Archive for the ‘Tuesday Ten’ Category

Why Life is Better on the Lake

10 Reasons Life is Better on the Lake…

As told by our newest listing: Valley Oak Drive, Loveland, CO

1. You can spend your days out here…Back

2. Or here looking over Boyd Lake…

3. You don’t need to go indoors to enjoy a good meal with this outdoor kitchen…Deck-5

4. But if you really must go inside, you can cook in this kitchen…

5. You won’t mind working from home in this office (with mountain and lake views)…

6. You can relax and enjoy a night in while still watching the lake…GreatRoom-2

7. Your friends will never want to leave when you have a walkout basement like this…WetBar

8. And you might have trouble leaving bed in the morning from this Master Suite (with attached bath, huge closet with washer & dryer, and deck overlooking the lake)…

9. Continue to enjoy the sound of water from this bubbling fountain out front…

10. Take your boat and water skis out because you have this private and permanent dock…

Life is Better on the Lake. Check out full listing details here.


St. Paddy’s in Fort Collins

MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Daylight Saving Time, Spring Break, National Nutrition Month, Palm Sunday, Easter….lots going on this month.

So, I would like to start with our town’s Irish roots…there are none! Camp Collins, later Fort Collins, was named after Lt. Col. William Oliver Collins, the popular commander of Ohio Cavalry troops whose headquarters were at Fort Laramie. The genealogy of Collins is English and/or Irish (Ó Coileáin) and that is as close as we get to Irish heritage in Northern Colorado.

Last Friday, we met friends at Lucky Joe’s in Old Town for their tasty Irish coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey, brown sugar, fresh hot coffee, and homemade sweet cream. The presentation is what really elevates their coffee to “the best Irish coffee in Fort Collins!” Each cup is topped off with a cinnamon design. My wife and I ended up with a shamrock and our friends had a panda bear. #bestirishcoffee

One of the McElroy St. Paddy’s traditions is making Irish coffee. Our recipe of choice is from the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. Real cream is used, not whipped cream in the can.

Irish Coffee…the drink of music and magic…was conceived by Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport. Stanton Delaplane discovered it there and brought it back to San Francisco. In 1952, Delaplane asked The Buena Vista to recreate the drink and today you can head to the end of the cable car line to get a cup of authentic Irish Coffee, just as it is served in Shannon. (Or, come to my home!)

1.    Fill glass mug with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty water.

2.    Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about ¾ full. Drop in 3 sugar cubes.

3.    Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.

4.    Add a full jigger of Irish Whiskey.

5.    Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by POURING GENTLY OVER A SPOON. (by pouring over the spoon, the coffee and whipping cream do not mix and you have a beautiful layering of your Irish Coffee).

What are your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day traditions?

10 Free March Things to Do in Fort Collins

Where is all of our March snow? Thankfully not on the ground. This sunshine has been wonderful…it certainly has me thinking of Spring already and I’m sure you are as well.

Whether you’re feeling the call of Spring or just want to get out of the house, try one or all of these FREE (or mostly free) events in the month of March. #FreeFort CollinsThingsToDo

1. Spend 2 hours on a Fort Collins Historical Walking Tour by downloading the free brochure,

2. The Margaret Brown Collection is among the largest and most important donations of historic costume to the Poudre Landmark Foundation. The exhibit offers a beautiful, extensive range of fashion of fine womenswear, mid-1800s to mid-1900s. Saturdays & Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Free but we suggest a donation of $3 per person.

3. The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is Colorado State University’s historic costume and textiles collection. Its mission is the exploration of the aesthetic, social, cultural and physical significance of textiles, dress and interior furnishings. Blackwell: Artist of Subtle Witchery, Free admission.

4. Winter Farmers Market, March 12 and 19.Free music, food and drink samples and a great downtown vibe. Opera Galleria,

5. Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 12, 10:00AM and Old Town Irish Party 10:00-5:00,

6. Spring Holistic Fair March 12-13. $6 one day, $9 weekend, $1 discount with non-perishable food donation or go to website and BUY 1 GET 1 FREE.

7. Foodie Walk, March 18, 6:00-8:00PM. A different theme each month with participating businesses offering free samples.

8. 9th Annual Seed Swap & Giveaway in partnership with the Poudre River Public Library District and The Growing Project. Saturday, March 5, 2016, 10:00-2:00. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St. Trade your seeds, knowledge & resources. Free seeds, seed-starting soil, seed packets, talks by expert gardeners. See the website for times:

9. First Friday Art Walk:

10. Poudre River Public Library District not only has books and media to check out, but there are FREE classes, discussions and concerts. Explore genealogy, computer programs, Ugly Craft Night, meet authors, participate in global discussions and be part of a book group. March 11, 7:00-8:30 Harmony in the Round traditional Celtic music performed by the trio, “The Unfortunate Rakes”.

What are your favorite free things to do around town?

A Bit of Denver Broncos History…

My wife and I have had season tickets to the Denver Broncos games for 40 years. Coming from Nebraska with a great tradition of football, we jumped at the chance to buy season tickets when Kathy, our next door neighbor, announced that her father was in charge of the ticket office for the Broncos. Mile High Stadium was expanding and new seats were available. She said, “how many season tickets do you want…6?…8?” Being in our 20’s without lots of disposable income, we opted for 4 tickets.  It would be fun to drive to Denver with friends for the games and our car could only handle four passengers. We have lots of memories of the team that has been so much a part of our lives.

P.S.  Our favorite middle daughter is a HUGE Broncos fan. My wife went to every single Broncos game in 1981 when she was pregnant. Our daughter was due on Super Bowl Sunday 1982 and we joked that the new baby could be named “D”troit because of the location of the Super Bowl. When she was born, we swear she came at screaming GOOOOOOOOOOOBroncos! #DenverBroncosMemories

Here are Ten Things You May Not Know About Denver Bronco History:

  1. Mile High Stadium was expanded 1975-1977 by extending the north side upper deck and building a movable set of stands along the east side. Our new tickets were in the North Stands. As we soon learned, the South Stands were known as the “rowdy” section.
  2. Even in 1976, fans had fun with the wild and the weird! The guy across the aisle from us had a rubber chicken tied around its neck with a rope and attached to a stick. Each week he dressed the chicken in the uniform of the opposing team and would wave it in the air when the visiting team would falter. In 1977 Barrel Man appeared and then became a legend. Then in the early 80’s the Leprechaun showed up and is still part of the fabric of Mile High.
  3. Our first Bronco game was in 1975, the year Bucky the Bronco was installed at Mile High Stadium. Having grown up in the 1950’s, we were thrilled to hear that Bucky was/is an exact replica of Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger, that was made for the Roy Rogers museum. For years Bucky’s twin could be found outside the Roy Rogers museum in California and then the museum was moved to Branson, Missouri. When the museum closed, all memorabilia was sold.
  4. Part of the history of a team is the additional uses for its stadium. Our first time inside Mile High Stadium was the summer of 1974 when we moved to Colorado. We attended a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Concert with the Beach Boys as back-up! After the success of the Broncos going to the Super Bowl in 1978, Bronco player Lyle Alzado became a household name. In 1979 I went to the stadium and watched Lyle Alzado, a former boxer, and Mohammed Ali in an exhibition boxing match. The first Colorado Rockies Baseball Game I attended was at Mile High Stadium in 1993. As incoming Colorado Association of REALTORS® President we had a promotion for the association and my wife and I were lucky to be on the field prior to game time. We saw Sammy Sosa “up close and personal”. I remember thinking, “this is a strong man!”
  5. We loved listening to the big band sound of the Denver Broncos Band that played in the old Mile High Stadium. Located in the southeast corner of the end zone bleachers, they brought a touch of nostalgia to a football game. Never too loud or overwhelming, their sound was a perfect complement to the game. In the early 90’s, a DJ took over for a brief time and today, we can hardly carry on a conversation without being drowned out by the sound system.
  6. In 1977 Red Miller was signed as the new coach and he brought with him an aging Craig Morton (34 years old) as quarterback. The team was revamped and revitalized. What a season we experienced! I remember driving back to Fort Collins on Christmas Eve after defeating the Steelers. We could barely talk above a whisper after yelling and screaming for 3 hours. New Year’s Day we defeated the Raiders to become the AFC Champions and went on to our first (disastrous) Super Bowl appearance.
  7. When a team gels, the media loves to give pet names to players and the
    offense/defense.  As we all know, DEFENSE WINS GAMES! The Denver defense was so powerful that in 1977 they became known as The Orange Crush. That same year, The M&M Connection was coined: Quarterback Craig Morton completing passes to wide receiver Haven Moses. In the mid-80s with John Elway as quarterback, who could forget the Three Amigos: wide receivers Vance Johnson, Mark Jackson and Ricky Nattiel. They took us to the Super Bowl in 1987.
  8. The Denver Bronco Cheerleaders debuted in the early 70’s and in 1977 were known as the Pony Express. After a scandal in 1980, the Pony Express was disbanded. Some years we would see college cheerleaders on the sidelines and then in 1993, the official Denver Bronco Cheerleaders dance team was organized.
  9. I have always loved the story of the Broncos’ vertically striped socks the first two years in the league. At that time, the team colors were brown, mustard and white. The socks were so ugly that the team held a public bonfire to burn them all in 1962. That is the year they changed their colors to orange and blue.
  10. From 1976-1981 the Denver Broncos training camp was at our own CSU! You could take your lunch hour and watch them practice. Or, you would be walking around downtown and run into one of the players. Then UNC took over as the official training camp site for 20 years. Northern Colorado lost the pre-season training fun when Dove Valley in Denver was constructed.

What are your Broncos memories?

Discovering the Discovery Center

Even after living in Fort Collins for over 40 years, we still find new things to enjoy. Over the holidays, we renewed our Family Plus membership at the Fort Collins Discovery Museum. While at the museum we watched Dream to Fly in the Digital Dome, dodged kids in…errr…explored a bit of the museum (we look forward to trying their adults only night), and purchased a gift at the museum shop.

Last week we used our Family Plus membership for free passage into the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Here are ten benefits in joining and supporting this wonderful cultural and science center as a Family Plus Member.

  1. You are supporting our local nonprofit museum.
  2. Free unlimited access to the Discovery Museum for a year. Pop over or just hangout in the 27 million dollar facility. Grab a craft coffee at Flat Hat Coffee Shop.
  3. The pass gives you free unlimited general admission for up to 4 adults and 8 children to more than 350 science centers and museums in 20 countries. In Denver, that amounts to $10-$15/ person at the Museum of Nature & Science. Heading to warmer climates? You can get free admission to two Balboa Park museums in San Diego.
  4. You receive 6 free Digital Dome passes for the year. The dome is a state-of-the-art theater that immerses you in a planetarium experience or short film with its 36′ diameter, 360° screen! A slightly dizzying, but very cool experience.
  5. You get a 10% discount at The Cache museum store. They carry unique gifts, many with a CO history slant.
  6. You get a 10% discount on education, workshops, and adults-only programs.
  7. Free photo copies at The Archive, the history research library at the museum. Last year, I used The Archive to find information for one of my real estate listings that was built in the 1800’s. I was able to go through old phone books, photos, and records. Basically, property genealogy research! While researching, Teresa and I took a break to look up our name in phone books from the 1970’s when we moved to town.
  8. Head up to the 42′ high Observation Deck and look at Fort Collins from a bird’s perspective. It isn’t Top of the Rock in NYC, but heck, we have the mountains to look at!
  9. In the permanent collection, you can see artifacts collected north of Fort Collins from the Paleoindian Period, 13,000-6,000 BC. Wow!
  10. If you love music, attend the the After Hours events. Connect with fellow musicians at Museum Meetup; attend special events (checkout DJ Spooky: the Hidden Code, happening on Jan 22nd); jam with friends or strangers at The Music Garage, record a session, or try out a variety of instruments.

Check out the museum here.

Find out more about the memberships here.

What new discoveries in Fort Collins have you made?


2016 Word of the Year

Traditionally, at the start of a new calendar year one sets New Year’s Resolutions. My family has decided to ditch all of the resolutions and let one word define our direction for 2016. The word reflects our individual vision and focus. It can be a word for active or passive change. I have chosen the word APPRECIATE.  

Here are the top ten reasons I am looking forward to a word for the year instead of resolutions for the year:

1.       A word helps to create a singular direction.

2.       One word can be more powerful than a list.

3.       Brevity is relaxing.

4.       A word is long lasting throughout the year.

5.       A singular word is meditative not chaotic.

6.       You can doodle a word.

7.       A word is a personal journey.

8.       Social media is teaching us to be brief.

9.       Discovering the nuances of a word will be challenging.

10.   A word is easier to remember than a number of resolutions.

Which word will define your year?

Bustang: Holiday Travel Stress-saver

Our favorite middle daughter, Kelley, took the Bustang last week from Denver to Fort Collins. She left from Union Station in Denver (a nice place to hang out by the way) and got off at the Harmony Station (conveniently located a 10 minute drive from us). She thoroughly enjoyed her experience. #bustang

Here are her 10 favorite things about using Bustang:

1. Super convenient with stops in downtown Fort Collins, Harmony Transit Center, 1-25/ Hwy 34, and two places in downtown Denver.

2. Spacious reclining seats with foot rests, arm rests, tray tables, and seat belts.

3. Affordable- $10 each way; multi-packs available to bring the per-ticket cost down.

4. Outlets at every seat. Great for charging your phone or laptop.

5. Good drivers who are friendly.

6. Clean- the buses seem newer than most regional buses in Colorado.

7. Every bus is equipped with a bathroom on board.

8. Sustainable- carpooling or taking public transit is always better for the environment.

9. The whole bus is WiFi enabled.


Bustang runs Monday-Friday. There are three routes: Denver-Fort Collins, Denver-Glenwood Springs, Denver-Colorado Springs. Give it a try if you’d like a break from driving. We certainly plan on it at some point.