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[contents] 4 5 6 7 12 14 16 20 22 24 25 28 29 30

DECEMBER 2017

VIEWPOINT LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Volume 48, Number 12

COMMUNITY EVENTS YOUR CO-OP NEWS NEWS CLIPS INDUSTRY COVER STORY RECIPES GARDENING OUTDOORS ENERGY TIPS

“Eleven Mile Canyon” by Ken Bates of Colorado Springs, a Mountain View Electric member.

CLASSIFIEDS

MORE WAYS TO CONNECT WITH US

FUNNY STORIES

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DISCOVERIES YOUTUBE PICK

[cover]

FACEBOOK CHATTER

Christmas trees will bring holiday joy into homes this season thanks to a non-profit in Colorado Springs.

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor; mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, Designer; cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant; kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland, Ad Rep; advertising@coloradocountrylife.org Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Individual subscription rate: $9 per year for Colorado residents or $15 per year for out-of-state residents, taxes and postage included. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. © Copyright 2016, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. 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. EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 | mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org |  coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife | Twitter.com/ COCountryLife | Pinterest.com/COCountryLife |  YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Advertising: advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative: American MainStreet Publications  |  611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504  |  Austin, TX 78704  |  800-626-1181

®

Check out the 2017 CREA Energy Innovations Summit highlights video. Visit tinyurl. com/CREASummit17

INSTAGRAM PIC OF THE MONTH

COCountryLife posted: Are you a #booklover? Check our #bookreview issue at www. coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Living in Colorado and then Book Reviews. #greatreads

ColoradoREA shared RE Magazine’s photo: K.C. Electric employee Dave Ritchey won national recognition for his photo of a co-op substation south of Stratton.

PINTEREST SNEAK PEAK

COCountryLife pinned: Try these holiday cookies this season. Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.

MONTHLY CONTEST

Enter to win a $50 gift card to use to buy craft supplies to make your own last minute holiday ornaments. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop and click on Contests for information on how to enter. We will choose a winner on Friday, December 15.


[viewpoint]

THE COOPERATIVE SPIRIT

Colorado co-op employees reach out to Texas neighbors BY KENT SINGER CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG

A

As a kid growing up in Dickinson, Texas, Paul Hora was accustomed to the occasional east Texas “gully washer.” Living that close to the Gulf of Mexico, it was not unusual for hurricanes or tropical storms to roil up from the south and dump several inches of rain on Dickinson, a suburb of Houston. But Hora, key accounts manager for San Miguel Power Association in Ridgway, Colorado, knew that

Undaunted by the scope of the task, the Colorado crew went to work. As Hora described it, his goal was to “help a few people out” by doing whatever was necessary to get folks on the path to getting back into their homes. As a certified energy manager, Hora is knowledgeable about how homes are constructed and how they can be improved to make them more energy efficient. It turns out that this background was useful when it came to knowing what to do to mitigate water damage and stop the spread of mold in the humid east Texas climate. For five days, Hora and his friends helped families in Dickinson Kent Singer do whatever was necessary to help them clean up and start the deluge unleashed on the over. They tore out drywall Houston area by Hurricane and insulation, cleaned out Harvey in late August was not refrigerators, moved appliances, your typical storm. In fact, it was threw out trash and lent a helping unprecedented in its intensity and hand to a community in need. duration: Over a 48-hour period, While the crew initially intended Dickinson received between 40 to only help Hora’s parents clean and 50 inches of rain. up their home, their efforts Not long after the rain stopped, eventually resulted in the cleanup Hora received confirmation of of 12 homes in Dickinson. his worst fears: a text message After their cleanup work in with a photo showing his Texas, Hora and his friends parents’ home under 5 feet of came back to Colorado with a water. “It was really a profound San Miguel Power Association employees and Texas volunteers take a break for little different perspective on moment to see your home under a photo. life. Seeing how property and that much water,” Hora said. possessions can be lost in an Although Hora’s parents were instant, Hora is determined to out of town and safe, he watched focus on what’s most important news accounts of patients in a and “live life a little more simply.” nearby nursing home up to their The selfless efforts of Hora chests in water. He knew at that and his friends to help out their moment that he needed to get long-distance neighbors would home and help his hometown not have been possible without however he could. the support of San Miguel Power So, Hora went to work. When Association and the broader he told his co-workers at San SMPA community. The co-op Miguel Power that he was going enabled its employees to take to Texas to assist in the recovery, San Miguel Power Association employees ready to head down to Texas to lend a time away from work and the hand with the clean-up. they immediately pitched in, community and pitched in with contributing money and supplies to assist in the effort. Alex Shelley, contributions and moral support. Hora said that the trip was a “great a communications executive with the co-op, even volunteered to join example of how co-ops care for their communities.” Hora on the trip. Two members of Hora’s church, Jeff Hogan and Dirk For many people across the country who lost loved ones or Johnson, also volunteered to help. Supported by contributions from suffered great property loss in the recent hurricanes and fires, the community, the group quickly loaded tools, building materials and this will be a difficult holiday season. People like Hora and his other essential supplies and headed to the Lone Star State. friends remind us that even in the darkest hours, our way forward When they arrived in Dickinson, the devastation was worse than is illuminated by the cooperative spirit of friends and neighbors they imagined. Although the floodwaters receded, the loss of life and working together to rebuild lives and communities. the destruction of homes and businesses were hard to comprehend. Entire neighborhoods were impacted by the floodwaters and the need for help was great. Kent Singer, Executive Director

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DECEMBER 2017

coloradocountrylife.coop


[letters] Love Them Bears

I read your article on Colorado’s bears (September ’17). It was a good, positive article on their habits and what we, as humans, can do to minimize contact with them. Could you possibly do the same for Colorado’s mountain lions? I am an avid equine trail rider and have encountered four in three years without incident. I feel the mountain lion has gotten a bad rap. Tamara Chojnacki, Calhan, member of Mountain View Electric I have had multiple encounters with black bears; all made me even more appreciative of these impressive animals. However, is that last photo on page 18 really a bear? It looks more like a wolverine. Scott LoBosco, Colorado Springs EDITOR’S NOTE: A few other readers also questioned that last bear photo. We checked with experts prior to publication and, to the best of our knowledge, it is a bear.

Electric or Gas Vehicles?

The letter writer noted that “the internal combustion engine is probably still a better alternative for a vehicle than an electric motor” (September ’17). However, on a state by state calculation, you will usually emit less carbon dioxide (indirectly) with an electric car than with an internal combustion engine. It depends on the mix of fuels and renewables that your electricity supplier utilizes. Isaac Turiel, Durango, member of La Plata Electric

YOU

can rescue a widow from sleeping by her stove.

One in four Colorado households can’t afford to heat or light their homes. Become a HEAT HERO and join with Energy Outreach Colorado to protect families and seniors from being left in the cold. Your generous gift can keep your neighbors’ homes warm and bright.

YOUR superpower is warming hearts.

Donate at energyoutreach.org/hero 95¢ out of every dollar we raise goes directly to needy Coloradans, earning top ratings and recognition from:1:43 PM Page 1 Morton_COCountryLife_12.17.qxp_Layout 1 11/3/17

BUILT STRONGER. LOOKS BETTER. LASTS LONGER.

The internal combustion engine is not a better alternative than an electric motor. It is yesterday’s dirty, expensive and inferior technology. An electric car running on 100 percent coal-generated electricity pollutes only half as much as a late model gasoline car due to its superior efficiency. In addition, its energy cost per mile is only a third of the gas car’s even at today’s low prices. Dan Rivers, Monument, member of Mountain View Electric

#4096

RESIDENTIAL | FARM | EQUESTRIAN | COMMERCIAL | COMMUNITY | REPAIRS

We welcome letters to the editor via mail or email. They must be signed and include the writer’s name and full address. Send to Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at mneeley@ coloradocountrylife.org. Letters may be edited for length. coloradocountrylife.coop

When you build with Morton, you build something that lasts. A Morton stands the test of time—we’ve been at this for more than 110 years after all. What got us here is simple: our materials, our people and a warranty that beats all others.

800-447-7436 • mortonbuildings.com

©2017 Morton Buildings, Inc. A listing of GC licenses available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses. Ref Code 604

DECEMBER 2017

5


[community events] [December] December 1-31 Colorado Springs “Christmas on the Avenue” Exhibit Arati Artists Gallery 719-639-1901 December 1-January 16 Granby History Art/Photography Exhibit Granby Library 970-887-2149 • gcld.org December 7-10 Colorado Springs “A Colorado Christmas” Musical Vista Grande Baptist Church 719-598-2139 December 8-January 1 Colorado Springs Electric Safari Cheyenne Mountain Zoo cmzoo.org December 8 Denver “’Tis the Season: Christmas Lights of Denver” Bus Tour History Colorado Center 4:30-9:30 pm • 303-866-2394 December 8 Greeley “It’s a Wonderful Life” Theater Performance Union Colony Civic Center 7 pm • 970-356-5000 December 8-10 Longmont “Rocks and Rails” Show Boulder County Fairground Main Exhibit Building 10 am-5 pm • 303-774-8468 December 8-9 Mancos Holiday Concert Mancos United Methodist Church tom@ksjd.org December 9 Bayfield Breakfast With Santa Bayfield Middle School Reservations Required 8-11 am • 970-884-7137 December 9 Fort Collins Vi Wickam and Friends Christmas Show Avogadro’s Number 8-10 pm • http://bit.ly/2z3Aovr December 9 Ouray Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival Ouray Community Center 6-9 pm • http://bit.ly/2lVneLX 6

DECEMBER 2017

December 9 Tabernash Tommelfest Nordic Ski Festival Devil’s Thumb Ranch 10 am-4 pm • 970-726-5632 December 9 Trinidad Christmas Craft Show Las Animas Fairgrounds 9 am-3 pm • 719-868-3375 December 10 Beulah Winter Open House and Yule Log Celebration Mountain Park Environmental Center 11 am-1 pm • 719-485-4444 December 13-16 Berthoud Berthoud Snowfest Fickel Park 970-532-4200 berthoudsnowfest.com December 14-17 Breckenridge Dew Tour Breckenridge Ski Resort gobreck.com December 15-17 Loveland “The Many Moods of Christmas” Holiday Concert Rialto Theater lovelandchoralsociety.org December 15-17 Snowmass 50th Anniversary Celebration Snowmass Ski Area aspensnowmass.com December 16 Colorado Springs Audubon Christmas Bird Count Bear Creek Nature Center 8 am-12 pm • 719-520-6972 December 16-17 Dolores Christmas Centerpiece Workshop Four Seasons Greenhouse 970-565-8274 fourseasonsgreenhouse.com December 16-17 Grand Lake “Home for the Holidays” Theater Performance Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre 970-627-3421 rockymountainrep.com December 16 Rye Cookie Walk Home UMC 9 am • 719-676-3741

“Nativities & Trees: Global Traditions” Exhibit Global Village Museum, 200 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins Through January 20, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am-5 pm

Different cultures have unique perspectives of nativities, and the Global Village Museum is featuring some of those interpretations at this exhibit where more than 200 one-of-a-kind nativities are displayed. The nativities range from miniature to large scale and are made from a variety of materials including wood, stone, ceramic and metal. Admission is $5. For more information, call 970-221-4600 or visit globalvillagemuseum.org. December 17 Pueblo Pueblo Municipal Band’s Holiday Concert Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center 2 pm • 719-295-7200 December 18 Colorado Springs Holiday Model Train Exhibit Opening Western Museum of Mining & Industry 719-488-0880 • wmmi.org December 19-20 Fort Collins “December Delights” Dance Performance Magnolia Theatre of Lincoln Center 970-221-6730 • danceexpressfc.com December 23-24 Grand Junction Christmas Train Show Cross Orchards 970-242-0971 December 24 Winter Park Torchlight Parade Winter Park Village winterparkresort.com December 31-January 1 Manitou Springs AdAmAn Fireworks Pikes Peak adaman.org

[January] January 1 Durango New Year’s Day Brunch Train Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad durangotrain.com January 3 Littleton Free Admission Day Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms botanicgardens.org January 6-7 Evergreen Evergreen Pond Hockey Championship Evergreen Lake Park Ice Rink 7 am-2 pm • 720-880-1311

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS

TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE TO:

Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303455-2807; or email calendar@ coloradocountrylife.org.

Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information. coloradocountrylife.coop


WHITE RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

[White River] LOOK OUT FOR SCAMS

BY ALAN J. MICHALEWICZ | GENERAL MANAGER | AMICH@WREA.ORG

U

Unfortunately, in today’s world, scams are inevitable. Scammers can threaten you with everything from legal action involving the Internal Revenue Service to turning off power to your home. Utility scams often involve an individual or group posing as an employee of your electric cooperative. The scammer may use threatening Alan J. Michalewicz language in order to frighten you into offering your credit card or bank account information. Don’t fall victim to these types of scams. Understand the threats posed and your best course of action: • If someone calls your home or cell phone demanding you pay your electric bill immediately, gather as much information as you can from that individual without releasing information about yourself, hang up the phone, contact the local authorities and notify White River Electric. Scammers often use threats and urgency to pressure you into giving them your bank account number or loading a prepaid credit or debit card, such as a Green Dot card. White River Electric Association will never ask you for personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call. If you have any doubts about your electric bill, contact our office either in person or over the phone at 970-878-5041. • If someone comes to your home claiming to be an employee of White River Electric who needs to collect money or inspect parts of your property, call us to verify they are in fact an employee. If they are not, call local authorities for assistance and do not let the individual into your home. There are other types of scams consumers should watch out for: • Government agencies like the IRS will never call to inform you that you have unpaid taxes or other liens against you. You will always receive this type of information in the mail. If someone calls claiming to be the IRS, hang up immediately. • If you receive an email from an unknown sender, an email riddled with spelling errors and typos or an email

coloradocountrylife.coop

threatening action unless a sum of money is paid, do not click any links provided within the email and do not respond to the email. Simply delete the email or send it to your spam folder. • If someone calls your home claiming to have discovered a virus on your computer, hang up. This caller’s intent is to access personal information you may be keeping on your computer. As a general rule, never give out personal information on the phone or over the internet to anyone. Don’t click on website links from unknown senders and, if in doubt, delete the email before taking the risk. Legitimate callers and senders will understand and appreciate that you took the precautions to protect yourself. White River Electric wants to make sure you avoid any and all types of scams that could put you or your personal or financial information in jeopardy. If you have any questions or want more information about how you can protect yourself from scammers, call us at 970-878-5041 or visit our website at www.wrea.org.

Thank you to several quick-thinking White River Electric members who recently deterred telephone scammers who were posing as WREA employees and threatening to disconnect power if payment was not remitted immediately. When contacted, WREA members hung up and quickly contacted WREA and law enforcement to report the issue. Please contact WREA at 970878-5041 if you receive a suspicious call.

DECEMBER 2017

7


[White River]

HOLIDAY LIGHTING TIPS BY TOM TATE

T

This year is rapidly drawing to a close and that means the holiday lighting season is back. Here are some tips to take your artistic stylings to the next level. Safety first If your lights are ground mounted or can be installed while you are standing on the ground, read ahead to “Light selection.” However, since most decorations involve some installation along roof lines or high in the trees, follow these safety measures: 1. Have one or two people steady your ladder and pass up the decorations. This is an invaluable part of safety, and it’s also helpful with keeping you supplied with untangled light strings, fasteners and encouragement. 2. Remember to keep a safe distance from your overhead electric service, especially where it connects to your home. 3. Don’t overreach. If you cannot get to a point with your body completely centered between the sides of the ladder, get down and relocate the ladder. 4. Don’t overextend the ladder. If your ladder is too short, rent or borrow a longer one. A ladder extended beyond its working limits is dangerous as is standing on rungs too close to the top. 5. Do not overload circuits by stringing more light sets together than the manufacturer recommends. Check the packaging for details. 6. Check your wires for breaks and cracks in the insulation that can lead to shorts. Most of these tips apply equally to inside and outside decorating activities. Light selection If at all possible, invest in LED lights this season. Unlike the first versions to hit the market that were characterized by rather harsh and unattractive colors, the newest generation’s colors are reminiscent of the incandescent lights of yore. Why go the LED route? Longevity and cost of operation are the two key reasons. Unlike incandescent lights, LEDs will last for many years, whether you use the large or mini bulbs. LEDs have no filaments to burn out. The LED is amazingly robust and will last unless it is physically destroyed by a person or animal. With a modest number of hours of operation each season, you can expect LEDs to last seven or more years.

8

DECEMBER 2017

Then there is the cost-of-operation benefit from LEDs. These gems of technological advancement truly sip electricity. According to Christmas Lights Etc, a reasonable estimate of power consumption is 7 watts per 100 lights. How does that compare to the old incandescent? Each of those old bulbs used 12 watts, so a string of 100 devoured 1,200 watts. If you truly want to manage the cost of operating holiday lights, invest in timers to turn the lights on and off automatically. You can step it up a notch and invest in a smart plug for your lights. This way you can program and control the lights from your smartphone. Once you have your design finalized and installed, leave as much of the outside portion of lights in place as possible after the holiday season. Simply disconnect them after the holidays and protect the plugs and sockets from dirt and debris. Think of the reduced stress and risk if you set and forget your design. With the longevity of the LEDs, you can enjoy this freedom year after year and practically eliminate the risks associated with high-wire seasonal gymnastics. Tom Tate writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Take Care of Pipes When temperatures plummet, keep faucets turned on slightly so that water drips from the tap to prevent water pipes from freezing. Know how to shut off water valves just in case a pipe bursts.

coloradocountrylife.coop


[White River] Commonsense Heating Charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. Never use a charcoal grill indoors to cook with or to heat inside the home as burning charcoal gives off deadly carbon monoxide gas.

SPACE HEATERS CAN FUEL WINTER SAVINGS Space heaters can warm hard-to-heat spaces or make an unheated space comfortable. But be aware that they can add significantly to your electric bill if you don’t cut back on your central heating system at the same time. Give me some s p a c e . . . And always keep safety in mind when using a space heater. Here are some tips:

• •

• •

• •

Look for a space heater that turns off if it is tipped over. Make sure ...or risk a fire. the heater was tested by a Space heaters need space. nationally recPapers, clothing, blankets, and ognized laboraother flammables should be tory and includes kept at least 3 feet away. up-to-date safety features. Place your space heater on a hard, level surface out of high-traffic areas and away from flammable materials. Keep it at least 3 feet from furniture, bedding or drapes. Consider placement if you have children or pets, and make

coloradocountrylife.coop

sure cords are not placed under rugs or carpet as they could cause a tripping hazard. Always plug your heater directly into an outlet rather than using an extension cord. When plugging in your space heater, make sure that your plug fits snugly in the outlet. Use the heater in areas that are continually occupied. Always turn off your heater completely if you are not in a nearby area to monitor it. Turn it off before you go to sleep. Don’t use your space heater in areas that may become wet, such as bathrooms or kitchens. If your heater requires fuel, make sure that you use the kind specified by the manufacturer and that the heater is properly vented to avoid getting deadly carbon monoxide in the home. If you have suspicions that your heater may be damaged in some way, stop use immediately.

Be sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at every level of the home. It is especially important that you have alarms installed near bedrooms to protect you while you sleep. Check every six months that each alarm has fresh batteries. For more information on electrical fire safety, visit SafeElectricity.org. DECEMBER 2017

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[White River]

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DECEMBER 2017

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[news clips]

Co-ops Support Youth with College Scholarships BY L.J. HANSEN

More than 300 current college students are benefiting this school year from more than a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships awarded by Colorado’s electric co-ops. With the increasing costs of higher education students often need financial assistance to pay for college or trade school, and Colorado’s 22 electric distribution cooperatives are helping. Last spring, collectively, they awarded $384,000 in scholarships. Scholarships ranged from $500 to enough to pay for four years. Grand Valley Power in Grand Junction, Morgan County Rural Electric Association in Fort Morgan, San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative in Monte Vista, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association in Buena Vista and Y-W Electric Association in Akron all provided scholarships for future lineworkers. Empire Electric Association in Cortez, which also has a lineworker scholarship, provided funds for older members returning to college. Most of the rest of the scholarships went to high school seniors embarking on their postgraduate education, whether it was at a four-year institution or a vocational or technical school. Power suppliers Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, headquartered in Westminster, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, provided some of the funds used for these scholarships. However, many of the funds came from each local cooperative’s unclaimed capital credits. When a nonprofit entity such as a co-op receives

more revenue than it has expenses, it ends the year with a margin. At Colorado’s electric co-ops, those margins are allocated to members based on their purchases from the co-op, and after a time paid back to the members. If the member moves and the co-op cannot find the member, the capital credits become unclaimed capital credits and can be used for scholarships and other designated programs. These scholarships are only one way coops support their local youth. For instance, one co-op helps support the John McConnell Math and Science Center in Grand Junction. Others provide farm safety lessons

to all ages of schoolchildren. Another co-op sponsors several school groups and attends local job fairs. With the support of unclaimed capital credits, fundraisers and enthusiasm, Colorado’s electric cooperatives can nurture the interests of the next generation of scholars through these programs. Cooperatives also support students at the Leadership Camp, located near Steamboat Springs, and on the Washington, D.C., Youth Tour. To help pay for this, the nonprofit Colorado Electric Educational Institute applies for grants and organizes fundraisers to lower the overall cost to the co-ops, which pay the final price. This year, the co-ops sent 34 students to the camp and 33 on the tour of Washington, D.C. Applications are now open for Leadership Camp and Youth Tour, and scholarship applications for 2018 either are open or will open soon. Students are encouraged to apply for these co-op sponsored scholarships, Leadership Camp and the Washington, D.C., Youth Tour. Thousands of young people have benefited from the co-ops’ generosity as the co-ops have supported the Youth Tour for more than 25 years, Leadership Camp for more than 35 years and scholarships for several thousand students through the years. The support continues into 2018. L.J. Hansen is an intern at Colorado Country Life writing about electric co-op programs.

Money to Keep Coloradans Warm Colorado Rural Electric Association Executive Director Kent Singer presented a check for $3,412.17 to incoming Energy Outreach Colorado Executive Director Jennifer Gremmert during the CREA Fall Meeting October 31. The money was raised by the electric co-ops’ Power the Plains bike team as it rode in the September Pedal the Plains bike tour. Another $1,350 was matched by co-op power supplier Basin Electric, and $353.50 from the team’s registration fees was donated to EOC by Pedal the Plains. EOC provides affordable home energy programs and helps with heat bills to Coloradans struggling to pay those bills. 12

DECEMBER 2017

Energy Outreach Colorado Executive Director Jennifer Gremmert accepts a $3,412.17 check from CREA Executive Director Kent Singer to go towards the program. coloradocountrylife.coop


[ news clips]

Teachers Invited to Learn About Energy Schoolteachers interested in the electric industry have a great opportunity this summer. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the power supplier to 18 of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops, will bring together educators who teach grades 4-12 and are electric cooperative members, teach at schools that are members, or teach students whose parents are co-op members in Tri-State’s service area. Those attending the three-day conference in Westminster June 1921 receive the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, consumption, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts. Participants leave with the training and about $300 in materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units for their classrooms, multidisciplinary teams and after-school programs. Thanks to support of Tri-State’s member cooperatives, there is no cost to educators in the Tri-State service area who participate. Educators outside of the Tri-State service area are welcome to apply and funding will be sought on their behalf. Most expenses, including lodg-

ing, meals, transportation and conference materials, are provided. The program is sponsored in cooperation with the National Energy Education Development Project, which works with the education community to promote an energy conscious and educated society by helping deliver multisided energy education programs. This conference will integrate energy curriculum materials into classrooms at any grade level, with any group of students and with all learning styles. It will also focus on the successful achievement of state education goals in math and language. Attending teachers receive a NEED Science of Energy Kit, a class-set of NEED Energy Infobooks (at grade level), access to all NEED Curriculum Guides and supplemental resources.

Find more information and register at tinyurl.com/CoopEnergyEd.

CREA Focuses on Innovation & the Future Transmission, electric vehicles, wind power, solar power, energy storage and other electricity-related topics were part of a day-long Denver conference sponsored October 30 by the Colorado Rural Electric Association. An audience of more than 300, including students from two high schools, attended the CREA Energy Innovations Summit. They listened to experts who shared new technologies, explored challenges and discussed new paradigms in the electric industry. They also interacted with the EnergyWise Award winners from the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, Michelle Ren and Julianna O’Clair of Brush and Tate Schrock of Anton. The students presented their science fair projects during the vendor fair at the event. The day closed with a panel discussion on energy storage. Experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute and Tesla provided status reports on where this technology is, how soon it will be reliable and affordable enough to complement renewables on the grid, and what part it will play as a fuel resource. Next year’s summit is set for Monday, October 29 at the Westin Denver Downtown hotel.

coloradocountrylife.coop

CREA Executive Director Kent Singer welcomes (left to right) Mike Williams of Texas Electric Cooperatives; Michael Couick of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina; and Ted Case of the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association to discuss how co-ops thrive in the evolving electric industry.

A panel led by Public Utilities Commissioner Frances Koncilja discusses organized markets for electricity sales. The audience listens to a discussion on the progress being made on wind power. DECEMBER 2017

13


[industry]

Photo by Amy Blunck

Jim Park stands over his diversion from the Lower Latham ditch which now feeds a micro hydro generator near Kersey.

MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY DROP Micro hydroelectric projects power up Colorado’s agricultural communities

C

BY MARY PECK

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DECEMBER 2017

Growing federal and state support for renewable energy production, particularly through the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s ACRE3 (or Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency) grant program, is a big driver for increasing interest in agriculture hydropower across Colorado, which has some of the best incentives in the nation. “Since we started this program, Wyoming and Oregon have been working on developing similar programs, so it’s making an impact,” Anderson said. Earlier this fall, Meeker-based White River Electric Association began operating its co-op’s first micro hydroelectric project. Like Park’s unit, the WREA Miller Creek Ditch Hydro Project utilizes irrigation ditch water to generate power. “The collaborative nature of the Miller Creek Ditch Hydro Project met all of WREA’s goals,” said Trina Zagar-Brown, WREA general counsel and member services manager. “It has been widely supported by our agricultural community and our membership as a whole. “ It was his own lifelong agricultural background and experience as a PVREA board member for more than two decades that helped foster Park’s interest and knowledge in ag-related hydroelectric generation. Through

his own research and assistance from Fort Collins-based Community Hydropower Consulting, Park took advantage of grant programs through the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. All three were coordinated under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which provides a means to stack the three sources

Photo by Amy Blunck

Colorado’s eastern plains are probably the last place a person would expect to find a hydroelectric project installation, but that’s exactly where Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association member Jim Park’s micro hydro generator is planted — along an irrigation ditch on his farm 8 miles east of Kersey, to be precise. The 25-kilowatt generator turns out enough power to run the center pivot on his farm’s sprinkler, which waters 100 acres of corn and alfalfa throughout the growing season. In a state renowned for pioneering hydroelectric projects of all shapes and sizes in mountainous areas, Park’s micro hydroelectric project is unique to say the least, and the only such project in the Fort Collins-based electric cooperative’s service area. “We thought it was a really interesting project to partner with,” said Tony Francone, PVREA member relations representative and energy use advisor. “We were excited to be able to help Jim and provide the interconnection for it to come back to his metering.” As the name implies, micro hydroelectric projects are small installations, generally up to 100 kilowatts in size, according to Sam Anderson, energy specialist and program administrator with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Jim Park stands by the hydraulic equipment in his micro hydro pumphouse. coloradocountrylife.coop


Photo by Mary Peck

of funding as part of its mission to promote conservation activities led by local grassroots initiatives and supported by the USDA. “Jim was one of the first to take advantage of the program,” Anderson said. He noted that, while most of the state’s agricultural hydroelectric projects are on the Western Slope, there are plenty of potential generation sites east of the Continental Divide. “It only works well with gravitational energy, but there is a surprising amount of opportunities in Weld County and the Front Range,” he said. Park had his eye on his farm’s hydropower site for years. Placing the turbine at the bottom of a 25-foot slope in his irrigation diversion off the Lower Latham ditch made sense in terms of water efficiency improvements. “Many times I’ve watched that thing and thought that would be interesting to put a generator on it,” Park said. Park’s quest led him to the Ossberger manufacturing company in Germany, where micro hydropower projects are relatively prevalent. Founded in 1873, the company’s patented flow turbine was developed to work with small water power resources. Park’s cross-flow turbine was manufactured specifically for his land elevation, water volume and generation needs. The unit took a six-week

[ industry]

Jim Park (right) and Tony Francone from PVREA check the meter connected to the hydro power project.

journey on a container ship to the United States before it was installed. A control panel with a trash collector screen was then set up as was a new net meter, and on June 26, 2017, the cross-flow turbine began generating power. “My goal was about 40,000 kilowatthours. That’s about what my sprinkler uses and I think we’re going to reach that goal,” Park said. He estimates that he will generate around 80 percent of the power required to run his sprinkler. Should the unit generate more energy than is needed, a portion of the overage can be treated as savings in his PVREA account. This is likely since the ditch runs from April to November, before

and after the actual time he needs to run his sprinkler. While he will eventually see a positive return on his investment, cost savings wasn’t the primary driver for Park. Still, it’s a nice benefit. “That’s one thing about a hydro turbine,” he said. “Once they’re in place there’s not a whole lot of upkeep. It’s expected to run 60 to 70 years.” Park’s 260-acre farm was homesteaded by his great-grandfather in 1888 and is designated a Colorado Centennial Farm, meaning it has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years. His father was born on the farm in 1907 and Park lived on it his entire life, so it seems fitting that a historic power source, and one that makes the most of agricultural resources, found its home on the farm, too. “I’m very pleased,” Park said. Mary Peck is a freelance writer in northern Colorado with a background in the electric co-op industry. To learn more about irrigation hydropower and funding opportunities, an applicant navigation guide is viewable at colorado. gov/agconservation/hydro-navigationguide. Get a quick view of the project at tinyurl.com/PVREAhydro.

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15


Sharing the magic of Christmas brings smiles BY CYNDY THOMAS KLEPINGER A random act of kindness started a holiday project in Colorado Springs that continues to bring Christmas smiles to families each year. Seven years ago, the Fein family was tired of putting together their artificial tree. It required a lot of effort to put each branch into a slot on the center metal pole before stringing the lights and adding decorations. So, the family bought a new tree. But what to do with the old one? David Fein put an ad on Craigslist. It contained one line: “Free tree to family with children.” Almost immediately they received 20 responses from people asking for the tree and explaining why. One person wrote: “I have six kids and no tree, we would like it if it’s still available.” Another wrote: “My husband broke his leg five weeks ago and we are really struggling. We need a tree desperately.” 16

DECEMBER 2017

They selected a local family with a young baby, but these heart-felt requests struck a chord in the Fein family. They bought another tree using their own money and the $20 Michelle, David’s schoolteacher wife, received from her school principal with the suggestion that she do something special. But this random act of kindness didn’t stop there. After the Feins shared their story with friends and family, they received donations of not only money, but trees, decorations and time. When local media outlets shared the story, strangers wanted to help. Within a few weeks, 300 trees — both artificial and real — were donated and distributed by volunteers throughout the Colorado Springs area. David was amazed at the number of generous people the family didn’t know who jumped in to help do everything necessary to make the Christmas tree magic happen that coloradocountrylife.coop


[ feature] first year. Many of the volunteers continue in their roles as “elves,” which is what volunteers are called. Unlike many other charitable organizations, The Christmas Tree Project has no qualifications that must be met to receive a tree. Those in need simply visit Santa’s Workshop. David and his elves open the workshop between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In a donated space of about 1,500 square feet adjacent to David’s software company offices, elves create stations displaying trees, ornaments, lights and holiday décor, just like shoppers would find in a fancy holiday store. People are invited to come and select their tree and other holiday décor. “Customers” are greeted by a concierge elf who walks around with the client to carry the selected items. David and Michelle’s 10-year-old granddaughter is the head junior elf and enjoys helping the children who visit the workshop pick out special holiday items in Santa’s Workshop. The goal is to create an experience for customers. And, when they leave, they don’t have to pay with anything more than a smile. David said it is heartwarming to see those smiles on the recipients’ faces as they walk out with armloads of stuff to make their holidays special. And when Santa’s Workshop closes a few days before Christmas, David and his team of elves continue to pay it forward by donating the leftover trees and decorations to a local nonprofit to help make that group’s holiday special.

When Michelle and David Fein got rid of an old Christmas tree, they didn’t mean to start an organization that supplies even more trees to those less fortunate.

TREES BRING SMILES

The Christmas Tree Project helps people like the young couple with five children and another on the way (due Christmas Day) who needed a tree and ended up with a wonderful nine-and-half-foot tree. As they left, they said that their children would not believe they had such a magnificent tree. One request came from a single mother, who couldn’t work due to health conditions and was therefore short on money. Yet, she wanted to give her daughter a Christmas tree to decorate. Another single mother requested a tree for her 2-1/2-year-old son as she wanted to make this Christmas special for him. Then, there was the mother of a 3-year-old. The daughter was convinced she needed a tree for Santa Claus’ visit. With each tree, a pre-addressed thank-you card is included. One returned note said, “Thank you so much! To all the people and organizations that made our Christmas tree possible. We thank you. Words cannot express how a true Christmas miracle was actually made real! Bless you all! We could not have a Christmas tree otherwise. Please continue to keep doing this great project!!!” And, “Our 3-year-old kept asking me, ‘When will Santa bring us our Christmas tree with lights?’ as we drove past house after house — all sporting twinkling trees in the window. YOU helped my heart stop breaking. You truly get Christmas. Thank you! (Times a million.)” Reading the responses that The Christmas Tree Project receives, the real spirit of Christmas becomes evident. And the holiday spirit continues, sometimes as a way to say thank you with a tree. There was the car with a Purple Heart license plate driven by an injured soldier. He was happy to get a tree for his family, but he did not get a pre-addressed card so he could write a note of thanks to all the people who worked on The Christmas Tree Project. It seemed obvious that he was the one who deserved the thanks. [continued on page 18] coloradocountrylife.coop

Santa’s Workshop offers shoppers trees and lots of ways to decorate.

“Our 3-year-old kept asking me, ‘When will Santa bring us our Christmas tree with lights?’” DECEMBER 2017

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[feature] David Fein and his granddaughter stand in front of trees that will brighten homes during the holidays.

A SYMBOL OF PEACE

[continued from page 17]

PAYING IT FORWARD

David shared that this project is not really about Christmas trees, but about an amazing pay-it-forward effort that started with a chain of random acts of kindness and blossomed into a local effort to help other people experience the magic of Christmas. And now, the nonprofit helps people all over the United States and, once in a while, beyond. A few years ago, a tree was donated to a school in Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums just outside Nairobi, Kenya. The request came from an American who helps build schools in the area. The project is totally run by volunteer elves using donations of artificial and real trees, decorations and ornaments. Many local churches support the project as do tree farms and retail stores. One year, inmates at a nearby Colorado prison donated hundreds of their handmade wooden ornaments. Most of the requests for trees come from the Front Range of Colorado. For those requests outside of the Colorado area, the elves often call a tree farm near the town where the requests originated. David said that usually within 60 seconds of describing the project, they get a commitment for a tree and, in many cases, the tree will be delivered to the requester. David shared that every year he thinks the need is going to fade away, but it doesn’t. Last year the organization received more than 700 requests. Over the past seven years, more than 5,000 trees were given away.

Despite the added hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the Fein family still decorates their own 8-foot tree. It is the one they bought a few years ago to replace the tree that began The Christmas Tree Project. David and Michelle have three children and four grandchildren. That tree is the centerpiece of their home in December. It may be surprising to learn that David, a California native, is Jewish. Yet, knowing the way he is sharing the magic of Christmas, it’s not surprising that his favorite holiday is Christmas. One of his favorite memories is of enjoying his first Christmas tree, which was also his father’s first Christmas tree. That tree was one that revolved 360 degrees and, as it turned, it showed off the tree and the cherished ornaments from every angle. For David, that tree and all of the Christmas trees he helps distribute each year have become symbols for peace and good cheer. It truly is amazing that the need to get rid of an artificial Christmas tree created this amazing act of kindness that continues today. “Our real message,” David said, “is to share hope and love as the world could use more of it. This is a total heart project.” Cyndy Thomas Klepinger is a Denver freelance writer, who has again become a believer in the magic of Christmas. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop for more information on helping with The Christmas Tree Project and for some fun facts about Christmas trees.

Volunteer “elves” make The Christmas Tree Project possible.

18

DECEMBER 2017

coloradocountrylife.coop


LAST CHANCE TO ENTER

2018 Photo Contest 4 categories • 4 chances to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd

Categories are: • Classic Colorado Photos that convey the feel, the look that is Colorado • Cute Critters Animals of all kinds • Seasonal Salute Capture spring, summer, fall or winter • Water Wonders Water in all of its wonderful forms: creeks, rivers, waterfalls, water sports, fountains, etc.

Contest rules:

• Photographer must be a member of a Colorado electric co-op. • Photographer may enter up to 2 photos per category. • A completed entry form must accompany each photo. The form is available at coloradocountrylife.coop under Contests or may be requested at info@coloradocountrylife.org. Form may be duplicated. • Photos may be in a printed or digital format. • Printed photos must be 8X10 inches and may NOT be printed on a home printer. Prints will not be returned. • Digital photos must be at least 8X10 inches in size at least 300 dpi. • Photographer may win only one first-place prize. • By entering the contest, photographers give Colorado Country Life permission to publish the image in print and online. • Find a full list of official rules online at coloradocountrylife.coop

Deadline: December 15, 2017

Winners will be published in March 2018

Send entries to: Photo Contest, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or info@coloradocountrylife.org.

Title for entry (to appear if published) Name

Phone

Address City

State

Zip

Electricity co-op you are a member of Email

Please check the appropriate category for your photo: ☐ Classic Colorado ☐ Cute Critters ☐ Seasonal Salute

☐ Water Wonders

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.

Prizes: 1st place – $175, 2nd place – $75, 3rd place – $50


[recipes]

SWEETEN YOUR HOLIDAYS Recipe guru offers a sweet way to end your day BY AMY HIGGINS RECIPES@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

T

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can put pep in your step or leave you downright exhausted. No matter how you handle the holidays, a sweet treat is the perfect way to top off your day. Sugar Hero! blogger Elizabeth LaBau is also a recipe author and creator whose sugary concoctions below beckon bakers to grab their measuring spoons and slip on their oven mitts. Even the Grinch can’t say no to these delightful sweets.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS A Chocoholic’s Delight Can’t get enough of chocolate? Head to the Holiday Chocolate Festival at the Colorado Springs Event Center on December 9 to get your chance to choose from more than 100,000 chocolate samples.

DID YOU KNOW? Candy Cane Count According to gourmetgift baskets.com, approximately 1.76 billion candy canes are made each year, and 90 percent are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate For the Peppermint Hot Chocolate 3 cups milk 1 cup heavy cream Pinch salt 12 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate 1/2-1 teaspoon peppermint extract, to taste

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 6 ounces (3/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 large egg, at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients (flour through cloves). Set aside. In the bowl of a large stand mixer, combine the For the Cocoa Whipped Cream butter and both sugars. Beat them together on medium 3/4 cup whipping cream speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the 1/4 cup powdered sugar molasses and beat until it’s mixed in, then add the egg and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder vanilla extract and beat again until everything is wellTo make the peppermint hot chocolate, combine the milk, incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. until all of the flour mixture is incorporated, then scrape Heat up the milk, stirring occasionally, and bring it to a down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber simmer. Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat and add spatula. Add the chocolate chips and stir them in. Scrape the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, press the chopped chocolate. Whisk everything together until it into a disc and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 to the chocolate melts and the drink is creamy and smooth. 6 hours, or up to 72 hours. (At this point, the dough can Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, taste it and be portioned and frozen for up to 3 months.) add more extract if desired to get your ideal flavor. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover two baking To make the cocoa whipped cream, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whip with a hand mixer sheets with parchment paper. Scoop large golf ball-sized rounds of dough and place them on the baking sheets 2 on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies Serve the hot chocolate with a big dollop of cocoa are set and golden around the edges, but still quite soft in whipped cream on top. The hot chocolate can be made the middle. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the trays, then ahead of time and kept in a container in the refrigerator transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. until you’re ready to enjoy it, then reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.

For more delicious holiday recipes from Elizabeth LaBau, visit coloradocountrylife.coop. 20

DECEMBER 2017

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The secret to AloeCure’s “health adjusting” formula is scientifically tested Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe Vera. But not the same aloe vera that mom used to apply to your cuts, scrapes and burns. This is a perfect strain of aloe that is organically grown under very strict conditions. AloeCure is so powerful it begins to benefit your health the instant you take it. It soothes intestinal discomfort and you can avoid the possibility of bone and health damage caused by overuse of digestion drugs. We all know how well aloe works externally on cuts, scrapes and burns. But did you know Acemannan has many of other health benefits?...

HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO CALM INFLAMMATION According to a leading aloe research, when correctly processed for digesting, the Aloe plant has a powerful component for regulating your immune system called Acemannan. So whether it’s damage that is physical, bacterial, chemical or autoimmune; the natural plant helps the body stay healthy. RAPID ACID AND HEARTBURN NEUTRALIZER Aloe has proved to have an astonishing effect on users who suffer with digestion problems like bouts of acid reflux, heartburn, cramping, gas and constipation because it acts as a natural acid buffer and soothes the digestive system. But new studies prove it does a whole lot more. SIDE-STEP HEART CONCERNS So you’ve been taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for years and you feel just fine. In June of 2015 a major study shows that chronic PPI use increases the risk of heart attack in general population. UNLEASH YOUR MEMORY Studies show that your brain needs the healthy bacteria from your gut in order function at its best. Both low and high dosages of digestion drugs are proven to destroy that healthy bacteria and get in the way of brain function. So you’re left with a sluggish, slowto-react brain without a lot of room to store information. The acemannan used in AloeCure actually makes your gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster and with a larger capacity for memory. Doctors call it “The greatest health discovery in decades!”

body’s ability to break down and absorb calcium. Aloe delivers calcium as it aids in balancing your stomach acidity. The result? Thicker, healthier looking hair…more youthful looking skin… And nails so strong they may never break again. SAVE YOUR KIDNEY National and local news outlets are reporting Kidney Failure linked to PPI’s. Your Kidney extracts waste from blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. Without it your body would be overrun by deadly toxins. Aloe helps your kidney function properly. Studies suggest, if you started taking aloe today; you’d see a big difference in the way you feel. GUARANTEED RESULTS OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK Due to the incredible results people are reporting, AloeCure is being sold with an equally incredible guarantee. “We can only offer this incredible guarantee because we are 100% certain this product will work for those who use it,” Says Dr. Leal. Here’s how it works: Take the pill exactly as directed. You must see and feel remarkable improvements in your digestive health, your mental health, in your physical appearance, the amount inflammation you have throughout your body – even in your ability to fall asleep at night! Otherwise, simply return the empty bottles with a short note about how you took the pills and followed the simple instructions and the company will send you...Double your money back!

HOW TO GET ALOECURE This is the official nationwide release of the new AloeCure pill in the United States. And SLEEP LIKE A BABY A night without sleep really damages your so, the company is offering our readers up to 3 body. And continued lost sleep can lead to all FREE bottles with their order. sorts of health problems. But what you may not This special give-away is available for readers realize is the reason why you’re not sleeping. of this publication only. All you have to do is Some call it “Ghost Reflux”. A low-intensity call TOLL-FREE 1-800-746-2987 1-800-808-4214 and provide form of acid reflux discomfort that quietly keeps the operator with the Free Bottle Approval you awake in the background. AloeCure helps Code: JC025. The company will do the rest. digestion so you may find yourself sleeping Important: Due to AloeCure’s recent media through the night. exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you CELEBRITY HAIR, SKIN & NAILS call and do not immediately get through, Certain antacids may greatly reduce your please be patient and call back.

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. coloradocountrylife.coop

DECEMBER 2017

21


[gardening]

Get a Gardening Jump Start With Journaling Write down your gardening successes and failures and plan for next year BY VICKI SPENCER MASTER GARDENER GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

W

When I first started gardening, I sought advice from family, friends and gardening guides, but I never thought about recording my observations. It was only after inheriting a copy of my grandmother’s diary that I considered journaling as an effective garden tool. In spite of how much we might think we will remember the details about last year’s gardens, it really is difficult with the busy lives we lead. Keeping a history of what grows when and where and under what weather conditions is an excellent way to improve our successes from year to year. My grandparents had a dryland farm near Peetz, Colorado. For many years, they lived a hard life without electricity and indoor plumbing and struggled from day to day to grow their crops. I thought my grandmother’s journal would give insight into the hardships she endured. Surprisingly to me, most of her entries were about weather conditions and the all-pervasive dust that came with living on the dry prairie land. Around the same time I acquired my grandmother’s journal, I discovered that my son-in-law journaled for years in Arkansas. His journals also contained details about weather conditions, but as a proficient birdwatcher and naturalist, he noted his first sightings of different bird and flower species in the spring, among other natural events. I quickly realized that his journals had a wealth of information for gardening in the Ozarks and that I should be keeping a journal for gardening in Colorado. Some journals are designed for serious gardeners who enjoy inputting daily recordings and observations; others are more for casual gardeners who only wish to provide a few reflective notes from time to time. With so many options available, it is well worth the time to peruse the internet or your local bookstore to find the journal style that fits your disposition and lifestyle. As much as I want to follow a scientific approach, I am more inclined to enjoy my garden than spend time writing in a journal every day. But I am happy to make weekly entries and record major observations and events. As appealing as the online journal options are, I have to confess that I do better keeping a handwritten notebook. I can quickly jot down my observations without having to log on to the computer. Those who are proficient with smartphones might find it more efficient to jot down notes and take photos while walking around the garden. Choose the style that works for you so it doesn’t become a chore and you can stick with it. Some useful notes to record in your journal are: • When you bought seeds or plants • How you prepared the soil before planting • When you sowed seeds or planted seedlings • The weather conditions (temperatures, rain, frost, snow, wind or drought conditions) • How often you watered and how much water you applied • What kind of fertilizer you applied and how much

• What pests or diseases you observed, the remedies you tried and whether or not they worked • The quantities, weight or volume of what you harvested • When you pruned trees and plants • Whether you mulched, what kind of mulch you applied and when you mulched Journaling can be more enjoyable if you add photos of your garden at different stages throughout the season. I found this particularly helpful in designing a flower garden that blooms from spring to fall. Pictures can also help with your vegetable gardens. You can observe the stages of growth throughout the season, as well as the differences in growth of plants and produce in dry versus rainy years, or warm versus cool ones. Photos are also useful if you want to practice crop rotation but are not exactly sure you will remember where you planted vegetables the previous year.

In addition to garden planning, design and maintenance, journaling can also help when it comes to pest management. For instance, when I moved from the mountains to an old house on the Front Range this year, my lawn and gardens were completely overgrown with weeds. It was disconcerting, but I dug weeds and prepared the soil for planting. As soon as weather conditions permitted, I began planting perennials. After living so long in the high country where they didn’t bother my garden, grasshoppers didn’t cross my mind. Just as the new plants took hold, the grasshoppers began eating the leaves. If only I had lived in my house that previous year and kept a journal, I might have been more tuned in to the time when grasshopper eggs were about to hatch. Maybe I could have planted a little later and avoided the stress that the grasshoppers caused the young plants. Vicki Spencer is a Colorado master gardener with a varied and eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and much more.

More Online: Read previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado. 22

DECEMBER 2017

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[outdoors]

• Comes in various Sizes and Colors. • Website shows nearly 100 uses for this product. • Helps prevent Bruising, Cuts, Scratches, and Burns. • Ideal for those who Bruise Easily or have Thin Skin. • Protection from thorny/needled plants & trees. • Easily worn under regular gloves or over sleeves.

Making Meat and Memories Writer’s big-game prep is a family affair

BY DENNIS SMITH OUTDOORS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

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DECEMBER 2017

If, as the television jingle says, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” then “The best part of big game hunting is elk steaks on the barbie.” It’s a day in late December and colder than a well digger’s butt. The sky is the color of molten pewter, snowflakes big as quarters are falling and the air is so quiet you swear you can hear them hissing through the pine boughs in the backyard. The fire dancing in the family room hearth warms your bones, while a pair of 2-inch-thick loin steaks sizzle in a swirl of applewood smoke and yelloworange flames on the charcoal grill outside the patio door. Life is good, you think, and you’d be right. Those steaks came from a cow elk one of the boys shot on the mountain behind son Dave’s cabin earlier in the fall. We field dressed her and got her down to the cabin quickly on an all-terrain vehicle, but it took the neighbor from the other side of the hill to come over with his backhoe to help us hang the carcass for aging, skinning and prepping. Once that was done, we put the quarters on ice to keep cool and begin the arduous but rewarding task of “making meat,” as my little granddaughter calls it. Over the years, processing our own wild game has become a full-blown family affair with all four grandkids taking part in the work. My sons and I break down the major cuts and set up the equipment. The kids run the mixer and grinder, man the grill or skillet for taste tests and, once the proper ratio of spices is agreed on, help with the wrapping, labeling and cleanup.

They like making sausages and burgers the most, and even came up with a couple of their own recipes. They definitely have fun, but this is as much an educational process as it is an entertaining one for them. Apart from learning where their food really comes from and how it’s processed, they see firsthand what muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments actually look like and how they work. Brandon announced this year he thought it would be much more useful (and fun) if schools would teach kids how to butcher a fresh animal carcass instead of dissecting a pickled frog. Makes sense to me. Biology aside, there’s a fair amount of practical math involved here, too: computing fat to lean ratios, usually by weight, but sometimes by dry volume; converting dry and liquid measurement equivalents — cups to ounces, ounces to teaspoons or pounds and that sort of thing. It’s amazing to see how eager kids can be to work fractions when they realize it can dramatically affect the taste of their venison burgers or their favorite breakfast sausage. As much as we enjoy hunting and camping together, it seems we get almost as big a kick out of making our own meat. In the end, though, the best part of it all might just be watching those big steaks sizzle on the barbie on a cold winter day.

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[ energy tips]

Water Heater Maintenance or Replacement? BY PAT KEEGAN AND BRAD THIESSEN

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Certified home inspectors estimate the life span of a water heater to be about 10 years. Some manufacturers suggest 12 to 13 years, but some water tanks can last more than 40 years before the heating element finally gives out. That said, it’s wise to replace a water heater before it fails because sometimes failure includes a ruptured tank or a massive leak that can do a lot of damage. There are a few warning signs that your water heater tank or heating element may be failing: • Water is leaking from the tank or pooling on the floor underneath • Rust, corrosion or mineral deposits are around fittings or release valves • The water temperature from your faucets is dropping Most experts believe that an important water heater maintenance practice is to drain the tank every year or two. However, Ken Maleski, the residential energy advisor at Central Electric Cooperative in Pennsylvania, recommends that if your tank has not been drained in the past six to seven years, you should avoid doing so because draining could remove sediment in such a way that a leak could develop. Be sure to check with your electric Photo by Jim Troth co-op if it’s time Mineral deposits on pressure to purchase a release valves or corrosion on new water heater. fittings coming out of the water heater are signs of leakage that Some co-ops offer should be addressed. rebates on energyefficient models. Others offer incentives for water heaters with large tanks or for installing a switch that can be triggered remotely to turn the water heater off for brief periods of high energy demand. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency.

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An Unlikely Mother Emily Ellis

Nick and Tesla’s SolarPowered Showdown Andrew Miller

Raining Love in Dove Creek Eli and Mort’s Epic AdvenPat Clark tures: Steamboat Sleeper Protocol Sheri Cole Shawn Kerby Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colo- Space Boy and the Space Pirate rado Rockies Patricia Harder Brenda Mross

Best Laid Plans and Other Immigrant in Peril: Carl Disasters Tangeman’s Heroic Joni Castillo Journey Across America, Broken Slate 1847-1848 Jarmila Polacek Kristie Constance Built to Thrill: More ClasIn the Shadow of Denali sic Automobiles from Ann Coontz Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Lucky to Live in Colorado Judy Sherrod Kenneth E. Schwindt Chasing Hindy My Bad: A Mile High Noir Phyllis Donovan Sheri Cole Christmas in My Heart Richard Strohecker

The Art of Vanishing Nora Matteo The Wise Animal Handbook Patricia Busa Trouble Returns Marty Veron Zomnibus: The Cases of Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Christie Tracy Nash

coloradocountrylife.coop


[ funny stories]

READERS PHOTOS

Toni Leuthold of Winter Park, a Mountain Parks Electric member, Gabrielle and Steve Pollett of Australia and Jenny Krieg of Granby sit with Colorado Country Life at the completion of their 192 mile Coast to Coast walk across England.

Mountain View Electric member Amanda Vignery of Falcon takes CCL to the island of Kauai for a family reunion with her dad, Roger K. Dean, brother, Roger A. Dean and sister, Leslie Martin.

San Isabel Electric member of Trinchera Marsha Strasia visits the Terracotta Army sculptures in Xi’an, China.

My granddaughter Kylie was excited to board the steam train out of Durango, which during Christmas time becomes The Polar Express bound for the North Pole. At the head of our car a young lady read the story The Polar Express before passing around hot chocolate and cookies. When we entered the North Pole, our guide pointed out a large building, telling us it was the toy factory where the elves made toys and learned how to be Santa’s helpers. When she asked what we thought the elves might learn, Kylie‘s hand excitedly shot into the air. Her mother and I wondered what she obviously thought was the perfect answer. Pulling from five years of accumulated Christmas vocabulary she confidently blurted, “They learn how to sleigh Santa!” Sue Loweree, Durango A couple was in a busy shopping center just before Christmas. The wife suddenly noticed that her husband was missing and so she called his cell phone. The wife asked, “Where are you? You know we have a lot to do.” He said, “Do you remember the jewelry store we walked into about 10 years ago and you fell in love with that diamond necklace? I could not afford it at the time and I said one day I would get it for you?” Little tears started to flow down her cheek and she got choked up. “Yes, I do remember that shop,” she said. “Well, I’m at the gun shop next to that.” Mike Sniegowski, Phoenix, Arizona Part of the assignment for my secondgrade class was to draw a nativity picture. One little boy came to my desk, put his picture down, placed his elbow on my desk, rested his chin in the palm of his hand and proceeded to tell me about his drawing. “This is the manger where Jesus was born. This is Mary and Joseph and the star that shone over the stable. This is the store where the three wise men shopped, and these are the three wise men: Frankenstein, Merchants and Gold.” Denise Blegen, Berthoud

WINNER: Sisters Larissa and Kira take Colorado Country Life to the Belize shoreline. Photo submitted by Rita Ohrdorf, a member of San Isabel Electric Association.

TAKE YOUR PHOTO WITH YOUR MAGAZINE AND WIN! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo and your name and address to info@coloradocountrylife. org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Wednesday, November 15. This month’s winner is Rita Ohrdorf. Rita is a San Isabel Electric Association member. NAME AND ADDRESS MUST ACCOMPANY PHOTO. coloradocountrylife.coop

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. The 2017 year-end funny stories winner is Donna Hellyer of Hayden. At the end of each year we draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person receives $200. Send your 2018 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Include your mailing address, so we can send you a check.

$15 DECEMBER 2017

29


[discoveries]

Holiday Crafts

NEED HELP?

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Ribbon Trees for the Tree In no time at all, you can turn some ribbon and beads into pretty Christmas ornaments.

Bottle Cap Snowmen Ornaments Cute and easy with endless colorful combinations of ribbon, these snowmen will look great on your tree or as gift tags on wrapped presents. What you’ll need: Bottle caps; white, orange and black craft paint; craft paint brushes; contrasting ribbons; small buttons; hot glue gun and glue sticks. Step 1: Paint inside of three bottle caps white with craft paint and let dry. Some bottle caps will need a second coat of paint. Step 2: Paint on snowman face details: black coal eyes, orange carrot nose, coal smile. On second bottle cap, paint three black coal buttons. Let dry.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED 8-15 beads (with center holes just larger than the needle you use) 14-16 inches of ½-inch wide ribbon Needle Heavy thread or embroidery floss Scissors ASSEMBLY Put embroidery floss or thread on your needle and tie a knot at the end large enough to stop the bead. Thread on a larger bead or a couple of beads for the base of your tree. Then start with about 8 inches of ribbon. Fold it over and push the needle through the center of your ribbon about 2-2 ½ inches from the end. Add a bead. Fold the ribbon back so the next loop is a little indented from the last layer and push the needle through the center. Repeat this process, adding a bead and looping the ribbon until you have a Christmas tree shape. Finish with a bead at the top and secure it by knotting the floss. Trim the ribbon. Trim the floss 3 to 4 inches from the top of the tree, tie a knot and trim any excess floss.

Step 3: Measure a length of ribbon, about 5 to 6 inches. Fold it over on itself about an inch and hot glue to make a loop at the top. Step 4: Hot glue the painted bottle caps onto the length of the ribbon with the loop at the top, and cut off any excess at the bottom. Step 5: Cut small contrasting ribbon to tie a scarf around the snowman’s neck. Hot glue in place if necessary. Add button detail by hot gluing a small button to the knot of the scarf.

PINECONE OWL ORNAMENTS Pinecone owl ornaments are super cute and easy to construct. If you already have scissors, a hot glue gun and access to pinecones, this craft can cost $5 or much less.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED Scissors Felt in assorted colors

Hot glue gun and glue sticks Pipe cleaners

Scissors Pinecones

ASSEMBLY Cut felt into shapes for the eyes and wings. Experiment with the placement of the shapes before hot gluing them together; little adjustments can make them look more owl-like. Cut pipe cleaners into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Grab three pieces and twist them together on one end; repeat. Bend the tips on the opposite ends of the pipe cleaners to resemble claws. Once the eyes, wings and claws are assembled, dabble with where they’ll fit best on your pinecone. Use your hot glue gun to affix then to the pinecone. You can simply place the owl on a tree branch, attach a hook to hang it or set it anywhere in your home as a holiday decoration. 30

DECEMBER 2017

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Advanced Technology Allows Macular Degeneration Patients To See Again And Allows Many Low Vision Patients To Drive Again

A scene as it might be viewed by a person with age-related macular degeneration

Same scene of Grandchildren as viewed through telescope glasses.

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

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

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While there is currently no cure, promising research is being done on many fronts. “My job is to figure out everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning” says Dr. Stamm “Even if it’s driving”. “The major benefit of the bioptic telescope is that the lens automatically focuses on whatever you’re looking at,” said Dr. Stamm. “It’s like a self-focusing camera, but much more precise.”

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

Robert Stamm, O.D. Low Vision Optometrist Member IALVS

Toll Free:

(877) 393-0025

www.NebraskaLowVisionDoctor.com


Colorado Country Life December 2017 White River  

Colorado Country Life December 2017 White River