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December 2014

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December 2014


Operation Christmas Child sends boxes of hope to children around the world. Visit

4 4 Viewpoint

Colorado sees balance of power after decidedly purple mid-term elections

5 Letters

16 20 Recipes

Add a peppermint twist to those sweet holiday treats

22 Gardening

6 Calendar


24 Outdoors

Co-op News

12 NewsClips 14 The World is Our Community

Electric co-ops bring power to communities around the world

The media make mayhem when it comes to hunting with guns

25 Energy Tips 29 Funny Stories

16 Operation Christmas Child

Introduce enchantment to your winter garden with color and texture

With a little bit of love you can make so many little people happy


Samaritan’s Purse began sending gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need


20 x

Explore online

This month’s online extras 4FIND: holiday events for the

whole family

far away places

brightly wrapped present

Christmas fun

4WATCH: electric co-ops bring light to 4SMILE: as kids experience the joy of a 4GET: more candy cane recipes for

30 Discoveries

$5 million

financial investment since 2000 in grid-based and off-grid projects throughout rural areas of Guatemala

1.76 million candy canes made each year

The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 45, Number 12 COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor@303-455-4111; Donna Wallin, Associate Editor; Amy Higgins, Editorial Assistant/Writer; ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276,; NCM@800-626-1181 SUBSCRIPTIONS:

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



“Purple mountain majesties” indeed symbolize our great state this election season BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG


Inspired by a cross-country train trip in 1893, Katharine Lee What does the election of 2014 Bates wrote a poem that became the lyrics to “America the mean for Colorado’s electric co-ops? Beautiful,” a song that is sometimes called our second national First of all, it means that only bills anthem. Bates wrote the poem after exploring the Colorado with bipartisan support will make it Springs area, and the “purple mountain majesties” described in through the legislative process and the song refer to Pikes Peak and the surrounding Front Range of land on the governor’s desk. This the Rockies. was not the case in the 2013 legislaWhile Bates probably was not terribly interested in the polititive session when the bill doubling cal landscape of Colorado in the late 19th century, her descripthe renewable energy requirements tion of the physical landscape nonetheless resonates today in for electric co-ops (Senate Bill 13describing Colorado’s current political dynamic. As the 2014 252) passed without a single Repub- Kent Singer midterm election clearly demonstrates, Colorado is truly a place lican vote in either house. In 2015, where both Democrats and Republicans can be successful: we one party will not be able to determine the outcome of proposed are not a red state or a blue state, but decidedly purple. legislation. There has been a lot of talk in the last several years about how With the conclusion of the 2014 campaign, we got a reprieve Colorado is “trending blue,” meaning that Democrats are winfrom all those negative ads on television and radio. While it ning more elections than Republicans. That appeared to be the may seem somewhat obscene that a total of $4 billion was spent case for the last several years as a majority of on those ads nationwide this election cycle, Colorado voters supported President Barack remember that’s less than Procter & Gamble’s Obama in the last two general elections and advertising budget in 2014. Perhaps $4 billion our state legislative and executive branches fais not too much when it comes to the important vored Democrats. The 2014 election, however, task of electing the folks who lead our governseems to have interrupted that trend. ment. Although Gov. John Hickenlooper squeezed Now that another election cycle has wrapped out a victory over former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauup, we can all turn our attention to something prez and saved that seat for the Democrats, the a little more uplifting: holidays, family and the three remaining statewide offices (secretary of warm spirit that prevails at this time of year. As state, state treasurer and attorney general) were I write this, a winter storm approaches Denver Our legislature is nearly evenly won by Republican candidates. Our legislature and another change of the seasons is upon us. divided: 51 Democrats and 49 is nearly evenly divided: 51 Democrats and 49 I’m looking forward to throwing a couple of Republicans (the Ds have a 34-31 Republicans (the Ds have a 34-31 majority in logs on the fire (that is, if we don’t have a “no majority in the House, the Rs have the House, the Rs have an 18-17 majority in the burn” day in Denver!) and enjoying the start of a 18-17 majority in the Senate). Senate). another beautiful Colorado winter. Colorado will be represented in the 114th While we may not always like the bickering Congress by one Democrat and one Republican in the U.S. Senand acrimony that goes along with our political process, we are ate, four Republicans and three Democrats in the U.S. House of truly blessed to have a process where anybody can run for office Representatives. Although U.S. Sen. Mark Udall was defeated and no one is entitled to get elected by virtue of status or heredby Rep. Cory Gardner, the other congressional seats were won ity. We should celebrate the peaceful transfer of power that takes by the incumbents, and Ken Buck will take over for Gardner in place in America every couple of years; our democracy is the Congressional District 4. envy of the world. The concept of shared power is nothing new in Colorado. So, this holiday season, let’s all celebrate the purple mountain Even though Republicans had control of the legislative branch majesty that is Colorado and our good fortune to live in this for many years up to 2004, they had to work with the Demogreat country. cratic governors who were elected between 1976 and 2000 (Dick Lamm in 1976, 1980 and 1984; Roy Romer in 1988, 1992 and 1996). Both parties were able to work together to pass budgets and other legislation during those years, and they will be able to Kent Singer, Executive Director do so again during the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions.




[ letters]

Fishing for Memories I read your [August ’14 Outdoors] article with great interest and share your passion for Mitchell 304 reels. I have had the rod and reel (pictured above right) since 1960 when I bought it in my hometown of Jackson Hole. The rod and reel have been in continuous use ever since. The original faceplate from that reel is also shown since it is now a treasured paperweight. It was replaced earlier this year because it had finally worn out. The other reel (left) was a gift I bought my wife in 1968. My 304 is a continuous reminder and connection with the people I fished with over the years. Van Jacobson, Laramie, Wyoming

Support Appreciated Thanks for caring enough to learn about Gold Star parents and what we’re going through with the loss of our child. I’ve been attending this weekend retreat since 2007 and wouldn’t miss one for anything. Nancy Pfander, proud mom of Cpl. Kyle W. Powell, USMC, KIA 11/4/06 Iraq

I am a Gold Star parent. My husband, George, and I attend the wonderful retreat in Steamboat Springs. The article painted a clear and understanding portrait of who we are. It captured our hearts and the journey we all walk moment by moment without our heroes. Thank you for remembering us as we remember our loved ones. Diane Homm, surviving mother of SSGT. Caleb Medley, USMC/1st Force Recon. 2/25/87-2/26/13

GOT A COMMENT? Send your letter to the editor by mail to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email





December 5 Through January 1 Littleton Trail of Lights Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 5:30-9 pm • Through January 13 Pueblo Winter Wonderland Exhibit Buell Children’s Museum December 6 Bellvue Winter Festival Stove Prairie Elementary 10 am-4 pm • 970-482-0275 December 11 Granby Town of Granby Celebration Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center 11 am-2 pm • 970-887-2311 December 12-13 Buena Vista Bethlehem Marketplace Valley Fellowship Church 6-8 pm • 719-395-2242 December 12-13 Granby Around Granby Book Signing City Market December 12-14 Greeley “The Nutcracker” Performance Union Colony Civic Center December 12-14 Longmont Model Railroad/Rock & Mineral Show Boulder County Fairgrounds 10 am-5 pm • 303-823-5531 December 13 Bayfield Breakfast With Santa Bayfield Elementary School 8-11 am • 970-884-7137

December 13-14 Cripple Creek Gold Camp Christmas Events Various Cripple Creek Locations December 13 Estes Park Dasher Holiday 5K Bond Park 11 am • December 13 Grand Junction Santa Photos Bibs to Cribs Store 12:30-3:30 pm • 970-242-2520 December 13 Wiggins Holiday Craft Show Wiggins Elementary Gym 10 am-3 pm • 970-380-1888 December 18 Loveland Hazel Miller Christmas Concert Rialto Theater Center 7:30 pm • rialtoloveland.ticket December 19 Alamosa Christmas Lights Parade Main Street 6:30 pm • alamosaroundup. com December 19-21 Denver “A Colorado Christmas” Concert Boettcher Concert Hall December 20 Beulah Winter Solstice Drum Circle Mountain Park Environmental Center 6:30-8 pm • 719-485-4444 December 20 Collbran Cowboy Christmas Ball & Festival Various Collbran Locations 970-487-3751 • townofcollbran. us

Featured Event Electric Safari

December 5-7, December 12-January 1 (Closed December 24), 5:30-8:30 pm, at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs. Holiday enchantment awaits guests at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where the grounds are illuminated with more than 1 million lights and 40-plus animated light sculptures for Electric Safari. For more information, call 719-633-9925 or visit

December 20-21 Grand Lake “Home for the Holidays” Alum Tribute Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre 970-627-3421 • rockymountain December 21 North Park Christmas Party Coalmont Schoolhouse 1 pm • 970-723-4338 December 21 Vail Tree Lighting Silfer Plaza 5 pm • December 31 Denver White Rose Gala Ellie Caulkins Opera House 9 pm-2 am • December 31 Mesa Torchlight Parade Powderhorn Mountain Resort 5 pm • December 31 Monarch Monarch Mountain Anniversary Party Monarch Mountain 4:30-7 pm •

Capture the extra layer of content on this page. See pg. 2 for instructions on how to connect to websites and videos or visit Community Events on our website.




January January 1 Crested Butte Learn to Skate Ski for Free Crested Butte Nordic Center 1-3 pm • January 1 Durango New Year’s Day Train Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad 8:30 am • 970-247-2733 January 3 Keystone Kidtopia Festival & Fireworks Lakeside Village 7 pm-1 am • 800-354-4386 January 3 Telluride Brothers Keeper Holiday Concert Sheridan Opera House 8:30 pm • sheridanoperahouse. com


CALENDAR Colorado Country Life 5400 N. Washington St. Denver, CO 80216 Fax to 303.455.2807 or email Items will be printed on a space available basis. For more information on these and other events, visit


[Country News] [what’s inside] n Stop the U.S. from

Becoming Germany n Winter Savings n Get Ready for Cold’s Grasp n The Country Kitchen

HUGO OFFICE P.O. Box 8 Hugo, CO 80821-0008 STRATTON OFFICE P.O. Box 285 Stratton, CO 80836-0285 HUGO ADDRESS 422 Third Avenue Hugo, CO 80821 STRATTON ADDRESS 281 Main Street Stratton, CO 80836 719-743-2431 [Hugo] 719-348-5318 [Stratton] [web] BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kevin Penny [president] Robert Bledsoe [vice president] Terry Tagtmeyer [secretary/treasurer] Danny Mills [asst. secretary/treasurer] Jim Michal [director] Luanna Naugle [director] Wayne Parrish [director] Dave Ritchey [director] Marvin Thaller [director] STAFF Tim Power [general manager] Ron Baxa [office manager] Ben Orrell [member services specialist] Paul Norris [operations manager]

Upgrade Internet Explorer for the Best SmartHub Experience BY KRISTIE CONSTANCE


Through SmartHub, you as a member have the ability to pay your bill, check your usage and do more through a web browser or mobile application. For K.C. Electric Association members who utilize the web version of SmartHub, it’s important that you are using the latest version of your favorite web browser to ensure a safe and secure experience. Any of our members who access the SmartHub tool through Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8 or lower will lose some of the tool’s functionality. Internet Explorer 8, or IE8, is a version of the IE web browser that is more than five years old and support for this lower version of IE is being phased out gradually. What can you do to avoid any drop in functionality? All you have to do is upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer or download the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers.

For a free download of an updated web browser, visit one of the links here: Internet Explorer (IE): http://windows.micro Mozilla Firefox: en-US/firefox/new/ Google Chrome: en_us/chrome/browser All of these downloads are completely free, available online and take just minutes to complete. Visit one of the links above to get started and ensure you are able to take advantage of all that SmartHub has to offer. (Win* Judith Parks 636200004)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the folks at K.C. Electric. K.C. Electric offices will be closed December 25 and 26 and January 1.



[Country News] Help Stop the U.S. From Becoming the Next Germany BY TIM POWER || GENERAL MANAGER


Like an out-of-control carnival ride, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s energy plan goes too far, too fast, jeopardizing the well-being of millions of American families in the process, including members of K.C. Electric. Unless sidelined, the proposal will force the nation down the road to more expensive energy. Don’t just take my word for it. The German government spent the past 10 years changing its energy portfolio by government fiat and that has cost consumers dearly. To boost the expansion of renewable energy production, the German government taxed consumers heavily through fees on their electric bills. In the end, Germany did see expanded renewable energy production, but it also saw extremely high electric bills. In the wake of the portfolio changes, German residential consumers pay approximately 40 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to about 11 cents for American residential customers. And, though the Germans raised their rates to pay for clean energy, Germany’s use of coal is actually at its highest level since 1990.

While Germany’s renewable subsidies did have some impact on the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, those reductions cost a mind-boggling $259 per ton. According to Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, more than 300,000 German households a year see their power shut off because of unpaid bills, forcing electricity to become a luxury good and spawning what German charity groups call the “energy poor.” Make no mistake, the EPA’s proposal picks winners and losers and sets the United States down the path paved by Germany. In addition to fundamentally

altering how Americans use electricity, the proposal will trigger higher prices for many consumers and local businesses. The German “all pain, no gain” model must not become an American reality. Supporting the environment and a true all-of-the-above energy policy are not mutually exclusive. America’s electric cooperatives recognize that a true all-of-theabove energy policy provides a gateway to affordable and reliable electricity for our member-owners. (Tim Litzenberger 206900002) In fact, since 2009, electric cooperatives doubled their renewable energy capacity and made long-term investments in wind, solar and hydropower energy production (without German-style mandated fees). Turning affordable and reliable electricity into a relic of the past is the wrong approach. Already, hundreds of thousands of people from both sides of the aisle have made their voices heard against this proposal. I hope you’ll join us. Visit today and help us tell the EPA that the United States can’t afford to become the next Germany.

Don’t Let Winter Wind Blow Your Money Away


You wouldn’t let your hard-earned money float away in the cold winter wind, but that is essentially what’s going on when your home is not energy efficient. Home heating efficiency starts with your heating unit. Make sure the furnace and heaters are in good working order, and have a professional check and service your furnace system to ensure peak efficiency and safety. (Eric Cure 921945004) Dust and dirt slow airflow in your furnace, which makes the system work harder and wastes energy and money. Clean or replace your furnace filter every month to save energy and improve heat circulation. Seal all air leaks around your home. Some common areas where you may find air leaks include windows, doors, the attic hatch, wiring holes, plumbing vents, furnace vents, dryer vents and recessed lighting. Many of these air leaks are easily fixed with caulking or weather stripping, which is a simple and inexpensive way to boost your home’s efficiency and cut energy costs year-round. However, some air leaks might need a




contractor’s help to repair. Make sure walls, attics and flooring, especially above unheated spaces like crawl spaces and garages, are properly insulated. Repair any leaks in the roof. Take advantage of natural sunlight by opening the curtains or blinds during the day to let the sun warm your home. Close them at night to prevent chilly air from coming in through the glass. Make your windows more energy efficient by replacing window screens with storm windows. If you have older or leaky windows you cannot replace, use temporary fixes, such as plastic film kits that create the effect of an interior storm window. Remember to close the damper when your fireplace is not in use. Install a heat exchange system that blows warm air into the room when a fire is crackling in the hearth. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. Finally, when it comes time to replace your heating system, invest in energy-efficient equipment to help you save money on heating bills.

[Country News]



Snow and ice are inevitable when dealing with winter storms, but being prepared can make a world of difference. K.C. Electric Association recommends the following tips to help you prepare for wintery blasts. (Wayne Barr 1105860000)

Winterize your home

Winter storms wreak havoc on your home. By winterizing your living space, you’ll be prepared for extreme cold and hazardous conditions. n Remember to maintain and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year to ensure they’re working safely and properly. n Caulk and weather strip doors and windows to make the most of your heating system. n Remember that freezing temperatures often cause water pipes to burst, so insulate pipes. Allow faucets to drip during extreme cold to avoid frozen pipes. n Consider installing storm windows for better insulation. You can also cover windows with plastic (from the inside) to keep the cold out. n Make sure everyone in your family knows where the home’s fire extinguisher is located and how to use it properly. House fires occur more frequently during winter months, as people tend to use alternative heating methods that may not be safe.

Prepare a winter survival kit

Severe winter storms often bring heavy accumulation of ice and snow, which can lead to downed power lines and extended outages. K.C. Electric crews will work

hard to restore power, but having a winter survival kit on hand is a smart idea. n Food: Store food that does not require cooking, such as canned goods, crackers, dehydrated meats and dried fruit. Keep a large supply of water on hand. recommends 5 gallons per person. n Medication: Be sure to have dosages of all prescriptions on hand in the event of a major power outage. n Identification: Keep all forms of identification handy, such as driver’s licenses, photo IDs and Social Security cards. Bank account information and insurance policies are also good to have on hand. n Other Items: Stockpile a first aid kit, blankets, flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries.

Stay warm and safe

Have a plan for an alternate heating source in the event of an outage. A fireplace, propane space heater or wood-burning stove would be sufficient. Fuel and wood-burning heating sources should always be vented, and make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly. Always practice extreme caution when using alternate heating sources. If you decide to use a portable generator during an outage, make sure it is placed

New Year Improvements Many people turn over a new leaf at the beginning of a new year by making a resolution. This year, why not make a resolution to stop wasting money and energy? Some efficiency improvements are easily accomplished while others are more complex. Tackling it all at once can be overwhelming, so make projects more manageable by spacing them out over the year.

outside the home for proper ventilation. Be careful not to overload the generator. Use appropriate extension cords that can handle the electric load. Follow these tips, and your family will stay warm during a power outage. For more information on preparing for winter storms, visit Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.” ­­—Will Rogers DECEMBER 2014




14 ounces caramels

1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons dry

Cinnamon mixture

2/3 cup evaporated milk


1/2 cup butter

1 box German chocolate cake mix

¼ cup warm water

2/3 cup sugar (white or brown)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup hot milk

1 tablespoon cinnamon

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

¼ cup sugar

Melt caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a double boiler. Cool slightly.

Mix dry cake mix with melted butter, 1/3 cup evaporated

milk and pecans.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat half of dough into a greased

1 egg well beaten 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup melted butter 3 ½ cup flour Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix

9- by 13-inch pan. Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven (dough

well with remaining ingredients.

will be delicate).

Let rise until double. Divide into 2 pieces. Roll each into

16- by 18-inch rectangle. Spread each with ½ of cinnamon

Pour caramel sauce over baked dough. Evenly sprinkle

chocolate chips over caramel. Pat remainder of dough over


top. Dough will be stiff. Flatten pieces in hands and patch top.

Bake 18-20 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting.

well-greased pan. Repeat with second piece of dough. Let rise

Lian Emmerling, Hugo

Roll from long side, then cut into 16 pieces. Place in

again. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Glaze with powered sugar, if desired. Lew Smethers, Hugo


Each month, K.C. Electric offers consumers a chance to earn a $10 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your 10-digit account number in this magazine, call 719-743-2431 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. Jason Ruhs of Bethune, Amy Seymour of Hugo, Nick Smithburg of Flagler and Nancy Bogenhagen of Cheyenne Wells called to claim their savings and Wilford Adolf called to WIN a prize. Get acquainted with your account number, read your Colorado Country Life magazine and pick up the phone. That’s all the energy you’ll need to claim your energy bucks. You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine (check the date on the front cover).




Festive Indoor Lighting


During the holidays, many people decorate their homes with bright strands of lights, as well as trees and decorations. This year, incorporate another activity into your holiday traditions: safe holiday decorating. Before decorating, inspect all the lights you plan on using. Make sure the wires are not cracked, brittle or frayed. The sockets should not be damaged and no lightbulbs should be missing. Between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year, causing an average of six deaths, 22 injuries and $18.3 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Therefore, make sure you are careful when decorating trees. Place fresh-cut

trees as well as artificial ones away from heat sources, such as heat registers, fireplaces, radiators and televisions, and water a fresh-cut tree frequently. Here are some additional tips to keep your family safe while decorating the inside of your home: n Never string more than three strands of lights together unless the packaging says it is safe to do so. The lights could overload and start a fire. (Matthew Randel 718300003) n Turn lights off before going to sleep or leaving the house. n Do not overload extension cords or outlets to avoid shocks and fires. n All children in your home should know the dangers of electricity and that electrical decorations are not toys. And keep your pets safe, too.




One panel at the CREA Energy Innovations Summit discusses the Clean Power Plan.

Co-ops Look at the Latest and Greatest Innovations in the Electric Industry


Is thorium the super fuel of the future? Who should pay when it comes to rooftop solar? What’s happening with energy storage and will it help move us to more renewable resources? These questions and many more were part of myriad discussions Monday, October 27, when more than 250 people from throughout the electric industry gathered at the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s fifth annual Energy Innovations Summit in downtown Denver. Panels filled with Colorado innovators, such as Coolerado Corporation, Cool Energy and Positive Energies, LLC, were part of the day. There was discussion on small hydropower and another session on carbon capture and storage. Yet another panel took up demand response and whether or not customers are ready to change their ways. Panels presented information and then fielded questions throughout the day. Attendees also met with more than 20 exhibitors who shared innovative products and services. The day then closed with an interesting discussion on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan with representatives from Xcel Energy, the EPA’s regional office, Colorado Spring Utilities and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Ditch the Dishwasher If your dishwasher was built before 1994, you are paying $40 extra every year on your utility bill compared to your neighbors with a new Energy Star-certified model.




Richard Martin of Navigant explains thorium.

Power From Your Chinny-Chin-Chin Like to chew gum? Love to talk? You could become a power supplier!


New research shows that a special chin strap can be engineered to harvest the kinetic energy our jaws produce from eating, chewing gum or talking. This energy could possibly be used to enhance hearing aids or small, wearable devices. The chin straps are made from a material called piezoelectric fiber composites, a material that produces an electric charge when stretched or subjected to mechanical stress. This charge can then be sent through a wire to help power small electrical devices. So far, researchers haven’t been able to pull quite enough power from jaw movements to power devices, but the research continues.

[newsclips] Total monthly hydropower and other sources of renewable generation history projection

billion kilowatts per month

Hydropower No Longer the Top Renewable



Up-to-the minute information is an advantage that comes with the information age. That is especially helpful if the information contains warnings that help you be ready for dangerous situations. Try these apps on your smartphone or tablet and be prepared: Red Cross The American Red Cross offers natural disaster apps for floods, hurricanes, tornados and wildfires. The apps provide users with warnings of dangerous weather and list emergency kit items, local nearby shelters and more. Find more information at Red Panic Button This app is designed to help when there is trouble. Just push the red button and the app will send a text message or email with the user’s current location to a designated list. Find information at


In 2014, other sources of renewable power generation passed traditional hydropower in the amount of electricity generated, according to the Energy Information Administration. Conventional hydropower generation was projected to fall by 4.2 percent while other renewable sources were expected to rise by 5.6 percent for the entire year. Hydropower has been the historically dominant renewable generation. Only 10 years ago, it accounted for three times as much generation in the United States as other renewable sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas and solid waste. Recent growth in wind and solar, which reflects state renewable portfolio standards, federal tax credits and declining costs for technology, has increased their market share. EIA predicts this trend will continue with renewable consumption increasing by 4.6 percent in 2015 and both other sources and hydropower renewable generation increasing slightly. 1,000 900 858 GW 800 700


Energy-starved Asian countries are expected to more than double the amount of their coal-fired capacity between 2014-2035.

600 500

National Weather Services Emergency Alerts No smartphone? If you can receive texts, you can receive specialized text alerts from the National Weather Service when extreme weather or other emergencies threaten the user’s immediate area. This subscription service is free. Visit for information.

400 300

243 GW

200 36 GW

100 China



16 GW

14 GW

10 GW

6 GW

S. Korea




4 GW


2014-2035 Growth

Source: Wood Mackenzie




The World Is Our COMMUNITY

Volunteer linemen Phil Hogan and Danny Derry from Grundy Electric Cooperative in Missouri prepare a utility pole as a group of local students watch, spellbound.



villages. After years of waiting, Do you remember what it was lightbulbs illuminated homes and like when the lights turned on for schools for more than 1,000 villagthe first time? Not many of us do. ers. The promise of a better life For most of us, the only time we came into sight. For the first time, don’t take electricity for granted their world became brighter and is when the lights go out and bigger. we’re left in the dark. We worry Earlier this year, in the southern about our food spoiling and how part of sun-drenched Haiti, NRECA to charge our electronic devices International staffers counted balto stay connected. lots for a new electric co-op’s first Millions of people around the general assembly where members world still live without access to chose their first board of directors. reliable and affordable electricA major part of the mission is not ity, much like our parents or only establishing a power supply in grandparents did in rural America other parts of the world, but also 75 years ago. And because the A co-op volunteer lineman shares downtime (and treats) with children in sustaining it by implementing the rural electric co-op model was Caracol, Haiti in May 2014. cooperative business model. so successful in lifting millions In the northern part of Haiti, Daniel Sanders, a former Mid-South of Americans out of poverty, it is our mission to share that wealth Synergy co-op lineman from Navasota, Texas, fulfilled one of his of knowledge with countries and communities that need help. The biggest dreams. Sanders learned a few years ago how putting a single National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International, with the streetlight in the middle of nowhere can give people hope, and he help of our electric co-ops, provides people in developing countries now works for NRECA International helping build distribution grids in with access to reliable electricity, resulting in increased agricultural Haiti. productivity, new jobs and a better quality of life. And in South Sudan, Randy Erickson, chief mechanic for Kodiak More than 1,000 electric co-op volunteers across the United States, Electric Association in Kodiak, Alaska, found himself sitting under the with more than 5,000 directors, managers, office staff, engineers and hot sun with a handicapped Sudanese boy, humming church hymns linemen in other countries, are trained in establishing and maintaining during a Sunday service. He saw firsthand how helping these comelectric cooperatives. NRECA International has benefited more than munities get access to electricity makes a big difference in the lives of 100 million people in 42 countries around the world. people like that little boy.

Lighting up the world

In 2013, NRECA International recruited several volunteer linemen from Arkansas and Alabama to leave their homes for a few weeks to travel to Guatemala. Several groups were sent over a span of 18 months, and while they were there big things happened in eight small Guatemalan




Sharing our knowledge Making this happen is routine work for NRECA International staff members. Their mission began 50 years ago when President John F. Kennedy witnessed the signing of a cooperative agreement between

A lineman working in the Dominican Republic high-fives a local resident after installing power near her home.

Volunteer electric cooperative linemen work with locals in Yei, Sudan, to place a utility pole.

NRECA and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The original purpose was, and continues to be, to share with developing countries around the world the lessons rural electric co-ops learned in electrifying rural America. Since then, together with many electric co-ops, NRECA International has shared the successes and expertise of the cooperative business model with developing countries. Much of it started in the Philippines more than 40 years ago. NRECA International helped the Philippines’ National Electrification Administration establish rural electric cooperatives, and since then 119 RECs were established, providing electricity to more than 80 percent of the rural population in the country. NRECA’s relationship with the Philippines remains strong. This was evident when the strongest typhoon to ever hit our planet landed on the shores of this archipelago in November 2013. Hours after the disaster, NRECA International launched a fundraising campaign to restore power in the affected areas. In three months, funds raised by U.S. electric co-ops and individual donors totaling $100,000 were presented to 11 electric cooperatives devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In 1977, another relationship in Asia began. NRECA International helped Bangladesh’s Rural Electrification Board build what many now regard as the developing world’s most successful rural electrification program. Today, 70 electric cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 48,700 rural villages, helping more than 45 million people in rural areas improve their quality of life.

Brightening lives These early achievements created an outstanding team. In Haiti, NRECA International’s volunteers were the first in the power sector to respond to the devastating 2010 earthquake. They supported relief efforts, connected hospitals and health clinics and helped begin the longer process of reconstructing the Haitian grid and outlying power

systems. The work in Haiti continues today in different regions of the country, bringing Volunteer lineman Phil Hogan from Habersham reliable and affordElectric Membership Corporation in Georgia takes able electricity to a break from wiring new utility poles to spend various communities. time with local children in Yei, Sudan. NRECA International created strong and permanent relationships between local utilities in Guatemala and its member co-ops. It started with a grant from the U.S. government to establish the Electricity for Progress Trust Fund. Since its creation in 2000, the trust fund distributed 100 loans totaling more than $5 million to finance investments in grid-based and off-grid projects throughout rural areas of Guatemala. Over the years, many volunteers from electric co-ops have traveled to Guatemala, often leaving their country for the first time, to light up homes and lives. It is the co-op way to help communities and help each other build stronger lives. Our reach and commitment to community extends beyond our country’s borders to help reduce poverty and improve the quality of lives. U.S. electric co-ops play a significant role in the success of this program because our community is the world, and Colorado’s electric co-ops care about other people sharing the benefits of reliable and affordable electricity. To learn more about the work that NRECA International and electric co-ops do, visit Zuraidah Hoffman is the communications manager for NRECA International. Learn more about NRECA International by scanning this page with our app or visiting




Boxes of Hope:

The Story

of Operation Christmas Child in Colorado 16



It’s almost Christmas. A 6-year-old girl sits on a pile of rubble wearing her only dress, no shoes and a dirt-stained frown. Her tired face reflects the toll of the death and hunger she has seen too much of in her short years. Then someone hands her a shoebox wrapped in brightly colored paper, and her face begins to light up with hopeful curiosity. As she carefully removes each small treasure from her box, a giggle and a smile crack open her world-weary exterior to reveal the innocent child beneath.


This is one of the many goals of the international Operation Christmas Child project: to bring smiles of joy to the faces of children all over the world suffering through war, famine, disease, natural disasters and abandonment. The idea is simple, but compelling. Volunteers, primarily members of involved churches, pack ordinary shoeboxes full of clothes, toys, school and art supplies, candy and hygiene items for a specific gender and age group. Many volunteers also include a letter, connecting the box recipients to the box packers halfway across the world and letting them know that someone cares for them. Boxes are then delivered to children in need wherever the need is greatest, and the smiles abound. Begun as a project by Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit relief organization providing food, water and education wherever needed around the world, Operation Christmas Child took on a life of its own after volunteer numbers surged following the first delivery of boxes to war-torn Bosnia in 1993. In the years since, shoebox Christmas gifts have been sent to countries on every continent suffering the effects of poverty, war or natural disasters. Incredibly, now 21 years since its inception, OCC has delivered more than 100 million shoeboxes in over 130 countries. But why shoeboxes full of small gifts? To people unfamiliar with Operation Christmas Child, the idea can seem a little odd. Wouldn’t all that time, money and energy be better invested in something more significant like food and clean water? Though shoeboxes often contain helpful physical necessities, their deepest impact occurs at the emotional and spiritual level, restoring and encouraging the hearts of children. “Operation Christmas Child reaches out to those in the state of famine, the state of war and the state of calamities for one reason: the state of the soul,” writes Franklin Graham, the founder of Samaritan’s Purse, in his book about OCC: Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts. Children in extremely poor, war-torn and famine-stricken countries experience little in life that feeds their souls. Rather, they are forced to grow up faster than their years in order to cope with the horror of their circumstances, leaving them hopeless and jaded. For these children, even the barest hints of beauty and kindness shine like a ray of light in the darkness. Such was true for Elena, who was astounded just by the bright wrapping paper on her box. “The orphanage was dismal,” she remembers, “our uniforms were gray and dingy. The sun didn’t shine much in Russia and my world was dark and uninteresting. But to

see the bright colors made my heart feel happy.” Even something as simple as the boxes’ shiny wrapping paper has the ability to revive the childlike spirit of downtrodden children. With all resources being dedicated to survival, many children have never had a chance to own something just for fun. Everything they have is a bare necessity, leaving nothing extra for items that allow them just to be kids. Even items such as pencils are a luxury. As Graham’s book records, a little boy once approached OCC volunteers after opening his box to ask if he needed to return 13 of the 14 pencils he was given. Such an extravagance as 14 pencils was beyond his comprehension. In addition, children in orphanages or impoverished large families usually never get the chance to have something all their own. Ownership of something, even something seemingly ordinary, gives them the chance to experience at least a small amount of control over their out-of-control circumstances. For Ted, that ordinary something was a washcloth he received in a OCC shoebox: “To think I could own my own personal towel



was more than I could have ever hoped for and I cherished and guarded it because it belonged to me.” Often, boxes “just happen” to contain exactly what a child or family needs to make it through a particular difficulty. In one story out of Kosovo, the only boy in the room without a coat opened up his box to discover a fleece-lined leather jacket, though this was not on the list of suggested items given to those donating boxes. In another instance, a little girl found in her box a dress meant for an infant despite the box’s older age designation. She happily took the dress home to her newborn sister. Stories like these come from box delivery sites every year, miraculous connections between the giving hearts of box packers and the specific needs of those receiving them. Coloradans have been a significant part of this mission from the beginning. Bill and Verna Pauls, Denver natives, traveled with Graham on one of the first Operation Christmas Child deliveries to war-torn Kosovo and Albania in 1999. Inspired




by what they saw, the Pauls dedicated time, money and their own facilities to open Colorado’s first processing center. Thanks to them, Coloradans not only can pack individual boxes, but also participate in the larger process of checking, sorting and sending out shipments of hope. Charissa Fryberger of Kiowa has taken two vans filled with volunteers to the Denver processing center every year for the last several years of her 13 years of involvement with Operation Christmas Child. They help out with the screening that must be done to ensure boxes do not contain money, war toys, candy that could melt or liquids. “It really impacts the people who go,” she says, “seeing that half an acre of Christmas boxes. It’s been fun over the years to watch the number of boxes grow.”

Like many volunteers, Fryberger first got involved with the program through her children, continuing to volunteer even now that they are grown. She and her husband saw it as an effective way not only to help a child somewhere else in the world, but also to teach their own children a valuable lesson. “We started doing it because we always donated money, but it was hard for our kids to understand giving that way,” she explains. “But packing a box and talking about the child who would be getting their box made that person real to them. Now as adults, whatever money they make they give away a percentage, and all of them volunteer on a regular basis.” Ashley Valdez, the communications manager with San Isabel Electric Association in Pueblo, first got involved with Operation Christmas Child when her children were young, a tradition that continued as her family has grew. “My husband and I are blessed with so much, and we are happy to bring joy, hope and a few practical items to those in need,” she explains. “Our grandchildren and daughter visit us every other year, and they like to do their own shoeboxes, too. It’s a wonderful tradition that we look forward to each Christmas season.” Volunteering with Operation Christmas Child is a family affair for Robin Shearer of Pueblo. “Since 2012, my 18-year-old daughter, Christina, 16-year-old son, Aaron, and I have been year-round volunteers on the Southern Colorado Church Relations Team, supporting churches and community groups as they partner with OCC,” she says. “My husband, Gordon, is a big supporter of OCC and my 14-year-old son, Alex, and 13-yearold daughter, Alaina, are also a huge part of our team. Serving together unites our family and gives us great joy.” Dee Anna Vandiver helps the kids at her church in Meeker to connect to their box recipients by including a letter that has a map where they can color in their state to explain where the box is coming from. “The children all get really excited about the project,” she says. “All my grandchildren who are spread all over always get involved, too. It’s just really exciting for all of us.” Last year, her congregation at Meeker Methodist Church sent out 100 boxes despite its small numbers. Bill and Verna brought OCC to the state; the contribution of Colorado volunteers to the regional and nationwide collection goals is significant. According to Rachel Stewart with the OCC Aurora office, last year several hundred volunteers collected and processed more than 137,000 boxes, contributing over a third of the total to the regional (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming) collection of 308,007 shoeboxes. This year, the bar is set even higher at a hoped-for collection goal of 345,000. With Colorado’s participation only growing, its role in the continuation and growth of the project as a whole is vital.

Operation Christmas Child in Colorado is always looking for new volunteers, and there are multiple ways to get involved for both individuals and families. The Denver processing facility and local collection sites, locations which can be found at, open every year during National Collection Week (November 17-24 this year). Once locations are open, volunteers can sign up at to spend a few hours, a day, or even a few days working to sort and organize donated boxes either by themselves or with a group. During National Collection Week, Operation Christmas Child also hosts local kickoff events featuring what it calls “full-circle speakers.” These speakers are the children, now grown, who once received an OCC shoebox and had their lives significantly impacted as a result. Local churches usually host several events, a list of which can be found on the website. Anyone is welcome to attend and hear the speakers’ amazing and inspiring stories. Of course, anyone may also pack his or her own shoeboxes to donate. Instructions and tips can be found at samaritanspurse. org/occ, including what to pack and what not to include in the boxes, how to wrap them and where to send them. While Colorado collection centers are open only in late fall until the beginning of December, the Samaritan’s Purse Boone, North Carolina, location accepts shoebox donations year-round. The Operation Christmas Child website also accepts donations if the holidays leave you too busy to pack your own box. This year, as you stress over what new original gift to get that person who has everything, take a moment to think about those children in a different part of the world who have nothing and might be alone, hungry, cold, tired and worn down by life. Consider the impact of a simple box full of small gifts on the soul of one of those children, and turn those shoeboxes you receive during this holiday season into packages of hope, ready to bring a smile to a child’s face through Operation Christmas Child next year. Julie Simpson is a Colorado native and former Colorado Country Life intern who always enjoyed participating in Operation Christmas Child as a kid and looks forward to training her own future children in the art of shoebox packing.

To see the smiles these boxes bring to children around the world, scan this page with our app or visit CCL’s You Tube channel at http://




Cooking with Candy Canes

A peppermint treat is always a sweet addition to holiday recipes BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Candy Crush Candy canes are strong and don’t crush easily. To crush, fill freezer bag with candy canes, remove excess air and seal. With a rolling pin or pint glass, gently tap and roll over candy canes until pieces are at the desired size. Pour into a sieve to remove powdery leftovers.

Peppermint Plate

A peppermint

“plate” makes a clever serving tray for your candy cane recipes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with a single layer of starlight mints. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Cool completely.


Candy canes sugarcoat the holidays with their pepperminty deliciousness and swirly red and white designs. Just their mere presence at the local grocery or department store screams, “Christmas is coming!” Do an Internet search and you will find they sweeten some spectacular desserts as well. Try baking some of our favorite finds and you are sure to dazzle your loved ones this holiday season.

Peppermint PEEPS® on a Stick 1 9-count package snowman PEEPS® 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/8 cup cocoa powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup crushed candy canes ice cube tray 9 sticks or straws 8 ounces semisweet chocolate hot chocolate mix

White Chocolate Fudge With Candy Canes

Pull apart snowman PEEPS® and place in refrigerator for 5 minutes to stiffen. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Place 1 teaspoon of crushed candy canes in 9 ice cube slots. Remove PEEPS® from refrigerator. Insert one stick into each PEEPS®, leaving 1/4-inch of straw exposed on the bottom of each snowman. Place chocolate in a medium-size bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50 percent power. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted smooth. Mix dry ingredients into melted chocolate until thoroughly combined (mixture will be thick). Spoon chocolate mixture into each candy canefilled slot, filling to the top. Insert PEEPS® sticks into filling with bottoms of PEEPS® resting in the chocolate. Refrigerate 1 hour to allow everything to solidify. Heat hot chocolate mix according to package instructions and stir with PEEPS® stick until dissolved.

Line 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Combine white chocolate morsels and condensed milk in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peppermint extract and 3/4 cup candy canes. Spoon the white chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Immediately top with chocolate chips and swirl into fudge. (Tip: If fudge is too cool to melt the chocolate chips, place in warm oven for 1-2 minutes.) Top with remaining crushed candy canes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and then cut into squares.

3 cups white chocolate morsels 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 1 cup crushed candy canes, individual 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Go to for more candy cane treats or visit CCL’s Pinterest page at







Happy “Holly-days” to You

Introduce a little enchantment and color to your winter landscape BY KRISTEN HANNUM || GARDENING@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG


Imagine trudging through the gloomy, freezing winter woods, in either Europe or the eastern United States. Everything looks dead under an overcast sky. Coming across a holly tree, with its glossy green leaves and bright red berries would feel almost magical, a promise of rebirth and spring. We’re lucky here in Colorado; our winter landscapes are bright and varied, usually under blue skies and, in many places, with stunning red rocks or blue mountain peaks in the distance. Instead of listing a bunch of December gardening chores (are those roses protected?), I’d like to suggest you take a look at your garden, now, in its winter robe. Winter gardens can delight the eye with touches of contrast, which is part of what makes our Colorado landscapes so beautiful. Contrast is a key to garden design, even in the winter. Would an accent plant provide a contrast that would be magical, like the holly in the dark European woods? Trina Donahue, general manager of Camelot Gardens in Montrose, urges local gardeners to consider red twig dogwoods for contrast. “It’s such a pretty color, especially in the snow,” she says. Beyond their striking good looks, the red twig dogwoods are Colorado natives that are hardy up to 10,000 feet. Although the folks at Colorado State University Extension classify the bush, which is 6 to 10 feet high when mature, as preferring moderate to high moisture, Donahue counts the bush as being tolerant of both wet and dry conditions. Would an evergreen beautify your winter landscape? If you have a place for one, it’s possible to buy it now. Now that Christmas tree lights are LEDs, Donahue notes that you can use them on your live tree; the lights are cool and won’t trick the tree out of its winter dormancy.

Trina Donahue, of Camelot Gardens in Montrose, urges local gardeners to consider red twig dogwoods for contrast. “It’s such a pretty color, especially in the snow,” she says. Red twig dogwood

Leave it in a container on the deck until spring, when the ground is warm enough to plant it. Donahue has a couple favorite evergreens for this treatment, beginning with the perfectly Christmas tree-shaped dwarf Alberta spruce, which grows to 6 feet at maturity and fills out to 5 feet at its base.

She’s also excited about the growing popularity of the weeping white spruce, a gorgeous, columnar spruce that Dr. Seuss would have loved. This tree can reach 50 feet with a 10-foot spread and would make a great focal point of a garden. Although it’s difficult, it’s not impossible to grow holly in Colorado. I long thought holly loved Colorado because it felt invasive in front of my mother’s Denver house. We cut it back annually Create a winter as it threatened to overwhelm her pines garden with pleasing colors and junipers, which I think were the and textures. key to those hollies’ exuberant happiness. Hollies want acidic soil, such as that under well-established conifers. They don’t like Colorado’s brilliant winter sunshine, and so appreciate being partially shaded under the embracing branches of those pines and junipers. Hollies, such as Blue Girl and Blue Boy or Blue Prince and Blue Princess, have half a chance here. Hollies are dioecious, meaning there are male and female plants. You need one male holly for up to five females in order to provide the pollen that will make red berries, which in turn will so charmingly decorate your home in holiday seasons to come.


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




Win A Children’s Christmas Book Go to and click on Contests for instructions on how to win one of these three children’s books. Deadline is December 10, so you’ll have them for Christmas.

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Gift Guide

I’m getting my sister who lives in Arizona a Colorado Country Life subscription for Christmas.

That’s a great gift idea.

Did you know that you could get a Colorado Country Life subscription for $9 in-state and $15 out-of-state? Just call the nice folks at CCL at 303-455-4111. 24




Broadcast the Benefits of Hunting, Please The media makes mayhem when it comes to guns BY DENNIS SMITH


With the first 14 years of the 21st century media misrepresentation of hunting and under our belts, some of us hunting and an outright assault on responsible gun fishing types are wondering what the ownership. Though some cable chanfuture might bring. In the course of the nels are finally promoting hunting and last hundred years, we witnessed the phethe shooting sports, the major television nomenal recovery from near extinction of networks still refuse to portray hunting as almost all our big-game species, waterfowl the healthy, outdoor family activity it is. and game bird flocks, as well as the big Ironically though, they, along with the napredators and migratory salmon runs that tional film industry, willingly provide our were lost to market hunting, commercial children with an endless stream of violent exploitation, habitat losses to energy and films and computer games in which peohousing development or various kinds of ple blow each other away with guns and industrial pollution. bombs or hack each other up with chain All of us can thank the hundreds of saws, hatchets and sling blades. And that national hunter- and anglersponsored conservation organizations and our state fish and game departments for those incredibly successful wildlife restorations. But then, for at least the first half of the 20th century, we were still Thank hunters and conservation organizations, such as the largely a rural and agrarian Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, for the restoration of our society; a lot more of us grew game herds and flocks. up closer to the land farming, ranching or living in small agricultural is considered award-winning entertaincommunities whose livelihoods and busiment? Is it any wonder we have disturbed nesses were dependent on those farms and kids and nut cases acting out the violence ranches. We understood where our food they see over and over on the screen? And came from and how it was produced and then, of course, these same network spin brought to market. As a whole, the nation doctors evangelize gun control legislation had a more intimate relationship with the like gospel ministers every time we turn land and its wild and domestic animals. on the television. In between their flow Many of us learned to hunt, fish and proof shoot-’em-ups and blow-’em-ups, they cess our own food simply as a matter of exhort us to turn in our guns — to save course; it was the natural order of things. our kids. Hypocrites. But things might not be so rosy for Look at it this way: In a society where hunters or wildlife in the coming years. the media won’t show the hunting of Nationally, fishermen numbers are up ducks and deer in prime time, but considand our fisheries are doing well, all er it perfectly all right to glorify the murthings considered. But it’s the revenue der and mutilation of human beings day from hunting licenses that pays the bills in and day out, it’s difficult to predict the for the vast majority of state-managed future of any outdoor recreation that inwildlife programs and habitat purchases, volves guns. If hunters are taken out of the and hunter numbers have been declining wildlife loop in the coming century, it may for years. While some of this decline is just undo all the good we accomplished in attributed to population shifts from rural the last one. That’s not something anyone to urban areas, a lot of it is due to massive should be looking forward to. Miss an issue? Catch up at Search for Outdoors.

Spirit of Christmas


I found many items while shopping the mall, but what I most wanted was nowhere at all.

It’s family and friends, and it’s doing for others, it’s treating all people as sisters and brothers.

I passed by the games and remote-controlled cars, cell phones and iPods, and electric guitars,

It’s bonding with nature and wonders of earth, especially this season when Mary gave birth

The icicle lights, realistic fake trees — pre-lit, fiber optic; assembling’s a breeze.

It’s finding the glory in new-fallen snow, when sun strikes the surface and snow-diamonds glow.

I searched for a créche, but I didn’t find one. I asked for help and was told they had none.

It’s looking at starlight that fills the night skies. It’s mother cow calling her calf, who replies.

Instead of sleigh bells, it’s the cell phones that ring or is it my head going ding-a-ling-ling?

It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas out here on the range. May God’s peace prevail and His love bring us change.

They’ve played Christmas music since last Halloween, while real live carolers aren’t to be seen.

Inside my own self is the best place to start my search for the spirit, which lives in my heart.

The thing that I want can’t be packaged and sold, it’s the spirit of Christmas — the spirit of old.

[energy tips]


Options to keep your toes toasty BY JAMES DULLEY


In-floor heating is most commonly used in a concrete or tile floor with high thermal mass, but some are specifically designed for carpeting, hardwood or laminate flooring. In a concrete slab or under a tile floor, electric heating cable is laid in a serpentine pattern or nailed along the outer edges of the floor. For carpeting, thin mats or sheets embedded with electric cable are placed on the floor before the carpeting is laid. WarmlyYours has a design with thin electric heating Photo by Heatizon cables embedded in a strong fiberglass mesh. This is particularly effective for use under hardwood flooring and laminate. To avoid excessive drying Electric radiant heating cable of the wood, and mesh is placed on a kitchen check with the floor before the ceramic tile is flooring manuinstalled. The manufacturer can advise about how much to use. facturer about the maximum allowable temperature. Consider installing a special programmable thermostat with a laminate and engineered wood setting to protect the materials. One design by Heatizon uses a lowvoltage heating mesh that is about oneeighth inch thick and is stapled directly to the subfloor. WarmlyYours also offers a wafer-thin heating kit, which is placed between the pad and the carpet. With in-floor heating, you do not have to cover your entire house, or even an entire room, so you can add to the system as your budget allows. People sometimes add small custom mats or sheets in front of a work space to pinpoint heating needs. A 10-foot by 30-inch heating mat costs about $200, and a matching programmable thermostat is about $140. Learn more about heated flooring options at Look under the Energy tab for Energy Tips.




As we celebrate another story-filled year at Colorado Country Life, we want to thank you for your loyal readership and support.

Happy Holidays Mona, Donna, Amy and Kris






Use LED holiday lights this holiday season. LEDs use over 80 percent less energy than traditional lights.



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MISCELLANEOUS FREE BANKRUPTCY ADVICE (877) 933-1139 or non-profit debt relief (888) 7794272. Public Benefit (213-12-14) NEED ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR GENEALOGY RESEARCH? Let an experienced librarian/genealogist help. Call Browns Creek Genealogy and Research at 719-539-4706 for more information (211-12-14)

REAL ESTATE 2 ACRES, BEAUTIFUL VIEW, lots in southeast Arizona. Water, gas, electricity available. 928-359-2251 (203-01-15) The classified ads November winner was Nancy Schuster of Loveland.

YOU FOUND THE TREASURE. Send an email with the number of classified ads on pages 28-29 to classifieds@coloradocountrylife. org. Subject line MUST say “Classified Contest.” Include name, mailing address and phone number in email. We’ll draw one name on December 15 from those who enter. Winner gets a $25 gift card.

VACATION RENTAL KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-245-6500; makana; (756-05-15) KONA, HAWAII, Paradise Villa condo located on the 18th fairway of Kona Country Club with sweeping ocean views; 3bdr, 2ba specials. (503) 369-2638; www.konacondo. info (116-03-15) VAIL DUPLEX – 3bd, 2.5ba, garage; on bus route; 3 night minimum. $250/night, $1700/week. 303-4432607 (212-01-15)

WANTED TO BUY MOSS ROCK, Colorado or Wyoming Moss Rock – I will buy your moss rock or sell it for you. All types, colors, and sizes considered; the more moss the better, the more unusual the better. Call Tim for details, 303-588-5021 (208-02-15) NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ (817-12-14)

FIND HIDDEN TREASURES IN THE CLASSIFIEDS? Read through the ads and FIND the CCL classified explaining how to win a $25 gift card.

It’s easy. You could WIN.

[funny stories] WANTED TO BUY



OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1975. Call Wes 303757-8553. (889-02-15)

OLD GAS AND OIL items: Gas pumps, advertising signs, globes, etc. Pieces, parts, etc. considered. Also 1932-34 Ford cars and trucks, parts and pieces, too. Any condition. Brandon, 719-250-5721. (519-11-15)

WANT TO PURCHASE minerals and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-03-15)

OLD COWBOY STUFF–hats, boots, spurs, chaps, Indian rugs, baskets, etc. ANYTHING OLD! Mining & railroad memorabilia, ore carts! We buy whole estates. We’ll come to you! Call 970-759-3455 or 970-5651256. (871-03-15)

OLD POCKET WATCHES – working or non-working and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209 (870-06-15)

WANTED: JEEP CJ OR WRANGLER. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets. 888-735-5337 (099-04-15) WE PAY CASH for minerals and oil/ gas interests, producing and nonproducing. 800-733-8122 (099-02-15)

I found the purr-fect gift in the Colorado Country Life classified ads. Place your ad in the classified section. Call Kris for information

Send us photos of you with Colorado Country Life

We’re Looking for photos of readers and their copy of Colorado Country

Life. Got a great pic of you or your family member with the magazine at some fun place? Send it and your name and address to We’ll post it on our Facebook page and on December 17 we’ll draw a winner from the submissions and send that winner a $25 gift card.

While our family ate breakfast during the Christmas holidays, Dad, a preacher, told us how he laid awake three hours during the night. He said he prayed a lot and thought on his sermon for Sunday and finally fell asleep. His visiting mother-in-law snickered, nudged a granddaughter and whispered, “His sermons even put HIM to sleep!” Terry Wallace, Springfield

One Christmas Eve several years ago, my family visited the in-laws to celebrate the holiday. My in-laws always recycled wrapping paper and boxes, so when my 7-year-old son, Dannie, took his turn to open a present, he picked one that was from his Mimi and Papa. As Dannie opened his gift, he screamed, “Sweet, a flame thrower!” Everyone in the living room had a look of horror and shock. It turned out that Mimi used a barbecue lighter box with a picture of flames coming from the tip of the lighter. Much to Dannie’s disappointment, inside was a pair of socks. Rick Valencia, Pueblo West

When my small niece looked out of the window and saw city maintenance workers pouring salt on the ice-covered sidewalks, she inquired as to why they were doing that. I told her that the salt made the ice melt. She replied, “Why don’t they use pepper? It’s hotter.” Marion C. Mantz, Boulder

The November winner was the Gore Range Artisans Group at 110 W. Park Ave., in Kremmling. They were so lit up over Colorado Country Life magazine they had to wear shades.

Fritz holds the October RUNNER Vernon Colorado Country Life at the of Stanerhorn Mountain in UP top the Swiss Alps.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. Adalee Leaf is the 2014 Funny Story winner of $150. Send your 2015 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funny Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check.

$15 DECEMBER 2014



Coffee Filter Wreath Materials


• 14-inch Styrofoam wreath form • 200-250 coffee filters • hot glue gun and glue sticks • your choice of decorations and hanger


Fold coffee filter in half, run through fingers to create a flower shape and then make a flat edge on the bottom of the filter. Apply hot glue to the flat edge and adhere to the inside center of the wreath form. Repeat throughout the center leaving the backside untouched. Follow the same steps for the outer edge and then fill in the rest of the wreath form with filters. For a more uniform look, trim uneven edges. Use hot glue or pins to attach decorations and hanger.

Curly Paper Wreath Materials

• 10-inch wreath form (use the dense, smooth, green Styrofoam) • 200 straight pins with small heads • 8 12-by 12-inch double-sided sheets of scrapbooking paper • bone folder • ribbon for hanger This is a fun and easy wreath that can be created in any color combination. Cut the paper into ½-inch strips. Curl each paper strip using a bone folder. Curl from the middle out toward each end, creating a double curl. Use the straight pins to fasten the curls to the Styrofoam form. Before filling in the final piece of the wreath form, use the ribbon to create a hanger. Finish filling in the form and your wreath is ready for the door. Find more extensive directions and a video on how to use the bone folder at 30



Burlap Wreath • 14-inch Styrofoam wreath form • 6 yards of burlap (3 yards each of two colors) • extra-long multi-purpose pins • scissors • ruler or cloth tape measure • gloves • decorations of your choice (glitter tulle) • your choice of hanger (ribbon, hook, etc.) Cut burlap and glitter tulle into 5-inch by 5-inch squares. With each square, grab the center of the burlap and pull through fingers to create a flower shape. Pin the burlap through the bottom of the fold and maneuver down through the fold. Attach the pinned burlap along the outer edge of the Styrofoam. Repeat these steps throughout the entire Styrofoam form, working your way inward and alternating colors to your liking. Attach decorations and hanger.







Colorado Country Life December 2014 KC  

Colorado Country Life December 2014 KC

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