Category Archives: Social Staircase

The ups and downs of life on the Social Staircase

Best Trend – Motorcycle Jackets & Skinny Jeans

Best Trend - Motorcycle Jackets & Skinny Jeans

Olde Town

We found the perfect fall day to visit one of our old haunts.

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Olde Town Arvada is about to experience a big changes due to the light rail station.  The increase in foot traffic will be great for the businesses. Parking has always been an issue in Olde Town, so the city has opened a new lot near the movie theaters and offers a shuttle to bring you downtown.

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We stopped first at a newer pub, Homegrown. They have a nice patio right on main street, it’s a bit noisy with traffic in the afternoon, so we were seated inside near a window.  The decor is somewhat industrial with a touch of antlers.  It was quite comfortable, the servers were friendly and efficient.

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If you want to try a truly delicious appetizer, have the brussel sprouts. They were amazing. We ate every bite, down to the last crumb. Then it was time for a stroll to see what had changed in Olde Town, turns out, quite a bit.

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There were a few of the long-time businesses, such as the Arvada Tavern. We’ve eaten here a few times, it’s always good. They did have a Rockabilly group upstairs once in a while, not sure if they still do.  As always the Rheinlander Bakery smelled delicious, they are celebrating their 53rd year. We hurried on by as our taste buds were yearning to go inside, but our waistlines said no!

We strolled on down to  Arvada Bead Connection, a local favorite where the proprietor is very friendly. Sadly, he is having a going out of business sale. With the changing demographic, the rents are being raised and parking removed which doesn’t appeal to his clientele. MB made sure to scoop up several seed bead tubes for future crafting. We wished him the best and moved on.

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Fuzzy’s Tacos across the street is said to be good, we haven’t tried it yet.

There are a growing number of new coffee shops, which we are sure will appeal to early morning commuters. If you want to make your commute really good, drop into the Rheinlander. Hey, you’ll be walking to the light rail, so it’s all good!

Our next stop was Third Eye Gifts, upon entering you feel the warmth of positive energy. The proprietor has several Himalayan Salt Lamps lit and producing negative ions. The negative ones are positive! The smell of incense was not overwhelming, just an added touch.

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We asked about the singing bowls and the owner took quite a bit of time to demonstrate them and teach us how they work.  We were definitely rookies when he had us try them. I think we’ll be back to purchase one soon. This may be a new favorite shop.

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For as chilly as it was, there were still kids in the water park! Located in the center of Old Town, they offer movies here in the summer. During the day, it’s a spot for kids to play while the adults relax on the nearby benches and visit. Near the holidays, a Christmas Tree and other decorations are added. You can also take an old-fashion carriage ride through downtown. We have to admit, this is an improvement on the parking lot that used to sit here.

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Schoolhouse Kitchen & Libations is aptly named as it is in the old Arvada School.  We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this place. We happy to see them re-purposing the old buildings rather than tear them down. It helps to maintain the ambiance.

A local favorite with children of all ages is Scrumptious Ice Cream and their cement pig mascot.

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He’s a Superhero today, just a few months ago, he was a hippie, but he’s always good for a kids photo-op. The shop itself offers some unusual and delicious home-made ice cream flavors, dark cherry and bourbon flavors are favorites. Everyday they have something different. On one side of the shop is the ice cream parlor, on the other is an old-fashioned candy store with bottled soda. On a hot evening, this place is packed. Right across the street from the light rail station, they’ll be busy all year-round.

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We ran out of time to further explore, and there are so many new shops and restaurants to visit.

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Penzeys Spices and Silver Vines Winery are first on the list for our next downtown stroll. Can you imagine how wonderful Penzeys Spices must smell?

If you are in our neck of the woods, be sure to stop by Olde Town Arvada.

 

Here’s to a Happy Life!

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🍁MaryBeth & Sherry 🍂

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be Interesting?

I recently came across a book titled “How To Be Interesting” or something to that effect. I only vaguely remember the cover and title, I have no idea who the actual author is.

I thumbed through the book quickly to get an idea of its contents and/or ideas. Some of the suggestions were eavesdrop, maintain eye contact, smile or laugh easily and often.

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Smile More wallpaper by Roman Atwood and Brittney Smith

There are whole blogs to be written on just those 3 suggestions, so just a quick note. While eavesdropping is considered to be rude, often in tightly packed places, it is unavoidable. The author’s point was that you can learn a lot about someone this way and then engage them in conversation based on what you overheard. I’d proceed cautiously with this one.

Maintaining eye contact is consider rude in some cultures and is known to make some people very uncomfortable. However, in a one on one conversation with someone you know this would definitely indicate that you are actively engaged.

As to smile or laugh easily and often, it may well make you interesting as people will wonder what you are up to! They may even be inclined to come over to you and ask. That would be interesting.

In my opinion one of the best way to be interesting is quite simple – Be a Listener. When someone talks to you, LISTEN. If you truly listen to what someone is saying to you, then you can respond appropriately and start a good give and take. Now you are both involved and interested!

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It seems obvious to me that most of us want someone to listen to us. Obvious because isn’t the dominance social media the perfect indicator of this need?

We strive through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whisper among others to voice our opinions, our emotions, our concerns. Likes, comments, re-tweets, etc are indicators of our success in being heard. Social Media is here to stay, but it’s impersonal for the most part.

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Social media means I can’t watch your facial expressions or catch you at an unguarded moment. I can’t feel your energy nor hear your laughter. Do you need a hug? I’d rather do that in person not by liking and sharing. Wouldn’t my being there in person to interact with you make both of us much more interesting?

What do you think makes others interesting? Let us know in the comments, we’d truly like to know.

 

Here’s to a happy life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

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The Closet Politician

I think I must be a closet politician. Why you ask? Last night I had a dream where I left my home and went to a crowded public place similar to an open air mall, and started giving a loud speech as to why everyone listening should vote a certain way. Of the little I recall, it seems to me that I was telling them why they should vote for me, what my platform was along with the reasons my views were a step up from the rest of the campaigning crowd! Talk about a nightmare!

Sherry and I both believe strongly that the United States of America has a solid foundation for voting rights. Sure it has a few kinks that could and should be worked out, but as citizens we are allowed to vote for whomever we wish, even though every vote you make is not without pressure. There is no campaigning, known as electioneering, within 100 feet of any polling place here in Colorado. Nonetheless you are inundated with signs and supporters along your route if you choose to vote in person. One of the reasons we choose the mail-in ballot.

Social Media is loaded with ads and personal opinions, along with the occasional friend who threatens to unfriend you if you support certain platforms or politicians. As our friend, please feel free to disagree in a polite, well-thought out, fact driven comment. You just might be able to change our opinion. Or better yet, hide the offending post and move on to our funnier stuff. The agree to disagree philosophy is an important part of our culture.

The deluge continues if you turn on the television or radio. We’d guess that there is a 50/50 chance that everything in these ads is actual fact and not just someone’s manipulation of the facts. That’s okay, we’ve been known to embellish a good story too. Just give the American public credit for knowing the difference.

The point is what used to be a few months of campaigning and all the accompanying rhetoric became an election year and now a minimum of one and half to two years of lead-ins, speculation and generalizations. Every candidate promises at the beginning of their run to avoid attacking other candidates and then the caucuses arrive….

Forget debates, we all know politicians like to argue, if there was that much arguing in our families, there’d be a whole lot of time-outs going on. Media misinformation, in a family situation would be called lying, at home this would have brought on a punishment reminiscent of the scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie ended up with a very clean mouth. Baiting by commentators and reporters is bullying. And bullying is unacceptable in any other arena.

All of the above  is why even if I am a closet politician, you would never see me campaigning.

You will find us sitting at a cafe somewhere sipping wine, water, coffee, whatever the discussion calls for (and sometimes that’s whiskey!) debating the relative (and I use the term lightly) merits of each candidate. We freely admit that usually ends in laughter and a diversion to a completely different subject. We prefer to focus on the positive and bring joy into the world.

Here’s to a happy life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry  🌟

Featured image – courtesy fo clipartbest.com

 

For Love of Family

We’ve reached that phase where life starts to come full circle. Whereas you used to take your children to your parents for baby-sitting now they bring their children to you. And just like you did, they give you instructions on how to care for your grandbabies. It doesn’t matter than you managed to raise them pretty darn good, their way is the formula you must follow now, or at least until your children are out of earshot!

The first time we watched our granddaughter, my step-son gave us very clear instructions. We were to hold her on our shoulder and walk continuously as this is what she preferred. If on the off-chance she fell asleep, we could sit, but under no circumstances were we to allow her to see or hear the TV. (Boy, did she have them trained!)

Now we have 2!

Now there are 2!

We willingly obliged, right up until their car pulled out of the driveway. Then we sat, talked and cooed to this wondrous little doll until she fell asleep in Papa’s lap. At that point we turned on the TV, relaxed and watched. Naturally, as soon as we heard the doorbell ring, signaling her parents return, we shut off the TV, arranged that precious bundle on a shoulder, walking to the front door as if we’d been walking for hours.

Precious little fairies

Precious little fairies

Another sign of life’s circles is to us the tougher one. The caring for aging parents. I helped care for my Dad for 7 years before he passed. This journey is at time frustrating and unwelcome, other times it’s laughter and joy. At all times, for us, it is an act of love. Caring for aging parents can seem like a labyrinth for which there is no exit and a new surprise at every turn.

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Often, there is anger from your parent because the tables are turned, they start to feel like the child and you the parent. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand why this is so difficult for them. If there is a defined illness or pain, they become irritated with new regimes and medications. Your parents feel the lack control and they have to idea how to get it back. There might be a loss of activities with their contemporaries, making them feel isolated and confined. If their journey includes dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory or cognitive loss of any kind, they may not understand what’s truly going on.

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Coming from that perspective helped me to better understand my Dad’s disposition and make an effort to focus on laughter and helping him take part in those things he could still enjoy. Being surrounded by his family made him the happiest.

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All in all, being on this side of the circle (yes, the older side, haha!) is one of the most rewarding parts of your family life, helping you to see your parents in a joyful new light, having your children as friends and allowing you to spoil your grandchildren. Actually, there’s no reason you can’t also spoil your parent at this time, I know mine certainly deserved it.

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How do you or your family deal with this new aspect of life? Let us know in the comments, you may help someone else gain new perspective.

Here’s to a Happy Life! 🍻

IMG_1970 MaryBeth & Sherry

Yoga’na Laugh, OM sure of it.

Laughing Yoga

Hmmmm – Laughing Yoga? Ok, let’s give it a shot, I tell MaryBeth. I’ll pick you up. She gets in the car and I start to laugh. Got to love it when you look like the Bobbsey twins and you really didn’t plan it! Turquoise shirt and black yoga pants – we were ready to go and already had our first laugh!

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It was interesting and different. I guess there is a yogi who started this and there really was a lot of laughing and silliness. Had to look it up after class to find out more – Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga) is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter, it is based on the belief that forced laughing leads to contagious laughter and that it has the same physiological and psychological benefits.

We totally get that – it does help your mental state. MaryBeth and I can start to laugh about something stupid and silly to the point of tears rolling down our faces. Usually it’s an inside joke that just keeps snowballing. You know the feeling, afterward, you think, that was really dumb. Funny but dumb.

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Anyway, we get the concept and think it’s great, but, If we are going to get all dressed to go to yoga – matching and all, we want to break a sweat or stretch something that needs to be stretched.

For us, it’s more stress-reducing to go out with people we know and laugh; the sharing of stories we all know and embellish on, the good-natured teasing, and the unexpected snort while laughing that evokes even more hilarity.

The people in the class have been going every week were very nice and like it; we say “good for them”! We don’t have to like everything we try. We just have to try it!

Laughter Yoga

Here’s to a happy life!

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The Case of the Missing LookBook

Like so many of us, I was a student of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys school of  sleuthing, so when I didn’t receive my lookbook from Keaton Row as expected the mystery began.

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As you may recall from The Lion, The Witch and My Wardrobe, I had followed-thru on a blog written by Lucky Shops regarding personal shoppers. One of their recommended sites is Keaton Row.

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As requested, I had filled out Keaton Row’s questionnaire, which consists of questions and picture choices. Once the questionnaire is complete, they assign a stylist based on your answers.

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Individual stylists have lookbooks you can browse before deciding who you work with. The original stylist Keaton Row chose for me… well, let’s just say I studied her lookbooks and NO! Our taste in clothing could only be described as dissimilar.

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Just kidding. This is not from a Keaton Row stylist, the person who did design these outfits probably looks adorable in them.  Hmm, maybe I could have an alter ego – Nona Punk?  I already have the purple in my hair. But I digress.

Since Keaton Row’s chosen stylist didn’t work for me, I  browsed through all their stylists and their sample lookbooks to choose my own.  I chose Markee Benton, requested a lookbook and waited for my email notification it was ready for viewing. And waited some more. After a couple of weeks, I thought “Do they send an email notification or am I supposed to check back on the website?” I checked the website, nothing.  I again requested a lookbook, only to get the same result.

I’d pretty much given up on Keaton Row and began my blog on on-line Personal Stylists.  Yet, the lack of response from Keaton Row nagged at me so like a good disciple of Nancy Drew, I decided to go back one more time.  Perhaps Markee Benton has looked at my questionnaire and said “NO!” “I can’t style this woman!” (Who can blame her? I’d done the same thing with my original stylist!)  Truly, I have no idea what happened to Markee.

However, being a professional company, Keaton Row had assigned me a new stylist, Sara Reardon. I put the blog on hold and requested a lookbook from Sara. She came through almost immediately. I had asked her for an updated look in denim. I received an email shortly after stating my lookbook was ready. In addition, Sara sent me a personal email to get a better feel for my personality as well as what I was looking for. This was more of what I had expected originally.

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Sara’s lookbook for me consisted of 3 pairs of jeans,

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7 blouses (love #’s 3 & 5)

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and 1 complete look.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 3.59.49 PMNaturally, I don’t like everything Sara chose but I do believe that Keaton Row and their stylist, Sara Reardon did a great job delivering on what they promised. These items are more in keeping with what I would wear as well as what I asked for.  Keeping the lines of communication open with Sara should lead to a lasting relationship as well as a fabulous wardrobe!

Afterword – If you try Keaton Row, we’d love to hear about your experience.