Plugged Into the Colorado Sun & Wind

To hear Carole Brannon tell it, you’d think her life had become a fairytale. With a contagious smile that beams with pride, she begins her story 11 years ago, when she and her husband, Glenn, first set eyes on their remote 3.8 acre parcel of wooded Colorado hillside, just a hoot and holler downstream from the point where Larimer County abandons all attempts to maintain the road from October to April, and five miles upstream from the last utility pole. […]

2019-05-13T13:22:51-06:00By |Self-Reliance|

Keep Your Eye on the “Log Home” Prize

Whenever I speak to gatherings of people intending to buy a log home, I pose the question: What do you need most to make it happen? They’re unanimous in their answer: money. I acknowledge that money is essential, but I tell them two other things matter more. They’re stumped, but a few take a stab. Land? A floor plan? A builder?  Again, you need them all, but two things you need most to succeed in turning your dream into reality […]

2018-06-18T10:51:23-06:00By |Log Home Planning|

Why Geothermal Is Such a Smart Investment for Homeowners

New Book, Geo Power, Demystifies a Superior Heating & Cooling Choice

June 2015 — A new book, Geo Power, gives homeowners, homebuilders and architects what they need to know when considering geothermal heating / cooling, a technology the EPA calls “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective” space-conditioning system available.

All homes, new or existing, can use ground-source heat pumps (GHPs) to harness nature’s free energy for year-round comfort. But understanding how and why heat pumps work, and which system options are […]

Horse Nutrition Made Easy for All Ages, Even Kids

Beyond the Hay Days: Refreshingly Simple Horse Nutrition

– A Review by Erica Beyea for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, April, 2017

This 153-page book takes what can be a very daunting and complex subject (properly feeding a horse), and breaks down the science of it into a very understandable and practical read for the layman or beginning horse owner. Having never had the experience of choosing horse feed before, we were left asking opinions of others and following advice, which was […]

Are You ‘Ready’ for Wildfires?

I recently attended the Wildland Urban Interface Conference hosted by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and its Ready, Set, Go! Program. In addition to attending classes, I received an Award of Excellence for my agency (South Metro Fire Rescue) for its commitment to wildfire risk reduction.

We were early adopters of the Ready, Set, Go! model because of its simplicity and potential for making a solid difference. You can check it out at www.wildlandfirersg.org.

Getting ready for wildfires, whether […]

2018-05-07T15:10:03-06:00By |Wildfire & Fire Safety|

Celebrate Safely on Independence Day

The volume of illegal fireworks getting used in my neighborhood suggests Independence Day is almost here.

Any fireworks that leave the ground or explode are illegal for private use under Colorado state law. Other states have different laws as do counties, cities and homeowners associations. Sparklers are usually legal, but they are not “safe” as the attached image indicates.

Too many people are injured while using fireworks each year. Causes of injuries include ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions or safety warnings or letting […]

2018-05-07T15:11:26-06:00By |Wildfire & Fire Safety|

Stand by Your Pan to Prevent Cooking Fires

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires in the nation as a whole. Nationwide, cooking also is the leading cause of home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

To prevent cooking fires, use appliances according to manufacturer’s instructions and refrain from overloading electrical outlets. Check food that is cooking regularly to verify that it is cooking uniformly and as expected. Move anything that could catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, wrappers and towels, away […]

2018-05-07T15:12:04-06:00By |Wildfire & Fire Safety|

When Thunder Roars, Please Go Indoors

Lightning strikes the Earth over 25 million times each year.

Lightning, a rapid discharge of electrical energy in the atmosphere, is among the most impressive weather phenomena on the planet. It’s also quite dangerous.

The winds within a thunderstorm or similar column of rapidly rising air causes particles of ice to crash into each other. During the crashes, smaller particles lose electrons while larger ones gain electrons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

As the cloud bottoms become charged negatively, […]

2018-05-07T15:13:33-06:00By |Wildfire & Fire Safety|

A horse cannot be fed everything it needs to be a horse!

As anyone who has ever tried to stay atop a rank colt on a bad day can painfully verify, pound for pound, the horse is one of the strongest animals on earth. During a mile-and-a-half race, a horse will burn up enough energy to bring a 55-gallon drum of water from room temperature to a boil. Its heart will pump blood faster than a good stock well can deliver water—enough to fill an enviable jacuzzi to overflowing. The water its […]

2018-05-15T11:58:30-06:00By |Horse Nutrition|

A Wildfire Wake-Up Call for Homeowners

“Surviving Wildfire should be mandatory reading for anyone living in the WUI.”
– Garry Sanfacon, Fourmile Canyon Fire Recovery Manager

No one thinks their home will burn down in a wildfire. And yet every year thousands of homes do. Research shows that at least half of the people who stand in the ashes of their dreams must face the fact that they don’t have the right kind of coverage or enough insurance to rebuild and replace what they owned.

Few people know what […]