After the Christmas rush and before Lent begins is a great time to enjoy a European tradition similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Colorado State University Extension is teaming up with the Central Colorado Beekeepers Association to offer a class on beekeeping in the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Winter is a long season in Colorado. For some time we have been bundling up to endure low temperatures, blustery winds and snow. We will probably be doing so for many more weeks.

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A good friend of mine, Dave, previously from Chaffee County, has been working in Kenya for the past 13 years. He shared a story from a recent Christmas party in Kisumu, Kenya, that involved a young man, Jehoshaphat, who he has worked with through the Family of Hope Organization.

A steady wind blew from the high country while the sun fingered its way down the spruce across the far side of the valley. Only during an occasional calm did the sound of the stream below rise up to where I sat.

Most parents want to be able to provide their children with all or part of the means to obtain a college education.

You no doubt remember the old line attributed to Ben Franklin when he was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had created: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Well, I’ve noticed an interesting thing in recent years: It’s got bipartisan appeal.

For those of Scottish descent, Robbie Burns Night dinners are a popular celebration. The birth of Scots poet Robert Burns is celebrated usually on Jan. 23 or 25, and the dinner has a defined agenda.

I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.

Wow – what a first week of the second session of the 72nd General Assembly. A lot of “Pomp and Circumstance” was packed into the first two days. However, there was a lot more pomp and very little circumstance in those 48 hours.

Sometimes not knowing the history or all the details about an issue can lead to incorrect assumptions and accusations.

When beef gets short, a lot of cowboys are forced to do without. The cook must come up with meatless meals. The following recipes are from the Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook.


June Shaputis gave this county a great gift in 1987. She pored over the local newspapers to reconstruct a history of burials in Chaffee County and then put it all together in “Chaffee County, Colorado Burials,” her Chaffee County opus.

Many Christians dedicate the month of January for the respect of human life and to pray for religious vocations. With that in mind, I’d like to tell you one of my favorite stories from the “Lives of the Saints.”

If you’re fortunate, you’ll live independently and in good health throughout your retirement years. However, if you ever needed some type of long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home, would you be financially prepared?

The morning sun at my back, I made my way slowly along the high bank, the soft crunch of dried grass, snow lying in its shaded crevices, beneath my boots. The summer flow’s high tide mark was clearly visible a good foot further up the bank from the stream’s current level, and a fine layer of…

Welcome back to “In the Garden.” This column first appeared in The Mountain Mail on Oct. 31, 2000. After 18 years of writing a weekly column, I found myself burned out and “recycling” older articles. Busted!

“What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays.

“The funeral home?” I asked.

“Yeah, that one.” 

“I thought it was a joke.”

“No, it’s right on our way.”

“We’re going to spend the night in a funeral home?”

“It’s very inexpensive.”

I suddenly felt like I was in the opening scene of every horror film I’d ever watched. 

A lot of new things have been occurring at Ark-Valley Humane Society. With the recent completion of our new addition, we are now fully moved in to the new space. 

We love our new space for the animals – some of our favorites are the beautiful, big cat room that friendly cats can hang out in and our private meet-and-greet rooms for families to sit down and hang out with new animals.

When moving from sea level or a lower elevation to Chaffee County, one of the changes you will notice is the difference in baking and cooking.

Growing up in the flatlands of Upper Michigan, I knew there was such a thing as altitude adjustment because the directions came on the cake mix boxes. Of course, I had no reason to pay attention to them at the time, nor did I have to worry about adjusting other recipes.

For most students, January means a return to school after a winter vacation. Because there are few three-day weekends or other interruptions, the months between winter and spring breaks are the time when teachers plan to put the pedal to the metal. 

McGraw posed an interesting question. If a cowboy herds a herd of cattle, we call him a herder. If a sheepman herds a flock of sheep, he’s still a herder. Why isn’t he called a flocker?

It’s 2020 – what may this year hold for Salida Regional Library? Opportunity is the word that first comes to my mind.

Throughout history and especially within the sacred Scriptures, names have always been important.

It’s easy to feel anxious about investing these days. Maybe we will have a recession, maybe we won’t, but be wary of predictions on how markets will behave.

Time flies. Two decades ago, the world stood at the precipice of uncertainty, in the form of Y2K. For those short of memory or young of years, the new millennium was supposed to be heralded by a series of man-made disasters as computers went into meltdown, unable to make the timekeeping tran…

I glanced up as the bells rang to herald new customers walking into the used clothing store. I was looking for a pair of warm dress pants. Visiting my parents in Minnesota, I had forgotten entirely about the possibility of extreme cold, and the idea of going out that night in tights and a skirt seemed preposterous.

It is 2020, a new year and a new decade. What a wonderful opportunity to make a few life changes, not only for ourselves but also for our beloved pets.

New Year’s Resolutions for My Dog

I resolve to:

With the holidays behind us, you probably have leftovers you hate to waste – but what do you do with them?

Casseroles can be the answer. You don’t have to follow the recipes as written. In most cases you can substitute ingredients. Canned corn instead of beans, for example. Or rice instead of potatoes. Often a casserole recipe can serve simply as a guide so you can use up the leftovers you have and come up with a whole new dish. The only bad part about that is if everyone loves it, you won’t have a recipe to share and you’ll probably never be able to duplicate it.

I confess to not owning a tractor. I have plenty of friends nearby with tractors. But in a lapse of good judgment I borrowed one to brush hog a patch of weeds. Experienced farmers, even an 8-year-old farm kid, know that you always drive a tractor thumbs up. I didn’t remember.

A young mother is exhausted, and the baby is crying again. As she excuses herself from visiting with a neighbor to go get her child, the neighbor says, “That baby has you trained. He is manipulating you.”

In about 35 years of writing this cooking column, I don’t believe I’ve ever written one exclusively on candy, but what better time than Christmas to do that.

A gold-tinged disk of a sun hung low in a flat silver sky, contrasting neither brightness nor shadow upon the ground, rather presenting the countryside through which we walked as a world of soft transitions between shades of white, blue and black.

Book review: “Erosion: Essays of Undoing” by Terry Tempest Williams.

As I take notes for this book review, I want to write down almost every one of Terry Tempest Williams’ words. Each sentence seems meaningful and poetic, even if the subject is hopeless and futile. Her words are quotable.

Christmas is the most joyful of seasons for believers, when publicly we are closest to God … birth of Christ.

It is also a time when we can open our hearts and remember the “second great commandment” as mentioned in Matthew 22:39, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Sometimes that’s hard to do.

The holidays are a time for family and friends to gather together, visit, party and feast. To keep the celebration bright, be careful with your furry, family members. The noisy, hectic activity may cause your pets undue stress, and many foods you love can be their poison.

The day planner likely hadn’t seen daylight for a decade or longer. Bound in faux leather, it had sat in the far corner of a shelf in my closet, mute witness to that time before you carried your entire business and social life in a palm-sized “smart” phone.

I often say my daughter didn’t come with any instructions. I had an idea of the parent I wanted to be, but no tangible strategy. For parents who can relate, we have support during challenging times and good times. It’s the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP).

You’ve probably heard or read about inflection points. The term has a specific definition in mathematics, but it’s also used widely to describe historical or technological events, such as the Industrial Revolution or the creation of the internet – events that changed human existence in some …

It is the tender cusp of Christmas.

It is that time when emotions run close to the overfill point, when sentimentality and anger and depression and euphoria mix freely together, with not enough space between them to tell the difference from one moment to the next.

I am visiting my parents – and of course this does not help.

Punches and special hot drinks always add a festive touch to the holidays. In fact, this is just about the only time of the year we get to drag out those punch bowls and use them.

He got his first horse at Christmas this year from good ol’ Uncle Stephen.

I was a middle school language arts teacher for more than 30 years and read books appropriate to seventh- and eighth-graders.

The road out of Yampa began as blacktop, then a few miles out of town transitioning first to a well-maintained reddish base then beyond the last school bus turnaround narrowing to loose gravel with washboards that likely saw a grader’s blade but once a year.

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