is that while I am gone, readers will take time to visit the great blogs who have honored me with awards and to visit the blogs I am passing awards on to. I promise, you will not regret taking the time to do this!

I have been honored to receive awards from some inspirational and educational bloggers:

Beautiful Blogger Award

Hugh Curtler

Narcissista.me

Sticky Notes and Quotes

Canadian Travel Bugs

Super Sweet Award

Grandmother Musings

Super Sweet questions:

1. Cookies or Cake? Molasses cookies or Snickerdoodles

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Strawberry

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?Vacarro Cannoli!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? 2 PM on a weekday.

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Sugar 😉

One Lovely Blog

Le Blog de Marie

Sisterhood of the World Blogger

Magnolia Beginnings

Very Inspiring Blogger

Real Woman’s Health

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Most of the awards require that I tell things about myself that people don’t know. So, here goes:

1.)    I just cut my hair pixie-short. I do this about every 10 years.

2.)    I never took a math class in college.

3.)    I love cookbooks, but I really don’t cook at all.

4.)    I have lived in 5 states and the District of Columbia.

5.)     Moves have been easier for me when I moved for a life-priority and not for a job.

6.)    I love Fall and everything associated with it, as you can see from the photos here.

7.)    I have always wanted to be a Peace Corps volunteer and still think I may when I am older.

8.)    I have a photography exhibit at a local Boulder restaurant in October!!

9.)    I love mashed potatoes – have I mentioned this before? It’s pretty important for anyone who knows me to understand this fully.

10.) Age 40 has been a surprise, but a great one so far!

A group of us have developed an amazing community and I encourage you to visit their blogs, including Waiting for the Karma Truck, Musings of an Old Fart, Hugh Curtler, Carr Party of Five, Magnolia Beginnings, Real Woman’s Health, Talk to Diana, The Curtain Raiser, Healthy Warrior, Jensinewall, Serenity in the City, Where’s My Backpack and Life with the Top Down.

I really encourage folks to visit these exceptional blogs. I am inspired and informed every day by each of these blogs and if any of these blogs do not have any of the awards listed above, please consider yourselves nominated! I really love and appreciate all of you!!

A few blogs I have recently come across that I have really enjoyed and would like to pass along each of these awards to:

Dr. Bill Wooten

Lead.Learn.Live

Gen Y Girl

Paperkeeper

The Jotter’s Joint

Third Eye Mom

Polka Dot Palace

Zeebra Designs and Destinations

Rendevous with Renee

And last but not least, I bring you Led Zeppelin for this Tunes Tuesday

Fall in Colorado
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Ramble On
Led Zeppelin

Leaves are falling all around, It’s time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it’s time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it’s headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I’ve got one thing I got to do…

Chorus: Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I’m goin’ ’round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

Got no time to for spreadin’ roots, The time has come to be gone.
[Chorus]

Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.
[Chorus]

Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gotta keep-a-searchin’ for my baby…
Gonna work my way, round the world. I can’t stop this feelin’ in my heart
Gotta keep searchin’ for my baby. I can’t find my bluebird!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for reading!

95 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, Colorado, International, Music, Photography, Photos, travel

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and Weekly Photo Challenge – Merge

Perito Moreno Glacier Calafate Argentina (Patagonia)
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Travel Photo of the Year Contest:

Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day for the next week. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” (with the yellow star under the picture) or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

This week’s weekly photo challenge is a complex one. The topic this week is “merge.” The idea is to show items that don’t quite fit together. Here is my best attempt at this theme:

Deer in Boulder, Colorado
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Copyright JC Politi Photography

Baileys on a glacier in Patagonia
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Other interpretations on the theme:

 

 

 

 

 

27 Comments

Filed under Awards, Colorado, Photography, Photos, travel, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Travel Photo of the Year Contest and Travel Theme: Sunset

Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina (Patagonia)

Travel Photo of the Year Contest:

Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day for the next week. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack has issued a fun travel theme this week. The theme is Sunset. Here are a few of my favorite sunset photos and my favorite sunset song from Fiddler on the Roof. I danced with my Dad at my wedding to this song, so it is very special to me.

Ocean City, Maryland
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Grenada, Nicaragua
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Aspen, Colorado
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Sunrise, Sunset
Fiddler on the Roof

Is this the little girl I carried,
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older,
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty,
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?

Sunrise, sunset .
Swiftly flow the days.

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness and tears.

What words of wisdom can I give them,
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another,
Day by day.

They look so natural together.
Just like two newlyweds should be.
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears

What do you think? Where was your favorite sunset? What does sunset mean to you?

I hope you will share your thoughts…and your VOTE! Thank you so much for reading!

Some of the other entries in the Sunset Travel Challenge:

Travel Theme: Sunset | a hectic life
Travel Theme: Sunset « Hunters Holidaying
SUNSET ANYONE? « Zeebra Designs & Destinations
Travel theme; Sunset « So where’s the snow?
Sunset | Canoe Communications
Travel theme: Sunset | One step at a time
Travel theme: Sunset | tahira’s
I can see Africa from my terrace! « East of Málaga
Travel Theme: Sunset « weird & cool stuff seen while out & about
travel theme: sunset | catbird in america
Travel Theme: Sunset | StandingStill
Travel theme: Sunset « Healthcare Updates
Travel theme: Sunset at Mopane | Have you ever…
Travel theme: SUNSET « scrapydo
Travel Theme: Sunset « A year in the Life
Travel Theme: Sunsets | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
Travel theme: Sunset | Even A Girl Like Me
Travel Theme: Sunset | Eluding Ennui

 

 

 

 

43 Comments

Filed under Awards, Colorado, International, Love, Music, Parenting, Photography, Photos, Relationships, Travel Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge

Where does it stop?

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I live in Colorado. I am frequently in Aurora. I don’t personally know anyone involved in the tragedy in Aurora, but I know people who do.

The feeling in the air here is one of sadness and disbelief that someone could commit such a hateful act. A fear that something like this could happen to any of us at any time – a sense of dread that our kids could go to see a movie and not come home because of a senseless act of violence.

I share this sadness and my heart breaks for the parents and friends and family who lost loved ones.

But I do not quite share the disbelief. How many times does an act like this have to happen before our politicians will be willing to take leadership and do something about the proliferation of guns in the United States?

There is an excellent article by Roger Ebert in the New York Times called We’ve Seen This Before that is worth a read.

The alleged perpetrator of this crime bought four guns, including a semi-automatic weapon, and a massive amount of ammunition over the course of three months. Shouldn’t someone have noticed? Not with the currenty gun control laws currently on the books.

I understand the need to not turn a tragedy like this into a partisan debate. But I do not understand saying this is no time to discuss the politics of this event.

This should not be a partisan issue. This is about saving lives and stopping the killing.

State and federal legislative bodies in the United States simply must act to pass smart gun control laws. I am not saying that people cannot own guns, although I can certainly understand and empathize with this viewpoint. I would certainly feel safer if I knew that there were fewer guns in the hands of the public.

But we should be able to track better who has guns and for what purposes and to limit where these guns can be carried. It is a simple matter of life and death.

What do you think? Why is there such fear on the part of politicians to address this issue head-on? What do you think it will take for our leaders to take leadership on sensible gun control laws?

I know this is a sensitive and controversial subject, but I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

49 Comments

Filed under Colorado, Culture, History, Parenting, Peace, Politcs, Poverty, Role of Government, Terrorism, violence

The Youth Vote: What Will Youth Voters Do in November?

There was an article in the Denver Post this week called “Young Voices, New Votes.”

This is a guest commentary written by a young person who has been working as a canvasser registering voters for the presidential campaign.
The article includes a criticism of the efforts by some politicians to restrict voter registrations.

My husband’s family was visiting for the past several weeks from Argentina. We had a conversation about these new restrictions on voter registration and my husband’s mother asked the perfect question, in my opinion.

She said, “For a country that holds democracy as its ideal, why would anyone want to restrict who can vote?” She was not taking sides in the ideological debate and her question was innocently inquiring.

This does seem like the correct question to me. Regardless of your political persuasion, shouldn’t every citizen have the right to vote?

This article also brings up an interesting issue about the youth vote in the upcoming election. The turnout among young voters in the last election was practically the determining factor in the outcome of the election. I have been wondering what the youth vote will do in November.

This article ties these two issues together well, pointing out the impact of voter restrictions on youth.

What do you think? Do you see a relationship between the voter restriction laws proliferating around the country and the youth vote? Do you think the youth vote will turn out in November or stay home? What do you think about laws that make it harder for people to vote? Do you have any ideas to encourage more turn-out in elections?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

53 Comments

Filed under Colorado, Culture, Policy, Politcs, Social Media, Stereotypes, Technology, Youth Leadership

The Hazards of Mountain Living: Colorado Forest Fires

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(First, a quick note for my family: The photos in this blog post make the fire look closer than it is. We are fine. I promise.)

Without question, the news of the times in our house right now is focused on forest fires. I have lived in Colorado for the better part of 10 years. I have followed news stories and inhaled smoke when winds changed from countless fires over the years. It is a part of living in the mountains.

But yesterday, while driving back from a business meeting, I saw the first plume of smoke that was much too close for comfort. This fire is different. This fire is 3 miles from our house, right behind the foothills that have provided us with the most spectacular view for years. People say fire does not usually travel down a mountain, which provides some comfort, since this fire is currently on the other side of the mountain.

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We do not live nestled into the mountains. There are streets and even a small neighborhood between our house and the fire. It is highly unlikely that anything will happen to our house. But we are in the pre-evacuation zone and the winds are picking up. And the plumes of smoke are ominous.

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While we honestly do not think that any harm will come to our home, these types of experiences certainly make you think. If I had to leave with only what would fit in my car, what would I take? How would I walk away from all the comforts that surround me knowing that it may all be gone when I return? Does any of the “stuff” even matter?

What do you think? Have you ever been in a wildfire, tornado, flood or hurricane? Did you evacuate? What lessons did you learn through this experience?  If you had to leave with only a few things, what would be on the top of your list? What advice do you have for me or for others who may face this type of experience in the future?

I hope you will share your thoughts. And thank you for reading.

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

 

Copyright JC Politi Photography

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Colorado, Environment, Forest Fires, Health, Photos