406 Woman VOL.15 NO.2 Business

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8. Brielle Ashton Walker


22. Greater Valley Health Center


18. Stay Healthy this Fall

12. Stacy Averill, World Gym

24. What is Office Hysteroscopy?

16. Chelsie Russig D.O., Logan Health

34. Dr Miller



28. Woodland Park

30. Changed Lives

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


SheWho Paints With Light Written by Mary Wallace Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Brielle Ashton Walker is in the midst of becoming. It’s true, and I am not at all sure I can explain - but if you are ever lucky enough to meet her in person, you’ll immediately understand. She describes herself as a mixed media artist who specializes in oil painting, sketches (pet sketches mostly), and fine art metal sculpture. She has always had a passion for art (always asking for art supplies for her birthday as a child), but things related to her art career have suddenly accelerated, and she can only credit this to some higher power or some kind of divine intervention. Remember the fun childhood game where you wondered what your “Indian” name would be? She likes to think hers might be “She Who Paints With Light.”

At the time of my visit, she had a handful of projects in various stages of completion - the last of her series of twelve bear paintings, an intricate four-foot tall metal dragonfly, and metal cuttings for her next sculpture laid out on her steel design table. She is also illustrating children’s books and storyboards as a way to extend Wisdom to kids in a fun interactive way. Her art is also in the midst of becoming . . . one might say becoming her true career path.

Brielle’s bear paintings are whimsical and uncanny in the way they capture the essence of the creatures she is portraying. This is because she doesn’t just paint the bears. She studies them, researches them, and watches the ones that occasionally saunter along the bank of the river near her home. She finds that everything is intricately


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interwoven. For instance, who knew that male bears often kill new cubs fresh out of hibernation to mate with the female again. Or that the mother bear will have to defend her helpless cub fiercely? Who knew that the dragonfly is born beige and as it matures, its color and true radiance are revealed in the light? Each of her artwork pieces has a story behind them, which one can almost sense just by gazing upon it, even when the story is still unknown to the viewer. The paintings are colorful and bright because Brielle uses her full spectrum of colors, from the blackest black to the lightest light. Brielle first set out to become a nurse, but soon found out that was not the right path for her. She made a decision to study art and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Channel Islands.

One pivotal point in her walk as a metal sculptor is when her family in Lemmon SD connected her path with metal sculptor John Lopez, who gave her iron wings in her journey with such a vast medium. Seeing her potential, he invited her to create two metal sculptures for the Boss Cowman show at his gallery in Lemmon SD. Perhaps because it wasn’t just the artwork she learned while there (which was extensive), but it was also the life experiences. Nothing like being smack dab in

the thick of things on branding day on a working ranch in South Dakota to capture the grit of the crew and the strength of the animals! Certainly, vivid impressions to infuse into future art projects.

When Brielle was first dabbling in the beginnings of her metal art, she was seeking found objects - scrap metals, nuts, bolts, chains, and the like. She showed a family friend what she was up to and the materials she needed, and suddenly people were bringing her things - from fencing materials to rusty chain, from old keys to antiques. As word spread rapidly buckets of metal showed up on her door.

Brielle grew up in and around the western United States. Her father was an industrial refrigeration welder, and her mom a real estate agent. She has two younger brothers, who are twins.

Brielle’s father was an avid fisherman, and sadly, he passed away a few years ago after battling cancer. Her first metal art sculpture was a fish jumping out of the water that she created as a tribute to him. As her happy memories with her dad literally poured into the project, she completed it in only three days.

featured} Brielle Ashton Walker

Together, Brielle and her mother Gina, also have a local business, Renovate 180, and they do design work and remodel local homes, as well as renovate vintage trailers into the style of tiny homes that are so popular at the moment. Brielle and her mother moved here approximately three years ago, and Brielle feels like the planets lined up to launch their success. They were working on a remodel on a home in Whitefish, pouring all their grief from the loss of their husband/father into it, when a couple from Georgia randomly happened upon a website they had listed it on, and they bought it sight unseen. Gina and Brielle were so happy to know who the home was going to and have since come to know them as friends. Brielle and her mother live in a renovated vintage home that was originally built by a Japanese railroad worker between the Whitefish River and the railroad tracks. It must be on the good side of the tracks because it is certainly a little bit of heaven along the river - such a pleasant place to be. No wonder Brielle can find inspiration just by walking outside her door.

She has a painting studio in her basement, but she also loves to paint outside near the river. The same with her metal sculpture - she has turned a shed on her property into a welding shop, but she is just as likely to haul the welder, plasma cutter, or grinder outside to work on a nice day.

Brielle says the professors she had in her last year of art college are some of the mentors who still have a strong influence on her work. They somehow had an uncanny knack for pulling the potential out of their students, and she can still hear the echo of their teachings in her head when she is working on a painting or sculpture. Brielle haltingly also shared that her main inspiration has been “The Crafter of the Heav-

ens who loves me well” and it can only be because she has felt and heard the presence of a higher power (God, if you will) who came to her after awakening from surgery. She had an open vision and heard him say that he knew “Things may be hard right now, but it’s okay you’ll get through it with my guidance… let me guide you.” Her mom unwittingly captured this experience on video as she woke in the hospital and the Presence also accurately told her of her recovery room nurse’s spouse who had passed away 14 years prior and was also watching over them at that moment. It was then that her life path suddenly became clear.

To those who like to dabble in art but wish they could make it their career, she says, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey, and it is never too late to start. Don’t be anyone else’s version of you; you are enough just as you are. Feel free to let the flow happen.” Brielle adds, “Art is not just what I do; it’s who I am.”

In her spare time, she loves to snowboard, wakeboard, paddleboard - almost any kind of outdoor activity. Brielle loves to travel and hopes to visit Italy and Ireland someday. She especially likes to visit the art hubs in the places she travels to. She has also (oddly enough) been involved in the design, graphic artwork, and driving of vehicles in demolition derbies for cancer awareness at Perris Speedway. She has actually won a time or two.

Brielle’s heart sings when she feels the presence of the maker of heaven and earth, animals, and nature and the workings behind all these things. She is also at her happiest when she has a chance to play - Play is ALWAYS good. But the most exhilarating thing is the moment she is starting a project and is filled with creativity! Brielle’s work is featured on her FB & Instagram pages (FB- Brielle Ashton Walker- Artist) (Instagram- @brielleashton @petsketchology

@Renovate180), and she will have the bulk of her Bear series originals and prints on display at the Electric Buffalo Gallery in Bigfork. A selection of originals (including the finished painting on the cover) will be on temporary display at The Chiropractor (Dr. Dudley) above the Toggery in Whitefish for the months of September and October.


“Painting fills one part of me,” she whispers, “But sculpture captures every part of me.” 406

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Stacy Averill Written by Mary Wallace Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Stacy Averill has always had a passion for health & fitness, and one of her biggest dreams has always been to bring a world-class fitness facility to the Flathead Valley. In 2020, her dream came true. “We were so excited to bring the World Gym culture to our hometown,’ said Stacy. “I’ve always wanted to help others live a lush life and fitness is a part of that journey.’ Stacy and her husband Sean researched endless fitness franchises before they signed on to design and develop Montana’s first World Gym in Kalispell. It was the small personal training sessions (World Gym Athletics or WGA) that ended up being one of the strongest deciding factors. “WGA is a science-based program that helps athletes of all abilities progress and succeed,” said Stacy. “We coach skill and technique before adding a mix of Olympic-type movements, high-intensity interval training, and strength and weight training, and we have so much fun doing it!” World Gym brought their WGA trainers here to help train and set up that program. World Gym also offers online support and continual webinars to keep the trainers and instructors abreast of the latest state-of-the-art methods.

In 1976, the founder of today’s World Gym, Joe Gold, opened a small gym filled with his custommade equipment in Los Angeles, California. This was during the glory days of Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, and Joe’s gym soon became a fitness destination for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Dave Draper. In the early 1980s the World Fitness brand expanded across the United States and abroad, and today there are over 230 locations in 17 countries and across six continents.


Our local World Gym opened its doors in January 2020, offering Matrix strength training and

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cardio equipment, a steam room and showers, locker rooms, tanning beds, hydro massage, personal training, and group exercise classes. Shortly thereafter, Covid hit, and gyms were shuttered for two months. Stacy used this time to fine-tune all of their fitness programs including Zumba, Barre, Gentle Yoga, Spin Cycle, Power Abs, Power Pump, and Silver Sneakers. And the amenities kept coming! Outdoor training, two rows of treadmills looking out on the mountains, nutrition coaching, daycare, personal training Kids Club, a seating area with a fireplace and television, keypad lockers, Lulu Lemon apparel (currently the only place in the Flathead Valley that carries it), World Gym fitness wear and swag, and an amazing juice bar! The 17,000-square-foot facility is centrally located at 555 East Swift Creek Drive (north of Silverbrook Estates), so members come from Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls.

With basic memberships starting at only $44 per month and going up to $65 per month for a VIP level membership it is worth checking it out. The facility offers family memberships, individual memberships, and daily and weekly passes so people can try it out before they join. Additionally, they also offer 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month memberships.

Many of the members are businesspeople who want to get in, get their workout done, and get back to work. The facility offers corporate and business memberships that are available with only five or more employees (and yes - significant others count as well). Members range from every age and fitness level - from youth (who come in with their parents) to 85-year-olds. Some customers are beginners and need the fundamentals, others are bodybuilders,


World Gym

“This gym is part of the national World Gym franchise, but each is individually owned, giving them all the legendary quality that has come to be expected of World Gym, but also the flexibility to adapt our programs to our own members’ needs. The Kalispell facility is the mothership,” and some are looking for stretching, breathing/ cardio. There is a trainer and an instructor for every age group, and for every fitness goal. Even the senior programs have a senior instructor. They also have structured youth programs to help student-athletes excel in sports, such as football, golf, and baseball. “This gym is part of the national World Gym franchise, but each is individually owned, giving them all the legendary quality that has come to be expected of World Gym, but also the flexibility to adapt our programs to our own members’ needs. The Kalispell facility is the mothership,” said Stacy, “but we eventually hope to expand to other locations across the state with smaller satellite gyms.”

“We want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable,” Stacy asserts. “We have so many fun things to offer our members! They can’t help but get themselves in the best shape of their lives!”

Stacy grew up in Bigfork, and she runs the dayto-day operations. She attended MSU in Bozeman and brings several years of experience in administration at Buffalo Hill Golf Club to her management of the facility. When Stacy works out, her favorite thing to do is the WGA training.

Stacy’s family consists of herself and her husband Sean and their two stepsons. Their 4-year-old English bulldog, Capone, rounds out their family, and serves as the gym mascot. This summer, Stacy found that she wanted to give back to the community that has so loyally supported their World Gym facility. With a lot of help and only 6 weeks to plan it, all hands were on deck to hold a CARES FAIR - a free carnival with a dunk tank, face painting, raffles, live music, and a mobile bar. Several local businesses designed creative kids' activity booths and Drew Brees was on hand, along with Doug Betters, Chase Reynolds, Beau Hill, Brock Coyle, and Maggie Voisin, all cheerfully and untiringly taking photos with the kids and signing autographs. Sports memorabilia from several popular sports athletes were auctioned off. The University of Montana’s mascot, Monty, was also on hand to add to the entertainment. The event was free to all families and the public, and all the proceeds benefited the Boys & Girls Club of Glacier County. In her spare time, Stacy said, “I really enjoy traveling and experiencing different parts of the world. I am a very big foodie, so I love to try new restaurants and also love to cook. I think going to Italy and seeing the amazing architecture of all the buildings and experiencing the amazing food is a

top one for me - taking a cooking class and eating my way through sounds like a perfect dream!

“Being active is a very huge part of my life. So exercising, whether it be at a gym, mountain biking, hiking, boating, crosscountry skiing, or doing almost anything outdoors fills me with joy. I think what makes my heart most happy is spending time with my bulldog Capone and my husband. Experiencing new things together and being put out of my element is exciting and fun. Sunshine and the two of them is a perfect day in my books!” Asked if she has a superpower, Stacy laughed, “Ha ha my superpower!!!?? I think that being patient and kind to everyone I meet is really what I strive to do. You never know what each and every person is going through in life. So I try and be as kind as possible to everyone I meet.” During my visit to the facility, the place was bustling, and everyone appeared to be having fun, even while focused on their workout at hand. As Joe Gold would say, “That's the whole object of going to a gym - having fun!”



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Provider Profile

Q&A with

Chelsie Russig, D.O. Photos by ACE Photography & Design

What brought you to the Flathead Valley?

I was born and raised in Lewistown, Montana at the center of the state. After completing the first two years of medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Science College in Yakima, Washington I had the opportunity to come to the Flathead Valley and complete my clinical rotations in Kalispell. My husband and I fell in love with the valley and surrounding area and so I made every effort to stay throughout my residency and we are fortunate that we’ve been able to make this our home.

What is your specialty of practice?

Family Medicine is my primary focus along with obstetrics. At Logan Health Primary Care - Columbia Falls – Talbot, I have the opportunity to care for the whole family from newborns to geriatric patients and everything in between. With so many growing families in Columbia Falls I have the opportunity to provide prenatal care for expecting mothers and deliver their baby at the Birth Center at Logan Health –Whitefish. Then I can continue caring for the family and watch them grow.

What is the best part of your job?

While it is a joy to help a mother bring a new child into the world, I am not afraid of challenges. I love sorting through symptoms and putting together the puzzle of figuring out how to take care of each individual patient in the way that best suits her or him. I also enjoy working at Logan Health Primary Care in Columbia Falls because we are located in the heart of the community. We are literally next door to the local schools, and close to neighborhoods.

What are some of your professional interests?

Women's health and reproductive care are of particular interest to me, along with mental health, and lifestyle interventions. I’m also interested in a holistic approach, treating more than just the ailment, but also improving a patient’s quality of life. Through treating the whole person, their body, mind, and emotions, one can make the healthy changes needed for living healthy and fulfilling life.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I have a 16 month old daughter that loves to play, so we go out as a family and do all sorts of little adventures to parks, trailheads, snow, lakes, and all the beautiful places that surround us here in the Flathead Valley. We also love to travel and visit with friends and family.


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Brought to you by


7 Ways To Stay

Logan Health

Healthy & Safe This Fall Story provided by Riley Polumbus, Logan Health

As we transition from the warm months of summer to the cooler days of autumn, the change in season is a good time begin anew and think about your ways to improve your health. In addition to regular check-ups, physicals and staying up-to-date on vaccines and preventative exams, there are many ways to enjoy the fall and make healthy choices. Here are seven providers at Logan Health and their tips for staying healthy this fall.

Two employees from Logan Health - Whitefish enjoy a midday walk on the hospital's Fit Trail (Photo credit Riley Polumbus/Logan Health - Whitefish)

2. Get quality sleep. Nurse Practitioner Brit-

tany Coburn, Program Director for Logan Health School-Based Health Centers recommends a good night’s sleep for better health and improved school performance. “Sleep has the ability to recharge your brain, which is just what kids need to start school. Children ages 5-12 should get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep, and older children ages 1318 should get 8 to 10 hours a night,” said Coburn. “Remember that in the fall, we have a time change. We recommend gradually shifting your child’s bedtime about 15 minutes earlier for the previous four nights prior to Daylight Savings time. This will allow for an easier transition as we lose an hour in the fall.”

3. Make time to decompress.

1. Take a walk. Stacy Dolan, physical therapist at Logan Health Rehabilitation – Columbia Falls recommends going for a walk at least five days a week. “Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year to enjoy being outside,” said Dolan. “Step out your front door, take a walking lunch from work, or meet up with friends and take advantage of the great walking trails we have in our valley. Work yourself up to walking 30 minutes five times a week. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes—it’s an inexpensive way to improve your health!”

Deven Robinson, MSN, PMHNP, FNP-C a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Logan Health Behavioral Health—Whitefish suggests engaging in activities to alleviate the stress and anxiety that stems from adjusting to the change of seasons. “People benefit from removing oneself from stressful environments and allowing the body including the brain to decompress and somewhat reset,” Robinson said. “Too much in our highly electronic and connected work life, we have deficits in connections and resetting our connection to other people, nature and the earth, and a higher power can be beneficial. For some people this may include exercise such as lifting weights or running, playing music like piano or guitar, or going outside and hiking in nature or spending time with one's dogs or animals.”

4. Change up the menu. A change in


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seasons can inspire a change in our eating habits. Clinical Dietician Carrie Archibald in Nutritional Services at Logan Health— Whitefish says, “This fall reach for comfort foods that include broth and vegetable based soups and stews with lean meats. Fill up on whole grain foods for quick energy and fiber to help reduce cholesterol and blood sugars. Add new grains such as Farro or quinoa and incorporate warming seasonings to meals such as ginger, turmeric, chilies and cinna-

mon.” Studies show certain spices can help reduce inflammation, boost metabolism and reduce blood sugar. Archibald adds, “Lastly, eat a variety of fruits and veggies every day, the more color the better to ensure you are getting adequate vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants to keep your immune system strong and healthy for the coming flu and cold season.”

5. Bike safely. Becky Cox, RN, Emergency Department Trauma Coordina-

tor at Logan Health – Whitefish, sees a range of injuries show up in the emergency room. “While water and high-alpine hiking activities slowdown, mountain biking continues to be a favorite activity for many people in the Flathead Valley well into the fall. Mountain biking is a very enjoyable activity that certainly promotes good cardiovascular health and strength, however we have seen a greater increase in mountain bike injuries than we have in the past.” Some tips for keeping your family safe while mountain biking and preventing trips to the emergency department include: • Always wear a bike helmet. Research shows bike helmets reduce serious head injury by at least 60%. Save your brain! Replace any helmet that has any damage or has been involved in prior fall with head strike. • Always do a bike check before you head out onto your trail; check your tire pressures, chains, handlebar stability, and brakes.

• Let someone know where you are riding if you are going out alone. • Take your bear spray!

• Don't ride beyond your skill level and know your trails. There is no shame in walking your bike on any trail sections that make you uncomfortable.

6. Hunt safely. “Hunting is a great way to recreate with your family and friends, and a time to spend learning about and appreciating the outdoors,” said Dr. Chelsie Russig, D.O. at Logan Health Primary Care – Columbia Falls. “Thanks to Hunter's Safety training courses and other forms of gun safety education, accidental injuries from guns during hunting season has significantly declined over the last 20 years. All family members who handle guns need to be properly educated on how to handle guns safely.” Dr. Russig recommends practicing the following safe gun handling principles this season: • Always treat guns as if they are loaded and never point guns at other people! • Keep finger off of trigger until it is aimed at the object/animal that is intended to be shot. • Wear hunter's orange for visibility.

• Always look to see what is beyond your target, and if you are uncertain, DO NOT SHOOT! • Always put gun safety lock on while walking/hiking, only take safety off when ready to aim and shoot.

• Store guns unloaded and locked away in appropriate storage case while traveling, and lock in a gun safe when at home. • Remind your children that if they are at a friend or family member's house and they find an unattended gun, they need to tell an adult right away. • Remind your children to NEVER play with guns, because while they are used for recreation, they are NOT toys.

7. Have a safe Halloween. Logan Health–Whitefish’s Community Health

Nurse Terri Dunn, RN knows how much we all look forward to Halloween fun. “In the fall I always think of Halloween safety,” Dunn said. “Halloween is fun for the entire family and creates lasting memories especially when children are young and must be accompanied by adults. The very young should trick-or-treat before dark, and costumes should be made of fireproof materials and when possible be bright colored or lit so that the child is more visible. Older kids need to stay with their group, and parents need to know who is in the group and the route they plan to take as well as set a time when they should return home.”



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Health Center

Q&A with Mary Sterhan, CEO Who is Greater Valley Health Center?

Mary Sterhan, CEO

Greater Valley Health Center is a nonprofit health care provider called a Federally Qualified Health Center, or FQHC. FQHCs were established by the Federal Government to provide affordable and comprehensive primary care services to the most vulnerable of an area’s citizens. Today, Greater Valley, like many FQHCs, see a wide range of patients from all walks of life and for a wide range of services. Our mission is to provide exceptional patientcentered care regardless of ability to pay. We don’t turn anyone away.

What services do you provide to the community?

Our clinics offer an integrated process using care teams to provide primary medical care, dental care, mental health services and care management for all ages. Using a team approach, we focus on caring for the whole person… their physical, mental and social needs either directly or through partnerships with specialists and community resources.

The Medical Clinic offers primary care services such as annual wellness visits, preventative screenings, treatment of common illnesses and minor injuries, prenatal care, obstetrics, and management of chronic diseases. Our providers include physicians, advanced practice clinicians and residents through the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana who have rotations through Greater Valley to serve patients and communities in rural areas.


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Greater Valley Health Center, A Hidden Gem in the Flathead Photos by Trevon Baker Photography

Our Behavioral Health team in conjunction with Intermountain offers individual, family and group counseling for all ages. The team of licensed addiction counselors and mental health counselors also provide outpatient treatment for substance use disorders in collaboration with our primary care and psychiatric providers who are trained in medication assisted treatment of alcohol, prescription pain medication and other opioid misuse disorders. The Dental Clinic focuses on primary care dental services including dental exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants, varnish applications, filings, periodontal therapy, simple extractions, etc. We refer those who need crowns or dentures to specialists in the local area. For those needing an emergency extraction or experiencing severe pain or swelling, urgent and same-day appointments are available in the clinic.

You mentioned “clinics.” Do you have more than one location?

Yes, we believe it is important to improve access to healthcare services by being where patients are. In addition to our main clinic in central Kalispell, we also have a satellite clinic in Hungry Horse that is open three days a week to provide medical, dental and mental health services. For the convenience of students and their families, Greater Valley provides medical care at two school-based clinics in Kalispell and Evergreen, and mental health services

Behavioral Health services

health}Greater Valley

Our mission is to provide exceptional patient-centered care regardless of ability to pay.

Medical services

We don’t turn anyone away.

Dental services

in partnership with Intermountain Children’s Services in seven schools in Kalispell, Bigfork and Evergreen.

Is Greater Valley Health Center part of the Flathead City-County Health Department?

Not any longer. The Flathead City-County Health Department opened a medical clinic in the Health Department building in 2003 which later in 2007 became the Flathead Community Health Center. On June 1, 2021, the Health Center split from the County and became an independent entity under the name Greater Valley Health Center. The split was a mutual decision between the health center and the County which gave us more flexibility and options to expand our services. Although we are independent, we are still currently housed in the Health Department building which does create some confusion for some as to whether we are still part of the County.

Why do patients choose your clinics?

Our approach is patient centered, non-judgmental, accessible and integrated. Meaning, we use a cross-functional team that welcomes everyone and focuses not only on the physical, but also the mental and social wellbeing of the patient. We may see a patient for one particular service, but due to our integrated health program, we may identify another issue such as a potential abscessed tooth or a behavioral health concern and can then provide a direct referral to our specialists in dental and mental health that can facilitate necessary services in a shorter amount of time. Greater Valley accepts commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicare and CHIP. We also offer a sliding fee scale on all of our services for those in financial need.

It sounds like GVHC is unique in this area.

I guess you could say that. We are an independent health care organization providing physical and mental health care under one “roof.” To add to that, we acquired Sykes Pharmacy in Kalispell and Columbia Falls on June 1st of this year. Sykes has a similar mission as Greater Valley in their long-

standing dedication of service to the community. Bringing our two organizations together provides benefits to our Greater Valley patients as they can receive significant discounts on their prescriptions at Sykes.

What was your path to CEO of Greater Valley Health Center?

I graduated with degrees in political science and business from Carroll College with no clear career plan. After working in building materials and a major hotel, I was looking for something more fulfilling. My career in healthcare started at a home health agency in Helena where I oversaw the financial operations including patient billing, medical records and patient access. After a stint working for the Montana Education Association and a move back to Flathead County, I went back to the field of home health and added information technology, private care and hospice to my responsibilities. It was my involvement with hospice that was my first experience in integrated care where we provided care not only for the patient, but for their whole family. It made me realize that I could use my education and experience in so many ways in healthcare and that what I wanted to do was to interact with people to give them the support they needed and a positive experience. After working in hospice, I transitioned to what was then North Valley Hospital in Whitefish and served on the Senior Leadership Team for 11 years managing the Planetree program, quality, medical staff services, emergency preparedness and patient safety. It was this variety of experience that led me to become the Executive Director of the Flathead Community Health Center in 2019 and CEO of Greater

Valley Health Center in 2021 where I and our team work to make a positive impact in our community.

Is it still rare for women to be CEOs of healthcare organizations?

It varies by type of heath care organization. According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year, women make up only 15.3% of CEOs in health systems in the US. Montana FQHC’s show a different picture whereby 12 out 14 FQHCs have women at the helm as CEOs. These women have broad backgrounds. Some come up in business services while others have clinical or public health backgrounds.

What do you see for the future of Greater Valley?

I see Greater Valley expanding our range of services and service locations so we can better meet the needs of our growing community. In the near future, we’re excited to be launching two new behavioral health programs that will help not only our patients but also the larger community. I see us providing primary care in the context of wellness and helping patients in more substantive ways. Basically… I see Greater Valley Health Center being a good leader and partner to organizations on a similar path and to serve those that need our services throughout Flathead County. Greater Valley Health Center is located at 1035 1st Avenue West in Kalispell. Hungry Horse Clinic is located at 200 North Street in Hungry Horse. 406-607-4900 - www.greatervalleyhealth.org



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What is Office Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is the passage of a small telescope, attached to a camera, through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. The lining and shape of the uterine cavity can be assessed, and abnormal growths or scarring visualized and, in many cases, removed or treated. It is used to evaluate and/or treat heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding, bleeding occurring after menopause, pelvic pain and infertility by removing masses (thickened lining, polyps or fibroids) or scar tissue from inside the uterus. It may also be used for difficult IUD removals. The entire lining of the uterus, or endometrium, can also be treated to alleviate heavy bleeding in a procedure known as endometrial ablation. Many women with bleeding issues find these hysteroscopic procedures may offer the same relief as a hysterectomy but without the expense, prolonged recovery, or pain of a major procedure.

Dr Jonas in surgery (photo provided by Kalispell OB/GYN)

Written by Gwenda C. Jonas, MD

Hysteroscopy has traditionally been performed in a hospital operating room (OR) under general anesthesia but is increasingly being performed in the office setting. It is performed in a procedure room with many of the same instruments used in a hospital OR.


Benefits of having hysteroscopy in the office include comfort of the office setting, the convenience of easier scheduling, less time away from work and family, and avoidance of general anesthesia. You may even watch the procedure on a video screen if desired. It often is more costeffective as well, requiring only an office co-pay with many insurances.



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It should not be performed while actively bleeding or during pregnancy. The best time to have office hysteroscopy is right after a period ends. If bleeding is irregular, birth control pills or oral progesterone may be needed to organize bleeding to allow for a timed hysteroscopy.


Appropriate patient selection is very important as not everyone is a good candi-

date for office surgery. Patients for whom hysteroscopy is better performed in the OR include those with known cervical scarring or an unusually twisted cervical canal, severe anxiety or a tendency to faint during procedures, a failed office procedure in the past, known or suspected endometrial cancer, severe heart disease, or sleep apnea. In addition, unusually large or deep masses of the uterus may be more successfully addressed in the OR.


Discomfort during hysteroscopy is generally minimal and managed with oral anti-inflammatory medication plus or minus a relaxing medication taken before a patient arrives. Local anesthetic may be injected around the cervix particularly for ablation. Occasionally, IV sedating medications may be used.

Discomfort afterwards ranges most often from none to moderate cramping. In these instances, oral anti-inflammatory or pain medication may be used. Mild bleeding is common for several days and watery discharge may occur for several weeks. Patients undergoing office hysteroscopy will be asked to avoid intercourse, use of tampons or menstrual cups and

Hysteroscopy has traditionally been performed in a hospital operating room (OR) under general anesthesia but is increasingly being performed in the office setting. douching for several days. They should also have a responsible adult bring them and take them home from the procedure. Patients may return to work in 24-48 hrs.


Hysteroscopy is a very safe procedure and complications are rare. However, complications are always possible even when things go as planned. The most common risks include bleeding, pain, infection or puncture of the uterus, scarring of vagina, cervix or uterus, or inability to diagnose and treat the problem.

Is office hysteroscopy right for me?

If you have been told you need a hysteroscopy but desire to avoid a hospital OR procedure and/or general anesthesia, then an office hysteroscopy may be a great option for you. If you have not yet been evaluated but have heavy or long periods that have left you anemic, fatigued or kept you from participating in activities you enjoy, evaluation and treatment may drastically improve your quality of life. If you have bleeding after menopause or have been told you have intrauterine masses or scarring, you should be evaluated. If during evaluation, you are told you need surgery then ask your provider if an office hysteroscopy is an option.


At Kalispell Obstetrics and Gynecology, we believe that patient comfort and convenience should always be a priority. As office hysteroscopy has not been an option in the Flathead Valley for many years, we are again offering this procedure including endometrial ablation. If you would like to discuss your symptoms or determine if this procedure is right for you, please call us at 406-752-5252, to schedule an appointment. Gwenda C. Jonas, MD, FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN who has practiced with Kalispell OB/GYN since 2001. Prior to moving to Flathead Valley, she was in private practice for four years in Phoenix, AZ, and was an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Dr. Jonas received her undergraduate degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and her medical degree from the University of Alabama. She completed her residency at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Board-certified yearly through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. She has served as Chief of Staff of Kalispell Regional Medical Center, as a Kalispell Regional healthcare board member, and as board chair. She has served on numerous committees at Logan Health, including Medical Ethics and Mass Casualty. She is presently Logan Health Section Chair of Gynecology. Dr. Jonas specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, including in-office hysteroscopy and endometrial ablation procedures. She has a special interest in infertility and minimally invasive and robotic surgery. Her passion is providing a caring, painfree, and supportive environment. Dr. Jonas and her husband, Dr. Ken Jonas, are delighted to call Kalispell their home. They enjoy rafting, fishing, skiing, and kayaking.



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Woodland Park Conrad’s Backyard, Kalispell’s Alcove By Terri Lynn Mattson for the Northwest Montana History Museum

In the summer of 2004, Woodland Park heralded the opening of its new water park. With the space for kids and attractions like a lazy river for adults, the Woodland Water Park was a big step up from the location’s previous swimming facilities. The prior Bruckhauser Pool, which operated from 1937 to 2003, now serves as a skating rink during the winter months. As big a focal point that public pools have been in Woodland Park, the history of Kalispell’s hidden garden is older than those pools and contains several other landmarks that feature in the memories of many Kalispell residents. The land that now comprises Woodland Park originally belonged to Charles E. Conrad as part of the Conrad Mansion grounds. In one of the many extensive chapters of James E. Murphy’s book dedicated to Conrad’s legacy, he explores daughter Alicia Conrad’s recollection of the mansion grounds layout, particularly the area adjacent to the Conrad stables. Murphy details how the area used to be accessible via a triple set of stairs down the hill to the stream below. The Conrads’ ducks and geese mingled with the local wild flocks, making them indistinguishable from each other. A portion of the flocks present in the park to this day may be descendants of Conrad’s barnyard flock. In 1903 (following Charles Conrad’s passing in November 1902), widow Lettie Conrad transferred this portion of their estate to the city of Kalispell.

A photo of Woodland Park by Guest Studio graces the front of this color postcard taken around 1960. “The city of Kalispell offers its many visitors this beautiful and scenic area as a haven for recreation and relaxation,” the archives entry reads concerning Woodland Park. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)


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After the official naming of Woodland Park on July 10, 1911, the park started taking center stage in young Kalispell’s social and group functions. One of the first such events advertised was the Old Settlers’ Annual Picnic. First appearing in the Daily Inter Lake on July 11, 1911, the longstanding traditional event was slated for August 6 of that year. Additionally, one of the first iconic facilities in the park was established around this time. The wintertime ice skating hut was a fixture of Woodland Park for the first generations of Kalispell children. A volunteer and founder with the Northwest Montana History Museum, the late Dorothy McGlenn shared her story about ice skating at Woodland Park in the 1930s. Early in the park’s history, the ponds of Woodland Park drew in Kalispell children with skates tied together and slung over their shoulders. According to McGlenn in her 2013 interview, the smell of the skate hut was memorable, and there was always an adult on hand tending to the wood stove that heated the small structure.


Bruckhauser Pool in Woodland Park was photographed by Ralph Pike sometime around 1955. The site has been repurposed into a hockey rink. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)

This black and white photograph shows a lady standing on what is possibly the bridge onto the island in Woodland Park, taken between 1890 and 1900. (From the Northwest Montana History Museum collections)

Early in the park’s history, the ponds of Woodland Park drew in Kalispell children with skates tied together and slung over their shoulders. With only a footbridge when it became Kalispell’s property, the park’s new owner oversaw a massive increase in improvements, including the previously mentioned skate hut. The community, spearheaded by Mrs. W. Q. Conway, was eager to see the park updated for increased use. As part of the Works Project Administration during the Great Depression, Woodland Park became the focus of one of the group’s projects. Funded by the city of Kalispell and the WPA, improvements made to the park from 1936 to 1937 included the construction of the park’s first pool, the Bruckhauser Pool facility (named for the mayor who pushed for the improvements); the reconstruction of many pathways; the construction of pavilions, bridges, and outhouses; and the development of several children’s playgrounds. The pool’s first four days of operation (July 3-7, 1937) saw use by 2,500 local citizens. Updates to Bruckhauser Pool were planned in 1950, when the city took bids to add heating units for the water in the pool. All bids were rejected at this time, as the estimated cost of the project was several thousand dollars more than expected. By the 1960s, however, updates to the pool were finally undertaken. The pool was updated once more in 1984 before the decades of wear on the facility generated the impetus for the water park project, which opened in 2004.

Today, the water park remains open, the old pool has become a new ice-skating rink, a skatepark has been added, and many beautiful paths, pavilions, and kids’ playgrounds are in constant use. Many of the improvements are now iconic mustsee spots for preschool groups, families, and passersby. Woodland Park has served as the historical center of community events and leisure time throughout the generations. Some of the oldest advertisements concerning the park detail assorted Flag Day and Oldtimers’ Day events. Many a wedding has been hosted in the several gardens located within the park. Practically every student who grew up in the Flathead Valley remembers being chased by the geese as they fed the ducks, and generations past have memories of various school and social events they attended there. As fall comes around for another year, Woodland Park continues to offer us a small alcove of Montana beauty here in town that we continue to pass down to the future community.



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Changed lives Orion: The Joyful Resolution


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By Mary Cloud Vander Ark Photos provided by Child Bridge


A shrill whistle echoed through the court room as the judge banged his gavel. A crowd of 30 friends and relatives burst with joyful tears and laughter as they finally, officially welcomed 18-year-old Orion into the Ort family. Though his disabilities limit his speech, mobility and cognition, Orion too expressed his excitement, waving his “happy sign,” whistling and smiling as his loved ones gathered around him. That Wednesday morning, the judge granted full guardianship to the family who had considered Orion one of their own for the past five years. “The fact that he’s part of our family’s story and we’re part of his is a mutually beautiful thing,” Orion’s mother, Emmy Ort, said. “We’re all made better by who he is and who God made us to be.”

When asked who Orion is, what he is like, she beamed.

“He’s all boy. He takes joy in music and loves to hear the voices of the people who love him. He has a smile that could light up any room.”

At 18 years old, Orion communicates through hand signs, vocal signals and whistles. A traumatic brain injury he incurred as an infant left him at a cognitive level equal to that of an 18-monthold child. He entered the lives of the Ort family in need of a family committed to caring for his needs for the rest of his life. That was two days before his 13th birthday. Up until then, he had moved between the homes of biological family members and various foster homes. The Orts, however, saw in this precious boy the missing member that would complete their family.

Jeff and Emmy fostered for many years, caring for over a dozen children, including Orion. The combined Ort family numbers nine in all, but Emmy says their extended family reaches even further.


Child Bridge

“He’s all boy. He takes joy in music and loves to hear the voices of the people who love him. He has a smile that could light up any room.” “I’m grateful we’re part of Orion’s story, but we couldn’t care for him and love him well without a network of support that comes around us and lifts us up,” Emmy said.

From Orion’s caregiver to his biological grandparents, friends and church family, and even half a dozen Child Bridge staff, that community gathered together to celebrate the resolution of Orion’s journey. Clearly moved, even the judge offered words of encouragement to Orion’s father, Jeff. “Thank you, Mr. Ort, for taking on this responsibility, which is one of the most significant under Montana law. This would only be possible if there were and remain to be persons like yourself. Thank you on behalf of the court,” the judge said.

According to Emmy, she and her family have no desire to be praised or displayed for their role in Orion’s life. She says this final step simply confirmed what the whole family knew the day they met him. They were meant for each other.



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Consistent Fundamentals by Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA

Just over a year ago a famous wakeboarder (imagine the Tom Brady of wakeboarding: was the best, still very good, getting old but still going, good looking) that I happen to follow posted a video where he described a contest in which the prize was a weekend riding with him on a houseboat in Lake Powell. The details of this contest were simple: upload a video of yourself wakeboarding and then whichever video receives the most votes wins.

My 12-year-old son Banks, who happens to be quite advanced for his age at wakeboarding, watched this post with me and insisted that we submit a video of him wakeboarding. It seemed simple enough, I had lots of footage of him throughout that summer, so I cropped something together and submitted it to appease him and promptly forgot about it. Every couple weeks my son would ask how he’s doing in the contest and I would brush it off and tell him not to get his hopes up. I was being lame in hindsight. Fast forward to late August (2021) when I receive a notification informing me that Banks’ video submission has made it past the 1st round of voting. I had honestly not been back to the contest site since I submitted the video two months earlier and as I took stock of it, I realized that we could take this thing home y’all. Banks’ video had like 3 votes, but the video in the lead had maybe 100. So, my wife Juli & I went into turbo mode and to make an already too long story short my son’s video won and he along with his older sister Nayvee and myself went to Lake Powell with our Wakeboarding hero last September. As a result of that weekend, said wakeboarder made his way up to Echo Lake this summer and stayed with us for a few days to coach us (all 6 of us) in our wakeboarding efforts. His approach was to start with the fundamentals that maybe some of us never learned correctly or had just gotten away from us over the years. It was incredible the improvements that we made by making the smallest of


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tweaks to our riding. None of us learned any new crazy tricks but we came out of that experience with a far more comfortable and efficient approach to the sport. Let’s apply this approach to our day-in day-out oral health care program.

1. Brushing of the Teeth a. Toothbrush

First off we recommend everyone use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Most brands even offer super-soft or ultra-soft. These soft bristles are less damaging to your enamel and are gentler on your gum tissue. If you are brushing 2x a day, there is nothing on your teeth that can’t be removed with soft bristles. A coarser bristle combined with poor technique can lead to gum recession. While a manual toothbrush with good technique can suffice, your dental provider would encourage you to use an electric toothbrush of quality. I personally use a Phillips Sonicare. Your dental provider will likely have some on hand for purchase, but they can be found at most retail locations. Please replace

your toothbrush or your toothbrush head, in the case of an electric toothbrush, every 3 months.

b. Technique

I tend to think of my teeth when I'm brushing as 12 sections. Both arches have a rightfront-left and an outside and inside. If we are to be brushing for 2 minutes, or 120 seconds, that leaves 10 seconds per section. The most important thing that I feel most people are missing is brushing along the gumline by angling your bristles at a 45-degree angle, gently sweeping along and under the gums. The majority of tooth decay is between teeth and along the gumline.

Now, are we going to be brushing all of these sections perfectly every time? No, but as with any daily ritual or routine consistency is the secret to success. Day in and day out consistency and you will find yourself at little to no risk of dental decay.

health} oral health care

Quantity and Quality y’all. So, slow it down a few times and focus on the fundamentals and you will improve your technique, you will see results, and you will smile for life with healthy teeth and gums. c. Toothpaste

We recommend using a fluoridated toothpaste. For over the counter a Colgate or a Sensodyne is fine. If you are at higher risk for dental decay a prescription strength toothpaste is recommended. Ask your dental provider if you are a candidate.

2. Flossing of the Teeth and Gums

I personally use a waxed floss but any floss used consistently is fine. I wrap both middle fingers tightly and use my index fingers and thumbs to guide the floss. Gently guide the floss between your teeth rubbing up and down while proceeding to form a c-shape around each tooth and gently extending down under the gums and around the tooth. A lot of you are skipping that last step. In healthy gum tissue the act of flossing should never be painful. If you experience bleeding that just indicates areas of inflammation. Consistent flossing will reduce this inflammation resulting in less and less bleeding.

3. Additional Therapies

Based on the recommendation of your dentist or dental hygienist you might need a little extra above simple brushing and flossing. Perhaps it’s a certain rinse to either strengthen teeth or promote healthy gums. It could be specialized floss or tools to aid in keeping gums healthy. Typically, in the case of bone loss or in the presence of dental prosthetics.

So, let’s recap. Consistency is king. Consistency can pick up the slack of poor technique, but the goal is consistency with good technique. Quantity and Quality y’all. So, slow it down a few times and focus on the fundamentals and you will improve your technique, you will see results, and you will smile for life with healthy teeth and gums.



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406 w o m a n

Food & Flavor 14. Fall Table Settings 18. Stuffed Pumpkin 22. In the Kitchen with Lane 27. Ask the Butcher 28. Pretzels 30. German Beer Gouda Soup 32. Bar Necessities 34. Giants in the Fall



Cover Girl..

51. Lofers Three Ways


Book Review

Love Story 54. Ashley & Brian

60. Megan & Garrison

36. Bone Necklace


Brielle Ashton Walker

Brielle Ashton Walker is a visionary painter and fine art metal sculptor with a shop in Whitefish, MT. Her work has been featured in shows. The Unseen flows through her paintbrush and welding torch… “Nature doesn’t fight to be seen; it just is.” She hopes her work speaks to you as clearly as it called to her to be created. Read her story on page 8 in the Business & Health side.

38. Glacier Symphony & Chorale

Design 40. Freyia Dekor


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pho t o b y

Amanda Wilson Photography

44. Layering for Fall, Wright’s Furniture 48. Daunt Designs, Building Your Dream Home


www . amandawilsonphotos . com

photo by

Sara Joy Pinnell

Publisher's Note “A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye." - Unknown We are in the beginning of a new season and with that comes change. Change in weather, colors, routines, and life. We hope this season brings you inspiration, challenge and success. We are certainly feeling inspired by our 406 Women in this issue. We thank you all for your support and look forward to what this new season has to offer!

Cindy & Amanda

"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale." - Lauren Destefano


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406 w o m a n


Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel


managing editor

Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell



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

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

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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

Editor’s Letter

9/11 changed many things for many people and our nation. The USA Patriot Act was passed a month after the devastating attacks which changed the way we traveled forever. It’s hard to believe that that was over 20 years ago. One thing is certain whether we Kristen & Bob in France this summer visitagree with all the policies or not, we ing her new grandson, Beckham, along with accept them or we don’t board an her daughter, Sarah, and husband, Florian. airplane. Why am I bringing this up? Because traveling is changing again in the wake of COVID-19 and by heeding a few simple suggestions, your trip can go from frustrating to fabulous.

Give yourself a cushion

Delays and cancellations are a part of travel now for different reasons and the best way to deal with it is to give yourself a time cushion. Try to avoid the last flight of the day in case of a cancellation. Have a connection? Make your layover a little longer in case you experience a flight delay. Traveling for a big event? Book your flight a day early.

Have patience

Typically, the person delivering the news is not the one that caused the hiccup in your travel schedule. But often, they are the one that can help get you on your way. Use patience and be courteous… “Sugar goes a lot further than vinegar.”

Stay positive

Seeing the bright side of any situation will lighten the load and make the traveling experience better for all… especially the ones you are traveling with. The benefits of traveling are well worth the extra effort…get out and see the world!

Bon Voyage!

What did I Iearn after reading this issue? That the Glacier Symphony and Chorale is celebrating 40 years of bringing beautiful music to the valley AND they are moving into a new performance hall in November at Flathead Valley Community College. Read Mark Holston’s trip down memory lane with long time members of GSC on page 38. Kalispell’s Woodland Park is over 100 years old and continues to serve as a year-round playground for kids and adults alike. Read Terri Lynn Mattson’s story on page 28 in the business side to learn about the history of this iconic park that we are all welcome to enjoy.


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Fall Table

Settings By Zina Sheya Designs Photos by Sara Joy Pinnell


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Keep Simple

Think Edible


Tips for Simple Fall Table Settings 1-

Think Edible, Fresh- Incorporate vegetables, fruit, and olive branches into place settings. I often incorporate, cabbage, kale, rosemary, pears, artichokes, and pomegranates. Simple, elegant, and cost effective.


Add a printed menu- Inexpensive and yet adds another level of elegance.


Use white plates as your base, white creates an elegant base which can be transformed into any style you wish, and it is easy to add color with napkins and table clothes.


Set up a dessert buffet nearby (after sitting down and eating a great meal, you don’t want to rush off to get dessert ready) with coffee, dessert, plates and silverware.


Think ahead (especially with the holiday rush). You can set your table with the basic plates, etc., early. Then all you have to do is add the fresh elements of your place setting and center piece.


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Pumpkin Recipe by Zina Sheya Designs

One of my favorite recipes, for fall, is stuffed pumpkin. It is not only a beautiful presentation, but delicious. This particular recipe is a family recipe we cook at Thanksgiving; I hope you will try this.

Ingredients 1 Cinderella Pumpkin 1 package sage sausage ½ red onion, diced 6 stalks of celery, diced 1 loaf French bread (cubed and dried) fresh thyme, chopped fresh Rosemary, chopped 1 cup chicken stock 2 eggs 1 apple chopped salt & pepper (to taste) Variation: Add dried or fresh cranberries, oranges, or bacon


Cook sausage. When sausage is cooked, add chopped vegetables and remove from heat. Pour over cubed bread and mix together. Pour in chicken stock, add eggs, then mix together and add fresh herbs. Scoop stuffing inside of a cleaned out pumpkin. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375⁰ for 30-45 min. (depending on the size of the pumpkin). Stuffing top will be golden brown. Remove from oven, and place on platter. Next, slice pumpkin on ribs… and place a slice of pumpkin and stuffing on plate.


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Traditions and Trial Runs In the Kitchen with Lane

Left to right. Ervin Kertusha, Antonella LoPresti, Lane Smith, Chef Aaron Johnson and Racheal Gaston.


By Lane Smith - Sponsored by

Photos by ACE Photography & Design - Location Direct Source Cabinets, 160 Kelly Road, Kalispell

At what point does a trial run become a tradition? It’s a question I ask myself every time I tweak one of my favorite recipes. It’s something I do quite frequently. My kids often comment that most of their favorites I make for them “don’t taste the same as last time.” I have always believed it’s better that way. Beef Barley soup with a bit more onion, carne asada with a bit more bite—the variations have their own soul. But there is a particular culinary specialty that I have always thought believed in the sanctity of tradition. The recipes of which I speak are passed down through tradition and a veil of secrecy. No recipes are steeped in more tradition than Italian dishes. Who dares tweak Nonna’s marinara recipe? Sacrilege! But I kind of get it. My Mom’s Lasagna, my Dad’s bread recipe, and my grandma’s cinnamon rolls—all of them are “Untweakable.” Yeah, not a word but you get the point. Of any type of dish I cook for my friends, anything with a marinara routinely gets the comment “it’s good but it’s not as good as my (fill in the blank).” So for this article I chose


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not to anger Nonna, and instead to make other “traditional” Italian dishes that didn’t have the holy grail of Italian cuisine—marinara. I would instead find other authentic Italian dishes--Or so I thought.

With deference to our sponsor Fulgor Milano, the 406 team and I visited their recipe blog and settled on a couple dishes there that had NO marinara for the aforementioned reasons. Love you Nonna. We chose Minestra Maritata—also known as Italian Wedding soup (more on this later) and Tagliata Di Manzo. The latter was chosen for being in my proverbial Montana wheelhouse. Cast Iron? Check. Ribeye? Check. Different spices that I typically don’t use? Why not. Add fresh greens and shaved parmesan cheese? Ok it’ll be a trial run. For the former, I would hold true to tradition. I would follow the recipe to the best of my ability. Which, to be honest, for anyone that knows me, I rarely follow direction well. Just saying.

With the recipes chosen, and my friends at Direct Source Cabinets graciously offering to host, it was down to who I would cook with. To be honest, this is my favorite part of the entire process. Each and every time I cook with new people (and even my opiniated brothers) I learn something new. This time would be no exception. I had received a text from the 406 team stating that they had invited two Italians. Cool. So, a Montukian boy would be making Italian food for a couple of Italians. Okay then, no stress there. Followed by “who are you bringing?” For me, this was a no brainer. For those of you who don’t know, I have been an appliance salesman for the better part of 25 years. I sling microwaves for a living. I have zero formal training in the culinary arts. My knife skills are


In the Kitchen

rudimentary. My ability to sauté, flambé, or braise—nonexistent. But I do two things very well. I can talk (often over people) and, most importantly, I know how to surround myself with people that can do things I cannot. Enter Aaron Johnson. A formally trained aspiring chef that had his own knife set. Bonus! But where did I find him? Running a forklift in my own warehouse. Yep. Why? Because, speaking to his character, he had chosen his growing family over the grueling hours required to become a chef. When I asked him to help cook Italian food for a couple Italians, his answer was as sharp and efficient as his knives. “Yep, can I ride with you?” Little did he know that the crew at 406 had left out a crucial detail. The text read “Antonella would like to make a Shrimp and Cannellini bean Salad if that is ok with you?” Absolutely! What I didn’t realize was that Antonella LoPresti was more than just a lady from Milan. She teaches cooking classes at Trovare’ in Whitefish. Look at the pics of the salad. This lady has SKILLS. I, of course, didn’t know this until the DAY of the photoshoot. Look closely at the prep pictures. I was sweating bullets. It was at this time that I met my savior. A soft spoken, albeit impeccable dressed, Ervin Kertusha. I was half expecting to have him introduced as a fashion designer or photographer… but he turned out to be something better. He is a Dad, like me, who works to make his clients happy and most importantly a good life for his son. We were, well, peas in a pod. A painting contractor from Whitefish, Ervin and I have promised to exchange BBQ for whiskey soon. The best tip ever.

The next couple hours passed incredibly quickly. Watching the double AA show (Antonella and Aaron} effortlessly chop, dice and dish was a treat for me. With an assist from our host, cooking the Tagliata proved to be stress free and uniquely flavored. The Shrimp and Cannellini Bean salad worthy of a Michelin Star followed by a new favorite Limoncello Spritz rounded out the meal you see on these pages. So, what was I missing? By all in attendance the soup was on point. I looked to my Italian guests for validation.

No recipes are steeped in more tradition than Italian dishes. Who dares tweak Nonna’s marinara recipe? Sacrilege! But I kind of get it. My Mom’s Lasagna, my Dad’s bread recipe, and my grandma’s cinnamon rolls—all of them are “Untweakable.”

“Italian Wedding soup is not Italian” remarked Antonella. “Um, what?” I exclaimed. “It’s not Italian.” Ervin confirmed. “Italians would not put meat in a broth with noodles.” Antonella added. Shrinking at every comment, I was saved by both of our Italian guests. “The Meatballs are amazing. Italians can’t do meat like Americans.” Who knew my trial run, would be better than a tradition that doesn’t exist. Fitting. Staring at my empty Limoncello glass, I nodded to my forklift driver knowing that without him I could not have pulled this off. As always. Everything is Absolutely Better Together.



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In the Kitchen

Tagliata di Manzo

Shrimp Cannellini Bean Salad with Fresh Mint and Celery



• 3 tablespoons basil oil, divided

• 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 3 celery stalks, finely chopped

• 1 lb. boneless steaks such as rump, rib eye, sirloin, or strip loin (at least 1 inch thick)

• 4 cups arugula • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped • Balsamic vinegar

Directions -

1. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. 2. Heat a cast-iron pan, or very heavy skillet, over high heat and allow to get almost smoking hot. Rub 1 tablespoon basil oil on both sides of the steak and season with a pinch or two of salt. 3. When the pan begins to smoke, lower the heat to medium-high and place the steak in the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, for rare, or 3 minutes a side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a plate or cutting board and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, arrange the arugula on a large plate or platter.

5. Slice the meat into 1/4-inch slices and arrange over the arugula. Season the steak and arugula with salt and pepper then drizzle with remaining basil oil. Top with shaved Reggiano, chopped rosemary, a drizzle of balsamic and serve. Makes 2-3 servings

• 3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

• 1 small red bell pepper, finely sliced • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped • Handful of fresh parsley finely chopped • 1 lemon zest and juice • Extra Virgin olive oil to taste

Tasting Notes

Genesis Kitchen

Organic Basil Oil Fresh, green and herbal. Basil and olive oil are two integral ingredients in Mediterranean cooking and it was just obvious to us that the two would be wonderful together. Try it on a summer salad or caprice and let your taste buds travel to the shores of the Mediterranean. Made from premium, ultra fresh, extra virgin olive oil from our collection blended in small, artisan batches with 100% natural flavor.

Genesis Kitchen

270 Nucleus Columbia Falls, MT Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm 406-897-2667 - Info@genesis-kitchen.com Recipe Sponsored by

• Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add water to cover. Set aside. 2. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and add shrimp to the pot.

3. Let them sit until they are pink and cooked through (about 3 – 5 minutes depends on the size of the shrimp).

Chopp Shoppe No hormones or antibiotics Choice to Wagyu Grade Hours 9am-7pm…all week long 721 Wisconsin Ave in Whitefish

4. Remove shrimp from the pot with a slotted spoon into the bowl of ice for 2 minutes. 5. Add beans, drained shrimp, celery, red bell pepper, shallot mint and parsley in a big bowl.

6. Add lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste and extra virgin olive oil to taste (start with 5 Tbsp add more if needed) toss very well and enjoy. Makes 3 – 4 servings

FH Fish & Seafood Company Wild caught seafood

3820 MT Hwy 40 W in Columbia Falls www.flatheadfishandseafood.com


Italian Wedding Soup (Minestra Maritata) • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1-pound lean ground pork • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (or use panko mixed with 2 tablespoons milk) • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving For the Soup: • 8 - 10 cups low sodium chicken broth


For the Meatballs: • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 egg, lightly beaten • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder) • ¼ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves (or replace with more parsley) • 1 lemon, zested (half of the lemon will be used for the soup) • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 cup small pasta such as elbow, ditalini, acini di pepe or any other small soup pasta

In the Kitchen


1. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil onto a medium-sized, unlined baking sheet. Using your hands, spread the oil all over the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the egg, garlic, parsley, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add the pork, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese and mix with your hands until well combined. Form the mixture into tiny meatballs about ½ inch in diameter and place them on a prepared baking pan. Tip: Lightly wet or oil your hands if the meatball mixture sticks to your hands. 3. Set an oven rack 7 to 8 inches from the heat and heat the broiler to high. Once the broiler is hot, broil the meatballs until just starting to brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. 4. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil. Add the pasta and cook over medium heat until just al dente, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a low simmer. Tip: Don’t let the broth come to a rapid boil while cooking the pasta, or too much of the liquid will evaporate.

• 3 packed cups baby kale or spinach (you can also use escarole, rapini, cabbage, or any other 5. Add the meatballs to the broth and simmer on low until warmed bitter winter greens), chopped and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Once the pasta and meatballs are cooked, add the baby kale leaves. • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice Simmer until wilted, about 1 minute. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of • Kosher salt and black lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with a few pinches of salt pepper, to taste and pepper, or another squirt of lemon juice, if necessary. • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

• ¼ cup fresh dill, basil, or oregano roughly chopped for garnish (optional)

6. Ladle the soup into bowls and stir in chopped dill or other fresh herbs if used. Drizzle each bowl with olive oil and pass around the extra Parmesan cheese for everyone to sprinkle over the soup, as desired. Makes 4 servings


Ask the Butcher

Ask the Butcher

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

Hi and happy fall from the Chopp Shoppe I hope you all are doing well and have had a memorable summer with friends and family...and a few great bbq steaks to enhance the evening.

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


We are quickly approaching our first year in business. I want to thank you all for your support and well wishes whether I've seen you once or once a week. You have been kind and gracious to me and my crew...and I am looking forward to moving the business forward with new ideas and extended services. A great thanks to 406 Woman magazine and all involved with it... you are gracious...generous and loving...we are blessed to be affiliated with such a dedicated and professional group of folks. And all the help and support of my Alpine Village family...you are great. All my purveyors as well ...and all our wonderfully sweet Iron Horse brethren.

Thank you all...and eat some sweet potatoes... they are good for ya. Sonny and the Chopp Shoppe crew



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Pretzels By Carole Morris


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The pretzel, considered a goodluck symbol in Germany, is delicious when paired with our German Beer-Gouda soup. Ingredients

3 quarts boiling water

1 package yeast

1 slightly beaten egg water

4 to 4 ¼ cups bread flour

1 tablespoon water

¼ cup sugar

(2 tablespoons salt, to boil pretzels)

2 tablespoon cooking oil

Choose a toppings, coarse salt, parmesan cheese, and sesame seed

1 ½ cups milk 1 teaspoon salt

Directions 1. Stir together 1 ½ cups of the flour with the yeast (in a bowl). In a pan, heat and stir sugar, milk, oil, and 1 tsp. salt until warm 120⁰. Add to flour and yeast mixture. Mix with electric mixture on low for approximately 30 seconds, then beat on high for 3 minutes. Add remaining flour, until the dough is moderately stiff.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead until dough is smooth and

elastic (about 6 minutes). Shape dough into a ball, then put in greased bowl…turn dough so all surface is coated. Cover and rise in a warm place until double in size.

3. Punch down dough, put on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12x10-inch rectangle. Cut into twenty 12 x ½ inch strips. Pull each strip into a rope about 16 inches long.

4. Shape each pretzel by crossing one end over the other to form a circle

(overlap approximately 4 inches from each end). In each hand, take an end of the dough and twist once at the point where the dough overlaps. Lift each end across to the opposite edge of the circle. Fold ends under edges to make a pretzel shape. Moisten each end (with water), press to seal.

5. Put pretzels on greased baking sheets. Bake at 475⁰ for 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to boiling water, put pretzels into water 3 at a time. Boil for 2 minutes (turn one time). Remove and drain on a paper towel. Wait 1 minute, then place ½ inch apart on a greased baking sheet.

6. Combine egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, then brush pretzels


with a small amount of mixture. Sprinkle pretzels with topping of choice and bake at 350⁰ for 25 minutes (until golden brown). Cool and let the October feast begin!


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Oktoberfest revolves around the Bavarians’ preferred drink “beer”. Therefore, we decided that this is the perfect time of year for...

German Beer By Carole Morris

Gouda Soup Ingredients 1 cup chicken broth 1 yellow onion, diced fine 1 cup celery diced fine 1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 ¾ cup milk

¾ cup dark German beer or substitute

for Tilted Mash's South Sac Brotherhood Belgian Dubbel. 1 teaspoon Dijon 5 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded 5 ounces Gouda, shredded

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Green onion chopped fine for garnish Popcorn (buttery) for garnish


1. In a saucepan combine chicken broth, celery, yellow onion, and garlic; bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.


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2. Combine flour, milk, pepper, Dijon and hot sauce… whisking constantly until combined. Add to broth mixture, stirring frequently, until thickened and bubbly. 3. Add cheese and beer, stir till melted.



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Look for the Bar Necessities By Mary Wallace

At home, we have what has randomly morphed into what we call the ‘mini’ bar. It’s a collection of assorted bottles that random guests brought, that we purchased for some kind of occasion, that we won in a poker game, and those tiny airplane bottles - and who knows where those came from? A pretty haphazard selection! Wanting to stock a proper bar, I reached out to the folks at the Bigfork Liquor Barn for some advice. The first question they asked was “Did I want to stock a full bar like some kind of professional, or did I want to customize it mostly to what we actually drink?” Hmm - I guess mostly the things WE like to drink, but also what an occasional guest might like - and by the way, I don’t have a huge budget.


The pros at the Bigfork Liquor Barn were very helpful, and they suggested starting with six base liquors.

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Vodka is a mainstay of many cocktails. It has a clean, transparent flavor and it is used for more drinks than any other spirit. It is used for a screwdriver, a bloody Mary, and vodka martinis. You can add numerous flavored vodkas, but you can also add natural flavors as you mix your drinks.

Gin is another versatile spirit that you’ll need for popular drinks like a dry martini or a gin & tonic. Not everyone likes gin because it gets its somewhat piney flavor from juniper berries, but it is a signature ingredient in so many cocktails. Cheap gin tastes like a pine tree and nothing else. A better gin balances the juniper with a citrus or some other botanicals that complement the flavor.

Tequila is what is needed for margaritas and

several other cocktails, so you want to stock a nice Blanco (or silver) tequila; or upgrade to an aged reposado.

Rum tends to be one of the more affordable

liquors, so consider stocking your bar with at least two kinds of rum. A light rum works well

in most cocktails - from daiquiris to mojitos. Dark rum is essential to most tropical-flavored cocktails.

Whiskeys can get a bit complicated because there are so many characteristics and uses. Choose two kinds based on what YOU like bourbon, Canadian, rye, Irish, or a blended Scotch whiskey. Bourbon has a robust whiskey flavor, and Canadian tends to be smooth. The others are not as common to as many drink recipes, so they are not as essential - unless you have a favorite cocktail that calls for them. Brandy is a good way to complete your wellstocked bar as it is useful in many classic cocktails.

That’s a great start, but it can’t hurt to gradually round out my selection with a few flavored liqueurs, letting my personal preferences be my guide.

Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur that is often used in both fancy and casual cocktails. A good coffee liqueur makes a good after-dinner cocktail, such as a white Russian, as does Irish


Bitters are another key ingredient - a dash or two can do amazing things to the flavor of certain cocktails. Aromatic or orange bitters are used most often. cream or other cream liqueurs. Dry and sweet vermouth are essential for martinis, and orange liqueurs such as curacao, triple sec, or Grand Marnier are good choices to add to your well-stocked bar. The helpful staff also suggested that as my taste buds and budget might allow, there are many more flavored liqueurs to consider Chambord, Creme de Cacao, Creme de Menthe, a ginger liqueur, Drambuie, Frangelico, or Galliano are not essential, but they are certainly useful for specific cocktail recipes.

Mixers are also key to a well-stocked bar. I am happy to report that I already had some of them at home.

A variety of juices are convenient to have on hand. Lemon, lime, and orange juices are the basics. Cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple juices, and tomato juices are also invaluable if you like cocktails that call for them. Bitters are another key ingredient - a dash or two can do amazing things to the flavor of certain cocktails. Aromatic or orange bitters are used most often.

Simple syrups are the best way to sweeten cocktails and are easy to make ahead at home. Sour mixes are common in a lot of tropical cocktails. Grenadine is a red syrup that is common in many bars. Milk, half and half, or cream are useful and are also often already on hand. Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces add a nice spice to many drinks. A variety of sodas, such as club soda, tonic water, ginger ale, cola, or lemon-lime soda are also good basic mixers, although, with today’s craft soda market, I could have a lot of fun stepping up my cocktail game.

And garnishes - the crew at the Liquor Barn recommended add-

ing a few garnishes to my collection. They are the finishing touch to add a visual appeal and a bit of extra flavor to drinks. Why go for ordinary when I can go for spectacular? Lemon, lime, or orange slices or wedge are common, as well as maraschino cherries, olives, cocktail onions, mint, and coarse salt and granulated sugar.

Bar tools that might be needed are an assortment of cocktail

glasses, a martini shaker, a jigger or shot glass for measuring the alcohol, a tall mixing glass, a bar spoon, a cutting board, and a sharp knife. A blender is nice for frozen or slushy drinks.

It is a bit like cooking. Some people like to follow a recipe to a “T”, and others like to create their own variations. The folks at the Liquor Barn suggested picking three or four cocktails we like to drink and building our liquor collection around that. I am sure they would be glad to recommend some brands that are popular!


Lastly, I added one more thing to my collection - a bar sign! It says, ‘Drink responsibly - Try not to spill it!” 406

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

Montana is a land of giants. Giant lands, mountains and lakes. We have gargantuan adventures. Greek mythology stars gigantes (giants) as a tribe of a hundred giants born of the earth goddess Gaia. She was impregnated by the blood of the castrated sky god Ouranos. Thus, the giants were a race of great strength and aggression born of earth and sky. They were depicted as warriors in armor or animal skins. In sculpture and mosaics, they are depicted with the tails of serpents instead of legs. Homer describes the giant king Eurymedon as “great-hearted.” Giants appear in the mythology of almost every culture. Chilean mythology tells of giants who play with ships, moving them from one port to another. The Paiute Native Americans tell of the Si-TeCah, cannibalistic giants and also of beautiful giants that once lived between the Sierra Nevadas and the


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Rocky Mountains. Giants can be antagonists, tricksters, or righteous figures, such as the Big Friendly Giant in the beloved Roald Dahl novel. Giants exist in our minds. Bigfoot, a local icon in cryptozoology is thought to inhabit the forests of North America. Our own giants are the people who have the most influence and sway over our thoughts and opinions. They can be small or large in stature but have great positive or negative influence. Like giants in mythology, it is important to examine the flaws in all our heroes, just as we recognize the imperfections in ourselves. One of the best ways I have found to humble myself is by learning or cooking something new. I was motivated in the past year to bake this wonderful dish of giants. Gigantes Plaki will warm your house, as the weather cools, and the rich aroma will likely invite your neighbors to share.

White beans

There are several types of white beans. Cannellini are the most common. Navy beans are small oval shaped white beans. Great Northern beans are an excellent midpoint between cannellini and navy and would sub-


Gigantes Plaki

Plaki is a Greek term for any dish baked in the oven with olive oil, tomatoes and vegetables. Gigantes are extra large white runner beans. They have a sweet, mild taste and delightful texture. Original yigantes beans or corona beans can be found online or at some stores. I have used other types of white beans with happy results.

stitute well in the Gigantes Plaki recipe. White beans are a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of cooked beans provides 17 grams of protein (30-35% of the daily recommendation), 11 grams of fiber (30-50% of the daily recommendation), 36% of the daily recommended value for folate and iron, potassium, thiamine, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, calcium and too many others to list!

Decrease inflammation – white beans are high in polyphenol antioxidants that combat oxidative stress. This may protect against chronic illnesses including heart disease and cancer.

Increase energy – white beans are a package of

protein and fiber. They promote healthy muscle mass. This is an excellent way to fuel your body for the giant adventures we have here in our great state.

My son asked me today if I can stretch out my arms and touch Spokane and Milwaukee (his favorite places). Maybe to him, right now, I am a giant.

I opened many books of Mediterranean cookery to study this dish. One included a poem by Athenaeus from 200-300AD

But often taste your dishes While you are boiling them. Do they want salt? Add some: is any other seasoning needed? Add it and taste again till you’ve arrived At harmony of flavor, like a man Who tunes a lyre till it rightly sounds

4. Pour the beans in the pot, cover with water or broth and simmer until tender

Improve heart health – beans are high in resis-

search suggests that people who eat beans regularly are significantly less likely to have excess abdominal fat and are less likely to be obese.

The giants in our lives, whether human or ideological, are often exposed as flawed. Indeed this is inevitable. The Greek giants were vanquished in the Gigantomachy, their battle with the Olympian gods. They are said to be buried under volcanoes and to be the cause of earthquakes.

1. Cover beans in water and soak for 24 hours, changing water if desired a few times. If 24 hours is not possible, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and then allow to soak for an hour.

3. Dice the carrot and celery and add to the onion in the large pot

for fiber is at least 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. High fiber diets are associated with improved digestive health.

Maintain healthy body weight – long term re-


2. Dice one onion, place in a large pot and caramelize in 1 TBSP of olive oil

Intestinal health – The daily recommendation

tant starch, which is fermented in the large intestine to produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that feed colon cells and improve the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. Importantly, this process also lowers LDL (bad cholesterol).

Ingredients: • 1-pound dried giant or butter beans • 2-3 celery stalks • 1 carrot • 1 onion • 5-6 garlic gloves, or heck, a whole bulb • 1 pounds fresh or canned tomatoes • 1 TBSP and 1 cup olive oil (divided) • dill (optional) • pepper • salt

5. Crush the tomatoes with your hands (great job for a child or therapy for the cook)

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

6. Heat one cup olive oil in a separate pan, and add the crushed or canned tomatoes, diced garlic, salt and pepper to create the rich sauce 7. Preheat oven to 350 8. In a casserole dish or baking pan combine the tender beans and rich sauce 9. Sprinkle your creation with salt, pepper, oregano and dill 10. Bake for one hour at 350F, adding water if necessary


11. Serve hot or at room temperature


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book review} Julia Sullivan

“Sympathetic characters and riveting story … a fascinating look into a forgotten chapter of US history whose lessons are today more relevant than ever.”

—Indie Reader

Bone Necklace

Author, Julia Sullivan A Book Review by Kristen Hamilton

For me reading is an escape and when I find a really good book, I have a hard time putting it down. I get wrapped up in the characters and can hardly wait to see what happens next. The historical fiction novel, Bone Necklace, by author Julia Sullivan is one of those books. Admittedly, I knew very little of the Nez Perce tribe and the war in 1877 and appreciated the references to actual events during that time. Sullivan does a masterful job of developing the characters.

I found myself understanding the troubled Jack Peniel hoping he would find answers and peace while he leads the U.S. military through Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana while tracking the Nez Perce. His entire life he seemingly makes the wrong decisions all while trying to earn the respect of his tough father.

I was compelled to cheer for Running Bird, the Nez Perce warrior whose culture is being desecrated. He is a gallant fighter who is desperately trying to save his family and fellow tribe members. Although greatly outnumbered in multiple battles, he never gives up. Then there is Nicole Lowsley, the English painter vacationing with her husband in Yellowstone National Park who literally gets caught in the crossfire. The realities of life in the west during this period are really brought to life through this character. While reading I was transported to the mountains and plains of Montana in 1877 working my way to the Canadian border and political asylum with the Nez Perce.

No war is pretty and this war is no exception but the story needs to be told and heard as it continues to resonate today. The underdog fighting against goliath and the courage it takes to stand up and protect those that can’t protect themselves. My recommendation…read this book!


P.S. My husband, a history buff, loved the book too.

Learn more Bone Necklace and how to purchase it at www.juliasullivan.com 76 406


About the author

Julia Sullivan is an author and an attorney. After taking an interest in the history of the Nez Perce War while visiting the Big Hole Battlefield in Wisdom, MT, Julia spent over 20 years researching, drafting, and editing what would eventually become her debut historical novel Bone Necklace. Her research and preparation for the book led her to both the Library of Congress and the National Archives. The issues explored in the novel resonate with her work as an attorney and her passion for justice. Julia has represented inmates on death row, undocumented immigrants, and victims of domestic and elder abuse. She provided countless hours of pro bono work as Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of MAIP (Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project). Her focus has been on righting the scales in a system where corporations or the very wealthy often have the upper hand – while lower-income individuals frequently had their entire lives destroyed by a system that often fails the most fragile. Julia lives with her husband in Annapolis, Maryland and Hamilton, Montana.

Diane Steele Sine

Betsy Funk

Celebrating 40 years of music and memories

Glacier Symphony & Chorale Written by Mark Holston

When it comes to the kind of indelible memory that’s impossible to forget, two longtime members of the Glacier Symphony share a common, recurring image that hasn’t dimmed over the course of several decades. Making the incident that produced it all the more curious is that it happened twice and involved both of the symphony’s conductors. “I will always remember the year John Zoltek came out to conduct at the end of a Christmas pops concert wearing a Santa suit,” recalls Diane Steele Sine, “and the pants wouldn’t stay up! It was really challenging trying to play the cello while laughing uncontrollably!” For Betsy Funk, a veteran of the symphony’s viola section, she had seen it all before. Years earlier, when the orchestra’s original conductor, Gordon Johnson, was on the podium and his Santa pants also fell down during an annual Christmas concert. “Although it happened almost three decades ago, anyone who was there will definitely never forget that!” Funk chuckles today.

Sine, a retired public-school teacher and seasonal ranger in Glacier National Park who began playing with the orchestra in 1984, just two years after the Glacier Symphony Orchestra and Chorale was founded, and Funk, a member since 1992 who teaches applied medical sciences at Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC), are among a small group of long serving symphony musicians who recently shared their memories and aspirations for the future with us on the eve of the organization’s 40th Anniversary performance season.


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A great deal has changed in the past four decades, particularly under the leadership of Zoltek, who this year enters his 26th season as the GSC’s Music Director and Conductor. From humble beginnings in the early 1980s that represented a community orchestra in its truest sense of the word, with an office the size of a walk-in closet, a minuscule budget, and an orchestra of mostly unpaid volunteer musicians of various proficiency levels, the GSC today boasts an annual budget that’s approaching $1 million, and an increasingly professional core of seasoned musicians who receive compensation for their rehearsals and performances.

This fall, the Glacier Symphony and Chorale will begin performing in the state-of-the-art 1,000 seat performance hall at the Wachholz College Center on the campus of FVCC. It will be an auspicious time for the musicians and singers who labored for years performing uncounted dozens of concerts in the Flathead High School auditorium. But even as they embark on a dramatic new chapter in the history of the organization, the members of the GSC who have sacrificed so much over the years look back on their shared history and reflect on the moments, both lighthearted and somber, that speak of the camaraderie that courses through their ranks.

“I started with the GSC in 1985 when I first moved to Kalispell,” harpist Peggy Young, one of the longest serving members of the symphony recollects. Today a sales executive for Payne West Insurance of Kalispell, Young is upfront about one aspect of the symphony culture that likely produced enough storylines over the years to fuel a season’s worth of episodes of The Young and The Restless. “Yes, I might have had a crush on a conductor – or two,” she admits today. But on the stage, it was always business. “Getting that glare from the podium,” Young notes, referring to that Hey, you screwed up! Get it right! kind of stare. “We get looks from the conductor that the audience will never see.” Flutist Beth Pirrie, owner and manager of Norm’s Soda Fountain, Kalispell’s famous burger and milkshake joint, has been the orchestra’s first chair flute player for 30 years. In the just-for-laughs department, the mother of three recalls the time the principal clarinetist, whom she describes as “phenomenal” and one who


Glacier Symphony & Chorale

There, I have a sense of release, a place where I truly lose myself in the process of making the music. No matter the chart, I welcome those moments when it all turns to gold on the stage – a seemingly endless euphoria that comes when the music and the musician are one. “never makes mistakes,” picked up the wrong clarinet for one entrance and played a phrase in the wrong key so shockingly bad that “We all had the giggles for the rest of the concert!”

Pirrie, who earned a master’s in flute performance from the University of Montana, is a perfectionist who remembers the various missteps that are bound to happen, accepts them with good humor, and moves forward with a positive attitude. “Have there been unnerving moments? Sure, over three decades, there have been a few,” she comments. “On rare occasions the orchestra might be slightly off, or the conductor drops the baton or cues someone for an entrance and nothing happens! But we always recover.” Violinist Connie Rudie, a retired bookkeeper, was also an early member of the GSC, coming aboard in the fall of 1985. In recent years, she has also gained some local fame as a fiddler in the Cowboy Country & the Gold Dust Girls dance band. “Playing in the Glacier Symphony requires much more ‘woodshedding’ playing country,” she quips, adding that her biggest challenge in performing Maestro’s Zoltek’s challenging repertoire is “practicing tough lines without getting a sore arm.”

As the orchestra has become more skilled and adept at performing challenging repertoire, it has opened the door for the kind of adventurous programming the GSC will perform this coming season at The Wacholz College Center. It’s as though the past four decades have been a test run – an audition for this new adventure that’s just around the corner.

Beth Pirrie “We continue to stretch and challenge our musicianship and our audiences with the pieces we are offering,” asserts Funk. “I came to the orchestra with a passion for music and musicianship. I was young and sassy, tired most of the time at rehearsals and showing up none the less because it was my ‘true north.’ The symphony has in many ways became my ‘family.’ There, I have a sense of release, a place where I truly lose myself in the process of making the music. No matter the chart, I welcome those moments when it all turns to gold on the stage – a seemingly endless euphoria that comes when the music and the musician are one. Sounds nuts, but I will often close my eyes while playing and be transported to that golden place by the sounds. It is the best ‘high’ I can think of.” From her unique perspective as the GSC’s sole harp player, Peggy Young takes note of the major changes that have taken place over recent years. “In the beginning, we played a lot of baroque and small ensemble pieces, and very few of them called for harp, so I was lucky to play one concert a year. Now we play pieces that require a full orchestra, and I am fortunate to perform on almost every concert.”

Young also comments on the human aspect of what the symphony provides both the musicians and the audience. “We all try to play our best and try to create something very special for our audience. I’m sure many of us have performed concerts with heavy hearts from personal situations that go on in our life that no one on the stage or audience will ever know. We bring our full being to our music, whether we are having a good week or a bad week. The support from the podium and our fellow musicians around us lifts us to a better place.” A case in point was the loss of Funk’s daughter to cancer and how the orchestra ‘family’ helped

ease the pain of her loss. “I felt I should stop playing as I couldn't find the time to put the work into it that it required,” the violist recounts. “My daughter heard me talking about this and told me ‘Mom, you must play, it’s who you are. Don't worry, you got this.’ So, I kept on right through the disease, bringing her in a wheelchair to concerts because she wanted to hear us one more time. She smiled all the way through the ordeal. I cried and played with all I had.”

All of these talented Montana women will be on stage when the Glacier Symphony and Chorale launches its 40th Season on November 19 in McClaren Hall at the Wachholz College Center on the campus of Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell. As cellist Diane Steele Sine puts it, “I'm excited to perform in the new hall and hope that having that professional quality venue with the exciting programing that is planned will draw more folks to experience a symphony concert for the first time and join us in our love of great music.” www.gscmusic.org

Kalispell resident Mark Holston has been a widely published and nationally recognized jazz critic and music journalist for the past four decades. He has lectured and served on academic panels at Berklee College of Music and at jazz festivals in the U.S., Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. Among many publications, he has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and Latina Style, a women’s magazine. He has twice served as an Invited Scholar to The Smithsonian Institution for its Latino Initiatives programs. He is currently serving as President of the GSC Board of Directors.



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Dekor Written by Callie Reagan

Photos by Christina Ryan Photography

Freyia Dekor is a destination and one that should be on your wish list. Located in Calgary, this store is a cultivated mixture of history, functional pieces, and one-of-a-kind beauty and craftsmanship that no longer exists. Like many adventures, there is always a story; usually filled with excitement, love, and plot twists along the way. The story of Freyia Dekor is no different, and that is how owner and founder Adene Lucas designed it. The name Freyia (Freya) refers to the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility and once you see Freyia Dekor, you will agree the name reflects the store.

Like most people in love, they want to share, Adene was no different. She felt like the market was ready for a Scandinavian look, and felt passionate about the idea of sharing, as a result, Freyia Dekor was born. Weeks were spent visiting collections in Sweden, and carefully selecting beautiful and functional items that have history, a story, and a life of their own. Items selected are authentic, handmade, hand painted, and one-of-a-kind ranging from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.

Swedish furniture is unique unto itself. Often spaces were smaller so each item in the home was made with function and the ability to be easily packed was essential. Like Northwest Montana, Sweden has long dark winters, therefore furniture is often light or neutral in color which makes it ideal for pairing with almost any color scheme and style. Within the walls of Freyia Dekor, there are design vignettes for you to experience. Providing tangible examples of design by mixing elements and pairing antiques with new items so the look is fresh.

Each piece at Freyia Dekor is carefully researched and quite a few items have a story compiled for the new owner. These are quality, historical items that can be adopted into your home. Adopted because these pieces have life and longevity. They


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are individuals that are looking for a home that appreciates quality. Scandinavian furniture and smaller items such as wooden bowls, cast iron urns, and crystal chandeliers can be passed along through generations for 100 more years, as they stand the test of time. Durable materials like copper, brass, wood, and iron as well as Gotland sheepskins will add new textures and warmth to any room.

While the owner, Adene exclusively selects items to be enjoyed and purchased, each one holds a special place in her heart. “It’s so rewarding when a client finds a piece that speaks to them and leaves Freyia Dekor for another home, but it’s also bittersweet since a lot of thought and time has gone into each item and will not be seen again.” Over the past 20 years, Adene has worked

in residential interior design and teaches designrelated courses at The University of Calgary and has developed her love and expertise in the industry over the years. Throughout her career, she was drawn to a style of décor and furniture that was well made, simple lines, and yet unique. While traveling through the country of Sweden and formulating the concept of Freyia Dekor, her plot twist comes with the results of a DNA test where she found that she herself has Swedish origins.

If you are thinking that antiques are not for you, or you are unsure of how to make these historical pieces work for you – At Freyia Dekor all you need is to take a picture of your space and options will be provided on how to make it work. Adene will walk you through the collections to find a piece


Freyia Dekor

“It’s so rewarding when a client finds a piece that speaks to them and leaves Freyia Dekor for another home, but it’s also bittersweet since a lot of thought and time has gone into each item and will not be seen again.” or pieces that speak to you, fit the scale of your space, and will add to the function of any room.

Freyia Dekor isn’t just residential decor, there are larger items suited for commercial purposes including large trestle tables, antique store counters, and a hand-carved church pew from a small town in Sweden. At Freyia Dekor we suggest pieces can be paired with contemporary items to break up the room and add a conversation piece that will impress. These are statement pieces that will not be found anywhere else. Freyia Dekor makes it easy for you to add to your own story and enrich your living spaces. Discover a new destination and visit Freyia Dekor at www.freyia.ca or the showroom #1, 4640 Manhattan Rd. SE, Calgary. Furniture can be purchased online or shipped to your home or business.



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Layering for Fall By Callie Reagan and Wright’s Furniture


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Fall is one of the most beautiful times in the Flathead Valley.

We have stunning colors, active wildlife, warm days and cool nights. It also ushers in the holiday season and the time to really flex your decorating muscles. Now is the perfect time to start; and start with layering.

Start with a classic, well-designed base layer.

This can be a rustic wood dining table, oversized armchair, or comfy sectional sofas. From there we add your layers to cozy up any space.

Layer with soft textures on your sofas and chairs with toss pillows and throw blankets. Faux florals and vase fillers change to a richer fall-themed color palette with mustard yellow, rust, blues, burgundy, ivory, greys, and browns. Feature natural elements that fit the season such as antlers, pine cones, and birch branches. Layers need to be used at different levels of your spaces to draw your eyes to different areas. This can be done by switching out art pieces that use your accent colors, lighting changes, and table arrangements.

Create an atmosphere of layers hitting all of your senses. Create an atmosphere of layers hitting all of your

senses. Stock your favorite warm beverages, display additional layering accessories such as faux fur blankets that are soft to the touch, and wood storage options to hold wood for crackling fires in the evening. The kitchen table is one of the easiest to customize for the season and can be done frequently with minor changes. These can be specific dinnerware options, linens, faux flower centerpieces, and under-table rugs.

Wrights Furniture is the perfect place to find all your layers from sofas, bedroom sets, textured area rugs, storage and display options for knit throws, and Pendleton layering blankets. Wrights Furniture is ready to help you usher Fall in with style and function. Wright’s Furniture is open 7 days a week, offering complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. Visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish or learn more at wrightsfurniturestore.net 6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services



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Interior Design Dilemmas

Building Your Dream Home By Adriena Daunt, Daunt Designs

Welcome to a new regular feature with local interior design expert, Adriena Daunt of Daunt Designs.

Each issue, Adriena will answer questions about interior design and decorating. This month, we’re starting off with new construction – because it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when building your dream home.


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How does the new build process work and when do I need an interior designer?

Most homeowners start their new build by selecting a general contractor to oversee the entire process. An architect is usually part of the mix as well. But having an interior designer on

your team from the pre-construction phase can be a smart way to achieve a cohesively designed home.

There are a million little decisions to be made when designing and building. The architect will look at the building as a whole and its structural integrity. The contractor will drive the project and make sure everything happens on time and on budget. An interior designer is trained to make sure the floor plan is functional for your individual needs, that all the materials work together, and to think ahead to how the end product incorporates furniture and décor. You can certainly choose materials yourself, or select your own standard floor plan. Some designers offer hourly packages for those who only need help in particular areas. But if you don't have the time or confidence to select every piece of tile, cabinetry, paint color, fixture and lighting, or if you want a custom floor plan - then it's a good idea to talk to a designer early on.

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One area where you really don’t want to cut corners is installation. A simpler material well installed will always look better than an expensive material that was badly installed.

What are the main challenges in building a home? How do I avoid change orders?

Unless you have unlimited time, money and space – which not many of us do - building a home is always a series of trade-offs. It’s helpful to think about your top priorities before you start the design process and decide on your absolute must-haves vs nice-to-haves. Often, practicalities such as site orientation and building codes will mean you have to choose which elements are the most important to you. If you have a strong team of contractor, designer and architect working on your project, ideally pre-construction planning will resolve any issues ahead of time. But it’ll be a lot less stressful if you accept that some changes are unavoidable during the new build process. You can still achieve your dream home with a little flexibility.

Where is it ok to cut corners during the process?

Wanting a high-quality, luxurious home doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks on every single thing. Think about the areas that get less use – such as guest rooms – and choose materials accordingly. Perhaps you go with marble in the master bathroom, but with ceramic tile in guest baths. There are lots of great porcelain and ceramic lookalikes for natural stones such as slate, limestone and travertine. I recently worked on a multi-million dollar residential project that used Home Depot cabinets in the garage. Those beautiful rift white oak custom cabinets are perfect in a showpiece kitchen – in the garage, not so much. Likewise, think about where you spend the most time and what makes you happy in your home, and put your budget towards those areas. One area where you really don’t want to cut corners is installation. A simpler material well installed will always look better than an expensive material that was badly installed. It’s so impor-

tant to work with builders who use quality subcontractors, especially for things like cabinetry and tile.

How do I know what is a trend and what will stand the test of time?

This is a great question to ask yourself when building your dream home. Some trends are set to stay the course since they offer both beauty and practicality – use of organic materials like wood will never go out of style. But some trends will look dated in ten years’ time and those are the items you want to be able to easily switch out. Think about what design elements are critical to the style of your home. If you’re building a log home, a natural stone fireplace will probably never look out of place. But if your dream home is a mountain modern style, consider replacing that heavy stone with a slimmer concrete or sheet metal fireplace surround. There are certainly some trends that many design experts agree are on their way out. The clas-

sic farmhouse style with lots of clutter, distressed furniture, shiplap and faux vintage pieces is starting to look dated as people move towards a modern farmhouse look instead. If you really love a big barn door, by all means put it in your new build – but make sure the doorway can be retrofitted for swing or pocket doors later on.

We all love neutrals, but recently design is trending towards bold yet serene colors like sage greens, dusty blues and earth tones. If you’re not ready for blue or green kitchen cabinets just yet, you can still play it safe by using a natural wood tone or neutral for your cabinets and adding bolder colors in areas where they can be easily changed – such as paint and backsplashes.

Daunt Designs offers interior design services to the Flathead Valley, including new construction, remodeling, furnishing and decorating. Learn more on www.dauntdesigns.com.



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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200

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Ashley& Brian Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

About us

Brian & Ashley have lived and worked in the Flathead Valley for many years. Brian raised his children in Whitefish and Ashley has been in Montana full-time since 1999. It turns out they had a number of friends in common but did not meet until introduced by a mutual friend a few years ago. Ashley wasn't sure she could date someone who is so into football that he flies the Green Bay Packers’ flag on his boat but decided to give him a chance anyway - since he's a skier…

What is your favorite activity to do together?


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Powder skiing. Brian loves to tell the story about when he and Ashley went skiing early oman.com

on in their relationship. It was a powder day and Brian thought the ski date could be a good test to decide if things would move forward. He took some turns and then stopped part way down the run to check on Ashley uphill. Unable to see her he thought, “That’s too bad. I really liked her.” Then he looked downhill and realized she had beaten him down the run! They especially enjoy traveling around to “Mom & Pop” ski areas.

What do you admire/appreciate most about the other?

Both had the same answer! “His/her HUGE heart!” A key part of their connection is that both prioritize personal relationships and are always willing to help family mem-

April 11, 2022 Glacier National Park

bers, friends, and strangers. Neither of them knows a stranger.

Ashley appreciates that Brian helps her not take things too seriously. Like when he insisted she throw M & M's at the wall to get out frustration. And, that he picks out cards and gifts -and mails them- for her side of the family. Brian loves how much Ashley adores and cares for his children & grandchildren and for their dog.

Why did you choose the place you did to get married?

We love being in nature and enjoy adventuring outdoors together. And we got engaged in Glacier, so it was very fitting.

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key part of their connection is that both prioritize personal relationships and are always willing to help family members, friends, and strangers.

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We really love how our vows, which were not

Handmade wood-turned cake platter was a gift made by Ashley's father.

shared until that day, had a large focus on family -both sides of our family- making them all an integral part of the ceremony despite them not being physically present. What did you enjoy most about your wedding day?

It was a tough decision to have a private ceremony but doing so allowed Brian and Ashley to focus on each other. "Amanda Wilson, Photographer/coordinator, and Kate Berry, Officiant, were amazing! They made the day extra special and perfectly balanced being intimately involved while also creating space for us to feel comfortable sharing the vows we wrote to each other." “We really love how our vows, which were not shared until that day, had a large focus on family -both sides of our familymaking them all an integral part of the ceremony despite them not being physically present.”

One of the most fun things was having their attendant, Sadie, put her paw print on the marriage license as the witness!


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The Palm Lounge, Whitefish, was the venue for the small family celebration that followed their ceremony.

Dress by Odi’e Fashion & Design

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& Garrison Photography by Karly Katherine Photography July 16, 2022


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Havingmy Wedding highlight?

brother bring me in to the ceremony location on our combine. Tell us about yourself… Megan Tutvedt-Reese:

I’m the 4th generation to grow up on our farm. Combining has been a part of my whole life, from riding with my dad to operating the combine by myself since I was 14 years old. Each year I help put the crop in and harvest. I chose to be brought down to the ceremony on the combine because it is a part of who I am and my family.

When I’m not working at the farm, I’m keeping busy bartending at Famous Daves. On the side, I enjoy barrel racing at our local rodeos and traveling to pro rodeos across Montana when I have the chance.

Garrison Reese:


I was born and raised here in the Flathead Valley. I grew up skiing/snowboarding the slopes


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Flathead Valley is home and where Megan and I plan to stay.

on Big Mountain (Whitefish Mountain Resort). I graduated high school in 2015 and left for Montana State University. After studying there for a couple years, I returned to the valley and worked at Famous Daves where I met Megan. I now work for a painting company finishing homes. I hope to start my own business one day. The Flathead Valley is home and where Megan and I plan to stay.

Megan: What is the trait you most admire in Garrison? He’s very supportive and kind.

Garrison: When did you realize you wanted to get married to Megan?


I realized probably within six months into dating.

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What did you enjoy most during your wedding day?

Having my brother bring me in to the ceremony location on our combine. Plus of course all the family and friends that joined us to celebrate.

What is your favorite activity to do as a couple?

We love to ride horses and travel to Megan’s rodeos. We also enjoy outdoor adventures including camping, hiking, and fishing.

Wedding Details

Venue: Megan’s family farm in Kalispell Rentals: Barn Door Rentals Caterer: Vista Linda Dessert: Alisha Koch Music: Shauney and the Fisher River Band Dress: J Scott Couture Bridal

Brent Flory

Going To The Sun Gallery Beautiful Oil Paintings by

Brent Flory and Keith Batcheller

Brent Flory

Keith Batcheller