NoCo Winter 2018

Page 1

Who is Scott James? THE



Pinning Down Your Aches & Pains


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I live, love and know Northern Colorado. Living in Colorado for 41 years and 19 of them in real estate, I’m going strong. I’m more passionate about finding people their next dream home or business investment. Whether it’s your bottom line, or just the perfect home for you ... Let’s work together to position your property for a speedy sale at top dollar and find your next dream home. I can take care of all your real estate needs! Kathryn is a 5280 Magazine Award recipient for Outstanding Realtors for the past 4 years for the Denver and surrounding areas. She carries 4 designations, CRS (Certified Residential Specialist which only 3-4% of the Realtors in the USA have this designation), GRI (Graduate Real Estate Institute), SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) and most recently completed a MCNE (Masters Certified Negotiation Expert which only 1% of the Realtors in the USA carry). She also holds a BSBA in Marketing, MBA in Information Systems and post graduate work in International Marketing. Kathryn writes about Real Estate for several local newspapers and is known for getting down to the “nitty gritty” of what it means to venture in that business for investment or searching for the perfect house. She practices Residential, Investment, some Commercial Real Estate. Having an art background, she is outstanding in staging.


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NoCo is the heartbeat of Northern Colorado celebrating its lifestyle, businesses, events, fashion and culture

ADVERTISING NoCo magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Northern Colorado region. Information about advertising is available on the web at Call 212.695.2959 to request a media kit.

SPONSORSHIPS NoCo magazine supports organizations that make our town a better place to live and work. Submit sponsorship proposals to

EDITORIAL OFFICE 212.695.2959 | NoCo is published by Ventker Media

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Editor-in-Chief Trisha Ventker Chief Creative Officer Copy Editor Copy Editor Creative Director Art Director Advertising Sales Executives Photographer Contributing Writers

Trisha Ventker John Small Amanda Y. Hendrix Trisha Ventker Jonathan Jackson Jonathan Jackson Mandy Palmer Trisha Ventker Dr. Bonnie Abbott Eric Baker Michaela Hatch- Drennon Gary Gianetti Jen Kayton Kevin Kisich Phd Sheila K. Liewald L.Ac, M.S.O.M. Lisa Nelson MA, LPCC, NCC John Small Sue Sundstrom Amy Tallent Amy Webb

EDITORIAL OFFICE 212.695.2959 | NoCo is published by Ventker Media NoCo is published by Ventker Media. 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.

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Editor's Note With great pride and excitement and due to high demand, do we here at NoCo launch our first edition!! Volume 1; Issue #1 is always a sentimental, yet nervous time for journalists and publishers alike. After over two years of great success with our other publication, ELIFE magazine, we proudly offer you, the Great Centennial State of Colorado, NoCo Magazine with a focus on northern Coloradans in particular. Our continual catering to the local businesses in Northern Colorado will become quite apparent with this and all subsequent issues. Please contact us for your well-deserved and affordable advertisement for your establishments. Your shops, restaurants, boutiques and service-oriented businesses need exceptional exposure which we are here and on board - ready to furnish you! Whether you're the hard-working and compassionate veterinarian to the all-important primary care physician and dentist, very afforably we can promote your services around the region. This Winter is especially exciting for me. After years of Northern Colorado businesses wanting to advertise in ELIFE, this summer I began to develop a new magazine called NoCo. NoCo is the heartbeat of Northern Colorado celebrating its lifestyle, businesses, events, fashion and culture. You see ELIFE was created accidentally . When I moved here I was on maternity leave as a teacher. Although I had different skills such as photography and writing,as a self-published author I needed to learn how to brand and market my books. After years of extensive training in viral digital marketing, my books made it to the Amazon best seller lists. These skills are what prompted me to create an online magazine that is green, garners tremendous engagement and is costeffective for small business owners. Why should small businesses pay ten's of thousands of dollars on a small print ad when there is no proof on how may people actually open the magazine. Publishers will just give a distribution number, but how many of those magazines are thrown out or actually delivered? With digital impression tracking, there is proof in the analytics. Unfortunately print is not utilized as it once were. Most people are reading other mobile devices, smart phones and tablets. Our first interview with Mr. Scott James, the radio celebrity and mayor of Johnstown went superbly, wherein the mayor recognized us as a "pivotal outreach" for our style of living. Our travel stories also contribute to the beauty of our area, for even when vacationing in Morocco, for instance, may be sad at its end, we are nevertheless overjoyed, for we have such a beautiful region to return home to, time and time again!



Trisha Ventker is an author, photographic artist, branding and social media expert, publisher of ELIFE and NoCo magazines and retired elementary school teacher. She also finds promoting and bringing local businesses together very rewarding. She is best known for her first book Internet Dates From Hell which is self-published by Ventker through iUniverse. It has since had the movie rights to it optioned by Paula Wagner. Trisha is also one of the first Indie Books authors to have a book optioned for the big screen. Trisha is originally from New York City, presently residing in Erie, Colorado for the last 11 years with her husband and son.

Finally, we at ELIFE and NoCo are all about healthy living, exercise, diet, spiritualism and altruistic activities, so all of you personal fitness coaches, yoga instructors, martial artists and holistic health advocates should also get on board with us getting your philosophies out there to our northern regional counties and towns. Let us know how you feel after our first issue, for we have great plans for you and your northern Coloradan lifestyles. Enjoy!! With the holidays behind us, Winter is in full force. Some days we have temps in the twenties and the next day the temperature could be sixty. That's what living Colorado is all about. I don't mind the surprises, as long as I have clothes to be warm enough.

Trisha Ventker TRISHA VENTKER Editor-in-Chief

Cover Photo Credit: Special Thanks to Becky Young, Twelve Stones Collective (formerly: Be 4ever Young Photography)

what's inside

NOCO Who Is Scott James? Hidden Gems: Johnstown, Colorado Colleen Whitlow

















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Kim Krusinski RN is a health specialist and an acute care Registered Nurse with 18 years of experience in complex cardiac care in Northern Colorado.

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RESULTS INTEGRITY EXPERIENCE PROFESSIONALISM Sherri has been licensed for 25 years and has an in-depth knowledge of the Northern Colorado region. As a resident in Erie and NoCo, she has developed competitive pricing strategies and is an expert negotiator with world class results. Your Goals Are Her Goals! Team Leader for The Stellar Group-Ranked Colorado's #1 Real Estate Team and Luxury Home Experts

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Photos by Becky Young, Twelve Stones Collective (formerly: Be 4ever Young Photography

Trisha Ventker: Thank you Scott James James for making this interview happen for NoCo magazine. I want to introduce radio celebrity on I Heart radio Big Country 97.9 and mayor of Johnstown, Scott James James. I’ve read that you are a “cool guy” who rode the Scheel’s 65 foot ferris wheel for a local charity. Scott James: I don’t know how cool I am. I‘m really a boring guy. I’ve made my living being an average guy. I did ride the Scheel’s ferris wheel for 50 hours and broke the world record. I love doing things that benefit the community. The goal was to raise money fro the Larimer County Food Bank. I’m not a celebrity; that’s a tall order. A lot of people don’t know my name. The great thing about being called a celebrity is it sure beats being anonymous. I use that to do good things for my community. People have the ability to “do good stuff ” I use that hashtag a lot - I can use a megaphone to lift one another up and celebrate our community. Trisha Ventker: Was it difficult to do? Scott James: I wasn’t running a marathon. I sat on my butt for 50 hours. I’ve trained for that all of my life.

Trisha Ventker: What did you do about bathroom usage? Scott James: Theses endurance feats have rules. It was civil. No adult diapers were involved. I did take bathroom breaks and I even took a shower in Scheel’s employee locker room. Trisha Ventker: Did you eat and sleep on the ferris wheel? Scott James: Yes, I slept on it when the store was closed. Trisha Ventker: When I heard about what you did, I said to myself that I needed to meet this guy. My friend, Amy Tallent, who is virtually the heartbeat of NoCo, arranged for me to meet you. Trisha Ventker: Where are you originally from? Scott James: I am a native Coloradan, born in Littleton, lived in LaSalle. My great-grandfather founded LaSalle.I had a “small-town” childhood, grew up one of two kids of a divorced mom, >>>

working on ranches. I went to North Eastern College to teach agriculture. Trisha Ventker: What started you in the media business? Scott James: I started hanging out at the college’s radio station with some friends and I fell in love with technology. I started working for minimum wage, played Casey Kassim’s top 40, worked in Kansas and Texas and made my way back home in the fall of 1990. Trisha Ventker: How long have you been a radio host? Scott James: 37 years behind the microphone and in this market for 27 years. Presently, I am 1/2 of the Scott James & Sadie Show, I D.J. on 100.7 Colt FM, a Cheyenne Station and 600 AM KCOL. Trisha Ventker: What’’s coming up for the new year? Scott James: Breaking news - I will be soon launching an issue/political-oriented talk show on 600KCOL. Trisha Ventker: What is one thing you wished people knew about you that they didn’t? Scott James: I am somewhat shy. I find protection behind the microphone, I am truly “Joe Average”. I feel incredibly blessed. I walk in the grace of God and everything I have is a miracle. My life is living testimony to what God can do in yours if you can get the heck out of the way. Trisha Ventker: What are your hopes for Northern Colorado? Scott James: I look at everyone an see phenomenal opportunity. I see growth as a positive. We need to get ahead of the curve and “manage growth” We need plans in place that are coordinated between municipalities, towns, and the state. We need to work out the issues of water and transportation. We need to build lanes to support the tremendous growth here. We need to look at affordable remedies. Municipalities need to see their role in the region.

Johnstown is making a focused effort at developing a more affordable home. Everyone has the right to the “American Dream”. I look forward to meeting with several builders and hold a builders symposium, so we can work on driving home prices down. Trisha Ventker: How would you be able to communicate with other municipalities? Scott James: I have a very good relationship with the surrounding mayors. We meet a few times a year to discuss issues and plans to solve them. Trisha Ventker: Anything you want to add? Scott James: I’m very excited for 2018 and what we can accomplish together. 2018 is the year for communication no matter what political side you fare on and I look forward to that!

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COLLEEN WHITLOW Town of Mead MAYOR Integrity. Honesty. Committed. IMMEDIATE RELEASE: [Mead, CO] It’s official! I am running for the Mayor of Mead. Over the past four years as a Trustee I have accomplished many uplifting things for the community. As Mayor, I can make the biggest impact by working with the other six Trustees to move the Town forward in a positive and productive manner. I have over the last four years been involved in many endeavors to shed a positive light on Mead. Mead is a small community and we as a board need to balance that with the need for revenue and growth to achieve what the majority of the Town residents want. As your Mayor, I will work to ensure that all voices are heard, that we account for the taxpayer funds the way its intended and we need to be held accountable for the tough decisions that are made. I will work with other surrounding communities to keep the lines of communication open and moving forward. Your voice is important and you need to have the ability and avenues available to let us know how you want your community shaped. I encourage each of you to come to the Town meetings and become involved. I am running for Mayor because I believe my skills and abilities to communicate and rationalize, along with my success in working collectively in a group, and thinking outside the box will be a key asset and help move the Town forward in a reasonable and controlled pattern. I also believe that we need to put the people and Town of Mead first and remember that to be a great leader you must be subservient to the people you represent. Please visit my Facebook page at ColleenWhitlowForMayor at and let me know if you would like to help me on this journey. I look forward to our future together as we keep Mead a safe community that brings us together every day. Thank you for your support. Colleen Whitlow

I am proud to represent Mead in many capacities: Current Director at Denver Regional Council of Governments, CML Policy Committee Member, North I-25 and Highway 66 Coalition Corridor projects Co-founder of Downtown Mead Farmers’ Market, Embrace-aPLACE Program, Cow Pie Bingo, Mead Downtown Development District, and Mead’s Little Free Libraries Contributor in establishing Downtown Mead Streetscape, Downtown Mead Beautification Flower Project, Art in Public Places, Taste of Shakespeare, Taste of Mead and the Colorado Gold Star Memorial Participant in the 9Health Fair, Mead Motorhead Car Show, Town of Mead Community Day/Sugarbeet Festival, Veteran Stand Down, Unity in the Community, All American Beef Battalion and a coordinator for local disabled veterans Other positions currently held: President of the Mead Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Mead, Carbon Valley VFW Post # 9741; Vice President of the Mountain Fire Rescue Board of Directors and Mead Rotary Foundation; President of the Singletree Ranch Estates Home Owner Association; Acting President of the Colorado Women in Government

CARBON VALLEY VFW POST #9741 Teamwork ~ Leadership ~ Commitment

Carbon Valley VFW Post # 9741 & Auxiliary Monthly Events Location: American Legion 870 1st Street Firestone, CO 80520 Post Monthly Meeting – 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 pm Community Breakfast - 3rd Saturday at 8:00 am Auxiliary Monthly Meeting - 4th Tuesday at 6:30 pm Fourth Friday Dinners: 6:00 pm/Fifth Monday Dinners: 6:00 pm The Post and Auxiliary encourages those interested in learning more about the Veterans of Foreign War to come and learn how they can help make an impact on the lives of veterans in the Carbon Valley area.


Learn how you can get involved with the Post at www.vfwpost9741.or or the Auxiliary at COME JOIN US. We welcome you to be a part of these great organizations!

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Time’s Up? For What?


he 16 million-dollar defense fund for women , “Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund” housed and administered by the National Women’s LawCenter’s head lawyers Tina Tchen and Ronerta Kaplan, to “empower and help fuel long term systemic change” drew both my entire attention and some ire lately. This “legal equality” is now being considered before a national equal rights amendment is passed by the U.S. Federal government? Really? Isn’t this “the carriage in front of the horse” theory? Or the tail wagging the dog? Really? The disconnect is disconcerting to me! In 1972, March 22nd to be exact, The Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment to The Constitution which proposed banning discrimination based on gender or sex. It was then sent to the 50 states of this Union for ratification, but unfortunately the E.R.A. fell short of the three fourths approval it required to become an amendment - the 23rd. Alice Paul, in 1923 drafted what became known as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” nearly three years after the nineteenth, granting women’s suffrage. Although many women (and men) tried, from 1923 to 1970 to push the “bill” before Congress, no one succeeded until a Democrat, Martha Griffiths did. Now, it was finally up for debate and consideration. Even though the potential amendment did that year, the Senate wouldn’t pass it for two whole years! If the bill were not ratified for five more years it would “die on the vine” (as if it had any original “fruitful life” at all!). Finally, only 30 states ratified the bill within a year (3 years down and four to go!). Anti-amendment activists began their narrative like Phyllis Shaffly’s “Stop E.R.A.” which in part - killed the bill. Many women under that “umbrella” wanted to remain “safe” against military draft status and being cut loose from “husband support”. Conservative women were against its support of abortion, contraception, gay rights and a number of other issues-all present and important in today’s world. As time ran out, in >>>

By John J.K. Small

1979, 35 states had ratified - three short of the minimum. From that point onward, for some forty years, equal rights for women were left up to the state constitutions, and 21 did as such including them in their documents. So, where are the other 29 on equal rights including women’s rights? Are we just skipping over that “little nugget” of reality for a defense against men who harass those same women in the entertainment industry? Really? It’s “Time To” stand together as men and women and treat and respect each other fairly and equally! No more excuses! Sexual harassment is wrong, and it’s just the tip of this awful iceberg wherein inequality between the sexes inevitably exists. Rather than just skip the equal rights amendment, as we have for over forty years, let’s pass it now and instill within its tenets criminal charges for those who breach the letter of the law! Rewrite the “bill” with everything we’ve learned and suffered from over the past 45 years without it, including workplace harassment by men upon women, equal pay for equal work, et al. If we as Americans believe that all men and women are born with inalienable rights like our nation’s forefathers penned in the Constitution, then what are we waiting for? “Time is certainly up” for short-sighted people to recognize that women are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and nieces just as equally as men are grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons and nephews. “Where have you gone Thomas Jefferson, our nation turns its lonely ears to you!” (Sorry Mr. Simon)

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Wood Working by Kevin Kisich Phd.


xtremely efficient carbon capture technology has been developed. This technology is solar powered, nonpolluting, and deployable to the entire planet. This technology absorbs greenhouse gases (CO2) directly from the atmosphere, and converts the CO2 into a handy and useful material for household and industrial applications. This remarkable technology was not invented by Google, or Apple. Not even by Microsoft, not by Airbus, GE, or Hyundai. We are, of course, talking about trees and green plants. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been relentlessly climbing for the past 125 years or so. This has led to warming of the land, atmosphere, and oceans. If we look at the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over the past 125 years as a chart, the increase looks continuous. However, if we look at atmospheric concentrations over the course of a single year, we can see that each spring and summer the CO2 levels in the northern hemisphere drop a bit. Why should that be? It is because “Spring has sprung, and the grass is riz.� All the trees are adding new leaves, and trees are growing. The blades of grass, the leaves and wood of trees are made from carbon and water. The carbon that trees and grasses use to make their leaves, wood, and bark is the carbon from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Alas, each blade of grass and each tree eventually reaches the end of its life. Our annual grasses dry up and die in mid to late summer. In fall, the broad-leaf trees lose their leaves. Those grasses and leaves decay over the winter, and release the stored carbon back into the atmosphere as bugs, animals, and bacteria eat them. But what if? What if not ALL the plan >>>

was allowed to decay? What if we humans collected the wood of the dying trees and saved it for the next 100 years, for example? Most of the trees from our urban forest are removed by arborists when they reach end of life. They are then turned into wood chips, firewood, and mulch, which decays in a few years to release the stored carbon into the atmosphere as CO2. However, certain crazy buggers collect the unwanted logs and mill them into useable “lumber”. Much of the lumber is not very straight, and in fact, few self-respecting carpenters would even consider using it to build your house or business. And yet... there are a few wood workers in the area with no self-respect. The first step is to get the logs from the tree. I use as much of each tree as possible. As soon as possible, I then use my sawmill to cut the logs into slabs, timbers, or smaller boards. Once that is done, the wood is stacked for drying, rotating the stacks several times over the course of two years while the wood dries. With wood dried through our nice Colorado summers, there is material for interesting furniture and decor designs. I keep a large collection of cured and dried trees in my studio, as I never know when a client will show up with a wild idea. No matter what the idea, I like to be able to find the right wood to make it. Working with “feral wood” from our urban forest is not for the faint of heart. It takes special skills and an eye for design and composition. It is important to remember, when you work with wood, you work with trees. Wood appears at the hardware store or lumber yard as straight, rectangular pieces. There is a whole universe of shapes, colors and patterns in trees that should be included in the things we make with trees. Boxes are 3D rectangles. Color outside the lines, and forget “the box” when imagining the possibilities!

Investing is about more than money. At Edward Jones, we stop to ask you the question: “What’s important to you?” Without that insight and a real understanding of your goals, investing holds little meaning. Contact your Edward Jones financial advisor for a one-on-one appointment to discuss what’s really important: your goals.

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My oldest son is 8-years-old and is one of the few in his class who is not involved in soccer... and never has been. GASP! 
 It hasn't really been an intentional choice on our part. He has never really shown an interest (for more than one day). Plus, I'm not ready to commit our precious free time after school and especially on weekends to sitting in the hot or cold or rain to watch him practice. 
 Am I a horrible mother? The society-driven guilt part of me says, "yes," but the authentic me says, "heck no!" 
 Truth be told, I kind of like being a soccer mom rebel. I don't really like always doing the expected motherhood thing and my son isn't one to just "go with flow" on activities like that. He has done certain activities from time to time—summer baseball (we missed half the season traveling), "ninja" gymnastics (right up his alley), and chess club. Overall, however, I find that he does best just hanging out with his friends after school (the few that also have eschewed soccer). What We Do Instead? The other day I found him and two friends making an "arcade" out of a bunch of huge cardboard boxes and some Nerf guns. I couldn't have been prouder. They were using their best salesmen techniques to try to convince some younger boys at the park to play for a fee (ha!). They didn't make much money, but they had a blast, and you could certainly tell that they felt empowered by their experiment with entrepreneurship.  
 I'm not against all organized activities. They have their place. However, seeing the pride on my son's face at his planning and accomplishing his "arcade idea" made me think that there really is something to allowing kids to do their own thing. 
 The other thing I've noticed is that when he has plenty of time to play with friends without an agenda, his behavior and mood are WAY better. 
 Here's why: During “free play”, kids get the chance to release their emotions, pent-up anger or stress. You know how you feel when you've been stressed and then you go for a long walk or a strenuous workout. You feel destressed and cleansed, right?  
 This is what free play does for kids. Without it, we parents often see our kids' emotions and stress spill out as misbehavior, whining, and overall crankiness. 
 Here's the perfect example: During the past weekend, we were pretty busy. We were invited to an amusement park with some friends, and my son was selling popcorn for Cub Scouts. We also had church and a party to attend. We are not usually that busy on weekends, but it just ended up that way. By Sunday night, I felt a little spent, but I thought my 8-year-old was doing okay (surprisingly). 
 Guess what? On Monday after school, he lost it! Meltdown-fighting with his brother, etc., etc. He needed downtime and had not gotten enough over the weekend. Going to school all day had just been too much, and he needed an emotional release. So, we stayed at home. He whined and cried off and on, and then we talked for quite a while about what's been going on at school, on the playground, etc.  After eating a big dinner and relaxing at home, he was a totally different kid the next morning. If anything speaks to kids’ need for downtime, this does. The night before, you would have thought everything in his life was a disaster. The next morning, he was eager for school and ready to move on with the day. Amazing!

What Does the Research Say? Until recently, the one voice you haven’t heard on the topic of overscheduled kids was the one of science. Child development researchers are now delving into this topic to understand the relationship between structured activities and children’s development. In one of the first studies of this kind, researchers at The University of Colorado looked at the connection between how kids spend their time (structured vs. unstructured activities) and the development of executive function. As you may know, executive function is one of the key regulatory skills that develop during childhood and is crucial to children’s success and well-being later in life.  
 Executive function includes things like  * planning ahead,  * goal-oriented behavior,  * suppression of unwanted thoughts or behaviors, and  * delaying gratification.  
 Do these sound familiar? They are typically the skills that break down when kids are overtired or stressed (like my son was). 
 These skills have been shown to predict children’s academic and social outcomes years down the road. Based on this, you can see why researchers (and parents) are interested in understanding anything related to how executive function develops. The researchers then analyzed the relationship between children’s activities and their level of executive function. The results showed that there was, indeed, a correlation between these factors.  The more time children spent in structured activities, the lower their scores on the assessment of executive function. In contrast, the more time children spent in less structured activities, the higher their assessment of executive function. So, what does this all mean? Well, we shouldn't all go and unenroll our kids from every activity turn to "unschooling" just yet. This study was small scale (70 children) and was only correlational, meaning we do not know if structured vs. unstructured activities cause a change in executive function or if there is something else going on here.  
 What this study does show is that there is some relationship between these factors that deserves further study. What is it about unstructured time that might enforce executive function skills? Is there something about structured activities that limit executive function? 
 In our lives as parents, we think a study like this makes us reassess the cultural norms and expectations we might be adopting. Are we involved in activities because our kids like them, or do we really see some benefit from them? Or are we just doing what "soccer moms" do? Activities can be great, but don't feel like you must enroll your kid to keep him or her busy because that's what our society dictates.

Amy lives in Erie with her husband and two energetic boys. While her PhD is in Human Development and Family Sciences, her best education in parenting (and life) have been her two boys. While completing her degree, she realized there was not enough research-based parenting and child development information that was easy to understand for the average parent. Much of the research done by university scholars is not easily accessible to parents. With her writing, she hopes to provide thought-provoking and insightful information that will be useful to parents. She doesn't pretend to be a parenting expert, but rather a translator of research into a parent-friendly format.

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.

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HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS THIS YEAR? If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, physical fitness is important to your well-being – but, at the same time, don’t forget about your financial fitness. Specifically, what can you do to ensure your investment situation is in good shape? Here are a few “healthy living” suggestions that may also apply to your investment portfolio:

• Build endurance – Just as exercise can help build your endurance for the demands of a long life, a vigorous investment strategy can help you work toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement. In practical terms, this means you will need to own some investments with the potential to provide long-term growth. These are the investments that, ideally, you can hold on to for decades and eventually reap the benefits of capital appreciation. Of course, growth-oriented investments, such as most types of stocks, will rise and fall in value over the short term, and there’s no guarantee of profits, or even preserving principal. But if you choose wisely, and you’ve got the patience and discipline to hold on to your investments through the market’s ups and downs, you may well be rewarded. • Maintain an ideal “weight” – You can help yourself stay healthy by maintaining your ideal weight. This can be challenging – as you know from the recently finished holiday season, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds. And, just as inadvertently, your portfolio can tack on some unneeded weight, too, in the form of redundant investments. Over time, you may have picked up too many similar investment vehicles, resulting in an overconcentration, or “flabbiness,” that can work against you, especially when a market downturn affects the asset class in which you’re overloaded. So, you might be better off liquidating some of your duplicate, or near-duplicate, investments, and using the proceeds to help broaden your investment mix. • Get proper rest – Many studies have shown that we need adequate rest to stay alert and healthy. In your life, you’ve probably already found that if you over-tax your body, you pay a price in your overall well-being. If you look at your investment portfolio as a living entity – which, in a way, it is, as it certainly provides life to your goals and aspirations – then you can see that it, too, can be weakened by stress. And one of the main stress factors is excessive trading. If you’re constantly buying and selling investments in an attempt to boost your returns, you may rack up hefty fees, commissions and taxes – and still not really get the results you wanted. Plus, if you’re frequently moving in and out of different investments, you’ll find it hard to follow a unified, long-term strategy. So, confine your trading to those moves that are really essential – and give your portfolio a rest. To enjoy your life fully, you’ll want to take care of your physical and financial health – and, as it turns out, you can make similar types of moves to help yourself in both areas. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Jen Kayton 8350 Colorado Boulevard Suite 130, Firestone, CO 80504 303.833.3123

ACUPUNCTURE PINNING DOWN YOUR ACHES AND PAINS By Sheila Liewald L.Ac. Sheila Liewald, L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist, board certified Chinese herbalist and certified biopuncturist. She’s called Colorado her home for the past 15 years and has been an integrative medical practitioner for 10 years. Her practice, Red Aspen Wellness, has an herbal apothecary with over 200 herbs. She also works as staff acupuncturist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, Colorado.

Did you know that acupuncture can help with ailments ranging from emotional to physical? Acupunctures, tiny, cat whisker-sized needles, can help you with a variety of ailments from repeat urinary tract infections to acid reflux, from fatigue to stress. Current research is discovering that acupuncture works in a number of ways, such as tapping into the body’s fascia, the connective tissue that wraps and connects the entire body, storing and swapping information. It also sedates the nervous system (this might be why several people fall asleep during therapy), has been shown to increase red and white blood cells, reduce inflammation, and it can also immediately release trigger points in tight muscles. Because of this, a growing number of insurance plans now offer coverage, and because it has shown savings in long-term medical costs while having no side effects, more doctors are referring their patients. The therapy lasts about one hour, and patients should expect to receive anywhere from 1 to 6 treatments to start experiencing results. You can receive acupuncture at any time, whether you just got out of surgery, are pregnant or are on any medications. And no, it doesn’t hurt!

4 Common Ailments Conventional Medicine Struggles to Treat that Acupuncture Can Help, Often Immediately. You may never have thought of acupuncture for these, but think again. While Western medicine is often uncertain as to why many people suffer with these issues, let alone know how to treat them, acupuncture can offer extended relief. 1. Migraines Migraines are intense headaches that can last from 2 to 72 hours. Sufferers who feel a migraine coming on, and are lucky enough to make it to the acupuncturist before it’s full blown, often feel relief within about 30 minutes and stave off a debilitating, hours-long headache. Regular sessions can help prevent re-occurrences. 2. Bulging Disks Slipped disks, or bulging disks, manifest as sudden and paralyzing pain. One of the SAFEST things you can do is acupuncture for this. It’s gentle and does not force your back to move in ways that could make things worse. It works on the soft tissue around the disk to relax and ease the pain. 3. Sciatica The sciatic nerve is a large, thick nerve. It comes from the lower back and emerges through the glutes, descending the back of the leg down to the heel. Tight glutes are often the cause, which clamp down on the nerve; this can stem from a bad choice in footwear, overdoing a run or hike, or a discrepancy in leg length, etc. There are many reasons for sciatica, and acupuncture can often ease the pain in 1-5 treatments. 4. Hot Flashes/Night Sweats Ladies, you know who you are! You haven’t tried everything if you haven’t tried this! Up to 80% of menopausal women experience hot flashes. If you are not in the 20%, acupuncture is extremely effective at reducing the symptoms.

PIN POINTS: Over 40% of hospitals offer at least one form of integrative therapy, often acupuncture. American military bases use acupuncture for soldiers who have pain or PTSD. More than 14 millions people in America are using acupuncture. What patients experience during their therapy: 75% reported their psychical symptoms were relieved 67% of the time their emotional and mental symptoms 54% felt “inner life changes” 27% experienced “major life changes” How can acupuncture work? Increases white blood cell count Increases red blood cell count Increases blood flow to decrease inflammation and pain Releases endorphins to boost mood and immunity Blocks stress signals to aid stress, sleep and anxiety Regulates the nervous system affecting organ function such as digestion and blood pressure Supports hormone regulation for menopause, dysmenorrhea, PMS Speaks to the bodies nerves, muscles, organ systems, fascia (connective tissue) and more to affect change

what’s the deal with sleep ? by Lisa Nelson MA, LPCC, NCC

I can remember as a kid that my reticence to take a nap or wanting to s t a y u p l a t e wa s a c o n s t a n t f r u s t r a t i o n f o r my m o t h e r. Conversely, I can remember being a college student who would kill for a nap. I also remember being able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat when my daughter was a newborn! And now? Wow, adequate sleep is truly more important than ever… and yet more difficult to achieve! In all seasons of life, we need to be able to rest in order for our bodies to grow, heal and renew.

brains use the quiet time of the evening and night to “think” rather than sleep. In fact, this tends to be a bigger problem for women, as most of us do not have t he ability to "compartmentalize" our thoughts or to simply “‘shut off” our brain. This causes us to sleep unsoundly or not to be able to fall asleep. Here are some tips and techniques that I have found helpful.

Sleep is imperative to our health and wellness. As busy people, we often put others first. And because we’re so busy during the day, often our

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Good sleep begins in the morning – with taking care to eat good food that is high in protein and lots of vegetables. Try to drink only non-caffeinated beverages after noon. Water is especially good for your body and your brain. Alcohol can be consumed during dinner, but not later than 2 hours before bed.

Create a bedtime routine that reminds you that you love yourself and that you appreciate the hard work that you have done that day. This can include your favorite PJ’s, a warm cup of caffeine-free tea or warm milk, great smelling lotions and your favorite sheets. As you’re washing your face and brushing your teeth, breathe deeply and be calm. This will help your brain to prepare for a good night sleep.


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Turn off all electronics at least an hour before the time you would like to be asleep. I’m sure you’ve read the research that blue light rays emanating from electronics cause our brains to think it is time to wake up. Imagine how confusing this must be for your brain – you are lying in bed trying to rest and calm down for sleep, while watching a movie or reading a book on your Kindle. However, all your brain is hearing is, “It’s daytime - GET UP!” Try to fall asleep the same time every night – and wake at the same time daily. This will increase your body’s innate sense of your own circadian rhythm, which will ultimately help you to feel more tired around the same time every day.

Make a list of items you need to remember – do a nightly “mind dump” on paper. This will help you to not think or worry about these items while you are trying to sleep. Keep a "Thankfulness Journal" next to your bed. Spend a few minutes each evening being thankful for the joys that you have experienced that day. Keeping track of these things may allow you to truly feel deeper levels of love and appreciation.

A gentle reminder that if you’re having difficulty shutting your brain off, try saying to yourself – “Thank you for thinking of this, but this is a daytime thought. We will deal with this thought in the morning.” Be sure to write this new thought down on your mind dump list so that you won’t be tempted to think of it again. Try a mindfulness technique such as the "body scan". Get into a very comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths. Begin with your toes – try to concentrate on them. Feel them and notice if they are comfortable. Now shift your focus to your feet and notice if they are comfortable. Continue doing this without moving until you have scanned your entire body. Many people say they never make it to their thighs before falling asleep! Most importantly, do not get upset with your sleepless hours. Keep calm and find something to do that will relax you and help you to go back to sleep. If the mindfulness technique doesn't work for you, reading an actual paper book or a bath can often be helpful. Be willing to give yourself grace in learning these new skills. You are worth it!

Lisa Nelson is a psychotherapist in Erie and Longmont. She specializes in all things relationship” marriage, difficult teenagers and children, and parenting concerns.

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BY GARY GIANETTI Boom! The ball dropped. It’s 2018. Now what? Are you one of the millions with a New Year’s Resolution? Over 40% of Americans set resolutions and only 3% keep them. Set yourself up for success, and don’t make a resolution. Make a commitment to be healthier and happier …For Your Life™. If you believe a New Year or that you can make healthy changes to your lifestyle, then keep reading. Each of the 6 general principles below has tons of details beyond these bullet points. This brief is to help you re-focus and draw balance into your life at work and at home. With better balance comes better health, happiness, and effectiveness. So, what’s the secret recipe?

1. Set Realistic Goals- People often set large unrealistic goals. Make goals smaller, realistic, measurable, attainable, and time oriented. If you reach your goal, nobody will stop you from setting the next one. Go for it... Reach that goal. You can set another goal later. 2. Find Time Each Day- People often try to schedule health related practices into their day and then get frustrated when something comes up to take them away from it. Be flexible and have options built into everyday to help reach your goal. Use stairs, park far from your building, go for a walk at lunch with co-workers, find a fitness space near a place you frequent.

3. Small and Regular Deposits- Everyday, think about one or two things you will do that day to work towards your goal. Then as stated above, find some time, even if only a few minutes, to work towards the goal. You will increase your self-efficacy and feel happier and healthier. 4. Be Safe and Smart- To be truly happy, you need to feel secure. Wear a helmet, put on your seatbelt and floss your teeth. All of these things have been linked to making people happier over the course of their lives. Take a minute to learn a new fun fact every day. It can also prevent dementia! 5. Fit Fitness Into Your Lifestyle- The most successful people in the world move. Find time to fit movement into your lifestyle. It doesn’t mean go to the gym, it means finding 10 minutes three times a day to elevate your heart rate in the course of doing daily tasks. You will always feel better afterwards. Play with your kids actively for a few minutes; do some jumping jacks; do a few squats - move! Set a stopwatch and race yourself to mow the lawn, clean a room, etc. 6. Invest In Your Health- Put time and money aside today for your health goals during the years to come. Save money for the things that make you happy. Think about your goal and if it costs money to reach it and instead of stressing out about the cost, set up a budget. You will find that you can achieve more if you plan and think of your health as an investment and not a quick “fix”.

Once you have gathered all the ingredients above, mix them together and allow them to "simmer" for at least 60 days. (t takes an average of 60 days to create a new lifelong habit) After the recipe is fully cooked and you are able to celebrate your awesome feat, share it with friends, family members, and co-workers. They will wonder how you succeeded in reaching a new healthier and happier balance. You can tell them you read it in NoCo magazine.

Gary Gianetti is a Master of Science and Health, Fitness, and

Nutrition Expert at Healthy Altitudes. He has lived in Northern Colorado for 5 years and enjoys building a healthier and happier community through fun, innovative, and mobile health programs. He serves the community with The Movable Cycling Studio, personal training, health coaching, group workouts, and community service involvement.


Unique gift ideas for everyone who wants to shop locally in NoCo...

gift guide

Valentine's Day gift guide




gift guide fashion spread


Valentine's Day gift guide





gift guide


fashion spread


Valentine's Day gift guide



Ladies like lace! This gray baby doll features a flowy peplum with bell sleeves and a lace bodice. Made in the USA $48 Tom Ford Sunglasses-Anoushka $455 Model: Melissa Bowman MUA: Margaryta Danilova Schwery

Rock your “Rocky Mountain Love” with a RML hoodie! $50 Model: Johnathen De La Vaca,Managing Editor at

Beautiful red and grey, cowl neck hoodie sporting RML’s signature deer logo. You can’t go wrong with this asymmetrical, jersey lined hood with 3 button closure. It’s a stunningly unique way to show your Colorado pride! Made in the USA $32 (youth) Model: Macy B.

FASHION SPOTLIGHT Charmed 33 Boutique, Erie’s premier boutique! Big city styles with that small town feel. Charmed 33 carries a variety of trendy, affordable styles, amazing unique gift items and houses 2 popular hometown lifestyle brands, Erie Love Co. and Rocky Mountain Love Co.


At 20/20 EyeVenue, they care about your vision, and are equipped with the best possible technology to diagnose your eye-related condition. Whether you need a stronger contact prescription, new stylish glasses, or are interested in laser eye treatment, they can help you. They never cut corners and always do what’s best for you, your vision and your personal style. You can trust that 20/20 EyeVenue will take care of you every step of the way.



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favorite boots.

Models: Rhys and Ashton Bowman

$44 Mad in Italy Sunglasses -Zucca $425 Model: Marcella Nevermann

These 50/50 Erie Love Co blend shirts are so comfortable! $25 Studio Beausoleil Glasses- Model W47 $300 Model: Gary Gianetti

Bell sleeve floral lace top with front and back keyholes paired with gray camo jeggings with zipper pockets top $36 jeggings $50 Model: Carmela Reicks MUA: Margaryta Danilova Schwery

Show your Erie pride with this trendy, elbow patch shirt. And as an added bonus, we have these in youth sizes too! Now you can match your littles!

$28 (youth)


Models: Francesca Nevermann (upper right)

and Jaycie Baca (lower right) Francesca has on FHOne glasses North - $425 Beautiful red and grey, cowl neck hoodie sporting RML’s signature deer logo. Make a statement by wearing this fashionable and supremely comfortable stunner! You can’t go wrong with this asymmetrical, jersey lined hood with 3 button closure. It’s a stunningly unique way to show your Colorado pride!

$50 (men and women)

(youth hoodie) Model: Macy B Macy has on Wissing Glasses 2944H -$499


VINYLIZE Vinylize Glasses-Sophia $525 Model: Carmella Reicks MUA: Margaryta Danilova Schwery


BLANDIT Xavier Garcia Sepia $325

Coco Song-Blues Lesson


Model: Francesca Nevermann Model: Dr. Samantha Boldt MUA: Margaryta Danilova Schwery

Our boy’s signature logo tee is the perfect way to explore your Rocky Mountain Love! $18 (youth) Vuarnet Sunglasses- VL1604 $300 Models: Erik West and Annie

Wooden Ships Black hand knit cardigan paired w/ black coated skinny jeans accented with a large loop necklace in slate gray. Jeans $80 Sweater $110 Necklace $56 Coco Song- By Myself $399 Model: Julie Styve

(upper left) Your friends will go cray-z over this Lay-Z! Long-sleeve, cold-shoulder heather gray shirt with black ribbing at neck, cuffs and waistband $40 Modern Glasses - Auburn $99 Beausoliel-450-039 $450 Models : Ava and Julie Styve MUA: Margaryta Danilova Schwery Erie Love Co long-sleeved tee. $28 Model: Trey Puckett


is the home of Butch Pet Foods: a 50 year old, two generation family owned pet food company from New Zealand. Butch is the original and premier semi-moist, fresh meat-based pet food roll manufacturer. NO additives, NO preservatives, NO fillers; just fresh, lightly cooked goodness. | 100%

& 100% Nutritionally Complete for Dogs & Cats!


5 TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET AGAINST COYOTE ATTACKS 1. DON’T ATTRACT THEM | Do not encourage coyotes to consider your house a “source” of food. Do not leave pet food outside. Take down bird feeders and keep your garbage containers inside the garage (or install a lid locking strap). Bird feeders attract pretty birds, but they also attract coyotes that eat birds. Don’t open up a “fast-food coyote restaurant” by providing a bird feeder to attract the birds, rabbits and rodents that they can eat. Fruiting trees and Koi ponds are also sources of food that might attract coyotes. 2. HARASS THEM | Harassing coyotes helps to keep them afraid of humans, so they will leave us and our pets alone. This only works if they are hazed each and every time they are in our playgrounds or backyards. If they do not act afraid of people, they will revisit your areas. Try the following: Scare Them: Yell and wave your arms, use your coat as a cape to look larger and carry a walking stick. Air horns, “shaker” cans full of pennies or marbles, or banging on pots and pans often scares off coyotes. Small Projectiles: Throw sticks, small rocks or balls towards coyotes to scare them. Sprays: Use a garden hose with power sprayer, water guns with vinegar water, mace or bear spray. If a coyote does not respond to hazing or is showing aggression towards you, it should be reported to our district wildlife manager Kristin Cannon at the Division of Wildlife: 3. REPEL THEM | If you have a homeowner association (HOA), check with them first before taking simple actions. Clear brush and vegetation within 10 ft of your fence line. Coyotes have the ability to go over, under, and through most fences. Therefore, install a fence that is a minimum of 6 ft in height. Use PVC piping or coyote roll bars. Bury the fence a foot below ground level to prevent digging under your fence. Use deterrent alarms to protect your yard. That includes flashing red lights for night-time protection (Nite Guard Solar®) and motion-activated alarms and sprinklers for daytime. 4. PROTECT YOUR DOG | Keep your dog on 4 to 6-ft leash. Always supervise your pets when going outside from dusk to dawn when coyotes are most active. Close the inside dog door at night. Keep your yard well-lit if your pet needs to relieve itself at night. You must accompany them outside; don’t just stand at the back door. Use a Kevlar Coyote Vest ( to protect your dog in the event of an attack when outside. The only way to assure your pet is safe (if outside and unattended) is to provide a dog run with a roof. 5. PROTECT YOUR CAT | The best way to protect your cats is to keep them as indoor only cats. Coyotes have an easy time hunting cats. If you do have an outdoor cat, give him or her a chance with an escape post that is easy to climb for a cat. It should be taller than 6 ft high with a perch on top

art article

By Eric Baker


hat do you get when you thrust a long time Larimer County Ranger and a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer into the crucible of a 6 a.m. “CrossFit” class and shake vigorously? An adventure and travel television show featuring the hunting, fishing, food and culture of Japan-what else? At least that’s what happened when Dan Rieves and Eric Baker joined forces in that early morning class at “CrossFit Loveland” 3 years ago. It took a year of sizing each other up over insane workouts featuring plenty of barbells and burpees for the friendship to develop to a point where their common interests morphed into an idea. That idea is to bring something new and original to the world of outdoor entertainment. It was “Not just another hunting show”, but one that would appeal to a broad audience, featuring interesting characters, amazing scenery and the humor that happens when culture and languages collide. Their project,“Bōken Adventure”, has been in development for just over 2 years and has evolved from the original concept of a traditional broadcast television show to its current

iteration as a website-based, on-demand platform for original digital content. It’s hopefully only the first of many projects to emerge from their startup company, Temple Duck Media, LLC. Why Japan, especially with the hunting and fishing element? Japanese culture remains a source of fascination to the western world. However, the outdoor sporting culture of Japan is little known beyond its shores; in fact, it’s not even well known within Japan. “There are no guns in Japan” is a common response when the subject is raised. It’s this aspect that gives the show its originality and separates it from other travel shows. Japan is just the springboard for what will become a showcase for international sporting life and culture. Eric Baker enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Thompson Valley High School, class of 1977. During a 22-year Navy career, he spent 4 years stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. After passing the training exercise regimens and examinations to >>>

art article 


Big Foot article





THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR ICE CREAM. At Sweets, it’s all in the name. From celebrations and happy memories, a birthday cone to a game winning scoop: every bite inspires our inner youth. Made with fresh, natural ingredients: your next stop will satisfy every sweet tooth.

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n e z i t i C g n i l e v a Tr e World h t f o o c c o Mor by Michaela Hatch-Drennon “Experiencing new lands throughout the world over forty-three years of travel starting from birth as a West German citizen in the early 1970’s and following my Papa around to new military bases every few years as a US Army Military Brat developed my life’s ultimate passion . . .TRAVEL!”

A mad dash to NY JFK’s international terminal to board a Royal Air Maroc plane kicked off our adventure to mystical Morocco in mid-November 2017. A short six hour and fifteen minute flight landed us at the immigration corridor of Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport. Upon meeting the rest of the tour group along with our smarTours tour director Khalid Lamdira, we started the exploration of the bustling city of Casablanca. Upon leaving the airport, technological advancements of cell towers resembling trees were juxtaposed against the sharp background of locals utilizing donkeys with apple carts to deliver to the local "souks" (local markets). Throughout our journey there were numerous discoveries like this proving that even if a country progresses to technological advancements, there are always reminders of times past, most times shoulder to shoulder. Driving through Morocco’s economic and cultural capital, the influence from other cultures was highly evident. From Roman to French to Spanish to Portuguese to Arab to British. All of these influences were visible in the architecture, food dishes and languages spoken. While exploring Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in Africa and the third largest in the world, I was impressed by peoples’ loyalty to their religion as it relates to their everyday lives. The majority of Moroccans are Muslim and are humble in their practices and beliefs, which is in direct conflict with the extremist depiction of the Muslin religion one may view on western news channels. The religious breakdown of Morocco is 99% Muslim, mostly all Sunni with less than 0.1% Shia, and the other 1% are inclusive of Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i. The crime rate is extremely low given the severity of consequences for committing a crime in a predominantly Muslim country. We also visited the beautiful architecture of the Notre Dame de Lourdes Cathedral, highlighting the Christian influence in Casablanca. Both groups of religious worshippers appear to live in harmony in this most modern Muslim country in Africa. Next on the itinerary was our “Red City” Marrakesh adventure - a city engulfed in palaces, gardens, mosques and souks. Entering the newly appointed outskirts of the city, one could feel the modern vibe and yet still see the vestiges of old times within the UNESCO World Heritage Medina and its souks, where one could experience snake charming, pigeon flights, local tasty treats such as Berber couscous, and the opportunity to purchase some local wares. The city’s medina, architecture, dusty pink-colored walls, winding alleys, friendly locals, traditional medicine stores, souks, partaking in “shouffing” (people watching), drinking traditional fresh mint tea or a café nss nss (half coffee and half milk) on a rooftop café overlooking the amazing chaos in the Jemaa el Fna main square… all make Marrakech a truly memorable and unique destination like nowhere else in the world. Leaving the bustling and vibrantly rose-colored Medina in a local horse drawn carriage made for a stress-free mode of transportation to our hotel to partake in additional

shouffing across the street from our hotel at a modern highend outdoor café. One of the highlights of Morocco is experiencing the beauty of the charming hip Atlantic coastal town of Essouira or as it is known to locals, the “Windy City of Africa” encased in its white abodes, trimmed in bright blue within its Medina. Its Medina is protected by 18th-century seafront ramparts called the Skala de la Kasbah. Antique brass cannons line the walls which give way to serene ocean views with plenty of seals and blue fisherman boats. Rummaging through the souks and the medina, the vast amount of European influence from years ago doesn’t go unnoticed. No adventure to majestic Morocco is complete without a late desert lunch in Tissardmne before departing to the peak of Erg Chebbi, providing impeccable views of the surrounding red desert sands. To truly experience authentic Morocco, a camel ride up through the mystical Merzouga dunes encapsulates the excitement of the day's journey. Watching the sunset in the Sahara Desert was a magical event for us, enabling a reconnection with nature and oneself. The Sahara Desert transforms into various awe-inspiring views as the sun slowly set, providing ever changing sandy landscapes and resetting one’s own vibe to a more peaceful state. Rounding out the Moroccan adventure were the cities of Fez and Rabat. In Fez, we experienced the oldest of the Moroccan imperial cities, which was once the 400-year capital of the country. Most of Fez’s old quarters within the souk date back 1,500 years with roots tracing to the very early days of north African Islam. Some of the tanneries have been in operation in the same locations for over a thousand years with very little changed in the extremely rudimentary leather tanning/manufacturing process. One interesting fact is there are no motor vehicles allowed in the medina, so locals and tourists must share the road with local donkey trains transporting wares to sell. Following a thorough hands-on exploration of the ancient Roman city of Volubilis we arrived in the Atlantic coastal city of Rabat, Morocco’s current capital city. In Rabat, we forged through history visiting the Kasbah of the Oudaias, which is a picturesque medieval Almohadan fortress citadel, with ocean views from the acropolis and refreshing Andalusian gardens at its base. Within the Royal Gardens, the incomplete minaret of Hassan Tower and the Royal Mausoleum are available to be explored.

Morocco accounted for my 38th country explored. Only 155 more to go!  With travel is it said a person becomes more understanding and connected with people who are different than our normal everyday expectations. That is definitely an understatement. One does change dramatically with every new culture experienced, providing a fresh viewpoint and inevitably forging new lifelong international friendships. It is my opinion there are no strangers—just friends yet to be met.Â

Spices in Fez

Souk in jemma ne fa Marrakesh


Michaela Hatch-Drennon is a 15-year resident Erie with her husband Mark. She attained her BA in German and French from Eastern Washington University in 1994 and an International MBA w/an IT specialization from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver in 2001. She actively utilizes her degrees in her international role as a Senior Engineering Program Manager at Seagate in Longmont, CO and on her numerous travels abroad. You can contact Michaela at

o c c o r Mo Michaela with her husband Mark in the Sahara Desert

Bon Voyage!

Mark in the Sahara Desert


RETIREMENT? 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. 568 Briggs Street | Erie, CO 80516 | 720-460-0908 |



It's not complicated, but the harvest of my life is drawing near It's no extinction event, but the finish line is perfectly clear It's that resurrection reason, that preservation purpose in me I'm not crazy, I'm just shaking the tree It's not just a spasm, its like a vineyard that has finally grown mature Time to share the documented memories we ultimately endure It's that excavation season, reaping your collection of debris I'm not crazy, I'm just shaking the tree Push against the base, catch them as they one by one will fall Some are fine as feathers, others carry weight enough for all One might say they're only words, melodies like wind chimes from the past Given now a second life, another chance for here the die's been cast Now its consummated, are we ready to begin that long descent Holding on and letting go and getting back's a natural event We're all initiated, mere members of the same fraternity I'm not crazy, I'm just shaking the tree It's more like a chasm, and impossible to tell the waters deep We are all identified and measured by the company we keep We all need a jump start from time to time in actuality I'm not crazy, I'm just shaking the tree Push against the base, catch them as they one by one will fall Some are fine as feathers, others carry weight enough for all One might say they're only words, melodies like wind chimes from the past Given now a second life, another chance for here the die's been cast Some of us won't make the cut, we dangle from the branches of our dreams Others get the lion's share and keep themselves from going to extremes One man's floor's another's ceiling, of this for sure there is no guarantee I'm not crazy, I'm just shaking the tree Push against the base, catch them as they one by one will fall Some are fine as feathers, others carry weight enough for all One might say they're only words, melodies like wind chimes from the past Given now a second life, another chance for here the die's been cast

J. Small


Do you love art, but don’t know where to go to see it? Maybe you’d like to learn more about what you admire? Or maybe you’re an artist looking for some inspiration and guidance from another artist. Well, you’re in luck, because there are many options in the Northern Colorado region for doing all of the above. Here, we highlight two galleries in Longmont that offer not only shows and exhibitions, but also a broad array of community outreach programs, classes, and demonstrations by regional artists in a variety of media. They also sponsor studio tours, "artist in residence" programs and art exhibitions at local businesses. The Firehouse Art Center is located at 667 4th Ave in the beautifully renovated historical Fire Station. Its mission is “to promote cultural awareness of the arts in the community by diverse educational programs, events and curation of local, regional and national exhibits.” Recent exhibitions have included "Art Collection 101" featuring 12 local artists, "Retratos de los Muertos", featuring Travis Hetman, Liz Miller’s "Acrimonious Efflorescence", a mixed media installation, Jessica Forrestal’s "Artist in Residence Exhibition", and most recently, the Firehouse Program's show, featuring visual highlights from the community programs including art classes for underserviced children and adults, poetry and writing for all, as well as private studios for local artists and contemporary film. They also feature an annual junior high school art show as well as one featuring artists from Front Range Community College. Their next upcoming show, opening on January 4th is THINK, an exhibition featuring the captivating body art of international tattoo artists. Other programs of interest are Firehouse Art Center’s second Fridays from 6-9, pm featuring gallery openings, promotions and activities, "Film Night" on the 1st Friday of the month, and Poetry Nights. You can see all their class offerings, events, and exhibition schedule at Also in Longmont you will find Arts Longmont Gallery at 356 Main St., which features the work of 20+ local artists whose media include hand blown glass, jewelry, clay, painting and photography. Arts Longmont also offers annual studio tours of local artists’ studios, and Friday afternoon concerts at the 250-seat Stewart auditorium combined with an art exhibition at the Swan Atrium. Additionally, Arts Longmont sponsors Art Around Town, a program that promotes local artists in all cultural arts disciplines, including painters, sculptors, textile artists and metal artists. Since its inception in 1998, Art Around Town has displayed artists’ work at Longmont United Hospital, Burlington Medical Center, Bross Street Assisted Living, High Plains Bank, Wyatt Wine and Spirits and 1st National Bank. As an outreach program to young artists, Arts Longmont offers an "Artist in Residence" program to local schools and District Art Awards, a juried show featuring art drawn from the St. Vrain Valley School District Art Show. They also publish a monthly online magazine on their website, featuring stories about local art events and artists as well as a calendar that offers a broad range of the Arts in Longmont. Finally, they offer “Incubate,” which provides “outlets and opportunities that foster unique ideas enabling artists and musicians to explore their creativity, enhancing and strengthening the Longmont arts community.” You can explore all their wonderful offerings and get more information on their website at In the next issue of NoCo, I will highlight some of the galleries in Loveland and surrounding areas. In the meantime, Happy Viewing!

Sue Sundstrom is a watercolor and pastel artist, living and creating in Erie. She has been painting, drawing, and teaching art classes for more than 35 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Fine Art and Art Education. You can find more information about her and view her work at


(PART 1)



ne of the most beautiful states in our great Union is most certainly ours, namely Colorado, “The Centennial State” or “... where the Columbine grows”. Anywhere one travels across this huge state can this be proven, whether he or she visits the plains and deserts of the south, to the foothills and mountains of the central and northern regions. Some of the most remote territories of our nation lie in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado. Very few inhabited areas existed there until the late thirties through the second half of the twentieth century, when towns and villages began sprouting from Boulder in the east to Grand Junction to the western slope. Even today, the remoteness of the region is awe-inspiring to the frequent joggers, hikers and modern “explorers” who just can’t stay away from the deep, secluded regions of The Colorado Rocky Range. Some of the coldest temperatures in the country’s 48 territorial states have been recorded in these remote wilds. Sometimes, though, these haunting areas can be bone-chilling to the unexpected observer, even during the summer months, when plummeting temperatures have nothing to do with the experiences. Something else, unfortunately does!

In 1971, a couple of lovers hiking in the Pike National Forest near the town of Bailey in the Park County Colorado region witnessed something that they’d never forget. Frozen in fear, the two clutched each other as, less than 100 feet away from them in the Lost Wilderness Creek Section of the vast forest, a more than eight-foot tall hairy creature, crossing the path upon which they hiked, stopped, turned and momentarily stared at the couple, then continued ambling back into the thick woods as if nothing happened. That early Sunday morning in April is still considered one of the first documented sightings for the modern record of this mysterious creature in central Colorado between Denver and Colorado Springs. When they slowly and carefully followed the creature a few hundred more feet up the trail, they noticed it bent over and drinking from a small pond in a clearing just off the trail way. Quickly backtracking their path and then running to their car, the couple sped home in terror. Although they returned several times over the next two weeks with multiple photographers, some from local newspapers, nothing was ever discovered. This may have been the first, but it was certainly not the last of this type of >>>

sighting in the great state of Colorado! A year later, a group of teenagers driving around in their car one weekend after dark in Weld County, over a hundred miles north of the Pikes Peak occurrence, experienced a similar sighting. As most high schoolers do, goofing around and laughing as they drove, that night would be etched in their memories, for no joke or “male induced self-ridicule” would they remember, only a huge bipedal creature walking along the road upon which they drove. It abruptly stopped when sensing the kids, then turned and began yelling or growling at them in the deep darkness. When they turned off their headlamps and watched, the creature began walking quickly toward them swinging impossibly long arms and taking equally impossibly long gaits on two massive hairy legs. Panicking, they threw the car’s transmission in reverse and finally u-turned to safety, speeding along the scary dirt road upon which they found themselves only a few moments earlier. Little did the boys know, that later the Estes Park Area would become “ground zero” for future sightings of these magnificent creatures! A couple of years later, in Teller County, near Colorado Springs, miners in the area spotted through the window of their makeshift cabin what appeared to be a vandal of sorts around their mining equipment one late evening. When one dared go outside

their cabin, he was shocked to see a huge animal-like creature standing on two enormous legs “inspecting” the mining machines, completely fascinated at their equipment. When the brave miner managed to yell at the being, it turned and raised both arms, silently staring the miner down. The report stated that from the ground to the tip of its “paws” was over eleven feet! Very few people believed the head miner or his crew when they related their story the following day to the Colorado Springs authorities. The brave and strong mining men were so scared by the creature that some were even crying when reporting the incident. During the next 40 years, hundreds of people reported seeing and experiencing these “mythical beings” from all corners of our state. What’s more interesting is that the earliest settlers and those who preceded them, namely the multiple Native American tribes of our state and our neighboring states have all claimed not only its existence, but the variations of this creature and its cohabitation going back to the 1700s. (Next Issue: Nil Sine Numine (“Nothing Without Deity”- Colorado motto) The Early Tribes of Colorado and Their “Holy” Stories of “Sasquatch”, “The Yowie” and “The Wild Woodman of the Mountains”)

John J. K. Small was born in Manhattan, New York in 1954. Moving to Long Island from the south Bronx in 1963, John attended both public and private school straight through his college years. Taking an Associate Degree from SUNY Farmingdale and both Bachelors and Masters Degrees from St. John’s University, John is a permanently certified English/Education instructor of high school and college classes, teaching English, History and Education on both levels for the past 32 years. As a writer, he has assisted published writers with copy editing and proofreading along with business owners in constructing business plans, operating agreements, power point narratives, advertising campaigns and business collaboration in general. John lives with his wife, Maureen and son, Jonathan in New York.

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