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December 2009/January 2010





Beautiful on a budget



42 PAIRING WINE AND CHEESE A beginner's guide

features 10 KISSING THE SKY Single mom pilot shares passion 18 FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE HILL Missoula woman lobbies for nonprofits 46 PORTRAIT OF A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER Wife follows in husband's footprints

OUTDOOR WOMAN 56 AVALANCHE Search and rescue dog and handler


32 IN THE KITCHEN: MOROLDO'S Authentic Italian in Bigfork


70 CONCERT-STYLE MUSICALS Relishing its return

HOME&GARDEN 74 BIRD FEEDING Fowl of the Flathead


76 ESSEX, MONTANA Off the beaten track


72 DOG'S AND CAT'S BEST FRIEND Flathead Animal Shelter and friends


GREEN LIVING 14 GREEN GIVING Saving green with green gifts


Assisted graceful aging

HEALTH&WELLNESS 24 SINCERELY HAPPY HOLIDAYS Without holiday hangover 52 UNDERSTANDING SWINE FLU Homeopathic prevention and remedies 68 KETTLEBELL CRAZE More muscle in less time

SHOP TALK 44 the flathead's first Southside Consignment 54 IT TAKES A VILLAGE

The Village Shop

in every issue

62 PROFESSIONAL PROFILES Reecia’Salon & Spa Mountain West Bank New Image Concepts Great Northern Eye Care Bella Colour Salon Insty-Prints


Cover Model Angela Marvin

4  406 WOMAN

NOTE: Although we take utmost care and consideration with our content, unfortunately, mistakes are inevitable. Please excuse the following

lives in Whitefish and works at Bear Mountain Mercantile.


Hair Color & Styling by James Armijo of Reecia’Salon and Spa Make-up by Reecia Maxwell of Reecia’Salon and Spa Wardrobe courtesy of the Toggery, in Whitefish Cover Shot by Sara Joy Pinnell, A.YourArtisan Photography

Bannack was incorrectly cited as Montana’s first

In the October/November ghost town article, territorial capital in 1964. It should have read 1864.

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406 WOMAN  5

from 406 WOMAN GIVE TIL IT HURTS? We’ve all heard it and many of us have said it, perhaps even at this time of year: “It’s better to give than receive.” While I understand the moral is to not be selfish, I would point out that it’s impossible to give unless someone else is willing to receive. Can one really be better than the other? Don’t get me wrong, we’re HUGE fans of giving (406 Woman was involved this year with breast cancer awareness, the Kalispell Food Bank, the Parade of Homes and more). But we also recognize the importance of being on the receiving end. You know that amazing feeling you get from giving? You wouldn’t want to prevent someone else from having that feeling, too, would you? That seems, well… selfish! Sometimes as women, we become so involved in giving to others, that we inadvertently dismiss the gifts of those around us. Beyond that, some find it difficult to give to themselves, instead becoming martyrs of their marriage or families. We could all take some lessons in balance from the women in the issue. Take Marnie Russ (p. 18). As a lobbyist specializing in nonprofits, she exemplifies the gift that keeps on giving. In life coach Dru Jackman’s column (p. 24), she explains how to give your loved ones a fantastic holiday season that even you can enjoy. For those who love to be the life of the party, Gayleen Cooley shows how to host a beautiful event that doesn’t cost a pretty penny (p.36). And pilot Michelle Petrina (p. 10) reminds us that only we can give ourselves permission to follow our dreams. So the next time you’re tempted to deny a gift— whether tangible or service-related, remember what you’re really turning down. You’re effectively robbing someone else of the opportunity to receive the great joy that comes from giving. Instead, why not give a little this holiday season by allowing others to give to you.

Publisher Cindy Gerrity

Editor Olivia Koernig-Castellino

Business Manager Daley McDaniel

Layout & Design Vanessa Gailey

Staff Photographer Brent Steiner

Cheers, Cindy and Olivia

6477 Hwy 93 S Suite 138, Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-1545

Staff Designer/Photographer Sara Joy Pinnell

Published by Skirts Publishing Copyright©2009 Skirts Publishing Published six times a year. 406 WOMAN  7

is a photographer in Eureka, Montana who moonlights as a kindergarten teacher at Eureka Elementary. She graduated from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and the University of Montana and now raises her two daughters with her husband, Chuck, who is in the Army Reserve and is frequently off saving the world. Please visit her website at or email her at

helps people in her capacity as a licensed clinical psychotherapist. She helps animals through her involvement with local and regional animal shelters and animal rescue organizations. She shares her home in Kalispell with her husband and wonderful, loving pets. Her dogs and cat were all adopted from the Flathead County Animal Shelter.

and Ginna Short recently completed a two-month exhibition of macro and close-up photography at the O’Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Center in Whitefish. Their photography is a collection of nature, wildlife and macro images, which they personally manage, from capture to large format, color controlled prints. Rex and Ginna are 15-year residents of Whitefish, and samples of their photography and comments, including images of Lost Coon Lake, are displayed at

Artist, visionary, lover. Always in pursuit of passion in the art of photography, he is co-founder of angelglass photography, a cooperation of artists seeking to reveal love, art and life in imagery. Based in the Flathead Valley, their work can be viewed at

10  406 WOMAN

Kissing the



esignated Pilot Examiner Michelle Petrina, of Whitefish, wants me to know that flying isn’t as hard as one might think. To convince me, she invites me for an introductory flying lesson in a Cessna 172. We’ll be departing around sunset from Glacier Park International Airport. We taxi along the taxiway for a few minutes, completing our pre-flight checklist. She gives me what feels like a CliffNotes introduction on how to steer on the ground (using my feet!) and procedures for takeoff on the runway. We call the tower and gain clearance for take off. She informs me that I’ll be getting the plane off the ground today. Inside my head, I scream, “Are you (bleeping) insane? I can’t fly a plane!” But I say nothing, instead I only swallow hard and nod. With sweaty hands clutching the yoke, my heart hammers in my chest. I increase the throttle to full power and we race down the runway. “Okay,” Petrina instructs me, “now just pull back gently on the yoke…good, just a little more.” I do as she says and the nose of the plane rises, partially obstructing my view out the cockpit. I feel my body pressing into the seat and take in the cloudless blue before my eyes. “Well done,” she tells me. “You’re flying!” Now, I know that she was coaching me every step of

by olivia


kissing the sky continued

the way and that, while she let me have the controls, at any time, she could’ve taken over the aircraft. Still, she proved her point—almost anybody can fly. To Petrina, the sky is definitely not the limit. It’s only the beginning… I believe I can fly Indeed, that’s been a driving theme behind much of Petrina’s aviation career—the notion that anyone can achieve their dreams, even lofty ones that launch you above the earth and drop you among the clouds. Today, she exemplifies how far a woman in aviation can go, but there was a time when she hadn’t even considered it. “I grew up in a small town. My dad drove a logging truck and my mom drove a school bus,” Petrina says. “When I was growing up, no one ever told me to go to college, let alone that I could fly an airplane.” But she did both. Petrina was the first of four siblings to graduate from college, in spite of some personal and financial setbacks. Working as a receptionist after high

12  406 WOMAN

school, Petrina saved money so she could further her education. She wasn’t certain what career path to pursue, but knew she wanted to earn a degree. “There was this sales manager at work—Tom Minot—and every day he hounded me to go back to school, asking me what I was going to do with my life,” Petrina says. Finally, one day, she had an answer. She’d discovered her interest in aviation. The next time he asked, Petrina told her co-worker she wanted to become a flight attendant. “He said, ‘Why would you want to be a stewardess when you can fly the plane?’” she says. “For me, that was a pivotal point. As an 18-year-old girl from a small town in the Sierra Nevadas, I never even knew that was an option.” Minot was the first person to take Petrina up in a small plane when she was 18 years old. She was hooked from that moment on. Twelve years later, he assisted in her pursuit of another aviation goal by allowing her to use his airplane to earn her flight instructor’s license. “Just put some gas in it,” he told her.

Michelle Petrina with her children, Britney and Martin. Both are working toward pilot certification.

RESOURCES Glacier Jet Center 755-5362 Glacier Flight Training 261-9386 Red Eagle Aviation 755-2376

Shattering the glass ceiling Today, the single mother of two has worked her way through the ranks. She went from being a certified pilot (private, instrument, commercial single- and multiengine as well as an airline transport pilot) to working as a fight instructor (including instrument and multi-engine). Eventually, she opened her own school—Glacier Flight Training. Most recently, she’s been authorized to act as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Pilot Examiner, meaning she administers the test to evaluate whether or not someone will become certified to fly. “It’s kind of the glass ceiling in general aviation,” Petrina says. “I’m the only woman designated pilot examiner in the state. When you’re the only girl in a room full of men, you’ve just got to stand up straight and walk with confidence.” Being the only girl is something Petrina has gotten used to. She’s had to. After all, aviation is still a male-dominated field. Although the first woman received a pilot certificate nearly 100 years ago, today, women pilots account for only six percent of the nearly 600,000 active pilots in the U.S. When discussing airline transport professionals (ATP), the number of qualified women drops even lower—little more than three percent. And Petrina thinks that’s a shame. Under her wing “I’m always trying to support women pilots and raise the bar,” she says. “There aren’t a whole lot of us out there.” So when Petrina met a young woman from Alaska putting in her hours studying so she could solo (fly alone) a plane, she went above and beyond the scope of what a teacher might normally do. Not

only did she fly with the woman on a daily basis during her instruction but she also invited the student into her home. “She was experiencing computer incompatibility when studying for her written exam, so I let her come to my house and use my computer,” Petrina says. “I maintain that level of professionalism, but we also become great friends. I think you do what you can to make sure people succeed.” Petrina is particularly proud of a recently licensed pilot she worked with. The woman fulfilled her dream of becoming a pilot at 72 years old. But Petrina’s enthusiasm and encouragement extends to all wouldbe pilots, not just women. She works with the local Civil Air Patrol chapter, providing mentoring, helping them fundraise and bridge gaps in paying for flight lessons. She’s also hosted aviation workshops for some local schools, granting students exposure to a career path they may not have encountered otherwise. “My high school counselors never told me I could be a pilot,” Petrina says. “I encourage people, and my role as a designated examiner just extends my ability to reach out even further.” She says the Valley is full of resources for aspiring pilots. From a guy with a half-million-dollar airplane to another man who owns a “great, big war bird,” Petrina has a vast network of connections. “There are people in the financial position to take someone under their wing and help them,” she says. “But guidance and information don’t cost anything. If it’s your dream, I can help make it a reality.”

green living:

g n i v i g green courtesy of ARAcontent any people perceive a high cost associated with a green lifestyle. However, this holiday season, you can embrace eco-friendly living while actually saving money. Below are a few easy tips to make this holiday season green and cheery.

Holiday cards are supposed to be from the heart, so take some extra time and attention and make them earth-friendly. Send holiday cards by using recycled paper. If you have scraps lying around, give them some holiday pizzazz with stamps or other embellishments, available at All About Memories on Highway 40 between Columbia Falls and Whitefish. Don’t have any suitable scraps? No worries; recycled paper can be purchased on sites like And using e-cards, like those from, offers a paper-free option.

There are many perfect, green gift options for everyone on your list. Look into things like bamboo cookware for the chef, hand-cranking flashlights for outdoor enthusiasts and all-natural baked goods for foodies. Organic bath products will be popular with the women in your life and eco-friendly clothing made from hemp, organic cotton and bamboo is perfect for the fashionistas. also makes it easy to be eco-friendly while saving money. Browse through fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, which are all featured with discounts of up to 70 percent off. 14  406 WOMAN

406 WOMAN  15


A year of prepaid curbside recycling facilitates loved ones’ green aspirations. Visit or for more information.

With all the electronics and toys under the tree and millions of digital pictures sure to be taken over the holiday season, Americans will spend nearly $700 million on batteries during this time. Rechargeable batteries can be used in any electronic device and save both money and space in landfills. One rechargeable battery can replace up to 1,000 disposable batteries. Rayovac is the nation's fastest growing brand of rechargeable batteries and costs less than other brands. According to, an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime, paying for itself in around six months. Using 75 percent less energy, it will last about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb, making it a great green gift. Green cleaning products, watersaving faucets and showerheads and outdoor solar lighting are other gift ideas that point loved ones on the path to green living.

Sometimes the best gifts are not about the monetary value, but about the sentimental value. Save money and resources by skipping the trip to the mall, and instead give gifts of you. Create coupons that are redeemable for your time, whether it is baby-sitting, a date or shoveling snow. 16  406 WOMAN

Signing you and a loved one up for a class is a fun gift idea. To promote fitness, take the WAVE’s Boot Camp class, available for a nominal fee on top of membership dues. Most other classes are included with membership, so be adventurous and try something new. Get creative with beginner’s knitting and crocheting classes offered free every Saturday at Camas Creek Yarn in Kalispell. Learn all the imaginative ways to use beads at Brought to Life Beads in the Mountain Mall in Whitefish. Or embark on an artistic journey with one of a variety of art classes available at Stumptown Art Studio in Whitefish.

Don't rely on the standard tradition of opening a new roll of wrapping paper just for the holidays. Get creative and use materials found around the house like magazines, newspapers and fabric. Re-using old gift bags or purchasing reusable bags are great options for reducing your waste as well. If you still prefer traditional wrapping paper, this year opt for purchasing recycled gift wrap. Look for some earth-friendly options at


o meet Missoula native Marnie Russ on the street, you’d like her instantly. She’s sweet, but in a believable way. She’s blond and she’s beautiful and she uses the word “gosh” without sounding the least bit Pollyanna. And while it’s easy to like her, Russ’ persuasive prowess may not be immediately evident. But underestimating her is a costly mistake. Indeed, her lobbying firm is singlehandedly responsible for bringing several million federal dollars back to Montana since 2003. How do you like her now? 18  406 WOMAN

Welcome to Washington

Russ got her first taste of Washington D.C. as a high school cheerleader. A family friend asked if she’d ever considered being a Senate page. Russ’ answer? Umm, no. “I didn’t even know what a page was,” she laughs. “But I applied, and, somehow, I was accepted. I had access to the whole capitol and all these amazing opportunities. The minute I left D.C. for the first time, I knew I wanted to live there.” A few years later, when she

to the Hill by olivia koernig-CASTELLINO

was majoring in organizational communication and political science at University of Montana, she wrote a letter to her parents describing where she saw herself in 10 years. Russ predicted she’d be living in D.C. and working as a powerful lobbyist. And while, more or less, that’s exactly what happened, her road to success in D.C. was no fairy tale. More like a soap opera.

Lessons learned

“After many ego-crushing interviews, I reluctantly accepted that I wouldn’t

photos by AMY GONDEIRO and courtesy of Marnie Russ

be discussing legislative strategy with high-powered members of Congress right away,” Russ says. “Instead I found myself answering calls from equivalent administrative twenty-somethings.” Undeterred, Russ redoubled her efforts, moving in and out of troubled lobbying firms. At one, an inter-office affair turned volatile when the wife of the unfaithful lobbyist found out and sent an obscenity-laden email to the entire staff. At another, Russ was physically assaulted and sexually harassed, ending up embroiled in a financially and

emotionally exhaustive legal battle. “I took many lessons from my early career,” Russ says. “The most important is that integrity is the most valuable thing I can offer anyone.” Long before the Jack Abramoff scandal and lobbying reform, Russ witnessed injustices firsthand. She imagined a lobbying firm that was decent, honest and true to the core. “I’d been in meetings where someone would say, ‘I know this person and I can get this done,’” she says. “That should never, ever happen, but that’s what 406 WOMAN  19

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Photos by Sara Joy Pinnell Hotel backdrop constructed by D W Quick Construction


Sharon Kolb (on the Board of the Community Medical Center Foundation), Conrad Burns and Marnie Russ

From the the Hill continued

lobbyists had been doing.” The blinders were off, but, little did she know, the greatest insult was still to come.

Movin’ on up

Finally, her hard work began to pay off. She went to work for D.C.’s largest and most successful firm at the time, Cassidy and Associates. Russ was assigned a partner/mentor and became part of a team specializing in national and international aerospace projects. “It was so interesting and exciting,” she says. “The only problem was that it would never bring me back to Montana, and Montana is my first love.” Meanwhile, at Cassidy, Russ began lobbying for nonprofits. Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula held a particularly fond place in her heart. So although Cassidy’s fees were well beyond Saint Pat’s means, Russ devoted time and energy to the cause. “I marketed them for a long time,” she recalls. “I sent them proposals and prospectuses and really taught them what lobbying could do for them.” In the years that followed, Russ left Cassidy and started her own firm specializing in lobbying for the non-profit organizations of Montana. She started Rocky Mountain Capital Consulting in 2003. “I don’t believe corporations should get federal money,” she says. “But nonprofits are different. They elevate the public good.” Finally, several years after beginning her relationship with Saint Pat’s, the institution agreed to work with Russ. “Then two days before Christmas, they emailed me to say they’d decided to go with a bigger firm,” she says. “I was crushed.”

A fork in the road

She began to doubt her path. Everyone always told her she’d never make money working only with nonprofits—and, for the first time, she wondered if they were right. “Saint Pat’s was the key,” Russ says. “I had to decide to either go forward or join a firm.” She decided go forward—with gusto. The day after Christmas,

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Russ contacted Saint Patrick’s competitor, Community Medical Center of Missoula. “I knew the only way I’d feel better was if I went to the competition and got them more money,” she says. “It seems shallow, until you look at the fact that I’d marketed them for three years and in the end they went with a big, all-male firm.” Russ charged Community far less, and in return, gained its complete faith. That year, she secured $1 million for Community to build a neonatal intensive care unit. Saint Pat’s received $700,000. “They thought they had the best of the best—a firm with members in its back pocket,” she says. “It just shows that when there’s a need, it really becomes a community wide effort.” Recently, Saint Patrick Hospital contacted Russ asking what it would take to work with her.

Double life

Today, Russ splits her time between residences in D.C. and Missoula. In addition to representing her clients at the federal level, Russ knows her clients on a personal level. It’s not uncommon to see her in their offices or around Missoula working on their behalves. “My clients do extraordinary things, and I take it the Hill, so delegation knows what they’re up to,” she says. “And when I’m in Montana, I spend a lot of time with my clients and educating the community. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 22  406 WOMAN

“Quilting Stories” com e s to th e H e a l i n g A r ts G a l l e r y


he long history of quilting in America is full of intriguing stories, friendship, support, creativity, innovation and talent. Even before the Puritans set foot on this land, Native Americans were involved in a unique style of quilting. These peoples shared their skills when the Europeans arrived. A patchwork of multicultural quilters emerged over time in the melting pot of America. This included the Native Americans, Black Americans, Mexican Americans, Hawaiian Americans, Amish Americans and on and on. Supporting and teaching each other during good times and bad, these women have stories to tell about the early colonial medallion quilts hand-stitched to beautify their homes, simple pioneer quilts created for warmth by loving hands, quilts for those traveling the Underground Railroad, and the Frugal Quilts that emerged during the Great Depression. Around 1840, when manufactured fabric became available and affordable, there was an explosion of interest in making quilts. This has continued into our current times. The art form of creating quilts continues to bring women together and occasionally a few

interested men. The great majority of these works of art installed in Quilting Stories are by employees of Northwest Healthcare (NWHC). The changing exhibits of the Northwest Healthcare Healing Arts Galleries at Kalispell Regional Medical Center combines the medical arts with the fine arts to create an environment for health and healing. Thirty percent of each art sale benefits the Northwest Healthcare Foundation. In addition to the many permanent exhibits located throughout the hospital, there are rotating galleries as well, like Quilting Stories, which will be on display through mid-March. These are located in the hallway leading to KRMC's cafeteria; in the waterfall lobby; and in the admissions lobby. A community without art is a community without soul. This Medical Center and the Kalispell community have plenty of both!

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Coach Dru:




Dear Coach Dru, My wife and I both read your column, so I hope you answer. She is a wonderful wife and mother and goes out of her way for our family all year long. During the holidays, she goes into ‘overdrive,’ ending up exhausted and, frankly, a bit cranky. I’ve told her it doesn’t have to be perfect. She’s says she wants to make the holidays special and memorable. I appreciate what she is trying to do, but, at times, it doesn’t seem worth it. Any advice? Thank you, 406 Man Dear 406 Man, First, I want to acknowledge you for being such a loving husband. It’s clear you appreciate all the ways your wife shows her love for your family. I'm encouraged you wrote—what a lovely gift to give your wife! Plus, thousands of families can identify with your situation. For many of us, financial overindulgence is a holiday tradition we observe every year. We run ourselves ragged “doing” all we can to make sure the holidays are special for everyone involved. We worry beforehand about making it perfect, during about getting it right and afterward about what we might have created – large credit card balances, exhaustion, hope for a simpler way next year. And, while we are creating enduring memories for our loved ones, we often end up too tired and cranky to enjoy it ourselves.

We may even approach the season secretly thinking we can’t wait for it to be over. The good news: you can have the holiday you’ve always wanted AND avoid the New Year “hangover.”

What’s Your Vision?

The first step toward having the holiday you’ve always wanted is to picture it. This is the first step to making anything important happen in your life. Define the holiday you want to have. Here’s where most of us get off track - do not put off this step. Write down what you want. Now. How does your ideal holiday look? Who’s there? What foods? How would it feel? What activities would you arrange? Would you wake early, go snowshoeing and come home to cook together? Would you stay in bed or by the fire until noon eating your favorite Costco foods? Maybe you’d take naps, watch movies and connect with absent loved ones over the phone. If you’re unsure, then close your eyes and dream. How might the holidays look like if you were in complete control? What would you contribute? What is most important? Connecting with loved ones? Relaxation? Laughter? Close your eyes and dream a little. Now. The true holiday spirit has nothing to do with: Should. Need to. Can’t. Have to. Must. These words kill the holiday spirit because they originate from the part of your brain that manufactures all the self-limiting

the coach is in!

conversations in our heads. They are not based on truth; they are based on fear and scarcity.

Work That Vision

There is probably a gap between the holidays you’ve had and the holiday you just visualized (and wrote down, right?). Breathe. This might not be easy – it is simple, though – and it might take a bit of practice. Pick one small part of your ideal holiday that you know you can do differently this year. Have a potluck dinner rather than cooking it all yourself. Ask for help cleaning up. Make a deal with your spouse to take an afternoon nap. Is your brain having screaming, “You just don’t understand, I can’t!” I assure you I do understand – I’ve got places to go, people to please, perfect gifts to buy and memories to make. I get it.

The Key to Your Successful Holiday

If you’re willing to have the holiday you really want, then you’re ready. “I am willing to have the holidays I’ve always dreamed of.” Hold that statement close as you make changes this holiday season. Cling to it when all the “shoulds,” “need tos,” “musts” and

Send coaching issues to me and I will answer them in this column.

by email 24  406 WOMAN

put “406 Woman” in the subject line and send to

by mail

send to Dru Jackman, ACC 406 Woman P.O. Box 741 Whitefish, MT 59937.

216 central ave

whitefish 862-7821

“have tos” rise to stop you. Know that you cannot make (or break) someone else’s holiday experience; you are simply not that powerful. We each make decisions, consciously or not, about how we participate in any given situation. Five people can react to a shared experience in five different ways. So, all you cranky and exhausted 406 women (and men), get out there and recapture the spirit of the holidays. Show your loved ones how much you care by having the holidays you’ve always dreamed of. Wishing you peace, joy and ease, Coach Dru

Dru Rafkin Jackman is a Certified

Personal and Professional Development Coach who started Sane Solutions by Dru in 1998. In her former life, Dru was a script supervisor who worked in the “glamorous” world of television. And although she loved the camaraderie, teamwork and 80-hour weeks, she took a dare from friends and decided to follow her passion of supporting others. She lives in Whitefish with her husband. To contact her, please visit

406 WOMAN  25

A Conrad Christmas photos by SARA

26  406 WOMAN

JOY PINNELL and brent steiner


licia “Lettie” and Charles Conrad spent their first Christmas in the mansion in 1895. Christmas was a special time for the Conrads. Evidence of Lettie’s fondness for the holiday is visible in the house. The quote above the great room fireplace, “God rest ye merry gentleman,” is also the title of a familiar carol and was meant to incite a sense of warmth in the home. The Tiffany-style glass above the great room features a pane bedecked with a cheery wreath, another year-round nod to the holidays. 406 WOMAN  27

A Conrad Christmas continued

Much like today, the Conrads erected a massive tree in the great room. The giant would easily reach near the ceiling of the second floor. Taper candles adorned the boughs and once lit, glowed like a shrine. All those flames flickering among the pine needles created a serious fire hazard. A servant was assigned to stand watch over the tree, fire hose in hand, poised to extinguish any errant blaze. As leaders of the growing Kalispell community, the Conrads set about building the figurative sense of community as well. Along those lines, boarders and those who might otherwise spend Christmas alone were all invited to enjoy Christmas with the Conrads. The attic was transformed into makeshift barracks to accommodate as many guests as possible. Christmas dinner was scheduled in between afternoon and evening Mass, to encourage attendance to both. There were sleigh rides and presents and a hearty dose of Christmas lore. Guests were admonished not to leave their quarters after bedtime—no matter what—lest they happen upon

28  406 WOMAN

Santa Claus making his rounds through the home. Indeed, come Christmas morning, there were gifts under the tree for all. But of all the ceremony surrounding the Conrad Christmas celebration, perhaps the most intriguing tradition of all is the Christmas pudding. The recipe was taken by vandals many years ago, and the fact that no one can even attempt to recreate it has only added to

the pudding’s mystique. To make the Christmas pudding, every single person connected in any way with the mansion literally had a hand in making it. Lettie and Charles, the stable hands and chamber maids, both grandmothers and so on. The recipe was handed down through generations of Catherine Stanford’s (Lettie’s mother) family from England. Preparations for the pudding began

with the Advent prayer invoking God’s blessing on all the Christmas preparations. Lettie read the recipe aloud and the ingredients were gathered. Macintosh apples, veal kidney suet and many exotic fresh spices were among the necessary ingredients, along with candied orange peels, lemons, raisins, currants and dates. Since all were ordered well in advance, preserving the ingredients added another facet to the Christmas pudding ritual. One week before Christmas, pudding preparation day was chosen and all were alerted. Since everyone was expected to participate in the pudding making ceremony, only the most necessary of chores were performed that day. The ceremony began with a prayer from Lettie, asking God to not only bless the pudding preparation but to also participate. After the blessing, the supplies were brought in. All the ingredients were properly chopped, the goal being uniform size. Since dates cooked down substantially, they were cut larger. Citron withstood boiling without shrinking, and so on. All during the cutting and chopping, the culturally diverse servants sang Christmas songs from around the world. Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Yugoslavians, British and Americans all sang songs and shared stories from home. Finally the heaping mound was added to boiling water in the large copper pot atop the range. The recipe called for continuous boiling, and, therefore, continuous stirring. For five hours, the stirring, singing and storytelling continued. Although the stirring became more difficult as the mixture thickened, everyone had their turn. While stirring, one shared memories of his or her home and Christmas traditions. It was believed they were blending in their poems and scriptures, that their carols and recollections were being inextricably mingled into the pudding. When the proper consistency was eventually reached, and all the joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams and love of all the participants had been blended together, the pudding was divided among the household and all the servants. It was wrapped in muslin and hung in the basement to harden. On Christmas Day, the pudding was heaped with sugar and rum and served flambé, the serving a great ceremony in its own right. And although the recipe is lost, perhaps the ingredients are not what matters most. Perhaps it’s people coming together, sharing their hearts and minds in pursuit of a common goal that makes the pudding so irresistible. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about? —Information from Half Interest in a Silver Dollar: The Saga of Charles E. Conrad, by James Murphy.

Holly Clandfield, who owns Medi-Lift Face & Body Solutions in Bigfork, proudly presents two new gifts to her clients. In addition to the signature Medi-Lift facial and extensive anti-aging products available at the spa, Medi-Lift is introducing MAC Cosmetics and Dermaglow LED Light Therapy.

MAC Cosmetics and the light side of aging, new at Medi-Lift

Holly Clandfield photo by KATIE GUNDERSON

Holly calls it a mini-MAC counter; you’ll call it a dream-come-true. Now that Holly is a certified MAC Pro, Medi-Lift’s initial selection will include a variety of textures and finishes, like satin, matte and pearl. “The MAC eye shadows go on like velvet,” Holly says. MAC Viva la Glam, Dazzle Glass, and Studio Fix foundation are among the products available at Medi-Lift. “The MAC line features finishing products designed to enhance your Medi-Lift anti-aging regimen,” Holly says. As a certified MAC Pro, Holly is qualified to perform your MAC makeover along with your Medi-Lift facial, but only by appointment.

Dermaglow LED Light Therapy began as a medical method for treating musculoskeletal injuries and wound healing. Since then, it’s been realized this technology can reduce and even reverse the appearance of aging and damaged skin. It can help improve the appearance of tired, flaccid skin (including breasts and abdomen), stretch marks, orange peel and cellulite. It can help restore skin tone by stimulating lymphatic drainage. Results are younger looking skin. LED Light Therapy offers advanced cosmetic rejuvenation utilizing Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology with a low-level power output, meaning it’s safe and won’t damage the skin. The noninvasive treatment won’t produce thermal damage or pain. Treatments last 20 minutes and are enjoyable and relaxing. No discomfort, down time, scarring or discoloration is associated with Dermaglow LED Light Therapy. The treatments can be performed year round and on all skin types. Additionally, Dermaglow LED Light Therapy is a successful treatment for Seasonal Affective

Disorder (SAD). LED Light Therapy stimulates your body’s own natural regenerative system, accelerating the replenishment and repair of collagen and elastin, to restore a youthful appearance. Dermaglow LED Light Therapy is effective for cosmetic enhancement of the entire face and neck, reducing the appearance of fine lines and superficial wrinkles. It lifts, tones and restores your youthful appearance with natural looking results. It can also reduce the appearance of facial scars, burns, sun damage, sunspots and even pregnancy mask. This cutting-edge therapy is not limited to certain body areas; treatment can be applied to one or more areas. It significantly enhances all other anti-aging treatments including microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, laser/IPLs, hydrating creams and anti-cellulite regimens. Results are evident immediately with optimal effects after eight to 10 treatments. And for a limited time, Medi-Lift will offer a special introductory price on Dermaglow packages.

To give yourself the gift of a Medi-Lift facial, MAC glamour or Dermaglow rejuvenation, see Holly at Medi-Lift where pleasant, non-invasive treatments produce noticeable, measurable results and cumulative benefits from the first treatment. Call (406) 837-FACE (3223) to schedule an appointment, or visit for more information. 30  406 WOMAN

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Vitello Sorrentina


photos and text by STEVEN 32  406 WOMAN


In the Kitchen:

with Steven Trent Smith

Ri stora nte Italiano


hat first drew Fabrizio Moroldo, an accomplished Italian chef, to Montana? Cowboys and Indians. Oh, and Gary Cooper. Seriously. “It was a thing from when I was a kid,” he told me. He first visited the Treasure State while on vacation in the mid1990’s. And he fell in love with the place – especially the Flathead Valley. He and his wife, Laura, and the twins, Kimberley and Ethan, moved here at the end of 2004. His intention was to open a fine dining Italian restaurant. Having his own place was a long time dream of Fabrizio’s. Born in France of Italian parents, he loved to cook with his grandmother on summer holidays at the family homestead in the province of Friuli. At 14, he enrolled in the culinary school at Marseilles. His course ran three years, and he left well grounded in all aspects of restaurant operations – cooking, pastry, wine, management. His first job was in a ski resort on the French-Italian border. When the season was over, he headed off to the famed Savoy Hotel in London, for a year’s stint in the kitchen and the dining room. Eager to learn more, Fabrizio moved on to the five-star Hotel Grand in Rimini, Italy, where he was the room service chef. There followed tours at Tres Scalini in Piedmont, the Hotel Splendide in Lugano, and the Manarini in Milan.

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Moroldo's continued

After managing the Hotel Villa Michelangelo in Vicenza for several years, Fabrizio boldly stepped away from the food service business. He joined one of Italy’s largest export companies, and spent the next two decades traveling throughout the world. After the family’s visit to Montana, Moroldo decided it was time for another change of life. And that precipitated the move to the Flathead. I remember when he first came into Gresko’s. He was surprised – and pleased - to see our selection of Italian specialties. He was then in the process of finding a source for the

with posters, photos, maps, and artwork, featuring Italian themes. The center of the room is dominated by a double-sided fireplace. A piano stands against one wall. Fabrizio came out of the kitchen to greet me, and we shared a bottle of San Pellegrino as we chatted. Then it was time to cook. The kitchen is large and spacious. Chef told me that all the equipment came from Italy. He uses the best ingredients he can find. The pastas (he has a regular selection of six types, and can do another four on special order) are all made fresh each day. Desserts are made in a separate pastry kitchen (and like everything else at Moroldo’s, are made from scratch).

Laura and Fabrizio Moroldo premium ingredients he would use at his restaurant, then a building in Bigfork. We discussed suppliers, and he bought a few items. He and Laura came in from time to time before the restaurant opened, back in the summer of 2005. But this was my first visit to his business—Moroldo's Ristorante Italiano. It’s situated on a hill just before reaching Bigfork proper (keep an eye out for the green, red and white sign on the left, by the Napa store). The dining room has a warm feeling – the walls are decorated 34  406 WOMAN

While I observed, Fabrizio grabbed a cast iron skillet and began to assemble a classic Northern Italian dish with cream, prosciutto di Parma, green peas and Gorgonzola cheese. This he sautéed and then poured over freshly-made spinach pasta. The result was rich and full of flavor. The pasta was perfectly cooked – al dente, of course. And the taste of each main ingredient came through in turn. He followed that with a luscious crab cake in a housemade puff pastry shell. Fabrizio uses blue crabmeat, ricotta and

saffron, but beyond that he would share no secrets. The saffron adds that certain je ne sais quoi that complements all the other flavors. This was really enjoyable. Moroldo then cooked up another pasta dish, Taglioline Ai Gamberi e Limone. He has shared all the secrets for this one with our readers (check out the recipe page). The dish features small shrimp (gamberi), fresh lemon zest and lemon juice, fresh mint, and a dash of Limoncello, a Southern Italian liqueur (available in most liquor stores). The taglioline is similar to linguine, but thinner. The mint and the citrus really made this work, and enhanced the flavor of the shrimp. So much for the Primi Piatti. Next up was Secondi Piatti – the meat course. Fabrizio offered up his Vitello Sorrentina. He pounded three veal cutlets until very thin, lightly floured them, then sautéed them with mashed fillets of anchovy. The liquid given off would become the basis for the sauce. In went capers, black olives, tomatoes, fresh basil, and some garlic, parsley and oregano. The key to this dish is to not overcook the veal. You want it tender. This is one colorful Italian dish. And more importantly, it’s delicious. The anchovies add a taste of the sea – the capers a piquancy. Out came two desserts to try. The semi-freddo (Italian for “half cold”) was laced with Torrone nougat, which added a pleasant crunchiness to the soft orangeflavored cream. The tiramisu was classic in its preparation – layers of lady fingers and lightly espresso-flavored mascarpone. Fabrizio added a nice touch of his own. He crushed some almond Amaretti cookies and incorporated them, which gave more depth to the overall taste. Moroldo’s winter menu features four Antipasti, half-a-dozen Primi Piatti, eight Secondi Piatti, desserts and a well-chosen wine list, with many Italian bottles. Specials are regularly available, and on Saturdays a special menu is featured. I was very happy with my experience at Moroldo’s. It’s genuine Northern Italian cooking, offered up in a warm, convivial environment.


Taglioline Ai Gamberi e Limone (pasta with shrimp and lemon)

Serves 2 4 oz. flour 1 lemon 2 eggs 1-2 T. Limoncello 8-12 medium shrimp with tails cut off Parmigiano Reggiano to taste 1 T. unsalted butter Salt and pepper to taste 2-4 T. heavy cream Prepare the pasta by mixing the flour and eggs. Roll thin and cut in strips with a pasta machine or a sharp knife; set aside. Clean the shrimp; dry on a paper towel. Grate the lemon peel for the zest, then juice the lemon; set aside. Boil 4-5 cups of water; when ready add a pinch of salt and olive oil. Sauté the shrimp with the Limoncello and butter. Take care not to burn the butter – keep it liquid. Add the zest and the lemon juice. Boil the pasta for 4 minutes; remove to plates when done. Top with the shrimp and sauce. Add some fresh mint leaves. Serve with the parmesan cheese.

Sfincione Siciliani (essentially, a Sicilian-style pizza)

Serves 4 Topping Dough 6 tomatoes, canned San 7 1/2 oz. water Marzano 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3 cups unbleached white flour Olive Oil 1/2 tsp. salt 2 onions, chopped 1 tsp. sugar Pecorino or Ricotta, grated 1 tsp. active yeast Salt to taste Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl, put the yeast atop the flour. Add the water and the oil, mix well by hand. Add the salt and sugar, and when incorporated, knead the dough for a minute or so. Oil a baking pan; cut the dough into four pieces, flatten, and place on the pan. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add the toppings, as desired. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Add fresh basil and serve. 406 WOMAN  35

Gayleen Cooley

by olivia

koernig-CASTELLINO photos by Sara joy pinnell

as the naughty economy convinced you that holiday parties are a thing of Christmas past? Gayleen Cooley, of Fabulous Food-Montana, proves otherwise. From using on-hand decorations to hosting a portion-controlled buffet, Cooley shows how to spread holiday cheer without spending a hunk of change.

“This season money is tight, and a lot of people may not be able to afford a caterer or to go out for a party,” she says. “My concept is for home parties—a new and interesting buffet table.” Far from unimaginative buffets with food heaped on plates and platters or lumped in chafing dishes, Cooley’s buffet offers single-serving appetizers artfully displayed. Wines were provided by of Uncorked Wines in Kalispell. “I took five different little glass or china pieces and served the hors d’oeuvres in those,” Cooley says. “It’s all in the presentation.” Cappuccino cups of chicken pot pie topped with puffpastry stars line up atop a wire shelf. Asian spoons deliver a bite of tenderloin topped with red

onion-pomegranate chutney. Guests sip soup out of shot glasses and munch macaroni-and-cheese from martini glasses. “Martini glasses are perfect for serving lots of things,” Cooley says. “You can serve a whole turkey dinner in one, starting with mashed potatoes, then stuffing, sliced turkey, a drizzle of gravy and finished with a dollop of cranberries. There are so many things you can do.” Truffles, which Cooley calls “easy to make, but expensive to buy,” provided a happy ending to the buffet. She started with bittersweet Swiss chocolate, and then rolled the truffles in a variety of toppings, like chopped pistachios, powdered sugar and cinnamon.

A one-time home economics teacher at Flathead High, Cooley spent more than a decade working with the Southwest’s largest off-site catering company in Arizona. In that position, she met Alan “Skip” Hause, who started Fabulous Food with his wife Chantal. Fabulous Food opened its Flathead location in 2002. “I joke that they decided to open the branch here so that I’d have a job,” Cooley says. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Skip is one of the authors of the leading culinary text 406 WOMAN  37


book, On Cooking, soon to be released in its fifth edition. The chicken pot pie and truffle recipes are both from the book. And while Cooley enjoys playing student and following the text book, she hasn’t completely shed her teaching tendencies. Each winter, she holds cooking classes in Fabulous Food’s 3,000-square foot commercial kitchen. “Sometimes classes will focus on ethnic foods, and hors d’oeuvres are always popular,” she says. “I also love doing one ingredient four ways, often showing how to take one ingredient and use it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.” Call 257-4294 to find out about her next class, which will start in February.

When the food itself is decorative, the rest of the buffet needs few embellishments to look stunning. Cooley recommends gathering boxes and other objects from around the house to create varying heights. Next, she uses scrap marble and granite to fashion shelves on which to display food. “A tile yard will have scraps all over the ground, free for the taking,” she says. 38  406 WOMAN

“I have all different colors. I love the rustic, broken pieces with jagged edges.” Instead of draping linen across the entire table, Cooley winds fabric remnants around the food. Table runners can be bunched up, pouffed up, twisted or tied. Placemats scattered diagonally across the table add interest, as will offcenter tablecloths . “If the tabletop is pretty wood, there’s no reason to cover it up completely,” she says. “I love to use wide ribbon. I’ll take an entire spool and wind it, curl it, tie it up and let it hang. There is a lot of really interesting holiday ribbon out there.” Cooley jazzed up her buffet table with freshly cut pine boughs, trimmed from a tree outside her office. A string of white lights and oversized glass ornaments— purchased from Target for $4—add more pizzazz to the table. Other inexpensive décor options include piles of pine cones and clear vases packed with sliced oranges and cranberries.

By creatively repurposing a few items from home, even the most frugal foodie can host a beautiful buffet this holiday season.

Vendors Fabulous Food 257-4294 Uncorked Wines 257-9463 BBJ Linen Rose Mountain Floral 752-7673 406 WOMAN  39

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Beef Tenderloin with Red OnionPomegranate Chutney

2 lbs. beef tenderloin—generously rubbed with granulated garlic, salt and pepper Chutney 2 whole red onions, sliced thin 1 Granny Smith apply, diced fine 1 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 T. granulated sugar 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup pomegranate juice 2 T. mango chutney 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme Sauté onions in olive oil and butter over mediumlow heat. Caramelize with sugar, pepper flakes and thyme. Deglaze pan with cider vinegar, pomegranate juice and chutney. Reduce until thick.

Tandoori Salmon Cakes with Mango Mustard

Mango Mustard

1/2 cup mango chutney 2 T. whole grain mustard 2 green onions, chopped 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped Mix all ingredients in food processor until blended. Warm on stove over low heat.

1/2 pound cooked salmon, chilled 4 T. butter 1 small red onion, diced fine 4 cloves chopped garlic 1 small red bell pepper, diced fine 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced fine 1/4 tsp. Tabasco 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, plus 1 cup for coating 1/2 cup yogurt 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 2 eggs, lightly beaten Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 T. butter, 2 T. olive oil, onion, garlic, red and yellow bell peppers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Cool. Flake the chilled cooked salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, yogurt, mustard and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 cakes. Heat remaining 2 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Drain on paper towels, keep warm to serve. (may be topped with Asian slaw) 406 WOMAN  41

Don’t let the cheese stand alone: An introduction to the wine and cheese party by RON SCHARFE of Uncorked Wines

The fundamentals

Paired up, wine and cheese each do their part to bring the best out in each other. When setting up a tasty wine and cheese pairing, there is really only one rule: If it tastes good, then do it! Even though it comes down to personal taste, certain guidelines have been proven favorable by a majority of enthusiasts. For instance, white wines match best with soft cheeses and stronger flavors, while red wines match best with hard cheeses and milder flavors. And fruity and sweet white wines (not dry) and dessert wines work best with a wider range of cheeses. When offering several cheese choices in a wine and cheese pairing spread, white wines fare better than reds. That’s because several cheeses, particularly soft and creamy ones, leave a layer of fat on the palate that interferes with the flavor in reds, rendering them monotonous and bland. Quite the opposite, most of the sweeter white wines nicely complement a full range of cheeses. Additionally, the “sparkle” in a sparkling wine or champagne can help break through the fat in heavier cheeses. Therefore, the spicy zing of a Gewurztraminer or the peachy zip of a Riesling is ideal if you’re going for wide-reaching appeal. Ultimately, the perfect wine and cheese pairing is not a match made in heaven. It is a match made on the palates of individuals of all tastes. Start with some basics and then rebel into the unfamiliar.  You never know which pairing will end up being your dynamic duo.


Colome’ Malbec Strong nose of cherries, blackberries, white pepper and violet; fine and elegant in the mouth; big concentration ending with round, elegant tannins; well integrated oak notes and a long finish Parrano Mild and nutty, combining salty and sweet flavors; the Dutch cheese that thinks it’s Italian Yalumba Viognier Aromas of apricot nectar, lifted honeysuckle and orange oil perfume; long, rich and luscious palate; intense stone fruit flavors, particularly white peach and apricot, finishing with a citrus freshness Gruyere Sweet, but slightly salty; tends to have small holes and cracks which impart a slightly grainy texture The Dissident Rich round and juicy; velvety full body and long lasting finish Humboldt Fog Elegant, soft, surface-ripened cheese; creamy and rich with subtle tanginess

What the pros know

Purchase cheeses in large wedges for a striking presentation. Cheeses should be served room temperature. Pull them out of the fridge a couple hours before your party. Serve most wines fairly cool, whites between 50 to 55 degrees and reds between 60 to 65 degrees. Let your reds breathe 15 to 20 minutes before you start to pour.   42  406 WOMAN

+ Cheese

Uncorked Wines 60 Commons Way Kalispell 257-9463

406 WOMAN  43

southside consignment

TOP PHOTO: Dixie Emerson, Judy Shanks, Donna Kouns, Val Kouns, Linda Sparks, Lori Morgan


The Flathead's First


alking through the immaculate furniture groupings and antique displays situated throughout Southside Consignment’s 6,000-square foot showroom, on Highway 93 South in Kalispell, you’d never guess that owner Donna Kouns started the business without a clue. “We had no idea what we were doing,” Donna says of herself and her startup partner, Karla Levengood (who owns Scotty’s bar). In fact, it wasn’t even the women’s idea to open a consignment shop in the first place. It was Karla’s now-deceased husband Scotty’s. But while Scotty Levengood may deserve credit for prodding Donna to start the store, today, 19 years later, she can proudly claim the store’s success as all her own. “In the early days there was very little consignment in the valley,” Donna recalls. “We used to take all kinds of stuff.” Now, with furniture, antiques, candles, artwork, costume jewelry, rare books and more, Southside Consignment’s wares are much more sophisticated and selective than they once were. Once home to 25-cent rummage sale items, today the store carries an array of items Donna refers to as “rustic elegance.” She says the secret of the store’s consistently interesting and diverse selection

44  406 WOMAN

is having six women with six unique perspectives in charge of accepting merchandise. “The store wouldn’t be what it is without them,” Donna says of her six part-time employees. “They are empowered to make decisions, too, and since we all have different taste, Southside always has a pleasing mix to suit a range of decorating styles.” Beyond relying on her employees’ taste to keep the store’s collection fresh and inviting, Donna praises the women for their creative collaboration on the displays as well. “They’re really good at displaying what seems like an ordinary piece of furniture in an eye-catching way and unusual setting,” Donna says. “The girls are also very good at giving decorating suggestions to customers.” Southside Consignment’s wares consist of 12 vendor booths and a showroom’s worth of consigned items. During the summer, an open-air side yard features garden and outdoor furniture and accessories. At Christmastime, the store will show more holiday-themed items, but will not turn into a Christmas store by any means. “I like to be more whimsical,” Donna said. “I try to keep it simple.” But while the store’s holiday theme may be simplicity, it’s a relative term. When glancing around the showroom, layered with rugs, hardwood tables, upholstered chairs, ceramic lamps and glass knick-knacks, one understands the meticulous care that must go in to creating the showroom. You can’t help but wonder what it’s like to rearrange. “We’re constantly moving stuff around,” Donna said. “And when something sells, it starts a chain reaction. We have to fill the hole it leaves. From there it sort of snowballs.”

certain standard of quality,” Donna says. “Beyond that, we want to stay fresh and current with our inventory. Just because we carried something three years ago doesn’t mean we’ll carry the same item today.” It’s that trial-and-error for nearly two decades that Donna thinks sets her store apart. While she once shopped estate sales, she found the activity too timeconsuming. Today, the store only accepts consignments on-site. Additionally, she relies on her established network of employees and consigners to ensure

the store features original items on an ongoing basis. “One of our longest consigners has been with us since 1995,” she says. “And my longest employees have been here for seven, nine and 12 years. I couldn’t do it without them.” After nearly quitting the business twice over the past 19 years, Donna has resigned herself to her fate at Southside Consignment. “This is my love,” she says. “Maybe I’ll retire when I’m in my 70s. It will just depend on my mood.”


Though Southside is considered the Valley’s original consignment store, today there are numerous other consignment stores in and around Kalispell. But Donna doesn’t feel threatened by their presence. Rather, she recognizes the competition as a reminder to stay sharp and carve a niche. “Having the other consignment shops just makes us pay closer attention to what we’ll accept. We have established a 406 WOMAN  45

Through the Photographer's Lens:

Portrait of a


ike a lot of women, Carrie Bistodeau always cries at weddings— every single wedding, every single time. Indeed, sometimes simply seeing pictures of a wedding is enough to set her off. “I get emotionally stirred by weddings,” she says, “the joy, the happiness and the coming together of lives. People are the most beautiful thing on Earth.” How fitting then, that she and her husband Brian, who own B2 (B-squared) Photography, make their living photographing the most beautiful thing on Earth during the happiest day of their lives, their wedding day.

Capturing life

“In our business, it’s not about just taking a picture, but capturing that life,” Carrie says. “I remind myself to shoot with all five senses, so they all show up in the pictures. I want that couple to look at their album and taste that cake and smell those flowers.” But she wasn’t always a wedding photographer—Brian was and Carrie stayed home caring for their young children. For a number of years, she worked behind the scenes, editing her husband’s work and marketing the business. It was during those many nights, weeping over images her husband had captured, that something sparked inside her. “My artistic side was stirring,” says the mother-of-three. “I started wondering how photos could be done differently. I started to see things differently.”


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wedding photographer

“When shooting, my mind is racing a million miles a minute as I’m trying to capture all the moments. It’s like bullets are being shot at me and the only way to deflect them is to take a picture.”

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Since the couple’s children were a bit older by then, Carrie felt comfortable leaving them with babysitters while she apprenticed under Brian. For a few years, they worked as a team—he was the photographer and she was his assistant. “The first couple weddings we did together, we’d find ourselves bumping into each other and giving each other that husband-and-wife look,” she says. “But now it’s unspoken. Now we know where the other person needs to be.”

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As one

Eventually, she transitioned out of her role as assistant and into her role as photographer. Next year will be her fifth wedding season. “Photography is the hardest job I’ve ever had—outside of being a mom,” she says. “People perceive it as fun, and it is, but it’s also labor intensive. I’m doing squats, racing around and running up and down a ladder constantly because I

“I remind myself to shoot with all five senses, so they all show up in the pictures. I want that couple to look at their album and taste that cake and smell those flowers.”

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Portrait continued


Designer Brand Name Fashions

Nucleus & 6th • Columbia Falls • 406.249.8167

don’t want to miss anything.” Carrie admits that when she initially crossed into her husband’s profession, she had some concerns. She wondered if they’d be competitive with one another, if there might be rivalry between them that challenged their marriage. Happily, her concerns proved to be unfounded. “Honestly, we have little moments of jabbing and teasing, but, gratefully, we are teammates. This is our business,” She says. “We’ve found that we can learn a lot from each other. Just from being a man and a woman, we think differently and see things differently.” While running a business together could put a strain on a couple, you can imagine how attending 40 weddings a year, might help them reconnect. And Carrie says it does. “I think it helps our marriage,” She says. “It’s perfectly normal for a marriage to lose the luster of your wedding day. Everyday marriage is not sparkling with the joy of that day. But for us to see that everyday helps keep the feeling alive.”

Building business

Word-of-mouth helped Brian and Carrie build their business in the Flathead 50  406 WOMAN

Valley. And while they’re based here, they will travel for weddings as well. “Like any business, it took a few years to build, but now we always fill a season,” she says. “We turn away weddings.” When B2 first came to the Flathead, Carrie and Brian immediately set out to involve themselves with the photography community. Rather that seeing other photographers as competition, the couple sees them as a support network. “We can all learn and grow from each other,” she says. “There are enough weddings for everyone.” Aside from local support, Brian and Carrie belong to a number of national organizations as well. Additionally, their commitment to continued education ensures their approach never gets tired. “Wedding photography is always the same and it’s always evolving,” Carrie says. “We need to be able to evolve with it, so our work never gets stale or stagnant.” For instance, while strictly portraiture was once the status quo, wedding photojournalism became the standard. Today, Carrie says the trend is mixing journalism with an artistic fashion session with the bride and groom. “In all these big wedding gorgeous magazines, the pictures are posed—it’s fashion photography a lot of time,” she says. “Brides are seeing that and wanting it.”

When something goes wrong

In spite of the most meticulously laid plans, sometimes the unforeseen does occur. Perhaps there’s a torrential downpour and it’s supposed to be an outdoor affair. “The benefit of Montana weddings is that people usually have a certain personality if they’re getting married here,” she says. “They’re down-to-Earth, adventuresome and friendly. It’s part of where we live.” Still, some circumstances can ruffle even the friendliest of couples. Once Carrie shot a wedding where the officiant showed up an hour late. Sometimes the flower girl refuses to walk down the aisle. “I have seen brides and grooms who get wrapped up in the pleasing of guests, but then it fades away,” she says. “The wedding always goes on.” 406 WOMAN  51

Have you heard of the

Swine Flu?

holistic suggestions to boost your immune system

the heavy


Vitamin D3 | Take 5,000 units a day for adults and 1,000 units for kids. Check with your doctor when dosing small children. Astragalus | (By Dragon Herbs) This works as an immune booster, especially for people and children who tend to get congestion in the lungs. Vitamin C | Take between 1,000-6,000 units a day. by KIERSTEN ALTON


ately it seems like you can’t open up a paper or turn on the television without hearing some scary report about the H1N1 virus, better known as the swine flu. But what you don’t hear a lot about is how to prevent it. For most of us, shutting the shades and staying home for the next five months is not an option. Instead, there are holistic suggestions which can help boost your immune system and help prevent the flu, or, at the very least, help you get over it faster. The swine flu has already been through our house, and we all survived. The kids ran a fever for two days, which we treated with homeopathic fever remedies. Then they developed cold symptoms, like stuffy nose and cough, which lasted for another three days.

The basics

To help prevent the virus from visiting your family this season, one of the most effective deterrents is also among the simplest: Wash your hands often. As one of our local naturopaths says, “Wash your hands like you have OCD.” Good old soap and water works great. Practice common sense, i.e., don’t let your babies lick the handle of the grocery store cart, keep your hands off your face, and avoid being sneezed on. It is especially important for kids to get in the habit of washing their hands and not touching their faces with their hands. This year’s flu has been especially hard on children. Most of the deaths have been due to secondary bacterial infections, especially in the lungs. Eating well is another easy and effective preventive measure. Sugar suppresses your immune system and should, therefore, be limited or avoided. Again, this is especially important for children. Winter is a time of year where our diet plays a big role in how often we get sick. Eating a diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables will allow your immune system to function properly. No matter if you choose to get the flu shot or not, you should get plenty of rest, eat well and laugh often. If you do have the flu, remember to stay hydrated, rest and give your body plenty of time to recover. Be well, and most importantly, be happy because laughter is the best medicine. 52  406 WOMAN

Influenzium 9c | (By Boiron Homeopathics) This is a homeopathic remedy made each year from the current flu vaccine which can be used as an alternative for people opposed to getting the flu vaccination. It can also be used if you already have the flu. We have the 2009-2010 version in stock at Big Sky Specialty Compounding. Sambucus | This syrup is made from elderberries. It works great for most viral infections. Children usually like the taste as well. Elderberry was even used to treat the flu epidemic of 1918. Nucleotides | (By Premier Research Labs) These are basic components of your immune system and can be taken every hour when you feel a cold coming on or when you are traveling on a plane. Esberitox | This is a combination of three different herbs, including Echinacea, which help the immune system fight bacterial infections. It works well with antibiotics or by itself. Kiersten Alton, RPH, is a pharmacist

at Big Sky Specialty Compounding in Kalispell. She attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas in Austin where she learned about herbs, vitamins, homeopathics and how to make medicines from scratch (compounding). She helps patients reduce or eliminate medications and teaches classes on women’s hormones, environmental toxins, and nutritional and natural medicine for infants and toddlers. Recently Kiersten started an autism support group. For more information, e-mail

406 WOMAN  53

FROM LEFT: Michelle Malletta, Melanie Drown, Shilo Gulick, Darcy Sloan, Tami Yunck, Julie Norby, Melissa Berdimurat, Marsha Ingraham.


It takes a village


lthough Tami Yunck, who owns The Village Shop, has been going to market since she was 14, she never planned to have a career in fashion. “My great aunt had a clothing boutique in Butte,” Tami says. “She took me to market, but retail was just my fun thing to do on the side.” She studied biology; clothes were just for fun. She worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska during the summer and spent winters working retail. But even when she lived in other places, she couldn’t escape The Village Shop’s call. “The previous owner, Nancy Svennungsen, was a family friend,” Tami says. “I loved to shop there, and then one time when I was home for a visit, she asked me to work. After that I’d manage the store for her once in a while.” Just as she couldn’t escape retail’s pull, Tami heard Whitefish beckoning as well. After drifting in and out of the boutique for years, Tami became an owner of The Village Shop in 1999. “I wasn’t living here at the time—I never wanted to live here. I wanted to make it somewhere else,” she recalls. “But then I started to miss my family and I came back. Around that time Nancy wanted to sell, so we became partners.” For the next six years, Tami accepted mentorship and guidance from Nancy. It allowed both women to make a seamless transition into their new roles. “She taught me so many things,” Tami says. “And it allowed her to let go slowly. After all, it had been her life for 20 years.” But Nancy wasn’t the original owner—Nina Hinderman was. She opened The Village Shop on Big Mountain in 1969 as an upscale ski

54  406 WOMAN

store. When it moved into town 25 years ago, it shifted its focus to women’s designer fashion, as it is today. “We have customers who have been coming for a long time as well as some new ones,” Tami says. “It’s fun to get to know families, to see their kids grow and learn their histories.” Indeed, the family appeal is part of The Village Shop’s success. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters can all find trends to suit their style—one frequent shopper is 79 years old. Even men enjoy shopping there, where gift cards offer an easy but pleasing gift for wives. “I think our success is mostly just because we care so much about people,” Tami says. “It’s just being kind to someone when they come in. Some days they may come to just say ‘hi.’” Tami also acknowledges that for women, clothing

can be a confidence booster. She thinks most women can relate to feeling better when they dress up or wear something they love. “It’s not where all your confidence comes from,” she says. “But putting the right outfit on can make you feel more confident.” The store offers two confidence-boosting concepts: Downstairs is The Village Shop, which offers designer jeans, jewelry, statement footwear and cocktail wear. Upstairs is Indigo Creek, which is more conservatively priced, offering trendy clothing and accessories, oftentimes appealing to a younger demographic. “In the past year, people have been looking for more affordable options, but there are those who still want designer items,” Tami says. “We can accommodate both.” Among the new holiday items at The Village Shop are two jewelry lines. Seattle-based Jamie Joseph features jewelry using semi-precious stones drilled and filled with diamonds. Kamofie’s line is inspired by flowers and other botanical elements. Joining The Village Shop’s designer denim collection (which includes True Religion, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity and more) is AG Jeans. Tami thinks local women will be especially drawn to the boyfriend fit, due to its comfort and more relaxed fit. “They’re quickly becoming everyone’s new favorite,” she says. Other notable trends include a continuation of ‘80s throwbacks, like leggings. Boots are still big, as is layering dresses and sweaters. “Anybody that likes fashion should come by,” Tami says. “We’ll help you get the look and make it your own without going over the top.”

Avalanche AvaLanche

a search and rescue canine handler's firsthand account


ne-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, four-one thousand; breathe… The snow was packed against the entrance of my hiding place, approximately four feet under my teammates’ boots. Battling to control my breathing and keep my heart from racing, I strained to hear if anyone was still on top. Alone in the pitch black training hole, I had only my thoughts, a few dog toys and a handheld radio—my only communication with the outside world. Seconds crawled. My thoughts turned to people who ended up in holes like these, which we willingly crawled into for training. I flexed my knees to keep blood flowing to my feet. Unlike me, avalanche victims lacked the luxury of movement and the hours of air our vast training holes permitted. They didn’t have the comfort of knowing people and dogs were only minutes away, ready to retrieve them from their icy tomb. The radio crackled to life. My teammate announced, after our minimum 10-minute “rise time” when scent makes its way to the surface, that the first of the five dogs was starting to search. This hole was among the deepest the new trainees worked. Gusting winds would quickly steal whatever scent made its way to the surface, making this a good test of a dog’s drive to find the scent’s origin then start digging to the source where their favorite toy awaited. Knowing they were working on increasing the time a dog is expected to work before reward (nosetime), I settled in and waited.

Game day

by KIM GILMORE photos by BRENT STEINER and courtesy of KIM GILMORE 56  406 WOMAN

Only three weeks earlier, my pager shrieked to life announcing an avalanche up Canyon Creek. My fellow teammate and flanker was on his way over to pick up Brenner, my Belgian Shepherd, and me. We arrived at the trailhead and began

the 13-mile snowmobile journey. Racing against time, I neglected to note the seriousness of the avalanche chutes en route that threatened to slide with the least provocation. We passed a ski patroller pulling a travois loaded with an occupied body bag. Statistics show survival rates after being buried in an avalanche decrease to less than 50 percent after 30 minutes. With each passing minute, the chance of survival declines dramatically. Odds increase if you’re buried under debris—like a snowmobile—which can create an air pocket. Most fatalities are caused by internal injuries, followed closely by asphyxiation.

Day one

However, some people beat the odds, and we were betting on that slim chance as we raced up the last steep slope to the toe (or bottom) of the avalanche. This was easily among the biggest avalanches I’d responded to. The slide had come to life as it hit the bottom of the canyon floor and started up the other side. Snapping trees as it banked left, it picked up speed as it headed downhill. A second slide started in a chute adjacent to the first; and a third chute held its position — precariously. Command warned rescuers to run for the trees if avalanche spotters sounded the alarm. Reports indicated two to six people were caught in the avalanche. One was located before our arrival; another, partially buried, dug himself out before help arrived. That meant possibly four more people still buried in a slide zone about a quarter-mile long with a catch-area (where a person could get caught up; base of trees, etc.) at least 100 yards wide and 20- to 30-foot-deep snow in the deposition zone. Trained search dogs work a snowfield rapidly, searching for “pools” of human scent rising up through the snow pack. When the dog finds a potential scent source, he buries his head into the snow trying to locate the source. If the human smell intensifies, he digs as he tries to get closer to the source. If the scent becomes weaker, a trained dog will work outwards from the area, attempting to either pinpoint an area of the buried source or rule the scent out as surface odor left by human searchers. A well-trained avalanche rescue dog is a model of efficiency—one dog is equivalent to approximately 20 foot searchers and can search the same area in an eighth of the time. Although Brenner has a tremendous sense of humor, he is a serious worker. Fifteen minutes after beginning to search, he showed interest in an area worthy of further examination by the probe pole teams. While we worked, two more canine teams arrived and probers located and extricated a second body in an area not yet searched by the dogs. Eight hours later, tired, sore and frustrated, we loaded the snowmobiles and headed back.

Day two

For searcher safety, the last of the three chutes needed to be triggered. We watched as avalanche mitigation teams fired mortar rounds into the snow pack and Mother Nature gave up her grasp. Another 10 feet

To the Rescue By OLIVA KOERNIG-CASTELLINO photo by BRENT STEINER Watch Kim Gilmore, of Columbia Falls, play tug with her Belgian Shepherd Brenner, and they look like any loving pet and pet owner. Kim sweet talks Brenner and he roughhouses with her, thrashing his head back and forth, attempting to disrupt her grasp on neon green and purple Frisbee. But there’s more here than meets the eye—both woman and dog boast an alphabet of letters after their names. Their collective meaning can be summed up by Kim’s personalized license plates: FIND EM. Whether buried under feet of snow, atop a volcano in a tropical jungle, trapped beneath a heap of rubble or pinned at the bottom of a rushing river, Kim and Brenner are trained to “find ‘em.” “I started working with search dogs during my freshman year at University of Montana,” says the Missoula-native. “I started with the dog I had then—a Doberman named Amy.” In the more than 20 years since, Kim has trained most of her successive dogs. Eventually, she found the Belgian Shepherd breed and sought it out exclusively. As a canine 406 WOMAN  57

Avalanche continued

After operations closed, discussion focused on the ever increasing danger en route to the avalanche. A major winter storm was heading down from Canada, and we knew our search time was limited. A small team would go on day three. If nothing was located, the search would be suspended.

Day three

Thirty-mile-per-hour winds whipped while the clouds opened up, dropping snow. Temperatures fell by the hour. We were taking significant risk just getting to the scene. Our goal was to perform one final search and collect the gear left behind before Mother Nature claimed it until spring thaw. I admired the winter wonderland on the way to the avalanche site. Trees were loaded under feet of snow; slide zones were heavy and waiting to catch the unwary. Since the night before, 10 inches of new snow had already fallen and a lot more was forecasted before the storm was done. We arrived to find the search area now looked untouched due to the blanket of new snow. With snow and temperatures falling, the wind picked up, limiting our visibility. For two days, searchers had been probing likely areas, digging 10- to15-foot deep holes to investigate suspicious “hits.” Now, we had difficulty locating these holes and had to pick our way slowly across the final search areas to avoid falling in. After six hours, Command ended the search.

Training Day

of snow settled in the toe. Time to go to work: four canine teams marched up the hill hoping to uncover clues about the people believed to be still buried. The dogs worked hard for an hour without giving much alert. Then probe teams were sent in again—another long, hard day. The dogs’ frustration mounted, and Brenner “found” all kinds of things left by fellow searchers: water bottles, gloves, hats, probe poles, shovels. It was time for a game of “find your toy.” My teammates left to bury Bren’s toy, and he played tug with some of his fan club.

Now, three weeks later, lying in my training hole waiting for the last dog to find me, I wonder if there really are others still on that slope waiting to be found. In the spring, we’ll take the dogs up again for another search — a recovery. Forty minutes and five dogs later, I emerge from my hole, squinting against the sun. I’m happy to have experienced only temporarily what, for some, might be the last conscious moments of their lives. As the next person prepares to be buried, I amble to my vehicle to retrieve Brenner. Finally, it’s his turn. His tail wags wildly. I wrap my arms around his neck and whisper my thanks for being who he is—for willingly giving so much to help others. -In memory of the victims of the Jan. 13, 2008 avalanche

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TO THE RESCUE continued

handler for Flathead County Search and Rescue (FCSAR) and First Special Response Group, she and her dogs have been dispatched on missions across the globe. Austria, Germany, Italy, the Canary Islands and Fiji are among the more exotic destinations they’ve traveled. “Fiji was a whole different part of the world,” Kim reflects. “We left here in winter, but it was summer there. We had quarantine officers with us the entire time because of the dog.”

community outreach with its Powder Hounds and Doggy Detective programs. Since the programs’ inceptions in 2003, the dogs and their handlers have educated approximately 3,000 children. “We modify the curriculum for all ages and teach the kids to build a fire,” Kim says. “We let the kids hide and the dogs will find them.”

Equal work/equal pay While FCSAR is funded by mill levies, Kim, Brenner and their colleagues are strictly volunteers. Considerable investments beyond time are not unusual. One online resource estimates a $1,000-plus out-of-pocket yearly expense for dog handlers. In addition, there are rigorous physical and psychological demands involved. “The number of people we find alive and deceased is probably about even, but you never become immune to it,” Kim says. “I’ve been on a couple missions where we located deceased children. Those are always the hardest.” In spite of the work’s intensity, Kim says canine handling is dominated by women. “There are only two male handlers here in Flathead, and that’s fairly representative across the board,” she says. “I don’t know why. Those getting started in canine handling are often times older women with grown families. We need to foster an interest among the younger generation.” Although women dog handlers are the majority, not so long ago, women weren’t even allowed in the field. Kim says that all changed in the mid-90s. Today, there are nearly equal numbers of women and men volunteers.

Top dog Kim acts as K-9 Training Director for FCSAR and does

Recently Kim began sharing her knowledge on a national teaching circuit. Because of her job commitments at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and her duties at FCSAR, Kim limits speaking engagements. Add that to her SAR training exercises and you’ll wonder when the woman sleeps. “I have no time for a husband or kids, but I couldn’t imagine my life without SAR,” she laughs. “Maybe for some it’s an addiction—knowing there’s always a chance the pager will go off—but for me, it’s my way of giving back. I really don’t mind dedicating the hours it takes to train myself and others. ”

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Professional As women who live in Montana, many of us herald the merits of buying local, whether it’s at the farmer’s market or our neighborhood hardware store. But even more than that, it’s nice to be able to recognize the people behind the businesses that are getting our money, and to know that, like us, they’ve invested in our community. According to Civic Economics’ Andersonville Study of Retail Economics in October 2004, every $100 spent at a nationwide chain results in $43 of local economic activity. On the flip side, every $100 spent at a locally-owned business results in $68 of local economic activity. And more money in the community means more jobs. On that note, we proudly introduce a few of the women doing business in a neighborhood near you. Time Out

Meet James, Reecia'Salon & Spa for

eecia'Salon & Spa Inc., the only exclusive Aveda concept salon in the Flathead Valley, offers a full line of Aveda hair care, skincare and makeup. We specialize in Aveda hair color, which is 97 percent naturally derived and essentially damage free. Our talented professionals treat guests to the finest services and products available for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The team continually participates in educational opportunities, learning the latest in trends and fashion. We bring these ideas back to our guests, including hair design, skin care, nails and pedicures, new spa services or wedding services. We are updated regularly in seasonal trends for hair color, styles and makeup. We offer Aveda signature facials, Lipomassage by Endermologie, and slimming body wraps for body contouring, cellulite reduction, and eliminating lymphatic toxins. Our team’s experience

ranges from new talent to 30-year industry veterans. James Armijo, featured stylist, has 25 years of experience and thoroughly enjoys his trade. From Denver, James joined the Reecia'Salon team one year ago. Certified in Aveda hair color, Goldwell and American Crew, James specializes in straightening systems, clipper cutting and customized color. He brings expert advice and careful evaluation for each individual, making him a delightful addition to the team. Reecia'Salon & Spa Inc., in the Valley for 10 years, is grounded in the Whitefish community through involvement in charitable events and fundraisers, like food drives and breast cancer awareness. We partner with Aveda for environmental leadership and responsibility. Our mission is to create a unique and memorable experience for each and every customer by providing a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Isn’t it time to take time out for you?


Meet Billie, Mountain West Bank First-time Homebuyers: Ready, Set, Buy! ow is the time for first-time homebuyers to buy a home. If you haven't owned a home within the last three years, you are considered a first-time homebuyer. Congress extended the $8,000 tax credit until June 30th, 2010. The current interest rates are still extremely low—probably the lowest we’ll see in a long time. I encourage everyone looking to buy to find a Realtor and move forward. NOW. A few ins and outs of buying your first home with the programs available: You will need to participate in a "Certified" Homebuyers Education Program. This

consists of either three evenings, or one full eight-hour day of class time. For times and schedules, contact FVCC and they can get you registered and rolling. The standard underwriting criteria and guidelines still apply, which means verification of valid and stable income and good credit score. Things continue to get tighter with the market, but programs are still available and consumers are encouraged to make their dream of homeownership a reality. Mountain West Bank, NA has the products and programs needed to facilitate any type of real estate mortgage transaction. Drop on by and see what you can get pre-approved. We have a loan to fit almost anyone's financial situation.


Meet Sharon, New Image Concepts Natural Processes, Dramatic Results elping individuals heal is one of the foundations of Sharon Tillett’s Bigfork day spa. At New Image Concepts, Sharon utilizes top quality products and proven techniques to help her clients achieve beautiful skin. “If you look at the difference in my skin, pre-facial to now,” says former Mrs. Montana Shelley Emslie, “it’s lighter, smoother and more even-toned.” She notes Sharon’s treatments are reducing the effects of sun damage on her skin. Sharon works with her clients to create unique, results-oriented skin care programs. Whether it’s reversing the effects of sun damage or slowing down the aging process, the proper treatment can Epicuren® utilizes natural metabolic produce the desired results. enzymes to encourage rejuvenation of Sharon is a skin care professional, skin cells. The enzymes lift, tighten and Epicuren® certified. The Epicuren® firm the appearance of the skin. Metabolic Signature facial is one of the skin care enzymes naturally renew, creating a treatments Sharon offers. youthful, bright and fresh complexion. “Their mission is in line with mine,” At New Image, Sharon will work with she explains, “I was so impressed by the you to heal, revitalize, and renew your concept of the enzyme process and that skin. Give her a call, or check out her it started as a medical procedure to help website at to find rebuild skin for burn victims.” out more. NEW IMAGE CONCEPTS • 406.837.1464 8000 HWY 35 SUITE 5, BIGFORK, MT

Meet Dr. Eva Buker, Great Northern Eye Care

A New Vision

ocally owned by Dr. Eva Buker, Great Northern Eye Care and Stumptown Spectacles is Flathead Valley’s newest optometry and optical shop. We offer complete primary eye care – eye examinations, contact lenses, and a full optical dispensary. Our optical boutique features a variety of frames by well know designers including Juicy Couture, Nike, Hugo Boss, and Calvin Klein. Professional

eye care, quality frames, and the latest in lens technology are our hallmark. A note about who you are likely to meet when you come in the office: Optometric care is provided by Dr. Eva Buker. She has practiced optometry as a locum-tenens for 13 years – traveling throughout Montana providing coverage to various practices and optometrists. Bruce Gibson, a Kalispell native, can be found helping in the office. Bruce also serves as the director of DREAM, a non-profit program providing recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. If you are greeted by a four-footed friend, not to worry, it is Al’a and she is friendly. Rounding out the team and working mostly behind the scenes are longtime Whitefish residents Gerald and Tiann Buker. If you know them – stop by and you may get to visit! Early morning, late evening, and Saturday appointments are available to suit all schedules. At Great Northern Eye Care, your eyes are our priority. We look forward to serving you!


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Full Facility with Changing Area and Showers located between Whitefish & Kalispell on Hwy 93 406 WOMAN  63

Restoring Hormone Balance

Women have questions! We have answers! Interest in Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy has surged since Oprah’s recent guests discussed the science supporting the use of customized HRT. Dr. Phil’s wife Robin McGraw described how through extensive research and with the help of her practitioner and a compounding pharmacist, she found natural ways to relieve menopausal symptoms and turned the “change of life” into a positive experience. For more information on customized hormones, call our professional compounding pharmacy.

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Meet Jessica, Bella Colour Salon Tress Transformation


without trauma

there and dump a t Bella Colour Salon, stylist bunch of bleach on Jessica Epler has been the someone’s hair.” creative force behind some Bella stylists remarkable transformations. A woman always recommend who walks in with stick-straight allthe gentlest one-length hair may walk out with a processes while still fountain of cascading curls tumbling achieving the same from her head. Is it magic? No. But dramatic results. Jessica will call it art. Unfortunately, not “I like the creativity of up-dos,” she all stylists follow says. that creed and some But she appreciates having an clients take their hair inspiration picture to refer to as well. transformation into “What one person says may mean their own hands. So something totally different to someone what can you do if else,” Jessica says. Unlike up-dos, some color transformations can your hair’s structural integrity has wreak havoc on hair. Want to turn deep black hair already been breached? platinum? Not so fast, says Jessica. Lifting hair Ask Jessica or another Bella color that many levels all at once means severely stylist about Bumble and Bumble protein- and moisture-restoring damaging the hair. “Compromised hair will break due to protein and deep conditioning treatments, moisture loss,” Jessica says. “At Bella, we’re big which can be performed in the on preserving hair integrity. We’ll never just stand salon or at home. BELLA COLOUR SALON 38 1ST AVE E #B, KALISPELL, MT • 406.756.2352

Meet Tamara & Judy, Insty Prints Insty Prints Gives



uccessful communities help each other, share ideas and work to make their collective environment a better place to be. At Insty-Prints we not only believe in this, but we act upon it daily. Giving back to our community is vital not only to those we are helping but to us as well. There are so many worthwhile organizations doing great things to make this a thriving community. It's impossible to help and give to them all, but Insty-Prints believes in supporting as many as we can. In 2008-2009 we supported more than 70 businesses and organizations in their efforts. So many of these organizations are from the non-profit sector, and they appreciate and understand the value of the

support that Insty-Prints provides. In 2009 alone, we printed more than 36,000 free posters announcing events or fundraisers for groups and organizations around the Valley. Hundreds of dollars in gift certificates have been donated for various auctions or charities. It's simply helping each other out and giving back to a community that's been a positive place for us to be. We also feel it's important to give our time in the community. Volunteering in various groups and organizations has allowed us to give back with our time and learn more about some of the worthwhile opportunities in our valley. Having an active role in our wonderful community…it's what Insty-Prints is all about. INSTY PRINTS, 131 MAIN ST, KALISPELL MT • 406.752.8812 49504 HWY 93, POLSON, MT • 406.883.3778 406 WOMAN  65

66  406 WOMAN

Minimally Invasive

Plastic Surgery Procedures for

Fa c i a l

Rejuvenation Most common a-la carte facial procedures at Whitefish Plastic Surgery Upper eye lift (blepharoplasty) Lower external incision (blepharoplasty) Lower internal incision (blepharoplasty) Mid face lift Mini facelift Lateral brow lift Neck micro-liposuction Cheek and jowl micro-liposuction Fat transfer Nasal tip reshaping (tip rhinoplasty)


ver wondered how celebrities like Demi Moore and Christie Brinkley stay looking so pretty, natural and young? It isn’t just good genes or good luck. It’s a combination of healthy eating, physical fitness, good skin products, vitamins and supplements…AND just the right amount of minimally invasive plastic surgery. Small interventions, both surgical and non-surgical can help maintain, or tastefully and subtly recapture a person’s youthful appearance without the drastic, overdone “Joan Rivers” style facelift. Surgical procedures to help achieve natural-looking effects include upper eye lifts; mini face or neck lifts; and micro liposuction of the chin, cheeks or jowls. Among the available non-surgical treatments are Botox; hyalauronic wrinkle fillers; and laser skin treatments. Today’s women are living longer, staying fitter, dressing hipper and want their faces to reflect how they feel inside. Their interest in plastic surgery is personal—not to impress their friends, look 35 again, or date younger men (although it may be for Demi). Many women’s interest in plastic surgery reflects their desire to identify with their inner body image and improve their self confidence. They want to look rested, healthy, natural and appropriate for their age. They don’t want the facelift seen in the media—ladies with frozen, expressionless faces totally unlike the pretty person they were prior to surgery, i.e. Priscilla Presley. These days, there is a wider palette with more specific choices. Today’s options provide smaller corrections to soften the heaviness around the jaw line, smooth the deeper forehead lines, fill cheek hollows or remove the excess fat pads from puffy tired looking eyes. But moderation is the key, NOT to change everything. Just as facial aging is widely variable from person-to-person, so are degrees of concern over a specific area. Based on each woman’s personal trouble spots and degree of desired changes, there are approximately 20 common small surgeries or procedures that can be considered. Frequently, three to five are chosen, kind of an a-la-carte approach, a custom combination from the surgical and non-surgical procedure menu. For example, one 60-year-old woman has deep lines around her thinning lips and puffy fat pads under the eyes. Another has crepe-y upper eyelid skin, forehead lines and excess wrinkled neck skin. The procedure recommendations for each would be totally different. Sure, they could both do full facelift surgery—but it often looks more attractive and natural to simply address the areas of disproportionate aging, leaving a few wrinkles and maintaining the woman’s character. The bottom line: Don’t fear. Now there are choices. You can start slow, stay in control, keep a few pretty smile lines, preserve your character while making simple, small changes to help you feel good… and feel like …yourself.

Botox to soften forehead lines, frown lines, crows feet, lip lines, normal muscles of expression to improve facial symmetry Juvederm and Restylane to fill lower eye hollows, lips, hollows around the jawline, downturned lips, deeper lines of the cheeks and forehead Chemical Peels for the lower eyelids or all facial skin Dermabrasion for thicker skin, deeper lines or acne marks IPL,Yag, Fractional erbium or CO2 for correction of skin problems like brown spots, little veins, excess redness, thicker lines, coarser skin and larger pores Microdermabrasion Prescription skincare products to increase cell turnover, slough thick epidermis, prevent excess brown pigment in order to prep for or maintain results from more intensive procedures Mineral makeup advice to camouflage a problem area or optimize a healthy appearance




As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Whitefish Plastic Surgery, Dr. Sarah Nargi loves the unusual combination of artistic variability, intellectual challenge and intense human emotion involved with each patient. This combination suits her perfectly. To learn more about cosmetic enhancements, call 862-6808 or visit

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The Newest Fitness Wave at the Wave

Kettlebells Y

by LYNN GROSSMAN The Wave Aquatic & Fitness Center


fact: Properly designed kettlebells workouts can: •increase strength •decrease body fat •shape the body •decrease stress •increase energy levels •increase flexibility •increase endurance •increase mental stamina and focus •increase sports performance

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ou may have seen kettlebells in your local gym and wondered what they are. A kettlebell is a cast iron ball with a handle on it. They have been used in Russia for centuries by their Olympic athletes and military. Today kettlebells are used by all types of people with a variety of goals. For example, athletes, power lifters, law enforcement officers, dancers and regular men and women who simply want to be in the best shape of their lives all use kettlebells. Design difference The difference between training with kettlebells and dumbbells is in the design. When you hold a kettlebell, the weight is displaced differently. There is a constant pulling on you due to the center of mass being different. With dumbbells, the weight is evenly distributed over your hand. When you hold a kettlebell, the weight is not distributed evenly, and, therefore, you have to counterbalance. But the handle on the kettlebell makes the weight easier to hold for the ballistic drills while adding a pulling force, due to momentum and gravity. During these drills you must actively counter with tension in the muscles of your body, making the drill harder, more effective, and more taxing, creating a more efficient and effective workout. More muscles The kettlebell exercises not only target the major muscle groups but also target hard- to-work stabilizing muscles as well. The result is a total body workout in much less time. Kettlebells, unlike dumbbells and machines, allow for greater range of motion during the lifts to improve flexibility. Unlike isolation exercises, kettlebell exercises are compound movements. They mimic everyday motion, treating your body as a whole, not a group of parts.

Women often worry about strength training and having their muscles get too large. With kettlebell training, that does not happen. Exercises such as swings and one-legged dead lifts tighten up the glutes and hamstrings, and the windmill is great for the core. Why wait Kettlebell training offers the benefits of combining strength and cardio, thus making it more effective. Because of this, your metabolism will ramp up and you will burn calories 24 hours a day, instead of two hours after a straight cardio workout. If you can do 45 minutes of kettlebell training two to three times a week, you will notice a big improvement in the shape of your body. If you are interested in kettlebell workouts, the Wave offers several qualified trainers to assist you in your journey to fitness. There are several beginner level and intermediate level classes to start you off. Remember strong is good, but stronger is better! Lynn Grossman is a Certified Personal Trainer at The Wave Aquatic & Fitness Center. Call The Wave at 862-2444 to begin a fitness regimen.

1250 Baker Avenue • Whitefish


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Arts Work:

Minimalist I musical theater returns to the Flathead

text and photos by MARTI EBBERT KURTH 70  406 WOMAN

t seemed almost sacrilegious when I first heard about it—the idea of stripping a great musical like The Sound of Music down to its barest bones of musical score and voice, taking away the staging and lighting effects…Could this still be entertaining enough to bring in an audience? I was skeptical to say the least. But guess what? It worked! Indeed, it was so successful that they did it again the next year with West Side Story and the following year with The Music Man. And now, this January, they will produce the ever-popular South Pacific. The ‘they’ I’m referring to is Glacier Symphony and Chorale (GSC) and Alpine Theatre Project (ATP) and their collaboration is called ONSTAGE. The idea was launched in 2005 when ATP founders Luke Walrath and Betsi Morrison approached John Zoltek, Music Director of GSC, and proposed doing a concert version musical of The Sound of Music. And although I’d never heard of the concept, it’s not a new idea among the symphony scene. “A lot of the big classic musicals are being done in this concertversion format by symphonies around the country,” explains Luke. “It’s a way to reach out to a different audience.” Luke is executive director of ATP as well as a Broadway veteran. He and Betsi settled in Whitefish in the early 2000s and have been visible in the performing arts circuit in the Flathead ever since. With Betsi reviving her Broadway role as “Maria” from the 1998 production where she played opposite of Richard Chamberlain, along with two other veteran actors from that Broadway show, the

inaugural production of ONSTAGE was a local runaway hit. What surprised me most was that I didn’t even miss the fancy sets and elaborate costumes because the strippeddown version focused all my attention on the singers and the wonderful orchestra playing center stage. Luke explains that the orchestra becomes the 'star of the show' in a concert-version production. “In most musicals, the orchestra is much smaller and sits below the stage in a pit,” he says. “Having the orchestra onstage with the singers gives it a much bigger sound and allows the audience to really hear the music as it was written.” John concurs that bringing the orchestra center stage into the production adds a luxurious sound to the score. And sometimes it brings the conductor into the action as well. For The Music Man, John wore a train conductor’s hat and participated in some of the actor’s antics. “It's mostly light and buoyant music,” the GSC director says, “but the dynamics of the full symphony add greatly to the overall experience of the musical.” Another benefit of concert-version musicals is the greatly reduced cost to produce them and the ability to perform them in more than one venue during the

same run. This is especially convenient in our valley where people don’t like to drive too far in inclement weather. In this case, South Pacific will be presented two nights in Whitefish, on January 29-30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, and then move to Flathead High auditorium for a 3 p.m. show on Sunday, January 31. The musical’s dialogue and song list will be performed with skillful direction from ATP, along with a cadre of both professional and community actors and singers. I guarantee you will be dazzled by the minimalist approach. After all, isn’t that what musical theater is about… using your imagination? For ticket information, visit the websites or www. or call 257-3241.

Marti Kurth

is a freelance publicist, writer and photographer who has had a longtime love affair with the arts. She teaches middle eastern belly dance and hand drumming and spent her early years acting in community theater. She has lived in the Flathead Valley since 2000 with her husband who is a graphic designer. Contact her at

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1380 Wisconsin Avenue Whitefish, MT 59937 406 WOMAN  71


Flathead Shelter Friends by CINDIE JOBE photo by SARA EDMONDSON

Myni Ferguson, Millie and Carmen O'Brien

Dog's Best Friend and cat's too

Looking for your next best friend? The Flathead County Animal Shelter is the only animal shelter and adoption center in the Flathead Valley that accepts all owner-surrendered and stray dogs and cats. A division of the Flathead City-County Health Department, the shelter is one of the most innovative in the Northwest, thanks to the unwavering dedication and hard work of a diverse group of animal advocates. Once the last stop for many of the Valley's lost and unloved, the shelter has become a safe haven for homeless pets awaiting permanent homes. Last year, by working with numerous animal rescue groups in the Flathead and beyond, the shelter placed or returned home more than 2,200 pets. Indeed, nearly 90 percent of the dogs and cats sheltered this past year were saved, a virtually unheard-of success rate in open-door animal shelters. And 2009 is slated for even greater success. As a government agency, the shelter also houses all dogs and cats rescued from abuse situations. Staff and volunteers ensure these neglected and mistreated pets receive humane care throughout the lengthy legal process until they can be placed in safe new homes. Behind the shelter's success is a group of remarkable women, dedicated to improving life for the Flathead's homeless pets. Shelter director Kirsten Holland brings a community development and animal advocacy background to her role. Dedicated to the belief that every animal shall have a home, Kirsten is the driving force behind many of the shelter's innovative methods that help save lives. Formerly a development officer with the San Francisco Foundation and the San Francisco SPCA, Kirsten's long term goal is to build private and corporate support, allowing the shelter to expand its programs. “When I came here in 2004, I was certain I'd never work in animal welfare because I'd had it so easy in San Francisco, a city with more pets than kids!” 72  406 WOMAN

Kirsten says. “I was convinced people didn't care as much about pets in rural areas—happily, I was wrong.” Myni Ferguson, a longtime animal advocate based in Whitefish, is President of the Flathead County Animal Advisory Committee, which advises the Board of Health and County Commissioners on issues relevant to the shelter. Myni has been the leading voice for animals in the Flathead Valley for over 20 years, most recently working to establish the Hugh Rogers WAG park, the Flathead's first off-leash dog park. “I consider myself an ambassador for shelter animals and have seen our county facility go through so many changes—the most encouraging of which have occurred in the last three years,” Myni says. The shelter relies on volunteer support and donations to continue its mission. To that end, local businesswoman and Animal Advisory Committee member Carmen O'Brien spearheaded Flathead Shelter Friends, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving life for animals at the shelter. “Some people assume the shelter’s needs are met since it’s a county organization,” Carmen says. “But there are financial shortcomings. Flathead Shelter Friends fundraises to bridge that gap.” In a few months, Flathead Shelter Friends raised thousands of dollars for emergency and disaster relief, shelter renovations and medical care. Shelter Friends volunteers manage the shelter's adoption outreach events as well, like the weekly Saturday event at Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply. Flathead Shelter Friends is also part of Mission Pawsible, a Valley-wide fundraising effort dedicated to animals and art.  The funds raised will be used for education and outreach, helping ensure the shelter's sustainability and success. “People like to know they're making a difference,” Kirsten says. “And they can see it every time a pet walks out our doors and into a new home.” Together, the Flathead County Animal Shelter and Flathead Shelter Friends are having a profound impact on the lives of homeless pets in the Flathead Valley, but they continually need community help.  “If we continue working together,” Carmen says, “in time we will drastically reduce the number of unwanted pets in the Flathead Valley.” To volunteer, donate, or learn more, contact the shelter at 406-752-1310 or Flathead Shelter Friends at 406-844-2641.  Find them on the web at and

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Fall into Winter and start the bird feeding frenzy

Gardening 101

Fowl of the Flathead

Many bird species overwinter in the Flathead. More than 80 species are regularly found on the Flathead Audubon Societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (FAS) Bigfork Christmas Bird Count, while 60 or more species are counted on the Kalispell Christmas Count. Bird feeders attract a variety of birds, including Chickadees, Nuthatches, Evening Grosbeaks, Woodpeckers and Jays. Winter finches, waterfowl, Bald Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks are usually present in good numbers. Bohemian Waxwings fly about in large flocks, looking for winter berries. Merlins fly about too, looking for Waxwings. The third annual Sunflower Seed Sale, in which FAS partners with Western Building Centers, will continue through December 31. Seeds are available at WBC's Evergreen, Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Kalispell locations. Information courtesy of Flathead Audubon Society, 74 â&#x20AC;Ż406 WOMAN

Fall is the traditional beginning of the classic start for the yearlong season of bird feeding. More people feed birds than watch football, baseball or any other sport, or participate in any other outdoor activity. That's right. Bird feeding is in. More than 65 million Americans are doing it, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bird feeding is "in" and it's easy to see why. Attracting birds to your backyard is a relatively low-cost way to relax, enjoy nature and beautify your winter surroundings. And it can be done by people of virtually all ages and levels of physical ability. The majority of North American birds suffer from loss of habitat. Investment in avian habitat will return valuable dividends for birds and tons of backyard enjoyment for us. Now, as a new season is just beginning, it's a perfect time to get started. To attract the widest variety of birds, landscape your property with plants that offer birds cover and natural foods and always provide a source of water. Need for feeders When the ground is covered with snow and ice, it's hard to resist just tossing seed out the door. But it's healthier for the birds to get their "hand-outs" at a feeding station, off the ground. Food that sits on the ground for even a short time is exposed to potential contamination by dampness, mold, bacteria, animal droppings, lawn fertilizers and pesticides. Sometimes it can seem like forever before birds notice a new feeder. Be patient and they will eventually come. And remember, if you fill your feeder only after it's been empty for awhile, the birds will look for food elsewhere. They'll return as long as you continue to fill it. There are a multitude of feeders out there to choose from. Check out Web sites like for some good choices. Winter feed and seed: food for fat Winter weather is hard on birds. Their calorie requirements increase, food becomes hard to find, snow covers up seeds, and ice storms seal away the tree buds and wild fruits. Tiny birds must eat a third to three quarters of their weight each day. When the temperature dips below zero, easy meals at a feeder can mean the difference between life and death. It's important to stock your feeder with high-quality foods that will provide birds with the most fat, nutrients and energy. Look for a feed like Cole's that is nutritious, preserves freshness, and gives you the most feed for your dollar. Cole's Oil Sunflower is over 99 percent pure and is cleaned more than four times to ensure there are more seeds and fewer sticks in each bag. The feed is also nitrogen-purge packaged, just like potato chips, to ensure freshness and insectfree feed. Birds love suet. It's the solid fat rendered from beef, venison, or vegetables that provides concentrated energy to help birds make it through freezing winter days and nights. Cole's Wild Bird Products offers a good selection of suet cakes formulated to attract the largest variety and number of wild birds as well as specific bird species. They also have a new Hot Meats suet cake. This product is infused with habanero chili pepper - a patented technology researched and approved by scientists from Cornell to keep squirrels away. Birds love it and squirrels hate it, finally solving the age-old problem of squirrels at your feeder. To cater to seed-loving birds, try Cole's Nutberry Suet Blend. It's a unique seed blend mix of premium human-grade cherries, apples and blueberryflavored cranberries, preferred nuts, nutritious insect suet kibbles, and whole kernel sunflower meats. It appeals to both fruit and insect-loving songbirds. Birds, like humans, do have food preferences. Feed them what they like and they'll keep coming back for more. For more information on Cole's Feed visit -Courtesy of ARA content

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once drove nearly 1,200 miles to sleep, shower and eat 20 feet up an oak tree at an Oregon tree house resort. So when I hear the Izaak Walton Inn, in Essex, Montana, features remodeled cabooses for rent, the merits of spending the night in one are certainly not lost on me. Some call it kitsch, some call it culture. But whatever you call it, you’d better call quickly if you want a chance to stay there this winter. According to Dorothy Van Geison, the inn’s general manager, the cabooses book up fast for the winter season—weekend stays are often booked a year in advance. Essex, Montana, population about 100. Town essentially consists of the Izaak Walton, which was built in 1939 to house railroad workers. The inn itself has no televisions or phones in its rooms, precious little cell phone reception and sparse internet availability. So just what makes the tiny town in the middle of nowhere such a runaway hit? “It’s where you can get away without going away,” Dorothy says. “Without the distraction of T.V. and phones, families can concentrate on each other.”

Leaving Kalispell, head east on Highway 2. Past West Glacier, at mile marker 180, turn right. Almost equidistant from East and West Glacier, the Izaak Walton offers guests a cozy home base when exploring both sides of Glacier National Park. Amtrak’s Empire Builder Line stretches from Chicago, Illinois all the way to the Pacific Coast (Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon are both final destinations on the line). Amtrak runs through the Essex twice daily, once on its way west and then back east. It’s what’s known as a flagstop, meaning the train only stops there as needed. If no passengers are waiting, the train rolls on past. From Whitefish, the round-trip train ride to Essex costs less than $25 and arrives just before 9 a.m. Visit for more information.

Although I’m most interested in the cabooses, other lodging options are available. In the main lodge, three room sizes by OLIVIA KOERNIG-CASTELLINO photos by KELLY MARCHETTI 76  406 WOMAN

accommodate various sized groups. The lodge’s great room is rustic chic with lodge pole pine furniture and a roaring fire. Wooden paneled walls throughout are hung with photos of train derailments, railroad marketing posters and renderings of Blackfoot Indian chiefs by Germanborn artist Reinhold Weiss. Lodge Antique furniture fills the rooms and handmade quilts dress the beds. Railroad ticking stripe is the fabric of choice in the Great Northern rooms. Iron spike toilet paper holders, nail pegs and handmade lamps round out the décor. In courtesy of the Izaak Walton Inn high season, rooms start at $147/night. Caboose Four cabooses, converted into cottages are available for a three-night minimum stay for $690. The honeymoon caboose is the only wooden train car, features a potbellied wood-burning stove, and was built in 1895. The three metal cabooses each sleep up to four people. All the cabooses have 3/4 bathrooms, kitchenettes and a private deck with a gas grill. Cabin As of summer 2008, the Izaak Walton added six cabins to its accommodations. Cabins sleep up to four, most comfortably if some of those are children. Each features a private bath, kitchen and deck. The lodge pole furniture is handmade by a woman from Whitefish. Cabins rent for $230/night with a two-night minimum stay. Locomotive The newest lodging concept is the locomotive. Decked out with luxury finishes, like leather furniture, granite countertops, a gas fireplace courtesy of the Izaak Walton Inn and reclaimed wood flooring, the engine is the only room at the inn with a king-sized bed. Its operator cab has been restored to better than new condition, and it’s believed to be the only engine in the country converted into lodging. It’s painted what’s known as “Big Sky Blue,” three-color-palette meant to evoke the essence of Montana’s horizon. But when Burlington Northern Railroad bought out Great Northern, it elected not to continue Big Sky Blue. Therefore, the color-scheme reminiscent of Montana’s skyline never graced the tracks. The locomotive became available for lodging only this fall. Like the cabooses, it’s reserved on three-night blocks. Call 8885700 for availability.

Located in the main lodge, the Dining Car Restaurant is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Dining Car serves up Montana meals—home-style, comfort foods made from local ingredients when possible. Expect to see eggs and oatmeal, wraps and sandwiches, as well as steaks and poultry on the menu. Huckleberries find their way into breakfast, lunch, dinner and even the microbrewery selection. Hutterite vegetables are

courtesy of the Izaak Walton Inn

courtesy of the Izaak Walton Inn

used seasonally, while bison, Rocky Mountain Elk and Rainbow Trout are available year-round. The Dining Car continues the railroad motif, with old-fashioned train signals lining the shelves. Food is served on reproduction Great Northern china. Decoupaged wildlife photos and illustrations adorn the tabletops while ample windows allow an optimal vantage for spotting trains as they wind through mountains that rise up all around. Downstairs in the lodge’s basement, you’ll find the Flagstop Bar. An authentic railroad rail acts as foot rest under the bar, which is stocked with plenty of whiskey and Montana microbrews, among other libations. Antique beer signs and railroad memorabilia plaster the exposed brick walls. The red cement floors are topped with an upright piano, a few vinyl half-moon-shaped booths, a pool table and two jukeboxes. The oldest, a 1930-something Wurlitzer, plays songs “from the first

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We’ve all heard the saying proximity breeds contempt. But in this case, proximity breeds, well, proximity, closeness and intimacy. Dorothy thinks the atmosphere at the Izaak Walton, independent of, ahem, bells and whistles, simply lends itself to promoting family bonding, establishing traditions and getting back to what matters most—connection with loved ones. One local mom summed it up best. “My daughter didn’t want to go,” says Kelly Marchetti of Whitefish. “But once we were there, she didn’t want courtesy of the Izaak Walton Inn to leave.”

half of the last century,” but only accepts 50-cent pieces. Next to the bar, a recreation room, complete with a ping-pong table, a T.V./ VCR combo and a handful of family movies awaits. A collection of board games offers another alternative for family fun.

Situated between Glacier National Park and the Great Bear Wilderness, the Izaak Walton is primarily a cross-country skiing destination. With 33 kilometers of groomed trails, rentals and lessons are available, as are guided tours in the Park. For those who don’t get their fill of skiing during daylight hours, The Starlight Trail is lit for night skiing. The season typically runs from the end of November through mid-April, with backcountry tours in Glacier offered until May 1. In addition to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are guest favorites. Ice skating in the pavilion is also popular. Snowshoe and ice skate rentals are available. The Izaak Walton plays host to a variety of winter events, like a Christmas and New Year’s celebration. A women’s ski clinic in mid-December plus several ski races and a snow rodeo are among the available festivities. Visit the calendar at for more information. 406 WOMAN  79

The stylish and ultralight Women’s Ama Dablam Jacket is filled with 800 fill power of the finest goose down on the planet. Whether you’re on the summit or the sidewalk, from dawn patrol to pub crawl, the Ama Dablam will keep you comfortable during the wide range of your cold weather adventures. TOGGERY 122 Central Ave., Whitefish (406) 862.2271 35 Commons Way, Kalispell (406) 755.1500

HOT DIAMONDS have arrived at McGough and Co. The "hot" in HOT DIAMONDS does not mean stolen; rather that they are the most sought after jewelry in the world. Not only is this jewelry line the latest in style, they are exceptionally well-made and affordable.  Featuring at least one brilliant and fully-faceted diamond, the finest .925 sterling silver and the glow of rhodium plating, a piece of this jewelry will certainly be the perfect accent to your favorite fashion. MCGOUGH & CO. 131 Central Ave., Whitefish (406) 862.9199

406 Picks

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Along with wonderful lines of the finest natural and organic skin care, Sage & Cedar also offers a variety of unique items. Bamboo robes, soft flannel pajamas, recycled cotton socks, cashmere blend scarves and fun jewelry are just a few of those unique items. SAGE AND CEDAR 214 Central Ave., Whitefish (406) 862.9411

The Miche Bag is chic, fun and stylish all in the same bag. Forget all the time and hassle of transferring your things from one bag to another with the Miche Bag you can have a new look in three seconds or less by simply changing the shell! BELLA COLOUR SALON 38 1st Ave. East, Kalispell (406) 756.2352

Accessorize! Make a fashion statement with a Designer Bra Strap for every occasion! No more worries about bra straps peeking out! Change your look with interchangeable designer straps that attach to any convertible bra. Wear them with spaghetti strap, boat neck, strapless tops and dresses. A strap for all occasionsâ&#x20AC;Śspecial events, weddings, office and casual everyday wear. So stunning you might see them on celebrities like Oprah, Barbara Walters and stars from Sex and the City. Medi Lift Face and Body Solutions 7993 Hwy 35 Suite C, Bigfork (406) 837.3223 (FACE)

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Come meet the new girls by blabla, new dolls with a wide variety of beautiful clothing. Blabla’s collection is designed by Florence Wetterwald and knitted by Peruvian artisans. Everything is made from natural fibers of exceptional quality grown in Peru, making the line irresistibly soft and cuddly. Florence’s poetic, simple and vibrant style combined with the ancestral knowledge of the knitters creates products which look contemporary, yet feel like old friends. Sprouts 216 Central Ave., Whitefish (406) 862.7821

This beautiful Pillow by Billie Anderson is 20” x 20” and is $195. Billie hand paints 100% cotton fabric with artists acrylic and metallic fabric paints. She sews them together and stuffs with high quality pillow forms.  Billie is a decorative artist from Bigfork, Montana. You can see more of her work, which includes painted canvas rugs, furniture, leather purses and wall hangings at Persimmon Gallery across the street from the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. She does custom work and also sells her work online at or call 406-837-6120. Persimmon Gallery 537 Electric Ave., Bigfork (406) 837.2288

Wine aerators, wine gift boxes, classic wine glasses and many more great gift ideas. UNCORKED WINES 60 Commons Way, Kalispell (406) 257.9463

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406 Woman December January  

Montana women's publication

406 Woman December January  

Montana women's publication