406 Woman Business Vol.13 No.1

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Adventure in every dam direction.

Map out your adventure at


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featured 8. Sally Vannoy Wildlife Artist

32. COVID Crisis at Ground Zero


12. In Home Design Flooring America


20. Serenity Creations 16. THE FISH Liz Heery 28. Fleur Bake Shop 30. Buffalo Hill Golf Course


34. Telehealth The Virtual House Call 36. Don’t Let Pain Stop Your Summer Fun 40. NVH in Columbia Falls 44. Body Love Connection 46. Pain from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 50. It Can’t Get Any Better Than This…Can It?

nonprofit 48. Changed Lives Child Bridge



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business 24. I Want Her Job Tammy Lucas

26. The Art of a Handwritten Note


View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2020 Skirts Publishing



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Painting with a Grateful Heart

Wildlife Artist

Sally Vannoy By Sydney Munteanu

“I’ve realized the main theme about my whole career, is that it really comes down to where I’ve had the opportunity to grow up.” Sally Vannoy, the distinguished oil canvas artist, begins our interview with humility and gratefulness for her surroundings — two through lines for our conversation and her life. Vannoy’s immense gratitude for the place she calls home and how it has influenced her career is readily apparent. You can see it in her enthusiasm as she talks about the blue herons and geese she watches every morning on her walk, or the story she later tells about running to her car to grab her camera and snap a photo of a herd of bucks lazing their way through her backyard.

Lucky for all of us, Vannoy has the passion and undeniable talent for sharing that enthusiasm with the world by way of her surreal-looking oil paintings and drawings. To date, her work has been featured in the C.M. Russell Museum and in the iconic institution’s annual Western art auction — one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world — The Russell. Her pieces have also appeared in the Briscoe Western Art Museum and Southwest Art magazine. Her art is currently on display in Whitefish’s Samarah Fine Art Gallery and Bozeman’s A. Banks Gallery. Vannoy was the artist in residence at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, MT last September and The Russell has asked her to take the stage for this year’s “Art in Action,” a two-hour quick-finish, live painting exhibition. Vannoy is bubbly, kind, and incredibly positive. It’s hard to believe that there were moments throughout her career when she had to pep talk herself into keeping at it.


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“Montana is what shaped me as a person and it’s ultimately what defined my art career,” she recalls. Growing up in Kalispell, her parents frequented Glacier National Park and always brought the family along. “We were often outside, hiking, fly fishing, biking, always enjoying the outdoors and getting fulfilled with appreciation of nature and wildlife.” Glacier National Park continued to remain a constant source of inspiration and happiness for Vannoy. During summer breaks from college, she would work in the Park at Lake McDonald and spend her days climbing peaks and trails with friends, a tradition she continues today. When guests come to visit, a hike in the Park is the first activity on the list. “We’re on the trail by 6:00 a.m. because that’s when the animals are out, and it's the best light.”

Wildlife is a main subject in Vannoy’s art. She often uses her photographs as a reference when working on the composition of her pieces. She paints in the sunlight and as many natural elements from the moment as possible. “You just have these fleeting moments you are trying to capture with animals; it’s unlike other subjects.” Whether it’s joining her husband for a hike on one of his big game hunts or just enjoying a morning walk to the pond on their 10-acre Bigfork property, she is rarely found without a camera in tow. “I don’t even go to the grocery store without my camera,” she laughs, “because what if I see some animals along the way!” Every painting truly does have a story behind it. “My art is kind of like a journal of my life. Everything was something that I experienced.” Vannoy goes on to describe a painting she’s particularly proud of called Putting on Airs. It’s a


Sally Vannoy

Every painting truly does have a story behind it. “My art is kind of like a journal of my life. Everything was something that I experienced.” painting of Herald, the iconic bull elk that inhabits the National Bison Range in western Montana. “I had been looking for this big bull elk for years. My cousin was staying with me, visiting with her kids, and I joked that we should go on an adventure to look for Herald. It was cloudy and overcast all day and I remember thinking as we walked back to the car, ‘Good thing we didn’t see him,’ because the lighting was terrible. But just as we were pulling out to leave, a big bull walked into this meadow. I knew it was him instantly. I literally threw my car to the side of the road, still running with the kids in it, and jumped out to take a photo. We hadn’t had any light all day and then all of a sudden, the heavens just opened up like a spotlight on Herald. My heart was pumping full of adrenaline and I was like the paparazzi out there taking photos of him.”

While Vannoy’s experiences in the outdoors and her love of wildlife have always been a constant inspiration, she makes it clear that getting to this point — being featured at national shows and becoming a commissioned painter — didn’t come without its price. “When I share a piece of art on social media I sometimes get comments like, ‘You’re so lucky you have so much talent,’” Vannoy explains. “Many people

have talent but developing that talent and honing your skill takes incredible dedication and many hours and years of hard work. I have overcome many obstacles and circumstances to be where I am at in my career today.” For example, Vannoy and her husband moved over 13 times. “We lived in this tiny apartment with no natural light. And we had a little baby too. I set up my studio in a small corner of the kitchen, but I told myself I would show up every day and paint.” This went on for a few years while they lived in Wyoming and she acknowledges it would become easy to lose motivation to be creative. “Especially as women, we’re really good at putting things off for others. It would have been easy to say, ‘Well, when I have a studio sometime, or when my kids are grown.’ But your future self will thank you for putting in the work.” And that’s what she does every day. Vannoy is in her studio by 8:30 a.m. with a break for lunch and continues to paint until it’s time to pick up her girls from school. “If there are deadlines, I’ll work after they’re in bed. It’s not easy, but I want my kids to know that they are a big priority.” One of her first nods to becoming recognized as a talented Western painter was being accepted into the Society of Animal Artists. “It’s the most prestigious group to get into for animal art. My

dad was with me the day I received their letter in the mail. I opened it and it said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been accepted straight to Signature Status.’ Things like that make you feel like it can really happen. That all that hard work is worth it.”

Vannoy is nothing but full of goals. So, what is she looking forward to most? Her sources of inspiration. “All the really fun, exciting adventures I’m planning for summer and fall with my daughters and husband. We'll go back to the Bison Range and hopefully to Yellowstone. I go to Glacier National Park a few times a month; we have picnics, let the kids play, and I love to ride my bike from Avalanche to the top of Logan Pass," she says. And of course, there’s The Russell in September, along with A Timeless Legacy at the Hockaday Museum in Kalispell, and an exhibit in Coeur d'Alene, ID titled Miniatures by the Lake this fall.

At the end of our chat, I ask Vannoy if there’s anything else she wants to share. She thought for a moment, and then offered this: “Even though I’ve lived in Montana the majority of my life I genuinely feel so blessed. My walks allow me to start my day with a grateful heart for what I get to do and where I live. If you are present with yourself and where you are, that’s the best gift you can give yourself each day.



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5 Major

Trends Home Design


Right Now

Flooring America 1. By Sydney Munteanu Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Ed Smith and his wife Patti have been in the flooring and tile business for over 40 years. They’ve admittedly seen every design trend under the sun. But lately, things are really starting to look different at Flooring America, largely because customers have played their part making requests and sharing feedback. “We always listen to our customers,” says owner Ed Smith. “That’s more important to us than worrying about margins or how fast something will sell on the floor. If someone asks for something, you bet we’ll carry it!” And that they do. After browsing the showroom, awing at the gorgeous ceramic tiles and beautiful hardwoods, Smith shared his insights on what you can bet will become the prevalent trends in this wave of design, remodels, and home building across the Flathead.


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MADE IN AMERICA. For the past couple of years, American-made has become the most frequent request Smith gets from his customers. So much so that they’ve decided to dedicate an entire section of the showroom to domestically produced products. Disruption of the supply chain on products from China in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a recent surge in tariffs on imported goods, has only made this trend even more loud and clear. From handmade hardwoods to the most impressive-looking laminate applications I’ve ever seen; Flooring America has an extensive selection of USA-made goods.


LARGE FORMAT TILE. If there’s one trend that’s taking over showers and countertops across the nation, it’s the look of continuity and smooth, clean lines. Large format tiles start at 12 x 24” and can go up to 3 x 10" in size. But the real beauty of using tiles of this scale is that they can be used over any old tile, shower, or hard surface without having to tear up for install. Layer these on and you’ve got a majestic transformation!



Five Trends

WATERPROOF FLOORS. Flooring that doesn’t bend, warp, or move, and can stand up to family pets, kids, and spills without worry… it’s no wonder waterproof flooring has become an obvious choice for many homeowners. With styles that come in wood or tile and can be installed at a fraction of the price, waterproof flooring continues to be one of Flooring America’s best-sellers.


DIY OPTIONS. As more and more customers ask for affordable options that they can apply themselves, the design industry has taken notice. Smith even remarks that he’s impressed every season at the quality of each new DIY product that arrives. RevoTile, a porcelain flooring system they carry, uses a ClicFitTM technology that provides ultra-realistic wood, stone, marble, and concrete looks that won’t skimp on performance.


UNCONVENTIONAL WOOD APPLICTIONS. Wood is no longer just limited to the floors. Smith says that while they saw an initial interest with the rustic farmhouse trend, now the more premium wood flooring makers are even creating 3-D wood panels that can be used everywhere from accent walls to a statement piece fireplace.

Whether you’ve got a preference for carpet or tile, the biggest trend is and always will be, great quality and customer service. Since taking over the business in 2015, Smith and his team at Flooring America is dedicated to showing up every day ready to listen to their customers and seek out the best American-made products. Some are classics that really never go out of style, while others leaving a lasting impression even if they’re only trendy for a decade. Smith remarks that he’s even starting to see shag carpet make a comeback! Flooring America is located in Kalispell across from the Kalispell Center Mall on Center Street. They are open Monday – Saturday for walk-ins and appointments. For more information, call 406-752-4995.



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A Montana Original

Whitefish Creations, LLC…

THE FISH By Kristen Hamilton

Liz Heery fell in love with Montana early on, especially Whitefish. It is that love that prompted her to design THE FISH pendant so others like her can openly display their fondness for Montana.

Heery’s father worked for the railroad and her mother was an adventurer who loved to travel. She was born in the Midwest and as a child she remembers traveling throughout the United States by train. Her first glimpse of Montana was when her family moved to the state when she was 12 years old. They settled in Missoula and Heery said, “I remember arriving in Missoula and feeling the excitement of this new chapter but could not have imagined that I would have fallen so in love with Montana.” It was a great base for the many trips her family made to Whitefish and the parks, Glacier and Yellowstone.

To Heery, the best part has always been the adventure and activities available. “…skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer and being on any body of water in a boat or sitting on a rocky lake shore in the Flathead Valley,” she said. Adding, “My Norwegian heritage seems to adapt to long snowy cold winters and mountains and the long days of summer.”


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After graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in elementary education, Heery became an International Flight Attendant with United Airlines and was able to travel the world. “The excitement of seeing new places had been instilled in me from my train travels and when my older sister became a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. I decided that was the life for me.” She left Montana and moved to San Francisco where she met her husband. While raising their three children, they made many trips from the California bay area to Montana. Although her children are grown and on their own now, they love Montana as she does.


Whitefish Creations

“I have always loved wearing one thing that makes me feel good. I decided to design a necklace that is a symbol of Whitefish not only because I love jewelry but because I want to wear something that reminds me of the place I love.” Heery retired from United Airlines after 31 years and felt a loss of identity and purpose. She said, “That is how my ‘second act’ began. I love jewelry and fun accessories that have meaning. (While traveling) When I fell in love with a place, I always tried to find one item to remind me of how I felt or something to bring back a memory in the future.” One of her favorite places to travel is France. She loves the French lifestyle and ‘joie de vivre’ (zest for life). Oftentimes, French women add an accessory to their wardrobe that makes them feel good. It can be a piece of jewelry, a scarf or a pair of shoes. Heery said, “I have always loved wearing one thing that makes me feel good. I decided to design a necklace that is a symbol of Whitefish not only because I love jewelry but because I want to wear something that reminds me of the place I love.”

THE FISH was the perfect symbol. Once that was decided, the most difficult part was getting the design that was in her head on paper and then into a sample. She enlisted the help of a few artist friends, but the look wasn’t coming across as she envisioned. Then Heery said, “one day it just came to me that just the outline of a fish would convey the meaning and it would look modern.” She’s grateful for the assistance of her friends as well as Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) and Tollie Nielson, an Associate degree graduate in Jewelry & Goldsmithing from FVCC. Heery enlisted Nielson to help get her design on paper, produce a CAD drawing, and a prototype of the design. Nielson resides in Missoula and is working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Montana.

The next step was getting a registered trademark for the design and the logo. Everything in the process took time but she assured me that it was worth it in the end. “It’s a feeling of great joy to see others wear my design,” Heery added.

She told me that she has many ideas for the design and hopes to create more jewelry to add to THE FISH collection in the future with items that have the logo and fondly remind people of Whitefish. You can find, THE FISH necklace in 925 silver or 14K gold at McGough & Co or at whitefishcreationsmontana.com.



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Finding Inspiration and Joy Serenity Creations By Kristen Hamilton

Jill Peters took a chance when she opened her landscape design business, Serenity Creations, over 16 years ago and her labor of love has paid off in many ways. She finds so much beauty in nature and her clients are lucky to reap the benefits with a beautiful, inspiring finished product that continues to flourish year in and year out. I sat down with Jill to learn more about Serenity Creations and here’s what she had to say…

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I was working for the City of Whitefish installing the city landscape project on Hwy 93 from the old Pizza Hut to the Exxon. During that project, I learned so much: how to read the architect’s plans; about the plants that would thrive in our area; working with the suppliers; and how to get a landscape to flow in a natural way. Oftentimes, as I was installing the project, I had people ask me, "Hey aren't you the girl on the highway in the green tractor? Can you come help me with my yard?" At the end of the summer, I decided I wanted to start my own company.

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

When my partner at the time and I moved to the Flathead Valley in 2002, we agreed we would try to find work that we were passionate about. I knew I wanted to work with my hands and be


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outside. That year, I worked at Iron Horse as a groundskeeper. I learned about the seasonal changes of the landscapes and how to maintain them. I found the work calming and rewarding in ways I never expected.

What has been your biggest challenge in your business?

There have been many challenges; starting a family and a company in the same year, making it through the recession, finding and keeping a reliable crew, and money management. However, finding a balance between my children, partner, clients, crew, friends, business and passions has always been one of my biggest challenges.

Who has influenced you the most in business?

There have been many that have influenced me over the years. A landscape architect that captures the natural flow of the land, another that uses mass plantings to create bold contrast, some do amazing rock work, and others design wispy, elegant landscapes. You can see a lot of these inspirations in my garden designs.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

Creating a company that has continued to grow over the last 16 years has been a great accomplishment. A company that would not be what it is today without my amazing crew, exceptional bookkeeper, the builders that continue to support me, subcontractors, clients, suppliers, all of those that help me fix and take care of all my equipment, my mom and dad, and my amazing and inspirational partner! I owe thanks to my kids because even at their young age they show understanding that my career is important and know that I am always there to support them in their activities and in times of needs. I am extremely blessed to have all of these wonderful people in my life!

How do you envision your business in 1 year, 5 years?

Designing, installing, maintaining, developing more relationships, keeping a steady balance and inspiring others! And continuing to enjoy what I do!


Serenity Creations

My clients inspire me the most. After seeing their homes and hearing their wants and needs, my mind explodes with ideas. Who’s your biggest supporter?

My number one supporter has definitely been my mom! Without her continued support I am not sure I would have made it through some of the hard times. Times when I was told that I was not accepted because it was a “man’s job.” Or when I didn’t get a bid and was not sure how I was going to make ends meet. Or when I was so exhausted with all that life throws at you. My mom would always get me through it and help me push forward!

What’s the best advice you ever took?

“Don't ever put all your eggs in one basket!" and "If you love what you do, you will not work a day in your life!" from my mom.

How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition? Success to me is finding a balance in life. One you can make a living at doing something that inspires you, being able to still be active in things you love outside of work, raising good kids, being with family and finding time to laugh and play with those you cherish.

What inspires you and why?

My clients inspire me the most. After seeing their homes and hearing their wants and needs, my mind explodes with ideas. Then it’s on to design and creating it with my team. It is truly inspirational to see it all come together. Not only after we install it but year after year. Watching it grow! Change! Become! A gift that keeps on giving :)

What is one piece of advice you for have someone thinking about starting their own business?

Start within your means. It will take a huge burden off of you. With hard work, dedication, and a good attitude that will get you as far as you want to go! Serenity Creations 406-270-7925



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I Want Her Job

Tammy Lucas Best Western’s Vice President of Marketing By Brianne Perleberg This article originally appeared on IWantHerJob.com. Photo courtesy of Best Western

Tammy Lucas grew up before the “Lean In” and “equal pay for equal work” movements. She had doubters who told her she had to choose between a career ladder to senior leadership status and being a mom. But she didn’t let this stop her, and lucky for us Tammy isn’t a “pick this or that” type of person. In fact, it’s Tammy, and women just like her, who helped pave the path for the groundswell of change many of us are fortunate to experience today. And it’s a passion she carries with her and aims to impart on both her children and her team at Best Western, where she serves as the Vice President of Marketing.

“I am extremely passionate about inspiring others to reach their professional and personal goals,” Tammy says. “I like that I am able to do that, and it’s something that really fuels me. There’s something about being able to see people exceeding even the goals they didn’t think they could get to.”

In addition to a goal-driven leadership style, Tammy, who has worked with the company for more than 10 years, loves how large the scope of her job is. She likens it to an air traffic controller who tries to keep all the planes in the air at once, while making sure none of them run into one another or come crashing down. While in this role she’s overseen a global rebrand that’s helped to contemporize the brand for today’s traveler. She and her team also helped create 10 more brands under the company’s umbrella. And if you’re a Project Runway super fan, you very well might recognize her from season 15 of the show, where she announced a Best Western inspired challenge. We wanted to ask Tammy how she proved her early doubters wrong. What tips does she have for women who want to be in senior leadership for a corporate entity? How do those tips translate when you’re also a mom? And how does she make sure she’s available for important moments while also giving her best to a job that requires travel about 75 days a year? She was more than happy to tell us,


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while she was also en route to the doctor for a visit for her daughter. See, she really does manage to do it all! Here’s how she does it.

What was it about Best Western that caught your eye as a prospective employee? And, what is it that helps you maintain interest more than a decade later?

I was originally from Canada. Best Western Hotels & Resorts had a strong brand presence in Canada. When I moved from Toronto to Phoenix, I literally moved from a “headquarter mecca” to “zero mecca.” [She laughs.] I’ve always loved sales and marketing—how intensive and fast-paced it is. I love dealing with people and putting results on the board. Best Western was one of the few companies headquartered in the Valley. The travel and hospitality space sounded fun. I was in food and beverage before, as well as retail, the car business and homebuilding, so they were all very high-touch people businesses. With travel and hospitality, I thought my skills were very transferable, especially with already being in an executive position. What keeps me here? The people. They are wonderful to work with—from the ownership groups I’ve worked with for 14 years, to my team and my fellow counterparts. I love to lead teams. I’m extremely passionate about inspiring others to

reach their professional and personal goals. I like that I am able to do that, and it’s something that really fuels me. There’s something about being able to see people exceeding even the goals they didn’t think they could get to.

I also love that my scope is really big. I’m a Type-A, driven individual who could get bored easily, but in this role I have challenges that constantly are either being thrown at me, or that I find after seeing that something might be working good, but not great. I like to ask: Is there a better way to do this?

How is your time allocated throughout the day?

Every day looks different, especially if I’m traveling. My days are jam packed with meetings. I see my role as being like an air traffic controller. I’m working with all of the various teams to ensure that the balls are kept in the air, and nothing is crashing into each other or falling down. I make sure to have time for my team members and our one-on-ones. When I’m on the road, I spend a lot of my time either persuasively selling hotel members or building relationships with them. Or, if we’re in partner meetings, it’s the same. A lot of my thinking time is done during the morning when I’m by myself and working out. It’s my


Tammy Lucas

‘me time.’ I love TED talks because they’re generally short, inspiring and they challenge me to think.

Then, during evenings and on weekends I try to get caught up on emails. I, like many other female executives, wish there was more time in the day so I could get more done. It’s crazy if you think about it. We’re plugged in 24/7, so how much more time could we need?

In 2004 when I started at Best Western, the Internet was just starting to get going. As a marketer, the Internet was going to make my job as a marketer so much easier … The opposite happened. Now it’s the epitome of the pitfall of disruption. We haven’t stopped since. The intensity is dialed up every year. The level of change is faster than I’ve ever seen it before.

What do you contribute your growth at the company to?

A strong work ethic, perseverance and putting yourself out there.

My work ethic was instilled in me by my mom. She was a single mother who worked tireless hours to ensure I always had what I needed. Watching her in action developed a strong work ethic in me that is a big part of who I am today. And, it also reminds me that I want to pass this quality along to my kids by serving as a model for them, too. As for perseverance, throughout my career I didn’t give up. I took a huge step backwards when I first came into Best Western 14 years ago, because at the time, I had already been a vice president of sales and marketing as well as a vice president of operations. But because I was going into a new industry, I knew I had to make a sacrifice. In this case it was my pay and title. I made the decision to do it, and I had confidence that once I got into the company, and showed them what I had, that I would be able to work my way back up again.

meet Tim Gunn. He is as amazing as he seems like he is on the show, and it was fun to get a sneak peek at who that season’s contestants were going to be. It’s crazy to see all that goes into a 40-second shoot. I also oversee the production for our TV spots, so I get it. But, the prep work that went into this gave me a new appreciation for Hollywood and all that they go through.

At Disney they are incredible marketers. They know their audience. They make the experience so much fun for us as brands and for the consumers. All the partners I get to work with, from Disney to Google, have incredible people. And they’ve become not just partners, but friends.

What advice do you have for fellow women aspiring to hold a leadership role like yours?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If I had listened to people who told me I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. I don’t think anybody was malicious about it, but for whatever reason they didn’t think I could have kids and a career like this. They thought I would have to choose. The other thing is you have to make sure that you have a really good support system, because it’s difficult to do on your own. But no matter how difficult, you can’t give up on your goals and you have to keep going and figure out what it looks like for you. Also, I’m an “always on” learner. I’m always asking questions and looking at things as they pertain to my job and the world in general. Keep your eyes open. It’s important to do this so you can be more of a generalist as opposed to a specialist. Of course in some roles, you have to be a specialist! But I think it’s important to always make sure you are learning. There is always a tidbit of learning in everything that you do. Also, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to stub your toe in this world. If you do, then that hinders your ability to be all that you can and more.

In terms of putting myself out there, I try new things. Things can come up that I’m not familiar with or used to, but instead of saying, “I don’t know how to do that,” I had an attitude of curiosity, asking questions and always learning. And I might not have become an expert at all these things, but it showed me that if your mind is open, you can do almost anything.

What was your experience like filming Project Runway? How important is it to you to weave the Best Western brand into pop culture?

As part of continuing to contemporize our brand for today’s traveler, partners like Project Runway and Disney, as well as Google, are important to us. Being on Project Runway was very fun, and also nerve-wracking. I don’t get nerves often, but my goodness! It was fun to

Brianne Perleberg, a born-and-raised Montanan, is the founder of I Want Her Job, an awardwinning website featuring curated career conversations with women changing the future of business. She also is the co-founder of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, a Top 100 Careers podcast on iTunes. You can follow @iwantherjob on Instagram.



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The Art of a

e t o N n e t t i r w d Han By Callie Reagan

In the past decade, the United States Post Office reports an increase of mailed packages; however, in contrast, the number of letters mailed has decreased. In business and everyday life, everything is going electronic. We get emails, direct messages, video calls and text messaging. With everything going online and to the cloud, have we totally replaced or lost the art of personal contact with others? Specifically, have we lost the art of the handwritten note? Are handwritten notes and letters a thing of the past? Have we moved past the need for personal letters? I think not. Take a look at Pinterest and you will find pages and pages of handmade cards and handwriting script tutorials. This is just one indication that there is a niche out there.

Some may say that this is an outdated tradition that can be upgraded by technology. While technology helps speed things up and offers convenience there is something nostalgic about going to the mailbox and receiving a letter. There is an excitement in it. What it says is there is someone that has taken the time and energy to slow down and think of you. In turn, writing letters offer you time to really gather your thoughts to say what you really think and feel. You are expressing more than just what is written.


While a handwritten letter can be for any occasion, there are times that call for these more than

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others. Here are the top five occasions to write a handwritten note.

After an Interview

When you interview for a position with a company you want to stick out in a good way. One way to get the hiring manager or interviewer’s attention is a personalized thank you letter. While it does not guarantee you a position, it puts you into a different category and you have a better chance of being thought of long after your interview. You will want to express your gratitude for their time and re-express your interest in the position.

Receiving a Gift

While this might seem like a no brainer when you are thinking of baby showers and weddings, it also applies to other gifts. How special would it be to teach your kids to write Grandma a thank you note for that Christmas or birthday gift? Not only is it just good manners, but it’s also a way for you to express gratitude and let them know how you appreciate the gift, what you like about it and if you are using it.

After a Loss

There are very few times in our lives where we can feel alone in a room full of people and when you experience a loss of a loved one that is one of those times. Receiving a note, something personal from someone that is thinking about you can be an expression of love that can break down those walls.

It is a way to let them know that they are not alone and the person they are missing is being missed by others.


Mile markers are great times to send a handwritten note. These are times like graduations, new home, the birth of a baby and beating a fight with a longterm sickness. These are opportunities for you to celebrate with them, let them know that they have reached a place in their life that has taken strength, planning and time. These are also notes that are often kept and put into scrapbooks, saved over time and remembered.

Expressing Love

There is a little romantic in all of us. This may be the favorite handwritten note to receive. A love note can be from a child or significant other. These are almost always kept in a special place. They are collected and cherished for the life of the relationship or for life.

It doesn’t matter what the handwriting looks like, although there is an art to cursive and calligraphy, it really is the thought that counts. It means more than the value of the card or paper it’s written on or the stamp that is required to mail it. Say more and send a note to a friend, family member or loved one today. You will love what it says about you.


Small Batch and Delicious Fleur Bake Shop

By Jill Jones - Photos by Cody Payne Photography It was 20 degrees and windy with that everyone was part of the same conversation. dreadful horizontal snow that we often For obvious reasons and with well executed intentions, Fleur is very reminiscent of a experience here in Montana in the heart of winter, and the sidewalks were crowded Parisian sidewalk cafe. There I was shedding with people running in and out of shops. I my winter layers in the middle of downtown had about 30 minutes in-between meetings Whitefish, and it felt as though I was back in and was looking for a place to sit and escape Paris relishing the beauty and aroma of the local French bakery. The bakery is certainly the crowds and weather while I reviewed my notes and checked emails. I was about to cross the street when I passed the gallery windows of Fleur Bake Shop. I paused on the sidewalk and watched the people inside enjoying their hot drinks and warm pastries, visiting with their friends and basically behaving as if the world outside wasn’t spiraling into the next ice age. For months my friends had been raving about “the new French bakery in town” and I decided it was past time I experienced it for myself. I walked up to the counter with a display case filled with colorful treats, cakes, and pastries almost too pretty to eat, and was met with a warm welcome like I was a regular dropping in for my usual. The atmosphere was so warm and welcoming with the open floorplan and views into the kitchen, it felt like


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a welcomed addition to downtown Whitefish and adds a new dimension and experience for patrons looking for a taste of France without leaving Montana. In 2018 Jamie Goguen was planning a party when she came across Whitney Brien’s small bakery tucked behind the local Fly shop. Jamie was impressed with Whitney’s tenacity and talent and hired her to cater the event. Whitney not only showed up to the party with beautiful and delicious baked goods, she and her team provided an experience with their service and presentation. After that Jamie continued to patron the little bakery and got to know Whitney while also becoming familiar with her work ethic and commitment to her craft. Fleur Bake shop was quickly gaining popularity and growing out of the small space where Whitney had set up shop. So, when Jamie and her husband purchased the property on Central Avenue she thought of Whitney and reached out to her about the possibility of moving to a new location. The first time Jamie approached her; Whitney politely declined. She wasn’t


Fleur Bake Shop

Fleur Bake Shop provides a comfortable atmosphere for friends to gather and visit or even for that lone customer to find a quiet moment to just “be.”

sure she was ready for such a big move and was in the middle of her busy season. But after visiting further and seeing the site, they decided to move forward together. When they visited the new location it was clear they had a similar vision for the space, but there was a lot of work to be done. Enter Eric Payne, a local Montana developer and owner of nuWest Builders, who had previously worked with the Goguen’s on other projects including the Goguen’s home and “Casey’s,” a restaurant with multiple bars also in downtown Whitefish. Eric was able to take their vision and make it a reality. Even with

a few hiccups along the way they were able to design and build a unique space without interrupting the familiar charm that is synonymous with the area. It was important to Jamie and Whitney that the space be open and inviting from the sidewalk, welcoming people in with the indoor/outdoor fluidity so common amongst street cafes in Europe. In the summer the gallery windows open up providing that outdoor exposure, while in the winter passerby's still feel welcomed from the sidewalk by the sight of customers enjoying their drinks by the fire who are only a “wave” away. Fleur Bake Shop provides a comfortable atmosphere for friends to gather and visit or even for that lone customer to find a quiet moment to just “be.” The curb appeal is enough to make you stop and want to check it out, but Whitney is truly an artist when it comes to her baked goods. The display case at Fleur is an Instagram

foodie’s dream. Every single item is a picture perfect showstopper. It is evident that Whitney and her team take pride in their entire selection of offerings. And in order to make each customer’s experience special, they are committed to the quality of each item being well above par in both appearance and flavor. Next time you are in downtown Whitefish, be sure to stop by Fleur Bake Shop and treat yourself to one of Whitney’s amazing pastries, stock up on macarons, and take home a slice of cake for later.

406-730-8486 www.fleurbakeshop.com 103 Central Avenue Whitefish, Montana



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Social Distancing is Easy on the Course

Buffalo Hill Golf Course By Mary Wallace Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

When it was finally over, the people came out with their children and their parents and their friends and their co-workers, and they rejoiced in the sun at one of the few places they could still do a somewhat normal thing even while practicing social distancing. And it was at the golf course. Many locals are forgoing summer travel plans this year and opting for a staycation instead. “It’s a great time to take up a new sport like golf or work on improving your game,” said General Manager Steve Dunfee. “After the long isolation, Buffalo Hill Golf Course is open and buzzing with activity; beautiful, and ready for guests (golfers and non-golfers alike).”

The course wintered well, according to Dunfee, but on May 31st a storm blew through the valley bringing damaging winds. The grounds crew was immediately on the task when the storm took out 41 trees on the course. The course was closed for a couple of days, but cleanup and repairs were completed in record time and the club was back in business. The U.S./Canadian border closure has hampered some of the usual springtime cross border golf activity, but on the upside, local residents have been able to get out and enjoy the spring weather and all the golf they want. The club has actually seen an increase in local membership and traffic and


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The public is welcome to come out and enjoy the clubhouse and new patio, whether they are golfing or not. There is a positive vibe outside, free WiFi, ice cold drinks, and the smell of flowers and freshly cut grass. Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a great way to enjoy all that the Flathead Valley offers right in our own backyards.

most tee times can be accommodated on short notice. “Buffalo Hill has always promoted a family environment and welcomes everyone who just want to enjoy some exercise and outdoor activity,” said Dunfee. “We welcome players of all ages and all abilities.”

There is a shiny new fleet of 70 Club Car golf carts, and the whole crew is excited for golfers to meet the new assistant golf pro, Harrison Taylor, who joins PGA Pro Casey Keyser and Assistant Pro Dave Broder.

With some changes to accommodate CDC social distancing and safety guidelines Buffalo Hill Golf Club is completely open. Junior, high school, ladies, and mixed adult group lessons are geared up for an epic season. The kid’s programs are full and include groups of about eight kids just having fun and learning golf skills, golf etiquette, and life lessons.

“Group participants of all ages often say that lessons pay off immensely,” said Dunfee, “both in learned skills and in the enjoyment of the game.” Many like to start out with group lessons and then schedule a handful of private lessons to work out some kinks or improve on some strengths.

Most club events are also being held with some adjustments. The Governor’s Cup, for instance, is scheduled for the end of July. Started as the Centennial Golf Classic during the 100th celebration of Montana’s statehood in 1989, the Montana Chamber Foundation annually hosts more than 400 business and government leaders, representing over 100

businesses from across Montana, the entire U.S., and even around the world through the Governors’ Cup Golf Tournament.

This beloved Montana event is specifically organized for networking and to promote the state’s growing opportunities for business and investment, as well as a charitable fundraiser for our various programs. The Governors’ Cup recognizes and appreciates the support of all of Montana’s living governors, many of whom attend the tournament and serve as Honorary Hosts each year.

The clubhouse and patio are open with reduced seating. Breakfast and lunch are available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 2 pm and at 7 am on Saturdays. The clubhouse is also serving a rotating selection of three specialty menu items from 2 pm to 7 pm seven days a week. The popular Friday night barbeques are back throughout the summer. The famous and well-loved Chef Carl Inslman will be preparing a different menu every week. Reservations for the Friday night BBQ are not needed, but due to reduced seating capacity, diners are encouraged to come early for the best seating and selection. The clubhouse and patio are also available for parties and gatherings. It is a popular place for company Christmas parties, celebrations of life, family reunions, class reunions, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. The public is welcome to come out and enjoy the clubhouse and new patio, whether they are golfing or not. There is a positive vibe outside, free WiFi, ice cold drinks, and the smell of flowers and freshly cut grass. Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a great way to enjoy all that the Flathead Valley offers right in our own backyards.

Top Photo: Head Golf Pro, Casey Keyser (left) and Assistant Golf Pro, Harrison Taylor (right)

TEE TIMES: 406-756-4530 www.golfbuffalohill.com 1176 North Main Street, Kalispell



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COVID Crisis at

Ground Zero Story and Photos by Carla Brook

I once read a quote in a book that states, “ The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but the loss of passion while living.” It reminds me everyday to not lose sight of why we are here on this earth. We all have our passions, our desires, our goals and that is what makes us all unique. In pursuing our passions we must never lose site of compassion for others. We may not share the same ethnicity, the same color of skin, the same religious beliefs, or political views but the things we share are the need for love, family, connection to others and belonging.

Spending the last eight weeks in New York City working the COVID crisis, I truly did not know what to expect when I arrived. I came for different reasons but mostly because I am a nurse and knew that my fellow nurses needed help. I had not been on the floor or in a hospital setting for almost 10 years; I am also 57 years old. I knew the challenges for me were going to be many, but I was able to get past my fears reminding myself everyday that God had my back.


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My assignment ended up being on a Step Down Unit (SDU) from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at NYU Langone Health. SDUs provide an intermediate level of care between the ICUs and the general medicalsurgical wards. Hundreds of nurses and doctors came in the same day as I did from all over the United States and other countries. We quickly found we were all in the same position, including the nurses and doctors that worked at NYU. We were there to fight a virus. Whether you were

an OR, ER, ICU, or Surgical nurse, APRN, PA or doctor, we were all doing the same thing. Taking care of thousands of COVID patients.

I ended up being in a group of about 10 nurses as we were consistently assigned to the same unit. We quickly became very close, learning to help each other. We all had different strengths and gifts to offer. It didn’t matter where we came from, what color or religion we were; we just banded together to help those around us. The most amazing thing was watching the city of New York come together to help each other. Those that had very little still gave. Restaurants delivered free food everyday despite the fact they had no business and didn’t know whether they would remain open after the crisis. As a city they vowed that no one would go hungry and were passing out free meals to anyone who needed it. It was wonderful to see.


Ground Zero

I ended up being in a group of about 10 nurses as we were consistently assigned to the same unit. We quickly became very close, learning to help each other. We all had different strengths and gifts to offer. It didn’t matter where we came from, what color or religion we were; we just banded together to help those around us. The policemen, firemen, and ambulance workers were my real heroes. They still had to be on the streets, go into homes, sometimes without adequate protection. I remember an ambulance worker from Brooklyn telling me they had 4,000 calls in one day when their maximum calls on a usual day was 400. People were scared and calling EMS at the slightest symptoms. These were also the people that were cheering the nurses and doctors on from their balconies at the end of the day. It was a really moving to hear the cheers.

This crisis is far from over. Keep giving, keep loving those around you. Remember hindsight is always better than foresight. Do not be quick to judge, we all live in our realities and are doing the best we can. We learn from our mistakes, our failures and our victories. Love always wins over Hate.

Editor’s Note: We are so happy that Carla Brook with Riverbend Health and Medical Spa chose to share her story with all of our readers. She is truly and inspiration and a reallife heroine to all of us here at 406 Woman magazine. Thank you Carla! Learn more at http://riverbendhealthspa.com/

There are estimated to be 2,000 homeless people in New York City. NY police officers had to find places for these people, putting them in hotels, and shelters. The hotels gave them free lodging, food and comfort. The ones with COVID came to the hospital. Some with infestation of lice and maggots. They lost limbs and sometimes lost their lives. They had both physical and emotional wounds that may never heal. Through it all I witnessed compassion. On my way to the airport we went through downtown. There had been a protest the night before. Windows were broken and businesses spraypainted. What a tragedy. Especially after seeing so many people give in this crisis only for it to be destroyed by a few. I could only think, “Maybe you should spend your time helping others, looking for the person you can help who may not have what you do, instead of becoming part of the problem. This virus has destroyed people, the economy and our way of life, why do you choose to contribute to that destruction?“

Whether you believe this virus is real or not, does not excuse anyone from putting on their work boots and offering to help where it is needed. I don’t pretend to understand COVID, and I worked in the thick of it for eight weeks. In the city that has had over 210,000 cases and 17,000 deaths alone. For me it was very real. Believe me, we didn’t have the answers either; we just did what we had to do.

There are many stories to tell and many heroes in this story of the COVID crisis.



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The Virtual House Call By Dena Tomlinson

Still wearing last night’s pajamas, the patient waits to see her doctor. She is not feeling well, but she is comfortable—at home, resting on her couch, in a virtual waiting room. In a time when physicians rarely make house calls, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted patient care from the modern clinical setting to a precautionary virtual environment. For many health care providers, these past few months proved that telehealth services should not only be an option for patients, but a necessity. Telehealth, also called telemedicine, is a secure two-way audio-video connection, allowing providers to connect with patients for a variety of medical consultations and follow-up opportunities. “During the COVID-19 crisis, we asked our community to take action against the pandemic by staying home,” explains Nichole Perisho, virtual health manager at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. “We expanded our telehealth services so any of our providers could then meet them there.”


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Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) began its telehealth initiative years ago as a way to partner with health care providers across the state and reach patients in rural communities. The goal was to connect KRH’s specialty-care services to areas where such care was unavailable. KRH established in-clinic connections for telehealth in areas such as Polson, Eureka, Ronan, Shelby, Browning, Plains, Cut Bank, Conrad, Missoula, Great Falls, Helena and Bozeman. “Historically, most of our specialty providers have used telehealth for follow up’s with existing patients, but it wasn’t an essential resource for all of our ambulatory clinics like it is now,” says Perisho. “If you do not need to be in the hospital or in the medical clinics, using telehealth as virtual triage from your home helps keep you, our healthcare workers, and our community safe.” When the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to Montana, KRH expanded its telehealth services in an effort to continue the positive impact of social distancing while providing safe, quality patient care. Over 150 providers from both primary- and specialty-care clinics began offering

patients virtual visits. Since March 2020, KRH’s providers have participated in nearly 10,000 telehealth visits—a significant jump from 2019’s cumulative total of 2,700 visits.

“During these stressful times, telehealth has helped me to stay connected to my immunosuppressed patients,” explains Bernadette VanBelois, MD, rheumatologist at KRH. “We can discuss their treatment plan and make adjustments. I remind them to get overdue labs or go over recent test results with them. I reinforce the COVID-19 precautions with them, as well as check in on their emotional well-being. I have met pets and other family members. It really is like doing a house call. It has enabled me to continue to be involved in their care while ensuring their safety.”

In a virtual visit, providers are able to evaluate and recommend care for patients with various needs and ailments—from prescription renewals and behavioral health consultations, to medical issues ranging from strokes to rashes and minor injuries. As the pandemic forced many hospitals to shift its

resources and consultation practices, it also allowed providers and staff to reevaluate industry norms. Recently, KRH’s cancer care services began incorporating telehealth into their patient education curriculum as a way to lessen the number of patients in the infusion center and allow families or a support person to be a part of the patient’s introduction to their treatment. “Our team developed a video tour of the infusion area to help decrease fear of the unknown and increase familiarity with their treatment space, as patients and families would no longer be able to visit prior to beginning treatment,” says Leah A. Scaramuzzo, nursing director of Oncology Clinical Development at KRH. “The coronavirus pandemic provided an opportunity to update resources, standardize education, incorporate new health literacy, and update oncology chemotherapy safety standards.” This also helped increase staff and patient knowledge and use of technology, as well as and involve patients’ families and friends in their chemoteaching—including those that may live miles away from patient. According to a recent patientexperience survey, the remote appointments helped reduced patient anxiety as they were able to get the information and care they needed from the comfort and security of their own home.

“Telehealth has been invaluable to not only my patients, but myself during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing me to continue to care for my patients,” says Eric Brandeberry, MD, a KRH primary care physician at Family Healthcare in Columbia Falls. “Telehealth has provided me the ability to see, evaluate and interact in a similar way that we would in an in-person office visit which has been very reassuring. My patients have been extremely satisfied and pleased with the telehealth process.” KRH also provides a “virtual” walk in clinic called KRHCareAnywhere.org, which provides 24-hour urgent care online, providing access to a medical professional at any time of the day or night. While there are many health issues that can be treated with telehealth, there are many which cannot be resolved or evaluated over video conferencing. If a patient is experiencing excessive bleeding, chest pain, the signs and symptoms of a stroke, or think they may have broken bones or possible sprains, a trip to the emergency room is still the right choice.


Visit krh.org for more information on Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s services.


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Don’t Let Pain

Stop Your Summer Fun Story collaboration by Kristen Hamilton and Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine

As spring springs right into summer here in the Flathead, everyone seems to be eager to get a jump start on outdoor activities and enjoying the season. It’s the reason why so many people around here call Montana “The Last Best Place.”

Whether it’s hitting the back 9 at the Whitefish Golf Club, paddling to the far end of Tally Lake, riding the Whitefish Trail on a mountain bike, or maybe doing all three activities in one day, everybody wants to squeeze every last ounce of summertime FUN out of the Flathead.

Choose Your Own Adventure

There’s so much to do during the summer from the most extreme sports like mountain biking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting to more sublime ones like gardening, golfing, and fishing. Nobody wants to be put on the sidelines nursing injuries that take them away from their passion. At Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine, they see a good number of super-athletes in the clinic, but mostly it’s just regular people, enjoying their everyday active lives.


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Some common things they treat and the sports they relate to are:

●Golf: shoulder pain, knee pain, low back pain ●Kayaking: shoulder pain, elbow pain

●Mountain Biking: neck/back pain, knee/ankle pain, acute injury

●Hiking: knee pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis,


Routinely, patients see great improvements with both chronic pain from known injuries, and from pain unrelated to a specific incident.

Michael Thierfelder, partner and clinic manager says, “Acupuncture works best with frequency and duration. After the initial consultation, it’s pretty typical for chronic pain patients to come in 10-12 times over the course of a month or two to see really good improvement if not complete remediation.”

Pins & Needles

If you’ve been thinking about trying acupuncture, there are many reasons why you should.

Treatment may start with Cupping Therapy utilizing special cups put on your skin to create suction to help with blood flow and relaxation.

health} Acupuncture is clinically proven to reduce pain and inflammation. This means more pain-free days and ultimately the freedom to get off the sidelines and actively live your life. Acupuncture works when other treatments fail. Many (if not all) of the patients at the clinic started acupuncture as a last resort for dealing with stubborn chronic pain or illness. Compared to physical therapy, surgery and pharmaceutical therapies, acupuncture is gentle and effective without negative side-effects. We often tell patients the most noticeable side-effect is better sleep!

For kids, acupuncture can help resolve "mystery ailments" that MDs and modern medicine can't figure out. Children are generally fast responders to acupuncture and bounce back from allergies, digestive issues, asthma, sleep problems, mood disorders, and sports injuries.

Living Life Pain-Free

Acupuncture may sound like an exotic treatment for chronic pain, but it’s been around for centuries and recently has been clinically proven by several studies to provide long term relief from pain (up to 12 months in many cases).

Acupuncture works by applying needles, heat, and pressure to specific points on the body. A review article that appeared in Practical Pain Management found that pain relief with acupuncture comes from inactivating the source of pain by modulating endorphin levels, regulating the nervous system, immune system and endocrine/hormonal system.



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“For a lot of people, acupuncture is the last stop on the healthcare train, after they’ve tried everything else. But in reality, acupuncture often achieves the best results."

health} According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a number of studies suggest that acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain such as back and neck pain; osteoarthritis/knee pain; and headaches. It often reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines. “Therefore,” the NIH concludes, “acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.”

Unconventionally Awesome

Conventional medicine is great at some things, however, it often fails at treating more common problems, like chronic pain or poor sleep. Common conditions that conventional medicine has difficulty treating are:

●Chronic Pain: Treated with over-the-counter pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen), opioids, physical therapy, surgery, tough-it-out mindset

●Insomnia: Treated with sleeping pills and antidepressants

●Migraine Headaches: Treated with over-thecounter pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), caffeine, beta-blockers, antidepressants, ergot, triptans, glucocorticoids, opioids ●Anxiety/Depression: Treated with antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers While acupuncture may be unconventional, it excels at treating these conditions because it’s designed to treat the root of the problem (not just the symptoms). Conventional medicine offers interventions (pharmaceutical or surgical) to relieve the symptoms of these conditions, while acupuncture delivers long-term relief noninvasively and without narcotics. Thierfelder said, “For a lot of people, acupuncture is the last stop on the healthcare train, after they’ve tried everything else. But in reality, acupuncture often achieves the best results. At your first acupuncture treatment, we investigate the root cause of your condition and get you on the road to long-term healing and relief. Acupuncture treatments not only prevent conditions from returning, but they can also prevent related conditions from arising.”


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BONUS Side Effects to Acupuncture

The most common and surprising side-effects of acupuncture are:

●Better sleep: Acupuncture balances your body’s nervous system to attune with circadian rhythms and promotes falling into deep and restorative sleep cycles.

●Better sex: Acupuncture increases libido by balancing hormones (male and female), boosting blood flow to the genitals, and relaxing the mind with a flood of feel-good neurotransmitters including dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin. ●Better relationships: Acupuncture relieves stress which allows for easy-going relationships with your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. It literally shifts the brain into a baseline state of relaxation so the daily annoyances, interruptions, and stresses of dealing with other people will bounce right off of you while you transform your mindset into cultivating healthy relationships at work, school, and (most importantly) home.

Are you ready to start living a life free from pain and getting out there to live your best life? If so, perhaps it’s time to consider acupuncture. Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine (406) 863-6001 www.whitefishaim.com 110 E 2nd St, Whitefish, MT


North Valley Hospital in Columbia Falls NVH Stacy Dolan

The Neilson Family at NVPC. Photo by Vicky Kasala

From North Valley Hospital

NV Professional Center

North Valley Hospital has a strong presence in Columbia Falls to serve our patients and community. The four NVH operated locations provide primary care, physical therapy, pharmacy services, and school-based health. North Valley Professional Center provides primary medical care for families including sports physicals, pediatric care, wellness exams, behavioral health, and much more. The clinic also specializes in family oriented obstetrical care, with provider’s offering care to both mothers and their babies. For deliveries and infant care, Dr. Katiera Rivera and Dr. Amy Dear-Ruel are there for your family. North Valley Physical Therapy has highly trained therapists to treat chronic pain, injury or surgery rehabilitation, women’s health and rehab, and more. Parents, students and faculty are familiar with the School Based Health Clinic at Columbia Falls High School, which provides medical care, mental and behavioral health, and more options for students and teachers during the school year. Finally, to pick up prescriptions, patients can conveniently stop at the Good Medicine Pharmacy, operated by North Valley Hospital and located in Super 1 in Columbia Falls. With this broad availability of treatment options connected to North Valley Hospital, patients can be confident in the care they receive, and follow an easy pathway between various levels of care all operated by the hospital.


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The clinics in Columbia Falls are each expanding to better serve patient needs as well. North Valley Professional Center recently added three new providers, including primary care physician Amy Dear-Ruel, MD, and behavioral health therapists Rob Gordon, MSW, LCSW, and Charley Jones, MSW, LCSW who works specifically with area high schools in Whitefish and Columbia Falls.

Now, North Valley Professional Center has four physicians on staff, two nurse practitioners, and two behavioral health therapists to provide treatment options for you and your family. At North Valley Physical Therapy (NVPT), four therapists are available for appointments, each providing high quality treatment to help you get back to your active life. Recently, North Valley Physical Therapy brought on Saul Helgeson, DPT, to join the team. North Valley Physical Therapy has a team of experts that can treat mobility issues, chronic pain, injury rehabilitation, surgery rehabilitation, pelvic therapy, ergonomics, workers compensation injuries and more. As with other clinics, NVPT is operated by North Valley Hospital to ensure you receive the highest quality care to meet your needs.

North Valley Physical Therapy is breaking ground on a new physical therapy facility that will provide more patient amenities, additional areas for appointments and active therapy, and a more comfortable space for patients. The building is located on Nucleus Avenue next to the current facility and is expected to open in fall 2020.

The School Based Health Clinic at Columbia Falls High School operates during the school year to provide treatment to students and faculty and staff without leaving the school campus. This improves access for students who don’t need to miss classroom time for treatment or require parents to leave for transportation. The helpful clinic offers confidential physical, mental and behavioral, telehealth, and other health and wellness options to all students with parental consent. To learn more about North Valley Hospital clinics in Columbia Falls, visit nvhosp.org/ clinics or call any of the above clinics at the phone numbers listed below. North Valley Professional Center – (406) 892-3208 North Valley Physical Therapy – (406) 892-2777 School Based Health Clinic – (406) 892-3208 Good Medicine Pharmacy – (406) 892-9997


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Body Love Connection By Holly Moore from Love Yoga Photos by Jill Jones

Wild Thing

What keeps you coming back to your movement practice? For me, it’s the connection; the feeling of coming home to myself. And when I’m teaching in the studio or online, I feel connected not only to myself, but to others. This sense of connection is at the heart of our most basic human need for love and belonging. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union, or connection. For me, yoga nurtures my need for spiritual connection, which creates clarity for how I live my life. Yoga nourishes my need for grounding and slowing down; for moving dynamically and releasing energy through outer and inner expansion and expression. What I love so much about barre is that it allows me to let loose, get out of my head, and move to music I love, all while creating fierce, functional strength. Both yoga and barre are a celebration of the ways our bodies can move dynamically, creatively, and fluidly. They speak to me in different ways, but I always bring in elements of both practices when teaching and practicing movement.

I’ve created a short, 20-minute yoga-barre fusion sequence designed to create strength and get your heartrate up, and then unwind into yoga bliss. I highly encourage you to find or create an upbeat playlist for the following sequence. You can also visit the studio’s website (www.loveyogawhitefish.com) to see our playlists via Spotify. Enjoy your movement and celebrate your body!


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Wild Thing is a beautiful celebration and representation of the dynamic ways our body can move. It opens the heart, allowing us to tap into the energy of empathy and love. From side plank, float your left leg up off your right and anchor into the outer edge of your right flexed foot. Slowly bend your left leg, releasing the ball of the foot onto the ground behind you. Press into the ball of your left foot and allow your pelvis to lift upward, letting the head and neck relax. Place your left hand to your heart. Take 5 rounds of breath. Repeat on the left side, beginning with Side Plank Crunches.

Goddess Squat Pulses

Come into a wide second position, also called Goddess in the world of yoga. Bring your hands together at your chest as you roll your knees back, press down firmly into your feet, and pulse your seat toward your mat. 25 reps and then hold at your lowest point.

Plie Jumps

Now for some cardio! Bring your hands together at your heart. Jump up as you straighten your legs and point your toes. Land softly and get into a rhythm with your music. Go for 30-60 seconds.

Bridge Lifts

Lie down on your mat, bend your knees, and plant your feet, hip width distance apart, firmly onto your mat. Press your arms and hands down into your mat by your sides as you lift your hips toward the sky. Pulse your hips up by squeezing your glute muscles. As you pulse your hips upward, lift your heels and squeeze your knees in to engage your inner thighs. 25 reps.

Side Plank Crunches Face the Barre Leg Lifts

Face your waist high surface (chair, barre, wall, couch, etc.). Grab hold and walk your feet back until your hips stack over your heels. Extend your right leg straight up behind you. Point your toe and keep both hips facing downward. Tap your toe back down to your mat and then lift. 20 reps. On your last rep, transition into your Scorpion Leg Lifts.

Come into side plank pose, and bring your left hand behind your head, gently pressing your elbow back to open up through your chest. Pulse your hips toward the sky. 20 reps. Shift into Wild Thing.

90 Degree Lunge with Shoulder Press

Grab your hand weights and stand at the back of your mat. Take a big step forward with your right foot and then bend both knees to 90 degrees. Emphasize more weight through your front foot, less in your back knee/foot. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and draw your elbows in, face your palms forward. Straighten both legs as you press your weights straight over your head. Return to your 90 degree lunge and squeeze the elbows in and back. 15-20 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

Scorpion Leg Lifts

Hold your right leg up parallel to the floor. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees and put a small bend into your standing leg. Point your right toes and come onto your left tiptoe. Pulse the right leg up as you pulse down into your left. 20 reps. Repeat facing the barre series on the other side.

Plie with Lateral Raises

Come to a first position, bringing your heels together and toes open. Stand tall and draw your belly and ribs in, shoulders back. Lift your heels a couple inches off your mat. Extend your arms out to your sides, palms facing up. Pulse the arms up as you pulse your seat down toward your mat. 20 reps.

Butterfly Bliss Supported Boat Crunches with Arm Raises

Grab your weights and sit down on your mat, bend your knees, and draw your knees and feet together. Sit tall and extend your weights out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing up. Hinge back at your waist, bringing your torso to a 45 degree diagonal. Mini-crunch up, while keeping weights lifted in front of you. 25 reps. Then, increase your range of motion even more, lowering your upper body down toward the floor and then pressing more fully up and bringing the weights up even higher. 15-20 reps.

Lie down on your back and bring the souls of your feet together. Allow your knees to gently fall open. Bring your hands to rest on your chest. Breathe deeply and surrender to the present moment. Shift into thoughts of what you are most grateful for in the moment. Namaste!



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Pain from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Pelvic pain has many causes. One less commonly discussed cause is pain from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD). This is pain within the pelvic floor muscles caused by weakness, spasm or lack of coordination. It may be felt in the lower abdomen, pelvis, vagina, external vaginal area, rectum or bladder. This pain may be present constantly, intermittently, or with certain activities including exercise, prolonged sitting or sexual activity. The pain is often described as achy, heavy or burning in nature. It generally comes and goes over time. Pelvic muscles often have discreet knots known as trigger points. Touching or pressure on these trigger points can result in pain, and symptoms such as heart racing, sweating, tearfulness, coldness, and even a runny nose can occur. Symptoms may be “referred” to other areas and manifest in different ways, such as having to urinate frequently or suddenly, having burning with urination, or even experiencing vaginal or vulvar itching and burning.


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By Gwenda C. Jonas, MD

Why does it happen?

It is not understood exactly how PFD is caused. There are twenty-eight pelvic floor muscles, many of which form a “bowl” at the base of the pelvis. These muscles are involved in supporting our posture, bowel, bladder and sexual function. Oftentimes, these muscles must contract asymmetrically, predisposing to muscle tension. And because all the muscles of this area work together, dysfunction in one muscle may eventually lead to dysfunction in other muscles over time. Possible causes of PFD include acute strain, chronic overuse, poor posture, scar tissue or trauma. Trauma can be small repetitive events or a single significant event like childbirth, surgery, even a fall. Certainly, sexual trauma may result in long-standing pelvic pain and PFD. The pelvic floor can be affected by psychological as well as physical stresses. Often, we subconsciously hold stress in our muscles, including those of our pelvis. Prolonged muscle contraction may result in decreased blood flow and oxygen in the

tissue. This in turn causes release of substances that cause pain and can even change how pain is perceived by the body. Ongoing pain in one area may cause the central nervous system to be overly sensitive, magnifying the perception of pain in another area.

Many women with pelvic floor pain also have endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome, pain with intercourse, painful periods or irritable bowel syndrome. It is unclear how these are related to each other or if, in some cases, one may cause the other.

How is PFD pain diagnosed?

A medical professional, most often a gynecologist, will discuss the history of symptoms and then perform a physical exam. This exam should include an external exam of the lower abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and legs, followed by a careful and detailed gynecologic exam. Special attention will be paid to the muscles of the pelvic floor, putting pressure on them one at a time to

health} It is not understood exactly how PFD is caused. There are twenty-eight pelvic floor muscles, many of which form a “bowl” at the base of the pelvis. These muscles are involved in supporting our posture, bowel, bladder and sexual function. determine if they are tight, tender, and whether pressure results in a woman’s symptoms. In addition, a woman may be asked to try to tighten or relax pelvic floor muscles during the exam. A pelvic ultrasound will often be ordered to evaluate for other causes of pain.

How is PFD pain treated?

affect the way pain is processed by our nervous system. In addition, anxiety and depression can result in muscle tension, therefore, decreasing psychological stress will help to relieve pelvic muscle tension. Occasionally, actual injections of medication into the muscles themselves may help make the diagnosis or relax muscles for physical therapy work.

Treatment most often requires a combination of approaches. The most important treatment for pain of pelvic muscular origin is pelvic floor physical therapy. This involves pelvic floor muscular strengthening, biofeedback, and sometimes electrical stimulation. It should be performed with a physical therapist specifically trained in pelvic floor therapy. It may take 3-4 months to begin to see improvement. In some instances, pelvic floor physical therapy may take as long as 12 months.

Counseling with cognitive behavioral therapy has been demonstrated to be extremely helpful for some patients. This involves seeing a counselor who specializes in training patients to identify stress or psychological triggers that result in tightening their pelvic muscles. A patient can then learn to break the cycle by consciously relaxing muscles in response to triggering events. In addition, if the pelvic pain is associated with physical or sexual abuse, counseling may help begin healing of psychological trauma.

Medication therapy will often also be needed. Medications used may include non-narcotic medications that affect how our bodies process pain, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and vaginal estrogen or anesthetic gel (narcotic medications are avoided due to the risk of addiction). Some antidepressants are used to

Home exercise programs, yoga for pelvic pain relief, Pilates, or stress-reduction techniques are often incorporated. Treatment of coexisting conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic or abdominal scar tissue or ovarian cysts may be necessary.

It is particularly important to realize that pelvic pain of muscular origin is often a chronic condition that will wax and wane over time. A woman may go through therapy, resolve the majority of her symptoms and still have flareups from time to time. Recognizing these flares and immediately beginning a regimen that has been found to work for her in the past will decrease the severity. Occasionally, a full course of physical therapy and other therapies may need to be repeated for severe flares.

What should I do if I think I have pain related to PFD?

See your medical provider and ask for a referral to a gynecologist with expertise in pelvic pain. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can make an appointment with a specialist directly.

More Information:

International Pelvic Pain Society: www.pelvicpain.org Facebook is a great resource to find Pelvic Floor Dysfunction support groups.



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Changed lives By Jenna Taylor

Montana is in crisis.

We’ve all been challenged, and many of us have suffered deep loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is another crisis, one that existed before Coronavirus, but that is intensified by it…and it also attacks the weak and vulnerable. Thousands of children have suffered abuse or neglect, and they cannot live safely with their biological families. Whether it is parental drug use, child abuse, neglect, or a combination, Montana children are being removed from their homes every day.

When there are no nearby or appropriate relatives and no available foster families, authorities have no option but to move children to emergency shelters, then group home facilities. These facilities are often far from “home” – far away from everything the child knows. Through no fault of their own, children are being removed not only from their homes, but often from their friends, schools, and coaches, their extended families, and, oftentimes, their communities. This is because, tragically, there aren’t enough licensed foster families to care for these children.

families who are willing to make huge sacrifices for others is easy. The reality is that, regardless of location, finding families to care for hurting children is hard work. It’s not about having a good heart and a spare bedroom. It’s a calling.

This is why Child Bridge exists.

Today, there are more than 3,100 children in Montana’s foster care system. Imagine counting to 3,100 now. And then think that for every number you count, there is a name. Three thousand and one hundred names. And with every name there are two beautiful eyes that are the window to a beautiful soul, created for a purpose. Created to be a speaker of life and hope into this world.

We are a faith-based ministry that finds and equips foster and adoptive families to care for Montana’s children who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Founded in the Flathead Valley in early 2011, Child Bridge expanded operations to serve the needs of children and families across the state. Today, we have regional offices in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Great Falls, Butte, and Glendive. As Executive Director, I’m privileged to work on behalf of the brave and sacrificial families who are caring for children who have suffered horrific starts in life. I wish I could tell you that finding


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While not a licensing or placement agency, Child Bridge meets a critical need by working closely with the State and other child welfare agencies to find and equip the families who will provide the safety and stability that these children so desperately need.

But how can that soul ever speak life and hope if they have never experienced it? In many cases, these children have suffered unspeakable trauma: a baby boy with 26 broken bones… not from a car crash, but from mom’s boyfriend’s rage. A 9-year-old girl who doesn’t

know the months of the year but can tell you how to shoot up heroin without even pausing to think. These children require the special care and attention of a well-equipped family from the moment they are removed from their birth family until they can return home again, if possible. The first goal of foster care is always that a child’s birth family will have time and space to heal and care for their child again. What a beautiful story of redemption it is when a child is successfully reunified with their birth family. The struggle is fierce, but it is possible. Addicted parents can get clean. Hurting families can heal. Our team has dozens of stories of how, when a foster family provides the temporary care that a child needs, birth families can heal. Sadly, while the ideal, this is not always the reality. There are many instances where a child’s birth family is unable to care for their son or daughter again. In these cases, the child needs to be adopted. It has been a privilege for the Child Bridge team to walk alongside tens of dozens of Montana families from the moment that a child is placed in their home until that child is adopted. Adoption is always filled with both joy and sorrow, belonging and loss. And we celebrate that even in loss there can be opportunities for hope and healing.

The Johnson family of Butte, has adopted 3 children from foster care.


Changed lives

The first goal of foster care is always that a child’s birth family will have time and space to heal and care for their child again. Sadly, while the ideal, this is not always the reality. Adoption is always filled with both joy and sorrow, belonging and loss. And we celebrate that even in loss there can be opportunities for hope and healing. Today, as a result of COVID-19, child welfare professionals are addressing a crisis on top of a crisis. Headlines cry out about increased levels of abuse and neglect across the nation. Job loss, economic strain, children not in school, social isolation… all compounding into greater numbers of hurting children. As teachers make more reports of suspected child abuse or neglect than any other group, child abuse hotlines are receiving fewer calls. We know that this indicates, not that less children are hurting, but rather that hurting children are going unseen.

ing of compassion. We can choose to not be afraid of what we do not know, but to press in, to learn and grow. We can choose to dedicate our lives to something greater than ourselves. We can choose to stand for the powerless.

their time of need. These kids’ lives depend on it. The future of our state depends on it.

As you read this, children in your own town are hiding under their beds, are locked in closets, are bruised and afraid. Experts here in Montana and across the nation predict increased numbers of children coming into the foster system due to the coronavirus.

We each have a choice. We can choose to hide behind the busyness of our modern lives and our never-ending to-do lists… hanging the blinds, buying snacks for the t-ball team, preparing for summer camping trips.

This is why we must be ready, Montana.

Or we can choose to not look away.

We must have an army of well-equipped families ready and waiting to care for children in

We can choose to step into someone else’s pain in order that they might know the heal-

Jenna Taylor, a native of Bigfork, MT, is Executive Director of Child Bridge. Jenna has had the gift of living in various countries and working with people from many places. These experiences have shaped her desire that people would know that they are loved and have belonging, regardless of their social context or where they live. Jenna brings a deep faith and a heart to inspire others to action to help improve outcomes for kids and families in the Christian orphan care movement.


If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive family, please call (406) 2- FOSTER. Or, you can find and equip a family for a child by donating at https://www.childbridgemontana.org/give-now 406

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It Can’t Get Any Better Than This... Can It? (The Remix) by Dr. John F. Miller DDS

I think we can all agree that the last 2 months have felt like a lifetime. The last time I was writing for you folks the country was just beginning to shut down. I had just closed down the Smile Montana Kalispell office completely and retained 3 employees to help me manage any dental emergencies out of our Columbia Falls location. In other words, I furloughed 25ish employees and 3 Doctors. It was a scary time. At first, we thought it was just a twoweek thing but then it became apparent that it would be longer, how long nobody knew. So much uncertainty. We ultimately canceled and rescheduled over 2000 dental and hygiene appointments. I’m very happy to say that we were able to resume seeing patients in May with a few minor procedural modifications. Presently and for the time being, patients are invited to wait in their cars in lieu of the waiting room, we take their temperature upon arrival, we have medical grade air purifiers, we have more advanced and protective equipment and clothing, and it’s all good. We are just glad to be back with our patients and communities doing what we love to do.


I would also love to take this opportunity to announce the opening of our 3rd Smile Montana location in Whitefish. When all the Covid-19 madness hit 52 406


we thought that it was very inopportune timing for opening up a new location, but with the 2000 canceled dental and hygiene procedures we have realized that we are fortunate to have the extra space and the extra help. Right now, I’m going to throw it back and remix an article I wrote some years prior. This would seem to have been a more optimistic time but definitely relatable to our current situation. Enjoy:

Music plays a big role in the Miller residence. We have a Spotify playlist for almost every activity, mood, and location. We have speakers in every room and on the patio. We have a studio with guitars, basses, microphones, drums, keyboards, mixers, etc. We like to make noise and listen to noise. One song in particular that the kids have on consistent rotation is by a group called Twenty One Pilots titled Stressed Out. The chorus of the song is as follows: Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out The song goes on to reveal that the reasons for the stress are the normal responsibilities that come with adulthood. I found myself not only digging the tune

a little bit, but also totally relating to it. Especially the line about the artist's preference for tree house homes over student loans. As my 7-year-old son Banksy strolled past singing along to the chorus I asked him, “Banks, what do you think he means by ‘the good ol’ days?’” Banksy replied, “I don’t know Dad.” So, I followed up with another question, “Do you know what it means to be ‘stressed out?’” Of course, his answer was “Nope.” Let’s go back to the time when we were less stressed out. To the good ol’ days. When our laughs and smiles were pure. Think of the amazing and phenomenal things we have witnessed. Things we would never believe had we not seen them with our own eyes. How many times in my life have I uttered the words, “they’ve done it, it can’t get any better than this.” How often have you thought those same things? How many of you are thinking that right now with your iPhone 11 whatever in your hand streaming the newest release in whatever they're calling the latest and greatest version of high definition. Pretty dang-stinkin unbelievable, am I right? A little over 5 years ago a Dental Rep (DR) stopped in my office wanting to discuss a certain piece of dental tech called the CEREC that allowed the dentist to offer porcelain restorations in one appointment. Highly aesthetic porcelain crowns in one visit bypassing the need for a temporary, a second visit, and the possibility of having to be numbed a second time.

How many times in my life have I uttered the words, “they’ve done it, it can’t get any better than this.” How often have you thought those same things? health} The DR knew that I had done a live demo some years prior with the previous rep and wanted to show me the latest hardware and software upgrades. I am very much a hands-on, the proof is in the pudding type of learner and told him we would need to do another live demo. If it was as good as he sold it, the tech would sell itself. We did the live demo and I rocked a poker face so good Lady Gaga would have folded with pocket Aces. It performed as advertised. I was amazed almost as much as the patient. The CEREC was a game changer. I knew it, but unfortunately the CEREC also knew it and came with a “gamechanger” price tag. Maintaining my poker face, I transitioned into swap-meet mode and walked away. A month passed and I received a call from the DR saying a spot had opened up at their training center for the weekend and they would like to fly me to Scottsdale for the weekend. Scottsdale in April? See ya. I show up, make a lot of crowns, fall deeper and deeper in love with this technology all the while receiving the full-court sales press from DR. Amazingly I returned home without putting pen to paper and the negotiations continued. Finally, he walks into my office and goes all Godfather on me “making me an offer I cannot refuse.” “Dr. Miller” he says, “I have never had a client with as much CEREC exposure as you who did not buy the technology. I am going to let you have the CEREC free of charge for 6 months.” No commitments?” I ask. “No fine print?” “Nope” he replies, “however, after 6 months I either come and take it away or you buy it.” We both knew that I wasn’t giving it back, but a 6-month test drive made it sting a little less. Fast forward 5 years and thousands of crowns later and we still feel like kids on Christmas morning. In fact, Smile Montana owns 3 CEREC machines now. We continue to be amazed at the perfect fit, the lifelike contour, and the bite that feels right every time. We get to let our inner artist out with a wide selection of stains and glazes in order to better match the shades and nuances of our patients’ teeth. Patients love hearing that we can fix their broken teeth immediately with no need to wait weeks for the lab to make their new crown. We think outside the box and apply CEREC technology to different dental problems.

Thinking back on how, prior to using CEREC, we used goopy impression material and fickle temporary acrylic feels a lot like reflecting back on dial-up internet; a lot like VHS and cassette tapes. The future is here, and I am tempted to say to myself, “they have indeed done it, it cannot get any better than this.” But I’m all grown up, an adult, stressed out. I have been fooled twice so shame on me; I know it will get better. I would be a fool to think it won’t; And how exciting is that. So, take that high definition marvel of modern science and technology out of your back pocket and cue up your “feel good” song. Folks we are all growing older; But we are growing older as part of one another’s village in Montana, and that’s enough to keep a SMILE on my face. Thank You!



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The Tradition Begins A Symbol of Whitefish

Designed by Liz Heery Available at

406 w o m a n

food & flavor 18. Hawaiian Kabobs 20. Catering by Desoto Grill 22. Rose S’il Vous Plait Bigfork Liquor Barn 26. Accidental Tourists Italian Cooking Class 28. The New Normal Immune Boosting Salad

feature 32. Heidi Marie Faessel Local Artist

design 36. American Made Favorites Wright's Furniture



fashion 38. Painted Demin 3 Ways The Village Shop

love 42. Jason & Tara-Lynn 46. Janie & Brian


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View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m

406 w o m a n

Cover Girl

Business Girl

EMILY SALEWSKY, Licensed Esthetician, Lash Tech., and Makeup Artist “I love doing makeup for bridal parties, photo shoots, boudoir shoots, special events, creative makeup, vintage inspired makeup, and personal or group lessons.” www.beautybyemilys.com

Sally Vannoy, Wildlife Artist

Read Sally’s story on page 8 in our Business & Health side. pho t o b y :

Marianne Wiest Photography www . mariannewiest . com

photo by :

Amanda Wilson Photography www . amandawilsonphotos . com


Cindy Gerrity


Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2020 Skirts Publishing

business manager Daley McDaniel


managing editor

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

Kristen Hamilton


w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/406 Woman 406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between. Check out www.406woman.com for our full distribution list. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions. Interested in increasing your business and partnering with 406 Woman? Check out www.406woman.com.


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creative & social media director Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell



Daley McDaniel Photography Amanda Wilson Photography Jill Jones Photography

Publisher's Note We wish you all a Happy Summer! We hope that you are all finding a new sense of normal as we are all navigating through these new and challenging times. We are so thankful for our loyal readers, contributors, advertisers and to be a part of a community that pulled together to support one another. If we take anything away from what has happened in the world the last few months, it is to not take your family and friends for granted and how important connection is to us all. As you continue to stay healthy and safe, we hope you enjoy this beautiful Montana summer. Amanda & Cindy

“When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do.� -Rachel Naomi Remen



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Editor’s Note

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy local and that's kind of the same thing." Summertime in the Flathead! There is nothing better. Especially after being cooped up much of the spring. Now that things are getting back to normal, it’s time to get out and not just play in the outdoors but enjoy our community. Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry from the LOCAL coffee shop after your morning walk. Have lunch with a friend you haven’t seen for a while at the LOCAL bistro. Visit that LOCAL retail shop in town to pick up that special birthday gift. It is more important than ever to support our LOCAL businesses. Many of these businesses that are there for you throughout the year weren’t considered essential and had to shut down during the attempt to straighten the curve. Our community is made up of these small businesses…they are your friends, your neighbors…and now they need you to support them more than ever. Besides, surfing the web and ordering online can be detrimental to your health and your community’s health. Really, I mean it! Shopping locally will get you out of the house…exercise, fresh air and social interaction. All great things but most importantly, it will help that small business that you support survive. You don’t think your dollar makes a difference? Think again. On May 1, 2020 CBS News reported that Amazon makes $10,000.00 per second. And, spending with Amazon and other big online retailers only increased during the pandemic. Enough already! Now it’s time to support, shop, and frequent our LOCAL businesses or they just might not be around in the future. Sadly, if that happens, it will affect many jobs and the entire supply chain which may affect your job. We need each other. Ask yourself… When was the last time one of these online mega giants hosted an Art Walk or Holiday Stroll? Donated to your Fund-raiser? Volunteered at an event? Make supporting local a priority and truly be PART of YOUR COMMUNITY! Stay Healthy,


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Kristen Hamilton Managing Editor



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What's in Your Bowl?



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The Secret Ingredient is


Anything Rice Bowls

You don’t need any specific recipe for these because you can assemble anything you want. There are so many delicious options for rice bowls, you’ll never get bored. Use up whatever leftover ingredients you have or cook up and combine anything you have in your fridge. Here’s some of our favorite combinations to assemble into a rice bowl: 1. Plant Based Bowl: This super healthy

version can be filled with whatever vegetables or plant-based proteins you want. Drizzle some of your favorite dressing or sauce on top and it’s a fantastic lunch or dinner.

2. Chicken Avocado Bowl: We love

adding the bite of spicy arugula for extra flavor.

3. Southwest Taco Bowl: Taco meat, avocado, salsa and black beans are just a few of our favorite ingredients to add to a South West inspired bowl.

4. Stir Fry Bowl: Cook up any combination of meats and veggies you want with your favorite sauce (teriyaki sauce is always a classic crowd pleaser). Voila, dinner is served! Better than take out. 5. Breakfast Bowl: Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, sausage or ham on rice is a great way to start your morning.

6. Curry Shrimp Bowl: Sauté up some

shrimp with veggies, soy sauce and curry powder. The flavors are fantastic for an Asian inspired bowl.

7. Salmon Bowl: Delicious salmon with

some sautéed kale and a squeeze of fresh lemon on top is amazing.

8. Meat Lovers Bowl: Add some cooked chicken, beef and bacon and this bowl is packed with protein for meat lovers.

9. Italian Sausage Bowl: Crisp up some sausage, add a little tomato sauce and you’re set with a fantastic rice bowl to replace the pasta. 10. Harvest Squash Bowl: Roast some

butternut squash or sweet potatoes for a fantastic Fall-inspired hearty bowl.



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summer Hawaiian

Kabobs By Carole Morris

In the last three months who hasn’t dreamed of sandy beaches and emeraldblue water? In other words, an escape from reality to tranquil skies and islands with a dazzling variety of plants, animals and people. Yes, I’m talking about beautiful Hawaii.


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Some fun facts about Hawaii are… They didn’t become a state until 1959. The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of 137 islands, AND the most common question people ask, “Is Waikiki the capital (because they think Hawaii’s not part of the United States)?” Scary, right? I’m on a roll now… did you know that Hawaii has 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones? They have from tropical and continuously drizzly to burning desert and icy climates, so you can experience almost everything Earth has to offer on The Hawaiian Islands. Moreover, Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time…they have Hawaii Standard Time. They are the most remote geological island chain on Earth. More than 2,000 miles away from any other place, and their ecosystem was established in almost complete isolation, making it more endemic than even the Galapagos Islands. In fact, Oahu has a small population of wallabies (native to Australia) living in Kalihi Valley. Additionally, the Hawaiian alphabet only has only 12 letters, there are no snakes in Hawaii, there are no billboards, gambling is illegal in Hawaii, and the southernmost part of the United States is actually on a Hawaii Island. . .Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee (Kona, how I love thee). Did you know that everyone in Hawaii is considered a minority, because Hawaii is a giant melting pot of diversity? Which leads to the fact that their food is as unique as the people who call Hawaii their home. Servings: 9 -10 kabobs (Cook Time: 20 minutes)

Gorgeous Marinade Ingredients

1/4 C brown sugar

5 garlic cloves (minced)

1/4 C soy sauce

1 1/4 Tbsp. ginger

(packed down)

1/4 C ketchup 3/4 C pineapple juice 3 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar 3/4 tsp sesame oil 3/4 tsp black pepper

Salt (to taste)

Kabob (add different ones to fit your taste) Ingredients

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken

1 large green pepper breast (cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes) (cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces) 4 C cubed pineapple 1 large red onion, diced into (approximately 3 lb. pineapple) 1 1/4-inch pieces 1 large red pepper 2 tbsp. oil (to brush on (cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces)

vegetables and pineapple)


(2 tbsp.) over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple and stir…season with salt and pepper (to taste). Next, thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used.

In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir pepper and season with salt (to taste). Put cut up chicken in a gallon size resealable bag with marinade (reserving 1/2 cup of the marinade to brush over kabobs as they cook). Seal bag and refrigerate 1 hour. Soak approximately 10 wooden skewer sticks in cold water for 1 hour (to keep from burning). Preheat a grill to 400°F. Sprinkle olive oil

Dipping sauce (for the saucy eater) 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Brush grill grates with oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side. Allow to grill until chicken registers 165°F in center on a thermometer. Serve and le'ale'a (enjoy)

5 Tbsp. honey 1 cup mayonnaise 4 Tbsp. BBQ sauce



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Entertain Summer By Desoto Grill Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Thinking back on the past couple months, we’ve all spent a lot of time going to the “essential” grocery store and cooking meals at home. It’s been great in many ways but admittedly a lot of work. Now that summer is here, we want to spend time with family and friends. We want to entertain but we’re ready to take a break from cooking. Imagine having your next party catered. It’s an affordable option and gives you the time to sit back, relax and enjoy reconnecting with those closest to you. It’s as easy as picking up the phone for takeout or delivery.


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Choose a delicious spread like the one pictured here from Desoto Grill. You’ll just need to add your checkboard tablecloth, your favorite tableware, and fill the cooler. Now that’s what we call a party! Desoto Grill (406) 314-6095 227 1st St W Kalispell


Rosé S'il Vous Plait By Sunshine Deveny & Nathan Woldtvedt, Bigfork Liquor Barn

What is Rosé? Rosé is a pink wine typically made with red grapes. They can be produced still, frizzante or sparkling, as well as from sweet to very dry, although most rosé is now fermented to be completely dry, meaning no residual sugar and not sweet. Many of the first recorded wines were rosé wines. Rosé is believed to have originated in Greece and was then spread by the Phoenicians to southern France where records show it was in production in the 6th Century BC. The most common method for making rosé is limiting the contact time between the skin of the grapes and its juice, which is known as limited skin maceration. This time frame can be anywhere between two hours to a few days in fermentation. When the desired color is reached the skins are then separated from the juice, and the fermentation and winemaking process continues.

Another method is the direct press. With this method, the red wine grapes are pressed immediately after harvest and a light pale pink juice emerges. The unfermented grape juice is then fermented, the winemaking process continues, and this produces a rosé wine.

The final method is blending, which fits its name. This process blends red and white grapes until the desired color and taste is reached. They vary the most in flavor profile and color. In most high-quality wine-producing regions throughout Europe, this is not allowed, except for a few exceptions including Champagne (which is a whole other topic for another time). What grapes are used in making rosé? Any red grape can be used: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, you name it. Due to this versatility rosé is made around the globe.

Rosé is meant to be enjoyed young, usually the year upon their release, but a very well made rosé will age quite nicely. Its flavor profile is often described as red fruit (think red cherry, raspberry, strawberry), citrus, floral notes, and minerality. This all of course depends upon the grape variety and the terroir in which it was grown.


While typically consumed in the summer months, rosé can be served year-round, oftentimes as an

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When the Saigneé method is used two different wines are actually created. The first wine is created when the red grapes are crushed and vatted from anywhere from two to 20 hours. Some of the juice is then extracted off to make the rosé. The rest of the juice and skins are further used to make a full-flavored red wine, all from the same grapes.

aperitif, a pleasant premeal option. In the summer months, it is commonly enjoyed with seafood, grilled chicken, cured meats and cheeses, salads, and light pastas due to its bright acidity. A good bottle of rosé can be purchased at a local bottle shop for under $25. Both of this month’s featured wines are available for only $14.49.

Here’s a couple of recipe ideas from Jessica Dodd, from George's Distributing, with suggested wine pairings:

Watermelon and Feta Salad with heirloom yellow tomatoes, a lemon-basil vinaigrette, and baby arugula Pour summer into a glass with this refreshing, organic rose from Southern France! The Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rosé is perfect for a lazy summer afternoon, or to start your summer cookout with.

The juicy strawberry and peach notes of this wine are lovely with this watermelon salad. It has notes of bright citrus, which will complement the lemonbasil vinaigrette. The streak of minerality that runs through this wine highlights the saltiness of the Feta and the spice of the arugula.

Traditional Salade Nicoise -- Mixed greens served with Seared Tuna, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, boiled potatoes, garden fresh tomatoes, black olives, and a classic Garlic-Dijon vinaigrette.

"Le Paradou" literally means "Paradise" in Old French and this wine lives up to its name! Produced in the classic style of a Provencal Rosé, this wine

Rosé is meant to be enjoyed young, usually the year upon their release, but a very well made rosé will age quite nicely. is a perfect fit with this traditional salad from the region of Nice, France. The balanced structure of this Rosé is a great pairing with the seared tuna. The notes of dusty raspberry are perfect with the boiled potatoes and green beans. The raciness of the Le Paradou Rosé will make the garlic-vinaigrette dance on your tongue. The perfect dinner for a hot July day!"


Another great way to freshen up your summer is some Montana treats!!! We proudly have a large and ever-expanding section of Montana spirits. Today we will be talking about some light, fun local spirits. Huckleberries and cherries are predominant in most people’s minds when they think of Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. The marriage of vodka makes for a pretty spectacular product. Montana Distillery and Lolo Creek Distillery use Montana sourced honey to balance the tartness that naturally comes from the huckleberry. Montana Distillery also makes a cherry vodka that sources its cherries from the Flathead Valley.

Whistling Andy started The Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka after the iconic Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park burned down. They dedicated the first year of profits to the rebuild of this long-standing retreat. The effort turned in over $40,000 to the rebuild. It has been a mainstay at their distillery in Bigfork ever since.

Another good use for these delicious fruits is in Liqueurs and Brandies. Glacier Distillery has a long list of cherry options including Cherrychello Liqueur, Daughter of the Sun Cherry Brandy Liqueur, and Fireweed Bourbon with Cherry Brandy Liqueur. Some huckleberry options include their Huckleberry Liqueur and Huckleberry Gin. New to the collection is Bearproof Huckleberry Whiskey. Delicious!! Located in Coram, their Whiskey Barn Tasting Room is a great way to start or finish an exciting day up in Glacier National Park.

Willie’s Huckleberry Sweet Cream Liqueur will expand your options even further. Try some in your coffee in the morning, over some vanilla ice cream, or even in a milkshake for adults.


There are seemingly endless tasty drinks and food ideas that you can play around with. If you ever get stumped a Huckleberry Vodka and Lemonade with fresh huckleberries is a Montana Classic.


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Accidental Tourists Buon appetite! By Kristen Hamilton

I have always wanted to visit Italy. And, on that trip, I thought it would be great to attend a cooking class. My dream become a realty this winter when my husband and I were able to go to Europe to visit my daughter, Sarah, who was studying in Brussels, Belgium at the time. The first stop was meeting her in Florence, Italy. There we would see the sites and go to one of the original cooking schools in the Tuscany region, the Accidental Tourist. I chose Accidental Tourist after checking out reviews on Trip Advisor…everyone raved about the hosts, the setting, and the food. The trip included a tour at a nearby winery so how could I go wrong.

Majla & Marco, Owners of Accidental Tourists

Come to find out that the Accidental Tourist is one of the oldest cooking schools in the region and now there are close to 100. The owners, Marco and Majla are involved in every aspect of the operation.

I asked Majla what sets them apart from the other schools.

“I think the key is staying unique. While other cooking classes come and go, we represent a combination of what the other schools offer.” She continued “We have the expertise of a Culinary Academy, without the coldness of steel counters, high hats and


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big numbers of students; we offer the authentic atmosphere as well as the tradition of generations (like an Italian Nonna’s hearth), with added teaching skills, and without the language barrier; we afford the privilege of very intimate classes (maximum eight people down to just one single traveler), and the very highest quality ingredients available in the country and in the world, without the extra-cost of luxury.” Having experienced this firsthand, I’d say she hit the nail on the head. We met our van driver (who happened to be Majla this day as her regular girl had the day off) in Florence at an easy to find location just a short walk from our Airbnb. Sarah and I were joined by another American who happened to be on an extended six-month trip in Italy. Together we headed up into the Tuscan hills. About 20 minutes later we approached this amazing villa on the highest hill complete with a watchtower. The villa is 900 years old and has been in Majla’s family for six generations. It was an orphanage before becoming the farmhouse it is today. During WWII, Rodolfo Paoli (Majla’s grandfather) provided shelter to and saved the

lives of many hiding from the Nazis. Majla said “The square in our town is named after my heroic grandfather, as he risked his life during WWII to help others.”

We were escorted into the lower level of the home where there was a comfortable dining area with seating for up to 10 people, along with a small kitchen off to the side where Marco was busy preparing delicious courses for dinner. We were led to the back room where there was a large work area with a huge butcher block table. Majla served Chianti and shared stories of the villa, her family, and the area, while we followed instructions and made homemade pasta. While the pasta was rest-



“As heirs of this abode, we want to honor its vocation: to treat strangers as guests, turn guests into friends.” ing, she took us on a tour of the home and up to the top of the watchtower. The views were simply breathtaking. I could tell early on that creating pasta and enjoying a meal together was only one component of the day. I asked Majla about a favorite experience with a group. She said, “Something really special seems to happen when people spend a few hours preparing together and then sharing food and wine around an old table, where you can FEEL so many other people have sat and shared before! Total strangers to me and to oneanother truly open up. At the end of each class and dinner, there are so many hugs and kisses!”

She continued, “We have had three marriage proposals in our kitchen! One was planned, so I knew about it ahead of time but the other two proposals were impromptu. You can imagine the surprise, and cheers, and tears, and oooohs and ahhhhhhs!

“And the fact that a human being in love who plans to spend the rest of his life with another, walks into my home, and in a matter of hours decides that it is good enough to get on his knee and open a jewelry box by the end of the evening, is the biggest certification of HOME I could ever hope for!”

Philanthropy runs deep in Majla and Marco’s family. She explains their involvement in Fondazione Progetto ARCA: “With the premises that you and we are the “upper case Accidental Tourists” the lucky ones who can choose the destination and duration of their wandering, and can set the date of their return home; lower case accidental tourists are the less

fortunate, who leave without luggage, itinerary, a return ticket, or a home to return to.

“Over 2 decades of making a privileged living, made it consequential to extend some of that warmth to those who can’t afford it, by supporting Fondazione Progetto ARCA, an organization that assists homeless and people in extreme need.

“For every meal we serve a paying guest, one is donated to the organization. Simple as that: one to one.” They have also continued her grandfather’s legacy by creating a special space called “The Emergency Room” in the villa. It is a large cozy room that sleeps four and is available for anyone who is - indeed - in an emergency situation including: a missed or cancelled flight; stranded with nowhere to stay; medical staff on temporary duty at the nearby hospital (due to COVID19); and even a solo traveler with a case of loneliness.

Spending the day with Marco and Majla with my daughter ended up being the highlight of my visit to Europe. As their website says “As heirs of this abode, we want to honor its vocation: to treat strangers as guests, turn guests into friends.” I can say they succeeded with us. The only thing I would change is to have my husband go with us next time. He would have loved it as much as we did! Addio per ora!

Accidental Tourist San Donato in Collina, Italy www.accidentaltourist.com Office@accidentaltourist.com WhatsApp +39 3486020257

Above photos from left to right: View from the watchtower; Sarah (my daughter) making pasta; “Green” pasta with Stinging Nettle added; Majla demonstrating the perfect pasta touch; Kristen & Sarah standing in the watchtower

The Accidental Tourist is a cultural association, not a business enterprise. 100% of the profit after paying workers is used for projects such as the Emergency Room, supporting the Foundation, the Barter program, etc. Every year we come up with new projects. The yearly membership fee is 15 Euro. At this time of emergency we would like to ask those who have enjoyed an Accidental Tourist experience, those who would like to in the future, or those who simply like our philosophy, to support us by becoming an Accidental Tourist for 2020.



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

How will you respond when your child or grandchild asks you “what is normal?” It is a vague question, but one that many ask as we navigate the global pandemic that has changed our lives.

As I write this, blooming spring is giving way to glowing summer. This is an incredible time of year in our valley. I feel fortunate to be able to get outside and enjoy the beauty. Sitting in grass with the sun warming my face gives a stark contrast to the suffering and sadness throughout the world. “What is normal?” Will we get back to normal? Do we want to? I dare to say that I don’t want things to go back exactly to what they were. If normal got us to this point then we can strive for a new normal, a better normal, a normal with more attention to human rights, more recognition of our global interdependence, more awareness of the way that our actions lead to consequences.

One of my favorite mentors, a cardiologist in Colorado, said often, “No one is to blame. We are all responsible.”


What can we do to create a new normal in which we can avoid another pandemic, or

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learn to respond to the next one with more experience and effectiveness? And wait, don’t I usually write about food? How is this related to food?


In apocalyptic novels, fictional people fend for themselves and undermine each other. In reality, however, difficult times often bring out compassion. People find ways to help each other. This is a little tricky with an invisible virus, but still completely possible. What can we do to show compassion toward others?

Some ideas

● call a friend who has medical problems and cannot safely go to social gatherings ● give a generous tip to a service worker ● talk to others about their struggles during this time ● Importantly, it will be essential over the next year, at least until there is a vaccine and probably beyond, to have compassion for each person’s level of concern for their own health and safety. Some have underlying medical conditions. Some take care of medically fragile family members.

My level of concern about getting sick may be different than my neighbor’s. ●Talk to kids about compassion. This is a great time to talk with kids about fear and how to respond to stressful situations.


I find that learning about a topic helps me to face it. Read articles about the coronavirus. Listen to podcasts by experts. Keep up to date on the effort to produce a vaccine (there is Montana pride here, as one of the most important labs in the evaluation of coronavirus and a vaccine is Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton).


Add education together with compassion and, for some, this leads to activism. Activism can be loud and assertive or quiet and personal, and usually somewhere in between. Activism is rarely comfortable, and can be downright awkward. Even for the most introverted of us, however, enough passion can push us to speak out. In my medical practice I talk to patients about plant-based nutrition. I do this specifically for cardiac health, as I am a cardiologist by training.


What can we do to create a new normal in which we can avoid another pandemic, or learn to respond to the next one with more experience and effectiveness?

The New Normal Immune Boosting Salad Right now though, I see another reason to put plants forward. There have always been human rights issues in meat packing plants, ever since factory farming started. In the United States, mass production of chickens started in the 1920s, but factory farming of pigs and cattle started in the 1970s. The conditions in meat packing plants have never been optimal. Recently, however, with almost half of the coronavirus hot spots involving meat-packing plants, these conditions have been exposed like never before.

it? Can we use this crisis to create a new normal for ourselves, so that we can handle adversity?

While I was working on this article, my daughter asked me this question at bedtime. “What is brave?” Stay tuned. I’m working on it.

We can work to shift this problem. We can support local and small farms. We can grow our own vegetables and fruits. We can support CSAs (community supported agriculture). No one is perfect, but we are at our best when we support each other.


Now to my favorite topic, nutrition. Food is powerful. Now, more than ever, our food matters. I cannot control this virus. I can control the sources of energy that I put into my body. How can we give ourselves the power to fight this virus if we do encounter


2 cucumbers 2 carrots 1 inch ginger root, finely cut or grated 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 teaspoons sesame or olive oil 1 teaspoon salt black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon cilantro, dill or parsley ·optional: roasted cashews, peanuts or other nuts to add energy and protein


During this time, we can find small ways to bring peace to ourselves and those around us. Many people are learning new skills or crafts. My family has become interested in origami, which can be quite meditative. Going for walks outside brings peace. Even reading a book over and over to a child is a kind of meditation.

The combination of ginger and black pepper is known to support immune health. Add this with citrus fruit and the micronutrients in cucumbers and carrots and you have a powerful energetic salad! (serves 2-4)

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.

Instructions 1. Finely slice the

cucumbers or use a mandolin

2. Grate or spiralize the


3. Combine ginger root, vinegar, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper to create dressing

4. Toss cucumbers and carrots with dressing

5. Sprinkle with herbs

(cilantro, dill, parsley or other available herb) and optional nuts

6. Serve and enjoy with


socially distanced (if appropriate) friends and family!


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Heidi Marie Faessel

Inching Toward What You Love Story Collaboration by Mary Wallace & Heidi Marie Faessel

Sometimes things take time. Sometimes we carry dreams in our hearts and keep them safe waiting for the right time to bring them into the light, nurture them, and then give them flight.

This was the case for local artist, Heidi Marie Faessel. Her path to becoming a visual artist had many delays, but she persistently kept moving in the direction of her dreams.

While living in NYC for ten years, she earned her BFA, worked professionally as a textile designer in the home furnishing industry, and enjoyed the city to its fullest.

Although she secretly wanted to go to an art school to study painting, she felt it would be more practical to find a way to use her creativity in a job that provided a regular income.

During these years, she and her partner would vacation in Montana- mainly coming to visit her sister, who lived in Kalispell. They both loved Montana and knew that when they were ready, they would move here and start a family. Then 911 happened, and they put their plan on fast forward. By the Spring of 2002, they made the move across the country from the Big Apple to the Big Sky Country.

Creativity emerged in childhood, as she found much satisfaction and solace in drawing and making things. By high school, in southern California, she started creating small paintings exploring colorful abstract patterns.


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In California, she did some research at her local library and found the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY in New York City, which specializes in textile/ surface design. After learning that upon graduation, the students have all the skills to work in the flourishing garment and home furnishing industries based there, she set her sights on realizing this plan.

Heidi spent all of her free time going to museums and art galleries, taking art classes, and enjoying the rich cultural arts scene NYC had to offer. Her focus at this time was on her profession, so she just dabbled in personal art projects.

Her first few years in Montana, there were some ups and downs. She made a small workspace in her basement and started focusing on her art again. Hap-

“Suddenly, it felt urgent to do what had been in my heart all along. And this time, I gave myself permission not to choose what was practical and safe, but instead, focus on making the art that I knew was inside me.” profile} Heidi Marie Faessel. pily, new friendships were forged, and her children were born, but there was a looming sense that more change was coming.

In 2007, her marriage ended. She became a single parent of 2 toddlers with a seriously compromised financial situation and few resources. Alongside the depressed economy, high unemployment, and her prior specialized work experience, her path to getting on her feet was uncertain and scary: it was a desperate time.

She needed to find a way to pay the rent and be the sole provider for herself and her children. Again, she got practical and started a residential cleaning service. This allowed her to work for herself, maximize the amount of time she could spend with her children, and minimize childcare expenses. Of course, this meant setting aside any visions she had of pursuing her artistic dreams. Once the cleaning business was established, and the economy started to recover, she wanted to use her prior design education and experience, but now lacked the current computer and technology skills. She enrolled at FVCC, studying graphic design part-time, and continuing the cleaning business. Within a few years, she was able to merge her design knowledge with her new technological skills and start a new business providing graphic design services to local companies. Over time, things changed. Her children grew, she remarried, she dissolved her cleaning business, and started to step forward, showing some of her art in public. Finally, the tipping point came...turning 50. “Suddenly, it felt urgent to do what had been in my heart all along. And this time, I gave myself permission not to choose what was practical and safe, but instead,

focus on making the art that I knew was inside me.”

She describes her current paintings as ‘organic abstraction fueled by the magic of our natural world.’ Lush and visceral, her work combines energetic brushwork, expressive line, texture and movement, to create an imagined space that is, at once, both striking and colorful.

Using a variety of mediums – acrylics, charcoal, color pencils, pastels, textures, and even brushes made from natural materials - her art practice is driven by the sense of creative discovery. It is the creative process of exploration and experimentation that keeps drawing her back to the studio day after day. In addition to her paintings, she is currently developing a series of soft sculptures, utilizing discarded t-shirts she collects from her local community, and then transforming them into what she calls “objects of contemplation.”

“Sometimes seeds live beneath the surface of the soil, completely dormant and unseen until the right circumstances align. Then, from that little seed, springs forth something that prior was invisible and unknown. This is what it feels like for me now. I’m enjoying the sheer pleasure of what artist Georgia O'Keeffe called, ‘making your unknown known.’” To see more of Heidi’s work, visit heidimariefaessel.com, the Walking Man Gallery and Frameshop in Whitefish, or throughout the summer, at the group exhibit “Quarantine Dreams,” at the new Kalico Art Center in Kalispell.



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American Made Favorites By Wright’s Furniture

Furniture made in America is as much an art form as it is a manufacturing process. The differences between a well-crafted piece of furniture and a mass produced one speak for themselves. At Wright’s Furniture in Whitefish, we see the benefits in buying American Made and proudly offer furniture and accessories crafted in the U.S.A. Buying products made in America creates jobs, reduces the world’s carbon footprint, supports safe and fair working conditions, helps grow the U.S. economy, and ensures safe quality products.

Designed and manufactured in California, D.V. KAP HOME is one of Wright’s favorite manufactures of accent pillows and throws. Their pillows encompass all the elements of luxurious decorative accents while maintaining competitive costs. Ranging in color, texture and style, these pillows can perfect the look of any room, elaborating a personal style and captivating the essence of a space.

From bedroom to dining room casegoods, we offer a vast variety of collections hand crafted in the U.S. We stock many styles made from american hardwoods such as rustic reclaimed barnwood, smooth hand sanded cherry and live edge black walnut.


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To go on the beds we also offer several american made bedding textile lines. You can choose from our large pre-design selections in our showroom or customize a set to fit your style and size requirements. We feature American made options for the entire bedroom from the mattress set to the decorative pillow.

design} For fifty years, King Hickory Furniture manufacturer has been dedicated to building superior furniture, possessing the elements of luxury, quality, and style. They provide a distinctive collection of timeless upholstered fabric and fine leather furniture to enhance the atmosphere of any setting. At Wright’s we are proud to feature them in our in-store design center where we provide complimentary design services to help you customize your piece from a vast selection of fabrics, leathers, finishes and decorative accents.

The artwork featured in this living room group is also U.S. made. We proudly offer both hand painted and hand crafted wall art as well as fine art prints from many American manufactures as well as local artists.

American handmade floral decor available in both natural and faux materials At Hancock & Moore, a favorite American manufacturer for customizable leather and upholstery products, they understand that style emanates from within. That is why each original piece is custom-made to your exacting requirements. Endless choices of leather, fabric, trim and wood finishes are available. Hand-built quality and pride in craftsmanship ensures that your statement of self-expression will last for generations to come. -All the featured pieces as well as many other options are available at Wright's Furniture Store in Whitefish6325 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

Jason June 3, 2020

& Tara-Lynn Location Belton Stage Park

Photography by Jill Jones Photography

Who are you?

Jason Hoffmann & Tara-Lynn Hoffmann

How did you meet?

We met through a mutual friend, immediately hit it off and the rest is history!

The Proposal?

Jason tied my ring to our Bernese Mountain dog’s collar for the proposal. I was so oblivious about it that it was embarrassing! He kept trying to hint at it so I would see it, but he ended up kneeling and then showing me the ring after he asked me to marry him! I truly loved that he included our dog but for any man or woman out there thinking of using this idea, make a sign! Ha-ha!

What is love?

Tara-Lynn: Love in my mind isn’t always perfect but always there. It’s affectionate and gentle. It’s something that is so powerful and an emotion you can’t ignore.


Jason: It’s a commitment to someone else. A feeling you get when you want to put someone before yourself. It’s a never-ending thing as long as you put in the work!

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What do you love most about each other?

Tara-Lynn: I love how genuinely caring, giving and sweet Jason is. With everything he does there’s so much passion as long as he knows he’s making me or our daughter or both happy! I love how goofy he can be, he definitely balances me out!

Jason: I love how caring she is. If she cares about you, she will go to any extent for you. She’s an amazing mom to our daughter. She’s dedicated to what she sets her mind to and thrives in whatever she does.

When did you know you were in love?

Tara-Lynn: Pretty much from the moment I met him, we were so similar, and everything was so laid back with him.

Jason: When I first met her I thought she was amazing and beautiful but after watching her carry our daughter and giving birth, my love became even stronger. I fall in love with her more everyday watching her grow as a mom and person.

Wedding Details:

We had planned a wedding in Alaska two summers ago but cancelled because Jason broke his leg a month before. We’ve considered getting married at the courthouse a few times, but I was coming

to terms with the fact that planning might not be on our side.

We finally decided we were ready and what better timing than now. I contacted my amazing (emphasis on the AMAZING!) photographer Jill Jones who weeks prior did a Mommy & Me shoot of our daughter and myself. I loved every picture she took during our session and decided I had to have her incredibly fun & talented self by our side to capture our special day! Best decision ever, well besides marrying my husband of course!

Jill’s husband Kasey is an incredibly talented videographer and he filmed a highlight video of our elopement. We had so much fun! We loved the quiet romantic location Jill selected, and the time she chose was beyond perfect for our sunset vows. Our wedding officiant Amy Nadeau matched Jill’s awesome personality which made for the perfect evening! I really couldn’t have asked for a better wedding, eloping was such a great idea and I’m so thankful we did it in the breathtaking state of Montana, our home!

Honeymoon Plans?

We plan on going to Hawaii in November. Our favorite island is Maui and we take our daughter everywhere with us so a family trip it is!

love} stories


in my mind isn’t always perfect but always there. It’s affectionate and gentle. It’s something that is so powerful and an emotion you can’t ignore.



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love} stories


Janie Brian November 27, 2019

Location Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland

Who are you? Brian Lumpkin - I am a husband, father and a retired police officer. Janie Frazar – I am the manager at S.M. Bradford Company in downtown Whitefish.

How did you meet?

Brian: We met on a blind date. The dinner date was arranged by a guy I met at the Hellroaring Saloon while skiing here with the Houston Ski club. It was super cold day on the mountain, so I decided to stop in and have a beer and some chili at the Hellroaring. The guy was Jake Berry who sat down next to me at the bar. At some point in our conversation Jake asked me what I did with my free time now that I am retired. I told him that I travel a lot and that I am a SPINNING instructor and a passionate cycling fan. We were both single so we talked about the type of women we like to date and the type of women we would like to be in a long-term relationship with. I also mentioned that I would love to meet someone my age that I could take out to dinner while I was here in beautiful Whitefish. Jake said he knew someone that would be a great match for me, and her name was Janie Frazar. I never saw a picture of Janie, but I trusted Jake’s judgement and begged him to reach out to her and ask her to meet me for dinner. Jake was reluctant but he sent Janie a text and asked her if she was interested in meeting me for dinner. As you can imagine, Janie was very reluctant to meet some guy from Houston that was “day drinking” with Jake but after being encouraged by her friends and Jake she agreed to meet for dinner at Tupelo Grille (downtown Whitefish) on Tuesday night. I took an Uber to Tupelo and as I was walking into the entrance of the restaurant, Janie was walking in behind me. Wow was I impressed when I saw this beautiful woman with a big bright smile and gorgeous head of hair introducing herself to me in foyer of the restaurant. I remember thinking to myself “homerun!” then when I saw how loved and respected she was by the employees at the restaurant and some of the patrons I thought to myself “GRAND SLAM!.”

The Proposal?

Brian: Janie had planned a romantic weekend for us at the Kandahar Lodge to celebrate my birthday. I knew I could not find a more romantic setting to “pop” the question, so I decided to ask Janie to marry me during my birthday dinner at Café Kandahar. I ordered champagne like I did on our first date, and I told her that I loved all of the wonderful gifts that she had bought me for my birthday but that there was still one gift I really wanted for my birthday that she had not given me. She looked very confused and a little sad, so I pulled out the ring out of my pocket and I said, “The gift I want the most is the gift of your hand in marriage.” Without and hesitation, she said “Yes, I would love to marry you.”


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The first date started the WOW

factor. Every time we were together it became harder to leave.

love} stories

Love is a verb. Your actions speak louder than your words. Janie always does the little things to let me know she is thinking about me

What is love?

Brian - Love is a verb. Your actions speak louder than your words. Janie always does the little things to let me know she is thinking about me and that I am a priority in her very busy life. Janie - A very wise man told me early on “Love is a Verb”. That man would be Brian.

What do you love most about each other?

Brian - Janie is affectionate, fun, adventurous and very generous. She's very considerate of my feelings and always makes me feel loved.

Janie - Besides his dimples and beautiful blue eyes...There are so many things that I love about Brian. I love the fact that he is a great communicator and we talk for hours, he is honest, family oriented, and loves animals. He has a wonderful gentleness. He’s passionate and loving. He always has my best interest at heart. He loves Halloween and every holiday, just like I do. He reads cookbooks instead of the news. In the short time that we have been together it has been the most amazing time of my life. He is the Best!

When did you know you were in love?

Brian - I knew it after spending Easter weekend with Janie here in Whitefish. We spent four days together and I enjoyed every minute of it. I then returned home to Houston and I found myself missing her and wanting her in my life everyday not just on random weekends and holidays.

Janie - Well, the first date started the WOW factor. Every time we were together it became harder to leave. We both just fell in love with each other and as every day goes by our love for each other grows. We always say I love you more today than yesterday.

The Wedding…

Janie: In November we took a group tour trip to Switzerland. We decided to say our vows on Thanksgiving, November 28, 2019. The plan was to say our vows at the top of Mt. Pilatus, a sole peak, standing alone so that incredible views of Switzerland can be had in all directions. On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, our group was at Cookie/Chocolate Factory. Our tour director, gathers up and said, “we have to go now to Mt. Pilatus.” Storms were moving in and the next day and there would be no visibility. I had been carrying Brian’s ring with me. I asked Brian, “are you ready to do this?” His reply was “absolutely.” We preceded to get on the World’s Steepest Cogwheel Scenic Railway and Cable to the top of the Mountain. We exchanged vows in a small carved out cave at 4:15pm that afternoon and we were on the last cable down at 4:30pm. It was a breathtaking beautiful day. We feel blessed. Every day is our Honeymoon.



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Shy Boy

Going To The Sun Gallery proudly presents original oil paintings by

King Sunset Warrior

A Good Soak


Cheryl King