VANILLA IT’S COMPLICATED
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Cover design by Donna Wallin, associate editor. Photograph by Brent Ward at www.brentwardphoto.com. Stained Glass Sugar Cookie recipe on page 20.
Rural Colorado still exists and is served by electric co-ops
Rodelle shares some of its most prized baking delights
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
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; email@example.com Donna Wallin, Associate Editor; firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276, email@example.com; NCM@800-626-1181 SUBSCRIPTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: email@example.com • Website: coloradocountrylife.coop • Facebook: facebook.com/COCountryLife • 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 coloradorailroadmuseum.org December 4-6 Boulder Holiday Festival CU Macky Auditorium 303-492-8008 • cupresents.org December 4-5 Colorado Springs Christmas Crèche Exhibit 8710 Lexington Drive 6-7 pm coloradospringscreche.org December 4-5 Durango Old-Fashioned Christmas Bazaar Animas Museum 970-259-2402 animasmuseum.org December 4-January 4 Fort Collins Garden of Lights Gardens on Spring Creek 5-9 pm • fcgov.com/gardens 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 • mancosvalleychorus.org
December 11-13 Aspen Locals’ Weekend The Little Nell and Other Locations thelittlenell.com 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 epmarathon.org/other-races/ 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 • bvartcouncil.org December 13 Littleton Holiday’s Evening Littleton Museum 5:30-8 pm • littletongov.org
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 botanicgardens.org/events/specialevents/trail-lights.
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 • durangoarts.org December 18-20 Monument Christmas Cantata Palmer Ridge High School firstname.lastname@example.org December 18-20 Pueblo Santa at ElectriCritters Pueblo Zoo 6-8 pm • pueblozoo.org 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 rockymountainrep.com December 19-21 Lakewood “The Nutcracker” Ballet Lakewood Cultural Center 303-945-4388 • balletariel.org
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 • drive-smart.org
January 2 Colorado Springs Delicious Downtown Food Tour Downtown Colorado Springs 2:30-5 pm rockymountainfoodtours.com January 3 Denver Colorado Connections Tour Denver Botanic Gardens 2 pm • botanicgardens.org
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@ coloradocountrylife.org. Items will be printed on a space available basis. For more information on these and other events, visit coloradocountrylife.coop. coloradocountrylife.coop
WHITE RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
[White River] White River Electric’s Gift to You BY ALAN MICHALEWICZ | | GENER AL MANAGER | | AMICH@WREA.ORG
On behalf of White River Electric Association, I want to wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday season. As we celebrate the season, we are ever thankful for the many blessings here at White River Electric and within our community. We also want to share a special greeting filled with compassion and support for those enduring Alan J. Michalewicz difficult times, or who are away from loved ones this time of year. The holiday season is also a wonderful time to emphasize our appreciation for our country’s military and their dedicated families. The military’s year-round sacrifice and dedication is particularly meaningful during the holidays. White River Electric is always thankful for its board of directors’ strong leadership and the hard work of our talented staff. White River Electric’s success depends on sharing a common vision, based upon common values, while utilizing our diversified skills. Our vision and values are easily defined: providing our members with safe, reliable electricity at the most reasonable cost possible with a commitment to customer and community service. This disciplined mission has helped WREA tackle challenges since we planted our first electric pole in 1945. It was particularly helpful as we navigated issues that impacted our wholesale power costs beginning in 2013. WREA’s bold decision to challenge our wholesale power supplier’s rate design at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission proved successful and, after much work, resulted in a rate reduction for all rate classes. Last year’s successes and financial stability also paved the way for a bill credit for all meters in December 2014. We believe every dollar counts, and we hope these savings made a small but important difference to our members. Our most recent effort to find value for our membership came in the form of WREA’s Power Rebate (also known as the capacity commitment program). WREA enrolled in our power supplier’s capacity program in 2014, and thanks to strong electric loads, WREA successfully met all of the program’s requirements in 2014. This success will be shared with our members through the WREA Power Rebate on your November bill that arrives the first week of December. The WREA Power Rebate will be issued to all meters based upon each meter’s 2014 electric use. The average
Power Rebate will be about one-half of an average monthly bill. All rate classes, including residential, small commercial and industrial, will receive the Power Rebate. Members with greater average electric use will receive a larger Power Rebate. We like to think of this year’s Power Rebate as our version of a stocking stuffer and hope it sweetens the holiday season for our members. The WREA Power Rebate program is a limited program and we don’t know yet if we will hit our milestones for 2015. Our board encourages our staff to find value for our members whenever and wherever possible. As a rural electric cooperative, it is our job to work every day to maximize value for our membership. We look forward to tackling the unknown challenges and seizing opportunities in the new year in an effort to fulfill our mission to serve our membership. On behalf of our staff, the board of directors and my family, I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year.
A Tim e for Givin g
As we approach the holiday season, White River Electric Association reflects on the good fortune it was able to pass on to the membership in the last year. White River Electric is thankful for the opportunity to give back. ❅ A 2014 year-end bill credit of $750,000 paid to the members based on their usage ❅ Patronage capital credits totaling $1,266,154 returned to members based on electric revenues in 2001 ❅ Over $12,000 in rebates awarded to members who made qualifying efficiency upgrades in 2014-2015 ❅ A 2015 Power Rebate in the form of a bill credit to all members based on their 2014 electric usage. The rebate equals about one-half of one month’s average electric bill and the rebate is our holiday gift to you
[White River] Ready Your Home for Winter Weather
Using energy more efficiently, especially heating during cold months, can cut the amount of money you spend on your utility bill. Energy.gov reports that heating and cooling account for about 48 percent of a typical U.S. home’s energy use. This makes it the largest energy expense for most homes. The Energy Education Council shares tips to help you make energyefficient choices to help you decrease your monthly utility bill. Start your energy efficiency check with your furnace. Replacing a dirty filter will increase the airflow and make your home more energy efficient, with the added benefit of cleaner air in your home. The money and energy you save each month will practically pay for the cost of a new filter. If it is time to replace your old furnace, look for energyefficient models. Furnaces with an Energy Star rating usually exceed federal standards for energy efficiency and can make choosing the right model that much easier. Installing an energy-efficient furnace can reduce your energy consumption and the cost of heating your house. Check your home for air leaks. Depending on the location of the leak, there are a variety of actions you can take to plug the leak. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends the following steps: ❏ Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows that leak air. ❏ Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards and other places where there may be air leaks. ❏ Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets. ❏ Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use. Turning the thermostat down a few degrees when you are away from home or sleeping also helps reduce your monthly utility bill. For an even more hassle-free option, you can install a programmable thermostat that will automatically turn
the heat down when you need it to and can begin heating your home before you wake up. Other money-saving steps include opening your curtains to naturally heat your home, setting your ceiling fan to spin clockwise to blow warm air down and adding insulation in your walls.
For more information on the safe and smart use of energy, visit EnergyEdCouncil.org.
ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 958 Meeker, CO 81641-0958 STREET ADDRESS 233 Sixth Street Meeker, CO 81641 970-878-5041 [phone] • 970-8785766 [fax] www.wrea.org [web]
BOARD OF DIRECTORS William H. Jordan, president Hal W. Pearce, vice president Richard L. Parr, secretary Stan B. Wyatt, treasurer Gary H. Dunham Ronald K. Hilkey Richard R. Welle Alan J. Michalewicz, general manager
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. coloradocountrylife.coop
Keep Your Information Safe Online BY ALLISON GOLDBERG
Keeping your personal information secure online might seem like a difficult task, thanks in part to nearly constant news of breaches, bugs and hacks. Luckily there are steps you can take to increase your online security and decrease the likelihood that a malicious hacker will steal your private data.
Be skeptical Bring the same skepticism you bring in the brick-and-mortar world to your experiences online. You wouldn’t provide your credit card number, Social Security number and mother’s maiden name to a stranger on the street. Don’t do it online. Only provide it to trusted sources on secure sites. Look for “https” or a padlock symbol in the address bar. If you receive an email purporting to be from a known entity, like your bank or credit card, asking you to click through to log into your account, instead go directly to the site by typing the URL into the address bar. You can also call the number on your card or the official website to inquire about the email. Use a credit card with consumer protections to shop online instead of your debit card, which would give a thief direct access to your checking or savings account. Try to use only one card for all your online purchases to further reduce risk exposure.
Don’t share with strangers Social media can be a fun way to share our lives, yet some things people happily post publically on social media can compromise safety online and offline. Your birth date is key information to accessing many accounts. If you want to share your birthday online, consider not sharing the year. Your mother’s maiden name, your favorite pet, the street on which you grew up and even your favorite sports teams coloradocountrylife.coop
can be used to answer challenge questions to access various accounts. Keep this information shared with friends only, if possible, or pick nonfactual responses to use consistently in response to security challenge questions. For example, “Favorite pet? Abraham Lincoln.” Consider not using your full legal name on public social media accounts.
Arm yourself It will be more difficult to keep your information secure online if your computer, tablet, smartphone, browser and home network are vulnerable. Secure your wireless network and all your devices with strong pass codes that use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Some security experts suggest creating a sentence with personal meaning from which you can create an acronym. Change your passwords once every six months. Only use public wireless networks that are secure. If you must use an unsecured network, do not conduct financial transactions, such as accessing your bank account. Make sure your operating system and browsers run with the latest updates and security patches. Use security software on your computers and run regular scans. To keep digital documents safe, you can encrypt your computer, your tablet and even your phone. Alternatively, keep important or sensitive documents, like medical records and tax returns, on an external hard drive that isn’t connected to the Internet. Plug into it only when you must access those documents. Keep information safe offline,
too. Securely shred any bills, financial statements, prescription labels, health information, receipts and similar documents that you do not need or want to keep. The personal information in these paper documents could compromise your identity both online and offline. Consider opting out of preapproved credit offers that, if they fell in the wrong hands, could allow someone to apply for credit in your name. Go to optoutprescreen.com or call 800-5-OPTOUT.
Reduce, reuse, recycle and redact! Before donating your old electronics to charity or taking them to your local e-recycler, delete all data. Instructions and apps exist to walk you through wiping your electronics clean of all traces of you, and it’s an important part of keeping your personal correspondence and online identity out of the hands of strangers, illintentioned or otherwise. Allison Goldberg writes and edits employee benefits-related materials for the Insurance and Financial Services Department of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
[White River] Tips for a Safe Holiday Season BY JUSTIN LABERGE
The holidays are upon us. For many, that means more celebrations with friends and family, travel, decorations, cooking and shopping. We at White River Electric want you to stay safe during the holidays. We can’t guarantee that the hustle and bustle of the season won’t leave you with a few frayed nerves, but we can certainly help you avoid frayed wires. Here are a few tips to consider as you gear up for the season. Inspect your seasonal items Many of us have treasured holiday mementos that we bring out of storage and proudly display every year. The holidays are also a time when we dust off specialized cooking gadgets that allow us to prepare our favorite seasonal treats. These items are often handed down through generations and might lack modern safety features. Take a few moments to carefully inspect all your holiday items to ensure everything is in safe, working order. A few things to look out for include: • Brittle insulation on wires • Rodent damage to wires • Chafed or frayed wires, especially at stress points • Worn switches with the potential to short circuit • Corroded metal parts • Broken legs, unstable bases and other hazards that could cause an item to tip over Extension cords are temporary When you asked your teacher for an extension on your term paper, it was a onetime thing, right? The same holds true for extension cords. They are designed for temporary use and should never be used as a permanent or long-term solution. Never defeat safety devices There are reasons why some devices have fuses, some plugs have three prongs instead of two and one prong is wider than the other on two-prong outlets. When those safety features get in the way of your grand holiday décor plans, you might be
tempted to tamper with or defeat those features. Don’t do it. If your plugs won’t fit together, that means they’re not designed to work together. Rather than tampering with a safety feature, find a safe solution. Look up and live When working outside with a ladder, be mindful of the location of overhead power lines. Always carry your ladder so that it is parallel to the ground. Before placing your ladder in an upright position, look around to ensure you are a safe distance from any power lines. Beware of power lines through trees Over time, tree branches can grow around power lines running along the street and to your home. If those branches come in contact with power lines, they can become energized, too. If your holiday plans call for stringing lights through trees, this can create a safety hazard. If you notice tree limbs that are too close to electric lines, contact White River Electric at 970-878-5041. Stay away from your service connection The overhead wire bringing power from the utility pole to your house is dangerous. You should treat this line the same way you treat any other power line on our system. Maintain a safe distance, even if that means a small gap in the perfect gingerbread house outline of lights.
Read the fine print If you take a few minutes to read and understand the specifications and limitations of your lights and other electrified holiday decorations, you can save yourself a great deal of work and frustration in the long run. For example, the tag at the end of an extension cord will tell you if it’s rated for outdoor use, whether it will remain flexible in cold temperatures and how much energy it can safely handle. Similarly, holiday lights will tell you how many strings can be safely linked together. Don’t forget about the kids and pets If you have small children, you probably spent a great deal of time making sure every square inch of your home is childproof — every cabinet is locked and every outlet is covered. But sometimes the joy of celebrating the holidays with our little ones makes us a little less vigilant about electrical safety. Make sure your holiday décor receives the same level of safety scrutiny you apply to all of the permanent items in your home. Curious and mischievous pets can present similar challenges. Make sure Fluffy isn’t nibbling on all those extra wires or using your tree as a personal back scratcher or jungle gym. Justin LaBerge writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
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 energyoutreach.org.
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 carbon.xprize.org.
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 technolcoloradocountrylife.coop
[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 coloradocountrylife.coop
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 Amazon.com. 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. coloradocountrylife.coop
[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 https://youtu.be/T39J_OXj_jA.
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 (rodellekitchen.com) where youâ€™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
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 coloradocountrylife.coop for more holiday recipes.
Gift Guide FRACTILES MAGNETIC TILING TOY
Made in Colorado, Fractiles is a unique art and design toy for ages 6 to 106. In the classroom, on the road or at the kitchen table, awarding winning Fractiles is a relaxing group or solo activity. Use these wonderful little tiles to create an endless variety of beautiful patterns and designs. Includes brightly colored precision-cut magnetic tiles, a sturdy steel activity board and record albumstyle folder package. For more information, call Fractiles at 303-541-0930 or visit www.fractiles.com.
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.
previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop/category/living-in-colorado/gardening. Kristen Hannum is a native Colorado gardener. Email or write her with wisdom or comments at email@example.com. 22
Gardening That’s for the Birds
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
BY KRISTEN HANNUM || GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG
American goldfinch Male northern cardinal
Skilled canines are a marvel in action
BY DENNIS SMITH
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: Energy.gov
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 coloradocountrylife.coop. Search for Outdoors.
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BETTER INDOOR AIR BY JAMES DULLEY
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 coloradocountrylife.coop. 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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CHAIR CANING Hand caning, machine caning, fiber rush caning. Pueblo West, 719-547-0723. email@example.com (858-10-16)
STORE/RESTAURANT in GROVER with RECORD of SUCCESS! 4,720 SqFt, includes trade fixtures, inventory for ONLY $285,000! Call Benson 970-744-0223! (270-12-15)
ANTLERS ANTLER CHANDELIERS made only from REAL antlers. We are the manufacturer and we sell all of our products at wholesale prices; save as much as 60% from store prices. Many other antler products and mounts, including 56” elk mount, giant moose paddles, and elk antlers. Showroom now open year ’round in Granby, CO. 18 years at this location, over 900 satisfied customers! Designers: We can provide you a single item or a whole houseful. Call ! 970-627-3053. (085-09-16)
BOOKS/CDs/DVDs FAST-PACED, LIGHT-HEARTED romantic mystery book series by Colorado author, Cricket Rohman is available at Amazon.com or www. cricketrohman.org (259-12-15)
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES (These opportunities have not been investigated by Colorado Country Life.) HEALTH FOOD STORE & DELI: 2 turnkey businesses in one. Strong income/customer base. Colorado mountains (970-641-5175), leave name & number. (252-12-15)
WANTED TO BUY
FREE BOOKS/DVDS. Soon the “Mark of the Beast” will be enforced as Church and State unite! Let the Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. firstname.lastname@example.org 888-211-1715. (814-12-15)
FSBO / DURANGO – GREAT PROFESSIONAL OFFICE on Main Ave. Conveniently located downtown in modern building across from Buckley Park. Two rooms, large windows, two assigned, covered parking spaces. $155,000. Roger, 970-799-2871. (265-02-16)
BUYING AUTOGRAPHS (all kinds), sports cards (pre-1980). Vintage sports and music collectibles (albums, etc.). Cash paid. Established dealer since 1986. Mike 720-334-0206, mmunns1@hotmail. com (245-01-16)
FREE FOR YOU! Win a $25 gift card. Email the number of classifieds on this page and your address to classifieds@coloradocountrylife. org. Put December Classifieds in the subject line. We’ll draw one name December 16 to win.
HELP WANTED LEGITIMATE WORK AT HOME opportunity. No sales, investment, risk. Training/website provided. Monthly income plus bonuses, benefits. Call Carrie 303-579-4207, www.workathomeunited.com/ ourabundance (932-02-16)
CLOCK REPAIR & RESTORATION www.clockrepairandrestoration. com DURANGO AREA. CLOCKS of all kinds repaired. Antique and modern. Clocks bought and sold. email@example.com Call Robert 970-247-7729. (109-12-15)
MACHINERY & PARTS
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)
www.sawmillexchange.com 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@ gmail.com. (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. http://www.ordination.org (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, bayfieldatticinn.com (263-01-16) KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-2456500; firstname.lastname@example.org; kauaiweddings.com. (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@ hotmail.com (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@ coloradocountrylife.org. 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 email@example.com. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check.
$15 DECEMBER 2015
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 twistandseal.com.
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 chaheati.com.
Dome. win a Cord ur chance to number ne o ph Enter for yo address and e, m na Be sure ur Send yo trylife.org. 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 1voicenyc.com.
See how it works: youtube.com/watch?v=lThYhvs4USc
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 solight-design.com. Check out this heartwarming video of the SolarPuff lighting Haiti and Nepal: youtube.com/ watch?v=dKDJ9RkwPfw. 30
Enter CCL’s Photo Contest • Enter CCL’s Photo Contest
Colorado Country Life’s
ENTER TO WIN!
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.
COLORADO COUNTRY LIFE PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY FORM
Title for entry (to appear if published)
2. Do not write any information on front or back of photo.
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 life.org 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. coloradocountrylife.coop
Electric co-op you are a member of Email Please check the season your photo was taken ❏ Spring
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