406 Woman Business Vol. 11 No. 5

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8. Country Music Artist Jo Smith 14. Volunteers Keep “The Event” Going Strong 38. Welcome Lorelai HG, Part Two


18. Amanda Bevill 22. Buffalo Hill

Nonprofit 26. SNOW Bus 50. Changed Lives


32. Who’s your FARMicist? 36. Covid’s Lingering Effects 40. In unity there is Strength 42. Diastasis Recti Post-Partum

24. Bonjour Bakery & Bistro

46. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

28. Sydney Munteanu

52. Dr Miller

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2021 Skirts Publishing


Going Round The World and Making the World Go Round with Song Country Music Artist,

Jo Smith By Mary Wallace Photos by Lindsey Kanes


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Jo Smith has taken her songs around the world. The country music singer-songwriter recently put down roots in northwest Montana after a long and winding road (so long & winding, as a matter of fact, that it could rival some country music songs). She has literally traveled to the other side of the world and back.

Jo says that she didn’t pick country music as her life’s work – it picked her. Indeed, all along her life’s meandering path, she has never wavered from wanting to be a country music artist .

Along the way, she found success and heartbreak in the country music industry; scored a job with the State Department; made and tragically lost some friends in war-torn Somalia; earned a following of Ugandan country music fans in Mogadishu; met the love of her life; found a captivating (albeit part time) career with the Navy Reserve; and most recently, has at last settled into her niche: writing and performing several heart stopping songs on her own private record label, with her first album out in May 2021.

Jo was always the kid who liked to stay home exploring the world between the covers of a book. She grew up in Crestview, Georgia with her mother, father, and her little sister, who was an extrovert and the tomboy of the family. They lived out in the country, so they had to learn to make their own fun – a lifelong lesson in creativity! Her family had a farm that mainly produced peanuts, corn, and cattle. She learned to drive at 8 years old (on the tractor raking hay) and herded cattle with her dad on horseback. Her first job as a teen was working for her dad – scouting peanuts and reporting to him. She cherishes all the “dad-time” she got to spend on the farm.

Their house was always full of music. She loved singing in church from the age of three years old. Jo’s mom put her in a country pageant when she was five years old – hoping it would help her daughter learn to conduct herself with poise and grace. At talent competition time, her five-yearold self stood on the stage and proudly proclaimed “I am a professional country music singer,” then proceeded to belt out “Have Mercy”, a popular song by her idols, The Judds. Did she win the pageant? No! But she was suddenly being asked to sing at other pageants and festivals. Jo says that she didn’t pick country music as her life’s work – it picked her. Indeed, all along her life’s meandering path, she has never wavered from wanting to be a country music artist. Her faith and her family have carried her through all her life experiences to date. After graduating high school, she attended Auburn University for a year, but music kept calling her heart, and her hit song “Gettin’ Married” had just garnered national attention. She found herself agonizing over whether she should go back to college OR head to Nashville to try to launch her music career, and she shot off a quick prayer to her higher power asking, “Dear Lord, which path should I take?” The response was swift and well . . . rather mixed actually - she received both a letter of acceptance to the school AND a call from a major Nashville record label on the same day. “Don’t limit yourself!” her higher power seemed to be saying.

Jo Smith

She played and lived off tips for a couple of years, and continued to write songs for herself, as well as other artists, (Billy Ray Cyrus, Cody Johnson, Taylor Hicks, Pam Tillis, and Lorrie Morgan). She also continued working towards her degree in Political Science at Vanderbilt University. As much as she liked being a starving artist (a badge of honor on the Nashville scene), earning her college degree seemed like an ideal time to make a dramatic change, so on a wing and prayer, she sent her resume out into the world of national and global security. She found herself with a job as a report writer (mainly because they needed a writer and she could write songs, she laughs) and it happened to be in one of the world’s most dangerous places – Mogadishu. Oddly, even knowing the volatility of the region, she immediately felt a sense of peace and clarity about going that direction and she needed a break from the music business. Off she went to Somalia - which happened to be in a state of civil war and anarchy. A regional peacekeeping force known as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was supporting Somalia’s federal government in its fight against militant operations. The U.N. backed mission, was contributing troops from Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Burundi, to help the Somali government strengthen its national army as part

of a plan to reclaim parts of the country controlled by al-Shabab. Much of the peace to be found at all in Somalia, at that time, was because of the work of Ugandans. Jo’s company asked her to coordinate and host some events for several Ugandan dignitaries and officials and that became an added part of her job. At one such event, some of the guests happened to hear that she was a country music singer, they asked her to sing Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler”. They all sang along with her, word-forword, and the connection she felt with them that day was so real, it was better than playing in front of a stadium full of people.

This experience brought her a newfound resolve to not give up on her music career. Her ‘Plan B’ of changing careers and moving to Somalia basically led her right back to her love of music. Not to mention it also led her to the love of her life. Sadly, In November 2018, a series of car bombs affected many of the people, as well as the program, that had hired her to serve in Mogadishu, and it was time to return to the United States. She really wanted to find a way to earn a living that would support her music career. Her soonto-be husband, JD (who is a retired Navy Seal), encouraged her to research joining the Navy Reserve. She had studied the military while in college and the commitment of one duty weekend per month certainly seemed like a way to give her a significant amount of time to devote to writing &



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Jo Smith

“Everything falls into place when you prioritize the spiritual aspects of your life,” said Jo, “Even when things are not going according to the plan that YOU thought you wanted, it will turn out for the best.” producing her own music and developing her own private record label. By the same token, the Navy Reserve also affords her some travel and various experiences - Jo was in Virginia Beach preparing for a Navy Reserve training when we talked over a Facetime call for this story.

Jo and JD had intended to have their wedding in 2020, and like so many others, the pandemic forced them to cancel those plans. When JD’s daughter was getting ready to head to college in Wyoming in fall of 2020, they decided to get married in a private ceremony and head west to help her get settled and do some further exploring. JD has a handful of rental properties (mostly on the east coast), but he happened to have one in Montana, so they headed north to check out their Whitefish place. Once they arrived together, their future suddenly became clear – this was going to be their home base from here forward. The pandemic has changed a lot of things, so it is no surprise it has also changed the way people can operate in the music business. It has certainly bolstered the focus on the online platform. Even so, in this day and age, it is still incredibly rare to break into the country music scene and make it big. Nonetheless, Jo is embracing and enjoying learning to run her own record label. In five years’ time, she will still be in the Navy Reserve, but she sees herself still writing and performing songs that are honest and authentic, still managing her record label, and still enjoying our local community.


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When she is not in Nashville recording, or serving a weekend duty or training with the Navy Reserve, Jo & JD can now be found at their place north of Whitefish, spending time in the great outdoors with their golden retriever and Shiloh shepherd, playing golf, and enjoying refining their culinary skills (they’re big fans of Blue Apron).

Jo IS available for local private events; it is one of her favorite ways to perform – at smaller, more intimate venues (as opposed to the noisy bar & honkytonk scene). She has many fond memories of singing at Bluebird Café in Nashville, which provides more of a theatre style listening room for the audience. She would love any opportunity to share her music with the Flathead Valley.

Of particular excitement is Jo’s new single entitled “Wyoming”- Jo has crafted a musical movie of sorts - one that captures all of the beauty and adventure of the Rocky Mountain west in this unconventional heartbreak story. The emotion in the song brings out Jo’s fresh sound and independent spirit. Even Vince Gill, who contributed one of his most heart wrenching harmony performances to date, was swept away on a wave of emotion during the recording of it. Right now, her primary focus is her latest single, “For This Town” which will be released by press time. An entire album entitled “Wyoming” will be released later this year.

When asked if she thought that her life has been a series of happening to be in the right place at the right time, Jo says she has found, over the course of all her adventures, that it helps to be mentally tough, yet mentally agile. She takes each thing in small bites and wholly focuses on that one thing. “Everything falls into place when you prioritize the spiritual aspects of your life,” said Jo, “Even when things are not going according to the plan that YOU thought you wanted, it will turn out for the best.”

Catch up with Jo through her BackStories and Big Sky Country content:

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @josmithmusic Website: http://www.josmithmusic.com/home YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCcfEjE_UxZN_416Pdq8_Yng Media Contact: Morgan Kellar 406-381-3266 Email: reachjosmithmusic@gmail.com



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Volunteers Keep

“The Event” Going Strong Co-contributors Sydney Munteanu & Sara Busse


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It’s early March, snow still caps the Swan mountains, horses are warm under barn blankets and snuggled into cozy stalls when a group of 16 gather for their first planning meeting of the year for this summer’s Event at Rebecca Farm. What is 16 today will morph into a more than a 300-person volunteer effort for the Flathead’s biggest spectator event of the summer - one of North America’s premiere equestrian triathlons. “The amount of organizing and logistics that go into pulling off this event every year is really quite astounding,” says Sarah Broussard, The Event Organizer. “Without a dedicated group of staff and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to pull it off.”

July 21-25, 2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of The Event at Rebecca Farm, which combines competition in dressage, cross country, and show jumping. The Event attracts both national and international participation, requiring nothing short of an army of volunteers to pull off.

“We love The Event, the friendliness of both competitors and spectators and really enjoy being able to help keep it going.”

“From jump ring crew and judging cross country to serving snacks and parking spectator cars, it’s the volunteers who provide the engine of success,” said Broussard of the multiday, multi-faceted production.

And one of the key people in charge of the volunteer effort is former volunteer turned staff, Kurstie Hammel, who organizes almost 150 of those volunteers just on the cross country course alone. Hammel started volunteering in the earliest days after she and Broussard rode hunter/ jumper together. From volunteer to full-time farm employee, Hammel has even wrangled her family into The Event, “My sister runs the food trucks, and now my daughters and nephew help out too!” It’s another family affair for Anaconda volunteers Diana and Bob Ritzman. After visiting relatives in Kalispell, they showed up at The Event first as spectators, then came back the next year to volunteer, returning every year since 2010.

Photo by Shannon Brinkman

“We love The Event, the friendliness of both competitors and spectators and really enjoy being able to help keep it going.” Even with her walker, Diana is still able to volunteer, sharing that she so appreciates the care they provide everyone, including handicapped spectators. “This has taken on more meaning as I have gotten older. I can still volunteer and feel useful!”

Photos from top to bottom: Hayley Carstensen, Bob Friedman, Snack Volunteer, Crossing Guard Volunteer. Photos by Noah Clayton.



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featured}The Event

Photos from left to right: Hayley Carstensen, Leslie Dillion, Sarah Broussard, Kurstie Hammel, Heidi Diegle. Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography.

“They are so committed and many volunteer for more than one day. In rain, snow, wind, or sunshine…they always show up,” Kalispell volunteer, Leslie Dillion, has been showing up since 2006, first watching her daughters compete and now staying inspired for her own riding, “Good friends, accomplished riders and beautiful horses all convening in a gorgeous setting to test their athleticism, commitment and teamwork - it’s always fun and it’s always a highlight of my summer.” Hammel hears this a lot and attributes it to the reason more than 80 percent of those volunteers come back year after year. “They are so committed and many volunteer for more than one day. In rain, snow, wind, or sunshine…they always show up,” she said.

And surprisingly, they are not all “horse people.” Some are parents of current or past riders, some Backcountry Horsemen, but many haven’t even been involved with eventing and simply want to reciprocate their appreciation towards what the Broussards have given to the Flathead community Hammel acknowledged.


The deep roots of volunteerism are highlighted by the relationship The Event has with

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even some of its youngest volunteers. Hayley Carstensen first came to The Event when she was eight years old, “Horses were all that were on my mind, and The Event only solidified my love for the masterful creatures,” she said. A few years later she realized she was old enough to volunteer and hasn’t stopped since. “My family would plan trips around The Event just so I could volunteer every year.”

Undeniably, it’s the care and respect The Event volunteer community feels that’s the reason they retain so many of their volunteers each year. “Watching Kurstie (Hammel) work so hard is inspiring,” said Carstensen. “She makes volunteering fun every time and it’s a pleasure helping her wherever I can.”

“Our volunteers take a sense of ownership of The Event and it is well deserved,” said Broussard. “Without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to pull The Event off. The relationship we have with the community is a very special and unique one. We are lucky to have such a committed, supportive base.”

Interested in volunteering or getting involved with The Event? The most important thing

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Hammel wants people to know is, “There is absolutely no experience necessary! There are SO many areas that we need support at The Event. And I always make sure if it’s someone’s first time, that they are paired with someone who’s had experience.” Added bonus, you might just walk away with a new friend. Being a part of the community at Rebecca Farm, witnessing world-class athletes, and making new friends are certainly major perks for volunteers. Unlimited snacks, a delicious lunch and plenty of sunscreen don’t hurt either. But the best part and what keeps everyone coming back, is enjoying this spectacle together, knowing they have been a part of one of the best and longest traditions in the Flathead. If you would like to volunteer at this year’s Event, contact Kurstie Hammel, kurstie@rebeccafarm.org. To attend, mark your calendar for July 21-25, 2021 and visit www.rebeccafarm.org for the most up-to-date details. The United States Equestrian Federation has recently modified their Covid protocols, and The Event is hopeful they’ll be allowed to welcome back spectators this summer. Final plans are slated for late-spring along with state/local guidance. Check their website for the most current information.

Amanda Bevill profile}

on Empowering YOU to Cook Photos by ACE Photography & Design Sydney Munteanu is the host, Back Label Branding, a podcast that features leading women in the food and beverage space. The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Munteanu and Amanda Bevill, owner of World Spice Merchants. They discuss how Bevill literally “walked'' into the food business, learned to cook, and the importance of staying small.

An herbalist by training, Amanda Bevill literally walked into the spice business by accident by turning left instead of right one day as she was wandering Pike’s Place Market. She stumbled into the World Spice Merchants store and within a week of entering those doors, Bevill was working as a store clerk. Six months later, she was signing the papers to take over the business as her own. How did you get into the food business -and into such a specific niche that is the spice world too?

I came into the food business through medicinal herbs. My first career, and my first love, has always been plants. I studied organic chemistry in school and my first job after I graduated from college was working for a small herbal manufacturing company in Seattle. I mentored under a wonderful woman who owned the business and eventually started my own herbal business essentially following in her footsteps. I call that my training wheels business. [laughs]

It was short lived, but it was a brilliant concept somewhat ahead of its time. (It was an herbal elixir bar!) Anyway, it was while I was transitioning from that business, one day I was out walking in Pike Place Market and I literally went right instead of left on the sidewalk and ended up in this spice shop. As soon as I walked in the door I was instantly in love because it spoke to everything that I wanted to be a part of: a small business working with plants. At the time I was looking for a job and the original


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owner, Tony Hill, said, “Well, I would hire you on the spot, but you have to pass the approval of my crew.” I had to come back to work the Saturday shift as a test. I loved it. And the crew, thankfully, loved me. So, I started working there right away and six months later, Tony was pretty much twisting my arm to buy the business and takeover.

What was your job when you started working at the shop? And how did that evolve into you owning it?

I started working the counter, so I really learned the business from the ground up. I wasn’t much of a cook at the time, so the kitchen became sort of my place to do science experiments and learn how to cook from true experts. A lot of the folks who have been involved with the business, and this remains true today, are semi-retired or as I joke, “recovering chefs.” They still want to keep their hands in the food business, but the kitchen culture isn’t exactly where they want to be, so World Spice Merchants is where they come! As such, I've had the great privilege of working with a lot of professional chefs and it was especially in those first few years of working

at the spice shop that I learned to cook. I remember my pal Judy said one day, “Oh, you don't know how to make soup? Let me show you how to make minestrone.” So, we go to the market and gather up all these ingredients, we take them back to my apartment, unpack all the bags, and I'm waiting for her to show me the recipe. I remember the next part so vividly. She looked at me and said, “There's no recipe. It's soup!” [laughs]

That’s when I learned the difference between following a recipe and actually cooking. Cooking is a creative process. It’s something you do just to create.

Did you then get into the shop kitchen as part of the team that was researching and developing?

Initially I was just learning to cook so that I could then interact from a more informed place with my customers. I've always just kind of been a sponge in that regard, learning from other chefs or learning from cookbooks, just asking. Ultimately, I learned how to empower people to do what I did, which is

profile} Amanda Bevill just jump in there and ask! We get a constant stream of people who come in the door at the shop and they’re smelling these spices and having this experience where they're just surrounded by all the flavors and it's really inspiring, but it can also be very intimidating. For me, that has been the great piece of my love for this business. How spices interact with your daily life. I can't believe people actually get bored cooking. [laughs] Of course we all get in a rut and have our fallback maintenance cooking, but there are just way too many endless flavor combinations out there to get bored!

I'd love to know more about your spices and the product development part of it. How do you even make your blends?

We create new combinations and blends pretty every year and they’re typically born just out of internal inspiration and what the team is excited about at any given time. It usually starts with an idea, then we do a lot of cooking where we'll test six or eight recipes and then have a big family meal out of it. We always keep a running list for inspiration and there are actually more product ideas in a given year than we can execute! For example, our Everything Bagel Spice blend was on the list for years before we finally did it. In 2019 we launched Rocky Mountain Rob which was inspired by our expansion to Montana. That one went straight to the top of the list because it was very timely. Some of it can be trend-based which was the case of our Bulgogi spice and a Shawarma spice. People wanted them!

How do you know what's “on trend?”

I like to think that you can only subscribe to so many cooking blogs [laughs], but we try to keep up on reading them. So, we do some monitoring through food blogs but it's pretty noticeable when you start to see certain recipes showing up in your inbox consistently. We have about 150 pure spices that we bring in from all over the world, and that all lands first here in Montana so we have a lot to work with!

What was the decision for making the jump to move the business from Seattle to Montana?

One of the main reasons for the move came after our second warehouse expansion in Seattle. We found ourselves needing to double our warehouse space, yet again, and both real estate and rent in Seattle is very expensive. It became a question of do we want to lease a space plus have a 45-60 minute commute through Seattle traffic? Or, do we want to make a quality of life move? I also wanted to come to Montana because I have family here and being outside more is also something that I wanted for my life. It took us about two years to complete the building and move, but now we have all this great space and have been able to grow the

team from 2 to 16. All the product lands here first and we still make all of our own spice blends, doing the toasting, the blending, and the grinding. All that creativity happens here in Montana!

How has COVID changed and impacted your business?

The biggest challenge has been the uncertainty. Historically, the spice business has been very stable and very joyful. So, to wake up one morning and have to close the retail store -- and watch that retail number on your P&L drop to zero overnight -- it was terrifying.

But thankfully, we’ve had a quick bounceback and there have been some really positive changes that we've made and intend to keep. The primary one has been limiting our store hours! We had always been open from 10:00am-6:00pm, seven days a week. The store was just clicking, clicking, clicking all the time. When we reopened, we started with a shorter number of hours per day and we created a weekend by closing on Mondays and Tuesdays. We dialed back the hectic a little bit and that’s been great. Having customers really use the website to submit orders to pick up in the store has also been another great change. Rather than filling orders in real-time as customers just wait, we're having people place their orders online, and we get to fill all the custom orders ahead of time. It takes a little bit of the immediate pressure off of our staff and we can still deliver the great customer service our shoppers are accustomed to.

Who is your typical customer?

A big part of our customer base is people who are very much like myself back in 2002. They have a strong interest in cooking, but they just need to learn how to use these unusual spices. They are people who are looking for cooking inspiration and just need some guidance on how to take that next step. And then we also have a lot of customers who are just spice geeks or chefs who like being able to find the exotics.

We also provide spices to restaurants and culinary schools.

What's the best part about working in the food world?

The thing that I find fascinating, and one of the most rewarding parts for me, is the universal nature of food. Everybody comes together around the table three times a day, in some form. Food really brings people together. To listen to the full interview head to backlabelbranding.com/podcast or search for “Back Label Branding” on Apple Podcasts.

To shop World Spice Merchants, visit their Montana Outpost and browse recipes, visit worldspice.com.

And then we also have a lot of customers who are just spice geeks or chefs who like being able to find the exotics.


A Fresh New Season At Historic

Buffalo Hills Golf Club Written by Mary Wallace Clubhouse and food photos by ACE Photography & Design

There is a fresh new vibe and a lightened atmosphere at the Buffalo Hill Golf Club Community Patio Bar, Grill, and Restaurant this year. The crew and management teams have set a goal to make the historic Clubhouse its own destination - not just an extension of the golf course. In view of the excellent cuisine being offered by Chef Carl Inselman, and a renewed, lively, and vibrant ambiance, they are well on their way to reaching it.

One frequent misconception is that one must be a member to visit, but Buffalo Hill Golf Club is and always has been open to the public. It is truly one of the Flathead area’s secret treasures and the entire staff at the club is looking forward to reconnecting with all the members and locals, as well as meeting and making new friends. While the club was closed for a week over the winter, the dedicated crew single-handedly performed an HGTV style update – remodeling the main dining area of the club with fresh paint and a new look to the countertops. The result of all their hard work is that the historic building feels both familiar and refreshed at one and the same time.


Another task the club staff recently tackled was to brainstorm new employee recruitment

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procedures. Like many other local venues, staffing remains a challenge. A key part of this was to reconstruct the Standard Operating Procedures manual with a goal to make sure everyone is on the same page and invested in the success of the club. They are currently in the process of hiring several more fun and lively crew members to add to their already energetic and service-minded team. Who wouldn’t want to work in such a happy, safe, and fun environment? Indeed, it is already clear that most of the crew looks forward to coming to work.

The Buffalo Hill Community Patio Bar, Grill, and Restaurant is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch. Evening food & beverage service is also offered and available to the public – (golfers and non-golfers alike) on Tuesdays in conjunction with Ladies night and Thursdays, for Men’s League. The everpopular Friday night BBQs will be back for the season starting May 7th – open to everyone – just stop in!

The restaurant menu has been updated, offering several new culinary delights as well as many old classics, and service to the popular outdoor patio is open now. There are plans in the works to launch some exciting partnerships and events with other local businesses. As always, the clubhouse and patio are available year-round for weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate events, family reunions, and other gatherings. The event schedule is filling fast for the upcoming summer season, but they do still have dates available, and all one needs to do is call Chef Carl at 406-756-4553 to arrange a private party.

profile} Buffalo Hills Golf Club The restaurant menu has been updated, offering several new culinary delights as well as many old classics, and service to the popular outdoor patio is open now. I can personally attest to the fact that one of my favorite things to do last summer (after all those months in pandemic isolation) was to meet a group of friends for a drink and a quick bite during Happy Hour at the Buffalo Hill Patio Bar. It was so delightful to reconnect with friends outside in a safe manner and enjoy the spacious patio seating, drink specials, and tasty food. We are already looking forward to meeting once a week starting in May. The Patio Bar is already open for the season, from dawn to dusk every day. Happy Hour Specials are offered on the Patio on Monday through Thursdays from 3 pm – 5 pm.

An epic brunch is being planned for Mother’s Day, call for reservations 406-756-4551. Follow the club’s Facebook page which always posts the weekly menu and BBQ special. And if you're interested in getting email updates about the clubhouse dining specials, events, and happy hour, call Tessa in the main office at 406-756-4548 or visit www.golfbuffalohill.com.

In golf course news, a wandering bear took up residence on the golf course for several days in April, wreaking havoc with the cups and pins on several of the holes on a nightly basis. Once Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks got involved and set a trap, the fellow moved along to greener courses…ahem, pastures of his own accord.

The Cameron Nine has been welcoming golfers since late March, and the maintenance crew have been working hard to get the course in tiptop shape. Upgrades to the irrigation system, cart path extensions, updated paving, tree removal, and aeration of the greens is on their spring maintenance schedule. After the challenges of the past year, the entire crew at Buffalo Hills Golf Club and the BHGC Community Patio Bar, Grill, and Restaurant is committed and looking forward to a new season and, as only they can, helping the Flathead valley return to a sense of normalcy and to life as we remember it. Stop by and check it out! For Tee times call 406-756-4547, or book online at www.golfbuffalohill.com.

Buffalo Hill Golf Club Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a public 27-hole parkland golf course located in Kalispell. The course was founded in 1918. Prior to becoming a golf course, the land was owned by the affluent Conrad family and used as a buffalo pasture.

A group of ladies enjoy a recent afternoon at the Buffalo Hill clubhouse



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Salut! Bienvenue les amis!


Bakery & Bistro in Kalispell

Written by Kristen Hamilton Photos by ACE Photography & Design

I believe I have a bit of a French connection. I studied French in college but never kept it up so now I’m trying to learn again. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Paris on three different occasions and I’m currently planning a trip to the south of France for 2022. My son married a wonderful gal from Toulouse, France and they blessed me with a bilingual granddaughter. And, my daughter is currently living near Chamonix in the French Alps. So, taking on the assignment to chat with the new owners of Bonjour Bakery & Bistro in Kalispell seemed right up my alley.

Upon arrival I reminisced about one of the many French cafes that I loved in Paris. Bonjour was established in 2018 by Dr. Gina Nelson, a lover of all things French who was equally as passionate about food. When Chris Reynolds and Mario Valdez relocated to Montana, they met Nelson through a mutual acquaintance and became very interested in carrying on the legacy of Bonjour. They purchased the business from Nelson last year. Chef Valdez was formally trained at the esteemed International Culinary Center in New York City, where he received a true understanding of French cuisine. Both Reynolds and Valdez have traveled the world, including Paris, where they fell in love with the culture, food, history and stunning art and architecture. “It’s important for us to provide an environment that is both welcoming, inspiring and truly French inspired,” Reynolds says. With a strong background in food service and an understanding of what quality and consistency truly is, both Reynolds and Valdez have truly found their passions creating and bringing Bonjour to life in the Flathead Valley. He continued, “We love good food and treasure moments spent with family and friends enjoying it and sharing a touch of culture in Kalispell.”


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profile} Bonjour Bakery & Bistro

“It’s important for us to provide an environment that is both welcoming, inspiring and truly French inspired,” Reynolds was born in Germany on a military base and has lived in California, Maryland and New York, where he spent most of his life. Valdez is originally from Pergamino, Argentina and has been in the US over 20 years now. The pair moved from Port Washington, New York in March 2020 and they currently reside in Bigfork.

“We are inspired by great food and good living and want our guests to feel at home in our space. We take the utmost pride in creating great quality food and offer unique recipes that are ever growing and changing,” Reynolds shared.

What’s the specialty at Bonjour?

Valdez explained “A true French Patisserie always has wonderful bread, great macarons, lots of well-made flaky pastries and danishes. We excel with a challenge and love custom cakes, which can be requested with notice. Our focus is always on quality and consistency, which you can really taste!”

What was a job early on that taught you something that is useful today?

Reynolds has a background in interior design, sales and food service. “Collectively it’s made the transition to running a bakery and bistro very easy and fun,” he said. Furthermore, he loves to decorate and creates a new theme each season and holiday. Valdez was a production manager for over 16 years which was a great foundation to run a busy kitchen. His formal training at a fast-paced French bakery in Bronxville, New York, gave him the perfect platform to build on his own dream of owning a bakery while he perfectly crafts a new menu. Their biggest challenges since opening have been starting a business during a pandemic and hiring a good team. Reynolds said, “It was a rocky start, but we have a great team and are excited to grow.”

Who has influenced them the most with the business?

“We are inspired by our family and friends, whom have guided us and have been a tremendous support opening Bonjour. We’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by a well-rounded group of hard-working talented people. We are inspired by the look and perfection that you’d find in a true French bakery and want to share that with the community. “The community has been truly wonderful, supportive and seems hungry for our good cooking! We have a great team who is dedicated to their work and takes tremendous pride in creating wonderful, well-made and great tasting food!” Reynolds continued.

They shared the best advice they ever took… ”Don’t let your fears stop you from trying.”

How do Reynolds and Valdez define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?

“Success is what you want it to be and what you value. For us, success is getting up each day excited to go to ‘work’, to meet great people, eat great food and live somewhere beautiful. We value our time spent with family and friends and feel successful every day we get to have our doors open.”

Would they do anything differently?

“Not a thing, it all led US to where we are now!”

What inspires the pair and why?

Reynolds said, “Mario is inspired by his late mother and a wonderful baker and cake decorator from Argentina, Marta Ballina; both were instrumental in shaping his passion and commitment to excellence.” Reynolds is inspired by nature, running and anything that lets him be creative.

Would they offer any advice to someone thinking about starting their own business?

“Anyone starting a new business should have a great plan, a good network and an unstoppable drive to succeed, nothing less will do,” Reynolds commented.

For a real taste of France in Kalispell, I encourage you to stop by and visit the whole team at Bonjour. They’d truly love to meet you; hear how you found them and share what inspires you most! You won’t be disappointed. Bonjour Bakery & Bistro 45 Heritage way Kalispell 59901 406.309.2961 www.bonjourbakeryandbistro.com


Pictured from left to right: Chris Reynolds, Skyler Niskanen, Maria Kostelecky, Vanessa Hopkins, Mario Valdez, and Kasey Hanson


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Ride with your Bike By Jenny Cloutier

This summer the SNOW Bus is launching a new shuttle service

for bicycle riders visiting Whitefish Mountain Resort and the Whitefish Trail. The project was funded by proceeds from the Big Mountain Commercial Association’s (BMCA) raffle that took place in lieu of the Summer Brewfest in 2020.

The raffle funded the purchase of a bike trailers that can carry up to 16 bikes and have storage space for small wagons and bike trailers. Riders are expected to load their own bikes and equipment. The Huckwagon is crafted in Stanwood, Washington. The popular trailer model is the same type of trailer employed in the Glacier Park Bike Shuttle program and the popular mountain bike shuttle system in Helena.


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This FREE service will operate seven days a week June 12 through September 6th. With weekend service May 29-31, June 5-6, and Friday – Sunday through September 19th. Operating hours for the SNOW Bus are from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with buses running about every hour with a break in service mid-day. The addition of new service hours this season, along with the new trailer, is a

This FREE service will operate seven days a week June 12 through September 6th. With weekend service May 29-31, June 5-6, and Friday – Sunday through September 19th. Operating hours for the SNOW Bus are from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with buses running about every hour with a break in service mid-day. nonprofit}

The Summer Brewfest Returns!


pilot project for the BMCA in 2021. Service will be provided an hour earlier and an hour later than in summers past. This pilot is intended to help reduce cars on the road in Whitefish as well as provide a safe, free, and convenient way for visitors and locals to travel to and from the resort. This new service is appearing at the same time as Whitefish Mountain Resort is expanding summer biking opportunities as well. This coming summer Chair 2 will be running bikes in addition to the usual Chair 1 and Chair 10 operations. Chair 2 will operate all Memorial Day Weekend as well as both days the following weekends. Once the mountain goes to 7-day operations it will operate Friday – Sunday through August 29. In addition to a new chair to increase access to terrain the resort will be cutting their 28 trails down to 24, but that does not mean trails are necessarily going away. Two of those trails are being combined into one and the Summit Trail is going to be split into two sections where the trails meet Chair 2. This will create an "upper and lower" part of the trail with the bottom of the trail being a "teal" or a cross between a green (easy) and blue (intermediate). This will give another beginner option for people who want to ride the Summit trail without going all the way to the top. It is an exciting time with changing corridors, realigning trails for problem areas and simply making them more fun!

Also new this season a stop has been added to the SNOW Bus route. The bus will stop in the 300 block of Spokane Avenue on both north and south bound routes. With the restructuring of Central Avenue, it had become incredibly difficult for full size buses to travel through the center of town. This new stop provides easy access to downtown Whitefish businesses and nearby neighborhoods and also serves as a highly visible way for visitors to the area to see there is free bus service in Whitefish.

For the full SNOW bus schedule, visit www.bigmtncommercial.org.

In other exciting news from the BMCA, the Summer Brewfest is scheduled to return to Depot Park in Whitefish on Saturday August 21st. This popular event showcases breweries from Montana and beyond. The SNOW Bus Brewfest is one of the key fundraising events for the BMCA and after having to cancel all three signature events over the last three years the BMCA is incredibly grateful for the return of these community gathering events. With live music, food trucks and delicious brews this event is set to take place once again thanks to the hard work of dozens of volunteers and BMCA board members.

The Big Mountain Commercial Association

The Big Mountain Commercial Association is a nonprofit membership organization that provides community assistance, funding for local transportation systems, as well as road and bus stop maintenance. The BMCA is the official fundraising partner for the SNOW Bus that provides daily bus service to and from Whitefish Mountain Resort any time the lifts are spinning. Nearly 100 membership businesses make this service possible each season. Without the help of all the member businesses in our community this free service would not be possible.



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Supporting a niche of Montana’s lifestyle businesses.

Meet Sydney Munteanu Photos by Aleksandra Was of Fotografed

Hi Sydney. Who are you and what do you do here in Montana?

I’m marketing creative at heart with a passion for writing. I’ve spent the last 10 years working in social media, public relations, brand management, and advertising. I moved to Montana three years ago and started my marketing consulting business. I focus on working with female entrepreneurs who are building brands in the food, wellness, and lifestyle space. Words and stories are my favorite form of creativity, so I also dabble in poetry and host a podcast called Back Label Branding where I interview inspiring female entrepreneurs. For fun, I like to get some kind of physical movement in my life each day. Luckily, living in Montana really lets me feed into that desire! I love to hike or skin up our local mountain, ride my road bike, go backpacking, ski (CX or downhill), and go for trail runs. I also practice yoga regularly and I just got an indoor spin bike! I love cooking, and I love wine even more, so menu-planning for a dinner party or just having a few friends over to hang, laugh, and create a mess out of a few empty bottles is just something I need in my life regularly.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?


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I moved to California in my 20s and got a job as a marketing director for a very cool, very millennial, and very fast-growing wine company (Summer Water, anyone?). While I was there, I worked on a lot of collaborative projects with other brands based in New York and Los Angeles, and a few of those people had said to me, “If you ever end up doing this on your own, call me.” Deep down I knew I always wanted to have my own business, but I never had clarity on what that “thing” would be. I’m a creative curator at heart and can’t help but always try on new projects. I’ve worn a lot of hats and launched a lot of creative concepts, but I’ve never stuck to doing just one thing. It wasn’t until I realized I wanted a lifestyle change (this gal grew up in the mountains of Colorado

profile} Sydney Munteanu

I love that at the end of the day, my job is to help other women find clarity in how to describe the thing they are passionate about and why it brings value to this world. and was exhausted from city life), that I came to grips with the fact that the place I wanted to live wasn’t going to have the marketing job I wanted. I needed to create my own. I said yes to moving to Montana and started consulting for some of those brands that told me to give them a ring!

What has been one of your favorite projects lately?

I love, love, love launches. And launching Alinea Collective, a collaborative marketing agency created for Montana lifestyle businesses with my two graphic designer partners, was a highlight of 2020.

But can I have two? I also spent the past year building a house in Whitefish and came to realize how similar the strategy behind interior design is to how you build a brand! We didn’t have a designer in our budget, so I put myself to DIY-design school with books, blogs, Pinterest, and phone calls. Building a home has been one of the most stressful, most rewarding projects I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m forever, officially obsessed with all things home design.

What do you love most about your job?

Bringing clarity and connecting the dots. Building a brand is a lot about communicating. Creating content and writing. I love that at the end of the day, my job is to help other women find clarity in how to describe the thing they are passionate about and why it brings value to this world.

What do you like, specifically, about working with women in Montana?

It’s hands-down, the complete authenticity in their creativity. I’ve had the joy of bringing many imaginative business ideas to life working in brand marketing in major markets, but Montana is unique in that we are more removed. I’ve been able to witness so many brands and entrepreneurs here in Montana who are the embodiment of creativity. They are genuinely and authentically passionate about making something for their community. About doing something that moves the needle in Montana. What inspires me is that they could 100% stand up to the coolest brands in any city. Because they have THAT. That thing is authenticity. Whether it’s internalized or not, their work isn’t a copy-cat of anyone else’s. Maybe because Montana is still one of those ‘far away’ places… I love it and want nothing more than to help build their entrepreneurial dreams. Whether it’s within the reaches of their own town or connecting with customers and brands on a national scale.

What words of advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs?

Building some kind of network around you is key. And that can look so different for each woman! For me, it’s a mix of fellow marketing colleagues I chat with online, other business owners in my town, and my two beautiful co-founders in Alinea Collective. They both have their own creative businesses but also have such different skill sets

than I do. We Zoom every Tuesday to catch up on clients, the work each of us are doing, and often just to chat about what’s going on in our lives. When you work for yourself, especially from home, the lines are blurred from work-to-personal life. It can mean the world just to have another human to talk to some days! Also – that website, your profile, your piece of art – It’s never going to be “ready.” I made the mistake of not wanting to tell people that I had a website or business Instagram when I first launched Back Label Branding because I didn’t think it was ready. (It’s still not ready!) But this year, that time, will pass no matter what and you’re always going to be better off starting now. Building NOW versus a few months down the road.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Up until 2020 I had always been an avid traveler, so I'm looking forward to the day when I can feed my wanderlust again! I’m dying to go back to Italy. Summer in Montana is my absolute favorite and there is a backpacking trip I do each year that is the highlight of the whole season. Oh, and growing my first vegetable garden! it’s going to be the summer of learning a lot about plants. Sydney is a copywriter and brand marketing specialist based in Whitefish, Montana. To listen to her podcast and find her work visit backlabelbranding. com. Follow Sydney on Instagram and subscribe to get her marketing tips @backlabelbranding.



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Photo provided by Farm Hands

Who’s Your FARMicist?

Healing Gardens fighting Disease One Meal at a Time Prolific gardens require good soil, water, sun and a few good seeds. These elements brought together with nourishment from caring hands can flourish and yield a harvest that our bodies need to live healthy lives. This is a story about how a few good seeds planted have grown together to nourish our communities. First seed: Farm Hands

“It started with a map,” said Gretchen Boyer, Executive Director of Farmhands Nourish the Flathead. “A map of local farms with the idea to connect the community to local food.” They also accessorized vehicle bumpers with the green sticker asking, “Who’s Your Farmer?” However the organization soon recognized accessibility was not so simple, and connecting families to the fresh food grown here would require a helping hand.

The organization established a number of programs to increase access including an enhanced SNAP program called “Double SNAP Dollars.” SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutri-


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Written by Christina “Riley” Polumbus

tion Assistance Program, is a federal assistance program that provides benefits to eligible lowincome individuals and families. Farm Hands’ Double SNAP Dollar program allows participants the ability to purchase fresh produce at farmer’s markets around the valley with matching funds. Stemming from SNAP also came the Senior Coupon program and the School Coins program increasing access to community members young and old.

As Farm Hands surfaced as the organization bringing farms and farmers together and connecting them to the community, the organization acted as the soil from which new programs sprouted. The School Coins program expanded into the classroom teaching fourth and fifth graders what foods are grown in Montana and how supporting local farms supports the economy. Farmhands has also embraced the national Farm to School program connecting schools and local farms with the objective to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition and providing vital health and nutritional educational opportunities. The Wildcat Garden

at Columbia Falls Junior High made the map in 2014 with an orchard of fruit trees and a vegetable garden. As partners with the Columbia Falls School District, Farm Hands helps maintain the Wildcat Garden with assistance from Montana FoodCorps. In its decade as a nonprofit, Farm Hands has flourished in serving its mission to connect the entirety of Flathead’s communities to the local producers through these programs.

The Second Seed: The Healing Garden

The idea for a garden at North Valley Hospital sprouted from its affiliation with Planetree International. Two components of the Planetree Philosophy include the nutritional and nurturing aspects of food and creating healthy communities. So the idea of creating a community garden seemed fitting for a hospital located in such a fertile valley.

Planting a garden on the hospital’s campus would provide patients and staff with several positive outcomes including producing fresh fruit and vegetables for the hospital’s Valley


Brenna Sellars, Kenzie Hines and Gretchen Boyer at the Whitefish Farmers Market (pre-COVID-19).

food rx

Above: Produce harvested from North Valley Hospital's Healing Garden

In its decade as a nonprofit, Farm Hands has flourished in serving its mission to connect the entirety of

Fiona Jensen-Hitch (Columbia Falls School District FoodCorps Service Member) and Brenna Sellars at the Columbia Falls Community Market in 2020.

Flathead’s communities to the local producers through these programs.

The gazebo in the Healing Garden at North Valley Hospital.

Café as well as its Cuisine-on-Call room service for patients. It would provide a place for quiet, a space to rejuvenate in the fresh air. It could also serve as a gathering place to build community and connect with others.

A small committee with representatives from the hospital’s dietary department, quality department and the North Valley Hospital Foundation took on the project. The committee approached Farm Hands as a partner to assist in planting and maintenance. The garden was cultivated through donations raised by the Foundation and from employees at North Valley Hospital, materials

donated by Western Building Center and Stoltze Lumber, landscape design by Landcastle and the gate’s metal emblem donated by Acutech. Generous donors like Dr. Jason Cohen, Richard and Carol Atkinson and many others have helped to add a garden shed, shade support structure and benches to the garden. Like the Wildcat Garden, the Planetree Healing Garden would need support from Farm Hands to maintain the garden.

Now entering its third growing season, the dietary team at North Valley Hospital is working with Farmhands to plant a variety of herbs as well as produce to be used for items on the hospital’s café menus. Additionally, the garden produces native plants and flowers which also can be harvested and placed in the café and in patient rooms. Plans for classes and events in the garden were scratched last summer due to COVID-19, yet depending on recommendations from the CDC and working with the hospital’s infection prevention team social gatherings in the garden may be pos-

sible with masks and other COVID-19 safety precautions in place. The garden is always open to the public as a place for quiet reflection.

The Third Seed: Food Rx

With Farm Hands acting as the valley’s master gardener, fostering programs for food accessibility and being the literal gardener for the Wildcat and Healing Gardens, a new idea simultaneously sprouted.

North Valley Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic, North Valley Family Medicine in Columbia Falls, just happens to be next to the junior high and the Wildcat Garden. With the hospital’s new partnership with Farm Hands, and their presence in the schools with their School-Based Clinic, the idea to connect patients to produce was as easy to conceive.

Providers at the clinic have patients with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and many other health issues that are directly related to poor diet and inactivity. Jean Stanberry, a nurse and Care Coordinator, and nurse practitioner Brittany Coburn, who also works at North Valley



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food rx

Hospital’s School-Based Clinic in Columbia Falls, identify families and individuals with health conditions and screen them for food insecurity, which then qualifies them for a Food Rx prescription for a healthier diet. When an individual or family needs such a prescription, and assistance in obtaining the fresh fruits and vegetables they get enrolled in the Food Rx program. Once their provider gives the prescription, families or individuals fill it at one of three local farmer’s markets in Columbia Falls, Kalispell, or Whitefish. If the markets are the “FARMacy,” then Farm Hands Program Director Brenna Sellars is their FARMicist.

As their FARMicist, Brenna strives to help the families understand the nutritional value of the foods and how to use them. At the markets she introduces them to a wider variety of foods, some of which they may have never seen before, let alone eaten or tried to cook. In addition to helping them choose produce, the program provides participants with simple, healthy recipes and additional ingredients such as olive oil, lemon juice and spices needed to cook meals. They also teach skills such cutting vegetables,

Bok Choy

food storage as well as how to find more recipes. Particularly important is that the program is for families so that the habits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and making healthy eating a priority is passed on generationally to help make a long term difference in our communities health.

“We’re offering a habit-changing program which can be intimidating,” Brenna said. “This is step-by-step program. We encourage them and share ideas.”

Brenna explains that the consistency of coming to the farmers markets each week and talking to her and other volunteers that help with the program opens their minds. “People get excited and are willing to try things!”

This year’s upcoming market season marks the fourth season for Food Rx. Even during the pandemic, ten families—nearly 50 people—were involved last season and Farm Hands looks forward to working with more individuals including participants from Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s Diabetes Prevention Program. At the end of the season participants will go to the fall Har-


When storing Bok Choy do not wash until you use it. It will keep fresh in a refrigerator for 6 days.

Directions: 1. Keep our bok choy somewhat intact, so the

first thing you want to do is either halve or quarter each stalk (depending on the size of the bok choy) and wash under cold running water.


Bok Choy can be consumed raw similar to celery. Cut off leafy top and eat stalk raw or dip in hummus, ranch or your favor veggie dip.


Planting bok choy indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost and then transplant your growing bok choy two weeks later. Because bok choy is a cold weather veg-


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As the program grows, so do the ideas—a cookbook is in the works—and perhaps a few classes in the Healing Garden. Just as any garden brought to life with caring hands, these good seeds will continue to nourish the Flathead for generations to come.

Olive oil Garlic (optional) onion (optional) bok choy soy sauce salt/pepper to taste

Bok Choy had been grown in China for 5000 years! It is a member of the cabbage family and is packed with vitamins A and C.

Heat pan to high, add butter or oil to coat bottom of pan and add chopped Bok Choy. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to vegetable dishes, soups, stir fry’s and other dishes.

vest Market and receive a pantry care package including information about how to store food through the winter.

Simple Bok Choy

Provided by Farm Hands' Food Rx


The Healing Garden in bloom, summer 2020.


2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat etable, it can withstand cooler temperatures, so you could always start them directly in the ground at this point as well. Read more at Gardening Know How: Planting Bok Choy: How To Grow Bok Choy https://www.gardeningknowhow. com/edible/vegetables/bok-choy/ planting-bok-choy.htm

Nutrition Information

(1 cup serving) 9 Calories | 0g Fat | 1g Protein | 74mg Calcium | .56mg Iron

and add the oil. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the pan. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic and sautè for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.

3. Add the bok choy, soy sauce, and a little more olive oil. Toss and cover. Cook for approximately 2 minutes before uncovering, tossing, and covering. Continue to cook the bok choy until white parts reach desired doneness (We found that this varies from person to person as some people prefer crunchier bok choy, while others prefer a more well-done stir-fry). 4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.

NOTE: Bok Choy is a great addition to any stir fry or as a stand-alone side.

I had Covid months ago, so why do I still feel so sick? Written by Keirsten Alton, Holistic Pharmacist

The word Covid stirs up so many emotions. For over a year many of us have lived with fear and anxiety surrounding this new mysterious virus. Will I get super sick? Will I be hospitalized? Could I die? So many questions and for so long there were not many answers.

Now, 14 months later most of us have either had Covid 19 or been vaccinated. The fear is dissipating as we know more about this virus and what we can do to prevent and treat it. I never imagined in 2019 that in 2020 “pandemic” would become a household word. As we look back at 2020, what have we learned? Recent studies are showing that over 80% of patients hospitalized with Covid 19 were vitamin D deficient. Why is this important? Well, if you live in Montana and don’t supplement with vitamin D then you are most likely vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is very important for our immune system. In particular we know that mid to upper level ranges of Vitamin D can help prevent the cytokine storm (inflammation out of control) that we see


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with Covid. This is what causes organ damage and death in patients infected with the virus. The highest rate of death from Covid has been in morbidly obese patients. Obesity causes inflammation and Covid causes severe inflammation of key organ systems. This is not a good combination. However, even obese patients who had higher levels of vitamin D had decreased death rates. The takeaway is to help prevent a bad outcome from any virus, you need good vitamin D levels. You synthesize vitamin D from the sun. If you have lived here for more than a couple of years you realize from October to June, we do not get enough sun. Even if you run around naked every day, all winter you will not get enough sun to keep your vitamin D in the upper part of the blood level range. It keeps me awake at night knowing a simple, inexpensive supplement can save your life, yet so many people do not know this. This is part of the reason so many elderly have died from Covid because they are more prone to have low vitamin D. I recommend you get your vitamin D level tested with your doctor after you have been supplementing for 2 months. Based on your lab results

we can adjust the dose you are taking so you have optimal levels. If the range on your blood work is 30-120, you want your vitamin D to be at least 50 for all the immune, mood and anti-inflammatory benefits.

What about all the lingering effects from Covid 19?

Patients who continue to have headaches, brain fog, fatigue, heart inflammation, depression and stomach issues. The term “long haulers” refers to patients who months after Covid are still feeling the effects. A recent study showed that 1 in 3 Covid survivors are diagnosed with anxiety and insomnia after recovery. Many of my patients have

health} Covid Recent studies are showing that over 80% of patients hospitalized with Covid 19 were vitamin D deficient. Why is this important? Well, if you live in Montana and don’t supplement with vitamin D then you are most likely vitamin D deficient. what we call the “cardiac version” of Covid 19. Inflammation of the heart, causing fatigue, rapid heartbeat, and chest pains. My daughter has been dealing with chest pains and heart inflammation for five months post Covid. The pediatric cardiologist and all the best tests in the world have not really had much to offer so I had to go on a mission as her mother to figure this virus out.

Here is what we are discovering and I hope this will help anyone else suffering from the lingering effects of this virus. First, the fatigue is a real thing and can be completely debilitating. Compassion is in order for anyone suffering from long haulers syndrome due to Covid 19.

Second, there are therapies emerging which are beneficial. One theory by Yale immunologist Akiko Iwasaki is that long haulers have a “viral reservoir," this is where the virus can be lingering in the body resulting in chronic symptoms. She discovered that many patients were reporting resolution of their symptoms after receiving their vaccines. Her theory is that the vaccine is helping to “clear out any leftover virus, eliminating symptoms.” She has also hypothesized that

Covid is creating an autoimmune disease. When this happens our own immune system mistakenly injures the body. If this theory is true, then patients’ symptoms may return, and they may need another dose of the vaccine.

However, there is another emerging treatment which helps eliminate this “viral reservoir.” It involves using the drug Ivermectin. This is an anti-parasite medication which has been in use since 1982. Over 4 billion doses have been given worldwide and it has a very broad safety profile. Interestingly, this medication is very effective against SARS type viruses and it is cheap. You can visit the Front Line Covid 19 Critical Care Alliance for more information, covid19criticalcare.com. Several hospitals in Houston, Texas are now using this to treat Covid 19 patients with great success and decreased mortality rates. More studies are being done to continue to evaluate the benefit of this medication to acute and post Covid patients.

For many patients the lingering symptoms of Covid 19 are life changing. Anxiety, fatigue and depression which are causing many patients to no longer be able to hold down a job or in my daughters’ case, even be able to attend school regularly due to chest pains and fatigue. The vaccine and

Ivermectin are a few treatment options offering a little hope to these patients.

Holistic options include supplementing with Vitamin D which can help reduce inflammation, anxiety and depression. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has been shown to decrease inflammation and brain fog. Intravenous vitamin C is helping with fatigue, brain fog and viral load. Many local Naturopaths can help with these types of alternative therapies.

As a registered pharmacist with a holistic background I believe we will beat this bug. The fear will subside, and we will return to normal. There is so much we have learned and so much more to learn. Obesity is your biggest risk factor and taking vitamin D is the simplest thing you can do to decrease your risk of severe illness. Balance is the key, more laughter less fear, more time outside in the sun, less time watching the news. Find your balance for a healthy immune system and a new chapter in your health story. Don’t let Covid linger, seek answers and new therapies.



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Welcome Lorelai

As if Battling HG Wasn’t Enough, Part Two Midwife Jana Sund wore dark blue scrubs, a thick ponytail, and a tired smile into the birthing room the night my daughter was born. Jana had assisted in the birth of my two older children, each time helping me wrestle with my vision of a perfect delivery. Two weeks into the Covid-19 quarantine,​ we found out we were expecting our third child. Jana had been one of the first people we told. My concerns about a pandemic pregnancy proved valid. I experienced relentless nausea and vomiting for nine months, a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarium (HG). I wrote about this experience in the 2021 March/April 406 Woman. As if HG wasn't enough, by late November Gestational Diabe-


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By Maggie Rogness Photos by Kelly Kirksey Photography

tes was thrown into the mix. ​I had waddled into the labor and delivery department of the Kalispell Regional Medical Center that Sunday night, exhausted but ready for labor to be induced. The Pitocin was started. My husband and I knew, it was time for this nightmare pregnancy to end. Our daughter needed out.

After the easiest of deliveries, the loveliest little girl was placed on my chest. Lorelai LaVigne Rogness was finally here. The placenta was out. The pizza was ordered. The worst seemed over. For the first time in months, I was free to enjoy a meal uninhibited by nausea. Then, suddenly something was wrong. The room began to spin, my body racked with pain, and I had an overwhelming feeling that I was slipping away. “​ Something is not right,” my hoarse voice whispered. It was quiet on the floor that eve-

ning. We were tucked in for the night. My husband sat rocking our baby girl. The last thing I heard him say was something about bidet toilets. “Call the nurse,” I rasped, “Call Jana. Tell my girlfriends to pray. Please do it now.” ​ ithin minutes, a nurse arrived, performed a W few procedures and realized the gravity of the situation. She alerted the on-call provider. “​ It’s going to be OK honey; Jana is on her way.” Relief rushed through me. She was my friend. She was my provider. She would save my life.

J​ana arrived and a trauma doctor was dispatched to the room. I needed a team. As I screamed and begged for pain relief, Jana pulled out a 1200ml blood clot, the size of a liter of Diet Coke. By the time the bleeding was under control, I had lost too much blood. I would require a transfusion.


Maggie Rogness

Like the battlefield, birth is bloody and intense. Women shouldn’t have to face it alone, and thankfully seldom do. ​ ours after this terrifying ordeal, I H pushed off the soiled sheets and told Jana that I smelled like death. “You do friend,” she said to me, “but you lost a lot of blood and it got messy.”

After sending my husband on a quest to find clean nursing bras and sweatpants, she gave me a sponge bath. With a gentle touch she washed away the grime, gore, and metallic smell of mortality. “​ That blood clot was scary wasn’t it?” I asked her quietly.

“​ Well Maggie, you’re not the first woman to have a postpartum hemorrhage and you won’t be the last, you just happen to be my friend. And yes, it was awful.”

Regardless of how scary it may have felt, a sisterhood was in that trauma room,

and they had my back. I was never alone. Experiencing pregnancy and birth in a pandemic has left me with new insights. For centuries soldiers have gone into battle and women have gone into motherhood with equal courage. Like the battlefield, birth is bloody and intense. Women shouldn’t have to face it alone, and thankfully seldom do.

Postpartum Resource Group provides access to resources for new parents in the Flathead Valley. If you are interested in becoming part of the cause, please contact us at postpartumresourcegroup.org ​ ​ aggie Rogness is the Chief Financial OffiM cer of Quicksilver Express Courier Inc. with offices nationwide. She sits on the board of the Postpartum Resource Group (PRG) and lives with her husband and three children in Kalispell, Montana. Check out her writing at DancingintheShadow.com



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Dear Neighbors, Families and Friends We are fortunate to live in a community where we have such close relationships, where we care for each other especially at times of great stress. The team at Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) would like to thank you for your unwavering support during the pandemic. This traumatic and frustrating outbreak of COVID continues to have lasting effects on everyone — from loss of loved ones, to long isolation periods, and even to our kids who will remember this time as a blemish on their childhood. Working with each other we have been able to protect our community and keep this region as safe as we could as COVID became everyone’s new normal. Brighter days are on the horizon and we are hopeful that the worst may be over, even though we must remain diligent and on high alert.

When I last spoke to you in a letter to the community shortly after I arrived here, I shared my commitment to this community as the new healthcare leader. I also shared my concerns about an outsider attempting to disrupt the important work we had begun on my first day of employment — putting our workforce as a top initiative. I speak of the Washington-based SEIU* as the outsider bringing a new and disruptive flavor to our family culture we have worked so hard to cultivate. As such, I believe it is critical for you to have important facts as they ramp up their rhetoric and attempt to create divisions among our workforce and our community with misinformation and scare tactics. Our community asset (the hospital) must be professionally managed in order to do the great and noble work that each and every person who works at KRH does in delivering the highest quality of care 365 days per year. This means caring for every member of the workforce with a global view of all operational aspects of running a hospital. SEIU is an organizing entity, not a hospital.


Bargaining in a union situation requires two parties who come to a negotiated conclusion

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and so far we have not seen SEIU willing to bargain reasonably, which forces us to hold our ground until they begin to face reality. A nearly 25% increase with special deals for a select group would fracture our workforce and is not a reality.

Our nurses who we love and are our “battle buddies” in the fight against COVID are the single largest represented group on our management team. So when you hear that KRH doesn’t care about our nurses nothing could be further from the truth. You will also begin to hear that the SEIU is looking for a strike vote – another scare tactic. How is a strike good for patients? Why would you even consider a strike during a pandemic? Why would you scare the most vulnerable — sick patients who come to us for care, hope and understanding? They do this to manipulate management regardless of the impact to patients. Why would you injure the hospital financially while demanding special deals and increases of nearly 25%? These are important questions for each of us to consider when you look at SEIU’s motives. Be assured if there were to be a strike, the hospital will not abandon patients and we will be here to care for you.

As I close out this letter, SEIU will focus on personal management attacks, outlandish claims and misinformation. We will be continually working to set the record straight. Our focus will remain on patients even while being constantly forced to clarify the SEIU spin on everything we say. Patients should never be a bargaining chip for SEIU.

I would once again thank you for supporting our community hospital during what has been the most difficult year for everyone fighting this pandemic. We are proud of our accomplishments with our two-year focus on workforce and strengthening operations. It is an honor to care for you and put you first in our decision-making. Please stay safe and let’s care for one another at every opportunity. Sincerely, Craig Lambrecht, MD KRH President & CEO *Editor’s Note: SEIU is a union with offices in Seattle, WA representing union paying dues members in Washington and Montana.


Diastasis Recti post-partum By Gabrielle Cahoon Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography


How can I correct Diastasis Recti post-partum? A: While it is always good to see a trained professional to diagnose and treat diastasis recti, here are a few safe ways you can start to retrain your core post-partum. During pregnancy, the rectus abdominals (the “sixpack” muscle) expands and creates a separation between the right and left side of the abdomen to accommodate room for your growing baby. As the uterus grows and creates pressure on the abdominal wall, your muscles get pushed forward from the inside out and can create a sideways stretch of the linea alba (the vertical connective tissue between the left & right sides of the abdominal wall). When the linea alba stretches during pregnancy, it usually returns to its original shape, but not always. This is what creates diastasis recti – a gap about 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. Diastasis is not only found in women, but also in men or anyone who can see a vertical gap or bulging in their abdominals, especially when they come into flexion. If there is not a solid foundation of the deepest abdominal muscles, diastasis can occur. To help correct diastasis you must create a support from the deep core muscles, like the transverse abdominals, also referred to as the TVA. The TVA originates at the cartilages of the 7-12 ribs, thoracolumbar fascia, the anterior two-thirds of the iliac crest and inserts at the linea alba, pubic crest, and pectineal line of the pubis. This is the deepest abdominal muscle that we have, and it acts as stabilizer at the lumbar spine and pelvis before we create movement. To activate the TVA it’s best to also engage pelvic floor and multifidus, layer in breathing into the diaphragm, and apply Foundation Training’s anchoring. These tools can be the key to rebuilding your core.


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Before we get started with exercises, may I offer a few tips:

1. Give yourself time. Carve out 10-15 minutes of your day for yourself to focus on rehabbing you. The more focused you are on your exercises, the more present you will become in your body. The more present you are in your body, the more present you will become in your life, with your children, and with your partner. 2) Remember you are in recovery mode. Your body just went through a beautiful traumatic experience. If you had a broken ankle you would have to let the ankle heal, see a physical therapist, and do exercises to strengthen it before you go back to running marathons. Your body needs time to heal, rehab, so you do not create further injury. 3) You are human so be gentle to yourself. I remember seeing the extra skin around my middle 8 months after I had my daughter. This extra

skin reminded me every day of how fortunate I am to be a mom and how incredible my body is for being her first home.

Exercise 1

Foundation Training’s Anchored Bridge Set Up: Lie on your back, knees bent eight to ten inches, ankles dorsi flexed, big toe and big toe joints touching, and the outside edges of the feet parallel. Pelvis and spine neutral.


Diastasis Recti

1) Keep your feet in the same spot and create iso-

metric tension at the hamstrings and inner thighs by pulling your hips towards your heels while avoiding engaging your glutes. You should feel your body traveling slightly towards your feet and a subtle space between your lower back and the floor. Maintain a constant tension as you begin to breathe.

4) On the last repetition place the opposite hand

on the inner part of the left thigh and create 5-10 pounds of pressure while you take 5-10 decompression breaths. Repeat opposite leg.

2) Inhale: Feel the ribs expanding outwards and

backwards to meet the floor. Encourage all 12 ribs to maintain contact with the mat.

3) Exhale: Feel the abdominals pulling inwards

and upwards. You should feel a game of tug-o-war between the pelvis and the ribcage. You are pulling your pelvis towards your feet by using your hamstrings while maintaining the expansion and elevation of the ribcage up away from the pelvis.

Tip: As you breathe in picture yourself trying to fit into a pair of 5 button jeans that is one size too small. The first button is at the pubic bone, the fifth button is at the belly button. As you inhale and exhale keep pulling the abdominals in and up away from the pant line so the buttons do not pop off. You should feel a subtle space between your lower back and the mat throughout the entire exercise.

Exercise 3: Anchored Leg Slides Set Up: Same exercise 1 1) Exhale: Keep pulling the right heel towards the hips and your left foot in contact with the floor as you slide the left leg away from your pelvis.

Exercise 2

Foundation Training’s Internal Leg Trace Set Up: Lie on your back, legs straight, big toe & big toe joints touching, ankles dorsi flexed, knees unlocked, thighs internally rotated, pelvis and spine neutral, and hands in measuring sticks. 1) Lift left leg off floor 2-3 inches, internally rotate it, and place the left heel on the bottom of the right shin bone.

2) Inhale: Maintain hips square and begin to trace the left heel up the right shin bone as if you are trying to pull your left knee towards your right shoulder.

3) Exhale: Trace the heel back down the shin maintaining the leg in internal rotation. Repeat 5 traces.

2) Inhale: Stay and feel the ribs expand into the

mat and the abdominals wrapping inwards and upwards.

3) Exhale: Return leg to starting position.

Repeat same leg 5-10 times before switching legs.

Tip: Maintain a wrapping sensation of the TVA from the lower back around to the front of the torso. If you feel your abdominals popping outwards, try to re-establish your core activation.

Gabrielle Cahoon is a STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer, Level 2 Foundation Training Instructor, owner of Studio 48 Pilates and Fitness in Whitefish, and founder of www.mydailyreform.com. With a Bachelor of Science in Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science from Appalachian State University and over 16 years in the fitness industry, Gabrielle specializes in helping her clients fine tune their movement patterns through corrective exercises.



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Sexually Transmitted Diseases, noBODY wants them…but they happen. Perhaps it has been a few years since your health education class in high school. If so, or if you just want a crash course in all things sexually transmitted disease (STD) and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), read on! STI is a newer term relating to the fact that one may have contracted a sexually transmitted organism, i.e., infection. STI’s can be asymptomatic, meaning a person may have the infection, but not have any signs or symptoms. STD’s, on the other hand, are symptomatic meaning a person is having signs or symptoms of the infection. Although STD’s are preventable now more than ever, the rates of both those persons with a newly acquired STD and those with an existing STD have been rising in recent years across the nation and in Montana. The number of gonorrhea cases


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Written by Shawn Shanahan, APRN-WHNP alone in Montana rose 50% from 2017 to 2018 for a total of 1,181 cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day in 2018 20% of the US population had a sexually transmitted disease. This statistic includes only chlamydia, trichomonas, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV ), gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV ), but lesser-known infections such as molluscum contagiosum, scabies, and pubic lice also exist. In 2018 women accounted for 25% of direct health care costs due to STD’s, and youth ages 15-24 years accounted for 26%. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease that may lead to hospitalization for intravenous antibiotic therapy or surgery. Due to the fact that sexually active youth are the highest risk population for these infec-

tions, the CDC recommends that all sexually active women under 25 be screened annually for chlamydia and gonorrhea either through urine, off a pap smear, or from a cervical or vaginal swab available at health clinics. Annual physical exams provide a convenient time to have this screening done.

Although chlamydia, trichomonas, genital herpes and HPV (wart virus) are the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), hepatitis C is another STI that should not be ignored. While it may be carried long term without recognition, it can alternately damage the liver even leading to death. Therefore, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all adults aged 18 to 79 obtain a blood screening from their provider at least once.


Recommendations for reducing risk include communicating with potential partners to know their risk of spreading disease to you. Another population identified for routine STI screening is pregnant women. STI’s can cause serious, life threatening and even lifelong infections for babies of infected mothers. For example, syphilis can cause not only preterm labor resulting in the many complications of an immature newborn, but it can affect the baby’s brain, eyes, ears, heart, teeth, bones and skin. Chlamydia and gonorrhea may also contribute to preterm labor or premature rupture of membranes leading to low-birth weight infants, or these diseases may prompt miscarriage. Chlamydia present during delivery may cause eye infection or pneumonia in the newborn, while gonorrhea present during delivery may cause blindness, joint or blood infections in the newborn. Two viral STD’s that can necessitate delivery by C-section are genital warts, if they are so large as to block the birth canal, and genital herpes, which can cause serious or even lifethreatening damage to the newborn’s lungs, kidney, liver or central nervous system as well as sores on the skin and eyes. Medication is routinely prescribed for a woman with a

history of genital herpes to take daily for a month prior to delivery to avoid a herpes outbreak at the time of delivery, allowing the mother to deliver vaginally rather than by C-section. This practice speaks to the importance of early and regular prenatal care to ensure a pregnant woman’s history is known and screening to detect unrecognized infections is done in time for adequate management. Antibiotics are also routinely administered to newborns’ eyes to prevent eye damage from possible exposure to bacterial STI’s. Though most viral STD’s such as herpes and HPV are not curable, they are treatable. The key is early detection. Some subtypes of HPV can cause cancer, so regular pelvic exams and routine pap smears are recommended for women starting at age 21. Anyone at risk for STD’s should be screened routinely for infection. Some risk factors include having multiple partners, having a partner who has other partners, sexual activity without condoms, sexual activity with a new partner,

males having sex with males, having a partner who uses injectable drugs or who trades sex for drugs or money. Recommendations for reducing risk include communicating with potential partners to know their risk of spreading disease to you. Use internal (female) condoms or external (male) condoms with new partners. Internal condoms provide a greater surface area of coverage and barrier to contact, but they are not as widely available in local stores as external condoms. Use barriers with all sites of sexual activity. Limit the number of sexual partners. Avoid sexual activity with a partner who has symptoms. Insist that partners be checked before engaging in sexual activity with you. Obtain the HPV vaccine and complete the series of injections. The Gardasil HPV vaccine is approved for males and females 9-45 years old and is most effective in covering the nine most common subtypes of the virus that cause genital warts and cancer when given at the youngest age possible. If you participate in activity with high risk of



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Although STD’s are preventable now more than ever, the rates of both those persons with a newly acquired STD and those with an existing STD have been rising in recent years across the nation and in Montana. health} contracting HIV, talk to your care provider about taking medication that is available to prevent HIV.

You should feel comfortable talking with your care provider openly about any symptoms you are experiencing or other concerns you may have. Your care provider is there to help you, make you feel better and assist with the concerns you have. Contact your care provider if you experience any symptoms of sores, bumps, rashes, discharge, odor, pain, urinary urgency or frequency, bleeding, nausea, clay-colored stools, yellow skin, weight loss, night sweats, or excess fatigue. When in doubt, call your provider, your local health department, or seek urgent medical attention at an urgent care clinic or emergency room. Call us at Kalispell OB/GYN 406752-5252 to make an appointment if you have concerns about your obstetric or gynecological health– our mission is to provide the best care for women in all stages of life! Resources: www.CDC.gov www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org www.flatheadhealth.org https://www.acog.org/womens-health https://www.kalispellobgyn.com/ Shawn Shanahan, APRN-WHNP joined Kalispell OB/GYN in March 2021, moving to Montana in 1986 to raise her two sons and to enjoy the great outdoors with her spouse. She earned her nursing degree from University of Utah in 1986. She became a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner through Harbor-UCLA in 1987 and earned her Master of Science in Nursing through University of Nevada – Reno in 1993. Shawn received the Award for Innovations in Health while at the University of Utah and served many years in various board roles of professional organizations such as Montana Nurses Association and the Montana Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Association and as a Montana State Family Planning Medical Advisory Committee member. She taught nursing at Northern Nevada Community College and Salish Kootenai College. Shawn has 10 years of public health experience in addition to over 25 years of private practice. She is also a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) and a certif ied Wholistic Health Educator (WHE). Shawn enjoys providing a wide range of women’s care including contraception, fertility care, menopause management, prenatal and postnatal care, sexually transmitted disease management, bladder care, cancer screening, and management of sexual concerns. Shawn seeks to empower patients and their families through education to pursue informed choices that promote well-being.


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Changed lives

By Emily Christiansen Photos courtesy of Child Bridge

But for God’s Grace… The twists and turns of life have equipped Carissa Emett to become a foster and adoptive mom who chooses deep compassion for the biological parents of the children she cares for. Guy and Carissa Emett, of the Flathead Valley, have embraced the journey of fostering various children for almost ten years. They have a deep passion to not only foster the children in need of care, but to care about the entire family that is in crisis.


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Carissa is a woman full of joy, deep love, and meaningful grace. As a baby, Carissa’s own mother left her and her father due to mental health and addiction issues. In time, her Dad remarried, and Carissa was raised by a woman who poured into her endlessly. This beautiful connection forever altered Carissa’s compassion and desire to see the good in everyone. When a child comes into foster care, it can be easy for outsiders to cast judgment on the biological parent involved. In Carissa’s opinion, “everyone we deal with deserves to be loved fiercely. We are not fostering just the child, but the entire family. The goal of foster care is always reunification. We’re just here to bridge the gap, so a parent can get the help they need.” It can be easy to assume things about parents who are struggling, but often those with children in care have experienced deep wounds in their own story. “I never want anyone to feel disposable.

Often biological parents are the ones hardest on themselves. They have often been abandoned by their support networks or have no safe people in their lives. They may not be able to parent, but they are still valuable to invest in.” What about when kids go home to tricky situations? How does one cope with that? These are questions often asked of the Emetts. Carissa shares, “one of the hardest parts is knowing when to give grace to another parent trying to navigate the journey of parenting a child we have cared for.” Becoming a parent in any season comes with challenges. Parenting while trying to overcome addictions, poverty, coping with mental health issues or other struggles can be another task altogether. Yet in all areas, the Emetts choose to encourage parents to be the best versions of themselves while giving them dignity and respect. They know people are capable of change and always want to nurture healthy patterns.


Child Bridge

“Everyone deserves a chance.” These words from Carissa can change the trajectory of an entire family's future. The heart of foster care is to provide opportunities for families in crisis to seek out healthy coping skills and be reunified as a unit. Birth parents are swimming upstream trying to change patterns of dysfunction. As a child who was left by her own mother, Carissa knows firsthand what sorrow and struggles can feel like. The mother that raised her taught her to always honor the woman who birthed her.

A motto she lives by is “By God’s grace go I.” She shares that there were so many times in her own life, that she could have ended up going down dark roads towards drugs or other poor choices. The difference she says, “is loving supports.”

family's future. The heart of foster care is to provide opportunities for families in crisis to seek out healthy coping skills and be reunified as a unit. Because of families like the Emetts, we can see hope in the turmoil of this complicated world. When catastrophes hit, our state needs more families to support birth parents trying to make positive changes.

Carissa and Guy make it a point to always honor their children’s birth families. “No matter what brought the children into care, we always look for things we can celebrate about their parents.”

Child Bridge has been an encouraging source of strength for the Emett family. Fighting for healthy families and working with kids from hard places can come at a cost. While the desire to create safety is beautiful, it is not always an easy road. Child Bridge has been a vital resource for the Emetts and hundreds of other Montana foster families by creating a network of support. “Foster care comes with many unique peaks and valleys and having support from an organization who gets it is vital. It can be a lonely road,” Carissa shared. “Child Bridge has helped us connect with so many other families like ours.” There is something deeply profound about being seen and having someone know your journey. While every story is unique, the “fellowship, community and training Child Bridge provides has made the road smoother and much less lonely!”

“Everyone deserves a chance.” These words from Carissa can change the trajectory of an entire

The Emetts are a family that loves with everything in their beings. Carissa shared that

Watching a story of redemption in families is one that Carissa and Guy eagerly hope to witness with each case. “The redemption story does not always end up with parents being reunited with their children, but we do hope to see biological parents move forward into healthy life patterns.” The Emetts always hope to see parents succeed.

saying yes to foster care means “making room for tender hearts and big feelings, but this is not a deterrent to not do it.” Living by the Golden Rule, Carissa knows her own story could have turned out so radically different if it were not for those who cared about her deeply. “We need so much to just be kind to people,” Carissa mused. If you would be interested in joining the Emett’s quest to live a life of grace and generosity, Child Bridge may be a wonderful resource for you to connect with. www.childbridgemontana.org



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Let's talk Implants...

The Dental Kind by John F Miller, DDS

There are few things that inspire us to take an inventory of our lives more than rolling over a birthday divisible by a factor of 10. In our youth we always set our BIG goals around these birthdays. I feel like 20 years old is the age that most of us want to have decided on perhaps our future (or current) career path. You’re one or two years into college, or you’ve picked up a trade at this point. What about 30 years old? This one felt serious when we were 20 right? At 20 we were all still kids, we still had a little bit of a pass at that point. But we looked at 30 years old and knew...we had to be full blown adults at that point. You have to stop wearing white sunglasses at 30 for real. So, the 30-year goals in my life were to convince someone to marry me, to have a child or two...or three, to finish my schooling, and to live in the Flathead Valley specifically. I moved here two months after my 30th birthday upon graduation from Dental School with a wife and two kids...and a lot of student debt. So, what I’m really getting at is that I just turned 40 in April. I’m at the halfway point. What goals did I have for myself and my family at this point? Personally, I know that I wanted to get rid of my student loans, to own a house, and to continue growing our family and was able to be successful in all three. Professionally I just wanted to pay the bills, I felt a little overwhelmed starting out. I would have never thought that the Smile Montana team would have grown in the ways that it has, and 10 years ago I had no designs to do so. The growth was simply a response to demand, of which we feel very humbled and grateful for. Part of this inventory is looking at myself physically. How am I doing in that regard. While I feel like I’m in pretty good shape there are definitely new and enhanced aches and pains that come with stacking on another decade. 40 is when you start taking Aleve in the morning because you're going to shoot hoops later. All those times my dad watched me do something dumb and said, “you’re going to feel that when you’re older,” I’m feeling those decisions now. Most specifically in my left knee. Low level discomfort all the time, moderate to severe pain very seldomly and randomly. I have had three operations on it and have


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Single Tooth Implant basically resigned myself to a total knee replacement when I am deemed old enough. A total knee replacement is a procedure performed by an Orthopedic Surgeon, and an Orthopedic Surgeon in the 1950’s invented modern-day titanium dental implants after discovering that mammalian bone tightly adhered to titanium during a bone cell study on rabbits. This Orthopedic Surgeon was Per-Ingvar Branemark of Sweden.

In these modern times we have so many awesome 3-D tools at our disposal to ensure correct size and placement of dental implants. The considerations for single-tooth replacement with dental implants are the following: There should be at minimum 1.5 mm of bone between the implant and the natural teeth on either side of the implant, and ideally 2mm of bone on the “cheek” side and the “tongue” side. These surface level measurements

Over the last 70 years Dental Implants shape, size and design have changed drastically, but one thing has remained constant: They are all still made of Titanium (with a few poorly performing exceptions that I will not address). The focus of the remaining discussion will be the different applications of the currently accepted dental implant, the endosteal rootform titanium implant. The term endosteal means “within the bone,” and root-form simply means it resembles the natural anatomic tooth root because its goal is to replicate the function of the natural tooth root. So, it is a cylindrical threaded fixture that tapers toward the tip. They range in length anywhere from 6mm to 16mm (with a few extreme exceptions that we won’t get into), and diameter anywhere from 3mm to 7mm (again, with a few exceptions). Let’s start with the most common use of an endosteal root-form titanium dental implant: The Single Tooth Replacement. People lose teeth for a vast variety of reasons, from traumatic events like getting hit with baseballs, fists, or the earth, to poor oral hygiene that results in a non-restorable dental lesion more commonly known as a cavity resulting in the loss of the tooth. The big requirement for a successful dental implant is a sufficient volume and dimension of healthy jawbone. That is why there are so many different lengths and sizes of dental implants, because the bony implant sites we work with come in so many shapes and sizes.

determine the diameter of the implant and we use the biggest size we can without violating these recommendations. In terms of length I think most dentists agree that 10mm or more is ideal, but we do have shorter options when certain anatomical obstacles are present. Specifically, the sinus border in the upper posterior jaw, and the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw. It is acceptable to use a shorter implant to avoid encroachment on these areas. Once an implant is placed, the commonly accepted practice is to allow the implant to heal, or osseointegrate, into the jawbone for a period of time. For me personally it is 4 months in the lower jaw and 5 months in the upper jaw until a tooth is fixated to the implant. The exception to this is what is called immediate load where a tooth is placed at implant placement. This practice simply comes with an increase in failure rate.


All-on-6 Implant Hybrid

Implant Retained 3-unit Bridge

The next common application of dental implants might be obvious, replacement of multiple teeth with an implant supported bridge. This option most commonly is used for the replacement of 3 to 4 teeth. The advantage is only two implants need to be surgically placed to replace 3 to 4 teeth, which can make the procedure more affordable for the patient. While some exceptions exist, it is not recommended to bridge from a natural tooth to a dental implant.

The above two examples are what we consider “fixed” prosthodontics meaning they remain in place and are not removed. The only other dental implant application that is fixed is when someone is missing all their teeth in one or both jaws and their smile is restored using what we call the allon-X implant hybrid. “X” simply refers to the number of implants used to anchor the prosthetic which is essentially a single fullarch bridge. Now that we have discussed fixed implant applications there is also implant retained prosthetics that are removable. There are only two examples, the complete arch overdenture and the removable partial overdenture. Both of these prosthetics attach to the implant in the same way with a precision attachment and a locator. For lack of a better analogy, the precision attachment screws into the implant and functions as the “male” component. And the locator is housed within the denture acrylic and functions as the “female” component. While there are multiple systems, the most common looks like the following: This solution holds the denture in tight against the gum tissue. The term we use in dentistry is “implantretained and tissue-supported.” The advantage to this treatment is the denture can be, and should be, removed for cleaning, in addition to being a much more affordable solution to loose dentures. Thank you for allowing me to nerd out on implants. The above is a very superficial overview of dental implants. The actual Dentist-patient interaction is much more involved and detailed in order to provide the appropriate dental implant solution for the patient. If one of your goals is the restoration of one or more missing teeth, I hope this article has helped you understand the options available to you. Don’t wait until you’re 40, 50, 60, etc., talk to your Dentist at your next visit and make a plan to Smile Big again.

Reflecting on my last 40 years I have been nothing but blessed. The people that I have been around have provided the guidance and mentorship to allow me to achieve my goals. Here’s to 40 more years in beautiful Montana...things have changed in the last 10 years to say the least, I’ll be curious to see what our wonderful piece of the earth looks like in 2031...when I turn 50 (yikes!). Happy Summer Y’all!! Sunshine is good for your teeth so get out there and SMILE!!



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406 w o m a n

Food & Flavor 22. Garden Chowder

24. Apricot & Lavender Muffins 26. It’s Wine Time! 28. Peppers and Persistence

Design 18. Design a Deck for your Family Trex Deck 36. 3 Ways to Transform your Outdoor Space

Book Review


30. Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects

Education 32. Personality Traits

Fashion 38. Stacking your Rings Three Ways

Love 42. Andie & Giuseppe


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Publisher's Note

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside." Maud Hart Lovelace

The sun is shining, the days are getting longer, and the promise of summer days are ahead. We hope you are out there soaking up the sunshine enjoying the activities you love. • Perhaps it is hanging out on the side of a stream with a Fly rod in your hand • Maybe it’s a strenuous early morning hike in Glacier National Park • Or golf on one of the many championship courses in the area trying to shoot par Whatever activity it is, we hope you are with the people you love to be with. May it be a season of fun and happiness for you. With gratitude, Amanda and Cindy


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406 w o m a n

Cover Girl

Business Girl

Melissa Simpson

Jo Smith

Melissa is a wife and mom to three beautiful girls. She grew up in the Flathead Valley and feels blessed to be able to raise her children here. As a family, they enjoy skiing, camping, paddle boarding, boating and rafting.

The country music industry can be tough to break into, but Jo Smith is finding her way and earning accolades along the way.

Melissa is a dental hygienist and when she’s not working to help others with their oral health, she can be found creating content for her style and beauty blog and helping women perfect their makeup routine. “I’ve met some really amazing women through beauty in the past three years and my business and Instagram blog have given me a really great creative outlet." You can find her blog on Instagram @melissasimpsonstyle Thanks to Sappari in Whitefish for styling this cover shot.

Read her interesting and inspiring story that includes living in Nashville, Somalia, and now Montana in our Business & Health section feature. photo by

Lindsey Kanes

www . lkanes . myportfolio . com


Cindy Gerrity

photo by


www . amandawilsonphotos . com

business manager

Amanda Wilson Photography

Daley McDaniel


Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2021 Skirts Publishing

managing editor

Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson

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406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between.

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Daley McDaniel Photography Amanda Wilson Photography Kelly Kirksey Photography ACE Photography Lindsey Kanes Aleksandra Was Joleen Osborne

Editor’s Letter Be Part of the


By the time you’re reading this, I hope you have had the opportunity to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and that you have done just that. I received my first shot in March and second one about a month later. The first shot produced a sore arm for a few days and nothing more. Frankly, the second shot made me feel like I had been hit by a truck the following day with flu-like symptoms, but they disappeared after a lot of rest in about 24 hours. Then I felt an overwhelming sense a relief that I not only was protecting myself but my family, friends, and community. I was happy to be part of the solution to wrangling COVID-19 and having life return to some semblance of normal.

Kristen volunteering at a vaccine clinic this spring.

Why get vaccinated?

The simple answer is that the COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19. Once you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing more like gathering indoors without masks with other people who are fully vaccinated. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that we all should continue to take precautions in public places. COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection. Getting COVID-19 may offer some protection, known as natural immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the months after initial infection but may increase with time. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. The COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. As I said earlier, be part of the solution. I know we’d all like to think the pandemic is over, but it is not. Wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart from others help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Just like any vaccine, there are risks but the benefits outweigh the risks and together we can fight this and win!

Visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html for more information. Kristen Hamilton, Managing Editor

What did I learn in this issue?

Everything I need to know about STD’s and the newer term STI’s from expert Shawn Shanahan with Kalispell OB/GYN. Read her informative story on page 46 in our Business & Health side. Bell Peppers are packed with nutrients and micronutrients that have been shown to prevent cancer, balance mood, decrease chronic pain, improve skin health and more. Read Dr. Austine Siomos’s story on page 28 to learn more and try her delicious red pepper sauce recipe.


The SNOW bus hauls skiers up the mountain all winter but now summer cyclists can hitch a ride for free and enjoy the great trail system at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Read more on page 26. 70 406




Evette Rios Sponsored by


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Designer, Evette Rios had no idea when she purchased her historic farmhouse built in 1796 how much time she would be spending in it, or how hard it would be transitioning from this historic home to the backyard. Positioned atop a mountain in the Poconos, it has a lush view of the forest beyond her property, but a steep hill that made getting to the backyard difficult and keeping an eye on her two kids at play in the yard nearly impossible. With more time spent at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became more important than ever to create a usable outdoor space. Rios wanted to design a highly durable, low maintenance, large, eco-friendly deck with variety of "rooms" to give her close friends and family a space to stay connected while leaving room for everyone to have their own space. Take a look at some of the unique and family-friendly spaces she incorporated into her design.

A Counter Window, perfect for summertime snacks.

Rios blurred the lines between indoors and out by adding a counter window to her deck. This addition gives her an easy way to keep up with the kids, pass snacks along from the kitchen, and lets a light summer breeze flow through the house on summer days.



With more time spent at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became more important than ever to create a usable outdoor space.

A Living Room, outdoors.

By creating an outdoor living room, she added a space where her family can connect, without the distraction of TV. This cozy area can also double as an outdoor office as Rios shared on the Today Show.

An Outdoor Kitchen, complete with a pizza oven.

Cooking and eating together is a Rios family tradition. Adding an outdoor kitchen was at the top of Rios's wishlist for this space. Now, with her outdoor kitchen and pizza oven, her family can share a slice under the stars.

A Dining Area, by the fire.

You can't have a kitchen without a dining space. Rios selected stylish, yet comfortable seating for her outdoor dining room and topped it off with a fun light fixture to pull the space together. Nearby, Rios added a stone fireplace accompanied by a pair of contemporary chairs. The warmth the fireplace allows her family to enjoy the space even on chilly nights.

A Swim Spa, to splash the day away.

Rios's final touch for this outdoor oasis was a swim spa. It gives her family a cool spot for hot summer days and heats up brisk evenings. She made sure to use Trex composite decking to encase the spa so that the area would maintain its beautiful color and always be free of splinters, rot and mold. Learn more about Trex Outdoor Living products at Trex.com



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Garden Chowder By Carole Morris


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food} The name of this soup alone invokes images of gardening…you know gardening gloves, gardening hat and a hoe. While it may seem unnerving at first, wouldn’t it be fun to grow your OWN celery, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and broccoli? While we know that gardening is a very rewarding hobby, it’s also considered exercise—profitable exercise that gives you soup ingredients! So skip the gym this summer and do your squats picking vegetables instead, truly a win-win.


2 cups broccoli (broken into florets)

4 tbsp. butter 2 onions

4 cans chicken bouillon (or 6 tbsp. dried chicken bouillon)

4 stalks of celery (chopped)

Water (to cover ingredients) 2 tbsp. parsley (chopped)

6 red potatoes (skins on) diced

2 cups cheddar cheese

3 carrots (chopped)

1/2 cup cornstarch

(feeds 4 favorite folks)

2 cups cauliflower (broken into florets)

1 pint half and half Salt and pepper (to individual taste)


In a large soup pan sauté onions, celery, and potatoes in butter (until light brown). Next, put carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli in pan. Cover with chicken bouillon and enough water so all vegetables are covered with water. Simmer until carrots and potatoes are cooked (test with a fork). Stir in Cheddar cheese. Mix cornstarch in measuring cup with ½ cup of cold water, then slowly add to soup mixture (stirring constantly). Next, stir in half and half and season with salt and pepper. If you like your soup thicker, add more cornstarch mixture until desired thickness is reached.



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Apricot& Lavender


By Carole Morris


It is the season for apricots—also known as the fruit of freshness. Their origin? Drum roll, please…Armenia… which is one of the places where apricot trees grow wild and are known as Armenian plums. Additionally, Sara (406 Woman's graphic designer) has roots in Armenia! Now we know for sure delightful and original things do come from Armenia.


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food} All over the world apricots are considered to be the most delectable of all fruits. They are used in both fresh and dry form, preserved as jam or made into a wine. Moreover, apricots have a lot of health benefits: • Nutritious and low in calories. Vitamin A, C, E and potassium.

• Apricots are a great source of many antioxidants, including beta carotene and high in a group of polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids, which protect against illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease • Promotes eye health (Vitamins A & E)

• Good for your gut, Apricots contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.


3 tsp culinary lavender

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup granulated sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

2 cups apricots (sliced)

1/2 cup almond meal

3/4 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.

1. Put sugar and lavender in a food processor, process (until ground into a fine powder). Next, pour sugar mixture into a bowl and cream together with the softened butter. Add in the eggs, one at time, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Slowly stir in the milk and the almond extract. 2. In a separate bowl, combine the

almond meal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients

into the egg mixture. Next, stir (with a spoon) in the apricots… just to combine.

3. Scoop the batter into muffin pan, filling them about 3/4 full. 4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, (or until toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the middle).

5. Cool then sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar and sprigs of lavender. WOW, aren’t they beautiful?



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It’s Wine Time!

By Sunshine Deveny, CSW – Bigfork Liquor Barn Tasting notes and pairings in italics presented by Jessica Dodd, CSW - George’s Distributing

As always, we have been busy here at the Bigfork Liquor Barn tasting and negotiating to bring you the best wine at amazing values. There are three recent discoveries that have really stood out as higher end wines at an amazing discounted price. Let’s start with the white, Klinker Brick Grenache Blanc. This sixthgeneration family owned winery is completely operated by women. Klinker Brick Grenache Blanc comes from a vineyard called “Under the Sea” aptly named because it is 13 feet below sea level. This was also the first wine from the Lodi wine region in California to make it to the Wine Spectator's Top 100 list. Their Grenache Blanc is an extremely limited production with only 600 cases made. We bought all that was available here in our valley, so it is exciting to offer the wine exclusively! "This crisp, aromatic white offers notes of lemon, mango, honeysuckle and white peach. While exhibiting all these fresh fruit flavors it also offers a nice weight on your palate and has a long and smooth finish. There is a streak of minerality that runs right through this wine offering a nice balance to the fruit forwardness. The beauty of Grenache Blanc is in its versatility. This wine would be lovely with any sort of grilled chicken or white fish dish. I would recommend Orange and Thyme Sous Vide Chicken Breasts, with an Arugula, Feta and Grilled Peach Salad, finished with a Poppyseed Vinaigrette and Candied Walnuts. The Sous Vide process is a great way to infuse a ton of flavor into your dish, as well as simplifying the dinner prep! This wine would play with the fruit components of the dish very nicely, while the rich minerality in the wine would be great with the arugula and thyme on the chicken."


Sale price $15.49 regularly $17.49

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The second wine we are bringing into the shop is Eberle Full Boar Red. The winery started this blend 25 years ago in Paso Robles, CA. Their bottles feature their iconic boar label, Eberle (meaning “small boar”), representing their German descent. Through the years they have been perfecting the blend into what it has become today. This wine is a non-vintage (NV), meaning not all varietals come from the same years harvest. They treat each varietal individually, when to harvest, age, and how much oak influence, in order to bring out the best expressions. Then they get to decide what juice and quantities make the most delicious wellbalanced wine. The blend is typically Cabernet Sauvignon based, but can have any amounts of Barbera, Zinfandel, Syrah, or Sangiovese. "This Red Blend is the perfect wine for a summer evening. It is full bodied, but not over the top. It has great structure, and a wonderful balance of dark fruit such as blackberry and plum. This wine is barrel aged which lends notes of baking spice and cola. The tannins in this wine support a nice dry feeling on your palate, while being well integrated at the same time. This wine really could be called Full Boar BBQ red because it truly is the ultimate pairing for any sort of meat coming off the grill. I would recommend Huckleberry Glazed Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Bacon & Blue Cheese Potato Salad and Creamy Cole Slaw. This elevated take on a classic summer dish will wow your guests. Add fresh hucks

and a splash of the Full Boar Red into the barbeque sauce of your choice and reduce. (Cooking with the wine you plan to enjoy with dinner is always a great way to incorporate flavors into your meal!) I also love the richness of the bacon and blue cheese in the salad with the tannins and spice in this wine.” Sale price $19.99 regularly $23.99

Lastly, I would like present to you the Rickshaw Wines. These wines continually over deliver for the price point. Rickshaw wines will take you on a journey through the celebrated wine regions of California. Rickshaw focuses on finding the best locations and sustainable vineyards throughout California to source their fruit. These vineyards as well as female winemaker Noel Schaff help create wines that are consistent and true to the character of the grape variety. Her wines are not over extracted therefore producing wines that are elegant and pure. As a bonus, the wine labels represent flavor profiles or food pairings for the wines.

Rickshaw 100% Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from parcels in Northern California. This is a vibrant crisp white wine with aromatics of passion fruit, grapefruit, and honeysuckle. On the

food} palate the citrus notes mix with an herbaceous savory component which ends with a wonderful zippy finish. Because of the herbaceous notes this wine would pair well with dishes made with herbs, roasted vegetables, or pasta primavera. Crab cakes or fried chicken would also be a hit with the acidic zip to cleanse the palate. This wine would also pair well with a sunny day out on the deck! Rickshaw 100% Chardonnay is sourced from marine influenced areas up and down the California coast, providing optimal growing conditions. What surprised me most about this Chardonnay is its incredible balance. Peach and pear aromas with some toasty notes open up to lemon, tropical fruit, and orange blossom finishing with the right amount of oak influence, richness and a streak of acidity. Leaving you wanting to go back for more. This wine would pair well with a wide range of foods. All seafoods especially sautéed with butter, garlic and a splash of white wine. Roasted chicken, pineapple glazed baked ham, or butternut squash soup with croutons and parmesan. Rickshaw 100% Pinot Noir is sourced from cool climate vineyards with the majority coming from the Sonoma Coast. This a medium bodied Pinot Noir with a nose of cherry, baking spice and cola. Juicy ripe fruit with herbaceous notes finish with a wonderful streak of acidity, making this wine a versatile food wine. Bring on the appetizers. A charcuterie board or a spinach dip would be a slam dunk. Don’t forget pizza night.

Rickshaw 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Petite Syrah, 5% Syrah is sourced from Sonoma County, Paso Robles, and Central Coast. They have the freedom to blend varietals, vineyard sites, and oak aging to add the right amount of complexity. Black cherry, black currant, and baking spice lead to flavors of dark fruit, vanilla notes, earthy cedar, and soft integrated tannins. It’s BBQ time. Try with a grilled portabello mushroom topped with sautéed onions and peppers with melted provolone on a focaccia roll. Wild game and beef would be magnificent as well.


Best news of all, these wines typically retail for $16.99 and they are on sale here at The Bigfork Liquor Barn for $9.99.


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Peppers and Persistence By Austine K. Siomos, MD – Pediatric Cardiologist at Rocky Mountain Heart & Lung

This is a story of persistence, in things large and small. Persistence in the remarkable development of vaccines and persistence in my child pushing me to incorporate new plants into our family.

I am an advocate for bringing kids along when grocery shopping. I sometimes regret this in the moment when they misbehave. On bad days they run carts into shelves and people. On good days, though, they are part of choosing produce and planning dinner. It is important for them to observe adults making choices. It’s also important for them to learn what not to buy! Spontaneous conversations about healthy food and avoidance of highly processed items abound. There are meltdowns and fits every once in a while, but mostly learning and experience. It’s not just the kids that learn. Sometimes adults get into routines and forget to try new foods. This is how I came upon the topic for this article.


The development of Covid-19 vaccines has been fascinating. Never has there been such

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rapid development and such high efficacy with new vaccines. Courageous folks around the country and the world volunteered as participants in vaccine trials. Over 100 Montanans were trial participants. These people braved uncertainty and fear to promote information and to push for enough data that these vaccines were able to receive emergency use authorization from the FDA earlier than expected.

There is a great story of persistence behind the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Katalin Karikó is a biochemist whose research has been the development of mRNA vaccines. She began submitting grants for this research in 1990. In the academic science world, however, a scientist has to have enough grants accepted in order to continue working and being promoted. This is known as the “publish or perish” environment. She was demoted due to lack of support for her grants. She persisted, however. It took 15 more years for her to publish a series of articles about mRNA vaccines and the immune response to these vaccines.

In 2013 Karikó took a job as senior vice president at BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals. The

rest is recent history. Katalin Karikó and her scientific partner Drew Weissman’s technology was used for the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine. Many have called for Karikó and Weissman to receive a Nobel Prize.

Necessity is the mother of invention. But these inventions would have been impossible without 30 years of work behind the scenes by a persistent scientist. Speaking of persistence on a more modest scale, getting kids to eat vegetables requires a lot of it. Just like with vaccines, that persistence is joyfully worth it. One thing I have learned with my patients and my own children is that sometimes I forget about beautiful and delicious vegetables that are not a part of my normal routine. I was shopping with my youngest son this month, and he pointed to a shelf and asked, “what is that orange tomato?” It was an orange bell pepper. I realized that through his eyes this is an attractive plant that his parents don’t routinely buy. I realized that I should diversify my plant arsenal. Bell peppers have their own arsenal of nutri-


Bell peppers provide a great combination of vitamin C, vitamin E and water, increasing hydration and promoting the health of connective tissue, including skin and blood vessel walls. ents and micronutrients. They are botanically classified as fruits and are technically berries! This is great because my most recent article was on blueberries and my next will be blackberries. They are a shockingly low calorie food.

Prevent cancer – Carotenoids get the credit

for the vibrant pepper colors. While the colors are fun to look at, carotenoids are powerful in more medically important ways. Carotenoids deactivate free radicals, which are the celldamaging oxygen hybrids that cause inflammation and are correlated with cancer. The more ripe peppers (closer to red color) have more carotenoids.


Pepper Sauce on grilled bread or faint periodically. I have seen more patients with fainting this year and in the post-covid period. While water is excellent I also discuss with patients other sources of water to improve hydration. Bell peppers are 92% water. A bell pepper takes a while to digest and gives you a gradual water boost, increasing vascular volume and decreasing your chances of being dizzy or fainting.


1. Remove the seeds

Balance mood – Vitamin B6 is an essential pre-

from the peppers, cut into quarters

cursor to production of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that improve and stabilize mood. Vitamin B6 naturally occurs in bell peppers.

Decrease chronic pain – Vitamin C has demon-

strated anti-inflammatory properties. A single bell pepper provides up to 169% of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of vitamin C. Vitamin C decreases inflammation and protects against osteoporosis.

Improve skin health – Bell peppers provide a

great combination of vitamin C, vitamin E and water, increasing hydration and promoting the health of connective tissue, including skin and blood vessel walls. Bell peppers, along with broccoli and strawberries are on the list of foods that have more vitamin C than an orange.

Avoid dizziness and fainting – hydration with water is important. I see patients who get dizzy

Ingredients: 4-6 bell peppers of any color A loaf of quality rustic bread 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 yellow or red/purple onion 3 garlic cloves 1 jar capers Fresh basil Smoked paprika Salt

Dr Austine Siomos Pediatric Cardiologist Austine Siomos, MD, brought her training and expertise with pediatric patients to Kalispell Regional Healthcare in September 2015. Dr. Siomos practices at Montana Children’s Specialists, a department of Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She is also part of Montana Children’s and its team of more than 40 pediatric specialists. She has been recognized for several academic accomplishments, including receiving a Pediatric Resident Professionalism Award. She also conducted extensive medical research and devoted time to community service, serving at a Denver clinic for uninsured patients, setting up medical clinics in Guatemalan villages, and working with Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, as well as baking, recycling and studying languages.

8. Stir in peppers,

capers, salt to taste, 1 tsp smoked paprika (more if desired)

2. Bake peppers at 450 degrees until tender, about 20 minutes

9. Cover and simmer

3. Dice onion

10. Slice bread, drizzle with olive oil and grill or toast to medium brown

4. Chop garlic 5. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat

6. Add onion to the

skillet and cook about 5 minutes until tender

7. Stir in garlic and a pinch of salt

over medium heat until the peppers are tender

11. When ready to eat, top grilled bread with roasted pepper sauce and garnish with fresh basil * This sauce is excellent hot or room temperature and can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks



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book review}

History Made Fun Book Review by Kristen Hamilton

I’ve discovered a way for kids to enjoy learning about Montana history. I just wish this book had been around when my kids were school aged.

The book “Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects” is written in cooperation with the Montana Historical Society and includes true stories coupled with fun activities. I think it would be a wonderful book to add to kid’s summer reading lists to keep them engaged and entertained.

Frankly I learned something new about how Chinese immigrant workers helped build the Northern Pacific Railway across the state and treasured their cherished mementos like an elaborately decorated pouch. The activity along with this story is to create a wish pouch with a few simple items that are likely on hand in a craft drawer.

Comic book artist Stan Lynde’s story of growing up on a ranch near Lodge Grass is presented along with one of his 19,000 comics he made through the years. Kids are encouraged to draw their own comic strip for the accompanying activity.

The ending map and index outline 129 places in the state to visit and learn more about our history in person. The Glacier Country section (the entire northwest corner from Eureka to Ravalli) alone includes 36 spots. I envision families using to book to plan a vacation that involves traveling the state.

For example, there is a story about Buffalo Jumps and their importance to Montana’s native people. The story references the Ulm Pishkun Buffalo Jump located near Great Falls that I visited with my son as a chaperone on his 4th grade history field trip. The activity prompts young readers to make a diorama to depict a scene to tell their story.


My daughter would have liked the photo and story about the Embroidered Pouch.

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The book is broken into sections that match the state’s travel regions including Glacier Country, Southwest Montana, Central Montana, Yellowstone Country, Missouri River Country, and Southeast Montana. This is helpful if you plan to use the book as a teaching resource.

All in all, it is a terrific book that kids and adults will enjoy reading and doing activities together.

“Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects” is published by Farcountry Press in Helena. In northwest Montana, find the book at:

Northwest Montana History Museum (Kalispell) Whitefish Quilts (Whitefish)

Bad Rock Books (Columbia Falls) Bigfork Drug (Bigfork) …and at your local retailer The Book Shelf (Kalispell) Plus, of course, the Bookworks Montana Historical (Whitefish) Society Museum Store Electric Avenue Gifts Lastly at these (Bigfork) statewide chains: Glacier Stationers Albertson’s (Kalispell) Roseaur’s Hockaday Museum Safeway (Kalispell) Town Pump Imagination Station Zip Trip (Whitefish & Kalispell)

Here’s to sharing smiles. Come see us for more!

Sage & Cedar pure - natural - organic

The finest skin care and so much more. 214 Central Ave. Whitefish, MT 59937 (406) 862-9411 227 Main St. Kalispell, MT 59901 (406) 890-2299

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram www.sageandcedar.com (888) 863-9411


Personality Traits

Learning your personality traits will truly be a defining moment in your life. The knowledge you gain will help you know who you are, and why you do things the way you do. After you have clarified “who” you are, the next step is to have your significant other take the test. This will be a huge benefit to your relationship—because we all know that opposites attract. I am fighting the urge to let out a long drawn-out sigh. It would be so much simpler if we were drawn to personalities who are “like” us. Instead, introverts are drawn to extroverts, morning people are drawn to night people, and planners are drawn to impulsive individuals. After the initial wow of a relationship, sustaining a commitment to one another… takes balance. This is where knowing your personality traits is essential; so that you both become flexible and enhance each other’s personality.


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By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed. Additionally, it is also imperative for your children to take the test so that you can better understand them. Siblings may share the same genes, but their personalities will be very different. It is mind boggling when you think about it. Research has proven that children are similar to their siblings only 20 percent of the time. This tells us that the discipline strategies that worked with the first child will not work with the second or third child. However, if we know their personalities we can figure out a strategy that will work for each of the children, as individuals. So, let’s look at the Myers-Briggs-Jung Type Indicator (MBTI), which is a questionnaire that measures an individual’s psychological inclinations. According to MBTI typology, people are born with a psychological type similar to being born either right or left handed. The functions are separated in the following way: Extravert or Introvert; Sensing or Intuition; Thinking or Feeling; and Judging or Perception. MBTI is used extensively in various professions to help build community in the work place. In

addition, health care professionals utilize the questionnaire to understand their patients. While educators use it to help guide students in a career choice that fits their personality. I used it in the classes I taught for college freshman, it truly facilitated them in their career path. The questionnaire is free to take, but the key to getting an accurate evaluation is to answer all questions honestly. The link to the questionnaire is; www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp After you take the questionnaire, there are tabs available that will define each function. In addition, there is information available regarding career choices and famous people who have your personality trait. The win-win of the MBTI is the fact that this is not a contest, there isn’t a superior personality trait. All of the personalities have their strengths and weaknesses. As Guy Harrison said, “Perfection is overrated, boring. It’s the imperfections that make us who we are, that make us real, beautiful… necessary.”



Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space This Summer By Sydney Munteanu and Wright’s Furniture

1. Assess your patio landscape This year, Wright’s Furniture has stocked their showroom with one of the and your frequency of use. largest patio furniture orderings in their history! Lucky for us, that makes many styles available to customers to buy off the floor, thus avoiding those extra-long shipping times. (If you’ve ordered any home furnishings online in the past few months, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!) Wright’s Furniture is one of the largest and most respected home design retailers in the region who specializes in luxury outdoor living furnishings and accessories. With patio season around the corner, I got the chance to visit with Interior Decorator Alana Wright and pick her brain on tips for shopping for furniture pieces and transforming our outdoor spaces this season!


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Is your patio a highly utilized area or more for occasional outdoor dinners and decoration? If your family transitions to a very indooroutdoor life in the summer, then the daily use of your patio is worth considering investing in a few quality furniture pieces and choosing fabrics that will be both comfortable and durable. Also, don’t forget to consider how much space you have for storage in the off-season. Instead of a heavy wood couch, maybe a lightweight aluminum style with pillows is more realistic. At the end of the day, you want to maximize the style, function, and durability of your outdoor living area. Considering how it will be used both day-to-day in the warmer months and in the winter is key!


2. Consider your fabrics and materials.

We all shop with our eyes first and are drawn to colors and decoration. Luckily, there’s no reason you can’t have both style and function in the outdoors! From nature-inspired patterns to bright ivory pillowcases, Wright’s Furniture stocks a variety of fabric options that always carry a warranty. Have your heart set on something specific? Wright’s Furniture offers custom ordering on all pieces so you can pick any color to your liking. And the choices only start at the color. Sunbrella fabrics, comfort cushions, and plushness size are all available options to choose from!

Luxury Lounge Seating Cloud-like comfort, oversized seating, and plush pillows. Inspired by the art of hand-woven basketry, the large wicker weave offers a relaxed look and low profile.

3. Accent with accessories.

Casual Adirondack chairs are a yearly best-seller at Wright’s Furniture. Made of durable Envirowood, these chairs are solid as a rock and ideal for Montana’s long summer days and fireside nights. Aside from providing shade to make your outdoor space more comfortable, umbrellas add a touch of color and dimension with height. Alana’s tip: Just make sure you measure the area you want it to cover (your table, the couch, etc.) to ensure you pick out a large enough umbrella size. Outdoor area rugs are a great way to add texture and style to your outdoor space! Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs are made from materials that withstand the elements and Wright Furniture has plenty of affordable options that look extremely luxe for the price. Created for indoor-outdoor performance, outdoor pillows are a great way to update your furniture without needing to invest in an entirely new furniture piece. Don’t be shy to mix and match your indoor pillows too! The team at Wright’s Furniture focuses on bringing in the latest outdoor design styles and trend-setting statements along with many timeless favorites that are suitable to our Montana seasons. By prioritizing quality, function, comfort, style and durability, customers can purchase beautiful home furnishings right from the showroom floor or special-order pieces with a custom design.


Wright’s Furniture offers complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. Visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish. 6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services www.wrightsfurniturestore.com


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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200

love} stories


Giuseppe August 29, 2020

Photos by Joleen Osborne

Who are you?

Andie Schnee (now LoPresti) - I am a Montana native from Kalispell, growing up dancing, playing the cello, piano, and riding horses. After traveling to multiple countries for school, and going to school out of state, I made Missoula, MT my home again, where I met my amazing husband!

Giuseppe LoPresti - I am a New Jersey native, the biggest Philadelphia sports fan maybe ever, and moved to Montana when I was ten with my family. My family is originally from Italy.

How did you meet?

Andie - I was familiar with who he was because he grew up with a family that I was very close to and had danced with for years. One night, my roommate and I at the time decided to add him on Snapchat (oh, how I cringe) and the next day he asked me if we knew each other. (A modernday love story if there ever was one) ((haha)). Giuseppe - I got a notification that an Andie Schnee had added me on Snapchat, and I was like “who is this?” So, I looked her up on Facebook and thought “well, this must be some kind of mistake!” I finally got the courage to ask her out for a drink, and after that, we were pretty much inseparable.

The Proposal?

Giuseppe proposed to me on the back deck of my parents’ house in Kalispell, when we drove up from Missoula to visit family for the weekend. This location would end up becoming our wedding venue due to COVID, although we didn’t know it at the time! There was champagne, a cake, red roses, and candles. When Giuseppe asked me, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even say yes, but finally was able to get it out.

What is love?


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Andie - To me, being in love is complete and utter loving acceptance of a person to their core, no matter what. Love is the feeling of incompletion until you have found your other half, which then you can be your truest, kindest, most loving, and supportive self to your partner. Giuseppe - Being able to be around each other 24/7 and still feeling like it will never be enough time.

To me,

being in love is complete and utter loving acceptance of a person to their core, no matter what.



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love} stories

Isupport, Love his ability to make me laugh no matter what, his unwavering and his transparency. We so often say that we are just different versions of one another and that we complete each other.

What do you love most about each other?

Andie - I love his ability to make me laugh no matter what, his unwavering support, and his transparency. We so often say that we are just different versions of one another and that we complete each other. Giuseppe - I love Andie’s sense of humor, her undying love for living things, especially dogs and her plants, and how she always puts the things that she loves before herself. I could spend every moment of every day with her and never be tired of the laughs and the memories we have.


When did you know you were in love?

Andie - When I asked him to be my boyfriend! Haha, it was maybe our third date, and after

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being used to being single, I was surprised that I was so willing to jump into something so quickly. But I knew that I never wanted him to get away, and I didn’t ever want to be with anyone else, and so I took the initiative and asked him to date me.

Giuseppe - It sounds cliché, but right away. Our first date was quintessential, and I knew from the first time that I met her that I wanted to spend my life with her. I think two months into our relationship we started planning our wedding!

Wedding Details -

We changed our plans so many times during COVID, I think we were maybe on plan D by the time we got married. In the end, we just want-

ed it to be immediate family so that everyone could feel safe. It was small, but perfect, and don’t have any plans to do “the real thing.” This was the real thing for us; we didn’t care about having a big venue, or a million people, we got to celebrate our love together, and now we get to celebrate the rest of our lives together!

Fun facts -

We were married on Giuseppe’s maternal grandmother’s birthday. Our dog, Max was our dog of honor.

Honeymoon (or plans for a honeymoon) -

No plans so far! Mostly because of COVID. But Andie has the feeling it will probably involve a Philadelphia Eagles game when we do. ;)

Lance Johnson, Night Fire

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Helen Reitz, and Lance Johnson.

Helen Reitz

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