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2020 Featuring Blake’s Taphouse Erie’s Finest Insurance Professionals Tapping Into The Owner’s The GUILT CRAFT BEERwhen Losing a Pet Emporium Should YouAnd Sell BUYING Your HomeYour To An SELLING Home INVESTOR? IN THE WINTER

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Pets As The AMERICAN GIFTS Character

SMART FINANCIAL MOVES FORGUIDE EVERY GIFT STAGE OF LIFE

ERIE’S

elifemagazine.org


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DEPENDABLE and KNOWLEDGEABLE agent seeks customers looking for real PROTECTION and long term RELATIONSHIP. SINGLE, ARTSY LADY SEEKS SINGLE ARTSY GUY. If you love painting, decorating, baking and knitting, we are a match. Please be over 30 and willing to take art

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REDEFINING YOUR

Real Estate

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Our Focus? Local!

The Fowler Group has played a significant role in local real estate for over 5 decades. From development to real estate sales, no group offers you this level of generational experience and know-how. As a locally based real estate group, we know your area better than the competition and will focus on serving you. We also have a keen understanding of area home values. Listing your home too low is just as bad as listing too high. Finally, and most important, we will be accessible, friendly, and always professional.

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Being a realtor for over 16 years has been an amazing blessing to me and my family. Getting to help others find their dream home, sell their home or find the right investment is a privilege which allows me to do one of my favorite things - give back to the community and be of service to others. These are some of the charities I am fortunate to be a part of!

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ELIFE Magazine covers Erie Colorado and the surrounding area ‌ Broomfield, Westminster, Northglenn, Thornton, Brighton, Dacono, Frederick, Firestone, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, Boulder

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Client Focused. Results Driven.

Sally Grenier Broker Owner

“Highly knowledgeable about the Erie market and priced our home perfectly. We went under contract within days, despite several competing properties in the neighborhood. We highly recommend Sally for buying or selling!” — Heidi & John S. (Grandview) “Sally was great to work with, and provided much needed advice on the area, neighborhoods, and builders and ultimately got us into our dream house!” — Eric & Julie G. (Colliers Hill) “Sally is super knowledgeable about Erie’s neighborhoods and developed the perfect marketing plan and pricing strategy for our home. She’s very responsive to all questions and went the extra mile to get our home sold quickly.” – Judy & Kevin S. (Kenosha Farm)

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CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

TRISHA VENTKER

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER

TRISHA VENTKER

CHIEF COPY EDITOR

JOHN SMALL

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

JONATHAN JACKSON

WRITERS:

Sally Grenier

Danielle Patnode

Trisha Ventker

Tom Grasso EDITORIAL OFFICE | 212.695.2959 TRISHA VENTKER

Trisha Ventker is an author, photographic artist, branding and social media infuencer and publisher of ELIFE, NoCo, Denver Colorado Luxury magazines. Reader impressions have surpassed 7 million for the magazines, with the Denver publication being nationwide. She is best known for her first book Internet Dates From Hell which had the movie rights to it optioned by Paula Wagner. Trisha is also one of the first Indie Book authors to have a book optioned for the big screen.

ELIFE magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in Erie and its surrounding towns.

Ventker is originally from New York City, presently residing in Colorado for the last 12+ years, with her husband and son.

ELIFE is published by Ventker Media Group. All editorial material, including editorial, comments, opinion and statements of fact appearing in this publication, represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of Ventker Media Group.


FEATURE

WHAT’S INSIDE

Erie’s Finest Insurance Professionals

HOME

Should You Sell Your Home to an Investor?

HEALTH 2020 with 2020 EYEVENUE

FINANCE Smart Financial Moves for Every Stage of Life

PETS The Guilt When Losing a Pet

SELF DISCOVERY American Character (submission)

GIFT GUIDE Valentine’s Gift Guide


F E A T


T U R E


Erie's Finest Insurance Professionals


I

am married to my best friend, Robert, and we’ll be celebrating 33 years this year. We have one son, Brian, who is currently serving in the NAVY.

Although I’m an empty nester, my well-loved Labrador, Belle, keeps me on my toes. My business and volunteer activities keep me busy, but I do love to travel. My goal is to see all 58 US National Parks in my lifetime.

I

got my first taste of the industry by working for the local State Farm Agent in my hometown community. I had the opportunity to see how

powerful insurance is to help families recover from unexpected circumstances. The ability to make a difference both for individuals and the community itself, was the driver for the decision to continue in this career path. My passion is to offer solutions when I recognize gaps and life changing risks in my customer’s lives.

M

y agency is a multiple line agency, meaning that we offer a variety of products to provide protection for both personal and

Jeannie Hulse

business risks. I represent the #1 carrier for both home and auto insurance and we are also the #1 carrier for individual life insurance. I’ve owned and operated my State Farm Insurance agency in Erie

303.828.4002 jeanniehulse.com

since 2002 and am celebrating my 43rd year in serving our State Farm customers.

T

he best advice I can give is to work with someone you trust and respect, as well as, someone you the confidence in that they will

work with you to guarantee you will be taken care of during your darkest days. My role as a risk advisor is to create a safety net around all that is important to my customer, put their minds at peace and allow them to live the life they deserve.

E

rie is an amazing community with some truly amazing people. The ability to live in a community that cares about each other, encourages business growth

and continues to have the hometown feel is a true blessing. Living and working in Erie allows me to participate on a personal level, but also, I have the opportunity to give back to the community which has been so gracious to support me these past years.


I T A

am originally from Wisconsin but moved to Colorado in 1998 to attend CU. My family and I have lived in Erie for twelve years and I’ve had

my business here for nine. he main reason I got into insurance was that I enjoyed helping people, problem solving, and providing sound advice. t Pure Risk, we specialize in both business insurance and personal insurance. Most of my focus is on business/commercial cov-

erage and we work with businesses from contractors to breweries to the hospitality industry.

F

irst off, I would recommend working with someone that is knowledgeable and responsive. Secondly, and depending on their

needs, I would recommend using an insurance specialist with access to several carrier options.

I

have a 1.2 mile commute and get to work in an Historic Downtown. Erie is such a family-friendly community with so much to offer

and an even brighter future. We are proud to have our insurance agency based here and also continue to invest here with other business ventures.

John Jacquat 303.937.4489 pureriskadvisors.com


M

y name is Dean Mowery and I am originally from a small Canadian town tucked away in the Kootenay Mountains in Brit-

ish Columbia. I have a beautiful wife, two beautiful daughters and a small zoo of rescues.

I

went into the Insurance Industry because I really saw the need for the availability to shop for affordable coverage. Not from just one com-

pany, but multiple. In doing so, I save others the painstaking time of checking rates with multiple carriers.

W W

hile I am licensed to do various kinds of coverage, I specialize in Home and Auto. hen searching for an agent or broker, my advice is to find someone that is willing to check rates for you based

on all your information. For instance, if you have a clean driving record, your rates will be cheaper

Dean Mowery 303.456.6969

than those with multiple traffic violations. A personal connection is alway a plus. With over 20 years of experience I am now providing insurance for the children of long time clients. It’s really neat to see the children of clients now having their own families.

W

e enjoy many things about living in Erie. The view is awesome. My wife and I enjoy golf and like the close proximity

of Colorado National Golf Course. I like the smaller town feeling, yet enjoy the close proximity to Denver and Boulder.


I

nsurance is often an overlooked necessity that many people simply write a check for each month not really knowing what they have. It

is a commitment in my agency to help all of my clients make informed choices and provide the knowledge they need to make those choices while I shop 35+ insurance companies to find the best fit for each client.

I

specialize in being the one and only insurance broker you need! I handle both personal insurance (auto/home/life) as well as business lia-

bility insurance. In addition, I also have become a specialist in those hard to place risks that fall outside of the preferred insurance carriers. I protect my clients assets by limiting their exposure to risk. My team and I have you covered, no matter your needs or situation.

F

irst and foremost, find an agent/broker that you can relate to and trust. Insurance is a relationship business. Find an agent/broker

Todd Pancratz (303) 645-4215 insurecolorado.org

I

grew up in SW Colorado Springs graduatedfrom Colorado State University with a degree in Business/Resort Management. Laura and I have a total of 5 kids ranging

in age from 12-20, two Irish Setters and we live in Colliers Hill. I volunteer with Colorado 4x4 Rescue and Recovery and EPIC 4x4 Quest non-profits.

A

fter a few years in the Resort management industry and years out of college, I needed to fulfill a missing piece in my career. I wanted to do something

more for those people I interacted with. I wanted to provide personal value in some way. The ability to help educate my clients about insurance, help guide them with their insurance related decisions and to know I am making a positive difference in protecting both the tangible and intangible assets of families is the greatest fulfillment.

that is seasoned, knowledgeable and able to offer several options and solutions to your specific insurance needs. The ability of a broker to shop multiple companies to find the best option for your situation is key. Do not settle for one company that an agent is required to sell.

E

rie has rekindled the small town community feel for me and that is priceless. The trails, Old Town, Open Space, and the views

are simply amazing. Bundle those things with the newer infrastructure that is being built in Erie, it is the perfect town. There is an energy in Erie that I had been missing since growing up in SW Colorado Springs. Erie combines so many great features of a small town while also having the ability to get to Boulder or Denver is just a short amount of time if you are needing a City experience.


I

was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin. I came to Colorado ten years ago to visit my aunt and never left! My husband and I moved to

Erie almost four years ago and we’re so glad we did. We have two girls, Cilla and Gia who keep us busy. When we’re not working, we enjoy family time in South Dakota and camping.

B

efore I started Wiswell Insurance, I was previously working in the financial services industry and was introduced to the world of

insurance. I was given an opportunity by one of my mentors to work with her and she taught me the ins and outs of insurance. I then launched Wiswell Insurance in 2015. I like working in the life and health insurance field as I enjoy connecting with people. I’m grateful to find a profession that I truly enjoy and has allowed me the flexibility to spend time with my family.

I

specialize in Medicare and health and life insurance for individuals and families. I help my clients with everything from choosing a health

insurance plan that fits their needs to helping them secure a peace of mind with life insurance. As a broker, I am essentially the client’s “to go” for navigating the entire process and communicating with

Julia Wiswell (303) 719-8720 wiswellinsurance.com

the client and the insurance company directly,

I

always encourage people to utilize a broker as the Medicare process and choosing a health plan for yourself and your family can be daunt-

W

e love the community in Erie. We used to live in Denver and made the move up here as we really enjoy the small town feel. We love having all Den-

ing and complicated. I find that my clients really

ver has to offer so close yet enjoy the peace and quiet of Erie

appreciate when I take the time to explain the de-

as our home. The neighborhood has been so welcoming and

tails of the plan and how services are covered. It’s

it’s been a lovely place to raise our girls! Plus, you can’t beat

helpful to have an insurance broker to look up doc-

the view of the mountains!

tors and prescriptions to make sure you feel secure in your decision and that the insurance plan fits your needs.


H O


M E


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Not just finding a house, but finding‌ a Lifestyle Real estate is one of the most exciting investments one can make, and it should be a fun and rewarding experience. At Brandy Unruh-Home Expert you will find all you need to buy or sell a home, as well as learn about the market value of homes in your area. Brandy does much more than help clients buy or sell homes, she prides herself in being a valued resource for all things home.

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CUSTOM OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES TAILORED TO YOUR LIFESTYLE 5% DISCOUNT on hardscape construction when you mention this ad

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From conception to completion our team of professionals is committed to creating enduring, high quality outdoor living spaces using only the finest quality materials.

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Real estate is about you and your journey to get to where you want to be. But it can be complex and involve a lot of moving parts, so let me be your guide on the journey and let's work together to get you where you want to go!

Because selling a home is more than just listing it online and Buying a home is more than just finding the right one Bernadette Melton, Realtor

(303) 898-4864 Bernadette@COListings.com • www.COListings.com


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THE NEW IMPROVED WAY OF INSURANCE 22 years providing Colorado and the Front Range the best insurance solutions As an independent insurance agency, we offer MORE choices for your insurance needs. We are not limited to one compnay, instead we search multiple insurance companies for your situation and provide solutions and options.

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Contact us today to discuss your policy needs.

home > auto > life > business

www.insurecolorado.org 1499 W. 120th Ave. Suite 110, Westminster 80234


BLU E SKI ES A HEA D

Raquel Hinman, CFP®, is an Erie resident with more than 20 years experience offering financial planning, wealth coaching, and investment management. Hinman Financial Planning, Inc., is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor serving busy individuals and families in Erie, Broomfield, and surrounding communities. Hinman Financial Planning, Inc. is a fee-only fiduciary offering: • Retirement planning • Strategies for saving and paying for college • Cash flow and budgeting advice • Help analyzing financial impact of changing careers • Analysis for changing homes or buying a second home • Planning for elderly parents HFP does not sell products or earn commissions. We provide financial planning and investment solutions that are tailored to your needs, keeping you at the center of the relationship.

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SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR HOUSE TO AN IBUYER? by Sally Grenier You’ve probably been hearing a lot about so-called “iBuyers” and are wondering what’s involved. An iBuyer is a company that will buy your home for cash, so you can then go and purchase your next home without a contingency. These companies claim to “accelerate the buying and selling of homes, making the process easier and immediately profitable for sellers who want to get their hands on the cash sooner than later.”

What is “Fair Market Value”? Basically, it’s what a ready, willing and able buyer is going to pay for your home on the open market, and is often based on what similar properties have been selling for in recent months. Third, the iBuyer isn’t looking out for your best interests. They are just looking to make some quick cash. Here is a real world example of how the numbers add up:

Sound too good to be true? It IS! If you’re in a hurry to sell, and don’t care how much money you get for your house, or how much it costs you, then go for it! But if you want to get the most out of your home’s equity, then you’re MUCH better off by selling with a REALTOR. Selling to an iBuyer is all about convenience. But what is the actual COST for that convenience? First, the iBuyer is going to charge you 6%-7%. Yes, this is similar (or MORE) than what a REALTOR will charge you to list & market your home, but that commission gets split between listing agent & buyer’s agent. An iBuyer pockets 100% of that fee. Second — and this is a key point — the iBuyer is NOT going to pay you fair market value for your home. They are going to give you a lowball offer, possibly as much as 10% below fair market value. Here is a real world example of an offer from Perch.com. They made an offer of $458K (which, coincidentally, was the AVERAGE selling price in the neighborhood). This did not take into account things like bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, location, schools, or UPDATES! If I were to list that home today I’d list it for $495K.

If you’re thinking of selling, you’ll want to look at ALL factors involved. If getting top dollar for your home is your number one priority, then selling to an iBuyer is NOT the way to go. But if you’re looking for a quick sale without the “hassle” of listing your home traditionally, then selling to an iBuyer might be a good option for you. If you’re curious to know what the Fair Market Value is of your home, I’d be happy to perform a FREE market analysis so you can see the numbers yourself!


HOME

Should You Sell Your House to an iBuyer?

Sally Grenier is a longtime Colorado resident and has lived in Erie for 15 years. For more information about Sally, please visit: sallygrenier.com


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WHY In the spring of 2008, a group of health-care and business professionals who shared profound personal experiences with the life-enhancing benefits of essential oils came together with a common vision of bringing a new standard of essential oils to the world. They asked themselves some defining questions: “What if we could provide the world with a new and powerful wellness alternative?” “What if we could provide this new level of wellness through a mainstream approach to essential oils?” “What if we could source, test, and manufacture a higher quality of essential oil —more pure and more potent than any other oil available on the market today?” “What if we, in the most professional manner, could partner with major hospitals, doctors, scientists, and opinion leaders to provide the most compelling authentication of essential oils on the planet?” They organized a company and named it dōTERRA, a Latin derivative meaning “Gift of the Earth.” The first dōTERRA offering of 25 single oils and 10 oil blends was introduced for sale on April 25, 2008, to the acclaim of essential oil experts and product enthusiasts who immediately recognized the superior quality of dōTERRA therapeutic-grade essential oils. dōTERRA has continued to add wellness products and to expand their essential oils offering as the company has enjoyed tremendous growth since its beginning.

Janelle Harris 720.456.1012 JanellesJazOils@gmail.com www.mydoterra.com/JanellesJazOils

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A WORD FROM THE OWNER If given the opportunity to earn your business I will promise you the best customer experience. We want to show you why we are the best, not the biggest, but the best. We care about all of our customers and want to earn a customer for life by educating you on products, service, and replacement equipment. We want what is best for you, our customer. Thank you for your time and we look forward to helping you with all of your garage door questions or concerns, big or small.

Trapper Searles

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Your transition should be stress-free and run smoothly. Jeff Crase is a 5-STAR realtor by 5280 from 2010-2017. Â Jeff Crase has been featured on many episodes of HGTV.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Did you know that 2019 is the last year of a 30% tax incentive on solar needs? Call us today at 303-469-9287 so we can get you on the schedule! We pride ourselves on being an advocate for the homeowner. If your roof is damaged, we'll come out, provide a free inspection and offer our honest recommendation.  When replacements are necessary, we will meet with your insurance adjuster to view any damage and make sure that nothing is overlooked, ensuring that we will represent the interests of the homeowner.

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...YOU’RE “IT”

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2020 INTERVIEW WITH MARCELLA NEVERMANN AT 2020 EYEVENUE IN

At 20/20 EyeVenue (at the Orchard Towne Center), they put your vision and well-being first. With over 30 years of combined experience in the optical and optometry fields, they’ll ensure your sight is well taken care of for the long haul. They’re honest with their clients and go out of our way to pair them with their ideal frames. By offering such a wide range of eye-related services including exams and screenings, full-service optical, and contact lenses, they’ll have you seeing better than ever within your first visit. ELIFE interviewed owner, Marcella Nevermann in this issue. Read a bit about Marcella and her inspiration behind 2020 EyeVenue.

ELIFE: Tell us a bit about yourself and your family: Marcella: I have lived in Colorado for almost 23 years. I moved here a few years after college because I loved the mountains, the same reason many people migrate to our great state. I had only been in Colorado once before for field school in Geology and fell in love. I married a Colorado native about 10 years ago and we have two children. Francesca is 10 years old and Orion is 5. We moved from the Denver suburbs to rural life almost two years ago to have more room for my husband to fuel his passion of building beautiful things. Since our move out to the country we have added to our family, already having fish and three cats, with addition of two black labarador girls - Zoey and Aspen, about 50 chickens, a few turkeys, 2 African geese, 11 ducks of various species, and a toad. This keeps us very busy in the time that we have outside of running a small business that is open 7 days a week.


HEALTH & BEAUTY

ELIFE: How did you get started in the eyewear world? Marcella: I started wearing glasses at the early age of 2 because my parents figured something was amiss when I could memorize long books and verses but couldn’t keep myself from running into a wall. I always hated that the people helping select glasses weren’t honest about fit and style when I was unable to see myself in the glasses…yes before the wonderful use of camera phones, selfies and social media. Also, the first friend I made when I moved to Colorado just happened to be an optometrist so we bonded over eyes and I would help her with her practice on my down time at my full time job. I fell in love with the science of optics and the melding of use of my right and left brain in the industry. It can be so science based when it comes to lenses and the anatomy of the eye but also very creative and styled with eyewear selection. I have been fascinated with learning new aspects of my craft ever since and seek out the newest technology and latest worldwide trends in styles. ELIFE: What’s the most important thing that people need to know about their eyes? Marcella: I think the vast majority of our population take our eyes for granted. In surveys about senses people rate their vision the most precious but do very little to ensure that their eyes are healthy and working at their optimal level. Also, even if you think you see clearly, eye exams are not just about your visual perception they are the windows to your overall systemic health. Often times, eye doctors, through routine eye exams are the first to notice conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, various cancers and other disorders. It is a great way to possibly catch these diseases and disorders early so that you have a head start on addressing them.

Marcella Nevermann


INTERVIEW WITH MARCELLA NEVERMANN AT 2020 EYEVENUE IN ELIFE: Tell us about 2020 Eye Venue: Marcella: 20/20 EyeVenue was born out of a passion for eyewear and EYES but also because we wanted to offer something different. We aren’t your run of the mill optical and practice, our location described by those who visit us as: open, inviting, contemporary and comfortable, features a HUGE children’s area with ample toys, books, a television and more so you can bring your children with you and not have to worry. We also are known for our unique, vast and carefully curated selection of eyewear that is unsurpassed in the Denver Metro market but most importantly our white glove approach to customer/patient care. We do accept most vision plans and medical benefits. ELIFE: What makes 2020 Eye Venue different? Marcella: 20/20 EyeVenue is different in so many ways than the big box stores, chains or most private’s opticals The look, feel, service and selection. Open 7 days a week we offer Sunday eye exam appointments. We can see you for your routine eye exam or urgent eye health issues. We also offer mobile vision care for the persons that are unable to come to a facility for their eye care. We carry an inventory of lenses for a large array of single vision prescriptions and are able to offer 30 minute to an hour service for urgent glasses needs! ELIFE: Tell us about the different organizations you support: Marcella: I have a passion for helping, as does my team. We are involved in Project Homeless Connect where we fit nearly 200 homeless people in glasses in one day each year. The pride and instant change in a person when they feel special, beautiful and can see clearly for the first time in a long time is truly life altering and astounding to be a part of. We also help at Impact Humanity regularly through their various efforts with homeless outreach. We work with veterans suffering with PTSD through Patriot Anglers. We sponsor various youth fishing organizations across the state by helping them protect their eyes while out in the sun and with supplies to master their passion. We sponsor various fundraisers for the American Cancer Society throughout the year and participate in a local Quarter Auction for their benefit. We collect donations and match them for Almost Home in Brighton. We donate raffles to various schools for fundraisers, auctions, etc. We donate to Wreaths Across America, Von’s Vision and many other organizations. We do community outreach to children group homes, nursing homes, youth detention facilities and developmentally disabled homes. I am also a huge advocate of mentoring other small businesses women entrepreneurs.


HEALTH & BEAUTY

ELIFE: What are your plans and goals for the next year. Marcella: We are looking at streamlining our new software for patient communication to even further enhance our white glove approach to customer care. We are also revamping our website for a more interactive approach to looking at our current inventory even when you are not able to visit us in the store. We hope to bring in another new “up and coming� product line each year and we have our eyes on a few new fabulous ones. We will probably be remodeling some of the furnishings and fixtures to give a new fresh vibe to the showroom.


P E


T S


The Guilt We Endure When Losing a Pet by Trisha Ventker I just had the unfortunate experience this past Christmas Eve of losing Max, my best friend and “spirit animal”. Max was a 4 pound, 15 year-old Yorkshire Terrier born in New York City, brought here to Colorado when we moved from Manhattan over 13 years ago. Although super tiny, Max had a personality the size of a lion. He was the boss of the house, and his strut exemplified it. What Max wanted, he would get.

I fed him baby food and fluids through a dropper. I prayed. I contacted a reiki master and a pet communicator, but the little 4 pound guy was dying. Along came more guilt.

He was a friend like no other. Always by my side or on my lap was this little man! The unconditional love of a pet has no boundaries. He was there to take care of our son, Tristan when he was born more than 13 years ago, there through happy times and sad times, alike.

The last day Max couldn’t urinate nor stand on his hind legs. That was the tell-tale sign that I needed to bring him in and finally let go; unfortunately there is no optimal time to do this. Again, the day for us was Christmas Eve. The Holiday, that is normally my favorite quickly became my nightmare. The tree that we put up meant nothing to me; the Holiday parties that we were invited to were declined. Mariah Carey’s song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and George Michael’s “Last Christmas” continued to eerily replay in my mind, saddening me more so. We called our vet and unfortunately, they were packing up to leave, so we had to go to an urgent care for the euthanasia.

Only a few weeks earlier did he show any symptoms of being ill. He became very picky with food, and at times, he didn’t even enjoy a random piece of bacon or any other human food. He started to vomit quite often, and as a result, I ended up bringing him to our vet’s office for an exam and blood work. The results of the blood test were frightening! His kidney levels were off the charts, which our vet mentioned was an indication of acute kidney disease. A few months earlier, Max’s breath seemed off, smelling almost metallic-like. At the time, I didn’t make a big deal about it, for dogs usually have bad breath indicating they possibly need dental work. After doing extensive research on canine kidney disease, I found that a metallic odor coming from dogs’ mouths was indeed one of the early warning signs of kidney disease. The guilt I had and continue to have for not paying attention to this red flag is all but debilitating. I still wonder if I had taken him in for tests earlier in October I might have been able to save him. After he spent several days at a 24-hour urgent care hospital with the hope of flushing his kidneys, Max’s levels continued to gravely increase showing signs of decline. My family and I decided to bring him home where he could be more comfortable and I could take care of him around the clock with IV fluids and medications. I stayed with him all day, every day talking to him to let him now how much we love him.

Should I put him down, although he is showing no real signs of pain or even discomfort? Should I continue to selfishly keep him alive?

As we were in the grieving room at the urgent care, I stared at the plaques with inscribed sentiments along with some other photos of dogs long gone. For a minute I thought this was a dream, and I would wake up to a healthy demanding little pup, but unfortunately reality hit when the veterinarian came in and offered his condolences and discussed the procedure. A wave of tremendous guilt enveloped me again. How could I allow someone to give Max a lethal injection? How could I sit there and watch this unfold? What hell is this? I should’ve done more! I should’ve taken him into the vet the minute I noticed the change in breath. I should’ve brought him out of state for kidney dialysis. I could’ve brought him in somewhere for surgery to remove the kidney or do exploratory surgery! How could I have let this little sweet creature down? These were the thoughts racing through my mind, until I realized my husband and son were in the room with me. I told my husband to bring Tristan outdoors and I would be there with the doctor and Max.


PETS

Max passed quite peacefully, but holding his lifeless body, I lost control of my emotions and tears streamed down my face. He looked like a little stuffed animal with his eyes open. I gently handed him to the vet and walked out feeling empty. Max was my first dog, and the emotions were nothing I had ever felt before. I then became very concerned for my son. We drove home almost in “autopilot mode” and cried, as we were hugging each other tightly. That was only a few weeks ago. Occasionally, when I just wake up, I expect to see the little guy crawl on my chest. Now as I wake up, I’m reminded that he is no longer with us in the physical form. We can only remember the good times and the lessons he taught us. Goodbye for now, Max! We’ll meet again on the other side - I’m certain of it! Patience Unconditional Love Companionship Our family had the discussion on how long is appropriate to adopt another pet. There’s no right answer to this question, Tristan expressed his interest in finding a pet very soon. My husband was unexpectedly on board with the plan. I, on the other hand thought maybe waiting a few months was more prudent, so we could process the grief better. I quickly changed my mind once I started searching the web for Yorkie rescues and breeders.I suggested getting another hypoallergenic breed such as a toy poodle mix, but our son wanted another “Max”. Of course, guilt inundated me again with thoughts that I was trying to replace Max. But what I quickly realized was that I wasn’t trying to replace him - I was just seeking a way to fill some of the emptiness in our hearts. I am happy to announce we have adopted a little male Yorkie puppy, and we are looking forward to sharing our love with him while we cherish the memories of our beautiful Max.


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ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO GROW IN 2020 The EEDC can help you!

JOIN TODAY! | WWW.ERIEEDC.COM The Erie Economic Development Council is focused on strengthening the economic vitality of businesses in and around the Town of Erie. We are titling the year 2020 as the "Year of Growth!" Join us to have continuous information on business expansion information such as site selection, workforce information, networking opportunities and access to Erie business news. Email info@erieedc.com for more information.


F I N A


A N C E


SMART FINANCIAL MOVES FOR EVERY STAGE OF LIFE by Danille Patnode via Edward Jones Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, you must make financial and investment decisions that will be with you for the remainder of your years. But the moves you make when you’re just starting out in your career may be quite different from when you’re retired. So, let’s look at some of these moves, stretched out across your lifetime.

Also, if you haven’t done so, now is the time to draw up your estate plans, so you can leave the type of legacy you desire – one that provides for the next generation (or two) and the charitable organizations you support. You’ll need to work with a legal professional to create estate planning documents and arrangements appropriate for your needs.

• In your 20s and 30s: During this period, you should strive to place yourself on a sound financial footing by taking steps such as reducing, and hopefully eliminating, your student loans and embarking on saving for retirement through investments such as a 401(k) and IRA. You also might buy a home, which offers some financial benefits, but be careful not to become “house poor” by devoting too much of your monthly income to mortgage payments. If you have young children, you might also want to start saving for college, possibly through a 529 plan, which offers tax benefits, high contribution limits and the ability to switch beneficiaries, as needed. And if you do have a family, you’ll certainly need to maintain adequate life insurance.

You will spend a lifetime making financial and investment decisions – so put in the time and effort, and get the help you need, to make the best decisions you can.

Also, since you’re at the early stages of your working life, you should chart a long-term financial and investment strategy with the help of a financial professional. • In your 40s and 50s: These are the years in which your career advances, leading to bigger salaries. The more you earn, the more you should be putting away in your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, along with your IRA. During the middle-to-end of this particular period, you might finish helping pay for your child’s higher education – which should free up even more money to put away for retirement. You also may want to consider long-term care insurance, which can help protect you against the devastating costs of an extended stay in a nursing home. • In your 60s, 70s … and beyond: Once you’re in this age range, chances are pretty good that you’ll either retire soon or are already retired. However, you certainly haven’t “retired” the need to make financial and investment decisions, because you’ll have plenty, including these: When should I take Social Security? Will my investment portfolio provide me with enough income to help keep me ahead of inflation? How much can I afford to withdraw each year from my retirement accounts without outliving my my resources? Again, a financial professional can help you deal with these and other issues.


FINANCE

Smart Financial Moves for Every Stage of Life

As an Edward Jones financial advisor, I value personal relationships based on a deep understanding of your unique financial needs so that I may develop the most appropriate financial strategy to help you achieve your goals. My clients have complex needs, and I work with them, their estate attorney and their CPA to address each facet of their financial picture from saving or retirement to transferring wealth. I provide a comprehensive and focused strategy for each of our clients. I graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder and have been in the area for 25 years. I have watched the local communities grow and have been an active part of many non profit organizations that support local businesses, community members and the environment. My husband and our 2 young boys love spending time together outdoors enjoying everything Colorado has to offer in the way of outdoor activities. edwardjones.com


G I F T

G


G U I D E


VALENTINE'S DAY

gift guide Unique gift ideas for everyone who wants to shop locally in Erie


GIFT GUIDE

Vibrant Luxe Travel Kit The Vibrant Pink Luxe TravelPak is a durable, light weight, airtight, and water-resistant hard-sided travel case. It comes with three 2 oz refillable bottles with 2 pump tops and 1 spray top. $20 (on sale!) luxepakit.com

ONEHOPE ONEHOPE Pride Gift Box-$89.99 ONEHOPE California Brut Sparkling Rainbow Glitter Edition Love is Love rainbow heart card Rainbow disco ball bottle necker Box of confetti call Erica 303.913.9025

Handcrafted French Pastries for every occasion Bellamacaron.com heather@bellamacaron 303.915.1952


Gift Certificates can be purchased for a specific dollar amount, i.e. $25, $50, $75, etc.or 75 minute session for $95, 90 minute session for $110 Janette Elder LMT 720.272.5469 joyfulspirit.info

salon Chateau de Beaute Gift Certificate any denomination www.chateaudebeautesalon.com

Glasses starting at $20 and up available in prescription or non-prescription. 20/20 EyeVenue www.2020eyevenue.com 720-405-2020

ONEHOPE Sparkling Rose-$25.00 Vintner Collection California Sparkling RosĂŠ Delicious rosĂŠ with fresh berry aromas and a refreshing palate of florals call Erica 303-913-9025


Neroli- a natural aphrodisiac $62.75 janellesjazoils

Rescue Dog priceless Lightshine Canine Rescue https://www.facebook.com/lightshinecanines

Love You More & Most cups $16 each Charmed 33 Boutique 545 Briggs Street, Erie

Faux leather teardrop earrings $10 or 2 for $18. Handmade, vegan friendly. Pelle Lane facebook @Pelle Lane 720.401.5499


S E D I S C O


L F O V E R Y


SELF DISCOVERY

The American Character by Tom Grasso

We are at the end of one decade and the beginning of another. The last saw an American experiment tearing itself apart. We are still embroiled in a nearly 20-year war with no real end in sight and no real understanding of the mission with little evidence that we care. We have impeached a President who is, arguably, a man completely devoid of character and honor. I could list the basis of that opinion, but I’ve been given a word limit for this essay. This decade, which coincides with my 50th here on earth, has given the philosopher in me a cause for concern. I grew up with a notion of what was the “American character”; one that stormed the beaches of Normandy and Okinawa, one who survived Valley Forge, one who waged a Civil War to free an entire race of people, one who stood up for human beings when they demanded equality. I grew up with images of students facing down our military on collegiate battlefields to end an unjust war. I grew up remembering when a President resigned after the honor of his office was sacrificed upon the altar of personal paranoia. I grew up feeling as if “we the People” could accomplish anything once our honor was challenged and our way of life threatened. This decade I no longer feel that same determination of character. Instead, I’m wracked in the knowledge that a President can be elected despite the overwhelming will of the People. I’m pained in watching a man of great dishonor lead others in a nationalistic fervor that not only threatens our way of life, but our standing in the world. It seems like we live in a society more concerned with partisan ideology than honor and more about Party than integrity. James Carville once said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” I wonder if our American character has become one built solely on Wall Street whims, and if Goldman Sachs is the new rock on which our church is built. I’m not a Democrat, nor am I Republican. I’m just a man who cares about people, who strives to follow a sense of character born within, and I fear my society and my country no longer understands me as much as I no longer understand it. “…a good moral character is the first essential in a man…It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” – George Washington

Tom Grasso is a former firefighter and rescue tech who served in the Philadelphia area for 25 years. He is also a former Homeland security consultant and military veteran who has written children’s books, poetry, and short stories. Having survived a debilitating stroke in 2014, Tom uses his experiences in his lectures and writings to inspire others. You may read Tom’s work by subscribing to his blog at tomgrassowriter.com


2020EyeVenue.com 720.405.2020

14676 Delaware St. Suite 400 Westminster

Profile for Ventker Media Group

ELIFE Winter 2020  

ELIFE Winter 2020