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[January 2013]

Baxter Black

Cows, Corn and Poetry


January 2013 [cover] Former Colorado resident Baxter Black. Photo courtesy of Baxter Black.




4 Viewpoint

16 Cows, Corn and Poetry

22 Gardening

5 Letters 6 Calendar 7 Co-op News 12 NewsClips 14 Powerful Apps

20 Recipes

24 Outdoors

CREA share’s co-op message with General Assembly

Cowboy poet Baxter Black endorses the rural lifestyle

Beef it up with a slow-cooked pot roast

Introducing 2013’s favorite plant varieties Hunters find hospitality in the country

25 Energy Tips

Close the gaps and keep your home warmer

29 Funny Stories 30 Discoveries

Co-ops top new technolgoy to boost member services



The dollar amount of donated books given to Colorado libraries from Colorado Country Life

2013 36,700

December 21, 2012, came and went without the world ending — welcome to the new year

The number of farms and ranches in Colorado in 2011

*National Agricultural Statistics Service

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

The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 44, Number 01

OFFICERS: Bob Bledsoe [Tri-State] President; Bill Midcap [Fort Morgan] Vice President; Don Kaufman [Sangre de Cristo] Secretary; Jack Schneider [Poudre Valley] Treasurer; Kent Singer [CREA] Executive Director BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Bill Patterson [Delta-Montrose]; John Porter [Empire]; Don McClaskey [Grand Valley]; John Vader [Gunnison]; Jim Lueck [Highline]; Megan Gilman [Holy Cross]; Dan Mills [K.C.]; Tom Compton [La Plata]; Stan Cazier [Mountain Parks]; B.D. Paddock [Mountain View]; Joseph Costa, Reg Rudolph [San Isabel]; Mike Rierson [San Luis Valley]; Marcus Wilson, Kevin Ritter [San Miguel]; Randy Phillips [Southeast]; Jim Jaeger, Ron Asche [United Power]; Bill Jordan [White River]; Stuart Travis [Y-W]; Scott McGill [Yampa Valley]; Basin Electric, CoBank, Moon Lake Electric, Wheatland Electric [Associate Members]

EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: Colorado Country Life • 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.


2013 Legislative Session

CREA shares your electric co-op’s message at Colorado’s statehouse BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG


When Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino opens the first regular session of the 69th Colorado General Assembly January 9, the legislature will feature new faces and a new political dynamic. The Democrats will be in Kent Singer control. During the previous 68th General Assembly (2011-2012), the Republican Party had a majority in the Colorado House of Representatives and the Democrat Party had a majority in the Colorado Senate. While the Democrats maintained their 20-15 majority in the Senate in the 2012 election, they also gained the upper hand in the Colorado House with a 37-28 majority. Since the passage of legislative term limits in 1990, with every election cycle there has been significant turnover in the legislature. The Colorado Senate will have 10 new senators. (Since six of the 10 are moving over from the House, only four are new to the process.) The Colorado House will have 28 new representatives. (One of those folks served an earlier term, so only 27 are true “rookies.”) That means there will be 31 members of the 100-member General Assembly who have no prior legislative experience. Despite the fact that newly elected legislators-to-be participate in extensive orientation sessions conducted by nonpartisan legislative staff, they are immediately faced with constituent requests and arcane legislative procedures. At the same time they are moving into their offices and learning how to navigate the Capitol, they also

have to try to understand a lot of new and complicated public policy issues. The Colorado Rural Electric Association will be spending a lot of time with the new legislators, as well as the returning legislators, emphasizing the importance of keeping electricity affordable for rural Colorado. CREA follows many different bills that could affect the electric co-ops, but the topic that matters most is energy. CREA believes there will be quite a few bills introduced this year that may impact the affordability of electricity and the ability of your local co-op to chart its own course and make its own decisions regarding energy issues. We anticipate that at some point in the legislative session a bill may be introduced to change the renewable portfolio standard or RPS that applies to Colorado’s electric co-ops. Under the current law, co-ops have an obligation to provide 10 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, such as wind, solar and geothermal generating facilities, by the year 2020. The co-ops supported the 10 percent standard when it was established in 2007, and we are working hard to meet that standard by incorporating more renewable generating capacity into our power portfolio. Of course, Colorado’s electric co-ops have long relied on renewable hydropower as an essential component of our power supply, but the power from those federal dam projects does not count toward the Colorado RPS. If large hydropower counted as a renew-

able resource, we would already be at about 20 percent renewable power. The folks who sponsored the original Amendment 37 RPS standard and subsequent bills, however, have always argued that large hydropower should not count. We disagree with that position. If a bill is introduced to increase the RPS as it applies to electric co-ops, we will have to consider the details and make a decision as to whether to support or oppose that bill. Although the cost of electricity from renewable resources has come down significantly in recent years, it is still generally more expensive than the power that we generate from traditional resources. We fully understand the arguments made by some that there are other nonmonetary benefits to renewable energy, but we have to balance the benefits of more renewables with their impact on electricity costs and the reliability of the electric grid. It’s just a fact that today renewables are more expensive and are intermittent in nature, so all responsible electric utilities have to carefully consider how they are integrated into our systems. The job of the electric co-ops is to keep your lights on at an affordable price and we will oppose legislative measures that impair our ability to complete that mission. We look forward to working on behalf of Colorado’s electric co-ops during the 69th General Assembly.

Kent Singer, Executive Director


[letters] Juniper Fire Safety The November issue had an interesting gardening article about the benefits of junipers as landscaping plants in our climate. Junipers are beautiful and drought tolerant, but I noticed one glaring omission in this article: Junipers are highly flammable and are not recommended for use near the home. Whether they are the common treelike junipers that are native to this area or the ornamental low-lying landscaping varieties, either type poses a significant threat to the home in the event of a wildfire. The Colorado State Forest Service recommends that home owners have no trees within 15 to 30 feet of the home and definitely no flammable ground cover within the first 5 feet. Most homes lost to wildfires never come in direct contact with the flame front; it is rather the flying embers ahead of the fire that find something combustible on or near the structure to ignite. Quite often junipers used under windows and in front of crawl space vents (two of the most vulnerable places on the exterior of the home) have caused the loss of structures to approaching wildfire. After the devastating losses due to wildfire on the Front Range of Colorado last spring and summer, some of the smaller home insurance companies have withdrawn from the state. The ones remaining are adopting much more stringent standards for fire mitigation around the home. The industry standards of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety suggest that a 5-foot zone around the structure be free of woody, combustible plants or conifer trees. This could likely become a requirement for new and renewal policies in wildfire prone areas like ours. For your own safety, please don’t plant junipers close to your home. Bill Trimarco Archuleta County Coordinator FireWise of Southwest Colorado Send your letter to the editor by mail to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver CO 80216 or email You must include your name and address to be published. Letters may be edited. January 2013 5


[January] January through February Dolores Free Admission Days Anasazi Heritage Center 10 am-4 pm • 970-882-5600 January 10-13 Ouray Ouray Ice Festival Ouray Ice Park January 11, 18 & 25 Pueblo Festival Fridays Jackson Conference Center 5:30-9:30 pm • 719-295-7200 January 11-21 Steamboat Anniversary Celebration Steamboat Ski & Resort January 12-27 Denver National Western Stock Show and Rodeo National Western Complex 303-297-1166 • national January 12, 19 & 26 Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market Opera Galleria 10 am-2 pm • 970-219-3382 January 12 Grand Junction Sweet Adelines Chorus Performance CMU Moss Performance Center 2 and 7 pm • 970-314-6103 January 12 Manitou Springs The Great Fruitcake Toss Manitou Springs High School Track 9 am-2 pm • 719-685-5089 January 15 Denver Ute, Navajo and Blackfoot Nations and World War I presentation History Colorado Center 1 and 7 pm • historycolorado. org/calendar 6 January 2013

January 16-19 Crested Butte Songwriters Festival Crested Butte Mountain Resort 800-810-7669 • cbmr/event-calendar.aspx January 17-20 Golden Cowboy Poetry Gathering American Mountaineering Center 720-242-7971 • colorado January 18-20 Denver Indian Market and Southwest Showcase Denver Merchandise Mart 303-292-6278 • indianmarket. net/P7.html January 19 Copper Mountain Winter Mountain Bike Race Copper Mountain Resort 6 pm • winter/events_and_activities January 19-20 Durango Winterfest Celebration Durango Mountain Resort January 19-20 Estes Park Winter Festival Fairgrounds at Stanley Park 11 am-5 pm • estespark

January 22 Durango Diavolo Dance Theater Community Concert Hall at FLC 7 pm • 970-247-7657 January 24-27 Aspen X Games Aspen/Buttermilk Mountain January 25-27 Frisco Gold Rush Festivities Various Frisco Locations frisco-gold-rush January 26 Limon Limon Heritage Society’s Dinner/Auction United Methodist Church 719-892-0507 January 26 Tabernash Governor’s Cup Races Devil’s Thumb Ranch 970-726-8231 • devilsthumb January 26-27 Winter Park Winter Carnival Winter Park Resort 970-726-4118 • playwinter html

January 30-February 3 Durango Snowdown Winter January 19 Celebration Grand Junction Popovich Comedy Pet Theater Throughout Durango Avalon Theater 970-243-7033 • comedypet. com January 19 Monument Ice Fishing Tournament Monument Lake 9 am-1 pm • wounded January 22-February 3 Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Championships Riverwalk Center 970-547-3100 • events

[February] February 1-2 Fort Collins Colorado Dulcimer Festival Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church 7 pm • coloradodulcimer February 4 Burlington “The Hunts” Concert Burlington High School Auditorium 7:30 pm • 719-346-8918

February 8-10 Vail Winter Mountain Games Vail Ski Resort February 9 Breckenridge Mardi Gras Ball Beaver Run Resort 6-10 pm • events/mardi-gras February 9-10 Cripple Creek Ice Festival Bennett Avenue February 9 Denver “Romeo and Juliet” Ellie Caulkins Opera House 7:30 pm • February 9 Loveland SweetNight Dance Galleria of Loveland Public Library 7-10 pm • friendsofthelove February 9 Manitou Springs Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cookoff Soda Springs Park 8 am-1 pm • 719-685-5089 February 9 Manitou Springs Carnivale Parade Historic Downtown Manitou Springs 12-2 pm • 719-685-5089 February 9 Pueblo “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” Show Arts Center Theater 11 am and 2 pm • sangre




Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar For more information on these and other events, visit


Rate Increase Assures Greater Financial Stability BY JIM HERRON || CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER || HERRONJC@MVEA.ORG


The end of 2012 was busy with budgets for many people, the close of one year and the beginning of the next is a time to review spending. The end of 2012 was no different for Mountain View Electric Association or Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Jim Herron its wholesale power supplier. As I discussed in an article back in November, Tri-State’s Board of Directors approved its 2013 consolidated budget resulting in an average 4.9 percent wholesale power increase combined with a radical restructuring of the wholesale rate components to all of its 44 member systems. The rate increase along with the new rate design were significant changes that the MVEA Board of Directors and staff were forced to address during the 2013 budget process. It was apparent that the new Tri-State rate design would impact all MVEA rate classes and require a dramatic new rate design for MVEA. The Board members referred to the principles outlined in the Rate Policy Statement they adopted in 2011 to guide them through this process. First the policy states that a cost-ofservice study (COSS) will be conducted to determine that the proper costs are allocated to each rate class and any cross subsidies are minimized. These rate classes include residential, small commercial, irrigation, municipal water pumpers, street lighting and large commercial. The policy further states that staff will prepare a report outlining the revenue requirement necessary to meet our financial obligations and that all rate classes will contribute to the margins of MVEA. The completed COSS, by independent rate consultant The Prime Group, LLC, was first presented to MVEA’s Board during a special meeting on November 1, and the Board further deliberated over

the report on November 9. On November 20, following recommendations indicated by the COSS and guidelines spelled out in the Rate Policy Statement, MVEA’s Board approved new retail rates to be effective on bills calculated on or after March 1, 2013. A detailed list of all rate classes and changes will be posted in local newspapers, on MVEA’s website, this and next month’s bill inserts and in next month’s issue of Colorado Country Life. To see the November Colorado Country Life article where I referred to the COSS process, or other archived issues, please go to our website at www. and select NewsCenter and then Colorado Country Life from the pull down menu and then November 2012. As stated in the Rate Policy Statement, future rate design will “move in the direction of collecting fixed costs through fixed charges and recovering energy and demand-related costs through appropriate energy and/or demand charges.” Although it has been a tradition in the utility world to recover the majority of all costs in the variable kilowatt-hour charges, it has proven that the low usage accounts are not making the proper contribution to recover the costs associated with serving that meter. For this reason, we are making a transition to recover the fixed costs through the fixed charges (Grid Access) and recover the variable costs (wholesale power) through the variable charges (kilowatt-hour). Our largest cost is the cost of wholesale power from Tri-State that makes up approximately 60 percent of MVEA’s overall operating costs. This is a variable cost that is recovered by the kWh charge. The next biggest costs are associated with the infrastructure that is recovered by the Grid Access. These costs are associ-

ated with delivering energy from the electric transmission grid to your home or business, and can include such factors as repairs and maintenance of power lines, meters, transformers and substations and the costs associated with processing your monthly billing. These costs don’t vary with the amount of electricity you use — similar to the fixed costs you may pay for telephone, Internet or satellite or cable television use. For the residential rate class, the Grid Access was increased from $19.95 to $29.95 per month to recover more of the fixed costs. In addition, for usage less than 1,500 kWh per month the rate is reduced 9.5 percent from $0.11678 to $0.10565 per kWh to offset this change. Although, combined, these changes to the residential rate represent a 1.08 percent overall increase, how it affects your electric bill will depend on your usage. If you have questions on how this will affect your individual bill, please feel free to stop by either office or call 719-495-2283 or 800-388-9881 for more information. The advantage of having fixed costs covered by fixed charges in any rate design is the ability to maintain a sound financial position and reliable service that is not associated with the fluctuating energy sales. It also allows for the reduction in kWh sales through energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy projects, as well as monthly fluctuation in usage due to unpredictable weather patterns, without having a negative financial impact on the cooperative. Also, in the years to come, MVEA will be in a better position to handle potential state and national legislation mandating reductions in energy use, increase voluntarily energy efficiency programs and local renewable energy projects, and still ensure that our distribution system continues to be well-maintained to provide reliable and affordable electricity. January 2013 7


Join Operation Round Up and Make a Difference


Mountain View Electric Association started the Operation Round Up program in 2000 to assist non-profit organizations, communities with special needs and individuals who have suffered from personal disasters such as fire, tornado or medical emergencies. Members have generated over $2 million to this program by rounding their bill up to the next dollar. This money is only used for the benefit of our members and not used to pay electric bills or for political or religious purposes. Sixty-two percent of our members donate to Operation Round Up with the maximum contribution for the year being less than $12 — a small price to pay for helping our communities. But when we all worked together, great things happen. If you currently do not round up your electric bill to the next dollar, please consider joining. Give us a call if you would like more information on this fantastic community program. Small change = $2 million. The board of directors is made up of volunteers from districts

within MVEA’s territory. If you or your organization is interested in applying for a grant, please download the applications and information off of MVEA’s website,, or call Megan Morse at 719-775-2861 or 719-494-2622. The following figures are as of December 31, 2011. The column on the left is a history of the fund since its inception in July of 2000. Thanks to all our contributors for supporting their communities and those in need through Operation Round Up. You make the difference. History 2011 $113,690 (Balance 12/31/10) Amount collected $1,888,337 $170,838 Awarded to organizations ($1,164,468) ($118,800) Awarded to individual families (420,753) (31,754) Operating expenses ($181,0444) ($11,901) Ending balance $122,073 $122,073 (Balance 12/31/11)



When used properly and safely, electric blankets and other heating devices can help keep you toasty during cold winter months. Here are a few safety tips for electric blankets and heating pads: • Purchase items only if they have been approved by an independent testing facility, such as Underwriters Laboratories. • Inspect all cords and connections for cracks and frayed edges, which are a huge fire and injury hazard. Replace blankets or heating pads that have faulty cords. • Discard your blanket or heating pad if you see dark or charred spots on the surface. • Do not put another cover on top of an electric blanket unless the safety instructions included in the packaging specifically state it’s safe to do so. Some newer models protect against overheating. • Once your electric blanket or heating pad is switched on, keep it laid flat. A folded device can cause a fire, as can a blanket that’s been tucked in, which can bend wires. • Never use heated bedding while asleep. Instead, look for a model with a timer that switches off automatically. 8 January 2013

If you choose to use a space heater to supplement your home’s heating system, some of the same rules apply, including purchasing a safetycertified model and reading the included safety instructions. Keep this advice in mind for space heaters: • K eep units three feet away from combustible materials, such as bedding, drapes, clothes and rugs. Space heaters also have parts that can spark, so avoid using them in areas where you store flammable liquids, such as kerosene and gasoline. • In general, plugging space heaters directly into a wall outlet is best. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it’s the correct type and boasts the right wire gauge size for your particular space heater. Otherwise, use a wall socket that can handle the load. • C heck safety instructions before using a space heater around water. Some models are not intended for use in bathrooms. • B e sure children are supervised around space heaters. Curious exploration can lead to electrical shock and burns. • F inally, unplug and store the space heater in a safe place when you’re not using it.

IT’S MVEA SCHOLARSHIP TIME Don’t miss out on the cash

Apply now for one of the 14 college scholarships available through MVEA.

To qualify for these scholarships: • Your parents or guardians must receive electric service from MVEA. • You must be a graduating high school senior. • You must meet ACT or SAT and GPA requirements (these vary according to which scholarship you apply for). • Applications must be received by January 15, 2013. Applications are currently available on our website at, at either Mountain View Electric Association office or by calling Sarah Schaefer at 719-775-2861 or 719-495-2283.



MVEA DIRECTORS Donna Andersen-Van Ness

Barry Springer

Joseph Martin

MVEA Co-op Directors Achieve Credentials in Today’s Electric Utility Competencies


Mountain View Electric Association Directors Donna Andersen-Van Ness, Barry Springer and Board Chair Joseph Martin received the Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate this past October from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Today’s electric utility environment imposes new demands on electric cooperative directors, particularly increased knowledge of changes in the electric utility business, new governance skills and a working knowledge of the cooperative principles. Electric co-ops in Colorado have a commitment to work through NRECA to sharpen this body of knowledge for the benefit of their electric cooperative member-owners. The NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director, or CCD, program requires attendance and demonstrated understanding of the basic competencies contained in five core courses:

• Director duties and liabilities • Understanding the electric business • Board roles and relationships • Business planning • Understanding financial planning The NRECA Board Leadership certificate recognizes individuals who continue their professional development after becoming a credentialed cooperative director. Directors who have attained the Board Leadership certificate have completed 10 credits in advanced, issues-oriented courses. Other MVEA Directors who have received this certification include Milton Mathis, Allen Gresham and B.D. Paddock. NRECA represents the nation’s more than 900 private, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 36 million people in 47 states.

Pay Your Bill Conveniently Online


For the past several years, MVEA has offered its members the convenience of paying their electric bill online in a secure environment. Members can access their account information; view their bill, payment history and usage history; and pay their bill with Visa, MasterCard or Discover, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members using this service may also choose whether or not they receive a monthly printed statement in the mail. You can always view your paper bill image online. By logging into your account through our “online bill pay” at you can also change your mailing address and phone number, request maintenance of an existing service, stop an existing service, request a new service and update your financial information. If you want the ultimate in convenience, combine our budget billing for equal bills each month and automatic payment for your electric bill. You will receive notification through your email before the payment is drawn from your account. And, of course, you can always go online to check your account. Go to and check out our services. If you have any questions about paying online, please give us a call at 719-775-2861 or 719-495-2283 or email us at January 2013 9




It seems unbelievable, but it is once again time for MVEA’s Photo Calendar Contest. This is the 10th year and the calendar has just gotten better and better. Last year’s photos were incredible and the new layout allowed for more winners. MVEA invites you to send in your photos taken within Pikes Peak by Jan Rundlett MVEA’s territory and reflecting the seasons and the people, lifestyle or landscape of the area. The winners will be included in 2014 calendar. Please read the following guidelines carefully. The deadline for entry is July 1, 2013. If you have questions, please call Sarah Schaefer at 719-494-2670.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 1. Only MVEA members, directors, employees and their family members are eligible. 2. Photos will not be accepted without a completed entry form. Cut out the form below and submit with entry or go online to, click on “Community” and then “Photo Calendar Contest.” Duplicate form if necessary. 3. Only two photos per person will be accepted. Submit a separate entry form for each photograph. 4. DO NOT WRITE YOUR NAME OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION ON THE PHOTOGRAPH. 5. A digital photo is preferred and recommended. CDs and DVDs will be accepted. May put both entries on one disk. Resolution of digital photos must be at least 300 dpi. It is not necessary to send enlargements. Photos printed on home printers have too low a resolution for commercial printing and are not recommended. 6. Photos must have horizontal/landscape orientation. 7. DO NOT SUBMIT ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS. PHOTOS BECOME THE PROPERTY OF MVEA AND WILL NOT BE RETURNED. NO EXCEPTIONS. 8. Deadline: July 1, 2013. Mail to: Mountain View Electric Association, Attn.: Sarah Schaefer, 11140 E. Woodmen Road, Falcon, CO 80831.

2014 MVEA Photo Calendar Contest Entry Form Name:_________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Best number to contact you, if photo selected: ________________ ______________________________________________________ MVEA account #:_________________________________________ Email address:___________________________________________ Please title your entry. This will appear with your photo if selected:_ ______________________________________________________ Limit 2 entries per person. Deadline is July 1, 2013. Send a completed form with each entry. Photocopy form for additional entries. Mail to: MVEA, Attn.: Sarah Schaefer, 11140 E. Woodmen Road, Falcon, CO 80831 80831 or submit by email: 10 January 2013

[Country Kitchen] If your New Years’ resolution includes eating healthier, this recipe for Mexican Tortilla Soup will keep you on track. Jaclyn Parmer of Limon shares this recipe she found from and Health magazine that even includes nutritional information! If you have a recipe you would like to share, please send it to MVEA, Attn.: Sarah Schaefer, 11140 E. Woodmen Road, Falcon, CO 80831. You will receive a $10 credit on your electric bill the month your recipe appears in Colorado Country Life magazine.

MEXICAN TORTILLA SOUP 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided Nutritional 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken Information Amount per serving: breast, trimmed and diced Calories: 296; Fat: 11g; Saturated fat: 3g; Mono1 cup onion, chopped unsaturated fat: 3g; Poly1 cup green bell pepper, chopped unsaturated fat: 1g; Protein: 29g; Carbohydrate: 2 garlic cloves, minced 15g; Fiber: 2g; Cholesterol: 58mg; Iron: 2mg; Sodium: ¾ teaspoon ground cumin 522mg; Calcium: 302mg. ¾ teaspoon chili powder 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 cup coarsely crushed baked tortilla chips (such as Tostitos) ½ cup reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, shredded 6 lime wedges (about 1 ½ limes) Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes or until browned. Remove to plate, and cover. In the same pan, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil on medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in cumin, chili powder, broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Return the chicken and juices to the pan and simmer 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cilantro. Ladle soup into serving bowls; top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Serve hot, with a lime wedge on the side. September 2012 11


Coming Soon: Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kicks off this year, and individuals and small businesses can enroll in health insurance through state insurance exchange programs as early as fall 2013. Among the multiple options for competitive, affordable health care is the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational and Charitable Foundation. What makes the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative stand out is its structure: it will be governed and operated by its members, much like your electric cooperative. It will mold its coverages around members’ needs and wants using their feedback, requests and suggestions. “By maintaining the belief that nothing is more integral to the vitality and sustainability of a community than the health of its population, the ultimate objective of the co-op will be to pay for quality medical care as efficiently as possible for members, support individual health, improve the health of populations and decrease health care costs,” the co-op’s website summarizes. The objective is to provide better access to health insurance for Colorado’s rural communities. Starting in October 2013, Coloradans may start comparing the

health insurance packages and prices offered by multiple providers, including Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, through the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. To learn more about the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, visit Find out more about the Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative at



The drought that hit the United States in 2012 has caused a drop in reservoir water levels and operating efficiencies at hydropower facilities in the West, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. More than 60 percent of the contiguous United Sates was in moderate or extreme drought as of July. However, the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by unusual wetness, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then the first decade of the new century was characterized by prolonged periods of drought. That drought has meant less water flowing through electric generators. The bureau has upgraded turbines, making them more efficient so that more electricity can be generated from less water. This drop in hydropower has meant a drop in the percentage of renewable energy available in the United States It has been projected that renewable consumption will have dropped by 2.4 percent in 2012. That would be the first dip in renewable energy in the U.S. since 2007. About 8.6 percent of United States electricity came from renewable resources in 2011. Alternative energy production is expected to bounce back in 2013, although it will be affected by what happens with the wind production tax credits, which were set to expire at the end of 2012. 12 January 2013

Reader Opinions Should the Government Decide How Much Electricity You Use? In December, we asked readers their thoughts on having the government dictate how much electricity they could use. All but one respondent was against the idea of the government setting a limit on electricity use. Electric co-ops do promote efficient use of electricity, yet its use does continue to slowly grow. According to Robert Bryce, author of Power Hungry, the average household had just three consumer electronic products in 1980. Today that has grown to about 25.

This month we are asking:

How many electronic devices do you have in your home? Which one is the most important one for your lifestyle? Email your thoughts to info@colorado September 2012 11

POWERFUL APPS Electric co-ops tap new technology to boost member service, reliability BY MEGAN MCKOY-NOE, CCC

Learn first aid, get the latest news and then get your thrills by catapulting birds. Stream music, share pictures and pay your electric bill. Whatever your fast-paced life may need, odds are there’s an app for that. App is a nickname for a software application downloaded onto mobile devices to perform specific tasks. They have grown and evolved along with smart phones and tablet devices. In fact, since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, apps have emerged as a way to enlighten and entertain. And for electric cooperatives, they can connect those to members on the go. Apps to Save Energy, Money Touchstone Energy Cooperative, the branding program of the nation’s electric cooperatives, offers mobile apps complementing the national TogetherWeSave energy efficiency campaign and the Co-op Connections Card program. About 300 consumers download and update Touchstone Energy-branded apps every week. The — Save Energy, Save Money app lets members see how much they can save monthly by switching from traditional incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lamps or light-emitting diodes. Another calculator focused on appliances helps users evaluate energy guzzlers at home. For example, what does it cost to run a dishwasher for an hour? By entering a local ZIP code, members see personalized kilowatthour rates. Serving as a direct connection between members and power providers, the app shares alerts from a user’s local Touchstone Energy Cooperative based on three settings: Urgent, News and Other. “Expect handy updates with outage and restoration informa- 14 January 2013

tion, peak alerts when members can work together to cut energy costs, annual meeting details and more,” explains Jim Bausell, chief operating officer for Touchstone Energy Cooperative. The app also delivers pop-up “Tip of the Day” reminders with ways to make a home more energy efficient. To date, nearly 3,000 electric co-op members across the country have downloaded and updated the app from the iTunes Store and Google Play. The Co-op Connections Card, provided by 10 of the electric co-ops in Colorado, connects members to savings on prescriptions, restaurants, hotels, groceries and other services from national and local retailers. The free Co-op Connections Card app uses GPS technology to help members quickly locate nearby stores and businesses offering discounts and share favorite deals with others. More than 7,000 co-op members have downloaded and updated the app to date. Push and Pay Want to get outage updates, pay your electric bill and analyze your home’s energy use from your smart phone? Two national service companies are partnering with electric co-ops to offer apps with these features. Southeastern Data Cooperative, the Atlanta, Georgia-based provider of billing and accounting software for the electric utility industry, offers co-op-branded apps for members using iOS and Android mobile devices. More than 2,000 members of one participating co-op, Reynolds, Georgia-based Flint Energies, have downloaded the app. “We offer a portal where members can see their energy use,

make changes in their account records, see and pay bills, make late payment arrangements and request other services,” explains Flint Energies Senior Vice President of Member and Community Relations Jimmy Autry. “Member-controlled alerts and reminders can send an email or a text to notify you of a due date or of a past due bill.” Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative in Pickens, South Carolina, offers the same app to its members. Bud Childress uses the app to manage his account on the go. “Between work and all of the activities involved with my growing family, it’s hard to find time to sit at the computer and review my account,” he admits. “But with the new BREC app on my iPhone, I can get all the information I need and make a payment wherever I am. It really makes managing my account so much easier.” More than 50 utilities offer SEDC’s mobile app to members, all uniquely branded with their name. A direct download link is posted on participating utility websites. The app can also be found in the iTunes Store and Google Play. Electric cooperatives with billing and operation systems powered by the National Information Solutions Cooperative offer the SmartHub app. NISC, the Lake Saint Louis, Missouri-based information technology cooperative that develops and supports advanced software applications primarily for electric cooperatives and rural telecommunications carriers, developed a mobile app allowing members of participating utilities to pay bills, review recent energy use, report problems, get outage updates and manage multiple accounts. “Our native app incorporates a lot of your phone’s features like swipe technology, GPS and the camera,” NISC product line manager Nate Boettcher explains. “If a user sees a problem like a tree on the line, they can report it through the app. By using GPS coordinates in the phone, the utility quickly finds — and can fix — the problem.” SmartHub helps members communicate with a co-op through instant messaging, and co-ops can potentially use the dynamic app for surveys, newsletter

content, load control alerts and more. The mobile app may offer expanded services soon. Last fall NISC received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to deploy a “Green Button” solution as part of a national push to develop technology giving consumers easy energy data access. The Green Button program aims for universal energy use data standards so consumers of any utility can download information and access it effectively across a wide variety of mobile apps and websites. Two electric cooperatives — Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation in Cumming, Georgia, and Kootenai Electric Cooperative in Hayden, Idaho — are working with NISC to meet the Green Button standards. Kootenai Electric already provides members with hourly energy use data. “We continue to look for ways to help our members reduce their electric use,” says Kootenai Electric General Manager Doug Elliott. “This project gives us the opportunity to learn about the Green Button and continue to improve how we engage our members to save electricity using technology.” Currently, more than 20 electric co-ops offer the SmartHub mobile app; approximately 100 more co-ops will release it over the next year. More than 400 utilities are supported by NISC. Android and iOS smart phones and tablet versions of the app are available at as well as through the Apple Retail Store and Google Play. Tapped In Want to know about more cooperative apps and other benefits of co-op membership? Follow Colorado Country Life at and for the latest news and special offers from electric coops in Colorado. Megan McKoy-Noe, CCC, writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Virginia-based service organization for the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

Energy-Saving Apps • The — Save Energy, Save Money app from Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives offers energy calculators for lighting and appliances, “Tip of the Day” energy efficiency reminders and important alerts. The app is available for iOS and Android mobile devices at • Own a Nest or Ecobee thermostat? Both devices offer a free app so owners can raise or lower the temperature remotely. The Nest app only works with iOS devices at nest. com. The Ecobee app is available for both iOS and Android units at • Ready to upgrade your lighting? Use the Lightbulb Finder app. This handy award-winning app for iOS and Android products shows different bulb styles, cost and ultimate energy savings. Go to lightbulbfinder. net. January 2013 15

Cows, Corn Baxter Black entertains rural audiences across the nation. He lived in Colorado for many years, and returns each January to meet with friends at the National Western Stock Show.




If you go to the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January, look for Baxter Black. He’ll be in the barns, at the trade show or at the Blue Ribbon Books booth, visiting with friends just as he’s done for more than 30 years. If you don’t recognize him from his newspaper column, radio shows or RFD TV, look for the guy with the big mustache and cowboy hat. Find more information on Baxter Black and reviews of his most recent books at 16 January 2013

Colorado Agriculture by the Numbers “Colorado was good to me,” Baxter said of the time he spent at Colorado State University’s veterinary school and his later years in Denver and Brighton. “I developed a modest notoriety in the state. Whatever sort of fame and fortune I’ve made came from here.” Baxter began his career as a cowboy poet and storyteller in 1980 in Denver, when he worked as a large animal veterinarian for a pharmaceutical company. Within two years, he went out on his own as a professional entertainer. Today, Baxter makes a good share of his living from speaking at agricultural banquets. As of September, Baxter had addressed 2,428 audiences, 373 of them in Colorado — more there than in any other state. He’s appeared at many rural electric co-op annual meetings. Baxter’s family moved from Colorado to Arizona in 1997 to be near his aging mother, but he returns to Colorado frequently. Each January, Baxter blocks out his schedule so he can attend the National Western and catch up with old friends. “I feel like they designed the stock show just for me!” he said.

Farmers and ranchers make up and public research.” a small portion of Colorado’s Overall, the number population, but you might be of farms in the U.S. has surprised at how much the declined for the past economy depends on agriculture. century, but in recent Colorado ranks as number 12 in years, the number of the United States in terms of small, part-time farms livestock and poultry products has begun to rise. Baxter sold. The market value of ag believes small operators products sold by Colorado make the best ambasproducers hit $6 billion in 2007. sadors for agriculture. “Even if they’ve got just two cows, they’ve got Total Colorado population some inkling of what it takes to raise 200,” he said. One thing remains Number of cattle and calves the same: Agriculture is hard work. “Early to bed, early to rise is still the expectation,” Baxter Number of people living said. in rural areas People who work the land still don’t take many vacations. “But I notice that as they Number of farms and ranches get older and the next generation takes some responsibility, they will slip off on a cruise,” Number of farms with more than Baxter said. “Their best $250,000 in annual sales hope is to meet some other farmer on the cruise so they will have somebody to talk to about cows and corn.” Baxter observes that the role of men on the farm remains largely unchanged. “Dad’s expected to pull the load, to lift the heavy stuff and bear the responsibility of getting the physical work done,” he said. Women’s roles have evolved. “Women’s part in agriculture has always been strong, but hasn’t always been in the limelight,” Baxter said. “When you look at the high percent of women who dominate veterinary and ag schools and the FFA, it should be obvious that women are deeply interested in more than just cooking for the hayin’ crew, which, of course, is still their responsibility.” Just as men differ from women, farmers differ from ranchers. “Ranchers use horses and ropes to catch cows. They’re part of the ranching toolbox,” Baxter said. On the other hand, “A farmer uses a rope to tie down bales or to pull a tractor, but never to catch a cow. Farmers will work cows with snowmobiles, with four-wheelers, with ice skates — anything but a horse.” Baxter’s seen all types on his travels across Colorado and the [continued on page 18] nation. But, two basic values remain largely

5.1 million

2.7 million 685,804 36,700

Catering to rural audiences In Colorado and elsewhere, Baxter’s presentations rally around the benefits that family farmers and ranchers bring to all Americans. For example, we Americans spend less than 10 percent of our average annual incomes on food, he explains — less than people in most other countries. “Agriculture’s greatest asset is, people like to eat,” he said. “I’m thankful for the people who produce food.” Modern technology, from the Internet to smart phones, keeps rural America more up to date than ever these days. But Baxter believes that rural values remain basically the same, from hard work to God and country. These values form the bedrock of his columns, books, broadcasts and appearances. “My subject remains steadfast: I focus on the relationship between man and animals and the wrecks they get into,” said Baxter. “My job is to entertain.” The stereotype of farmers and ranchers as “hicks” refuses to die, but Baxter contends that modern agriculture requires a great deal of knowledge. “Today, less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is involved in production agriculture,” he said. “That 2 percent feeds everybody in the country and offers one of the few export commodities we have left. This is due to the tremendous advances in technology furnished to agriculture by private

2,750 January 2013 17

[continued from page 17]

unchanged in rural America — faith in God and patriotism. Baxter continues to weave these themes into his material. He notes that people in smaller communities depend on each other. In addition, rural people tend to be churchgoers, and churchgoers give a great deal to their communities. “I have the pleasure to entertain often in communities with populations of less than 5,000,” Baxter said. “Everywhere I go, 10 percent of the people do 90 percent of the work. They run for office; serve on the school, church and local cattlemen’s boards; help the food bank; buy lambs at the fair; organize the 5K for cancer; and call on the old folks. This 10 percent gives a community vitality.” Despite rural America’s rough edges, Baxter sees a future where people will seek out country lifestyles, and where small communities will thrive. Although some parts of the nation experienced drought this year and high feed prices are hurting some livestock producers, generally “agriculture is doing better than ever financially,” he said, adding that ag income tends to spread throughout the rural population.

Leaving Colorado was tough At home in Arizona, Baxter uses his ranch horses to help run 300-plus cows on leased ground. After chasing cows through cactus and thorny brush, he comes home “looking like he’s been in a sword fight.” It wasn’t easy to leave Colorado, Baxter said. He got his start with a column in the Record Stockman in Denver and appeared frequently on local talk-radio shows with hosts like Peter Boyles and Mike Rosen. He soon moved on to nationwide venues including National Public Radio, “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and the first annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. When Baxter announced his plan to move, people were shocked. “It was like leaving my family.” Baxter said. “How can you leave us?” asked his Colorado friends. “We made you what you are today.” As the stock show winds down and winter wears on, Baxter expects to see a number of his Colorado buddies in Arizona. “Many have retired, and they come down and plug in their RVs at my house.” he said. Nancy Jorgensen is a freelance writer based in Benson, Arizona. She specializes in rural utility, agriculture, finance and cooperatives. She formerly worked for CoBank in Denver and for the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.

Enter to win Baxter Black’s book Lessons from a Desperado Poet or Ride, 8 Seconds Cowboy, Ain’t that long Ride! Visit colorado and click on Contests for directions on how to win. 18 January 2013

Creating a media empire Baxter Black and his wife, Cindy Lou, along with a handful of workers, run his media “empire” from home in Benson, Arizona, population 5,000. They could live anywhere, but chose Benson because it’s rural, the warm weather allows him to have cows, and it’s near an airport that links him to speaking engagements across the nation. “Do not overlook small towns if you have the advantage of choosing where you want to live,” Baxter says. Baxter credits his recent success to the single biggest change to come along in rural America in the last several years: RFD TV. “It’s one of the most influential ways to reach rural Americans,” he says. “It cuts a big swath, and it’s changed my life.” His short videos appear regularly on RFD TV, and on the U.S. Farm Report. A crew tapes the shows in front of the Black family’s rustic adobe home and corral. He records his weekly radio programs in a home studio. Content for his broadcasts and books comes from the weekly column that he’s written for 32 years, On the Edge of Common Sense, which appears in 144 newspapers—most in rural areas. As Baxter points out, city newspapers aren’t doing so well, but rural weeklies that provide news closer to home are going strong. Publications designed for rural audiences, including magazines like this one for electric co-op consumers, are also faring well, he adds. When Baxter was young, Western movies and TV shows were hot. Few Westerns are made today, but when we ask Baxter if he worries that his cowboy audience will disappear, he laughs. “As long as there are cows, there will be cowboys,” he says. “You just can’t see them from the road.” Septembere 2012 23


Beef It Up

Slow cook a pot roast for a hearty, succulent meal BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG Top Choice Choose chuck when making beef pot roast. It comes from parts of the steer that have more tough connective tissue and sinew that becomes tender and flavorful when cooked slowly. Chuck accounts for more than 25 percent of the steer and it consists of several different muscles, each with its own characteristics affecting texture and cooking times. Ask the butcher for top blade, blade, flat iron, shoulder, 7-bone roast or chuck short ribs to make a great tasting pot roast.

Sticky Tricks If you’re having a difficult time removing encrusted food from your stockpot, try soaking it with a baking soda and water mixture. It will lift the stuckon pieces, making it easier to clean.


On cold winter days it’s nice to warm yourself and your family with a little down-home cooking. Meat, potatoes, bread with a big glass of milk: That’s what we’re talking about. The next time you’re hungry for a big, beefy dinner, try one of these delicious pot roast recipes:

Simple Savory Beef Pot Roast 1 boneless beef chuck blade pot roast (2 1/2 pounds) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup burgundy or dry red wine 2 tablespoons minced garlic 3 cups frozen vegetable blend (any variety) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme Prepared mashed potatoes (optional) Additional fresh thyme (optional) Spray stockpot with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Place beef pot roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings; season roast with salt and pepper. Add wine and garlic to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours or until pot roast is fork-tender. Remove pot roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid; bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon thyme. Carve pot roast into thin slices; serve with vegetable mixture and mashed potatoes, if desired. Garnish with additional thyme, if desired. 20 January 2013

Recipe/photo/information courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

Smokey Chipotle Pot Roast With Cornbread 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder 1 boneless beef chuck shoulder, arm or blade pot roast (2 1/2 to 4 pounds) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained Prepared cornbread or corn muffins Press chipotle powder evenly onto all surfaces of beef pot roast. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place pot roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 to 3 hours or until roast is fork-tender. Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Return liquid to stockpot; bring to a boil. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 2 cups. Carve roast into thin slices; top with sauce. Serve with cornbread.

Find more mouth-watering, down-home recipes by visiting Click on Recipes. January 2013 21




Every year, representatives from the professional horticulture industry showcase that year’s flower, vegetable and perennial. According to the National Garden Bureau, “each is chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile.”

And the winners are … Gaillardia, also known as blanketflower, is a common and much loved flower that is native to our region.

Year of the Gerbera

Gerbera daisies are captured by artists great and small. They are larger and more intensely colored than many of their other daisy family relatives. Because of its brilliant colors the gerbera daisy has come to be associated with cheerfulness, while all daisies are symbols of beauty. Gerbera daisies originate in South Africa and can grow outdoors as perennials in some parts of the United States. In Colorado, we get to enjoy them as cut flowers and potted gift plants to brighten someone’s day.

Year of the Watermelon

Year of the Wildflower

Watermelons are thought to have originated nearly 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert. Botanists have found the ancestors of the modern-day melon still growing in that part of Africa. Watermelons were so prized that they were buried with Egyptian kings to nourish them in the afterlife. Our cool nights can make watermelon growing a challenge in Colorado, but if you are inclined to give it a go, note that the flowers require pollination by bees, so encourage those sweet honey-makers to visit your garden. How to tell when a watermelon is ripe depends on the variety you have. However, all watermelons lose their slick or powdery look on the top and acquire a dull appearance once they are fully ripe. A fun fact: It’s been found that eating watermelon contributes more to eye health than do carrots, so figure out when they’re ripe and eat up. 22 January 2013

The NGB admits on its website that it is unclear how to exactly define “wildflower.” I like to define wildflowers as “native,” but not simply “a flower that grows without human assistance.” That could too easily encompass weeds that cause problems, such as oxeye daisy which is prolific in my part of the state. “Native” also lacks an unanimously agreed on definition, but is generally summed up as having grown in the locale in Columbian time. Native plants, or wildflowers, work well for gardening. They perform well in our conditions and provide a familiar habitat for our wild critters. There are many popular flowers generally considered wildflowers that work well in Colorado, including the blanketflower, blue flax, bee balm, California poppy, columbine, coneflower, brown-eyed Susan and milkweed. But watch out for varieties with European origins, such as dame’s rocket and bouncing bet, as they can take over Colorado gardens.

The bright, cheerful colors of the gerbera daisy can be appreciated in Colorado in pots and in vases.

Eva Rose Montane is a garden coach, consultant and designer. Read more gardening advice at Click on Living in Colorado and then Gardening. Septembere 2012 23


Small-Town Hospitality

Some of the friendliest folks live in the country BY DENNIS SMITH


WE NEED YOUR HELP Colorado Country Life will be randomly surveying its readers by mail. You may have received a mailing from Colorado Country Life during the first part of December. Please complete the survey and send it back. We want to know how to better serve you. If you have any questions call 303-455-4111 or email 24 January 2013

Is it me or are small-town country folk genuinely friendlier, more hospitable and trusting of strangers than their urban and suburban counterparts? It seems the farther you get from big population centers, the happier folks are to see you. I can’t prove it to be a fact, but it’s certainly been the experience my boys and I have had over the years. And it seems to ring truer every time we’ve bounced around the boonies looking for places to hunt. By way of example, we took a scouting trip into western Nebraska farm country last September in search of a place for my 11-year-old grandson, Dawson, to hunt deer. Nebraska has a youth hunting program that allows any youngster smart enough to pass a state-approved hunter safety course to buy an over-the-counter, nonresident, youth license for $6. The license permits him to take two deer over a wide range of seasons extending from September through January. Likewise, nonresident adults can buy similar big game permits, albeit at a slightly higher price, but with no application or waiting period requirements. Three of us left Loveland before sunup and arrived in the tiny border town of Julesburg, Colorado, just in time to find a quaint little café opening for breakfast. Just as we walked through the door, the owner greeted us in a loud, cheerful voice from across the room: “C’mon in boys, grab yourselves a table, we’ll be right with ya. The chicken-fried steak and eggs is ’specially good this morning. Ya might want to give it a try.” Several other seated folks happily

greeted us as well. Before our breakfast made it to the table we were all kneedeep in conversation about the antique tractor sale and barbecue happening later that day. When they learned we were scouting deer properties for Dawson, they volunteered the names of farmers they knew just across the state line who might be willing to let the boy hunt their fields or woodlots. Our waitress went so far as to call a few of them on our behalf. Throughout the day we met farmers, ranchers and shopkeepers equally eager to help us. One invited us into his den where he showed us his collection of big game mounts, offered the names of neighboring farmers to approach and spent nearly an hour suggesting various properties to explore. Another man volunteered to guide Dawson on his own ranch if the youngster didn’t fill his tag in the early season. The owner of a small café in Oshkosh was equally helpful and sent us on our way with a jar of her homemade tomato sauce. When we called to book a room at a small-town motel two weeks later, the owner said she’d leave the room keys in a brown paper bag with our names on it. “Just put your room fee in the bag and drop it by the office when you leave,” she said. Oh, and good luck hunting.” How’s that for hospitality? In stark contrast, we secured permission to hunt antelope on a ranch a few miles north and east of Fort Collins some years back. When we showed up after waiting five years to draw antelope tags, the owner informed us he charged a $100 access fee per person. We politely declined and returned our licenses for a refund. Too close to a big town, I guess.

Miss an issue? Catch up at Click on Outdoors.

[energy tips]

CLOSING THE GAPS Insulate for efficiency BY JAMES DULLEY


What less-obvious areas of a home should be checked for heating inefficiency? Where there’s a break in the thermal envelope of your home, there’s potential for energy loss. One common spot is electrical wall outlets and switches on outside walls. Often, they are completely uninsulated and the vapor and air barrier is not taped tightly to them. Switch off the circuit breaker to these outlets and switches. Remove the faceplate. Shoot some expanding urethane foam into the wall around the conduit box. This should fill insulation voids and seal it. Recessed ceiling lights are particularly bad energy guzzlers because Inexpensive foam draft they get hot, which sealers under wall outlet faceplates stop leaks. creates a natural upward draft. The most efficient option is to replace old canisters with new, efficient sealed models. You can caulk around the hole in the attic floor and the canister, but some room air will still leak out through the canister itself. Don’t just pour or pack insulation against recessed lights in the attic. This can cause older styles, which were not designed to be insulated, to overheat. Ceiling paddle fans are another place to check. If you installed them yourself after the house was built and added support blocking, the insulation level will be less there. There may also be air leakage where you cut the hole to run the wiring. Push the insulation away and caulk the attic floor hole around the wire, then cover it with additional insulation. For more information on making your home more energy efficient, visit colorado Click on Energy Tips. January 2013 25


Be ready when Colorado’s General Assembly opens its 2013 session in January. Order directories at or call 303-455-4111. Or download the 99¢ app from iTunes after mid-January.

Veronica Johnson from Pagosa Springs won the binoculars.

Win one of two Baxter Black books. Visit, click on Contests and learn how to be a winner. 26 January 2013

Advertise in MarketPlace. Colorado Country Life goes to more than 190,000 readers. Call Kris at 303-902-7276 to place your ad.

[marketplace] January 2013 27

[classifieds] TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD Please type or print your ad on a separate paper. Indicate how many months you would like your ad to run and which month to start. There is a minimum of 12 words at $1.63 per word/month. Be sure to include your full name and address for our records. Check MUST accompany this order or call to pay by credit card. Send your ad to: mail: Colorado Country Life 5400 N. Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 phone: 303-902-7276 fax: 303-455-2807 email:

ANTIQUES ANTIQUE RESTORATION STUDIO – Antique conservation. Quality craftsmanship since 1974. Bayfield, CO, 970-884-1937. (988-04-13) ANTIQUES IN LONGMONT, Boulder County Fairgrounds, February 9-10, Sunday 10-4. Admission $4. Glass grinder on duty. Great supply of antique dealers with all their wonderful wares. Mark your calendar now.” Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-4. Info: Jo Peterson 719-596-1022 (510-01-13) BUY, SELL, TRADE, RESTORE antique woodstoves, cookstoves, early gas heaters, always looking for stoves, parts. Bob 303-902-7709 (049-01-13) CHAIR CANING, hand caning, machine caning, fiber rush caning. Pueblo West, 719-547-0723. (858-04-13) COLLECTOR’S FAIR, National Western Complex, Denver, February 22-23. Early bird Friday 9-noon, $10. Friday 1p-5p & Saturday 9-5, $5. Admission good both days. You asked for it and here it is! Free parking. Info: Jo Peterson 719-596-1022 (510-01-13)


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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES (These opportunities have not been investigated by Colorado Country Life.)

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FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL HELP LINES for CO families. Bankruptcy advice for free 877-933-1139. Mortgage relief help line 888-216-4173. Student loan relief line 888-694-8235. Tax relief IRS help line 877-633-4457. Debt relief non-profit line 888-779-4272. Collection agency complaints 800896-7860. Numbers provided by, a public benefit organization. (087-04-13)

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HELP WANTED $400 WEEKLY ASSEMBLING PRODUCTS FROM HOME. For free information, send SASE: Home Assembly – CC, Box 450, New Britain, CT 06050-0450. BOOKS, PATTERNS, CLASSES, knit-

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MISCELLANEOUS PUT YOUR OLD HOME MOVIES, slides, or photos on DVD. 888609-9778 or (465-01-13)

QUILTS AWARD WINNING LONG-ARM QUILTING Services - Karen Niemi, 303-470-9309, http://creative., (846-02-13)

REAL ESTATE GRAND JUNCTION HORSE FARM, 3130 A 1/2 Rd, 3550+ sq. ft. home on 14 acres. Newly remodeled, new central air, new boiler, new water heater, new roof, half brick ranch w/new vinyl siding. 5 bdrm, 3 1/2 bath, living room, dining room, large kitchen, large family room. New carpet/tile/wood floors. Full horse barn w/indoor stalls & outside runs. All steel fencing, arenas, loafing sheds on large pastures. Additional fencing around home & inground heated pool. RV building (50x28’), two large ponds, etc. $625,000. Ginny 970-260-9629, Terry 970-261-3001, Gtraudt@ 3% to 6% to any REALTOR w/buyer (946-06-13) HOWARD, COLORADO. Tree covered residential home site. Year round access. Owner finance. 719-276-7294 (050-02-13) SANDS MOTEL & APARTMENTS, weekly, monthly & daily rates, 1 bedroom, efficiency apartments available, Walsenburg, 719-738-3827 (086-01-13) WANTED: PROPERTY TO LEASE for hunting, fishing. We offer landowners numerous benefits. Hunting club also looking for new members. 303-460-0273 (069-04-13)

RELIGION BECOME AN ORDAINED Minister by correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, PMB 767, 6630 W Cactus, B107, Glendale, AZ 85304. http:// (441-06-13)

VACATION RENTAL KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-245-6500; makana; (756-05-13) LUSH TROPICAL “BIG ISLAND” VACATION rental. Enjoy the real Hawaii, go online or call. www. 1-808-443-8659. (066-01-13)

WANTED TO BUY MOSS ROCK, Colorado or Wyoming – 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 (016-01-13) NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ (817-04-13) OIL AND GAS MINERALS, royalties, overrides, and working interests. Call John at 303-704-6756 or fax details to 303-292-9226 (082-03-13) OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1975. Call Wes 303757-8553. (889-02-13) 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. (871-05-13) 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. (519-11-13) OLD POCKET WATCHES – working or non-working and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209 watch (870-12-13) WANT TO PURCHASE minerals and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-02-13)

[funny stories]

A CCL SUBSCRIPTION MAKES A GREAT GIFT 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 people at CCL at 303455-4111.

You know my sister lives in Arizona and would really like to read about home. I will get her a subscription for her birthday.

Recently, I went to my local grocery store to buy

Coming in 2013: Special Advertising Sections

a large bag of Purina Dog Chow for my loyal pet Jake, the Wonder Dog. While standing in the checkout line the woman behind me asked if I had a dog. (Did she think I had an elephant?) So, because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I said, “No, I don’t have a dog. I’m starting the Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn’t.” She had a confused expression. Breaking the silence, I said, “Yeah, the last time I ended up in the hospital. I lost 50 pounds, but I woke up in the intensive care unit with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.” Her jaw dropped. I continued, “Essentially, it’s the perfect diet. You load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete and the results are good. I think I’ll try it again!” By now practically everyone in line was enthralled with my story. She looked horrified. “Did the dog food poison you?” she asked. Matter-of-factly, I said, “No, I stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me.” (Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.) Chuck Lavelle, Fort Collins

Home Improvement

My four-year-old daughter and I were standing in a crowded elevator. When the doors opened, the woman who had been standing in front of us turned around, slapped me and stormed off. I was baffled. I didn’t understand why she slapped me. Then my daughter said, “It’s OK, Daddy. I don’t like her either. She was standing on my foot so I pinched her.”



To advertise in a special section call Kris 303-902-7276.

David Sikes, Pagosa Springs We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year, we draw one name from those submitting jokes and that person will receive $150. Send your 2013 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. January 2013 29



Country Creations


Gaining inspiration from her Woodland Park surroundings, Donna Jensen uses her original art pieces to create all kinds of country-inspired products, including journals, cards, calendars, coffee mugs and tapestries. Warm and whimsical in nature, her many designs feature subjects such as moose, black bear, cowboy swag, birds and flowers. Jensen’s company, Posies and Such, sells to thousands of retailers throughout the United States and Canada, but you can buy directly from her by visiting or calling 719-686-9098. The bulk of her products cost less than $20.


To Greener Pastures

Paul Kethley’s artistic muse is his Buena Vista backdrop. The area “provides me with every western setting imaginable — from snow-covered peaks to rivers, and even rocky desert terrain,” he divulges on his website. Kethley paintings tell a story and convey emotion. From rounding up cattle to fly-fishing in calm waters, the spirit Kethley communicates is easily captured. Visit to see Kethley’s collection and to find a gallery where his art is displayed. For more information, call 719-395-0641.

[Buckle Up]


In Evergreen, Colorado, artist Joshua Bales is busy designing beautiful belts and buckles. Blending blacksmithing and printmaking techniques, Bales adds character to his belts with patterns, such as guns, gates, flowers and whales. Buckles come in varying designs as well, such as buffalo, anvil, compass and turtle shell. Bales’ website,, features a variety of sensational belts and buckles starting at $49. But you don’t have to settle on these selections; Bales will custom make your belt or buckle to your individual tastes and preferences. For more information, call 303-809-4123. 30 January 2013

My Companion

Colorado Country Life MVEA January 2013  

Colorado Country Life MVEA January 2013

Colorado Country Life MVEA January 2013  

Colorado Country Life MVEA January 2013