Bits of Joy …

One of the definitions of joy is ‘a feeling of pleasure and happiness.’ Of course, you do not experience joy all of the time. But it doesn’t take a spectacular event to bring joy.

Joy can come in bits and pieces …

What are your bits of joy? They are likely different from mine but everyone has them. Sometimes you just have to look a bit. Sometimes you have to find joy.

For example …


My friend, who is moving, game me this tin that was used for film (the reel type). For some, this wouldn’t be much of a prize. For me, however, it is a treasure.


This is a close-up photo of one of my lilies. There’s nothing better than a colorful bloom to bring a touch of happiness.



This is a mushroom (?) that I found in one of our flower pots. Tiny and perfect …



This is our newly installed birdbath. Can you see the light reflecting off the water? Magical …


Last week we were treated to an amazing sunset. The colors were spectacular, lasting throughout the 30-minute drive home.


Another photo of the sunset … showing the purple blending with the blaze orange.


This is perhaps my favorite bit of joy. There’s no better way to end the day …

Make sure you take some time and find your bits of joy. Don’t let them go unnoticed.

Thanks for reading!










A little bit of the apple falling not far from the tree …

Last week our youngest son messaged me from Fort Collins, Colorado. He was there with his oldest son, checking out Colorado State University. I believe his message was something like: “Do you know how cool this town is?” My response: “Take some photos and show me.” Our son is a videographer (producing on-line video of various racing events). However, I think  he may have acquired a few of my city planning traits  – a little bit of the apple falling not far from the tree (even if it is a crab apple tree). By the way, when I searched for the name of a small apple, the first choices were small versions of the apple iphone.)

First –  a little information about Fort Collins.

Having not been to Fort Collins, I did the natural thing – and went to the internet. Here’s what I found: Fort Collins, the county seat of Larimer County, with a population of 161,000 (4th largest in Colorado), is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains along the Colorado Front Range; is home to Colorado State University; has a Downtown ‘Old Town,’ a thriving business culture with many breweries, brew pubs and the annual Brewer’s Festival; has a performing arts center with symphony, opera, concert, dance venues and children’s theatre, and center for fine art photography; has a botanical garden; and has passenger air, bus, bus rapid transit, regional bus, and bicycling services – along with a heritage trolley. Given all of this, I am sure this city would be of interest to most planners. In addition, Fort Collins is known along with Marceline, Missouri, as one of the towns that inspired the design of Main Street, U.S.A. inside the main entrance of the many ‘Disneyland’ – style parks run by Walt Disney Company. (For more information, click HERE.)

Next – What did our son highlight in his short time in Fort Collins? Following are the photos he sent me:


A busy downtown scene


A street with pedestrian and bicycle facilities 

bike racks.jpg

Bicycle racks


A transit stop with bike racks. (Guess what? My son likes to bike.)



A streetscape – including train tracks. He also sent a train video. He knows I love trains.

And  — a different example of the apple not falling far from the tree:


We share a love of bacon. It’s worth going to Fort Collins just to find this!

All in all, I think his pictures capture things of interest to planners – so the apple may have fallen not far from the tree!!

Thanks for reading!!

All photo credits go to Barry Braun, 2016.












The button girl …

Meet granddaughter Alexandra … aka Monkey. Monkey spent some time helping me organize my ‘she-cave (craft room)’ over the holiday weekend.

One of the things I needed to  do is put away the numerous bags, boxes and containers of buttons. Have you purchased buttons lately? They have become quite expensive.

Sorting these buttons will not be a small task . There are many – so many that it is hard to find what you need because that button could be anywhere. So, we decided that Monkey would have a summer project – sorting the buttons.


Monkey found it easiest to dump the buttons on the carpet and then sort. She was very focused on sorting. Occasionally, she would stop to verify the color of a button or to show me one that was especially ‘cool.’


This is Monkey’s command central – her decorated water bottle, her plastic bag of goodies she was collecting as we cleaned, and her plastic cups that contain leftover paper shapes from my card-making. She is planning to use the paper shapes to make some cards of her own.


This is the button case. The buttons are sorted by color with the white buttons also sorted by size – larger and smaller. I hope this case is big enough for all of the buttons. Monkey sorted for a couple of hours – but there is much more to do. So she now has a summer job – sorting buttons. And that is why she is now ‘The Button Girl.’

Thanks for reading!