Privileged, empowered, white, upper middle class, 50ish female. This is me.
You could call me a Karen…although I hate that term and feel bad for my friends named Karen.
It could have easily been a Heather meme instead.
“OMG she is such a Heather.” Because I kinda am.
But I know who I am.
I stand on the shoulders of proud generations before me. People who have fought for my freedoms. People who enabled me to devour this life before me. I have grown up lippy, opinionated and loved. Perhaps the last variable is the most controversial…..I am vocal because I feel safe and because I feel loved.
It’s easier to be lippy when you are loved.
So I will.
I struggled this 4th.
Because I don’t understand what it means to be an American anymore. This is not a left or right thing…..this is a who are we thing? Are we really a gun toting, forced birth, climate change denying country?
I recently read an article that said, “America is more about a dream than a place.”
I read that to my husband who said, “what a cop-out- of course we are a place. We are a country with a GDP of $20.95 trillion. This is a place.”
So, if we are not dream. And really a place…..I feel a tad more unsure of where I belong.
Because in this last week we (the collective American We) forced a ten year old rape victim to travel to Indiana because no one in Ohio would perform an abortion.
On a ten year old….who was raped.
I should read the story above about a third world country. I should drink my double espresso with foamy oat milk in the shape of a heart and shake my head but not be surprised….because I’m an American….and this happens in other countries but not here.
And I like Ohio….really Cleveland is lovely. Don’t make me reconsider my Skyline Chili in Cleveland!
On the 4th, we drove to my mom’s to celebrate this great nation. And we heard about another shooting in Highland Park, Il.
Highland Park….an incredibly affluent suburb. Home to Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller and Risky Business. Highland Park is my personal Columbine, before Uvalde, before Buffalo, before, before.
And I’m not an extreme progressive. I am not woke….ask my nieces and they will tell me that I clearly do not know my pronouns.
I am not super liberal.
But this is not my America.
On the flip side…..I am……I am…….super lippy and super loved and soon to have a super knee.
And I make mediocre parade signs. And one thing my generations before have taught me, is that this is still my America, even when it feels as scratchy as a wool sweater lined with sandpaper……
As the great George Washington. once said, “Winning was easy, young man. Governing is harder.”
May we Govern better, listen to the voices.
And may this be our non-partisan pic one day…..filmed in Highland Park, IL.
My article around a local brewer was just published. I’m really not a beer drinker but this was fun to write. Clearer text is below the article.
Lets meet for a beer!
What is Kyle Brewing in Candelas?
Colorado is known for its stunning natural beauty, sunny days, active families, and great craft beer.
Kyle Larkin wants to make sure the residents of Northwest Arvada can embrace the magic and creativity behind great craft beer.
Kyle is the head brewer at Resolute Brewing Company, located at 18148 w. 92nd Lane and we’re pretty happy he’s here. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kyle took a detour to DC before he found Colorado and decided to call it home.
Kyle started homebrewing in college and found a passion for it. After a short stint in the business world after graduation, he decided to become a professional brewer and never looked back. Part artist, part chemist with a little touch of foodie, he finds his inspiration after years of experience, knowing great ingredients and cooking.
“It’s fun to taste flavors in food or cocktails and then try and put that into a beer.”
The love of food pairings is apparent when reading the beer menu; ingredients such orange, passion fruit, coconut and chocolate reveal the complexities to brewing. Beer is barrel aged, temperature and humidity controlled enabling Kyle and his team to create wild and delicious recipes.
Kyle started brewing at a small brewpub in Pennsylvania. This took him to Troegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, PA. Word travels fast in the brewing industry and soon he had an opportunity brew in Washington DC, working for DC Brau and starting their barrel aging program.
“Living in the nation’s capital was great, but my fiancé’ and I wanted to experience somewhere new. After considering different job offers, I ended up accepting a position with Avery Brewing so we could be in Colorado. From Avery, I worked at 4 Noses Brewing before joining Resolute.”
Resolute doesn’t only brew beer, its hopes are to create a gathering place for the Northwest Arvada community, “It is Resolute’s singular hope that we transform our community into a family, driven to create vibrant relationships around the brewery. We hope that lives are changed based on the friends made in the taproom, and that charity, hospitality, and kindness flow out of our taproom along with our beer.”
Kyle runs the production side at Resolute but he does so much more than produce beer. The 20 beer lines change depending on the season, new ideas and unique varieties. Master Smash is a recent creation, an IPA brewed with Genie pale malt from Root Shoot Malting in Loveland. This balanced bitter IPA features notes of pineapple, mango and touch of pine, because it is after all, Colorado. And just in time for Summer is the Mexican style Lager, Onda which pairs well with salt, citrus and Colorado Sunshine.
There are a few traditional flavors that are a constant at Resolute. These favorites can be purchased as six packs and shared at your next bbq. Artwork on the cans reflect what is best about Colorado. The Standing Room only beer can depicts a concert at Red Rocks and might inspire a lengthy conversation with a buddy about the best Red Rocks concert (for the record? It was U2, Under a Blood Red Sky but I’m open to a debate).
All the Fuss Lemondrop Sour takes you paddle boarding; the aspen are turning and there is snow on Longs Peak. Grill Sauce portrays a young couple in their backyard with the Flatirons in the distance. The artwork is so beautiful, you might not recycle your can. And even better, the beer inside the can is delicious.
Resolute focuses on community, craft and culture. “Our Founders come from various walks of life, including finance, engineering, and accounting, but we resonate as one around our passion for community, great beer, and even greater people. Resolute is more than a brewery; it is a community of people and families enthusiastic about being a part of something bigger than themselves. Resolute’s employees and culture imbue hospitality, social responsibility, and a love of the craft.”
This community of people has made Resolute a hub of Northwest Arvada activity hosting yoga, live music, farmer’s markets and tasty food trucks. Trivia is hosted every Wednesday night. Resolute has partnered with the Candelas Running Club. The group meets every Thursday for a run and then relaxes by the fire pit with their favorite ale or lager. July will feature a Cars and Brews Auto Show. Check their events page for updates and a schedule of food trucks.
The vision of great beer, great community and giving back has been a recipe for success as Resolute continues to grow. “Our current mission is to continue to make Resolute a spot for people to gather and have a good time while delivering the best beer we can. In five years we hope to have a third location open, which would serve as our main production brewery. This would allow us to increase our production volume and get more beer to people around the state and grow our community.”
When asked what advice Kyle would give to a new business owner, he says without hesitation, “Be passionate, follow your plan and listen to your employees.”
And the success behind this business? “Quality above all else.”
We are so excited that Kyle decided early in his career to pursue his passion, provide this community a tasty brew, a place to gather and enjoy.
He and the team at Resolute raises a glass to thank the community and sponsors of Neighbors of Northwest Arvada. “Thank you for all of your support. We hope to share our beers and our space with you all for years.”
And thank you Kyle for sharing your story and the creativity behind your craft. We will see you around the fire pit this summer!
But it is also contains sensitive content around birth and death…..proceed with caution.
Today was a really fun day. Our hockey team won the Cup! You can’t win a cup and not have a parade. So today half a million of my closest Avs fans converged in downtown Denver for yes, a parade.
I was fortunate enough to be ‘behind the scenes’, drive a firetruck (kidding) and hang out with my Avalanche besties who really are young enough to be my children but that’s okay.
And they only know me as a crazy mom-aged stalker….but that’s okay too.
Today was a good day.
I do not take the joy I feel, my laughter and easy smile today for granted.
17 years ago at this exact time, I questioned everything in my life. I questioned my body. I questioned the cruel circumstances of life and death, pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood. My whole world and everything I knew about it had been tilted on an axis.
17 years ago the beautiful full term baby boy I carried in my belly died.
Before I would have been hesitant to tell you this- perhaps frightened that it would be too much. But since ya’ll are talking about my baby-maker on every corner…..talking about what you might know without ever having gone through what a lot of women are going through…..
I’ll lay my cards out……..
A little bit of me died 17 years ago.
But I was still alive.
Have you ever seen the Walking Dead? I was Zombie angry. I howled at the moon. I despised healthy pregnant women who gave birth to beautiful babies. I was foreign to everyone else who didn’t loose their babies. I was unpredictable, postpartum bleeding, hormonal and amazingly sad.
But today, June 30, 2022 was a good day.
And I honor today’s good day
I honor it in the fact that the long, extensive, heart breaking road was incredibly personal and difficult. But we made it.
I challenged all of my friendships, and somehow they all survived. I challenged my marriage and we survived.
Jack, in his own silent way, paved the road for other unfairness in our lives. I thank him for this and will always be grateful for the lessons this silent, beautiful boy gave us.
Our story is not different because we wanted our boy. Every story about intimacy, relationships, life, birth and death is told behind closed doors. Government has no place here.
I invite you into my story, without my invitation, you have no seat.
I had more rights as a woman 17 years ago. Even at that time, I was asked by doctors what happened…..did I fall? What did I eat? They copied my file in fear of being sued. They were respectfully distant.
I weep for what my Sisters must endure today- for the ugliness and beauty of birth. For where we are as a country and for where I hope we can meet across the table. For my sisters who must make horrible, private decisions. And for those who have to make much more difficult, public decisions.
For the day that I died a bit…..but for new branches that grow.
And for today….this day…..this fun day. I honor it all.
I have taken on a super fun side gig! I am writing for Neighbors of Northwest Arvada. June brought Father’s Day and a chance to interview my Pops and fellow (new!) Arvada resident.
Content isn’t available online but you can read the text of my interview below.
Happy Father’s Day Neighbors of Northwest Arvada! Did you know that Father’s Day did not become a nationally recognized holiday until 1972? We see you Dads out there; on the bike trails or tossing a ball around.
Good Dads are the best. In honor of the holiday, I took some time to chat with my own Dad and fellow Arvada resident about Fatherhood.
You’ve been doing this dad thing for over 50 years, and we think your pretty good at it. As a dad of adult kids, watching your kids have kids, what advice would you give to someone whose brand new to this?
Enjoy the time- it goes by so quickly. Play with your kids, be the goofy dad. Jump in the pool and be the shark. Wear the tiara for the tea party. When your kids are young, the days can be long, but you blink, and they are off to college. Enjoy the time when they think you’re still pretty cool.
I still think you’re pretty cool. What has been your proudest moment as a father?
Seeing my children grow up to become decent, respectful, talented world contributing people makes my buttons pop.
Well, that’s a pretty nice thing to say about your kiddos. Thanks! We are going to fire up the grill for Father’s Day, what’s the key to grilling a really great ribeye?
Start with a good quality bone-in ribeye. Season only with salt and pepper and have a good grill that allows searing the meat and then finish at a lower temp. Insist on chewing on the bone, it is Father’s Day after all.
Fine, you can gnaw on the bone, because it is your day. Speaking of your day, what is the appropriate gift? No gushy answers like world peace, go big.
No, this is a little gushy, but I really have reached a time in my life where being with my kids and grandkids is always at the top of my wish list. And as my kids have gotten older, they now give us really thoughtful gifts!
That’s it, you’re getting a tie. Dads are known for bad jokes, what’s your best one?
In honor of my grandsons and because we were just talking about grilling, here you go…..Why didn’t Han Solo like his steak? It was Chewie.
That’s terrible. And kind of funny. So, you just moved to Arvada to be closer to family. What’s the best thing about living here?
Well, aside from being closer to all of you, we love that we are so close to the mountains. We can be out hiking and biking in minutes. I have also found a couple pretty good brew pubs and I might just try out goat yoga.
You’re crazy. But I’m glad you’re my dad.
To all our Neighbors of Northwest Arvada dads, granddads and really amazing uncles, we hope you have a fantastic day with family, friends and of course those little munchkins that made you dads. Go play and enjoy the day!