Lifestyle – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:11:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bird of the Week Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:00:23 +0000

Photo courtesy Charles Martinez

This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the merlin.
Merlins are small, fierce falcons typically flying 30 mph with pointed wings and quick, powerful wing beats. Spectacular aerial displays by the male are part of courtship rituals.
They eat mostly songbirds or small shorebirds, often specializing in the most abundant species in an area. Hunting styles include scanning the surroundings from treetops or flying horizontally in quick pursuit and chasing prey upwards until it tires. They sometimes hunt in pairs. Each merlin eats up to 900 birds per year. In turn, they are preyed upon by peregrine falcons, great-horned owls, and Cooper’s and red-tailed hawks.
Although at 9.5 inches to 11.5 inches, merlins are only slightly larger than a kestrel; they can weigh up to three times as much. Like most raptors, the female is larger than the male. Males have bluish-gray backs, heavily streaked undersides and black tails with thin white bands. They show a thin white eyebrow, but the falcon mustache is not evident. Females and immatures are brownish-colored.
Three subspecies varying in plumage, ranging from dark to light, occur in North America. Merlins are widespread, but not common, within their range. Adapting to changes in their habitats, they are becoming more numerous in urban areas due to the abundance of house sparrows to feed on. They are reported in our area from late fall through spring.
For information on bird-watching events, visit and

San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging: Scams use fear to succeed Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:00:01 +0000 By Kay Kaylor
PREVIEW Columnist

For San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging (SJBAAA), I am not only a part-time lead long-term care ombudsman, advocating for residents in extended care and assisted living residences in the region. I also am a Senior Medicare Patrol and State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor. Information on the many aging and care concerns will be included here.
People in Pagosa Springs and nationally have been targeted by phone and computer scammers of all types, but the most heartbreaking scams involve fear and time pressure. First, the scammer mentions a crisis or major problem that must be quickly solved. After various emotions arise naturally from the listener or reader as a response to the threat, the scammer offers a solution involving payment, such as purchasing a gift card, wiring money, buying a cashier’s check, or giving out banking or other private information.
For phone calls, the best solution is to hang up. Even better, don’t answer the phone if you can see the number and don’t recognize it. If it is important, the person will leave a message or try again. Don’t open or answer emails with only links or poor English. Sometimes you can see the strange email address even if it appears to be real in the heading. If you do get caught up in the emotions from a threat, pause and make a list of pros and cons in your head. This will give you time to avoid a bad decision.
Scammers expertly use fake phone number and email identifications, but awareness of types of scams goes a long way toward prevention of financial loss. The real agencies and businesses the scammers fake would never call or email someone with these threats.
Here are six examples of common fear tactics:
1. A fake utility company says you are behind in your bill and will lose power if you don’t pay cash now (some even come to your door — don’t open it if you are not expecting someone).
2. The imposter Internal Revenue Service says you made criminal mistakes or owe money when you filed your taxes and soon will be arrested.
3. The artificial Social Security Administration says your Social Security number has been used in crimes and you will be arrested, asking for your Social Security number or money.
4. A warning says you are about to get a computer virus, often with loud noises and flashes if seen on your computer, and will lose your data, such as photos (shut it down or restart).
5. An immoral DNA cancer screener says people have died because they didn’t take the test they are offering.
6. A scammer says you will be arrested for not showing up for jury duty unless you pay.
SJBAAA offers resources for people age 60 and older or on Medicare. For further information, please call 264-0501 or send an email to

Youngsters make meatballs at Seeds of Learning Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:00:12 +0000 By Ursala Hudson
Special to The PREVIEW

After washing up and donning oversized plastic gloves, the 4-year-olds in the Seeds of Learning Ladybug classroom began forming the beginnings of their morning snack in the palms of their hands. Culinary chef, native Pagosan and Ladybug mother Nikki Macomber led the week’s cooking lesson on how to whip up authentic meatballs using a simple yet flavorful recipe straight from Italy.
Some of the playdough hobbyists masterfully rolled the mush into light, uniform balls, while others were satisfied with simply getting their patted meat onto the baking pan before it fell apart. They lined up the balls into the straightest rows they could manage and Macomber slid the pans in the school oven to bake — just long enough for a little play break before snack time.
After witnessing only the finest and freshest ingredients get grated, chopped, crumbled and folded in the big steel bowl — and skillfully baked by a credible mom — each child boldly tasted the warm creations as soon as they were plated in front of them. A couple boys speculated that they tasted an awful lot like blueberries, the majority recognized the fresh Parmesan flavor and everyone agreed that they were worth devouring to the last crumb.
On a regular basis, parents and community members visit the various classrooms at Seeds with unique lessons from their area of expertise. From art and music projects, to science and naturalism, the children are exposed to hands-on experiences that spark further inquiry and broaden their perspectives.
Seeds of Learning is a nonprofit, high-quality early child care and education center in Pagosa Springs. If you are interested in learning more about the center, please call 264-5513 or visit for more information and a tour of the center.

Archuleta County 4-H food drive Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:00:15 +0000

Photo courtesy Becky Jacobson

Archuleta County 4-H clubs held their annual food drive in the months of December and January. Community service is one of many life skills that 4-H teaches the youth in our community. Clubs competed against each other to bring in the most number of food items, with Colorado Kids Club bringing in a whopping total of 179 items. Overall, approximately 350 items were collected and given to local food pantries in Archuleta County. Dennis Schick, local food pantry coordinator, attended the January council meeting to receive the food collected.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month: San Juan Basin Public health provides free screenings Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:00:14 +0000 By Claire Ninde
Special to The PREVIEW

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) encourages women ages 21-74 across Colorado to start the year by talking with their health care providers about scheduling a Pap test.
A Pap test is the first line of defense against cervical cancer. When cervical cancer is found early, more than 92 percent of women had a five-year survival rate.
Every year in the United States, approximately 13,170 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,250 women die of the disease. African American women and Latinas have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer and African American women have a higher cervical cancer death rate. SJBPH acknowledges that social, economic and environmental inequities result in adverse health outcomes and have a greater impact than individual choices. Reducing health disparities through systems change can help improve opportunities for all Coloradans.
SJBPH’s Women’s Wellness Connection (program provides free screenings for cervical and breast cancer for eligible women between ages 21-64 in Colorado. Breast exams, Pap tests and pelvic exams are included. Referrals for free mammograms are available for women who qualify.
To schedule an appointment for a well woman exam and for more information about the HPV series, call the SJBPH Sexual Health Clinic at 335-2015. More information about the clinic is at

New Thought presentation: ‘A Prayer for World Peace’ Sat, 25 Jan 2020 12:00:21 +0000 By Lisa Burnson
Special to The PREVIEW

“Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is darkness, light” — St. Francis.
All are welcome to join New Thought Center for Inspirational Living (NTC) this Sunday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m. for our presentation, “A Prayer for World Peace.” Our guest speakers will be Rica Potenz and Thomas Davenport.
Jan. 26 is “Membership Sunday” at NTC, when all members will receive a New Thought membership certificate. There will be an honoring of the founders. We will have a healthy potluck afterwards with chai tea, healthy snacks and more.
Also on Sunday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., we invite all who enjoy writing in the company of others to join our writing group for “Stories To Tell Us.” More information can be found on the website
We welcome people of all religions, cultures, races and lifestyles to our services, where we celebrate the Science of Mind and positive thinking.
Our community of affirmative-minded people share joy, laughter and awareness of connection to spirit, and our ability to co-create a life of infinite possibilities.
We will have spirited live music.
Meditation circle
We invite the public to enjoy our weekly meditation circle each Wednesday at 6 p.m., weather permitting.
Upcoming events
Thursday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m.: “Feeling Depleted? Health and Wellness Lifestyle” with local herbalist Sam Johnson.
Thursday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m.: Movie: “Co-Creating At Its Best” with Dr. Wayne Dyer and Esther Hicks.
Saturday, Feb. 1: “Reversing Diabetes and Toxic Build Up,” time to be determined.
Sunday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m.: “Conscious Self Evolution” with Theresa Howard, RScP.
Please call New Thought Center for more information about these events.
About us
NTC is a New Thought center based on fostering living a spiritually centered life and promoting the philosophies of the Centers for Spiritual Living and the Agape Centers. NTC honors all lifestyles, cultures and religious paths to the Divine.
We welcome local talent to share gifts, aptitudes and knowledge. Have a hand in making a difference. Participate, learn or contribute your insights, beliefs, knowledge and skills.
NTC events are held at 3505 W. U.S. 160, on the second floor of the Best Western Lodge (elevator available).
Request a concentrated affirmative mind treatment or obtain information by joining us; emailing; mailing P.O. Box 1052, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-1052; or calling (505) 604-5031. Find us on Facebook (Pagosa Community of New Thought).

Extension Viewpoints: Winter weather and illness prevention Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:00:50 +0000 By Robin Young and
Nicole Clark
SUN Columnist

Ever noticed how the onset of winter weather tends to increase the frequency of illness? While weather does play a role, it is not the direct cause. Rather, place blame on the true culprits causing your illness; for example rhinovirus (common cold) and influenza virus (flu).

The connection between winter and illness
The connection lies in the fact that cold, dry weather is the preferred environment for pathogens to replicate and thrive. Consequently, your body is exposed to more germs during winter. Aside from heading south when temperatures drop, your next best bet is to prepare for battle. Fortunately, with the right support, your body is equipped with a highly efficient immune system.

Your immune system in a nutshell
This defense system is composed of many specialized cells, which are generally referred to as white blood cells. The first responsibility of immune cells is to recognize foreign pathogens in your body. Once recognized, the next step is to destroy them. Finally, your immune cells memorize the pathogen in order to destroy it quickly upon the next exposure. Coordinating this effort is a full-time job, requiring immune cells to function at the top of their game.

Support your hardworking immune system
Support for your immune system includes everything from diet to physical activity to hygiene. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do and why it works.

Vitamin D
Eat or consume foods high in vitamin D, which helps your immune cells recognize unwanted bacteria.
Considerable controversy exists among health professionals regarding the definition of vitamin D deficiency. Consult with your provider for information specific to you.
Eat 3 ounces of fish one to three times a week. Fish such as salmon, herring, tuna and trout are good sources of dietary vitamin D.
Incorporate mushrooms into your diet. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D and phytochemicals, both of which support your immune system.
Try adding mushrooms to soups, sauces and casseroles. The water in these dishes extracts the phytochemicals found in mushrooms such as button, oyster and shiitake.
Other good sources of vitamin D include fortified dairy milk, plant-based milk or juices.

Move your body
Short bouts (15 minutes) of moderate-intensity exercise help boost immune function.
Moderate intensity means you are breathing harder than normal, but can still talk.

Early to bed, later to rise
During sleep, the body not only produces immune cells, but also enhances existing cells’ ability to quickly respond to disease-causing microorganisms known as pathogens.
Aim for seven to nine hours when you are feeling well.

Feed gut microbes with fiber
Complex carbohydrates such as those found in lentils, beans, barley and oats (to name a few) feed the bacteria in your gut.
Gut microbes convert complex carbs to short-chain fatty acids that, once absorbed, help immune cells recognize and destroy pathogens.
Plus, short-chain fatty acids strengthen the epithelial cells lining your intestine, thus improving your natural barrier to pathogens.

Wash your hands frequently
The best defense starts externally.
Prevent the introduction of pathogens into your mouth or nose by washing hands often.

If all else fails
If all else fails, rest, recover, hydrate and stay warm.
Contrary to human tendency, when you begin to feel ill, the quickest route to recovery means taking some down time, no matter how busy you are.

Upcoming events
January/February: Support your local 4-H Program by purchasing soup from a 4-H member.
Feb. 11: The 36th annual Beef Symposium will be held at the Archuleta County Extension office. The cost is $25 per person and includes lunch. Please call the Extension office at 264-5931 for more information and to register.
Feb. 12: The Agricultural Financial Management Strategies workshop, hosted by the CSU Agriculture and Business Management Team, will cover topics such as risk management, business planning, enterprise budgeting, record keeping and more. Please go to to register or come into the office to pay. The cost is $15.

CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.

Camp Colorado Scholarship offered by Audubon Society Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:00:06 +0000 By Jean Zirnhelt
Special to The SUN

Applications are now being accepted for the Michael P. Ward Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the Weminuche Audubon Society.
Camp Colorado is a week-long science camp with a focus on birds for students between the ages of 13-18. It is operated by the American Birding Association and based at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. This year’s camp takes place from July 18 to 24.
Campers will explore Rocky Mountain National Park and nearby areas to learn about bird identification, painting, field journaling, photography, careers in ornithology and more. It is an opportunity to meet students from across the country with similar interests. A description of the camp is available at
The application deadline is March 1. Please check the Scholarship tab on the website,, for more information and for application directions. All of our previous recipients have reported having a great time at the camp.
This is the sixth year that we are able to offer this exciting opportunity thanks to the generosity of Joan Ward, who provides the scholarship in honor of her late husband Mike, who died in 2014. He was an active board member of the chapter and involved in many of the projects and events furthering the Audubon mission of “protecting birds and the places they need.”

Senior News: Smart Driver course to be offered in March Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:00:58 +0000 By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

The AARP Smart Driver course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for drivers age 50 and older. For more than 35 years, the course has taught 16 million drivers proven safety strategies so they can continue driving safely for as long as possible.
Why take the course?
More than nine in 10 course participants report changing at least one key driving behavior for the better as a result of what they learned in the course and over eight in 10 participants felt that information they learned in the course has prevented them from being in a crash. Plus, you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your insurance agent for details.
AARP membership is not required to take the course.
The classroom course costs only $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers.
To register, visit The Pagosa Springs Senior Center staff will be glad to help you register.
Due to popular demand, the Senior Center is hosting another class on March 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. For reservations, call (970) 462-9613.

Euchre is a card game invented around 1860 played in partnerships with a deck of 24, 28 or sometimes 32 standard playing cards. It is the game responsible for introducing the joker into modern card packs.
The group will meet on Fridays at 1 p.m.
The next game is Friday, Jan. 24, at 1 p.m.

History of Valentine’s Day and make your own Valentine
A free art class will be held Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. No art skills are needed, no materials are needed — just come and have fun. We will be learning the history of Valentine’s Day and making valentines.
The instructor will be Denise Fisk, former art teacher in Iowa.

Legal services
The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging provides legal services for seniors through the program attorney, Daniel Fiedler. Fiedler will be spending the day at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center today, Jan. 23, by appointment.
Following are the legal services Fiedler can assist with:
• Public benefits and utilities shut off.
• Landlord-tenant problems, such as persons being evicted.
• Simple wills, power of attorneys, medical durable power of attorney and living wills.
• Consumer issues such as advocating for persons harassed by debt collectors.
• Emergency limited long-term care guardianship and domestic problems, such as abuse.
Please come by or call the Senior Center office to schedule an appointment, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. (inside the Ross Aragon Community Center), 264-2167.

Tax preparation help
The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be returning to prepare federal and state income tax returns at no charge.
The 2020 dates are Feb. 22 and March 14, by appointment only. The gross income limit this tax season is $54,000.
Please call 264-2167 for more information or to make an appointment.

History (Book) Club
Are you interested in reading and talking about history with others? If so, please join us and bring your ideas and experiences as we continue a history discussion group at the Senior Center. The discussions will cover many historical subjects based on the preferences of the group. Please come and bring your friends who might also be interested.
In the fall, the History Group began its study of English history and how it influenced America.
The essence of the discussions concerning England is what America adopted and what it rejected regarding England’s form of government and culture.
Facilitated by Jim Van Liere, the group meets the third Wednesday of every month.
The next History Club meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m.

Health and wellness
The Senior Center is continuing the pilot program which expands health and wellness services to Archuleta County seniors. The program includes wellness and blood pressure monitoring or allows individual area seniors to discuss two subjects of their choice.
There is no charge for Medicare enrollees. Participant IDs will include Medicare card, photo ID and, if necessary, any supplemental insurances. No Medicaid is accepted at this time. Participants are encouraged to bring a list of their current medications.
The goal of the outreach clinic is to provide care to those who are not able to travel.
The next health and wellness date will be Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Senior Discount Club Memberships are now offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join us for lunch. If you are a senior (60 years and older), for only a $4 suggested donation, you are eligible for a hot meal, drink and a salad prepared by our kitchen staff.
The guest fee for those 59 and under is $10 and children 10 years and under can eat for $8.50 each. Access to the salad bar is only $6 for those under 60.
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 23 — Pork posole stew, squash calabacitas, milk, baked tomato Provencal, whole-wheat tortilla, salad bar and flan.
Friday, Jan. 24 — Turkey with dressing bake with gravy, steamed asparagus with lemon, spinach, milk, salad bar and cranberry salad.
Monday, Jan. 27 — Crab cakes with remoulade sauce, sautéed cabbage, snap pea medley, milk, salad bar and poached pears.
Tuesday, Jan. 28 — Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole; zucchini medley; crème fraiche carrots; milk; salad bar; and chocolate chip cookies.
Wednesday, Jan. 29 — Ham and spinach quiche, asparagus stir-fry, potato and leek soup, milk, salad bar, and strawberry shortcake.
Thursday, Jan. 30 — Turkey tetrazzini with noodles, caramelized butternut squash, Italian green peas, milk, salad bar and cherry cream cheese pie.
Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine in the Community Cafe at the Senior Center.
For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always attend. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days.

Brain fitness can help fight memory loss Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:00:56 +0000 By John Lough
Special to The PREVIEW

It’s a common problem many of us encounter as we age — we forget more things and it seems to happen more frequently. It can be a frustrating experience and even a frightening one as we worry that serious issues of dementia are just around the corner.
While researchers are only beginning to understand exactly why our brains seem to be more prone to memory issues as we get older, they have, however, begun to make real progress in finding ways to help fight memory problems as we age. And the latest advice is that we all ought to begin proactively working to keep maximum brain function at a much earlier age.
Many older folks try to keep mentally active through activities like crossword or sudoku puzzles, and that’s a good thing. But more recent research is finding that such activities simply may not be providing the level of stimulation needed for real “brain fitness.”
Brain fitness starts with mental activities that truly engage your mental powers. They can take a variety of forms. Critical thinking, for example, requires you to think about a topic that you understand and agree with, and then to look at that same subject from the opposite point of view. Can you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of that subject from a totally different side than the one you’re normally on?
You want to stimulate your brain in ways that require it to really think about finding new solutions. Locating new recipes and then working out ways to improve them is such an activity. Learning and using new vocabulary words, tackling a foreign language, or taking up a new hobby like art or music, are all ways to maximize brain effort and increase brain stimulation.
Brain fitness also requires recognizing that the brain is a part of your body and is affected by your fitness. It requires exercising more, eating healthier and staying fit overall. It means staying on top of potential health risks, like your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Doing a daily crossword puzzle may be fun and provide some brain stimulation, but really working for brain fitness means doing things to improve your reasoning, problem-solving and memory abilities, activities that are a real mental stretch. At the same time, staying fit and managing health risks are the keys that can all add up to better mental health and long, positive brain function.
“Counseling Corner” is provided by the American Counseling Association (ACA). Send your comments and questions to or visit the ACA website at