406 Woman Lifestyle VOL.16 No.3

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Featured 14. Mallory Dawn

26. Barking Up the Christmas Tree


18. Off Key Notes



Home& Design 22. Seasonal Decorating with Indoor Bulbs 38. Planning for Holiday Cheer

Love Story 42. Tiffany & Ben


&flavor 29. Ask the Butcher


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30. Whiskey 34. How to Cook Like Mom

Publisher's Note As we approach the holiday season, we are grateful for your continued support of 406 Woman magazine. We are honored to have you as part of our community and appreciate your loyalty to our publication. The holidays are a time for reflection, gratitude, and celebration. We hope that you are able to spend this time with loved ones, cherishing the moments that truly matter in life. Whether cooking a family meal, exchanging gifts, or simply enjoying each other's company, we hope you are surrounded by warmth, love, and joy. As we close out this year and look toward the next, we wish you all the success and happiness life offers. May your dreams become reality, your aspirations be fulfilled, and your heart be filled with hope and optimism. Thank you again for your support of 406 Woman magazine. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the year to come. With Gratitude, Cindy & Amanda



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Editor’s Letter publisher

“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” – Unknown

Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel


managing editor

Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell



Daley McDaniel Photography Amanda Wilson Photography ACE Photography Hope Kauffman Photography Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2023 Skirts Publishing

Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/406 Woman 406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between.

My husband, Bob, and I were recently given the opportunity to join some family on an Alaskan cruise. As it turned out our calendar was free, the deal couldn’t be beat, and Alaska had been a state to visit on my personal bucket list. So off we went. Granted Alaska is huge and we realize we only saw a small section of the state as we disembarked in the ports of call (Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan) but it was an adventure I won’t soon forget. One of our favorite stops of all wasn’t even a stop as we idled at the Hubbard Glacier for hours watching this amazing glacier calve on a sunny fall day. Upon our return I thought of other items on my bucket list and realized that it’s not a long list (that either involves travel or seeing loved ones) so I need to make an effort to check some more items off. I think I’ve just set a goal that I can really sink my teeth into for 2024.

Happy Holidays,

Check out www.406woman.com for our full distribution list. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions. Interested in increasing your business and partnering with 406 Woman? Check out www.406woman.com.

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What did I learn this issue? That Central School was the first public building to have both plumbing and electricity when it opened with its first class in 1895. Read Eleanore Eberts story about the History of Center School on page 42 to learn more. We all know that yoga has numerous benefits but did you know that it can also help manage stress? Read Yoga Hive Montana’s story on page 28 to learn more about using yoga for stress management especially during the busy holiday season. How to make a simple hot toddy that will be a real treat for guests on a cold winter night. Read Mary Wallace’s story about Whiskey on page 30 about the history of whiskey as well as a delicious hot toddy and pie recipe.


Nature Inspires Art

Mallory Dawn By Rachael Seymour Photos by Hope Kauffman

Going through the Flathead Valley, you’re more than likely going to find an abundance of art designed by local artists. Whether that’s handmade jewelry, photography of Glacier Park, or carvings of bears climbing the very trees the wood is made from. But if you’re in a cocktail bar, boutique, or art gallery of late, you might see the occasional painting of a deer adorned in flowers. These paintings are vibrant and rich in color, with the deer posing as an almost intimate focal point. Unlike their real-life counterparts, they’re gently demanding your gaze and attention. These paintings are the product of world renown artist Mallory Dawn, who’s made Whitefish her home and refuge for the past few years.

Growing up, the fine artist was always familiar with the outdoors. She and her brother were raised in rural Ohio, exploring nature and creating their own worlds far and away from what they knew. “At the time I thought everyone had this childhood because it was the only thing I knew. I had a really tight knit relationship with the land and with animals.” Her dad would make things in his own studio next to their garage, her grandmother would take her thrifting and find fabrics to make all her dresses growing up. Whenever she got in trouble, her parents made her shop with a family friend for boutique furniture and have her remake and improve them. On her findings, she used batik, an Indonesian method to dye and create textures and patterns, in the style of Wassily Kandinsky, her dad’s favorite artist. They were placed throughout the house when done. “You'd think it would’ve made me hate art, but it just made me love it more! There


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was a bit of problem solving that I just loved.” She loved her art classes as well, creating the visions she saw in her head. “I love the ability to see things that weren’t what other people saw. That wasn't there yet. I think early on I felt that, if I could imagine it, then it could be real. I feel the power of that. I feel like, as an adult, we lose some of that reality that there’s power in imagining something that doesn’t exist yet. It really makes a difference in how you think, how you feel and live your life.”

In spite of that love, however, Dawn was sure that professional art wasn’t in the cards for her. She went to college and earned a Bachelor of Science, thinking that was that. It was only a few years after that, she was needing art in her apartment and wanted something to fill her walls. She was drawn to aerosols, believing it made the most out of large spaces. She looked around her area for anything she liked, to no avail. And during a time with no social media, she couldn’t easily reach out to other artists. So, she decided she was going to make it. She bought canvas and spray paint and reached out to a graffiti shop owner, now an old friend, asking for tips and advice. “The best way you can learn

is by practice.” She set out and taught herself how to paint with aerosols; a learning task that Dawn loves to do.

Over time, she continued to teach herself, posting her results online with the pseudonym “Icecream and Cupcakes”, which slowly gained traction. Suddenly she was getting requests to paint, murals in particular. Her first mural commission was a doozy: The Plaza of the Las Vegas Hotel. Despite the dizzying heights and stakes attached, Dawn loved it all. “My world just became bigger,” she said, reflecting on the project. “Going up the lift for the first time was just a thrill. The world looks different and that’s exciting to be able to do that for yourself.”

After that, Dawn was receiving commissions from all over the country: From hotels in Arizona, to

profile} Mallory Dawn

swanky bars in Texas, to aquariums and the World Trade Center in New York City. When not working on murals she created with aerosol, ink, acrylics and other mediums to make beautiful, vibrant portraits, namely of women and flowers.

Mallory Dawn was officially an artist, losing herself in the creative spirits and bringing her visions to life for the world. Then, a few years ago, her world and perspective changed when a loved one passed away. “It crushed me completely. It wasn’t just the loss of this being, it was the loss of the way I knew love, or how to give love. It left me wholeheartedly empty.” She needed solace, some time to get away and heal. “I had a history with Montana, and this place (Whitefish) felt so familiar to me, like the place I grew up. It had the same small community. It was the only place I could think of to help me recover and to grieve.” She came to the Flathead, with the hopes of just trying to be present, alive. For a time in the mountain cabin she resided in, it was a struggle.

Then, the deer came. Where the house was located, does and their fawns would travel past Dawn’s bedroom window. They would perform their daily activities with one another and she would watch. “It was seeing the mothers caring for the fawns and seeing the fawns playing and all of the feelings I’ve been void of were right there in front of me, with these animals.” She watched, absorbed in their activities. When the deer got up in the morning, she got up. And she went to bed when the deer did. When they weren't around, they stayed tucked away in her mind. She read about them, scientific facts

at first. What they ate, their feeding patterns, the perfect environment for thriving. Then, she began to study their anatomy to sketch. Then sketching became painting. Before she knew it, Dawn moved through her grief with the dozens of beautiful oil paintings with deer and flowers wrapped in and around them. Before, her paintings typically centered around women and flowers. Now, as she pieced herself together, she had a new muse.

I love the ability to see things that weren’t what other people saw. That wasn't there yet. I think early on I felt that, if I could imagine it, then it could be real.

She posted these paintings on her website as well as her Instagram, where she caught the eye of the local art gallery Underscore Art. They asked if she was interested in showing pieces there. Dawn gladly accepted, believing it was more than just a wonderful opportunity.

“It felt like a gift, from my love that passed away.” Since her time there paintings have moved quickly, though at the time of writing this, you could still find her work in Underscore.

Between pieces, she is spending time with friends and family. “My brother and my mom are my closest friends, any time there’s something stressful, they’re always there to tell me the things I need to hear.” Dawn is also working with the city to set up more wildlife crossing signs. “I just want to help and provide something that’s needed! I believe Whitefish has pride in the beauty of this community, and I believe we have to do certain things to keep that beauty. If all else fails, I’ll just keep painting.” www.themallorydawn.com



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“Off Key Notes” By Bob Hamilton

After a rather extended hiatus, it is my pleasure to return to 406 Woman with my musings regarding the world of music. I had the great pleasure to experience a pretty unique and extraordinary event this past summer at the Park City Song Summit---a relatively new event on the musical circuit. My wife, Kristen, had accepted a position for the event a few months earlier coordinating housing and transportation for the numerous artists performing and giving talks at the event. I was “convinced” to accompany her and work there as a volunteer, but the real incentive for me was a scheduled performance by Bobby Weir of Grateful Dead fame. As a longtime “Deadhead,” I was excited to see him perform in a smaller, more intimate setting. Beyond that, and after visiting their website, I was not really sure what to make of this event as the organizers’ approach was a bit different than that of other festivals I had attended and compounded by the fact that I simply did not know who many of the participating artists were. As we hit the road for Utah driving from the Flathead Valley, I openly wondered how I would spend all my time, over the better part of week, wandering around the Song Summit grounds. I was soon to be pleasantly surprised……


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So what exactly was it that made this event in Park City so refreshing in its’ general approach to putting on a musical event/concert? The event’s “mission statement” provides strong clues. “The Park City Song Summit is a multi-day MUSIC and WELLNESS event featuring intimate conversations and musical performances. It was started out of a passion for music and a mission to bring clarity and normalcy to the struggles that musicians, artists and music lovers alike face around mental health and dependency. It was built as an immersive hangout in the beautiful mountains of Park City, Utah and offers audiences a chance to explore and celebrate the myth, inspiration, passion, and history of song with a group of musicians, creatives, songwriters, and industry pioneers. We celebrate the healing power of music!” My experience at this event met this criteria and beyond. It was such a positive event and often, a moving and spiritual one. I spent my days as a volunteer working various event programs, directing and providing information to attendees and artists, troubleshooting a few things, and just helping out wherever necessary. Daytime events took place in large outdoor tents, hotel ballrooms, and on small outdoor stages. Evening performances were held at a large open-air amphitheater, accessible on foot

or by a ski gondola, and in downtown Park City at a couple well known venues. The event’s organizers were going for a quality rather than quantity approach, and they succeeded. Rather than just “packing ‘em in,” it seemed to be about each attendee having a great experience. Sometimes less is more! Gatherings during the Summit ranged from a few dozen attendees at some event programs to a few thousand at evening performances. I was present for several “Summit Labs” hosted by such songwriting notables as J D Souther (who singlehandedly wrote a whole bunch of The Eagles “Greatest Hits”), the legendary folk artist Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and rap icons Chuck D and Darryl “DMC” McDaniel, among others. Artists seemed to enjoy the laid-back nature of these labs. They dropped their guard a bit, shared background on their lives and music, performed tunes, and answered audience questions. As mentioned earlier, this event is also all about “wellness.” While alcohol was available at evening events, it was there, almost it seemed, as an afterthought. Unlike many music venues and concerts that I have attended over the years, alcohol consumption was neither encouraged or strongly marketed at the Park City Song Summit. Rather than a drunken party, it was a celebration of life and music. Daily wellness activities included yoga, stretching sessions, recovery

Eric Krasno & Friends - Photo by Brian Lima


music} Off Key Notes

Remembering Sirens of Song

Celisse Henderson - Photo by Brian Lima

We celebrate the healing power of music! hangs, biking and hiking, and these were available to all guests and artists. Additionally, many of the performers donated items, and an auction was held to benefit local music education.

Yoga Class at Park City Song Summit Photo by Jay Blakesberg Most importantly of course, there were many great musical performances including many from artists that I just had not heard of before. Among the highlights were the following: Lukas Nelson (yes, Willie’s son!) just completely mesmerizing a room with only his songwriting talent and an acoustic guitar in hand; Celisse Henderson, whom I dubbed “the future of

Jackie DeShannon

Lukas Nelson - Photo by Erika Goldring Rock n Roll,” wowing an audience with guitar work that reminds one of Hendrix and Clapton; and Eric Krasno and Anders Osborne, great guitarists and songwriters in their own right, leading an all star band which included Brad Walker & The Hornstars as well as members of the famed New Orleans Neville Brothers, in a last night finale that I will not soon forget. So sure, I got my eyes and ears opened to some new sounds. This “festival” made me hopeful. There is still some great music and talent out there. I am glad that I got reminded of that fact. And yes, that Bob Weir fellow that I mentioned earlier, I got to hear him too.

Montana is offering some great music festivals too. A few that have been around for years and some that are newer. Personally, I think the Whitefish Songwriter Festival in September holds the most promise for an event that has the right idea of offering a quality, intimate experience for the visitor. I couldn’t make it this year but heard amazing feedback, and you can bet I’ll be there next year (September 12-14, 2024)! Visit whitefishsongwriterfestival.org. By the way, next year’s Park City Song Summit is scheduled to take place August 15-17, 2024. Info will be made available at parkcitysongsummit.com soon.

By the 1960’s, the music industry, especially in the genres of rock, pop and jazz, had begun to mature and grow significantly enough to allow female singers and songwriters to be regarded for the great talents that they were, and to be, at least at times, considered on an equal footing with their male counterparts. No longer was it entirely necessary to be a “pretty face” although that probably didn’t hurt. Many of these female music pioneers have been forgotten-- or nearly so despite their accomplishments. “Jackie DeShannon” was born Sharon Lee Myers in Kentucky in 1944. As a child, she performed country music locally, and by her teens she knew that she would pursue a career in the music industry. She took her stage name and talents and began writing songs at a small record label, ultimately penning “Needles and Pins” in 1963 which became a huge hit for the UK group The Searchers. Jackie’s own recording career remained somewhat stalled until her breakthrough recording in 1965 of Burt Bacharach’s “What The World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love).” This song would become almost ubiquitous with the 60’s culture and can be heard in numerous film soundtracks since which depict the period. Her 1968 LP “Laurel Canyon” became one of the very first albums completely conceptualized, performed and produced by a woman on a major record label. Jackie scored again in 1969 when she penned and recorded “Put A Little Love in Your Heart”--- a song which again reflected the times and touched the hearts of many and with a message that continues to endure. Jackie would continue to write and record for many years to come. In 1982, she won a Song of the Year Grammy for “Bette Davis Eyes” which was an international hit for singer Kim Carnes. Today at 82, Jackie continues to thrive and occasionally perform.



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Seasonal Decorating with Indoor Bulbs By Michael Connolly, General Manager Hooper’s Garden Center - hoopersgarden.com

Entering the last couple months of the year we venture into the Christmas and holiday season with thankful anticipation of celebrations and gatherings with family, friends and plenty of good cheer. This is a season where traditions take center stage. Traditions involving food, gifts, baking, movies, carols, friends, and family. With this advent of end of the year activities, the tradition of decorating often comes to the forefront for many households and families. One of many childhood memories I have of the traditions of this season was my Grandmother always having paperwhite flower bulbs blooming at Christmas on her brightly decorated fireplace mantel. As gardeners and plant lovers, how can we assimilate our love of plants into our seasonal traditions and decorating? Poinsettia plants are common and very popular although fussy to maintain in our dry Montana homes. Christmas cactus or zygocactus are also popular, blooming strongly for a couple of weeks. For continual blooms for the holidays and then throughout the rest of winter, my favorite plants for winter decorating are an old-fashioned tradition: my Grandmother's favorite paperwhites and blooming amaryllis plants.

Amaryllis and paperwhites are fantastic additions to your holiday and winter décor thanks to their exquisite beauty and dramatic colors. The beautiful small white flowers of paperwhites remind us of those cheerful earliest daffodils of spring even in the cold, gray days of winter where anything green and blooming is appreciated. Likewise, the huge starshaped blossoms of amaryllis and their long sword-like leaves bring a vibrant sense of life to a room in the depths of a Montana winter. Both paperwhites and amaryllis are technically spring flowering bulbs that are forced to bloom indoors. Paperwhites are part of the Narcissus family and are known for their perfectly white blooms and a delightful fragrance. Amaryllis are native to Africa, however, the amaryllis bulbs we commonly purchase and grow as houseplants are hybrids of the genus Hippeastrum and are native to Central and South America. Interestingly, both are associated with Greek mythology.


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Paperwhites are one of the oldest and most widely distributed of the Narcissus tazetta family — they originated in the Mediterranean region and central Asia arriving in China during the Late Sung period, about 1,000 years ago. Traditionally a Christmas flower related to daffodils, paperwhites achieve a height of 17” and symbolize great happiness and represent a birth flower for anyone born in December.

home} Hooper’s Garden

Traditionally a Christmas flower related to daffodils, paperwhites symbolize great happiness and represent a birth flower for anyone born in December. Reclassified as Hippeastrum in the 1800’s, amaryllis and its dramatic tropical blooms herald the holidays with a natural beauty and ethereal qualities that only a living plant can bring to an indoor environment. Amaryllis means “sparkle” in Greek and Hippeastrum translates to “horsestar or knightstar.” Similar to paperwhites, amaryllis are a December birth flower believed to mean pride, strength and determination and include over 600 named varieties living upwards of 75 years. Amaryllis traditionally represent beauty and love, with the United States importing more than 10 million amaryllis bulbs every year. Taking longer than paperwhites to bloom, South African amaryllis will bloom 4-6 weeks after planting while Dutch strains bloom 8-12 weeks after planting depending on the cultivar. Home decorating, especially during the holidays, is varied and uniquely personal whether you are incorporating traditions or not. Multitudes of options can be used displaying your paperwhites and amaryllis. You can keep your winter bulb display simple and elegant or spice it up with interesting containers/decorative pots, stones, moss, glass stones, branches and other flowers and greenery. Here are some valuable insights to make the most out of incorporating amaryllis and paperwhites into your décor:

• Matching the colors of your blooms or pots with your Christmas tree and other décor for a more coalescent design. • Plant every two weeks October through February for blooms throughout the winter months. • Waxed Amaryllis do not require water to grow and bloom providing endless decorating possibilities and make a fantastic hostess gift. Be sure to buy from a reputable supplier for best results.

Paperwhites to your own children, enjoy the immensely satisfying, creative and fun way of decorating with amaryllis and paperwhites while the outside garden is fast asleep. Hooper’s Garden Center 2205 MT Highway 35 E in Kalispell 406-752-2770 www.hoopersgarden.com

• Expand your creativity by making vignettes around your home using your plants. • Bigger is better. Larger bulbs produce more and larger blooms on stronger stems. • To prolong flower life, keep the plants out of direct sunlight. Also, the cooler the temperature of the room the longer your blooms will last. • Amaryllis make a great cut flower. Utilizing amaryllis and paperwhites for decorating your home with their beautiful blooms and tropical foliage is an easy way to surround yourself with fresh flowers all season long. Whether you are continuing an old family tradition like Grandma or starting new traditions that you can pass along

Michael Connolly has been gardening, growing, landscaping, professionally designing and educating within horticulture for nearly 40 years, including being a member of the Hooper’s Garden Center family for over 30 years. A graduate from the University of Minnesota Agricultural Campus. He is a proud father of four amazing children and is passionate about educating and helping others in realizing the true beauty of plants in the outdoor and indoor landscape environment.



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local author} Leslie Budewitz

Barking Up the Christmas Tree

creativity and the spirit of the season By Leslie Budewitz

One December morning a couple of years ago, I walked into the Bigfork UPS store to ship a package, only to encounter a long line, balky computers, and an elderly man confused by the copy machines. Before I knew it, I’d stepped out of line to make copies for him. Oh, but then he had to pay, and the line had only gotten longer. When I said he could hand the clerk forty cents and no one would mind, he shook his head. Cutting the line wouldn’t be right. I told him I’d pay for his copies, and wished him “Merry Christmas.” He shook his head at that, too, but thanked me and left. A minute later, he returned, grinning, and handed me a Christmas stamp as thanks. Another customer and I exchanged smiles. Things like that happen in the Village during the holidays.

Then my husband, aka Mr. Right, and I watched It's a Wonderful Life. I can practically recite the movie, but he’d never seen it all the way through. The next day, the man in the UPS store, the stamp, and the bumbling movie angel swirled together in my brain and became The Christmas Stranger, a short story in my Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, about a mysterious man who shows up exactly when he’s needed. The light-hearted or “cozy” mysteries feature Erin Murphy, the crime-solving manager of a local foods market in her family’s hundred-year-old grocery in a fictional version of Bigfork. (I call it Jewel Bay, but you won’t be fooled.) How did that happen? Not too much peppermint schnapps, I assure you. It’s actually a textbook example of the creative mind at work—and it isn’t just for writers.

Creativity is sometimes described as a function of three main factors: divergence, convergence, and plasticity. In Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman says di-


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vergent or associative thinking “reflects a nonconformist mind-set and independent thinking,” while convergence is the ability to pull ideas together and make them tenable. Plasticity, he says, is “the tendency to explore and engage with novel ideas, objects, and scenarios.”

It was divergent thinking that blended my encounter with the man baffled by the photocopier with the angel determined to make things right here on earth. Plasticity, or flexible thinking, transformed the simple Forever stamp he gave me into a rare, century-old stamp in near-mint condition that my main character uses to help a family in need. And it was convergent thinking that brought all that together and shaped it into a consistent, entertaining story filled with the generosity and magic of the holiday season.

A few tips to spur every-day creativity One-woman brainstorming. No need to

gather a team around a whiteboard for the classic method! Identify a specific problem. Take a few deep breaths—or more—and let go of your ideas of how something should

work. Make a list of solutions. Don’t stop at three or even ten—the more ideas you jot down, the better your chances of finding a fresh, unique fix. And no judgment or self-censoring! No “that won’t work” comments. Evaluation—asking “is this a good idea?”—comes later.

What would X do? Is there someone in your

field—another writer, designer, engineer, or parent—whose work you admire? What might they do?

Walk away. Nothing on your list seems right? Take a walk. Psychologists say that moving or occupying the body with mundane tasks allows the brain to do its work freely—that lack of judgment. Be intentional about it. I head downstairs to wash dishes, asking “okay, what is Pepper going to do about that?” The sink’s barely full before the answer bubbles up.

Next time you’re stymied by a problem at work, at home, or in your art, think about the man who gave me the Christmas stamp. Give your brain a chance to work without the pressure of solving this problem now! and it just may refashion the ideas you’ve given it into something new and exactly right.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Two kinds of chocolate and two kinds of peppermint—no wonder this is Pepper’s favorite childhood Christmas treat and her go-to for holiday gatherings.

Ingredients 12 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips, chunks, or chopped) 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 12 ounces white chocolate (chips, chunks, or chopped) (see note) 6 ounces crushed peppermint candy (about 8 small canes, 3 large canes, or 30 candies)


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the semisweet chocolate in a small pan over low heat or in a double boiler, stirring regularly until melted. Stir in extract. Pour onto a baking sheet and spread evenly. Refrigerate until set, about 25 minutes. (If chocolate is still warm, it will merge with the white chocolate in the next step; too hard and the layers may not bond.)

Meanwhile, crush the peppermint candy. Put the canes or candies in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet.

Remove baking sheet from refrigerator. Melt the white chocolate. Spread over semisweet chocolate and immediately top with crushed peppermint. Refrigerate until well set, 30-40 minutes. Break in pieces and enjoy! Store tightly covered; keeps about one week.

Note: Look for white chocolate containing cocoa butter, not added palm or coconut oil, often sold as “candy coating,” which will interfere with the bonding of the two layers and cause them to split when you break the bark into pieces.

(Recipe reprinted from Peppermint Barked by Leslie Budewitz, published 2022 by Seventh St. Books.)

Holiday mysteries are great fun to write—and to read! For more seasonal fun, unwrap my two full-length Christmas mysteries. In As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, Erin Murphy investigates when a new friend is found dead, a string of lights around her neck, to protect the community she loves and keep the Christmas spirit shining. In Peppermint Barked, Pepper Reece, owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, investigates when a young woman working the Christmas rush in her friend Vinny's wine shop is brutally attacked on the busiest shopping day of the year. Leslie Budewitz writes the Spice Shop mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in a fictional version of Bigfork, Montana, where she lives. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense set in Montana, including Bitterroot Lake and Blind Faith. The Christmas Stranger is available as an ebook single, or in the collection Carried to the Grave and Other Stories. Her other books are available in print, ebook, and audio across the US and Canada, wherever you buy books.



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food} Ask the Butcher

Ask the Butcher

By Collin “Sonny” Johnson, Chöpp Shöppe at Alpine Village Photos by ACE Photography & Design

To roast or not to roast that is the question.

To come home to a wonderful smelling house full of food and warmth is a comforting feeling. To know everything is ready to go whenever you decide to sit down is even better. I will give you a short little scenario to easy roast success.

Select a roast…I find that 8 to 12 oz. usually works well for a family and provides leftovers.

I prefer a nice chuck shoulder roast with a liberal amount of fat for the flavor attributes and the addition of juice for a rue or gravy afterwards. You may prefer something leaner like a bottom round rump or eye of round. It’s your choice.

Chopp Shoppe The Flathead’s Premier Butcher Shop No hormones or antibiotics Choice to Wagyu Grade Mon. - Sat. 9am-7pm Closed on Sunday 721 Wisconsin Ave in Whitefish


Find an accommodating size pan, shred up a half head of cabbage and layer that in the pan along with a couple chopped Vidalia onions. Season your roast with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder or cloves, rosemary, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne for a mysterious kick. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, sear hard for about 20 min on all sides. Now, place roast in prepared pan with a cup to a cup and a half of beer or beef broth. Put that bad boy in the oven at 250 degrees for 6 to 8 hours or about a workday duration. The cabbage and onions will reduce to liquid and the seasonings will do their job.

At this point a gravy can be made from the drippings. The roast is delicious with potatoes and carrots (boiled or roasted) and a lovely glass of pinot or merlot. Enjoy the comfort of home and delicious aromas and foods with family this holiday season.

As always bon appetit and thank you for your time...Sonny



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Too Much Good hiskey is Barely Enough


By Mary Wallace

Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough. - Mark Twain

Mark Twain may have had it right. But how will we know which whiskey we like if we don’t try new ones every now and then? The Bigfork Liquor Barn Barrel Club is a great way to dive into exploring different blends and brands. Not a member? Keep reading for details on how to join.


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This local Barrel Club has ramped back up after a summer hiatus, and they are looking forward to the many fall and winter holidays. Whiskey, of course, should be a part of any holiday celebrations! The Barrel Club is free to join and members are privy to first-access to all barrelpick selections, first-to-know priority on future barrel selections, and discounts on featured barrel-pick bottles prior to release in the store. The recent Barrel Club selections featured two bourbons that especially lend themselves to holiday celebrations. Let’s take a look!

Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey - Coming in at 104 proof, Bulleit Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey offers a high corn mash-bill, giving the whiskey a sweeter, “candy corn” flavor. Subtle notes of vanilla and cinnamon spice also blend together on the palette. The Liquor Barn’s private Bulleit Single Barrel bourbon also provides a subtle charred oak flavor on the finish. Some say serving it over ice brings out some subtle fruity flavors but it also makes it the perfect sipping whiskey to share with friends!

Like many whiskeys, Bulleit Distillery has a long family history, but it was nearly a whiskey recipe that was lost forever! A tavern keeper in 1830s Louisville, Kentucky, Augustus Bulleit, dedicated much of his time to creating a bourbon unique in flavor. After experimenting

with countless varieties, he finally came upon a bourbon with the character he had long sought after, and it soon became popular. One fateful day in 1860, while transporting his barrels of bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit inexplicably vanished. What happened is still unknown, and his creation nearly disappeared into history along with him.

Luckily, in 1987, Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr. left his successful law practice and risked everything to fulfil his lifelong dream of reviving that old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Company.

To this day, Bulleit™ Bourbon is distilled and aged in the Bulleit family tradition. High rye content gives it a bold, spicy character with a distinctively smooth, clean finish. Kentucky limestone-filtered water provides a foundation for the bourbon's character, while charred American oak barrels lend a smoky backbone. Their aging philosophy is simple: they wait until our bourbon is ready.

food} Whiskey

Just in time for the holidays - here is a Food & Cocktail Pairing direct from Bulleit Distillery

Spiced Maple Hot Toddy (serves 6) Ingredients

250ml Bulleit Bourbon 85ml maple syrup

85ml lemon juice 1 L hot water 3-4 cinnamon sticks Garnish - Cinnamon Stick and/or Star Anise

Visit the below site for the pumpkin pie recipe www.bulleit.com/en-gb/cocktail-food-pairings/

Thomas S Moore Bourbon is a new series of cask finished bourbons from the Barton 1792 Distillery. Why do whiskey makers use wine barrels? In general, the point of wine-finishing is to add subtle layers of flavor, which they surely do. Their Cabernet Sauvignon Cask Finished Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Cabernet Sauvignon casks and honors Moore’s relentless ambition and his commitment to crafting bourbon whiskey that stands the test of time. This well-aged whiskey was emptied from its oak casks and then refilled in Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks and left to mature for several more years. The taste is bold, with notes of dark fruit, caramel and vanilla - a tribute to the early bourbon aristocrat himself, Thomas S Moore.

Thomas S Moore Wine Finished Bourbons which are available in Cabernet, Port, & Chardonnay cask finishes, add some sweet to the heat to holiday libations with these extraordinary whiskies. Members of the Bigfork Liquor Barn Barrel Club got to sample some of these barrel picks at a recent tasting event. The holidays are nearly here and if you are party planning, what could be a better concept than a Whiskey Bar party? The helpful staff at the Bigfork Liquor Barn take their whiskey seriously and they can help you choose some fun & festive spirits and cocktail recipes to delight and amaze your party guests. They can also help you sign up for the Barrel Club when you stop in.


“I always take whiskey at night as a preventative of toothache. I have never had a toothache, and what’s more, I never intend to.” -Mark Twain (taking his whiskey seriously, too) 406

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review} Cookbook

How to Cook Like Mom – Gina Simmonds By Kristen Hamilton

Most people that know me know that I really love to cook. When I see a recipe in a magazine that looks good, I rip the page out and save it for when I’m wanting to try something new. If it turns out and my both my husband and I give it a thumbs up, it makes it to my “Favorite Recipes” binder that I pull out whenever I need inspiration in the kitchen. Admittingly I also try most of the recipes we feature on the pages of 406 Woman magazine. I’m happy to report that most of these make it into the binder as well.

When Gina Simmonds finished her new cookbook, How to Cook Like Mom, she reached out to me to see if I’d like to review. The answer was of course yes! As outlined in her introduction letter, the cookbook was created for her two boys so they can learn and enjoy some home cooking after leaving the nest. Well, I’ve tried several recipes now and haven’t been disappointed once so I plan to keep going. I’ve love how easy the steps are to follow and I especially enjoy the “MOM TIP” that goes along with each recipe.

The Veggie Corn Chowder was my first to try as we eat a vegetarian meal at least a few days a week. The day I made it was cold and rainy so the hearty soup hit the spot. It was delicious!

I’m not sure why, but in all my years I have always avoided making Risotto. I thought that it would be difficult and too time consuming. Well, it turns out it is easier than I thought and if you enlist the help of a sous chef (in my case my husband), you have someone to help with the consistent stirring. The recipe was oh so decadent and was perfect as a side dish but I could also see it as a stand-alone meal with a side salad or vegetable.

The Chicken Saltimbocca’s subtitle is “Super Fancy” I think primarily due to the Prosciutto and Marsala. It turned out great and was a hit for a recent dinner party. I even had a couple guests ask me for the recipe.

The bottom line is that I don’t plan to rip any pages out of the cookbook but I’ll keep it handy next to my binder and look forward to repeating and trying many more recipes.

My suggestion, if you want a great gift for a kid moving out of the house, pick up Simmonds How to Cook Like Mom. You can find it at Trovare in Whitefish and online at BookBaby.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and at GinaSimmonds.com. Then…If you’re lucky that kid might make you dinner when you go visit.


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Veggie Corn Chowder

MOM TIP - You can change this to so many options. Feel free to add chopped cooked bacon, diced ham, or sauteed veggies, or a different type of cheese.

Ingredients 2 Tablespoons Butter 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1 Small Onion, diced 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced 1 cup Chopped Celery 1 cup Chopped Red Potato 1 cup Carrot, sliced 1-16 ounce bag frozen corn (baby corn or sweet corn)

½ teaspoon Pepper 1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Dried Thyme 2-4 Tablespoons Chopped Green Chilies (optional) 2 cups Chicken Broth

1 ½ cups Heavy Cream

1 ½ cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded


Step 1: Heat butter and olive oil in a pot and add onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add seasonings, potatoes, corn and stir to combine. Add chicken broth (adding more liquid if needed), just to cover vegetables. Step 2: Gently simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. Add cream and bring to a hard simmer. Cook until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and add cheese.

Create Your Own Custom Gift Basket

this Holiday Season

www.genesis-kitchen.com 270 Nucleus Ave. Columbia Falls, MT 59912 - Monday through Saturday 10am to 6pm 406-897-2667


Planning for

Holiday Cheer By Callie Reagan and Alana Wright, Wright’s Furniture

The Holidays can sometimes equal stress; stress that comes in the form of hosting family and friends in your home. Hosting can be for a few nights or a few weeks, no matter the length of the stay, it's easier to keep that Holiday Cheer by planning ahead and being smart about your design. When visitors come, they may not be ready for our Montana winters. This is a great time to bring out the layers! Additional blankets on chairs, sofas, and beds are great for adding color, texture, and interest to the eye when decorating for the holidays. Pair these with accent pillows and you can create a cozy and inviting environment for your guests. Layers can take up lots of space when we multiply the number of people joining us for the holidays. That’s why it is important to provide additional storage. There are so many options to choose from at Wright’s. These pieces can be the anchor for the room or something hidden, such as storage ottomans or footstools. You can add multi-use pieces to bedrooms such as a bench at the foot of the bed. These can be used for guests to place their luggage and if there is a storage compartment, they can be used to hold your extra bedding. Storing fragrance sachets in these areas can help keep fabrics fresh in between washes and uses.


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Bedside tables are great for adding storage and offering your guests a place to charge phones and other electronics at night. This is a great place to personalize the area by adding a welcome note, wrapped chocolate, flowers, or a carafe of water and glasses so guests do not have to get up in the middle of the night.

design} Montana nights are long this time of year, and this gives us the opportunity to use lamps for ambient lighting in spaces. These can be used in almost any area of the house and Wright’s Furniture has options for table and floor lamps to style any room. Gatherings also come with food service and finding options for seating and serving can sometimes complicate matters. This is where creativity and using Wright’s Furniture Design Consultants to help make the most out of an area really comes in handy. This complimentary service can help you pinpoint areas of the home and gives you access to an endless supply of options to tailor the space to your needs. This can be from sleeper sofas, dining tables with expandable leaves, seating poufs, storage coffee tables all the way to the table settings, coat trees, and pillows. All layers of your home can be tailored to you. It is great to have options and remember- you can’t go wrong when shopping at Wright’s. We wish you and your family a safe holiday season and a very happy New Year!

Wright’s Furniture is open 7 days a week, offering complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. Visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish or learn more at wrightsfurniturestore.net 6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services



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Skip the wedding planning, and call us today to get your customized wedding package from our team of florist, equipment rental, designer, caterer, & photography pros!

www.hitchedparty.com - (406) 249-7152

We make it easy for you to save money, and still have the wedding of your dreams!

now booking for 2024! Bess has a background in real estate and interior design. She loves nothing more than entertaining and creating beautiful spaces and has had a lot of experience doing so. She looks forward to working with her clients to create the event of their dreams that leave their guests talking about it for years to come.

love} stories

Tiffany & Ben Dancing Spirit Ranch September 5, 2023

Photos by Hope Kauffman

@lovehkcameraface // @hkcameraface



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love} stories

He has a gift to turn ordinary moments into

extraordinary memories, I look forward to all the memories we get to make together as a family. Tell us about yourselves

Tiffany: I grew up in Evergreen, Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where Ben also coincidentally grew up too! We never knew each other growing up, but we were always so close!! I always loved growing up in a mountainous, forest nuzzled town! I feel fortunate to say operating and owning Indah Sushi is what I do for a living. It's opened many doors and friendships, including the door to meeting the love of my life/my best friend! I am incredibly grateful for the everlasting community bonds and the continual passion for a culinary venture I get to pursue in Whitefish! Living in Whitefish has been a fulfilling experience, not just for a business hub, but a beautiful place for constant nature filled activities and the community ties...it's a place I've called home for a while now. However, exciting changes are on the horizon!! We are anticipating the completion of our new house in Columbia Falls and couldn't be more excited for our new chapter!! Ben: Also growing up in Evergreen, I cannot believe Tiffany and my paths did not cross until Feb 2021 in Whitefish, MT! I ended up moving up to Whitefish a couple years ago and could not be happier to call this valley home! I had been coming up to Whitefish the last 7 years on an annual ski trip with some high school friends but had never been here in the summer until I met Tiffany. After that first summer here, my mind was blown and I knew this was where I needed to be.

I am the founder of Icelantic Skis, which is a ski company based in Golden, CO. I started building skis in my parent’s garage back in 2002 and have been growing the business ever since. Our headquarters and flagship retail location is based in downtown, Golden, CO and the factory, where all of our skis are handmade, is based in Denver, CO. You can find our skis here in the valley at Tamarack Ski Shop, REI and up at the Demo Center on Whitefish Mountain.



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love} stories

I a connection like I have never before.


Wedding Details… Tiffany – What is the trait that you most admire in Ben?

Ben has this amazing ability to light up a room with his joyful spirit, bright blue eyes, and enthusiasm for days!! His joy is infectious, spreading like a wildfire and lighting up the world around him. I could listen to his stories for a lifetime...I suppose I get to now, how lucky am I?! I admire his enthusiasm for each day, no matter the challenges it may hold, it's a testament to his unwavering spirit. He has a gift to turn ordinary moments into extraordinary memories, I look forward to all the memories we get to make together as a family. And of course, I admire those eyes of his, holding a universe of warmth and kindness.

Ben – When did you realize you wanted to get married to Tiffany?

From the moment I met Tiffany at Indah Sushi in February 2021, I felt a connection like I have never felt before. I was still living in Evergreen, CO at that time but couldn’t resist the pull I had to her. I ended up spending most of that summer up here in MT and every day we were together continued to reinforce the feeling that she was the one for me. After a couple months I knew I wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I still feel like the luckiest guy in the world!


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Why did you choose the venue you did to getting married?

We felt SO lucky to have the opportunity of our ceremony at Dancing Spirit Ranch, as it seems to be a rarity. It's always been a special place in my heart, as I've joined several retreats on this land, having moments of realization and transition. When they told us we could hold our ceremony here, it just felt right. Being on this property there is always a magical energy floating all around you!

Tiffany - What did you enjoy most during your wedding day?

Overall, I enjoyed the ease and flow of the day and the quality time we were able to spend with our family. We kept it a very intimate ceremony with only 20 people there. I keep explaining it as magical; filled with quality time, wandering and love!

Ben – What is your favorite activity to do as a couple?

My favorite thing to do with Tiffany is being on the water with her. That can be floating down the river, boating on Flathead Lake, sailing somewhere around the world or just going for a swim at The Wave. Anytime we are on the water, it feels so good.

Venue: Dancing Spirit Ranch

Photographer: Hope Kauffman Videographer: Jeff Hyer Caterer: Cartwright Catering, incredible coursed out, wine paired experience! Cake/Dessert: The Mother of the bride, Roni Fertitta, made our cake. That is a whole story in itself :) … turned out to be absolutely delicious and looked perfectly imperfect!! Music: Haley Julius played a sound bath during our ceremony. Pure beauty to the ears! Dress: Well after going to multiple dress shops around town, Missoula, Denver, I found my dress online, and trusted it would work out. I saw it on a Pinterest board and had to find it and did for under $200! I had some tweaks made to it by an amazing local tailor. Ended up loving it! Tuxes/Suits: Custom made linen suit for Ben at Suitsupply in Denver Rings: Selin Kent, of out NYC, custom made our rings. We worked with her and shared our story with her. The moon and the sun were our inspirations.

Drawn To The Lake by Carol Lee Thompson


Going To The Sun Gallery proudly


406 w o m a n



10. Life, Missions, & Superpowers 16. Herb & Omni

Profile 24. Emily Wilson 32. Ruth Myers 33. Jennifer Lewis

Health 28. Yoga During the Holidays 34. How to Cope with SAD 38. Menopause 44. Dr Miller


22. Reverse Mortgages


42. Central School


406 w o m a n

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at


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w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2022 Skirts Publishing


Life, Missions, & Superpowers Written by Mary Wallace

This past February, Susie McEwen had what she can only describe as a life changing experience. She and her entire family went on a humanitarian mission to the Hope Haven School in Kigali, Rwanda. The entire family, we are talking about 18 people, including Susie and her six children and their significant others, her sister Nancy and her husband and their two children with their spouses and Susie’s dad and his wife. The experience was so profound, that Susie is already aching to go back. Her father had heard about Hope Haven School from a presentation the founder of the school did at his church 10 years prior. He learned that the school originally started with just a few children and a teacher gathering under a tree. They were looking to build an actual school building and her father took part in helping to accomplish this. Now in his 80’s, he wished for his family to join him in a soul-altering experience at the new school. Dad’s superpower was calling them all together over dinner to pitch the idea. Dad knew that just getting everyone rounded up to be on board with the idea, and the logistics of them all arranging time to be away from work for month or more, was probably going to be complicated. Everyone had to take a series of vaccinations to protect them from things like Hepatitis A, Tetanus. Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Meningococcal Meningitis; Typhoid; Yellow Fever (depending on what illnesses were prevalent in the Kigali area). Then there was the expense of traveling there, but Dad said he would be paying for everyone to go… he just felt that strongly about it. It was no small feat, but in February 2023, their group of eighteen was on the way.


Susie, a nurse practitioner with Greater Valley Health Clinic, spends her Kalispell days bringing medical health services to four different schools

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in the Flathead Valley (Evergreen Elementary, Linderman School, Glacier High School, and Kalispell Middle School). She also has opened Body Balance Health & Wellness in Kalispell. Because of her medical background, her superpower was to set up a medical clinic at Hope Haven School. With the generous help of family and friends, she gathered lots of supplies stateside - a microscope, an EKG machine, medicines, medical supplies, and orthopedic supplies - in all, 20 boxes full! In the interest of cost and expediency, she used another of her superpowers to convince everyone to take a box as a part of their luggage for the trip over and due to that, they could hardly take any clothes.

they made snow (the Kigali kids had never seen it) and talked to the students about careers they could look forward to if they stayed in school. The students, ages 3 - 19, were incredibly smart.

While Susie spent her days in the clinic, others in her family used their superpowers to work with the kids in the classrooms. Her children had each brought thoughtful projects to do with the kids -

The family, as a missionary group, were given dormitory style quarters and they all gathered around the firepit each evening to share their stories from the day. Each had a different lens

Once they arrived, Susie quickly got the clinic set up in the space provided and worked to train a handful of local assistants. Every day, there was a line out the door, so much of the training was on the fly. The people were so poor and so grateful for the clinic. Due to a lack of potable water, they really had no sanitation standards at home, so that was a challenge for Susie and for the families both. She had to make them understand the need for cleanliness.

And the singing! 1500 children singing together in school and in the dorms was such a sight to see and hear! The children come from poor families and the school has been set up to house students who are 12 years old and up during the school year so they can have regular meals, a safe space to sleep and study, and learn how to bathe and care for themselves (with real showers and toilet facilities). Their parents are so grateful for an opportunity like this for their children, and they are happy to volunteer at the school. They garden to provide produce to help feed the students, and they provide upkeep and other tasks as needed. This helps them pay the relatively small tuition fees. The school has a fairly good student/teacher ratio and most of the teachers are from Rwanda. Many of the families are a product of the genocide that occurred in 1994. With a population of 1.2 million, 73% of the populace are less than 30 years old.

featured} Hope Haven School

through which they saw the day’s events, and Susie was absolutely amazed at the capacity her children had for their mission. She could see them grow and change every day as their time there passed.

Sadly, there are just SO many needs in the area! Susie says the main ones are clean water, medical volunteers (who have had appropriate training), and school volunteers. Even though the school is impacting the lives of 1500 children and their families (which is certainly significant), it is really only a drop in the bucket. The need is so great and they can only do so much!

Susie shared that the only water in the area was available by foot - walking 3-4 miles on a jeep track then down a fairly steep hill to a tepid pool. The families would walk there, fill their water containers, and the carry as much as they could back up the hill and down the track all the way home.

One day, a 20-year-old man came to the mission group. He had a 5-year-old child with him and he was crying. They were able to ascertain that his wife had just had a baby in a nearby hospital and he had no money to pay the hospital bill. At the hospitals over there, the family must supply water and food for their ill family member - they actually have to bring it in to the patient. The hospital was threatening to discontinue care to the baby and to quit giving his wife the medicine she desperately needed. Of course, the mission group paid the hospital bill (which was actually only about $5 U.S. dollars). They got the baby to ICU and helped move the mom to a better hospital nearby. They made sure they had clean clothes and bone broth to keep up their strength every day. Susie has also adopted a family in Kigali. She sends about $120/month to help the family and to pay the tuition for their 3-year-old daughter

to go to the school. One of the most rewarding moments was when they got to visit the family she has adopted and bring gifts to them to remember them by. The family was so loving, and so sweet and so grateful, it moved her heart more than anything she has ever experienced. They went to Kigali with a heart for giving, and they got so much more in return. When it was time to return home, not one of the 18 were ready to come back - they had made so many meaningful friendships and they felt they had so much more work to do!

Even so, it was time to go, and many of them planned a different ending to their mission trip. Some went on a safari before returning home, others traveled to other places. Susie and her son made their way home via Tanzania and with the help of 13 guides, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. They were lucky enough to be on the crew that were able to actually summit that day due to uncertain weather. That was another life-altering experience that she would not have wanted to miss.

Now Susie is home and back to her medical practice and her home near Herron Park. She is enjoying life with her dog, one duck and a brood of chickens. Her children have scattered back to their own homes, and she spent the summer hiking, mountain biking, participating in things like the Blacktail Marathon Run, and dreaming of the time that she will be able to return to Kigali and see her friends there and make some new ones all the while making a difference. For more information about the Hope Haven School, please visit https://hopehavenrwanda.org/ and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HopeHavenRwanda.



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They went to Kigali with a heart for giving, and they got so much more in return.


Eating Thoughtfully

Herb & Omni

Written by Callie Reagan Photos by Amber Siderius Studio


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profile} Herb & Omni

Jamie Goguen

A new restaurant has opened at 101 Central in downtown Whitefish, MT and it does more than just serve food. Herb & Omni at 101 Central is a living and breathing entity given life, by Jamie Goguen and she is making sure there is room to grow. The space formerly known as Casey’s Whitefish has been transformed into a one-stop shop for dining and entertainment. Bright comfortable space with personality and respectful remembrance of the history of the building. Herb & Omni is a story of love of food and community; It is a love of family and friends; a love for a safe environment for those in her care, and a love of Montana.

Herb & Omni, short for Herbivore and Omnivore. Jamie wanted to create a place where everyone could come together for a meal. A place where those who are vegetarian, vegan, or love a great steak have curated options that are full meals. She wanted a place where her friends didn’t have to eat off the sides menu to have a full meal.

The current menu features American fare with family-style serving, allowing guests to order dishes and share which enhances the dining experience. Jamie says that “food is the ultimate medium for connection” and it is the genesis for Herb & Omni. We generate shared experiences and cultivate relationships. Chef Justin Kingsley Hall, whose specialty is opening new restaurants and creating unforgettable dining experiences, has done so across the West from Las Vegas to New Zealand and Vietnam to British Columbia. He has been featured on Chopped and was an instructor at the Art Institute of Las

Jamie wanted to create a place where everyone could come together for a meal. A place where those who are vegetarian, vegan, or love a great steak have curated options that are full meals.



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Herb & Omni is an evolving experience. Pulling from her Japanese ancestry and the wisdom of Kaizen Principles, Jamie and the team endeavor to enhance the customer and employee experience as time goes on; “Always be improving!”.

Vegas. Jamie said what she really admired about him was not only his love of teaching but the “no abuse” policy he has in all of his kitchens. For Jamie, a space of respect and fostering a high level of regard for others could not be compromised. Hospitality for all in Herb & Omni is not just something for the patrons, but for everyone that has ties to this establishment.


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Hall’s expertise is opening new restaurants which means he will be handing off the baton to Chef Earl Reynolds beginning on December 1st. While Reynolds may be new to Herb & Omni, he is not new to the area. He has made a name for himself as an innovator. Known for his experimental ingredients and beautiful plating techniques, he was a recent nominee for the esteemed James Beard Award. Herb & Omni can’t wait to welcome Reynolds, to the family where he will continue to enrich and cultivate the experience and culture established by Chef Hall and Jamie Goguen. Chef Reynolds has demonstrated over the years his love of local food with

a focus on presentation, education, and a ‘no abuse’ kitchen.

Executive Sous Chef Shane VanVeldhuizen will remain through the transition of chefs. VanVeldhuizen is a constant for the culinary team, he is an embodiment of these core values. Jamie says, “It is evident in his management of the team and of the food sourced and prepared, he is the glue of Herb & Omni.” You may have noticed the emphasis on the use of local food in the Herb & Omni culinary experience. When asked about this, Jamie was passionate in regards to eating thoughtfully. She recognizes that buying locally is not just about cost, it's about remembering the story of the food that we consume. There is something to eating the food that comes from our own Montana soil. “We recognize the farmers and ranchers that are hanging on to the tradition of producing on the land here. A seat at the table inside of Herb & Omni entitles one to the finest food Montana

Above Photo - Kneeling (Left to Right): Cary Welch & Marlena Tate Standing First Row: Jamie Goguen (Owner), Alexandra Barker, Jenalee Coburn, Brandon Werner, Marcus Bradley (AGM), Steven Labrovic (GM), Joseph Reichert, Lucia Herford (Sales Director), Charles Day, Kenyen Blake Standing Back Row: Kenzie Finken, Samantha Michelmore, Austin Nugent, Andrew Paterson, James Bartkiewicz, Shane Van Veldhuizen (Executive Chef), Dermot Boyle, Corey Griffin (Sommelier), Marcus Isler, Reese Bybee, Nicholas Ronish

profile} Herb & Omni

There is something to eating the food that comes from our own Montana soil. “We recognize the farmers and ranchers that are hanging on to the tradition of producing on the land here. can offer. Depending on the season and availability, you have the opportunity to eat produce that is grown locally, enjoy fish that is sourced from our waters, and beef that has been cultivated on our own land. Jamie says she feels a sense of reverence when she thinks of the story of her food. “It is nourishing to the body, soul and the community.”

Due to the emphasis on local items, the menu will feature seasonal ingredients and specials served at the peak of the season. Quickly becoming house favorites are the 34 oz. Tomahawk Steak, Vadouvan Carrots, Beet Carpaccio, and the Butter Seared Scallops.

Herb & Omni is an evolving experience. Pulling from her Japanese ancestry and the wisdom of Kaizen Principles, Jamie and the team endeavor to enhance the customer and employee experience as time goes on; “Always be improving!”. There are exciting additions ahead in the near future such as the Rooftop Bar opening Spring 2024 and the establishment of weekend brunch. When asked what Jamie saw for Herb & Omni’s future there was no hesitation, she wants it to “be a landmark

where people can spend time with each other, a harbor for the community, a place to create memories and be welcomed with unexpected opportunities.”

101 Central has maintained the tradition of dancing and entertainment. The Second Story entertainment venue is now home to the ever-popular Cabaret Theater, The Music of Fleetwood Mac: A Tribute Concert featuring a sevenpiece tribute band, and The Second Story Band featuring lead vocals from The Music of Fleetwood Mac. This late November and December will feature a holiday event series featuring musical favorites as well as a New Year’s party that will be the place to be to ring in the New Year. I hear it’s going to be “Out of this World.” Want to be in the know with what’s happening at 101 Central? Please visit 101centralwhitefish.com, EventBrite, and flatheadevents.net for tickets and showtimes. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @herb.and. omni and @theSecondStorywf



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Unlocking the Benefits of Reverse Mortgages

A Comprehensive Guide

As the population ages and a well-deserved retirement becomes a reality for more and more seniors, financial planning takes center stage. For a considerable number of seniors, their family homes hold a significant portion of their accumulated wealth. To leverage this asset, reverse mortgages have become a popular, yet often misunderstood, financial tool. This article will provide an in-depth look into reverse mortgages; addressing what they are, who they are for, the different ways to use them, and their associated benefits. What is a Reverse Mortgage?


A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a specialized loan designed for seniors aged 62 and

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By Emily Wilson of Mann Mortgage

older that provides access to a portion of the home’s value through various options. Unlike traditional mortgages where homeowners make monthly payments to the lender, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners to receive payments from the lender.

The unique feature of a reverse mortgage is that it doesn't require repayment as long as the homeowner lives in the home. The loan balance is only due when the homeowner permanently moves out, sells the home, or passes away. This financial product is an excellent way to leverage the equity in one's home without the stress of monthly payments.

Who Are Reverse Mortgages For?

Reverse mortgages are ideally suited for seniors, aged 62 and older, who have substantial equity in their homes and are looking for a source of additional income to support their retirement needs. This option provides financial flexibility, allowing seniors to age in place and maintain their quality of life without the burden of monthly mortgage payments. It is important

to note that a reverse mortgage can only be completed on a primary residence.

Reverse mortgages are also a valuable tool for adult children who want to help their parents secure their retirement. The financial stability that comes with a reverse mortgage allows parents to cover their living expenses and maintain their quality of life during retirement, reducing the financial burden on their adult children, fostering a sense of security and well-being withing the family.

Different Ways to Use Reverse Mortgages 1. Supplement Retirement Income: One

of the most common uses of reverse mortgages is to supplement retirement income. Seniors can receive a lump sum, regular monthly payments, or a line of credit that can be drawn upon as needed. This added income can help cover things such as: everyday expenses, medical bills, home modifications, travel and/or vacations. There are no limitations placed on what a senior does with their funds.

finance} Mann Mortgage

Unlike traditional mortgages where homeowners make monthly payments to the lender, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners to receive payments from the lender. 2. Pay Off Existing Mortgage: If a senior still has an existing traditional mortgage, they can use a reverse mortgage to pay it off. This eliminates the need for monthly mortgage payments, freeing up more income for other expenses. A reverse mortgage may also be used for a new home purchase, imagine buying a home with 50% down payment and no monthly mortgage payments! 3. Home Renovations: Seniors can use the

funds from a reverse mortgage to make home improvements that can enhance their quality of life and make their home more age friendly. This includes adding safety features like grab bars, ramps, or wider doorways.

4. Long-Term Care Costs: As seniors age, they may require in-home care support, long-term care, or assisted living. Reverse mortgages can help cover these costs, allowing them to maintain control of their living situation. It can also allow for one person to live independently in the home while affording specialized care for a spouse who may not be able to.

5. Estate Planning: While some might fear that a reverse mortgage depletes their home equity, it can also be a strategic tool for estate planning. The funds received can be invested, and the appreciating value can benefit heirs upon the homeowner's passing. Benefits of Reverse Mortgages - No Monthly Mortgage Payments: One

of the most significant benefits is the elimination of monthly mortgage payments, which can significantly ease the financial burden on seniors.

- Tax-Free Proceeds: The funds received from a reverse mortgage are not considered income and are generally tax-free. This can be a significant advantage for retirees.

- Flexible Payment Options: Seniors can choose how they want to receive the proceeds, whether as a lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit. This flexibility allows them to tailor the arrangement to their specific needs. - Home Ownership Retained: Seniors re-

tain ownership of their home and can continue to live in it for as long as they wish. The loan is only repaid when the homeowner no longer occupies the home.

- FHA Insured: Most reverse mortgages are

insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which ensures that borrowers are protected. This is beneficial in a few ways. First, it allows for a reverse mortgage to be a non-recourse loan, meaning if the home value is not adequate to pay off the loan, FHA will pay the remaining balance, protecting heirs and other borrower assets. Secondly, it guarantees funds for a line of credit to be readily available. Lastly, it guarantees funds for tenure or other payments; if the borrower outlives their estimated life expectancy, the tenure payments are still guaranteed to continue, even if the payments exceed the home’s value. Reverse mortgages offer a compelling financial solution for seniors and their adult children who are looking to secure a com-

fortable retirement and preserve the family home's equity. It is essential for seniors and their families to consult with a knowledgeable loan officer, like those at Mann Mortgage, who specialize in reverse mortgages, to explore how this financial tool can be customized to meet their specific needs. By unlocking the benefits of reverse mortgages, seniors can enjoy a more secure and fulfilling retirement, while their adult children can gain peace of mind knowing their loved ones are financially stable. Emily Wilson is a loan originator at Mann Mortgage and has been working with seniors for 20 years primarily in homecare and assisted living settings. When she transitioned into the mortgage industry 4 years ago, her desire to support seniors in the aging process didn’t cease and she is grateful for the opportunity to be a trustworthy partner in the world of reverse mortgages. Her ongoing commitment is not solely about financial transactions but extends to the goal of empowering individuals to age in place with dignity and respect. She resides near Creston with her husband and two children.



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profile} Mann Mortgage

Q&A with Emily Wilson Mann Mortgage

What is one thing on your bucket list you have to do?

See the Northern Lights. I can never stay awake long enough to see them but am an avid tracker of the best opportunities.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

Spending time with my husband and children. In the summers, spending the day on our boat in Flathead Lake, playing in the shallows. In the winter, skiing at Big Mountain is always a blast!

What are your hobbies and how did you get into them?

I love cooking. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom who made most meals from scratch, so I was raised eating really good food and that has carried into my adulthood. I love good food and the enjoy the creative process of cooking using wholesome ingredients and trying new things. I also enjoy being active and moving my body; especially when I can be outdoors.

What is the last thing you read?

I am currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. Highly recommend this book!

What is one thing that can instantly make your day better?

Reading the Bible and studying what it says. I feel like even one or two verses can be relatable and put things in perspective.

What song instantly gets you on the dance floor?

About any song my kids are dancing to. I enjoy being silly with them and living in the moment, though my dance moves are quite dated.

What is your prized possession and why?

This one is hard for me because most possessions can be replaced. I really enjoy a good pair of running shoes and see value investing in good shoes altogether; I believe that your feet, back, gait, and posture correlate to aging well.

What is an essential part of your daily routine?

I thoroughly enjoy a cup or two of straight black coffee every morning; especially on dark, cold mornings. It’s very comforting.

What would your perfect meal look like?


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This is a hard one because, again, I love food. Pretty much any meal that is shared with good company, family, and friends. oman.com



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Yoga During the Holidays Finding Serenity Amidst this Busy Season

Written by Yoga Hive Montana Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

As the holiday season approaches, many of us find ourselves swept up in the whirlwind of festivities, shopping, and social obligations. You might find yourself eating one too many Christmas cookies and all of a sudden your favorite pants don’t fit anymore. The stress and chaos of this time of year can easily take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. In the midst of all this, it's essential to remember the transformative power of yoga and the numerous benefits it can bring to our lives during the holiday season and beyond. Yoga is a holistic health practice that traces its roots back to ancient India but has now spread its influence worldwide. Its purpose is to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit, enabling individuals to reach their highest human potential. One of the most beautiful aspects of yoga is its inclusivity. Yoga is not a religious practice and warmly welcomes people of all religions, ages, genders, or cultural affiliations.


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In the West, a heavy emphasis is placed on yoga's physical aspect, involving physical postures and flexibility. Traditional yoga delves deeper to also include meditation and breathing techniques that help relax and energize the nervous system. This holistic approach means that regardless of your current flexibility or the state of your mind, yoga is an open invitation to embark on a journey of self-improvement.

Shelle Kuntz, Owner of Yoga Hive Montana, addresses common reservations people have about starting their yoga practice. She points out, "Sometimes I hear people say: 'Oh, I can't do yoga because I'm out of shape,' or 'I tried to meditate but my mind can’t stop thinking.' But the whole point of practicing yoga is to work on these things. That's why they call it a practice. Just like with any life goal, you have to begin where you're at."

The truth is most people don't need to contort their bodies into pretzel-like shapes to practice yoga effectively. Yoga encourages you to connect with yourself on a profound level and cultivate inner peace and contentment while gradually enhancing your strength and flexibility.

The holiday season is notorious for bringing about a heightened sense of stress. Stress is actually our body's natural healthy response to kick into high gear in order to achieve goals and handle challenges. However, if stress is left unchecked to the point of continually disrupting your vital night’s sleep, it can snowball into a myriad of health issues. The pressure to meet holiday expectations can exacerbate this stress. Fortunately, yoga provides a lifeline for stress management. It's simple yet effective, techniques allow us to directly regulate our nervous systems, reducing the stress response. This means that as the holiday season approaches and we face the demands of shopping, cooking, and spending time with relatives, we can turn to yoga as a tool for managing our stress levels. By incorporating yoga into our daily routines, we can take control of our health and well-being during the holiday season. Stepping into Yoga Hive Montana, you'll find a welcoming and serene environment that pro-

health} Yoga Hive

By incorporating yoga into our daily routines, we can take control of our health and well-being during the holiday season. vides a much-needed respite from the holiday chaos. It's a space that radiates both coziness and expansiveness. There's even complimentary hot coffee and tea at the entrance. Yoga equipment, including mats and blocks, are provided. Shelle highlights, "Lots of people walk into the studio and say it feels like home. A peaceful sanctuary where I can just be myself and be with a community of people who lift each other up."

The holiday season can often make us feel like we're rushing from one obligation to the next, leaving us with little time for self-care. A yoga studio offers an oasis of calm amidst the chaos, where you can slow down and reconnect with yourself, even if just for an hour. The community at Yoga Hive Montana is all about inclusivity and creating a space where everyone feels welcome.

With two locations in the North Valley, Whitefish and Columbia Falls, Yoga Hive Montana continues to evolve and expand its offerings. The updated Columbia Falls location captures the cozy, athome feeling cherished by students. Yoga Teacher Trainings are already underway at the studio and more will be offered in the near future - with an emphasis placed on learning “yoga as a lifestyle.” Aerial yoga classes have also begun in Whitefish, the only aerial yoga studio in the valley. In addition, a lululemon boutique featuring an impressive collection of women's and men's styles has recently opened in Whitefish, making holiday gift shopping an easy task after yoga class is finished. Yoga Hive Montana offers a diverse range of classes, from gentle and restorative classes to challenging vinyasa flow classes, meditation sessions, Energy Medicine Yoga, and aerial yoga classes. The class schedule is conveniently available on the website, where you can sign up online or simply walk in. No special equipment or attire is required – just bring yourself, dressed in loose, comfortable clothing. If you're curious and want to explore the studio, free tours are available upon request by calling 406.862.1571.

This holiday season, it's worth considering yoga as a gift to yourself or a loved one - a studio membership is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. By stepping onto your mat and embracing the practice, you're taking an active step towards better health, improved mental well-being, and a greater sense of inner peace. The benefits extend beyond the holiday season and will continue to enrich your life.

For those who haven't yet experienced the transformation that yoga can bring, we offer an amazing intro offer that can be purchased right on the website: www.yogahivemontana.com

Whether you're a beginner or someone who's been contemplating starting their yoga journey, there's no better time than the holiday season to embark on this transformative path to a healthier, happier life.



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profile} Provider Profile

Ruth Myers, MD and Jennifer Lewis, PMHNP-BC, photo by Amanda Wilson

Q&A with

Logan Health Behavioral Health Clinic Logan Health Behavioral Health Clinic - Whitefish aims to restore mental health to an optimal level and to help alleviate any symptoms that may be affecting quality of life, satisfaction, and ability to function. The practitioners believe that mental health is equally as important as physical health, and offer respectful, clinically effective treatments through the collaborative efforts of a team that includes psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, mental health specialists and therapists. They provide comprehensive care and treatment programs for children, adolescents, and adults experiencing mental or addictive disorders.

Ruth Myers, MD

Psychiatrist Logan Health Behavioral Health - Whitefish Where are you from? What brought you to the Flathead Valley?

I’m originally from Cleveland Ohio, and I’ve practiced psychiatry primarily in Colorado and Minnesota and a few other states in between. During my time in Colorado, I traveled all over the state. I came here for the mountains, and the fabulous vibe—people that take their work seriously but not themselves too seriously.


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Psychiatrist Ruth Myers, MD and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Lewis are the newest additions to the clinical staff, joining Logan Health fall 2023. Take a moment to get to know these two amazing ladies.

What is your specialty of practice?

Over the years my emphasis has been on adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and adults with multiple co-occurring health problems. I’m here to help them with navigating their mental health care plans with the other health issues going on. Beyond those specialties I am happy to see everyone, all kinds of people.

What is the best part of your job?

Learning people’s stories, I learn what is most important to them and we can focus on that together.

What are some of your professional interests?

Trauma and trauma recovery.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy cooking; however, I cook badly, and I also have an unfortunate addiction to detective novels. I read hundreds of novels in a year.

What else would you like readers of 406 Woman Magazine to know about you and the role you play in Women’s Health? (How does your specialty improve women’s lives?)

I am more optimistic and idealistic than I was 40 years ago. From having the chance to learn a lot of stories, I come to believe that there is always a path forward for people to get what they need out of life. I love to see all kinds of patients.

profile} Provider Profile When women talk about pain or limitation it’s attributed to their emotional health. I think it’s important to listen to them carefully and take women’s complaints seriously. I’ve published several books on clinical issues for individuals with developmental disabilities, and Two of a Kind, a detective novel.

What would you like readers to know about Jennifer Fisher? Jen brings a wonderful vibe to wherever she goes.

Jennifer Lewis and her son having fun

Jennifer Lewis, PMHNP-BC Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Logan Health Behavioral Health - Whitefish

Where are you from? What brought you to the Flathead Valley?

I recently moved here from Belgrade, Montana, however I am originally from Choteau, Montana. I have family here.

What is your specialty of practice?

I love it all, I have no preferred specialty or population.

What is the best part of your job?

Hearing people’s stories. I like hearing people’s stories because it helps me help them and I can let them know that they are not alone.

What are some of your professional interests?

Everything I like everything; however, I am interested in becoming more educated in trauma-based care and substance abuse. I was an emergency nurse in Bozeman for 23 years some of which was spent in their psychiatric division.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I love to cook. I do not follow recipes I just like to throw things together and I love to garden. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends and being outside.

What else would you like readers of 406 Woman Magazine to know about you and the role you play in Women’s Health? (How does your specialty improve women’s lives?)

I think people do not seek mental health because they think they will be judged or told they are crazy. Sometimes women feel like they need to push through and that is not the case, it’s okay to seek help.

What would you like readers to know about Dr. Myers? Ruth has a calm, steady-eddy presence.

Brought to you by



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health} Logan Health

Not Just the Winter Blues

How to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder By Amanda Sheppard

Photo by Marcus Asmus

Every change of season makes Montana into a beautiful new landscape, turning city streets into golden avenues in the fall and mountainsides into ski slopes in the winter. While the shifting weather invigorates some, others may find it difficult to navigate, especially those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the days start to shorten and the weather grows colder, many notice changes to their physical or emotional state that could be attributed to this condition. Dr. Kelly Berkram, a family practice physician originally from Helena, has helped many patients learn about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and find effective treatments. “Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that presents as depression or bipolar disorder, but it starts and stops at certain times of the year. The most common of those is a depressed mood that comes in the fall or early winter and slowly ends or improves in the spring or summer,” Berkram explains. “The most common symptoms with the fall or winter SAD would be depressed mood, increased eating, weight gain, craving for carbohydrates and sleeping more. But really you could present with any of the depression symptoms, such as feeling worthless, being agitated, or moving slowly, as well as fatigue, sleeping less, appetite decrease, and a loss of pleasure or interest in doing things.” Anybody can be affected by SAD, but some medical researchers have suggested that it may be more commonly diagnosed in women and in areas of higher latitude. Dr. Berkram


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says that she sees SAD symptoms more commonly in women, and it seems to be more common in Montana than in other states she has worked in. The overcast winter weather patterns may be a factor. “In Montana, we have a lot of darkness in the winter. Especially in the Flathead Valley, when it’s cloudy, we get a lot less sun, so we have significantly less exposure to daylight. All of this likely increases our risk for SAD,” she says. Unfortunately, the exact cause for SAD is unknown. However, current studies suggest there may be several different factors that come into play. “We don’t know exactly what causes it, but it’s probably some combination of disturbances in our circadian rhythm and brain neurotransmitters, specifically with serotonin not being regulated correctly,” says Dr. Berkram. “Genetics likely play a part, too.”

Those with mild SAD may be able to ease their symptoms through simple lifestyle changes. Dr. Berkram recommends exercising regularly, going on walks even when it is overcast, and prioritizing aerobic exercise. She also recommends working on sleep hygiene by setting consistent bed and wake times, sleeping in a slightly cool room and avoiding electronic screens for an hour before bed. All of these steps can lead to a more restful sleep. Another important element is sun exposure. “Getting outside in the sunlight whenever you can is important. Even increasing indoor lighting can help,” Dr. Berkram says, “It would be great if all of us Montanans could take a winter vacation to a sunny destination, but unfortunately I can’t write a prescription for that.”

health} Logan Health

Getting outside in the sunlight whenever you can is important. Even increasing indoor lighting can help. While these changes can alleviate mild symptoms of SAD, moderate and severe symptoms usually require different treatment methods. “We often use antidepressants - the same antidepressants we would use for someone who has chronic depression or anxiety - but we can use them just during the season when they’re affected. So, we can start it in the fall and then taper the patient off in the spring or summer,” Dr. Berkram explains. Another treatment option is bright light therapy, which uses a lightbox with a high-power bulb. “Sitting in front of the box for at least 30 minutes, usually in the morning, tends to help with symptoms,” she says. “Another treatment method is psychotherapy or talk therapy, which is helpful in other mental health disorders like depression and anxiety as well.”

During talk therapy, mental health professionals can use a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that is specifically adapted for people with SAD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), during this form of treatment, individuals learn to replace negative thoughts related to winter with more positive thoughts. They also learn about behavioral activation, a process that can help them find engaging, pleasant activities to schedule during the months when they experience a general loss of interest.

For those who think they are experiencing mild or moderate SAD, Dr. Berkram believes that opening up and reaching out for help is the best place to start. “If it’s not an emergency, I would encourage someone to make an appointment with their primary care provider to discuss their symptoms. They can help determine if you are experiencing SAD or some other condition and can come up with a plan to help you through it.”



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Dr. Kelly Berkram

With all of these helpful treatments and therapies, people with SAD can greatly improve their mental health and physical wellbeing. Of course, if symptoms escalate, immediate action should be taken. “If anybody is actively suicidal, which means they are thinking about killing or harming themselves and they have a plan to do it, that is a medical emergency and you need to seek help immediately. This could mean going to the Emergency Room or calling the suicide hotline 9-8-8,” Dr. Berkram says.

Beth Tkachyk, Anne Ericsson, Sophie Bennett, Tom Ficca, Janie Frazar, Sandee Watterud, Ronna Azevedo, Lyn Bennett



Don’t allow these changes to “pause” your sexual desires and relational intimacy with your partner.

Written by Marci Mangold, PA-C

Did you know that only half of women aged 50 continue to have intercourse and by age 70, only 27 percent are sexually active? According to a study at Johns Hopkins, this is a natural effect of aging and it is not surprising that the older we get the less interest women have in sexual activity and are overall less physically active. Shifting hormones during menopause cause significant changes throughout the body leading to heart disease, osteoporosis, weight changes and increased urinary tract infections. After menopause, approximately half of women experience vaginal dryness leading to increased problems with lubrication and painful intercourse. Although your body may be changing, these effects don’t have to disrupt sexual intimacy with your partner.


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We commonly refer to the term “perimenopause” when discussing these many changes. This is when hormones start to decline and menstrual cycles become erratic and irregular. “Menopause” doesn’t actually occur until 12 months after your last period and because you can still get pregnant, continue using contraception until then. According to the American Menopause Society, menopause occurs between ages 40-58 and the average age is 51. Reaching menopause is a process that takes an average of 4 years and can vary from a few months up to 10 years and after this, women are considered to be in “postmenopause.” Although this process is different for every woman, most usually experience some symptoms due to the fluctuations and ultimate decline of estrogen and progesterone. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about 45% of women experience psychogenic symptoms which include anger/irritability, anxiety/ tension, depression, sleep disturbance, loss of concentration, and loss of self-esteem/confidence. Furthermore, approximately 75% of

women experience vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, and migraines. Vasomotor symptoms are considered systemic symptoms (affecting multiple body systems) and usually respond to hormone replacement therapy and will be discussed in more depth in a later 406 Woman article. The remainder of this article will focus on urogenital symptoms (affecting the urinary and genital regions), which typically respond to localized treatment of the tissues and are experienced by approximately 60% of women. During menopause, the decline in estrogen frequently leads to thinning of the tissue or atrophy (a literal “wasting away” of tissue) which causes several urogenital symptoms. Urethral atrophy results in urinary stress incontinence (leakage of urine due to the stress of laughing, coughing or sudden movement), urge incontinence (sudden strong urge to urinate results in loss of bladder control before you reach the bathroom), urinary frequency or painful urination. Vaginal atrophy is another result of this

health} Menopause decline in estrogen which causes less vaginal lubrication, decreased elasticity of vaginal tissue and in some cases, the vagina may shorten and tighten at the opening. This may lead to symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itching or irritation, tightness, vaginal pain with burning or soreness during or after intercourse. This oftentimes leads to chronic inflammation, irritation and discomfort along with tearing and bleeding of the tissue. Furthermore, these symptoms often lead to avoidance of sex, however maintaining regular intercourse is helpful to keep tissues strong and lubricated and preserve the length and width of the vaginal space.

Vaginal lining with estrogen

Lining of the vagina before menopause (left) and after menopause (right). Before menopause, when the vagina is well supplied with estrogen, its lining is thicker and has more folds, allowing it to stretch with intercourse and childbirth. After menopause, when levels of estrogen are low, the vaginal lining is thinner and has fewer folds, which makes it less flexible. (Source: NAMS, North Vaginal lining in low-estrogen state American Menopause Society)

There are several other things you may do to lessen the effects of this low-estrogen state. For starters, always use a good vaginal lubricant during sexual activity. Water based lubricants (Astroglide, K-Y Jelly, Slippery Stuff) or silicone-based lubricants (Pjur, ID Millennium) are recommended since oil-based lubricants (Elegance Women’s Lubricant, Simply Slick) cause breakdown of latex condoms. Also, vaginal moisturizers can be used 2-3 times per week and will provide lubrication for a longer period of time, typically 2-3 days. Moisturizers often contain hyaluronic acid and are contraindicated only if you have an allergy to the specific product ingredients (examples include Replens, Vagisil Moisturizer, Feminease, Moist Again, K-Y Liquibeads, HyaloGYN).

If symptoms persist and are significant then ask your healthcare provider about prescription treatment options. Atrophic vaginitis usually responds well to treatment with topical low-dose vaginal estrogen (rings, creams, tablets or capsules) or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Vaginal estrogen therapy is the most effective treatment for moderate to severe symptoms. Estrogen therapy restores vaginal pH, thickens tissue, increases secretions and resolves dryness and painful intercourse and reduces frequency of urinary tract infections along with symptoms of overactive bladder. According to UpToDate, long-term data shows no increased risk of breast or endometrial cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, or blood clots with use of vaginal estrogen because systemic absorption is low. Despite this fact, vaginal estrogen carries a “box warning” about possible increased risks of these events. If you have a history of estrogen-dependent tumors or are on antiestrogen therapy then you should discuss use of vaginal estrogen with your oncologist first. Although there is more safety data and clinical experience with vaginal estrogen, an effective alternative hormonal medication is vaginal DHEA. DHEA is dosed daily (as opposed to twice-weekly estrogen) and is associated with a slight increase in circulating DHEA, testosterone and estrogen levels, so it is commonly less preferred and raises some concern in patients with/at risk for estrogen-sensitive malignancies, especially for patients being treated with certain medications for breast cancer. DHEA may be an especially good option for those with low libido. Other treatment options may include daily oral ospemifene (may cause systemic side effects and may increase risk of breast cancer or blood clots), vaginal testosterone (none are FDA approved for use in females), and laser or radiofrequency devices (the safety and efficacy of these devices remain uncertain). Systemically absorbed estrogen is another treatment option; however, hormone replacement therapy goes beyond the scope of this discussion and will be addressed further in future articles. In summary, vasomotor, urogenital and psychogenic changes occur throughout menopause that affect our sexual desires and ability to enjoy intercourse. Decreased estrogen levels lead to vaginal atrophy and is responsible for numerous postmenopausal symptoms. However, a satisfying sex life and relational intimacy can be maintained by adequately treating perimenopausal symptoms. Treatment options include OTC remedies such as vaginal lubricants and moisturizers as well as prescription treatments with topical low-dose vaginal estrogen or DHEA. Appropriate treatment allows most women to remain sexually active into their 70s and 80s and enjoy the intimacy that a mature relationship provides. If you would like to discuss your health through menopause, we’re here for you! Call our office at 406-752-5252 to schedule an appointment.



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Marci Mangold, PA-C Physician Assistant, Marci Mangold has over 20 years of experience and joined Kalispell OBGYN in October 2022. Marci was a Wyoming native until she moved to Montana in 1995 to attend the University of Montana and she hasn't left since! She graduated with honors in 1999, completing the pre-medicine track and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. Marci attended graduate school at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania where she received her Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant studies in 2002. She returned to Montana living in Missoula and the Mission Valley then when she was starting a family in 2011, she moved to the Flathead Valley. She worked in both urgent care and family medicine with Logan Health. She was drawn to Kalispell OBGYN by her desire to provide comprehensive care to women while focusing on the unique gynecologic and reproductive care women require. Having battled with infertility herself, Marci hopes to support patients through this process. Marci enjoys spending time with her four kids and all that mothering requires. She is active in her local church and the Tres Dias community. Marci is also a Certified Christian Mental Health Coach and enjoys counseling others through difficult seasons of life. She loves to travel and hopes to do more missionary work. Marci feels renewed after spending time outdoors and enjoys numerous recreational activities.



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Reading, Writing and Arithmetic 128 Years Ago

The History of Central School By Eleanore Eberts for the Northwest Montana History Museum, the fifth generation in her family to live East of Kalispell

It is 9 a.m. on a sunny October day at the Northwest Montana History Museum, located in Kalispell’s former Central School. Kids mill about on the lawn, talking and laughing with energy that only a third-grader can have. At the entrance stands an adult dressed in late 1800s clothing to gather the class before the school bell rings out as it did 128 years ago. It is 2023, but Central School is still calling kids in for class.

Before filing by gender to their respective side entrances of the schoolhouse, a volunteer-timetraveling-teacher dressed in his or her 1895 best explains to the excited third-graders that today we will travel back in time. Next the third-graders are asked how they might have come to school. Excited voices yell out that they would have ridden a horse to school or a wagon, and kids chatter at each other at the prospect of riding in a sleigh to school with their friends. After some lighthearted math questions about how old this building is (it was built in 1894) and being thoroughly reminded that I am “old” at age 30, which is why I can use the front entrance that only adults were allowed to use in 1895, the kids climb the museum stairs to the second floor. The immersive 1895 classroom experience begins.

Shortly after Kalispell was officially incorporated in 1892, it became apparent that a dedicated, central school was needed. The population of the town was growing and with the railroad placing a stop here, it didn’t look like the town was moving anywhere. In 1894 funding was secured for a school that would have grades one through eleven in six classrooms designed to hold 60 students each. It was the first public building in Kalispell to have both plumbing and electricity. Much to the shock of our students from 2023, students in 1895 could wash up in the building’s basement before class. Many of the school’s features were practical. The rough stone that is exposed around the foundation and in the basement was quarried west of town near Lone Pine State Park. The tall ceilings and strategically placed windows above doors made ventilation easier without air conditioning and the tin ceilings prevented plaster from cracking as loud, rumbling trains made their way through Kalispell. Located in the basement, the playroom kept kids under 9 years old safe from the stables to the east (where Linderman School now stands) and the train yard to the north.

After the third-graders discuss a bit of time travel (it all has to do with their history hats – re-creations of hats kids in 1895 might have worn) they start learning how this classroom differs from their regular one.

They examine their wooden desks, which would have been bolted down in rows, as well as the objects placed upon them. On each desk there is a small slate board with chalk for writing. Paper at the time would have been quite expensive and ink was quite messy so slate would have been used often and penmanship was a necessary skill. Each desk is also outfitted with a McGuffey Reader, a replica of the textbook third-graders used in 1895, and a gift for the teacher. Respect and gratitude were very important parts of class. Teachers in 1895 at Central School were not paid much, and families would pitch in to help make ends meet. An apple, a bit of wool from the farm, or an egg might have been a customary gift.

Miss Emma J. Waters taught a class of 78 thirdgraders, ranging in age from 6 to 15 the year Central School opened. The classroom today feels full at 30 kids, and we all imagine what it would have been like with 38 more in the room. Each student listens especially closely when their 1895 teacher shares the different rules and consequences they had back then! An unruly student may have had to

Above photos from left to right: Flathead County Highschool Classroom, 1911. From the Northwest Montana History Museum archives. - Central School circa 1905 courtesy of Northwest Montana History Museum archives. Girls would have entered this south side entrance. Photos on opposite page: The inside of Valentine School (between present day Whitefish and Columbia Falls) in 1907. Valentine School opened in the 1890s and this was a typical classroom interior at the time. Photograph courtesy of the Northwest Montana History Museum. - Stu Wilson, a volunteer teacher, calls on a local third grader in the NWMT History Museum’s McClaren Classroom experience. This classroom would have seated 60 students in 1895. - Sally Hash, lifelong Flathead Valley resident and teacher, spends a morning teaching third graders about going to school in 1895 Kalispell.


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burn off energy taking coal up and down stairs, and each student is required to stand after being called on to present his or her answer as the students learn about penmanship, history, reading, and math.

Kalispell grew fast and by 1901 the high school moved to its own building and a second elementary school opened on the west side. Central School still served half the city’s elementary school kids until 1928, when it became a junior high. Slightly more than ten years later, in 1939, Linderman School opened to split the number of junior high students until finally, in 1969, Kalispell opened the current junior high in the Northridge Heights Neighborhood and Central School retired from grade school education.

Flathead Valley Community College took up residence here until 1989. The building was abandoned for some years until the Northwest Montana Historical Society saw its potential and reopened it so it could continue to be a place dedicated to learning.

The McClaren 1895 Classroom program started in 2006 with Bill McClaren, a beloved, longtime educator in the Flathead Valley, and continues today. The program reaches hundreds of third-grade students from all over the valley. It is completely recreated by dedicated volunteers who dive into their role as late 1800s teachers with costumes and smiles. If you would like to be part of this unique historical and fun experience, reach out to the program’s coordinators at the Northwest Montana History Museum. Eleanore Eberts, Co-Administrator at Northwest Montana History Museum with her mare June Bug at her family farm near Creston Montana.



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Good Music

& Great

Dental Visits By Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA

So somewhere near these exact words you are reading is a picture of me jumping with a gold top Gibson Les Paul. I look like a child in this picture. This picture is over 10 years old. I think the message it’s trying to convey is that I’m a dentist who really aspired to be a rockstar as a youngster. Which is partially accurate in that yes, in my youth I wanted to be a professional rock musician, but the part that’s wrong is that I still want to be a rock musician even into my middle age (while still providing top notch dentistry to the good folks of the Flathead Valley...of course). The ironic thing is that I look so much more like a rockstar in my present 2023 state. I’m in a little better physical shape and of course I have what every good rockstar needs: A full head of long wavy hair. We’re talking Long Long & Wavy Wavy. Some of you might know me personally and can confirm that I look like I’m in my midlife crisis. And... you’re right. But it’s


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like a good midlife crisis, maybe let’s call it a midlife pivot. The point I’m trying to make is I need to recreate/update this photo so snag an issue down the road and see how it looks. Speaking of Rockstars, or musicians in general, a recent study suggests that the music we loved during our teenage years into early twenties will remain our favorite music throughout our lives. This rings completely true for me. If left up to me we are listening to 90’s music...forever. This was true for my folks also, music played a huge role in the home I grew up in and we listened to The Beatles, John Denver, and The Carpenters. All 60’s and early 70’s tunes...in the 90’s. The study says that this music is “entangled” with the positive emotions and experiences from that impressionable time in our lives. The incredible moments and memories associated with us gaining our independence. Close your eyes and think about it. It was a phenomenal time. I have a 17-year-old daughter right now (shout out to Nayvee Lee), she’s gonna have to go through life thinking the crap that’s coming out today is the best stuff ?? Yikes. Kidding...kind of. Something else that can stick with us from our youth forever is a negative dental experience.

A bad dental visit as a kid will get embedded deep inside the brain and it’s very hard to fully recover from. I work with patients whose bad experience was so long ago that they don’t really remember any of the specifics...regardless they can be terrified of having a dental procedure. While it’s rare to ever fully cure someone from this, just like it would be really hard to convince me that 90’s rock isn’t the best, the best therapy is a consistent string of positive dental experiences.

How do we ensure a positive experience when someone is already apprehensive?

1. We communicate through the process so there are no surprises. 2. We make sure they are appropriately and fully anesthetized (numb) for the procedure being performed. 3. I personally aim for shorter appointments starting with the easiest/quickest needs with the hopes of building my patient’s trust and confidence in me before moving onto larger procedures if needed. 4. Do not rush things. By moving slower, I can minimize any discomfort in the event the anesthetic might be wearing off or was not strong enough to begin with. 5. Lastly, we can offer sedation.


No one looks forward to a visit to the dentist. I realize that. I’m self aware enough to realize my chosen career is pretty high up on everyone’s lists of things they do not like. So if you are avoiding your regular checkups due to anxiety caused by past dental visits, please inquire about our sedation options. And if you're lucky you’ll get to enjoy some tasty tunes from the 90’s.

At Smile Montana we have three sedation options. The most minimal is the classic laughing gas or Nitrous Oxide. The great advantage of this option is the patient’s ability to drive to and from their appointment as the effects wear off rapidly following the removal of the sedative. The middle-of-the-road option is oral conscious sedation in the form of a pill taken prior to treatment. The most widely used medication for this is Triazolam which is a benzodiazepine. This option is much more predictable than laughing gas. In other words the effect of laughing gas can vary widely based on the patient, while Triazolam gives a much more consistent level of sedation. The disadvantage over laughing gas is the patient will need a driver and supervision for 4 to 6 hours after taking the sedative. It should be noted that under these first two modes of sedation the patient is still cognizant enough to communicate with and respond to the dentist. The 3rd option is deep sedation via an IV. This is obviously reserved for the very nervous patient and/or for larger procedures that can’t be broken up into smaller ones. Typically larger implant cases. In order to offer this type of sedation a dentist must complete exhaustive additional training after completion of traditional dental school. I personally cannot offer it, but my partner at Smile Montana Dr. Ivey (fitting name right?) is trained and provides it weekly. No one looks forward to a visit to the dentist. I realize that. I’m self aware enough to realize my chosen career is pretty high up on everyone’s lists of things they do not like. So if you are avoiding your regular checkups due to anxiety caused by past dental visits, please inquire about our sedation options. And if you're lucky you’ll get to enjoy some tasty tunes from the 90’s.

Hey, you made it to the end! Gold Star for you. Winter is fast approaching and that’s great news for us ski-town locals. Nothing better than queuing up your favorite artist in the headphones and nabbing some turns on Big Mountain. Can’t wait to see your big SMILES up there. Look for my long wavy hair.



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