We are heading into warmer days and looking forward to summer plans!
We hope this issue finds you in good spirits and that our pages inspire you in the garden, kitchen, home, and business!
Thank you for your continued support and for sharing your stories of inspiration with us!
With Gratitude, Cindy & Amanda
"Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm."-John Muir
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My other job (besides being the Managing Editor at 406 Woman magazine) is working at events around the U.S. Over the years I have worked at some amazing events in some great cities including the Sundance Film Festival, The USA Pro Challenge, Amgen Tour of California, The Atlantic Festival, and the World Athletics Championships. It is always hard, and I am always exhausted when I’m done but I would not change it for the world. Why… because of the amazing people I have met and worked with along the way.
My latest challenge had me in Florida for over a month helping organize parking and transportation for the second annual Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix. Thanks to the Netflix series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” Formula 1 racing is becoming incredibly popular in the states (it has been popular around the world for decades). Austin, Texas had been the only U.S. city to host Formula 1 until this race in Miami started last year. Las Vegas has been added to the circuit as the third for its first event in November.
At these events, my colleagues become my friends and together we overcome challenges, step up, and get the job done. The feeling at the end of a successful event is euphoric.
At home, I am focusing on applying the same principles in all endeavors (small and large) …working together. That can be with my husband, my friends, or my colleagues. Not only is it more rewarding, but it is also typically easier and, in this day, and age, I’ll take all the “easy” I can get!
Get out and enjoy springtime in Montana!
What did I learn this issue?
That five amazing women have been instrumental in bringing professional minor league baseball to the flathead valley. Read Mary Wallace’s story about the Glacier Range Riders on page 10 in the Business & Health side. Make a point to visit this wonderful ballpark this summer. “Let’s go out to the ballpark.”
www.406 w oman.com
It might be prudent to buy a home now. Let’s face it, prices for real estate are not likely to go down so find out what might work for you by working with the professionals at Mann Mortgage. Read Shane McChesney’s story on page 20 in the Business & Health side, and learn how you might build wealth through home ownership.
“Alone, we can do so little together, we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller
Early medieval folklore believed onions were able to ward off disease and evil. We now know there was some truth to their superstitions because onions do have great health benefits—ranging from bone health to gut health. One of the best ways to get those antioxidants (and jazz up any recipe) is to serve up the delicious, pickled onion.
1 large red onion (peeled and sliced*) 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or (rice, red wine, white vinegars) 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons white sugar or (maple syrup, honey, agave)
* If you prefer the nice crunch of thicker onions, remember to let the onions rest longer in the brine for the great pickled taste.
1. In a pan (on your stovetop) combine the vinegar, water, salt, sweetener and bring to a simmer.
2. In a jar, add sliced onions.
3. Pour the cooked ingredients over the onions and let rest for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Pickled Onions and Roasted Garlic
Blended. IN tHE KItcHEN WItH LaNEBy Lane Smith - Sponsored
Merriam-Webster defines recipe as: a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients. Most professional chefs will tell you that it is imperative to use a recipe so that your dishes are consistent and repeatable. Then there are guys like me that rarely write ANYTHING down. Carne Asada marinade starts with the basics: Citrus juices, vodka, cilantro…. well then it gets a bit…random. People will often ask me what I did different this time as it was “so much xyz (Better, spicier, more flavorful, etc.) and I simply shrug my shoulders because most of the time, I don’t really know. An unexpectedly substituted or previously unadded ingredient is usually the reason, but unlike family, I often can’t identify the “missing or added ingredient.” Confused? Let me explain.
I remember the call vividly.
“This is Craig Denman; do you have a 48” Viking Range in stock?” I had been working for Vann’s appliance for about four years at that point. Having had to find a job after the .com bubble burst and 700 of us were laid off from Semitool. In my early years at Vann’s, I was the “Computer Geek.” It was the heady days of Tangerine iMacs and the uber cool iPods. The problem was that as a commissioned salesperson I had to sell A LOT of them to pay the bills. Coincidentally the early 2000’s gave rise to the Flathead valley becoming the “destination” for the wealthy. With their arrival, the rise of high-end luxury appliances found their way to our valley. I soon realized that if I sold ONE $6,000 Viking range I would make as much as I did selling 10 iMacs…. with all the accessories. So began my self-taught journey to learn high end appliances that eventually led to the call I received that fateful day.
I did indeed have a range for Craig. With the door opened, our relationship began as professional, then more casual as I got to know his sons, Troy and Travis. Troy and Travis reminded me so much of my own brothers. Bigger than life. Unwilling to back down from any challenge and both possessed an unyielding work ethic. It was obvious to me that “The Denmans” were very similar to “The Smiths.” Fiercely protective of each other, incredibly generous and openly loving to each other. Like the Smiths, they were also not above biting criticism and constant ribbing. If you were to make a backyard recipe for family, the Smiths and the Denmans had the same basic, foundational ingredients. It would be during the summers of 2004 and 2005 that those recipes would blend.
I lost both my Mom and Dad within a year of each other during 2004 and 2005 and that left me without “parental” guidance. Buoyed and blessed with brothers, that 12 months was still
food} In the K I tchen
a blur. That blur began to fade at one of the many builder functions at Vann’s. At that particular event Connie Denman introduced me as her “other son.” I have called Connie and Craig “Mom and Dad” ever since. It felt natural and comforting. I had become an official ingredient added to their family recipe.
Flash forward to the pics you see on this page. It dawned on me as I was smashing garlic for the New York steaks that I had never actually cooked for my parents. Any of them. Taking a minute to process that fact I began to listen to the conversations around me. “It’s time for wine.” “I don’t think I have ever zested anything!” “Ella made this apron for me.” To some it would have been a cacophony of disparate conversations. To me it was harmonious and calming.
Listening to Jessica explain to Troy that he had made the last honey ball too big, I started to write this article in my head. All of us have a recipe for something that we make. Sometimes it’s on paper, partially on paper or like most closet cooks like me it’s in my head. The latter method often leads to variation in the meals I make. Sometimes it’s “hmmmm it’s missing something” and in the aforementioned times that it’s like “wow, that worked! ---Wait what did I do?” To be completely transparent, I often do print recipes to follow as guidelines but often end up “off the path” like a dog having just seen a squirrel…. come to think of it that happens to me writing as well. But I digress.
Surf and Turf is a classic. Not only do a multitude of variations work together, they are a classic meal to be prepared by a group of people who like to cook. It allows for a “divide and conquer” approach. The trick is to get everything done at the same time. Which can be difficult. But on this day, it was not. With Jessica herding Troy and I and Mom reminding Dad that “You ALWAYS put the skin side down when doing salmon on the grill” our meal came together with beautiful results. And they weren’t just on the plate. In that moment around the island of “Mom and Dad’s” the essential ingredients were all here in the proper proportions, mixed with wine, laughter and love, the meal you see here came to fruition.
It is my humble belief that there is no “Perfect Recipe” for success, for food or even family. With all three there are times in life that we experience a loss-- in momentum, in lacking the right ingredient and in the case of the latter to the passage of time. But the joy in all three recipes can be found in one’s own willingness to substitute, add and trust that your foundational ingredients might just benefit from an unexpected addition. Mom and Dad taught me to do that in the most humble of ways, something I do to this day—in life and in cooking.
By the way, those two things; life and cooking, are better together—blended.
Surf and Turf is a classic. Not only do a multitude of variations work together, they are a classic meal to be prepared by a group of people who like to cook. It allows for a “divide and conquer” approach.
• 1 head Romaine lettuce
• 2 apples finely sliced
• 1 cup toasted or candied pecans
• 1 small log of goat cheese crumbled
For the dressing
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 tablespoons Country Dijon Mustard
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
• salt & pepper
Make the dressing by combining all ingredients and mixing well. Refrigerate until ready to use. Assemble the salad and toss with dressing.
• Salmon filets
• 2/3 cup mandarin oranges drained and mashed
• 1/3 cup soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons canola oil (or peanut oil)
• 3 tablespoons Ketchup
• 1 tablespoon honey (preferably local)
• 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 3 cloves)
Rinse and pat dry the salmon filets. Mix all ingredients in a glass baking dish. Place salmon filets flesh down in the baking dish for 30 minutes to marinate.
While the salmon is marinating, preheat grill to 400 degrees. Place the filets flesh down on the grill and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the filets with a spatula, baste with the marinade and continue grilling until it flakes with a fork (3-5 minutes). Remove from grill, plate, and enjoy!
Bistecca alla Florentino
• 2 New York steaks (about 2-inches thick)
• 2 cloves of garlic (smashed)
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (plus 4 whole sprigs for basting)
• 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
• 1 lemon halved (charred on the grill)
• 2 tablespoons Genesis Kitchen Garlic olive oil
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or salt blend
• Compound herb butter (recipe to follow)
• 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
1. Place the steaks on a rimmed plate or baking sheet and rub all over with the smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle evenly with the rosemary, thyme and lemon zest. Drizzle with the garlic oil. Rub the herb mixture into the meat. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Rub the prepared grill with the lemons halves then put the steaks on the grill until they are charred and remove. Sprinkle the steaks evenly on both sides with the salt. Remove the steaks to wire rack, and transfer to the oven. Place whole rosemary sprigs on top of the steaks. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the steaks reads 120 degrees F.
4. Remove the steaks to a plate, place a slice of compound herb butter on top with the fresh rosemary sprigs. Squeeze the lemons halves over the top. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Finish with a sprinkling of coarse salt.
Struffoli (Italian Honey Balls)
• 3 cups of all-purpose flour
• 3 eggs
• 1/3 cup of unsalted butter
• 2 3/4 tablespoons of Anise or orange liquor
• Zest of one orange
• 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt
• 2 1/2 cups of vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup honey
For the decorations
rainbow sprinkles and fresh berries
1. Melt butter & let it cool. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
2. Add sugar, melted butter, Anise or orange liquor, eggs and orange zest. Mix with a wooden spoon.
3. Knead with your hands until free of lumps. With flat hands role into 1/2” small cylinders.
4. Slice the cylinders into 1/2” pieces and roll into small balls.
5. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry Struffoli for 30-40 seconds or until golden brown.
6. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate.
7. Heat the honey in a sauce pan to make more malleable. Add the Struffoli to the honey with a slotted spoon and toss gently.
8. Place the Struffoli on a platter and decorate with the sprinkles and berries. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Lemon, Parsley, Garlic Compound Butter
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
• zest from one lemon
• 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup parsley, minced
• 1 small garlic clove, minced and smashed to a paste
• 1/4 tsp salt
1. Allow butter to soften at room temperature.
2. Mince garlic and then press into a paste. You can use a garlic press for this or use the back of your knife and carefully smash down garlic with a little salt.
3. When soft add all ingredients to a bowl and mix (by hand or food processor) to incorporate.
4. Lay out a piece of parchment paper and form a log. Tightly roll and twist to seal. Place in refrigerator on a plate in case there is excess lemon.
5. Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 20 minutes if slicing.
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Bess has a background in real estate and interior design. She loves nothing more than entertaining and creating beautiful spaces and has had a lot of experience doing so. She looks forward to working with her clients to create the event of their dreams that leave their guests talking about it for years to come.By Mary Wallace
Why is Mezcal So Hot Right Now?
Mezcal is certainly enjoying a sudden recent popularity. Mezcal has been consumed for over 400 years in Mexico and is still popular today because it usually has a higher proof (55%) and has been proven to have health benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels.
or floral notes. The span of flavors and aromas in mezcal is actually pretty wide!
It is said that all good things take time, so it follows that any agave plant itself is an exercise in patience. Agaves take 5-10 years to mature to the point where they can be harvested. Once they do, workers (called jimadors) remove the leaves and harvest the piñas (which resemble huge wooden pineapplelike centers) from the plant. Each plant only has one piña to give during its life cycle.
So, what are the differences between Mezcal and Tequila?
It’s all in the agave!
Tequila is produced from only the blue agave plant, but mezcal can be made from up to 50 different agave species grown in all kinds of soil, and at different altitudes. Some would say that tequila is sweeter, smoother, fruitier, and a bit more complex and toasty because it has been aged in oak barrels. Mezcal, on the other hand, is typically not aged and offers more savory, smoky, and earthy flavors with vegetal, tropical,
The harvested piñas are then split in half and cooked in clay pots over an open fire, and the baked piñas are then milled to reduce them to plant fibers and extract the juices. The resulting liquid is then transferred to fermentation tanks and yeast is added. After 72 hours, the product is ready for the distillation process. Pretty labor intensive, right?
Mezcal, once thought of as a poor man’s spirit, is becoming increasingly sought after and is
produced from 100% agave. Del Maguey Mezcal offers a wide array of mezcal flavors, each harvested and produced in a single village in Mexico, celebrating and supporting the families who work so hard to create them.
Mezcal in cocktails
Cocktails made with mezcal have previously been limited to those made with tequila. but don’t stop there! Mezcal can be so much more than just a tequila substitute. Mezcal’s style, flavor, mouthfeel, finish, and overall style can vary wildly from bottle to bottle. Consumers are finding that mezcal is definitely worth exploring beyond just substituting mezcal for tequila in your favorite recipes.
With a little help from the staff at the Liquor Barn, you can easily try putting a mezcal spin to some popular cocktails - mezcal mule, mezcal paloma, mezcal negroni, mezcal sour, and mezcal old-fashioned, just to name a few. There's a mezcal cocktail to suit every taste - just switch the recipe’s traditional spirit with mezcal. (Nervous nellies can try using half tequila and half mezcal at first.)
Here are a few quick mezcal cocktail recipes to experiment with:
Mezcal Margarita - Use with your favorite margarita recipe for a smoky spin.
Mezcal Negroni - Swap gin for Mezcal alongside Campari and sweet vermouth.
Naked and Famous - Mezcal blends with the other flavors instead of stealing the show! Combine it with equal parts Chartreuse, Aperol and lime for
Mezcal Paloma - Salt the rim, add sweet grapefruit juice, tart lime juice, simple syrup, and bubbly soda water. Top it off with the background smokiness of Mezcal and add a citrus slice.
Mezcal Pairing Dinners
If you enjoy wine-pairing or whiskey-pairing dinners - consider organizing a mezcal-pairing dinner with friends! Some mezcal aficionados have even said that mezcal could easily give wine a run for its peso when it comes to pairing dinners.
Since many mezcal profiles have a brooding, dark, smoky expression, try pairing your mezcal favorites with smoked brisket, roasted oysters, and grilled rib eye.
Of course, Mexican fare is a no-brainer too. Try mole poblano with mezcal tobala, pork carnitas tacos with mezcal cupreata and grasshopper (or crispy shrimp) tacos and guacamole with mezcal salmiana. But don’t stop there!
Sushi and mezcal espadin has been known to be a hit, as have dark chocolate truffles with mezcal tobala, or a cigar with mezcal tobasishe.
To conclude your dinner, try pouring a touch of Del Maguey Mezcal (which has a less grassy, more citrussy flavor) in espresso for an afterdinner pick-me-up that perfectly complements your dessert.
Whatever the menu, when you are creating a mezcal pairing menu, consider the basic flavors of a dish — bitter, acid, salt, and sweet, being mindful to minimize excessive spiciness, acidity, and saltiness — as well as ingredients and cooking method.
Do make sure you use drinking vessels that have a wide enough bowl to swirl and sniff to release each mezcal varietal’s nuances. Consider using white wine glasses, traditional copitas, terra cotta, ceramic, or even wood cups, if going for a more authentic vibe. Lastly, mezcal is best served at 64F°to 68F° to allow it to truly express its bouquet.
Ask your guests to taste the mezcal first by itself, identifying the aromas and flavors that linger above or below any inherent smokiness. Then take a bite, sip the mezcal again, and see how that changes or augments the food and drink in your mouth.
A side note about potency - Mezcal IS more potent!
Yes, at 55% ABV, mezcal has a higher alcohol concentration. But experts say there is no need to shy away from serving such a high-proof beverage with food. Mezcal is so pure, there is no need to be afraid of that ABV, and also keep in mind that you will only be serving an ounce or so per course, versus a whole or half glass of wine.
Bigfork Liquor Barn is currently stocked with so many favorite mezcals, and they can advise customers who want to get their mezcal on! Stop by and let them help you choose some!
Guidelines for Successful Fruit Tree Growing in Northwestern MontanaBy Michael Connolly, General Manager Hooper’s Garden Center - hoopersgc.com
Home fruit gardening offers many benefits--exercise, enjoyment, a supply of delicious fruits in the pantry, root cellar and freezer, enhancement of the home landscape, and a truly educational experience. However, there is more to growing fruit than simply planting some trees and harvesting the fruit.
There are a wide variety of fruit trees that can be grown here in Montana. Apples, Applecrabs, Cherries, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, and Plums are all fruit varieties that may grow well for you in your specific Montana locale. Which trees are right for you depends upon your personal tastes and several other contributing factors.
Before we get started, it is important to understand the challenges that fruit gardeners face in the Flathead Valley and throughout Montana.
What Makes the Flathead Valley and Montana Unique for Growing Fruit Trees?
First – Short Growing Season
We average approximately 90 growing days (Frost Free Days) here in the Flathead (June 1 – September 1). However, the number of growing days varies greatly depending on your location. Areas
on or around Flathead Lake, Eureka, or Kalispell proper will have a longer growing season, while Columbia Falls, Kila/Marion, Olney, West Glacier, and Whitefish will have a shorter growing season. Elevation also needs to be considered. If you are located at a higher elevation, this too will create fewer growing days.
Second – Cool Evening Temperatures
Nighttime temperatures from June through August average 46.7 degrees. Cool evening temperatures cause a slowing down of plant growth limiting our plants growth potential even further.
Third - Elevated pH in our Soils and Water
This area has high pH levels (7.5-8.0) and that can cause severe nutrient deficiencies resulting in plants with stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, poor flower and fruit production, lowered ability to combat disease and insects, and even death. Most plants prefer/require a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 (slightly acid) to thrive. Consequently, to make our plants reach their growing potential we need to find a way to reduce our pH.
Last – The Remedy
Fortunately, there is a simple and inexpensive way to remedy this pH problem: Granulated Sulfur. Annual amending of your soil with Sulfur is the key to unlocking your soil and obtaining maximum plant growth potential.
The following are some general guidelines to get you started with growing fruit trees.
Most people know what kind of fruit they would like to grow but determining which variety to choose can be confusing.
First, make sure that the fruit trees you choose are cold hardy enough for your location. Not everyone sells fruit trees that are hardy for our area. Be careful what you purchase.
Secondly, make sure that you have enough growing days for your fruit to ripen. Late variety Apples and Pears are not good choices for colder areas or if you are at a higher elevation as the tree will grow, but the fruit will not have enough days to ripen.
Pollination requirements are also important. Certain fruit tree varieties cannot set fruit with their own pollen, so it is necessary to select and plant two different varieties within a species to insure proper pollination. Self-fertile fruit trees will set fruit with their own pollen, and therefore require you to plant only one variety or plant.
Fruit trees are most often sold as container grown plants and can be planted throughout the growing season. All fruit trees must be in full sun (minimum 8 hours) to set a maximum fruit crop. If full
sun is not possible, choose a southern or western exposure. Spacing for fruit trees is generally 25 feet apart.
Fruit trees prefer well-drained soils but will grow with less than perfect soil conditions. Good internal water drainage in the soil is a more important consideration than soil fertility.
The following are some category breakdowns for maximizing your fruit production with the least amount of effort. These proactive cultural practices help to minimize problems and keep maintenance at a minimum.
Proper watering is essential to the proper growth and potential of your fruit trees. The key to effective watering is simple: Consistent and Less frequent deep and thorough watering instead of frequent shallow watering. Each watering should saturate the soil that your fruit trees are growing in. Since fruit trees produce fruit that is mostly made up of water, they require more water than other trees and plants.
Besides the pH adjustments that need to be made with an annual fall application of Sulfur, proper fertilization is an absolute necessity for achieving maximum fruit production and proper growth.
Fruit set may be too heavy on some trees in some years. If fruit is not thinned, the size, color and quality of the entire crop is reduced.
One of the great benefits of growing fruit in the home garden is the ability to harvest the fruit according to individual taste. One grower might consider a fruit to be ripe, whereas another believes it to be immature. The time to harvest is when it tastes good!
Fruit should be harvested regularly throughout the harvest season. Most fruits will rot in the garden when overripe.
Keep the area under the fruit trees canopies free of weeds and maintain a small circumference around the trunk that is also grass free. This prac-
tice reduces competition for nutrients and water. Laying down organic mulch 2-3 inches thick is also highly recommended. Mulching helps retain an even soil temperature and moisture level; as well as limiting weed growth and feeding your soil.
Pests & Diseases
Unfortunately, fruit trees can be hosts for many pests and diseases. The first step toward pest and disease resistance is planting disease resistant varieties in a sunny location with good air circulation. Healthy trees are your best defense against pests, so ensure your fruit trees are being watered and fertilized properly.
Dormant Strategies include proper pruning and good sanitation. Cleaning up debris helps to reduce the number of spores that overwinter to infect trees the following season. Removing and destroying insect-infested fruit and leaves prevents larvae from maturing to produce offspring and causing further damage.
In-Season Strategies tend to be a more reactive approach to pests and disease. The conditions for insect and disease development vary from year to year and among crops. Both organic and synthetic sprays, beneficial insects, baits, and traps can all be effective means of controlling in-season pests and disease.
Pruning and Training
The goals in pruning and training are to maximize light penetration into the tree and to maintain healthy fruiting wood. At planting, fruits trees may require pruning to begin shaping them to the “Modified Leader” system. At planting, choose four to six branches, about 3 feet from the ground and spaced as equally as possible around the tree, to form the first-tier or scaffold branches. These branches should not all be at the same height on the trunk. Prune out all remaining branches. (Figure A.)
In the second year and thereafter, prune in late winter to early spring (usually March and April). If you were able to select first-tier branches in the previous year, you may select four to six secondtier branches. These should begin about 18-20 inches above the first tier and should again be spaced as equally as possible around the trunk and at different heights from one another. Remove all other branches not belonging to the first or sec-
ond tiers and prune the leader as in the first year. (Figure B).
Prune sparingly in subsequent years, removing weak or crossing branches and those growing inward or down. Prune late winter to early in spring. (Figure C.)
Fruit trees are highly susceptible to trunk cracking in winter. Often, this is caused by fluctuating temperatures as the winter sun warms the bark on very cold days. To prevent this, wrap the trunk with a Vinyl trunk protector in late fall, and remove it from the tree in spring. The trunk protector should extend from the ground to just beyond the first scaffold branch base.
We want you to enjoy the “fruits of your labor” and encourage you to stop by Hooper’s and speak with us about the right fruit trees for your homesite.
Courtesy of Hooper’s Garden Center 2205 MT Highway 35 E Kalispell MT 59901 406-752-2770 - www.hoopersgardencenter.com
Michael Connolly has been gardening, growing, landscaping, professionally designing and educating within horticulture for nearly 40 years, including being a member of the Hooper’s Garden Center family for over 30 years. A graduate from the University of Minnesota Agricultural Campus. He is a proud father of four amazing children and is passionate about educating and helping others in realizing the true beauty of plants in the outdoor and indoor landscape environment.
There are a wide variety of fruit trees that can be grown here in Montana. Apples, Applecrabs, Cherries, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, and Plums are all fruit varieties that may grow well for you in your specific Montana locale.Figure A 1st Year Spring Figure B 2nd Year Spring Figure C 3rd Year Spring
Performance FabricsBy Callie Reagan and Wright’s Furniture
If I talk about performance fabrics I bet you conjure images of runners, super athletes that are working and playing hard. What does that have to do with furniture? Performance fabrics are more than sweat-wicking material that bounces back after intense use. Performance fabrics are a must for outdoor living but are also important and highly sought after for indoor products like sofas, chairs, sleepers, dining chairs, headboards, etc. The most common threads used in performance fabrics for upholstery are olefin, acrylic, nylon, and polyester.
These fabrics, like their sports counterparts are durable, stain, fade, and mildew resistant. Fabrics have properties that reduce pilling, and wrinkles and help repel stains and spills. This is perfect for Montana when indoors and outdoors blend together in the beautiful summers. Dirt and sun don’t have as many destructive powers as you see with other fabrics.
Have kids running in and out… and in and out? Performance fabrics are great for kids being kids. They are great for homes with lots of guests or possibly vacation rentals. Areas and spaces that are put to the test over and over.
Wright’s Furniture offers rugs that are made of more cleanable and durable materials and meant for higher-traffic areas. Bedding that can easily be washed and a large amount of indoor/outdoor products that can be used in both areas. These are cute enough for indoors and strong enough for outdoors.
There may be some people out there that are overwhelmed and intimidated by all the choices and selections out there. This is why Wright’s Furniture goes the extra mile for their customers, they offer design help to all. You don’t have to do this alone, all these options are included in their free design services. You can’t go wrong when you are shopping at Wright’s.
Wright’s Furniture offers rugs that are made of more cleanable and durable materials and meant for higher-traffic areas.
A Summer with Your Symphony
The two performance staples of a Glacier Symphony summer are Festival Amadeus and Symphony night at Rebecca Farm. Both events are summer favorites and traditions in the Flathead Valley; Festival Amadeus will be celebrating its 16th year and Symphony Night at Rebecca Farm is celebrating its 20th year. Glacier Symphony will also be partnering with Wild Geese Gardens to host its 34th annual Ge ranium sale fundraiser to kick off gar dening season in Montana. in summer 2023, our musical performances are the same events everyone loves, with some reimagined elements.
Think Spring! Geranium and Mixed Annual Fundraiser
No W UNTIL J UN e 10 TH
Glacier Symphony and Wild Geese Garden’s geranium fundraiser is a perfect way to stock up on colorful annuals for your beautiful garden or deck while supporting your symphony. Now until June 10th, geraniums and mixed annuals will be offered at $13 per 6” pot for symphony supporters, with $3.50 of each plant purchase qualified as a tax-deductible donation to Glacier Symphony. Order now and pick up your selection of plants from volunteers on June 2nd, 3rd, 9th
or 10th at Wild Geese Gardens. Even with soldout performances, tickets sales cover less than 35% of our costs to deliver the Glacier Symphony programming you love. Please consider ordering floral splashes of color that will last into fall while supporting the musical programming of your local symphony!
phony Orchestra, called the Festival Amadeus Orchestra, that performs with traveling, talented soloists under the direction of Founding Artistic Director and Conductor, John Zoltek. This year, pianist Anna Polonsky and violinist Yevgeny Kutik will be performing with our Festival Amadeus Orchestra.
Mozart at McClaren –A Festival Amadeus Weekend
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Festival Amadeus will take a new format as a weekend classical music festival, rather than a week-long festival, and is called “Mozart at McClaren” this year. The festival will be filled with the same classical music repertoire and preconcert talks prepared by Maestro John Zoltek that new and returning attendees love, but in a three-evening format in the acoustically excellent home of the Glacier Symphony. Festival Amadeus features a special edition of the Glacier Sym-
Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College. Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.
Our featured violinist, Yevgeny Kutik, is praised for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times). Kutik has captivat-
ed audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. He began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990 and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart. The album garnered critical acclaim and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella.
Like our acclaimed soloists, the Festival Amadeus Orchestra is oozing with talent and dedication to the music planned for the trio of performances. Our Concertmaster, Ali Schultz Levesque, and Associate Concertmaster, Sara Schultz Levesque, shared their passion for participating in the Festival Amadeus Orchestra once again during Mozart at McClaren festival weekend. Both musicians are thrilled about the challenge of performing highlevel repertoire like Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and more in a condensed period of time. “Putting all of that together is constant mental pivoting when going across the genres, to working with soloists and then solely as the core orchestra. It’s eat, sleep, rehearse, perform
repeat,” said Ali. Sara added, “It’s a fun orchestra marathon.”
Mozart at McClaren opens Friday evening with a full-scale duo recital for violin and piano with a virtuosic program to include pieces by Mozart and an assortment of French composers including Cesar Frank, Darius Milhaud and Maurice Ravel. Our Conductor, Zoltek is looking forward to the rarely performed, thrilling and rhythmically dynamic Le Boeuf sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof) by Milhaud. “And, per my request, Yevgeny and Anna will also offer a very beautiful encore written by a famous Russian composer,” said Zoltek.
Saturday evening, our guest pianist Anna Polonsky will take the stage for one of Mozart’s great piano concertos nicknamed ‘The Coronation’ as it was originally composed as a work celebrating the crowning of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1790. “The Coronation Concerto is a popular work with dynamic outer movements framing a simple themed slow movement that allows pianists to add ornamentations and improvised passages to the solo piano part,” said Zoltek. “Anna Polonsky is a brilliant pianist and a recognized practitioner of the music of Mozart.”
Sunday’s final concert features the fabulous violinist Yevgeny Kutik, making his fourth appearance with Glacier Symphony, and playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, one of the most beloved concertos in the repertoire. The orchestra will also present Mozart’s Paris Symphony and Beethoven’s exciting Symphony No. 7 in A, once called the “apotheosis of the dance” will absolutely shine as the concert finale.
“So, there we have it, our three-concert festival, strongly rooted in the Classical Style with a little French music and Mendelssohn added to add just the right amount of variety of musical flavors. I recommend you try the entire menu!” shares our Artistic Director and Conductor.
Symphony Night at rebecca Farm
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Load up your car and bring all your family and friends to a night of outdoor live music at Symphony Night at Rebecca Farm! Take in the beautiful sunset, music and sense of community on the beautiful grounds at Rebecca Farm while listening to classical, popular and patriotic tunes prepared by Artistic Director and Conductor, John Zoltek. Regarding the classical repertoire, Glacier Symphony will play popular classics by some of the greatest composers of all time, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rossini and Ravel for the Friday and Saturday crowds. Recognizable popular and patriotic music set to a symphonic sound will also be a main feature of the outdoor celebration of our beautiful ‘Big Sky’ state, following Independence Day.
Bring your lawn chair, blankets or even rent a VIP picnic table that seats a party of eight front and center with the best view of the stage and orchestra shell. This weekend of live music in the great outdoors will be made complete by local food and drink vendors appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences. We encourage individuals and families to purchase car passes early, as this event is known to gather over 3000 concertgoers across Friday and Saturday nights. Early bird car passes purchased before June 30th are $55, and all later purchases and purchases at the gate are $65. We can’t wait to see you, your family and friends at our three summer events with the Glacier Symphony!
To purchase tickets please visit glaciersymphony. org, call 406-407-7000 or visit us at our box office on 69 N Main Street in Kalispell.
April 23, 2023
We got to a few fishing spots when the boat decided to break down 16 miles out. We had to troll back on one engine, which took a couple of hours and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other.
Tell us about yourselves…
Brad is from Indiana but moved to St. Petersburg, Florida when he was 7 years old. Around 2005, his parents moved the family to Englewood, Florida which is where we all reside today. Echo was born and raised in Kalispell but was going to college in Missoula when she met Brad back in 2016. It was May of that year, and she was visiting her mom who was also in Englewood. On the last day there, they went deep sea fishing. Brad was and still is the first mate on the deep sea charter formerly known as Captain Jack's Charters now known as Reef Raider Charters.
We got to a few fishing spots when the boat decided to break down 16 miles out. We had to troll back on one engine, which took a couple of hours and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. Ever since that day we kept in contact and later that year in August, he flew to Montana to visit me.
He had never been out west and had never seen mountains, so I took him to all the touristy places such as the House of Mystery, The Huckleberry Patch, Whitefish Mountain Resort, and Glacier National Park. We had a blast and at some point during the time he visited he asked me to be his girlfriend. Then we had a long distance relationship until I moved to Florida in January of 2018 after graduating from the University of Montana with a General Associates Degree.
In 2020 for my birthday, we went on a little mini vacation to Lake Placid, Florida since we couldn't really fly anywhere back then and on the first night we were there he proposed! We decided we would wait a couple of years to get married to save money and hoped by then that the world would be back to somewhat normal.
Which brings us to today. I am currently an Inventory Manager at a wonderful mom and pop bicycle shop called Bicycles International in Venice, Florida. I have been there for a little over two years and love it! Brad is the main mate on the Reef Raider but also mates for some of the other smaller charter boats out of the Manasota Key Marina. Turns out that Captain Glen of the Mimae, who is one of those smaller Charters and Brad's Best Man, is also from Montana. I've been living in Florida for a little over five years now and can't believe how different it is here compared to the rest of the states. I miss Montana tremendously but am happy to have found a man that I want to share the rest of my life with.
Echo – What is the trait that you most admire in Brad?
The trait I admire most about him is his humor.
Brad – When did you realize you wanted to get married to Echo? When she decided to move to Florida to be with me.
Echo – Why did you choose the venue you did to getting married?
I chose the venue because I wanted a country wedding and I viewed a lot of venues and kept coming back to Oaks of Devonaire. The giant Oak trees with Spanish Moss around the ceremony area are what attracted me the most.
Echo – What did you enjoy most during your wedding day?
Having all our friends and family witness and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter of our lives.
Brad – What is your favorite activity to do as a couple? Travel and play games.
Going to the Sun Gallery
Proudly Features artist
Wanda Mumm and Diane WhiteheadWanda Mumm Diane Whitehead
The Team Behind The
Glacier Range RidersWritten by Mary Wallace
If you went to a Glacier Range Riders baseball game last ball season, you already know how awesome it is to have a professional baseball team in our valley. It’s always ALL about baseball, but it is also about the crowd, the sportsmanship, the professionalism of the players, the camaraderie, and the between-inning antics of the mascots that make up the whole ‘game’ experience.
In 2022, Ridge Run Enterprises LLC brought professional baseball to the Flathead Valley. But before the Pioneer League approved this new Partner League team in the state of Montana, before a shovel was ever turned to build the stadium, before the Glacier Range Riders ever even strode out onto the field, and spectators heard the first crack of the bat - there was another team tirelessly working behind the scenes. Not surprisingly, this powerhouse team of five women has been creatively working to not only help make the stadium ready but also to design the final details of what they call the ‘guest experience’. Their sense of fun and creative influence is what has turned each event into so much more than a ballgame.
Susan Kelly is the co-owner of Ridge Run enterprises, LLc and Ridge Run baseball, LLc with her husband, Marty. It has been a longtime dream of their family to bring professional baseball to the Flathead, and in July 2021, all
the stars lined up to make it a reality. “This is Marty’s Field of Dreams,” says Susan.
After operating the Sun Belt Baseball summer college league for nearly 20 years and seriously considering a couple of other minor league opportunities in recent years, everything seemed to come together very quickly in the Flathead Valley. They received the go-ahead from the Pioneer League in August 2021 with one stipulation - the stadium had to be ready for their team to play their first home game in June 2022. They were off and running, and it took the whole family and all the staff coming together to accomplish it, but by the skin of their teeth, the Flathead Field opened in time for the first Glacier Range Riders game on June 14, 2022, albeit, as a bare-bones forerunner to the facility it will be for this upcoming 2023 season.
Even though the stadium was in a ‘still under construction’ state last summer, the president of Pioneer League Baseball, Mike Shapiro, lauded it as “stunning and exciting, and one of the nicest minor league facilities that anyone would ever get a chance to visit.” Work has continued over the winter months, and fans can expect to be delighted with all that has been accomplished in the off season!
Sue and Marty’s son, Chris Kelly, put a lot of thought into designing the Flathead Field Stadium for the sport of baseball, and they are committed to investing in the local community. They sourced much of the building materials locally and contracted with local contractors for the construction. RBM Lumber supplied the beautiful tabletops, and local barnwood has been incorporated into the building design. The foul poles were provided by Acutech, and the landscaping was done by the Center for Native Plants. Even the landscape rock came from the valley (most
even uncovered during the building of the facility). The Flathead Field has ADA-compliant restrooms designed throughout the stadium. The facility is meant to be a family-friendly community hub.
The newest member of the team, Ayron Sequeira, joined as Executive Vice President of Business Operations in May 2022. Ayron brings an impressive background in the launching of sports franchises. She honed her craft as an award-winning sports entertainment professional in her six years working for the Detroit Red Wings. She moved on to become a key player in developing the arena experience for the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 and then went on to launch an AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, ultimately spending four seasons managing a cast & crew of over 100 people and developing content that earned her three Emmy nominations. She also brought in several entertainment acts, including Imagine Dragons, Wayne Newton, Cirque du Soleil, and David Copperfield. Most recently, Ayron came to the Flathead Valley just off the highly successful launch of the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
Throughout her career, Ayron has consistently created memorable experiences for fans of all ages. Since she hit the ground running last May, Ayron has been focusing on Range Riders baseball, assessing and leveraging the potential of the beautiful new Flathead Field (think event venue
and concerts and the like), expanding the team’s strategic partnerships, developing memorable events, and elevating the guest experience.
Heather Williams oversees group sales, the group experience, fundraising, and the Ranger Riders mascot experience. If you want group tickets or want to book one of the beautiful group luxury suites for a home game, Heather is the one to call.
“Every game has something fun planned,” said Heather. One of the most popular is where the kids get the opportunity to run the bases between innings (the most wellorchestrated chaos one could ever hope to see, according to Heather). This year, the team has a home game on Father’s Day, so for that day, the dads can run the bases with their kids.
Heather also manages the somewhat mischievous Range Rider Mascots, who are an integral part of each game and the face of the Glacier Range Riders around the community. Cliff is the mountain goat with a bit of a snarky personality. Huck is a loveable bear that is friendly and fun. The mascots and a few of the players have made visits to Logan Health Children’s Center to bring some extra cheer to the kids throughout the year and added a fun presence to nearly every major valley event.
This powerhouse team of five women has been creatively working to not only help make the stadium ready but also to design the final details of what they call the ‘guest experience’.
Kristen Kelly, daughter-in-law of Sue and Marty Kelly, oversees accounting, finance, and every thing in between for the various businesses. Kristen started her career in public accounting with KPMG before moving into commercial real estate as a Controller and later Chief Financial Officer of the commercial roofing company. Working alongside her husband Chris (who has overseen the Flathead Field design and stadium construction) the past year and a half has been a whirlwind to establish the start-up operations, for both the baseball team and stadium operations staff, all while stadium construction was underway. But despite all the late nights and countless hours, it has been so rewarding to see how much love there is for the Range Riders in the Flathead Valley already.
Secia Taylor is the Office Administrator. The others refer to her as the ‘glue’ that keeps them all together. She has been on board for two years, after returning to the Flathead from a couple of years in Idaho. She has known the Kelly family for 20 years, and when she jumped on the opportunity to work with the Range Riders, Susan thought she was the perfect person for this job.
These five baseball-loving, fun-loving women have a camaraderie that is immediately apparent when they are together. Each one of them has particular skills and serves in different capacities. They collectively bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, professionalism, and, most importantly, fun to the Flathead Field.
Ayron and Susan provided details of exciting new improvements and guest experience events for the upcoming season.
The Range Riders are proud to partner with Logan Health on their 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art training facility. The facility features indoor batting and pitching areas, a film room, a weight training room, a medical training room, cryotherapy hot and cold plunge pools, a player lounge, and a kitchen in addition to the traditional locker room and coaching staff offices.
The Clubhouse boasts a full-time chef that will oversee 1400 square feet of indoor space, along with the adjacent patio area, and will soon be available for company summer parties, Christmas parties, and fundraising galas. The clubhouse will also be booking wedding celebrations beginning in 2024.
Flathead Field Concessions will be offering in-seat service during the games this season. There are six concession stands, and the Range Riders are committed to offering their crowd favorite $5 hot dogs at the park. Their famous Flathead Brats (a locally sourced Redneck Meats specialty) often sell out in 15 minutes. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream will also be
a featured concession item. Beer & wine are also available.
Sunday afternoon home games will offer discounted tickets and a picnic area for groups. With 48 home games on the schedule this year, it will surely be a great season.
The guest experience team already has several specialty events planned for this year. The stadium is proud to be featuring art from local artists throughout the season and plans a Wine & Art Stroll in early Fall. The popular Halloween Trunk or Treat Car Show, in conjunction with the Glacier Street Rod Association, will also be repeated this fall.
The Range Riders love to work with local non-profits and offers volunteer opportunities at the games. It’s a great way to get a non-profit group to a ball game and benefit their mission simultaneously! There is also a program where non-profits can sell tickets at face value to a game and then can keep a portion of the proceeds for their nonprofit.
The 2023 schedule is out, and season tickets are available. The first home game is slated for May 30th against the Billings Mustangs. The stadium boasts 2240 stadium seats and the suites will accommodate up to 350 people. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gorangeriders.com or at the box office window before the games.
Levi Pollard Truly Beautiful MomentsBy Callie Reagan
Levi Pollard is a Whitefish native and local business entrepreneur. Like many of us, he has a few jobs and passions that drive his life; Father of two boys Lex and Leo, boyfriend of Going to the Sun Gallery artist Alexandria Breuer, outdoor enthusiast, and more. Levi is a Business Broker for Murphy Business Sales, General Contractor and Owner of Atlas Construction & Restoration as well as a bronze artist with modern Western inspirations that make living in the Flathead an artist's dream. Levi also has an adventurer’s spirit with a desire for growth and a need to learn. This spirit has caused him to seek out adventures that have created touchpoints of change or clear defining moments of who he was and who he became after his experiences. One such experience was his summit of Mt Rainier in 2007 and most recently his 30day hike on the John Muir Trail.
Levi says that life does not wait for convenience to provide opportunities and his trek along the John Muir Trail (JMT) was no different. He was scheduled to start at the end of July, which happened to be right after the hailstorm that damaged properties across our valley. As the Owner of Atlas Construction & Restoration where he restores storm damage and facelifts on the exteriors of homes- this was not the ideal time to make the trip. With scheduling and preparations made for clients to complete repairs, he was just about to leave when another bump in the plans came along. Dale, the friend who had the permits for the backcountry camping, was not going to make it at their scheduled time due to an emergency pet surgery. Undeterred, Levi made his way to the starting point of the JMT where after a few days he was able to secure his own permit and meet up with his two companions and start their journey. Since he and his companions wanted to complete the trail at different speeds and times, they spent the first day together and then separated completing the trail at different times.
The John Muir Trail is a total of 213.7 miles with an elevation gain of 47,000 feet that traverses the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range including parks: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National. Levi said that each day was a summit, that you wanted to complete early so you were able to finish the peaks before the summer thunderstorms would roll in over the range making the trails not only uncomfortable with rain and mud but adding danger of lightning and slides. Levi had read that witnessing sunrise from the peak of Mount Whitney was a rare and unforgettable experience but doing so required leaving camp in the pitch black at 2:00AM and hiking five hours by headlamp. At sunrise on the final day of his trek, Levi reached the summit of Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft – the highest peak in the contiguous United States.
You might be thinking at this time, why would this experience be appealing and lifechanging? Let’s continue with his experience. Levi stated that it was about the third day of hiking that he achieved the meditative state where the mental chatter was finally sifted out. This feeling was one of the driving factors in selecting this opportunity. In this cleared state of mind over a period of time here are some of the takeaways that Levi walked away with:
1. Finish What you Start:
In the beginning, Levi was not committed to finishing all 213.7 miles of the trip. As the miles and the days progressed, there was a
moment in time when a decision was made and where he was converted from a commitment to going to a commitment to finishing . This decision what not technically the first lesson learned, but one that directly affects many more lessons he took home.
2. Lessons Are not Learned on your Time Table:
Levi already had time delays in starting this trip with the hailstorm at home and the time needed to obtain the additional permit. When Levi committed to finishing, he decided it didn’t matter how much time it took. When this is done you are able to again focus on other lessons or opportunities that are available to you outside of a calendar or watch face.
3. if There is no Retreat, You Move Forward:
You get to a point in the journey where the way out or the way back is equal to or greater in either length or time as well as what you are mentally willing to give up. When your mind is made up and you have committed, when retreating is taken off the table- This is the moment real strength is displayed and you are reminded of your capabilities
4. Reflect on Life Patterns:
Levi used this experience to look at his own patterns when he faces obstacles and what
happens when you take negotiation with yourself out of the equation.
5. Make A plan:
At the end of the day, make a plan for the next. What is your goal, where are you going and when are you planning on getting there?
The important part of this is understanding that there are going to be times when you are disappointed. Levi said this plan is where you learn to push yourself while at the same time, you must care for yourself. This directly leads to the next lesson.
6. Take Time To Reward yourself:
When you make the plan, there also needs to be an opportunity for adjustments. You have heard the saying, “It’s all about the journey.” Every person on this trail, even if they are on
Levi says that life does not wait for convenience to provide opportunities and his trek along the John Muir Trail (JMT) was no different.
it on the same day at the same place, will have a different experience. Levi may not have made it through the trial time as quickly as others, but he made time for experiences along the way. Morning times with hot coffee and sunrise, swimming in the river and camping in an alpine meadow or watching a lake come alive with fish feeding all at once at sunset. Creating an experience where the metaphorical physical cup is being taxed and drained while the spiritual and mental cup fills to overflowing.
7. Everything That Was Needed Was Provided:
This experience drilled down life to basic needs and everything you truly needed was provided. Refill stations, passing hikers, food and items such as: new hiking boots were available when current boots were in a poor condition that just happened to be his size. Food at refill stations was also available from hikers needing to dump weight, and even a care package from home.
8. Happiness While Huffing and Puffing:
On the trail the appearance of smiles and kind words were exchanged daily. It was apparent to Levi that those out in nature doing what they loved, while they were sweating and “huffing and puffing” they were happy, content, and having a great time. This was in contrast to the feeling when you are “huffing and puffing” in the “real world,” people are not so happy about it. What is the difference? What can you change?
Levi says that the trip has stayed with him. He calls it a touch point in life, a point where you can see who you were before the experience to the contrast of who you are after. He said it was easy to get back into the swing of daily life again but there was a difference. He felt like he was glowing. in a town full of people that were finishing the same trail, they were drawn together to share experiences that others might not totally understand. in his own words, he felt refortified and ready to be home and he felt a greater appreciation for everything from a chair that was not a fallen log to the partnership with his girlfriend and what they are able to build and be together. The all-you-can-eat salad bar he enjoyed as his first meal off the mountain was also appreciated.
Levi Pollard had an experience that continues to teach and reveal critical life lessons. These lessons affect his family, business, community as well as his future. While we may not be able to have his experience, I am grateful he is willing to share so we can learn and apply some of these to our own life adventures. Take time to appreciate the beauty around you, have moments to sift the chatter out to find quiet and commit to yourself removing doubt and negotiation, and experience truly beautiful moments.
Morning times with hot coffee and sunrise, swimming in the river and camping in an alpine meadow or watching a lake come alive with fish feeding all at once at sunset. Creating an experience where the metaphorical physical cup is being taxed and drained while the spiritual and mental cup fills to overflowing.
Building Wealth through Homeownership
owning a home has always been a part of the American dream. it’s a place for safe shelter, where you create and live in your own style, and where memories are made. did you know that owning a home is also a gateway to wealth? numerous statistics show that homeowners have markedly higher levels of wealth than non-homeowners. Let’s explore the wealth creation side of homeownership.
First, why is real estate a good investment? It's really as simple as supply and demand. In general, the supply and demand balance is almost always healthy enough to create appreciation in value. Historical proof shows that in 73 of the last 81 years, home values have gone up. But, even in those few years where there wereBy Shane McChesney of Mann Mortgage
losses in value, these amounts were recovered in a relatively short time. For example, starting in 2007, we saw a period of some value decline, but we've had consecutive gains ever since. Within five years of the last value loss year, original pre-decline values were recovered. Fast forward about 10 years and in 2022, on average, value increased by over 61% from pre-decline and over 118% from the last year of decline!
Current opportunity looks even better than normal. The existing supply of housing is very tight in relation to a huge demand. Ongoing inflation improvement and other glaring economic factors indicate significant improvement in rates are on the near horizon, which will put additional pressure on the supply available and push values even higher. Whether you feel current prices are prohibitive or not, the opportunity right now is realistically as good as it's going to get for a while. Once
your ownership is secure, it’s a good bet you’ll be looking forward to strong value growth. With your equity secured, you can then take advantage of lower rates when they materialize rather than trying to purchase at that time with much higher demand competition and higher home prices.
The benefits of real estate wealth are many. Homeownership can help you afford the next home as your family grows and your needs and desires change. There's a vast difference in the ability to obtain a larger, higher end home with previous equity accumulation versus a first-time purchase with limited assets. Real estate equity also can afford other real estate opportunities such as a vacation home or investment property, and, you guessed it, additional real estate ownership comes with equity and wealth growth. Home wealth can also provide opportunities for other investments, such as education, business, and liquid
investments to name a few. Additionally, equity can be tapped to provide a path to fun things such as boats, RVs, and vacations. Fi nally, just to have created a reserve for needs like home and auto repairs and medical expenses is very beneficial.
To maximize the compounding of real estate wealth, be sure to team up with a solid lending professional who can help you structure your financing with smart and safe decisions that match your goals. As a team, you should be considering your goals, timelines, budget, and down payment approach. Amongst other issues, explore the optimum amount for a down payment. Consider whether it is better to spend more on the transaction to reduce or eliminate mortgage insurance or to leverage this affordable and valuable product to retain more of your money for better uses elsewhere, such as furnishing the new home, putting into an investment with a better rate of return, or simply having an emergency fund.
Ultimately, it's your choice for a budget and structure that makes you most comfortable. You need to be able to see all angles to make that best-informed decision for you.
I am passionate about assisting anybody with the pursuit of homeownership. One of Mann Mortgage’s many value proposi tions is to help you realize your shelter wants and needs with ease while maximizing a wealth growth plan with the best loan terms and structure for you and to stay by your side as you move forward on your life journey.
Shane McChesney is a Mortgage Loan Originator with over 30 years of real estate lending experience and is a Champions Club award winner, recognizing him as a top Mann Mortgage Producer. Shane is a 1992 graduate of the University of Montana with a B.S. in Business Accounting and Finance. He is the proud father of Brady, a Mechanical Engineer in Denver, CO; Brynn, a Registered Nurse in Denver, CO; and Bennett, an Assistant General Manager for a local retailer in Bigfork, MT.
The benefits of real estate wealth are many. Homeownership can help you afford the next home as your family grows and your needs and desires change.
Q&a WItH Shane McChesney Mann Mortgage
What’s one thing on your bucket list you just HAV e to do?
I would like to travel to Italy and stay on the Amalfi Coast.
What’s your favorite way to spend the day off?
On my boat on Ashley Lake.
What are your hobbies, and how did you get into them?
Anything outside, especially on the water. Born and raised in Montana how could I not get into these.
What was the last thing you read?
One More Sunrise by Curtis P Gay
What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
What song always gets you out on the dance floor?
Sweet Home Alabama
What’s your most prized possession and why? My Children…they are amazing in every way!
What’s an essential part of your daily routine?
The Gym…clears my mind.
top 10 added Benefits to a Yoga Practice (Beyond the amazing Workout)By Yoga Hive Montana Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography
it’s no secret that yoga is an incredible workout to include in your exercise regimen. one of the primary reasons people seek out yoga in the first place is to get in shape, and build strength, flexibility, and balance. However, people often find after diving deeper into the practice that –beyond an amazing workout–there is a whole secret menu of added benefits that a yoga practice can offer you. Yoga Hive Montana is honored to be yoUR studio for whole body wellness.
1. r adiant Health
One of the most impactful added benefits to a dedicated yoga practice is optimal health. Today we are facing a sedentary lifestyle epidemic where many people spend excessive time sitting and are inactive. Where there is stagnation in the system, pain and disease can take hold. Our bodies are designed to move, exert, and breathe every single day. Various techniques in a yoga practice stimulate all fundamental systems of the human body - particularly the muscular system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, and digestive system. The new paradigm value shift we’re seeing is that “health is wealth.”
What good are all your assets if you don’t feel well enough to enjoy them?
2. Increased Confidence
A regular yoga practice can help you build confidence and self-esteem. Research shows that even if you don’t feel confident, simply acting like you do will help you to feel more
confident. Confident people are willing to take risks, try new things, and be a beginner at something unfamiliar. By staying the course with a yoga practice, you are bound to improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. And with this improvement, a natural confidence in the body arises. Furthermore, when people radiate confidence, they don’t hunch over and look at their feet. Confident people open up their chest wide and lift from the heart center and drop their shoulders down and back. Many yoga postures focus on creating this open posture in the upper body, which leads to feeling more confident within yourself.
One of the most meaningful perks of a yoga practice is becoming part of a community of like-minded people. Although yoga can be a very internal and personal experience of transformation, your growth is greatly accelerated when practiced with others on the path. In a culture that often encourages unhealthy habits, it's invaluable to be surrounded by other
people who are also committed to their health and wellness. Our Yoga Hive community can provide you with support, accountability, and a sense of belonging.
4. Stress r elief
An essential bonus of your yoga practice is learning practical techniques to cope with stress. Feeling stressed out all the time is not pleasant for you or for anyone around you. Furthermore, stress is the #1 cause of major health problems: Hypertension, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Gastrointestinal Problems, Alzheimer’s, and more. Yoga Hive’s classes and workshops can help you find a sense of inner peace and calm. By regulating the flow of breath to match the breathing patterns you normally have while in a relaxed state, you can actually induce a state of relaxation that changes your central nervous system from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. Additionally, when you successfully manage stress, you tend to sleep better and lose weight by eliminating the urge to “stress eat” junk food.
5. Inner Peace
Priming your body with exercise and healthy prac tices is a great first step towards experiencing a flow of positive emotions and a sense of calm. Calm ing the nervous system with relaxing meditations and breathing exercises can also be a catalyst for inner peace. Additionally, yoga philosophy is full of relevant topics to inner peace such as practicing contentment, self-acceptance, and understanding the deeper aspects of your thoughts, emotions, and inner self.
Yoga has its roots in ancient spiritual practices, and many practitioners find that yoga helps them con nect with a higher power or spiritual energy. The word yoga in Sanskrit means “union.” Experienc ing an intimate union of your conscious awareness with the entire universe can be a profound spiritual experience, regardless of your beliefs. People of all religions, identities, and beliefs are welcome to practice yoga. Whether you view yoga as a spiritual practice or simply a physical exercise, the practice of yoga can help you connect with something great er than yourself.
7. e nhanced Productivity
Yoga can help improve your productivity and focus at work. Yoga practices can bring about an increase in energy and the ability to train our minds to focus on the present moment. Attention is a highly valuable resource in a world full of distractions. Master your attention, and you increase your ability to concentrate on what is important to you in any given moment - whether that is a project at work or focusing on a more positive outlook regarding a challenging situation in your life.
8. Pain r elief
Yoga can be an effective way to manage pain and discomfort in the body. Through the practice of yoga, you can learn to release tension in your body, improve your posture to reduce back and neck pain, and increase your flexibility and mobility to help alleviate chronic pain and reduce the risk of injury. Come on into Yoga Hive and allow us to come alongside your healing journey.
Yoga can help you live in the present moment and cultivate a sense of mindfulness. The breath and the body exist in the present moment, so they are your access points to presence. By focusing on your breath and your body in your yoga practice, you can learn to be fully present in each moment. This can lead to a greater sense of awareness, gratitude, and appreciation for the beauty of life not only on your yoga mat, but also in your daily life such as connecting with your friends and family.
Yoga can help enhance your creativity and imagination. By practicing yoga, you can learn to silence the mental chatter that normally drowns out your inner creative muse. Additionally, yoga can help you release tension and reduce stress, which can free up mental space for creative thinking and problem-solving.
Yoga Hive Montana is your source for all styles of yoga for all body types. We are a traditional boutique yoga studio that gives you room to move, room to breathe, and opportunities to evolve and transform based on your needs. We are blessed to offer you workshops from community members who want to partner with us. We are YOUR community, the place you go to love and be loved, to laugh, to cry, and to find personal FREEDOM.
Join us in our new Whitefish AERIAL YOGA studio! Daily classes offered at www.yogahivemontana.com
Priming your body with exercise and healthy practices is a great first step towards experiencing a flow of positive emotions and a sense of calm.Photo by Lynon Lohof
Q&a WItH Sandy Thatcher, MA, PT Logan Health rehabilitation
Where you from, and what are brought you to the Flathead Valley?
I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I received my Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota in 1993 and began my career as an outpatient physical therapist in Denver, Colorado. My brother resided, and still lives, in the Flathead Valley and for years we visited the area. We fell in love with the lakes, Glacier National Park, hunting and everything the outdoors had to offer. I have always had a desire to live in a place with a smaller hometown. The Flathead Valley was where we wanted to raise our children. We moved to Kalispell from Denver in 2012.
What is your specialty of practice?
Throughout my years as a physical therapist, I have treated a variety of outpatient orthopedic conditions, and early on I took a particular interest in therapies that improve women’s health. In 2009 I received my Certification in Pelvic Physical Therapy. I discovered that this specialty was unique, and continued to develop my expertise in this area, allowing me to primarily treat patients with pelvic floor dysfunctions. I feel there is a definite need for this service in the Flathead Valley and I am driven to help these individuals regain their strength and control so that they can live life to the fullest. I am also certified in trigger point dry needling which is a very effective tool for treating musculoskeletal issues.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is getting to know my patients and having a true understand-
ing of what is important and meaningful to them. We can then work together to prioritize each problem and work toward achieving the patient’s goals. I truly love the oneon-one relationships with my patients, and I feel that watching them become stronger and better individuals is my reward.
What are your professional interests?
Professionally, I am very interested in expanding my physical therapy knowledge to enable me to problem solve and treat my patients at the highest skill level. I am also involved in a pelvic PT online committee/ blog which allows me to research the latest and greatest techniques for my pelvic floor patients. It is educational, fun and there is amazing information out there!
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love spending my free time with my family and we are often doing something in the
great outdoors. I have three young adult children who grew up here attending Cayuse Prairie and then Flathead High School. We have been so happy with our choice to move here, and the opportunities it has given us. We enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping and just being together. I also spend a lot of my summer at baseball parks watching my youngest boy play ball. My husband and I enjoy caring for our mini farm of chickens, turkeys, ducks and sheep, along with our very energetic German shepherd, Maverick.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
Health Benefits of “Locker Room talk”By Riley Polumbus
Incontinence. I first heard this term in the comfortable confines of a locker room with a close-knit group of women. On my women’s ice hockey team, players were out of the lineup for pregnancy more often than injury. One day a few of my teammates were swapping postpartum stories about their occasional “mishaps” (acci dentally peeing), most often occurring when laughing, which happened frequently when we spent time to gether.
It may be a bit cliché to learn about the “facts of life” from your peers in such settings as the locker room, yet it’s often how we discover that what we may be too embarrassed to talk about is actually natural. It gives such topics the air of normalcy they deserve. In this case, it’s not just women who have given birth that experience incontinence. All women, along with children, teens, and yes, men experience pelvic floor dysfunction. The good news is because it is so common there is a treatment.
Your “Pelvic Floor” is a group of muscles shaped like a shallow bowl that lies inside the pelvis between the pubic bones and tailbone. As with any muscle group it serves a purpose, in this case it supports the bladder and bowel, (as well as the uterus and vagina in women and the prostate in men) and it assists with bodily functions such as peeing, pooping and having intercourse. Also like any muscle group, it can weaken over time due to aging, as well as from injury or surgery.
As orthopedic physical therapy assists with an orthopedic injury, pelvic floor therapy can strengthen the muscles to regain function and control. That’s where Logan Health’s physical therapist Sandy Thatcher comes in…
Sandy has been a physical therapist with Logan Health for 10 years, has her Masters in Physical Therapy, and is certified in Women’s Health Pelvic Physical Therapy. She has an extensive background in manual therapy and orthopedic therapies, yet what makes her a unique part of the Logan Health Rehabilitation team is her training in pelvic floor therapy.
“One of the ways I would describe Logan Health’s pelvic floor physical therapy program, is that it is just like going to any physical therapy session with a focus on strengthening and targeting the pelvic floor and hip muscles, along with abdominal and core stabilization,” Sandy explains. “Most treatment sessions involve training my patients in the proper techniques of recruiting these muscles.”
During the first pelvic floor appointment, Sandy will discuss the patient’s symptoms and get a medical history. Then she will evaluate the patient’s strength and range of motion.
“Some women may be concerned that this type of therapy is invasive, however that is not the case,” Sandy explains. “Most of what I do is external.”
Sandy evaluates the strength and range of motion of hip and abdominal muscles as they play a part. Sandy also can use electrical stimulation and/or a biofeedback machine.
Biofeedback is a non-invasive tool that helps the patient learn how to contract their pelvic floor muscles. Sandy sets a certain threshold on the device, when the patient contracts the muscles, they can see and hear whether they are contracting their pelvic floor muscles, giving them the feedback they need to strengthen their pelvic floor.
“We can adjust the threshold higher so they can get better, a lot can happen in one session,” Sandy said. However, she does caution, “It does not happen overnight, they need to keep working at it.”
After the initial session Sandy works with the patient on an individualized care plan that may include additional sessions with manual therapy, exercises, and stretching. She will also give the patient exercises and stretches that can be done at home to strengthen the pelvic floor, hips, and abdominal muscles to improve function.
“I think this specialty of practice is under-utilized in the general population as many may not even realize that it exists,” Sandy said.
Anyone that experiences incontinence, pelvic pain or discomfort may be a candidate for pelvic floor therapy. As I learned in my locker room, it’s a natural and common occurrence. Share your symptoms with your provider and ask for a referral for pelvic floor therapy. It’s like having a personal trainer to strengthen the most personal region of our body.
I think this specialty of practice is underutilized in the general population as many may not even realize that it exists.
The Psychological Benefits of e xerciseWritten by Kaycee McIntosh, PA-C Kalispell OB-GYN
Have you ever felt a sense of total and complete freedom? This winter, I discovered something that created energy, motivation, inspiration, and joy in a place I didn't expect. I have three boys, so there is little time for self-care and exercise. We also have a very energetic black lab. We live on a mountainside, so in winter, covered in snow and ice, walking the dog becomes more challenging because many of my routes were snow covered. Something finally occurred to me. I have skis with skins, meaning that I can traverse up an incline with my skis on. I thought, why can't I ski the dog instead of walking the dog? I started skiing regularly, which led to a winter of walking bliss. These outings helped me experience so many good emotions and became my escape.
Most of my time is not my own. At home, I am always doing things for my kids, and exercise became a way to slip into my own world, where I could daydream without constant interruption. It made me think about how we often perceive exercise as another thing to cross off a to-do list. No wonder so many people are resistant to it. Could we reframe the way we think about exercise? We all know we "should" exercise, just like we “should” be eating enough fruits and vegetables for our physical health. I want to share some reasons why exercising can improve your life in ways that exceed your expectations while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. I hope I inspire you to grab your walking shoes and get outside!
Body image is a person's subjective or mental image of their body. Unsurprisingly, we are all walking around thinking about our body image comparing ourselves to others, which has expanded with the increasing ease of accessing social media and the internet. Some startling statistics about women and body image in the United States.
• One study found that by age 13, 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies; this increases to 78% by age 17.
• A survey by Fredrick and colleagues found that 20-40% of adult women are dissatisfied with their bodies.
• Individuals with negative body image are at higher risk of developing an eating disorder.
• Negative body image increases the risk of depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, and weight loss fixation.
• Research has shown that 25% of selfesteem is rooted in our perceptions of our bodies.
Multiple studies have found that exercise has a positive, statistically significant effect on body image. A study led by Kathleen Martin Ginis, a UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences professor, with grad student Lauren Salci, researched the potential of physical activity in improving body image in 2017. They wanted to evaluate a 30-minute bout of exercise and its impact on women's body self-perception. They studied 58 university students who typically exercised less than one
hour of moderate exercise, then interviewed them before and after working out. They found immediate body perception improvements that lasted at least 20 minutes following a period of activity. The factors most influenced in this study were the perception of strength and perceptions of body fat.
Depression and anxiety are very prevalent conditions in the US. Blue Cross Blue Shield reported that nine million commercially insured Americans had been diagnosed with depression, and two million are not seeking treatment. Exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Individuals with mental health disorders are also at elevated risk of secondary health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Aerobics exercises, including jogging, cycling, swimming, gardening, and dancing, have been evaluated and noted to reduce anxiety and depression by improving mood. Mood improvements are caused by increased blood flow to the brain which reduces our physiological reactions to stress, but they also encourage cognitive function. It has also been hypothesized that exercise improves mood because it distracts, promotes social interaction, and enhances self-confidence.
Another incredible thing I found was a study completed by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer. She created a survey that uniquely re-
evaluates the connection between our mind and body. Given the number of hours of physical activity they complete daily, she was interested in studying hotel maids. She composed a survey of hotel maids that concluded that 67 percent of them reported that they did not exercise. Langer thought that was bizarre since they were exercising all day. She also noted that the women did not appear to benefit physically from all that work. Langer and her team measured these women's blood pressure (bp), body fat, and waist-to-hip ratios. She noted that these values aligned with their perception of exercise rather than the amount of exercise they were getting. After splitting the group of 84 maids, researchers educated half that they met the surgeon general's exercise requirements. One month later, the team returned and repeated the physical measures of those who had had physical activity education and found a decrease in the women's bp, waist-to-hip ratio, and weight. The women had not changed their activity level, and Langer concluded that their thoughts about their activity level impacted their bodies. Langer believes that the changes in the hotel maid's bodies were a direct result of the shift in the mindset of the women studied. This research is a beautiful example of the placebo effect. Langer says that telling your body you are exercising may lead your body to respond as if it is. There is some skepticism regarding the findings of this study; however, other studies indicate that the way we perceive an experience can directly affect the functions of our bodies. Ultimately, consider all the challenging physical things you do as exercise to increase any potential mental and physical health benefits. You may get more results from vacuuming than just spotless floors!
An article from the National Library of Medicine summarizes the benefits of exercise for mental health by listing the following benefits:
1. Improved Sleep
2. increased interest in sex
3. Better endurance
4. Stress relief
5. Improvement in mood
6. Increased energy and stamina
7. Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
We all need to get moving to reap any of the benefits of exercise. We can enhance our mental (and physical) health benefits with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as a brisk walk, three times per week. Also, the action does not need to be continuous; three 10-minute sessions are equivalent to a thirty-minute session.
Here are some tips to help you get moving.
1. Set the bar low. Refrain from judging yourself if it's been a while since you exercised. Start by walking a few minutes per day or ten minutes three days per week.
2. Remember, dancing counts as exercise. Put on your favorite song and dance in the living room for ten minutes daily. Or even one or two songs if you have limited time.
3. Plan a fitness meeting with a friend regularly. The interaction with a friend might inspire you to get moving and help you look forward to exercise. It is helpful to have someone that can remind you about your goals and support you all the way through, an accountability partner aka accountabilabuddy.
4. Journal how you feel after exercise regarding your mood improvement and body confidence, so your progress is more noticeable.
5. Change your mind-set about exercise. instead of thinking that exercise is something you "have to do," shift to thinking that exercise is something you get to do. Exercise can be a release, an escape, a time to daydream, or a step away from everything that is worrisome and stressful in your life.
6. Give yourself credit for exercising whenever you increase your heart rate with any type of physical activity.
In conclusion, we usually consider the physical health benefits of exercise while disregarding some mental health benefits. Life is busy. Many people raise children, work full-time, or care for other family members. Physical activity must be a priority because it enables us to manage our stress and improves how we perceive our body image and capabilities. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Kaycee McIntosh is a Physician Assistant at Kalispell OB/GYN and fifth-generation Montanan on both sides of her family. Kaycee went to college in Bozeman where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science/Health and Human Development from MSU. She then went to graduate school at Rocky Mountain College in Billings where she received her Masters of Physician Assistant. She worked in Urgent Care for Logan Health for ten years, where she gained valuable experience in many areas of medicine before transitioning into women's health at Kalispell OB/GYN at the end of 2021.
Kaycee, along with her husband Toby, an engineer from Vermont, love raising their three young boys together in Whitefish. Kaycee enjoys spending time outside skiing, biking, playing fetch with their dog and being with her family. She also loves art, being creative and enjoys thinking outside of the box.
now.org/now-foundation/love-your-body/love-your-body-whats-it-all-about/get-the-facts/ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6928134/ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603361/ news.ok.ubc.ca/2017/06/14/want-to-feel-stronger-and-thinner-get-some-exercise/ medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317958 npr.org/2008/01/03/17792517/hotel-maids-challenge-the-placebo-effect
Bringing Automobiles into e arly KalispellBy Terri Lynn Mattson for the Northwest Montana History Museum
In the coming summer months, Kalispell will see its annual influx of classic car appearances. Summer car shows and the simplicity of having nicer weather calls on car enthusiasts to bring out their classic cars (1950s – 1970s) to cruise the streets of town. Dairy Queen, a longtime host of a few of the classic car events around town, still caters to quite a few of these car owners at the end of a long day at car shows. The parking lot also provides ample space for owners to pull up their cars and chat back and forth about their vehicles. This culture stretches back closer to the beginning of Kalispell than you might imagine. A mere 14 years after the town’s founding, the first automobile entered Kalispell. With that, a crowd of car owners would take over the roads in the next 20 years. Initially, however, the new transportation was laughed at for its impracticality.
Older than the Ford Model T, the first automobiles in town were owned by a wide collection of adventurous individuals. The new technology created a fast and close-knit community among the individuals who could afford it. The owner of the first car in Kalispell was Hugh Thibodeau. The vehicle delivered to him the morning of April 15, 1905 was a Maxwell Runabout. Following this import, several people in town, including a doctor, looked into obtaining vehicles for themselves. Doctor Morris Bottorf traveled to Buffalo, New York, to do research at a car manufacturer about the possibility. The car company dissuaded the purchase due to the Doctor’s needs and the impracticalities of having a vehicle in a Western town. After some improvements in manufacturing and technology, the
doctor decided to explore the decision to purchase a car again, and in 1907 obtained an automobile. There were several people who ordered cars in the course of that year, and minor panic ensued when word was sent in December of that year that cash on delivery was expected.
As the pioneers of this new technology on the frontier, the misadventures of these car owners were told for many years later. The speed limit that was set for automobiles in towns was 8 mph and outside of towns was 20 mph. The early car owners in Kalispell were all summoned to court one day to face charges of driving in excess of the in-town speed limit. All drivers were fined and had a misdemeanor placed on their record. As serious as
the authorities attempted to paint the court proceedings, the entire adventure became a popular local tale. Aside from regulations, motorists had to adapt to the new vehicles, which—while an interesting enough undertaking in our modern day—was even more interesting given the under-developed roads and infrastructure of the early settlement in the Flathead Valley. One new car owner tried to use a frozen lake to teach himself how to drive. The car stalled, and when he restarted the engine, he was pushed across the ice, yelling at the machine like it was a horse. The difficulties caused by the dirt roads of the Flathead turned into some interesting stories. One road required some innovative techniques to traverse. The slope grade was so steep that Model Ts had to drive backwards
uphill to both keep gasoline in the engine and to utilize the stronger reverse gear. Most roads were not well-kept and were dirt trails until well after 1900. Among our pioneer stories, one writer tells of her father’s recollections of seeing a car for the first time. He had seen the car stalled on the side of the road with the surrounding crowd teasing the driver that he should just get a horse. Given the early conditions and difficulties, one might have believed that.
As you would expect (particularly with these previously mentioned misadventures), just as soon as the first cars arrived, car accidents began. One of the first recounted by Charles I. O’Neil in Henry Elwood’s Kalispell, Montana and the Upper Flathead Valley was when a motorist’s steering wheel went out and the vehicle ran into a barbed wire fence. Since the car was moving slowly, no one was hurt, but the problem quickly became apparent that automobile repair services would be needed. No one was an expert in vehicles, so the local blacksmiths took the opportunity to expand their businesses to offer services specifically for new cars. One blacksmith shop was purchased specifically for the purpose of adding car mechanics to the business. Blacksmith Chris Kolle also built a brick building for work on autos at Main and 4th—later the Henricksen Motor Company building. The REO Motor Company gained a salesperson in J.W. Walker in 1907, and even had a short-lived sales location, opened between 1911 and 1913. Fill-up stations for gasoline didn’t exist, so gasoline could be bought in five-gallon cans at hardware and grocery stores. If you were looking for a larger quantity, Kalispell’s Standard Oil Company warehouse had gas in steel barrels. At least one establishment boasted 2 filling pumps in 1920, and many service stations finally listed “filling stations” as one of their services in the 1925 directory.
Today, the standard around the world for transportation is the motorized automobile. The roads are largely paved, and motors and machinery have advanced enough that muddy roads and steep hills are not as big of an obstacle as they once were. At those car shows during the summer, sometimes far older vehicles from the 1910s and 20s can be seen. The rough-and-tumble first few years of cars in Kalispell were an impressive group of pioneers in the American West. As with today, the summer was still the nicest time for a drive, and the car owners of the Flathead were all invited to a lunch at Swan Lake in July of 1913. 147 vehicles went. As few as this seems, it was a sign of the times to come, and by 1919, vehicles in the Flathead Valley numbered about 2,000.
lder than the Ford Model T, the first automobiles in town were owned by a wide collection of adventurous individuals. The new technology created a fast and close-knit community among the individuals who could afford it.
The Artificial Intelligence Will See You Nowby Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA
One of the hottest topics on the scene right now is artificial intelligence. It’s hot, but not necessarily new. Two of my favorite films from my youth were focused on the rise of A.I. and its consequences. Namely, the Terminator and The Matrix franchises. The first of these films was released in 1984…four decades ago. Both franchises showcase “intelligent” machines (or robots if you will) and their hostile relationship with their creator…humanity.
Today’s outlook is far less dramatic but still interesting watching things unfold. One of the major talking points with the continual improvements to A.I. are the tasks that it can perform in the context of disrupting professions. In other words what jobs are going to be deemed obsolete because a computer can do it with greater efficiency. Let’s define greater efficiency as any net improvement in speed and accuracy.
A “machine” will perform tasks without emotion. In some industries that’s good, in some industries that’s not good. Presently looming are self-driving vehicles which will threaten the livelihood of truckers who are only allowed to drive a fixed amount of time per day. A selfdriving vehicle can drive non-stop representing a 100% increase in speed of delivery. That’s just one example.
In my world (knock on wood), it would seem that we are more insulated from the creep of A.I. on the large scale. This is largely due to the fact that every dental issue and pathology is unique to the tooth and the person. Not to mention every individual’s oral anatomy is variable making it difficult to program generic applications. This does not mean that A.I. applications are not entering the field of dentistry, and the ones that are showing up are for the time being making life easier for the dental providers without the slightest threat of taking away our jobs.
One such application I use everyday and is the utility that has had the greatest benefit to my practice as a dentist, is the same-day digital crown design via 3D optical scanning. In order to fully describe this to the lay person let’s discuss the former method of crown fabri cation with the method I’m using now and have been since 2015.
What is a Dental Crown?
A contemporary dental crown is a 1.5 to 2mm thick monolithic shell that replaces the outer shell (mostly enamel) of a damaged tooth. Think of it as replacing the roof and siding on an old beat-up house. Also, when I
say monolithic it just means the crown is a single material. The two materials that make up 95% of crowns today are Lithium Disilicate and Zirconium. These have replaced the prior industry standard of the porcelain layered over a metal core called a PFM (porcelain fused to metal) in our world.
fore they happen, and quite often they are preceded by sharp discomfort while chewing. I should also clarify (in case any other dentists are reading), that depending on the extent of the decay or the fracture, a root canal might be required prior to crown therapy.
The 2nd reason is simply aesthetics. In this case the tooth isn’t necessarily functionally compromised but you want to replace the old dingy siding and throw a fresh coat of paint on the trim. This is an elective cosmetic treatment which is easily accomplished with crowns or often times veneers, porcelain shells that only replace the front of the teeth requiring less removal of natural tooth structure.
Why Would a Tooth Need a Crown?
There are several reasons but let’s talk about the 2 main ones. The 1st being that the tooth is structural compro mised resulting in decreased functionality or the high potential of decreased functionality in the near future. “Your roof looks like it’s going to cave in, should we fix it before it caves in?” I imagine most of us would answer yes to that question. Common reasons a tooth becomes structurally compromised is large dental decay (cavity) too large for a simple filling (termites have created a lot of rot in your roof). Quite often this decay is secondary to an already existing large filling (we have patched your roof a few times and now it’s time to just re-build the whole thing).
Another reason is that a portion of the tooth will just break off (a tree fell on your roof). This is also very frequently associated with prior dental fillings. For those patients that see their hygienist routinely we can often identify these potential fractures be-
How is a Tooth Prepared for a Crown?
Each contemporary crown material has its thickness parameters which as I mentioned earlier are 1.5 to 2.0mm. If I, as a dentist, want my patient’s new crown to satisfy its material thickness recommendations and look as natural and aesthetic as possible, then I need to remove a sufficient amount of the peripheral tooth structure. I have specialized diamond coated burs (fine…drill bits) that allow me to remove the exact amount needed for the optimal outcome. If I don’t remove enough the crown will either be weaker than ideal or bulbous look ing making it stand out as “fake.” The industry term for that is “over-contoured.”
Believe it or not this is a very common problem with new dentists because while 2mm sounds tiny to you (the reader) it looks quite significant through our fancy magnified glasses.
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How is the Crown Made?
Alright! We have finally arrived at the fork in the road. Up to this point the process is the same with A.I. and prior to A.I. In the past at this point we would fill up a tray with some very colorful and thick goop called poly-vinyl siloxane (PVS) while simultaneously squirting a very colorful but runnier version directly on the prepared tooth. The tray with the thick goop then goes in the mouth while the patient bites down for approximately 2 minutes. This goop is very good at picking up the shape of the tooth if done correctly.
Told You it was Colorful
That impression is then sent off to a dental lab technician who creates a stone model and sculpts by hand the new crown via the lost wax technique. Google it if you want to know more about the process. This typically requires 2 to 4 weeks while the patient has a crudely fabricated temporary crown in place that often falls off before the final crown is done. This method is dying and on life support, largely because the new process is far more convenient and efficient. Remember, faster and more accurate with the assistance of A.I.
The new and improved (and vastly superior method while being way more convenient for the both dentist and patient) method replaces the very colorful Willy Wonka goop with a digital optical scan of the prepared tooth and a few neighboring teeth in either direction, a digital optical scan of the opposing teeth (the ones that bite into the teeth in the first scan), and a digital optical
Once this trio of scans is captured the software (A.I.) will trace the outline of the preparation, what we would call the margin. The dentist has the ability to modify the outline if needed and then the software (A.I.) will create a new tooth with the data and information it has been provided with. A new tooth that will function in the space created for it. We call this new tooth the “proposal” and just like with the outline, the dentist has a robust digital toolkit that allows for further modification and customization of the proposal. I personally do quite a bit of modification but with every software update the proposals are getting better and better requiring less and less human input (scary).
Once the dentist is satisfied with the design, they simply click the mouse a couple times and the software communicates with a CNC Milling unit outfitted with precision diamond bits that fabricates the exact crown out of a solid block of the selected material. This process takes anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of the crown.
When it is done milling the crown is in its blue state (because it’s a light blue prior to being sintered in the furnace) and can be placed in the patient’s mouth and further modified by hand if needed. Finally, the dentist will glaze and color the crown for optimal natural aesthetics with the goal to match the existing teeth in the patient’s mouth and place the crown in the furnace. Once crystallized the highly aesthetic, strong, and precisely accurate crown is bonded onto the prepared tooth.
I can’t overstate how awesome this advanced technology makes day to day routine dentistry for me and my patients. When I dove in in 2015, I was considered an early adopter but now eight years later the old Willy Wonka approach is the exception to the rule. As stated earlier this “A.I.” doesn’t threaten my profession, it makes it better and easier. The single appointment crown is just one example but A.I. is also aiding us in precision implant planning and placement, 3D printing and prosthetic design, etc. I’m optimistic and excited for what the future has in store for me as a dentist.
Thanks for making it to the end of my dental ramblings and I hope you make the most of our unbeatable northwest Montana summer. Wherever the sunshine takes you be sure to take your SMILE.