Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Dani Hemmat

Share the love: 14 ways to spread a little love in Gunbarrel and Niwot


February 8, 2019

Bruce Warren

Cats and dogs are hanging out at Niwot Rental & Feed, hoping for some Valentine’s Day love.

Let’s face it. For some, Valentine’s Day is a thrill--what will my sweetheart buy me? What fantastic restaurant will we indulge at? For others, it’s a stressful minefield of procrastination, uncertainty about gift choices and inadequate feelings about available finances with which to buy said gifts. Those minefield veterans often walk through the door with last-minute mylar balloons, a sheepish smile, and are often met by a cold-shoulder welcoming committee.

And for others, it’s just plain lonely, because our current culture has taken a day in the middle of a cold, dark winter, and decided it should be about two people in love. And not everybody has somebody. Which can make the cold and dark seem even more so.

Thanks a lot, Hallmark.

Well, there are many ways to give and receive love, and it doesn’t have to revolve around Harry and Sally. There is self-love, friend love, neighborly love, love for critters or the environment, love of community, love of family...you get the picture.

In an attempt to help everyone spread some love during this upcoming Valentine’s week, the Left Hand Valley Courier presents 14 Ways to Show Some Love.

1. Well, of course we’re going to include some local fun for couples, because, well, they’re out there and they enjoy something lovely. Like a luxurious, indulgent couples massage at Niwot Massage at 7960 Niwot Road in the Cottonwood Shopping Center. Laura Graziano and her skilled team of bodyworkers have created a special couples’ massage for the days surrounding Feb. 14, including separate rooms that open up to each other, so you can have a space to yourself while trying to outdo each other with your ooohs and aahhs. The package will include sumptuous treats and beverages, but call 303-652-0577 for your appointment soon, lest you be stuck grasping a droopy bouquet of mylar balloons.

2. Let’s hear it for food love, local love and neighborly love. Head over to Niwot Market, pick up some eye-rollingly good cheeses and some hearty, crusty bread, and maybe some hunks of salami or some nice free-range chicken breasts. Then take it all home, melt that dairy, cut that bread and invite your neighbors over for an evening sitting around and dribbling cheese on the table and themselves. Think they might not be comfortable showing up at a last-minute invitation? Tell them you’re set to audition for Iron Chef next week, and you really need their input. Once they’re in the door, confess and tell them you just really like cheese and you really would like to get to know them. Chances are, they won’t walk out.

3. Do you have a local friend you haven’t seen in awhile? Maybe that mom you used to talk with at drop-off, and then you lost touch once your kids went to different schools? Could you be brave enough to call her up out of the blue and invite her for a beer at Bootstrap Brewing? Sometimes bridges simply burn with time and inattention, but a few pints of Bootstrap’s award-winning brews could douse those hungry embers and help rebuild what might turn into a fantastic friendship. And if it doesn’t blossom, at least you drank well, supported a local business and made someone feel valuable for an afternoon. Bootstrap Brewing is located at 6778 N. 79th Street.

4. Head over to Niwot Rental and Feed at 291 2nd Avenue and buy some large bags of dog and cat food. Then head over to the Humane Society at 9595 Nelson Road to deliver your gifts. Let’s hear it for critter love! P.S. While you’re at Niwot Rental and Feed, you might want to pick up a bag of wild bird seed, so you will be prepared when you get down to number seven on our list.

5. For the love of music! That’s not a typical exclamation, but it should be. Take a loved one, a buddy, your elderly neighbor who doesn’t get out enough, or yourself down to Inkberry Books at 7960 Niwot Road in the Cottonwood Shopping Center on Thursday, February 14 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. for an evening of lively conversation, light refreshments, and live jazz with vocalist Barbara Paris and pianist Keith Waters. Your date/guest will be dazzled by your choice of venues—I mean, come on! Books and jazz? Be prepared to revel in some awe and admiration from your guest. You won’t get that with mylar balloons.

6. Here’s a low- to no-cost display of love that is also very good for you and yours: Write up some simple notes of thanks, such as “Thank you for doing this, we always appreciate it.” Then shove those notes into your pockets, and head out the door with kids, spouse, self, and/or dog. Walk the neighborhood until you find a Little Free Library. This shouldn’t be difficult, as our Left Hand Valley is blessed with an abundance of the little buggers. Stop, gently straighten up the items on the shelves, then place your note front and center. The owner/librarian will likely come across it during their daily rounds, and your note will have them walking on sunshine for the rest of their day. And you and yours just walked three miles.

7. Thank goodness you bought that wild bird seed when you were on step four! Way to plan ahead! Now, head out into your backyard and fill up all those bird feeders you have out there. Wait, you don’t have any bird feeders? That’s okay. Head back to Niwot Rental and Feed and pick up a couple. Or, get yourself a couple of large pine cones and peanut butter, empty milk jugs or cartons, and think back to the first grade. Cobble together a birdfeeder, fill it, and let those sweet feathered friends know that you love them. They probably wouldn’t mind if you continued to show them the love until May. How do I know that? A little bird told me.

8. Cocktail party for two: Look up some crazy cocktails that you’ve only seen in Cary Grant movies or read about in The Great Gatsby. Google the recipes, then head down to Gunbarrel Liquor at 6566 Lookout Road. Gather your boozy supplies from the shelves of all the pretty bottles, then head next door to King Soopers for some olives, cheese, crackers and maybe a movie from the RedBox kiosk. Head back to your cozy pad, hide the car keys and have fun mixing up your Singapore Slings and Lime Rickeys. Then kick back and marvel at your new tasty libations. Calling each other “Doll” and “Big Shot” can add to the overall atmosphere.

9. Ah, environmental love. An easy way to show and spread that love is to grab a tote or shopping bag and head out the door, whether with a walking buddy or all by yourself. Breathe the fresh air, gaze in awe up at the many raptors our area has been graced with this year, and bend over and pick up some trash. Oh, and cigarette butts, while small, are still trash. Orange peels are pretty, but they won’t break down in nature for a long time. Here’s what’s so great about this activity: you bend, you walk, you reach, and you pick up unsightly garbage and thoughtless waste. Exercise and environmental stewardship. That’s fun. And, as a bonus, you are showing love to your community and neighbors, since you’re cleaning up a place that we all enjoy. This Valentine’s Day activity should get two thumbs up!

10. Love of fun, or fun love? Gunbarrel’s Finkel and Garf Brewery is a place where you can:

a) have a beer

b) bring your dog

c) bring your kids and there’s stuff for them to do

d) play games at your table

e) drink beer with your dog while your kids play a game with you

f) all of the above

It’s all of the above. Plus, local business love, once again.

11. Okay, time for some stranger love, but it’s not dangerous. Find some smooth river pebbles, or buy a bag of them at a craft or dollar store. You and a pal (kid, neighbor, friend or love) paint small hearts on the rocks, slather on some Mod Podge, and let them dry. Once dry, load them up in your pockets, head down to Old Oak Coffee at 136 2nd Avenue, and get some hot javas to go. Then wander the streets, kindly handing out heart rocks to strangers you pass, or even stealthily leaving them on porches so that the homeowner will find them and feel secretly admired. You’ll look innocuous enough with a coffee in one hand as you stroll along with the other hand in the heart-filled pocket. That’s a lot of folks uplifted by a rather small act, and it might just set off a chain reaction of goodness that spreads far and wide.

12. How about some self-love? Head over to the Yoga Loft in the Gunbarrel Shopping Center and treat yourself to a session of Downward Dog. After you’ve rolled up your mat, skip next door to the Up Dog Cafe, order a warm drink and a fresh snack, then turn off your phone and pull out that book you’ve been meaning to get to, and get to it. Aahhhhhhhhhh.

13. You’re going to go grocery shopping, but once you finish your list, you’re first going to check out http://www.greenwoodwildlife.org/donate/wish-list/. When you see the items that the wonderful volunteers at Greenwood Wildlife Rehab need, you’ll notice they are inexpensive and 90-percent of them can be picked up at the grocery store when you’re already there. Be sure to call 303-823-8455 to find out the best time to bring your donations of love to the center.

Bruce Warren

Share the love: 14 ways to spread a little love in Gunbarrel and Niwot

14. Okay, okay, we couldn’t avoid putting chocolate on this list, but not because it’s practically synonymous with Valentine’s Day. No, this list is featuring chocolate because one of the best chocolatiers is right here in Gunbarrel at 6365 Gunpark Drive. Lift Chocolate, owned by Brandon Busch, makes everything in house in small batches, hand-producing some of the finest, most creative delicacies to be found in Boulder County and beyond. From truffles to caramels to exquisite boxed chocolates, a gift from Lift will be a hit. As an added bonus, owner and chef Busch was a heavy-lift helicopter pilot in the Marines, and still serves as a reservist. So, chocolate love and showing the veteran-owned businesses some love. Slam-dunk!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas, and we’d love for you to share some of your own traditions or ideas. Email editorial@lhvc.com or visit us on social media.


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