Page 1

JANUARY 2020

PLUS 2020 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

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CO-OPS’ RURAL ACT PASSES

15

STOPPING SCAMS FOR BETTER SERVICE

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WE’RE READY FOR THIS CENTURY’S

roaring 20s the Bees Knees! WE PREDICT THEY’LL BE

WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A

Happy New Year

COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.COOP


Volume 51

Number 01

January 2020 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2020, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

On the JANUARY 2020

Cover Joe DeLaRonde pauses in his Mancos blacksmith shop. Photo by Jess C. Leonard.

“Great Skiing” by Errin Walker, a consumer-member of Empire Electric Association.

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

12 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY

COCountryLife pinned: It’s flu season! Nourish your body with this White Hominy Chicken Chili. Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.

ART FORGED WITH PASSION 20 INDUSTRY 22 GARDENING

24 OUTDOORS

26 MARKETPLACE

27 CREATIVE CORNER

28 COMMUNITY EVENTS

29 YOUR STORIES

FACEBOOK CHATTER ColoradoCountryLife shared: So excited! Perfect day to brew a cuppa tea and read my new book!! Thank You!! — Vickie Sherwood

30 DISCOVERIES

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win a gift card to one of the Denver area attractions featured in Discoveries on page 30. For official rules and how to enter, visit our contest page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

coloradocountrylife.coop

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Colorado’s electric co-ops raise more than $4,100 for #energyoutreachcolorado through their @pedaltheplains bike team. The check was presented at the December CREA board meeting. #heathelp

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

3


VIEWPOINT

The 2020 Legislative Session

Colorado’s electric cooperatives will be active at the Statehouse BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

T

he second regular session of the 72nd Colorado General Assembly convenes January 8 and the Colorado Rural Electric Association will once again be actively engaged, protecting the interests Colorado’s electric co-ops. During the next four months, CREA staff and contract lobbyists will closely monitor the work of the legislature and interact with all 100 legislators to promote a better understanding of the electric co-op program. During the 2020 legislative session, CREA plans to sponsor three bills to address issues of importance to Colorado’s electric co-ops. First, we are working with House Speaker K.C. Becker (D-Boulder) on a bill relating to electric co-op governance. Under current Colorado law, consumer-members of electric co-ops may only vote for candidates for the co-op board of directors by mail or in person at the annual meeting. We are sponsoring a bill that will authorize (but not require) co-ops to allow their consumer-members to vote by electronic means as well. This technology may not work for all electric co-ops, but for those who want to use it, we need to change the current law. This bill will also require that all electric co-ops

comply with existing transparency laws that currently only apply to co-ops of 25,000 or more consumer-members. On the energy efficiency front, we plan to sponsor a bill that will make it clear that electric co-ops may engage in what is often referred to as “on-bill financing.” On-bill financing is used by some electric co-ops to enable their consumer-members to install energy-efficient appliances or make other energy efficiency changes with the cost to then be repaid through their electric bill. Again, not all co-ops have on-bill financing programs (that is a co-op by co-op decision), but, for those that choose to implement such programs, we will sponsor a bill to clarify how these programs are conducted. The third bill we plan to sponsor relates to public schools and encourages school districts to work with their local electric co-op to explore opportunities to save money by deploying “beneficial electrification” or distributed energy resources such as wind or solar. The term “beneficial electrification” was coined several years ago by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to describe opportunities for switching fuels like gas or oil to electricity, which is likely

KENT SINGER

more cost effective and environmentally friendly. For instance, a school building currently using natural gas or propane for heating may be able to convert its heating and cooling system to electricity and save money over the useful life of the new equipment. Our legislation would simply state that school districts should consider these opportunities when they are constructing new buildings or renovating existing structures. In addition to sponsoring these bills, CREA will watch for legislation that could impact the operations or autonomy of Colorado’s electric co-ops. There are often energy policy initiatives that surface in other states and then show up in Colorado. Not all of these initiatives make sense for Colorado’s electric co-ops, and we will work with our legislators so that they know how these changes could affect Colorado co-ops and their consumer-members. We look forward to working with the representatives and senators in both the Colorado House and Colorado Senate and on both sides of the aisle. We will continue to support those legislators who support Colorado’s electric co-ops. The legislative process is not always pretty (think sausage-making), but we should all be grateful that Colorado’s legislature provides an opportunity for thoughtful discourse for all those willing to engage in the process. CREA will be so engaged on behalf of Colorado’s electric co-ops. Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and its power supply co-op.

The Colorado Capitol.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020


LETTERS

FROM THE EDITOR

Resolutions worth keeping in the new year

BY MONA NEELEY

A

EDITOR

re you ready for 2020? Have you made your resolutions? I’m terrible at resolutions; I have good intentions, but about January 15 I’m done with the diet and haven’t had time to exercise. But, my husband is on to something. His resolution for probably the last five years has been: Eat more pie. He loves pie. He’s kept his resolution every year as he’s sampled all kinds of different pies. However, we have noticed that pie is sometimes hard to find. A lot of other less simple desserts seem to crowd the menu these days. Yes, I could bake him a pie, but, in all honesty, that might hurt his resolution. You see, there was this one time, many years ago, when I tried to make a pumpkin pie

the same way my MONA NEELEY mom had always made pumpkin pie … from scratch … as in grow the pumpkin, carve it up, cook it down and make a pie. Let’s just say it didn’t even work as pumpkin soup! So, with that track record, we like to order pie when we’re out or pick up a pie at a store or bakery. That leads to my resolution this year: Find the best place to buy pie. I need your help. Where in Colorado have you found the best pie? Please share what you find at info@coloradocountrylife.org and we’ll all have a pie-filled, happy new year.

Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative. Its goal is to provide information from your local electric co-op to you, its Morton_CoCountryLife_1.20.qxp_Layout 1 12/5/19 2:35 PM Page 1 consumer-members.

A ride preserved for generations. IN THE BUILDING made for generations.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Sign of the Times

The “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign is just a sign. It is part of our history. We don’t need to make another Colorado sign that is more colorful. The state’s natural beauty speaks for itself. Don Small via email

Poetry From Readers a Hit

I’ve enjoyed this magazine for 25 years. The October issue was really interesting and I enjoyed the reader poetry. Helen Larson, Cotopaxi Sangre de Cristo Electric consumer-member

Childhood Holiday Memories

The editor’s column (November ’19) brought back childhood memories of large family gatherings. I’m glad your church sponsors “orphan” Thanksgiving dinners. That really means a lot to people with no families in the area or people hurting during the holiday or with no family at all. No one should be alone during the holidays. Paul Matlock, Pagosa Springs La Plata Electric consumer-member

Can the Squash

Regarding the letter about canning squash (November ’19), I am in my mid-50s and grew up helping my mother can squash. Yes, I still can squash. Have I killed or [made anyone sick]? No. My husband canned 71 quarts of squash in 2018. I have old cookbooks that tell you how to can squash, several from the 1980s. People all over the world can carrots, green beans, beets and other low-acid food. Donna and Bill Hucke, Campo Southeast Colorado Power consumer-member

Who is a Danger to Whom?

Urban wildlife can be “unpredictable, destructive and potentially dangerous,” according to your outdoor writer, (November ’19). [From the animals’ point of view], the same can be said of the humans who moved into what was once wildlife habitat. Kathleen Stachowski, Mancos Empire Electric consumer-member

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SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org. Include full name and contact information. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

Start the New Year Right With Energy Savings For maximum efficiency, your refrigerator should be set between 38 to 40 degrees, and the freezer compartment should be set to 5 degrees. Photo by Marcela Gara, Resource Media

BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN Cutting your energy bills in half may sound like it would take a lot of time and money to achieve, but this end result is not far-fetched. If you’re looking to accomplish those kinds of results, try these energy-saving measures now and plan ahead for even more savings down the road.

Dial in savings Now: Start with your home thermostat. In most homes, the largest portion of the energy bill goes toward heating and cooling. Setting back the thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours per day can save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling. In the winter, aim for 56 degrees at night and when no one is at home, and 68 degrees when you’re up and around. If you’re used to a warmer house, it may mean throwing on a sweater or pair of slippers. It should be noted this tactic is not as effective for some homes with radiant heat systems. Later: Make sure to adjust your air-conditioning settings next summer. If you have a manual thermostat and don’t always remember to adjust it, consider purchasing a smart thermostat, or at least one that’s programmable.

Set refrigerator and freezer temps for efficiency

2020

PHOTO CONTEST SIMPLY COLORADO Over 800 enteries were submitted. Thank you all for participating in this year’s contest. Winners will be announced in the April 2020 issue. 6

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

Now: Make sure your refrigerator and freezer aren’t set to a colder temperature than needed. The refrigerator should be at 38 to 40 degrees and the freezer compartment should be 5 degrees. If you have a separate chest freezer, set it to 0 degrees. Also check your water heater setting — aim for a setting of 120 degrees. Later: Old refrigerators and freezers can use a lot of electricity. If yours was made before 1993, you can save upwards of $65 a year with a new EnergyStar® model. If you eliminate a second refrigerator or freezer, you can save even more, especially if it is stored in your garage. Taking these easy steps now should provide some quick energy savings. To save even more, you’ll need a plan that includes the “later” steps listed above. An energy assessment can help you determine a much better plan, and your electric co-op may be able to provide a review or recommend a qualified energy auditor. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency.

Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to find out three more ways you LEARN MORE ONLINE can save on your home energy costs. Look under the Energy tab.


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RECIPES WATCH THE VIDEO

Snuggle Up to Soups and Chilis BY AMY HIGGINS

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Cozy up with a warm bowl of soup this winter.

Watch us make this month’s delicious Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili. Go to the Recipes page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

H

ere’s an energy-saving tip: Rather than cranking up the thermostat, warm up with a steaming hot bowl of homemade chili or soup. Have a cold? Soups are a tasty way to ease symptoms and, when you add in fresh veggies, they can nourish your body with vitamins and antioxidants to promote healing. Whether you’re under the weather or full of vigor, slurp up the last sip, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, slip on a pair of fuzzy socks and nestle up next to a toasty fireplace to stay warm throughout the evening.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili 6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces 2 medium onions, chopped 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper 2 cups chicken broth 1 can (14.5-ounce) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 can (15-ounce) no-salt-added black beans 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley 1/2 teaspoon salt

Do You Know the Benefits of Broth? Rather than using store-bought broth, make your own bone broth at home. Read about the benefits of bone broth on our website: coloradocountrylife. coop. Select Recipes on the top bar and then click on the “Bone Broth Benefits” box on the right-hand side.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

Using stovetop, heat 5.5-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate. Reduce bacon fat in stock pot to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeño pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving. Recipe provided by Circulon It is quick, creamy and delicious. Give this tortellini soup a try this winter. Get the Tomato-Tortellini Soup recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.


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NEWS CLIPS

New Report

Co-op Members are Politically Active Political Engagement Behaviors

Co-op consumer-members show strong involvement in the political process, including significant jumps among those who contact government officials and contribute to campaigns.

Co-op Political Actions Consumer-members are generally comfortable with their co-op encouraging them to engage politically.

75%

Change from 2018

Will vote in 2020 presidential election

96%

Voted in 2016 presidential election

92%

Vote in every election

69%

Contacted elected official to voice opinion Contributed money to political candidate Posted social media political view Attended co-op meeting

55% 41%

—

Encourage all co-op members to vote in elections.

+5 +3 +15 +14

31%

+1

26%

+6

69% Send email action alerts about breaking legislative or regulatory news impacting co-ops.

59% Ask members to contact elected representatives about a co-op issue.

84%

believe co-ops do a good job communicating with them and keeping them informed about co-op actions.

Source: Survey of 750 electric co-op members, July 2019, margin of error +|-3.6% by Frederick Polls

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020


NEWS CLIPS

Co-ops Benefit as RURAL Act Passes U.S. House, then Senate

I

n the last days of 2019, Congress finally passed the RURAL Act of 2019. Introduced in the U.S. House and Senate in April of last year, the companion bills gained momentum toward the end of 2019 as legislators from both political parties signed on in support. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to modify the definition of income for purposes of determining the tax-exempt status of telephone and electric cooperatives. This fixes an inadvertent problem created when the 2017 tax bill passed by Congress redefined government grants to co-ops as nonmember income. But to maintain their tax-exempt status, co-ops must not get more than 15% of their revenue from sources other than their members. The result is that when a storm hits and the co-op accesses Federal Emergency Management Agency (or FEMA) funds, the co-op can easily exceed that 15% limit for outside funds. If the co-op has to then start paying taxes, it will be forced to raise electric rates, often in high-poverty areas that can least afford higher energy costs. This is not how FEMA funds are supposed to work. They are supposed to help alleviate the burden to co-op members, not add to it, noted Colorado Rural Electric Association Executive Director Kent Singer. Colorado thanks Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R), as well as Reps. Joe Neguse (D-Dist. 2), Scott Tipton (R-Dist. 3), Ken Buck (R-Dist. 4), Doug Lamborn (R-Dist. 5), Jason Crow (D-Dist. 6), and Ed Perlmutter (D-Dist. 7) for their support on this important issue.

More Community Solar Gardens Possible More electric cooperatives now have an opportunity to add community solar gardens without going outside their contract with their power supplier. The 18 electric co-ops in Colorado buying their electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association have a contractual obligation to not utilize electricity from an alternate source for more than 5% of their electricity needs. That has stymied some local renewable resource development. That changed in November. The Tri-State board approved a new community solar program that can be added to a co-op’s resource mix without it counting toward the 5% self-supply contract provision.

WHAT IS THAT BIG GREEN BOX? As more and more electric lines are buried in neighborhoods and throughout your local electric co-op’s territory, more big green metal boxes — about the size of a mini fridge — are likely to be seen. These are pad-mounted transformers. They may look different, but they serve the same purpose as those gray cans normally seen on top of power poles. They step high-voltage electricity down so it is more useful and safer for your home. The only difference is that the pad-mounted transformer connects to underground power lines rather than overhead lines.

These green boxes look pretty innocuous in your neighborhood, but they should be treated with the same respect you show overhead power lines. They route a lot of electricity and a lot of danger lurks inside. Never open one. Report it to your electric co-op if you find it unlocked or the lock broken. Teach children to stay away from them. Don’t use them as a bench while waiting for a bus. Don’t play on them. Never use them as a step stool to reach something overhead. That big green box is an important part of the electric grid. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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BY INDIANA REED PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESS C. LEONARD

I

t began with his fascination for old, worn structures. In the 1970s, Joe DeLaRonde was finishing his undergraduate degree in zoology and psychology, with a minor in chemistry, at South Dakota State University when fate stepped in and changed his life. “I was dating a girl (from Iroquois, South Dakota) and we drove by this building, and I have this terrible affinity for old abandoned buildings,” Joe says of the building that sparked his interest. He didn’t know at the time that it was a blacksmith shop. “ ‘Oh, that belongs to the old German blacksmith here. He’s just an old grouch,’ my girlfriend said.” Driving by it regularly on weekends, he decided to stop one day. No one was there. Increasingly intrigued, however, he continued stopping by until the door was open. He walked into the world of the

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

blacksmith shop run by a 10th generation smith, Wilhelm “Billy” Vogelman, originally from Emmetsweiler, Germany. Billy was already in his 70s and the primary smith retained to forge and repair farming tools in the region. (He spent his weekends out on the farms, scoping out how to hone the plow equipment, which is why he was rarely at the shop when Joe was visiting his girlfriend.) Joe’s parents weren’t initially enthusiastic when their son announced his “find,” as he had already been accepted to a master’s program to pursue a future career in animal behavior. But something about the dark, dusty, historic blacksmith shop called to him. He returned periodically to Billy’s shop, eager to learn more, and subsequently Joe entered into a three-year apprenticeship with the old German. Eventually Billy said, “I’ll sell this

to you for what I paid for it in 1928: $3,500.” “I got the shop and the teacher for $3,500,” says Joe, noting that Bill’s tutelage included decades of experience with his family’s secrets

I got the shop and the teacher for $3,500” dating back to serving Kaiser Wilhelm II and his staff during World War I. Joe was not completely devoid of artistic experience, as he’d also earned a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, but the artisan craft of blacksmithing was completely new to him.


COVER STORY

Joe uses the forge to weld a cant hook.

Enter to win a copy of Joe DeLaRonde’s book Blacksmithing Basics for the Homestead. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to enter.

“I found it fascinating,” he says, and in addition to learning the craft, the inquisitive scholar within him propelled him into research. According to Joe, next to glassblowing, woodworking and pottery, blacksmithing is one of the oldest trades in the world. As he notes in his book, Blacksmithing: Basics for the Homestead, “Blacksmithing, as near as can be determined, originated in the Caucasus Mountains about 4,000 years ago … Blacksmithing is based on common sense and dealing with basic physical properties of the materials used: steel, heat and water. Mastering these takes enough skill and practice without cluttering it up with nonsensical gibberish.” And indeed, he did practice and develop his skills. Billy started him out repairing farm equipment and sharpening the various plow lays, which had earned Billy his reputation

with the farmers in the area. Joe also began visiting craft shows in the region and found an interest from attendees for what he calls “the artsy-fartsy stuff.” He then furthered his craft producing candlestick holders, door knockers, hooks, latches and other decorative items. He may now downplay those early efforts, but today, in Colorado, in the rustic cabin in Mancos that he shares with his wife, Marlis, and their energetic chocolate Lab puppy Coco, evidence of his creativity in blacksmithing as an art remains. All through his craft show years, he enhanced his magic behind heating, pounding and shaping metal into utilitarian, as well as decorative, items. Blacksmiths are widely assumed to be only farriers, pounding out horseshoes. But, early in his apprenticeship Joe asked Billy about horseshoeing — why wasn’t he crafting horseshoes? “He looked at me over his glasses and said, ‘You’ll find a bigger fool than me to show you that s#*t.’ And I thought, good, I don’t have to worry about that,” Joe says. “I dodged a bullet on that.” No horseshoes for Joe.

Fur Trade Rendezvous Circuit During his initial years with Billy and first years in business, a young Joe secured a few retailers who purchased his decorative items wholesale, but then he discovered the Fur Trade Rendezvous circuit. Rendezvous events have blossomed and continued to grow in popularity in the areas of the world where fur trading was central back in the early 1800s. The events are reenactments of the gatherings where trappers convened after a rigorous winter of trapping. Purportedly, as was part of the rendezvous 200 years ago, goods are traded, stories are told and fun is enjoyed by those attending. Today a rendezvous includes demonstrations of period skills including black powder shooting, archery and tomahawk throwing. Goods offered by the traders include period clothing, furnishings, camp gear, trade silver, animal skins, jewelry and a fascinating variety of other utilitarian and decorative items. “I went to my first rendezvous in 1980,” Joe says. “Then I began making tomahawks, axes and camp sets and knives, which I enjoyed much more than making fancy stuff.”

Outside Joe DeLaRonde’s shop in Mancos looking in where Joe works on a project.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

17


COVER STORY But one certainly shouldn’t say that Joe’s pieces aren’t fancy, depending on the definition of “fancy.” True, this is not ornamental work. The pieces are heavy and appropriately weighted, and the metal is forged and the handle designed to re-create an authentic period piece, capturing the essence of the historic fur trader tool. Given his authenticity and craftsmanship, he’s had museums and collectors contact him for authentication of pieces of his that they’ve stumbled upon — believing them to be antiques. “They’ve seen my touchmark,” he says of the engraving that is unique to each craftsman. “The reenactors are from all over the world. I’ve shipped [tomahawks] all over Europe because apparently there are a lot people who do rendezvous in Germany. There are many people who come from (the former) Czechoslovakia and France to the U.S. rendezvous. I’ve also shipped some to Japan, but I think those are collectors. I don’t think they’re doing the fur trade reenactments.” His basic style for the Colonial tomahawks has remained the same, as he stays true to history, although he has created variations based on requests and needs of customers, including adapting styles recognized from

Joe DeLaRonde

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

the French and Indian wars. His more complicated pieces could involve 10 to 15 hours of work, which sets Joe’s pieces apart at the various rendezvous events, and prompted interest (and ultimately orders) through his website.

A military focus “About six or seven years ago I had a Navy SEAL contact me, and he said, ‘I need a belt ax, and I need it to do this and this and this,” says Joe, who agreed to craft a prototype, which would be a utilitarian piece that not only had the front blade for traditional use, but also additional features that were of need to the military units on the ground in Iraq. “I made it up for him, sent it to him asking for any changes, and about a month later, I got an email that said, ‘Perfect, just what I wanted. Send me six more for the rest of the team.’ That got me started with making items for the military.”

Since that time he’s made thousands of custom pieces for various branches of the military, as well as first responders in the states. When he has multiple orders including rendezvous folks or collectors, he always moves the military or first responders to the head of the list. Joe is a veteran, having served in combat infantry in Vietnam in 1966-1967, at a time before he ever knew about blacksmithing and how his creations could assist enlisted members and first responders in the field.

Axes made using three methods of construction: (left to right) felling, wrapped-eye and punched-eye.


COVER STORY The shop Joe’s unique pieces are created one by one in his shop down the hill behind the cabin, in a structure that originally was a lean-to for horses that once lived on the property. It’s dark and cold, and filled with dozens of unique tools that would make an antique dealer salivate. The rugged anvil, which is the centerpiece of the small shop, has seen so many years of “pounding” that it is slightly bowed from the thousands of pieces Joe, and Billy before him, have crafted. He has no idea how many pieces he’s crafted in nearly 50 years, but the anvil has been there for all of them. “I numbered the first thousand tomahawks, and they were gone within a year,” he says. “And that’s I couldn’t tell you how many thousands ago. I made a large and a small of each style.” If the anvil is the heart of the shop, the forge is the essential piece of equipment for a blacksmith. For the layperson, it could be described as a giant open oven (envision a big indoor barbecue without a grill) with a large overhead vent. It’s coal-fired, with the coal stoked by a fan to inspire the forge to burn hot. “Basically all you need is something that will blow air up through the coal,” he says, noting he’s now able to source his coal locally from the mines near Hesperus. “In the old days, before electricity, forges were run by big bellows. Some guys go through all kinds of elaborate stuff to light their fire, which I’ve never quite figured out. It doesn’t take much to get it heated up.” And therein lies one reason the shop is cold and dark. The forge, once fired up, produces a generous amount of heat, plus part of the art for a blacksmith is his ability to gauge the metal. These craftsmen know just how long to heat the metal by its color in order to begin the process of creating a unique piece. Bright lights can impede that process.

Joe DeLaRonde’s shop.

A tong circle.

“It does get warm (in the room). Problem is this time of year my feet freeze,” he jokes, noting the shop has no constructed floor — only dirt with a generous layer of coal soot.

The next generation While he remains passionate about his craft, Joe recognizes that it may be a dying art. Currently he has a young apprentice who, several times a year, is able to escape her day job in Utah and join him for a long weekend to advance her skills. But at this time she’s the only one who has picked up the passion. He’d like to see more handcrafted products at the rendezvous, and is somewhat dismayed that many of the items brought to the events are coming from India and Pakistan.

“Do blacksmithing! It’s lots of fun,” notes Joe, saying that Billy, the old blacksmith, was 72 when he took him on as an apprentice. “I’m 75 and I’m still doing it. Age is a relative thing. I got hooked on it and the rest is history.” Indiana Reed is an award-winning journalist and communications consultant based in Durango. Working from her cozy country home in rural La Plata County, she has earned a national reputation for her quality writing about businesses and the arts.

Interested in learning the art of blacksmithing? Joe DeLaRonde hosts occasional seminars for aspiring blacksmiths, generally in the late spring or early fall. Learn more about DeLaRonde’s work at www.delarondeforge.com.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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INDUSTRY

Stopping Scams Means Better Service Consumers urged to help fight fraud BY DERRILL HOLLY

O

ur increasingly connected world is giving scammers more opportunities to connect with unsuspecting consumers, and local authorities, utilities and other businesses are working overtime to keep people informed. To help prevent you, your family or your business from being victimized, they suggest “if you see something, say something” is a vigilant adage to abide by. It’s likely that during the holidays you spent a good amount of time shopping online for family, friends and co-workers, and not tracking where the money was spent. Now, the wrapping paper, bows and holiday lights might be dwindling, but the bills can start to pile up. During this time it can be difficult to keep track of what’s legitimate and what’s not, and scammers can take advantage of consumers during this time of vulnerability, making demands for payment and prying for personal information. This is why it’s especially important to pay attention to the bills you’re responsible for, including your utility bills. “The Federal Trade Commission has been hearing about scammers impersonating utility companies in an effort to get your money,” said Lisa Lake, a federal consumer education specialist. “Your reports help us fight these scams.”

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Electric cooperatives are among the businesses and consumer organizations supporting Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS). The international consortium of electricity, natural gas, water and sewer providers, and trade and industry associations share information on payment scams, identity theft and sales and service schemes as a way to help fight fraud. Imposter scams are the most common type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission, according to UUAS officials. “Impersonators call homes and small businesses demanding payment for supposedly delinquent bills and threatening to terminate service.” The frequency of the incidents picks up during peak heating and cooling seasons, in

part because consumers are most concerned when temperature extremes increase the urgency of maintaining utility service. Variations on the scam are also becoming more common. Rather than making an initial claim that a consumer owes an outstanding balance, some scammers are now claiming an overpayment is the reason for a telephone call to a consumer. They will make contact in an attempt to get banking information so they can process a refund. “Never give banking information over the phone unless you place the call to a number you know is legitimate,” Lake wrote in an FTC blog. There has also been an uptick in door-todoor scams by people claiming to represent


INDUSTRY utility providers, like your electric co-op. Representatives knock or ring the doorbell offering to replace or repair a meter or other device, or solicit personal information to sign a consumer up for programs that could reduce their energy bills. They may try to charge you for the phony service, sell you unnecessary products, collect personal information for use in identity theft or simply gain entry to steal valuables, officials said. High-pressure demands are a common tactic in many of the schemes. Someone urging immediate decisions or actions, like immediate payment, particularly by a specific option like a gift card, wire transfer, cellphone or third-party computer app, should raise serious concerns. Utility-connected scams are common, because utility services are so frequent.

Lighting, heating, water and sewage services are all essential to modern living, so any threat of service disconnections can provoke a lot of anxiety. Your first defense is personal awareness of your account status, including knowing whether balances are up to date. This is becoming more important as scammers use more automatic dialers or “robocalls” to phish for potential marks. “Even if the caller insists you have a past due bill, that’s a big red flag,” Lake said, offering additional advice. “Contact the utility company directly using the number on your paper bill or on the company’s website. Don’t call any number the caller gave you.” Derrill Holly writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Basic tips to make your smart devices less hackable: Tip 1: Although tempting, don’t use the same password for all of your devices. Tip 2: Absolutely change factory-set passwords provided by the manufacturer. Tip 3: Make your passwords complex and challenging. Tip 4: Regularly update the device’s software so that it is protected by the latest security. Tip 5: NEVER click a link in an email claiming to be from a security- or smart home-related company, even if it looks official. Scammers and hackers get sign-in information and passwords this way, which they can use to hack your smart technology.

SMART DEVICES They’re definitely smart, but not always secure For many of us, buying and using technology to make our homes smarter and interconnected is as tempting as walking through a candy store as a kid. (Sour Patch Kids and Pixy Stix anyone?) Although not found in every household, many U.S. homes have one or two components, such as a smart security system complete with cameras, a smart thermostat or a know-it-all “voice assistant” such as Amazon’s Alexa. The rest of our homes range from doing things the old-fashioned way (no smart devices at all) to having a home decked out in every smart technology one could imagine. According to Statista, a company specializing in market and consumer data, North Americans are forecast to spend $63 billion in the smart home market in 2022. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. (But if we do, millions of Americans may hear Alexa say, “Bless you.”) Although convenient — who doesn’t want real-time glimpses of who is ringing our doorbell or to hear Google Assistant recite a recipe — smart devices come with their own set of security concerns. Canada’s CBC News hired hackers (ethically responsible ones, of course) to hack a family’s smart home and they got in, literally. “All it took was a white van, a team of three hackers and a phishing email to remotely unlock … the front door.” This eye-opening scenario is not intended to scare people; rather, we encourage you to give your smart devices serious

thought before diving in. Security measures for smart devices are similar to the steps we should take in our daily life to protect us against seedy scammers and hackers everywhere. For example, be leery of emails or calls asking for personal information such as login info or passwords. And although everyone loves to use the same passwords like “abc123” for everything, doing so can make your smart devices vulnerable. (Note: It’s not a good idea to use “abc123.” Be creative and make them hard to crack.) And although it seems obvious, never use the factory-set password; change it immediately. Many tech companies are considering (and others have already switched) to two-step authentication for the smart devices they sell. Although the extra step can feel like a pain, the two-step process is a good thing; it is a valuable step in keeping you and your family safe and your conversations private. Without the code provided in the second security step, outsiders can’t access your device or account — even if they guessed your SweetHomeAlabama1973 password (or whatever). For more in-depth technology advice, consult an information technology professional. For more information about electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org. And if your password is actually SweetHomeAlabama1973, we apologize; it was used for illustrative purposes only.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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GARDENING

BUG OFF THIS NEW YEAR Guard against insect infestation; enjoy healthy houseplants BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

T

he last thing indoor gardeners want to find is an insect infestation inside their homes. While many insects may be found on houseplants, the most prevalent are mealybugs, spider mites, greenhouse whiteflies and gnats. Mealybugs are typically found in warm, moist climates so you wouldn’t think they would be a problem in Colorado, but they may infest greenhouse plants that you bring into your home. One sign of mealybugs is leaves dropping prematurely. If you look closely, you will see the little, white mealybugs on the underside of the leaves and on stems. Spider mites are a particularly destructive pest. They are fairly common in Colorado as they prefer hot, dry climates. The initial sign of spider mites is tiny yellow or brown spots, or stippling, on leaves, which cause the leaves to shrivel and drop. The mites hide on the underside of leaves where they spin fine webs. You may notice the webs long before you see the mites. My first time encounter with spider mites was horrifying. They quickly covered the entire plant and I had to throw it in the trash. Since then, I inspect my plants regularly for signs of insects. The greenhouse whitefly is a pest you might inadvertently bring into your house during the holidays as they are commonly found on poinsettias. You can avoid whiteflies, as well as other pests, by examining plants before you buy them. Like mealybugs and spider mites, whiteflies cause the leaves to drop prematurely. These three pests may be treated by washing the leaves with a solution of warm water and non detergent dish soap. After washing, rinse or wipe the leaves with clean water. Another way to kill these

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pests is with rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton swab in the alcohol and dab it directly onto the bugs. After applying alcohol, place the plants out of the sun to prevent the leaves from burning. Other effective remedies are neem oil or commercial insecticidal soaps. Be sure to only use products labeled for indoor use. Typically, one treatment is not enough — you will need to inspect your plants weekly and repeat the treatment until you no longer see signs of the insects. When the holidays are over, I like to make room for gifts by deep cleaning my home —washing my plants is part of that ritual. I inspect each one for weakness and signs of insects. I may need to repot some, but I clean them all by rinsing plants in the sink or washing their leaves, one at a time, with warm, soapy water. Cleaning all plants at the same time prevents insects from moving from an infected plant to an uninfected one. The cleaning ritual always gives me joy as it allows me to focus on each plant’s unique beauty. And, yes, I believe they respond lovingly to the individual attention. By repeating this process seasonally, you too can have healthy, happy houseplants. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Read previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado.


GARDENING

PLANNING AHEAD

Seven things to consider when thinking of next spring’s landscaping

M

aybe you’re not too crazy about how your yard looked last summer. That doesn’t mean your only option is to rip out the whole sordid thing and start over. Sometimes a measured, partial, “surgical” strike is enough to whip a yard into decent shape. A trim here, a transplant there and a replacement or two might be all you need. Other times, if enough plantings are 1. Get to know the lay of the land. This is especially important if you’re new to the property. Those evergreen monstrosities that you want to cut down might hide the neighbor’s chewing-tobacco billboard collection. Or that “messy” maple tree might be keeping the setting sun from heating up the patio after work. Pay attention to where the sun comes up and goes down. Watch where water pools after a rain. Where is it hot and dry? Are there windy spots? Are there pockets of particularly horrid soil? Your current plants might not be the prettiest, but they might be there to solve a problem. 2. Take a critical look at existing plants. Which ones do you like? Which clash with the house, are misshapen or otherwise annoy you? Any that demand more maintenance than you’re willing or able to give them? The answers to these will help you determine what can stay and what should go.

overgrown or flat-out ugly, a clean slate might be the way to go. Either way, give it some thought first — especially if you’ve just moved. You might regret wholesale knee-jerk changes after you realize why those apparent “mistakes” were planted where they are. Here are seven points to ponder.

3. How do you use or want to use your yard? This will drive the rest of the landscape planning. It’ll help you determine where beds and trees should go (or not go), what kind of plants to use and what kind of structures go on your wish list (a pool? patio? shed? gazebo?). Start with practical needs and carve out a game plan that meets them. 4. Do the plantings match the character of the house? A lavender-lined picket fence and clipped boxwoods might be a fitting choice for a colonial-style house. However, a Victorian-style house might look better with sweeping beds of colorful perennials and annuals. Consider not only the house but also the surrounding environment. That doesn’t dictate what you have to do, but it’s a starting point.

5. What about the colors? Do the plant colors match the house trim or clash with it? Removing a few clashers might fix this one. 6. Are there views that need to be screened? Maybe you want privacy around your deck. Maybe you want a tall screen planting along the side property lines. Maybe you want the entire backyard or even parts of the front yard screened. These are prime real estate for dense evergreens. 7. Think about the not-so-little details. Maintenance is important. No sense spending a ton of money on a great new landscape when you really don’t like to garden, have no time for it and don’t want to hire regular maintenance. Better to be realistic and plan for plantings you’ll be able to care for.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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OUTDOORS

FLY FISHING IN WINTER Find ways to recall warm summer days while staying toasty BY DENNIS SMITH

| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

I

’m not one to do much fly fishing through the winter anymore. I tried it for the first time shortly after I moved to Colorado from the Catskills 40-some years ago just to see what it might be like to stand in a mountain stream casting flies for trout in the dead of winter. I was attracted by the novelty of it all, I suppose, and maybe the macho image I thought it would lend to my persona, but I’ve since gotten over that. I’ve discovered I can feel every bit as macho — not to mention a heck of a lot warmer — sitting in front of the fire with a good book and a hot toddy. In the 10 or 12 more times I’ve gone since that first trip, I’ve experienced something less than the same ratio of good to bad days on the stream I’d have had at the height of the season. Which is to say that sometimes I caught a bunch of fish — but usually I didn’t. And in most cases, I caught none at all. The biggest difference between winter and summer fly fishing, it seems to me, is that getting skunked is a lot easier to accept when you’re warm and dry.

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One week stands out as exceptional though. About five years ago, we were having one of those “unseasonably warm” winters the Front Range region is somewhat famous for. It was February, but tulips were popping prematurely everywhere you looked, maples and cottonwoods were in full bud, and the creek near home was running clear as a summer martini. Triggered by the false spring, I found myself wandering the creek wearing a light jacket and hip boots, and catching fish almost as fast as I could get the fly in the water. I’ve been waiting for another 70-degree winter day ever since. Consequently, I do most of my winter fly fishing indoors these days. I sidle up to my fly-tying bench with a big mug of coffee, (or whatever) put some music on the CD player (lately it’s been the soundtrack from “Dances with Wolves”) and start cranking out the patterns I had the most fun with during the past season.

It never fails to amaze me how tying flies on a cold winter day can take you back to another time and place. Even when the sky is the color of split shot and the snow is swirling like tiny frozen tornadoes around the windowsill, you can hear the gurgle of a summer creek, and feel the tug of a trout dancing at the end your line. If you really work at it, you can feel the freshets of moist night air that come drifting down a trout stream at the end the day. I’ll admit, though, the sensation is slightly more vivid if you have a shot of schnapps in your coffee. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up on all of Dennis’ outdoor stories at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors under Living in Colorado.


At Tri-State

Our cooperative approach to a clean grid starts now. Learn how we’re transforming with our Responsible Energy Plan. www.tristate.coop/responsibleenergyplan


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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when not in use to stop warm air from escaping your home. If you do not use your fireplace, plug and seal the flume. Source: Safe Electricity


CREATIVE CORNER

READER POETRY The New Year The New Year lies shimmering before me bathed in the light of an ancient moon

Look Out for Galloping Lines BY MONA NEELEY

I

| MNEELEY@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

t’s winter in Colorado. That means storms with wind, snow and sometimes ice. When high winds and ice combine, it can affect power lines in a unique way that makes them “gallop.” Ice accumulating on a power line can, first, cause it to sag. As little as a half-inch of ice on a distribution line can make the line drop about a foot. More ice means that the line will sag further. What happens when strong winter winds happen along with ice is that the ice builds up on only one side of a power line. When this disproportionate buildup occurs, it changes the flow of air around the line, which can then cause it to start bouncing. This bouncing or galloping can potentially damage the lines, cause power outages and even make the lines fall to the ground. Once galloping starts, there is not much your electric cooperative can do to alleviate the situation until the winds stop. This is why many power lines have objects, such as twisted wire or round or angular pieces of metal, attached to lines. These devices are placed on power lines to help reduce the galloping of lines and prevent potential danger. There is danger once the lines start bouncing, so stay away. In addition to the possibility of power outages, there is a danger of the lines or other electrical equipment breaking loose and falling or of ice being dislodged from the lines and falling, hitting whatever or whomever is below. If you see galloping lines, contact your local co-op as soon as possible. The same goes for downed lines. Storms any time of year can include damaging winds that can take down power lines. It is important to keep your distance from these downed power lines no matter the season, as it is impossible to visually assess if the line is energized. Warn others to stay away, also. Remember, when ice and snow are making lines sag and poles and cross arms are damaged, the snow below can hide dangerous downed lines. And know that a line that is “dead” at one point during a storm could become energized during power restoration efforts or because of someone’s improper use of a generator. So, when wind, snow and ice hit, as they will this winter, keep your eye on the power lines and be prepared.

In this New Year I shall no longer flinch from the unchangeable past nor fret over the uncertain future I shall, instead, cherish the endowment of the present that is now, this heartbeat In this New Year I shall seek joy and gratitude kindness and charity love and understanding nature and spirit peace and simplicity In this New Year I shall embrace the light that is within me and the light that surrounds me holding me tranquil and leading me home In this New Year I shall find myself quietly listening to the Earth praising & rejoicing in the songs She sings to me The New Year will find me walking along the water’s edge on some old forgotten path gathering stones or shells, and, with mirth, honoring my sacred birth Debie McCutcheon Schmitt, Cortez Empire Electric consumer-member

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submission: Submit your poetry, poetry via name email andto:address via mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org email to: mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org or mail by mail poem, to: name and address to: Colorado Country Life magazine 5400 Washington St. Street Denver, CO 80216 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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COMMUNITY EVENTS January 12 Fort Collins

Free Square Dance Lesson Introductory Dance Knights of Columbus Hall 970-218-7250 • squaredusters.com

January 16 Grand Junction

January 23-26 Ouray

Ouray Ice Festival Ouray Ice Park ourayicepark.com

January 25 Denver

Josh Turner Concert Avalon Theatre 7:30 pm • avalontheatregj.com

The Oregon Trail: In Real Life RSVP Required History Colorado Center 7-10 pm • 303-866-2394

January 17 Tabernash

January 25 Denver

January 18-19 Estes Park

January 25 Greeley

January 19-20 Denver

9 am-1 pm • woundedheroesusa.com

Family Make and Take: Build a Fairy Garden Denver Botanic Gardens botanicgardens.org

January 29 Colorado Springs

For more ice fishing contest information, visit fishexplorer.com/co/.

January 20-29 Breckenridge

January 29-February 2 Durango

Ice Fishing Awaits! Do you think you have the skills to catch the biggest fish in the lake? Try an ice fishing tournament for your chance to win the jackpot or prizes, and to help support local causes. Here are three suggestions to get you started: January 17-18 Ice Fishing Tournament at Rifle Gap Falls Reservoir, Rifle

970-629-2085 x 4, riflechamber.com January 18 Ice Addiction Tournament Series, Boyd Lake State Park, Loveland

720-775-7770 • tightlineoutdoors.com February 1 Ice Fishing Tournament at Monument Lake, Monument

January 2020 Through January 19 Johnstown

Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn” Theater Performance Candlelight Dinner Playhouse 970-744-3747 coloradocandlelight.com

Mondays Breckenridge

Snowshoe Through Gold Mine History Iowa Hill Trailhead Preregistration Required 10 am • breckheritage.com

January 6 Greeley

“The Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” Auditions Union Colony Civic Center 4-7 pm • 970-350-9449

January 9-12 Aspen

Wintersköl™ Downtown Aspen 970-925-1940 • aspenchamber.org

January 9-12 Denver

International Sportsmen’s Expos Colorado Convention Center sportsexpos.com

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January 11-26 Denver

National Western Stock Show Various Denver Locations 303-296-6977 • nationalwestern.com

January 11 Keystone

“Backcountry and Bourbon” Spirits and Speaker Series Warren Station 6:30-9:30 pm • warrenstation.com

January 11 Lafayette

Lafayette Oatmeal Festival and 5K Walk/Run Various Lafayette Locations lafayettecolorado.com

January 11 Manitou Springs

Dorian Wind Quintet Concert Church of the Eternal Hills 7 pm • grandconcerts.org

Estes Park Winter Festival Estes Park Event Center 12-4 pm • visitestespark.com

International Snow Sculpture Championships and Viewing Downtown Breckenridge gobreck.com

January 20 Mesa Verde

Inclusive Community Dance Greeley Recreation Center 1-3 pm • 970-350-9400

First Aid Class Bear Creek Nature Center Preregistration Required 5:30-9 pm • 719-520-6977

Snowdown Various Durango Locations snowdown.org

January 29-February 22 Palmer Lake

Free Admission Day Mesa Verde National Park nps.gov

Winter Art Show Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts 719-481-0475 palmerlakeartgroup.com

January 22 Colorado Springs

February 2020

CPR/AED Class Bear Creek Nature Center Preregistration Required 5:30-9 pm • 719-520-6977

January 23-26 Aspen

Winter X Games Aspen Mountain aspenchamber.org

Photography Workshop Rainbow Falls Historic Site Preregistration Required 2-4 pm • 719-520-6977

January 11-12 Ridgway

San Juan Skijoring Ouray County Fairgrounds 12 pm • ouraycountyrodeo.com

Winter Brew Fest Mile High Station brewfestevents.com

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

February 3 Pueblo

Piano Battle Sangre de Cristo Performing Arts Center 7:30 pm • 719-295-7200

February 7-8 Littleton

Colorado Dulcimer Festival St. James Presbyterian Church coloradodulcimerfestival.com

Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar@coloradocountrylife.org. Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

FUNNY STORIES

Taking a walk with my grandsons, 4 San Isabel Electric Association scholarship recipient Colton Ortiz poses with Colorado Country Life at the Mission in Santa Barbara, California.

Patricia Aldrich, a consumer-member of Gunnison County Electric Association, visits Machu Picchu in Peru and poses with Colorado Country Life.

and 6 years old, we found on the road a very, very dead possum. Truly dead. It had been run over several times, so it was flat as a pancake. My 4-year-old grandson ran over to look and maybe touch, so the 6-year-old screamed at him, “Don’t touch, Dylan! You know possums can play dead!” Ingrid Garver, Fort Collins

Since the drive from the city to our

Empire Electric Association consumer-member Elisabeth Berger takes CCL to Kakinada, India. The magazine and photo op were a conversation starter for Elisabeth and these children, and it brought them together for some time.

mountain cabin is a long one, I suggested to our 7- and 9-year-old granddaughters that we visit Buffalo Bill’s grave on the way up. The 7-year-old seemed very perplexed and asked, “Is Buffalo Bill dead?” When I answered yes, she exclaimed, “Well, why in the world didn’t we visit him while he was alive?” D. Rowe, Greenwood Village Jim and Nora Poole pose with CCL on a balcony in Rome with the beautiful Saint Peter’s Basilica in the background. They are consumer-members of K.C. Electric.

While playing the board game

Sequence with my daughter, I looked up to see tears streaming down her face. I asked, “Why are you upset?” With her palm in front of her nose and her dealt hand in the other, exasperated, she cried, “You keep telling me to look at my hand!” Rebecca Carlson, Tabernash

My husband was lowering the blind

on our large living room window when the cord slipped from his grip. The blind whizzed down and hit the window sill with a loud slap. Our daughter came running into the room and asked, “What happened? Did the internet crash?” Suzanne Bobo, Grand Junction

Morgan County REA consumer-members Lee and Donelle Kauffman head out on a mission trip to Conakry, Guinea, West Africa and bring along CCL.

WINNER: Sharon Tully-Ryall and La Plata Electric Association consumer-member Debbie Tully take CCL to visit Little Cayman beach resort.

It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo, your name and address to info@coloradocountrylife. org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Wednesday, January 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2020 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020

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DISCOVERIES

VISITING DENVER?

Time to discover something new while in town (American) West Side Story

Installation view of the American Museum of Western Art—The Anschutz Collection.

Take some time to experience artworks of the American West that depict historical events of the early 19th century to today. At the American Museum of Western Art, you will see how artists interpret those events as well as the people, landscape and viewpoints of America’s past. These representations of our nation are sure to conjure an emotional experience. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 am-4 pm. For more information, call 303-293-2000 or visit anschutzcollection.org.

Take a Trip through Time The Forney Museum of Transportation is the result of a childhood adoration of all things that go vroom. J.D. Forney of Fort Collins started with a 1919 Model T Coupe and eventually expanded his collection with more cars, motorcycles, wagons, carriages and even rail cars and locomotives. His vast collection can be viewed by the public at the Forney Museum, near the Denver Coliseum, where J.D.’s family is keeping his passion alive and well. For more information, call 303-297-1113 or visit forneymuseum.org.

Courtesy of SMASH*IT Breakroom

Give it a Whack When frustration, stress or boredom get the best of you, why not break something? Probably because you care for your possessions and those of others. At SMASH*IT Breakroom, you don’t need to hold back — use one of the many tools available and pulverize a variety of crushable items. Participants are required to wear closed shoes, long sleeved shirts and long pants. Prices start at $45. For more information, call 720-248-8772 or visit smashitbreakroom.com.

Axe-cellent Entertainment Take a break from Stock Show shenanigans and head to Bad Axe Throwing for a round of hatchet hurling gratification. Book a private room for you and a group or walk in for a communal axe throwing experience with other drop-in enthusiasts. Find Bad Axe in Denver and Colorado Springs. Costs vary by location and group size. For more information, visit badaxethrowing.com.

ENTER TO WIN Enter for your chance to win a gift card to be used at one of these establishments. For official rules and how to enter, visit our contest page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2020


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Colorado Country Life January 2020  

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Colorado Country Life January 2020