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www.McGoughandCo.com

131 Central Avenue Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-9199 800-862-9199


406 contents

Featured Stories 12 Sofia Huntington Vaughan

Outdoor Women 18 Keagan Zoellner

Perfect Weekend 22 St. Mary Lodge & resort 24 Great ideas for guests in your group

406 Love 28 Amy & Greg 36 Love Story

Food & Flavor 42 BLUE CANYON

WELLNESS & Family 68 Mindful Living 70 dear coach dru 72 stuck in attachment 74 as springs comes 76 step family

Garden 78 watching grass grow...

Art 80 Heidi Long 82 The Crown of the Continent: Guitar Workshop

84 BOOK REVIEW

Finance

44 Mimi and the broth of fowl

86 Cleaning House

48 Brunches or lunches for

People & Places

friends and family

52 Sake

Home & Design 56 Age...Color...Condition... Weave...Imagery

HEALTH 62 Stepping out

64 To Hire A Personal Trainer

88 profiles

Joan Smith

Kathy Page

90 406 man

Darwon Stoneman

92 community

First Best Place-The Showcase

94 happenings

Southside Consignment & Antiques Winter Classic

66 Oh how it hurts to be a weekend warrior

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Publisher Cindy Gerrity cindy@montanasky.net

Business Manager Daley McDaniel daley@montanasky.net

Creative Director/Layout&Design Sara Joy Pinnell ayourartisan@yahoo.com

Editor Kristen Pulsifer Kristen@whitefishstudycenter.com

Marketing/Photographer Alisia Cubberly alisiadawnphoto@aol.com

Copy Editor/Writer Carole Pinnell queencarolerule@yahoo.com

Writer Bridget Michlig

Staff Photographer Brent Steiner steinerbw@gmail.com

On the Cover

Cover Image by: Sara Joy Pinnell (ayourartisan.com)

Concept by: Shannon Hollman (shannonhollman.com)

Nicole is a licensed esthetician and owns the Beauty Bar located in downtown Kalispell. The Beauty Bar is an upscale skin boutique where licensed estheticians specialize in waxing, eyelash extensions, facials, chemical peels and airbrush makeup artistry. Nicole's mission is to bring integrity, impeccable service and glamorous products in to the world of skincare. In addition to skincare, Nicole has a passion for organic gardening. She grows all of her own vegetables and has plans of making her own tea. She shares a wonderful life in Kalispell with her husband Jeremy, and their two amazing children, Hunter and Samantha. www.beautybarmt.com

406 Woman

Published by Skirts Publishing CopyrightŠ2009 Skirts Publishing Published six times a year.

6477 Hwy 93 S Suite 138, Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-1545 info@406woman.com

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at www.406Woman.com


Contributors 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 marti.k@centurytel.net.

Amy May was born

Dru Rafkin Jackman

Kiersten Alton, RPH,

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 www.solutionsbydru.com.

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WOMAN 10   

and raised in Bozeman, MT, Amy is the newest addition to the Outside Media crew. Equipped with a degree in Print Journalism from the University of Montana, she is passionate about meeting new people and documenting their unique and fascinating adventures. Since college, Amy has worked as a reporter at several community newspapers across the state, including Whitefish, Kalispell, Bozeman and Big Sky. Away from the office, Amy enjoys traveling to faraway places (but always coming home to Montana), pumping iron, reading library books, cooking, gardening and any other Martha Stewartapproved activities. At home in Whitefish with her pound puppy, Nettie, Amy is working towards her master degree in Public Relations.

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 Kalton@ bigskycompounding.com.

Denise Dryden is a

Lee Anne Byrne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker offering counseling in private practice in Whitefish, Montana. She blends holistic and conventional approaches in her work with adults, adolescents and couples, drawing on her extensive and diverse experience. Lee Anne also offers classes in mindful approaches to our moods. She can be reached at 406-862-1440.

Maggie O’Keefe is a Pennsylvania native and Pennsylvania State University student, soon to graduate in May. She fell in love with Montana while working at St. Mary Lodge and Resort in the summer of 2010. Upon graduation she wishes to venture to the Midwest of the United States and settle down. As an avid writer she hopes to pursue a career in environmental journalism. She has written for many Pennsylvania publications including, VOICES of Central Pennsylvania, Statecollege.com and State College Magazine.

Nancy Kimball

Miriam Singer

Mike Hodges is a

Certified Parent Coach with over 30 years of experience in the fields of education, parent support, and therapeutic placement for adolescents and young adults. Her passion is working with people who are ready to make some changes in their life! After raising three kids she is happily maturing into mid life and enjoys living a balanced life in Whitefish. To contact her, please visit her website at www. DeniseDrydenCoaching.com

traded pipe dreams of being a research biologist for a solid career in print journalism, clutching tightly her degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University. Now she has a new lease on life at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. After a long run in the news business at papers across Iowa and Montana – Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Whitefish – she now is a marketing communications assistant working to get out the word on health care. When she can extract herself from flower beds and the vegetable garden, she just might be found on a mountain, two-wheeling down a back road, skinnyskiing through the woods, paddling on the water or reading a good book. She’s been in Columbia Falls 20 years and plans on another 20.

writes to express her soul. The way words flow and find meaning makes her happy. Like writing, cooking can also be a meditation. And both activities result in being fed. Miriam started writing many years ago as a way of capturing her life’s journey. She learned to cook from her very talented mother and from her own love of creative experimentation while playing with food. She grew up in New York City and went to Brooklyn College. Her journey took her across the country and to homes in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Flathead Valley of Montana. Miriam Singer lives in Whitefish, Montana with her partner in life John Simpson who manages Don “K” Subaru. Together they promote music as Singer & Simpson Productions. Miriam sings for the same reason she writes. By the way, Miriam drives a Subaru.

Montana native. Born in Missoula and has lived within the state boundaries for 30 years plus. He attended the University of Oregon (Eugene OR) and eventually received his B.A from the University of Montana (Missoula). In some capacity Mike has been a member of the media since prep school working as editor/writer/ columnist of the high school paper; also writing stories for the Missoulian newspaper during that time. After college, broadcast media has been the main vocation. Radio stops in Missoula, Lewiston ID, Tri-Cities WA & Spokane WA before returning to the Treasure State in the summer of 2001. While in the Flathead, Mike has performed news, sports, programming & sales duties for 2 Flathead/area radio groups as well as a start-up internet radio station in Whitefish MT. Volunteering and being involved as much as possible (outside of work related stuff) keep Mike up-and-alive. E-mail. mjhgnreb@hotmail.com

Kristen Hamilton

earned her degree in communications and journalism from the University of NevadaReno. She has lived in the Flathead Valley for over two decades and wouldn’t trade it for the world. With an extensive tourism background in hotel and resort management and most recently as marketing director for the Flathead Beacon, she enjoys working with the business contacts she's gained over the years. So much so, that she and her husband have started their own company, Ham It Up Strategies, to work with associations such as NMWEPI and Friends of the Flathead County Library along with concert promotions planned in the future. In her free time, Kristen likes to hang out with her husband, Bob, and two great kids, Sam and Sarah.

Karin Holder is a

limited Partner and Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments. Karin along with Daved, Her husband of 19 years, and her two boys, Warren age 15 and Easton age 10, live in the surrounding Whitefish area. Originally from Virginia, Karin and Daved made Montana their home in 1996 after realizing that they needed to be in and near the great outdoors. City life was not for them! Karin is a fully licensed Financial Advisor who is not only didicated to helping her clients in the local area but across the nation as well. Being a mom, wife and a career woman has given her the insight to help women of all walks and ages to plan for their individual and business financial goals. Karin can be reached by phone (406)862-5454 or at her convenient location 807 Spakane Ave, suite 500, Whitefish, MT.


featured}vonnie

Sofia Huntington Vaughan “ V o n n i e ” By Bridget Michlig

o

do we ever tire of reading stories of those, perhaps not quite so rare anymore, individuals who drop lucrative but unfulfilling careers to leap into the wide unknown to realize their dreams? Or how about those resilient souls who strike out on their own, leaving behind the comfort of familiarity of place, friends and family? Are their stories just so much alike that there is no longer much to be gained from the telling and retelling of how one must “just do it,” or “carpe diem” (seize the day), or “make the leap of faith,” “trust the universe” and so on, ad infinitum?

f course not. To tire of such universally shared experiences would be simply to tire of the truth. Buried in the aphorisms is the human imperative to grow, to challenge, to hope and dream, and then to turn dream to plan, plan to action, and action to tangible result. Vonnie's story is no different when observed through the macro lens, but is strikingly different in the details. Sofia Vaughan, Vonnie to her friends, is an international energy industry lawyer turned Wagnerian Dramatic Soprano turned Bigfork lodge owner in a space that is no less fascinating and uncommon than she herself. Her soon to be opened Red Willow Lodge on Grand Avenue overlooks Bigfork Harbor, with glimpses of both Flathead Lake and Bigfork village. At the top of the driveway the Lodge occupies a terraced area nestled against the hillside. The two story glass conservatory – perhaps the only one in the Flathead Valley - is Vonnie's

labor of love. “This addition to the lodge has been a dramatic tale suitable for any opera – a story replete with delay, hostage taking, and rough treatment. But as in opera, all's well that ends well.” She sighs and shrugs slightly. “Now, more than a year after it's purchase in England, it is finally nearing completion. It will be outfitted in an English Gentleman's Club style. I envision snow falling, sitting up here when it's ten below, looking at the lights from across the harbor reflected on the water, playing the piano and composing.”

The great room on the first floor evokes a petite Versailles: pale celadon walls, nearly floor-to-14-foot-ceiling paned windows, a coffered ceiling, crown molding and fine trim all painted the color of fresh rich cream. Classic French furniture upholstered in ivory and celery colored damask fabrics and the most judicious use of delicate gilding on fine antique chests and scrolled frames. It feels like an exhibit in a world class museum. Even on the dreariest March day, when the light is most thin and cool, this room glows and offers up subtle warmth and space in which to really breathe and expand the mind. And while the style of the room and appointments is decidedly atypical for this part of the world, they are perfectly in keeping with the gentle refinement that Vonnie embodies. She says, “I was immersed in culture while living abroad in my early years and my experiences fostered in me a deep appreciation for the decorative arts. I began collecting when I was a teen, with the money I saved from babysitting. Almost all the pieces in my home come with a fascinating story.” Born to a classical singer mother and a Naval officer, civil engineer father who specialized in managing the development of large infrastructure projects in the Third World, Vonnie has lived all over the world and speaks Italian, German, Spanish and Indonesian. “Although I am not fluent by any means, when I perform in another language, I do a word-for-word translation and perfect the diction so that I have no accent.”

406

WOMAN 12   

When asked about living abroad, Vonnie grows thoughtful. “Iran was one of the more interesting of the numerous places I lived when I was growing up. I went through military anti-terrorist training at the age of twelve, lived through an extended period of martial law during the civil unrest leading up to the overthrow of the Shah, was teargassed in one of the revolution’s deadliest uprisings, and was then evacuated to Rome, Italy in the back of the same C-130 aircraft that had days earlier airlifted the bodies of the victims of the Jonestown Massacre out of Guyana.” Such experiences seem at odds with the calm-


ness with which Vonnie tells her story, but the candor with which she speaks leaves no room for inauthenticity.

I went through military anti-terrorist training at the age of twelve... (and) was teargassed in one of the Iranian revolution’s deadliest uprisings. Law Career

A UC Berkeley graduate, Vonnie earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law, along with an advanced degree in Taxation. During her career she has been a litigator, an international corporate attorney and, a professional legal recruiter. She has lived in Iran, Indonesia, Italy and Canada as well as all over the United States. She ended up stateside and settled in Houston, calling it home for 11 years. While life in the legal fast lane was exciting and rewarding, it did take its toll. “My eyes were so tired from reading cases, writing memos and briefs, and staring at the computer screen, that at the end of the day I had nothing left . I couldn't even read a novel or engage in anything creative. I felt depleted. Toward the end, I really felt that, without any artistic outlet, a good part of my soul was missing. Ultimately, I realized that the day-to-day practice of law was just not meant to be my life. But it all contributed to bringing me to where I am now.”

From Legal Briefs to Librettos

How does one go from representing clients in the courtroom to filling an opera house with her voice? Quite simply, opera is in her blood. Says Vonnie, “My mother was a professional singer and performed while pregnant with me, so vocal music has been a part of me since before birth. I played piano from an early age, learned flute, viola and oboe as well, but I wasn't thought to have a voice. I was familiar with the operatic repertoire, however, by accompanying my mother on the piano.”

What is perhaps most interesting is that this voice, this gift for singing, came later in life. “About seven years ago I was encouraged to join our church choir in Houston – all that singing around the house and in the shower can get you into trouble. I did join, and when I started I couldn't sing a note, but I loved it. After about a month I started taking voice lessons, and it was then that we discovered that I have a rather rare voice type – turns out I'm what's

known as a 'Wagnerian Dramatic Soprano,'like Brunhilde in Wagner's Ring Cycle. I also have a high “F” above high “C,” which is even more rare.”

It is difficult to imagine Vonnie brandishing a spear while wearing an armored breastplate and horned Viking helmet, although she does have the requisite Nordic blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. She continues, “A Wagnerian orchestra is pretty brass heavy, and it requires a larger, fuller, more metallic voice to carry over the density of the orchestra. Usually, this voice type is found in a larger woman, but for reasons unknown, I have that in a smaller package. When I discovered that I was gifted with this voice, the message was profound. THIS is what truly matters in my life. So I dropped practicing law to devote more attention to my musical career. I was discovered by Maestro William Weibel, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera, and sang with his opera company in Houston. over the course of several seasons. My performances ran the gamut from being a member of the chorus to main roles. I've been to Italy several times for intensive study, and continue to work with my coach in New York City.”

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featured}vonnie What are the odds that the high school in the place I chose to make my life would have as their mascots the Vikings and Valkyries – Brunhilde is the most famous of the Valkyries! Training as an opera singer, it turns out, isn't all that different from training for a marathon. In addition to her frequent forays across the country or across the pond for serious schooling with operatic masters, Vonnie practices daily. A typical morning finds her seated at her piano running scales and florid coloratura passages as the sun crests the Swan Range. She spends at least as much time translating and memorizing as she does actual singing. Her devotion to her regimen isn't surprising given the degree to which she has excelled in such a short time.

But what is surprising is that this delicate, incandescent beauty, who is seemingly so quiet and self-possessed, perhaps even a bit reserved, just doesn't fit the stereotype of the dramatic, larger than life tragic heroine we expect in an opera singer. In a sense she is truly the anti-diva.

Says Vonnie, “Early on I had to confront and overcome my mortal fear in life: singing in front of an audience. Once I got beyond the stage fright, which was no small task, I was able to experience the indescribable exhilaration of connecting with a large audience through the sublime medium of sound. I absolutely love to be on stage in a production, but I equally enjoy the intimacy of more casual recitals in my home or performing at a wedding or funeral. When I started singing, I also had to learn to act, and I found it so similar to my courtroom career - appealing to an audience is very much the same as appealing to a jury. I guess I always had that performer in me. Being an opera singer is about the most impassioned thing one can do. Opera is so over the top and full of themes of love, lust, loss and scandal. It reads like the National Enquirer.”

Home Again

From Houston's Grand Opera to Bigfork is quite a big leap – just how did Vonnie come to grace the Valley with her presence? As for so many of us, it was either an accident or divine intervention.

“I was looking for a place to have a second home and went to visit some friends in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. My friends suggested I look at Kalispell, and during one of my drives I stumbled on Bigfork. I was driving along Highway 35, and when I reached the little canyon near Napa Auto Parts, I felt a change. A little further down, opposite Bigfork Harvest Foods, the view of the lake opened 406

WOMAN 14   

out in front of me, and I just felt refreshed. It was peaceful, serene, without white noise. It was magical. And having traveled all over this planet, I can tell you with no uncertainty that there are very few places like it in this world.”

She continues, “I found this bed and breakfast on Grand Avenue. It was the only property I looked at, and it just felt right, so I snapped it up. I am thrilled daily by the view of the harbor and the lake. Someone told me that this area of the hillside was once a place for natives to hold ceremonies and celebrations for fishing and harvest, and I could believe that - it just feels very nurturing and peaceful. I simply knew it was the right place for me. Since moving here I've driven all around, and am even more certain that Bigfork is for me. I love that it is a self contained village, everything you need is literally right here. I find it sophisticated and completely without pretense.”

This simple dish is a big hit for even the

most elegant brunch--Red Willow Lodge Birchermuesli 12oz 32oz 31/2 1/2 1 2 1/2

box Familia Swiss Muesli Vanilla Yogurt cups Milk cup Half and Half large Granny Smith Apple, diced Bananas, halved lengthwise and sliced in half inch slices cup raisins

Stir all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with fresh fruit, flax seeds, coconut, or other visually attractive topping of choice. Serves 8. Soy, rice, almond or other alternative dairy products can be substituted for the cow's milk and yogurt, if desired. What began as a desire for a second home has blossomed into year round residency and the business of running the Lodge. “After being here for two weeks I just didn't want to leave. So I began the renovation project to turn the space into my home. There was quite a bit of redesign involved to make it suitable for my collection of French and European antiques.”

Red Willow Lodge

“I chose the name Red Willow Lodge because the red willow grows wild all around here, and also for the unique characteristics red willow offers. My dear friend in Canada is an herbalist, and she prepares a red willow bark tea. It's a natural source of salicylic acid, from which aspirin is compounded, and is soothing, warming, relaxing – all attributes I strive for at the lodge.” Well schooled in the area of nutritional biochemisty, Vonnie is adamant about the need for pure, clean food, no matter the eating style. “I believe that so many of the ills we face are linked to nutritional deficiencies. If we'd go back to eating as our forebears did, we'd find remedies to the challenges of modern life. I've studied nutritional biochemistry for years now, and worked for five years in the Molecular Biology labs at UC Berkeley. My own personal experience has shown that resolving underlying nutritional deficiencies leads to wellness. We have such an epidemic of stress and anxiety in the big cities – we become automatons. Life lives us instead of the other way around. Even symptoms of anxiety, or other emotional ailments, can be improved upon by reconnecting with nature, accessing the creative right brain and through replacing specific nutrients requisite for producing dopamine, GABA and other essential brain chemicals Bringing that real food to my guests is an extension of my passion for the concepts of health and wellness through detoxing and rebalancing. Once we're open, we plan to use primarily organic foods from local sources whenever possible. We'll make our own bread, grind the rye into flour. I really want this to be a place of nurturing and discovery.”

We have such an epidemic of stress and anxiety in the big cities – we become automatons. Life lives us instead of the other way around.

With an eye toward providing a total nurturing experience, Vonnie has outfitted Red Willow Lodge with a spa complete with infrared sauna, hot spring spa and whirlpools, all modalities she personally believes in for detoxification and wellness.

Realizing the Dream.

Says Vonnie, “Musicians want to perform – they hunger to express their talents, and opportunities can be very few and far between. In opera, you might have 300 women, each extraordinarily talented, auditioning for a single part. And there are so many incredibly talented people right here in Bigfork, and throughout the Flathead Valley. I think


that the landscape of this place really invites and supports creativity- the quiet, peaceful nature of where we live stimulates artistic expression. I am so inspired to compose and sing here, and I want to provide that opportunity for others.”

As a musician I am inspired to create by just being here, surrounded by this beauty, really puts you into your right brain.

And providing that opportunity is just what Red Willow Lodge is designed for. Vonnie beams, “I remodeled the Lodge in order to have a home for myself with proper space for salon concerts, It's really ideal for special events because it is so large, and really set up for entertaining. I love the high ceilings and wood floors throughout the Lodge – they're great for acoustics! The entire second floor has ten-foot ceilings, and the great room and first floor are gifted with fourteen foot ceilings. In Houston it wasn't uncommon for us to have fundraisers centered around intimate salon evenings with a concert or other musical performance in conjunction with a cocktail or dinner party. I'm delighted to do this here in Bigfork.” From the jump, the Bigfork music community has embraced this concept. Last August, five guitarists in town for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation's week long intensive stayed in the lodge. “Talk about kismet – the timing of their needs and mine just dovetailed,,” says Vonnie. “It was beautiful – just music, music, music in the house for a whole week. I am really excited about hosting them again this year. And I know that the Foundation's events will put Bigfork on the map as a music destination. I think the Bigfork area could make a fantastic summer music festival spot, like the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago.

April 30 is the first official event at Red Willow Lodge, a fundraiser for Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation. Livingston Taylor, (brother to James) will perform at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a private concert at Red Willow Lodge for Foundation patrons.

Vonnie in Sixty Seconds

Favorite meal Sampling vendor food in the village markets of South- conquests, she has the guts to publicly expose him and foil his attempts to victimize other unsuspecting ern Europe with my dear friend, cookbook author women. Despite her compassionate attempts to reFred Plotkin. form him, he refuses to repent and suffers the natural Favorite spa treatment(s) consequence of burning in hell - on stage. The Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage at Miraval Spa Favorite book and why and Resort in Arizona A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. It Favorite classical composer literally hasn’t left my nightstand in twenty years. Ralph Vaughan Williams Even after the zillionth reading, it still has me in hysterics. Favorite rock group R.E.M.

Favorite singer The incomparable soprano Jessye Norman Favorite piece of music to listen to Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone

Favorite piece to perform “Io Son L’Umile Ancella”(“I am the humble servant of the Creative Spirit”) from Adriana Lecouvreur by Cilea Favorite role and why Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni because she kicks butt and takes names. After her malignant, narcissist lover adds her to his encyclopedic list of

Favorite part of your day Early morning when I rehearse Favorite room in your home My conservatory, of course.

Do you write a letter, an email or text? All of the above. I prefer to text for everyday matters, but nothing is as gracious and elegant a gesture as sending a brief handwritten note of appreciation or concern.

Read a book, or read a kindle or nook? I’m decidedly old school on this issue. I relish turning actual pages.

So, does Bigfork have what this world traveling opera singer needs to settle in and stay awhile? Vonnie is clear about that, “I've been all over the world. I could have chosen to live literally anywhere. I am so grateful for the peace, the clean environment, the serenity surrounding me daily that I don't miss the bustle or depth of experiences found in a metropolitan environment. This is the place I chose. I can't imagine living anywhere else.”  15


Open year-Round

Essex, Montana

406.888.5700

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outdoor woman} Keagan Zoellner

WILDERNESS WOMAN Written by Amy May - Photos provided by the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

They say there’s a good woman behind every great man.

When it comes to “The Bob,” that woman is Keagan Zoellner. Newly-appointed Executive Director

of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Zoellner is the brains… and often the brawn

behind its many programs to restore and preserve the trail system and wilderness values of

more than one million acres of protected Montana wilderness. With a recreation management

degree from the University of Montana, Zoellner, 29, landed a job as a wilderness river ranger

for the U.S. Forest Service in the Spotted Bear Ranger District. “I did that for four seasons and loved every minute of it. I soon realized that The Bob was just about the best thing going on,”

Zoellner said. Then she became a snowmobile ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in the Hungry 406

Horse Ranger District.

WOMAN 18   


Zoellner started working with the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation as its Program Director, managing the many trail system projects and educational opportunities offered to volunteers. Last year the Foundation’s Board of Directors appointed her as its Executive Director. Now she oversees all aspects of the non-profit’s objective to identify trail system improvements and build volunteer programs to carry them out.

Managing a small staff including a year-round Program Director and four seasonal crew leaders who run approximately 50+ trips throughout the summer, Zoellner says her relentless determination to “figure stuff out” translates well to running a non-profit. “You have to not only wear a lot of hats, but you have to actually make the hats too,” she jokes. “Right now I’m relishing the new challenges as Executive Director and I try to glean as much knowledge and inspiration from the great people who volunteer with the BMWF, our Board of Directors, volunteers and partners.”

Being so connected to The Bob, Zoellner has plenty of opportunity to enjoy the wilderness. While narrowing down her favorite places in The Bob was difficult, she settled on Brushy Parks in the fall. At an elevation of 5,000 feet and draining the west side of the Continental Divide, Zoellner says the fall colors, wildlife and seclusion always draws her back.

Of the hundreds of projects completed through the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Zoellner says some of the most memorable are the women-only trail projects. Each year the ladies from the Flathead Backcountry Horseman Chapter use their own horses and mules to pack volunteers into The Bob for a week of work and fun.

“I'm always impressed by the wonderful people who choose this volunteer opportunity as their vacation,” said Zoellner. “It's a very fulfilling experience to participate in active wilderness stewardship and know that you are making a difference to protect this special place for your children and theirs, to enjoy as we have. The volunteers come away with new skills and an amazing, unforgettable, experience in the backcountry.” Zoellner also recalled the very first women-only trail project in 2008. Some of the ladies had never been backpacking, much less done trail work. The week they spent with pulaskis and starlit nights in the backcountry developing new skills, forging new relationships and challenging each other is one they’ll never forget. “At the end of the project one lady summed it up, saying, ‘I did things on my Bob trip that I never thought I would do in my entire life,’” Zoellner quoted.

This year Zollner is looking forward to getting even more women involved in The Foundation’s programs.

Good woman.

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perfect weekends} St. Mary

It’s a saint’s haven in St. Mary By: Maggie O’Keefe

You’ve been driving for hours. Your destination: Glacier National Park. The map and road signs on Montana Highway 89 tell you the town of St. Mary, Montana is up ahead and you ask yourself, ‘Saint what?’ You’re first view of the small tourist town is a yellow wooden gas station connected to the St. Mary Supermarket. Behind it is a four story wooden lodge, painted the same summery-yellow, adorned by the mountain peaks of Glacier National Park in the background. This is St. Mary Lodge and Resort. If you’re not stopping for gas and provisions you’re probably pulling over to grab a bite or get directions, but maybe you should stay awhile.

St. Mary Lodge and Resort lies on the eastern entrance of Glacier National Park. In the lodge’s own backyard there are over 700 miles of hiking trails, four visitor centers, 25 named glaciers, over 750 named and unnamed lakes, and over 350 species of wildlife from mice to moose. All surrounded by the vast snow covered mountains of the Northern Rockies.

From May thru September the resort offers a variety of accommodations ranging from rustic to luxury, with lodge and motel style rooms, cabins boasting stunning views of the park and luxury tipis spread throughout the resort property. St. Mary Lodge & Resort has been hailed by the New York Times as the park's most complete guest facility, featuring accommodations that will fit everyone’s taste and budget. Located in the main lodge, just past the full size taxidermal grizzly bear is the Snowgoose Grill where your mouth will water over entrees such as the signature bison elk chili, grilled elk medallions or the Indian taco. All of which are prepared from Montana raised buffalo or elk and have the fixings of a hearty home cooked meal. After dinner you can sip on a signature huckleberry martini while you relax next to the fireplace in the lounge, or perhaps enjoy one of the local Montana microbrews on the adjoining deck. If it’s a quick meal you’re looking for before heading into the park, head over to the Curly Bear Café where they serve burgers and tacos and offer a selection of Montana microbrews, deck seating, and an ice cream shop.

Also located in the main lodge of the resort is the Glacier Perk coffee shop where you can satisfy your sweet-tooth with a piece of fudge -homemade daily, or grab an espresso to sip on while you peruse the adjoining gift shop. There you can pick up trail books, Native Ameri406

WOMAN 22   

can jewelry, Glacier Park souvenirs, or one of the many “huckleberry” specialties such as chapstick, cordials, jams, syrup, soaps, lotion and much more.

While staying at the resort the helpful and informative front desk staff can assist you in booking one of the many activities the area has to offer.

located just south of St. Mary is Montana’s most historic golf course in East Glacier, built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927. It features 9 holes and is surrounded by Glacier Park and its breath-taking views.

Horseback riding is available at the resort and will take you through the beautiful backcountry of Glacier National Park. ATV tours are also available for a faster more exciting tour of the Northwestern terrain. Other activities available in the surrounding area include whitewater rafting on one of the wild and scenic rivers or boat cruises on one of the many park lakes. You can tour the park for a full day or half day on one of the famous Red Jammer tour busses. The scenic tours take you from the east to west side of the park while offering historical facts, picture opportunities and cultural aspects of the local bordering Blackfeet Indian tribe. Also located just south of St. Mary is Montana’s most historic golf course in East Glacier, built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927. It features 9 holes and is surrounded by Glacier Park and its breath-taking views.

Remember to bring your passport because the Canadian border is only 17 miles away. There you can view Canada’s twin park, Waterton International Peace Park, where some of the largest mountains in the Northern Rockies can be explored. Whether it's a quite remote relaxing getaway you desire, or a fun and activity filled Montana vacation you’re hoping to experience, you can find it all at St. Mary Lodge & Resort and Glacier National Park.


life}Activities

Abundant Activities Abound! Great ideas for guests in your group By Kristen Hamilton, Ham It Up Strategies Photo by Richard M Thornton - Montana Tropicals

After a long, cold winter, spring is in the air and plans are underway for group visits throughout the valley. You may have a wedding, family reunion or meeting planned which will bring family, friends, and colleagues to our beautiful part of the country. Help them make the most of their trip by organizing some great activities to take advantage of the area. We’re blessed with have so many options that have trained staff that specialize in “Montana hospitality” that visitors love. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the “hospitality” starts from your first call to help make organizing a special activity easy.

Here are a few ideas to consider for building a memory for your group. Wedding Parties:

Many times your wedding party brings together friends and family from around the country. For many, it may be their first visit to the area. Often, your wedding party comes in a couple days before the big day so a good way to let everyone get reacquainted is a group activity. Rafting is great fun and can be done from mid-May through the summer. There are a number of professional raft companies that can help organize a group trip and participants can sit back and let the guide do the rowing or get involved and power the boat for some real camaraderie. A sunset boat tour on Flathead Lake gives everyone a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the scenery and catch up with old friends. Both Far West Boat Tours and Kwa Taq Nuk’s The Shadow offer day trips on Flathead Lake. A day at Whitefish Mountain Resort allows group members to take in the scenery with a chairlift ride or be more adventurous with a zip line or alpine slide trip. Spa days are always very popular with the bridesmaids and can be followed up with a delicious brunch or gathering at a unique venue such as Stumptown Art Studio. For the groomsmen, consider a game of paintball at Northern Lights Laser Tag then head to the lake for a barbeque on the beach.

Family Reunions:

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Planning activities for family reunions is a little more difficult due to the variety of ages to please. The key is trying to incorporate some fun activities that everyone can participate in. Our family reunion last summer had a ball with a mini golf tournament and a flag football game. We split up the groups between families to be sure everyone got a chance to socialize with family members they don’t

WOMAN 24   

see often. It was a great way to enjoy the outdoors and regardless of ability level and everyone had fun. Board games can be great icebreakers and a good way to fill in those awkward moments for the middle kids. When the adults join, the kids love it. Splitting up into teams keeps everyone involved and a simple competition bracket can keep the game going through the weekend. Checkers, Chess, Cribbage, Yatzee are a few ideas to get started. The thing I noticed most was the older kids helping the younger kids and winning became secondary for everyone.

Meeting Groups:

Trying to coordinate group activities for meeting or convention groups is a bit trickier and if your group is large, I would suggest consulting some of the many professionals in the valley that can help things run smoothly and give you one less thing to worry about. As other activities, age plays a factor but offering a variety is sure to please more participants.

Many of the activities noted above will work but you might also consider a museum tour including Hockaday Museum, Conrad Mansion, Central School Museum and the Stumptown Historical Society. You can start in Whitefish and end at the Hockaday where a nice reception can be planned either inside the museum or outside utilizing their Centennial Pavilion Tent. Glacier National Park is always a highlight and at the top of most visitors lists of things to do. If you’re considering a “red bus” tour over the “Going to the Sun” highway for your group, the red buses are available to pick up your group at your hotel to enjoy the experience even more. The Flathead Valley not only offers the experiences that

can be enjoyed elsewhere (golf, horseback riding, biking, hiking, etc.) but we also have so many unique activities (walk in the treetops, cattle drives, fly-fishing, helicopter tours, etc.) that the list is endless for a memory filled trip. Let’s face it…those memories will keep them coming back! Be sure to think about the participant’s budget when putting together group activities. There are many fun events in the valley that often times cost little or no money.

Check the chambers events calendars after you choose your dates to see what events might be taking place already. Picnic in the Park happens throughout the summer at Depot Park in Kalispell featuring live music on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. Most communities have wonderful farmers markets and arts festivals (or gallery nights) throughout the summer months and many times entrance is free. Whether you plan one or multiple activities for your group event, the key is taking the time to make the most of your guests visit to our beautiful area.

Resources for planning events and activities: Northwest Montana Wedding & Event Professions (NMWEPI), www.mymontanawedding.com Kalispell Chamber, www.kalispellchamber.com

Whitefish Chamber, www.whitefishchamber.com Bigfork Chamber, www.bigfork.org

Columbia Falls Chamber, www.columbiafalls.com


T h e Va l l e y ’s N e w e s t Ev e n t F a c i l i t y

S pe c t a cula r priva t e re s ide nce ove rloo k ing B igf ork B a y & F la t he a d La k e

call for more information or to schedule a tour

(406) 837-1447 455 Grand Avenue, Bigfork

In The Heart of Downtown Bigfork E VE NT S · WE DDI NG S · FA M I LY R E U N I ON S CORPORAT E RE T R E ATS · BA N QU E TS

Lifestyle


406 love}Wedding

Amy & Greg Written and Photographed by Heidi Long


T

he Red Bus packed with ladies cruises into Glacier Park. Sun pours in through the open roof. Hair is flying. The women adjust their shades, laugh, sing, hand out plastic baubles and high fives. The driver issues a stern reminder to stay seated but that’s asking a lot today. These gals are trailing an identical Red Bus full of men. Amy and Greg are getting married. The busses converge at a pullout along Lake McDonald. 32 people pile out and head down to shore with the groom. The bride steps out in her flip-flops and pads down the trail with her two nieces. On the beach two-year old Kaya tosses pebbles into the water. A tourist walks her cat on a leash. The wedding begins.

 29


406 love}Wedding

How This All Got started Greg met Amy shortly after he bought his dental practice, Alpine Family Dental, in January of 2008. “She pursued me”, Greg states simply. Two and half years later Greg sealed the deal with a proposal and ring on the beach in front of Lake McDonald Lodge.

That was in May. The couple set a date for 8 weeks later, July 17th. Their first dilemma was who to invite. Amy’s vision, “Who do I want at my table?” meant distilling their list of friends and family to an intimate 32. These folks would quite literally join their u-shaped table at dinner. With that task completed the rest of the planning fell into place. Glacier National Park was a no-brainer for the setting. “It’s our church”, Amy explains, “We’re very connected to nature.” Even on short notice the couple was able to secure rooms at the Belton Chalet and book the garden patio and lower level for cocktails and dinner. Red Busses solved the parking problem but would also add flair while touring Glacier. Two of Greg’s employees proved invaluable- Amy booked Amanda to do her

hair and Mindy (Miss Mindy’s Cupcakes) to make the wedding cake. The dress? Check. Amy found a $160 steal (actually a bridesmaid’s dress) at Coquette’s Deux in Helena. “She’s cheap!” says Greg with a smirk. “I’m frugal”, Amy maintains. Whatever she is it works in their favor and the proof is in the pudding. While working full time as a therapist at Montana Academy, Amy buttoned up the wedding plans with two weeks to spare and well under budget. “It was pretty much all her,” Greg concedes.

Back to The Wedding

Amy’s boss, John Santa, is also her friend and skiing buddy. He is the natural choice to officiate their wedding. He’s nervous despite years of public speaking. Amy’s like a daughter to John and his wife of 45 years, Carol. A raven floats overhead. Kaya dips her tiny hands into the waves. Their good friend, Brooke, sings Harry Chapin’s “Circle”. Wives lean back into their husbands. Amy and Greg recite their vows before a backdrop of granite peaks.

The best part is that it isn’t over. The whole crowd piles back into the now co-ed Red Busses and heads up the Going-To-The-Sun-Road to Logan Pass. Out come the skis, poles, snowboards, and sleds. Amy hikes up her dress and straps into her boots. She swings her skis over her shoulder and commences up the boardwalk. Tourists ignore the scenery to snap photos of the bride and groom. Strangers offer congratulations. Once at the top Amy and Greg set off down the snowfield side by side. The wedding party in all their finery is in hot pursuit.

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WOMAN 30   

By the time the Red Busses pull up to the Belton Chalet the early evening sun is slowly receding from the patio where the group gathers for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The Thirty-Two have gotten


to know one another and their various connections to the bride and groom. The moms beam. Amy’s niece, Lulu, shy at first is Vogue-ing on the lawn. The snow-capped peaks of Glacier begin to glow.

And then they all head into dinner at The Table. One after another, family and friends stand to offer a toast to the bride and groom. “Thank you for asking me to be at Your Table”, they say, “It’s an honor to share this with you”. Through laughter and tears the sentiment remains. One of the gifts to Amy & Greg is a black and white photo of Lake McDonald, “From Those at Your Table”, which everyone has signed. A friend added a little Red Bus on the side.

Previous Page: TOP RIGHT- Amy on the porch of the Belton Chalet LEFT-Amy & Greg “take the plunge” at Lake McDonald. This Page: Clockwise from top left- Amy & Greg make “first tracks” as a married couple. The Red Bus at the summit of Logan Pass. Amy & Greg by McDonald Creek. The bride & groom head up the snowfield. The wedding party enjoys the views along the Going-To-The-Sun Road. No chair lift here, Amy & Greg take the boardwalk to the top. Most of the wedding party was game for skiing, sledding, snowshoeing or snowboarding.  31


406 love}Story

LO VE story Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were t h e l a s t t i m e. - Casablanca

406

WOMAN 36   

Photo by: KoKo Verde

Couple: Darin and Kati are both from Polson, MT. They have known each other for a long time but didn't start dating until well out of college due to the fact that they've both lived in different places across the country. Darin and Kati used to ride the same school bus when they were little kids and grew up right down the road from each other, but had no idea that one day they would be getting married. What is love? Being in love is choosing that one person who makes you feel the height of all emotions and who you allow to experience all of your deepest feelings: happiness, sadness, humor, even anger. What do you love? Kati- Darin inspires me to stay creative, healthy, happy...he makes me belly laugh every single day. He is my renaissance man:)Darin- I love Kati's passion for life and her sense of humor. When did you know it was love? Darin- From the time we started dating, I knew I was in love. Kati- Funny story. I was living in LA at the time and I was headed home for a friends wedding back home in Montana. This is where I ran into Darin again after almost 4 years. When I left LA I told my friend "I'm going to find Darin Robison and make him fall in love with me". The rest is history. I guess you can say I already was in love with him from the start. Wedding Details Caterors: Ricciardi's in Polson l Cake: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream (Ice Cream Cakes) Whitefish l Photographers: KoKo Verde! lLocation: Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork lFlowers: Growing them ourselves l Music/Ent.: Talented friends, fam. lOfficiant: Marty Stuehler


Photo by: Alicia Brown Photography

k

Couple: I work as a High/Middle School Counselor for the St. Ignatius School District. Keith is working for Utility Mapping Services as a staff Engineer. He surveys and maps large scale utility projects throughout the Northwest. Meeting: We met at college in Havre, MT. I saw Keith at a friends house and just had to meet him. What is love? To me, love is choosing to go on a life-long journey with someone that is your best friend, lover and playmate. What do you love? Keith is the most humble and kind person I know. He has this quiet strength about him that is so comforting to me. He would do anything for me. When did you know? There most definitely was never an "Aha" moment about us loving each other. It was something that developed over time through the adventures of our relationship. Wedding Details Dress: by Alfred Angelo from Coquettes in Bozeman l Photography: Alicia Brown Photography l Cake Decoration and Flowers: Lona Bockemuehl, Event Designer (Leah's Aunt from Newport, WA)l Venue, Food and Beverages- Holland Lake Lodge.

Photo by: Lindsey Jane Photography

Couple: Todd and Rebecca Ulizio own Ten Lakes Farm and live in Eureka, Montana. Meeting: Rebecca- We met at a Farm Hands ( a non-profit promoting local agriculture) meeting. I asked Todd out for a beer. Todd thought I was hitting on him but I just felt sorry for him because he was new in town. Todd- She hit on me at a Farm Hands meeting :) What is Love: Rebecca- Love is when you can be your true crazy self and the person still wants to be with you. Todd- Finding someone who truly makes you happy. What do you love: My favorite thing about Todd is his sense of humor. He cracks me up on a daily basis. I also love that he has mad skills. Todd- Her smile, Her passion. Her principles. And she can work like a mule. When did you know it was love: Rebecca- When I came home from work one night to find a handmade garden gate on my front door with the funniest, most romantic letter attached. Todd- When at 9 months in I felt like it was Day 1, Wedding Details Rings: Whitefish Goldsmiths l Cake: Our friends Dawn Rauscher and Heather Mason (Beautiful Bundt Cakes!!!) l Dress: Saja from Bella Bridesmaid in San Fran l Boots: Artie Biegler at Big Sky Boots in Eureka l Flowers: Grown at Ten Lakes Farm and arranged by our friends Paula Cornell and Sioux Delong.l Band: Tom Catmull and the Clerics l Location: Sioux and Dennis Delong's home in Eureka. l Caterer: Cuisine Machine l Photography: Lindsey Jane Photography l Hair: Ummm, nobody did my hair, not even me! l Makeup: me, sort of... l Wedding Planner: yeah right!

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food}Restaurant

BLUE CANYON

By Steven Trent Smith - Food photos by Alisia Cubberly - Staff photos by Brent Steiner In July 2007 a new fine dining experience arrived on the Flathead Valley food scene. The Blue Canyon Restaurant at the Hilton Garden Inn, just south of downtown Kalispell, by the city airport, was a welcome addition. When you enter the restaurant you might feel like you’re walking into the great room of a grand old Montana lodge. The ceilings are high, and feature huge natural wooden beams and wrought iron fixtures. Off to the right is the open kitchen, where Chef Hugh Yates works his magic. A high counter offers stool seating for diners who like to watch the cooking process. Over to the left is the Alpine Room, where private parties of up to thirty-six people can be seated.


T

he restaurant is one of four Blue Canyons—the mother ship being headquartered in Twinsburg Ohio, a small town midway between Cleveland and Akron, and famous for its annual “Twins Festival,” which attracts over 3000 sets of twins from all over the world. Owner/Chef Brandt Evans is the culinary guiding light for the Blue Canyons. The menus reflect his approach to dining: “comfort food with a gourmet twist.” Hugh Yates, a graduate of the culinary program at North Idaho College, joined the Blue Canyon team in 2006 as a line cook at their brand new facility in Missoula. Two years later, Hugh moved to Billings to open the Great American Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn there. A couple of years ago Hugh and his wife Erica moved their family to Big Fork, where they opened a coffee shop/wine bar called Coffee Cellar. And then, in March of 2010, Yates was offered the position of Executive Chef at the Kalispell Blue Canyon. One chilly winter evening I stopped in to sample Chef Yates’ cuisine. I was welcomed at the door by Todd Liphardt, the Area Executive Manager. Todd helped open the restaurant in 2007, and remains head of all food service operations. A native of Connecticut, Liphardt grew up in a restaurant family. He was drawn to Northwest Montana for the same reasons many of us have been: the mountains, the rivers, the way of life. We sat down at the Chef’s Counter. Hugh, who was a customer of Gresko’s when he still owned the Coffee Cellar, started chatting about—what else—food. He explained how he likes to draw more flavor and texture out of a dish by layering ingredients. He also likes to use as much local products as he can. The restaurant bought a whole Waygu steer from the Marchi Ranch in Polson. Better known as “Kobe Beef,” this

Next was one of the main courses: Blackened Catfish with a tomatillo salsa, and a poblano pepper stuffed with a mixture of crab meat, smoked tomato corn butter, Mexican Cotija cheese, and grape tomatoes. well-marbled meat is a favorite among connoisseurs. “I like serving local,” Hugh told me. “It helps support the community. While we were talking the chef was hard at work preparing three dishes for us to sample. First to be served was an appetizer of Polenta Crusted Calamari, with a Thai chili, sweet soy, and pickled ginger beurre blanc emulsion. The calamari rings were rolled in the cornmeal Polenta, then lightly fried. The rich, slightly spicy sauce was then drizzled all around. I really liked the tenderness of the melt-in-your mouth squid. The sauce achieved the layering effect that Hugh strives for. Next was one of the main courses: Blackened Catfish with a tomatillo salsa, and a poblano pepper stuffed with a mixture of crab meat, smoked tomato corn butter, Mexican Cotija cheese, and grape tomatoes. This was my favorite of the three; I really liked the way all the flavors tied together. And I especially liked the flavors in the stuff poblano. Last up was Pretzel Crusted Trout. While it may sound odd, it was a wonderful variation of the old standard classic, Trout Amandine, which is covered with thinly sliced almonds. There was more of a textural element from the crushed pretzels, adding a “crunch factor.” Accompaniments included perfectly cooked red skin potatoes, and spinach-pesto salad. The sauce was a wholegrain mustard butter sauce with capers. This dish was really popular with 406’s photographic staff, so I only got one bite of the trout. But that bite really impressed me. The fine dining choices in Kalispell are not as numerous as in Big Fork or especially Whitefish. As I mentioned at the beginning, the addition of the Blue Canyon to the roster of restaurants in our little city has been most welcome.

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food} in the kitchen

Mimi and the broth of fowl

Text by Miriam Singer

My Aunt Minna’s favorite quote is from Bette Davis who said, “Old age is no place for sissies”. Aunt Minna is no sissy, and she will not tell you how old she is either. How can it possibly matter any more when you’re ninety plus? But we had a good laugh with her recent birthday coming up, when she jokingly told me shed be 88, and I replied, “Again?” It is a real asset to be able to laugh at yourself.

My favorite quote from Aunt Minna herself, is when, she said to me, “Life is a puzzle.” In the pieces of her puzzle are many small miracles, and the enormous will to live, that helped her survive the holocaust. Aunt Minna is my father’s sister and their love was a powerful bond. We lost my father in 1962.

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Three years ago Aunt Minna took her sons and their wives, grandsons, one girlfriend and me on a Caribbean cruise. She brought an elaborate and elegant wardrobe with matching jewelry. The family went out together to the evening shows, and one night there was a performer from Las Vegas, an Australian singer and trumpet player named Greg Bonham. He was warm and friendly, and liked audience participation.  At one point he asked if there was a wild woman in the audience.  Aunt Minna raised her hand and waved it around. But she’s only about four feet six and he didn't see her.  So, she waved both WOMAN 44   

hands. Then I told her to stand up and wave.  That got his attention! He asked her name, and she said "Mimi".  I almost made the mistake of correcting the name, but her son Jordan shushed me. Suddenly I realized that Aunt Minna, I mean Mimi, was part of the show. Bonham told her to take her jacket off so the audience could see how wild she was. She took off her very stylish white and black sequined jacket and started swinging it around over her head while wiggling her hips.  We could barely stay in our seats we were laughing so hard. Then he called her up to the stage, and Mimi charmed the crowd.  With her husky voice and Jewish accent, she told the performer that she was a booking agent.  She knew how to stir his interest. For the whole rest of the cruise people recognized her and called her a star.  Mimi was a celebrity. The next night in the theatre people gave her a round of applause as we entered. They greeted us in the elevator.  I'd hear kids telling their parents, "There's Mimi!!"  She was the most famous person on the ship.  


i

n her real life Aunt Minna is an outstanding cook. I seem to have gotten my love of cooking from both sides of the family. My mother was also a very fine cook who never owned a measuring spoon or cup. I never saw her look at a recipe. It was all in her head.

But I like to write things down, so I took notes while Aunt Minna and I talked about chicken soup. Cold water! That was the first thing Aunt Minna told me. You start with cold water to make a delicious soup because that draws the flavors out of the chicken and the vegetables into the broth. And, don’t boil the soup because that makes it cloudy. 

It’s more than comfort food. In the 12th century, the Egyptian physician and philosopher Moses Maimonides prescribed the broth of fowl as a cold and asthma remedy. Recently, Dr. Irwin Ziment, a pulmonary specialist and professor at UCLA School for Medicine, theorized that the amino acid cysteine that chicken releases into the soup, resembles the modern drug acetylcysteine, often prescribed for respiratory illness. He suggests that when the amino acid combines with steam and spices, they work together to thin mucous and ease breathing.

In 2000, Dr. Stephen Rennard and a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center studied chicken soup in the laboratory. Dr. Rennard is a specialist in pulmonary medicine, who studies inflammation and repair mechanisms in the lungs. When his wife was making chicken soup for the Jewish holidays, they talked about its effect on colds, and he decided to put it to the test. His wife made a batch of her Lithuanian grandmother’s chicken soup, and the findings were published October, 2000, in the journal Chest. They discovered that chicken soup helped stop the movement of neutrophils, the white blood cells that eat bacteria and cellular debris released in quantity during viral infections, like colds. Neutrophil activity can cause the mucous resulting in congestion and coughing. They also tested commercial brands of chicken soup finding that many of them worked too. Even vegetarian vegetable soup had some activity.  Tap water had none.

Aunt Minna does not have to read the study. She knows from experience that chicken soup is good for you.  And, there is another factor you can’t measure or test in a lab. It’s the love that goes into the soup, the memories of home, and the warm feeling inside. Aunt Minna never peppers her soup, so it stays beautifully clear. But, if you want some heat, use whole peppercorns. To achieve a richer, deeper flavor, substitute chicken broth for some of the water. If you want meat in your soup, shred large pieces of the chicken breast and add it. The carrots survive the long cooking time the best, and can be included, or you can cook diced onion, carrot and celery in the soup for five minutes or until they are soft. Matzoh balls are traditional for the Passover seders which celebrate freedom, survival and renewal. This spring, seder nights occur on April 18th and 19th. 

Aunt Minnas Chicken Soup

Ingredients   1 (5 pound) chicken, quartered 2 teaspoons salt 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered 2 stalks celery, in 1 inch pieces  3 carrots, peeled, in 1 inch pieces 1 parsnip, peeled, in 1 inch pieces 1 medium leek, white and light green parts, sliced lengthwise 1 small turnip, peeled and quartered 1/2 small celeriac [celery root], peeled and cut in cubes 1 large clove garlic, crushed    Several sprigs parsley and dill, tied together with twine 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon, or to taste   fresh dill leaves for garnish 2 1/2  to 3 quarts cold water, to cover 

Directions

Place the chicken in a large pot. Sprinkle it with salt. Add all the vegetables and then the herbs. Pour all the cold water onto the chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a slow simmer. Do not continue to boil the soup, it will make it cloudy. Skim any foam and gray scum that rises to the top. This will keep the soup clear. Partially cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. After it has simmered a while, taste for seasoning. Add chicken bouillon to taste. Turn off heat and let the chicken and vegetables sit in the soup for about an hour, to deepen flavors.

Strain the soup and refrigerate overnight. This is the easiest way to remove the fat which collects on top. Or skim the fat and serve immediately. You can shred the chicken breast to add to the soup along with the carrots. Serve with matzoh balls or egg noodles and garnish with lots of fresh dill.

Matzoh Balls

cup matzoh meal eggs beaten 1/4 cup water or stock 1/4 cup light oil or chicken fat 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley (optional) 7/8

4

Directions

Combine. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. The mixture will thicken.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt. Using a small bowl of warm water to wet your hands, shape into small balls. [I use a small ice cream scoop to measure.] They will expand.

Add the matzoh balls to the boiling water. Reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and leave alone. Don’t peek. The steam is necessary to proper cooking. Boil covered on medium low heat 35 minutes.  45


Welcome to Blue Canyon! Enjoy Creative American Cooking Steaks & Seafood in a comfortably sophisticated mountain lodge setting at the Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern. Host a party or special event in our Private Dining Room. TAVERN MENU: Begins Daily at 4PM DINNER: Monday - Saturday: 5PM - 10PM Sunday: 4PM - 9PM

406.758.BLUE www.bluecanyonrestaurant.com 1840 US HIGHWAY 93 SOUTH | KALISPELL, MONTANA 59901


food}Pantry Part 6

Beginner Pantry

Brunches or lunches for friends and family By Kristen Ledyard Owner/Executive Chef of John’s Angels Catering LLC

Spring is, finally, in the air and Holiday brunches are on their way. I think the greatest gift you can give someone you love, is your personal time. I know my Mom is so pleased when I take the time to bring back some family recipes modernized with my personal twists. I think that a family brunch would be a wonderful place to say thank you and review a little family history. No, I am not talking about the green bean casserole. Think of great grandma’s recipe for apple pie or granddad’s favorite grilled item and bring them back with your new ideas using your new pantry items. Let’s create a family brunch!

Brunch Menu

Filet of wild salmon baked with honey teriyaki and pineapple (instead of the traditional ham)

Local greens salad with citrus vinaigrette (instead of the jello salad casserole)

“Kicked up” mashed sweet potatoes (instead of the marshmallow sweet potatoes)

Fresh green beans with slivered almonds in a white wine butter glaze (instead of green bean casserole)

Fresh berries with reduced rum Photo by Alisia Cubberly

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WOMAN 48   

(a family favorite--some things you just can’t change)


Let’s get started First, make sure you buy a big enough filet for the amount of people and not bigger than your largest baking sheet (approximately 6-8oz. per person). Put aluminum foil over your baking sheet, with sides, and spray with nonstick spray. In a bowl, pour 2 cups teriyaki sauce, from your pantry, 1 1/2 tbsp honey, and a twist of black pepper. Whisk well and put on the stove top to reduce for about 30 min., on medium low heat. Just watch until it thickens enough to gently coat a spoon. Let cool. In the mean time, slice a pineapple into thin circles, discarding the core. Pour only enough liquid to lightly coat your salmon filet. Then, place pineapple circles on top with a couple of pats of butter and bake at 375 degrees for 12-18 minutes, depending on the size of the filet. A knife should slide easily in the thickest part of the salmon. Do not overcook. You still have the wonderful roasted pineapple, just with a different and healthy twist.

While your fish

is cooking, prepare your greens. I like to tear my clean greens for a more rustic look, but that is a personal preference. This is a great place to bring in a family heirloom bowl. Place your greens in the bowl with your favorite fruit -- raspberries, strawberries, or orange segments, along with a healthy nut that the whole family enjoys. I like to use nuts for crunch instead of croutons. Blue cheese, feta, or goat cheese on the top is a tasty final touch; however, it is optional. In a bowl, squeeze the juice of your segmented orange, ½ a lemon, and one lime. Add 1 tbsp honey, salt, pepper, and stream about ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil in as you are whisking. Set aside for a toss before serving or just on the side. This is a healthy option and a chance to visit your local farmer’s market for super fresh ingredients.

For your sweet potatoes, use the orange ones. (Yes,

there is a great debate as to what a sweet potato really is, but for today, we will use those). Peel and boil until fork tender. Make sure

to cut your potato into equal size chunks so everything cooks at the same speed. In a separate sauce pan warm some orange juice and butter. Pour a little of your juice mixture in your semi-mashed sweet potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste along with a little nutmeg and cayenne for the kick. Only add as much liquid and spice as desired and cover to keep warm. O.K., we did get rid of the marshmallows, but we added a little kick to the menu that your family won’t expect and will enjoy.

If fresh green beans

are available, they will taste the best; however, frozen will be fine with this simple recipe. Take a bottle of your favorite sweeter white wine that you would drink, and cover the bottom of a sauté pan. Add salt and pepper along with a tbsp of butter. Turn to medium high and reduce by ½. Put your green beans in and toss. Frozen will take less time if you have thawed them out. Cook until still slightly crispy and add slivered almonds. Again, here is a place to use a conversation plating peace that your family and friends can learn the history on. Maybe, the casserole does have its place, but for this menu, we have created a new option that still has a crunch. Serve family style and enjoy. Remember to happily answer questions about your ideas of the menu and old favorites that the family would like to bring back. Just check your pantry for ingredients and inventory if you add new items. With conversation going and eating slowing down, it is time for dessert. Simply pick your favorite berries, melon, or any fruit from the grocery store. Put some dark rum in a sauce pan, add tbsp butter, and reduce. Make sure you keep an eye on it because of the alcohol. Then simply pour nice and warm over your fruit bowls and enjoy. If you have small children, a little touch of honey warmed up is a wonderful option.

Brunch is a together time and a chance to slow down in this busy world. Take advantage of sharing family memories and recipes. Food is a great way to create conversation and enjoy new ideas. Happy spring time!

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Visit Bigfork’s newest and coolest gathering spot. Gourmet Coffees, Wine & Martini Bar, Breakfast & Lunch, Gift & Wine Boutique, Picnic Baskets

Call for info on our Martini & Music Fridays.

Branding Iron Station 7935 Highway 35 • Bigfork (406) 837-2664 • www.lunas.com


food}sake

Sake is for wine lovers

By Tina Caputo

I had my first encounter with sake back in college, when I worked at a Japanese restaurant. In those days -- the late `80s -- sushi bars served only one type of sake: the warm, disgusting kind served in little ceramic bottles. I stood by, mystified, as otherwisesophisticated diners washed down their high-rent sushi platters with tiny cups of steaming swill. What did they see in it? It wasn’t until years later that I learned of the existence of premium sakes, meant to be served chilled instead of heated. Could these sakes actually be worth drinking? Oh, yes. I’ve never been much of a spirits drinker, so I found sake to be much more my speed. Rather than having a strong alcohol flavor that made me want to reach for the nearest mixer, chilled sake was smooth and delicate -- more like wine. But despite its wine-like qualities, sake is actually brewed like beer. Sake production begins by polishing away the outer layer of short-grain rice to get to its white starchy core (the outer layer contains high levels of protein that can give sake off colors and flavors). After the rice is cleaned, soaked and steamed, a Japanese mold called koji is added to convert the starch in the rice to sugar. More steamed rice, yeast and pure water are added to the mixture, and the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol. The sake is filtered, pasteurized (except in the case of some specialty sakes) and bottled. After a very brief aging period, it's ready to drink -- the fresher the better. As in winemaking, it’s the quality of the ingredients -- in sake’s case rice and water -- that make the difference. Thousands of different rice varieties are grown in Japan, but fewer than 30 are suitable for making sake. At least 30% of the rice’s outer layer is removed for sake rice (compared to 20% for table rice), and the more the grain's outer layer is polished away, the better the sake's flavor will be. At least 40% of the grain must be milled away for a sake to be labeled "premium." Sometimes as little as 30% of the grain remains after this process, which is why it takes more rice (and more money) to produce premium sake. Water also plays an important role. Sakes made with mineral-rich, hard water have a more robust character, while soft water results in more delicate-tasting sakes. At every stage of the process, the brewer (or toji) must monitor and adjust the water content of the steamed rice, the spread of yeast over the grains, alcohol content of the mash, acidity levels, brewing time and temperature. Maintaining ideal conditions for sake's fermentation process is also important, because the conversion of starch into sugar and sugar into alcohol must occur simultaneously. This

Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo Sake ($13): With aromas of banana and spice, this balanced sake is smooth and silky, showing flavors of baked apples and a touch of honey. 90

Momokawa Ruby Junmai Ginjo Sake ($12): This sake has aromas and flavors of ripe melon, with tropical fruit accents. It’s round and lush on the palate, with a bit of sweetness. 88

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double-fermentation is much more complex than that of beer or wine. The production process will vary depending on the variety of sake that’s being made, whether it’s ginjo, genshu or nigori. Ginjo sake is ultrapremium, made from rice that is polished down at least 40%. It's typically light-bodied with a slightly fruity aroma. Genshu sake is full-bodied with a higher alcohol content. Nigori is known as "cloudy sake," because its coarse filtration leaves particles of rice floating in the liquid, giving it a milky appearance. "American" Sake As Americans have become more wine-savvy in the last couple decades, they’ve also become more sophisticated when it comes to sake. My neighborhood sushi bar carries at least a couple dozen premium chilled sakes, and if it’s still serving the hot generic stuff, I haven’t seen it. For years now, the U.S. has been home to about a half-dozen Japanese-owned sake breweries, most of them based in California. There’s one “sakery” in Oregon’s Pinot Noir country, however, that stands out as unique. SakéOne, which produces sakes under the Momokawa and Moonstone labels, is partially owned by Momokawa Brewing Japan, but its toji -- Greg Lorenz -- is an American. Although Lorenz makes his sakes in the traditional Japanese manner, he brings to the table an intimate understanding of the American palate. For those accustomed to evaluating wine, identifying sake’s aromas and flavors can be a bit challenging. The aromas of sake tend to be more subtle than those of wine, ranging from fruity and floral to nutty. Some of the aromas and flavors -- like bananas, anise and gingerspice -- aren’t often found in wine, which can throw some people off. Lorenz was happy to offer some tasting guidance. “Identifying aromas is one of the biggest hurdles for many who come from wine to sake,” he told me. “My best piece of advice is to keep an open mind and refrain from expecting the same aromas you would normally find

Momokawa Silver Tanrei Junmai Ginjo Sake ($12): A very pretty dry sake with green apple and pear aromas. It’s soft, smooth and well balanced, with delicate pear and melon flavors. 88 Moonstone Asian Pear Infused Gingo Sake ($12): Infused with natural fruit, this sake smells just like Asian pears. It’s a medium-weight sake, with crisp pear flavor and little sweetness. 88

in wine.” Sake obviously pairs well with the delicate flavors of Japanese food, he said, but it goes way beyond that.

“I’m always amazed that certain sakes tend to go well with foods that are not really common in Japan,” he said. “For example, the Ruby -- which is our fruitier sake -- tends to pair well with mild, creamy cheeses.” Tomato sauces are another good pairing, particularly for drier sakes like the Momokawa Silver. “There’s something about the acidity in tomatoes that sweetens the sake slightly, and I find that to be a particularly pleasant experience,” Lorenz said. “So that would mean that foods like pizza -- with cheese and tomato sauce -- will work with lighter sakes. Lasagna is actually one of my favorite pairings.”

Steak is another unexpected match for bolder sakes. “Steaks and heavy meats tend to do really well with our “G,” he said. “G is a genshu sake, so it’s a little bit stronger and bolder. There’s just something about the meat and the body of the G.” These were not the sort of pairings I was expecting -- I’d been thinking more along the lines of light seafood dishes and pastas. But now I can’t wait to try the sake-andpizza combination, just to see if it works. Of course, I’ll have to try that one at home, since I doubt there’s any sake to be found at my go-to Italian restaurants. And speaking of drinking sake at home, there’s no need to go out and buy a set of tiny ceramic cups or wooden boxes for serving. Chilled sakes are best served in a wine glass, to bring out their aromas. (If you feel you must spend money on drinking vessels, Riedel makes a stemless “O” glass for sake.)

And once you’ve opened the bottle, you should drink the sake within about a week. If you’re drinking the really good stuff, that shouldn’t be a problem. Here are a few particular sakes that you should consider trying, and when doing so, you might toast to the hope of better days for the Japanese people in this time of terrible trouble:

“G” Junmai Gingo Genshu Sake ($20): If you find typical sakes a bit delicate, this is the one for you. It’s bold and intense, with a tangy, creamy character that takes a little getting used to. This is a love-it-or-hate-it sake. 87

Momokawa Organic Nigori Genshu ($13): With elements of citrus, honey and creamy custard, this smooth and lightly sweet sake would be a lovely match for fruit-based desserts. 88


VINTAGE BATH STYLISHLY TRADITIONAL

Fixture & Faucet Gallery Appointments Recommended

105 Cooperative Way • Kalispell • 755-1119


home}Rugs

Age...Color...Condition...Weave...Imagery This is a five word recipe for those in the market for a truly unique, one-ofa-kind antique rug that will 'set off' a room or complete a collection that just isn't 'finished' without the right piece.

According to the professionals at Oriental Secrets in Whitefish, Montana, many people do not realize that inexpensive rugs can truly be called Oriental rugs. 'Oriental' defines the rug as being hand-knotted or hand tied of wool from the Near, Middle or Far East. Wool, and sometimes silk, are the natural fiber used in tying thousands of knots on an upright or horizontal loom to bring the rug to completion. An Oriental rug's beauty is based on its color harmony and balance, design intricacy, clarity of design, texture, and yarn patina. These elements are what give an Oriental rug an inviting, soft appeal. Amidst the global financial calamity (says the Wall Street Journal), art collectors are once again scouring the marketplace for new areas to tap into. Pastoral landscapes and gilded table clocks, and antiques that once would have been too haughty for high spending art collectors have emerged as some of the market's newest favorites. Buyers who bid up trendy contemporary art during the boom, only to see them plummet in value during the recession, are now seeking more obscure pieces whose values could rise with a market upswing. A patchwork of global collectors and institutions are fueling the rise. New museums across the Middle East and Europe are driving up prices as they 406

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Written by Mike Hodges

build collections of Islamic art. Contemporary art buyers from Singapore to Silicon Valley are rolling out antique rugs to complement the abstract, geometric art works that hang on their walls. Everyone is on the lookout for the next little noticed niche of the market that could see a spike in value.

According to Jon Thompson, a British rug scholar, rugs are typically classified by the circumstances in which they were made. Whether they are hand-woven by tribal nomads, crafted in a village or city, or woven on looms in a royal workshop, all determine where rugs are classified or ranked. Prices tend to rise along the same lines. Those woven either by tribes or in villages, are on the lower end of the scale, commanding prices anywhere from $2,500 to $300,000. Persian court rugs, made in royal workshops during the 15th & 16th centuries, featuring pastel, botanical designs, are particularly popular with collectors of Impressionist art. These rugs are priced in the millions!

There is a lot to be educated on: Age, color, condition, weave, and imagery. Another way consumers are misled is when they are told that a rug design has artistic significance. Oriental Secrets recommends you respond by asking, "Is this a genuine hand-knotted Oriental-style where this design is an important aspect?" If the rug is actually a reproduction rug (meaning an Oriental-style or an Oriental-design-type rug), this 'design significance' discussion is strictly academic and very misleading--certainly not adding


to the monetary value of the rug. As a consumer, it pays to 'clue-in' before buying an expensive Oriental rug.

"It's the design of the carpet," says Ben Hineman of Oriental Secrets. He and his father Scott are proprietors of Oriental Secrets. "Because, each design you see is centuries old. It's been around for that long. So what you're seeing is the past come into the present."

Beware of buying so-called Oriental rugs at auctions, government seizures, and going out of business sales. If a rug sale sounds too good to be true it usually is. Don't be taken in by Oriental-rug hype. Here are a couple of facts to file: 1) It is purely a myth that Oriental rugs knotted finely by hand are better than a coarsely knotted one. In many rugs (such as tribal or nomadic) the larger, coarser hand-knotted Oriental rug complements their bold designs. 2) The loosely hand-knotted woven rugs may also contain wonderfully pure colors, and they can actually be of far greater value than rugs with a much finer knot count.

Should designs always be symmetrical while the borders are perfectly straight and rectangular?

NO. This applies to traditional 'city' woven rugs more than to nomadic/ tribal rugs, because the knots of the latter were tied on portable looms that were often moved from place to place before the rug was finished. All hand-knotted rugs have irregularities. It has to be decided on a case-bycase basis whether the particular irregularity or irregularities are within reason and acceptable. Well-made Oriental rugs nearly always increase in value. Historically rare, perfect, antique specimens hold their value and appreciate as time passes.

These days, top antique rugs are sold more like works of art than pieces of decor. "All the pieces that are coming out of India are basically the same...mirrored floral design/tree of life," says Hineman. "The more geometric styles are coming out of Persia (Iran) and what's funny (in a strange way) is that carpets from Pakistan are going into a new age re-make of old pieces. New, fun colors and earth tones keep designs fresher...updated."

"It all depends on the person," Hineman adds. "I know people who have special tastes. For instance, a carpet that will accent their Moroccan or Turkish room. They need something to put on the wall to tie in." "These are heirloom pieces that will be passed down. Once you purchase something of this nature it retains such high value later in life that you won't get rid of it."

The wealthy have collected Oriental rugs for centuries. Henry VIII owned several hundred Turkish rugs. Hans Holbein, Cornelius Vanderbilt and Sigmund Freud, who kept a rug draped over the couch where he conducted his psychoanalytic sessions, were Persian-rug aficionados. These days, top antique rugs are sold more like works of art than pieces of decor. Some high-end rug dealers even eschew the retail system of pricing by the square foot, because their collectors will pay higher prices for small prayer rugs and rare rug fragments than for palatial floor coverings. According to appraisers and auction records, sales (in 2010) have been slower for pieces that are frayed or of mediocre quality; but, values have climbed sharply for the best surviving examples.

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home}Rugs

Like Scottish tartans or Navajo blankets, antique rugs offer clues about the lives and folklore of ancient peoples.

"You look around the world today (Iran for instance) and soon their way of life, making carpets, is going to get a lot harder," says Hineman. "And the value of those pieces is going to skyrocket. I'd hate to say that someday it might end over there but the fact is it's dying down."

Like Scottish tartans or Navajo blankets, antique rugs offer clues about the lives and folklore of ancient peoples. Archaeologists in the late 40s discovered a carpet in a frozen Siberian tomb that dated back to the 4th or 5th century B.C. A culture of weavers eventually stretched from Indonesia to Istanbul, Turkey. Most weavers were women who could either spend months or years creating a single piece for their families or the marketplace. Ottoman rulers built elaborate rug workshops as well, with workers who created purple and pink dyes by pulverizing sea snails and cochineal insects, respectively.

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Aristocratic collectors have long acquired the rugs created in Persian-rug workshops, but Caucasian rugs made by tribal groups have steadily gained favor with collectors since the 60s, particularly in America, Italy and Germany. The most coveted Caucasian rugs were hand-woven during the 18th and 19th centuries by the dozens of nomadic shepherd families who once dominated the steppes and mountains of modern day Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Their signature dye colors are geranium red and indigo blue, and their

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designs are peppered with good-luck symbols and playful images of chickens, carnations and diagonal stripes. Some imagery is sacred, including a fan-like whirling orb that stands for the wheel of life.

"A lot of carpet making around the world is based on choice now," says Hineman looking toward the future. "The next generation is not being forced into carpet making (demand for the vocation lessening) so most of what will be in seen in the next decade or two will be coming from India, Pakistan (that will slowly end) and China."

A final buying and browsing tip from Scott Hineman...Do not believe anyone who tells you not to purchase a rug with synthetic or vegetable dyes because both could fade or run when wet. For many decades now, both synthetic and vegetable dyes have improved to the point where they are reliable, safe and colorfast.

In 2011, Oriental Secrets Rug Gallery began its 7th year in business, offering full service in all they do. They are located at 807 Spokane Avenue (Hwy 93), Suite 300 Whitefish. Their hours of operation are 9:00 – 6:00, Monday - Saturday. Call them to schedule an appointment - 862-1310.


health} Feet

Stepping out

How to stay light on your feet and love it By Nancy Kimball

Remember scoring that killer pair of pointy-toe heels on your weekend trip to Spokane? They absolutely made your power suit, right? Or how about those too-cute little slippers the girls wear to school? They’re the height of laid-back fashion.

s

tylish or not, those same shoes that are making your outfit work probably are killing your feet. You may not feel the pain just yet – but you will. Women have enough naturally occurring foot problems without making them worse through bad footwear choices.

“Changes in shoe fashion over time definitely have played a role in changes in problems with women’s feet that I see,” Dr. Esther Barnes said. She’s a podiatrist practicing at Northwest Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Kalispell, and she’s seen it all. Bunions and hammertoes, heel pain or plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon and heel pain – they’ve all walked in her door, and often on the feet of women. Fifty to 60 percent of Barnes’ practice is women in their 50s, 60s and 70s with bunions and hammertoes, conditions that have more to do with the shape of their feet than the shoes they wear. But wearing non-supportive shoes and being overweight definitely are two main culprits for many foot problems, or at least making otherwise healthy feet painful.

“Recently, with those flat, thin fabric shoes the young girls are wearing – they’re really just slippers – I see an increase in Achilles tendon pain and heel pain at an earlier age,” Barnes said. “This is very different from the 80s and 90s when high-heeled shoes were more popular than flats with young women. We don’t typically see the consequence of heels for a while, until women are in their 40s, 50s or 60s. This is because conditions rising from long-term use of heeled shoes – tight heel cords and increased pressure on the front of the foot – contribute to bunions, hammertoes, ball of foot pain. And those problems take time to develop.” What’s particularly disturbing is that the heel pain and Achilles problems that she normally sees in women in their 50s and 60s now are cropping up among girls in their teens who regularly wear those fashionable slipper shoes. 406

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It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Barnes argues that style can go hand-in-glove with taking care of your feet. If you choose wisely, high fashion can be good for you.

First, though, what about high heels, those pumps with tallerthan-2-inch heels? The California Podiatric Medical Association says they’re biomechanically and orthopedically unsound. They contribute to knee and back problems, disabling injuries in falls, shortened calf muscles and an awkward, unnatural gait. In time, they can impair proper function of your feet. If you’re already a fan you’re probably not going to give them up. So try these tips – limit the time you wear them, alternate with good-quality flats for part of the day, buy heels so they’re roomy, wear attractive “walking” pumps. Nylon pantyhose aren’t such a good idea, either. Cheap hose particularly cause all sorts of trouble. Spend the money on better quality. Your feet will thank you.

If you’ve ever had a baby, you know your feet take a beating during pregnancy. You need broad-based heels to take the extra weight and adjust to the different weight-bearing stance. Swollen feet and ankles aggravate existing problems and the extra hormones make ligaments looser, making foot strain worse.

As we age, the fat pads on the bottoms of our feet deteriorate. Good shoes can offer women over 65 a reasonable fix. Look for good cushioning and flexible uppers, leather shoes that breathe, lightweight and shock-absorbing soles with good traction.

Some problems just can’t be fixed with footwear. Your genetically determined bone and muscle structure may predispose you for things like bunions and hammertoes.


But you can choose to help yourself in at least three ways:

- Buy and wear properly-fitting shoes. Have a professional fit them to your feet by measuring each foot separately and matching those measurements to the size of the shoes. Rigid soles balance out the stresses across your feet. And consider buying arch supports to give you the boost most shoes lack. - Do stretches. As we age, we naturally tighten. That includes our Achilles tendon which, if it shortens and tightens too far, will make other foot problems even worse. Attack the problem by doing the runner’s stretch – while wearing your shoes and arch-support inserts, put your feet in a lunge position but keep your back leg straight while bending your front knee and steadying yourself with your hands against a wall. Feel the stretch in your back heel and Achilles tendon. - If you’re packing on a few extra pounds, lose them. “When you lose weight, you generally place less stress on your feet, tendons and ligaments as well as across the joints,” Barnes said. “Those stresses are just increased with extra weight.” So, it isn’t all about the shoes. It’s about being smart so you can stay active for a long, long time.

“Being a woman, you don’t have to compromise your style and your lifestyle,” she said. “You can take care of your feet and be active and do what you want to do while remaining a stylish woman.”

Common foot problems in women Here are a few common foot issues that can make living more of a pain than a dance of joy: - Achilles tendinitis is when the tendon linking your calf muscle and heel bone gets inflamed. - Bunions are misaligned big-toe joints that get swollen and tender.

- Hammertoe is a condition that contracts the toe in a claw-like position.

- Metatarsalgia is general pain in the ball of the foot, often from wearing high heels. - Neuromas are enlarged, benign nerve growths, usually between the third and fourth toes.

- Plantar fasciitis is when the long band of connective tissue between the heel and ball of the foot is inflamed. - Pump bump (Haglund’s deformity) is a bone enlargement at the back of the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches.

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health}the Wave

To Hire A Personal Trainer By Rachel Gibb, BS, CSCS & Sam Glauber, CPT Photos by Alisia Cubberly

Hiring a personal trainer can be the difference between reaching your fitness goals and back sliding into your old unhealthy habits. Many people dismiss the idea of hiring a personal trainer because they think it’s too expensive or that they already know how to eat healthy and workout when in fact hiring a personal trainer can make a world of difference and is more cost effective than you might think.

If your car had a serious problem, the smartest thing to do, is take it to a qualified mechanic to have it looked at and fixed. Sure, you could get a book on how to repair cars, buy a few tools and try to figure it out yourself, but wouldn’t it just be faster and easier to let the expert handle it? A personal trainer is an expert that has been trained and has the experience to get your body tuned up and running at its best. Whether you want to lose weight, look better, feel better or perform better, a personal trainer is a professional that deals with fixing these problems everyday. They are your ‘body mechanics’ and charge less per hour than your car mechanic.

So what can a personal trainer do for you and why should you hire one? Here are the top three reasons: Results

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The number one reason to hire a personal trainer: If you are not getting the results you want it’s a personal trainer’s job to get you there. When you see a personal trainer in the weight room instructing their client on an exercise, it’s just a very small part of their job. A lot of time goes into designing that client’s workout program. The personal trainer assesses their goals, current fitness level and assesses injuries and health issues. A personal trainer will also guide you with nutrition tips that will keep you on track and work with your lifestyle to achieve results. “Sam (personal trainer at the Wave) has helped me exceed my weight loss goals as well as my fitness

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goals. He is knowledgeable, encouraging, and dedicated to his clients.” Tammy, personal training client at The Wave

Motivation

“Personal training is a good way to commit to a workout and is helpful because you are accountable to someone,” says Sue a personal training client at The Wave. Simply having an appointment with someone to workout every week will keep you on track to your fitness goals. A personal trainer can outline your workouts and nutrition plan week by week and make sure you stick with it.

Know How

Personal trainers have a wealth of fitness knowledge. Most of them have college degrees in health and fitness fields. All personal trainers at the Wave hold a national certification as a personal trainer requiring continuing education each year. Sally, a personal training client at the Wave says, “Hiring a Certified Personal Trainer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The education that I receive  while working with Rachel will stay with me for my lifetime”. Trainers have the knowledge and experience to get you the best results in a safe manner.

1250 Baker Ave. Whitefish, MT 59937 862-2444 If you would like to consider hiring a personal trainer you can always sit down with one and talk about your options. Sam Glauber and Rachel Gibb offer free consultation to anyone interested in personal training. There are many options and pricing possibilities that can work for you. You can call the Wave at 862 2444 or book online at www.whitefishwave.com


health}pain

Oh how it hurts to be a weekend warrior…… By Kiersten Alton, RPH,

I love the spring. The grass is being revealed from beneath the snow and I know that soon I will be able to do yard work and begin planting my garden. This time of year also means I will be using muscles that have been dormant all winter. The aches and pains associated with my weekend hobbies can sometimes be debilitating. There are lots of weekend warriors who hobble in to work on Monday because they have aggravated an old injury or created a new one from their weekend activities. Many people do not like to take an oral anti inflammatory for muscle aches and pain. I use a topical anti-inflammatory in place of oral Ibuprofen.

There are many benefits to topical treatment of inflammation which include: less stomach upset, no risk of Gastrointestinal ulcers, no damage to the kidneys or liver and you get to treat the area that hurts directly instead of putting something in your blood stream that travels throughout your entire body. There are many different types of topical pain medications which can be made by a compounding pharmacist. At Big Sky Specialty Compounding we specialize in topical pain management. Creams can be created with magnesium in them to help with muscle spasms along with agents for nerve pain or inflammation.

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Tendonitis of the elbow, shoulder or knees can be particularly difficult to treat with oral anti-inflammatory medications. Many people do not realize the risks associated with taking OTC medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Someone I know recently went to the hospital with a gastrointestinal bleed, caused by taking Ibuprofen on an empty stomach. Tendonitis in the joints can be very painful and debilitating. I once had tendonitis in both elbows caused by running the Rota tiller in my garden too much. I could barely carry my children and turning a door handle almost brought tears to my eyes. It gave me new appreciation for the pain my patients endure when dealing with these types of chronic injuries. Topical medications with Ketoprofen and a

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numbing agent called Procaine can help with both the pain and help the tendonitis go away faster.

If you suffer from lower back pain but still want to enjoy a game of golf this summer, then topical anti-inflammatory medications might be of use to you. Magnesium works topically to help relax the muscles. It can be used before you exercise or perform an activity that might cause your back to spasm. It will not cause any drowsiness or interact with any oral medications.

A Compounding Pharmacist’s job is to create customized medications for each patient based on their own individual needs. This type of treatment is especially beneficial when there are not a lot of commercially available options or if you can not tolerate the side effects of oral medication.

If you suffer from nerve pain that has not responded to oral medications, then there may be a topical which could be created to help your pain. There are many topical options for nerve pain. The goal of treatment is to help calm down the nerve ending. Initially, you may have to apply the cream three to four times a day, but many times after you get the nerve ending calmed down, the cream can be applied once or twice a day. Nerve pain in the hands and feet responds well to topical treatment. If you have a spine injury, the cream can be applied directly where the injury or surgery occurred. Topical creams also work well for sports injuries and for use during rehabilitation after knee or shoulder surgery. If you skied a million vertical feet this year and are feeling it in your hips and back, topical anti-inflammatory medications may help your pain. These medications do require a prescription. If you would like more information about topical treatment of aches and pains, contact a local compounding pharmacist, such as myself, and let us help you.


wellness} Mindful living

mindful living i By Lee Anne Byrne, LCSW

t is spring!!! The time of re-birth and new beginnings is here! Mindful awareness will serve you in making the most of this season of renewal by opening yourselves to the unexpected. Embracing challenges to the typical as opportunities for re-birth, refreshment, expansion present themselves, is one of the most fundamental supports to good emotional health. These challenges to our typical may come in either tiny or gigantic forms and be experienced as delightful, excruciating, neutral and everything in between. They are opportunities, every one of them, regardless of their form.

When we are faced with situations that we cannot change or cannot change easily, accepting reality as it is does not necessarily eliminate our pain, but it does reduce it and leave us in a position to make the most effective response possible. In non-acceptance (NO), our pain is intensified and we tend to move into non-action. (How can we make an effective response to that which we will not accept as part of our reality)?

Here we have a fundamental decision to make. Will we sit mindfully with the sometimes challenging re-birthing process, or begin a desperate scramble out of this tunnel of the unknown and back to what has been familiar? Mindfulness contains an element of being willing to experience life on life’s terms. As it turns out, life is a constant cycle of life, death (letting go of the old) and rebirth (change, connecting to the new). We see this in the changing seasons and accept it as natural, and even look forward to it. On the other hand, we often struggle to accept that this same natural process is part of our own life.

When we are faced with situations that we cannot change or cannot change easily, accepting reality as it is does not necessarily eliminate our pain, but it does reduce it and leave us in a position to make the most effective response possible.

The unexpected may arrive as an unusual experience, a new relationship, a new perspective, a spontaneous urge, or full-on chaos. The cagey unexpected of life can even take the form of the “same ole’, same ole’” showing up this time in the context of a mindful mind who employs curiosity, non-judgment and gentleness to explore this pattern in life in new ways. In any of these scenarios, the unexpected can twist up our reality for a moment or a lifetime, and push us into expansion’s birth canal.

What helps us at these times? Acceptance. Acceptance in the context of mindful, living simply means that we accept reality as it is. What we do NOT mean is that we approve of or like it. We may approve, we may not approve, and regardless, in this form of acceptance, we simply accept that whatever is happening, is happening, like it or not.

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Our emotional pain is greatly intensified whenever we leave the moment. One way we often leave the mindful moment is when we refuse to accept reality as it is and say a big “NO” to it. This begins our desperate scramble out of the expansion birth canal and back to familiar ground. The difficulty is that sometimes, we just can’t get back to the familiar.

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Begin by creating a non-judgmental statement to describe the present unexpected or difficult to deal with reality. Start with something like “Reality is that …” or “The truth of the matter is…” Check out your statement for neutrality with a friend or advisor. It can be trickier than you think to come up with a truly neutral statement regarding a circumstance that is challenging you. Once you have your neutral statement, sit with your hands open, facing up in your lap. This is a receptive posture. Repeat your statement to yourself several times until you notice softening in your body and mind. Allowing your breathing to be full and continuous will help. Do this daily.

You should expect to initially move in and out of acceptance. Repeat your phrase in your head whenever you notice non-accepting thoughts, related body sensations or feelings of “NO”. If you find that you just cannot get yourself to budge towards acceptance, it may be useful to consult a counselor.

We accept things we like all of the time without giving it a thought. We know how to accept. Part of accepting life on life’s terms is to know that when we are faced with the unexpected, we are being called to mindfulness of the natural ebb and flow of life. Approaching this with mindful acceptance will ease the way and open you to the opportunities of rebirth which are bountiful in times of the seasonal changes of life. Happy Spring!


wellness} dear dru

dear coach dru,

By Dru Rafkin Jackman, ACC

As a wife and mother of three I tend to get overwhelmed pretty quickly. I love spending time with my kids. It’s great to watch them grow and participate in activities that interest them and prepare them for their adult lives. I use my time wisely, but I am finding that as summer break nears, I’m filled with a mix of excitement and dread. I’m excited because we’ll have more time together during the long, summer days, but I dread the disappearance of the hour or two I sometimes take for myself while they are at school. Signed, Mom3 Dear Mom3, It’s clear that your desire to be a loving mother is a huge part of who you are and that you delight in watching your children grow and develop. Kudos to you for taking the occasional hour or two for yourself. Most of us know that taking care of ourselves makes us better able to take care of those we love. It’s common sense not practiced by most because we’re afraid we’ll be seen as selfish; we feel guilty. If you’re nodding your head right now ask yourself this: If your tank is empty how are you going to fill up everyone else’s?

You clearly understand and have experienced the benefits of taking time for yourself or you wouldn’t be dreading the disappearance of the few hours you do take for yourself. It will likely require effort and maybe some out-of-the-box thinking on your part to continue taking that time for yourself. Are you willing to do a little footwork to make it happen?

If you have the stamina, energy and intelligence it takes to raise 3 kids then I KNOW you have what it takes to make a plan to fill your tank so you can be the loving mother who is present and interested to all that your kids are up to.

Will you have doubts if you can do it? Will you wonder if it’s the right thing to do? Will your Monkey Mind question your ability to get it done? You bet! But as a mentor of mine says, “A moment of discomfort is a small price to pay for the possibility of what is important to me being realized.” 406

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While you’re moving forward with your plan to get some time for yourself, keep in mind these “Nine Common Mistakes that Derail of Our Effective Use of Time”. These are errors we all make due to habit, misinformation, and the presence of self-limiting talk. Keep your eyes peeled for them: 1. Multi-tasking

Women are notorious multi-taskers. Some of us even believe that we are saving time by doing this. Recent research has shown that not only is the human brain unable to perform two tasks well simultaneously but that our ability to learn and retain information plummets when we multi-task.

2. Taking Unscheduled Diversions

“I’ll just do this first.” Successful people – “people who do what they say they will, consistently” – know that clarity and focus are two important skill sets to master. Clarity is simply knowing what’s important. Focus is directing your attention toward what’s important.

3. Giving in to Distractions

Is there a little voice in your head telling you that “this is too hard…this won’t make a difference… you deserve a break” (even though you’ve barely started)? We all have that voice, that Monkey Mind. We also all have a voice of wisdom quietly reminding us that this task is important because it’s on the road to being the kind of parent, spouse or friend we long to be.

4. Allowing Interruptions

Everyone needs you. No one can do it right without you. Really?! Do you know what separates successful entrepreneurs from all the others? Their ability to mentor, to empower, and to support others to learn and do what they see the leader doing. Smack me if you want, but it sounds a lot like parenting to me.

5. Listening with Interest to Self-Limiting Conversations

Those voices are loud, insistent and always there, and you can’t make them stop. You can, however, shift your attention to something more interesting – like the task at hand. Go ahead, try it. Nothing bad will happen, I promise.

6. Setting Unclear Priorities & Vague Goals

You’ve heard this a million times, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” (Lewis Carroll). Being clear and setting defined goals will make the path easier even if you don’t have it all mapped out. Identifying your destination makes all the difference. Try this: Go to Google Maps and enter your current location. Now leave the “destination” line blank and see what you get in return. Nada.

7. Thinking there is a “RIGHT” Place to Start

There isn’t. Yes, it can be helpful to begin at the beginning, but if you don’t know where that is then simply start where you are. There is always a logical next step in front of you. Always.

8. Not Taking True Breaks

There you are again, multi-tasking! Are you taking break or are you taking a few minutes to get more done? Tell the truth…And take a break…Please. Seriously, I’m exhausted just thinking about this.

9. Not Allowing Enough Time for the Task

I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m even going to give you permission to share this with anyone you want because I like you. Ready? Everything takes longer and requires more effort than you thought it would. Everything. All the time.

Mom3, go forth and carve out some time for you. Watch for ways to make it easier on yourself, and you’ll end up making it easier for everyone around you, without lifting a finger. Take care of yourself and you’ll have all the energy you need to take care of your kids. www.solutionsbydru.com


family} Parent Coach

stuck in attachment

By Denise Dryden

As little kids, we saw the

world as a big bunch of options. Each day brought us choices of being inside, or playing outside. If we stayed inside, what could we do? If we went outside, what could we do? We looked at activities as ways of having fun and entertaining ourselves. We discovered things we were good at doing, and hopefully had the time and support to let these ideas or interests develop.

With our children, it is important to remember the process of discovery…the discovery of an open day, a free afternoon, or a bunch of choices of what to do. This gives our child the ownership of finding out what they want to do, and gives them the time to try on some ideas and see what takes. If all of our children’s time is laid out and planned, where is the magic of freedom and discovery? This is true in regards to all of our relationships. Whether, the relationships are with our children, our partners, our friends, or ourselves, freedom of discovery is mandatory. If we have all these plans made that keep us on a designated path, where is the opportunity for discovery and growth? How do we create the space for each of these relationships to take a different turn and go into new, uncharted territory?

I believe it comes down to attachment. We see a good idea of what our child wants to do, and often we jump in to make it happen for them. We want to be the supportive parent! And, along the way, we get attached to this happening a certain way because it is comfortable, we know what to expect, and we know how to plan. Face it, in our busy lives, the more we know what to expect from each day, and each week, the easier it is to summon the energy to make it happen. It is almost as if we see a small piece of potential in our child, and we create of picture in our minds of what it can or should be. Then, we schedule, direct and make that potential happen. After all, we are creators, we are doers, and we take pride in making things happen for ourselves, for our partners, and for our children.

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What if this doesn’t work? What if the picture in our heads is only in our heads and all the love and support, all the planning and sacrific

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ing, is to fulfill what is in our head rather than what is in your child’s head? That is when we experience all sorts of exhaustion, hurt feelings, and when our expectations of being acknowledged and supported do not happen the way we want them to happen. We are the ones holding the vision, not them. There is a kind of disconnect between your original intention for your child and what you thought needed to happen. We want so much for our children that we often can get overzealous in our support. This is natural, and this is where we can get off track, in efforting instead of standing back and seeing what develops, what can be discovered. We take the magic out of things without even realizing it.

It is important to set time aside, each day, to simply relax with your child. Allow time without expectation. What if you and your child(ren) just ‘hang out’? It is at these softer times, when their true emotions are present, and we can talk with them about what they see themselves doing, being, and creating. This is our opportunity to empower them to think outside the box, explore, and choose what they want to do, free from the obligations and expectations. Then, partner with them to create a way to solve the current schedule and allow your child some ownership in their own discovery. This can and will shrink the attachment, yet will empower both your child and you, as a parent, to choose a different way. Good luck, and have fun discovering something different!

www.denisedrydencoaching.com


family}spring

as springs comes…

a

s spring comes, which I hope it continues to do, I am reminded of our senses! You know, our sense of smell, sight, hearing taste and, in particular, sound. I hear birds chirp, kids play, water slosh… lots of water slosh, but anyway, there is noise again. I am refreshed to hear my kids outside playing. I also hear other children, and other dogs, and doors opening and closing. Yes, doors! I am reminded that there is life. I truly believe that life sort of…. well…. vanishes in February, and gradually, slowly, ever so slowly, comes back in March. It’s an angry return, but it does return. I am quickly reminded of the life in my own home. My dogs, chickens, bunnies, husband, and most importantly, my children, are back. The whole family starts to come to life again. Our two chickens, Henrietta and Golden Egg, ventured outside of their coupe for the first time since the snow hit the ground. They do not like snow. Our bunnies actually started kicking their large back feet up in the air as they slid across the slippery snow. They also started digging under the house again… I am so excited to start patching up their holes! Anyway, they are all examples of the signs of life that are creeping back in, and I am thankful for them.

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I am refreshed to see my children go outside without snow pants, and my daughter ride her

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bike to school. She was the only child to do so today, and it was great! Spring is here and we are all gearing up for a new season. It is time for fresh thinking for the whole family. Everybody in our households needs a little revving up. Spring is also the time to start checking in with kids on school projects, because teachers love to give them right before spring break. Start gearing up for spring break so everyone comes back rested and ready to finish out the school year with a bang. Clean out the cobwebs that have collected in our winter brains and prepare for longer days and evening sunshine. Heck, I don’t know, just flush the winter doldrums down the porcelain chug-chug and kick it into gear.

After spring break, kids need to come back to school ready to finish the school year on a positive note. Let them enjoy their break. Even if you are not traveling to warm beaches or exotic lands, let home be a vacation. As your kiddos return to school, take time to check in with their teachers. If things are going well, commend them and continue to support them so things STAY positive and successful. So many of the students I am tutoring improve their grades and then back off, thinking, “Now that I am back to B’s and A’s, I can take a break!” Grades quickly slide back to that dark place that brought these students to me in the first

By Kristen Pulsifer

place. I promptly remind them that grades are like trying to stay healthy and in shape. It is easy to be lazy, lose our strong muscles and eat the junk food, but it is hard, and takes a long time, to get our strength back, start exercising and get back in shape. So, once you get strong, maintain that strength…. Keep those good grades that you worked so hard to achieve.

Those of you who have high school kids, specifically juniors that are beginning to think about college, should start thinking about the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. I am sure many of you are already toiling over these dreaded tests, but if not, check into it by going to www.collegeboard.org. The next SAT test is May 7th, with a registration deadline of April 8th. The next SAT test after that is June 4th , with a registration deadline of May 10th. You can register late, but there is a $24.00 fee, and that is on top of the regular $47.00 test fee. Everything comes at a cost. Keep the school year moving along and positive. There is still time to improve grades and progress in activities so the school year can end on a positive note. The most important thing is to keep up with what your kids are doing and enjoy this time of year with your families. Clean off the bikes and get your last few runs in on the skis…. together.


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family} step family

The idea of divorce and remarriage is pretty imbedded in our culture. When meeting a new couple, one is more likely to find they are “remarried” rather than “original.” Back in the early 1990’s when I was falling in love with my second husband, the idea of blending our two teenaged “only” children into a ‘stepfamily’ was not especially scandalous, but it was daunting. At times, it bordered on being totally dysfunctional. So I sought answers, and in Portland, Oregon there was a weekly stepfamily support group, plus a helpline and a lot of family therapists who specialized in the new cultural shift called “blended families.” Today we barely lift an eyebrow when someone mentions they are remarrying and will now have stepchildren. We assume, wrongly, that because this phenomenon of remarriage has been around for 30 years or so that it has all been figured out; but, I can assure you, that the same problems that confronted my husband and me twenty years ago, are just as problematic for couples today. Only today, nobody really talks about it because it’s all been said before, right? It’s old news. I looked back at newsletters I had written on behalf of the Stepfamily Association of Portland and realized that the good advice I had been given then was still just as relevant today. So, I offer it once again. Take what you will and hopefully find in it strength. “To marry a second time represents the triumph of hope over experience” said Dr. Samuel Johnson. Good luck to all, and maybe, because of this column, someone in Northwest Montana will start a stepfamily support group. MEK

Coping with the summer visitation blues By Marti Ebbert Kurth

Ah summer…visions of sunshine with happy children and adults basking in the long warm days of northwestern Montana. Lazy contented hours by one of our many lakes, streams or ponds. Relaxation! Unfortunately, for stepfamilies summer can quickly turn into an emotional rollercoaster when non-custodial parents get their kids for an extended vacation. It’s hard to place blame on any one family member because everyone adds to the tension. Kids become cranky because they’re often competing with either a new stepmother or stepfather for attention. They struggle in confusion and anger as they try to adapt to a short term living situation in new surroundings. They are adrift without the security of familiar friends and hangouts. Stepmothers can hardly be faulted. They barely know or understand these children invading their home, demanding attention–or competing for it–and giving them very little respect. And who can blame dad? After all, these few weeks may be his only opportunity to reacquaint and rebuild bonds with his kids! So what if he’s lax on the discipline and spoils them a bit? Just because you’ve all been thrown together out of circumstance is no reason to suffer through weeks of misery and resentment. Family therapists say that if you approach the summer visitation with a plan of action it has a better chance of turning into a positive experience for everyone.

Make step-kids feel welcome but not guests

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Make your visiting children feel welcome by offering them space to keep their clothes and treasures --but don’t treat them like guests. It’s important that they feel like members of the household whose contribu-

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tions are listened to and appreciated. If other children live in the house full time, discuss with them the summer living situation. “It’s important to avoid nasty surprises for kids. If they will be sharing a room with another child let them know about it in advance. Don’t just dump kids together and expect it to work,” cautions Portland, Oregon family therapist, Doris Jewett.

Agree on household tasks and expectations

It often happens that a new stepmother feels like a slave when her husband’s kids visit for a month or so in the summer. Because dad wants the kids to have a good time, he tends to give them more freedom. It’s important that couples agree, ahead of time, on what is okay to ask the kids to do when they arrive for their visit. Household tasks are a big bone of contention in most stepfamilies. Fathers can set an example if they spend time actually sharing some of the daily chores with their visiting kids. Wash the dishes or sweep the floors together, and make the effort to show that you all participate in keeping the household tidy and running smoothly. When the visiting stepchildren get settled, sit down as a family and go over the house rules. Establishing refrigerator rules is a good idea. Letting kids know what is okay to eat and what is off limits could derail some future arguments. Encourage visiting children to choose the food for some meals. It will make them feel more at home to eat what they like and are familiar with. One family found that rotating the cooking of dinner among all the family members spread the chore equally and provided some interesting meals to talk about!

Offer stepchildren time with absent parent

Establishing a scheduled time when the absent parent can telephone their child is also a good idea. If visiting children are homesick it will provide a regular time they can count on to talk with their mom or dad. It also alleviates the custodial parents fear that they are losing touch with their child or that the non-custodial parent is wooing them away. Most of all try to relax and don’t feel guilty if you can’t always please your visiting stepchildren. When things get tough, take a time out, and encourage the children to do the same.

Couple Communication

Family therapists stress that a strong marriage is the key to creating a successful blended family. Set Aside Time to Talk Communication –both listening and talking is a skill that has to be learned and practiced. Remarrying couples need to be sensitive to each other and be able to talk about difficult issues.

Be Positive in your Communication Tell your partner about kindnesses they have done for you and/or your children. Have Fun Together as a Couple Have romantic time when you don’t talk about kid problems. Schedule a regular date night each week and nurture the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Develop a Sense of Humor—use it Surprises and humor are wonder icebreakers during an argument. Learn to lighten up and laugh at yourself. Take problems less seriously and personally and help your partner do the same.


Follow your inner compass. FOLLOW YOUR INNER COMPASS.

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garden} Grass

watching grass grow... By Linda Andersen of CHS Lawn & Garden

As the snow melts each spring, many homeowners eye their yards with bated breath waiting to see what lies beneath. What will the spring thaw bring this year? Will the beautifully manicured lawn from last summer greet you, or will you find a maze of rodent burrows, a receding grass line and patchy brown spots where your beautifully manicured lawn used to be? For most of us in the Flathead, it will be somewhere in between. The good news is that no matter what condition you find your lawn this spring there are tried and true products and treatments to bring it back. By following a few simple steps, you should be able to resurrect your lawn to all its previous glory by midsummer, if not sooner.

~ The vole truth ~

Many people mistakenly believe the critters that burrow under their lawn leaving holes and dead root systems in their wake are moles, but they’re off by a letter. In Montana, we actually don’t have moles, but voles aplenty. 406

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Voles are mouse-size critters and are sometimes known as field or meadow mice. Their burrowing damages root systems and kills grass. You’ll know if you have them by their telltale latticework running through your lawn, which is indicative of burrows below.

To combat voles and undo their damage lawns should be mowed regularly and clippings and mulch need to be cleaned up. If the damage is already done, rake out dead areas and reseed.

~ Recede to reseed ~

Another common problem is called snow mold. This condition occurs when large amounts of snow accumulate and sit for extended periods. Eventually, the underlying grass dies. In this instance, power raking and reseeding the dead spots is the best course of action.

Look for a certified grass seed that is noxious weed free and recommended for this area. In this climate, 100 percent blue grass is a popular choice. A blend of blue grass, perennial rye and creeping red fescue is another hearty option. CHS can help determine which seed is best for your soil type.


Germination will vary according to seed, but will not occur until soil temperature warms up to about 55 degrees. Many varieties require warmer temperature, and most take at least 10-14 days to germinate.

~ Plant like a pro ~

To be certain your soil is warm enough to incubate the grass seed, you may opt to purchase a soil thermometer. To find out your soil deficiencies, purchase a home soil test or have a soil test done by a reputable company. These tests will measure nutrient levels as well as pH. Some soil may need added nutrients and organic matter to become a truly hospitable environment for grass.

If you’re reseeding an established lawn, you still need soil contact in order for seeds to germinate. On the other hand, planting seeds too deeply will prohibit germination. One quarter of an inch below the ground is the optimum placement for most lawn grass seed. In the beginning, you’ll want to water heavily, keeping the law damp without forming puddles. Later, when the grass is up and growing, then it’s better to water for longer periods of time, and allow the lawn to dry between watering. This watering style will establish a deeper and healthier root system. With new grass, look for a fertilizer for a starter lawn. For an established lawn, a time-release fertilizer is the best way to green up the grass without promoting much top growth.

For a more natural looking landscape, planting native grasses is a relatively new trend that requires far less upkeep once established. Ask your lawn and garden center about stream bank wheatgrass and its cousin , thick spike wheatgrass. There are also a lot of droughtresistant seed options available. Whatever the current condition of your lawn or your soil, with a little effort, your lawn can become the envy of the neighborhood by Labor Day. CHS Country Store, 150 1st Ave WN in Kalispell – 755-7427. Like us on Facebook. com/Kalispell.chs or visit us at www.retail. chskalispell.com. We carry bulk seed, fertilizer and we can help you with all you need to grow your lawn & garden.

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art}Photographer

Heidi Long Written by Marti Kurth

For photographer Heidi Long, taking a great picture is like solving a puzzle. “I get paid to solve the puzzle of creating a dynamic image by using color, lighting and composition in a way that best presents the subject - whether it’s a living room or a bowl of pasta. How fun is that!” she states emphatically. It is good that Heidi enjoys puzzles because her days are a diverse mix of photographic challenges. She might begin the week shooting food at an area restaurant for a regional magazine. Then she’ll shift midweek to shooting horsehair jewelry, and then finish up with photos of an antique gun for Shooting Sportsman or a 160 year old homestead cabin for Log Home Living. . “I love the diversity of my work. It keeps me fresh.”

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Heidi moved to the Flathead Valley from Jackson, Wyoming about 13 years ago and opened a downtown studio (then called “Heidi A. Marty Photography”). Because of her attention to detail and inventive use of lighting, she soon made a name for herself as an architectural photographer. This happened locally at first, and then nationally as high-end magazines discovered her work. Heidi’s work has been published in Mountain Living, Fine Home Building, Log Cabin Homes, Big Sky Journal, and the ultra suave LUXE magazine. Her relationships with magazine editors have been an asset to clients looking for editorial exposure.

WOMAN 80   

She might be shooting a wedding–something she regards as a privilege to share with the bride and groom, or

capturing the details of a contemporary home on the lake, either way its with the same creative drive.

Her goal when shooting a home is to make it feel like a “warm embrace.” She looks for the little details that make it unique and inviting. She decides if there is enough light in the right places and draws on her 25 years of experience with a camera to make the magic happen. “The thing I love about shooting architecture is the detail work in each home. I am continually impressed with the high level of craftsmanship of our designers and builders here in Northwestern Montana. I shoot homes throughout the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest, and the craftsmanship so often does not compare to what we have here!” A shift in the industry has Heidi shooting fewer higher square footage homes and more “green”, reclaimed, and smaller footprint homes. She’s looking forward to a project this summer shooting 400 square foot log homes and residential tree houses in the Midwest. “Did I mention that I love my job?”, she asks.

Heidi’s photography skill was nurtured by her early training as a fine artist. After a year and a half stint at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was accepted as a painter (and minored in photography), Heidi accepted an internship in the Florida Keys as the staff photographer and marine science instructor at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. She returned to school earning her BS in Photo-illustration from Kent State University.           


After college Heidi worked for ad agencies in Cleveland, OH and Jackson, WY until moving to Montana and starting her own business. Today her studio is a comfortable converted garage just steps from her backdoor. Her name changed when she met and married fellow photographer David M. Long, and they live with her two boys in a quiet residential neighborhood. About eight years ago Heidi began volunteering for Kalispell’s Samaritan House, a homeless shelter and transitional housing center.

“A stranger once reached out to me offering help at a time when I didn’t think I needed it. I’ve never forgotten that woman or the impact our five minute conversation had on my life. She didn’t actually give me anything material-what she gave me was validation, empathy, and concern. I wanted to give back, so I put it in motion by cooking occasional meals for the Samaritan House. To me, cooking is an expression of love. My boys have grown up as volunteers, often helping to prepare and serve meals with me. It warms my heart to see them “get it” and spontaneously donate their own belongings to kids at the shelter.” Heidi now serves on the board at the Samaritan House and is using her photography skills in support of the organization. She has begun a photographic essay to “put a face on homelessness in our valley.” She photographed a young pregnant woman at the shelter who Heidi describes as being full of courage, grace, and determination. “She is someone’s daughter, friend, neighbor. With these images I hope to dispel the stereotype of the homeless in our valley. These are people just like you and me”. The Samaritan House will hold its fourth annual Cowboy Up auction April 30th at Gardner’s Auction. Heidi hopes to have some of her images on display at the event.

With the shift to digital photography, her business has changed immensely in the past six years. These days she spends more time at the computer working with digital imaging than she ever did in the dark room. “I definitely don’t miss working with all the photographic chemicals. Now I enjoy using Photoshop (an imaging software program) to “develop” my images. The trick is to use Photoshop as a tool instead of a crutch to express my creativity through photography.” Heidi is well known for her humorous approach to marketing her business. She sends promo cards to clients featuring dogs, bald men, and silly slogans. “I employ the marketing-to-make-you-laugh principle,” she notes, adding that it does make people remember her.

She might be shooting a wedding–something she regards as a privilege to share with the bride and groom, or capturing the details of a contemporary home on the lake, either way its with the same creative drive. “When my boys complain that they don’t need to learn math because they won’t use it in their work life I just say whoa! I point out to them that even as a photographer I use math every day, calculating light values, fractions, and angles and I remind them that having a well-rounded education is a very important thing. You never know where your path will lead.”

Good advice from a mom who has made her name and her living, as a top-notch puzzle solver!

To view more of Heidi’s work visit her web site www.longviews.com or call the studio 406-756-1489.

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art}Guitar

The Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop By Marti Kurth

D

avid Feffer dreams BIG. It's probably no accident that he chose a village called Bigfork for his retirement years because when this guy has a vision the whole community gets caught up in the swirling tornado of his idea and before you know it the Dream has been launched...and it is a HUGE success.

Dreaming big he asked his board who would be "their dream-cometrue teacher?" "Why not Pat Metheny," said one. "How about Alex DeGrassi?" said another.  "Why not?" said Feffer, and he contacted the National Guitar Workshop director and asked him to help find talented teachers for the first event.

In January of 2010, he gathered a group of people willing to commit to a board and formed a Foundation to support the fledging idea.

At the last minute, one artist dropped out and jazz great Lee Ritenour was asked if he could fill in. Ritenour said he could spare two days and auspiciously, his presence has led to an even bigger collaboration. Now this year a new guitar star will be named when the Workshop plays host to the “Yamaha Sixth String Theory” guitar competition fi-

Not content to play golf in his retirement, David wanted to improve his guitar playing so he went to the east coast and took a week of classes at the National Guitar Workshop. While at the course he realized that Flathead Lake, and specifically his new home of Bigfork, would be the ideal location for a similar workshop. Besides, it would mean bringing the artists to Montana providing an opportunity to introduce them to the unparalleled experience of nature that is Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. He called this adventure "The Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop." 406

WOMAN 82   

In an amazing stroke of luck, Metheny said yes, but only if he could bring his family and spend the majority of the week on a vacation. DeGrassi was also enthusiastic about the idea–especially if it meant hiking in Glacier National Park–and agreed to do some public performances before the workshop to support it.


nals to be held on Wednesday, August 31 during the workshop! The competition will feature the national and international finalists vying for top honors and will be held at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts.

Following is a photo essay of the first COC Guitar Workshop held at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork. Though the event was attended predominately by guys, women held a distinct role in the activities. Painting workshops with local artist Nancy Cawdry were offered for spouses and this year artist Carol Hagan will join in the teaching along with yoga classes, shopping excursions and sightseeing trips.

Whether you love to play the guitar or just love listening to it, there will be several opportunities to hear the artists perform during the event held August 28 through September 4. During the week community guitar workshops will be held around the Flathead Valley taught by the artists-in-residence. And save the date for the public Guitar Extravaganza Concert on the lawn overlooking the lake on Saturday night! Visit the website www.cocguitarfoundation.org for a complete list of artists and ticket prices. Call 406-837-2574 if you want to sign up to take the weeklong workshop, which promises to be better than ever!

From left to right starting on opposite page: Finale concert with everyone groovin’ and movin'(photo: Will Feffer) l Debra DeSalvo of Devi was one of the stalwart women who took the workshop and performed. From New Jersey, Debra played her rock-n-roll style that brought the crowd to their feet. (photo: Will Feffer) l Lee Ritenour enjoys a performance with the workshop house band (Photo: Chris Gill)l Alex DeGrassi works with a student on her finger picking skills (photo: Chris Gill)l Halliday Quist is a familiar face to our valley. She is the daughter of Rob Quist and is building her name as a soloist and songwriter. Here she performs for the workshop crowd during an evening barbecue. (photo: Chris Gill) l The prolific Pat Metheny teaches a workshop. Love that hat! (photo: Chris Gill) l Pat Metheny poses with Judy Feffer after signing dozens of commemorative posters for the workshop. (Photo: Will Feffer) l Blues great Joe Bonamassa will teach at this year’s workshop. l Scott Tennant, a popular Artist-in-Residence again this summer, performs his grammy winning acoustic style at an evening concert for workshop attendees and guests. (photo: Will Feffer) l Master guitar maker Ren Ferguson, demonstrates the intricate details of what makes a Gibson guitar sound so good. (Photo: Chris Gill)

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Book Review Sponsored by

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CLEOPATRA By, STACY SCHIFF BOOK REVIEWS BY JOAN G. SMITH Cleopatra would be a fascinating history at any time, but my book group chose to read it a couple weeks before Egypt took center stage in world news! Author Stacy Schiff has written a biography of a famous queen that strips away the layers of legend to find the intelligent, fascinating woman Cleopatra truly was. She had the best teachers in the world, and became, in her own way, a completely competent monarch. Cleopatra was the richest woman in the world and knew how to grow that wealth and take care of her people. She also knew how to throw a party, be politically astute, and charm those around her, always putting them at ease. Stacy Schiff had quite a journey ahead of her when she tackled Cleopatra’s personality. The world had a view of Cleopatra shaped by Elizabeth Taylor, Shakespeare, and Shaw. The truth about Cleopatra

was hard to find and turned out to be much more interesting than the legend. The information Schiff uncovered about Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Octavian, Cicero and their various children and ancestors, is one of the best things about this story. Their strengths and weaknesses are not what the reader expects, but the facts that emerge are documented. Cleopatra’s was a world where murders, poisonings, marriages to either young brothers or sisters, were the rule of the day. The sophistication of Alexandria and its’ library, museums and architecture, totally surpassed Rome’s, as well as that of the rest of the world. Cleopatra died at the age of 39. She had been married twice as a teenager to her two brothers. She eventually went to war against one, and then she poisoned the other. After those two marriages, she began her relationship with Julius Cae-

sar, with whom she had a child but never married. Then, at the end, there was Mark Antony and more children, but Cleopatra never married again. Stacy Schiff won the Pulitzer Prize for Vera, (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), as well as several other awards and fellowships. More importantly, she is a first rate researcher, and, as a writer, does not know how to write a boring page. Cleopatra paints a tapestry of a fabulous life that is impossible to exaggerate. A Final word seems appropriate – Ten generations of Cleopatra’s family had styled themselves as pharaohs. However, they were Ptolemies, which were in fact Macedonian Greek, which, as the author writes, “makes Cleopatra approximately as Egyptian as Elizabeth Taylor.” I went back to college with this book, and I loved every minute of reading this brilliant story.

The Man in the Wooden Hat By, Jane Gardam The book is a wonderful surprise – a sequel to Old Filth, from the wife’s point of view. Betty had died when Eddie’s story began in Old Filth. I thought this novel could not possibly be as good as Old Filth; however, I was wrong, -- it’s better! After their unusual marriage and honeymoon that took place in the Orient, they once again went to live in Hong Kong. Veneering, another Hong Kong barrister and Eddie’s nemesis, enters Betty’s life in important but brief encounters, and the stage is set for an odyssey through the intricate and challeng406

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ing years of Betty and Eddie’s marriage. They spend many years in Hong Kong, but eventually return to England. The world is changing and they must change with it. Jane Gardam takes you through the fifty years of marriage with a sure hand. There is sadness, mayhem, serenity and humor, but most of all intelligence. The reader must remember that Old Filth means Failed in London, try Hong Kong. Gardam takes storytelling to new heights, and makes the emotions of real life, filled with

the courage to face the ups and downs it requires, a reality. My book group has an appetite for unusual and very good books – they loved this one and so will you!


art} books

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, By: Du Bose Heyward Illustrated by: Marjorie Hack Children's BOOK REVIEW By Kristen Pulsifer

It is finally Spring, and I am enjoying looking through all of the new, and old, spring children’s books! I searched for a fun read for Easter, and while I initially was looking for something new, I could not get away from the old favorite, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. I was reminded of this classic story by a student of mine, which at the age of thirteen, still remembers it and calls it her favorite. This sweet tale of the little country girl bunny, is a tale to be read by all ages, and has a moral for the child as well as the adult. The kind tale of wisdom, kindness, swiftness and bravery has a thoughtful story that should be embraced by us all. Written in 1939, this ageless story talks of a little girl bunny who dreams of becoming one of the ‘wise, kind, and swift’ Easter bunnies selected to deliver Easter eggs to all of the little boys and girls. She says, even though laughed at and mocked by many of the other bunnies: “Some day I shall grow up to be an Easter Bunny: - you wait and see!” After she grows up and has twenty-one of her own little bunnies, she begins to lose hope that her dream will come true. She fears she has become nothing “but an old mother bunny”. But, when one of the present Easter Bunnies retires, all of the bunnies are beckoned to the Palace of Easter Eggs for the new Easter Bunny selection, an amazing thing happens! Read this charming tale of perseverance and bravery, and see what comes next for the loving country bunny.

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finance} Cleaning House

Do Some Spring Cleaning on Your (Financial) House

It’s spring — time to clean out the gutters, tune up the lawnmower and wash the windows. But as you attend to these types of tasks around your home, why not take the time to do some financial “spring cleaning” as well? Specifically, consider these moves:

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• “Dust off” your investment strategy. If there’s an area in your home that you haven’t looked at for a while, you may want to dust it off in preparation for the new season. And the same principle may apply to your investment strategy — if you haven’t examined it for a while, it may be time to clean it up to prepare for a new season in your life. After all, since you initially designed your investment strategy — that is, the total amount you invest, the percentages going into “growth” and “income” vehicles, the dollars going into taxable versus tax-deferred accounts and so on — many things may have changed for you, such as your employment situation, the number of children in your household and even your long-term goals. Consequently, you may need to revise your investment strategy in consultation with your financial advisor.

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• “De-clutter” your portfolio. As you look around your house, you may find duplicates of many items, such as those five coffeemakers you’ve accumulated over the years — so you decide to “purge” a few. And when you take a closer look at your portfolio, you might find several investments that you’ve added over time and that are similar to one another. If that’s the case, you might help yourself by selling the “redundant” investments and using the proceeds to buy different ones that can help you diversify your portfolio. (Keep in mind that while diversification can help reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee a profit or protect against loss.) • Prepare yourself for stormy weather. During springtime, we often experience heavy rains, hailstorms, high winds and other types of inclement weather. That’s why we keep our roofs in good shape, keep branches away from our homes and take other steps to protect our houses and property from the ravages of Mother Nature. You and your family could go through some “rough weather” during the course of your lives, so you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient protection in the form of adequate life and disability insurance. Review your coverage to make sure it’s still adequate for your needs.

• Open the windows of opportunity. After a long winter, you may find it pleasant to open the windows and let in the sun and the fresh air. And as an investor, you may find “windows of opportunity” through which you can open yourself up to good investment possibilities. For example, even though we’ve been in a challenging economy the past couple of years, a number of factors – such as low interest rates, improved corporate earnings and favorable stock valuations (the price you pay for a stock, relative to its earnings) — have translated into a favorable environment for investors looking for quality stocks. By dong some financial spring cleaning, you may find that you’ve swept away some of the obstacles to helping you achieve your goals. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Contact Karin Holder, your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor at (406) 862-5454 Or stop by at 807 Spokane Ave, Suite 500, Whitefish, MT. www.edwardjones.com


406 women}

j

profiles

“Books by Joan” Text by Kristen Pulsifer - Photo by Sara Pinnell

oan Smith was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but spent the majority of her childhood in Great Falls, MT. She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and met her husband, Lawrence Smith at that time. She raised two boys and enjoyed her family in Northbrook Il., just north of Chicago. Joan worked as a teacher in Illinois, and thoroughly enjoyed her work. When her sons, Philip and Stephen were born, she took a break from teaching, and spent her time volunteering for groups such as the Children’s Home and Aid Society in Chicago, while raising her two wonderful sons. When her sons were old enough and both in school, Joan returned to teaching. Joan currently resides in Whitefish, MT., and has been here for almost twenty years. Joan and her husband Larry migrated to Whitefish from Chicago first as vacationers, then as part-time residents, and eventually have made Whitefish their home. Joan was excited to return to the state where she had spent her childhood. Joan has always been an enthusiastic reader. Too much time away from her books causes problems! “If I haven’t read a book for awhile I get twitchy. Time for a book!” She spent a great

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deal of time as a child reading while camped out in a tree just outside her house. While she may avoid the trees these days, she does not avoid the books. As her niece, I know, because it is rare to see her without a new read in hand. Joan has many a wilted book from the hours spent in her evening bath, reading. Joan also meets with her book group one Thursday each month. They eat delicious food and share their thoughts on great literature and life. They probably throw some fun gossip in there also, but the books are the focus.

For over twelve years, Joan has volunteered her knowledge of books in the form of book reviews to the Whitefish Library. After doing book reviews for her friend’s book store, Books West, in Kalispell, she was asked to do the same for the library. She has also written and published her own book, Books Worth a Look. This lovely book is a compilation of her best and most enjoyed book reviews. This book, in itself, is a ‘book worth a look’. I am convinced that books are in the genes. Between Joan, myself, and my mother (Joan’s sister, also a Whitefish resident) we have all found

a way to surround our lives with books. I am an English teacher and tutor, my mother owned a book store in Chicago for almost fifteen years, and Joan was a teacher and now a writer! She enjoys volunteering her time to promote the importance of reading to people of all ages, and people in the Flathead Valley are after her for her insightful book reviews! Some of my household’s favorite books have been gifts from Joan, and she continually inspires me and so many others to read. Joan is the reason I began writing children’s book reviews. What a wonderful way to motivate people to read… talk about wonderful literature in creative ways and do the book selecting for them! It is a gift to have someone as intelligent and well – read as Joan volunteering her time to promote quality literature and reading. 406 Woman Magazine is fortunate to have Joan share her thoughtful reviews. We hope all of our readers enjoy reading her reviews as much as so many people have enjoyed them throughout the years. It is wonderful to have people as interesting and well read as Joan willing to volunteer their time to spread their love of reading. We hope it’s contagious!


Kathy Page {Luna's Wine & Martini Bar} Text by Bridget Michlig - Photo by Sara Pinnell

o

Offering a full coffee menu, wines by the glass and the bottle, and a range of martinis from classic to specialty creations, Luna's Wine and Martini Bar is the perfect place to begin – or end – an afternoon or evening in Bigfork. Says owner Kathy Page, “I'm hoping to offer a bit of class and culture – to have a space that isn't a 'bar,' but that can function as one, and give people a place to relax before a dinner, get together for a girls' night out or enjoy a cocktail with a spouse.”

Class and culture are present at Luna's in spades. Newly renovated and redecorated, the vibe is what you'd find in a great neighborhood cafe-cum-bar in, say, Seattle. A variety of music- old school jazz to salsa - plays softly. The space feels more like a living room than a business with oversized club chairs and soft lighting that invite you to nestle in and stay awhile. Luna's is decidedly Little Black Dress friendly, but in true Montana style, it is also fine to just come as you are. Two seating areas off the main counter space offer great people watching – and in the Flathead Valley, people watching often means meeting old friends and acquaintances you perhaps haven't seen in a while. Along with the beverage of your choice, Kathy offers a menu of gourmet cheese platters, light appetizers and antipasti to fill in around the edges of your hunger or suffice as a cocktail hour meal.

A native of Washington and longtime Montana girl, Kathy had the unusual experience of spending summers win San Francisco. It was there, staying at the Franciscan Hotel, which her aunt and uncle managed, that she was exposed to the rarefied world of etiquette classes and finishing school. Her lessons were not for naught – there is an ease in Kathy's service that can only come from training. If you can't carve out a little time to enjoy the offerings right there at the cafe, Kathy will prepare box lunches or a romantic repast in a picnic basket to take with you. Says Kathy, “I'd like to think that every day can be an occasion – and why not make a party of it,” She and Ernesto, her manager, are delighted to

help you choose a special bottle of wine or three. Always happy to accommodate special orders, she'll help you source your favorite vintner and offers a discount on half and whole cases. Kathy has set her sights on hosting wine clubs, special tastings and educational evenings for her patrons. The space is also available for private functions, both business and pleasure.

Luna's is open daily from 10am to 7pm, with what Kathy calls “flexible evening hours,” meaning she's happy to stay later if it pleases her guests. “I just like to make people happy,” she says. Luna's Wine & Martini Bar Branding Iron Station 7935 Mt Hwy 35 Bigfork, Mt 59911 Phone 406 837 2664

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406 man} Stoneman

Darwon Stoneman Photo Courtesy Outside Media

If you appreciate stories of adventure, adrenaline, survival, accomplishment and close-

calls, you’ve probably heard more than a few tales of Coram resident Darwon Stoneman. These are stories recounted across the West in ski lodge locker rooms, raft company

boat barns, hunting camps and bars where mountain men gather. These are the kind of stories told and retold by strangers on chairlifts and friends around campfires.

There are testimonies of Stoneman’s youth as a National sled dog racing champion and wrestling champion in Alaska. Rookie ski patrollers at Alta Ski Area in Utah are told of the young daredevil patroller in the early 1970s who helped develop Alta’s Snow Safety Program and became a lead heli-ski guide, bagging a number of first ski descents in the Wasatch mountains and racking up more than 32-million vertical feet of heli-skiing during a skiing career spanning 40 years. Since he still guides heli trips in Alaska, many people believe that 63-year-old Stoneman is the oldest heli-ski guide in America. In river rat circles, stories float from season to season of how in 1976, Stoneman and Alta legend Onno Weiringa started Glacier Raft Company in West Glacier and drove around the Flathead Valley with a raft in a pickup truck asking people if they wanted to go down the Middle Fork. As a kayaker and river rafter, Stoneman has been among the first people in the world to descend rivers in Chile and Alaska. Two summers ago he joined a group of paddlers half his age and set the record for rafting 125 miles from the start of the Upper Middle Fork in the Great Bear Wilderness to Flathead Lake in a single day. Since he’s been an owner in raft companies in Polson, Idaho, British Columbia and Moab, Utah, in the past 35 years, he’s employed hundreds of guides. Those are a lot of storytellers!

For decades, when their children, Cassie and D.J. were young, Stoneman and his wife Terri juggled their time between Utah and Montana. But as the kids got older, they decided to stay in Coram full-time.

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Stonemanisms: “Three things separate us from the animals; a cutting

tool, the ability to make fire, and an opposable thumb.” “You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.” “Don’t send me love—send money.”

While Stoneman continues to stay busy with Glacier Raft Company, his family, skiing and serving as an expert witness in outdoor-related litigation across the country, he always makes time to venture into the deep woods and be “among the missing” during bow hunting season each fall. So, of course hunting camps are chock-full of Stoneman stories. He’s been encircled by grizzlies. He bugled an elk into his carport. Once an entire pack-string of mules ran away, so he signed up for a class on how to tie better knots. As Stoneman tackles his 64th year with big plans, he simply shrugs when people wonder where he finds his energy. Aging doesn’t bother him. After all, this is the man who poured a beer on his 60th birthday cake instead of blowing out the candles. So the story goes.


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community} fundraiser

First Best Place-The Showcase April 30, 2011 7pm-midnight Glacier Discovery Square Columbia Falls Written by Amy May

First Best Place is holding its largest fundraiser and community gathering to date at First Best Place--The Showcase. The neighborhood mixerstyle soiree on April 30th features a headliner concert by The Cold Hard Cash Show, local cuisine and drinks and a live auction as well as updates on the organization’s many quality-of-life projects. “This event is the culmination of so much of our hard work. We’re looking forward to showing everyone how all of this exciting progress is connected,” says First Best Place Executive Director Barry Conger. “We’ve got our sights set on breaking fundraising records by making this an event that simply can’t be missed.”

Over the past three years, First Best Place has been providing educational and recreational opportunities for the Flathead Valley, operating primarily through grant funding and corporate sponsorship. With an opportunity to match a $25,000 private donation, First Best Place is asking the community to attend the event in support of projects such as the Columbia Falls Farmers Market, Old Red Bridge Restoration, Legacy Archive, Pie Cookery, Library, Youth Center, Community Garden, Gateway to Glacier – The Canyon and North Valley Hospital Health Education Center. “One of the things we’ll be offering people at The Showcase is the opportunity to stake their claim in history by purchasing a name plate on the new Old Red Bridge,” says Conger. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

First Best Place-The Showcase

·7-9pm – Bid on high-end auction packages reflecting each of First Best Place’s community improvement projects while enjoying local food and beverages. Tickets—donation at the door ·9-11:30pm – FREE CONCERT by Johnny Cash Tribute Band COLD HARD CASH SHOW as seen on the David Letterman Show

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Interested in learning more?

5 Things Not To Miss at First Best Place: The Showcase

Check out the Cosley Exhibit in The Vault, where the First Best Place Legacy Archive preserves our local heritage through historical documents, photos and artifacts.

Gourmet goodies from North Valley Hospital (not your typical hospital food!) Truby’s, Simply Sweet and John’s Angels Catering.

See the incarnate of the “Man in Black” at the free concert of Johnny Cash Tribute Band, The Cold Hard Cash Show. As seen on the David Letterman Show! One-of-a-kind Auction Packages including “A Weekend in The Canyon” and “Personal Party at Discovery Square.” Get a first-hand look at how all of First Best Places’ projects fit together to promote a sustainable community.


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406 woman} happenings

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Southside Consignment & Antiques Open House

Text By Mike Hodges Photos by Alisia Cubberly Southside Consignment & Antiques recently participated in a one heck fun way to market a business! It was a welcoming open house, with fun, friends, drinks, snacks… "It was a wonderful night!" says Donna Kouns of Southside Consignment & Antiques (2699 Hwy 93 South in Kalispell...across from S & S Campers). "We invited clients, friends, people who've shopped in the store, and even new folks who haven't been here before," Kouns added. "It was a great get together of talking and visiting...and we had good sales that night too… we didn't even expect that!" Kouns & Southside Consignment & Antiques took advantage of a casual introductory experience by opening its house of goods to many patrons of past transactions as well as some new faces that were impressed and amazed by what they saw. Southside Consignment and Antiques has been a faithful purveyor of beautiful, unique and rustic furniture, dining sets, and interior accoutrements etc. for the Flathead Valley, for over two decades. "In my 21 years at our location, I had no idea this would turn out to be such a success and as nice as it was," Kouns gushed. "We turned it over to Cindy Gerrity, (publisher of 406 Woman Magazine) and when we invited people, we told them to just come for a night of hors d'oeuvres, adult beverages…to just stop in." Businesses (Southside Consignment & Antiques being just one of them) are and have been invited to participate in this type of low-key, yet effective marketing. The festive environment and new found experience, makes it convenient and fun for potential as well as existing customers to 'take a stroll' through the door with a welcoming tone. "They didn't know the quality of stuff...items that we have... and what we had," said Kouns. "They were bringing people back all through the week to buy!" "I would recommend it highly," says Kouns. "The way she (Cindy) hosted the event, it was very comforting, low-key and no pressure...just very nice. Probably one of the least stressful things we've ever done. And, as for advertising, this was the icing on the cake," Kouns explained. Cindy and the extra mile.”  95


406 woman} happenings

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Winter Classic Text By Mike Hodges Photos by Alisia Cubberly

This year the Winter Classic was once again a success. The Kick-Off party, Poker Run, NFL Play 60 Challenge, snow picnic, Gala/Live Auction and Champagne Brunch took place in February, a little earlier than most years. Since the mid eighties, Doug Betters, Former Miami Dolphin great, and Whitefish resident, has brought in friends from the NFL, and also entertainers, to attend a few days of fun in Whitefish. Over four hundred football players have been brought in over the past quarter century. This celebration works to benefit his foundation – For The Children Inc. Money raised helps pay for non-medical expenses such as gas and hotels. Past pro football celebrities included Super Bowl winning quarterback and ESPN/NFL analyst Steve Young, NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman, actor and former NFL analyst Merlin Olson; wide receiver, NFL analyst James Lofton; place kicker, Morton Anderson; quarterback, Billy Volek; offensive lineman, Jake Scott; and linebacker, Kevin Greene. The Classic also has had pro rodeo stars such as Michael Beers, Dave Appleton, Beau Hill and Louis Field attend. Film star Peter Fonda lent his presence in the past as did Steve Kanaly, of the eighties TV-hit 'Dallas’; Wendy Mallick, of the TV show 'Just Shoot Me’; and Dennis Franz, of 'NYPD Blues’. This year's roster included: former University of Montana football greats Dan Carpenter (Miami Dolphins), Marc Mariani (Tennessee Titans), Justin Green (Arizona Cardinals - retired), Colt Anderson (Philadelphia Eagles), Dwan Edwards (Bufffalo Bills), Lex Hillard (Miami Dolphins), Chase Reynolds (not af-

filiated w/a team yet) as well as current U of M Head Football Coach Robin Pflugrad, Kacie West (Ms. Montana) and Monte, the University of Montana award winning mascot. NFL players lend themselves to attract people to events and a lot of fun is had. Even though adults are the ones bringing in the numbers, the Winter Classic's sole purpose is kids. The event raises money to allow children under 18 years of age, to access medical care. All monies raised go to the non-profit organization - For The Children Inc., a 501C(3) corporation that disperses funds to Flathead Valley families whose children need medical care outside the valley. Every donation goes directly to kids of Western Montana (Flathead Valley, Seeley Lake, Eureka, Martin City, Libby and Polson too) who are in need of financial assistance to pay for expenses not covered by insurance. While heart surgeries, premature babies, and various cancers are the most common, kids battling leukemia are numerous. Although funds do not cover direct medical costs, they pick up where insurance leaves off, assisting with travel, food, lodging and some therapy equipment from specialized bicycles and wheelchairs to rehab hot tubs. In more than two decades of work, the Winter Classic has raised and distributed more than $1 million. Each year the organization provides between $40,000 and $60,000 to families. The organization continues its hard work, and will always do its best to assist those in need.

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At participating McDonald’s.

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2011 McDonald’s

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