Page 1





Advanced Technology Allows Macular Degeneration Patients To See Again And Allows Many Low Vision Patients To Drive Again While there is currently no cure, promising research is being done on many fronts. everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Stamm, “Even if it’s driving.” A scene as it might be viewed by a person with age-related macular degeneration

For many patients with macular degeneration and other visionrelated conditions, the loss of central visual detail also signals the end to one of the last bastions of independence driving. Colorado optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm is using miniaturized telescopes which are mounted in glasses to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration and other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider me their last chance for people who have vision loss,” said Dr. Stamm, one of only a few doctors in the world who specializes in fitting bioptic

Same scene of rancher as viewed by a person without macular degeneration

telescopes to help those who have lost vision due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. Imagine a pair of glasses that can improve your vision enough to change your life. Bioptic telescopes may be the breakthrough in optical technology that will give you back your independence. Patients with vision in the 20/200 range can many times be improved to 20/50. Bioptic telescopes treat both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration as well as other vision limiting conditions.

bioptic telescope is that the lens automatically focuses on whatever you’re looking at,” said Dr. Stamm. “It’s like a self-focusing camera, but much more precise.”

For more information and to schedule an appointment today, call:

Robert Stamm, O.D. Low Vision Optometrist Member IALVS Offices Throughout South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska

Toll Free:

(877) 393-0025

Volume 52

Number 10

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

On the Cover OCTOBER OCTOBER 2021 2021

Annabel Reader and Dan Huling show off shoes made at their Colorado Shoe School. Photo by Marc Leverette Photography.

“Soaring Over Comanche Park” by Pam Toepfer, a consumer-member of San Isabel Electric Association.















FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Colorado’s electric cooperatives ended the 2021 Colorado State Fair Junior Livestock Sale with a record-breaking auction raising more than $578,000! This sale supports the future of Colorado’s agribusiness. Good work to all the kids who participated! Visit to see a complete list of winners.


Monthly Contest Enter our contest for a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card and use it to visit a local pumpkin patch. For official rules and how to enter, visit Contests at Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash.

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK COCountryLife pinned: Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen shares her Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel recipe. This is a must try fall treat. Get the recipe at

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month Colorado Country Life posted: We love the little owl peeking out from behind its mom. So brighteyed! Photo by Alan ZIff, a 2021 photo contest submission. Enter the 2022 photo contest at coloradocountrylife. coop/2022-photo-contest. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2021



ENERGY INNOVATIONS SUMMIT Colorado’s electric co-ops gather to look to the future BY KENT SINGER



n Monday, October 11, CREA will host the 12th annual Energy Innovations Summit. The Summit is an annual conference that we host in Denver for the purpose of looking into the future of the electric utility business. As the trade association for Colorado’s electric cooperatives, one of our core functions is to provide as much information as we can to our member co-ops and their managers and directors to help prepare them for a fast-changing and dynamic energy future. There are many forces at work that impact how electric co-ops will provide electric service to rural Colorado in the coming years: legislative mandates to reduce greenhouse emissions from the power sector, technological breakthroughs for renewable energy and energy storage, desires of co-op consumer-members for more choices from their electricity suppliers and evolving energy markets, to name a few. Electric co-ops will face more challenges to their core mission of providing affordable and reliable power in the next 10 years than they have faced since they were formed in the 1930s and 1940s. At CREA, we saw the energy transition coming many years ago. We initiated the Energy Innovations Summit as one more

tool to help our members prepare for a new world of providing electricity. Some of our members have taken information learned at the Summit and implemented it into their business plan. A panel at one of our Summits several years ago sparked United Power’s interest in battery storage, leading to its investment in one of the largest co-opowned storage projects in the country. At this year’s Summit, we will continue to explore new developments in the electric industry including the latest in long-duration energy storage, the prospects for using hydrogen in energy production, updates on electric cars and trucks, how beneficial electrification can help both co-ops and their consumer-members and many more topics. We will once again bring in experts from across the country to talk about these issues and be available for continued discussions after their formal presentations. The Summit is also a great opportunity for Colorado’s electric co-ops to interact with other stakeholders and demonstrate that co-ops are on the leading edge of the energy transition. Many of the panel presentations offered during the Summit will include CEOs of various electric co-ops talking about how their systems are involved in innovative projects and working to implement new business models to better




REGISTER TODAY Scan for more information and to register or go to


serve their consumer-members. Every year, we look forward to the many conversations that take place, not only among electric co-ops folks, but also between co-op folks and others who have a stake in our industry. We’re also excited about getting back together for an in-person conference this year. Although attendees will be able to participate via webcast if they prefer, we believe we can safely meet in person. The remote Summit we hosted last year was great, but there’s no replacement for live, in-person interaction. Colorado’s electric co-ops have a bright future given their close relationship with their consumer-members and their commitment to keeping the lights on in an affordable and responsible manner. The Energy Innovations Summit will once again show the Colorado energy world that electric co-ops are ready, willing and able to meet the challenges of a changing industry. Hope to see you there! 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 its power supply co-op.




Clean Energy Alternatives Needed

Co-op memories bring a smile




ith October as National Cooperative Month, I’ve MONA NEELEY been thinking about my connections to the electric co-ops that I love and thinking of co-ops makes me think of my dad. He worked for our hometown north Iowa electric co-op for 39 years, including the whole time I was growing up. For a while he was the communicator at the co-op, publishing the co-op’s local newsletter. I remember the photo shoots for the cover art, always at some co-op member’s farm. Those sessions usually involved the whole family as they were often on weekends or evenings. My brother and I carried Dad’s gear and helped him set up and Mom helped him with composing whatever photo was being taken. I also remember working with Dad in the co-op’s darkroom, developing film and printing the photos that would be used in whatever project he was working on. I also helped Dad with the small offset press in the back of the co-op office as he got the monthly newsletter ready for mailing. The local co-op was familiar. I knew all of Dad’s co-workers, their families and their kids, who I went to school with. We all got together a couple of times a year like one big co-op family. That was my first co-op family and I’m happy that, today, I’m still part of the electric co-op family. 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.

The scientific evidence for the human effect on climate change has been mounting for years. We need to shift the energy subsidies to renewable energy and research and development of clean alternatives. I applaud SDCEA’s plans in this direction. (SDCEA is the electric co-op headquartered in Buena Vista.) I am willing to double our current low cost of electricity to speed up the process. Nancy Murray, Cotopaxi SDCEA consumer-member

Magazine Brings Memories

I was pleased to see the photo of my grandson, Jacob Monreal, in your May magazine (SDCEA edition). He was a recipient of your four-year scholarship. His history with your magazine goes back over 10 years to when I submitted a funny story about him that was published. We were at a cafeteria in Denver when he was 8. The line to get food seemed interminable. I sighed and said, “Guess we’re here for the duration.” He said, “Not me, Gramma; I’m here for the ham!” Now I have another story from when he was 8. He stayed overnight and when we got up on Sunday morning, I asked him if I could go to church in my pajamas. He said, “Sure.” “Don’t you care what I wear?” I asked. He answered, “You’ll just ‘barrass yourself; I’ll say, ‘That’s not my gramma!’” And now he’s off to the School of Mines. Susan Chermack, Salida SDCEA consumer-member

North Park Wind Not So Bad

Luxury Multifamily Home Builder

Winner of the IBS, 2019 Green Builder Award - Building all across Colorado | 402-375-4770

You’ll probably get letters from North Parkers after Dennis Smith’s amusing, but exaggerated, column on fishing in North Park. (Outdoors, August ’21) We take our dog Gracie out, walking or biking every day. In the 13 years of Gracie’s life, we’ve rarely missed a day. We do call it the Wyoming wind since our neighbor, Laramie, has an almost constant wind that makes ours look like a mere breeze. Helen Williams, Walden Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member


SIGN UP TODAY Get exclusive content, extra recipes, upcoming contests and more straight to your inbox twice each month.

Use your smartphone camera to scan the QR code.

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



Heat Pumps Which one is right for my home? BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN


eat pump technology has improved a lot over the past 10-20 years and is likely to be at least 20% more efficient than what you have now. Heat pumps can also cool your home during summer months, which is an added value. Newer models of heat pumps can operate effectively in subzero weather, but sometimes they do so by switching to electric resistance mode, which is much less efficient. In a colder climate, it may be worth investing in a dual fuel system where propane or another fuel provides supplemental heat on extremely cold days. Here are a few brief descriptions of the different types of air-source heat pumps:

The condenser for a mini split is often mounted on an exterior wall. Photo credit: Marcela Gara, Resource Media.

Several feet underground, the temperature remains constant yearround, typically between 45 degrees and 75 degrees, depending on latitude. Heat is transferred into or out of the ground by pipes buried in a loop 10 feet underground or drilled up to 400 feet into the earth. The pipes carry water to a compressor, which uses a refrigerant to transfer the heat to or from your home’s ducts. A professional energy audit could be a great next step, especially

Ducted heat pump If your home has a forced air furnace, a centralized air-source heat pump can work well. A compressor outside your home that looks like an air-conditioning unit is connected to your home’s existing duct system. Like your furnace, the temperature is controlled through one main thermostat. This is a solid solution if your system has quality ductwork that heats and cools every room evenly, which is rare.

Mini split heat pump If your home does not have ductwork or the ductwork is poorly designed or leaky, a ductless mini split heat pump might be your best bet. With a mini split heat pump, tubes connected to the outside compressor carry refrigerant to one or more air handlers, which are mounted high on a wall to distribute air. Thermostats regulate each air handler, providing control of different zones in the home.

Geothermal (or ground source) heat pump



This trench shows where pipes will be buried to utilize the constant temperature of the earth for a ground source heat pump. Photo Credit: Marcela Gara, Resource Media.

if it includes a duct leakage test. Check with your local electric co-op for additional information and guidance. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency write on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit to learn more about ways you can save on home energy costs. Look under the Energy tab.




MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box Y Akron, CO 80720 STREET ADDRESS 26862 U.S. Hwy 34 Akron, CO 80720

ph 970-345-2291 tf 800-660-2291 fax 970-345-2154 web

Y-W Electric Association, Inc. is dedicated to providing highquality, reliable electric service and related products to our members at competitive prices. Our members deserve and shall receive quality service unexcelled in our industry. We are committed to maintaining an environment where the Board of Directors and employees can perform at maximum potential to benefit our Y-W community.




ce Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land O’Lakes and Y-W Electric Association, Inc., all share something in common: We’re all cooperatives. We may be in different industries, but we all share a passion for serving our members and helping our communities thrive. In fact, all cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater community good. October is National Co-op Month, so this is the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time but also provide a framework for the future. Let’s take a look at the first three cooperative principles. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP Just like all co-ops, Y-W Electric Association, Inc., was created out of necessity — to meet a need that would have been otherwise unmet in our community. So in 1945, a group of neighbors banded together and organized our electric co-op so everyone in our community could benefit. For a modest membership fee to the co-op, any farmer could get electricity brought to his farm. Neighbors came together to tackle a problem they all had but couldn’t solve alone. They worked together for the benefit of the whole community, and the newly established electric lines helped power economic opportunity in our community. While this history may be forgotten, key parts of that heritage remain: the focus on our mission and serving the greater good. In this, we include everyone to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for the entire community. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, gender


identity, language, political perspective or socioeconomic status. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL Our co-op is well-suited to meet the needs of our members because we are locally governed. Each member gets a voice and a vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice and vote are equal. Y-W Electric Association’s leadership team and employees live right here in the community. Our board directors, who help set longterm priorities for the co-op, also live locally on co-op lines. These board members are elected by neighbors just like you. We know our members have a valuable perspective, and that’s why we are continually seeking your input and encourage you to weigh in on important co-op issues and participate in co-op elections. Our close connection to this community ensures we get a firsthand perspective on members’ priorities, thereby enabling us to make more informed decisions on products and programs that we offer, sponsorships and activities we support. Sponsorships to fire departments, local events and youth groups are awarded annually. High-voltage safety presentations, scholarships and youth leadership programs are always at the top of our list of causes to support because of the support and suggestion of our membership. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION As a utility, our mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members. But as a co-op, we are also motivated by service to the community, rather than profits. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2021


YOUR CO-OP NEWS Y-W Electric Association, Inc. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for co-op programs, initiatives, capital investments and supporting other activities approved by the membership. Because we are guided by seven cooperative principles, it’s not just about dollars — it’s about opportunity for all and being fair when engaging with our members. The cooperative way is a values-based business model. Y-W Electric Association, Inc., is a reflection of our local community and its evolving needs. We view our role as a catalyst for good and making our corner of the world a better place. By the way, that sums up the seventh co-op principle, concern for community, which I’ll elaborate on in a future column. [Casey and Brandi Sievers, 1131300906]



e at Y-W Electric Association want to welcome Dylan Paulsen to the cooperative. He started his employment with Y-W on August 11. Dylan was raised in Aurora, Colorado. He graduated from Gateway High School then continued his education at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business. Dylan Paulsen, line technician, started in August. While at Presentation College he played football and baseball. In 2020 he decided to become a line technician and attended Western Colorado Community College. He graduated in May 2021. His hobbies include spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing and many other activities. Welcome to the Y-W family, Dylan. [Goldie Harman, 552201801]

BILLING CORNER SELF-SERVE WEBSITE Have you checked our website at lately? Our website gives you the ability to check your monthly usage, payment history and past billing invoices. Payments can also be made on our website using SmartHub. Once you are registered, you can make payments, view your history or contact our office. You can also choose to go paperless. An email will be sent on the day the bills are generated to let you know you have a new bill available. This is only an option. A paper bill will be mailed until you choose not to have one sent. The SmartHub app can also be downloaded on a mobile device. It is compatible with both Android and iPhones. A payment can be made this way as well. Y-W Electric does not use a third-party for payments. If you are charged for making a payment, this is not being made on our website. For your security, please make sure you are logged into our website,, when making a payment or using the SmartHub app. Please contact our office if you have any questions about our website. CLAIM YOUR CREDIT Each month, Y-W Electric offers consumer-members a chance to earn a $20 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your name and account number in this magazine, call 800-660-2291 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. Get acquainted with your account number, read your Colorado Country Life magazine and pick up the phone. That’s all the energy you’ll need to claim your energy bucks. You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine. (Check the date on the front cover.) Winners claiming $20 from the August issue: • Ron Kraich Jr. • Ryan W. and Ronella Noble • Thomas P. Kitchin



October 2021

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Old, uninsulated and improperly installed exterior doors can waste energy and money. Shut the door on wasted energy by weather stripping and sealing all exterior doors. If you have an old exterior door, consider replacing it with a newer, energy efficient model. Source:


DON’T MISS OUT ON COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS Available through Y-W Electric Association for 2022

TO QUALIFY FOR THESE SCHOLARSHIPS: • Your parents or guardians must receive electric service from Y-W Electric • You must be a graduating student from a local high school or approved homeschool program or be a continuing college student • You must maintain full-time resident student status A strong password can make all the difference • Semesters must be continuous excluding summer in protecting your personal information. • for Youstronger must provide a copy of your grade transcript to Y-W Follow these tips passwords. Get your applications in prior to the deadline to compete for the at the end of each semester to receive renewable funding following scholarships: for specific scholarships • Y-W Electric* $1,000 per year scholarships, renewable • You must maintain minimum GPA requirements up to $4,000 • Applications are available on our website, • Y-W Electric* $1,000 scholarships, beginning October 2021 • Basin Electric $1,000 scholarships • Applications must be delivered to Y-W prior to 5 p.m. • Y-W Electric* $500 scholarships January 28, 2022 • Change the manufacturer’s Wi-Fi password • Don’t use common words or numbers like • Y-W Electric* $500 continuing education scholarship • Applications received after January 28, 2022, WILL on your router. “password” or “1234.” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission $500 scholarships NOT BE CONSIDERED, regardless of postmark. • Use two-factor authentication. • Don’t use personal details like your date • Y-W Electric* $1,000 line technician training scholarship For more information, please see your high school guidance coun• Use unique phrases (like lyrics to your of birth in a password. * Y-W Electric scholarships are funded by unclaimed capital credits. selor or call Andy Molt at Y-W Electric at 970-345-2291 and he will favorite song) to remember passwords. • Don’t use the same password for multiple be happy to answer any questions. [Frances Berggren, 2002001002] accounts.





October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

AND DON’TS A PASSWORD strongDOSpassword can make all the difference PASSWORD DOS AND DON’TS in protecting your personal information. A strong password can these make alltips the difference Follow for stronger passwords. A strong password can make all the difference in protecting your personal information. Follow these tips for stronger passwords.


in protecting your DON’T: personal information.

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart Follow these tips for stronger passwords. • • •

Change the manufacturer’s Wi-Fi password on your router. Use two-factor authentication. Use unique phrases (like lyrics to your favorite song) to remember passwords.


Don’t use common words or numbers like “password” or “1234.” Don’t use personal details like your date of birth in a password. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.


Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart

AA strong password can make can all themake difference strong password all the difference in protecting your personal information. in protecting personal Follow these tips for your stronger passwords.information.




• Change the manufacturer’s password • Don’t use common words or numbers like Follow these tips stronger Wi-Fi passwords. • Change thefor manufacturer’s Wi-Fi password • orDon’t on your router. “password” “1234.” use common words or numbers like router. “password” “1234. • on Useyour two-factor authentication. • Don’t use personal details likeor your date ” I ntegrity Accountabi • Use unique phrases (like lyrics to your of birth in a password. • Use two-factor authentication. • Don’t use personal details likeEvery your date l ity Members for first − every day member has an equal voice favorite song) to remember passwords. • Don’t use the same password multiple • Use unique phrases (like lyrics to your accounts. of birth in a password.

DON’T: favorite song) to remember passwords.

Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

DON’T: October is

o your of birth in a password. Do Part.use #BeCyberSmart passwordCybersecurity • Your Don’t common words. • Don’t use the same password for words multiple accounts. Awareness Month. “password” or “1234.”


October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

is common words or numbers like Fi password October • Don’t use Cybersecurity “password” or “1234.” Awareness • Don’t use Month. personal details like your date

your words.

[Brady and Jordan 1141133702] • Don’t useBuck, personal details

or numbers like

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart like your date of birth in a password. • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

Commitment to Community Improve members’ quality of life

In novation Innovative solutions and state-of-the-art technology





ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS Win a trip to Washington, D.C., or a week at camp at Glen Eden Resort!


Top 6 reaso f you are interested in an intriguing, all-expenses-paid experience this summer, please ns you should apply obtain and fill out an application for the Youth Leadership for Camp thisand tripthe Washington D.C. Youth Tour. The application deadline is December 17, 2021. Make new friends from Colorado,



Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming


Why shouYOUTH ld I apply?TOUR D.C.

Experience the beautiful Rocky Mountains “Attended Cooperative Youth Leadership

Now that you know this isn’t just Camp” will look great on your resume The winner will join other students from Colorado co-ops and co-ops across the United another camp, you may be asking Swimming, dancing, shopping, rafting, yourse lf, “Shoul I apply?” begins in Denver on andJune volleyba States June 12-19, 2022. A week ofdactivities 12. Students will visit ll – all in one camp Learn about yourself and build new our state capitol building Onceipin Washington, D.C., Youbefore should if heading you have: to Washington, D.C.leadersh skills that you will use the rest of your life! students will meet manyLeaders of our Colorado congressional members and learn about electric It’s all free hip potential An awesom cooperatives and the issues facing the lity electric industry today. There will plenty of time for e persona A strong academic record more information, contact: fun and touring. The lucky student will visit Mount Vernon, theForNational Cathedral, the An interest in meeting new people Julie Baker Colorado Holocaust museum, Arlington National Cemetery and the Library of Rural Congress. Students Electric Associat ion You want more out of a camp 5400 Washington St. than a sunburn will stroll through the Smithsonian museums, visit the monuments Denver, and memorials and CO 80216 720.407.0700 much more. There will bearean opportunity to learn about electricityJbaker@ generation, If you interested in applying for this all-expense-paid trip, contact your local sion and distributionelectric whilecoopera having the time of your life with over 1,700 other students. An tive listed on the back of this brochure for an application. Applications are evening at the theater, a cruise on the Potomac River, dancing and mingling are all a part accepted in the fall for the coming year’s trip. of this once-in-a-lifetime experience with many memories to share.

On July 16-21, 2022, about 100 students are chosen and sponsored by rural electric cooperatives from all over Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma to attend the Youth Leadership Camp. The camp is designed to provide a better understanding of cooperatives, the legislative processes, energy prices, power and the rural electric cooperThegeneration idea came from President Lyndon B. Johnson who ative program. It also focuses onrural developing leadership skills to handle the challenges of advocated for electrification and youth development. In 1957, when he was still a U.S. the future. The camp, run by the students, is a lot of fun, and it also provides an excellent senator, Johnson suggested “sending youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually learning experience. Field trips arestand planned to tour a large open-pit coal mine and an elecsee what the flag s for and represents.” tric generation power plant. There is also time for fun and sightseeing. time is spent HowFree to Apply This notion evolved into a nation wide playing volleyball, swimming, effort whitewater rafting, to send youth on an dancing, a banquet and meeting many organized, fun and educational trip in the 1960s. Contact your local electric Now, some 50 years later, electr new friends. ic cooperatives cooperative to learn more about from across the country send over 1,800 youth how to apply for the 2022 to the ’s capito All expenses for thenation camp arel covered by Y-W Electric. TheWash parent or guardian of an ington, D.C. Youth Tour trip. every summer. applicant must be a member of Y-W and/or directly receive Appli electric power from Y-W cations are due before the end the you year. will gain Electric. The selection process is conducted similar to a job interviewofso This scholarship is valued experience in that area. [Roger Chrismer, 732802501] at over $2,500. • Applications will be available on our website,, beginning October 2021. Julie Baker Colorado • For more information, please see your high school guidance counselor call Andy Rural Electric or Assoc iation 5400 Washington Street Molt at Y-W Electric at 970-345-2291. He will be happy to answer any questions. Denver, CO 80216 720-407-0700














YO U T H T O U R 2022

WA S H I N G T O N D . C .


Window & Door



This Lightning Sale is striking quickly, so we’re only offering this great window, patio door & entry door discount during the month of October.

Sale ends October 31st

$50 OFF

Buy one window or door, get one window or door

40% OFF +


every window and door1


Money Down


Call for your FREE Window & Door Diagnosis


for 1 year



Subject to availability, on a total purchase of 4 or more, buy 2 windows or doors, get the second two windows or doors, of equal or lesser value, 40% off – applied to lowest priced window and/or door products in purchase – just have your free Window and Door Diagnosis on or before 10/31/21. $50 discount valid during first appointment only. 2 No payments and deferred interest for 12 months available from third-party lenders to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Products are marketed, sold and installed (but not manufactured) by Renewal by Andersen retailers, which are independently owned and operated under Window Warmth, LLC d/b/a Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. See complete information and entity identification at ©2021 Andersen Corporation. ©2021 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved. 1





A RECIPE Do you have a favorite holiday dessert recipe? We want to try it. Send it our way to

Pumpkin Spice Things Up Skip the slime and save some time BY AMY HIGGINS


Carve out something sensational


t’s spooky season and with it comes ghosts, goblins, fairytale princesses and, of course, pumpkins. Sweet yet savory, pumpkin items are a go-to for many culinary crafters looking to spice up their drinks and dishes in the fall months. However, handling the gooey innards of a fresh pumpkin isn’t always the happiest of cooking highlights. Rather than carving out the ingredients to prepare your pumpkin recipes, opt for other pumpkin products that can spice up your dishes and provide that gourd-y goodness you’re looking for. Here’s a recipe to get you started:

No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites Crust:

1 1/2 cups raw pecan pieces 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 7 dates), soaked in hot water, 10 minutes 1 pinch pink salt


1/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 pinch pink salt 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional) 12 raw pecan halves, for topping To make crust: In food processor, process pecan pieces, drained dates and salt until combined and “dough” starts to form into ball. To make filling: In bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, pink salt and collagen peptides, if desired. Whisk until smooth.

Strike a Gourd According to Morning Consult, a billion-dollar global research company, 56% of U.S. adults say they enjoy pumpkin spice-flavored savory products. Take a gander at some pasta, soup and bread recipes, for instance, and find out if your taste buds are tempted.



Line cupcake tin and evenly distribute crust mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons, in each cupcake opening. Use fingers to press crust into even layer. Evenly disperse pumpkin pie filling among openings until tins are about half full. Top each with one pecan half and place in freezer at least one hour. Recipe courtesy of American Pecan Council

Find more pumpkin recipes at under Recipes.


CoQ10’s Failure Leaves Millions Wanting Use this pill to supercharge your brain and think better than ever. Millions of Americans take the supplement CoQ10. It’s the “jet fuel” that supercharges your cells’ power generators, known as mitochondria.

age. In fact, the Mitochondria Research Society reports 50 million U.S. adults are suffering from health problems because of mitochondrial dysfunction.

As powerful as CoQ10 is, there is a critical thing it fails to do. It can’t create new mitochondria in your cells.

Birth of new mitochondria

As you age, your mitochondria begin to die. In fact, by age 67, you lose 80% of the mitochondria you had at age 25. But if you’re taking CoQ10, there’s something important you should know.

Common ailments often associated with aging — such as memory problems, heart issues, blood sugar concerns and vision and hearing difficulties — can all be connected to a decrease in mitochondria.

Dr. Sears and his researchers combined the most powerful form of CoQ10 available Taking CoQ10 is not enough — called ubiquinol — with a unique, “There’s a little-known NASA nutrient newly discovered natural compound called that multiplies the number of new power PQQ that has the remarkable ability to generators in your cells by up to 55%,” says grow new mitochondria. Together, the Dr. Al Sears, owner of the Sears Institute for two powerhouses are now available in a Anti-Aging Medicine in Royal Palm Beach, supplement called Ultra Accel II. Florida. “Science once thought this was Discovered by a NASA probe in space dust, impossible. But now you can make your PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) stimulates heart, brain and body young again.” something called “mitochondrial biogenesis” “I tell my patients the most important — a unique process that actually boosts the thing I can do is increase their ‘health span.’ number of healthy mitochondria in your This is the length of time you can live free of cells. disease and with all your youthful abilities In a study published in the Journal of and faculties intact.” Nutrition, mice fed PQQ grew a staggering Medical first: Multiply the “power number of new mitochondria, showing an increase of more than 55% in just eight generators” in your cells weeks. Al Sears, M.D., recently released an energyThe mice with the strongest mitochondria boosting supplement based on this NASA nutrient that has become so popular, he’s showed no signs of aging — even when they were the equivalent of 80 years old. having trouble keeping it in stock.

Science stands behind Dr. Sears is the author of over 500 scientific the power of PQQ papers on anti-aging and recently spoke at the WPBF 25 Health & Wellness Festival Biochemical Pharmacology reports that featuring Dr. Oz and special guest Suzanne PQQ is up to 5,000 times more efficient in Somers. Thousands of people listened to Dr. sustaining energy production than common Sears speak on his anti-aging breakthroughs antioxidants. and attended his book signing at the event. “Imagine 5,000 times more efficient Now, Dr. Sears has come up with what his energy,” says Dr. Sears. “PQQ has been a game peers consider his greatest contribution to changer for my patients.” anti-aging medicine yet — a newly discovered “With the PQQ in Ultra Accel II, I have nutrient that multiplies the number of tiny, energy-producing “engines” located inside energy I never thought possible,” says the body’s cells, shattering the limitations of Colleen R., one of Dr. Sears’ patients. “I am in my 70s but feel 40 again. I think clearer, traditional CoQ10 supplements. move with real energy and sleep like a baby.” Why mitochondria matter

It works right away

A single cell in your body can contain Along with an abundance of newfound between 200 to 2,000 mitochondria, with the largest number found in the most energy, users also report a sharper, more metabolically active cells, like those in your focused mind and memory, and even younger-looking skin and hair. Jerry M. from brain, heart and skeletal muscles. Wellington, Florida, used Ultra Accel II and But because of changes in cells, stress and was amazed at the effect. poor diet, most people’s power generators “I noticed a difference within a few days,” begin to malfunction and die off as they

NASA-discovered nutrient is stunning the medical world by activating more youthful energy, vitality and health than CoQ10. says Jerry. “My endurance almost doubled. But it’s not just in your body. You can feel it mentally, too,” says Jerry. “Not only do I feel a difference, but the way it protects my cells is great insurance against a health disaster as I get older.”

Increase your health span today

The demand for this supplement is so high, Dr. Sears is having trouble keeping it in stock. “My patients tell me they feel better than they have in years. This is ideal for people who are feeling or looking older than their age… or for those who are tired or growing more forgetful.” “My favorite part of practicing anti-aging medicine is watching my patients get the joy back in their lives. Ultra Accel II sends a wake-up call to every cell in their bodies… and they actually feel young again.”

Where to find Ultra Accel Il

Right now, the only way to get this potent combination of PQQ and super-powered CoQ10 is with Dr. Sears’ breakthrough Ultra Accel II formula.

To secure bottles of this hot, new supplement, buyers should contact the Sears Health Hotline at 1-800-731-4270 within the next 48 hours. “It takes time to get bottles shipped out to drug stores,” said Dr. Sears. “The Hotline allows us to ship the product directly to the customer.” Dr. Sears feels so strongly about this product, he offers a 100%, money-back guarantee on every order. “Just send me back the bottle and any unused product within 90 days, and I’ll send you your money back,” said Dr. Sears.

The Hotline will be taking orders for the next 48 hours. After that, the phone number will be shut down to allow them to restock. Call 1-800-731-4270 to secure your limited supply of Ultra Accel II. You don’t need a prescription, and those who call in the first 24 hours qualify for a significant discount. To take advantage of this great offer use Promo Code UACO1021 when you call in.




Don’t Miss CREA’s Energy Innovations Summit


ore than two dozen energy experts will discuss the latest developments in today’s dynamic energy industry during the Monday, October 11, CREA Energy Innovations Summit. There is still time to register for the always-interesting event at the Grand Hyatt Denver Hotel in downtown Denver. The opening panel will include Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association CEO Duane Highley and Xcel Energy Colorado President Alice Jackson discussing their vision for the future. Morning breakout sessions will look at advancements in energy storage, hydrogen as a fuel of the future, meeting utility customer needs, and carbon capture and storage. Lunch speaker Tim Reeser of Lightning eMotors will review his company’s work electrifying buses, vans and other medium- to heavy-duty vehicles. Afternoon breakout sessions will discuss the impacts of last February’s deep freeze, integrating distributed energy resources, beneficial electrification and reducing methane emissions. Register at

Energy Efficiency Improving

Electric Co-ops Always All About Cooperation October, National Cooperative Month, is the perfect time to discuss the 6th cooperative principle: Cooperation Among Cooperatives. Cooperatives serve their members most effectively when they work together with other co-ops. Colorado’s 22 electric distribution co-ops work together through CREA, their statewide trade association, as an economical way to access services all of the co-ops need. Through CREA, they can lobby the legislature on behalf of co-op interests, share educational resources to keep employees and board members prepared to meet consumer-members’ needs, and provide safety education and support for employees. Colorado’s co-ops also work together to provide this magazine for consumer-members. While each co-op has its own version of Colorado Country Life, collectively, the co-ops are able to surround the important local co-op news pages with other information also important to consumer-members. And the list goes on. Cooperation among cooperatives helps your electric co-op continue to provide service in an affordable and sustainable way.

Despite Pandemic Americans keep getting more efficient in their use of energy, a trend that’s even powered its way through the COVID-19 pandemic. According to 2020 statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Energy, America’s energy consumption dropped by 7% last year, the largest annual decrease since DOE began keeping records in 1949. The department’s Energy Information Administration attributes much of that decrease to the economy’s reaction to the coronavirus. Energy consumption didn’t just drop; it shifted as well. Commercial energy use fell dramatically as people stayed home. Residential use rose as more people worked from home and peak hours for energy use shifted from 6 a.m. — when people would normally shower and make breakfast before going to work — to times later in the day as many of us simply walked from the kitchen to a home office. The 2020 statistics continue to show a long-term trend toward lower energy use as a result of new, energy-saving technologies. The use of highly efficient LED bulbs, to cite one example, grew from a 20% market share in 2015 to 60% in 2019 — a trend unlikely to be reversed since LEDs last well over 10 years. In a new report, the Annual Energy Outlook 2021, the EIA predicts these efficiency trends will keep going long into a post-pandemic world, thanks to tighter building codes, technological improvements that boost motor vehicle fuel economy and even more energysaving advances in lighting.



Paint Your Home Cool Engineers have created the whitest paint ever — a paint so white that building surfaces coated in it are 8 degrees cooler than the air on a sunny day. The innovation could reduce air conditioning demands and mitigate the effects of climate change, according to VICE Magazine. The new paint, developed by a team at Purdue University, reflects 98.1% of sunlight. Researchers used barium sulfate, a powder that’s reflective across all wavelengths of sunlight, as pigment for the new paint — most white paints use titanium dioxide as pigment.


What Can Utility Drones Do? As the range, payload and available sensors for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have increased and federal restrictions regarding their commercial use have eased, electric cooperatives across the country are adding drones to their operations toolbox. “UAS are becoming a foundational part of many co-ops’ inspection processes,” says NRECA Senior Research Engineer Stan McHann. “Their increased use will have a direct and measurable impact on grid reliability.”


Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors use laser to measure elevation and produce highly accurate maps and 3D models for right-of-way management and substation maintenance, among other uses.

Hi-res imager

A drone can get close to hard-to-reach equipment and allow high-resolution cameras (20 megapixels or more) to capture images that can help crews detect rust, wear and tear, missing parts or storm damage.

Thermal sensor

From their overhead vantage, drones with thermal scanners can identify overheating equipment in substations, powerplants or transmission towers, allowing technicians to spot potential trouble spots before they fail.

Future application: Integration with GIS

Synching drone data with geographic information systems, and integrating artificial intelligence/machine learning to make sense of the data, will allow inspection results to be viewed across utility job functions.







nnabel Reader will never forget the moment she met her future husband, Dan Huling. Both had been hired as entertainers for “A Nightmare Before Christmas” party. Huling was a 6-foot-2-inch juggling elf and Reader was dancing around on stilts, Reader recalls. “He was under a streetlamp and looked so handsome in his costume like he was a film noir character. He asked me out but I couldn’t go and, then, nothing happened for months. I asked him out nine months later because his name was playing on repeat in my head. Finally, I was like, ‘OK, universe, I hear you.’” Reader and Huling’s unusual meeting turned into a creative and business partnership that’s more “Christmas” than “Nightmare.” Fast forward five years and the juggler and stilt walker are married and living happily ever after running Colorado Shoe School. Yes, you read that right: They teach



people how to make shoes, boots and sandals. Think high-top sneakers with a lingerie theme or a dress pump inspired by a 1920s vintage photograph. There’s nothing like kicking up your heels in a shipwreck-themed pair of purple and red sneakers with a hidden octopus eye. If you can dream it, Huling and Reader can help you make it. If you’ve never thought of making your own shoes, that’s because theirs is the only shoe school in Colorado and one of the few in the United States.

A life of creativity Coming up with creative ideas, solutions and innovations is nothing new for this couple. When they met, Reader, 44, a native of New Zealand, was working as a costume designer for Emerald City Opera in Steamboat Springs and, later, as a shoe mistress for the Cirque du Soleil production, “Luzia.” Understandably, shoes for the

a Ha gerlin g

es” eri S t ai “Pandemic Portr

production had to be in tip-top shape. The last thing an acrobat wants to worry about is tripping over a shoelace or a sole falling off midjump. “I was responsible for approximately 200 pairs of shoes,” Reader says. “I had to make sure they were all in excellent shape, the colors were vibrant, the heels weren’t worn down and the soles were in good condition. Any down time I had I started experimenting with making my own shoes.” Huling, 43, was equally busy — playing with fire. He and his brother cofounded “The Handsome Little Devils,” an entertainment company that creates immersive art experiences. “We developed a routine with two flamethrower pogo sticks and six flaming juggling torches,” Huling says. “We took the act all over the world including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.” To jazz up their juggling act, Huling and his brother built elaborate contraptions for their company, such as a driving vaudeville


Annabel Reader and Dan Huling, the creative duo who own and lead the Colorado Shoe School in Fort Collins. Photos by Marc Leverette Photography.

stage and a kinetic juggling machine. To top it off, they created a little mechanical monkey puppet to help pedal and steer the creative contraptions. In 2018, eager to spend more time with each other and less time on the road Huling and Reader started brainstorming job options and looking for something else they could do. “Touring is magical and exhausting all at once,” Reader says.

Students work in the school’s studio with its “tree house” feel and view.

Still, they had their doubts. As Huling recalls, “I was hesitant to make a career change, not knowing what the future would be. How and what were we going to teach? Was it a good idea? Were we good enough?” Peggy Lyle, director of the downtown creative district in Fort Collins, had no doubt they were on the right path. “I felt very privileged to be the first person they told. I instantly thought this was going to be a big success. I knew they were onto Shoe school’s beginnings something that was true to their hearts and Before a trip to New Zealand, Reader came would resonate with lots of people.” across a web listing for a shoe school there Lyle took a two-day sneaker-making and shares, “The class was sold out but I workshop with the goal of creating a unique pleaded for them to let us in and they did.” birthday present for a friend’s 50th birthday. The intensive five-day class was followed by “The sneakers had a Phoenix theme. I Zoom workshops with the New Zealand thought it was appropriate for coming out instructor and some pointers from Jim of COVID-19 and my friend’s milestone Brainard, a cowboy bootmaker in Parker, birthday,” she says. Colorado. “He gave us tips and tricks on For Deborah Porter, Colorado Shoe how to attach soles and build up heels,” School snapped her out of her grief. Her Reader remembers. parents had recently passed away, she had

“I am constantly inspired by Annabel’s creative and unique approach to shoe making. I tend to get sucked into the technical side of shoe making and am impressed by Annabel’s ability to test the outer limits. Having a partner like Annabel makes me feel like anything is possible. We make an amazing team and we encourage each other to be daring and explorative.” — Dan Huling



COVER STORY retired from her beloved job as a United Airlines flight attendant and the things she normally liked to do, needlepoint, embroider or paint, just didn’t interest her. For 40 years she traveled the world, often with her mother. “After my mother passed from brain cancer, my job lost all its allure.” Although she had a retirement bucket list — learn Spanish, get finances in order, make a hat — she lacked motivation to pursue any of it. “I felt like a balloon deflated on the floor,” she remembers. “Then one day my sister spied an article on Colorado Shoe School in The Denver Post and rushed it over to my house. She knew I had wanted to learn to make shoes for years but I never found the right class in the right location.” Porter didn’t hesitate — she signed up right away for a two-day sneakermaking workshop in July 2021. “I was excited and nervous. I’m 70 years old and worried it would be a disaster, that maybe I couldn’t do it.” But she did. Working with Reader, Porter made a beautiful black and white, lingerie-inspired high-top sneaker with lace touches and mesh peep holes. “I wanted a dressier sneaker I could wear out at night,” she says. To help turn her vision into reality, Porter purchased and brought a pretty black nightgown to cut up and use in her sneaker. Colorado Shoe School had no problem helping Porter create her shoe. “The class was a lifeline for me,” Porter says. “It opened up my creativity again. Annabel Reader is such a dear. She is a marvelously creative, supportive woman.”

The shoemaking process.



was worked into a sneaker design. A zipper might be reclaimed from an old leather jacket while a battered leather couch cushion can serve as the basis for a pair of boots. Even plastic bags have been repurposed. “A college student wanted to make sneakers out of plastic bags and came here to learn how to do it,” Reader recalls. “We helped him iron the plastic bags together to fuse them. He brought in a vinyl billboard to make part of the shoes and gave us the rest of the billboard. Another student used the big mouth and eyeball images on her shoes.” Inspiration comes in many forms. One student brought in luggage his grandmother had given him over 40 years ago. It had a lot of personality but not much practicality (think: no rollers). He didn’t want to throw the suitcases out but he didn’t know what to do with them either. So, he cut up the buttery soft leather and made shoes out of it. “The shoes will continue to travel in a different way. It’s a lovely story with a lot of romance to it,” Reader says. For Teri Ficke, 58, an information technology project manager, necessity really was the mother of invention. Her nephew’s wedding was coming up and she wanted a comfortable pair of shoes to wear. “The last wedding I went to my feet hurt; I did not want to repeat that experience,” she says. Already a Colorado Shoe School veteran, her inspiration came from a 1920s vintage photograph of her grandmother Anna

wearing black pumps with cutouts in the front. In a five-day workshop she re-created the shoe. “Shoe making speaks to me in terms of the practicality of it and making something that fits,” she says. It was Ficke’s Finding inspiration fifth shoemaking workshop and no doubt Huling and Reader are self-described she’ll take another. “Not only are you in an “conscious consumers.” Not only are they inspirational environment, but the people committed to making fun, fanciful and func- behind it are inspirational, too.” tional shoes, they also upcycle and recycle as much of the material as possible. For Shoe school campus example, the rubber cup soles are partially Colorado Shoe School is headquartered in made from recycled tennis balls. A painter’s Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s drop cloth Reader saved from the dumpster territory, in Bellvue near Fort Collins. The


Annabel Reader and Dan Huling in front of a World War II train car they converted into a residence.

“They are not creating shoes for others. They are facilitators helping people be creative to make wearable pieces of art.” — Peggy Lyle “campus” would make Willy Wonka proud. leather pieces together, putting in gromThe couple’s creative touches and impressive mets for laces. Personalized creative touches DIY abilities are on display in a wood-fired are encouraged. Students routinely create hot tub made from an old stove and horse one-of-a-kind shoes with a bold mix of trough and a World War II train car Huling colors and patterns and custom cutouts of found in a salvage lot in Nebraska. everything from cacti to flaming hearts. To house the couple’s collection of swag Students are encouraged to write a goal lamps and plants, Huling bravely cut a large or mantra into their shoes. This stems from hole in the train car’s roof to create a soaring Reader inscribing the note, “You got this” in atrium. The tiny train house is available for a pair of shoes created just before she did rent by students and may eventually house something challenging. “Now every time I an artist in residence. Shoe school classes wear those shoes I feel empowered,” she says. are held in a cozy 600-foot studio purposely Huling and Reader serve as both cheerbuilt above a garage so students have the leaders and coaches. As Lyle puts it, “They sense of being in a tree house. are not creating shoes for others. They are There’s a lot to learn in shoe school. A facilitators helping people be creative to one-day sneaker-making workshop lasts make wearable pieces of art.” Reader agrees: eight hours and is limited to four or five “Some students come to learn how to make students. Once students decide on a color shoes, most come to express their creativity scheme, they choose between a high- or low- through the shoes they make.” top sneaker. Then comes measuring and Huling and Reader’s combined backfitting. Shoes can be shaped to fit any size grounds in theater, vaudeville and costume variation, a true blessing for students with and prop design are ideally suited to help an unusually narrow or wide foot. clients create memorable shoes. Says Students are tasked with cutting and Huling, “I am constantly inspired by dyeing the leather, gluing and sewing Annabel’s creative and unique approach

Wearable art made at the school.

“Some students come to learn how to make shoes, most come to express their creativity through the shoes they make.” — Annabel Reader to shoe making. I tend to get sucked into the technical side of shoe making and am impressed by Annabel’s ability to test the outer limits. Having a partner like Annabel makes me feel like anything is possible. We make an amazing team and we encourage each other to be daring and explorative.” The Colorado Shoe School offers a variety of classes ranging from a one-day sneaker-making workshop to a more intensive five-day shoe- or boot-making session. Prices range from $190 to $890, which includes all supplies and hands-on instruction. Currently classes are limited to four students and fill up quickly. For more information, visit their website at www.coloradoshoeschool. com or follow them on Instagram at @coloradoshoeschool. Joanne Palmer is an award-winning freelance writer from Colorado’s Western Slope.




Working Together to Combat Cyberattacks BY PAUL WESSLUND


omputer hacking is a top news story these days, and for years electric cooperatives have focused on blocking cyber threats from interfering with the nationwide electric grid of wires and poles that keeps our lights on. The network of power lines, transformers and substations adds up to an incredibly complex system that reliably brings us the conveniences of modern life. That network is transforming into a “smart grid” these days. It’s adding renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, which call for sophisticated software to keep power flowing at night or when the wind isn’t blowing. Computer algorithms react with the most efficient and reliable operations when forecasts call for storms, wildfires or times of high-power use. Making such modern miracles happen means joining with another dominant part of today’s world: the internet. The blink-of-an-eye speed of balancing the generation of electricity with your flip of a light switch relies heavily on the electronically-connected world. The internet is incredibly useful, but also a target of troublemakers — from lone, self-taught experts to international crime rings.



Electric utilities know this and work every day through their own offices and national organizations on cyber safety. You can take smart steps too, to protect yourself and the electric grid. Because the power grid uses the internet, that means any of your internet-connected devices are also part of the grid: computers, security cameras, printers, smart TVs, health monitors — even cars and lightbulbs can be connected to the internet. Here are the top ways you can defend against hackers:

Lock the front door. If you have wireless internet in your home, the traffic comes in through the router. If you take just one step, create a strong password for that router, and set a reminder to change the password regularly.

Use a secret code. Weak passwords make things easier for hackers. Use combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, combined with numbers and special symbols like “&” or “!”. There are apps to help you remember passwords. A simple notebook can also work, as long as you never lose it and no one else has access to it. And be aware that every major internet-connected appliance

comes with its own factory-installed password you should change right away.

Stay vigilant. If you receive an email with an attachment you aren’t expecting, don’t open it. If you get a message with a link you didn’t know was coming, don’t click it. If the message is from a friend, phone and ask if they sent it — hackers can send messages using your friend’s address.

Stay state-of-the-art. Your computer and other devices regularly offer updates — install them. They often contain security updates to protect against the latest cyber threat, so consistently check emails or messages saying you need to download an update. Go online and check any updates to your device to ensure they are authentic. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has titled this year’s theme, “If you connect it, protect it.” That’s good advice for your home — and for the electric grid. Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.



1 Selling Walk-In Tub


Featuring our Exclusive

Shower Package

Now you can finally have all of the soothing benefits of a relaxing warm bath, or enjoy a convenient refreshing shower while seated or standing. Introducing Safe Step Walk-In Tub’s exclusive Shower Package! ✓ First and only walk-in tub available with a customizable shower ✓ Fixed rainfall shower head is adjustable for your height and pivots to offer a seated shower option ✓ Durable frameless tempered glass enclosure available ✓ High-quality tub complete with a comprehensive lifetime warranty on the entire tub ✓ Top-of-the-line installation and service, all included at one low, affordable price

Now you can have the best of both worlds–there isn’t a better, more affordable walk-in tub!

Call today and receive exclusive savings of


Call Toll-Free 1-888-960-4056 With purchase of a new Safe Step Walk-In Tub. Not applicable with any previous walk-in tub purchase. Offer available while supplies last. No cash value. Must present offer at time of purchase.

Call Now Toll-Free

1-888-960-4056 FINANCING AVAILABLE WITH APPROVED CREDIT CSLB 983603 F13000002885 13HV08744300




Gorgeous Gourd Décor Pumpkin planters create feelings of fall BY VICKI SPENCER



any of my garden stories bring back memories of time spent with my mother. She never thought of herself as artistic but enjoyed craft projects inspired by her women’s magazines. One year, we experimented with making planters out of an abundant crop of pumpkins. Our greatest challenges were preventing mold and defending pumpkin planters against squirrels. Fresh pumpkins, especially Cinderella pumpkins with flat tops, make the best planters. If you don’t grow pumpkins, you can find an assortment at garden and grocery stores or you can have fun picking your own at a local pumpkin patch. Increase the longevity of your fresh pumpkin planters by washing the outsides with a solution of water, bleach and a squirt of dish soap. You can also soak pumpkins up to 24 hours in a solution of 1/3 water and 2/3 bleach. Either way, it’s important to let pumpkins dry completely before carving. Use a sharp knife to cut an opening on the top of the pumpkin, remove seeds and scoop the interior out just like making a jack-o’-lantern. Let pumpkins dry for another day or so. Less moisture inside will



protect against immediate rotting. Preserve your pumpkins even longer by spraying with a coating of matte sealer found in your store’s paint or craft section. Before planting, drill a couple holes in the bottom for excess moisture to drain through and add a layer of small pebbles inside. For the best protection against rot, place small plants in their containers on top of the pebbles and cover edges with sphagnum moss. You can plant directly in pumpkins but you should use new potting soil or soil sterilized by baking 20 minutes and cooling. Chrysanthemums in rich autumn tones are popular for pumpkin planters. Succulents also work well with their gorgeous greens and minimal water needs. They make great centerpieces. Place taller succulents in the center and smaller ones like hens and chicks around the outside along with burro’s tail, which will drape over the edge. You can add dried flowers for more color. It’s also fun to plant kitchen herbs in small gourds but you have to keep them out of direct sunlight. Dramatic effects are created when you cluster pumpkins and gourds of varying

sizes on your porch and steps. The length of time pumpkins will last depends on many factors, including their freshness, heat and humidity. Tricks to make them last longer include rubbing the outsides with peppermint oil or petroleum jelly and putting them on 1/4-inch-thick cardboard pieces to absorb moisture from the ground. Be sure to keep indoor planters away from heat. I learned this lesson the hard way when my first planter started smelling and totally collapsed in my hands from mold inside when I tried moving it. Yuck! Outdoor planters last longer if placed in a covered area where they won’t be exposed to rain or snow. Since planters typically last a month, you should start planning now for Halloween and Thanksgiving displays. 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.


Make your home more comfortable than ever

Your upgrade from couch to first class has been approved.

Whether you want to sleep, read or watch TV the perfect sleep chair is . . . Just perfect NOW

“To you, it’s the perfect lift chair. To me, it’s the best sleep chair I’ve ever had.”

also available in Genuine Italian Leather and New Chestnut Color (as pictured here)

— J. Fitzgerald, VA

Three Chairs in One Sleep/Recline/Lift

ACCREDITED BUSINESS A+ You can’t always lie down in bed and sleep. Heartburn, cardiac problems, hip or back aches – and dozens of other ailments and worries. Those are the nights you’d give anything for a comfortable chair to sleep in: one that reclines to exactly the right degree, raises your feet and legs just where you want them, supports your head and shoulders properly, and operates at the touch of a button. Our Perfect Sleep Chair® does all that and more. More than a chair or recliner, it’s designed to provide total comfort. Choose your preferred heat and massage settings, for hours of soothing relaxation. Reading or watching TV? Our chair’s recline technology allows you to pause the chair in an infinite number of settings. And best of all, it features a powerful lift mechanism that tilts the entire chair forward, making it easy to stand. You’ll love the other benefits, too. It helps with correct spinal alignment and promotes back pressure relief, to

prevent back and muscle pain. The overstuffed, oversized biscuit style back and unique seat design will cradle you in comfort. Generously filled, wide armrests provide enhanced arm support when sitting or reclining. It even has a battery backup in case of a power outage. White glove delivery included in shipping charge. Professionals will deliver the chair to the exact spot in your home where you want it, unpack it, inspect it, test it, position it, and even carry the packaging away! You get your choice of Genuine Italian Leather, stain and water repellent custom-manufactured DuraLux™ with the classic leather look or plush MicroLux™ microfiber in a variety of colors to fit any decor. New Chestnut color only available in Genuine Italian Leather Call now!

The Perfect Sleep Chair®



Genuine Italian Leather


classic beauty & durability

Long Lasting DuraLux™

Mahogany (Burgundy)








stain & water repellent

MicroLux™ Microfiber

breathable & amazingly soft


Footrest may vary by model

Because each Perfect Sleep Chair is a made-to-order bedding product it cannot be returned, but if it arrives damaged or defective, at our option we will repair it or replace it. © 2021 Journey Health and Lifestyle COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2021



Name That Fly Does a fly’s moniker mean much? BY DENNIS SMITH



ome of my fly-fishing buddies can identify the order, family, genus and species of trout stream insects; distinguish between males and females; tell you what stage of development they’re in; and how many veins they should have in each wing. How they can tell the sexual identity of a minuscule mayfly is beyond me, but it’s certainly a fun frill to accompany a campfire story of, “I caught one this big”. Many anglers take a serious interest in this fragment of fly fishing. After all, insects are central to the sport, aren’t they? I’ll admit it’s fascinating, but it can become confusing quickly. I can identify a few species of aquatic insects and tell you their commonly recognized names — or at least I think I can. But even then — because the colors and markings of some vary from region to region and, in some cases, from stream to stream — I’m never really certain. To further cloud the issue, the popular name of an insect may differ from one section of the country to another. For example, a Pale Morning Dun mayfly in the Rocky Mountain west might be known



as a Little Sulphur in Pennsylvania and a Light Cahill in the Catskills. Add the Latin, scientifically-assigned taxonomic designation to the mix and things start to get hairy real fast. In the entomologists’ world, the common Green Drake mayfly is known as Ephemerella guttulata, and the little yellow stone flies we fishermen simply call Yellow Sallies are referred to as Alloperla caudata by aquatic biologists, but if you ask for a dozen of those in your local fly shop, you’ll just get a bunch of strange looks. Consider that we haven’t even mentioned the catalog of endlessly imaginative monikers given by inventive fly tiers to their feathered creations. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of them: Woolly Buggers, Zoo Cougars, Pink Ladies, Royal Coachmen, Sparkle Duns, Rainbow Warriors… Like I said, the list is endless — and imaginative. And the inspired names often bear absolutely no relationship to the insect they supposedly mimic. The universally popular Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph, for instance, is generally thought to imitate a caddis fly larva, but you’d never know that from

its name. So, is knowing the names and taxonomic classification of all these flies important? Does it help us catch more fish? I’m not sure. It can seem unnecessarily academic on the one hand, but there’s a kind of mystical, poetic logic to it all on the other. Understanding which insects are likely to be active and attractive to the fish at certain times of the year can help you decide which flies to select. That can provide a sense of purpose and instill a bit of confidence. But the trout don’t care. Their lives depend on these flies and they don’t know the names of any of them; they just eat them. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at Click on Outdoors under Living in Colorado.



Pine needle of the Ponderosa Humble, sturdy, once green, now golden messenger of autumn abundance and forest regeneration Liberated landing into fallen dangles coming to points Gathered into skirts, then twisted, turned and tied into orderly rounds of God’s bounty Reborn as vessels for juniper berries kinnikinnick and other backyard harvest of plenty

2022 PHOTO CONTEST expressions THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES: • Hometown Pride • Awestruck • Pure Enjoyment • Nostalgia Enter for a chance to win cash prizes and your photo on the cover of the March 2022 issue of CCL. Visit for official rules and to enter.

Christy Hansen Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

Rocky Mountain Autumn

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT and CIRCULATION Publication Title: COLORADO COUNTRY LIFE; Publication No.: 469-400; Filing Date: 9/17/21; Issue Frequency: Monthly; No. of Issues Published Annually: 12; Annual Subscription Price: $9; Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor Publisher: 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Editor: Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; Managing editor: Not applicable; 10. Owner Full Name: Colorado Rural Electric Association; Complete Mailing Address: 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Known Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None; Tax Status: (For completion by nonprofit organization authorized to mail at special rates). The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Has not changed during preceding 12 months.

Extent and nature of circulation A.

Total number of copies printed (net press run)


Paid and/or requested circulation 1. Paid/requested outside-county mail subscriptions 2. Paid in-county mail subscriptions 3. Other non-USPS paid distribution 4. Other classes mailed through USPS

Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months

Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date













1. Outside-county copies



2. In-county copies




Total paid circulation (total B1 through B4)


Free or nominal rate distribution by mail

3. Other classes mailed through USPS



4. Other classes mailed outside USPS




Total free or nominal rate distribution (sum of D1 through D4)


Total distribution (sum of C & E)


Copies not distributed




Total (sum of F & G) — should equal net press run shown in A




Percent paid circulation




Electronic copy circulation a. Paid electronic copies







b. Total paid print copies + paid electronic copies



c. Total print distribution + paid electronic copies



d. Percent paid (both print and electronic copies)



I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). Mona Neeley, publisher 09/17/21

New England boasts of maple leaves in vibrant russet tones. The West Coast has perpetual spring — Fall’s equinox is unknown. But, the Rocky Mountain region is the jewel in nature’s crown. Pine trees stand in silent awe as the Aspens paint the town. The hillsides yield a treasure trove of sparkling gold doubloons, that captivate all our senses, then steal away far too soon. Autumn in the mountains is a season beyond compare. So simple is its beauty, yet its vision is all too rare. Cynthia Bullock Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? 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 Include your mailing address and name of your local electric co-op. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2021



Want to work from home? Tired of the scams?

We are a legitimate work from home company Call Carrie 303-579-4207

Live Healthy Retire Younger

Stop feeding prairie dogs. We’ll rent hunting rights from you.

Seriously looking for duck & goose habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules.


Buying anvils—blacksmith tools— cast iron (Griswold & Wagner). Old toys – colored pyrex – cowboy hats, boots, & spurs. Will come to you & we buy whole estates!

970-759-3455 or 970-565-1256

Wanted: Jeep CJ or Wrangler. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets.


Need Help Paying Back Taxes?

Protective Sleeves: 100% Guaranteed

The IRS has several options for you.

Especially if you owe over $10k

Tax Relief Helpline 888-449-0466


for minerals and oil/gas interests, producing and non-producing.

800-733-8122 I want to purchase mineral and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201 Pull Behind Sprayer Cimarron - 60 gal. w/boom & wand. $1000 firm. Like new condition. 720-352-3580

• Prevents Cuts & Scratches • Durable Soft Leather • Adjustable Air-Flow • 651-492-4830

DRAMATIC CHANGES ARE TRANSFORMING ALL ASPECTS OF THE ENERGY INDUSTRY. Colorado’s electric cooperatives present the hybrid 2021 CREA Energy Innovations Summit – bringing both live and online audiences together to discover, engage and connect to learn more about how electricity is the answer for a sustainable future.


CO N G R ATS Paula Meany, Lewis Empire Electric Association



8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MST In-Person & Virtual Event Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver

REGISTER TODAY Scan for more information and to register or go to



Cars, Art & Ingenuity When an old furniture store closed its doors in downtown Yuma in October of 2017, local businessmen Ron Wenger and Richard Birnie bought the dilapidated storefront on Colorado’s eastern plains. After a complete renovation, they reopened the building in 2019 as The Orphanage, billed as an “auto-themed gallery space.” The Orphanage quickly became an event-oriented harbor for northeastern Colorado’s flourishing art community, as well as a showplace for “orphaned” vehicles. Recently, following Wenger’s appointment to the Forney Museum of Transportation board and Forney’s mutual exchange program, The Orphanage has become the temporary home for some of the Denver museum’s vintage cars and carriages. Photo of the 1955 Messerschmitt courtesy of The Orphanage. 

Why the name?

What’s coming at The Orphanage?

“Orphan cars are those whose manufacturers no longer exist,” Richard Birnie explains. That applies to the many vehicles on display at The Orphanage with names like Renault, REO, Messerschmitt, Studebaker and Crosley. Earlier this year, the space also included a collection of toy pedal cars and pedal tractors from private collections and the Forney Museum. And the facility has hosted a wide range of events, including anniversaries, high school proms and business meetings.

The Orphanage has showcased the work of dozens of artists, photographers, sculptors, quilters, authors, crafters and artisans since opening two years ago. September’s showcase was the “Yuma Art Association Sampler,” featuring the paintings and drawings of Yuma artists. The October show, called “A Wray Palette,” displays the talented work of artists Patti Bohall, Jody Buck and Cindy Musgrave. November 5 to December 5, the unique “antiphotography” from the camera of Tanya Flemister will be featured.


WHERE IS THE ORPHANAGE? 300 S. Main St. Yuma, CO Email: Open Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. 1-4 p.m.

Visit The Orphanage’s website and see a list of guest vehicles currently on display and those previously featured at COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2021







WINNER: “No bull, I like Colorado Country Life,” says reader Rick Atwell, a Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member.

Connie Hatfield, a Sangre de Cristo Electric consumer-member, celebrates her 85th birthday in Kona, Hawaii, with snorkeling at Pu´uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and her CCL magazine.

Colorado Country Life travels to Carlsbad Caverns with Mountain View Electric Association consumermember Danielle Daigle-Chavez.

One of my favorite memories was when my daughter Marni was about 7 years old. She was in the family room alone with the TV. Every once in a while, I would hear a little scream. It didn’t seem serious, but she kept doing it. I finally went into the room and asked her what was going on. She was holding a small bottle and a lid and said, “I’m trying to catch my scream in the jar, but I can’t get the lid on fast enough!” Pat Berridge, Grand Junction Grand Valley Power consumer-member We were recently driving through Denver during a very heavy rain and thunderstorm. My 13-year-old granddaughter, Claire, was listening to music on her earbuds, and took them out to declare, “Isn’t that weird how the rain suddenly stops while it thunders?” Her mom chuckled and replied, “We just drove under a bridge.” Diane Plassmeyer, Livermore Poudre Valley REA consumer-member I was telling my 4-year-old granddaughter on her birthday that her twin brother was a little older than her because he had been born first. “I know,” she said, “we talked about it and he said he would go first.” Shelly Winter, Colorado Springs Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member When our son Travis was little, one of us always followed his sneezes with a “Bless you!” One day, after an especially explosive sneeze, he beat us to the punch and said, “Wow, I really blessed you!” Katy and Dave Ahrens, Calhan Mountain View Electric Association consumer-members

Patti Fix enjoys CCL while on a trip to the Cherry Hut in Beulah, Michigan. She is a consumermember of K.C. Electric Association.

Yampa Valley Electric Association consumer-members Michael and Susan Gaffney enjoy CCL while visiting Rifle Falls near Rifle, Colorado.

K.C. Electric Association consumer-members Zeb and Zoe Mousel, enjoy CCL in the front room of their home in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

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, address and your local co-op to We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Wednesday, October 13. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at

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 OCTOBER 2021




Colorado companies looking out for your little ones Experience Easier Excursions Parker-based Parker Baby Co. products help ease the burden of traveling with baby so you can spend more time doting on your little darling. PBC’s diaper backpack comes with a changing pad and can haul all of baby’s necessities — and yours — and its multi-use cover is a 4-in-1 superstar that can be used to cover car seats, shopping carts, highchairs and, when hunger strikes, Mom. Yes, it converts to an attractive nursing cover! For information, visit

Buffer Baby’s Bum Bum Like all great entrepreneurial endeavors, Rumparooz was developed because of a need — the need for a diaper that could withstand a baby’s waste while protecting the little one’s skin. Born in 2006, Rumparooz took off and is now a U.S. patented product sold worldwide through Golden-based Kanga Care under the direction of Julie Ekstrom, founder and CEO. Today, Ekstrom showcases several brands and offers a wide variety of options in a range of colors and patterns. For information, visit Watch “Birth of Rumparooz Cloth Diaper:”

Strap in for Safety Denver-based Safe Ride 4 Kids was created to protect some of our littlest traveling companions and stands behind the brands it advocates: TummyShield® and the RideSafer® Travel Vest. TummyShield ($169) is a seat belt positioner for expectant moms that helps protect her developing baby when she drives, and the RideSafer ($165) is a lightweight, portable, crash-tested and safety-certified child restraint for children as young as 3 years old. Check out these car safety products and more at



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

Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Colorado Country Life October 2021 Y-W  

Colorado Country Life October 2021 Y-W

Colorado Country Life October 2021 Y-W  

Colorado Country Life October 2021 Y-W

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded