406 Woman Business VOL.15 No.1

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Featured 6. Vinyl is Back

16. Barb the Builder


12. Lemontree Montana 20. Haskill Creek Farms 24. Electric Buffalo Gallery 30. Bigfork Design


32. Provider Profile Jennie Walker 36. School Based Healthcare 40. Bust a Myth 48. Dr Miller

Nonprofit 44. Changed Lives

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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


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Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2022 Skirts Publishing


Madde Borg, Dyan Colby at the shop entrance - photo by Amanda Wilson Photography

Vinyl is Back! By Madde Borg, Dyan Colby, Connor Fields and Cari Klepper

For those who are old enough, it’s easy to remember the critical role that vinyl record LPs played in your life. It was an experience! Whether you grew up in small town Montana, frequenting a local mom & pop record store, or in a big city with the opportunity to spend hours on end at Tower Records, it was always an event. After saving up enough money, you would head to your local record store to buy the hottest new album. You would then rush home, invite your friends over, and keep that single album on constant rotation, playing every song, both sides, over and over again…that is until the next must-have artist or album came along. For over 40 years, people across the country shared a similar experience, as the vinyl LP format reigned supreme—reaching over 340 million units sold in its peak year of 1978, before its eventual downfall as the compact disc boom gained traction in the early 90s. The good news for fans of this old-school format is that vinyl is back! And in a big way—having grown by double-digit percentages over the past 15 straight years, with 2020 marking the first time in 34 years that physical vinyl record sales surpassed that of CDs. Whether its older music fans nostalgic for the same ritualistic magic explained above, die-hard collectors trying to fill an entire wall with LPs; or younger generations who are simply in search of a more tactile and patient listening experience in this increasingly digitized and fast-paced world, this current vinyl boom has been brought on by all types of music fans.

Enter Dyan Colby. As an avid lover of all things music, Dyan would make it a point to visit Spanky’s and Gus Record Shop when in Whitefish (Dyan and her husband Mike split time between Westlake, Texas and Whitefish). The store on Spokane Avenue offered both new and well-cared-for used LPs. It was Christmas Eve of 2020 when Dyan and her kids were on the hunt at Spanky’s for a certain Bob Dylan record to surprise her husband, when she noticed a sign on the door noting that Spanky’s was “going out of business.” After going home defeated at the prospect of Whitefish losing its only record store, Dyan and Mike immediately began brainstorming the possibility of purchasing the store. Fast forward two very unpredictable years and a ton of sweat equity later, and the Colbys are now preparing for the grand opening of Slow Burn Records—their very own record store in the space where Spanky’s and Gus record shop once resided. Dyan and her husband Mike have always shared a passion for music, whether by means of collecting records together, discovering new music together, or traveling the country to catch their favorite live acts. In fact, the couple just recently celebrated their 40th birthday by having Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam frontman) and Incubus


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as entertainment. Given this obvious passion, along with their long-held desire to play a part in the development of Whitefish’s growing music scene, the opportunity for Dyan and Mike to open Slow Burn was about as serendipitous as they come.

“With Slow Burn, Mike, myself, and our team are able to fulfill multiple goals of ours,” explains Dyan. “True, there’s nothing more fun than having a shop of our own, where all of us can fuse together our favorite aspects of record stores that we’ve visited around the country into a single space. But the main force behind all of this has been the community of Whitefish. We want to be a place that not only has a great collection of records, but more importantly a place that serves as a home-base for the Whitefish music scene—a quickly growing scene that we’ve fallen in love with over the years. And in our mind, what better place to do that than a record store—a place where people and communities have come for decades to share a music experience together.”

As a part of their mission to “keep Slow Burn in the community,” Dyan has partnered with local people and companies. For instance, while many record stores

featured} Slow Burn Records

“It’s part of our mission to make Slow Burn a welcoming place where any person, no matter their level of musicianship, knowledge, or even interest in music, can come to learn, listen, and/or discover. We’ve designed our space so they can spend the entire day doing so!”

This year’s 2nd Annual Whitefish Songwriter Festival will take place on September 15-17 and will feature 30 songwriters performing 40 live shows in eight bars, restaurants, cafes, and theaters in downtown Whitefish. This year’s hit songwriters include Billy Montana, Chuck Cannon, Helen Darling, and Angela Kasset, James Dean Hicks and Nashville Hall of Fame inductee Kosta. The original artists have written a host of country/Americana hits for some of the most famous stars around (i.e. Garth Brooks, Sara Evans, Dolly, Tim McGraw, Randy Travis, etc.). It therefore goes without saying that there will be plenty of talent in Whitefish come this summer, and Slow Burn Records will be there for it all!

Angela Kaset Nashville, Tennessee

Billy Montana Nashville, Tennessee Top Hits:

Suds in the Bucket by Sara Evans Memory, I Don’t Mess with by Lee Brice More The Memory by Garth Brooks Bring on the Rain by Jo Dee Messina Hard to Love by Lee Brice Ain’t No Angels by Tim McGraw

Top Hits:

Top Hits:

I Love the Way, You Love Me by John Michael Montgomery How Do you Like me Now by Toby Keith Why Can’t We by Dolly Pardon American Soldier by Toby Keith Too Country by Brad Paisley

Top Hits:

Something In Red by Lorrie Morgan Jones For You by Delbert McClinton Feeling ‘Bout You by Suzy Bogguss Let’s Try Goodbye by Amy Dalley Resurrection by Angela Kaset

Chuck Cannon Nashville, Tennessee

Helen Darling Nashville, Tennessee Bring on the Rain by Jo Dee Messina Scream by Mindy McCready The Angels Sang by Reba McEntire

Kostas – Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame Belgrade, Montana

James Dean Hicks Leipers Fork, Tennessee Top Hits:

Goodbye Time by Blake Sheldon National Working Woman’s Holiday by Sammy Kershaw Jesus & Mama by Confederate Railroad Grandpa Told Me So by Kenny Chesney The Hole by Randy Travis Sweet Kisses by Jessica Simpson It Just Has to be This Way by Reba McEntire

Top Hits:

Blame it on Your Heart by Patty Loveless Ain’t That Lonely Yet by Dwight Yoakam Timber, I’m Falling in Love by Patty Loveless Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man by Travis Tritt I Can Love you Better by the Chicks (formally the Dixie Chicks)


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featured} Slow Burn Records

Photo by Alejandro Dinsmore

Bernard Jones, James Dean Hicks, Madde Borg, Helen Darling - photo by Cari Klepper

around the country source the entirety of their stock through big national distributors, Slow Burn sources through a local record collector that travels the country (particularly in areas of California and the Pacific Northwest) finding rare records that music fans in Montana aren’t likely to otherwise come across. The shop has also partnered with Eyehear Technology, to build out a top-of-the-line sound system and listening setup throughout Slow Burn’s space. One stroll through Slow Burn, you’ll quickly notice an impressive barrage of “audio-file” grade equipment, including McIntosh amps and six listening stations for customers to enjoy records with the highest quality listening experience possible. Returning the favor, if customers happen to be in any need of vinyl equipment, Slow Burn will set you up with Eyehear for a record player and sound system of your own. As Dyan explains, “Slow Burn is a Whitefish experience in the most literal of ways.”

For the average person, walking into a new record store can often be an intimidating prospect–especially one filled with professional equipment and such a knowledgeable staff. For those that are old enough, or for those who have experience shopping at big city record stores, the pretentious record store employee can be a real stereotype. Think back to the Jack Black character from the 2000 movie High Fidelity, who takes his snobbiness to a new level when refusing to sell records to those without a certain level of musical knowledge. Rest


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To create a welcoming atmosphere, Slow Burn is operated as one big family, all working together to create the best possible experience for customers, and all sharing the same goal of spreading music throughout the area.

assured that with Slow Burn such pretentiousness will certainly not be the case. As Dyan explains, “it’s part of our mission to make Slow Burn a welcoming place where any person, no matter their level of musicianship, knowledge, or even interest in music, can come to learn, listen, and/or discover. We’ve designed our space so they can spend the entire day doing so!” To create a welcoming atmosphere, Slow Burn is operated as one big family, all working together to create the best possible experience for customers, and all sharing the same goal of spreading music throughout the area. As Slow Burn’s own Madde Borg tells it, “we all share pride in this coming together, and can’t wait for our Slow Burn family to extend to the people of Whitefish.” Along with an unrivaled collection of records, the shop also carries an assortment of guitars, vinyl record accessories, and plenty of fun-logoed Slow Burn merchandise for customers to pick up when visiting. Upon first visit, it’s hard not to immediately notice the beautiful design of the newly-renovated space. This is all thanks to the work of Whitefish’s own Bear Mountain Builders, who filled the location with new cabinetry, accent lighting, and a sleek design throughout. Speaking of events within the community, Slow Burn will be having open-mic nights for any nearby or traveling singer-songwriters and will be offering

songwriting classes upon opening. This once again goes back to Slow Burn’s mission to promote music education within the community. In fact, to do just that, Slow Burn has already partnered with the Whitefish Songwriter Festival–a nonprofit annual festival that showcases the art of songwriting. For three days the streets of Whitefish come alive with songwriters sharing with fans their songs and the inspiration behind them, with all proceeds of the festival going toward supporting music education in the Flathead Valley.

“Slow Burn Records and the Whitefish Songwriter Festival share the same vision,” says festival producer Cari Klepper. “Both thrive on the spirit of slowing down and listening to music and experiencing the soul of a song. Slow Burn Records is the presenting sponsor of the festival and they joined the inaugural festival in 2021. Having a common mission makes our partnership the perfect fit.”

Needless to say, the Colbys and Slow Burn Records are quickly making their mark within the musical landscape of Whitefish (and Montana for that matter). As Dyan explains, “this is just the beginning for Slow Burn.” So, whether you’re in Whitefish or just passing through, and find yourself in need of a slow down or a musical adventure of any kind, rest easy knowing there’s a welcoming place on Spokane Avenue just for you.

Lemontree Montana offers fine home decor, accessories, and gifts as well as interior design services. Nancy and Rick Walker launched their flagship store in Las Vegas, Nevada, later moving to Henderson, Nevada nearly 20 years ago. Daughter Sara Shine opened the Kalispell location, Lemontree Montana, nearly two years ago, a few blocks from the heart of downtown Kalispell. Sara and Nancy discuss why opening Lemontree in the Flathead Valley has been a great addition to the community. Sara, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was a critical care nurse for many years. My husband and three kids decided to move to the Flathead Valley in August 2020 after learning that school would be online in Nevada for the upcoming school year due to Covid-19. We didn’t want to keep our kids out of school for another year and felt that the valley would be a great fit for us. Prior to the pandemic, we visited the valley on vacation and fell in love with it. In addition, we also have extended family in the area. Having ventured out on several shopping trips, I felt the area presented a need for a store like Lemontree.

Over the last two years we have really become a part of the community here. My oldest son is a junior at Glacier High School, where he plays football and wrestles. My daughter attends KMS (Kalispell Middle School) where she is making friends and looks forward to her involvement in team volleyball. My youngest son attends Edgerton in Kalispell. Since moving, we have grown to love the mountains and outdoor activities as well as the small town feeling of the community with the patriotic pride that people have in this


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area. We are excited to be a part of the community here. We have been welcomed by the people and look forward to making lasting relationships.

Nancy, what made you want to open a home decor store?

I’ve always known I had a passion for interior design. As far back as I can remember growing up, I was changing furniture around in my bedroom, rearranging the vases, books, lamps, etc., always bugging my parents to repaint or wallpaper my room...looking back, I knew I had a special eye for home decor. However, I have a nurturing, caring personality and thought nursing would be perfect for me. I began a career in nursing. I worked in the field for 10 years. I then stayed home and raised our family. When it was time to return to work, my passion for home decor re-emerged.

Nancy, what made you want to open Lemontree Montana in Kalispell?

After spending time in the Flathead Valley and talking to family members, Rick and I felt it was the right decision to open the store. We believed

Home Decor & More

Written by Leticia Gevock Photos by ACE Photography & Design

that this valley presented a need for home decor and fine gifts that Lemontree could fill. Sara and husband Nick were also believing this to be the right decision and Sara agreed to open and run this location.

What sets Lemontree apart from other home decor shops in the Flathead Valley?

Lemontree Montana not only has home décor and beautiful items, but we also offer full interior design assistance that is complimentary to customers. That sets us apart.

Upon entering the store, the seasonal smells emerge. We change our displays often, displaying merchandise for every holiday and season. Dishes, pillows, candles, and florals help pull the displays together. Sara has a visual eye; and together with the employees, create beautiful displays. Customers love to come in and see what’s new. We also offer complimentary gift wrap. We attend the buying markets in High Point, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada. We are constantly changing our inventory, keeping it fresh and current with what’s trending in the home decor and fashion markets.


Lemontree Montana

Lemontree Montana not only has home décor and beautiful items, but we also offer full interior design assistance that is complimentary to customers. That sets us apart.

What type of inventory and brands does Lemontree offer that customers keep an eye out for?

We carry a variety of brands; Brighton jewelry and handbags, Mackenzie Child, Nambe, Michael Aram, Stonewall kitchen gourmet foods, various candle lines and jewelry. For your home, we offer furniture from Lexington, Bassett, Universal, Caracole, Bernhardt, and Charleston Forge, just to name a few.

Within the store, there is lots of home decor, from tabletop books to unique statues and florals. We carry lighting from well-known brands, area rugs, semi-custom bedding, reupholstering, and custom window treatments.

Were there any struggles opening a new store during the midst of the pandemic? What were those challenges like?

Our challenges continue to be getting the word out about our Kalispell store. I don’t know if that is due to the pandemic though. People beginning to travel again is encouraging; whether they have a vacation home or Canadians who are returning to the valley to shop again.

We have noticed delays in receiving merchandise, especially custom order pieces. There is nothing we can do about availability, except let our customers know of the delay and a realistic delivery time.

Our experience has been, customers that have come into the store or used our design services have been very supportive. We are grateful for that. We have supported various events in the community. We want to continue to be a part of these events and our family wants to support other businesses in the Flathead Valley area.

What is unique about your Kalispell location compared to your location in Henderson?

It is different from the Lemontree flagship store. The Kalispell location is cozy, and smells of the season fill the air. There is merchandise on two different levels, great for browsing at your own pace. At both locations, customer service is our utmost concern. The Henderson location has been awarded the Houzz Customer Satisfaction award for seven years in a row. We can’t compete with the big box stores except in customer service and letting customers know we very much appreciate their business and want to make their shopping experience pleasant.

Here’s what customers have to say about Lemontree Montana -

“Lemontree Montana has become my favorite destination. I recently built a home and had a vision; however, I had no clue how to pull it together. Sara and Nancy were able to make my dream come true. They are very talented at interior design and I can’t

say how thankful I am for their hard work, communication and amazing ideas that all came together to make my home more beautiful than I ever imagined. The store is spectacular and is a great place to find unique and fun accessories.” • Amy Stevens, Lemontree Montana customer

“I so enjoy working with the whole staff at the store and love all the wonderful home furnishings and gifts. I’m so excited you started to carry Brighton. As the owner of Beckman’s, I am so happy with the addition of Lemontree Montana to Kalispell and still working as a designer will continue to refer them to all my clients. The owners and staff are incredible to work with.” • Karen Cramer, owner of Beckman’s Fine Furnishings www.lemontreemontana.com



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Barb the Builder? Flathead Valley Women in Construction Written by Mary Wallace

Across the nation, slightly less than 11% of employees in the construction industry are women, which is a relatively low number compared to other male-dominated industries. “That’s too bad,” said Jessie Walthers of the Flathead Builders Association, “because the construction industry needs to attract 650,000 additional workers in 2022 alone to meet the demand for construction services, which is still trying to recover from the aftereffects of the pandemic.” In the next five years, the need for construction workers is expected to grow to over 1.6 million people. This opens opportunities for highpaying, stable jobs for women.

Flathead Valley Women in Construction

We wondered how our Flathead Valley measures up when it comes to women in construction. Jessie Walthers, of the Flathead Builders Association, was happy to direct us to a handful of local women who could provide some insight on the subject.

They had little experience when they made the decision to switch mid-career to a construction job, and most were trained on the job and encouraged to take on the challenge of new horizons – all because their new boss saw some potential in them that could benefit their company. The following four women were happy to share their experience in a male-dominated industry in the Flathead Valley.

Where do you work and how did you come to be in this job?

Maxine ZuZero works with a team of six men in the Contractor Sales Department as well as managing a majority of the marketing and public relations for the South Kalispell Western Building Center. She’s been there for 16 years. Maxine, who holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations from California State University was recruited by the owner as she was working as the Industrial Coordinator at a local staffing agency.


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Rocheal Gaston, Designer/Manager at the Direct Source in Kalispell, started out selling appliances for her employer, Rich Sargent. When he mentioned he wanted to get into cabinetry, she jumped on the opportunity to become a designer for the store. She had no experience, but her boss encouraged her and with the help of a handful of cabinet experts and suppliers she had been working with, she soon learned to be a cabinet designer. Rocheal is poised to be the incoming president of the Flathead Building Association and she also sits on the board of the Montana Building Industry Association.

In the construction industry, women have reported encountering familiar gender-related challenges such as gender bias, sexual harassment, lack of adequate resources and benefits, and social perceptions. Has this happened to you?

Jayne Lamberson is a finish carpenter and Warranty Manager for Terry Homes. Jayne grew up around the trades under the tutelage of her grandfather, who was a blacksmith and carpet layer. As much as she enjoyed working as a caregiver in a group home, she realized that she needed a more

Rocheal reports that she really doesn’t have too many challenges on that score, but she feels that this is because she doesn’t expect it, and further – she just doesn’t allow it. There have been times when she has been quizzed by a customer in a way that might never have occurred if she were a man, and she has been known to gently call them out on it. “Did I pass your test?” she might lightheartedly ask.

Anna Durkin, the Director of Marketing and Sales at Montana Build, studied hospitality and tourism (and minored in history) at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. She has always had a passion for taking care of people and she credits the countless hours she spent with her mother and sister exploring historic homes and gardens in Virginia as well as construction sites with fostering her interest in becoming involved in the construction industry

physically active job. Her then employer helped her put a resume together to seek a job that would keep her busy and on her feet. Since she has been hired by Terry Homes, it has been lifechanging for her – she has grown so much and she has become more independent in all areas of her life.

Every now and then Maxine runs into what she calls ‘the good ol’ boy” mindset – a contractor will come in and look right past her to the next available guy at the counter. Her co-workers are quick to refer them right back to her as the best person to help them.

featured} Construction

While Anna feels that our society does seem to view the construction industry as male dominated, she said the team she works with takes it all in stride and exhibits a culture that makes the five women who work there feel accepted and valued. Further, Anna says the inner workings of many construction companies are often women and let’s face it … nothing happens without their system of support. One might even see that women can actually accomplish more and accomplish it faster.

Because Jayne is fairly young (25) and rather tiny (4’11”), she says she does feel that she sometimes faces challenges with people taking her seriously. A customer might walk past her, thinking she couldn’t possibly be in charge. Homeowners may not listen to her, and Jayne feels these mindsets may be more steeped in the older generation. However, her co-workers always support her and make sure that everyone involved knows she is a force to be reckoned with.

Do Women receive equitable pay?

This is still a good news/bad news situation…even after years of effort, the bad news is that women in the workforce still typically earn just 84% of what men earn. The good news is that construction is one industry where there is practically no pay gap, with women earning an average of 94.3% of what men earn. Best news: The Flathead valley may actually be better than the national level. Virtually all these local women in construction reported that they feel they are paid the same rate as their male counterparts at their jobs.

Due to the shortage of women in construction, there is an overall lack of strong female role models, which discourages women from advancing in the field or even choosing construction as a career. True?

This may be true here in the Flathead Valley as well. Anna, Rocheal, and Jayne did not really have any role models outside their family members. Maxine’s role model at WBC is Rob Shanks, who has been with the company for 35 years. His goal is to get the customer what they need. Mike Hammet is also a great influence; his demeanor sets the tone for the whole store.

Are you a tomboy? Did you always want to grow up to work in construction?

Rocheal Gaston

“My job is fun but challenging – don’t ever let being a woman stop you.”

Anna Durkin

Maxine ZuZero

Maxine just fell into her position, and yet, it is exactly where she wants to be. On her spare time, (twice a week at 5:30 am) Maxine teaches fitness boot camp classes at Logan Health Fitness Center - empowering women and no grass growing under her feet!

Rocheal feels like she has always been put right where she needed to be, when she was supposed to be there, and with whom she was supposed to be with. “Tomboys got nothing to do with it! I love what I do! I am passionate about it. This is where my heart is happy.” Anna played in the woods as a child and her hobbies are hiking and running, but she has always been more of a girly-girl; not so much a tomboy.

Jayne was a definitely tomboy as a child. She laughingly talks about running into subcontractors about town outside of working hours when she is dressed in ‘street clothes’ and they didn’t recognize her.

What do women bring to the table that men do not?

Maxine says it’s the design aspect! Women are good at organizational ideas to work with a specific family lifestyle. They are also good at putting colors with the right colors. Rocheal feels women are more empathetic, sometimes they have to play counselor between two spouses. Women are bet-

Maxine ZuZero


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featured} Construction ter at reading emotions, and they can speak both languages. Women are also willing to prove themselves.

Anna would like us all to remember that women don’t need to ‘be like a man’ in this industry or cover up. Just be yourself. Women organize things differently and think about how the client’s lifestyle and family dynamics will work with the project. Women’s communication style is different as well. Jayne feels that women are more detail oriented, and they are good at multitasking. That is something that makes many women good in management/ superintendent positions in the construction industry.

What would you say to your sisters who might want to follow your example?

Maxine said, “My job is fun but challenging – don’t ever let being a woman stop you.”

Rocheal exclaims “Do it! The construction industry is a great career to be a part of; it is creative and fun, and one can walk away with more than just a career – they could gain a healthy knowledge of building processes.”

Anna says “Stick with it. Don’t be swayed by a couple of men who make you think you can’t do it. Figure out your niche and DON’T take no for an answer.” Jayne wants other women to know that they can do anything a man can do. Sometimes there is a stigma for women in a male-dominated field, but there shouldn’t be. The environment in the construction industry is better than one might expect and currently we NEED more people in the trades – why should it matter if they are a man or a woman?

What can we do to improve and encourage women to be/do whatever they choose?

Maxine simply replied that women can work in non-traditional jobs. “It’s a given!”

Rocheal thought it would help if we were to start having conversations at a younger age about ALL the various jobs available and the concept that one doesn’t always have to have a college degree to have a fulfilling career. It is perfectly okay and even expected that some girls can grow up to work in construction.


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Anna said that “sometimes the biggest barrier to women can be other women. We are not in a competition with other women, and women need to support each other.” Anna is grateful her daughter and son get to see that she enjoys her work. She started her position at Montana Build when her oldest child was 4 weeks old, still breastfeeding, and determined to take the time to pump milk in the closet at work. As a mother, she realized that she needed to stick up for herself – “if she didn’t, who would?” Jayne feels we should promote trade school as much as (or more than) college. With the current labor shortage, why not make sure our marketing and advertising states that both men and women are encouraged to apply. Something as simple as having photos of women doing their work in maledominated jobs would be helpful.

Surprising Real-World Statistics

Thirteen percent of all construction companies worldwide are owned by women. Women working in construction earn around 30% more than those working in women-dominated occupations. Construction companies that do employ women have a 25% possibility of achieving an above average profitability compared to firms that don’t employ women. In today’s job market, there are plenty of different career opportunities in construction to build the places where we live, work, play, and learn. What’s more, construction is one of the few industries where one can earn a paycheck while beginning, continuing, or completing their education – apprentice style. It’s a job where a woman can cultivate a well-paying career that provides for her family and learn a lifelong skill set.

Working in construction allows a feeling of achievement after being part of a project from the ground up — a feeling that shouldn’t be limited to just men. Construction skills like team building, managing a complex project, and working with technology and tools can be applied to other sectors and careers for men and women equally as well. Looking for a career change? Construction might be worth looking into! Sponsored by Flathead Building Association


Written by Leticia Gevock

Countless dispensaries have been popping up in the Flathead Valley since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana – so many that they are beginning to feel like a dime a dozen. So, what sets Haskill Creek Farms and the Cannabis Counter apart from any other shop? They brand themselves as a modern mercantile and dispensary, which provides organic herbs including cannabis, and other holistic health products. Founders Scot Chisholm, Carrie Chisholm, and Craig McViney initially had the idea for a health and wellness shop, including the Cannabis Counter as a portion of the overall herbal offerings with their main goal being bringing the freshest and finest quality products available in one place.

Chisholm founded Haskill Creek Farms two years ago after moving to Whitefish and teamed up with Whitefish local of ten years Craig McViney. Chisholm and McViney knew one another from attending high school together in Hingham, Massachusetts, and McViney’s background in farming complimented Chisholm’s business background perfectly to make their vision a reality. The motivation behind starting the business was their newfound interest in herbs and a more holistic approach to medicine. Prior to moving to Whitefish, Chisholm had created a software company called Classy out of San Diego. It aimed to simplify the digital donation process for nonprofit organizations and their supporters. Chisholm founded the company after experiencing problems donating money he had raised in fundraisers for the American Cancer Association in honor of his mother, a two-time cancer survivor. The company grew into a crowdfunding giant employing 300 people and raising billions yearly for the nonprofit organizations who use the platform.


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With the stress that came along with the CEO position at Classy, Chisholm began to experience health issues like chronic ear aches, migraines, and trouble swallowing. After visiting a few doctors with no conclusions, Chisholm decided to visit a homeopathic doctor who directed him toward a healthier diet

and herbal remedies which made his symptoms disappear within a few weeks. During that time he began using CBD and cannabis and realized how difficult it was to find products that he knew the source of, and could trust what was in them. “The CBD and cannabis space is still a bit like the wild west. The quality standard is generally low, and government oversight is really just getting started. So there’s a lot of products that claim to be organic for example but aren’t actually organic by most normal standards.” Chisholm says.

This experience motivated him to create products that customers could trust and have confidence in where they came from. Hence why the founders decided to farm herbs themselves, and strictly curate any other product that they would put on their shelves.

Their 30-acre farm is located off Edgewood Road, combined with 35 acres surrounding their storefront off Voerman Road, where they produce herbs, hemp, and cannabis as well as small amounts of produce. Their farming practices a regenerative process by composting the manure from their farm alpacas in order to revitalize the soil for the plants.

“The front of the store is our health and wellness mercantile, where we sell our own products and herbs from local and U.S. based farmers, as well as a variety of highly curated health and wellness products,” Chisholm says. “And the Cannabis Counter, which is a craft cannabis dispensary, is technically a separate store, under the same roof so you have that shared experience.”

Chisholm hopes to make a difference in ways that are important to the community, especially in the ever growing and developing community that the Flathead Valley has become. Chisholm says about 75 percent of the herbs sold in his store are sourced from local farmers, including his own, while 100 percent of what they carry comes from the United States. Haskill Creek Farms also promises that all herbs and spices that appear in the store are all less than 24 months from harvest. It’s a sharp contrast with other herb suppliers. “The average age of most herbs and spices that you see in the grocery store is four to five years,” says Chisholm. “They don’t tell you that of course, but it shows how fresh and high quality our products are.” One large focus for Haskill Creek Farms is keeping the products they supply local and supporting small farmers. This idea was sparked after Chisholm began asking locals what they believed was a large issue facing the community. The answer was resounding. “Rapid development without proper planning, that is eating up local farm and ranchland,” Chisholm recalls.

After hearing members of the community speak on the issue Chisholm began to research nonprofits tackling the problem of vanishing farmland and was surprised that no organization was tackling the issue head on. This drove Chisholm to found the nonprofit Save Farmland, which aims to protect local farmland from development, while incubating new farmers and strengthening the local food system.

Chisholm knew when founding Haskill Creek that he wanted some portion to be given to a nonprofit organization from his past experience in fundraising with Classy. Save farmland seemed like the perfect way to support interconnected causes.

Save farmland works by strategically purchasing key parcels and putting them under an easement to protect them from development. Many young farmers struggle to get into farming because of the sheer cost of land and Save Farmland aims to aid youth wanting to get into agriculture. These parcels will serve as a hub for new farmers to learn how to farm and eventually graduate them to larger plots of land so they can stay local. “By doing this strategically, we are able to train farmers to work and produce in the local area, so they are not forced out of town into these rural, hard-to-reach areas,” says Chisholm. “Proximity to population centers is crucial for keeping the local food system healthy over time.”

Chisholm also supports this concept by sourcing products locally for purchase in the Haskill Creek Farms storefront. Chisholm hopes to make a difference in ways that are important to the community, especially in the ever growing and developing community that the Flathead Valley has become. “Someone has to stand up for what makes this community great, and farming and agriculture is a huge piece of that.” he says.

Chisholm hopes to continue raising money for Save Farmland to be able to buy the next plot of land for eventual use for young and beginning farmers. Chisholm already has plans for the parcel across the street to the Haskill Creek storefront. He hopes to section off the land partially for plots for farming programs and use others to create a multifunctional community space. Uses for this space may include a community garden, walking trails, and class spaces. “There are not many multifunctional community spaces in the valley as it stands, and Save Farmland hopes to provide a space for that.” says Chisholm. “We were inspired by the YMCA model, where the broader community can benefit from the facilities as well.” Save Farmland plans to begin fundraising for this project right away, with the goals of raising funding by next summer, to break ground sometime in 2024.

Haskill Creek Farms has already begun kicking off its fundraising campaign for Save Farmland this summer, with a portion of every sale being donated, as well proceeds from its Summer Series events held at the store. Haskill Creek Farms is holding their Summer Series Events at the porch of their storefront every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The events include live music, food, and drinks. Chisholm says there’s a key element that makes their business different.

“We didn’t want to create just a store, or a dispensary; we wanted to create a whole experience that the local community could get behind and be a part of,” he says. “Save Farmland is a critical piece of this, and the newly formed nonprofit will carry the vision forward in the years to come.” www.hc.farm



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Electric Buffalo Gallery Written by Mary Wallace

Walking into the Electric Buffalo Gallery in Bigfork is not any ordinary shopping excursion, it is a total experience. The first thing some visitors see is a gigantic amethyst crystal and for others it is the symphony of colors in the paintings on the walls. Savvy visitors might already sense that there is a story behind nearly every item in the store – and they would be correct! “The story is the key,” said Jack Saunders, the owner of Electric Buffalo Gallery. “Every piece has a story or history, and we do a lot of research when pieces come in. The stories are always fascinating, and we love to share them!”

Jack Saunders, gallery owner

Jack grew up in eastern Montana (Hardin) and near the Black Hills of South Dakota. Like many kids, he developed a major interest in fossils, rocks, and crystals. Later, attending University of New Mexico in his college years, his interests expanded to the local Southwest jewelry and art, and he became a collector for his own personal enjoyment.


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Oddly enough, Jack is NOT an artist, he is just addicted. Even though his interests have always been focused on his collections, his first career was in golf. When he was a youngster, Jack’s family often vacationed in the Bigfork area and when he was offered a position as one of the first golf pros at Eagle Bend, he was delighted to move here. The next thing he knew, he was married and moving back to New Mexico where he gained experience in the retail setting with his golf and sporting goods business. As much as he enjoyed that business, his heart kept drawing him back towards his native Montanan home. When the Saunders’ became a family, they began thinking about raising their kids in Montana, so they moved back to Bigfork in 2011 and bought the store.

Many come in and love to have their photo taken with the bigger than life amethyst crystal geode. The gallery boasts a crystal collection that ranges from $3 to $15,000 and they are big sellers, since they are known for their vibrational and healing properties. His employees refer to him as a workaholic, but he is admitting to nothing on that score. How can it be considered work when he loves it so much? Customers ask about certain items and he loves sharing the stories about the items they are curious about. Sometimes the customer has a story too, and he has an opportunity to learn from someone else and that is one of his favorite days! In the summer, customers come from all over the world, according to Business Manager Tonya Lowe. The Electric Buffalo Gallery is a part of the whole Bigfork experience. Some customers wander in with a restaurant beeper in hand - waiting for a table at the popular Pocket Stone Café across the street. Of course, they find they are reluctant to leave when their beeper goes off. There are sometimes as many as 50 people inside the store at once on any given summer day. Many come in and love to have their photo taken with the bigger than life amethyst crystal geode. The gallery boasts a crystal collection that ranges from $3 to $15,000 and they are big sellers, since they are known for their vibrational and healing properties. Much of the ‘charm’ of the Electric Buffalo Gallery is the easy and inviting, yet fascinating atmosphere. Jack is quick to credit Tonya with helping him create the look and feel of the place. Working closely together, Jack manages the wall displays and Tonya manages the display cases throughout the store with the help of parttime employee and full-time designer, Taryn.

It was a moment of serendipity that brought Tonya into the gallery one cold winter day. A vivid dream about a necklace sent her on an adventure down to the village and into the gallery where she struck up a conversation with Jack about the crystals and minerals in the store. Growing up on a gold mining claim as a child, Tonya is a big rockhound too and she spent over an hour talking with him about the variety of specimens in the gallery. Jack promptly offered her a job, which she quickly declined as she was not looking for a job at the time. After a night of thought and reflection, she returned to accept the job offer. Somehow, it seemed that this was where she was meant to be. Tonya, in her iconic 50’s style signature skirt and sweater is a bit of a rock star in the store and in the Bigfork community. Her outgoing personality made it easy to connect with other businesses and of course, store customers.

While many businesses found that business was down during the challenges of the past couple years, it seemed to be just the opposite in Bigfork. At times there was an overwhelming crush of people in the stores on Electric Avenue and finding enough staff to handle the traffic was a challenge.

They are proud of the roll call of artisans from all along the Rocky Mountain front who are represented in the gallery. Artie Yellowhorse is a third-generation Navajo jewelry artist from the Towering House Clan where her grandfather and father were silversmiths. Known for her contemporary jewelry designs using high-quality stones and distinctive silversmithing, Artie Yellowhorse continues the family jewelry making tradition and now has her daughters, Desiree and Le Lani, deeply involved in the creation and design of Yellowhorse Jewelry. The Artie Yellowhorse trunk show is an annual event at the Electric Buffalo Gallery.

Their collection of inlay jewelry from nationally renowned David Rosales and his Supersmith team of Navajo and Zuni Pueblo craftspeople is considered some of the highest quality available in the American Southwest today. The gorgeous stone combinations and remarkable settings from this collection bring handcrafted native American jewelry to a new level. They strive to exceed expectations of design and quality in beautiful, wearable art and make it available across the Western United States.

Carol Hagan is a Western artist who transforms icons and landscapes of the West into colorful and expressive paintings. Her works include canvas giclee and ChromaLuxe metal prints of wildlife, horses, birds, western landscapes and flowers, and Montana scenes. Carol says she hopes to make marks that will outlive her and to record, through her work, a brief moment in time of what it is like to live in this extraordinary place, the 'Big Sky Country' of Montana. Originally raised in Bigfork, Whitefish artist Colt Idol has always been enamored with “The West” and all it represents. His artistic expression lies in highlighting both a timeless, symbolic, and ambient West of old and this new daring and vibrant era in which we live today."

David Frederick Riley is a Western, Wildlife and Portrait artist living in Midway, Utah. His aim is to capture some of the West's spirit, strength and grace to share with others and his artwork is how he engages with this awe-inspiring land surrounding him. The gallery is also proud to offer the work of local resident, Allen Jimmerson, whose paintings include his iconic landscapes and wildlife, are with an emphasis on Glacier National Park. Kalispell artist Darren Haley spends hours observing the habitat and behavior of his wildlife subjects and his commitment to capturing wildlife in its natural state is apparent in the fine detail of his incredibly realistic creations.

Tonya Lowe, business manager



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Electric Buffalo Gallery

Tonya has a Bachelor of Organizational Leadership, and according to Jack, she is a real guru at tapping into everyone’s strengths and interests to find just the right mix of personalities for the store. They have handpicked each person for their specific talents and the ten employees they have on deck for the upcoming busy summer season include every age and genre - from a 15-year-old high school student, to a designer, to a retiree who is delighted to fill her summer days at the gallery. They have such a comradery that they can’t help but find their job fun and fulfilling. “It’s going to be a rad summer!” according to Tonya. The main excitement at the gallery, of course, is the artwork! Everyone at the Electric Buffalo Gallery is excited about the artists and the work they have in the store which includes a mix of Montana, Native American, and Southwestern turquoise and silver Jewelry, Montana and Yogo sapphires, local and western art & paintings, handmade knives, and authentic and replicated museum quality native American artifacts. Jack is fully committed to his founding principles which are having the highest respect and fairness for the artists, reasonable prices for customers, and a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff. Jack has built relationships with many artists over the years and from the time he opened the Electric Buffalo Gallery in 2013, he has carefully selected each piece to ensure the best quality and craftsmanship in every unique item sold in the gallery.

Jack enjoys spending his days at the gallery, it is his love, and he would be there seven days a week if he had his own way. However, now that his wife Cheryl and his capable and enthusiastic staff has convinced him to take two days off per week, he is finding a lot of enjoyment in his gardens at home. He also loves to travel - although, not surprisingly, his favorite trips are to search for more things for the store. And to answer the question that any who remember his golf pro days might ask, he doesn’t really play golf these days. Golf brought him to Montana and for that he is grateful, but he doesn’t really relax on the golf course. The store is his happy place now. Now that their kids are grown, he dreams of setting up a sister store in Hawaii and spending 1-2 months there every winter. Besides that, he is finding more joy in the simple things . . . family, pretty rocks, jewelry, landscaping, and the lake. And the gallery of course – ALWAYS the gallery. After all is said & done, Jack likes the line that one of his customers once said which is that the Electric Buffalo Gallery is just like a candy store for grown-ups. Visit the gallery in person at 475 Electric Avenue in Bigfork or find them online at www.electricbuffalogallery.com.



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Bigfork Design Apparel & Fine Goods Written by Callie Reagan Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography

Bigfork Design Apparel & Fine Goods is a beautiful shop in Bigfork that offers quality, beauty and style. Kathleen Hennen is the owner and founder of the store and we were able to go over together why she and Bigfork Design Apparel & Fine Goods are such a great match and addition to our community. Kathleen, tell us a little about yourself and background.

I grew up in Minnesota and was interested in fashion, so I earned a degree in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising & Design. I worked various retail jobs and companies which allowed me to travel and live on both coasts and several places in between. I always loved the variety of retail – from customer service to merchandising to managing operations and personnel.

You have done so many things in your life, can you highlight a few?

I wanted to own my own business, so I started a publishing company specializing in travel and tourism magazines. That eventually led to building a boutique hotel from ground-up in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona which Rob (my husband) and I operated together. Rob also owned and operated a bicycle shop and touring business out of the hotel which catered to cyclists. After selling the hotel, we bought a Sportsmobile and traveled and lived in it for several months. We had traveled a bit during the summers and loved Montana, so eventually found a perfect property just outside of Bigfork. The first couple years here, we focused on building out our current small house and outbuildings.

What made you want to start Bigfork Design?


I think I might be a serial entrepreneur that needs projects. I didn’t intentionally set out to start the

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store that Bigfork Design has become. It just kept evolving.

Initially we started as a home and gift store with our handmade furniture as the focus (hence the name – Bigfork Design). Rob and I enjoy woodworking and have built tables and bookshelves for our own home. When the building (565 Electric Avenue) became available, we moved quickly to purchase it and the adjacent outdoor space. The courtyard is connected to the store through beautiful leaded glass patio doors that we keep open all summer.

Having the courtyard led me to search for pottery and outdoor furniture and accessories. Bergs Potter has these adorable clay pots made in Italy that come with waterproof trays. This summer I added the Campo di’Fiori pots, which are handmade and feature live moss turning them in the most lovely, antique shapes and colors.

Your store evolves with you, that’s exciting because you are always offering new things and people can always be engaged with your store and you as the owner.

When we first opened, we had a small offering of women’s apparel. The feedback was overwhelm-

ingly positive and over the past three years, I’ve been on a mission to source and bring in the brands and styles that customers ask for. Many of the current brands we carry are a direct result of customer requests. We added the men’s section about six months ago based also on customer requests.

When you are buying for the seasons, what do you look for?

The shop’s vibe is mostly classic and timeless – though I’m always on the hunt for the pieces with an edge or uniqueness. We have such a tremendous variety of clientele in terms of age and background, it makes it very fun and challenging! I’m a huge believer in sales to keep the inventory fresh.

With years of experience, how have you seen your store change and grow?

Starting a boutique from the ground up takes time and commitment. Now I feel like – three years in – I finally have a really great assortment that I’m proud of with more than 40 new and highly regarded brands. It actually worked out really well though as I was able to bring in some newer and up-and-coming brands that are just getting established. For instance Not Monday, Moussy, Brochu Walker and Christy Lynn are fairly new and really special brands that are quickly establishing cult


Bigfork Design

We build relationships with and pay attention to our regular customers which helps shape the buying of future collections. Our in-depth knowledge of each and every item and what would suit each customer that walks through the door provides a more personal experience. followings. There’s nothing more exciting than finding a new brand that really works for you.

Established brands are really great to have as they offer a proven quality, fit and style. Many residents here are used to shopping online or at Nordstrom's. We offer a lot of the same brands such as Vince, AG Denim, Frame, Veronica Beard, Faherty, Velvet, Paige, James Perse, etc. I am shopping in the same markets – NYC, LA, Dallas and Las Vegas – but I’m choosing styles that customers are asking for and that I personally love.

You are very customer aware; how do you feel that impacts your business?

The goal is to help our customers feel good and look their best by providing a unique range of quality products, exceptional customer service, and great experiences. That sounds cliché but it is legit and of utmost importance to the success of a boutique like Bigfork Design, Apparel & Fine Goods.

We build relationships with and pay attention to our regular customers which helps shape the buying of future collections. Our indepth knowledge of each and every item and what would suit each customer that walks through the door provides a more personal experience. Whether it’s second opinions or wardrobe suggestions, our eye for what suits different shapes and sizes and what’s in the store that will work well together can make a huge difference in taking home timeless products that are worn far longer than just a season.

What can you tell us about styles hitting your store this season?

We intentionally curate apparel, gifts and home décor for the local and seasonal residents.

Generally, I shop about six months out, so for instance I go to LA Market in October to buy for Spring/ Summer which is January – June deliveries in the retail world. March was shopping for Fall/Winter 2022. Trends I saw and bought for Bigfork Design include jackets and blazers, basics like white tops with black pants and maxi hemlines in pants and dresses.

For color trending this fall, there is a LOT of camel/oatmeal/rust and every shade of green. The courtyard is home to a great selection of indoor/outdoor rugs, pillows and throws. Our furniture collection is now primarily by Palecek as they will dropship directly to customers’ homes.

Shopping Local is a big topic in towns like ours. What are your thoughts on this with being a local shop owner?

Shopping local and supporting small businesses can be an incredible, rewarding experience. Imagine if there were no more main streets with their cozy brick and mortar stores. I personally love small towns, main streets and wandering in and out of cute shops - Bigfork is really charming and offers locals and visitors alike all of this. Not only do small businesses have more time and energy to make sure guests are taken care of, they help keep other small businesses afloat, by reinvesting into other local services and businesses. When you shop at local businesses, that money stays in your community. It also means that the boutique can grow, expanding its selection further to bring you even more high-quality, beautiful things to choose from.


Bigfork Design Apparel & Fine Goods 565 Electric Avenue, Bigfork MT 406-420-2268


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Provider Profile

Q&A with

Jennie Walker

What is your background? What brought you to the Flathead Valley?

As a fourth-generation resident of Flathead Valley, I grew up in Kalispell before moving out of state for my high school and college years. Northwest Montana has always been home, however, as each summer my family returned to visit relatives, swim in pristine lakes and hike the glorious mountains. Five years ago, my husband and I made the decision to move here and raise our family. We couldn’t be happier. We are living life to its fullest in a community supportive of one another, and in a region that offers unparalleled scenic beauty and incredible outdoor activities.

What is your specialty of practice?

Since graduating with my Bachelors in Nursing 12 years ago, I’ve served on Orthopedic surgical floors, caring for post-operative patients. Combining my love for education, patient care and organizational management, I've enjoyed creating a new position for Logan Health over the past year as the first Nurse Navigator for the Total Joint Program. Total joint replacements require multiple medical clearances, pre-operative testing and education, and preparation for post-operative equipment and home care. It’s my privilege to help patients and loved ones “navigate” the entire process as we strive to maximize the very best experience and outcome for each patient.

What is the best part about your job?

One of the best aspects of my Nurse Navigator role is providing a listening and empathetic ear. I am thankful to be a sounding board, pre-surgical cheerleader, nerve-calmer, and a reassuring voice in the midst of pain. I love using my nursing skills in this new way by helping to bridge the communication between our patients and our amazing team of Orthopedic physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical assistants at Logan Health.

What are some of your professional interests?

Having been a bedside nurse and charge nurse/shift supervisor in three states, I have also volunteered as a member of the Nursing Council at each hospital. It’s been a valuable opportunity to improve systems, implement best practice, turn frustrations into triumphs, and increase team morale. Healthcare is always changing, and it’s been an especially difficult time for healthcare workers over the past few years as everyone can appreciate. Through process improvement and workflow optimization, our employees benefit. More importantly, our patients benefit. My goal is to continue to build the Total Joint Program to


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offer the most seamless, understandable, individualized, caring process possible for patients...resulting in the best medical outcomes.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Along with my husband Benton, son Bridger (7), and daughter Brynn (4), we cherish family time together in the great outdoors. Most weekends we are road and mountain biking, kayaking rivers and lakes, hiking, staying in the woods in our newly renovated camper, sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing. Although we love exploring new places in Montana, after a long winter we enjoy heading to the Southwest for spring break each year for sunshine, warm weather, rock climbing and unique scenery.

Brought to you by


Logan Health

Generous Donation Fuels Enhanced Access to

school-based healthcare Written by Mellody Sharpton Photos courtesy of Logan Health

Thanks to a $500,000 gift from the Broussard Family Trust to the Logan Health Foundation, school-based health care will now be mobile, enhancing access to care for Montana’s students. The donation funds the development of a new school-based health center mobile unit to serve rural students, faculty and staff.

“The family has always had a vested interest in the education, health and well-being of our community members and others,” says Jerome Broussard on behalf of the Broussard Family Trust. “This wonderful outreach opportunity will influence the mental and physical needs of our rural schools. We hope others will join us in making a difference.”

Logan Health’s school-based health centers work to improve the physical and mental health of both students and staff, increase access to health care, and decrease time lost from school by providing health care in the school. They work closely with


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Montana State University Nursing students pose in front of the Logan Health School Based Health Center at Bigfork High School during one of their sports physicals this past spring. the school’s nurses, administrators, coaches and teachers to meet the unique needs of their school and community. Similar to primary care offices, the clinics provide preventive, acute, chronic and mental health care. However, the service is not meant to replace a family’s primary care provider. Instead the service compliments the services your family doctor provides and to help those who do not have a primary care provider. Logan Health first launched the school-based health program more than six years ago with clinics at schools in Eureka and Columbia Falls. Since that time, the program has grown to serve more than 4,000 students, faculty and staff in five school districts and ten schools. The addition of the new mobile clinic will expand services to nearly 4,000 more students, faculty and staff at other rural schools in Montana.

“We believe that strong public schools are the foundation of our community, and students thrive when they are at their healthiest,” says Brittany Coburn, Nurse Practitioner for the Logan Health SchoolBased Health program, “Our goal is to improve the health of faculty and staff, but many rural schools do not have school nurses or a space to provide

care. With a mobile health clinic, we can expand our reach even further, positively impacting the health of rural students.”

Coburn further explained that many rural students are economically disadvantaged, living at or below the poverty level. In addition, some rural families drive great distances to access healthcare. With healthcare services on their school’s campus, students have immediate access to care, and the amount of time away from work is reduced for parents. Program leaders envision this innovative approach to spark further growth of the school-based healthcare program, with additional mobile units in the future. Construction of the mobile clinic is underway with NomadGCS, a local manufacturer of mobile medical and health care vehicles. It is expected to be completed by fall 2023.

“We are deeply grateful for the Broussard family for their generous donation, making this initiative possible for families in the valley,” says Joe McClafferty, Logan Health Foundation President. “Their support will impact the health and improve the lives of families and students for years to come.”



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Bust a Myth Written by Austin Rusher, WHNP

Growing up on a small ranch, the birds and the bees were never a mystery. My mother had an addiction to horses, all horse folk know the condition, and she loved making more of them. Our corrals were made from railroad ties and slender pine tree trunks with the branches roughly cut off by an axe. Most of our time at home was split between the corrals and barn, as my mother strived to create or develop her prospects. Having friends over was occasionally problematic for kids not so blessed with this exposure and resultant knowledge of biology. My sisters and I took great joy in unravelling the mysteries of life, or conception, for these kids. After all, what’s better to a young kid than spreading forbidden knowledge? Our friends would present their arguments of where babies come from. Stories of storks, gifts from heaven, and swallowed watermelon seeds crossed our young conversations. In these cases, my sisters and I took the opportunity to set them straight…with visual aids from our barn. If it wasn’t spring and mares were already settled, my mother was apt at making more of other types of animals. It seemed like we always had puppies, rabbits, and kittens or were waiting for their arrival. Looking back, our friend’s parents were probably not thrilled by our eager and unsolicited biology lessons. Today, as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, I have the opportunity to share my knowledge in a more controlled and structured environment. At Kalispell OB/GYN, we take pride in providing up to date information, and correcting some of the myths related to our reproductive health. Let’s start with Folic Acid. As a B vitamin, Folic acid is adept at helping to create healthy new cells. It is great for our hair, skin, nails and, you guessed it, growing babies. We love obstetrics, and we often see people for their very first obstetric visit. Frequently, people have not started a


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Pre-Natal Vitamin (PNV) containing Folic Acid, or only started after a positive home pregnancy test. This is still really helpful, but the ideal time to start Folic Acid is actually prior to conception. Starting even three months prior to conception, optimally reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Much of our food is actually fortified with Folic Acid. So, even if someone has not started a PNV prior to conception, outcomes are usually favorable. If you are of childbearing age, planning a pregnancy, or using only condoms and/or spermicides for birthcontrol, consider starting a daily PNV or Folic Acid 400 mcg daily. Speaking of pregnancies, a common myth that I hear, often at the first obstetric visit, is that a patient did not believe that she could conceive because she previously received a diagnosis of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in the past. THIS IS NOT TRUE! PCOS is a syndrome, or group of symptoms or conditions, that typically occur together. PCOS can have an effect on fertility. This effect varies from no issues to infertility with a wide range of possibilities in between. According to the Rotterdam Criteria for diagnosis, two of three traits must be present. First, oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea (absent periods over a year). Second, hyperandrogenism which is increased, or increased signs of male-dominant hormones determined by lab work or symptoms like excessive hair growth. Finally, polycystic ovaries, which are many tiny fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, in the ovaries (typically found with ultrasound imaging).

If people have a rare or unpredictable period, it can be difficult to guess when they may ovulate. Understandably, there is a relatively high rate of unplanned pregnancies in women that have PCOS, believing that they can safely forgo birth control methods. If you are suspicious that you have PCOS, you should talk to a health care provider. There are other long-term health concerns associated with PCOS. Taking active steps now to regulate your periods, and improve your overall health, will have positive effects throughout your life.

Our next topic has both a “yes” and “no” answer--our favorite type in medicine (har, har). Patients often believe that not having a period is unhealthy. This really depends on why someone is not having a period. A few reasons to safely not have a period are as follows: pregnancy confirmed in the uterus, postmenopausal status (naturally or surgically induced), certain congenital or genetic conditions, surgical causes such as an ablation (where the lining of the uterus is essentially cauterized) or hysterectomy, and hormonal contraceptives including intrauterine devices (IUDs).

If a woman is not having a period outside of these scenarios, she needs further evaluation to determine the cause of their period’s absence and if intervention is indicated. As healthcare providers, we worry about the lining of her uterus, or her

Stories of storks, gifts from heaven, and swallowed watermelon seeds crossed our young conversations. In these cases, my sisters and I took the opportunity to set them straight…with visual aids from our barn. endometrium becoming unhealthy. If the endometrium is not “managed” with either a regular cycle, surgical intervention, or hormonal contraceptives, it can build up and become hyperplasic or pre-cancerous (becoming cancerous over time with the right combination of other factors). Notably, hormonal contraceptives are not only for birth control. They are also an option for period management and endometrial protection. This protective component is essentially keeping the endometrial lining thin, preventing it from proliferating unchecked.

Speaking of contraception, this last topic is really more of a public service announcement. Patients often believe that their family planning options are limited to traditional birth control ranging from natural family planning, oral contraceptive pills, longer acting options (IUDs or the Nexplanon arm implant), barrier devices, spermicides, or sterilization for their male partner (vasectomy). All of these are great options, but there are women who have different preferences. Perhaps they medically should not take hormonal contraceptives, physically are unsafe to conceive, mentally desire not to conceive, or have genetic conditions that they do not desire to pass on to a new generation (notably these are deeply personal situations). The list is long, personal, and often a combination of reasons unique to the individual desiring not to reproduce or continue to reproduce.

If you are one hundred percent certain (and at least 21 Years old) that you do not desire children, or are one hundred percent positive that you are finished having biological children, you can undergo sterilization. Commonly known as a tubal ligation, female sterilization is considered non-reversible and most insurances will not cover an attempted reversal. If you desire more information, a provider can discuss the risks, benefits, procedure, and associated “regret” rates based on age at time of the desired sterilization procedure. We at Kalispell OB/GYN Associates are happy to schedule an appointment to discuss all of your options.

Options are a wonderful thing, as is, shared and informed decision making. Nowadays, I am honored to clear up some common reproductive related myths, provide some up to date information, and share some commonly unknown options. If you would like to learn more, have other questions or would like clarification on myths that you have heard related to women’s health, please come see us at Kalispell OB/GYN. You can now find us at our new location, in the Falls Building, at 165 Commons Loop, Suite E., Kalispell, Montana. Though our address has changed, our phone number has not. Please feel welcome to call us at (406) 752-5252 to get your questions answered and help with any scheduling needs.

Austin Rusher, WHNP, joined Kalispell OB/ GYN in December of 2020, returning to Montana to be closer to family. She received her nursing degree from Montana State University in 2012 and her degree as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner from Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Kentucky in 2020. Austin was raised in Helena and grew up on a small ranch. She admires and respects the rural communities of the Flathead Valley and looks forward to developing long-lasting patient relationships. She and her husband, Reicher, have two young children. They enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and all of the outdoor recreational opportunities offered by the Flathead Valley and the great state of Montana.



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Changed lives A Family Rebuilt By Mary Cloud Vander Ark Photos provided by Child Bridge

Sometimes God walks us through fire in order to mold us into the people we’re meant to be. For the Murphy family, this was more than a metaphor.


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Gregg and Rachel Murphy, a Montana boy and a Texas girl, met in college, married and built a life together in the mountains of Montana. The call to foster/adopt laid heavy on the couple’s hearts from the beginning, with Gregg’s own family including multiple adopted siblings. As their eyes were opened to the need for healthy families to engage in foster care, the Murphy’s chose to open up their home to a few of the thousands of kids in need across Montana.

After a handful of short-term foster placements, Rachel remembers a truly life-changing phone call. While in a work meeting, she saw an incoming call from the Department of Child and Family Services. Gregg was out of town, but Rachel knew they were ready to open their homes again.

“Hello, Rachel? We are looking to place two kiddos into care. One is 13 months. One is 6 years old. They are not siblings, but they are from the same home needing care. Can you guys help?” Rachel immediately knew they were to bring these children home.

Rachel picked the children up by herself. Unsure of what was ahead, Rachel and

Gregg were unwavering in their desire to help these two. Rachel immediately recognized the little boy, AJ, as a kindergartener from the elementary school where she worked. In his six years of life, he’d transitioned between six different homes. Now, following a failed adoption placement, he was on his way to a seventh. Overwhelmed, the child’s heartsickness turned into a stomach sickness. Just moments after meeting Rachel, he found himself in need of her mothering skills as he vomited all over her car.


Child Bridge

Trauma has a way of embedding itself into the deepest parts of a person’s being. This time, AJ would not be left to face those scars alone. The Murphy's understood the challenge ahead of them, but they committed to earning and rebuilding his trust. Trauma has a way of embedding itself into the deepest parts of a person’s being. This time, AJ would not be left to face those scars alone. Chloe, the toddler, was vibrant and sweet. She thrived in her new home. Addiction had stolen much from her biological family. Over the course of time, though Rachel and Gregg worked hard toward reunification, it became clear her birth mother would not be able to care for Chloe. Through their efforts, though, bloomed a beautiful relationship with Chloe’s first family. After four years of caring for Chloe, the Murphy's became her permanent guardians. Today, they share holidays and birthdays with Chloe’s biological family and celebrate her heritage as an extended family unit. Happily ever after did not come easily for the Murphy's, however. God had plans to bind the family together in His own way.

One day, while attending a court hearing for one of the children’s cases, Gregg and Rachel received a shocking call from the neighbors.

“Your dogs are safe, but the house is gone.” In a short hour and a half, the home they brought the children into had burned to the ground. AJ was no stranger to total upheaval. Prior to the Murphy’s, the things he thought were solid had always been easily consumed by catastrophe.

This time things were different. Though their house was destroyed, his family remained intact for the first time in his life. Rachel and Gregg chose to do the hard work of pressing into the pain and working together as a unit with their kids to rebuild their home and heal their hearts. They drew up new plans for their home, and reconstruction began. The Murphy’s are a “glass half full” family. As they rebuilt their house, they could see the blessings in disguise. They reconfigured the layout to include additional bedrooms for their expanding brood of children and making room for every heart present.

Today, the Murphy house reflects the beautiful new life the family has chosen to embrace. New plants and animals are thriving and growing. The yard echoes with laughter as the kids play with their young goats and chase the dogs.

The backyard still bears evidence of the fire. Some of the trees are singed and missing limbs--so it is with healing hearts. The deep scars of trauma remain and reveal themselves at different times in different ways in these precious kids’ lives. While difficulties have marred their histories, the Murphy’s and their children have chosen to live in hope, to be people that equip hearts that are willing to press on.

There is a distinct need for more foster families. Child Bridge is ready and able to answer any questions you may have about fostering Montana’s beautiful children. Visit childbridgemontana.org.



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What’s pH Got To Do, Got To Do With It? Summertime in Montana. It’s pretty spectacular. It’s a good thing the days are so long because of all the activities we have to do before sunset. I have really appreciated the rainy days as they force me to have a rest day. Summertime also brings a lot of tourists. Tourists with which true locals as well as longtime residents have a love hate relationship. Just realize that a lot of us were tourists at some point who fell under the spell and immediately adjusted our course towards permanent residence here. A lot of us (myself included), even moved here from…gulp…California. So, while I’m still going to be mildly annoyed at the increased congestion, I will maintain my graciousness towards our visiting friends. At all three of our Smile Montana locations, we have the opportunity to see tourists on a daily basis whose amazing Montana vacation is being interrupted by a dental emergency. Some emergencies are simply a chipped tooth or loose crown while others are the result of inflammation


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by Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA and/or a bacterial infection and can be quite painful. Some just need the reassurance that they will be fine until they return home, while others need quick intervention for a return to health. I am grateful for my abilities to be able to quickly have their situation resolved and to send them back out on their adventures.

During these visits I get the chance to meet people not just from various regions of the United States, but from all over the world. I get to hear from them what they have already done on their trip, and I can offer up suggestions to further enhance the remainder of their time. Don’t worry, I’m keeping the secret spots secret. It’s mainly food suggestions from around the valley. Without fail during all of these interactions is their amazement and awe at the Flathead Valley and Glacier Park. I appreciate being reminded of how great his place is daily by those who have to leave…and I don’t. Don’t become jaded folks… life is good! Let’s get into the topic at hand in this issue, the pH scale. What is it even? How is it calculated?

How is it relevant to my oral health? Should we even care? Alkaline water? Hopefully we will have these questions answered for you by the end.

To make this as simple as possible just imagine pure water. Ok so pure water is referred to as neutral in the context of pH. So, it should equal zero right? Wrong, it is actually at a pH of 7 on a scale that goes from 0 to 14. These are logarithmic units meaning each unit represents a tenfold increase or decrease depending on the direction you are going. So why is water neutral? As we all know, water is also referred to as H2O. In other words, two hydrogen atoms combined with a single oxygen atom resulted in water. These atoms attract because hydrogen atoms carry a single positive charge while oxygen carries charge of negative 2. Now, if we had a glass of water it’s not simply just a bunch of H2O molecules in there. It is a dynamic interplay of H2O molecules, H+ ions, and OH- ions, but the resulting ratio is even…neutral.

health} pH So, the lay person rarely thinks in terms of pH, they just use the word acidic. When something is acidic it falls between zero and seven on the pH scale, the closer to zero the more acidic it is. It also means that the solution has a greater ratio of H+ ions to OH- ions. Now the opposite of acidic is basic, also known as alkaline. Basic solutions fall between 7 and 14 on the pH with those closer to 14 being the more basic solutions. It would also make sense that basic solutions have a higher ratio of OH- ions to H+.

This is all relevant to oral health because the number one cause of dental decay is an acidic environment in the oral cavity. This acid can come from the diet directly, or it can come from the bacteria that metabolize sugars in your diet and produce acid as the byproduct. Saying sugar rots your teeth is like saying gasoline moves your car down the road. The motor moves your car, but gasoline is the fuel. Acid dissolves your teeth, but sugar is the fuel. Our teeth come with an amazingly strong and beautiful shell of enamel on them. This is the strongest tissue in the human body…it is incredibly durable when cared for. I see patients in their 90’s and I tell them, “those teeth were chewing steak before pearl harbor.” Can you imagine anything else that sees daily use last that long? But even superman had his kryptonite, and for enamel it’s acid.

Enamel will begin to weaken and dissolve at a pH of 5.5 and will continue to break down until it goes back above that number. Anytime we eat or snack on something with fermentable carbohydrates our oral pH will drop. Drinking water along with our own natural saliva will return our pH levels to normal. So, there are 2 ways to limit the amount of time our enamel is subjected to an acidic environment: 1) Eat healthier foods with less sugar. 2) Snack less often (sipping on a sugary drink all day is considered snacking for all intents and purposes). This topic is fresh on my mind because like me, you most assuredly have noticed the alkaline water movement happening. Walk down the water aisle in any store and you will see options for water in the 8 to 9 pH range. I am not going to comment on the holistic and systemic health advantages that have been claimed but knowing now what we know about pH and our oral health it will help return and maintain your oral cavity to healthy pH levels. I realize this was a bunch of chemistry jargon that might not be the most thrilling but knowing how it all works 100 percent will influence our decisions and behavior moving forward. And who can complain about healthier Montana Smiles?! There is a lot of Summer left out there for you to enjoy. Go get it!



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406 w o m a n

Food & Flavor 16. The Glorious Pineapple 21. Ask the Butcher 24. Summertime Cocktails


C over G ir ls. . Music

30. Festival Amadeus


Dyan Colby & Madde Borg

34. No Limits...Wright's Furniture


38. Yarn Choice

Fashion 41. Village Shop


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Love Story


44. Lindsay & Ian


Kellie has lived in Whitefish Montana for over a decade. She is an esthetician at Red Union Salon, long time employee at The Village Shop and a server at The Buffalo Cafe. When she's not working, Kellie enjoys traveling, the outdoors, beauty, and fashion.

Dyan Colby, a Texas Native, is the co-founder of Slow Burn Records and she and her husband Mike have exciting plans to expand music in Whitefish. Madde Borg is the Director of Operations for Slow Burn Records and plans to spend more time in Montana to build the business. Dyan and Madde share a passion for the great outdoors and small-town feel, cementing Whitefish as the obvious choice for a place to distribute good music. Together, the duo has put in countless hours to cultivate a substantial vinyl collection and develop a cool, eclectic space for listeners. They look forward to officially opening the doors to this prideful project.

photo by

Amanda Wilson Photography www . amandawilsonphotos . com

Publisher's Note


Summer is in full swing and we hope you are soaking up the sunshine and enjoying all summer has to offer! We also hope you find inspiration in the pages of our summer issue. Maybe a recipe to try, a shop to visit, a place to explore and to meet some of the incredible women in our community! Thanks for picking up an issue! With gratitude,

Cindy & Amanda

What I learned in this issue?

That Haskill Creek Farms is so much more than a health & wellness mercantile. Read Leticia Gevock’s story on page 20 in our business and health side to learn about their high-quality products and the nonprofit they’ve started called Save Farmland that will make a real impactful difference in our community. Austin Rusher helps Bust Myths about women’s reproductive health on page 40 in our Business & Health section. Her story and options offer valuable advice for all women, and I hope in Montana we are all able to continue to choose whatever option is best for us.


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Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel


managing editor

Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell



Daley McDaniel Photography Amanda Wilson Photography ACE Photography Jamie Lynn Aragonez Carli Dewbre Amy Scott Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2022 Skirts Publishing

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

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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


Shrubs are drinks with a bit of vinegar, they hydrate, assist digestion, and taste incredible. Further - they can be made as Mocktails or Cocktails.


Strawberry-Pineapple Shrub:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 cup fresh strawberries, trimmed and chopped 1 cup pineapple, trimmed and chopped

1 tablespoon Strawberry Balsamic 1 tablespoon Pineapple Balsamic Tea (Makes 1 gallon of tea)

3 green tea bags 3 quarts hot water 1 quart of ice cubes fresh pineapples and strawberries for garnish


Use 1/2 and 1/2 Genesis Kitchen Golden Pineapple and Coconut white balsamic vinegar with soda water for a tropical treat, add rum for a party.


Try these amazing simple shrubs Iced Tea with StrawberryPineapple Shrub

Place strawberry-pineapple shrub ingredients (water, sugar, strawberries, pineapple, and balsamic) in amedium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugarhas dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Steep tea bags in hot water and cool to room temperature.

Once cooled to room temperature, add ice. Strainshrub into the tea (alternatively, you do not have to strain, adding the cooked pineapple and strawberries toyour tea) and stir to combine. Fill serving glasses with ice and pour in the iced tea. Garnish glasses with fresh strawberries and pineapplebefore serving.

Cranberry Pear

Tart, sweet and lively, just mix equal parts vodka and Genesis Kitchen Cranberry Pear white balsamic vinegar into sparkling water for an outstanding beverage.

Backcountry Picnic


Elevation & Creminelli


Jose Gourmet, Fangst, Mouettes D'Arvor


brands Mitica, Sunfood, and more

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



Glorious Pineapple By Carole Morris

Did you ever think how sad it would be to never have tasted a glorious pineapple? Well, we can thank good old Christopher Columbus for bringing attention to the fruit when he found it on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. We love pineapple for its refreshing taste, but we should also love it for the many health benefits it provides. Pineapples are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper and folate. Additionally, pineapples are also the only source of the plant compound bromelain which gives better gut health, enhanced immune function, wound healing, and cancer prevention. Now, let’s talk about pineapple water. Move over pomegranates, the benefits of drinking pineapple water are; antioxidant protection, protection against macular degeneration, and help with energy production through manganese and thiamin. Also, pineapple water has no added sugar! You are probably asking, “how do I make this therapeutic drink?” We’ve got the recipe, if you have the pineapple!

Pineapple Water

1. Cut pineapple into chunks (remove rind). Next, fill a jug with water and ice, and add the chunks of pineapple. 2. Put the pineapple water in the fridge (couple hours) to give the pineapple time to infuse the water. Extra-infused pineapple water

1. If you want to make extra infused water, cut the pineapple in half and remove the rind (keep the rind). Boil 4 cups of water in a pan, add pineapple (cut into chunks). 2. Next, add the rind to the boiling water and let boil for 25 mins. Take pineapple mixture off heat and cool for 20 mins, strain liquid into a pitcher and cool in the fridge until cold.


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food} To reap the benefits it is recommended to drink it in the morning (on an empty stomach). Pineapple water fights inflammation because of the enzyme, bromelain which destroys the toxins that attack the tissue and cause pain, edema, and fluid retention. When you drink pineapple water on an empty stomach, you will experience fewer cravings for sugars and fats, so it is great for weight loss. I’m inspired, how about you?

Pineapple and Greek Yogurt Popsicles Get your favorite popsicle molds out! This is a simple, healthy, and delicious popsicle recipe to beat those hot summer days! Ingredients 3 cups of diced fresh ripe pineapple 2 cups of greek yogurt 1/4 cup orange juice 1/2 cup of raw honey Directions

Dice up 3 cups of fresh ripe (to over-ripe) pineapple. In a blender, add the diced pineapple, Greek yogurt, orange juice and raw honey. Blend till smooth. pour into the molds and place in the freezer till frozen. Enjoy!



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Roasted Pineapple Rum Wedges By Justin Pinnell

Whipped Coconut Topping Ingredients

15oz can of coconut cream. 2 Tablespoons of dark rum Directions

With a mixer, whip coconut cream until soft ridges form. Fold the rum gently into the cream. Refrigerate (while preparing the next step and the pineapple is roasting in the oven).

Roasted Pineapple Rum Wedges Ingredients

1 pineapple, peeled, cut lengthwise into wedges, and cored 3 tablespoons dark rum 3 tablespoons of brown sugar 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and separated from bean 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes 3 teaspoons butter Directions

Preheat the oven to 375. Place pineapple wedges on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Stir together rum, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, vanilla bean, and seeds in a bowl. Brush the newly stirred mixture onto pineapple wedges. Shave flakes of butter on top of the wedges equally.

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated to a caramelized sauce around the wedges. Let cool to room temperature and serve with a dollop of whip coconut topping from the fridge. Your satisfying summer treat is now complete! Enjoy!


Ask the Butcher

Ask the Butcher

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


...no matter how you spell it has gotten a bad rap. It's the one thing that has been banned from steak. Well my red buddy, I'm here in your defense. Ketchup has been a staple for all meats since I was a little fellow. I can't have a burger, which is actually ground steak right?, without my red friend...or a nice cubed steak sandwich breaded with potato flakes fried in bacon grease on a brioche bun...mmmmm good. What about a half pound Salisbury steak smothered in onions with jalapeño ketchup...do you see where I'm going here?

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


Ketchup is your base for bbq sauce by adding molasses, brown sugar, white pepper and Worcestershire sauce. It’s your base for a 57-style steak sauce...I call it 58 though for copyright purposes only…by adding mustard powder, mustard, salt, a little apple cider and a dash of Tabasco you have 58. You can't have meatloaf without a good layer of ketchup to caramelize on top now can you? Lastly, let's not forget our shrimp dip cocktail...ketchup, horseradish, fresh lemon, and again a dash of Worcestershire. So don't hide your ketchup bottle, display it proudly...it’s an all-American staple. Use it liberally especially with fries and cheesy tater tots. Come to the chopp shoppe and "catch up" with us fellows...and remember any other choice would be a "missed steak!"

Bon appétit!

Thanks for your support, Sonny and the Chopp Shoppe crew



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Summertime… and the

Sipping Is Easy! By Mary Wallace

AH . . . THE FRUITS OF SUMMER AND THE DELICIOUS COCKTAILS THEY MAKE! Nothing says Montana like huckleberries and its huckleberry season around here, folks! You can’t go far without seeing a roadside stand selling fresh berries or numerous restaurants offering huckleberry pie, shakes, or muffins. Many local drinking establishments proudly offer huckleberry cocktails this time of year. There is nothing more refreshing! Huckleberries come from a shrub-like plant that grows in the underbrush only at higher elevations in Montana’s and surrounding state’s subalpine forests. Although they look like blueberries, huckleberries are a unique fruit with a distinct taste. It’s always good to consider the health benefits of the cocktails one is making, isn’t it? Huckleberries are full of antioxidants, packed with iron, and a good source of both vitamin C and potassium. Native American tribes gathered the berries for food and medicine. As a food source, they were sun-dried or smoked, formed into cakes, and wrapped in leaves to sustain Native Americans through the winter. Huckleberries were also used as medicine to treat heart conditions, pain, and infections. Huckleberries ripen in mid- to late-summer and typically reach their peak in August. Fresh huckleberries can be difficult to find - your best bet might be a farmer’s market, roadside stand, or specialty store, but beware – they can be expensive. Because huckleberries resist cultivation, they must be gathered by hand in the wild where pickers compete with bears, coyotes, deer, and birds for the precious berries. So - when you can’t scale production, and must battle a bear for berries, the price goes up. Kind of a lot! But you know what? Huckleberries are SOOOO worth every penny!

If you’d like to pick your own, this is the time of year to find them! If you ask a local, they might advise you to check the crop at Ferpiecefromhere Peak or over yonder at Nonyerbusnez Creek, but don’t despair - the local forest service office might be able to direct you.


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The Bigfork Liquor Barn carries huckleberry infused spirits from several Montana distilleries – Willie’s Distilling Huckleberry Sweet Cream Liqueur, Glacier Distilling’s Bearproof Huckleberry Whiskey, Whistling Andy’s Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Vodka, among others.

According to the folks at Bigfork Liquor Barn, one of the crème-de-la-crèmes of huckleberry spirits is Montana Cold Spring Huckleberry Vodka, which offers a subtle flavor that goes well in a simple vodka lemonade on a warm summer day and makes several other Ah-MAZING cocktails. What’s more – it is now available in aluminum bottles. If you can get your hands on some fresh huckleberries, muddle a few to stir into your drinks before serving.

Cold Spring Huckleberry Mule 2 oz of Cold Spring Huckleberry Vodka Squeeze of Lime Fresh huckleberries Top with ginger beer Lime wedge garnish

Cold Spring Hucktini 2 oz Cold Spring Huckleberry Vodka Squeeze of lemon Splash of simple syrup Shaken and served up in a martini glass with sugared rim



Flathead’s cherries — large, juicy and ruby-red — have a unique identity and flavor profile because they are grown under ideal conditions — glacial waters, clean soil and the temperate, sunny climate along the largest natural freshwater lake in the West. In 1893, Margaret Estey planted the first sweet cherry orchard on the east shore of Flathead Lake. They cherries did well in the long, warm days and cool evenings of the Flathead Lake microclimate. The neighbors soon followed suit, and by 1929 cherries became a commercial crop all along the lake. The rest is history, and the Flathead Watershed is now famous for the sweet fruit.

If you find yourself stopping at a roadside stand for hucks, you might as well go ahead and grab a couple (or maybe ten) pounds of fresh cherries as well. They are delicious to eat out of hand and they are available during the same time frame in northwest Montana – July & August. Save some aside to add to the cocktail recipes below!

The Bigfork Liquor Barn carries some awesome cherry infused refreshments as well. Look for Last Chance Cider Mill Flathead Cherry Cider, Big Mountain Ciderwork’s Cherry Blossom cider, and an amazing local cherry wine from Polson’s D.Berardinas Winery, along with Glacier Distilling’s Fireweed Cherry Bourbon. For extra cherry flavor, the Barn also carries non-alcoholic Tabletree Cherry Juice. Fireweed is a cherry bourbon made by blending cherry brandy distilled from Flathead Lake cherries with bourbon to give authentic cherry overtones and a slight sweetness while keeping an authentic bourbon finish. Five pounds of cherries are used in each bottle of Fireweed.

Fireweed Cherry Italian Soda 1 oz Fireweed Cherry Bourbon ½ oz Tabletree Dark Cherry Juice ½ oz Simple Syrup Top with Soda Water Add a splash of cream for an Italian Cream Soda style cocktail Garnish with cherries

Cherrycello Fizz (Mimosa-style) 2 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice Splash of gin Generous splash of Tabletree Cherry Juice 3 ounces chilled Champagne Here’s to enjoying the fruits of summer and abiding by the words of Henry David Thoreau:


Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth."

~ Henry David Thoreau


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Festival Amadeus: Mozart and the Modern West Meets East this August in Whitefish Written by Nancy Brunson, Artistic Outreach Coordinator

Northwest Montana…a destination for tourists known for its majestic mountains, lakes and rivers that become playgrounds in both winter and summer. Northwest Montana…increasingly a desirable place to put down roots year ‘round. And why? Well, that aforementioned scenery and its accompanying activities, the charm of its communities, the relaxed lifestyle, AND the wealth of arts and culture in this corner of our country. A big part of that cultural enrichment year-round is thanks to the Glacier Symphony and John Zoltek, who is celebrating his 25th year as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Glacier Symphony, Orchestra and Chorale. But there is another important musical vision that Maestro Zoltek dreamed of and made a reality fifteen years ago – the founding of Montana’s only weeklong classical music festival with chamber, orchestra and opera performances that takes place annually in August, Festival Amadeus. In past years, Festival Amadeus has brought world-renowned talent to the Flathead Valley to perform works of Mozart coupled with works of other composers. The festival has also celebrated the brilliant local musicians we have here in Montana in the select Festival Amadeus Orchestra, comprised of members of the Glacier Symphony and some of the finest musicians in the region. Tourists and residents alike have flocked to the concert hall to celebrate and experience both local and international talent at this prestigious festival.

Now in this, its fifteenth season, Festival Amadeus will continue to innovate and bring variety to the Flathead Valley’s summer musical experience when West meets East in a festival lineup titled Mozart and the Modern featuring new music alongside masterpieces by Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann and others. The exciting programming in the first two days of the festival will bridge the musical aesthetics of “modern” Western and Eastern classical music, pairing the music of Mozart with contemporary compositions influenced by Chinese and Asian musical language, poetry and legends.


Visiting composers from Vancouver, Canada Mark Armanini and Rita Ueda (A/U Ensemble)

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bring with them erhu master Yun Song, harpist Albertina Chang and narrator Jenny Lu to realize unique chamber pieces. The opening concert, Night Bird and Prague, will open with the evocative “Let us not be the reason why someone out there is praying for peace” a sound designed work for string orchestra commissioned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima Day (August 6, 1945). Also on the program is Night Bird Singing a lyrical concerto for Chinese erhu and strings by Armanini, and Mozart’s famous “Prague” Symphony. During the week, they will be joined by Kalispell flutist Beth Pirrie in a program called Cultural Crossings to perform multi-media pieces with magical titles such as “Scented Flowers” and “Water Dragon Tune.” These compositions are the sort of provocative works that are not readily heard in the concert hall and a testament to the pioneering programming that is the hallmark of Festival Amadeus.

Beth Pierrie

Peter Takacs deMaine returns for the festival finale on Sunday, August 14th, reprising his role as soloist in a modern cello concerto written by Zoltek, Through Tamarack and Pine, which had its world premiere to great acclaim with the Glacier Symphony in November 2021.

Beginning on day three Festival Amadeus returns to more traditional Western fare. Not to be missed on Thursday, August 11th is Mozart’s charming Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major with Ms. Pirrie and Ms. Chang as soloists. Rounding out that evening’s concert is a delightful symphony by Mozart’s beloved friend, Joseph Haydn, and the “Modern” on the program is represented by the stirring Serenade for Strings by contemporary Polish composer, Romuald Twardowski.

The final days of the festival feature two performers of the highest caliber – Robert deMaine, principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and internationally-acclaimed pianist, Peter Takács. Their programs rely heavily on the music of Beethoven, who admired and was greatly influenced by Mozart, as the traditional element. Takács is widely considered one of the greatest interpreters of Beethoven of our time. On Friday, August 12th Takács and deMaine will present the composer’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major as well as chamber pieces for the two instruments by Debussy, Schumann and Brahms. Schumann and Beethoven take center stage again for Saturday’s performance with Takács performing a Beethoven sonata and the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major with the Festival Amadeus

Robert deMaine

Composer Ueda aims to reflect today’s evershifting interactions between cultures in flux. Her engagements include premieres with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Applauded as a composer whose “poetic is often very delicate and introspective…” (Warner Classics), Ueda is the winner of the 2022 Azrieli Commissioning Prize in Canadian Music as well as numerous international prizes including the 2014 Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers’ Competition.

Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Zoltek. The orchestra and Maestro Zoltek conclude the concert with Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in d minor.

Rita Ueda

Armanini, a native Vancouverite, studied composition at the University of British Columbia. In 1990 he began composing for various combinations of Oriental and Western instrumentation. His compositions have been recorded and performed all over the world, several with the Latvian National Symphony and Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic in Czechia under the baton of John Zoltek. Armanini is presently the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra and an associate of the BC Chinese Music Ensemble.

John Zoltek

Mark Armanini

All performances of Festival Amadeus will take place at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center in downtown Whitefish. Pre-concert talks will be conducted by visiting composers and soloists to enrich the audience experience.

Maestro Zoltek explains the genesis of the project, “I have come to know Robert well over the past few years and we share a common ancestral bond and a commonality of music aesthetics. Robert has appeared twice before as soloist with the Glacier Symphony and when I approached him about another opportunity (as I enjoy his deep love of music, fun spirit, communication talent and substantial musical artistry!), we began discussing concerto literature. I was looking for something from the 20th or 21st century. After exploring possibilities, Robert asked me if I would be interested in composing something for him. And so, after some thought I began working on musical ideas (some old, some new,) and the concerto project was initiated.” Upon its completion last fall, deMaine at once declared the composition “a blockbuster ‘showy’ concerto” and said, “I truly believe it has the potential to become one of the important American cello concertos in the repertoire.” Festival Amadeus now provides another opportunity to enjoy this important composition inspired by the beauty and qualities that are Northwest Montana.

All performances of Festival Amadeus will take place at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center in downtown Whitefish. Pre-concert talks will be conducted by visiting composers and soloists to enrich the audience experience. Tickets to Mozart and the Modern are available on the Glacier Symphony website glaciersymphony.org or by calling 406-407-7000. Packages to experience multiple concerts are also available by calling that office number.


Whether Northwest Montana is your home, or you are just visiting, you won’t want to miss the remarkable musical talent found at Festival Amadeus. Make the sound of music in the mountains of Montana a part of your summer experience. 406

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No Limits By Callie Reagan and Wright’s Furniture

We are a little behind on the warm weather here in Montana, but that doesn’t mean that we are not enjoying the outdoors. As we transition into the warmer days and cooler nights we think about using those outdoor spaces to their fullest. Here are some things to know when planning and decorating your outdoor livable areas.

Outdoor furniture is all about the materials.


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Materials are considered when you talk about the top four design factors: Style, Durability, Comfort and Price. Outdoor furniture comes in many different structural materials such as teak, resin wicker, wrought iron and aluminum just to name a few. What are the best choices? This depends on the need, environment and how long you need or want them to last.

Teak is a very popular choice because it has a higher oil content making it naturally more water resistant, and less likely to rot and receive damage from insects.

There are options for customization that will give you that special one of a kind feel that you are looking for.


Wrought Iron

if properly cared for can last over a hundred years. It's durable, solid, classic and great for windy areas but requires maintenance, can be heavy to move and will retain heat or cold for longer periods of time.

We have covered a little on the base materials, for larger furniture, so what about those comfy additions to the outdoors?

Concrete materials have become very

popular over the past few years and are long-lasting, strong and can take on many shapes giving you design freedom. It can be heavy, so keeping those pieces small or fixed would be something that you would want to consider. It can also stain easily, so you will want to consider that or use a sister product that is a concrete composite that is lighter, non-porous and can be more durable than standard concrete.

Fabric made for outdoor use typically comes pretreated from the manufacturer. Polypropylene fabric is common but other outdoor materials are treated with waterproofing and ultraviolet protection which makes them different from most of your indoor materials missing that built in protection. Using indoor untreated materials outdoors will result in decay from moisture and fading colors due to sun exposure. Similar to cushions and pillows, indoor and outdoor rugs are not created equal. Outdoor rugs are created to stand up to the harsh demands and Mother Nature. They are typically made from synthetic fibers that resist moisture, stains and fading.

The most important thing to understand in creating your outdoor living area, is that you do not have to be limited with the colors, fabrics, and other materials you want to use. Selections are endless now with the many suppliers that Wright’s Furniture has partnered with.

When shopping at Wright’s Furniture, all these factors are already considered for you. We make shopping for your design and needs into the decision for the perfect umbrella, outdoor dining table or deep seating outdoor sofa. There are options for customization that will give you that special one of a kind feel that you are looking for. Wright’s Furniture offers each client free design services to help you find the perfect piece for every environment. We can’t wait to create your space with you. Wright’s Furniture is open 7 days a week, offering complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. Visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish or learn more at wrightsfurniturestore.net 6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services



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Yarn Choice in Knitting and


When you plan a project, one of the most important and fun parts is choosing the yarn you want to use. This begs the question: how do you know what yarn to use? There are a variety of natural yarns available. What makes one better than the others? The traits of each of these yarns are different and are amazing in their natural properties:


Sheep hair, from many breeds, is breathable and flame resistant. It can be felted, dyed and is available in a huge variety of natural shades. Wool can vary in softness, absorb a lot of moisture before feeling wet and is very insulating.



There are two types, Huacya (dense, crimpy, soft) & Suri (silky locks). It is a very warm fiber often

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By Ann Ward for Brave Dog Knits

blended with other fibers to help moderate the extravagant drape and add structure.

warm in cold, softens with use and wear. It can be rustic but is very sustainable.

A plant fiber, available in many forms, that is smooth, dense and drapey. It takes brilliant color from dye. It provides great stitch definition but hides no mistakes. It can be heavy and may sag. It is cool to wear, moisture wicking, breathable and can be machine washable.

From the cellulose fiber of the flax plant, linen has little elasticity, can wrinkle, but is also drapey without sagging. It is very strong, doesn't pill and benefits from being washed, getting softer and softer. Linen has some luster which helps to show off different colors. It is a cool, moisture wicking material, great for summer garments.



It is a fiber from the mulberry silkworm’s cocoon. It is considered a luxury fiber, commonly available as a fine weight yarn. Silk is very moisture resistant. Silk dyes well, has a great sheen & drape, but may fade over time. Silk keeps cool in the heat, and warm in the cold.


A bark that is prepped into spinnable fiber, which is long and white, cool and soft, like linen and hemp. It is a hollow fiber, wicks moisture, is cool in heat &



A cellulose based fiber from Cannabis plant. Hemp is inexpensive, biodegradable, organic and very sustainable. Hemp is also breathable, antibacterial as well as mold resistant. It is a strong, shiny fiber that doesn't pill and gets softer with washing. As you can see, there are an amazing number of natural fibers available, and there is also great versatility in their uses. Natural fibers are good for any project and are good for you!

DIY} Brave Dog Knits

There are an amazing number of natural fibers available, and there is also great versatility in their uses. Natural fibers are good for any project and are good for you!

Violin Mitts to knit

Simple, easy for beginners and just fun for intermediate knitters…everyone loves these!


Violin Mitts to crochet

Noro Viola or Kureyon yarn - worsted weight (Viola makes 4 pairs, Kureyon makes one pair)

This is a simple but elegant pattern to make use of a beautiful yarn to make this classic pair of crochet mitts.

#8 needles for knitting flat



1 skein Koigu KPPPM yarn, or 50g of a fingering weight yarn

Finished mitt:

Size: 3mm crochet hook or size needed to get gauge.

4” wide with 16 stitches in garter stitch

8” by 7” before seaming, 3.5” by 8” finished.

Garter Stitch: Knit every row


Cast on 32 stitches. Knit every row for 56 rows (or 28 garter ridges). Bind off.

Fold the first square in half so that the caston and bind-off edges meet. Place stitch markers at 1” and 4” from one end. Using a tapestry needle and the same yarn, sew from both ends to the markers. Fasten off, and weave in the loose ends to hide them on the inside of the mitt. Repeat for second mitt!

Beginners Note: a garter ‘ridge’ consists of 2 rows of knitting - one on the back and one on the front. This makes a ‘ridge’, and you can count ridges instead of rows in your knitting to keep track.

Darning needle.


7 stitches per inch. Gauge isn't critical, a good feeling fabric is most important, can easily be modified for size.

With this gauge, each rectangle will be 6.5" wide and 7" long, before seaming.

PATTERN STITCH: Single crochet rib:

Row 1: single crochet into first stitch, picking up both loops of the stitch below. Next stitch, single crochet into the back loop of the stitch below, this will be called Back Loop Single crochet (BLSC), repeat BSLC until last stitch, single crochet last stitch. ch1 and turn.


Chain 46 stitches and turn.

Row 1: single crochet across

Row 2 & all following rows: work row 1 of single crochet rib.

Continue in single crochet rib until work is 7" long, or desired length. Break yarn, leaving a long tail for seaming, and bind off last stitch.

Wash and lay out to dry to make edges even, this will also soften the fabric beautifully.

Once dry, seam 1" on one side with tail, and seam 3" on other end with other tail, leaving a 2.5" opening for your thumb. Wear and enjoy!

Violin mitts/Brave Dog Knits/2022



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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200

love} stories


& Ian

Photography by Jody Rae Photography Northern Oregon Coast - May 28, 2022 Editor’s Note: Yes, I know, this is not a Montana wedding, but the bride is a Montana gal for sure! You see, Lindsay is my BONUS daughter! When I married her dad, I was lucky enough to gain another daughter in the deal. She spent many a summer with us here in the Flathead Valley and still refers to it affectionately as a 2nd home. With that we decided to feature her amazingly unique wedding to our readers and ask you all to imagine a fairytale wedding!

Tell us about you…where are you from, what do you do for a living, where do you live, etc.

We’re a couple that originally comes from both coasts - the bride from the East coast (with many summers in Montana) and the groom from the West! Home is now Pasadena, CA for us, although we spend 90% of the time hoping to run away to the mountains or the forest someday! Both of us work two jobs - I (the bride) work in Film and Television as a Specialty Costume Manufacturer, which is a very fancy way of saying that I’m a part of the team that builds all those (you know who) blockbuster Superhero and Sci-Fi costumes for the big screen - while Ian works in the Art Department as a set builder, set dresser and Art Assistant for many different aspects of the entertainment industry. However, with all that said our true passion and ever-evolving career is our candle business, Witch & Heathen, that has blossomed into something so much larger than we could have ever imagined.

Lindsay, what is the trait that you most admire in Ian?


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Ian has this amazing ability - make friends with anyone and everyone. This trait is… amazing to say the least - to me, and I think to many others. He has this skill to just simply listen and learn about everyone he meets. He’s never afraid to hear your story, sit down with you and lend an ear, and always offer some sage advice in return. This is something I could never do and in so many ways he has helped me open up my world and be vulnerable to others by opening himself up and always being a friend to everyone he encounters. This compassion, kindness and kinship that Ian has is one of the things I look up to and admire the most in him.

love} stories

This compassion, kindness and kinship that Ian has is one of the things I look up to and the most in him.


Ian, when did you realize you wanted to get married to Lindsay?

I don’t think there was any single moment that led to the realization, it was a combination of moments that lead me to the idea. When we first started dating Lindsay was planning on going to a trip to Japan for a few weeks and she asked if I would be interested in joining her. I’ve traveled and good deal and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to go with Lindsay who is fluent in Japanese and knew the country well. It will forever be a defining moment for us. When the pandemic struck, we were both living in different places and we quickly realized it would be better if we lived together, to be a support team for each other. I think it’s the moments where we both realized we wanted the other around for times of fun and support. It sure didn’t make me any less nervous asking though!

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

Our venue choice was simple! Over the past few years, we’ve fallen so in love with our family’s home, as well as the area of Astoria, OR. It was also here on a visit that Ian proposed - so the option to get married here was the perfect choice. Our wedding was also, unique, to say the least, and having such a private and easy going venue was exactly what we wanted to make this an intimate and family-style event!

Lindsay, what did you enjoy most during your wedding day?

The week leading up to the wedding was pretty stressful, especially since a huge part of it was getting a game plan together for a possibly very rainy day during an outdoor wedding. At first, the idea of getting rained



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love} stories


it rained. And it rained. And at the end of the day - the rain was the highlight. Soaked and chilly, we all realized we had to embrace it, and our entire wedding did too.

on at my wedding was… upsetting to say the least when I had such a perfect vision of a sunny day but this Oregon after all, and I knew the risk. So, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. And at the end of the day - the rain was the highlight. Soaked and chilly, we all realized we had to embrace it, and our entire wedding did too. The photos looked more magical than ever, there were screams of delight as guests ran in the rain, and the tent was cozy and warm despite the weather outside. It was perfect, and now, I’ve learned to enjoy the rain.

Wedding details…

My favorite activity for us to do together is traveling. Lindsay and I have gone to Japan twice together, driven out to Texas from California, and make trips to Hammond, OR frequently. When we travel, we both pick a few things we are interested and combine the list. I love seeing Lindsay experience her favorite places, she has an even brighter smile when she does. We’ve learned a lot about each other in a short amount of time on trips, from sleeping habits to the way we pack. I think it’s important to get to know someone when they are out of their element, it leads to a stronger bond that can get people through a lot.

Caterer - Fulios in Astoria, OR. We had a mix of Italian and Medieval inspired foods that were roasted and served on plates matching our autumnal color theme.

Ian, what is your favorite activity to do as a couple?


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Venue - The venue was our family’s home in Hammond, OR the same place where Ian proposed!

Rentals - Getting married in a rural area limited out rental options, but with a lot of digging online we secured a 20x30 tent that we decorated to the brim with all sorts of handmade decor and thrifted lanterns. It truly was a team effort to make it happen - each friend and family member brought something to help us create the environment that we wanted! Our tables and chairs were all gorgeous dark wood farmhouse style to create the Viking Hall atmosphere.

Cake/Dessert – Cannon Beach Bakery: The desserts were personal size Marionberry & Strawberry Rhubarb Pies and decorated full size Peach Pies.

Music - Music was light and fun and was comprised of medieval inspired tavern music to fit the tavern-like feel of the event!

Dress - David’s Bridal: Funnily enough, my stylist there was from Whitefish, and we had a good laugh about how small the world was when I told her I spent a huge portion of my childhood in the same area. Once purchased, I did the alterations myself and added a new skirt to the layers, it was made even more special because this skirt and the buttons in my skirt bustle were all from my mother’s first wedding dress! Tuxes/Suits - Our grooms side garb was unique like the brides - our wedding party that we aptly named “The Fellowship of the Ring,” dressed in period garments inspired by our elven and Viking theme! Each of them was encouraged to make themselves look like a representative of a kingdom that was to bear witness to a grand fantasy union.

Rings - Our rings were both “found” objects. my engagement rings was my maternal grandmothers from 1957 that I was lucky enough to inherit! Ian’s however was given to him by Lindsay, a handmade Celtic style knot ring that was once in a pile of jewelry to be tossed from the set of a TV show Lindsay worked on but given a second life now!

Do Not Disturb by Joe Watkins

Going To The Sun Gallery

Preparing For The Hunt

Changing Seasons

Autumn Gold

Michael Mcgrady

A Sudden Interest

Joe Watkins

Proudly Features Two New Artists Joe Watkins - Scratchboard Michael Mcgrady - Palette knife, oil

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