January Writers’ Challenge, Day 31: Describe what you would do in Washington, D.C. if you knew you wouldn’t be arrested.

Oh, so easy.

I would stage a coup and get Trump out of the White House.

He is a whore for a corporate dollar and really doesn’t care about anything else. This person is not qualified to lead an entire country, as he’s completely out of touch with the reality that most people face on a daily basis.

Yep, I would stage a coup and run that loser out of town.


January Writers’ Challenge, Day 30: What are the three most important qualities of a leader and why?

In order for me to answer this question, I first had to answer the following:

Is this leader currently President of the United States, or is this leader an actual leader?

Because I believe the two situations warrant two different lists.

First, let’s tackle the qualities our current President exudes in mass quantities:

  1. The ability to repeat one meaningless phrase over and over again until his zombie-like followers also chant it: “I am going to make America great again!”
  2. The ability to point fingers and place blame, without actually coming up with a plan to tackle the problems he names. Oh, and don’t forget that those quick fingers tweet a lot. Instead of perhaps flipping through scientific journals, intelligence reports, and letters from the American citizenry who are disgusted by his actions.
  3. An ability to play golf on the weekends, when he should, perhaps, be tackling legislation to deal with real problems, say, like our waning domestic clean water supply.

Now, lists of qualities of a good leader are numerous and change with the culture. But perhaps there are a few things that must remain constant to be a good leader. Unfortunately, each of the following is more that one quality.

  1. A good leader needs the ability to see the heart of an issue and problem solve a way to get to the desired outcome, without getting overburdened by the superfluous details.
  2. A good leader needs to be strong, confident and as prepared as possible, but at the same time, very humble knowing that he is in a place to care for a great number of people. Her needs are not always the most important.
  3. A good leader needs patience, calm, and a determination to see things through the rough spots until the greatest good for the greatest number is achieved.

Leading is balancing. Leading is seeing the future. Leading is being willing to do the hard work no one around you wants to do. Leading is complex and in order to be a good leader, you must

January Writers’ Challenge, Day 13: What is your favorite song right now and why?

I really have no idea what my favorite song is. I actually never listen to music on the radio any more. Not that I hate it, I just never do it. I listen to NPR news going to and coming home from work, while in the car.

I guess I like good instrumental music any time, though I really can’t come up with anything else.

January Writers’ Challenge, Day 9: You have an app that monitors your boss’ mood. What would it be called?

The Timekeepers’ Temper

With this amazing new app, you can tell not only how far behind human resources is in processing personnel actions, but you can also gauge the percentage of completed timesheets, benefits corrections completed this payroll cycle and exactly how many prior year death cases are going to be contested in the next week.

All of these factors, calculated together in one magical formula, predict on a minute-by-minute basis just how happy, sad, tired or irate your otherwise friendly Payroll supervisor will be.

(Incidentally, it can also predict wine sales.)

January Writers’ Challenge, Day 8: Write an angry note to be left on your office fridge after you can’t find your lunch.

My dearest officemates who clean out the fridge without telling anyone,

We know who you are; only two of you in the whole office do this.

My leftovers from last night’s Italian feast were NOT, in fact, old or spoiled. You’re just jealous that you didn’t bring in such delicacies. I know you pretended to throw them out. But since I couldn’t actually find my containers in the trash, I’m going to assume you knew what you were doing and ate my food.

Since I don’t want the frozen microwave meal you brought in, I’m just going to eat my orange (which, thankfully, was on my desk and NOT in the fridge) and pretend I’m on a diet until I get home and can find some more real food.


January Writers’ Challenge, Day 7: Describe your favorite article of clothing and one thing you did while wearing it.

While I’m tempted to prattle on about my teal handknit cowl, my latest sweater, or wool socks, I have to say that the piece of clothing I want to write about is actually a hat. A rather iconic, woven straw hat, worn by many people lucky enough to call themselves park rangers in the National Park Service.

One thing I did while wearing it? This happened many, many times. I was able to share the beauty of our public lands with people from all over the world. Wildflowers, iconic mountain landscapes, rushing waterfalls and stories behind the names of places near to all of our hearts.



January Writers’ Challenge, Day 6: An undercover spy is about to impersonate you in all aspects of your life. Write instructions.

Dear Ms. Spy,

You are undoubtedly embarking on the most interesting assignment of your career today. There is really only a few things you really need to consider when impersonating me.

I live in my handknit wool socks and scarves. I’m not terribly worried about being fashion conscious, I don’t even own makeup, and my hair (at least in the winter) looks like it just came out from under a stocking cap. Because it just did. But at the office, which is generally colder than the outside ambient temperature of Denver, complaining about how cold the office is on any given day is the team sport of choice. So feel free to voice your opinion. The woman in the next office leaves her heating pad on and keeps in on her chair all day. If you heat up oatmeal or soup – at any time during the work day, you will fit in just fine. However, note that I generally forget to take real breaks and continue to work even when I’m slurping said soup at my desk (much to the chagrin of my supervisors). So as you can see, cold is one theme – but my feet are usually quite cozy in a brightly-colored pair of my handknit socks, no matter the shoes I choose to wear. And no, the sock color doesn’t have to go well with the shoes. Again, warmth is my concern, not the fashion statement.

Next, you must understand how important coffee is to me and my friend Mike at the office. He’s one of my early-morning counterparts and generally beats me to the office every day. He *might* be more addicted to his morning cup of office coffee than me, and he’s nice enough to make the first pot every day. So do thank him, as I always do, and spend two minutes chatting with him before getting down to my email and daily tasks. Polite, yes, but mostly, I want to stay on his good side so I can continue to benefit from his early arrival and have coffee waiting for me when I arrive.

You will quickly learn that I have an interesting job, if you pay a bit of attention. I actually am privileged to know things about the inside workings of many government agencies and their employees. As a spy, you understandably know how to keep a secret. So do I. You will hear and see things that must be kept quiet. But don’t be shocked by the fact that Congress refuses to pay a real salary to our wildland firefighters, and that certain justices get reimbursed $2.40 a day for car service to take them to work. If you actually pay attention to how all of these little details fit into the bigger picture of what’s going on in our country, you will be shocked and amazed.

And you probably will want to give me my job back.

So, after 9 hours of this data and analysis, go home, eat some scrambled eggs with salsa (I never eat eggs plain), and crawl into bed with a good mystery novel. You’ll be exhausted and unable to concentrate on anything else. If my mom texts you, write back before you fall asleep. You don’t want her to think I’ve died.