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Generosity isn’t just for the holidays At Tri-State, supporting our members and their communities is what we do. We tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow together – that’s the cooperative difference. From our family to yours, stay safe and happy holidays. Find these stories and more at www.tristate.coop.

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

Volume 51

Number 12

December 2020 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2020, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216



“Full Steam Ahead” by Michael McCaffrey, a consumer-member of Y-W Electric Association.











On the





COCountryLife pinned: Heat up the oven and try Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel’s Salted MapleDate Caramel Molten Chocolate Cakes. These sweet indulgences are low in sugar and a great festive dessert.


Colorado Make-A-Wish kid Zack Montgomery enjoys the horses he dreamed about. Photo by John Russell.


FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: After a long week of long days, great progress has been made on restoring the damage done to Mountain Parks Electric’s system by the East Troublesome Fire, which is yet to be fully contained. Mutual aid crews from other Colorado electric co-ops will be heading home as MPE continues the restoration progress.

Monthly Contest Win and support a local business This month enter for your chance to win a $100 gift card or certificate to the local business/restaurant o f yo u r c h o o s i n g . Go to Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop to learn how to enter.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month cocountrylife posted: Sick of Netflix? Read a great book by a Colorado author! Visit our website and read the reviews: coloradocountrylife.coop. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020



TEEING UP BETTER DAYS AHEAD Putting a plan in place to make my “mulligan” count BY KENT SINGER



f you, a friend or family member is a golfer, then you are probably familiar with the term “mulligan.” A mulligan is essentially what kids call a “do-over.” For example, if you hit a terrible tee shot and the ball goes sailing into a pond (hypothetically, of course, since this is not something I have ever experienced), you tee up another ball and try again. As far as I’m concerned, we should consider the entire year of 2020 a mulligan. I mean, come on, who could have predicted a year where we endured a pandemic, a shutdown of the economy, unprecedented wildfires, weeks of social unrest and all of this topped off by a lengthy and brutal election? Now, I’m sure lots of good things have happened in 2020: Families celebrated new additions, couples exchanged vows, people got new jobs or made new friends. Thank goodness for all of those blessings. But for many Coloradans and Americans, 2020 has been a year of separation, heartache and uncertainty; the new year can’t come soon enough. And while it looks like we’ll be dealing with the pandemic for months

to come, at least there are promising treatments and vaccines on the horizon to give us hope that life will gradually get back to normal next year. So, what are you going to do with your mulligan? In golf, mulligans are typically limited to one per round, so you have to make the most of the next shot. That means you better make a plan for your 2021 mulligan year. Here’s my 10-step “2021 Mulligan Action Plan”: • Step 1: See a movie in a theater. • Step 2: Connect more. Connect with family, connect with friends, connect with co-workers, connect with our electric co-op family. I think we’re all connection-deprived; Zoom is great but a poor substitute for a real conversation, much less a hug. • Step 3: Take a deep breath. I pledge to have a much slower middle finger trigger when navigating Denver traffic; we’ll see how long that lasts. • Step 4: Walk the dog more. She deserves it and I need it. • Step 5: Listen more, talk less. There’s a great line in the movie “Pulp


Fiction” where Uma Thurman asks John Travolta: “Do you listen, or do you wait to talk?” I hope to listen better in 2021. • Step 6: Learn to bake sourdough bread. • Step 7: Quit eating bread and go on a low-carb diet. • Step 8: Finally write that novel about a pandemic that threatens humanity. (It’ll never get published; the plot’s implausible.) • Step 9: Pull out the trumpet and get the chops back in shape. • Step 10: Thank everyone I work with at the Colorado Rural Electric Association for a job well done in 2020. Perhaps my Mulligan Action Plan is not all that ambitious, but I think it’s realistic. No doubt your plan is better, so if you’re inclined to share, please drop us a line and let us know what you plan to do in 2021 to help recover from the train wreck that was 2020. I guess you could call these resolutions; I prefer the Mulligan Action Plan. When I was a kid, my mom would fix ham hocks and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming of the new year; she said it would bring good luck. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m leaving nothing to chance. Honey, warm up the Crock-Pot®. So long, 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and its power supply co-op.




FROM THE EDITOR It’s a time for giving




ast night I finished packing a few shoe boxes full of soaps, toothbrushes, school supplies and toys. The boxes, now wrapped in red and green Christmas paper, will be sent to kids in other countries via Operation Christmas Child, a program of Samaritan’s Purse. Often these boxes are the first gifts that the children have ever received. The kids, selected through local church programs, are in orphanages, living in refugee camps or growing up in povertyor war-stricken areas. They are kids who have had to grow up too fast and have so little. It breaks my heart. My kids lived their first months in an orphanage half a world away. If my husband and I hadn’t adopted them, they could have been among kids receiving similar shoe boxes. So, each year we pack shoe boxes for orphans and others less fortunate. It’s our way of giving during the holidays.

It’s certainly not the only way MONA NEELEY to give. You’ll find other possibilities in the following pages. The cover story reminds us of the kids here, close to home, who are facing their own difficulties that are lightened by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Find out how to support that organization on page 19. And there are fellow Coloradans and communities who were affected so much in the recent wildfires. Find out how to help them on page 13. Find the need that speaks to you and give — of yourself and your funds, if you are able — this holiday season. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative. Its goal is to provide information from your local electric co-op to you, its consumer-members.


Carousel of Memories

My great-grandfather, R.T. Dowis, bought a C.W. Parker Baby Q carousel in 1908. From his base in Sterling he traveled throughout Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota and purchased more rides and built a nice carnival. The horse shown in July’s Letters column is called Star Gazer. We had one on our ride. I set up that carousel hundreds of times and painted the horses every winter as a kid. That carousel was steam (driven) and used until my father sold the carnival in 1969. It is possible that the Star Gazer in your magazine is the one from our carousel. Victor Wisdom, Sterling Highline Electric consumer-member

When R.T. Dowis’ carousel was on the Pine Ridge Reservation, its Star Gazer was featured on the August 1942 cover of Collier’s magazine.

Just Say No to RTO

Earlier this year, Kent Singer laid out the case for why Colorado should cede authority of its electric power grid to a regional transmission operator, or RTO. AARP respectfully disagrees. RTOs are a 1990s idea never adopted in the West nor the Southeast. Recent developments underscore that they are not needed in Colorado. RTOs promote costly transmission development socialized over a multistate footprint. This promotes an overreliance on costly transmission development when local solutions like solar and energy efficiency would be cheaper. Kellie Fritts, AARP Colorado

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@ coloradocountrylife.org. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length.




Three Steps to an Efficient Attic BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN

A Just For





Give them a subscription to Colorado Country Life. For 12-months they will discover new places and products from right here in Colorado. ORDER a 12-month subscription today. It’s just $9 for instate, or $15 for outof-state. JUNE 2020

To order, call Colorado Country Life at 303-455-4111.


Stay in & Stre am YouTubers Chann el



ttention to your attic is often the area of your home where you can get the most bang for your buck on energy efficiency investments. Insulation is actually just one part of the energy-efficient attic puzzle. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare to make your attic more efficient.

done by installing soffit vents and insulation baffles around the perimeter, plus vents near the peak of the roof. If there is no way to install enough attic ventilators, an attic fan can be installed to provide mechanical assistance to exhaust overheated air.

Step 1: Sealing

The three main types of insulation for attics are loose-fill, batt and rigid. Whichever type you have, it needs to provide a high-enough level of insulation for your region, measured in R-value. Batt and rigid insulation will often have the R-value printed on them. Loose-fill, which is blown in, is the most common for attic floors, and its R-value is approximately its depth in inches multiplied by 2.8. Generally speaking, your attic should have anywhere from 11 to 24 inches of loose-fill insulation, depending on where you live. You can find the recommended level for your region at Energy.gov.

Attics are often the place where warm air leaks out of the home in winter or into the home during summer. Trouble spots include anything that comes through the attic floor, such as recessed lights, the chimney and the attic hatch, as well as pipes and ducts or wires coming through the attic floor. It’s best to properly seal these trouble spots before adding or improving the insulation. Invest a small amount of money in the necessary supplies, such as caulk, expanding foam or weather stripping, to seal any air leaks in your attic.

Step 2: Ventilation Many attics are not well-ventilated, which allows moisture and heat to build up. Moisture causes harmful mold and wood rot. During the summer, a poorly ventilated attic is prone to overheating, which can bake shingles and shorten their life. During the winter, a warm attic can melt snow on the roof, causing it to run into your gutters and then freeze, causing ice dams. Proper attic ventilation lets air flow from a low point to a high point. This is usually

Step 3: Insulation

This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on ensuring an energy-efficient attic, please visit collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn more about ways to improve the efficiency of your home. Look under the Energy tab.


MAILING ADDRESS 2211 Elk River Road Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS SERVICE CENTER 2211 Elk River Road Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

ph 970-879-1160 tf 888-873-9832 fax 970-879-7270 web www.yvea.com

CRAIG SERVICE CENTER 3715 East US Highway 40 Craig, CO 81625

ph 970-824-6593 tf 888-873-9832 fax 970-824-7134

facebook.com/ YampaValleyElectricAssociation


instagram.com/ yampavalleyelectriccoop

Yampa Valley Electric Association is a cooperative that provides value to its member-owners through technology that delivers safe and reliable electric service in an environmentally and financially responsible manner. YAMPA VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNIT Y PROVIDER AND EMPLOYER.





he COVID-19 crisis has put the spotlight on the absolute and outright need for ubiquitous, high-performing broadband. The data — and the people themselves — tell us that today’s rural America is not fully prepared for the “connected” state we are facing. It has taken a global health and economic crisis to a position where broadband has been identified as an “essential service,” allowing Americans to work and attend school from their residence. Yampa Valley Electric Association has been working to help bridge the rural-urban communications gap through the work of our wholly-owned subsidiary, Luminate Fiber, LLC. The pandemic has forced us to rethink the practice and delivery of health care, education and professional services, among many other things. As we move forward in the midst, and wake, of the pandemic both on the local and national levels, a realistic picture is being painted in rural America. In several of our communities, the challenges of not being connected have been daunting and debilitating. We are at a defining moment, and rural America must find a way forward, in what is already a more connected economy. In our territory, it has been increasingly clear for quite some time that broadband is a


necessity for community health, economic development, education and well-being. Now more than ever, the future of regional economic development, student achievement and robust health and emergency services will depend on unilateral deployment of broadband throughout the counties we serve. In the last few years, the most populated areas in our territory have been the only financially attractive locations for private broadband providers to offer service. The remaining rural and remote high-cost areas have been left out and remain persistently unserved. In our commitment to serve ALL our communities, to be a stabilizing force in the face of power plant and coal mine closures and now to provide needed services during a global pandemic, we are doing everything we can to bring broadband to every member of our cooperative. As many of you know, we live in some of the most rugged, remote and rural areas in the nation. Take a drive to Toponas, Hamilton or Maybell and you will understand why it has been discouraging to consider delivering fiber optics to these areas. Therefore, funding support is essential. We have been honored to receive nearly

YVEA OFFICES CLOSED December 24, 25 and January 1, 2021, in observance of the holidays. Wishing you and yours a safe holiday season and a happy new year. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020


YOUR CO-OP NEWS $2.4 million in funding partnership from the Colorado Broadband Deployment Fund to bring fiber to north Routt County, and are currently lighting up service to these community members. And now, we are thrilled to announce we have received $6 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver fiber to our most remote and rural members — those who live in the Hamilton and Maybell areas, and those who live in south Routt and north Eagle counties in the Toponas, Bond, McCoy and Burns communities. This is not something we have done or are doing alone. It has taken the collaboration of countless community members to work toward the ambitious goal of having all our rural and remote citizens connected. From the partnership of Northwest Colorado

Broadband, to Project Thor, to the strategic broadband plans commissioned by Routt and Moffat counties, to assistance from the Colorado Broadband Office, this has been a step-by-step process of identifying needs and resources and working together to pursue what is best for our communities. Before COVID-19, the stakes were exceptionally high. Today, they are even higher. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered everyday life. For YVEA and Luminate Fiber, extending true broadband communications into our rural areas is the current-day equivalent of the work our cooperative did to bring our rural members electricity in the 1940s. We continue to take our mission to power your life seriously. Then. Now. Always. We’re proud to power your life. #PowerOn

AWESOME SUMMER ADVENTURES AWAIT HIGH SCHOOLERS Yampa Valley Electric Association is now accepting applications for the Youth Leadership Camp near Steamboat Springs, CO. The camp is an all-expense-paid trip for high school students between the ages of 16 and 18, as of June 2021. The Youth Leadership Camp will take place July 17-22, 2021. This weeklong adventure brings together about 100 students from Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma to the mountains near Steamboat Springs, CO. Students will learn about the cooperative business model and leadership skills that will serve them well throughout their life. There is also plenty of time set aside for campers to explore and enjoy the mountains and take advantage of Colorado’s great outdoors. Yampa Valley Electric Association



Students at Leadership Camp watch YVEA perform a safety demonstration.

covers all costs for two students to participate in the program, including travel, lodging, and food. The only cost to the students being spending money for souvenirs or extra snacks. Interested students must complete an application form. For more details about the Youth Leadership Camp visit https:// www.yvea.com/youth-leadership-camp. Application deadline is January 15, 2021.

YVEA ONLINE MEMBER SURVEY Yampa Valley Electric Association is conducting an online survey of its members through December 31, 2020. The survey has been sent to every consumermember with an email address on file. “As a member-owned cooperative, member feedback is important to us. We encourage all members to complete this survey,” said Steve Johnson, general manager of YVEA. Because YVEA values member feedback, other short surveys may be sent via member email. To ensure the YVEA member surveys can reach you, please make sure you have an up-to-date email on file with YVEA. To update your email address, please contact a YVEA member service representative at 970-879-1160.

YVEA CAPITAL CREDITS UPDATE The yearly capital credit retirement process has been completed thanks to the board of directors authorizing the retirement of $1.75 million in capital credit allocations from the year 2003.This represents 42.8% of the remaining association allocations for that year. Anyone who was a member in 2003 will receive a capital credit retirement refund through several possible ways. Active members: • Should receive a check if their retirement is over $50 (checks will be mailed from St. Louis, Missouri, on December 11). • Should receive a credit on their electric bill if their retirement is under $50. These credits started being applied to bills as of the December 3 billing cycle. Inactive members: • Will receive a check once their accumulated capital credit refund reaches $25 (checks will be mailed from St. Louis on December 11). If you should have any questions, please call 970-879-1160 or email capitalcredits@yvea.com.


Small Change, BIG Difference Grants awarded for October 2020


peration Round Up grants provided $37,100 to help nonprofit organizations around the YVEA territory during the October 2020 grant cycle. The Operation Round Up Board of Directors allocated funds to the following organizations: • Chief Theater • Horizons • Integrated Community • Little Snake River Assisted Care • Mountain Village Montessori Charter School • Operation Warhorse • Partners in Routt County • Steamboat Springs School District • Stone Soup Suppers • Valley Community Center • Yampa River Botanic Park • Yampa Valley Parkinson’s Support Thanks to participating YVEA consumer-members rounding up their bill, more than $477,500 has been donated through Operation Round Up to organizations making a difference throughout the YVEA service territory. Be a difference maker for your community. Join Operation Round Up by visiting www.yvea.com/ operation-round-up, email OperationRoundUp@yvea.com or call 970-879-1160. The next nonprofit organization application deadline is May 15, 2021.

Yampa Valley Electric Association Purchases Solar Garden from Clean Energy Collective


xciting news! Yampa Valley Electric Association has purchased the Clean Energy Collective Community Solar Garden located in Craig. The solar garden will now be known as the Yampa Valley Community Solar Garden. Currently the garden is fully subscribed, and participants will continue to benefit from the energy produced by those panels. This is an important community project, and YVEA is proud to keep it powered up for all subscribers as well as keeping this renewable energy in its power mix.

New Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rates On January 1, 2021, YVEA will implement an electric vehicle charging station rate designed to recover costs on co-op-owned public EV charging stations. Currently YVEA has Level 2 co-op-owned stations at our Craig and Steamboat campuses available for any EV driver to use. YVEA will soon have a Level 3 fast charger in the town of Yampa.

The fueling rates are as follows:

• Rate code 61 for all association-owned electric vehicle Level 2 charging stations: 15 cents per kWh plus $1 per hour if charging more than 3 hours. • Rate code 62 for all associationowned electric vehicle Level 3 charging stations: 25 cents per minute plus 20 cents per kWh. Both of these rates are the recommended rates furnished by the Colorado Energy Office. They are designed to align with our mission to be fair and equitable and recover costs associated with delivering power and maintaining these units for the drivers who use them.

Luminate Broadband December is the time for holiday cheer and gathering with family and friends. Luminate Broadband’s Managed WiFi service lets you focus on enjoying the time spent with your loved ones instead of being frustrated managing your WiFi network. Optimizing network performance, troubleshooting network issues and managing devices can be a distracting headache. Give yourself the gift of WiFi peace of mind with Luminate’s Managed WiFi, which also includes the setup of up to 10 devices and two in-home service calls per year. For more details or questions, call 970-GIG-DEAL (970-444-3325).




YVEA Announces USDA Grant Award

Increasing high-speed broadband access in rural northwestern Colorado


teve Johnson, general manager and CEO of Yampa Valley Electric Association and Luminate Fiber, LLC, and Sallie Clark U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Colorado State Director announced that the USDA is awarding $6 million to YVEA to expand broadband service in northwestern Colorado. The USDA will provide funding to YVEA and Luminate through its ReConnect program to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 264 rural households, 27 farms and ranches, 27 businesses and three post offices to high-speed broadband. With this funding, YVEA and Luminate will construct 200 miles of middle mile fiber to connect northwestern Coloradans in Routt, Moffat and Eagle counties. “Across our territory, it has been increasingly clear that broadband services are not an option at this time, but a necessity for community health and well-being,” Johnson said. “The buildout of broadband is the single most important investment we

Shown holding a length of fiber optic cable are (left to right): Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan, USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark, YVEA and Luminate General Manager Steve Johnson, Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry, Colorado Energy Office Director of Federal Broadband Engagement Teresa Ferguson and Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck.

can make in our communities — impacting economic development, student achievement, emergency services and health care. We are grateful to the USDA for helping us provide stability and opportunity to the rural and remote citizens of northwestern Colorado.”

USDA’s ReConnect Loan and Grant Program launched in 2018 as a pilot program to expand broadband service to primarily unserved rural areas. #YVEA #PowerOnTogether


Get your name on the list for our 2021 standby generator program


e offer Briggs & Stratton 12-kilowatt and 20kW Fortress generators with 10-year warranties. Installed costs range from $10,000 to $15,000. The standby generator program is offered to YVEA residential members who own the property on which the generator will be installed. The generators will be permanently installed and provide backup power for your entire home. If you are interested in YVEA installing a standby generator at your home, please visit the website at www.yvea.com/standby-generatorprogram to fill out an interest form. For questions, please send an email to generators@ yvea.com or call the energy solutions department at 970-871-2267.



DECEMBER SPONSORSHIPS Craig Downtown Business Association Christmas Lighting

YVEA and Craig Daily Press

Tour of Lights Contest

Town of Phippsburg Lighting Contest

Town of Yampa Lighting Contest


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toll Free:

(877) 393-0025

www.LowVisionofColorado.com COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020




Get all the satisfaction with a little subtraction BY AMY HIGGINS




any Americans would agree that some of the best dishes are derived from the holidays. But when the new year approaches, our growing waistlines and blood sugar levels are a concern. However, perpetually dismissing dessert doesn’t bring comfort and joy, so cut down on the sugar instead. Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, M.D., MSPH, features 100 low-sugar recipes that can cut down the guilt and elevate the merriment. This “kid-tested, doctor-approved” cookbook not only features festive desserts, but it also includes an array of awesome main courses, snacks and beverages. But we digress — let’s skip to dessert first with this low-sugar front-runner:

Enter our contest to win a copy of the Half the Sugar, All The Love cookbook. Visit Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop for details on how to enter. Excerpted from Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, M.D., MSPH. Photographs by Erin Scott. Workman Publishing ©2019.

Caramelized Pumpkin Pie


1 prepared (8-inch) pie crust, blind baked (baked unfilled)

Half the Sugar = 2 teaspoons Other recipes = 4 3/4 teaspoons

Serves 8

23 ounces canned pumpkin puree (about 2 3/4 cups) 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup low-fat milk or almond milk 3 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice* 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, gently whisked whipped cream, for serving (optional) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you’re looking for Line the pie crust with a round another great dessert to of parchment paper (cut to the serve this holiday season, diameter of the pan), then fill it with try Pecan Pie Bars. pie weights or dry rice. Bake for 15 Get the recipe at minutes, then lift out the parchment coloradocountrylife.coop. and weights/rice and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Return the crust to the oven and continue baking until it is golden brown; about 5 minutes longer. Cool completely.

Combine the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened and caramelized; 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely. Add the milk, pumpkin pie spice*, vanilla, salt and egg mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into the pie crust and smooth into an even layer. Bake until the top is slightly browned and the filling is set throughout; about 50 minutes.

QUICK TIP STORE-BOUGHT SHELLS Use a store-bought pastry crust to cut down on time. Choose one with no added sugar if possible.



Let the pie cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream, if you like. *If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can create a substitute by combining 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or ground allspice.



HELP COLORADO ELECTRIC CO-OP COMMUNITIES THAT BATTLED WILDFIRES THIS YEAR! The Colorado Electric Educational Institute (CEEI) will match your donation up to $50,000, and Tri-State G&T will match donations up to $50,000, too! That means a $25 donation now becomes $75. 100% of contributions to the Wildfire Relief Fund will go to support electric co-op employees or directors who lost their homes or were displaced because of a wildfire, to first responders who lost their home in a fire and to local organizations who responded to the fires.

YOUR DONATION IS TAX EXEMPT AND CAN BE MADE ONLINE OR BY CHECK: crea.coop/community-outreach/current-causes Checks should be made payable to the Colorado Electric Educational Institute and sent to: Colorado Electric Educational Institute c/o Wildfire Relief Fund 5400 Washington Street Denver, CO 80216

SCAN & DONATE NOW CEEI is the philanthropic arm of CREA, the trade association representing Colorado’s 22 electric distribution systems and Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association. Tri-State G&T is the power supplier to 17 of Colorado’s co-ops, and serves 41 distribution cooperative members in four states.


Thinking Inside the Box

New farming option in NW Colorado


n innovative collaboration among electric co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the national Electric Power Research Institute, and Moffat County School District provided northwestern Colorado high school students and faculty an opportunity to learn as they grow crops indoors and year-round with EPRI’s “Farm in a Box.” This cutting-edge indoor agriculture facility, installed at Moffat County High School in Craig, is a 40-foot long shipping container now known as the Agricultural Farm. Flat screen-type surfaces hang from the ceiling


Brings More Colorado Stories, Recipes Want a preview of stories coming in next month’s Colorado Country Life magazine? Interested in additional recipes? Looking for a quick link to extra stories and more on the magazine’s website? There’s no cost to subscribe to CCL Extra. Simply visit coloradocountrylife. coop and click on the top banner to fill out the form. Or use your smartphone and hold your camera up to the QR code below. We’ll add you to the list, and twice a month you will receive an e-newsletter filled with previews of what’s coming and links to all the current month’s stories, as well as the extra digital articles.

Sign Up Today! 14


of the container in polymer “pods.” The container is temperature-controlled, with energy-efficient lighting and plumbing infrastructure to support the production of vegetables. The Farm in a Box will offer educational opportunities for Moffat County High School students and research data for EPRI. EPRI staff will monitor the container for the first two years to evaluate different metrics, such as nutrient quality of the produce, community impacts, sustainability performance and electricity load profiles.

Inside the Farm in a Box are hanging flat surfaces of polymer pods that allow vegetables to grow with their roots inside the pods. Tri-State Generation and Transmission is sponsoring the Ag Farm as it reinvests in the community where it is closing a power plant and a mine.

The box represents a convergence of energy, agriculture, biodiversity and sustainability.

First Team Completes Tests of CO2 Emissions Conversion


nnovatively converting carbon dioxide emissions into useful and viable materials is the goal of the Carbon XPRIZE. The international contest took a step forward in late October when one competing team finished its project. Teams from around the world are competing for the $20 million XPRIZE based on how much CO2 they convert, how energy efficient the conversion is and the net value of their products. XPRIZE teams test their emissions projects at the Integrated Test Center, located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station north of Gillette, Wyoming. The ITC is a carbon utilization research facility that operates alongside the power plant. It’s a private-public partnership with supporters such as Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which committed $5 million to the design, engineering and construction of the ITC. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association provided $1 million in support of the ITC. Interest is high since the greenhouse gas CO2 is a byproduct of coal-fired power plants and other manufacturing processes. Capturing the CO2 and converting it to a useful product would mean less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Due to coronavirus constraints, the XPRIZE competition was delayed and only two teams made it to the ITC this year. CO2Concrete™, based in California, tested its technologies to convert carbon dioxide emissions into construction materials and was the first team to finish the project after successfully completing 12 operation runs. The other team to test onsite was Dimensional Energy from New York, which focuses on making jet fuel from carbon emissions and sunlight. The Carbon XPRIZE winners will be announced in 2021.


Electricity from Coal

Down Thanks to COVID-19, Renewables The United States’ electric power sector consumed less coal in the first half of 2020 than it did during the same period in 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. From January to July, 184.8 million short tons of coal were used, which is 30% less than was used the year before. This drop was brought about by a drop in usage because of pandemic lockdowns and business closures, as well as changes in the electric industry. After an annual record of 1,045 million short tons of coal being consumed in 2007, usage has declined. Most of this is due to coal plant retirements, such as Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s closure of the Nucla power plant this year, as well as air standards, price drops and power plant conversions to natural gas. Usage is expected to show a slight rebound during the last six months of 2020 as some pandemic restrictions were loosened and some businesses were able to reopen.

CREA Continues Promoting Energy Innovation Due to COVID-19, there was no annual Colorado Rural Electric Association Energy Innovations Summit in its traditional sense. However, the electric co-op trade association hosted several webinars for the usual Summit audience, which gave those in the energy industry opportunities to hear about and discuss innovative ideas. Topics included electric vehicles, advances in energy storage, power market options, heat pumps and beneficial electrification, and more. All of the webinars were recorded and can be accessed at crea.coop/webinars. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020


Make-A-Wish Colorado turns little dreams into big reality year-round 16





little boy has dreamt of horses for more than two years. Big horses, little horses, anything associated with horses, and the equine world has helped him focus on good things while distracting him from stuff that little boys should never have to think about. Stuff like cancer. That was the cold, hard reality facing Zack Montgomery and his parents, Nicole and Mike, in the days leading up to the Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs in 2018. Rather than focusing on the excitement of skiing, sledding and other festivities of this annual wintertime celebration in Yampa Valley Electric’s service territory, something else was happening. Something foreboding and sinister. Zack awoke one morning with a pain in his leg. He told his parents that it really hurt. Several days later he awoke to a different pain. His side hurt. Increasingly concerned, Nicole and Mike took their then 4-year-old son to their pediatrician for tests where it was determined that Zack had abnormal fluid around one kidney. The pediatrician recommended they immediately take Zack to Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Colorado Front Range for additional tests. And it was there, at this world-renowned medical facility, that doctors discovered a mass on one of Zack’s kidneys. Nine days later a team of physicians removed a cancerous hematoma, along with roughly 40% of the surrounding kidney tissue. And to make sure the cancer would not return, 22 weeks of chemotherapy was recommended. Month after month the family traveled the long stretch of road between Steamboat Springs and the Denver metro area in what must have seemed like an endless nightmare of visits to the Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital in Aurora. Yet throughout the grueling ordeal, Zack thought of horses — and his Labrador

Zack Montgomery sits in his happy place on the on the back of a horse.

The Montgomery family: Nicole, Zack, Skylar and Mike of Steamboat Springs.

retriever, Jake, and any soft, furry animal that took his mind off the chemotherapy and instead to a happier place. On his 5th birthday, despite the painful side effects of chemotherapy, Mike and Nicole arranged a horseback ride for Zack near their hometown of Steamboat. And Zack’s interest in horses quickly became a full-blown obsession, according to Nicole. “We had to find a way to keep horseback riding in his life.” Enter Make-A-Wish Colorado, a nonprofit organization founded on the hopes and dreams of children with critical illnesses. Earlier this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Zack and his family were granted what seemed like an impossible dream, considering all they had gone through and the debilitating financial pressures involved in expensive medical treatments.

Given his infatuation with horses, animals in general, as well as the great outdoors, Zack and his family were given a dream vacation on the Latigo Ranch, a fivestar dude and guest ranch near the foot of the Gore Range outside of Kremmling in Mountain Parks Electric’s service territory.

Together with his sister, Skylar, and his parents, Zack enjoyed some priceless recovery time in the Rocky Mountains, riding his own horse for days, just like he dreamt of doing some day. Owned and operated by Lisa and Randy George and their family, the Latigo Ranch was big medicine for the entire Montgomery family and just what the doctor ordered for Zack. “Every day was special,” Nicole said. “We were each assigned a horse for the week and we had two rides a day. Zack absolutely loved his horse and learned so much. As a family we got to wrangle a herd of cows, try cow penning and just enjoy the outdoors. The kids also got to fish, rock climb and swim. The people were wonderful, the food was COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020


Zack is all smiles while being surrounded by horses at Latigo Ranch near Kremmling as part of a dream come true provided by Make-AWish Colorado.

Time at Latigo Ranch provided powerful ‘medicine’ for Zack.

Every day was special. We were each assigned a horse for the week and we had two rides a day. Zack absolutely loved his horse and learned so much. As a family we got to wrangle a herd of cows, try cow penning and just enjoy the outdoors. The kids also got to fish, rock climb and swim. The people were wonderful, the food was incredible and the surroundings stunning.” — Nicole Montgomery, Zack’s mother



Zack learns to care for his horse during his family’s stay at Latigo Ranch.

incredible and the surroundings stunning.” Despite the darkest hours, sometimes wishes do come true. And happiness happens. “Zack cried the whole way home, the rest of the day and until he fell asleep,” Nicole said. The blueprint for the Make-A-Wish Foundation began in 1980 in Arizona. Before dying from leukemia, 7-year-old Christopher Greicius was asked what he wanted if he was magically granted one final wish. He said he wanted to become a police officer. When Tommy Austin with U.S. Customs and Border Protection heard about Christopher’s wish, he immediately contacted

the Arizona Department of Public Safety and a small trickle of goodwill became a flood of benevolence and unexpected generosity. Christopher’s last wish was granted by an army of volunteers and public servants. He rode in a police helicopter, was presented with his own police uniform and was sworn in as an honorary Arizona highway patrolman. And from those humble beginnings, a nonprofit organization was created that has since grown to 62 chapters across the United States with 47 affiliated charities worldwide. Along the way more than 330,000 wishes have been granted to children ages 2 to 17. In 1983, Colorado’s chapter was among the first state MakeA-Wish organizations formed. It has granted more than 5,500 wishes statewide, and as everyone involved in this program soon discovers, a child’s dream is powerful medicine — for both the recipients and for the thousands of volunteers who become involved in the gift of giving. “A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their critical illnesses. For many, the wish marks a turning point in the fight against their illnesses. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals say the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically. That is why wishes matter. That is why we grant wishes,” a spokesperson for Make-A-Wish said. That’s not some unfounded, wild-eyed theory. It is scientific fact supported by recent findings in a study that analyzed the comparative health benefits between two separate

COVER STORY groups of children. One group consisted of kids who participated in the Make-AWish program and another group that did not. Those who participated in the MakeA-Wish program benefited both mentally and physically, according to Dr. Anup Patel, a pediatric neurologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “There is a return on investment from the (Make-A-Wish) experience,” Patel said. “Not only are you giving a child and a family hope, not only are you giving a child and a family a break from the illness, not only are you giving a child and a family an opportunity to give back to their siblings and to the other loved ones, you’re giving them an opportunity to save health care dollars; you’re giving them an opportunity to spend time with their family where they belong when they’re sick and have an illness. “A wish is more than just a nice thing to do,” he added. “You’re going to help them get better. And now I’m passionate to make sure that every kid out there has that chance.” You would not have to convince Nicole about the intrinsic value of a child’s dream come true. She has seen the benefit of the program firsthand through her son Zack, who turned 6 this year. “To be honest, Zack is doing so well that I don’t like to think of him as sick,” she said. “He is nearing his two-year scans, which is a big milestone for us. The wishes, as I understand them, are not just a pause but

Wishes come in one of three ways:

Wish Kid Zack a way to celebrate being on the other side of treatment; a way to connect and relax as a family while creating memories that will last for Zack, more so than the memories of being sick. “It’s almost like a gift to cherish after the suffering, pain and fear endured by the entire family. It also means so much more coming at this time, during the pandemic, which is obviously another time of such deep stress and worry, when travel is limited and finances are stretched. “It’s an added gift. We feel such appreciation that people make it their life’s work to help families heal, and we plan to pay it forward in any way we can forever,” she said. And the prognosis for Zack? Well, if his periodic CT scans go well for the next five years — and there’s every indication that they will — he will be considered


through the medical professionals treating an individual child;


by a parent or legal guardian;


by children themselves. Referrals for wishes are available online at the Make-A-Wish Colorado website at colorado.wish.org.

cured of this deadly form of pediatric cancer. In the meantime, his family will continue to hope and pray — and Zack will undoubtedly continue to dream of horses. Matt Vincent is a freelance writer and photographer living on the northeastern plains of Colorado and a former editor of ESPN Outdoors.




Helping Hands are Standing By Tradition and pride create effective outage restoration teams BY MONA NEELEY



eing part of a large network is never more important than when a natural disaster hits an electric cooperative. Take, for example, when the monstrous and destructive East Troublesome Fire swept through Grand County and Mountain Parks Electric’s service territory in October. The 60 employees of the area’s local electric cooperative were not on their own. MPE is a small, local, independent organization that serves Grand and Jackson counties as well as parts of Larimer, Routt and Summit counties in the central mountains of Colorado. But the co-op is not totally on its own when disaster strikes. It is part of a network of electric co-ops that all adhere to the sixth cooperative principle: cooperation among cooperatives. With a call to the Colorado Rural Electric Association, the electric co-ops’ statewide trade association, the word was out that MPE needed assistance. Just a couple days later utility trucks from electric co-ops across the state rolled in to Granby. Crews of lineworkers were there to assist MPE in getting the backbone of its system back on line so that the local crews and hired contractors could then methodically replace and repair individual services and infrastructure. The same thing happened back in June when the derecho made meteorological news as it ripped across Colorado with its thunderstorms and extreme wind gusts. Tens of thousands of Colorado electric co-op consumer-members were without power in territories served by Highline Electric Association in Holyoke, K.C. Electric Association in Hugo, Morgan County Rural Electric Association in Fort Morgan, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association in Fort Collins, Southeast Colorado Power Association in Lamar, United Power in Brighton, Y-W Electric Association in Akron and Yampa Valley Electric Association in Steamboat Springs. But as soon as the windstorm was over, electric co-ops across Colorado and western Nebraska that had not been affected by the



After a spring storm in K.C. Electric’s territory, assistance from neighboring co-ops restores power quickly.

storm stepped up to assist in safely getting the lights back on for these co-ops. Neighboring co-ops that could spare a crew, sent it to help. Contractors, who supplement co-op crews on projects throughout the year, made their crews available. That quick response from other co-ops comes from a combination of a centuries-old co-op tradition and agreements among electric cooperatives. This help is needed, especially by smaller co-ops, because these large natural disasters (such as wildfires, derechos, ice storms, blizzards

Through a mutual aid agreement, electric cooperative line crews from any co-op can arrive on the scene, ready to lend helping hands after disaster strikes.

INDUSTRY and tornadoes) that cause devastation is more than many local electric co-ops can quickly repair on their own. When multiple areas in a co-op’s service territory are without electricity and there are only four or five crews available to restore the system, electric co-ops depend on other co-ops in their state and national network for assistance. The residents of Grand County saw crews from Highline Electric, Gunnison County Electric Association in Gunnison, Southeast Colorado Power Association, United Power and White River Electric Association in Meeker arrive October 26. They came from all corners of the state as part of a plan called a “mutual aid agreement.” And San Miguel Power Association in Nucla arrived a couple days later, once it was determined that more help was needed. “It is a natural extension of who we are,” says Kent Singer, executive director of CREA. “Helping each other is something we do naturally as part of our co-op family and our culture.” An agreement is one thing, but success means carrying it out Lineworkers prepare to get the poles and lines back up in a neighborhood effectively. To that end, electric co-ops rely on planning and shared affected by the East Troublesome Fire. experiences, says Dale Kishbaugh, CREA director of safety and loss control. Colorado’s electric co-ops spend time planning for disasters, talking through the what-ifs of problems and sharing experiences with each other as they meet regularly to keep procedures updated. The response to the East Troublesome Fire came together relatively quickly after that fire took a turn and developed a speed no one expected. Once it burned through the system and MPE knew where it lost its lines, the response was quick but planned, with the idea that when mutual aid crews arrived the work could begin and materials would be available. With other natural disasters, even with other wildfires, that planning can often start before the disaster actually strikes. For example, weather Crews from neighboring electric co-ops assist in getting powerlines restored after a summer storm on the eastern plains. predictions can give a co-op notice of a possible blizzard or ice storm. Then materials can be readied and preliminary assistance can be arranged. the fire burned through an area and it was deemed safe to enter that Another example is the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest fire in area, PVREA crews and contractors got right to work replacing burned Colorado history, which ignited in August and was still only 92% poles and restringing power lines. They were prepared and, this time, contained at magazine deadline. While dangerous and, at times, PVREA did not have to rely on the mutual aid agreement. But that unpredictable, it burned at a slower pace than the East Troublesome agreement was there and could be used if needed. Fire. This gave Poudre Valley REA crews opportunities to prepare for No electric co-op has to go it alone. Each independent, local co-op where the fire might burn through its system. is part of the electric co-op family, part of a statewide and nationwide Before the fire arrived, PVREA lineworkers wrapped poles in network of electric co-ops, all ready to lend a hand to get the lights high-risk areas with fire protection materials. They met regularly with back on safely wherever they go out. incident command to determine where the electric system might be Mona Neeley is the publisher and editor of Colorado Country Life magazine. affected and where the co-op might need to de-energize lines. Once COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020



Nature’s Beauty Beckons Holiday Cheer Discover what’s around you to create festive decor BY VICKI SPENCER



ecember marks the 10 month for many of us staying home with only occasional visits from friends and relatives. Now that cold weather is further restricting social activities, I wonder how the pandemic will affect the holidays. Will religious services be broadcast in parking lots? Will parades and tree-lighting ceremonies be canceled? Will children be unable to put on school plays and musicals? These things could put a damper on our holiday spirit. But they don’t have to. It’s a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, use our imaginations and bring the holiday spirit into our homes. On a nice day, go on a fun-filled scavenger hunt and wander around your yard or take a walk to look for interesting twigs, leaves, pinecones, seed pods, etc. The materials you collect can be used to create nature-inspired holiday decorations. Evergreens, bare twigs or twigs with a few leaves or berries can be used in many arrangements. If you have a favorite color scheme, you can spray paint them, or you can go with a natural look. Place the twigs in a vase and decorate with ornaments or



even holiday cards. Just punch holes in the cards and slip yarn through for hangers. Tuck family photos in between branches, or attach with a small clip, to remind you of loved ones. Try bundling dry twigs or fresh evergreen sprigs to make hanging door decorations; add ribbons or tree ornaments for color. You can make wreaths out of evergreens even if you don’t have a form. Bend a wire hanger into a circle and attach small sprigs in an overlapping pattern. If you feel that’s too much work, simply tack a single evergreen branch to the wall and decorate it. My favorite displays are made with pinecones, which I collect all year round. A friend who makes pinecone wreaths told me to heat them briefly in the microwave to kill any bugs. I use pinecones to make centerpieces by arranging them around candles and evergreen sprigs, and adding oranges and apples for color. Sometimes I spray paint pinecones white or gold to make them stand out. If you don’t feel like venturing outside, you can make your own nature-inspired decorations with just a few supplies. Create

holly leaves from dark and light green card stock, indent veins in the leaves with a wooden skewer and trace the indentations with a colored pencil. Use these leaves to make paper wreaths, centerpieces or decorative picture frames. Making handmade ornaments is a fun family project. Mix 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1-1/2 cups warm water in a bowl. Knead until the dough is firm and smooth, roll it out and cut with cookie cutters; or form your own shapes and poke holes for hanging before baking, about an hour at 300 degrees until dry. My family has always enjoyed making nature-inspired decorations such as these. It’s a simple tradition that brings us together to enjoy the holidays. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

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

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A story of watching the wonders of the wilderness BY DENNIS SMITH



t’s a half-hour before legal shooting light on a bone-cracking cold December morning. Hoarfrost glistens from every twig, leaf, branch and blade of grass in the creek bottom, the stars have faded and the last inky-black remnants of night are retreating from the sky. Dawn is a soft, glowing tapestry of salmon-colored streaks on the eastern horizon, and the two Labrador retrievers at our sides are shivering with excitement at the far-off whistle of wings only they can hear. Gun dogs can sense the presence of ducks long before hunters ever see them — a mysterious canine ability that never fails to amaze us. My sons and I are hunkered down behind a makeshift blind of fallen cottonwood boughs thicker than a bull elephant’s trunk. Weathered gray, and brushed in with coarsely woven branches of alder and switch willow, the thing looks like an overgrown pile of rotted logs, bank rubble and creek flotsam. We’re straining our eyes against the dawn searching for the ducks the dogs have warned us are coming. We see nothing but sky. Silly dogs. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a flock of green-winged teal buzz the blind like a squadron of miniature fighter jets, brake sharply and pitch into the decoys. The dogs were right. Again. Of course, they were; they’re always right. Unfortunately, we can’t shoot because legal shooting light is still 15 minutes off. The dogs whine and scowl their disappointment as if to say, “How come you jerks didn’t shoot?” Their frustration is palpable. Apart from the often ridiculous, never-the-same-thing-twice beauty of a prairie sunrise or the fascination of watching hunting



dogs at work, the inevitable wildlife drama that unfolds around a duck blind at dawn while the woods and creek bottoms are waking is a continual source of wonder and entertainment to anyone who’s paying attention. On our duck hunts over the years, we’ve watched great horned owls and red-tailed hawks catch birds and rodents in the cottonwoods; seen golden and bald eagles soar overhead; and watched harriers and goshawks hunt the marshes for muskrats and voles. We’ve seen great blue herons spear shad and bluegills, and watched belted kingfishers dive for minnows on the Platte and ospreys snatch carp from duck ponds. We’ve listened to coyotes howl at dawn and witnessed them stalking prairie dogs in pastures across from our blind. We’ve seen white-tail deer and their fawns sneak out of the cornfields to bed down in the woods nearby, and just recently watched a small flock of turkeys scratch their way through the woods behind our blind, yelping and clucking quietly all the way. That’s not even the half of it. Sometimes we actually shoot a duck or two, just to keep the dogs happy, you understand, but usually we just sit quietly, sip coffee and watch the wild. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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Scientists Target New Acid Reflux Pill for Anti-Aging Research

Surprisingly, the secret to slow the aging process may reside in a new acid reflux treatment; studies find the pill to help protect users from fatigue, cardiovascular issues, and serious conditions that accompany premature aging. Seattle, WA – A published study on a leading acid reflux ingredient shows that its key ingredient improves digestive health while maintaining health levels of inflammation that contributes to premature aging in men and women. And, if consumer sales are any indication of a product’s effectiveness, this ‘acid reflux pill turned anti-aging phenomenon’ is nothing short of a miracle. Sold under the brand name AloeCure®, its ingredient was already backed by research showing its ability to neutralize acid levels and hold them down for long lasting day and night relief from bouts of heartburn and, acid reflux, gas, bloating, and more. But soon doctors started reporting some incredible results... “With AloeCure, my patients started reporting, better sleep, more energy, stronger immune systems... even less stress and better skin, hair, and nails” explains Dr. Liza Leal; a leading integrative health specialist and company spokesperson. AloeCure contains an active ingredient that helps improve digestion by acting as a natural acid-buffer that improves the pH balance of your stomach. Scientists now believe that this acid imbalance could be a major contributing factor to painful inflammation throughout the rest of the body. The daily allowance of AloeCure has shown to calm this inflammation through immune system adjustments which is why AloeCure is so effective. Relieving other stressful symptoms related to GI health like pain, bloating, fatigue, cramping, acid overproduction, and nausea. Now, backed with new scientific studies, AloeCure is being doctor recommended to help improve digestion, and even reduce the appearance of wrinkles – helping patients look and feel decades younger. FIX YOUR GUT & FIGHT INFLAMMATION Since hitting the market, sales for AloeCure have taken off and there are some very good reasons why. To start, the clinical studies have been impressive. Virtually all participants taking it reported stunning improvement in digestive symptoms including bouts of heartburn. Users can also experience higher energy levels and endurance, relief from chronic discomfort and better sleep, healthier looking skin, hair, and nails. A healthy gut is the key to a reducing swell-

ing and inflammation that can wreak havoc on the human body. Doctors say this is why AloeCure works on so many aspects of your health. AloeCure’s active ingredient is made from the famous healing compound found in Aloe Vera. It is both safe and healthy. There are also no known side effects. Scientists believe that it helps improve digestive by acting as a natural acid-buffer that improves the pH balance of your stomach and helps the immune system maintain healthy functions. Research has shown that this acid imbalance contributes to painful inflammation throughout your entire body and is why AloeCure seems to be so effective. EXCITING RESULTS FROM PATIENTS To date millions of bottles of AloeCure have been sold, and the community seeking non-pharma therapy for their GI health continues to grow. According to Dr. Leal, her patients are absolutely thrilled with their results and are often shocked by how fast it works. “For the first time in years, they are free from concerns about their digestion and almost every other aspect of their health,” says Dr. Leal, “and I recommend it to everyone who wants to improve GI health before considering drugs, surgery, or OTC medications.” “All the problems with my stomach are gone. Completely gone. I can say AloeCure is a miracle. It’s a miracle.” Another user turned spokesperson said, “I started to notice a difference because I was sleeping through the night and that was great. AloeCure does work for me. It’s made a huge difference.” With so much positive feedback, it’s easy to see why the community of believers is growing and sales for the new pill are soaring.

entire body. When your digestive system isn’t healthy, it causes unwanted stress on your immune system, which results in inflammation in the rest of the body. The recommended daily allowance of acemannan in AloeCure has been proven to support digestive health and manage painful inflammation through immune system adjustments without side effects or drugs. This would explain why so many users are experiencing impressive results so quickly. REVITALIZE YOUR ENTIRE BODY With daily use, AloeCure helps users look and feel decades younger and defend against some of the painful inflammation that accompanies aging and can make life hard. By buffering stomach acid and restoring gut health, AloeCure’s ingredient maintains healthy immune system function to combat painful inflammation...reduce the appearance of winkles and help strengthen hair and nails ... maintains healthy cholesterol and oxidative stress... improves sleep and energy…. and supports brain function by way of gut biome... without side effects or expense. Readers can now reclaim their energy, vitality, and youth regardless of age.

AloeCure Taken Daily • Helps End Digestion Nightmares • Reduces appearance of Wrinkles & Increases Elasticity • Supports Healthy Immune System



AloeCure is a pill that’s taken just once daily. The pill is small. Easy to swallow. There are no harmful side effects and it does not require a prescription. The active ingredient is a rare Aloe Vera component known as acemannan. Millions spent in developing a proprietary process for extracting acemannan resulted in the highest quality, most bio-available levels of acemannan known to exist, and it’s made from organic aloe. According to Dr. Leal and leading experts, improving the pH balance of your stomach and restoring gut health is the key to revitalizing your

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Categories are: • The Golden Hour • My Stomping Grounds • Family Fun • Colorado Birds • CCL Cover Contest

Deadline: December 15, 2020


• Read the full list of official rules and requirements and enter online at coloradocountrylife.coop • Photographer must be a member of a Colorado electric co-op. • Photographer may enter up to 2 photos per category. • If people appear in the photo, it is the photographer’s responsibility to have the subject’s permission to enter his or her image in the contest. • Photos must have been taken by you. • General Category Contest: Photos must be 8×10 inches and must not be printed on a home printer. • Cover Contest: Photos must be at least 10×13 inches in size and vertical in orientation. • Photographer may win only one first-place prize. • ONLY first and second place photos in each category will be published in the magazine. Third place photos will appear only on the website and will still earn an award. Only one award will be given for the cover contest. • By entering the contest, photographers give Colorado Country Life permission to publish the winning images in print and digital publications, to social media and on websites.

Send entries to: Photo Contest, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or enter online at coloradocountrylife.coop.

What we did with this gift of hours that fell from the sky unbidden: We put on our mittens and scarfs and clunky boots We made tracks on the blank page of prairie; we let the dog run We hammered and bent and formed We FaceTimed and talked and read from The New Yorker We slurped tomato soup and sweet potato chips We napped We walked and we skied We drank Earl Grey from homemade cups and read Billy together. That is what we did with this gift of time and snow. David Reynolds, Colorado Springs Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member

Arrested Water

Water, free flowing; sun warmed sheets of liquid tumbling to the ground. A concussive sound like that of waves crashing on a shore. Then as the seasons change, the air turns cold. As frost appears and snow descends, the mighty flow slows to a trickle. Giant icicles take shape, like that of an elongated beard. The once clear, free flowing water turns a frozen whitish, gray color. The waterfall is suspended, its waters arrested. Kevin Wherry, Aurora




Mona Kylee Cassi

Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submission: Submit your poetry via email to: info@coloradocountrylife.org or by mail to: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216



COMMUNITY EVENTS Due to COVID-19, some of these events may be canceled, modified or rescheduled. Please contact the host of the events if you have any questions.

December 2020 Throughout December Fort Collins

Self-Guided Historic Homes Tour: Street Stories 23 Historic Buildings in Old Town poudrelandmarks.org/historichomes-tour

Through December 20 Online

Salida Council for the Arts’ Holiday Art Show salidacouncilforthearts.org

Through December 24 Fort Collins

Santa’s Workshop Old Town downtownfortcollins.com

Through December 27 Pueblo

Electricritters Light Show Pueblo Zoo pueblozoo.org/electricritters

Through December 31 Denver

Zoo Lights Denver Zoo 5-10:30 pm • denverzoo.org

Through January 1 Loveland

Winter Wonderlights Light Show Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra visitlovelandco.org/ winterwonderlights

Through January 3 Littleton

Trail of Lights Light Show Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms botanicgardens.org

Through January 10 Granby

Model Train Display, Christmas Caboose and Gift Shop Moffat Road Railroad Museum 970-281-9094 • moffatroadrailroadmuseum.org


Through January 16 Denver

Blossoms of Light™ Light Show Denver Botanic Gardens botanicgardens.org

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

December 4 Mancos

Christmas Tree Lighting Pioneer Plaza 6-7 pm • mancosvalley.com

December 5 Timnath

Colorado State Questers Christmas Tea • Timnath Presbyterian Church • 10 am-1 pm coloquesters.com

December 9-27 Virtual

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. December 14 Pueblo

FAR Out Trail Challenge Fremont Trail System joinfar.org

Save the Magic! Nutcracker, The Ballet Fundraiser Virtual event sdc-arts.org/dance/nutcrackerfundraiser

December 12 Denver

December 22 Virtual

Christmas Lights of Denver by Bus History Colorado Center 5:30-9 pm • historycolorado.org

“Parenting in a Pandemic” Virtual Gathering 10:30-11:30 am • fcmod.org

Colorado’s small businesses need your support now more than ever. HOW TO

Colorado’s electric cooperatives support local businesses in their communities. One way they are doing that is focusing on the many small Colorado businesses that have been featured on the Discoveries page of this magazine and other similar businesses just trying to make it during this difficult time. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop/ support-colorados-small-businesses to see the wonderful list of Colorado small businesses needing your support.



SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES BUY GIFTS CARDS TO USE LATER Purchase online or over the phone. SHOP ONLINE Many local businesses offer online shopping. Visit their website to make a digital purchase and get their product delivered to your home. CONNECT ALTERNATIVELY Follow your favorite Colorado businesses on social media, websites and digital newsletters. See if they are offering ways to connect, such as pick-up or home delivery. BUY NOW, PICK UP LATER Give the business a call, pay for a product, set it aside to pick up later. HELP GROW SUPPORT Give a business a shout-out on social media. 2 MONTHS ADVANCE Leave it IN a review. Like, share and post on social media; the extra virtual love is appreciated. Be sure to tag your posts using #CoOpsSupportCO



FUNNY STORIES When we were back at school after

Christmas break, one of the second-graders told me that his family has Alexa now. He told me that he asked, “Alexa, did you fart?” Over the laughter I asked what the answer was, and he stated that Alexa said, “I never ever have broken wind.” Needless to say, the roar of laughter got even louder. I wonder about technology sometimes. Lori Peek, Deer Trail

On Christmas day our 28-month-

old great-granddaughter, Arry, let her hair down after being in ponytails all day. Her hair was sticking out wildly. Great-granddad asked where she got that pretty hair. Without hesitation she said, “Walmart.” We all had a good laugh. Marie Swanner, Dolores

Poudre Valley REA consumer-members Isaac and Sam Neal quarantining at home in Lyons dreaming of a vacation!

Poudre Valley REA consumer-member Phyllis Jachowski at home in Fort Collins with granddaughter, Brie, enjoys the gardening, recipes, poetry and book reviews in their November CCL.

San Isabel Electric Association consumer-members Brad and Tammy Shaver enjoy CCL while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

It has become a family tradition to

visit the Denver Zoo Lights every year around Christmastime with our daughter Rachel and her family. A couple of years ago we had just finished walking through the exhibit and were waiting for Peepaw and the children’s father to get the cars and warm them up for us. While waiting, there was a commotion behind us. I looked over and saw that a young man and woman just got engaged and they had a photographer along with several friends all joining in on the celebration. Our granddaughter Phoenix, who was 4 at the time, wasn’t paying any attention to what was happening. I said, “Look behind you! That couple just got engaged!” She looked over at them and said, “That’s disgusting!” I said, “Phoenix, now why would you say something like that? It’s a good thing! It means they are going to get married!” She then said, “Yeah, well that’s what all of the boys at school say: That’s disgusting!” Roslyn Swofford, Elbert WINNER: This year’s $200 winner is Ingrid Garver of Fort Collins, a consumer-member of Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association.

Bob and Nora Matteo, consumer-members of both Yampa Valley Electric and Poudre Valley REA, escape the wildfire smoke by going to Cannon Beach, Oregon.

WINNER: San Isabel Electric consumer-member Brenda Vitale enjoys CCL while riding the ferry from Salem to Boston, Massachusetts.

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 Monday, December 14. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE DECEMBER 2020



’Tis the Season of Giving Discover ways Coloradans spread the holiday spirit Courtesy James Edward Mills of the Joy Trip Project

Colorado Provides America’s Christmas Tree Since 1970, a different national forest has provided a live tree, dubbed “The People’s Tree,” to the White House to be lit and decorated for the holidays. For 2020, the tree was provided by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests in partnership with the nonprofits Choose Outdoors and Colorado Tourism. This tree travels the nation with stops along the way for planned special events. This year, the tree-cutting ceremony was on November 5 and the tree began its journey to the White House on November 10, making its appearance on the West Lawn on November 20. Learn more about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at uscapitolchristmastree.com.

Wreaths of Remembrance Representing three U.S. National Cemeteries in Colorado — Pikes Peak, Fort Logan and Fort Lyon — Colorado Springs-based Senior Veterans, Inc., provides remembrance wreaths at the gravestones of the veterans who were laid to rest there. While the deadline to purchase a $15 wreath for 2020 was November 30, keep in mind this fantastic fundraiser next year. The 2020 wreaths will be placed on December 19. For more information, visit coloradohonor.com.

Helpers Add Heart to the Holidays

Celebrating Women Voting The Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund, which supports education and preservation projects at the historic Boettcher Mansion, is offering a special holiday ornament to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. This ornament is the 12th in a series that includes depictions of the White House Chandelier, Claude’s Cutty Sark, the Governor’s Garden and more. Cost is $35. For more information and to purchase, visit coloradoshome.org/ gift-shop.



Colorado Springs-based The Christmas Tree Project will celebrate its 10th year of donating fully decorated Christmas trees to families in need this holiday season. The organization receives thousands of requests every year from all around the nation and the globe and, with the current economic struggles, the need for Christmas trees is expected to be amplified. Read more about The Christmas Tree project, which was featured in Colorado Country Life’s December 2017 issue, at coloradocountrylife.coop/ sharing-magic-christmas-brings-smiles-2. To donate, volunteer or request a tree, visit thechristmastreeproject.org.



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Here at your local Touchstone Energy cooperative, we’re proud to be a part of it, bringing people together by providing energy for all the things you love.

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Colorado Country Life December 2020 Yampa Valley  

Colorado Country Life December 2020 Yampa Valley

Colorado Country Life December 2020 Yampa Valley  

Colorado Country Life December 2020 Yampa Valley