Coffee That Matters in Littleton.

Long a Colorado favorite at area Farmers Market’s, Dirt Coffee Bar is now open in Historic Downtown Littleton.

The converted and equally charmed mid-century home of Dirt Coffee is located at 5767 South Rapp Street (on the same block as the original historic home of the Littles).

As soon as you pull into the drive, you can feel that you’re in for something very special.

You’ll soon find out why.

Dirt is on a very special journey, creating tasty handcrafted food, exceptional coffee and employing & empowering individuals with Autism.

The Welcoming Smile of Emily Wallace Director of Employment.

In our opinion, Dirt Coffee will soon become the piazza of Historic Down Town Littleton.

Dirt Coffee is a warm environment with skilled and friendly baristas, blended with the fine aroma and flavor of freshly ground + brewed coffee that matters.

The Cloud sat down with Executive Director, Lauren Burgess (M.Ed) to learn more about this very special place in the heart of our community.

The equally thoughtful and mindful Lauren Burgess, M. Ed.
Tell us about your inspiration to launch Dirt Coffee?
I’ve been working with individuals with Autism for over a decade and continue to be surprised at just how difficult it is for them to find a job.
With 90% of people with autism either unemployed or underemployed, it’s time for a change and I figured a coffee shop is the perfect place to begin making that change.
There’s something for everyone at Dirt Coffee Bar.
How’s it going?
So far, incredible. The community has been very supportive and is doing great keeping us busy!
A Great Cup of Coffee for a Great Cause: Autism.
What’s next?
Our internship program is set to launch next month and we hope to bring on about 10 individuals with autism to come in and learn new job skills.
Throughout her career, Lauren has founded organizations, like Dirt, with a mission to empower individuals living on the spectrum though community.
She has served on a number of boards including Colorado’s Coalition of Autism Professionals, Autism Society of Colorado, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and Alliance.
In 2016, Lauren was elected to serve as City Commissioner on Denver’s Commission for People with Disabilities. While advocating for public policies that positively impact individuals with disabilities.
Treat yourself soon and find out why coffee matters in Littleton.

Find A Happy Map Today.

Albert Einstein noted that logic will get us from point A to point B, but imagination will take us anywhere.

Today’s featured TED in the Cloud explores finding your Happy Map.

What exactly is a Happy Map?

It’s the little things we can all do to make big changes in our daily life.

For example, here in Jefferson County the difference between Wadsworth and the parks and local coffee shops along Garrison Street could be a Happy Map during your morning commute.

 

 

Another Happy Map might be the difference between leaving your home at 6:45, instead of 7:15 and capturing a breathtaking Colorado morning sunrise.

Morning View From Jeffco

Another, might be the simple choice between riding a bike instead of driving your car.

A Majestic View Trail in Arvada

In his own words here’s Daniele Quercia at TED from the other side of the planet (Berlin) about the discovery of Happy Maps.

Enjoy and welcome to the Cloud.

 

The Magical Wonders of a Breakfast Burrito.

Rain or shine there’s always a line at Tamale Kitchen on South Kipling and Belleview in Jefferson County.

It might very well be due to the ever tasty and always filling breakfast burritos.

For as long as anyone can remember there have always been breakfast burritos in Colorado.

So it’s little wonder why Jeffco’s favorite stop for breakfast burritos prompted us to do a little research into who actually invented this delicacy.

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Cloud Pick: Tamale Kitchen in Jeffco

The Cloud salutes this savory creation that begins with these key ingredients and ends with a nice warm tummy.

First, creamy rich chili, gently whipped and scrambled fresh eggs, nicely diced and roasted potato, shredded monterey jack cheese, all delicately wrapped in a warm fluffy flour tortilla.

At this point of culinary bliss your only real dilemmas: red or green chili, smothered or wrapped in foil.

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Happy Mother and Daughter at Tamale Kitchen

Tamale Kitchen is a Colorado treasure. As winter’s alpine season finally begins, its every snow ski or boarders first stop (perhaps after Starbucks).

On warmer days in Jeffco its also the first stop (okay, maybe second after Starbucks) of every golfer and mountain biker in the Colorado.

You have not loved and lost until one of the many pesky magpies at Fox Hollow Golf Course in Jefferson County steals your breakfast burrito on the number one tee.

The historic origins of the breakfast burrito are as smothered as who invented the classic Martini or Caesar salad.

Historical accounts of the breakfast burrito point far south of Belleview Avenue.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico,  Little William Harm’s Burrito Shack, claims to have invented the original breakfast burrito in 1975, filling a rolled tortilla with bacon and potatoes, served with chili and cheese.

Other aficionados believe the creation was a little to the north in Taos, New Mexico. Where Michaels Kitchen created a breakfast dish with both red and green chili that same year.

That colorful creation became the Christmas Burrito (red + green).

But long ago, right here in Colorado, the original La Hacienda in Five Points may have beat out both.

In 1950 Salvador and Esther Mackintosh founded the now gone La Hacienda in an old church at 3090 Downing.

The Mackintosh Family story is one of Denver legend.

According to that legend, the breakfast burrito was born when young Esther began work at the restaurant in the early morning hours.

In order to keep her many children and now growing staff fed at that hour? You guessed it.

Every morning Esther Mackintosh simply rolled a warm fluffy flour tortilla, gently whipped farm fresh eggs and cheese from the original Royal Crest Dairy, with her legendary green chili pork gravy.

I think we are going with Esther’s legend from a historical perspective and Tamale Kitchen today.

Now, that’s a wrap.

Rain or Shine There’s Always a Line at Belleview & Kipling.

Just the two of us: Holding Hands Can Ease Pain and Sync Brainwaves.

Reach for the hand of a loved one in pain and not only will your breathing and heart rate synchronize with theirs, your brain wave patterns will couple up too, according to a new study.

The study, by researchers with CU Boulder published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week, also found that the more empathy a comforting partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync.

The more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away.

“We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions,” said lead author Pavel Goldstein, a postdoctoral pain researcher in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder.

The study is the latest in a growing body of research exploring a phenomenon known as “interpersonal synchronization,” in which people physiologically mirror the people they are with. It is the first to look at brain wave synchronization in the context of pain, and offers new insight into the role brain-to-brain coupling may play in touch-induced analgesia, or healing touch.

Goldstein came up with the experiment after, during the delivery of his daughter, he discovered that when he held his wife’s hand, it eased her pain.

“I wanted to test it out in the lab: Can one really decrease pain with touch, and if so, how?”

He and his colleagues at University of Haifa recruited 22 heterosexual couples, age 23 to 32 who had been together for at least one year and put them through several two-minute scenarios as electroencephalography (EEG) caps measured their brainwave activity. The scenarios included sitting together not touching; sitting together holding hands; and sitting in separate rooms. Then they repeated the scenarios as the woman was subjected to mild heat pain on her arm.

Merely being in each other’s presence, with or without touch, was associated with some brain wave synchronicity in the alpha mu band, a wavelength associated with focused attention. If they held hands while she was in pain, the coupling increased the most.

Researchers also found that when she was in pain and he couldn’t touch her, the coupling of their brain waves diminished. This matched the findings from a previously published paper from the same experiment which found that heart rate and respiratory synchronization disappeared when the male study participant couldn’t hold her hand to ease her pain.

“It appears that pain totally interrupts this interpersonal synchronization between couples and touch brings it back,” says Goldstein.

Subsequent tests of the male partner’s level of empathy revealed that the more empathetic he was to her pain the more their brain activity synced. The more synchronized their brains, the more her pain subsided.

How exactly could coupling of brain activity with an empathetic partner kill pain? More studies are needed to find out, stressed Goldstein. But he and his co-authors offer a few possible explanations. Empathetic touch can make a person feel understood, which in turn – according to previous studies – could activate pain-killing reward mechanisms in the brain.

“Interpersonal touch may blur the borders between self and other,” the researchers wrote.

Don’t underestimate the power of a hand-hold.

You may express empathy for a partner’s pain, but without touch it may not be fully communicated.

By: Lisa Marshall

CU Boulder Today logo 

It’s Our Birthday, But Our Listeners Get The Presents!

It’s our first birthday broadcasting from Look Out Mountain in Golden. To celebrate, the Cloud is giving away our second Date Night at the Table Mountain Inn.

This package includes a romantic dinner for two, a special guest suite and breakfast the next morning. Like our first Date Night in Olde Town Arvada, this night should be a very special evening.

It’s a Date’cation from your friends at 96.9 the Cloud.

 Feel the spirit of the West, the splendor of the Rocky Mountains, and warm western hospitality at Table Mountain’s adobe-style boutique hotel.

Traditional southwestern décor, spacious accommodations and modern amenities provide an ideal home away from home in historic Golden, CO.

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Golden is breathtaking this time of year and a perfect escape for a couple in love.

Entering is a simple click. Just like the Cloud on our Facebook page and you are automatically entered for a random drawing on April 1, 2018.

 

All active likes are eligible too.

Date’cations in the Cloud are brought to you by Body and Balance in Golden, Golden Real Estate and The Table Mountain Inn.

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Located in the heart of Golden, the leading health professionals at Body In Balance Wellness Center are dedicated to helping you achieve your wellness objectives – combining skill and expertise that spans the entire chiropractic wellness spectrum.

When it comes to real estate in Jeffco, there’s none better than Jim Smith’s team of dedicated professionals at Golden Real Estate.  Jim Smith writes a column, “Real Estate Today,” which is published on page 3 of the Denver and Jefferson County editions of the Denver Post’s YourHub section each Thursday, as well as in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.

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This is our second Date-cation in a series that will send several lucky likes in the Cloud to target destinations around the state.

Official Rules: You must be a fun person. Like the Cloud on Facebook. Be at least 21 and did we mention fun? Random drawing to be held on April 1, 2018. Winner will have 48 hours to redeem prize. All applicable taxes and gratuities not included. Welcome, to the Cloud!

New Music in the Cloud.

There’s a new band in the Cloud that has been getting some attention from our listeners.

The band is The Corona’s and their distinctive alt-pop sound grabbed our attention late last year and we have been showcasing the bands music ever since as a featured new music pick from Lightshade in the Cloud daily.

The Coronas are an Irish rock band that originated in Dublin.

They release their unique blend of music through their own independent record label, but can also be found in i-Tunes.

It’s lead singer can also be heard in the Cloud introducing the bands latest single (it’s kind of cool how that came about).

The bands manager had heard the Cloud was featuring its music and one thing led to another.

The band just appeared at Denver’s Larimer Lounge in February. It was a great show.

Hopefully, they will back soon. In the meantime, you can hear them daily in the Cloud and anytime right here!

Kelly Is Making a Difference in Golden.

We live in a very caring society in the west and The Golden Christian Action Guild is a key part of our community.

It might be due in part to its energetic and compassionate director Kelly Ivan. She started first as a volunteer, and in 2016 became the first compensated employee in the Guild’s 50-plus year history.
One measure at a time, the Guild provides food, affordable clothing and hope to those in need from its humble and charming location at 1401 Ford Street in Golden.
This week, the Cloud sat down with Kelly to learn more about the work of this very special place in the county seat of Jefferson.
In her own words, meet Kelly Ivan, Operations Manager of The Golden Christian Action Guild.
Tell us about your history with CAG:
The CAG has been in business since 1966. I have been with the CAG since October 2014. Started out as a volunteer and was hired as their first-ever paid employee in October 2016 as the Operations Manager. We are very busy at the CAG providing food and other services to an average of 350 Golden residents a month.  This includes families, veterans, homeless and seniors.  Thanks to our thrift shop and donors we are able to purchase food and other supplies to serve our Golden community. We are always looking for volunteers to help out.
Tell us about some upcoming events for people that want to help?
One upcoming event is our Postal Food Drive. We partner with the local post office and Lions Club. We will need volunteers to help sort and stock approx 25,000 pounds of food that will come in from the post office in May.  The date is still to be determined.  Every year we host a Santa Shop for our clients and their families. The parents will be invited to attend the Santa Shop and shop for free from new toys, clothes, books, games and much more for each child in their family.  We reach out to our local merchants and have a toy drive and/or a monetary partnership to help purchase items for the Santa Shop.
If you’d like to help or make a donation, we encourage you to contact Kelly at 303-279-5674 or visit them online: www.christianactionguild.org

Jim Smith’s Golden Real Estate is a strong supporter of community in the Cloud.

 

Easter Ham in Lakewood!

There’s a very special charm about Chicago Market in the heart of Lakewood.

Once through the door, you can both see and smell the taste of Chicago and Old World Specialty treats imported directly from Poland. 

Authentic European Smoked Meats, Sausages, Cheese and Fish will greet your appetite for something different in the kitchen.

It’s owners Victor and Kristina are as welcoming as the excellent selection of cheeses, meats and creamed herring – perfect for any sized charcuterie tray.

Long located on Carr Street, just south of West Colfax, Chicago Market has a remarkable reputation for finding popular items to import directly.

Like Alexandra’s Pierogi, Stolelli Pasta and delicacies like Makowiec and imported Noonhour Herring creamed in wine sauce.

There’s much more online, but to really experience Chicago Market visit them at 1477 Carr Street in Lakewood, Colorado.

With Easter just around the corner, treat your family to some specialty items from Chicago Meats, including Krakus, America’s number one imported deli Polish Ham.

It’s a very special place in Jeffco!

 

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It Was A Fun Snow Day!

(Golden, Colorado): Sunday was a great snow day in Colorado. From Golden, to The Golden Triangle, the city was bursting with life. In spite of the slippery roads in every corner of the state: families made it to church, the market and the movies. Even the nice little workout of clearing the sidewalk before nightfall proved to be a nice outing between NFL Championship Games. By sunset, The National Weather Service reported as many as 8 inches of measurable snowfall in Boulder and 6 inches in Jefferson County.

The pictures shared on social media tell the story best: It was a fun day!

From family fun to happy dog owners frolicking in our parks, the snow made way for a great day. By early week, we are back in the 40’s and most likely a nice blanket of sunshine will turn this years first real snowfall into much needed moisture. Make sure and take a little extra time to be safe and prepared for what might be a tricky commute this week and please take us with you!

It’s no doubt: a privilege to Live in Colorado.

The Art + Zen of Bill Murray.

(Denver, Colorado): There’s a very pleasing and amusing little song playing on 96.9 the Cloud that both stands out and fits in perfectly with the likes of Vance JoyColbie Caillat and most of the happy pop tunes you hear on the Cloud. In fact, the song is called Happy Street and it’s performed by none other than Bill Murray. The Mark Twain Kennedy Center Honoree, Lost in Translation star, Tootsie co-star and yes, every golfers favorite movie: Caddyshack.

Yup, that Bill Murray.

Mr. Murray recently shared his genius at The Bellco Theater and last week was back on Saturday Night Live for a guest shot in it’s cold open.  So, what’s the story with his appeal? We did a little digging and it turns out, the world loves this guy because he reminds us of a better version of ourselves, without having to.

In his own words, here is some of the Art & Zen of Bill Murray.

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WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE BILL MURRAY

Nothing prepared me for being this awesome. It’s kind of a shock to wake up every morning and be bathed in this purple light. There’s a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate . . . up and down your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile. So what’s it like to be me? Ask yourself, ‘What’s it like to be you?’ The only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself that’s where home is.

From a 2014 Q&A during Canada’s Bill Murray Day, via Rolling Stone

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HE LIVES HIS LIFE

I live a little bit on the seat of my pants, I try to be alert and available for life to happen to me. We’re in this life, and if you’re not available, the sort of ordinary time goes past and you didn’t live it. But if you’re available, life gets huge. You’re really living it.

From an interview on CBS This Morning

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ON BEING RELAXED

The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything. The better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.

From the New York Times