Colorado Country Life March 2021 Sangre de Cristo

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MARCH 2021








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Tri-State is a not-for-profi t power supplier to cooperatives and public power districts in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Volume 52

Number 03

March 2021 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative | 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 2021, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 | 303-455-4111 | | | 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.

Eye-Catching PHOTOS













On the




Cover image of the curious owl was photographed by David Dahms, a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: CREA staff is spending the morning with newer electric co-op board directors and co-op senior staff sharing a review of its services to co-ops during an orientation session.


Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win a $25 gift card to Pueblo Seed & Food Company. For official rules and how to enter, visit our Contests page at

COCountryLife pinned: Warm your bones with this beefy boost: Easy Sheet Pan Meatloaf & Potatoes. Get the recipe on our Pinterest page at COCountryLife.


POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

MARCH 2021

“Cranes Dance” by Chris Becea, a member of Yampa Valley Electric Association.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Find #electric news in #ColoradoCountryLife, the #electriccoops magazine. Read it each month and stay up to date on what’s happening with #coloradoelectriccoops. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021




CREA’s advocacy on behalf of the electric co-ops continues BY KENT SINGER



he first regular session of the 73rd Colorado General Assembly convened at the state Capitol at 10 a.m. on January 13 to conduct the people’s business. While the session started on time and in accordance with the requirements of the Colorado Constitution, it was unlike the beginning of any previous legislative session in Colorado history. The start of a new Colorado General Assembly after a general election is usually accompanied by lots of pomp and circumstance. Newly elected members are often joined on the floor of each chamber with family members and the atmosphere — at least on the first day — is one of congeniality between the parties and the hope for bipartisanship and cooperation. However, in the age of COVID-19, access to the Capitol on opening day was extremely limited this year and the plexiglass barriers between the desks of the legislators were a reminder of the unique circumstances facing the body. Given the ongoing risks of large groups of people meeting in close proximity, the general assembly almost immediately recessed for 30 days in hopes of keeping the members and staff safe and avoiding the worst of the pandemic. CREA made good use of the recess to work on bills of importance to Colorado’s electric co-ops with individual members of the legislature. When the legislature reconvened on February 16, we had substantial

work done on bills relating to electric co-op governance practices and wildfire mitigation, among others. We have long supported transparent and fair rules for the governance of electric co-op elections and board meetings. Although electric co-ops are private businesses and not government agencies, we nonetheless support open and fair board elections and transparent decision-making by electric co-ops. “Democratic member control” is one of the seven cooperative principles and we believe in the rights of co-op consumer-members to have input into the direction of their co-op. To that end, we are working with State Rep. Judy Amabile (D-Boulder) on a bill that would change some of the requirements for electric co-op board elections and meetings. Among other revisions, the bill will authorize, but not require, electric co-ops to conduct elections by electronic means. We continue to work with Rep. Amabile on other provisions of the bill. We are also seeking legislation that recognizes the risks that wildfires pose to electric co-op systems as well as the risks to the financial viability of co-ops in the event a tree falls into our systems and causes a fire. We are supporting legislation similar to what other states have adopted where co-ops would be granted liability protection so long as they develop and implement robust fire mitigation plans. We are working with State Sen.


Dennis Hisey (R-Fountain) on this legislation and appreciate his sponsorship of the bill. We expect to see many other bills during the 2021 legislative session that could impact how electric co-ops operate. Our objective is always to watch for any measures that diminish the right of your local co-op board and management to make decisions for your co-op, and to also be on the lookout for any proposals that could increase the cost of doing business. When Abraham Lincoln gave his second “Annual Message to Congress” on December 1, 1862, as the Civil War raged on, he concluded with one of the many phrases that establish him as the most eloquent president in U.S. history. Lincoln informed Congress that slavery must be abolished in order to save the union and the republic as “the last best hope of earth.” Our republican form of government remains that “last best hope of earth” today through the work done by our elected state representatives and senators. We appreciate their service and their willingness to work with us as we protect the interests of Colorado’s electric cooperatives. Kent Singer is the executive director of CREA 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 one power supply co-op.

PROPOSED BILL TOPICS IMPORTANT TO COLORADO’S ELECTRIC CO-OPS • Electric co-op governance practices • Wildfire mitigation






Commitment to communicate continues


Writing a Dystopian Novel



n early March, electric co-op directors, managers and staff members across the state will gather virtually for CREA’s 75th annual meeting. It will be a time to look back at 2020, the trade association’s 75th year of serving Colorado’s electric cooperatives. What’s crazy is that I’ve been here, helping the co-ops communicate with you, their consumer-members, for a third of that time — almost 27 years. Lots changed since I started. Back then, we still did some magazine design with paper artwork and we had physical copies of ads that were moved from one month to the next. Our phones were on our desks, except for one “car phone” that came in a small suitcase. And email — it was a new and wondrous way to communicate. However, we only

had one internet MONA NEELEY connection in our department. When I wanted to send an email, I had to ask whoever had the connection plugged into their computer to unplug and hand me the cord so I could plug it into my computer. Then I hope it worked — it was hit or miss. Much has changed. Yet the basic principles of your local electric co-op haven’t changed, especially when it comes to communication. Your co-op is still dedicated to connecting with you, its consumer-members, each month. 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 consumer-members.

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Make Your Driveway Like NEW! • Fill in potholes and smooth out washboard • Loosen & redistribute existing material

Back to the Movies

Thank you to Kent Singer for his 2021 Mulligan Action Plan (Viewpoint, December ’20). He recommended “See a movie in a theater” as his Step 1 choice. My family and I appreciate that so much. We own the small local theater in Fort Morgan and our number of theatergoers has been severely reduced due to all the health concerns. We can use all of the support we can get! Carol Johnson, Fort Morgan Morgan County REA consumer-member

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I enjoyed “Apostrophe Catastrophe” (Creative Corner, January ’20). Rachel Snyder’s poem was a brilliant, humorous way to describe the frequent, multiple misuses of this punctuation mark. As an English teacher (now retired), I share her sentiments. Jean Wyrick, Red Feather Lakes Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

I loved Rachel Snyder’s poem. As a longtime editor, I share her consternation at the misuse of the much abused punctuation mark, and I got a kick out of her poem. Now, if only the apostrophe-challenged would heed her advice. Shelly Mayer, Salida Sangre de Cristo consumer-member

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To Kent Singer on his 2021 Mulligan Action Plan (Viewpoint, December ’20) and his proposed novel about a pandemic: You’re too late. It’s already been published. It’s called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and was designated as the 2017 “All Pueblo Reads” selection. It is about a virus wiping out whole segments of the population quickly, which seemed impossible [then]. When the coronavirus hit, I kept thinking of the book. Edith Edson, Pueblo San Isabel Electric consumer-member



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Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 or Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021



COLORADO LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY Download Our Mobile App for FREE! Stay in touch with legislators while on the go.

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Don’t Flush Away Energy Efficiency considerations when remodeling a bathroom BY JAMES DULLEY


he use of several bathrooms can be responsible for a significant amount of your utility bills yearround. Bathrooms use both hot and cold water; heating and cooling; and electricity for lighting and appliances; and they vent out indoor conditioned air. With whirlpools and other comfort appliances, bathrooms are used for more hours today than ever before. Flushing a toilet is the major cold-water consumer in most bathrooms and the toilet typically is replaced when remodeling. During winter, all the cold water that comes indoors when the toilet is flushed draws heat from the house as the water in the tank warms up. This can be a significant hidden energy loss. The maximum water usage allowed for new toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). Most major plumbing fixture manufacturers also offer 1.28-gpf superefficient standard-flush and dual-flush models. Since fewer of these superefficient toilet styles are available, select the toilet first and then match the other fixtures to it. Showerhead design impacts both cold and hot water consumption. The maximum water flow rate is 2.5 gallons per minute for showerheads, but some low-flow showerheads use half this much. If you have tried older low-flow showerheads and were dissatisfied, give it another shot — the new ones provide a more forceful shower. Select

a showerhead with a trickle valve to slow the water flow while you are lathering. Much hot and cold water is wasted trying to get the shower water temperature where you want it. Select a manual and electronic shower valve, which allows the precise temperature to be set on a dial or digitally. The correct temperature is reached more quickly with less water wasted down the drain. If it takes longer than 30 seconds to get hot water to the shower or sink, as much as two gallons of water can be wasted. Install a do-it-yourself rapid hot water demand kit underneath the sink. When hot water is needed, a high-volume pump draws hot water quickly to the faucet. Instead of cold water being wasted down the drain while waiting, it flows back into the cold-water line. When the hot water gets to the faucet, the pump shuts off. Also, because the hot water gets to the faucet quickly, less heat energy is lost from the plumbing. James Dulley writes utility bill-cutting and general moneysaving magazine articles and writes nationally syndicated $ensible Home and Cut Your Utility Bills columns for 200 newspapers and magazines.

LEARN MORE ONLINE To find out about heating and lighting suggestions for your renovated bathroom, visit Click on Energy Tips under the Energy tab.



The Outlet MARCH 2021

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2013 Buena Vista, CO 81211-2013 STREET ADDRESS 29780 North U.S. Highway 24 Buena Vista, CO 81211

ph 719-395-2412 tf 844-395-2412 email web Twitter: @SDCEA_Inc


about something to do with SDCEA? Give our office a call at 719-395-2412 or tollfree 844-395-2412. Our business office in Buena Vista is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m Monday through Friday, closed on major holidays. Or, send an email with your question to




Are you interested in how your electric cooperative is governed?


o you have leadership qualities and want to make a difference? Consider running for a seat on the SDCEA Board of Directors. If you think this is a good fit and opportunity for you, contact CEO Paul Erickson at 719-395-2412 or toll free at 844-395-2412 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you. Deadline to submit a director nomination petition is before 5 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021.

What is SDCEA’s Service Availability Charge?


lectric service is not something that can be rolled up and put away when not in use. The service availability charge is what it costs SDCEA to service and keep your electric system in place, ready for use when you need it. Lines providing power to your home or business must be continually maintained, whether you are away at work for the day or are gone for several months. To provide reliable and ready-to-use electricity requires an expensive investment in equipment, supplies and manpower. There are administrative costs which are also factored into this charge. The service availability charge is billed to each service account, regardless of how much energy a consumer uses. This ensures everyone pays their fair share of fixed operating costs, even if they do not use any energy.

What is SDCEA’s Wildfire Mitigation Rate Rider?


he Wildfire Mitigation Rate Rider is assessed to consumer accounts to help pay for the costs of vegetation management around electric lines in our

service territory. This rider allows SDCEA to help prevent the threat of catastrophic wildfire in our service territory caused by vegetation coming into contact with a line and igniting a wildfire. The rider is billed to each service account, regardless of how much energy a consumer uses or where a consumer lives. This ensures everyone pays their fair share of the costs to clear lines of vegetation, regardless of the amount of energy they use. The rate rider was enacted to respond to the immediate threat posed by vegetation growing into or around SDCEA’s electric lines. Rider revenue is earmarked only for Wildfire Mitigation. It cannot be used for any other purpose in SDCEA’s budget. Once lines are cleared in SDCEA’s territory, the rate will sunset and vegetation management reverts back to maintenance funding levels. More information may be found about the rider on our website, >Safety>Vegetation Management.

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT MONTHLY UPDATE A crew from SDCEA’s vegetation management contractor Integrity Tree Service will continue to work in March between Mount Princeton Hot Springs west to St. Elmo. Work is also scheduled to begin in March on clearing vegetation for the rebuild of the Tommy Young line. The Tommy Young line is 19 miles long and runs from Verdemont Road in Custer County north along CO 69, then to U.S. 50 via the Cotopaxi cutoff. All electric services from the Howard substation are scheduled for vegetation management. It is possible the crew will move from the Tommy Young line to other areas served by the Howard substation as time and weather permits. If you have questions about the program, please visit SDCEA’s website, and click on Vegetation Management under the Safety tab.






Disconnect Information


DCEA consumers receive their current — and if applicable, past due — bill at the beginning of each month. When an account is past due at SDCEA, consumers receive a written reminder/potential disconnect notice in the mail. If a bill remains unpaid, consumers receive a phone call from our office, again warning of a potential disconnect, and are given time to settle their bill before a disconnect will take place. Account holders who elected to go paperless will also receive the same written notice of an overdue account and a follow-up phone call prior to disconnection. Online account holders can elect to receive email or text reminders about their bills under their account settings. It’s very important to keep your contact information up to date with SDCEA, not only so we can contact you if there is an issue with your account, but also so we can contact you regarding your service, such as during or after an outage. If you have any questions about SDCEA’s disconnect policy, our consumer service department can be reached during regular business hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 719-395-2412 or toll-free at 844-395-2412 for clarification of any billing questions. SDCEA members can also review the status of their account at any time online by clicking the yellow Sign-In button at the top of any page on our website. From that sign-in, members can read the disconnect policy, C-4, in its entirety.

Keep Track of Your Electric Usage


ant some ways to keep track of your electric usage? Electric meters keep track of the electricity you use in your home. With our advanced metering system, members have access to detailed data about their energy use in real-time. This helps you identify ways to use less electricity and reduce your monthly bills. Accessing this information via your online account is easy. Go to our website,, create an account or log in. You’ll see a variety of useful information about your account, including how much electricity you’re using and when, historical usage comparisons and more. You can view kilowatt-hours consumed and daily temperatures. The data can be broken down by month, week, day or hour. You’ll also notice an actual cost calculated for each day. You may export your data or view your billing history. Here’s what to look for: • Are there unexpected patterns in your usage or daily costs? • Were your daily activities different on those days (i.e. family stayed home, extra guests, laundry day)? • Was the temperature higher or lower on those days, causing the air conditioner or heat to run in excess of normal operations? Please make sure we have current contact information including your cellphone, landline and email address. This allows us to get in touch with you about important things such as planned outages or issues with your bill. Set up your own alert preferences, and we’ll let you know when your bill is due or a payment is received. Give us a call if you have questions or need assistance.

Prepay Account Program


DCEA has a program to help manage your account: prepay. Prepay allows consumers to purchase electricity on a pay-as-you-go basis, similar to the setup of a prepaid gift or credit card. As it is convenient, consumers may load their account with funds, then draw down the balance as they use power. Payments may be made daily, weekly or monthly, as long as a credit balance is maintained. When the balance reaches zero, the meter will switch power off to a particular service location. Consumers who elect to go to the prepay program may: • Avoid the $250 new service deposit • Eliminate disconnect fees • Manage their energy use • Configure automated alerts and reminders • Make payments in increments that don’t strain their budget • Sync bill payments to pay dates or receipt of benefits An initial $50 payment toward your credit balance is required. If a consumer has an existing deposit on their account, that deposit can be applied to their prepay balance if applicable. Once you’ve chosen the prepay account option, you will need to register with the free SmartHub app to receive account notices. Prepay accounts are calculated daily based on the electricity used in the previous 24 hours. When an account credit balance gets low, an automated email or text notification will be generated to remind you to replenish your account to avoid interruption in service. Prepay payments may be made in our office, by mail, through the SmartHub app or toll-free at 866-999-8491. Do you have questions about the program or are you interested in signing up? Please contact our office at 719-3952412 or toll-free at 844-395-2412. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021



What’s on That Utility Pole? BY PAUL WESSLUND


tility poles are packed with electrical devices, so it’s best to stay away from them. You should never nail posters for political candidates or lost pets to utility poles. Nailing or attaching things to utility poles can tear a lineworker’s protective equipment, interfering with his or her safety while on the job. The equipment and devices up there vary from pole to pole, but think of a utility pole as a layer cake with the electric equipment at the top. Most noticeable are the wires, supported by the crossarms and/or insulators. AT THE TOP At the highest levels, there could be high-voltage transmission wires carrying power long distances. More often what you’re looking at are medium-voltage distribution lines carrying power into neighborhoods. Beneath those may be service wires with stepped-down power ready to be used in a home or business. It’s important to remember that those are bare wires, which is why you hear regular warnings to stay away if a storm knocks power lines to the ground. That’s also why the wires are attached to insulators that keep them from being in contact with wood, steel or other supporting materials. IN THE MIDDLE Just below the electric lines hang a variety of electric equipment. The big metal cans are transformers that convert high voltages to low voltages. Devices that look like stacks of big gray doughnuts are protective lightning arrestors that act like a fuse or circuit breaker, shutting down the line when they detect a problem. Collections of what look like metal cereal boxes are capacitors that help improve the efficiency of power flow and regulate voltage. Other switches and regulators monitor and adjust the flow of electricity as energy use changes throughout the day. Some of the lines you see might be ground wires that carry static electricity, such as lightning, into the earth or balance the flow of power and help ensure safe operation of the system, or they could be guy wires to keep the pole straight. LOWER LEVEL The lowest layer carries nonelectric lines: cable television, telephone, internet and traffic light controllers. There’s one more layer — any of those lines might go under the ground to get to a house or meet up with other underground lines.



SDCEA INFO SDCE A posts board meeting information, annual reports, board contacts and more for consumers to access at any time. To view these items, create an account on our website at Sign in and find this information under our Members Only section, found on the left side of the landing page. If you want to see rates and policies, that information can be found on the landing page for your account (SmartHub). Go to the My Profile menu item on the top and select Documents from the drop-down menu.

OUTAGES Do you have an outage to report? Don’t hesitate to call 719-395-2412 or toll-free 844-395-2412. DO NOT email your outage information or post your outage information on social media. SDCEA cannot monitor that information effectively, especially after hours. The only way to be sure we know you have an outage is to phone it in.

REBATES SDCEA and its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, teamed up to bring you rebates for installing Energy Star-rated water heaters and Energy Star-rated appliances. Want to learn more? Go to our website,, click on Save Energy & Money and head to the Rebates tab.

NEW PHONE/EMAIL If you’ve changed your phone number or email address since you’ve taken service with SDCEA, please update your information with us. Go to our website, to the login box to create an account with updated information, or update information if you already have an account. You may also call us 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F at 719-395-2412 or toll-free 844-395-2412.

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Fix food that fuels and comforts on cold days BY AMY HIGGINS

If you have a recipe you want us to try, send it our way at


Beef recipes easy enough for weeknight meals


he versatility of beef makes it one of the most sought-after meats in the market. From sirloin and brisket to shank and flank, recipe options are endless. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association offers an abundance of enticing recipes on its website,, that fits many taste preferences in categories such as chilis, roasts, salads and heart-healthy options. This month, we’re highlighting dishes that are sure to provide warmth and comfort when Colorado’s springtime turns frigid.

One-Dish Beef Stroganoff 1 pound ground beef (93% lean or leaner) 1/2 pound sliced button or cremini mushrooms 3 teaspoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 2 cups uncooked whole grain, wide noodle-style pasta 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth 1 cup frozen peas 1/4 cup regular dairy sour cream plus additional for topping 1 tablespoon regular or coarse-grain Dijon-style mustard salt and pepper, to taste Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef, mushrooms, garlic and thyme; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking ground beef into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings, as necessary. Stir noodles and broth into beef mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 9 to 10 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring twice. Stir in peas; continue cooking, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes or until peas are heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Garnish with additional sour cream, if desired. For directions on how to cook with top sirloin, visit

Cook’s Tip Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.



Recipe, photo and information courtesy of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Cold weather is no match for

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Co-ops Support Move to Zero Emission Big Rigs The trucking industry is beginning to move to an electric future. To help demonstrate and promote this move, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, your electric co-op’s national trade association, has signed on as a sponsor of “Run On Less– Electric,” or “RoL-E,” a 2021 technology demonstration showcasing electric trucks in everyday operation. RoL–E, planned to begin in September, will feature up to 10 trucks, drivers and charging infrastructure systems across the United States and Canada. They will be supported by their fleets and equipment manufacturing partners. The demonstration will include medium-duty box trucks and heavy-duty tractors moving freight in different geographic and climate areas.

Initiated by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, RoL-E, NACFE and RMI will host a series of virtual educational events convening industry stakeholders to discuss the why and how of electric truck deployment. NRECA will be a title sponsor of one of these education events, which are open to electric co-ops and their fleet customers. The events will provide an opportunity to learn from leaders in fleet electrification beyond the RoL-E participants. Fleet managers, charging providers, utilities, engineering firms, policymakers and others will participate in the discussions. For more information, visit

CO-OP INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH CONTINUES While COVID-19 stopped Colorado’s electric cooperatives from sending a team of lineworkers to Bolivia in 2020, the pandemic has not stopped the electric co-ops in the United States from continuing to virtually support electric development around the world. NRECA International, the organization CREA worked with when Colorado’s electric cooperatives sent teams of lineworkers to Guatemala to build power lines to electrify small villages, has continued its work in various parts of the world. Just last month, NRECA International announced it signed a five-year contract to take over the operation of a struggling distribution utility in south-central Nigeria and transform it into a profitable company providing dependable service to its customers. When work begins this spring, NRECA International will assign three fulltime employees to the utility, supported by a technical team of 10 NRECA engineering, commercial and management specialists. The NRECA team will evaluate the training needs of the existing distribution utility team and design a program to build



NRECA International signed a contract to take over operation of a distribution utility in the Nigerian city of Aba, where these bungalows are located. (Photo By: NRECA International)

capacity and improve technical, commercial and customer-service skills. The Nigerian contract is the largest of about a half-dozen African contracts that NRECA International has been awarded during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have

been some challenges as all communications have been managed virtually, but the work to improve the quality of life of people around the globe has not slowed down.




EV sales represented less than 2% of new car sales in America in 2019

People in All Income Brackets Want to Use Electricity Wisely Coloradans and others across the country in the lower income brackets have as much desire to use their electricity more efficiently in their homes as those in higher income brackets. But many assume that the smart technologies that would help are too expensive for them. That was one of the key findings of a new report from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. The report was developed from a national survey of 1,000 consumers conducted last August and September. The survey included urban and rural dwellers, owners and renters, and households with and without children. The report sheds light on behaviors, attitudes and values as they relate to energy efficiency, smart technology for home, renewable energy, electricity providers and climate change. It also looks at financial barriers, relationships with utilities, where these consumers obtain energy information and how these things have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “As stakeholders better understand who these consumers are and what they value,” the SECC says in the report, “electricity providers, policymakers and consumer advocates will be better able to reach them and create new opportunities for these under-resourced consumers to participate in the smart energy future.”

But total sales were up more than 80% over 2018. According to a report this year by the Boston Consulting Group.



EV sales are expected to increase to more than 20% of the new car market in 2030.


Wind Power Tax Credit Extended The production tax credit for U.S. wind energy production has been extended to the end of 2021. The credit, which brings down the cost of building large-scale wind farms, got a last minute reprieve from Congress at the end of 2020. The credit will be available to companies at the previous levels, if they begin construction by December 31, 2021. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects 12.2 gigawatts of wind capacity to come on line in 2021. The bulk of that new capacity is not expected until December. A total of 21 GW of new capacity was expected to have been added to the grid at the end of 2020. That is a record for wind installations in the United States.

To read the report, visit COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021


EYE-CATCHING PHOTOS 2021 Photo Contest Winners


olorado Country Life readers certainly have an eye for catching and capturing Colorado’s finest moments: Everything from an owl couple sneaking a kiss to a magnificent and colorful Colorado summer sunset. The five categories for the 2021 Photo Contest were: Colorado Birds, Family Fun, My Stomping Grounds, The Golden Hour and the competition for the winning cover image. We received photos from consumermembers representing all electric co-ops from all across the state; but narrowing down more than 750 photo entries to the winning 13 was no easy task. The cover image of the curious owl was photographed by David Dahms, a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA. In the following pages you’ll see the first, second and third place winners in all four categories. You can find other favorite photos at our website, Be sure to check out a video featuring all the winners and honorable mentions on our YouTube channel at COCountryLife1. And enjoy more photos that were entered into the contest all year on our Facebook (CO C ountr yLife) and Instagram (COCountryLife) pages.



First place, My Stomping Grounds: “Winter Moose” by Brian Allen, an Intermountain Rural Electric Association consumer-member.

First place, The Golden Hour: “Red Fox Couple at Dawn” by Alan Ziff, a Sangre de Cristo Electric Association consumer-member.


First place, Family Fun: “The Drive Home” by Natalie Heller, a San Miguel Power Association consumer-member.

First place, Colorado Birds: “Burrowing Owl Couple” by Debbie McCulliss, a Yampa Valley Electric Association consumer-member.



COVER STORY WATCH ONLINE Check out a video featuring all the 2021 winners as well as some honorable mentions.

Second place, My Stomping Grounds: “Black Canyon Sunset” by Angela Moyer, a Delta-Montrose Electric Association consumer-member.

Second place, Family Fun: “Mom and Son Feeding Their Horse” by Laura Moorhead, a Sangre de Cristo Electric Association consumer-member.

Third place, Colorado Birds: “Heron with Nesting Material” by J.R. Schnelzer, a Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association consumer-member.

Second place, Colorado Birds: “Wood Duck Drake” by David Dahms, a Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association consumermember.

Second place, The Golden Hour: “Sunrise over the Dunes” by Pam Toepfer, a San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member.




Third place, My Stomping Grounds: “Lake Husted Sunrise” by Jennifer Coombes, a United Power consumer-member.

Third place, The Golden Hour: “Sunset on Sunflowers” by Laura Eichinger, an Intermountain Rural Electric Association consumer-member.

Third place, Family Fun: “Much Appreciated Snow” by Jennifer Summers, a Yampa Valley Electric Association consumer-member.




Women in Power Providing leadership in Colorado’s electric co-op industry BY SHARON SULLIVAN

Women have played an important role in the electric cooperative movement since those first rural wives and mothers used their egg money to pay the $5 membership fee required to sign up for the new electric cooperatives in the 1930s and ’40s. They made sure the electric poles, wires and much-needed electricity came to their farms and ranches, and the electric co-op movement grew. Through the years, the influence of women expanded and changed as they moved into more direct leadership roles. In honor of Women’s History Month, here are a few of the women making a difference today in Colorado’s electric cooperatives.



When a recruiter called Jessica Matlock in 2019 regarding the CEO position at La Plata Electric Association — a memberowned, not-for-profit electric distribution co-op based in Durango — Matlock jumped at the opportunity to return to her native Colorado. With a bachelor’s degree in chemical oceanography and a master’s in public policy, Matlock is one of several female leaders working within Colorado’s electric cooperatives and the only woman currently serving as CEO of a CREA member association. Matlock began her electrical career 20 years ago at Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Washington, D.C., where she continued working for Bonneville on public policy issues. Matlock also spent 13 years as government affairs director for Snohomish Public Utility District, one of the largest public power utilities in the United States. Maintaining reliable service for LPEA members, while also ensuring the

company’s 110 employees feel supported and valued is important to Matlock. During the winter holidays she gave each employee a small gift and handwritten card to show her appreciation. “I want them to know I think about every single one of them,” she said. She recently received an email from a lineman’s wife praising her leadership: “In almost 30 years I’ve never seen my husband happier with a company and his job. Thank you for being so good at morale-boosting,” the woman wrote. Another female industry leader in Colorado, Ginny Buczek, was active in her community before joining the statewide CREA Board of Directors where she’s currently vice president. Prior to joining CREA’s board, Buczek served seven years as a Weld County councilwoman, was a Firestone town councilmember, and served on multiple committees. She also previously managed a hardware store and was “pie leader” for her kids’ 4-H Club. Buczek represents United Power, an electric co-op based in Brighton, providing service

ENERGY CONNECTIONS to 93,000 homes and businesses along Colorado’s northern Front Range. “I believe that people bring their life experience to the board,” Buczek said. “The co-op model and its interaction with the community made me interested in serving on the board as a way of giving back to all the things United Power had given to my community and family. It’s truly our job to take care of our membership. I’m a member. I’m taking care of my power.” From an office at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Westminster, Barbara Walz works to provide wholesale electricity to 42 member co-ops and public power districts in multiple states as senior vice president of p ol i c y and compliance-chief compliance officer for t he c o - op power supplier. Her duties include developing and supporting policies and initiatives relating to energy and the environment while working with state and federal elected officials, representatives from the member co-ops Tri-State supplies electricity to and other key policymakers. After graduating from the University of North Dakota with a degree in chemical engineering (“I always loved math and science so it was an obvious path,” Walz said), she worked as an engineer for the North Dakota Department of Public Health and Environment. “I grew to love the environmental work and understand the value of it — both to the environment and to industry,” she said. She went on to earn a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Denver. Walz joined Tri-State 24 years ago after working in Washington, D.C., for several years where she continues to serve on the Carbon Utilization Research Council, as well as various boards and committees in

Colorado and North Dakota. As a woman, Walz has often found herself in the minority when working with individuals in similar positions across the nation, although she noted that has changed over time. “I was much more of a minority in college (majoring in science),” she said. “It was a bigger challenge. I just had to work hard, show my ability.” Longtime electric co-op leader Sylvia Spangler serves on the Grand Valley Power Board of Directors in Grand Junction. She remembers when electricity came to her home as a child growing up on a ranch in Steamboat Springs. She recalls her family canning meat and vegetables and storing perishable foods outside in a box filled with ice. Her mother cooked on a wood stove before her family got electricity at their home. Spangler’s family and neighbors were members of one of the first rural electric associations, she said. Her grandfather, George Cook, helped build the lines and served on the first board of Yampa Valley Electric Association in Steamboat Springs. The original board included two women, which was unusual at the time, she noted. Spangler was asked to complete her husband’s term on the GVP board after he passed away in 1991. And because the board was like family, and because rural electric boards have “always been in my blood,” she accepted. Spangler, who turns 80 in March, has served GVP ever since. “We’re always looking at new technology, which has changed the business dramatically,” Spangler said. “Grand Valley Power has a solar farm — we’re one of the first co-ops in the state to implement that. Our big mission is to maintain safety for the co-op — and quality of service.”

That focus on service and safety was there when previous leader Shirley Bauer led CREA as its first female board president from 1998 to 2000. Now retired, Bauer was well-known in her former Cortez community for organizing kids’ school activities and other community events. Because of those leadership skills, fellow electric co-op members encouraged Bauer to run for a seat on the board of directors of Empire Electric Association, a southwestern Colorado electric co-op. Bauer served on the Empire board from 1990 to 2006, including serving as president from 2004 to 2006. She also spent 10 years on the CREA Board of Directors, including those two years as board president. “By serving on CREA’s board I learned a lot about politics and how important grassroots movements are,” Bauer said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize how much work it takes to keep the lights on” — whether you’re a woman or a man. And it helps when there is support from others. Matlock has been instrumental in reaching out to other women in the electric co-op world, helping create a network to support women in the industry. In the fall of 2020, Matlock and friend Libby Calnon, general manager of Hood River Electric Co-op in Oregon, founded “Women in Power” within the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national electric co-op trade association, to connect women nationwide by providing them a platform to share stories, advice, encouragement and training. With this kind of support and the willingness to get involved that women have always shown, women will continue to lead within Colorado’s electric cooperatives. Sharon Sullivan, a freelance magazine writer based in Grand Junction, enjoyed getting to know some of the women in the electric co-op world.




SPECTACULAR SEEDY SCENARIOS Gardening with seeds is challenging yet striking when successful BY VICKI SPENCER



ast year, many gardeners were dismayed to find popular seeds had sold out early. This was especially the case with open-pollinated seeds. Openpollinated seeds are desirable because they have slowly adapted to local growing conditions. Two sources for open-pollinated seeds in Colorado are High Ground Gardens and Pueblo Seed & Food Company. High Ground Gardens (highground is owned by the Pike family from Crestone where they have worked for the past 15 years to develop high-quality, noncertified organic vegetable and herb seeds that thrive in harsh climates, including Colorado’s high altitudes with its short growing seasons and wide temperature swings. The company’s website divides seeds into categories that include grains, greens, herbs, individual vegetables and flowers. Some interesting open-pollinated grain seeds include amaranth burgundy, a richly colored plant whose leaves are edible when young. It produces white seeds that can be threshed and ground into flour or popped for a popcorn-like snack. Another grain, Black Aztec corn, is a hardy plant that makes great flour. With its deep red petals, Rubenza cosmos is a striking flower, and



Elka white poppy, with lavender petals and deep purple accents, is an interesting change from the more common orange and yellow poppies. Food security and seed production are Bryon Pike’s passions. In response to last year’s unprecedented growth, he hopes to meet customer demand by expanding his product line, but you still need to order early. Pueblo Seed & Food Company ( emphasizes that it’s not a full line company; it specializes in certified organic open-pollinated seeds that grow well in arid and semiarid environments. It partners with various companies such as White Mountain Farm in Mosca, Ringa-Ding Gardens in Howard and Mer-Girl Gardens in La Villita, New Mexico. Most of its seeds come in standard size packets, but some are available in bulk. Colorado’s electric cooperative members are fortunate to have this resource for obtaining unusual seed varieties, including: • Blanca quinoa, developed at White Mountain Farm in the San Luis Valley • Hopi turquoise corn, grown in southern Colorado with 4- to 5-foot stalks, two ears per stalk, and deep blue, purple and turquoise kernels

• Valencia onion, a globe-shaped, sweet crisp onion with bronze skin, introduced from Spain to Rocky Ford in the 1920s • Jade green beans, a high-quality, slender, long, high-yielding bean • Shirley poppy, an excellent pollinator with red, pink and lilac blossoms, grown by Mer-Girl Gardens. Although the past year brought a great deal of uncertainty, one thing is certain: More and more people have started gardening for the first time. Whether a novice or veteran, you may experience occasional failures, but don’t become discouraged. If seeds fail to germinate or if they die before becoming well-established, remind yourself that it’s all part of a learning process. Review planting and care guidelines, think about what you could do differently and try again. All it takes is time, practice, patience and a dash of good luck to become a successful gardener. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

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



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JUNE 2020

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e were traveling east on state highway 30 headed for Kearney, Nebraska, to witness the annual spring sandhill crane migration when a wicked snowstorm blew in and it became clear we’d have to get off the road soon or risk a long, cold night marooned somewhere along the Platte River bottomlands. We were towing a 30-foot RV, and the thick, wet snow combined with high winds made driving increasingly dangerous by the minute. Things were looking pretty grim when the driver’s side windshield wiper blew off near Paxton. A cellphone search showed there was a Walmart store in the next big town and we hoped we could take refuge in its parking lot for the night. But that was still about 35 miles distant, the snow was already several inches deep and piling up fast, and there wasn’t a snowplow anywhere in sight. We pulled off the side of the road as far as we dared and got out of the truck to see if we could replace the missing wiper with the passenger-side blade. It worked. We got back in the cab and white-knuckled our way to the Walmart parking lot in North Platte where we made camp for the night along with a dozen or so over-the-road truckers and several more campers trapped by the storm. Our adventure was off to a good start. The spring migration of sandhill cranes is an utterly fascinating, one-of-a-kind wildlife event that ranks right up there with the great migrations of African wildebeests and plains game. Every year from late February into

early April, massive flocks of sandhills from all over the world descend on the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska to rest, refuel and begin courting rituals before continuing the trip to their northern breeding grounds in the United States, Canada and as far away as Siberia. Scientists tell us it’s been going on for millions of years. Several species of ducks, geese, whooping cranes and shorebirds migrate with them, driving the combined bird count to over 650,000. The birds feed on spilled grain waste in the fields by day and roost on the river’s vast network of sandbars during the night to evade predation by foxes, bobcats and coyotes. Triggered by some internal device, they rise en masse from the river as sunup nears, and the roar of wings and high-pitched squawking of hundreds of thousands of cranes taking to the air simultaneously is almost deafening. Guided tours are available, but there are plenty of roadside pullouts and viewing stations along the river corridor for do-it-yourselfers. If you haven’t already done this, you need to put it on your bucket list. If you have done it, there’s a good chance you’ll do it again. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

LEARN MORE ONLINE To learn more about the great sandhill crane migration, go to the town of Kearney’s website at



March..April..May.. when will this pandemic GO AWAY.. just like that, in what seemed like a day my calendar was erased away markings of self-imposed busyness designed in part to keep the world at bay keep thoughts away things to remember things I must do meetings with friends, family too a written reminder of places to be when to show up when to leave just be slowly crossed out cancelled erased do I dare fill in another space will our dates actually take place Is this time... an opportunity to do things differently I don’t want to pass by humankind unable to show my face is that a smile in your eye or an evil snide you walk behind we are the human race weary of one another A fear implanted society reeking of impropriety imperfect governance rulers with a fist racist rage against supremacist needless death misplaced violence destruction against small mindedness seeking kindness somewhere over the rainbow seeking grace in this human race by Kim Blosser, Arvada La Plata Electric consumer-member

A Place Gone By

I took a walk in the woods one day and came to rest, by the way, in a place of days gone by. I had to stop and wonder why this had been left for the rain and snow. And when it came the time to go, I found a tear had caught my eye. I simply brushed it by and walked on. by Rachael Godshall Bauer, Monument Mountain View Electric consumer-member

Life Pods

Nestled cozily within the ground debris, pinecones safeguarding their seeds until the time is right for sprouting new life. Pinecones, like loving parents, do their job with wise intents. Hard on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. Pinecones keeping hope alive, for saplings to spread out wide and carpet the forest floor with vibrant green evermore. by Teresa Dower, Peyton Mountain View Electric consumer-member

Winter Fog

The earth is snuggled in a comforter that feathers somber strips of woods in down. No line divides the snow and air and sky; they blend in pearly pastel gray. The hill is honeyed with the prairie grass; a ghostly cedar stands as sentinel. All muffled sounds seem strangely far away; no raucous human noise intrudes. My mind is numbed in this tranquility; sharp edges fade beneath a silent veil. Disquietude dissolves in misty gauze that swathes me gently with its grace. I’m tempted to remain and nestle down, tucked in the tufted grass in winter sleep. My dog is wiser in the woodland ways. She’ll lead me home before the path grows dim. by Glenda VandenBosch, Lake City Gunnison County Electric consumer-member


I was not built to look down For my eyes and my head are not governed by the gravity of humanity I was not built to stay silent against wrongdoing For my soul, my morals, and my values are not guided by fear I was not built to be a frigid thing For my family and friends showed me love for my heart to learn of many things I was not built I was created to be a strong woman! by Snjezana, Grand Junction Grand Valley Power consumer-member


How can I sleep each wind-filled night when somber shafts of ghost moonlight stand reed like on the wall that’s nigh the drenched bed on which I lie? Why the bedfellows in my head? They stay in spite of all I’ve said to banish them so sleep might come. Still on and on and on they drum. Why such loud ticking from my clock? Am I a prisoner in the dock waiting judgment that like the dawn will come but won’t be hurried on? by William Brown, Fort Collins Poudre Valley REA consumer-member


Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submit your best works via email to: or mail to: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021


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Unplug and save up to $50 yearly on your energy bill. Your home electronics – TVs, computers and video games consoles – are constantly consuming small amounts of power in standby mode, meaning, a device that is plugged in, switched off or in sleep mode. Unplugging your electronics when not in use can add up to $50 in yearly savings.

Contact your local co-op or public power district for more energy saving tips or visit

COMMUNITY EVENTS Since some Community Events are being canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, please be sure to check with the event host before traveling to on-site events. Included in our list of events are several virtual activities you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. We hope you enjoy these SANITY SAVERS! (We are doing our best to keep the online calendar up to date at Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center, Pueblo

Every Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am, you can see the center’s various resident raptors and learn more about them from the ones who know them best: the NWDC staff. For more information, visit

“Adventures in Landscaping: Playing to Your Garden’s Strengths” Livestream

Longmont Museum and Tree of Life Landscapes collaborated to bring you this discussion on water conservation, pollinators and sustainable landscape designs. March 25, 7:30 pm. More topics will be presented every Thursday through April 29. For more information, visit

An Evening with Dead Floyd, Fort Collins

If you’re a Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead fan, you won’t want to miss these local fellows as they jam out. Ages 21 and older. March 11-12 at the Aggie Theatre. For more information, visit

BandWagon Magazine’s Battle of the Bands, Greeley

Enjoy an evening out watching four bands from northern Colorado vie for a cash prize and magazine cover opportunity. March 12, 7:30 pm at the Moxi Theater. For more information, visit

Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs

This nature center continues to offer fun events the whole family will love, including nature-inspired children’s activities, guided walks and a book club. For more information, visit nature-center-programs.

“Dreams in Bloom” Photography Exhibition, Denver

Take in the beauty of Fares Micue’s photography at this vibrant exhibit. Now through May 16 at the Denver Botanic Gardens. For more information, visit

Monte Vista Crane Festival, Virtual

Due to COVID-19, the Monte Vista Crane Festival planning committee decided to take this year’s festival online. On March 12 at 7 pm and on demand through March 17, you can binge-watch a two-hour video with presentations from industry pros and more. Visit or for more information.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Fort Collins

FCMOD awaits with a slew of fascinating exhibits that you can visit in person or online. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. For more information, call 970-221-6738 or visit

Four States Ag Expo, Cortez

Agriculture enthusiasts are sure to have a great time at the Four States Ag Expo where live entertainment, clinics, demos, vendors and more will entice guests of all ages. March 25-27, 9 am-5 pm at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. For more information, call 970-759-1035 or visit

Free Quilt Show, Pueblo

Find a one-of-a-kind quilt you can cozy up with for years to come at this quilt show. April 1-12, 10 am-4 pm at El Pueblo History Museum. For more information, call 719-583-0453.

“History of Crested Butte” Online Lecture Series

Colorado State Historian Dr. Duane Vandenbusche shares the fascinating history of Crested Butte, the Elk Mountains and several key developments in the area. Every Thursday at 7 pm through April 15. For more information, visit

Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series, Virtual

The Cloud City Wheelers tweaked their 2021 bike series to keep participants active yet healthy during the pandemic. Practically anyone can sign up for the series. Just register and race in the location of your choosing, including the more than 20 miles of Lake City trails built by the organization, Through April 18. For more information, visit

Meeker Sled Dog Races, Meeker

Watch as skilled sled dogs race for the gold. Afterward, meet the vivacious canines, take a cross-country trek and nosh on delicious fare. March 6-7 at the White River National Forest. For more information, visit

St. Baldrick’s Head-Shaving Events

Shear off your hair to help raise funds for childhood cancer research and afterward spread awareness as you show off your clean-shaven noggin. Several events are offered throughout Colorado and also virtually. For more information, visit

“This is What Democracy Looks Like” Virtual Lecture Series

This History Colorado Center-hosted series addresses democracy with several topics being led by industry experts. On March 24 at 7 pm, the focus is on “Media & Democracy.” More topics through June 10. For more information, visit

The Orphanage, Yuma

The Orphanage has amazing ongoing art exhibits, “orphan cars” (cars built by defunct manufacturers) and historic guest vehicles, like the 1961 Renault Dauphine, which is on display at the midcentury building through April 11. For more information, visit

Timber Dan Spring Toy Show and Sale, Loveland

Peruse thousands of collectible, vintage and antique toys that are available for sale. April 10, 9 am-3 pm at the Larimer County Fairgrounds’ First National Bank Exhibition Building. Admission is $5. For more information, call 970-663-9392 or visit




Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email 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.



FUNNY STORIES Several years after retiring from

CCL hits the slopes at Copper Mountain with Mary Gardner. Mary is a consumer-member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

Colorado Country Life is freezing in Kansas with Kellie! Kellie Bennett is a new member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

higher education in Colorado, I took a job to supplement our income as the front counterperson in the Goodyear shop in Evergreen. One snowy day, a gentleman hurriedly came in and asked if we had windshield wipers. I got the information on his vehicle and checked in our computer system, which showed we did have what he needed. “We’ve got them,” I said. “Eight dollars each and we could get them installed for you in just a few minutes.” “Eight dollars!” he exclaimed. “I was just at Walmart and theirs are just over $3.” “Well,” I said, “you are certainly welcome to buy them at Walmart.” “I can’t,” he said. “They are out of the size I need.” Trying to make my smile as friendly as possible, I said, “Well, when we are out of them ours are free, but when we’ve got ’em, they’re $8.” He bought them. Aubrey Holderness, Salida

My wife, Laura, and I were

entertaining two of our grandchildren a few years back. My 3-year-old granddaughter was standing in my lap and running her hands through my hair. When she noticed my bald spot, she raised her voice and proclaimed, “Pappa, you have a hole in your head!” Ken Schramer, Mesa

Sunny and warm Fort Myers Beach, Florida, gets a visit from Diane Daugherty and Colorado Country Life. Diane is a consumer-member of Mountain View Electric Association.

Not long ago, our 3-year-old

great-grandson was saying a prayer at dinnertime. He said, “Thank you, Lord, for our food and Grandpa and Grandma and Mama and ...” At this point, he wrinkled up his face in deep thought and then, with his eyes still closed, said, “And thank you for people with brains!” He was a little surprised when we all busted out laughing! Steva Davis, Colorado Springs

San Isabel consumer-member Tony Bernal dines on the Rhine Viking River Cruise with CCL.

WINNER: Zoe and Zeb Mousel enjoy Colorado Country Life magazine in their front yard in Cheyenne Wells. They are consumer-members of K.C. Electric.

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@ We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Monday, March 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winners are Zoe and Zeb Mousel. They enjoyed their copy of Colorado Country Life in their front yard in Cheyenne Wells. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at 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 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2021



CREATIVE JOY Discover community artists from across the state

Painting the Panorama Artist Karen Vance doesn’t look far for inspiration — her Winter Park Ranch studio is surrounded by an alluring landscape beckoning her to paint. Her career spans decades, has garnered awards and earned her permanent places to showcase her work, including at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and the University of Denver. Check her website,, for original paintings, limited-edition giclées and Winter Park Resort posters.

“Waiting on Command” by Bobbe Jones

Jones-ing for Art Bobbe Jones of Cortez uses high-quality materials to create her oil paintings, including linen canvas and a semigloss varnish that protects the artwork. This painting, “Waiting on Command,” is one of several artworks available in Bobbe’s Western Farm and Ranch Collection. Select paintings from the artist’s collections, create your own treasure on commission or check out the jewelry and stickers designed by her adult children, Bud and Julie, at jonesfamilyart. com or on their Facebook page @jonesartprojects.

“Autumn’s First Snow,” Fraser River Valley by Karen Vance

A Creative Collaboration: Paw Paintings Kathy Wernly and her dog, Karma, use teamwork in their Colorado Springs studio to fashion fun art pieces for their Etsy pages. It was happenstance that put Wernly to work — Karma plus Cesar’s dog food equaled a creative concept: paw paintings. Peruse and purchase from Karma’s collection at PawcassoKarma, and also check out Wernly’s glass mosaic and miniature sculpture art at

Critters on Canvas Drake resident Linda Renaud was always an artist, but when she was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, she used the long chemotherapy sessions to hone her painting skills. It paid off. Her intricate paintings tell a story of the interactions amongst wildlife. “I hope to show the dignity and the strength as well as the fragility of these wonderful animals,” she says. Purchase Renaud’s artwork on canvas or on T-shirts, phone cases, puzzles and more at






Watering chores,water bills! Sweating behind a roaring mower! Spraying poison chemicals and digging weeds...

NEW PRE-CUT SUPER PLUGS now available! can end such lawn drudgery – here’s how!

Stays lush and green in summer

Mow your Zoysia lawn once a month – or less! It rewards you with weed-free beauty all summer long.

7 Ways Our Amazoy Zoysia Lawn ™


Saves You Time, Work and Money!

CUTS WATER BILLS AND MOWING BY AS MUCH AS 2/3 Would you believe a lawn could look perfect when watered just once? In Iowa, the state’s biggest Men’s Garden club picked a Zoysia lawn as “top lawn – nearly perfect.” Yet, this lawn had been watered only once all summer to August! In PA, Mrs. M.R. Mitter wrote, “I’ve never watered it, only when I put the plugs in...Last summer we had it mowed 2 times...When everybody’s lawns here are brown from drought, ours stays as green as ever.” That’s how Amazoy Zoysia lawns cut water bills and mowing! Now read on!


IT STAYS GREEN IN SPITE OF HEAT AND DROUGHT “The hotter it gets, the better it grows!” Plug-in Zoysia thrives in blistering heat, yet it won’t winter-kill to 30° below zero. It just goes off its green color after killing frosts, and begins regaining its green color as temperatures in the spring are consistently warm.


NO NEED TO DIG UP OLD GRASS Plant Amazoy your way in an old lawn or new ground. Set plugs into holes in the soil checkerboard style. Plugs spread to create a lush, thick lawn, driving out weeds and unwanted growth. Easy instructions included with every order.


ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY No weeding means no costly chemicals. Since Amazoy Zoysia lawns naturally resist insects, you’ll save money, while helping to protect the environment. You’ll never have to expose your family and pets to the risk of weed killers and pesticide poisons.


FOR SLOPES, PLAY AREAS, BARE SPOTS AND PARTIAL SHADE You can’t beat Amazoy Zoysia as the low-cost answer for hard-to-cover spots, play-worn areas, places that have partial shade and erosion on slopes. Meyer Zoysia Grass was perfected by the U.S. Gov’t, released in cooperation with the U.S. Golf Association as a superior grass.

Thrives from partial shade to full sun.

Your Assurance of Lawn SUCCESS

Amazoy Zoysia Grass is


Guaranteed to grow new green shoots within 45-60 days or we’ll replace it FREE – for up to 1 year – just call us. Guarantee is valid on one order at a time, typically the most recent. We ONLY ship you hardy field grown genuine Amazoy Zoysia grass harvested direct from our farms. Easy planting and watering instructions are included with each order. ©2021 Zoysia Farm Nurseries, 3617 Old Taneytown Rd, Taneytown, MD 21787

Freestyle Plugs You decide how big to cut the plugs. Each grass sheet can produce up to 150-1 in. plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per sq. ft. Max Plugs

Free Plugs Grass Sheets

Plant it from plugs.





Your established Amazoy Zoysia lawn grows so thick, it simply stops crabgrass and most summer weeds from germinating!

1) Freestyle plugs come in uncut sheets containing a maximum of 150 - 1” plugs that can be planted up to 1 ft. apart. Freestyle plugs allow you to make each plug bigger and plant further apart – less cutting and planting – you decide. 2) New Super Plugs come precut into individual 3”x3” plugs ready-to-plant (minimum 1 per 4 sq. ft.). They arrive in easy to handle trays of 15 Super Plugs. Save more time and get your new lawn even faster! 3) Amazoy Approved Seed-As The Zoysia Specialists for 60+ years, we finally have a Zoysia seed available that meets our standards and homeowners expectations. Learn why at or by phone at 410-756-2311.



Super Plugs Precut plugs 3 inches by 3 inches READY TO PLANT Packed in trays of 15 Super Plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per 4 sq. ft.


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Super Plugs

Free Plugs



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— 25% 36% 44% 52%










— 35% 49% 53% 56%









































Zoysia Farm


Improving America’s Lawns Since 1953

3617 Old Taneytown Rd./Taneytown, MD 21787


Harvested Daily from Our Farms and Shipped to You the Same Day the Plugs are Packed Amazoy is the Trademark Registered U.S. Patent Office for our Meyer Zoysia grass.

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