K.C. ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
MOCKTAILS FOR A DRY JANUARY
TIME FOR INDOOR PLANTS
WINTER SANITY SAVERS
We’re delivering more Our members have asked for cleaner, more affordable and more flexible electricity – and we’re delivering. Built by and for our members, we power what matters to you. That’s the value of our cooperative family. To learn how we’re delivering on our mission, visit www.tristate.coop.
Tri-State is the not-for profit power supplier to cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
January 2021 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer email@example.com Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative email@example.com | 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
“Winter Hike at Cottonwood Pass” by Kevin Pollard, a member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.
6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT
7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS
14 NEWS CLIPS
PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK
16 COVER STORY BEST OF COLORADO
20 ENERGY CONNECTIONS
28 COMMUNITY EVENTS
29 YOUR STORIES
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COCountryLife pinned: Do you feel the force? Mix up this cute baby Yoda mocktail for the kids. Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.
FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Thanks to Kathleen Staks of Western Freedom for talking RTOs with the CREA board this morning. It is a big project with lots of challenges.
Illustration by Lisa Padgett.
Monthly Contest MOCKTAILS FOR A DRY JANUARY
TIME FOR INDOOR PLANTS
WINTER SANITY SAVERS
Enter for your chance to win a coffee gift b a s ke t f ro m Serranos Coffee Company. For official rules and how to enter, visit our contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop. coloradocountrylife.coop
INSTAGRAM PIC of the month cocountrylife posted: #GrandValleyPower consumer Cheryl Talley captured this fun day skiing among the giants. We hope you can get out and enjoy the great Colorado outdoors. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
CREA is at the table representing co-ops as legislative sessions begin BY KENT SINGER
ow that the excitement of the 2020 election season has largely passed, it’s time for the newlyelected members of the Colorado General Assembly and those elected to Congress to get to work on behalf of Colorado and all the American people. From our perspective at Colorado Rural Electric Association, it’s also time to introduce these new representatives to Colorado’s electric co-ops. At the state legislature, there is significant turnover every two years because Colorado adopted term limits back in 1994. That means members of the Colorado House of Representatives are limited to four two-year terms and state senators are limited to two four-year terms. The resulting realignment of each legislative chamber results in new leadership, committee chairs and committee membership on a regular basis. In a normal year, we’re able to meet the new legislators (or legislators in new positions) in person and talk about the issues that are important to electric co-ops. In the age of COVID-19, it’s much more challenging to develop these relationships. We do meet with legislators via Zoom or other technologies, but meeting over a computer screen is not as impactful as an old-fashioned face-to-face chat. We also stay in touch with the members of Colorado’s congressional delegation. As for our members of Congress, the incumbents were re-elected in six of Colorado’s seven congressional districts. In Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, political newcomer Lauren
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Boebert was successful in both the primary and general election and she will represent the vast expanses of the CD-3. Colorado CD-3 spans nearly 50,000 square miles including all or a portion of nearly half (29) of Colorado’s 64 counties. Another interesting statistic about CD-3? Almost all of that territory is served by Colorado’s electric co-ops: 11 of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops have service territory in the 3rd District. Thankfully, Rep.-elect Boebert reached out to us during the campaign and spent a considerable amount of time learning about how the electric co-ops serve rural Colorado. We look forward to working with Rep.elect Boebert on national issues that impact rural Colorado. In the case of Colorado’s new United States senator, John Hickenlooper, no introductions will be necessary. During his tenure as governor of Colorado, we had numerous opportunities to meet with then-Gov. Hickenlooper to talk about policy issues of importance to Colorado’s electric co-ops. We look forward to reacquainting Sen.-elect Hickenlooper with the Colorado electric co-op program and how his work in Washington can benefit electric co-op communities across Colorado. As the trade association for Colorado’s electric co-ops, we will be monitoring the activities of the Colorado General Assembly closely once the legislature convenes on January 13. We will also be initiating a bill or two of our own and will work with both Democrats and Republicans in the House to see those bills through to passage and
approval by the governor. We deploy expert lobbyists and government relations professionals who work diligently to represent the interests of our 22 electric distribution co-op members as well as Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. At this writing, it’s still unclear exactly how the legislature will conduct its business in 2021 given the impacts of COVID-19. The legislature was able to successfully complete a special session in December and we think that’s a good sign it will be able to meet effectively in 2021. We believe it’s imperative that the legislature continues to conduct its business in as transparent a manner as possible and enable all Colorado citizens to participate in the process. We’re confident that will happen in 2021 despite the unique circumstances that face the General Assembly. Whether we all like it or not, electric co-ops were created through a political process and to be successful we need to continue to engage in that process. As the old saying goes, in politics if you’re not at the table, you’re likely on the menu. 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.
FROM THE EDITOR
Still looking for the best pie in Colorado
BY MONA NEELEY
ast January I wrote about how my husband makes a New Year’s resolution every year to eat more pie. Readers responded with some delicious suggestions as to where to find great pie across the state. And we had great intentions. We had a geographically-organized list of pie places and a loose schedule of when we were going to visit different areas and try the local pie shops. But then the pandemic hit and Colorado went under “safer-at-home” orders. Travel stopped. My work trips around the state stopped. Our search for great slices of pie stopped — but just temporarily. With some restaurants still open with take-out menus, we did sneak out on the
motorcycle to visit MONA NEELEY one of the recommendations we got: Fat Albert’s in Greeley. I got a slice of the French apple and my husband got one of the banana cream. They were delicious. Our mistake was buying a beautiful whipped cream-topped chocolate mousse pie to take home to our son. After making the trip home in the small trunk on the back of our Harley on such a warm day, it was a soupy mess. (I think every time we hit a bump the whipped cream top hit the top of the box.) It looked pretty sorry when we got home. But don’t get me wrong — once we chilled it again, we ate every delicious bite.
A RIDE PRESERVED FOR GENERATIONS. IN THE BUILDING MADE FOR GENERATIONS.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Kudos to Electric Co-ops
Thanks to all the electric workers who struggle to keep our precious electricity on during “the year that will live in infamy,” as Kent Singer said, quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt (Viewpoint, October ’20). The wildfires, snowstorms, drought and windstorms created crises for co-op managers and line crews. Let 2020 be a reminder of the urgency of switching to renewable energy. Anne Bowler, Cortez Empire Electric consumer-member Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s response to the Cameron Peak Fire was fantastic. I was amazed at the speed at which they were able to repair the lines and get the electricity flowing again. Sincere thanks to the entire PVREA team. Nancy Steffens, Windsor PVREA consumer-member
Thanks from an Author
I am honored and grateful that Colorado County Life chose to include my book(s) in your annual book review article. I enjoyed reading Julie Simpson’s review of the adult books and am delighted to have my book included for younger readers. Susan Noble, Cortez Empire Electric consumer-member
Merci Train Connection
I enjoyed the history behind the Merci Train (November ’20) and forwarded it to my Wisconsin brothers and sisters as their Merci Train car is displayed in Green Bay, Wisconsin. If you (search online for) Merci Train, you can view the train cars from respective states. Hope we find Colorado’s car. Janice Farish, Monument Mountain View consumer-member
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800-447-7436 | MORTONBUILDINGS.COM ©2021 Morton Buildings, Inc. A listing of GC licenses is available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses. Certain restrictions apply. Code 604
Correction – Merci Train Phone Number The phone number for the Colorado Railroad Museum mentioned in the Merci Train story in November’s News Clips was transposed. The correct number is 720-274-5159. We apologize for any frustration this caused our readers.
SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@ coloradocountrylife.org. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT
This Year, Organize Your Energy BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN
or many, 2020 brought financial hardships, so finding new ways to save money is important in starting off the new year right. Saving energy at home to lower your monthly bills is a good start. Here are a few simple tips to help you get organized and start an achievable path to saving energy.
KNOW SOMEONE WITH MORE TIME ON THEIR HANDS OR LOOKING TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW?
Give them a subscription to Colorado Country Life. For 12-months they will discover new places and products from right here in Colorado. ORDER a 12-month subscription today. It’s just $9 for instate, or $15 for outof-state. JUNE 2020
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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Start by gathering information Begin by reviewing past energy bills. Knowing how and when you use energy can help you decide how ambitious your plan should be. If you have questions about your past bills or energy use, give your electric co-op employees a call — they’re available to help you understand your energy bills. Your co-op may also offer a free app that can show exact data about your home energy use. Next, visit your electric co-op’s website to see if it offers additional assistance, like energy improvement rebates, free energy audits or other special rates and programs. Finally, the most important step is to schedule an energy audit or conduct an online energy audit. If you plan to live in your home for many years to come, hiring an energy auditor may be the best investment you can make. An energy auditor can tell you which energy efficiency actions will save you the most money or provide the biggest improvement in comfort. If you’re looking for a faster, DIY method, try an online energy audit like EnergyStar.gov’s Home Energy Yardstick.
Develop a plan Now that you gathered the information you need, you can develop a plan. It can be simple or more comprehensive. If your priority is cutting energy costs, select the measure that will deliver the most savings. Maybe you’re already planning to do work on your home, such as roofing or renovating, and you can incorporate energy-efficiency strategies into that project. To complete your plan, you’ll likely need to check with local contractors or suppliers about costs.
Take action Now that your planning is done, it’s time to take action. If you’re tackling any major energy efficiency projects that require a contractor, remember to do your research and hire a licensed, reputable professional. We hope by taking a little time to complete these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a more energy efficient 2021. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency write on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn the little ways to help you accomplish your energy efficiency goals. Look under the Energy tab.
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
2020 YEAR IN REVIEW BY DAVID CHURCHWELL
ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION JANUARY 2021
K.C. ELECTRIC STAFF David Churchwell General Manager email@example.com Bo Randolph Office Manager and CFO firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Norris Operations Manager email@example.com George Ehlers Member Services Specialist and IT Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
ph 719-743-2431 tf 800-700-3123 fax 719-743-2396 web www.kcelectric.coop
Our mission is to provide our members with safe, reliable service at the lowest cost, while maintaining an environmentally responsible, accountable and sustainable operation now and in the future.
GENER AL MANAGER
hat a year 2020 was. In January 2020, no one could have envisioned what was in store for us with the pandemic and everything that went along with it. There were many changes at K.C. Electric Association in the past year, but, be assured, one thing that will never change is our goal to provide our consumer-members with safe and reliable service at the lowest cost while maintaining a sustainable operation. During 2020, K.C. crews kept extremely busy completing construction workplan projects and systemwide maintenance that bolstered our system and improved our ability to change the flow of power during emergency situations. In June, our 2020 annual meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Cheyenne Wells, but due to the pandemic we conducted our annual meeting virtually via a telephone town hall. Incumbent directors Bob Bledsoe from Cheyenne County, and Kevin Penny and Dan Mills from Kit Carson County ran unopposed and were elected to additional three-year terms. Due to director Marvin Thaller moving out of state, a special election was held to fill that vacancy. Eric Poss submitted a petition for the vacant Lincoln County director position and was unopposed, so Eric will serve the unexpired term for the director he is replacing and then will be subject to the regular election process. Next year will be K.C.’s 75th anniversary, so I hope you will attend our 2021 annual meeting, which will be held on June 3 in Stratton. In July, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, the statewide organization for Colorado electric cooperatives, recognized our employees for working 2019 without experiencing a lost-time accident. There
are 22 electric cooperatives in Colorado, and it’s not unusual for a number of them to work an entire year without a lost-time accident. In addition to the annual no losttime accident awards that are handed out, CREA also recognizes one electric cooperative that stands out above the rest in regard to their culture of safety by awarding the Achievement of Excellence Performance Safety Award. For 2019, K.C. Electric not only received a no lost-time accident award but was also selected as the recipient of the Achievement of Excellence Performance Safety Award. I am extremely proud of the culture of safety that has developed over the years at K.C. Electric and the professional service our employees provide on a daily basis for our membership. As I’m writing this article, our year-end financials are not complete, but we are projecting that we will finish the year with adequate margins to meet our lender-required financial ratios and will not need a rate increase for 2021. In November, the K.C. Electric Board of Directors approved a general retirement of over $1.1 million in capital credits to our consumer-members. In addition, due to COVID-19, continued drought conditions and low commodity prices, the board of directors also approved a special capital credit retirement of an additional $850,000 for a total capital credit retirement of over $2 million. K.C. Electric was formed in 1946 and has returned over $22 million to our consumer-members since we began providing electric service. Legislative, regulatory and environmental changes will continue to keep COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
YOUR CO-OP NEWS the electrical industry changing at a rapid pace. With assistance from our statewide organization, CREA, and our national organization, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, we continue to monitor legislative activity on the local, state and federal levels to determine how it will affect K.C. Electric and you, our consumer-members. K.C. is governed by democratic principles and you, the membership, elect our board of directors to guide and govern the cooperative. Along with approving rates and our annual budget, the board of directors also monitors K.C.’s equity, debt, capital credits and overall financial health. The K.C. Board of Directors and staff continually focus on controlling costs by managing debt, making investments to improve operating efficiencies and implementing technologies to improve internal processes. The year ahead will continue to bring new challenges both financially and operationally for us, but the board of directors and employees of K.C. Electric will continue to do everything in our control to keep expenses down, and customer service and reliability high.
STANDBY GENERATOR SAFETY TIPS
ortable or permanently installed standby generators can come in handy during long-term power outages. However, if you do not know how to use them properly, they can be dangerous. Contact a qualified vendor or electrician to help you determine what generator is best suited to your needs. Before using, read and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If you are installing a permanent generator, it must have a transfer switch. The transfer switch prevents energy from leaving your generator and going back onto the utility electrical equipment, when it could be dangerous to a lineman or others near downed power lines, a process known as “back feed.” A qualified electrician should install your generator and transfer switch.
Safe Electricity has the following tips to use portable generators safely: • Operate it outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation. Never run a generator in a home or garage. Generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. • Do not plug a generator into the wall to avoid back feed. Use heavy-duty extension cords to connect appliances to the outlets on the generator. • Turn the generator on before plugging appliances into it. Once the generator is running, turn your appliances and lights on one at a time to avoid overloading the unit. Remember, generators are for temporary usage; prioritize your needs.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
• Generators pose electrical risks, especially when operated in wet conditions. Use a generator only when necessary when the weather creates wet or moist conditions. Protect the generator by operating it under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot form puddles or drain under it. Always ensure your hands are dry before touching the generator. • Be sure the generator is turned off and cool before fueling it. • Keep children and pets away from portable generators. Many generator components are hot enough to burn you during operation. Safe Electricity suggests these safety guidelines and basic operating instructions be posted in the home and with the generator.
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
Claim Your Savings Each month, members have a chance to claim a $20 credit on their next electric bill. All you must do is find your account number, call the Hugo office at 719-7432431 and ask for your credit. The account numbers are listed below. How simple is that? You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine (check the date on the front cover).
Amanda Arensdorf, Flagler — 808200003 Charles Helderman, Vona — 1006350002 Gary Mulch, Burlington — 1103880001 Edward Cure, Burlington — 1187392800 In November, two consumer-members called to claim their savings: Breck Vassios, Flagler, and Robert Beek, Arapahoe.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
YOUR CO-OP NEWS
Attention High School Seniors, Parents and High School Guidance Counselors It is that time of year again to begin the process and complete your 2021 scholarship applications
Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Replace standard power strips with advanced power strips. Advanced power strips look like ordinary power strips, but they have built-in features that are designed to reduce the amount of energy used by standby electronics that consume energy even when they’re not in use (also known as phantom load). Source: nrel.gov
K.C. Electric Association is once again proud to offer and award eight various scholarships to high school seniors within the co-op membership. K.C. sponsors five scholarships directly by K.C. Electric Association and is the steward for three scholarships offered by generation and transmission cooperatives Tri-State Generation & Transmission and Basin Electric Cooperative. • 2 $1,000 scholarships – K.C. Electric Association • 3 $750 Scholarships – K.C. Electric Association (Note: One of these will be awarded to a technical or trade school applicant; if no eligible applications are received, K.C. will then award this as a general scholarship.) • 2 $500 scholarships – Tri-State Generation and Transmission • 1 $1,000 scholarship – Basin Electric Cooperative Applications are on our website at www.kcelectric.coop under the Community tab, or you can stop by our Hugo office to get a copy. Please read the instructions carefully and fully to comply with the guidelines of this application. The deadline for the applications is February 11, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. We have also submitted a copy of the application to your school counselors via email. Questions? Contact K.C. Electric Manager of Member Services George Ehlers at 719-743-2431.
Five Ways to Stay Cozy this Winter
aby, it’s cold outside! When you’re feeling chilly at home, there are several budget-friendly ways you can keep comfortable without turning up the thermostat.
Here are five easy ways to stay cozy: 1. Whether you’re experiencing extremely cold winter temps or you simply “run cold,” an electric blanket can deliver quick warmth that a regular throw or blanket cannot. Electric blankets can include a variety of features, like timers and dual temperature settings (if your cuddle buddy prefers less heat). This winter, consider an electric blanket instead of turning up the
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
heat and your energy bill will thank you. 2. One of the easiest ways to stay cozy at home is to keep your feet warm. Our feet play a critical role in regulating body temperature. When your feet are warm, your body automatically feels warmer. Try a pair of comfortable wool socks or house slippers to stay toasty. 3. On winter days when the sun is shining, take advantage and harness natural warmth from sunlight. If you open all curtains, drapes and blinds in your home to let the sunshine in, you’ll feel the difference. 4. Another way to make your home cozier is to use a humidifier. Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor like warm air, so adding humidity inside your home
BY ABBY BERRY can help you feel a little warmer. A favorable level of humidity inside your home can also help clear sinuses, soften skin and improve sleep. 5. Beyond adding visual appeal to your home, area rugs can also provide extra insulation and a warm surface for your feet on cold winter days. Use large area rugs in rooms where you spend the most time. You’ll enjoy the new colors and textures of the rug, and the additional warmth will help keep your home comfortable. These are just a few ideas to stay cozy this winter without turning up the thermostat. Don’t forget the hot chocolate! Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Goodbye 2020 Window & Door
Event Goodbye 2020 Event ends January 31st!
Buy 1 window or door, get 1 window or door
• With all that 2020 threw at us, we’re happy to see it go and give you a HUGE discount!
Now offering virtual appointments, too!
NO NO Payments NO Interest Money Down
• January is the perfect time for affordable windows. Draft-stopping Renewal by Andersen windows and doors are among the best ways to help make your home more comfortable this winter. Don’t suffer through the cold temperatures and high heating bills. • Our Fibrex® composite material is so strong we’re able to build thinner frames with a greater glass area that allows more natural light into your home. • For your safety and peace of mind, we’ve adjusted our operations to serve you in the safest way possible.
Call for your FREE Window and Door Diagnosis
for 1 year!
1 Offer not available in all areas. Discount applied by retailer representative at time of contract execution and applies to purchase of 4 or more windows and/or entry or patio doors. Buy two windows and/or doors, get the second two windows and/or doors, of equal or lesser value, 40% off. Discount applied to lowest priced window and/or door products in purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. Initial contact for a free Window and Door Diagnosis must be made and documented on or before 1/31/21, with the appointment then occurring no more than 10 days after the initial contact. No payments and deferred interest for 12 months available to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. Not all customers may qualify. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Renewal by Andersen retailers are independently owned and operated retailers, and are neither brokers nor lenders. Any finance terms advertised are estimates only, and all financing is provided by third-party lenders unaffiliated with Renewal by Andersen retailers, under terms and conditions arranged directly between the customer and such lender. Window Warmth, LLC d/b/a Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. “Renewal by Andersen” and all other marks where denoted are marks of Andersen Corporation. ©2021 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved. ©2021 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved. All sales, marketing and installation of windows is conducted by Renewal by Andersen of Colorado, an independently owned and operated affiliate operating in CO and NM.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
MAKING MOCKTAILS FOR DRY JANUARY “Unleaded” drinks to dry out from holiday merriment BY AMY HIGGINS
| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG
Are you craving a cocktail? Try a tasty “mocktail”
ry January” is a relatively new term used by those who want a break from alcoholic beverages. And when you know folks throughout the country — or perhaps in your own circle of friends — are making the same commitment, you just might be more successful. Benefits include saving money, sleeping more soundly, a happier liver and oftentimes a smaller waistline. Additionally, these betterments might make you want to forgo in February, too! If you find yourself craving a cocktail, however, these are some great-tasting “mocktails” to help take the edge off.
Quasi “Cosmo” Serves 1
1/2 cup cranberry juice 1/2 cup white grape juice ice 2 tablespoons bottled lime juice Splash of orange sparkling juice Orange slice for garnish Combine the cranberry, grape and lime juices in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until well combined and chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Add a splash of orange sparkling juice, stir and serve garnished with an orange slice. QUICK TIP CLANDESTINE COSMO Serve your mocktail in a martini glass and no one will suspect you’re simply sipping on fruit juices. They are delicious and refreshing, and your guests may even ask for a glass!
So-Called Spiced Mulled “Wine” Serves 2
2 cups apple cider 1 1/3 cups cranberry juice 3 cinnamon sticks 1 orange, sliced into rings 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves 5 star anise pods Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain liquid into mugs or glasses. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
QUICK TIP LIKE THE REAL THING This hot beverage is surprisingly similar in taste to a spiked spiced wine and will warm your bones on a cold Colorado day. The aroma is inviting and will likely beckon others around you to partake, so make extra.
Undercover Lavender Lemon “Cooler” Serves 1
3 tablespoons culinary lavender
3 ounces lemon Italian soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 ounce orange sparkling water
Juice of 2 lemons
1 ounce ginger ale 15 drops DRAM Apothecary Lavender Lemon Balm Bitters (purchase from dramapothacary.com)
In a food processor or blender, blend the culinary lavender and sugar into a fine powder. Squeeze the juice of two lemons into a shallow bowl. Dip the rim of the glass into the lemon juice and then into the lavender sugar. Fill a glass halfway with ice. Measure out the drink ingredients into the glass. Stir and enjoy. QUICK TIP PERK UP! Not too sweet, not too sour, this mocktail is refreshing and bright. After a few sips, you’ll taste the subtle flavors blooming with citrus and a light hint of lavender undertones.
A MUST-TRY TRENDY DRINK
ONE MORE RECIPE ONLINE
BABY YODA MOCKTAIL
2/3 cup Jarritos lime soda, chilled ¼ cup white grape juice, chilled ¼ cup club soda, chilled 3 tablespoons orange sparkling water 1 lime 4 blueberries 2 4-inch skewers
Try an Old Fashioned Mocktail with Homemade Candied Orange Peel. Click on Recipes at coloradocountrylife.coop.
Easy Pseudo “Sea Breeze” Serves 4
2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice, chilled 2 cups cranberry juice, chilled juice of 2 limes 2 slices of lime, each cut in half, for garnish Pour the juices into a pitcher and stir together. Pour over ice into 4 highball glasses. Serve garnished with a half a lime slice on the rim.
QUICK TIP IT’S A BREEZE! With only three ingredients, this recipe is so simple to prepare yet it’s big on taste. Increase the recipe and refrigerate in a pitcher so you can sip to your heart’s content whenever the urge arises.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
COLORADO CO-OPS TOP NATIONAL LIST
wo Colorado electric cooperatives are among the top cooperatives in the country. The National Cooperative Bank recently listed Colorado-based electric co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., and Denver-based ag bank CoBank on its Co-op 100 list. The NCB Co-op 100 list remains the only annual report of its kind to track profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States, as it ranks co-ops across various sectors by revenue earned in 2019. The report, released in October during National Co-op Month, highlights
Keep Up to Date on New Innovations at Electric Co-ops New pilot programs, case studies and advanced products are always being added at Colorado’s electric co-ops. For those who are interested in these new and innovative approaches to providing Coloradans with today’s electricity, the CREA’s digital Energy Innovations newsletter is a great way to stay current on these developments. The monthly newsletter is free and provided to all interested readers who sign up for a subscription. To sign up, simply send your name and email address to info@ coloradocountrylife.org. The newsletter will arrive in your inbox the last week of the month.
education and promotion of the cooperative sector. Electric co-ops, specifically, account for about 25% of the NCB Co-op 100 for 2020. Collectively, the 24 electric co-ops on the 2020 list had $22.3 billion in revenue last year, showing that electric cooperatives and related organizations continue to be major economic contributors in their communities.
How Americans Use Electricity The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the combined use of clothes washers and dryers, computers, dishwashers, small appliances and other electrical equipment (noted as “all other uses” below) accounts for nearly 40% of electricity consumption in American homes.
All other uses
TVs & related equipment
Refrigerators & Freezers
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Source: EIA, Annual Energy Outlook 2020
1 Includes consumption for heat and operating furnace fans and boiler pumps. Includes miscellaneous appliances, clothes washers and dryers, computers and related equipment, stoves, dishwashers, heating elements, and motors.
Electric cooperatives and generation and transmission cooperatives are making strategic infrastructure investments to give communities they serve the flexibility to adapt to future energy needs, noted National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson in a recent statement. A cooperative, electric or otherwise, is a business organized, owned and controlled by the people who use its products, such as your local electric cooperative, which you are a consumer-member of. Today, one in three Americans is a part of a co-op.
NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR LAND USE AWARD
Assume a Downed Line is Deadly Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity. Always assume a power line is energized and dangerous. This is true even if a winter storm has taken the line down and the power is out in your area. Touching or getting near a live power line injures and kills. Power lines can come down or sag close to the ground for a few reasons: severe weather or damage due to a car accident, for instance. And a downed line isn’t always visible. After severe weather, lines can lurk underneath snow, tree limbs or other debris. Stay clear of all types of utility lines. Even if you think lines might be designated for telephone or cable service, they may have contact with damaged and energized power lines nearby. Take note of these additional reminders: • Power lines do not have to be arcing or sparking or making a humming noise to be live. • Any power line that is dead could become energized at any moment due to power restoration or back feed from backup generators. • Do not attempt to move a downed line or anything it is touching with another object, such as a stick or pole. Even materials that don’t normally conduct electricity can do so if they are slightly wet. • Do not step in water or walk in debris near a downed power line. • Stay at least 10 feet away from the downed power line. • Do not attempt to drive over a downed power line. • Always consider all lines, regardless of the type, energized at deadly voltages.
Nominations are being accepted for the award recognizing Colorado agricultural landowners who demonstrate exceptional stewardship and management of natural resources. The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates extraordinary achievement in conservation by private landowners who naturally inspire other landowners by example. Sand County Foundation presents the award to private landowners in 21 states. In Colorado, $10,000 is presented to the winner thanks to Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, U.S. Department of Agricultural Natural Resources Conservation Service and other sponsors. Past recipients include Collins Ranch in Kit Carson and Livingston Ranch in Stratton for their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private working land. Landowners may be nominated by others or they may nominate themselves. Visit sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA for more information. The application deadline is February 1, 2021.
Colorado in U.S. Top 10 for Energy Production Colorado ranks seventh in U.S. energy production thanks, in part, to an expanding amount of energy production from renewable resources across the state. The ranking, with Colorado between North Dakota in sixth and Louisiana in eighth place, was announced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in July. (Texas, which is responsible for 22% of the country’s energy production, leads the list.) The report shows that natural gas and crude oil lead the increase in Colorado’s energy production with coal production declining. Renewable electricity generation in Colorado increased from 5.1 million megawatt-hours in 2010 to 13.9 million megawatt-hours in 2019. That increased renewables’ share of electricity generation in Colorado from 10% to 25% during that period. Wind has been the primary source of new renewable electricity generation, having tripled since 2010. It now provides nearly 20% of the electricity generated in Colorado. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
We asked readers last summer to tell us where to find the BEST bedand-breakfast, cross-country ski trail, country store, coffee shop and golf course and the best Colorado-made wine, burrito and jam or jelly. Readers responded with best-loved places and products from all over the state. Thanks to everyone who shared their favorites. Congratulations to three of those readers who each won a $100 gift card in a random drawing among submissions: Caryllee Cheatham, Maria East and Monika Cary. Here are Colorado Country Life readers’ picks for the BEST OF COLORADO.
Alida’s Fruits, Palisade
Serranos Coffee Company, Monument
Located off Highway 105, just west of Interstate 25, is a casual café in Monument that received high accolades from CCL readers: Serranos Coffee Company. At Serranos, you can warm your bones with a hot cup of joe via its convenient drive through or inside the welcoming business where there is ample room to sit and enjoy some java. Vickie Morrissey, a Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member, says, “I think they have the best coffee, bar none!” Morrissey, who likes to order regular coffee with cream, says the ambiance of the coffee shop is “very nice and inviting — a good place to share a cup with a friend.” In addition to coffee, Serranos sells smoothies, baked goods, breakfast, soups and paninis, as well as trinkets that you can peruse in the lobby. Want to give it a shot but live too far? Join Serranos’ Coffee of the Month Club and receive shipments of coffee directly to your door. For more information, call 719-481-9445 or visit serranoscoffee.com.
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CCL readers voted Alida’s jams and jellies the best in Colorado, and it’s not surprising why. With over 25 jelly, jam and preserve flavors to choose from, anyone can find something they love. The peach habanero jam got the most votes in our Best Of contest, and it does not disappoint: It has just the right combination of sweet and heat. Located in Palisade, Alida’s is perfectly situated in the heart of Colorado’s fruit country. As one reviewer on Facebook says, “Beautiful fruit perfectly and lovingly grown.” If you can make it to Palisade, be sure to stop by Alida’s Fruits and pick up some of your favorite flavors of jams and jellies. For more information, call 970-434-8769 or visit alidasfruits.com.
Photo: TPC Colorado
BEST GOLF COURSE:
TPC Colorado, Berthoud
Winning “Best Golf Course in Colorado” from CCL readers, TPC Colorado is visually stunning as it sits right along the Little Thompson River in Berthoud. TPC courses are owned and operated by the PGA TOUR and are known for exceptional amenities and quality; the course was built with the infrastructure to host a professional tournament. TPC Colorado is designed to be challenging for the accomplished player yet accommodating to the entry level player. Though the course can be stretched to nearly 8,000 yards long for pro TOUR players, there are multiple tees on each hole that give recreational golfers a chance to enjoy the course. But look out for the 13th hole: Playing 773 yards from the tips, it is the longest par 5 in the United States. One TPC Colorado golfer says, “The course is incredibly fun and the greens are so pure and run very true.” It is a membership course, but there are limited public tee times available. Plan a trip to northern Colorado and hit the links at TPC Colorado; our readers say you won’t regret it. For more information, call 970-663-5063 or visit tpc.com/colorado.
Where to Find our Best Of Winners
4 Best Coffee: Serranos Coffee Company
Monument | 719-481-9445 | 625 Highway 105 Monument, 80132 | serranoscoffee.com
5 Best Country Store: Moffat Mercantile
Craig | 970-824-0230 | 529 Yampa Ave, Craig, 81625 | facebook.com/moffatmercantile
1 Best Cross-Country Ski Trail: Vallecito Lake Trailhead Bayfield, Vallecito Lake Trailhead
6 Best Golf Course: TPC Colorado
Berthoud | 970-663-5063 | 2375 TPC Parkway, Berthoud, 80513 | tpc.com/colorado
2 Best B&B: Buena Vista Riverside Lodge
7 Best Wine: Colterris
3 Best Burrito: Lucy’s Tacos
8 Best Jelly: Alida’s Fruits
Buena Vista | 719-395-3444 | 30000 CR 371, Buena Vista, 81211 | liarslodge.com
La Junta | 719-384-8333 | 17 E 3rd St, La Junta, 81050
Palisade | 970-464-1150 | 3907 North River Road, Palisade, 81526 | coletrris.com Palisade | 970-434-8769 | 3402 C 1/2 Road (East Orchard Mesa), Palisade, 81526 | alidasfruits.com
BEST X-COUNTRY SKI TRAIL:
Vallecito Lake Trailhead
Near the towns of Durango and Bayfield is Vallecito Lake, a large body of water where outdoors lovers can go b oating, f ishing, horseback riding and more. But the reason this location is getting our Best Of distinction is its cross-country skiing. Family friendly, dog friendly and free to use — although donations are appreciated — the area has more than 9 miles of groomed trails maintained by volunteers of the Vallecito Nordic Ski Club. “It feels like an escape to a winter wonderland once you are out there, especially when the lake is iced over,” says Tracy Regan, a La Plata Electric Association consumer-member who nominated the trail for our Best Of contest. “The track is great for beginner and intermediate skiers and is plowed for both traditional and skate skiing.” Located on the east side of the lake, this trail is a must-try for cross-country skiers and snowshoers alike. For more i n for mat i on , v is it vallecitonordicclub.org. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Lucy’s Tacos, La Junta
BEST COUNTRY STORE:
Moffat Mercantile, Craig
Voted “Best Country Store in Colorado,” Moffat Mercantile is located in Historic Downtown Craig. The grand opening was in September 2019, and it has been thriving since. With the inviting storefront, charming front window and wonderful product displays inside, it’s no wonder why. Described as having a “general store” feel to it, there is something for everyone. According to owner Tammy Villard, the most popular items in the store are locally made. People can find hand-knit baby sweaters and crocheted doilies, locally produced honey, handmade soaps and candles, locally roasted artisan coffee and small-batch caramel corn, just to name a few. Moffat Mercantile is actively involved in the community. It hosts a cooperative ladies’ night each month and participates in the Shop Small Art Crawl event. It is involved in the downtown business association and participates in annual events, such as Fall Fest and Downhome Christmas. Villard says, “As most other rural communities, we truly value our community and the support they give each small business. Without locals and visitors, we wouldn’t be able to ‘keep the lights on.’” For more information, call 970-824-0230 or visit facebook.com/ moffatmercantile.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Lucy’s Tacos in La Junta gets rave reviews, not only for its tacos but for its burritos. In fact, the business’s food truck became so popular that the converted gas station next door has to be used when picnic table seating is full or when the weather summons guests indoors. Although Sara Mae Lancaster, a Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member, has a somewhat lengthy drive from her Limon home to binge on a Lucy’s burrito, she nominated the business because the food there is made to order with fresh ingredients. When visiting Lucy’s, keep in mind that you’ll likely need extra napkins, especially if you’re ordering a smothered burrito. CCL noticed a constant theme from readers that the fare is sensational yet sloppy. “We try to eat there because most of their food is not easily eaten in a vehicle. It’s pretty messy,” Lancaster says with a laugh. Typical of an authentic Mexican restaurant, Lucy’s menu is fairly substantial with combination plates featuring additional goodies such as chili rellenos, carnitas, carne asada and even breakfast burritos. What’s more, prices are reasonable with a range of around $2.75 to $8.50 for a full plate of Mexican food yumminess. To order pick-up, call 719-384-8333.
Palisade-based Colterris wines were the clear winner in the “Best Wines of Colorado” categories — for both red and white wines. All Colterris wines are produced from 100% Colorado grapes grown in the estate vineyard in the Grand Valley American Viticultural Area. High-altitude sunlight and cool nights produce quality grapes, which, in turn, produce robust, flavorful, unique and award-winning wines. The wines that received the most votes from readers in our Best Of contest were the cabernet sauvignon, the 2017 cabernet franc and the sauvignon blanc. But this is only a small selection of the diverse wines the winery offers. The Colterris product line includes a large selection of bottled wine, boxed wine and even wine in cans, which are perfect for summertime. If you can’t make it to Palisade, visit the website; Colterris ships products throughout Colorado and we are sure you won’t regret trying these wines “from the Colorado land.” Colterris has a tasting room, which is surrounded by the vineyards and unforgettable Colorado scenery. It also offers private tastings, in-depth tours and even a horseback ride through the vineyards followed by a tasting experience. For more information, call 970-464-1150 or visit colterris.com.
Buena Vista Riverside Lodge, Buena Vista
Carl and Connie Bauer built and opened the log-constructed bed-and-breakfast in 1998 under the name of Liar’s Lodge. The name was hatched by their daughter, Jessica, and the concept of semi-retiring to a bed-and-breakfast was the idea of their son, Brett. Carl describes it as a “family adventure for sure.” The named changed from Liar’s Lodge to Buena Vista Riverside Lodge in 2018. Sitting on 13 private acres right on the banks of the Arkansas River, the lodge was designed with retreats, reunions and small weddings in mind; and it is also family-friendly. “Some people have been coming for nearly 20 years and have become good friends in that time,” Carl Bauer says. The Pritzer family writes in an online review, “Beautiful lodge, perfect accommodations, excellent food, superb hospitality and a spectacular view.” The setting on the Arkansas River and the view of Mount Princeton and the Collegiate Peaks make for an inspirational stay. For more information, call 719-395-3444 or visit liarslodge.com.
DISCOVER STAFF FAVORITES Be sure to look at our Discoveries section on page 30 of this issue to see Colorado Country Life staff’s favorite Colorado products and places.
Notice: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, some of these businesses may not offer their usual accommodations. Please contact the business with any questions.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
The well-connected lineworker And the cool technologies they use in the field BY TOM TATE
hen electric cooperatives were formed in the 1930s, their Not quite as new, but equally important, are global positioning technology was primitive by any standard — digging system, or GPS, coordinates. This functionality might be built into holes for the utility poles by hand, walking the poles up the lineworker’s tablet, a ruggedized smartphone or a handheld unit. into those holes, using ladders to reach equipment needing service. As more co-ops map their systems using GPS coordinates, the GPS And if you had to get in touch with the line crew, face-to-face commu- capability gets the crews where they need to be in an efficient manner. nication was the only option. Some GPS units are designed specifically for heavy trucks, and plot Today, the lineworker rivals any other worker when it comes to routes that avoid bridges with weight limits or roads with height having the necessary tech to get the job done safely, quickly and more restrictions. accurately. Let’s take a look at a few of the devices behind this evoluAnother popular tool is the forward-looking infrared camera, tion, starting with the tablet. also known as FLIR. Many people are familiar with this technology Many electric co-ops send their crews into the field with rugge- from the many ghost hunter programs currently on television. With dized tablets. What are those? They are tablets (and smartphones) a FLIR camera, crews can rapidly scan power lines, transformers and with special cases and screen protectors built to tough specifications that will allow a lineworker’s devices to survive bouncing along in a line truck, being exposed to all kinds of weather and being dropped into a bucket or toolbox. Depending on the electric co-op, the data and other content on these ruggedized devices varies. Often work orders detailing the day’s project are found on these devices. These can include construction drawings for how the job is to be built, the bill of materials so the crew knows what to pull from inventory before hitting the road, and system maps so lineworkers know exactly where to go. Gone are the reams of paper and cumberInfrared cameras help lineworkers scan power lines and other equipment and find hot spots that could mean equipment that could fail. some map books of the past.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Ruggedized tablets have become an important tool for electric co-op lineworkers, providing them with all they need for their day’s work, including work orders, construction plans and access to mapping systems.
other equipment when searching for hot spots. A piece of distribution equipment about to fail will often get hot. While not visible to the naked eye, it shows up clearly on a FLIR display. Scanning the system with a FLIR camera is a fast and accurate means of spotting a problem before it becomes an outage. And today, many lineworkers have eyes in the sky in the form of drones. Colorado’s electric cooperatives cover territory that is often difficult to access when they need to survey the system for necessary repairs or to locate a new power line route. Instead of tackling the job on foot or on four-wheelers, the co-op crews might be able to send in a drone. Flying above the area provides a great view of the situation and allows the crew to make an assessment of what to do next without having to be there in person. This is especially useful after a major storm when roads can still be blocked. Cooperatives are laser focused on providing the best reliability possible at the lowest possible price. A major aspect of reliability is getting the lights back on as quickly as is safely possible after an outage. Key in this is the outage management system, or OMS. This system builds on “geo-tagged” system maps (each pole has its GPS location mapped), sophisticated engineering models of the distribution system and, for maximum accuracy, an advanced metering system. When an outage occurs, the system uses models and databases to determine the exact location of the fault and the extent of the outage. Crews can then be sent to the right spot to correct the problem. Part of this restoration effort might be a vehicle tracking system that tells operations staff the exact location of each line truck. The crews closest
Drones give co-op lineworkers eyes in the sky, which helps them see more than they can from the ground and helps them be better prepared.
to the outage are sent to restore power — and essential information can be accessed on the tablets, depending upon the situation. Sometimes all the technology in the world is not enough and a good old-fashioned visual inspection is required. During daylight hours, it can be easier to see the cause of a problem. But at night, lineworkers need a reliable source of light. Today, that comes from LED flashlights and truck-mounted lights. These powerhouses are a fraction of the size of regular flashlights, and they make an older incandescent model look like a candle by comparison. In the hands of a lineman, they provide an amazing view of the lines during the darkest of nights. Technology is permeating every aspect of cooperative operations, allowing your electric co-op to constantly improve your service. The well-connected lineworker is at the forefront of that technical evolution. Tom Tate of writes on the electric industry for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
BENEFICIAL INDOOR PLANTS Perk up your home’s appeal and air quality BY VICKI SPENCER
MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG
ndoor plants aren’t just an affordable way to add interest to your decor. They can also improve your home’s air quality. Although a NASA study found it would take dozens of plants working together to detoxify all the airborne toxins, dust and germs in a typical house, there is evidence we can improve our home’s air quality with a few key plants. Among the most widely recognized are spider plant, snake plant, aloe vera, English ivy, red-edged dracaena and prayer plant.
Spider plants reduce carbon monoxide and xylene, which is found in ink and rubber. They make lovely hanging plants with small “spiderettes” that dangle from long stems. You can propagate more spider plants by cutting the spiderettes near the
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
base of their stems, trimming the stems and then placing spiderettes in a glass of water or moist soil to root. Snake plants don’t have stems; just thick leaves that grow upright. The most common variety, Sansevieria trifasciata, has dark green foliage with silvery horizontal streaks. Other varieties have variegated leaves with yellow or cream edges. The snake plant’s vertical profile makes it perfect for tucking into a living room or bedroom corner with low light. The smaller Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ forms clusters of leaves that appear similar to a bird’s nest and it looks nice on a bookshelf. Unlike most plants, snake plants are able to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night in addition to filtering formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene out of the air. Aloe vera has always been a must-have plant in my kitchen because of its soothing properties. If anyone gets burned while cooking, it’s always readily available. Just cut a leaf off and squeeze the liquid out. My kids always knew to use aloe for sunburns or insect bites. Last year, when hand sanitizer was nowhere to be found, my son told me to make my own with aloe and alcohol. The added benefit of aloe vera is it cleans the air of formaldehyde and benzene found in floor finishes, varnishes and detergents. English ivy is an easy-to-grow perennial vine that is effective in detoxifying
bathroom air by reducing airborne fecal particles and combating the growth of mold. It enjoys moisture and four hours of direct sunlight per day. Red-edged dracaena (dragon tree) is often included in “get well” plant gardens from the florist. After some research, I now know why. Not only do its spiky leaves with bright red edges add interest to the arrangement, it also fights pollutants like trichloroethylene and xylene. Although slow-growing, some can reach 8 feet when given abundant sunlight. Prayer plant is the most temperamental air purifier because it’s a tropical plant. When craving moisture, the leaves droop so low it’s a pitiful sight, but watering and misting a couple times per week keeps it perky. While cleaning the air, it may serve as a sleep aid by adding humidity in a house with dry air. It’s not practical to keep all the plants in NASA’s experiment, but adding even a little foliage inside your home can be favorable in more ways than one. 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.
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FUSSY FISH AND FLY TIES Fly fishing preparations are always hit or miss
BY DENNIS SMITH
| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG
ast summer my sons informed me that they were taking me on a fly-fishing trip to the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River near Alcova, Wyoming, for a belated Father’s Day gift. This particular stretch of the Platte is a world famous tailwater fishery where the trout average — average, mind you — 16 to 20 inches; where 7- and 8-pound trout are not uncommon; and 10 pounders are a distinct possibility. They had already reserved a drift boat and a campsite for the weekend right next to the river. Sweet. Any fly fisherman worth his waders knows to do a little research before heading to a destination fishery, so the first thing I did was call the Reef Fly Shop in Alcova to get the lowdown on river conditions and latest fishing reports. “Flows jumped to 3,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) this week and the water got a little murky,” the guy said, “but the fish are still feeding on PMDs (pale morning dun mayflies), yellow Sally stoneflies, midges and caddisflies — all nymphs and emergers, size 16 or 18. No dry flies. Streamer fishing has been good early and late in the day, too.” Now, being caught on a river in the middle of a hatch without the right fly is every fly fisherman’s worst nightmare, so I decided I’d better tie up a bunch of the recommended patterns for me and the boys — just to be safe, ya know? I was cranking out some little PMDs when my wife walked in the room, saw fly boxes strewn all over the floor and about had a cow. “Why in the world are you tying more flies when you already have boxes and boxes of them?” she asked.
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
It was an honest question and I tried to give her an honest answer. I do, in fact, have boxes and boxes of flies but not all of them are for trout. Some are saltwater flies, others held bass and bluegill flies and still other boxes contained flies tied specifically for carp. Some boxes contained dry flies but the guy distinctly said not to bring those. Of the flies I did have that would be useful on the Platte under the current conditions, some were of the right type but the wrong size, and those that were the right size were of the wrong type, so … Anyway, I spent the next several nights tying dozens of tiny PMD emergers, caddisfly pupae and yellow Sally stonefly nymphs only to learn when we got to the river that the fish were no longer feeding on either of them. “Everybody’s catching fish on size 18 chocolate midge emergers,” the guy in the shop told us. “Twenty-six dollars a dozen.” I handed the guy a fistful of bills and said to the boys, “Not a word of this to your mother.” Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.
MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors.
READER POETRY Apostrophe Catastrophe! They’re everywhere, eight billion strong Here and there and mostly wrong, They’ve lost their way midst bits and bytes — The spawn of punctuational troglodytes! They sidle up to every “s” And question, “I should be here? Yes?” The lonely “s” a timid letter, thinks “What the heck? Makes me look better!” Amidst this proliferative, unholy mess My eyeballs roll, I must confess: I just don’t get why it’s so darned tough! (I’ll give you their, there, and they’re if you want it rough!) Has some new gene surfaced – formerly recessive – Forcing writers everywhere to adopt the demon possessive? Parking for Car’s? The sign makes me weep! Worker’s Wanted/Daytime Hour’s? The world is replete! They’re everywhere that we don’t want them to be: (Keep it simple, sweetie! It’s one tree, and thirty-two trees!) Upwardly mobile commas spout haphazard elation Scattered hither and yon with no sane explanation Quick! Gather them up for rehabilitation, Return them their dignity; resist commodification. Dispossessed and frequently misunderstood, The apostrophe yearns to be used well (not good) Standing in for the missing – as in won’t, don’t, and can’t – And declaring belonging: Bob’s shirt, Julie’s pants, That thing is simply his, hers, or yours, ours or its (It’s not inconsequential! It gives some of us fits!) Truth be told, the apostrophe is quite reclusive She neither clamors for glamour nor the spotlight exclusive, Her prayer, while quite plaintive, is by no means conclusive: Could y’all possibly be just a bit less abusive? Rachel Snyder, Branson
San Isabel Electric consumer-member
DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submission: Submit your poetry via email to: email@example.com or by mail to: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216
Molly I glanced outside And there she sits… just looking. Molly, who loves any visitor that happens our way— “Everyone loves me, don’t they?” So, she sits and looks and dreams… Maybe, just maybe today? Someone will come by Someone will reach down with a smile and a friendly pat? But no—not today—no one will be by today. She doesn’t understand lockdown But she is beginning to understand loneliness And I’m sure she is wondering why, why? Why are we all alone? And I know she’s remembering happier times Cynthia Schuster-Becker, Maybell Yampa Valley Electric consumer-member
Despair I am invisible I am the middle of zero I am nothing My skin envelopes me like a shell The shell is smiling, caring, coping The shell is strong All you see is this shell Nobody knows how empty I am Can I bear these feelings on my own? Feelings that are too heavy to burden living souls Better to be invisible Nobody knows how much I am hurting But you – you see me lying broken, bleeding You could stop the pain But you walk by I am nothing I am the middle of zero I am invisible Louise C-Blair Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
COMMUNITY EVENTS Since some Community Events are being canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, we at Colorado Country Life went on an online scavenger hunt to find ways to be entertained while social distancing. We hope you’ll enjoy our list of WINTER SANITY SAVERS! (We are doing our best to keep the calendar up to date at coloradocountrylife.coop/community-events)
From kids to adults, there’s all sorts of fun things to do online with Arapahoe Libraries, including kids’ Zumba, Microsoft classes, book clubs, a children’s chess club, meditation classes and more. arapahoelibraries.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index
Boulder Public Library
The Boulder Public Library offers online book clubs, discussion groups, an anime club, citizenship preparation classes and more. calendar.boulderlibrary.org
Douglas County Libraries
Every weekday, kiddos can enjoy a morning story time virtually with the library staff leading the way with songs, reading, finger plays and fun. dcl.org/storytime
Longmont Public Library
The Longmont Public Library’s assortment of online programming is impressive with workshops, virtual trivia, an anime club, genealogy assistance and more. longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-e-m/library/programsevents-and-classes
Loveland Public Library
Check out the Brainfuse online program through the Loveland Public Library where every day you can receive help with homework, learning, job assistance and more. lovelandpubliclibrary.org/brainfuse
Mesa County Libraries
Visitors of the Mesa County Libraries website can sign up for virtual social clubs, crafting classes, story times, lectures and more. mesacountylibraries.org/events
Bovine Metropolis Theater
Whether you want to watch an improv comedy show or take an online improv class, these guys have you covered. bovinemetropolis.com
Kimball’s Peak Three Theater
This not-your-run-of-the-mill theater is offering a slew of virtual independent and foreign films to keep you entertained at home. kimballspeakthree.com
Starting on January 15, this theater company will debut LOOK, a series of eight video plays “designed for uncertain times.” theater29denver.com/2021
Fremont Adventure Recreation (FAR)
Get the Goosechase app and participate in an active, virtual challenge for a chance to win a prize package. joinfar.org/events
Sun Pilates Studio
Whether you’re a pilates novice or pro, you’re sure to find a great online class or workshop with this Colorado fitness studio. sunpilates.co
Children’s Museum of Denver
Join the Children’s Museum’s private Facebook group to give your family ideas for screen-free, at-home activities. facebook.com/groups/MuseumFun101
History Colorado Center
The popular Denver museum offers a variety of virtual lectures. historycolorado.org/events
Denver Botanic Gardens
Check out the assortment of online botanical classes, such as the Plein Air Poetry Writing Series and Floral in Portraits. botanicgardens.org
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
Enjoy online social hours with new topics each week. In addition, parents can appreciate the museum’s virtual “Parenting in a Pandemic” classes. fcmod.org/events
Rocky Ridge Music Center
Take online music lessons or watch and listen to alumni perform “Music Inspired by Nature” from the center’s virtual concert series. rockyridge.org
Still Open for Business
Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs, and Fountain Creek Nature Center, Fountain
Both of these El Paso County nature centers offer field trips for at-home learners called “Nature’s Classroom” as well as other great outdoor activities. communityservices.elpasoco.com/nature-centers/nature-center-programs
Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver and Littleton
The gardens are offering several on-site programs with COVID-19 restrictions in mind. botanicgardens.org
Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde
The cliff dwellings are closed for the winter, but you can still check out the many overlooks and views. On January 18, you can enter the park for free for one of its six Free Days in 2021. In addition, the park offers a variety of videos and podcasts for a virtual experience of the park. nps.gov/meve
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo
The arts center is allowing a limited number of guests in at a time to enjoy its exhibits and classes. sdc-arts.org
Relieve tension, clear your mind of life’s stressors and get great exercise virtually with this Colorado yoga and meditation studio. kindnesscollective.com
SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email email@example.com. 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.
Whether it’s for a long weekend or CCL gets away to the beach in Destin, Florida, with Mountain Parks Electric consumer-members Larry and Sharon Sutton.
Abby, Annabel and mom, Megan, take a selfie with CCL in front of their Christmas tree at home in Pueblo West. They are consumer-members of San Isabel Electric.
John Mantelli and his dog TJ pose with CCL after a December snowstorm in Cotopaxi. John is a consumer-member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.
weeks at a time, my 3-year-old grandson Carter has been coming to our cattle ranch on the Colorado Western Slope since he was born. His favorite activity is being outside with his grandpa and grandma, inquisitively learning about cows, tractors and equipment. The nights are cool here at our ranch and Carter prefers to snuggle with us come bedtime. Many nights I use a corn bag to warm the sheets. Carter has claimed my “corn bag ritual” as his own: Find the corn bag, microwave it, put it under the covers. As we all cozy in, the corn bag often finds its way down to warm up our feet. One night I could feel the heat of the corn bag but couldn’t find it with my feet. “Where’s the corn bag?” I asked my grandson. Carter replied, “It’s on my cows, Grandma.” “Cows?” I asked, a bit perplexed. Then my feet found it on his legs. He meant on his “calves!” We all had a hearty laugh! Sandy Guerrieri, Gunnison
My 5-year-old son and I were
Yampa Valley Electric consumer-members Grace Gaubatz and Scotty Mcdonald snap a photo with CCL before a dive at the Denver Aquarium.
WINNER: Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member Phyllis Tanin poses with Colorado Country Life in Branson, Missouri.
Take Your Photo with Your Magazine and Win! 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 and your name and address to info@ coloradocountrylife.org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Friday, January 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winner is Phyllis Tanin of Franktown. She took her copy of Colorado Country Life to Branson, Missouri. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.
watching a movie together and he decided he wanted to be on my lap. I helped lift him as he climbed on and grunted out loud. He asked if he was getting way too heavy for me and I said yes. He responded, “Well, then you should exercise more!” I had to laugh at that logic. Diana Selby, Severance
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 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
STAFF FAVORITES Discover CCL staff’s favorite Colorado products and places
No Limitations at LuLu’s LuLu’s Farm in Brighton is more than just a seller of fresh produce — you can also purchase roasted chilis, local farm-raised beef, grills, smokers, spices and propane, and even rent a U-Haul. The diversity of year-round products and services at LuLu’s garnered CCL’s administrative assistant and contributing writer Kylee Coleman’s vote. She says, “It’s not too big, not too small, and there’s something for everyone!” lulusfarm.com • 303-659-3300
Sensational Salsa Cassi Gloe, CCL’s graphic designer, loves Colorado Cellars’ Zinfandel Garlic XXX Hot Salsa so much that she orders it by the case from the Palisade-based winery. “I like the salsa because it is good for those who don’t like hot,” she says, adding, “Don’t let the label scare you.” coloradocellars.com • 800-848-2812
High Praise from the Plains When you want to add fantastic flavor to your dishes, try High Plains Spice Company’s herbs, spices, seasonings, oils and more. “The selection of spices is so wide at High Plains Spice Company and just good,” CCL Graphic Designer Cassi Gloe says of the Sterling-based company. highplainsspicecompany.com • 866-570-1425
Theatre Rocks! When it comes to entertainment, CCL Publisher and Editor Mona Neeley recommends the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake. “What makes this theater a favorite is the intimate setting in a small mountain town combined with the professional presentation of familiar Broadway musicals,” she says. “It’s always a great night.” rockymountainrep.com • 970-627-3421
Colorado State of Mind Want to don your Colorado spirit? Amy Higgins, a contributing writer for CCL, says Golden-based YoColorado is her personal go-to. “After featuring their socks in our December 2019 issue, I couldn’t refrain from perusing their website,” she says. “The Womens Drift Beanie is not only comfortable and warm, but it’s also flattering as well.” yocolorado.com • 303-279-9252
COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JANUARY 2021
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