Monthly Archives: May 2014

When Vacuums Attack

It began with a simple thought. It was inevitable. Those stairs needed to be cleaned.

When Vacuums Attack

The vacuum stood proudly at the top of the staircase, growling and asserting its dominance over all things carpet. I slowly worked down from the top of the flight, step by step, enjoying the soft clatter as each pebble, piece of lint and dust was lifted from between the soft fibers. The hose stretched and strained with every motion I made and the vacuum’s growl rose to a high whine.

Realizing the stretch might be a little too much for the angry beast to handle, I stood and turned to move up the stairs and carry the vacuum down to the base to ease its temper. At that exact moment, I heard the first horrible sound.
Metal vs. drywall.
Instinctively, I clenched every muscle in my body and threw my arms up to protect my face. The second sound.
Metal vs. bone.

Bright white pain flashed through my body, radiating out from the point of contact on my leg and continuing to my fingertips. Stars appeared before my eyes, intermittently spiked with images of the curse words that threatened to escape my mouth. With a loud gasp, I stood up and grabbed the neck of the vacuum to upright it, my fingers clenching as I attempted to strangle it at the same time. Slowly. Step by step. I limped down the stairs, opened the closet and jammed the vacuum into the back, concealed by coats, not to be seen again for a long time.

House cleaning was over for the day.
And that, my friends, is the gory tale of why you should never bother cleaning your house. Danger lurks everywhere.


Filed under short story

Four Year Blogiversary!

Four years and one day, actually… I set the reminder on my calendar yesterday and the alarm didn’t go off, so, as is tradition, I missed yet another year.
Quite a bit has changed
in the last four years.
I transitioned from a healthy living blog “Hike, Bike, Eat”, to a beer, food and abandoned places, daily life blog. Today’s recap post involves a little bit of all of that.

I haven’t had internet in my house for the past month which means that instead of blogging more often, I’ve been out biking around, exploring my town, drinking good beer and hanging out with my awesome like-minded friends. You know, actually living life.
This was my view last week – watching a DUI check whilst enjoying an Odell’s Loose Leaf on my back patio. Note the pretty blue cop car lights in the background.
AMI biked to Old Town and met up with my sis-in-law to try out the new Freedom’s Edge brewery location.
AM1One of the best chili ales I’ve had to date! Honey sweetness with a light jalapeno flavor and just a hint of lingering burn.
AM3I’ve been spending lots of time on my back patio as well. This view will never get old.
AM5I’ve been spending time on the back patio when the weather is good, I should say. The afternoon spring storms have been exceptionally crazy lately. This was close to DIA where the crowds were gathering around watching tornadoes form as the hail cracked against the pavement and bolts of lightning streaked across the black sky.
AM8The good news about the weather is it means everything is unbelievably green! Even the graffiti seems to pop!
AM12It also makes for terrifying moments such as this: I went outside to get a few pictures of the clouds above my house and the screen door locked behind me right as the really painful marble-sized hail began to pummel down. I finally got in through my garage and actually brushed a handful of those icy marbles out of my hair.
AM7On the days with nice weather, I’ve been biking around to breweries…
AM11Riding the MAX and making new friends…
AM10Stopping at more breweries…
AM14And brewing with friends. Memorial Day was spent making two batches of IPA and pale ale.
AM16My special brew-day baked pumpkin spiced chocolate chip donuts made a reappearance! I’ve missed making these.
AM15Lots of good craft brews were consumed since we were homebrewing, obviously.
AM17And mass quantities of smoked pork butt, pesto pasta salad, kale salad, potato salad and baked beans were devoured. Best butt I’ve ever tasted!

That was weird.
AM13So is this still from a film I did back even before I started this blog. Ahh, memories. I’m nothing if not fashionable.
Happy belated 4th blogiversary to my little Hike, Bike, Eat/Bites ‘n Brews baby blog! I look forward to many more!


Filed under blogiversary


I’m healed! I’m healed!
Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 10.12.52 AMAll of the medication and comfort food worked!
Some presents in the mail helped, too.
am1I finally got my seeds started for the garden outside! I planted these last Friday with my seed starter kit.
am13Just a few days later…
am17And two days ago! They’re three times as tall now. Now I just need to build me one of them outdoor garden things…
am2Since I was feeling so much better, I accepted an invite from my friend Kara for a Friday night on the town. Super sweet cognac sour with rosemary and champagne to celebrate her coworker’s last day.
am3We balanced out that goodness with a veggie burger and fries from Big Al’s. Next time I’ll be trying their 60-40 bacon burger. Mmmm, bacon.
am4On Saturday morning, I rose early, as usual, and biked down to Old Town to celebrate the opening of the MAX bus. This free (until August 25th) bus runs parallel to the main street for five miles, making it easy and safe for anyone to enjoy a night on the town and not have to worry about how to get home. I joined my bro and sis-in-law for the day to fill out our passports.
am5There were thirteen stops and we hit every single one. Plenty of swag (schwaaaag) was claimed and delicious free samples consumed.
am6Yes, that did include beer samples! The lines were packed for the opening day and we ended up waiting 40 minutes for our bus back to Old Town. I was lucky enough to get to bike home in the pouring rain. Lovely.
am7The next day was Mama Day! My mumsie got this wonderful fortune with her meal. I’ve had pretty weird luck with sushi/Chinese combo restaurant fortunes.
am8Monday night was the tapping of all of the Fort Collins collaboration brews for the start of American Craft Beer Week and Fort Collins Beer Week!
am9It was a long evening of networking and hanging out with all of the brewers around Fort Collins, and there are plenty!
am10Prepping for the brewers’ photo!
And everyone together! Such a great group of good people!
am11I kept it safe and split all of my tastes with Kara before gorging at Noodles & Co and heading home.
am14My new favorite place. Paris in Longmont! We stumbled across this cheese shop/bistro/cafe/beautiful piece of heaven while meandering around and exploring this week. I’ll be back for a long afternoon, a cheese plate and a glass of prosecco soon enough!
am18And to cap it all off, a flight at Odell Brewing with my bestie Michelley.

I’m off to enjoy an art show and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been blessed with here in Colorado. Happy Friday!


Filed under Daily Life

DayQuil is a Girl’s Best Friend

Forget diamonds. My last few days have been pitiful scenes.
AM16I tried to go au natural in the ways of healing with kitchen sink salads and chick flicks, but my first Colorado illness only got worse.
Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 10.12.52 AMDayQuil, canned ravioli, hot tea and lots of RedBox. No end in sight to the crappy sore throat and wonderfully stuffed nasal passages yet. Since I’m feeling so utterly useless and lazy at the moment, I’d like to reminisce on happier days. Like all of the days before Monday.
AM1WE. FOUND. NOTHING. BUNDT. CAKE!!!! I have never done such a dramatic happy dance in a public place!
AM2After a visit to Trader Joe’s (cue yet another happy dance) and Nothing Bundt Cake in Boulder, I whipped up a kitchen sink salad with sauteed zucchini, Trader Joe’s Ranchero Egg White Salad and organic baby greens at my bro’s house before he, my sis-in-law and I biked over to the Liquid Poets homebrew club at 1933 Brewing. BIKED there! I love Fort Collins and its endless supply of bike paths!
AM3The next morning I met my sis-in-law at the barn to meet her new horse.
AM4Pretty, pretty pony tongue.
AM5Friday afternoon was spent at Horse & Dragon – the newest local brewery (give it a few days for another new one to pop up). We split a flight and enjoyed the warm breeze that flowed through the bright, open tasting room that’s full of rustic woods and expansive windows.
AM6Gun battles at Mainline in Old Town Fort Collins.
AM7The spring storms have begun rolling in, gracing me with the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve seen.
AM8Saturday was Big Brew! Those two fancy control panels and brew systems were designed and built by my ridiculous smart brother. He built the one on the left for the new magazine Craft Beer and Brewing.
AM9It was a gorgeous day for a brew! The temps hit about 80 and refreshments were limitless.
AM10Limitless. Six taps and about ten boxes stuffed to the brim with homebrew samples and competition bottles.
AM12Cold break – the flocculation of proteins and other stuff. This step helps improve the clarity and flavor of a beer. I filled this glass and set it on the counter for a hydrometer reading, forgot about it for an hour or two and came back to find this! Beer is so weird and awesome.
AM11It was a long and busy day, and I ended up heading home around 6pm to relax and enjoy my back patio and another wonderful sunset.
AM13Sunday brunch! I scrambled up two eggs with diced sundried tomatoes and goat cheese, paired with a mix of baby spring greens and a balsamic drizzle before heading to church.
AM14After the service I started to feel a little under the weather and attempted to combat that with a green monsta in my new Magic Bullet from Fairlife. My mumsie came to visit and enticed me to join her and my pops for an evening of grilled bacon and beef sliders and good beer. I definitely could not refuse that!
AM15I roasted some asparagus for the side. These burgers. Holy oink. My parental unit picked them up from The Bull and Boar – a butcher in Loveland that sources local, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and they are the BEST burgers we’ve ever set upon the grill!

Aaaand the next morning I was fully ill. I retreated back to the couch to nestle with tissues, chick flicks and comfort foods. I’m ready to get better now! Bike paths, breweries and bundt cakes await!

Are you a healthy-foods or a comfort-foods person when it comes to being sick?

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Filed under Daily Life