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From the Publisher

Make some memories…

disney-coinWelcome to Fall. The days have begun to be noticeably shorter and the chill in the air in the morning and night is more distinct. Some people relish the fall as a transition time after a long hot summer and look forward to the seasonal events that are welcomed this time of year.

I will be honest; fall is not my favorite time of the year. I don’t like to be cold and all I can think about during autumn temperate changes is that snow and cold are right around the corner. However, fall is a time full of family, fun and great memories. My family and I try to take a family vacation during fall break from school and some of the happiest memories I have were created during this time of year.

I read somewhere recently that parents only have 12 “fall breaks” from school with each of their children. As parents of two high school boys, this hit close to home as we have only a handful of fall breaks left with our boys. Because of this, a family trip this fall is even more important to us so we can make as many memories as possible with our boys.

While out on a morning run the other day I was daydreaming about our upcoming family vacation this year. I was remembering all the fun my family and I have had over the years and thinking about what new adventures are before us. It was at that time that one of the happiest moments in my entire life slowly came to the front of my mind…October 12, 1995.

My beautiful wife Pamela and I first met when we were 14 in high school. She swept me off my feet from the first day I met her. I am sure my impression on her was, at least initially, somewhat different. Over the years our friendship grew and she even went to my Senior Prom with me. Our relationship blossomed during college and the day finally came when I wanted to ask the amazing woman who was now my best friend to become my wife. I scraped together what I could and took us on a trip to Disneyland. There, on the bridge into Cinderella’s castle, I asked her to complete my life. Fortunately for me, she accepted.

Later that day, while enjoying all that Disney had to offer, we found a little vending machine that allowed you to make souvenir coins. That day, October 12, 1995, I cast a keepsake that encapsulated one of the happiest memories of my life. That coin is my reminder to make memories that last a lifetime.

This year…on October 12th…twenty years later…my family and I will be making more memories. This leads me to my challenge for you this month. No matter how busy your day, week or month becomes, make at least one memory with your family in October. Share a walk around the block with your kids, call a brother or sister and spend some time catching up, take a moment to hold your spouse’s hand while telling them what you love most about them. Make a memory and share some love. Those memories will become the most precious gift you have and the love you share will continue to make our world a better place.

Have a happy and memory filled October!

Trick or Treat on Mainstreet

TRICK-OR-TREATYou can feel it in the air. The crisp breeze that accompanies fall in Colorado. The trees are showing bright hues of yellow and red. The shorter days are telling you that the time is growing closer. Before you know it, our streets will be filled with the buzz of little space rangers and pretty princesses on the hunt for piles and piles of sugary treats.

Halloween is just around the corner and the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club of Parker has your little ghouls and goblins in mind with their annual Trick or Treat on Mainstreet brought to you by Rapid Housing Solutions. Bring the entire family to Downtown Parker from 3:30pm to 8:00pm and celebrate Halloween in a fun and safe environment. This family friendly event is held in Downtown Parker along Mainstreet. Bring the entire family and stroll along East Mainstreet and trick-or-treat with many local businesses and community groups. Bring big bags and bigger smiles as the businesses in Parker will be on hand to pass out treats to all the little boys and girls. The Parker Police Department will also be on hand helping with traffic and keeping everyone safe.

Trick or Treat on Mainstreet, brought to you by Rapid Housing Solutions, is a community event presented by the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club of Parker. For more information, visit www.trickortreatonmainstreet.com.

Art & Wine Festival

art-and-wineThe Wildlife Experience is hosting the third annual Art & Wine Festival from 6–10 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 9. The festival will be held at the Liniger Building at CU South Denver, one mile east of I-25 along Lincoln Ave., in Parker. More than 200 bottles of wines from around the world will be available to sample along with delicacies from local restaurants (like Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant). There will even be a couple of breweries and a distillery as well

The Wildlife Experience was gifted to CU earlier this year. The museum is still open to the public with two new art exhibits opening Oct. 1. The featured artists, digital panoramic photographer Steve Schwartz and sculptor Lee Thormahlen, will both be at Art & Wine. Get to know the artists and their work and see some of the tools of their respective trades. Several pieces will be available for purchase.

Attendees will also be able to explore the rest of The Wildlife Experience art galleries, including the ¼ mile walk-through diorama called Globeology. Many of the small animals, birds and inspects displayed were created by Thormahlen.

Art & Wine will also feature live jazz from renowned local musician and CU Denver Associate Professor Sean McGowan. At the event participants can even create their own unique piece of art courtesy of local art studio unWined.

Cost for the event is $45 ($35 for designated drivers), and includes unlimited drink and food tastings, music, artists and access to the entire museum. Take advantage of a worry-free package and stay the night at one of the local hotel partners, Drury Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites or Courtyard Marriott. The hotels will shuttle attendees to and from the event, and provide breakfast and a late checkout to boot.

Don’t miss south Denver’s premiere wine and art fest at the new CU South Denver. Visit cusouthdenver.com/event/art-wine for more information or to purchase tickets.

Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar

mountain-pineThe Holidays. The aroma of cinnamon, the sparkle of decorations, the excitement of shopping…it’s all here at the Parker Field House, November 14, 9am-4pm. Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar has been a Parker tradition for the last 10 years. Once again there will be a wide array of holiday shopping with 100+ artisans and vendors. Each aisle will be filled with exciting products, many handmade, sure to please everyone on your gift list.

Mountain Pine Woman’s Club is proud to host this annual holiday event. Mountain Pine is a local Parker, volunteer, nonprofit women’s club that has been involved in our community for over 25 years. We are part of a larger organization, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, that has roots back to 1868. Both groups strive to make communities stronger through volunteerism and promote fellowship among women.

Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar is the primary fundraiser for Mountain Pine Woman’s Club and is used to benefit many of their charitable projects as well as supporting activities on a local, national and international level. Current projects include scholarships for college, GED scholarships and sport scholarships through the Parker Field House. In addition Mountain Pine supports Parker Task Force, Arising Hope, Streets Hope, Santa’s Workshop, Freedom Service Dogs…all local projects within the Denver Metro and Parker area. Operation Smile, Heifer International, Canine Companions and child advocacy have been tackled on a larger scale through our parent club, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Many other charitable enterprises have been recipients in the past few years, all made possible through our annual Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar holiday event.

There will be a wonderful array of gift items, craft and homemade goodies and delectable food items at this year’s event. Of special note is our own Mountain Pine Craft Booth with an incredible display of cuddly stuffed animals for children, darling clothes for the all-time favorite 18”doll, beautiful hand knitted items pet gifts, and home décor.

Mark your calendar for Mountain Pine Yuletide Bazaar, always the second Saturday of November; this year it’s November 14. You will be inspired and delighted with the fabulous array of artisans and products. Come visit us and experience the incredibly talented artists sharing their wares. Jewelry, pottery, food products, books, home décor, fashion accessories…it’s all here for your shopping pleasure! Come early…the first 100 shoppers receive a special gift!

Stick a Fork in Cancer

stick-a-forkThis October, we are sticking a fork in cancer! Join restaurants throughout Parker in a campaign to fight back against cancer and support The American Cancer Society. During the week of October 19th-25th, participating restaurants in Parker, CO and the Denver Metro Area invite you to fight back against cancer by dining with them. Each restaurant has selected a date during that week and will be giving back between 10-30% of their total sales to help fund The American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

We all have a connection to cancer, let’s do something about it! Celebrate those who have survived their cancer battle, remember those we have lost to cancer, and fight back so that our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren do not have to hear the words, “you have cancer.” This campaign could fund lodging for 1 more family who must travel for treatment. This campaign could provide a reliable ride to treatment for one more person who otherwise might not have the means to get there at all. This campaign could secure one more research grant that just might hold the cure for cancer. This campaign could help save lives. Will you help us?

While you enjoy a night out with your family and friends, Stick a Fork in Cancer together! To find a complete list of participating restaurants, go to
www.stickaforkincancerco.org.

Get a Jump on No Shave November

beardIt’s that time of year…when men of all ages put aside their razor and let their beard grow in honor of “no-shave-November” and embrace their inner lumber-jack. This annual beard tradition has origins that are a bit scruffy. Some use this opportunity to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer while others believe this hairy right began as a protest of college aged men who didn’t shave during mid-terms. Whatever the reason may be, here are some tips on growing a man mane that your friends will be envious of and you would be proud to display.

THE SCIENCE OF BEARDS
First off you must understand that your facial hair is not the same as your head hair. Body hair is also called Androgenic hair. It is very different from the hair on your head and vellus hair, which are much finer and lighter in color. Androgenic hair is very much associated with levels of male hormones in your system. Because of this, typically men have more androgenic hair than women. Also, your beard hair tends to be much thicker and have a courser texture than the hair on your head. In addition, the growth cycles between active growth and dormancy of facial hair are much further apart. This is why your beard hair will never grow as fast or long as your head hair. The only things that affect these cycles of growth are your genetics and how much testosterone you have in your system.

STEP ONE
Most men who choose to not grow facial hair state that because of the “itch” associated with growing a beard they decide not to. The itch comes into play twice when growing a beard. It first arrives when you start to grow your beard out and the hair is pushing out of the follicles. This sensation is often described as itch. The second time is when the hair is long enough to “poke” back around at your skin. One simple remedy to eliminate or significantly reduce beard itch is to make sure and use good high quality beard oil (Extraordinary Beards is a favorite of ours) from day one. This keeps the hair softer and helps to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

STEP TWO
One of the most important factors for growth has nothing to do with your beard. Plain and simple, be healthy! Beard growth is a metabolic process, so if you are pounding your body with bad food, smoking, no exercise, etc. then your beard will respond (or not respond) to how your body is. Your rate of hair growth is pre-set by your genetics so if you want to grow at that level then you need to give your body everything it needs to be healthy. Cut out the cigarettes and start exercising.

STEP THREE
By far the most important aspect is time. Give it time, don’t give up. Your beard will grow and as long as you keep it healthy with beard oils and balms and keep your body healthy then nature will do what it does best and you will have a hair hedge to be proud of come November. Besides, your lady friend will appreciate your dedication and commitment, which are traits you should be proud of.

BONUS STEP
If you are blessed with a very active growth beard then make sure you keep it neat and clean as it grows. Oil it up at least once a day and use a good wood comb to help train your beard and evenly distribute the beard oil. Plastic combs are a no no, so stay away from them. Most plastic combs are injection molded and under a microscope you can see that the teeth have barbs and cracks that will grab your hair and pull it out. Natural wood combs avoid this and help provide a good look when used.

With some basic prep, good quality beard oil conditioners and patience you will impress your friends this November with a healthy hedge on your face. Who knows, come December you may decide to keep your furry friend and grow it out for another year and fully realize the respect and admiration that comes from having an epic beard!

Extraordinary Beards premium beard care products are available at Roosters Men’s Grooming at the NE corner of Parker Rd and Lincoln Ave in Parker!  They are also available online at ExtraordinaryBeards.com

The Bookends

The Troop by Nick Cutter

A Scoutmaster and a troop of boy scouts are on an annual weekend camping trip on Falstaff Island. Upon their first night of this adventure a sick man stumbles upon their cabin. Scoutmaster Tim is a general doctor and although the man seems beyond help, he performs surgery with one of the boy’s assistance. What they discover will turn this camping trip into a fight for survival. The boys are stuck on an island with only their scout training to help them survive. Will the badges and experience that these teens have be enough to make it through this weekend?

BECKY: I wanted to find a spooky book for this Halloween issue and I think that this story covers a lot of creepy topics. I must warn our readers that there are situations, and language that is not normally in the books we read. With that said, after reading this story will this book make you think twice when you hear a twig break on your next camping trip?

PAM: I must admit that after reading this book, I was a bit twitchy in many circumstances! It was a perfect pick for Halloween, as the author covers a variety of creepy and disturbing topics. The author uses a variety of viewpoints to tell the entire story. We have the experiences of the characters, various journal entries, interview transcripts, and articles throughout the book. Did you like this style or did you find it distracting?

BECKY: I’m glad that you mentioned the unique storytelling. The tale itself is easy to follow and the characters are all interesting. The additional entries were a bit confusing at the onset of the book. However, it was a great way to give the reader some background information; it just took a few entries for me to catch on to what the author was presenting What did you think about our group of scouts? They each have their own story to tell and bring something different to the group.

PAM: They all had different backgrounds and contributed in different ways to the group. The author certainly made me either like or loathe the characters with the development of each one. I found it interesting to follow the group dynamics and wondered if it is accurate in real life with a group of teenage boys. They had a definite hierarchy and the interactions within the group supported this idea. There was one troop member that had a backstory that was very difficult to read and wasn’t for the faint of heart. Did you find it a challenge to read about this teen and his inner thoughts?

BECKY: Definitely! He was a disturbed young man and some of his actions/desires were not easy to read about. However, it developed this character to a higher degree. Kudos to the author for creating so much emotion in the reader about a fictional boy. I thought that the group of boys were a little cookie cutter in that we had the ‘jock’, the ‘fat’ kid, the ‘nerd’…etc. They were from a small town so that could explain the greater diversity in a small group of boys. Do you think that the author gave a unique ‘voice’ to each of the teens?

PAM: The author did create a unique voice for each of the teens in this story. With their own distinct personalities, they each handled the tragic situation differently. Scoutmaster Tim takes the group of boys on this trip to the island each year. He appears to care for the boys, although they are exhibiting some disrespectful behavior this trip, as they struggle with the trials of the teenage years. Were you able to connect to the troop leader’s character?

BECKY:: I had a hard time embracing this character. It could be because he plays a smaller part in the story. I also did not agree with some of his choices but I agree that he did care for the boys in the troop. I liked that the majority of the story revolves around a group of boys and their struggles. Did you know that Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Craig Davidson, (http://craigdavidson.net)? From what I see, Nick has three novels under his name and Craig has four. Would you be interested in reading more from this author or was it just too strange?

PAM: I would like to read another book from this author. His story was strange, but unique and I would be interested in his other ideas. This story was perfect for our October issue! I won’t give anything away, but how did you feel about the way the author wrapped up his book? Was it what you expected?

BECKY: I wasn’t sure what to expect but I did like how the story came to a close. The author gave us the end of the story regarding the island and then a little more closure that answers what happened after the camping trip. It was a unique read but I am ready to leave this spooky story behind. What are we reading next month?

PAM: Next month we transition to Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. This story will certainly provoke many discussions

Local Author Spotlight

candystore

 

The Candy Store by Michele Poague

Ronald Reagan is president and Denver is reeling from the 1970s Oil Boom when sixteen-year-old Jett finds work making confections for Watson’s Candies. Hiding from Social Services and a diligent detective, the young woman is pleasantly surprised to learn her new job includes room and board.

The elderly couple running the store offers her the home she’d never known but when tragedy strikes, the hard-as-nails orphan wakes up in the psychiatric ward in a strangely altered world. Watson’s candy store appears to be the only thing that hasn’t changed and Jett is sure it holds the key to finding her way home.

As in the life she left behind, she is pursued by the authorities. Having been shuffled from one foster home to another, Jett is no stranger to uncomfortable situations but in this new world she must be careful of her every move or risk being locked away forever.

The Candy Store is available for purchase online at thecandystorebook.com