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December 2015


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December 2015


Cover design by Donna Wallin, associate editor. Photograph by Brent Ward at Stained Glass Sugar Cookie recipe on page 20.



4 Viewpoint

20 Recipes

5 Letters

22 Gardening

Rural Colorado still exists and is served by electric co-ops

Rodelle shares some of its most prized baking delights

6 Calendar


24 Outdoors

Co-op News

12 NewsClips 14 Staving Off the Common Cold

Radiant floor heat may be the cure for cold floors, cold feet, cold homes

16 Vanilla — It’s Complicated

Christmas cookies wouldn’t be the same without the Colorado company


paid to Leonardo Hoffschneider simply for entering our monthly Funny Stories contest


Crafts to light outdoor spaces and gardening that’s for the birds This hunter enjoys the beauty of a day with a dog

25 Energy Tips 29 Funny Stories 30 Discoveries


Extra content:

x x

This month’s online extras ➤ F IND more fun holiday events for the entire family ➤H  EAR presentations from CREA’s Energy Innovations Summit ➤ LEARN  how to strip vanilla from a vanilla bean ➤W  ATCH instructions for making your own garden lanterns ➤D  ISCOVER how solar lights make a difference in Haiti


estimated year that the Totonac Indians are believed to have cultivated the vanilla orchid Source: Rodelle


of people decorate a Christmas tree during the holidays in the United States. Source: Hallmark

The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 46, Number 12 COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor@303-455-4111; Donna Wallin, Associate Editor; ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276,; NCM@800-626-1181 SUBSCRIPTIONS:

EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: • Twitter: @COCountryLife Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly for $9/$15 per year by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. 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.


Outside the City Limits

Rural Colorado still exists and electric co-ops serve those who live there BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG


Does rural Colorado matter? A recent story in The Denver Post program should bring to our rural comtitled “Colorado Rurality an Urban Legend” points out that nine munities. But we also are reminded that out of 10 people in Colorado live in urban areas. So, while many there is another challenge for these new people envision Coloradans living in wide open spaces or moun- businesses in terms of doing business in tain majesty, that is more myth than reality. rural Colorado: the cost of electricity. Turns out, 80 percent of all jobs in Colorado are located in a Rural electricity rates are typically higher corridor of nine counties from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, than those in urban areas simply because according to a study by Headwaters Economics cited by the there are fewer customers to share the article. When an additional six counties that include smaller costs of co-op facilities. Serving in these Kent Singer cities, such as Grand Junction and Durango, are included, that low-population areas, electric co-ops number moves up to an astonishing 89 percent. In other words, have an average of only seven customers per mile of line comnearly 90 percent of all the jobs in Colorado are located in just 15 pared to the 34 customers per mile of line for investor-owned of Colorado’s 64 counties. utilities and 48 customers per mile of line While this economic boom is great for for municipal utilities. Denver and other cities along the Front As some of Colorado’s rural counties Range, many Colorado counties have experienced population declines and job been left out, with only 11 percent of the losses, it has become even more difficult state’s jobs spread among the 49 remaining for the local electric co-op to provide counties. An official with the Colorado affordable electricity. And, as nonprofit Office of Economic Development and entities, co-ops must recover all of their International Trade recently observed that expenses from their member-owners. while the Denver metro area has largely If there are fewer members to share the recovered from the 2008 recession, “the costs, rates will increase. That often rural and more outlying areas of Colorado results in an increasing number of co-op haven’t seen the same level of recovery.” member-owners having a hard time payWhat’s the relevance of all this to ing their monthly electricity bills. the Colorado electric co-op program? Another challenge for co-ops is the Colorado’s electric co-ops serve Colorado’s electric co-ops mostly serve in increasing number of customer-owned the 49 counties left out of the those 49 counties left out of the recent job power generation units, such as on-site state’s recent job growth. growth. While some suburban neighborsolar panels. This, too, means declining Most co-op service territories hoods along the Front Range are served revenues from the remaining customers. by co-ops, most co-op service territories This is why affordability is so important are located in sparsely are located in sparsely populated counties. to electric co-ops. Their member-owners populated counties. Co-ops serve 70 percent of the state’s landrely on electricity to run their businesses mass and bring electricity to every corner and homes in areas where jobs are scarce of the state. and incomes are stagnant. The Colorado legislature has long recognized the economic Access to affordable electricity is a critical element of the challenges facing rural Colorado, and earlier this year it passed economic survival of rural Colorado. Today, Colorado’s electric legislation creating a rural Jump Start program. Under this proco-ops play an important role in providing that electricity and gram, businesses that locate in economically challenged areas supporting an economic recovery that includes all corners of the of the state will receive exemptions from state income and sales state, corners where rural Colorado still exits. taxes, as well as local business personal property taxes. Employees of those businesses may be eligible to have their state income taxes waived. A pilot of the new program is scheduled for next year before it is rolled out statewide. We at the electric co-ops applaud the Jump Start program and are ready to work with the new businesses and people this Kent Singer, Executive Director

From all the Folks at the Colorado Rural Electric Association — Happy Holidays 4



[ letters] Clean Power Plan Viewpoints To say I am disappointed (with Kent Singer’s September Clean Power Plan comments) is an understatement. The column is misleading, factually inaccurate and likely wrong in its claims that electricity costs will skyrocket because of CO2 reductions. It doesn’t seem like the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s views are consistent with (my local electric co-op), which is rebranding itself, modernizing and positioning itself for a new energy paradigm.

Jeff Troeger, Steamboat Springs

I wanted to compliment you on the evenhanded, yet principled, position you took on your (September) editorial. I, too, care deeply about keeping the beauty of the Colorado mountains as pristine as we can afford to; but the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has acted unilaterally and without any pretense at cost-benefit analysis is outrageous. I hope that the lawsuits that challenge the EPA’s methods are successful and lead to a more nuanced and effective approach to long-term clean air goals. Existing plants should at least have a glide path to operate through their remaining useful lives to avoid stranded asset costs by permitting existing depreciation schedules to run through to completion.

Don O’Neill, Winter Park

Support for Electric Co-ops I enjoy reading Colorado Country Life, especially the quotes from kids, but also most of the other articles. Really appreciate our electricity — especially when it comes back on after an outage. Thanks to all the crews.

Sharon Clifton, Coaldale

Lamenting a Throwaway Society The back cover of the October magazine was offensive to me. The “Replace, Never Repair Damaged Extension Cords” was a punch in the gut for those of us who still know how to work with our hands. Your “throwaway society, buy new stuff at the big box stores” promotion of consumerism is part of the problem with America. I have cords that are 20-plus years old that are better maintained and repaired and trustable than anything new.

Dwayne Seibert, Black Forest





Through December 23 Golden The Polar Express™ Train Ride Colorado Railroad Museum 303-279-4591 December 4-6 Boulder Holiday Festival CU Macky Auditorium 303-492-8008 • December 4-5 Colorado Springs Christmas Crèche Exhibit 8710 Lexington Drive 6-7 pm December 4-5 Durango Old-Fashioned Christmas Bazaar Animas Museum 970-259-2402 December 4-January 4 Fort Collins Garden of Lights Gardens on Spring Creek 5-9 pm • December 5 Bellvue Stove Prairie Winter Festival Stove Prairie Elementary 10 am-4 pm • 970-488-6575 December 5-6 Cortez Crafts Bazaar and Lunch St. Margaret Mary’s Church Hall 8 am-3 pm • 970-564-1468 December 5 Durango Community Christmas Bazaar St. Mark’s Parish Hall 8:30 am-3 pm • 970-247-1129 December 9 Cortez “Snowflakes and Other Wintry Things” Concert Montezuma-Cortez High School Auditorium 7 pm •




December 11-13 Aspen Locals’ Weekend The Little Nell and Other Locations December 11 Denver “Christmas Lights of Denver” Bus Tour Denver Areas 4:30-9:30 pm • 303-866-2394 December 11 Granby Town Birthday Celebration Historic Train Depot 11 am-2 pm • 970-887-2311 December 12 Bayfield Frosty’s Holiday Craft Fair and Farmer/Flea Market Bayfield High School/ Old BMS Gym 9 am-2:30 pm • 970-903-4294 December 12 Cañon City “Spirit of the Season” Appreciation Night Fremont Center for the Arts 6-8:30 pm • 719-275-2790 December 12 Estes Park Dasher 5K/Fun Run Town Hall dasher-5k/ December 12-13 Fort Collins Shop the Avery Carriage House Boutique The Avery House 1-4 pm • 970-221-0533 December 12 Golden Holiday Sweater Party Foothills Art Center 12:30-2:30 pm 303-279-3922 x 32 December 13 Beulah Yule Log Celebration Pavilion at Pueblo Mountain Park 1 pm • December 13 Littleton Holiday’s Evening Littleton Museum 5:30-8 pm •

Trail of Lights

Through January 2, Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, Littleton

Feast your eyes on a stunning array of colorful light displays in a charming country setting. The Gardens, decorated with holiday magic and synchronized music in the children’s play area, are sure to delight the little ones and the young at heart. Free hayrides, a warming hut and fire pit are available on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit

December 14 Denver “Friends in High Places” Lecture History Colorado Center 1-2 pm • 303-866-2394 December 18-19 Durango “The Music Man” Theater Performance Durango Arts Center 7 pm • December 18-20 Monument Christmas Cantata Palmer Ridge High School December 18-20 Pueblo Santa at ElectriCritters Pueblo Zoo 6-8 pm • December 19 Burlington Breakfast With Santa and Mrs. Claus Burlington Community Center 9 am-12 pm • 719-346-8918 December 19-20 Grand Lake “Home for the Holidays” Theater Performance Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre 970-627-5087 December 19-21 Lakewood “The Nutcracker” Ballet Lakewood Cultural Center 303-945-4388 •

December 19 Wiggins Holiday Craft Fair Wiggins Elementary Gym 10 am-3 pm • 970-380-1888


January 1 Evergreen Evergreen Lake Plunge Evergreen Lake 12 pm •

January 2 Colorado Springs Delicious Downtown Food Tour Downtown Colorado Springs 2:30-5 pm January 3 Denver Colorado Connections Tour Denver Botanic Gardens 2 pm •

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE TO: CALENDAR Colorado Country Life 5400 N. Washington St. Denver, CO 80216 Fax to 303.455.2807 or email calendar@ Items will be printed on a space available basis. For more information on these and other events, visit


[Country News] Clean Power Plan Will Negatively Impact Electric Co-ops BY DAVID CHURCHWELL || GENERAL MANAGER


On Monday, August 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized its rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, dubbed the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was placed into the Federal Register on Friday, October 23. The rules are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent below levels recorded in 2005. But given its complexity and far-reaching nature, it might as well be called the “National Energy Policy Regulation of 2015” because it will have significant consequences for how we generate, distribute and use electricity in this country for decades to come. The state specific emission rate limits require Colorado to cut overall carbon dioxide emissions by 28 percent using 2012 as the benchmark. Colorado will not receive any credits for projects built prior to 2012 that resulted in lowering carbon emissions. The Clean Power Plan outlines a 15year time frame leading to final compliance with several milestones along the way. In an effort to comply with the Clean Power Plan, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper released the Colorado Climate Plan in September. This plan includes a statewide strategy to mitigate emissions and to increase Colorado’s level of preparedness. Recently, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman joined 23 other states in jointly filing a lawsuit to stop the Clean Power Plan questioning its legality. (Jessica Chambers Acct. # 603870022) Over the past two years, electric co-ops across the country have worked hard to ask the EPA to go back to the drawing board and develop a plan that is more

achievable and affordable. Together, electric cooperative advocates submitted more than 1.2 million comments to the EPA over these rules. That’s nearly 30 percent of all the comments EPA received from all interested groups. Unfortunately, despite that effort, the EPA “put the pedal to the metal” and finalized the rules. We asked co-op members to submit comments because the EPA’s rule will raise the price of electricity and potentially endanger the reliable power that we work hard to provide every day.

Part of the cost increases will come from prematurely shutting down power plants that are in good working condition. Like any business, co-ops plan a specific life span for these assets and spread out the costs over decades to keep electricity affordable for members. Despite claims from the EPA, this rule will undoubtedly increase monthly electric bills. It’s not yet clear by how much, but the previous proposal had a national average increase of 10 percent in 2025, with some states seeing higher increases and other states seeing lower increases.

(And that’s 10 percent over any inflation-adjusted, otherwise normal projections.) Part of the cost increases will David Churchwell come from prematurely shutting down power plants that are in good working condition. Like any business, co-ops plan a specific life span for these assets and spread out the costs over those decades to keep electricity affordable for members. If we’re forced to shut down those plants early, then we not only lose that source of affordable power, but will also have to purchase replacement power from the marketplace with less price-point predictability. And you — our members — will end up paying twice. That’s just not fair, especially since the Clean Air Act says the EPA is supposed to consider the “remaining useful life” of a power plant when setting standards. The possibility of closing power plants also raises concerns about reliability. Plants are connected points on which electric grid operators rely for power. Without these assets, it will increase stress on the grid — especially during extreme weather events. The EPA expects co-ops and other utilities to make up the lost power with additional renewable resources, natural gas and energy efficiency. Each of these options is a good component of an overall energy mix, and co-ops across the country have been developing new technologies to harness them. But each also has its disadvantages. Co-ops make it a pri[continued on page 8] DECEMBER 2015


[Country News] Clean Power Plan [continued from page 7]

ority to balance all of our energy sources, along with helping consumers save money by conserving energy where possible. But the final rule will put us into a rush to transition to more renewable resources and natural gas without consideration for the time needed to build the new infrastructure (like natural gas pipelines and more electric transmission lines) needed to make those resources more realistic for co-op members in Colorado. The EPA is in uncharted waters with this incredibly complex scheme, and it’s difficult to predict how the timeline will play out. Each state covered by the rules will have a few years to submit a plan to the EPA demonstrating how the state will comply with the EPA mandate. Colorado’s plan will have a big impact on what electric co-ops, along with the other utilities in our state, will have to do and how much it will cost. (WIN Chuck Keller Acct. #1115370001) But rest assured: While that work is going on, we will continue to stand up for our members. We’re fighting for you and have joined with co-ops from across the country in seeking legislative and legal remedies to protect your interests.

K.C. ELECTRIC’S SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES K.C. Electric Association has scholarships that are available to high school seniors who are served by K.C. Electric: 2 — $1,000 scholarships from K.C. Electric Association 1 ­— $1,000 scholarship from Basin Electric Power Cooperative 2 — $500 scholarships from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association One application makes the student eligible for all of the above scholarships. Application forms and copies of rules and procedures for the scholarships are available online at Additional copies are available by calling Ben Orrell at K.C. Electric at 800-700-3123. Applications must be received at K.C. Electric by January 16, 2015, which is the second Thursday in January. (Autumn Sims Acct. #430500003) Mail your application to:

K.C. Electric Association ATTN: Ben Orrell PO Box 8 Hugo, CO 80821

Scholarship program requirements: Scholarship may be used at any college, university or trade school. ❏ Complete the application, attaching additional sheets if needed. ❏ Applicant must be a high school senior with a minimum grade point average of 2.5. ❏ Enclose student’s most recent high school academic transcript. ❏ Enclose a copy of student’s college entrance examination scores (ACT and/ or SAT). ❏ Enclose an essay written by the student (details of essay are in the application). ❏ Enclose one letter of reference from a teacher, counselor or employer. ❏ Parents or legal guardian(s) must be consumers or persons receiving electric service from K.C. Electric Association. ❏ Please enclose a recent photo of student. Please make sure that every senior gets this information. Note: Applications have changed. Do not use application forms from previous years. Download the application from the website at Go to Community tab and select Scholarships, then click on Download application. Or call Ben Orrell at 800-700-3123 or 719-743-2431 for more information.

Remember to close your fireplace damper (unless a fire is burning). Keeping the damper open is like leaving a window wide open during the winter, allowing warm air to escape through the chimney. Source: 8



[Country News] STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION K.C. Electric Association is the recipient of federal financial assistance from the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or disability. The person responsible for coordinating this noncompliance effort is the general manager. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: U.S. Department of Agriculture Director, Office of Civil Rights Room 326 – W, Whitten Building 1400 Independence Ave. SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 Or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. (Ally Way Café Acct. #452100003)

K.C. Electric’s offices will be closed December 24 and 25 and January 1, 2016.

emori es m y p p a s and h t n e m o mas. t m s i l r u h f i t au y t h is C o j h t May be i w d you ings of s s e l b e surroun h r hope t u o s i t eac e and p I u o y g mas brin t s i r year. h w e C n e h t ghout joy throu

Happy Holidays from K.C. Electric DECEMBER 2015


[Country News] THE COUNTRY KITCHEN CORN BREAD SALAD 4 packages for small loaves of corn bread 1 package bacon 3 tablespoons dried parsley for color (optional) 1 red pepper, finely chopped 1 green pepper, finely chopped 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 4 celery stalks, finely chopped 2 tomatoes (use fresh only) garlic salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese jalapeños, chopped (optional) Bake corn bread following package instructions. While corn bread is baking, fry a package of bacon. Crumble cooled bacon slices. When corn bread is done, crumble in a big bowl and add parsley. On a cookie sheet covered with alumnium foil spread corn bread mixture and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until crisp. Mix all vegetables in a large bowl, add garlic salt and pepper and stir to combine, add mayonnaise to create flavor. Pour in bowl with corn bread and stir. Add in 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir. Once it is all mixed, top with remaining shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. Serve and enjoy. You can add chopped jalapeños on top with the bacon and cheese for added flavor. Jessica Weeks, Hugo


Each month, K.C. Electric offers consumers a chance to earn a $10 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your 10-digit account number in this magazine, call 719-743-2431 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. In Octobe, Rod Child of Arriba called to win a prize and Terry Thomas of Vona, Robert Taylor of Cheyenne Wells and Dawn Mitchell of Stratton called to claim their credit. 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).

MOIST HOLIDAY DRESSING 2 (4 ½-ounce) jars sliced mushrooms, drained 4 celery ribs, chopped 2 medium onions, chopped ¼ cup minced fresh parsley 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1 ½ pounds day-old bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 13 cups) 1 ½ teaspoons salt 1 ½ teaspoons rubbed sage 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon pepper 2 eggs 1 (4 ½-ounce) can chicken broth

In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, celery, onions and parsley in butter until the vegetables are tender. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes and salt, sage, poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper. Add the mushroom mixture. Combine eggs and broth, add to the bread mixture and toss. Transfer to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Makes 12-16 servings. (Vivian Richards Acct. #1008270000) Alice Jensen, Hugo 10



Protect Your Pipes When Old Man Winter turns up the chill, don’t forget about your home’s pipes. To prevent water pipes from freezing, keep faucets turned on slightly so that water drips from the tap. Know how to shut off water valves just in case a pipe bursts.




Electric Co-ops Focus on Innovations in Energy


Updates on wind generation technology, what’s happening with net metering, an outlook for natural gas, today’s advances in battery storage — these were just some of the topics covered in this year’s CREA Energy Innovations Summit October 26 in downtown Denver. The daylong program was packed with experts from all parts of the energy industry and a variety of viewpoints were presented to the more than 250 attendees. A highlight of the day was the lunch presentation by Dr. Donald Sadoway of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who explained his liquid metal battery. Sadoway was excited about how this battery can help create storage that will allow the electric grid to further incorporate resources that are currently not reliable enough to be an “always available” energy source. The new liquid metal battery designed by his students at MIT and now being Donald Sadoway developed by Ambri is a grid-scale storage technology that will be available for use by a variety of participants in the electric industry. This new technology is flexible, able to respond in milliseconds to grid signals and has an amazingly long life span. And

Members of the opening panel of the CREA Energy Innovations Summit discuss the evolving electric utility paradigm and who will be supplying electricity in 2025.

it is emissions free, operates silently and has no moving parts, which also adds to its long life span. The day’s programs closed with a look at new regulations that are changing the way utilities serve their customers as more distributed, customer-owned generation, such as solar panels, is incorporated into the grid.

Have You Returned the Magazine Survey?

S Co-op Bike Team Raises $6,800+ for EOC


Powering the Plains team members rode 172 miles in the Pedal the Plains bike tour of eastern Colorado this past September and raised $6,823.80 for Energy Outreach Colorado. Colorado’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ team and the co-sponsoring electric co-ops raised more than $3,848 for EOC, $2,500 of which was matched by power supplier Basin Electric. Another $425.80 from the bicyclists’ registration fees was donated to EOC in the co-ops’ name by the Pedal the Plains organization. Supporting the Powering the Plains team and its efforts for Energy Outreach Colorado were the Colorado Rural Electric Association, Colorado Country Life, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, K.C. Electric in Hugo, Highline Electric in Holyoke, Poudre Valley REA in Fort Collins, Morgan County REA in Fort Morgan, Mountain View Electric in Limon, San Isabel Electric in Pueblo West, San Miguel Power in Ridgway, Southeast Colorado Power in La Junta, United Power in Brighton, White River Electric in Meeker, Lewis Roca Rothgerber in Denver and Wright & Williamson in Sterling. Energy Outreach Colorado raises funds to provide low-income Coloradans with home energy assistance. Contact EOC at 303-825-0766 or




Some of you received mailed surveys from Colorado Country Life earlier this fall. If you didn’t return it, you then received a follow-up survey a couple of weeks ago. Please fill out the survey and mail it back by December 11. We are interested in finding out how well-read the magazine is. Do you read it each month? What do you read? Who else do you share the magazine with? We want to know. We appreciate your help as we work to make Colorado Country Life an even better magazine.

Did You Know? Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 terawatt-hours of electricity (compared to no LED use). This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1,000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices. — U.S. Department of Energy


Carbon XPRIZE Goal: Solutions for Greenhouse Gas Emissions


5/2017 6/2016 10/2017 2/2020 Designed to encourage research into ROUND 2 ROUND 1 TEST FACILITIES ROUND 3 SUBMISSION breakthrough technologies that will SUBMISSION DEADLINE OPEN TO TEAMS OPERATIONAL DEADLINE LATE SUBMISSION PERIOD ENDS 9/2015 convert carbon dioxide emissions DEADLINE LAUNCH from power plants and industrial facilities into valuable products, 3/2020 9/2016 9/2017 5/2019 3/2016 the Carbon XPRIZE was launched WINNERS ANNOUNCED SEMIFINALISTS FINALISTS ANNOUNCED ROUND 3 REGISTRATION AND GRAND PRIZE ANNOUNCED AND MILESTONE PURSES OPERATIONAL DEADLINE by the California-based XPRIZE PURSES AWARDED ROUND 2 BEGINS AWARDED AND PERIOD BEGINS Foundation with the help of the ROUND 3 BEGINS country’s electric cooperatives. Among the initiators is Colorado electric co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Westminster. Also pledging significant support are Basin Electric Power Cooperative in North Dakota and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the co-ops’ national trade association. The 4.5-year contest will take two tracks — one focused on testing technologies at a coal-fired power plant owned by Basin and one at a natural gas generation facility in Calgary, Alberta. Financial backing for the $20 million global Carbon XPRIZE comes largely from NRG Energy and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. According to Jim Spiers, NRECA vice president for business and technology strategies, the three most likely technologies to become finalists are bio fuels, bio mimicry (building materials) and graphene, a carbon “miracle material” that could make silicon a has-been as a semiconductor.

For more information on this push to “reimagine CO2,” visit

Electric Co-ops Work to Bring Light to Ethiopia About 65 million businesses and households (two out of three people) lack access to reliable electricity in the African country of Ethiopia. Electric co-ops, through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s nonprofit international foundation, are working to change that. NRECA International and the World Bank signed a contract to help the government of Ethiopia draft a strategy to expand access to electricity. In October, a team from NRECA International began work in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa on plans to improve the country’s electric infrastructure. “An increasing number of world leaders now recognize that reliable access to electricity is critical for sustainable economic growth,” said Dan Waddle, NRECA International senior vice president.




Staving Off the

Common Cold Radiant floor heat may be the cure BY CRAIG SPRINGER


You could call it the cure for the common cold — cold floors, cold feet and cold houses. Electric radiant floor heat may not be well known in the heating industry, and especially among consumers, but it is not necessarily the newest concept. It’s been around a while, at least since the Roman Empire. The concept is simple: Heat the flooring and the objects on the floor — the furniture, rugs, carpet, tiles and wood — and they will radiate the warmth into the room. Heat, after all, radiates toward cooler surfaces. Here’s an example. Grab your hot coffee mug. You can feel the heat from the hot brew not only rising, but also radiating from the sides and the bottom. Radiant energy is a transfer of heat to a cooler surface, in this case with your hot brew, into your hands holding the cup. While heated air rises, the heat itself — the energy — radiates in any direction but always toward a cooler surface. Your comfort in the home relies not only on the temperature of the air around you, but also on radiant heat transfer. In the depths of winter, your forced-air furnace blows warm air on you, but your feet are cold. That’s because heated air rises and the coolest air swirls around your toes. Radiant heat delivers controlled, comfortable heat without air ducts, dust and noisy furnaces where it matters most: where you live in your home, not at 8 feet above the floor near the ceiling. Electric radiant heat is installed in a number of ways in the flooring via cables, mats, films or mesh netting, all with a




Floor-heating systems work well in large rooms. Multiple mats can be connected to a single thermostat. Source: Watts Radiant

heating element. Through much of the tion on the flooring type. You can use it 20th century, hot-water wall radiators under wood, tile or natural stone. were popular for heating homes. You can The benefits of radiant heat extend still find them in old homes, most often as to heating your home where and when a visual relic or a makeshift plant stand. you need it. The heating systems can But with the advent of air-conditioning, be set with programmable thermostats heated air was delivered through the same to economize on energy consumption. air conditioning ducts, and soon took Moreover, you can heat the rooms by over and remains dominant. zoning — heating where you need it when But radiant heat is seeing a resurgence. you want it. The square footage of homes heated in the Other radiant heat sources include mats United States by electric and films. Some are installed in the conradiant heat is increasing at a steady rate. “About crete between joists and others laid 5 percent per year,” says directly under carpet or wood floors. Mark Eatherton, executive director of the The technology is really starting to catch Radiant Professionals on in the United States. Alliance. “Among new housing starts, 5 percent more homes each year are heated by radiWhile electric radiant panels can be ant heat.” This steady growth should be used to heat an entire house, you can also no surprise, Eatherton says. “It’s economi- use the technology to heat small problem cal. It’s easy to install. It’s reliable.” areas like a cold bathroom, chilly kitchen For additions to a home, electric panels or drafty sewing room. With the divercan be laid easily beneath the flooring. sity of products and applications, there’s There’s no furnace and there’s no limitavirtually no limit to where the

[industry] ogy can be used. Electric radiant heat in particular solves heating problems for additions and remodels where removing the existing heating source or tapping into it isn’t practical. And that’s where I recently found myself, facing the problem of heating a new home-office addition but not being able to tap into the existing hydronic radiant heat — a system of water-filled tubes in the foundation heated by a natural-gas boiler. The choices for the addition were few. There was forced air, but that’s loud and dusty and the office would be too much like a motel room with that type of heater. A woodstove had potential, but like the forced-air heaters, dust was a concern. Baseboard heaters were too bulky. They would limit furniture placement and reduce usable square footage in the new addition. So here’s what we did: research. And that led us to a suite of products developed in Europe and South Africa. Under the hickory floor of our new home office lies a flexible, 1/12-inch-thick heating pad that was rolled out over the underlayment. The heat source is an ultra slim four-layer film of foil, literally rolled out over an underlayment. For do-it-yourself homeowners, it’s a product of merit. It’s warm and quiet and takes up no space at all, save for a programmable thermostat on the wall. These products integrate well with several programmable thermostats operated via your home’s Wi-Fi, such as the popular Nest thermostat. Other radiant heat sources include mats and films. Some are installed in the concrete between joists and others laid directly under carpet or wood floors. The technology is really starting to catch on in the United States. Through the Scandinavian countries you’ll see that electric radiant heat is quite prevalent. The Nordics even use it to melt ice outside. Water-based hydronic radiant heat can be cost prohibitive up front. Plumbing and boilers with slurry to cap the piping system are expensive. An electric floor warming system can be put under most floors without major investments. Not only does electric radiant heat have a benefit on your pocketbook, there are other benefits to using this new technology to heat your home. Without

Electric floor-heating systems are available for a variety of floor surfaces, including tile, stone, carpet and hardwood. Source: WarmlyYours

This electric radiant heat system is a simple, safe and efficient alternative to mechanical systems or multi-step mortar installation processes. Source: Watts Radiant

forced-air heating, you’ll see a reduction in allergens, pollutants and dust blowing through your house. Floor warming can reduce dust mite infestations by as much as 80 percent. For allergy sufferers, that’s significant. There are no vents, no drafts, no loud furnaces or boilers and no unsightly vents to hide with curtains, and fewer limitations on furniture placement. According to the Radiant Professionals Alliance, you could see a reduction in the cost of utilities by using radiant heat over more common heating methods. You’re not forcing air out windows and doors and you are not heating air. You are heating objects — your floor and furnishings are the radiators.

Before you buy, be sure to have a proper system designed and make sure the product can be used for your specific floor coverings. With radiant heat, you’re not spending money on air above your head and you get to keep humid air in your house instead of drying it out with forced air. And let’s not forget comfort. The Romans were on to something, this cure for the common cold. If your feet are your body’s thermostat, then warm feet warm the body. Craig Springer lives in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, where he writes about people, nature, outdoors and history. DECEMBER 2015


Vanilla It ’s Complicated BY MARY PECK

For bakers and chefs, and really anyone who loves and reveres that magical spice we call vanilla, Santa’s workshop might as well be planted on the south side of Fort Collins. Inside these unassuming walls, tens of thousands of vanilla beans are processed every day by Rodelle, Inc., an 80-yearold baking product manufacturer renowned for its superb products that are preferred by culinary professionals and loyal home cooks. The richly fragrant, exotic pods making their way along Rodelle’s production line primarily hail from Madagascar, Uganda and India. Rodelle is one of the country’s largest importers of vanilla beans and producers of retail vanilla, processing 20 percent of the world’s beans. Anyone familiar with the brand knows Rodelle’s vanilla products are among the best on the market.



“Vanilla is so inherent in baked goods because it’s a flavor enhancer,” Jenna Baker said. “Your mom’s Christmas cookies wouldn’t taste the same without the vanilla extract.”


“We want to provide the purest ingredients for the best products, along with its unique vision and philosophy prices with the best quality,” said Jenna Baker, Rodelle mar- appears to be a recipe for success. Last year, Rodelle exketing manager. “There are a lot of different competitors panded its Fort Collins operations, giving it the capability out there. We distinguish ourselves by providing a product to produce the highest quality pure vanilla extract in the people can trust.” United States, according to Baker. The 65,000-square-foot That commitment to quality and headquarters is the country’s most trust has deep Colorado roots. Rodelle state-of-the-art vanilla extraction landed in Fort Collins by way of Denfacility. ver and the south of France, having Part of the expansion even included been founded by the French Rodelle the construction of a vanilla testing family after its members immigrated laboratory. One key lab test measures to Denver in 1936. Yearning for the vanillin content, the flavor compoThe richly fragrant, exotic pods high-quality vanilla extract they knew nent that gives vanilla its one-of-ain their home country, the family of kind flavor. The best extracts have making their way along Rodelle’s avid bakers soon began producing high levels of vanillin. production line primarily hail from its own premium extract. The highly “Being able to scientifically track Madagascar, Uganda and India. successful business serviced wholesale each step of the vanilla bean crop bakeries across the country for nearly from flower to cured bean to extract Rodelle is one of the country’s larg50 years. leads to a better quality product, a est importers of vanilla beans and Rodelle changed ownership in 1984 more consistent product and ultiproducers of retail vanilla, processing and, not long after, relocated to Fort mately a higher yield of product,” said Collins. The company’s first retail Devon Bruntz, research and develop20 percent of the world’s beans. bottle of vanilla extract was produced ment manager. in 1985, and it focused on growing Today, 65 full-time employees keep that market ever since. Rodelle bustling, and that number While it offers more than 50 products, ranging from swells with temporary help from August to October in lemon extract to baking cocoa to a brisket spice rub, Ropreparation for the busy holiday baking season. delle’s premium vanilla products are its most familiar. They “The most rewarding part has been seeing our Rodelle can be found in 70 percent of all North American grocery family of employees grow over the years,” said co-owner stores and online at In Colorado, look for Joseph Basta. “We’ve expanded our number of employees Rodelle products in King Soopers and City Market, Costco, 10 times since 2000, and it’s been great to be able to provide Whole Foods, Target and Natural Grocers. wonderful jobs and opportunities for our employees to Rodelle’s commitment to producing superior vanilla advance in the company.” [continued on page 18]

Rodelle’s lineup of fine products.



[continued from page 17]

Rodelle Cares … Year-round

At a time of year when most folks seem a little kinder, a little more caring, it’s notable that at Rodelle, a giving spirit is in the air year round. Its leadership team is creating an unprecedented connection with its primary suppliers, which are families of farmers in the developing countries of Madagascar and Uganda. Rodelle’s co-owners visit the growing regions a couple of times each year. “Not many vanilla extract companies have been on the ground in Madagascar and Uganda,” Baker said. “Vanilla is grown so far away from where we are here in Colorado that it’s been a priority of our leadership to show all the employees what our business does ultimately impact.” The company officially partnered with a farming co-op made up of 3,000 farmers in Madagascar, which is helping it become a true farm-to-table vanilla supplier. Soon, Rodelle will be able to receive vanilla beans directly from the farmers rather than going through the traditional collector and exporter model. The partnership will help farmers develop agronomy best practices and create a model farm for other vanilla farmers, enabling them to produce vanilla competitively. Working for the collective good, developing best practices and providing guidance and support are at the heart of the “Rodelle Cares” program philosophy. “At Rodelle, we understand the importance of helping our farmers live a successful, healthy and educated life, so we focus on projects that will improve the overall standard of living. We are dedicated to going above and beyond just creating better baking products. We are focused on changing lives,” Basta said.

A lovely lush valley in Madagascar where the vanilla bean grows.

“Vanilla is grown so far away from where we are here in Colorado that it’s been a priority of our leadership to show all the employees what our business does ultimately impact.” The company’s energy-efficient, safe cooking stove and micro finance projects also had positive impacts on farming villages. Locally in Colorado, Rodelle started programs such as the Vanilla Day 5K to raise money for Hope for Madagascar. Employee volunteers are pen pals with children in Uganda and Madagascar, and the company helps sponsor kids learning. A giving tree for Fort Collins area nonprofits is also created every Christmas.

A meticulous process

The meticulous Rodelle’s manufacturing plant where vanilla is made.



Nothing, really, about growing or processing vanilla beans is easy. Perhaps it’s what makes the spice so special. Vanilla is one of the world’s most labor-intensive crops, making it one of the most expensive. Each vanilla vine is an edible orchid plant, which attaches to shade trees or stakes. It takes about three years for a vine to begin producing flowers, and each vanilla orchid must be carefully pollinated by hand. So far, only small farms have proven to successfully produce quality vanilla beans. Agriculture practices in the developing countries of Madagascar

and Uganda are unsophisticated, and farmers face daily challenges including the poaching of the ancient rosewood trees that hold vanilla vines. A farmer typically works about an acre of land, walking it every day looking for flowers that have opened and are ready to be hand pollinated with a small toothpick-like tool. Each flower produces just one bean. The bean grows for about six months to 7 inches in length. It’s then harvested and cured naturally in the sun for four months to develop flavor crystals — those tiny dark specks inside the bean — before it’s finally shipped. Different vanillas from different regions of the world have unique flavor profiles. Tahitian vanilla has a floral character; Ugandan is earthy; and Mexican tends to be creamier. Madagascar produces the flavor that is known as traditional French vanilla. When it’s extracted, vanilla must meet the Food and Drug Administration standard of identity for vanilla extract and contain at least 35 percent alcohol. Alcohol is the most effective agent for extracting the pure flavor from the beans. While it can’t officially be called vanilla extract, Rodelle does offer an alcohol-free vanilla flavor, which Baker says is quite popular.

T here’s just somet hing about vanilla

Vanilla has a complex flavor profile with hundreds of characteristics that create strong memory associations, according to Baker. It’s a key reason vanilla continues to be a really go-to ingredient for baking, especially at Christmastime. “Vanilla is so inherent in baked goods because it’s a flavor enhancer,” she said. “Your mom’s Christmas cookies wouldn’t taste the same without the vanilla extract.” Because it’s a flavor enhancer, Baker says that baked goods are better with vanilla extract in them. Used in savory applications, it can minimize other flavors and acidity. Some people use it in tomato sauces for that reason. It provides another element of flavor and can be a great secret ingredient. “If you’re looking for a chili recipe for instance, you wouldn’t think to put vanilla in your soup or chili but if you do, it could provide really good results,” Baker said. Rodelle works with a network of bloggers and an executive chef in the company’s on-site test kitchen. New recipes might be inspired by tradition, a season or an emerging trend. Baker noted that Rodelle is always sharing new ways to use vanilla by developing recipes for concoctions with spirits and unexpected savory dishes. Aimee Shugarman, author of the Shugary Sweets blog, is a longtime champion of the brand. “I love the depth of flavor in their vanilla products. Unlike imitation or other brands, I feel you can truly taste the difference,” she said. “And I love what they do for the countries they purchase their vanilla from. They are a good company of people who care, making a difference in this world.”

Bet ter wit h age

As a leading vanilla product producer, Rodelle clearly sets the bar high. In addition to its goal of becoming a true farmto-table operation, the company plans to continue developing products in response to consumer interest and trends. A new Worldly Spices line will be launched next year, inspired by the growing popularity of international flavors. “We really want to celebrate “Each year, new food trends that we’ve been part of so start to emerge, thus giving many baking memories for R&D teams a chance to develop new products for future use,” so long and, to do that and Bruntz said. “Our work in R&D demonstrate our techniques is almost always something and quality and practices different each day, which is exciting.” throughout the years, we’ve This holiday season, extra come out with Rodelle excitement is surrounding the Reserve,” said Jenna Baker, recent release of a limited-batch, ultra premium vanilla extract Rodelle marketing manager. produced in honor of Rodelle’s 80th anniversary. “We really want to celebrate that we’ve been part of so many baking memories for so long and, to do that and demonstrate our techniques and quality and practices throughout the years we’ve come out with Rodelle Reserve,” said Baker. Each bottle of the ultra premium extract was aged for several months in French oak barrels, just as it was in 1936. A single 6.75-ounce bottle retails for $50 and has a vanilla bean in it, making no two bottles the same. “Rodelle Reserve is the best vanilla extract available with the purest of ingredients and a vintage feel that honors the heritage of the world’s favorite flavor,” said Basta. Like all of Rodelle’s vanilla products, the high-end extract somehow captures the heritage, quality and loving cultivation of plants and people. It is the essence of both Rodelle and the ancient spice itself. “There’s a lot of pride in the company to do things right,” Baker said. In the season of light, gifts come in many forms. And, in the heart of Colorado’s Front Range, little brown pods are helping bring joy and delicious flavors to cookie lovers across the state and country while helping create a brighter future for farmers half a world away. Mary Peck is a freelance writer and amateur baker. She lives in northern Colorado with her family of willing taste testers.

Learn how to strip the vanilla from an actual vanilla bean in the short video at




In the Spirit of Sharing

Rodelle dishes out some of its most prized dessert recipes BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Shipshape Shapes To keep your cookie cutters from sticking to the dough, dip them in flour before each cut. Also, cut the shapes close together to use as much dough as possible.

Chill Out Chill sugar cookie dough 20 to 30 minutes before cutting it into shapes. Chilled dough is easier to work with and your shapes will have nice, defined edges.


Get out your cookie cutters and kitchen apron and start baking those holiday treats. We suggest heading to the Rodelle website ( where you’ll find hundreds of heavenly dessert recipes that your friends and family will rave about. Sure, you want to whip up your own tried-and-true recipes, but give these reputable gems a shot. They could find their way into your trusty holiday recipe vault.

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies 1/4 pound butter (1 stick), room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract 1 tablespoon cream 1 1/2 cups flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powder Red and green Jolly Rancher candy, 10-15 of each, crushed

Stout Brownies

1 cup flour 1/4 cup Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate 8 tablespoons butter Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking 4 eggs sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Cream 1 cup cane sugar the butter, then gradually add the sugar, beating until 1 cup brown sugar, packed light. Add the egg, vanilla extract and cream. Beat 1/2 teaspoon salt thoroughly. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup stout (or any dark beer) the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter 2 teaspoons Rodelle Vanilla Extract mixture and blend well. Prepare a clean, flat surface by 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips covering it with flour, enough so that the dough will Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour not stick to the surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll and baking cocoa into a medium bowl. Melt semidough to 1/4-inch thick. Using a larger cookie cutter, sweet chocolate in a bowl in the microwave oven or cut shapes into the dough. Transfer the cutouts to a over boiling water. In a small pan, over medium heat, prepared cookie sheet. Center a smaller cookie cutter melt the butter until just golden brown. Pour brown into the larger cutout; press and gently remove dough. butter into small bowl. Scrape the pan to get the Bake cookies for 5 minutes, until slightly set. Remove brown bits. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle tray from oven and with a small spoon or small utensil attachment, beat together the eggs, sugars and salt sprinkle crushed Jolly Rancher candy into the center of until thick and shiny, about 2 minutes. Continue each cookie. Return tray to oven and bake 5-7 minutes beating on low while alternately adding flour mixture more, until candy is melted and cookies are golden. and wet ingredients, finishing with vanilla extract. Do Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into a before setting on wire rack to cool completely. floured 9- by 9-inch pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Visit for more holiday recipes.





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Do you need a great gift idea? Did you know that you could get a Colorado Country Life subscription for $9 in-state and $15 out-of-state? All you have to do is call 303455-4111 and the nice people at CCL will take care of the details.




Create a Glimmering Garden Fun crafts that will illuminate your outdoor spaces BY KRISTEN HANNUM || GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG


Everyone loves lights during this festive time of the year. They invoke a sense of holiday spirit and appreciation of all that surrounds us. But there is another place where twinkling magic happens: out in the garden. Over the years I have set out paper bag lanterns (the traditional luminarias of New Mexico) along the front walkway for guests, arranged sturdy, homemade watercolor paper lanterns on a snow-covered table in the yard and hung glass jar lanterns from the long branch of our honeysuckle tree on a cold winter’s night. They were all lovely, like stars shimmering in the bare winter landscape. Candlelight creates homemade garden art of the most ephemeral, loveliest kind, summer or winter. And with today’s battery-powered flameless candles, some of which actually flicker, you can set out your lanterns without fear of fire.

Glass jar lanterns

Glass jar lantern

You will need a stock of used glass jars, wire hangers, needle-nose pliers, sand or gravel and tea candles. Wrap the wire hangers around the necks of each jar with needle-nose pliers. Scoop sand or gravel into the bottoms to keep the candle from knocking around. Drop a tea candle into the bottoms and then hang them from the branches in your garden.

Paper bag lumninaires Paper bag luminarias

Paper bag luminarias You will need paper lunch bags, cardboard, a craft knife, sand and tea candles, flameless or real. Cut some cardboard so you can place a piece into the bottom of each lunch bag. Cut a star or tree shape into one side of each bag with a craft knife. Or use a star-shaped paper puncher and punch out a bunch of stars all around the bag. Fold the top edges of the bags over once or twice all the way around to help them stand up better, put a scoop of sand in the bottom of each and then push tea candles into the bottoms.

Watercolor lanterns These are the classic Waldorf lanterns made with heavy white Bristol paper (140-pound, 11 by 15 inches). You will also need watercolors, watercolor brushes, jojoba oil, Mason jars, glue, masking tape, sand and a tea candle. Use the watercolors to make the paper colorful. After the paint dries, rub the paper with jojoba oil (or cooking oil). This gives it a translucent quality. Roll your painted sheet of paper around the Mason jar and glue the edges together; while the glue dries place a strip of masking tape over the seam — lay on side with the Mason jar inside. Once the glue dries, remove the tape, place jar in upright position, put sand in the bottom and press your tea candle inside.

Watercolor lanterns


previous gardening columns at Kristen Hannum is a native Colorado gardener. Email or write her with wisdom or comments at 22




Gardening That’s for the Birds

House Finch

Photo courtesy Kay Home Products

moving in and taking over. Cleanliness is key to staying warm, cooling off and flying right if you’re a bird. A birdbath is an easy and often beautiful addition to the garden. Buy a pedestal type and put it near protective shrubbery to keep the birds safer from cats. Birdbaths are especially important in arid areas, but even if you live near a lake, a puddle-sized birdbath will attract visitors. George Adams, author of Gardening for the Birds, How To Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard, urges gardeners to take on the difficult challenge of providing thawed water for birds in the winter. Winter sun may do the trick, but he advises going for guaranteed results by installing a stock tank deicer or heating element especially designed for birdbaths. “I know a lot of people who started out with sterile backyards and transformed them into great bird habitats,” Kress says. “They talk about how much fun it is.”

Photo courtesy Kay Home Products


Gardening with an eye to attracting birds, plus the butterflies and bees that come along with them in the springtime, means gardening with a completely different mind-set than we’re used to. So why do it? The joy of creating a lovely home for a wide variety of colorful, lively birds turns out to be reason enough for most gardeners. But there’s more: gardeners report that an amazing satisfaction comes with doing something to help threatened birds. The National Audubon Society and the U.S. Department of the Interior say there’s been a 70 percent decline in populations of common backyard birds since 1967. If everyone made just a corner of their yard more bird friendly, that could help turn those declines around. “So many problems seem beyond individual action,” says Dr. Stephen Kress, vice president of bird conservation for the Audubon Society. “But we can make a difference for birds.” The best place to start, Kress says, is in your own backyard. Gardeners in rural areas, like so many of Colorado Country Life’s readers, are especially well-equipped to help birds because so many of them also favor rural life. It’s not difficult. Simply think in terms of being a good host, making sure that your little guests have refuge, food and water, and that you don’t accidentally poison them with pesticides or herbicides. A bird feeder is a good beginning, a first hop toward seeing your property from a bird’s point of view. The busy little birds at the feeders near a window are undeniably entertaining. Bird feeders can also help wintering birds make it through the coldest days. Don’t choose a birdhouse by its cuteness scale. That darling Victorian may be completely wrong for the birds you’re hoping to attract. Bluebirds, for instance, need doors that are one and a half inches in diameter. That discourages larger birds, namely aggressive starlings, from

Photo courtesy Kay Home Products


American goldfinch Male northern cardinal




Bird-Dog Business

Skilled canines are a marvel in action



WiseSavers In addition to using 70 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, LED holiday light strands are brighter, eco-friendly and safer, as they are much cooler to the touch than incandescent lights. Source:

The first time I went on a pheasant hunt in Colorado was a disturbingly long time ago. But I remember it like it happened yesterday because, well, for one thing, it was supposed to be a duck hunt. However, when we arrived at our destination near Crook, the air was bone-cracking cold and the duck pond was frozen thicker than a Manhattan bomb shelter. Sigh. We were trudging back to the truck when Sage, our little Labrador retriever, suddenly flushed a big cock pheasant from beneath a frozen dome of rabbitbrush. It shot straight up in a trailing plume of snow, ice and feathers, then lined Fin, a 15-month-old Labrador, sits at heel waiting for the out for the other end of the field. I command to deliver the bird to Steve Armstrong while Paul Sica watches. was struck dumb at the sight and just stood staring at it in disbelief. recently earned both his Junior Hunter However, to the obvious delight of the and Certified Pointing Retriever titles dog, one of the boys had the presence from the American Pointing Labrador of mind to shoot at it. Sage raced off to Association (quite an accomplishment for make the retrieval and immediately upon a puppy not yet 15 months old), and Steve dropping the bird at Derek’s feet began was anxious to show us his little chambouncing around excitedly with a look on pion at work. I jumped at the chance, but her face that distinctly said, “To heck with chose to tag along with a camera instead the ducks. Let’s hunt pheasants.” So we of a shotgun. did, and we bagged a three-man limit in Unless you hunted behind one, you just under four hours. can’t appreciate the fluid grace, precision Despite the number of times we hunted and astounding discipline of a highly pheasants since, that proved to be the only trained bird dog in action. Fin quartered time we ever limited out on the big color- back and forth in front of us, head high, ful birds. The sad fact is pheasant hunting nose in the air, testing the currents for the on public land in Colorado is an extremely telltale scent of a hidden pheasant, all the dicey game; we simply don’t have the num- while carefully maintaining a comfortber of birds found in neighboring states. In able distance ahead of his hunters. When fact, most of the devoted pheasant hunters his nostrils filled with scent, he went rigid I know enroll in private hunting clubs or as a rail, quivered excitedly from head to make annual pilgrimages to pheasant rich toe, stretched his neck in the direction of states like Kansas, Nebraska or the Dako- his prey and waited for Steve’s next comtas. Some do both. mand. At the signal, Fin flushed the bird, Last fall, my friend, Steve Armstrong, sat patiently until given the command to and his two buddies, John Dodge and Paul retrieve, then rushed off at top speed to Sica, invited me to accompany them as a pick up the pheasant and return to the guest hunter at Stillroven Farms, a prestihunter with his prize, where he sat at heel gious hunting club near Mead where they until given the command to deliver the are members. Steve’s yellow Labrador, Fin, bird. Watching him was a thing of beauty. Miss an issue? Catch up at Search for Outdoors.




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If your family is used to opening the windows for fresh air in the house, winter months can be a challenge. People often think the filter on their heat pump will take care of indoor air quality. It does help remove particles from the air, but only the ones that stay suspended. Central heating systems with efficient variable-speed blowers, which run slower and longer, will improve air quality. Bringing fresh air into the house is necessary and not always inefficient. Since the heat content of the air itself is not high, opening several windows on a windy day can exhaust much of the stale, chemical-laden air. It only takes a couple of minutes to freshen the air. Another option is to have a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning Photo credit: Boran contractor install a damper in the return duct. The damper is ducted through a filter and leads to the outside of your Graphic shows the indoor home. When and fresh air flow paths in running the an efficient heat recovery bathroom fan or ventilation system. range hood, the negative pressure created will draw fresh air indoors. When there is no negative pressure, the damper stays closed. The most efficient method to bring in filtered fresh air is a heat recovery ventilation system. The outgoing stale air transfers most of its heat (up to 80 percent) to the incoming cold fresh air, and vice versa during summer. Most models have their own duct system. Window models, similar to a window air conditioner, are effective for a single room, and they can be controlled by a timer or a humidity sensor. Learn more about better indoor air at Look under the Energy tab for Energy Tips.







BELIEVE in Magic

If your dishwasher has an energy-saving cycle, use it to save energy and money.



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HELP WANTED LEGITIMATE WORK AT HOME opportunity. No sales, investment, risk. Training/website provided. Monthly income plus bonuses, benefits. Call Carrie 303-579-4207, ourabundance (932-02-16)

CLOCK REPAIR & RESTORATION www.clockrepairandrestoration. com DURANGO AREA. CLOCKS of all kinds repaired. Antique and modern. Clocks bought and sold. Call Robert 970-247-7729. (109-12-15)


FOR SALE ALLEN ORGAN - 2 manual, full foot pedals. Needs new home. Value $1200. Priced to sell, OBO. Buena Vista, 719-395-4966 (272-12-15) NORSE 290 with chains, D shaft logging 3-pt winch tree skidder. 165’ cable, barn kept, never used. $1250. 719-428-5063 (269-12-15) OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS - $380 with warranty. Also sell portable concentrators and oxygen supplies. Repair and service of equipment. Aspen Concentrator Repair Service 719-471-9895 (040-12-15) SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North America’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. THE place to sell equipment. 800-459-2148. (26709-16)

REAL ESTATE 40 ACRES, 15 miles west of Walsenburg, CO on CR520. Fenced. Prime grazing. Small 2bd recently upgraded trailer on property with tenant. 8-10 gal./min. domestic well. $87,500 OBO. Owner may carry. 719-251-1131, 719-989-0850, 719-738-3500, ptapia.healthtrac@ (207-12-15)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the classified advertisers. Thank you for your presents in Colorado Country Life in 2015.


OWN PROPERTY? NEED INCOME? We’ll rent exclusive hunting rights from you. Looking for antelope, goose, duck, coyote, & prairie dog habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules. 303-460-0273 (069-12-15)

RELIGION BECOME AN ORDAINED Minister by correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Rd, Ste 1 - #114, Peoria, AZ 85381. (44112-15)

TICKETS NFR & PBR RODEO TICKETS – Las Vegas. Call 1-888-NFR-Rodeo (1888-637-7633). www.NFR-rodeo. com A+ rated BBB Member. (91201-16)

VACATIONS GROUP ON PRINCESS CRUISES to Alaska, 7 nights, July 30. Roundtrip Seattle. Includes Glacier Bay and coastal towns. $100/person deposit to hold cabin. Call Bon Voyage, 719-596-7447. (226-01-16)

VACATION RENTAL BAYFIELD ATTIC INN – Downtown Bayfield, Colorado. 1 bedroom, ¾ bath, tv. $75/nt or $500/wk. 970-759-6957, (263-01-16) KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-2456500;; (756-05-16)

D.R. FIELD OR BRUSH MOWER, either walk behind or tow behind. Tom 970-581-1552. (12-15) NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ (817-12-15) OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1975. Call Wes 303757-8553. (889-02-16) OLD COWBOY STUFF – hats, boots, spurs, chaps, Indian rugs, baskets, etc. ANYTHING OLD! Mining & railroad memorabilia, ore carts! We buy whole estates. We’ll come to you! Call 970-759-3455 or 970-5651256. (871-01-16) OLD GAS AND OIL items: Gas pumps, advertising signs, globes, etc. Pieces, parts, etc. considered. Also 1932-34 Ford cars and trucks, parts and pieces, too. Any condition. Brandon, 719-250-5721. (519-11-16) OLD POCKET WATCHES – working or non-working and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209. (87012-16) WANT TO PURCHASE mineral and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-03-16) WANTED: JEEP CJ OR WRANGLER. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets. 888-735-5337 (099-04-16) WE PAY CASH for minerals and oil/gas interests, producing and nonproducing. 800-733-8122 (09902-16)

FIND HIDDEN TREASURE IN THE CLASSIFIEDS Read through the ads and FIND the CCL classified explaining how to WIN a $25 gift card. It’s easy. You could WIN. The classified ads November winner was Gina Lopez from Towaoc. She correctly counted 35 ads.




Colorado Country Life really gets around …

[funny stories] When our daughter Elara was 4 years old, we were driving around town looking at Christmas lights. We were pointing out all the lights to her and oohing and awing as we drove past the mall. As we drove past a large, lit-up Christmas wreath above a storefront, we heard from the back seat, “Ooh! Look Mommy and Daddy! A Christmas hole!” Mark Lomax, Denver

e, irley Dur fe Bill and Sh . al re Is in t Monumen

Just before Christmas, a friend of ours broke her leg while cross-country skiing. She had surgery the day after Christmas and was confined to a wheelchair for eight weeks. With limited mobility, she was homebound for a month. After receiving her doctor’s permission, she and her husband drove to Eagle to visit their daughter and grandchildren. Upon arrival, her 5-year-old grandson looked at her wheelchair and said, “I like your stroller, Nana!” Charlotte Boylan, Grand Junction

, Jean Barak David and ya Ken Peyton, in

Jean Foran, Calhan in Vermont. John Weninger took his copy of Colorado Country Life to New Orleans to the Cafe Du Monde.

Several years ago I was working at our local big box store at Christmas time. To help parents get a little kid-free shopping in, I set up a table at the front of the store and stocked it with coloring books, crayons, paper and pencils. I watched the kids while their parents shopped and the kids promised to stay put until their parent came back to get them. Soon I had a group of kids happily drawing and coloring. One particular young boy was intently staring at me. I guessed that he was admiring my pretty hairdo, makeup, jewelry and nice outfit. He finally looked me straight in the eye and asked, “When you were little, were you a girl?” I just couldn’t stop laughing because I thought I looked really girly. What a blow to my ego! Art Linkletter was right when he said, “Kids say the darnedest things.” Anita Hermosillo, Durango

Grandson: “Grandma, why did you leave your face in the water so long?” Me: “I didn’t. Why?” Grandson: “Well, your face is all wrinkled like my fingers when I leave them in the water for too long.”

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 a $25 gift card each month. The next deadline is Friday, December 18. This month’s winner is John Weninger from Granby. He and his wife, Cathy were visiting New Orleans and took the magazine with them.

Denise Carver, Cortez 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. The year’s winner is Leonardo Hoffschneider from Pagosa Springs. Send your 2016 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.

$15 DECEMBER 2015



Get Cha-cozy

COVER YOUR CORD Light your holidays outdoors without the risk of electrical shock with the Cord Dome. Because the Cord Dome is designed to keep wetness from creeping in to wiring, you can confidently plug in multiple products and simply leave the gadget to do its work. In addition, the Cord Dome is UV resistant and comes with ground spikes so you can secure it tightly to the ground. Buy your Cord Dome at local retail and big-box stores. Prices range from $20 to $30. For more information, visit

Tailgating, hunting, fishing, attending sports games: We love our outdoor activities. But even with all the blankets, beanies and gloves we cover ourselves in, it’s tough to keep warm in the colder months. Chaheati’s All-Season Chair is a terrific solution to keeping your backside toasty no matter the temperature. The Chaheati All-Season Chair is cordless and comes with four temperature settings, so you can adjust the heat to your satisfaction. It folds up for easy storage and comes with a rechargeable battery and an armrest cup holder and is also water and fire resistant. Already attached to your outdoor chair? Opt for the Chaheati Heated AddOn. Simply fit the accessory on your chair and get the same results. The Chaheati All-Season Chair retail price is $109.99; the Chaheati Heated Add-On costs $99.99. Available at sports retail stores and at

Dome. win a Cord ur chance to number ne o ph Enter for yo address and e, m na Be sure ur Send yo loradocoun co @ ts line. We t es ec nt bj to co e” in the su m o D rd o st in ember 9, ju to include “C ner on Dec in w e th e will choos ors. your outdo time to light

The Backpack that Packs a PUNCH While the 1 Voice Mapmaker FYL Backpack is beautiful in design, its function takes center stage. Designed with a built-in charger, your smartphone and other portable devices will remain powered throughout the day. And when the charger runs out of juice, simply recharge. The Mapmaker also includes padded compartments to keep your devices safe and secure while you’re on the go. The Mapmaker FYL Backpack costs $159 and is available at

See how it works:

Sprightly, Sightly SolarPuff A SolarPuff adds the charm and elegance you desire for your lighting needs. The eyecatching, origami-style light is solar powered and gracefully illuminates indoor and outdoor spaces. Simply charge the light in the sunshine for five to eight hours and enjoy eight to 12 hours of beautiful incandescence. The SolarPuff fabric is also water resistant, lightweight, flexible and recyclable. The SolarPuff costs $30 and is available at Check out this heartwarming video of the SolarPuff lighting Haiti and Nepal: watch?v=dKDJ9RkwPfw. 30



Enter CCL’s Photo Contest • Enter CCL’s Photo Contest


Colorado Country Life’s


Photo Contest 1. SPRING




1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place $150


Rules: Please follow all guidelines carefully. All

photos and files become the property of Colorado Country Life and will not be returned. Winners will be published in the April 2016 magazine.

1. E ach photo must be accompanied by the entry form (right). It must be signed. Do not paperclip to photo.





Title for entry (to appear if published)

2. Do not write any information on front or back of photo.

Name Phone

3. M  aximum number of entries per photographer per category: 2


4. Photographers may win no more than one first place prize. 5. Digital entries may be submitted to info@coloradocountry with the form on the right scanned and signed. Digital entries must be at least 8- by 10-inches in size and at least 300 dpi. 6. Printed entries must be at least 8- by 10-inches and printed on glossy paper. Send printed entries to: Colorado Country Life, Photo Contest, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Remember to include a signed entry form with each photo to be eligible. 7. P hotos printed on home printers will not be accepted. 8. Photos must be received by 5 p.m., January 4, 2016.



State ZIP

Electric co-op you are a member of Email Please check the season your photo was taken ❏ Spring

❏ Summer

❏ Fall

❏ Winter

By submitting this photo, I am giving Colorado Country Life permission to use the submitted photo in the magazine and/or on its social media sites.


Date DECEMBER 2015





Colorado Country Life December 2015 KC  

Colorado Country Life December 2015 KC

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