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

406 contents

Featured Stories


14 Walk for the Cure 18 The Braids That Saved Me

68 Hunter Dominick 74 Do It Yourself - Cabinets

Outdoor Women 22 Karin Holder

406 Love 28 Tom & Jessie 36 Love Stories

Food & Flavor 42 The Palette

46 Braising

50 Popping Pepitas 52 Ali Caters

Finance 76 Estate Planning 78 Retirement 80 Inheritance

History 82 Flora Wong


86 Hairs Off! 88 Book Review


HEALTH 58 Prostate Cancer

62 Skincare Products

Family 64 Something Has to Give

People & Places 90 profiles

Jennifer Flink

92 406 man

Wayne Veeneman

94 happenings

Swing-Fore-a-Sister Born in a Barn & Friends Vintage Market


Publisher Cindy Gerrity

Business Manager Daley McDaniel

Creative Director/Layout&Design Sara Joy Pinnell

Editor Kristen Pulsifer

Photographer Rachel Catlett

Copy Editor/Writer Carole Pinnell

Staff Photographer Brent Steiner

Staff Photographer Daniel Seymour

On the Cover Erica moved to Whitefish 8 years ago from Texas to get a taste of the great ski resort life. Turns out it was a lot more than expected, and the wonders of MT. have kept her here. She is the Marketing Director for Glacier Restaurant Group and serves on the board for the Whitefish CVB. When not getting her fingers wet in the world of restaurant marketing, she enjoys golfing, skiing, hanging with her Weimaraner, Luka and longtime boyfriend Chris and everything else Whitefish.

Cover Image by:

Noah Clayton (

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

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

note} from the editor

It is finally sinking in that fall is here. Having spent this past week end in a cabin near the North Fork, forced that reality home. Leaves are all a beautiful yellow, red and orange, and temperatures have dropped, bringing in chilly, frosty mornings. My feet are cold when I go to bed, and… actually quite cold when I wake up in the morning. It is getting chilly. I am also hungrier as all the deathly sugary Halloween treats reveal themselves in every store, and then I seem to buy them and eat them in every store. It seems the feeding frenzy begins with Halloween candy, and then continues through New Years, or further, depending on will power levels. Anyway, fall is here, the holidays and winter weather approach, and 406 Woman has some wonderful articles and information to help roll our readers along and into the upcoming seasons. Take note of the delicious cooking articles that bring all sorts of wonderful cooking ideas home for the holidays and home for simple day to day meals. Ali Caters and John’s Angels Catering are just a few of the contributors that offer scrumptious cooking ideas and recipes. I have already taken advantage of a wonderful article, from yet another contributor, who discusses the health benefits of pumpkin seeds and some fun new ways to use and prepare them. Even as I type, I am munching on some tasty cooked seeds.

406 Woman’s 406 Man is a perfect article to take note of as October leaves and our calendar moves towards Veteran’s day and a time to appreciate our military and the efforts they made, and still make every day to help keep our country safe.

This issue of 406 Woman brings so many ideas home to our readers, once again. Everything from how to manage your finances more wisely, to how to manage your skin more carefully, is beautifully illustrated. And, most importantly, articles on inspiring people and what they are doing to support our community and the people within it.

Enjoy and Happy Fall. Sincerely,

Kristen Kristen Pulsifer Editor


Contributors Noah Clayton is a

commercial freelance photographer based out of Whitefish, MT. He grew up a small town boy in North Carolina. As a child, he drew detailed pictures of the surrounding landscape, which encompassed his daily life in the countryside. At age 15, he began whitewater kayaking and was exposed to an outdoor lifestyle that strongly took hold and sparked a desire to expand his horizons and travel the world. After spending a year in Taiwan, six months in Australia, and traveling much of the continental United States, Noah sought a profession that could perpetuate the thrill of creativity, new ideas, travel, and different cultures. Photography was a natural fit. He and his wife recently had a son and are excited to raise him in northwest Montana.

Alison (Grabau)

Pomerantz is a former account executive, middle school English teacher, and writer who recently left the rat race of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, two labs and a guinea pig to enjoy all things outdoors in Montana. Alison’s personal and professional interests are diverse, with degrees in journalism and history and Masters degrees in business administration and education. Author of Summit Pioneers, Alison now squeezes freelance writing in amidst the chaos as a stay-at-home mom to an active toddler and new baby. She finds refuge in a vigorous run, a good book and a large glass of wine. Contact her at alisonpomerantz@


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Erin Blair, Licensed

Esthetician, is owner of the Skin Therapy Studio. Specializing in the effective treatment of acne and aging, Erin helps people have skin they can be proud of. She has trained with the best Acne Specialists in the country, and now brings world class acne therapy home to the Flathead Valley. Erin resides in Whitefish with her husband and daughter, where they enjoy nine months of winter and three months of company every year. For help with problem skin, visit

Alethea Schaus is a mama, writer and lover of the outdoors. She has contributed writing and photography over the past decade to Big Sky Journal, BSJ Home, Mothering, Mamalode, The West Shore News and online sites related to creativity, ecology, community, adventure and wellness. Raised in Montana, with two decades of living and adventure around the western U.S., she celebrates Montana’s resilient communities. She is the team lead for Celebrate Creative and lives in Whitefish.

Peter and Kelkey of

Gibeon Photography... Photography school near Aspen introduced Peter + Kelley to collaborative working. From Colorado, they moved to Northwest Montana to launch their career. Married co-workers, they complement each other while shooting, playing and absorbing life. Since 2004, their market has grown from local to include regional and international projects and publications.

Kiersten Alton, RPH,

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

Kelly O’Brien works for

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.

Katy Croft is a Certified

Kristen Hamilton

Nancy Kimball

Miriam Singer

Dru Rafkin Jackman

Karin Holder is a

Measure Law Office, P.C. in Kalispell, MT. She is licensed to practice law in Oregon and Montana, and focuses on estate planning, probate, business, real estate and natural resources law. Kelly earned her J.D. at Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, with a certificate in natural resources law. She also has a B.S. in Business Administration & International Business from the University of Montana, and a minor in German. Kelly is originally from Kalispell and recently returned to the area to work with Measure Law Office. Prior to returning to the Flathead Valley, Kelly worked in private practice with law firms based in Portland and Bend, Oregon. She now lives in Whitefish with her husband and son where she enjoys a multitude of outdoor activities. Contact Kelly at or 406-752-6373

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.

Public Accountant and a partner at Swiftcurrent Consulting & Accounting, P.C. She has an Associates degree from the University of Montana College of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from Devry University. Her areas of expertise are income taxes, payroll taxes and bookkeeping. After running her own bookkeeping business in Missoula, she and her husband Dan relocated back to Kalispell to start a family. They have since welcomed Kyler, 4 and Adilyn, 1 to their family. Katy is a true Montana native, born in Kalispell, and has spent the last 30 years in northwest Montana. To find relief from balancing work and life as a busy mom, she finds solace in riding her bike and playing on the lake. Katy can be reached at

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

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.

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} Walk for the Cure

3 - D a y Wa l k f o r t h e C u r e S e att l e S e pt e m b e r 2 0 1 1 Written by Alethea Schaus

Survival of an illness and recovery to vibrant health is something that any of us can celebrate. Perhaps we ourselves have come through an unexpected cancer diagnosis, or a family member or close friend has done the same. Whether the outcome is survival or surrender, the process of healing is always stronger and brighter with the support of many. Five Whitefish women recently gathered energy, resources and plenty of humor to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event in Seattle, Washington. On September 16, 17 and 18, the team, along with their six Seattle teammates, walked 60 miles, to support efforts in cancer education, research and the quest for a cure. Between July and November each year, participants and supporters gather for 3-Day walking events in 14 different locations around the U.S. This year, Kara Haugen, Lisa Calaway, Kim White, Kim Brubaker and Christina Schmidt, along with their six Seattle cohorts, raised $31,000 for cancer education and research. For the team, participation over the nine months proved to be not only a successful fundraising process but also an inspiring creation of new friendships, support networks and an overall celebration of people mobilized toward healing.

All five individuals, who share plenty of hearty laughter when gathered together, were acquaintances before the event. They had met through their children and the school community. Through the course of fundraising and miles of walking, their bonds of friendship deepened. Kara, a biostatistician for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center out of Seattle, and the team’s captain, walked two years ago for her best friend. That same friend walked as part of the team this year, now cancer-free. Some members of the team have had close experiences with cancer, but not all. “What led me initially to commit was witnessing one member of the community after another be diagnosed with some form of cancer – it is so rampant and only a matter of time before it’s close to home. I wanted to give my energy to the cause proactively,” said Christina.

All five agree that initially the most daunting aspect was the $2,300 per individual fundraising requirement over roughly eight months. Along with tending to their work and families, and with all five fundraising in the same rural area, they had their work cut out for them. Everyone was sensitive to the region’s economic challenges and less opportunity than in more urban areas to garner matching corporate donations. As they proceeded and found a few gaps in their individual funding goals, they pulled together and got creative. Several fundraising events spurred them on. Proceeds from ‘Bunco for Boobies’, a Beer Bash at one of their homes, a table at two of the summer Swap Meets, and a garage sale all together brought in just under $3,000. After For more information, check out these sites: Susan G. Komen Foundation: 3-Day for the Cure Event:

Save a Sister initiative:

Bass Breast Center:

The Artful Bra Project:


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months of fundraising and mounting stress about reaching their team’s goal, the smaller personal offerings, accompanied by an appreciative comment for the effort, kept them going the distance.

“Some of those smaller donations of even a few dollars really showed us that the disease really touches everyone,” said Kim Brubaker, who also designed an ‘artful bra’ for The Artful Bra Project, which raises local awareness and funds for the Save a Sister initiative. “And that reminded us again just why we were doing this,” added Kim White.

Donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation return to support programs in the Flathead Valley, including the Save a Sister initiative (a collaborative effort between Northwest Healthcare, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead CityCounty Health Department) and Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s Bass Breast Center. A $28,000 grant made the local walk-in clinic possible, providing breast screenings for free.

As the event days neared, the women wondered about meeting the six Seattle members of their team. All eleven would cover ground together during the event, after having prepared over the past eight months in their own communities.

“We weren’t sure what to expect when meeting up with the rest of the team, but it turned out to be so easy and we wound up getting to know six amazing women,” said Kim Brubaker.

“We rotated around as we walked and were able to get to know one another while sharing life stories over those three days,” added Lisa. “My friend Kristal donated all of the t-shirts, one of our Seattle teammates designed our logo (a smiley face made out of shoe prints) and I came up with our slogan - ‘Peace, Love and a Cure’,” said Kara. “Our friend Deena helped us with the tie dye.” The group sings the praises of how well the 3-Day was organized. Between how the camp was set up, pit stops, volunteer support along the route, and the event’s overall orchestration, they say that upon arrival in Seattle, their months of efforts and uncertainty felt very worthwhile.

They were surprised by Girl Scouts who helped with their tent and volunteers who handed out Trivial Pursuit playing cards on the second day. They traded cards with other walkers to pass the miles learning about each other’s random areas of expertise. Hundreds of cheering supporters lined the route, and Team Contact Information / Organizational Websites: Whitefish Team:

Kara Haugen, Captain – Biostatistician for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center out of Seattle Kim Brubaker - 406-249-6803 - – created artful bra for the Artful Bra Project, faux finisher/decorative painter Lisa Calaway - 406-871-4825 -

Christina Schmidt - 406-270-4052 - speech language pathologist at Muldown Elementary School

Kim White - 406-212-2577 - - bookkeeper in WF

“The whole point of being there is to really show up for each other,” said Kara. “When you think about it, people who are going through cancer and treatment don’t get to take a break – they’re handling it 24/7 – this brings people together to cover long distances, try to get rest when they can, and share incredible support.” All of the women had examples of deeply impactful experiences along the walk. One shared by all was a mother along the route, holding her two children who held signs expressing gratitude for the walkers and for their mother’s survival. Another

Photo by SharpEye Photography

all recalled scores of “goose-bump” moments along the way. Decorated cars honked their horns, police officers dressed in pink, some even with tutus, and volunteer crossing guards wore bras stuffed with balloons. Delicious food offerings, from both local residents and restaurants, kept them all energized. The walkers toured some of the most worthwhile and interesting parts of the city on the final day of the event - a huge energy boost after nearly 60 miles and two nights of not much rest.

memory was of a fellow walker, a man who had lost his wife to the disease, whose mother had survived. He walked with the hope that his daughter would remain healthy. Kim White lost her mother to cancer, and shared that being able to pay tribute to those who have passed was a deeply healing part of the event.

“All of the Remembrance Tents were there to view from all of the cities in which they hold the 3-Day walk – including a larger tent set up with Seattle's tent, along with a memorial to those that have passed from the disease,” said Kim. “I was able to sign my Mom's name on it along with many others. It was beautifully done and an opportunity to honor those who have passed.” The morning of the final day, the team abruptly awoke at 3 a.m., to exclamations from a few tent rows away. The sprinkler systems had come on in the soccer field underneath the scores of tents. Starting the day soggier and earlier than they had expected, they packed up, downed more than a few cups of coffee, and embarked together upon the final miles, in great weather. It is a tradition at the 3-Day walks, to take off one shoe and raise it in the air when the final survivor crosses the finish line– a ‘one shoe salute’ – to all those who have walked through the challenges of cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival. The team all reflected on the moment’s gracious power. All five of the Whitefish teams expressed a bit of regret at leaving all of the support and energy of the 3-Day walk behind, saying that it all felt so good. Support, perseverance, creativity, teamwork, and celebration – sounds like some good medicine for just about anyone. Team Shutterfly Photo Site: Site Name: Team TrekCures 2011 -

Flathead Valley programs:

Susan G. Komen Foundation: Foundation dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Bass Breast Center:

Organizational Sites:

3-Day for the Cure Event: - 14 different locations around the U.S. - Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Deigo, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Twin Cities, Washington D.C. First event of the year starts in late July in Boston and events wrap up with the last in San Diego in late November.

Save a Sister initiative:

The Artful Bra Project:  15

The Braids T hat Sav e d M e


hen I read the words in the pink book, “most women experience hair loss during chemotherapy,” at first I thought, I can handle being bald. And then I thought, why not cut my braids off and sew them into my winter hat? The book recommends a shorter haircut to ease the transition anyway? I immediately made an appointment with my Stylist Sherri Lynn at 33 Baker Salon. She was all for it, explaining the best angle to cut, how to preserve the hair and suggested a cute new short hair style to sport - until the inevitable loss would occur. We had a plan.

I attended my friend’s New Years Eve party a few days before my scheduled double mastectomy surgery and joked with my friends about seeing my 36D breasts for the last time and shared the idea for my hair. It was one of my guy friends that suggested sewing the hair to Velcro strips so I could transfer the braids to different hats and even my ski helmet – brilliant! It was time to consult with the craftiest person I knew, Amy Nadeau, with her appropriately named business, She’s Crafty. Amy was happy to assist and came up with a strategic approach to preserving the braids by surgically gluing them to a soft, silk-like fabric that would face my scalp (read no itching) while sewing Velcro to the other side of the soft fabric that would attach to the lining of my hats. My plan was evolving. A few weeks after surgery I started my chemo treatments and went to the local “Young(er) Women Surviving Breast Cancer Support Group,” consisting of several survivors, and a handful of gals that were currently enduring treatment. I told them about my hair plan and how excited I was about my friend loaning me his condo and getting frequent flyer tickets so my sweetie and I could escape to Hawaii in a week to play hooky before the next chemo treatment. They warned me that the hair would go soon, so I went to see Sherri Lynn to follow up on our plan for the new “do” that would conserve my old one. Before my plane landed on the first layover, my hair started to come out in clumps. After a couple of days of enjoying the healing vibes of Kauai while cleaning up the


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Above Photo by: Mike McClellan

massive hair loss all over the pillows, sheets, bedroom and bathroom of my friends condo, I went to the local Super Cuts and had my head shaved. I thought I could handle being bald. It was incredibly depressing. It made me look ill, and it made me scared. I was thankful I was in a beautiful, peaceful, warm place and I didn’t know anybody (besides my incredibly supportive boyfriend).

As soon as I arrived home, I got the braids I had placed in my top drawer and inserted them into my favorite knitted winter hat. As I looked into the mirror, I saw myself again. I was not the sick, scared person, but the old me. It was the most comforting moment I had experienced since I heard the words “you have triple negative breast cancer.” I could be normal! No one would have to know I was bald, going through cancer treatment or scared. It was incredibly healing. Soon after, my girlfriends threw me a party, and I walked into a room of gals sporting hats and scarves without a lock of hair showing. I was the only one – with my braids proudly dangling from my ski hat. They were so kind, as each of them gave me a headwear gift - the cutest scarves and hats for all occasions. I had a full repertoire to get me through the following seasons. My transferable braids looked natural in every hat, and I felt so loved.

The braids provided dignity, hope and healing. The support and love I received from my community got me through a very crazy time. I’m a survivor now. My hair is growing back and the braids that saved me are in my top drawer to remind me of how precious life is and how fortunate I am. Lisa Jones is a Whitefish resident. You can e-mail her at

Sherry Lynn McIntyre 33 Baker Salon, Whitefish, Montana 406.862.9633

Amy Nadeau She’s Crafty e-mail: 406.871.6225

Note - Amy has started a new company “Braids of Life” to assist other woman (and men) with wearing their own hair during cancer treatment and recovery. She is providing her services on a sliding scale fee so any person in need can also experience healing with self love. Flathead Valley Young(er) Women Surviving Breast Cancer Support Group Contacts: Jennifer Golan (; Dina Wood ( Angie Olsen (

Above Photos: Top photos by Donnie Sexton - Bottom photo by Brian Schott


outdoor woman}Karin Holder

Karin Holder

By: Kristen Hamilton

In school, we may have participated in archery in a physical education class never thinking we’d use those skills later in life. Quite possibly we wondered, what’s the point? Sure we had to concentrate on our stance, hold the bow steady, and shoot hoping to hit the target and not hurt our forearm in the process. But, as Karin Holder explained to me recently, it’s all of those things and so much more. It helps her to maintain a positive attitude and provide the attention to her family and clients that they deserve.


f you envision bowhunters only as camo clad, beer-guzzling rednecks then you are out of the loop. The sport is growing in leaps and bounds, and the women that are getting involved are your neighbors, friends, and business associates.

“It’s an opportunity to spend quality time with my family,” Holder explains. Like many women today, Holder wears many hats. She is a wife, mom, financial advisor, and business owner, which leave her precious little time left in the day to play. Although she continues to stay active with running, biking and hiking, she has narrowed her focus to spend much of her free time in the woods bowhunting with her husband and two boys.

Holder grew up in a hunting family, but it wasn’t until she started dating her husband, David, in 1988 that she was given the chance to participate. She has always been interested in hunting and realized early on that hunting was important to him and if she embraced the sport, it meant spending more quality time with him. She’ll celebrate 20 years of marriage next year so clearly it’s working. Their children, Warren and Easton, are both very involved in bow hunting as well truly making it a family affair.


When asked why she participates in this particular sport, Holder replied, “bowhunting takes discipline, patience, perseverance, and a plan.” The exact qualities she wants her children to develop, as they become adults. The amazing thing is that they don’t necessarily realize they are learning life skills because it is fun. She said, “I also want them to see and enjoy God’s creation in a different way than most people do. Whether it’s seeing an amazing sunrise or a huge bull elk standing 10 yards away, we experience it and create a memory together.”

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Photo by SharpEye Photography

“A successful hunt doesn’t always involving shooting,” Holder said. It’s about getting out and enjoying the fresh air and the experience. “The excitement of getting close to an animal, being composed and not making any mistakes is exciting but not fearful,” she adds.

Preservation and conservation are very important to Holder and her family. They only participate in 100% fair chase conditions with no fences. When they are granted the opportunity to hunt on private land, they are grateful and leave it in better condition than when they arrived. We have a “strong desire to help other people” she said, and it’s a very important aspect of bowhunting. She also notes that they are teaching their children that it’s important to give back. Holder’s profession as an Edward Jones Financial Advisor is very important and she is proud to be an owner. She loves her job and the relationships she has built with her clientele over the years by helping people set and maintain their goals. She considers herself fortunate to have a great career and blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy other aspects of her life as well.

Although bowhunting started as a hobby for the Holder family, it is now a way of life in her free time. She and her husband have started a new online website that promotes hunting education and entertain-

“A successful hunt doesn’t always involving shooting,” Holder said.

It’s about getting out and enjoying the fresh air and the experience. “The excitement of getting close

to an animal, being composed and not making any mistakes is exciting but not fearful,” she adds.

ment. She says, “its our hope to save someone else from making the same costly mistakes that we have.” The company is called Above The Rest Outdoors, which is a play on words. The name comes from the placement of the arrow, which sits on a piece of hardware on the bow called the rest. “Since we are all about being successful with a bow and arrow in fair chase conditions, the name seemed fitting,” she said. The website can be viewed at www.abovetherestoutdoors. com. Starting in mid-October, videos of the Holder’s bowhunting trips can be viewed on Then, next summer, they will launch a television show on Root Sports which can be seen in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Holder’s goal of Above The Rest Outdoors is to help more women understand bowhunting and ultimately get involved. She can’t stress enough how bowhunting has helped her grow in her personal and business life. The love of the sport motivates her to stay in shape, build strong relationships, and focus on enjoying life.

Holder’s advice to getting to know your family on a different level and working together towards a common goal while feeling totally refreshed at the same time…try bowhunting…it’s done all that and more for her!

Above The Rest Outdoors Edward Jones, Karin Holder 406-862-5454


406 love}Wedding

Tom & Jessie Written By: Rachel Catlett of Rachel Lynn Photography

Jessie was living in San Francisco, and a friend from college wanted to set her up with a friend of her boyfriend. Jessie invited her friend, her boyfriend, and a few of his friends, to her apartment before they went out one night. Jessie immediately connected with the friend, only it was the wrong friend! His name was Thomas and they've been inseparable ever since.

Jessie's mom was born in Butte, Montana and grew up in Great Falls where her grandma taught at Great Falls High. While growing up, Jessie's mom and her siblings would camp on Whitefish Lake, and eventually her grandparents retired there over 30 years ago. Even though they live in California, her family spends every summer and Christmas in Whitefish with the rest of their Montana family. Tom spent 2010 Christmas with them in Whitefish. He proposed to her down on the lake on New Years Eve, right outside their cabin. The lake was just freezing over, and it was you can imagine how beautiful it was.

He custom ordered her ring from Whitefish, with the center stone as a Montana yogo saphire, her favorite. The night he proposed, they both knew they wanted to get married in Whitefish. A few days prior they had gone on a sleigh ride at Bar W Ranch and thought it was such a magical place. Neither of them had been there in the summer, but knew it was where they wanted to get married. They were married there that July, and it was the first time they had seen it without snow. It only seemed fitting that they all wear cowboy boots to a Montana wedding on a ranch!


There's something truly romantic about the mountains and horses running wild. The Bar W Ranch was indeed the perfect place for their Special Day to take place. Romantic flowers from The Bungalow added the perfect amount of girliness with the coral, white ranunculus and freesias bouquets. The birch wood and peony centerpieces, leather chargers, and custom designed stationary, tied in the rustic elegant charm that Tanya Gersh, of Tanya Gersh Events, worked so hard to accomplish. Guests were greeted with a bluegrass band as WOMAN 28   


406 love}Wedding the bridal party, made up of their closest friends and siblings, made their way down the aisle. Jessie, wearing a stunning Priscilla of Boston wedding gown, floated down the aisle and was all smiles as Thomas waited for her, tears filling up his eyes. The ceremony was intimate and sweet and everyone cheered as Jessie and Thomas were finally announced husband and wife. A fabulous dinner provided by John's Angels Catering, heartfelt toasts from family, and music blasting, the party lasted well into the night. There wasn't a dry eye under that white tent as they shared their first dance to George Strait's “I Cross My Heart”. The way Thomas looked so sweetly at his new wife, and the way she held on to her new husband, I couldn't help but tear up behind my camera.

"You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete, and as long as there's a breath in me, I'll make yours just as sweet. As we look into the future, it's as far as we can see. So let's make each tomorrow be the best that it can be." -I Cross My Heart by George Strait


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LO VE story

406 love}Story

"Make me immortal with a kiss." - Christopher Marlowe

Photo by: Alicia Brown Photography {}

Couple: Teddie and Garrett Bruno. We love the outdoors, travel, food and staying active. Recently, our love for adventure has taken us abroad. Meeting: We met while studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. We met the first day of orientation and became immediate friends. What is Love? Wow, love is very hard to define! Love is unconditional and an intense connection found quickly or built over time. Love requires understanding and compromise.What do you love? Teddie- love Garrett’s dedication, and the way he follows through with whatever he sets his mind to. I love his zeal for life and adventure, and his mind. I think it’s cute that Garrett is a “neat freak”. Garrett- I love Teddie’s energy. She is passionate, smart and funny. She is athletic and always up for being outdoors. Teddie is also willing to go out of her comfort zone to try new things, which is extremely cute. When did you know? Teddie- While studying abroad, on a ski trip. I quickly found that he was patient, gentle, and funny! I saw his undeniable love for life and adventure. I knew right then he was the type of guy I wanted to marry. Garrett- I could honestly say I knew I “could” love Teddie as soon as we met. The attraction to Teddie was immediate and her infectious personality was evident. As we continued to get to know each other and learn about common experience’s and goal’s in life, the pieces of the puzzle were complete.


WOMAN 36   

Wedding Details Dress: Melissa Sweet (of Priscilla of Boston)l Planner: Tanya Gersh l Caterer: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake l Cake: Colby Wood with “Eat Your Art”l Photographers: Alicia Brown Photography {} lLocation: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Whitefish, MT lFlowers: Mums Flowers l Band for ceremony & cocktail hour: Barrel Stove Combo lBand Reception: Gruvebox Seattle l Hair/Makeup: Christina Frizzell Stevens (stylist at Camas Salon, Whitefish)

Photo by: Jaimie Nelson {}

Photo by: KELLI TRONTEL photography //

Couple: Keri is from Columbia Falls, Montana and Kelsey is from Bottineau, North Dakota. Keri works at North Idaho College in Coeur D' Alene as assistant wrestling coach and teacher. Kelsey is Student teaching finishing up her education degree. Meeting: Dickinson State University, North Dakota at College. What is Love? Something you can't put into words, you just feel it and know! What do you love? I love Keri because he cares about me and has always been by my side no matter what the situation is. He is abventureous and always keeps me on my toes. I love Kelsey because she is caring, genuine, outgoing, not high maintenance and she can drive a boat:) When did you know it was love? When we moved 830 miles away from one another, we knew we couldn't be apart.

Couple: Jason Michael, Railroad Contractor - Foreman. Mary Ann Michael, Early Childhood Special Education Instructor Meeting: Jason and I were out for drinks and Jason caught my eye so I said hello. Jason called me the next day to ask me out for a Valentines Day dinner. We were both so excited to see each other that Jason tagged along while I did my Wal-mart shopping the night before our date. Obviously that went well, and we still went to dinner on Valentines Day. What is Love? Love is your best friend being a witness to your life. Giving to one another serenity, passion, smiles, tears, and laughter. Love is cocooned deep within us, possessed only by our souls.What do you love? Jason loves.....the way that Mary Ann has a classic lady quality, down to earth roots, and her eyes give me a profound belief of her love. Mary Ann loves......the way Jason is so heartfelt and loyal. Mary Ann also loves that he is tall, strong, and manly :) When did you know it was love? We fell in love very soon after we started dating. We knew we were in love when we were completly comfortable spending every moment together, our imperfections out in the open, and appreciating eachother for all that they are.

Wedding Details Rings: McGough & Co., Whitefish, MT. l Dress: Story Book Bridal Boutique, Coeur D Alene ID l Tuxes: After 5, Bozeman, MT. l Photography: Jaimie Nelson {} l Cake: Sweet Pea, Bozeman, MT.l Flowers: Country Market Flowers, Bozeman, MT. l Hair: Capellis Hair salonl Caterer: Johnny Carinos, Bozeman, MT.

Wedding Details l Cake: Albertsons Bakery, Kalispell l Dress: Allure l Flowers: Rose Mt. Floral, Kalispell l Photography: KELLI TRONTEL photography // l Hair and Makeup: Trisha at Fab Salon, Whitefish lCaterer: Knights BBQ, Lakeside, MT. lLocation: Flathead United Methodist Camp  37



The Palette Impresses The Palate

New restaurant in Columbia Falls reflects owners' artistic passion for fine food Photos by SharpEye Photography

When Jake and Becky Sorensen make a change, they like to make sure it’s big. When the couple decided to return to Montana and settle down, packing up their entire lives and moving all the way across the country was not enough. Add to that: Getting married, buying a house, and building and opening a brand new restaurant in Columbia Falls - all within a couple of months - and you get a sense of the verve Jake and Becky have for doing things dramatically. The Sorensons moved into Becky’s

grandmother’s house in Columbia Falls at the end of 2010. On June 6th of this year, they opened The Palette in Falls Station on Highway 2, and then on June 21st, the two tied the knot in the afternoon alpenglow at the base of Columbia Mountain.

“We went from practically vagabonds to homeowners, business owners, and a couple,” Becky said. “It was a lot of work. We did the design, the build, the decor, everything. We worked 12 hour days, and then went home and thought about bridal bouquets and seating arrangements. It has been a whirlwind,”

As part of a growing trend for this region, Jake and Becky are young folks who have returned to their Montana roots. They bring with them that inherent love of the incredible place with the big skies, as well as a breath of worldliness that comes from living in other places. That cosmopolitan flair is exemplified in the dramatic menu at the Palette. Jake grew up in Montana and still has family here in the Flathead. He met Becky at Montana State University in Billings, her hometown. They both completed Fine Arts degrees there. Becky graduated a year before Jake, and a job working at a restaurant in Billings kindled the food passion in her. Becky attended the Western Culinary Academy of Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon while Jake finished his degree and built his skills in the kitchens of Billings-area restaurants. When Becky had completed her chef training, the two returned home to Montana for a year before making another big move - to Portland, Maine. There, Jake’s foodie calling was cemented with a year406

WOMAN 42   

long stint at the famous Restaurant Grace, located in a restored historic cathedral in downtown Portland. There he transformed his arts degree into the art of food preparation and presentation. During this exploration, Becky and Jake began laying plans for a restaurant of their own. Both knew that they had to follow this passion, no matter what. Becky’s grandmother, from Columbia Falls, passed away and that brought the two back to the Flathead under sad circumstances. But this sad time also opened a window for the couple. Becky’s grandmother’s house became their home, and in an instant their future was sealed.

“We came back at the end of 2010 and knew right away that we wanted to open a restaurant in Columbia Falls, in our community,” Jake says. “Columbia Falls was not only home to us, we also felt like it is the community in the Valley that is vibrant and up and coming. We knew there was opportunity here.” Jake and Becky approached a restaurant with that same drive to be bold and dramatic. Growing up and working in restaurants in Montana, Becky was all too familiar with the implied isolation of the place, and the sense that ingredients had to be common to be available.

“The things that sounded fun to create all had ingredients that were ‘hard to find,” she says.” I didn’t want to let that limit us. I wanted to offer something that was different than the average burger and fries, but still something everybody would order and enjoy. And to present it beautifully, while making sure it is affordable.”

This dedication to using unique ingredients to create dishes that still appeal to a broad audience has allowed Jake and Becky to offer choices that are not available anywhere else in the Flathead Valley. Simple pairing of yellow raisins, walnuts, and a tasty spread called muhammara might puzzle some when reviewing the menu, but it pleases everyone when the appetizer arrives at the table ($3 BUCKS!). In fact, there is a chance that every item on their bistro-style menu might contain at least one ingredient that many have never heard of before. This is the essential perfection of The Palette – with a nod to the restaurant’s art-themed name, Becky and Jake are indeed painting beautiful landscapes of flavor using colors not found in your typical jumbo crayon box. These creations are surprising, refreshing, and absolutely delicious. Your palate will be impressed.

The fine arts background of both of the cafe owners shows. Every plate that comes out of The Palette kitchen is a pleasure to see, as well as to eat. From the simplest green salad to a stunning towering zucchini quiche, part of the pure thrill of having lunch at The Palette is gazing at the table when the plates arrive and comparing your creation to your neighbor’s.

“We want people to eat the food with their eyes before they pick up their forks,” explains Jake. “Part of dining out, even if it’s just lunch with friends, is the atmosphere and the experience.” So far, the popular dish on the superbly simple menu is a beet salad....Pause here think on this: In Columbia Falls, Montana, out here in “smalltown America,” far from the metropolitan hoards, the choice of the majority of customers at this cafe is a salad of fresh beets, pear slices, and goat cheese. Whoa!

"I would never imagine combining some of the ingredients I see in their dishes, but they make it work. I have no idea if it is magic or modernday culinary alchemy; either way it's delicious!” says Aaron Aldrich, a loyal customer from the beginning. “Sure, we are a small town built around chain saws and shotguns, but we aren't unsophisticated and know what tastes good, and The Palette's got that in spades."  43

food}The Palette

The fare ranges from fresh salads to panini-style sandwiches, including something they call a BLTriple T&A, which should make a typical bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich go hide its boring head in shame. Nothing on the menu over seven bucks means you can get fed without busting your bank. And save a dollar for an incredible cardamom-saffron-chocolate truffle - made by hand by Becky and Jake - that will leave you struggling to figure out how such an disparate group of ingredients could taste so delicious together.

The owners’ mission for The Palette - make good food, keep it simple and approachable, and don’t worry if quinoa is not a staple in everyone’s home pantry. Becky and Jake have found a way to surprise folks while at the same time making them happy. That’s a pretty Montana kind of thing to do.

The Palette is located at 734 9th Street (US Highway 2) in Columbia Falls, next to Iron Fitness in the Falls Station. They are open from Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30am to 4:00pm, when they serve a bistro-style fare, and 10am to 2pm on Sundays, when they add specialty brunch items. Their menu, which changes seasonally, is online at:


Beginner Pantry

Braising for the Holidays from your Pantry By Kristen Ledyard Owner/Executive Chef of John’s Angels Catering LLC Can you believe fall is here, winter is coming, and so are the Holidays? It is time to start thinking about family and friends coming over for a tasty and comforting meal with your family. Times are tight and work days are long, so how can you plan ahead? First, you have your organized and fantastic pantry that you have built up this past year. Then, let’s go back to an old technique that not only saves on your time, but on your pocket book, as well. Braising is back and better than ever. Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking the breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat and makes amazing vegetables. And the sauce that is created during the braising process is wonderful. Now, don’t think pot roast, although that is the technique. Braising can turn caterpillar type meat or vegetables into butterflies. I have never really liked fennel until I braised it with leeks. An amazing and healthy side dish was created. It can turn your wild game that is sitting in the freezer into a 5 star culinary delight. Just think, you can finally use up all of that meat in your freezer that you have no idea what to do with. Let’s start with a recipe.

................. Elk Roast with Vegetables in a Red Wine Braise

EVOO 2 cups chopped shallot or sweet onion 2 cups chopped carrot 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped fennel ½ cup chopped leeks (white parts only) Whole baby potatoes (your choice) 2 bottles of red wine (not a cabernet and drinkable)

8 cups of beef stock (homemade preferable) Favorite fresh herbs such as: thyme, rosemary, and a little sage or oregano


At least 5 lbs, but not more than 8lbs, of elk roast and a pot large enough for all of the ingredients with a lid (this works with beef, as well)

WOMAN 46   

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Salt and pepper the elk

on all sides. Put a little olive oil in a pan and sear elk on all sides until browned.

Transfer to your roasting pot or Dutch oven. You can even use a crock pot, but you cannot be gone more than 3 hours to be able to add your baby potatoes the last

45 minutes of cooking. In your sauté pan, add all of the vegetables and sauté until

slightly tender, about 8 minutes. Add 1 bottle of wine, fresh herbs, and boil until liquid reduces by ½. Add 4 cups of stock and reduce again. Pour remaining mixture over the elk. Add remaining stock and wine until the elk is ¾ covered. You can add the rest later if the liquid reduces too much. Cover and put in your oven for about

3 ½ -4 hours. Add your potatoes the last 45 minutes of cooking. If using a crock

pot, be sure to watch the liquid. When done take your meat out (very important)

and let it rest while you make your sauce. Strain the liquid pushing juices out of

the vegetables, but set the whole potatoes aside as a side dish. Salt and pepper, if necessary. Add more wine if you don’t have enough liquid left and let reduce to

approximately 3 cups. Take off of the heat and add 4 pats of butter to finish your sauce. Serve your sliced roast (slicing against the grain of the meat) with your sauce and potatoes. Add a salad and you have created a comforting, healthy, and delicious meal for you and your family.

Elk Crostini with Huckleberry Goat Cheese

You could have this cooking while you are sitting by

game night. Don’t stop there with braising. You can do

the same thing with ribs, shanks, and pork shoulder. Just utilize your pantry for other braising liquids.

Following is my favorite and unique BBQ sauce recipe that you can use for your braise.

Jamaican Rum BBQ Sauce

looks elegant

huckleberry goat cheese and preserves to taste. Slice your crusty bread into

crostini about 2 inches long and lightly


½ cup Jamaican dark rum ½ cup soy sauce 3 cups red wine 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce Scotch bonnet hot sauce to taste 1 tablespoon fresh ginger 2 sliced green onions (all parts) 1 dinced whole sweet red pepper Salt and pepper to taste

This appetizer

and tastes even better. Combine the


Crusty bread Left over braised elk Huckleberry preserves or jam Goat cheese (you can also use cream cheese) Fresh parsley Salt and pepper to taste

the fire, watching a movie, or having friends over for

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and

cook together for 10-15 minutes to combine flavors. Then add to your roasting pan poured over your meat of choice. This is excellent on pork butt and great for sandwiches the next day.

toast. Spread the huckleberry mixture onto the crostini. Carefully slice your

elk to a like size and thin layer. Top with fresh parsley. You will blow your guests away.

With one cooking technique, you have created several meals and saved not only

on your time, but on your pocket book as

well. Have fun this Holiday season. Keep the worries out and bring the laughter

of friends in. Sit by a fire on a cold night and know that your meal is cooking itself. Enjoy and don’t forget to keep that pantry organized and up to date.

Are you seeing the great potential in this technique? If you have a family of 4 and you cook 8 lbs of meat at one time, think of the

leftover possibilities. Well, if you have a lot of men in your family, like

I do, it may not last quite as long, but it sure helps. From sandwiches to creamed beef or wild game, that is a family hit in my home, I have a meal for several days.

guests. You have a little of your elk that we have braised left and suddenly you are entertaining. Let’s go to the pantry.

Photo by Alisia Cubberly

You can, also, create amazing appetizers if you are surprised by


food} in the kitchen

Popping Pepitas By Miriam Singer

We’re all seeing orange, especially the kids. The orange gourds have arrived, and it’s pumpkin season. If you’re carving a jack-olantern, what fun.  But wait. Wait! Don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds. They are full of nutrients, and I’m seeing green.


umpkin seeds contain magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and vitamin K, and they’re a good source of protein and phytosterols. Phytosterols are compounds in plants that are believed to lower blood levels of LDL cholesterol by inhibiting the absorption of intestinal cholesterol. In addition to supporting cardiovascular health, phytosterols may play a role in protecting against cancer by reducing oxidative stress. Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat prostate problems, and they are a natural anti-inflammatory. Pepitas are the Spanish name for pumpkin seeds from pepita de calabaza, which means little seed of squash. Somehow pepita sounds more appetizing than pumpkin seed. Whatever you call them, if you heat them in a skillet, they will pop and puff up. It takes only a few minutes.  Put a frying pan on medium heat and sprinkle on a layer of shelled pumpkin seeds.  When the pan gets hot, shake and toss them so they don’t burn.  And listen. They will talk to you. When they get hot enough, they will puff up making gentle popping sounds in the process. When they seem to have all popped, sprinkle with salt and you have a yummy warm snack that was easy to make. Now, back to the jack-o-lantern, and how you should get these little seeds ready for eating! Save the seeds you’ve scooped out of your pumpkin and throw them in a sink partially filled with cold water. Separate the seeds from the pulp, then remove the seeds with a slotted spoon into a colander. Rinse, drain and pour the seeds onto a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water. Then put the seeds on a sheet pan in a single layer.  At this point it’s best to allow the seeds to dry overnight.  But, if the kids are impatient, skip this step, and roast them longer. Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. Coat the seeds with about a teaspoon of light vegetable oil and season with salt. Roast at 300 for about 35 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. It makes the house smell good … like popcorn.

I have one more pumpkin seed recipe for you. These are for gluten free seed crackers that are full of nutrients. If you want to make them for someone who is allergic to egg, then omit the egg. Enjoy! 406

WOMAN 50   

Pumpkin and Sesame Seed Crackers

1 cup pumpkin seeds 1cup sesame seeds 3 cloves of garlic, peeled 1 Tablespoon light oil 1 egg 1 Tablespoon maple syrup 1 tsp salt 3 Tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out a half size sheet pan (12 7/8” X 17 3/4”), and then cut two pieces of parchment paper. Place one on top of the other and put the sheet pan on top of both. Using a pencil, outline the sheet pan on the parchment paper. These lines will show you how far to roll out the dough.  Turn on the food processor.  Toss in the garlic cloves one at a time while it is running. The blades will chop them.  Then remove the lid and add pumpkin seeds and salt. Turn on the food processor and let it run a couple of minutes until the pumpkin seeds are pulverized. Add water and maple syrup and pulse to mix together. Then, add the egg and oil and mix. Lastly, add the sesame seeds and  pulse till combined.  You want the sesame seeds to mostly stay whole. This is your cracker dough.

Remove the top piece of parchment paper and empty the food processor onto the bottom piece of parchment. Spread out the dough with a knife and then cover with the second piece of parchment leaving the pencil lines on the outside. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between the two pieces of parchment until it almost reaches the pencil lines. [You’ll have to remove excess dough from some areas and add it to others to make a rectangle. Build up the edges so they are not too thin. The edges brown the fastest.] Then, get a scissor, and cut the parchment paper just inside the pencil lines.  Now you have dough and parchment that will fit right into the sheet pan. Flip the dough, while it is still inside the two pieces of parchment, onto the sheet pan so that the parchment you cut is on the bottom.  Then peel off the other piece of parchment and discard. Using a pizza cutter, divide the dough into 2 “squares. When the crackers are cool, you’ll break them along these lines. Bake for 15 - 20  minutes. Check the crackers at 15 minutes. You may want to leave them in for another few minutes to brown, but stay close so you can take them out when the edges turn golden brown. Allow the crackers to cool on the sheet pan, and  then break apart into individual crackers to serve. Store crackers in the refrigerator.

Ali Caters Believes in the Importance of Good Taste

By Alison Pomerantz - Photos by SharpEye Photography

It is five o’clock. Otherwise known as the “witching hour” for anyone who has small children. The baby is screaming as you’re driving home from this or that errand, and you know you are about one Elmo song away from a complete meltdown from the back seat. You dread the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma and envision preparing another nutritionless, mac-n-cheese, out-of-the-box meal when everyone is tired and cranky. Don’t dismay. When you simply don’t have time in your hectic day to whip up a healthy home-cooked meal on your own, Ali Caters may be the next best thing to hiring a full-time professional chef. Ali Caters is a busy family’s dream, offering a delicious and healthy selection of take-and-bake dinners that can go from freezer to table in under an hour, with no fuss and little clean up. Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Sausage Lasagna and Pulled Pork Enchiladas with a Green Chile Sauce are just some of the initial meals available. Ali Caters plans to expand its take-and-bake menu and broaden the variety of dinners to offer more choices that families desire. In addition, if you’re heading out for a picnic or feeling too lazy to even turn on the oven, Ali Caters also offers an array of deli sandwiches on fresh-baked pumpernickel bread, pulled pork and green chili empanadas, vegetable orzo salads, and a selection of sweet treats like magic bars, peanut butter cheesecake squares, huckleberry cream cheese brownies and yummy chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies to go. “We would really like our take-and-bake business to take off,” said Alison (Ali) McCarthy, co-chef and owner of Ali Caters. “I envision purchasing another freezer and offering enough dinners where customers could mix and match items and be able to eat for two weeks without ever having the same thing.”


Just because you’re in a rush, there’s no need to skimp on dessert; although, it may be hard to deWOMAN 52   

cide between the large selections of fruit pies. They have every pie imagineable, from peach, apple, and cherry, to combinations with huckleberries or just huckleberry alone (special order only). The handcrimped, fluted-edge crusts that bake to a flaky, golden brown would even make grandma jealous.

Based out of the Apple Barrel Country Market on Highway 2 East, McCarthy and her partner Kyle Tody prepare all their creations with only the freshest ingredients. They use local or regional produce, much of which is available from the farm stand crates right outside the kitchen. With Glacier Winery next door, Ali Caters provides a one-stop shop for a gourmet dinner at home any night of the week.

“None of our meals have additives or preservatives, which is a healthy advantage for families,” said Tody. “Unlike dinners you buy at the grocery store, with a shelf life of two years plus, people know we make it here and we make it fresh and at a comparable price.” With a degree in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism from the University of South Carolina, McCarthy honed her culinary skills at the French Culinary Institute in New York before moving west. She came to the Flathead Valley 12 years ago to visit her

mom and hasn’t left. She worked at Tuppelo Grill and Iron Horse Golf Club before deciding to launch her own business. Thus, Ali Caters was born, and McCarthy found herself busier than ever, catering events for clients who enjoyed her cooking at Iron Horse or heard about her through the Whitefish restaurant scene. She has juggled all aspects of the business, on her own, for six years. “With little kids, doing it alone was tough,” admitted McCarthy, mother to Mollie, 6, and Reilly, 5. “I was going to quit. I had to pay people to work for me. I just couldn’t be here (in the kitchen) enough.” What she needed, she decided, was a reliable partner to share the workload.

None of our meals have additives or preservatives, which is a healthy advantage for families

“I was looking for someone who was as passionate about food as I was. Someone who liked experimenting with tastes and flavors and liked creating menus,” she explained.

Pulling from a chance encounter 15 years earlier while working at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, McCarthy approached chef Kyle

All our menus are custom built. Our basis of food knowledge is pretty vast, and we often incorporate cuisine from the South of France to the Northern coast of Italy. We can prepare native Rocky Mountain fare, to sushi. We enjoy coming up with creative ideas that best fit our clientele Tody, with an offer to come to Montana and help her out for a summer. Judging from his family’s interests in food—his mother always enjoyed cooking, and his brother manages an organic health food co-op in North Carolina—it comes as no surprise that these influences served as a wellspring for Tody’s own career.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Tody said, “I always loved food and everything that went along with it. I knew I wanted to cook for a living.”

The timing of McCarthy’s offer was serendipitous as Tody had plans to move from Crested Butte, Colorado back East to start an organic farm with his brother in Ashville, North Carolina. Putting his farm plans on the backburner, Tody accepted

McCarthy’s offer, and his partnership with Ali has been heating up in the kitchen for two years strong. Living and working together is not without its challenges, McCarthy jokes. They drive each other crazy at times, but their combined culinary talents are arguably a force to be reckoned with. Ali Caters continues to grow and the business is now divided into three distinct niches: the takeand-bake prepared foods, basic catering and personal gourmet chef services. They have considerable breadth, from preparing an intimate dinner party for six people by the Lake, to coordinating all aspects of the grand opening celebration for Signature Theaters, for 1,200 people. “All our menus are custom built. Our basis of food knowledge is pretty vast, and we often incorporate cuisine from the South of France to the Northern

coast of Italy. We can prepare native Rocky Mountain fare, to sushi. We enjoy coming up with creative ideas that best fit our clientele,” said Tody. “The secret to a successful event is all about being organized,” added McCarthy. “With some advance notice, we can do just about anything.”

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, Ali Caters is accepting special orders for either pumpkin, apple or pecan pies. To either place an order or to book Ali Caters for a special event, you can fill out a request form at the Apple Barrel (3250 Hwy 2 E) or contact chefs McCarthy or Tody directly by phone, 406-253-7474 or email, Please reserve Ali Caters at least two weeks in advance (or a month in advance during the busy summer months of July, August and September), to ensure availability.  53

food}Family Kitchen

Pork Roast with Peach Sauce


“What should we have for dinner tonight?” ~ The perpetual question I ask my family each and every night. Most evenings the responses are, “Meh, whatever…I don’t care” from my husband, and “Chicken and noodles!!!” from my 4 year old. So, as usual, I’m left to figure it out for myself.

By the time I get home from work, my day has consisted of two stops to and from the office to get my son to preschool and my daughter to day care, as well as a long day at the office. Assuming I have no errands to run on the way home, most weeknights I have about thirty minutes tops to get dinner prepared and the family fed. We stick to a pretty tight schedule at our house: dinner, dishes, bath time, a little play time, story time and then bedtime at 8 o’clock. I’m often teased for sticking to such a strict routine, but my children thrive on schedules, and honestly, so do I!


For me, meal planning starts with my grocery list and I try to only have to hit up the supermarket once per week. Most meals on the menu are onearmed meals. Never heard of one-armed meals? Well, when I’ve been away from my children all day, they swarm the kitchen vying for mommy time. And, I certainly welcome them. My son has his own apron, and a large stool that he pushes around the kitchen, and I try to find him as many little tasks as possible to occupy him. As for my daughter, she is happily placed on my left hip, as my son was for years, leaving me just one arm to prepare dinner; hence, the one-armed meal. For the most part, I have gotten pretty good at pulling off one-armed meals. In fact, as I peruse new recipes to try, the first thing I ask myself is, “Can I make this with one hand?” Followed by, “How many ingredients are there?” Any recipe longer than 10 ingredients – out. Anything that requires chopping, mashing, rolling or stirring constantly – out. Not to say, however, that none of

WOMAN 54   

our meals include freshly chopped items. I plop my girl in front of the Tupperware cupboard, and she spends about five minutes making an enormous mess. BUT – I now have five minutes to do all of my two-handed tasks.

If I’m really efficient and have enough foresight to plan for the next evening’s meal, I turn to my crock-pot, perhaps the most one-arm-friendly appliance in my kitchen. My family’s favorite crock-pot meal is Pork Roast with Peach Sauce. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require the pork roast be seared prior to being put into the crock-pot (obviously a two-arm task). It has a hint of pumpkin pie spice, which makes the peaches enormously sweet and savory, not to mention it has the perfect autumn flavor and aroma. If I prepare this meal the night before and leave it in the fridge, it stays nice and cool prior to cooking on low for six hours. (I’ve let it go seven, even eight hours, with the last hour or two on warm, and it turns out just as good.) When I get home, all I have to do is prepare some noodles or rice, heat up the peach sauce in a sauce pan with a little cornstarch/water mixture, and the sauce turns out rich and creamy. Obviously, safety comes first, so if I’m preparing something that splatters, my daughter isn’t in my arms. For those of you with young families and kids that can’t get enough of your attention, the one-armed meal is the way to go. I hope you enjoy this pork roast as much as we have!

Ingredients: 1 boneless pork loin roast 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper 1 large can sliced peaches in heavy syrup 1/2 cup chili sauce 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 2 Tbsp cornstarch 3 Tbsp water Noodles or rice, to serve


1. Coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper on all sides. 2. Drain peaches, reserving syrup in separate bowl. Whisk together peach syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, chili sauce and pumpkin pie spice; pour over meat. Scatter peaches over roast. 3. Cook 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

4. Remove roast from slow cooker; cover with tin foil to keep warm. 5. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Pour liquid from slow cooker into sauce pan and bring to a boil; add the cornstarch mixture and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. 6. Serve pork with sauce over prepared noodles or brown rice.

health} Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer It’s more than just ‘turn your head and cough’ By Nancy Kimball

OK guys, we know you’re reading this. And women who have men you care about, tune in here: It’s time to cowboy up and get screened for prostate cancer.


e’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt and say you’re already doing all the right things to head off cancer: You’re getting aerobic exercise routinely. You’ve pared back on the red meats and fats and eat a balanced diet.

But do you really want to leave out that crucial third step after you hit 40? Annual PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests and a simple physical exam (digital rectal exam, or DRE) help close the circle. Why bother, though? You’re strong, healthy and active. What do you have to worry about? Good question.

Dr. Amy McKerrow and Dr. John Andenoro, partners in Urology Associates in Kalispell, point out that prostate cancer symptoms typically don’t show up until the cancer has advanced to a dangerous stage and is spreading. You may be one of the “lucky” ones who have trouble passing urine, or experience low-back pain or painful ejaculation when the cancer still is in an early stage. If it’s a slow-growing tumor, your best option may be active surveillance that includes PSA and DRE screening and an annual biopsy. It’s a great option for young men with a less aggressive cancer, and for elderly men with other medical problems.

For other patients with more aggressive tumors, open surgery, robotic surgery, radiation therapy and cryotherapy all are available in Kalispell. Considering that it’s the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men, it’s just not worth taking the laissez-faire route. So, are you man enough to get screened?

T o help you decide , the A merican U rological A ssociation has some pretty interesting myth - busters : MYTH: Prostate cancer will ruin my sex life.


FACT: While it certainly isn’t going to cure your erectile dysfunction, it’s not a slam-dunk that your sex life is over, either. During some prostate cancer treatments, the nerves that surround the prostate and control the ability for erections may be affected. The extent depends on location and size of the cancer, type of treatment, your age and any prior erectile problems, among other factors. A urologist can manage many cases of post-treatment erectile dysfunction.

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MYTH: Prostate cancer is common, but few men actually die from it.

FACT: What do you think of the odds of one in 35? That’s how many men in the United States were projected to die of prostate cancer in 2010. That’s more than 27,000 deaths. Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men – the American Cancer Society said more than 192,000 cases were diagnosed in 2009 – and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men.. Twice as many African Americans as Caucasians are likely to die of prostate cancer.

MYTH: Prostate cancer affects only elderly men.

FACT: Do you consider 40 elderly? Neither do doctors. But they recommend 40-year-olds with at least a 10-year life expectancy start getting PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests and a simple physical exam (DRE). True, prostate cancer is more common with increasing age, but personal risk factors can make a difference. MYTH: If you have a high PSA score, you have prostate cancer.

FACT: Only a biopsy gives a definitive answer.

The prostate gland produces prostate specific antigen, and can ramp up production with disease, inflammation or trauma. Many prostate diseases are marked with high PSA – including benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and cancer. But there’s no need to go directly to biopsy just on high PSA and DRE results; several other factors come into play, too.

MYTH: If I am over 70, I do not need to be tested for prostate cancer. FACT: Were you paying attention above? If your life expectancy is at least 10 more years, talk

with your doctor about having both the PSA and simple physical exams.

MYTH: All prostate cancer cases require treatment.

FACT: Only the more aggressive cases. Slowgrowing cancers – determined by regular screenings – can be monitored over time in what doctors call “active surveillance.” When it’s medically necessary, the doctor then can intervene. But this isn’t fool-proof. Your doctor can explain the risk of detecting slow-growing cancer.

MYTH: Vasectomies cause prostate cancer.

FACT: That controversy is settled. The American Urological Association says vasectomy is a safe method of surgical sterilization and men need not worry about an increased risk of developing prostate cancer after the procedure (Information from, updated June 2010)

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Skincare Products: Discerning the Difference By Erin Blair, Licensed Esthetician

People often wonder whether there’s a difference between skincare products they can buy from the drugstore, department store, or skincare professional. Is it all just the same stuff, doing the same job? If so, why the difference in price tag? Active ingredients make the difference

Skincare has come a long way in the last few decades. Progress in science and technology has led to the discovery of many ingredients that can actually change the skins’ structure and health. These advanced ingredients increase cellular metabolism, and improve the texture, tone, and youthfulness of the skin.

Yet, cheaper products make the same claims as the higher priced professional brands. What gives? Truth be told, cosmetics have very liberal labeling laws. Yes, they are required to list ingredients. However, a cosmetic company can include the tiniest amount of an active ingredient, such as alpha hydroxy acids or peptides, and lay claim to their amazing benefits. The only problem is, there isn’t enough of the active ingredient to really make any difference in your skin.

Active ingredients are dangerous

Well, they can be, if used incorrectly. And cosmetic companies which sell products on the shelves of Target and Walgreen’s, or even health food stores, won’t take the chance of having a lot of consumers come 406

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down with adverse reactions. The cosmetic company needs the product to be as inert as possible so that a wide range of skin types, including sensitive and allergenic, can use a product without the danger of side effects. They formulate products that would be safe for just about anyone, including those who misuse and over-apply. Therefore, what you buy off the shelf is pretty much guaranteed to have no value in the way of making real changes in your skin. This brings us back to labeling laws.

Labels can make all sorts of false claims

Sad but true. I see it all the time with claims of ‘non-comedogenic’ and ‘won’t clog pores,’ when the product contains the worst pore cloggers known to man. And, while it’s true that peptides can change your skin in dramatic ways, not all peptides are created equal. Another important consideration is the synergistic combination of active ingredients. Cosmetic companies are counting on consumers to not understand ingredients and to trust pretty packaging instead. After all, understanding ingredients takes a lot of work. This is where an esthetician comes in.

Estheticians are trained to understand ingredients

An esthetician has advanced training, is licensed with the state she operates in, and carries liability insurance. A licensed professional knows which ingredients will be best suited to your individual skin concern, and will closely supervise your regimen in order to achieve the best results. This is even more true of a professional who pursues advanced education. An informed esthetician will teach the proper use of products, and they will be available should you have a reaction or otherwise unsavory experience. If you get a rash from a drugstore product, what recourse do you have? More often than not, people end up with bottles upon bottles of stuff that didn’t work, piled up under their bathroom sink. I don’t care how cheap it was, if it didn’t work it was a waste of money.

Products that are available through a professional are much more potent. A manufacturer invests in research, development, and training the estheticians they entrust with their product line, rather than lining the pockets of Cosmo and Oprah magazines with multi-million dollar ad campaigns. They can, in turn, rest assured that the consumer who uses their products is in the good hands of a capable guide.

What about higher-end department store brands?

The experience of shopping at a department store comes at a price. In fact, prices for name brands at department stores are often higher than what you



More often than not, people end up with bottles upon bottles of stuff that didn’t work, piled up under their bathroom sink.

would pay at a skin clinic. But, what are you paying for? Advertising, for one. Those super models aren’t cheap! National magazine and television ads cost untold amounts. Free gifts with purchase are not really free. Those costs are all passed onto the consumer. You’re also paying for shelf space. Cosmetic companies pay a premium for product placement.

Name brand companies often hire clerks with little or no skincare training, with a strong emphasis on closing the sale rather than educating the consumer, and you are paying their salaries, too. These salespeople are trained to parrot whatever the company tells them to say, and they have not had the privilege of working with a client, oneon-one, long term, to see how a regimen may or may not change the health of the skin. Most aren’t even licensed estheticians.

In the end, you also have the same issues with active ingredients as you have with the less expensive drugstore brands. Mass quantities sold to consumers, without extensive product-line training for sales clerks, results in the need for products that aren’t very active. In our litigious society, companies would rather sell watereddown, ineffective products than risk a lawsuit due to adverse reactions. Ultimately, what you decide to use will depend upon your goals. Now you just have a bit more information to help discern between all the pretty packages out there.




omething Has to Give

By, Kristen Pulsifer

I run out of my house and to the car. I speed to my

first appointment of the day. I barely focus on my

meeting and the woman talking to me as I gulp down

my steaming hot coffee drink. I drink so fast that my tongue now has a sun burnt feeling…

you know the one. It stings and you can no longer taste. The lack of feeling in my mouth and tongue does not slow me down. I do the same thing with the next gulp, and the next gulp, until both my throat and my esophagus have taken on the same feeling – burnt. Bottom line, I am in a hurry and stressed. After the meeting and the blisters in my mouth have formed, I race to my car, realizing that I remember nothing of the conversation I just had, and have no recollection of the responsibilities I have taken on and agreed to during my meeting. I will have to email this person later and ask, humbly, “What is it I said I would do?” By 1:00, I have successfully worn myself out and done nothing well that I have set out to do. I have forgotten all of the things that I needed to bring with me for the day, and I feel my day has been wasted. Now I need to QUICKLY shower, pick one child up from school, and… I am cranky. As I drive to retrieve my daughter, and take a deep breath in an attempt to slow down the roller coaster I have allowed myself to ride all morning, I wonder how many of my students, who I help with time management and organizational skills (oh, the irony) feel the same way I do. I think about the kids that are struggling to get three hours of homework done while trying to jam in hockey practices, dance lessons, and soccer games, and these individuals are only between twelve and seventeen years of age. That’s when I say to myself, and my students, “Something has to give.” 406

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My students come to me with the same expression that I wear throughout my day – “the deer in headlights expression”. Throw a shot of caffine on top of that and you have a wired deer in headlights – dangerous. This is the time of year to realize what we are truly capable of doing. It is time to evaluate what activities we truly need and want to do, and what we can eliminate from our day to day, in order to make our days more enjoyable, successful and realistic. I know that when I stretch myself too thin, and I go into “yes mood”, agreeing to all that everyone has asked me to do, I do not complete my tasks well. Think of your kids that are good kids and typically do well in school, but suddenly become stressed, and begin not doing as well as they usually do. Instead of becoming frustrated and allowing your kids to become frustrated, ask yourself and them, what can give? Are they over tired, too busy and running from one thing to the next? If so, they need to slow down. Is there one day during the week that they can just come home and relax with no obligations? If not, there should be. Even if your child seems to be doing well, but truly has no breaks in their schedule, it might be in your best interest, and theirs, to make a change before that dazed look takes over.

When your loved ones return from their day, look into their eyes, closely, and see if that deer in headlights look is starting to creep into their expressions. For some you may not have to look hard - it may be obvious and a bit scary! If it is there, know there is something you can do about it. Dim the lights, and reevaluate priorities. Slow the rollercoaster down, and you will find your child back on track and more relaxed. Work will be easier to complete in way that is satisfying. Obviously there are many other elements that can effect how we are completing our tasks and responsibilities; but, redefining priorities, and relieving unnecessary stress is always a great place to start.

home}hunter dominick

Hunter Dominick

Brings Creative Living Home Written by Alison Pomerantz Photography by Gibeon Photography

There’s something about a kitchen. At a party, the living room is like a runway model—pretty for photos, but not much fun to hang out with. The kitchen, however, is an old friend—a place where guests seek refuge. Perhaps it is the comforting smells of simmering pots and warm baked goods, or maybe it is the intimate conversations that transpire around a center island that put everyone at ease. However, kitchens and bathrooms are often treated as the Cinderellas of a home despite the fact they are the rooms in which people spend most of their time. Hunter Dominick, of Hunter & Company Interior Design, declares the kitchen as her own favorite space in a house, but admits it is also the room that demands the most attention from a design stand point. “I have always loved the kitchen, because I am a very social person, and my husband and I enjoy cooking,” explains Dominick. “But the kitchen simply has to be functional. For example, it should have lots of counter space on which to work, two trash or recycling receptacles, big drawers everywhere and 15-inch upper cabinets for things like big pasta bowls and such.” In all her designs, she strives to strike the fine balance of designing something beautiful without losing its sense of purpose. In the fashion versus function debate, designers like Dominick have long attempted to reconcile these seemingly conflicting goals when creating a look. They seek to achieve practicality while still making the design aesthetically pleasing—something in between sexy stilettos and comfy slippers.


Launching Hunter & Company Interior Design in Whitefish in 2001 and opening her showroom shortly thereafter, Dominick keeps her clients’ needs at the center of her work. Her team of three designers brings a diverse but complimentary expertise to the table and offers services ranging from project management, space planning, budgeting, fixed finishes, and furniture that Dominick classifies as resort residential design. She sees interior design as part of a team effort, fill-

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ing the gaps between the architect, the builder and the client to make a finished project successful.

“Everyone is different and everyone has her own style,” Dominick says and confesses that her favorite aspect of her job is that no two projects are the same. Some are complete solutions for new construction, such as the one depicted in the photographs of a recent Whitefish Lake home, to simple hourly consults on furnishing a single room or completing a remodel. Unlike some designers who strive to be identified by a particular look, Dominick thinks it is fun to be different and to not have just one depicted style. “It pushes me,” she confesses.

“My goal in any project is to make clients happy with their space,” Dominick says. She does this by taking the time to get to know them, their lifestyles and what their final expectations are before beginning a job.

As with fashion, where a designer must consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, interior design must factor in the uses of a room and then select from a wide range and combinations of materials, colors, patterns and styles to bring it to life. Dominick believes your home should be an expression of you, your family and your lifestyle. “It is easy to pick out individual pieces, but my job is to help clients see the big picture and to envision the end product of what we are trying to create. To me, it doesn’t so much matter what the style is—be it rustic elegance to contemporary—but if the client is making a wrong decision, I’ll be the first to say so.” Dominick loves to travel and often draws inspiration from places she has visited, such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, The Louvre in Paris, New York’s SoHo or from architectural


home}hunter dominick


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elements throughout her journeys. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, Dominick also takes a cue from nature, where all is in harmony. She connects the exterior to the interior through a variety of textures to shape a soothing space and infuse it with interest. Put to imaginative use, every day materials can become provocative additions. A collection of glass bottles, stacks of old books, a pewter teapot, smooth river rocks or dried botanicals can contribute to the sensory elements of a room or simply become conversation pieces. She adds that it is important in any space to have a focal point and utilize color to wake up the decor.

“People are often scared to use color,” Dominick says, “but it can make a huge impact.” A strong color seems to highlight everything it surrounds. While growing up in an interior design family, surrounded by furniture makers in Roanoke, Virginia,

one of the most exciting trends Dominick sees is the return of regionalism—the interior design equivalent of the local food movement.

“People are much more interested in our local resources on a lot of different levels,” she explains, mentioning natural materials such as timber and rock and the talents of local crafts people around the Valley for creating unique pieces. “In the past, where furniture came from and who provided the services were never much of a priority,” Dominick adds. “But as people notice that the old mom and pop stores are disappearing and manufacturing jobs are moving overseas, they are suddenly paying attention to the origin of the piece.” Gone are the days where people just want to buy the cheap “throw-away” furniture from dis-


home}hunter dominick

Even if someone couldn’t afford a complete remodel right now, there are still ways to make a big impact on a budget. “You can do so much with color and texture,” Dominick says, suggesting upholstering an existing piece of furniture in a fresh pattern, repainting a room or adding a new rug or throw as just a few of the many options available to update a look without spending much money.

Located on 200 Wisconsin Avenue in Whitefish, Hunter & Company’s own 3500sq/ft showroom offers unique gifts, bedding, furniture, lighting and accessories from some of the country’s best manufactures to help cre-


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ate spaces that are distinctly personal. She also sells wonderful items for the holidays, house warming presents or hostess gifts.

“People don’t know that you can come in to Hunter & Company just to shop. You don’t have to be a client,” Dominick says.

Watch out grand foyer or delicate sitting room, it’s Cinderella’s turn to attend the ball—and this time, she might upstage you. After all, she can cook!

For more information or to view Hunter & Company’s projects gallery, visit online or call for an appointment at 406.862.1402.

Photo of Hunter by 406 Staff

count stores because they don’t want to see it end up in landfills. Despite tough economic times, Dominick says clients are just making smarter decisions about their purchases by asking, “Is this the right piece?”


DIY} Cabinets

Do It Yourself - Cabinets Written by Kristen Hamilton - Photo by SharpEye Photography When it comes to “Do It Yourself” projects, I typically think that I can handle just about anything but in reality, I usually bite off more than I can chew. As I get older, I spend a little more time on the contemplation phase before jumping it with my hammer and nails. So, when I was given this assignment, I was prepared to ask a lot of questions to find out if someone really should attempt a cabinet project on their own.

I went to the experts, Flower Bartholomew and Sara Wilson, in the cabinet department at Western Building Center (WBC) in Whitefish.

Flower has been designing kitchen and bath spaces for 11 years with WBC. She recently won the best kitchen design in the Flathead Building Association’s Parade of Homes. She moved to Montana over 17 years ago from the East Coast because of her love of mountains. She loves the outdoors and stays active by hiking, mountain biking, and Nordic skiing. Flower is into natural health and enjoys spending time with her friends and book club.


Sara has been with WBC for three years but worked in design in Portland for five years prior to that after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from the University of Portland. She grew up in Missoula

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and knew she would return to Montana someday and loves being back. In her free time, Sara enjoys crafts, art, gardening, canning, and camping.

As kitchen and bath design specialists, Flower and Sara will help you create a look, but they also are trained in the practicalities of room design. How far should the refrigerator be from the stove? …the stove from the sink? …and should the eating counter on the island be raised or flush? They are versed in cabinet sizes and will be sure to help you make the most of your available space. They can also help in choosing materials for counter tops and flooring to pull everything together. The best news is that their design services and recommendations are FREE and WBC offers anything from semi custom to completely custom from both Crystal & Medallion lines. Whether you have a new home or you’d like to remodel your current space, the most important piece of the puzzle is measuring the area you have to work with. Flower and Sara said they have worksheets that they’ll provide clients to measure the available space properly. For peace of mind though, they will come to your house to confirm measurements before you place your cabinet order.

From there, you’ll need to determine the layout of your cabinets in the kitchen, bath, garage or laundry room you are working with. Cabinet choice includes the wood species, framed or frameless, green options, and style. This is the point at which your budget really comes into play, as the options are many. Costs for new kitchen cabinets will start at about $1,000, but can increase from there depending on the options you’ve chosen above. Orders for new cabinets take from two to eight weeks. The ladies also suggested considering the lighting in the room prior to ordering as well, since display room lighting and home lighting vary greatly. While WBC specializes in new and remodeled cabinetry, if you want to replace doors only for a less invasive remodel, they are happy to assist in obtaining door fronts only. The actual installation of the cabinets really depends on your level of knowledge and ability. Realistically, it will take a contractor a couple of days and may take you a week or two, but if you have the time and want to save some money it might be worth the undertaking. Step by step instructions will be provided to help with the job. So, can you “do it yourself?” Yes. But do you want to? Probably not completely by yourself!

DIY} Cabinets

Flower provided the following Kitchen Planning Checklist to assist in your project: Assess Your Needs & Wants Compare to your current kitchen and decide if you want:

more storage space more counter top space eating space island desk area baking center pantry recycling area specialty storage [e.g., wine storage, mixer/juicer lift, display cabinets, etc]


cook-top & wall oven or range microwave hood refrigerator/ice-maker refrigerated wine cellar, beer tap trash compactor sink[s] dishwasher

Flower Bartholomew


2. Determine Space Boundaries floor to ceiling height window & door dimensions wall dimensions

3. Choose Your Style

Read kitchen, cooking and remodeling magazines. Tear out pages of kitchens or features that appeal to you and save them in a notebook or folder.

Some styles to consider:

Old World, Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, Asian, Contemporary, English Cottage, French Country, Lodge, Modern, Rustic, Shaker, Traditional, Transitional, Tuscan, just to name a few! Flower Bartholomew and Sara Wilson Western Building Center 6130 Hwy 93 S Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-2545

Sara Wilson


finance}Estate Planning

Estate Planning Essentials for Women By Kelly O’Brien, Attorney at Law

A friend of mine was recently divorced. After her divorce was finalized, she asked  me  whether a will or trust  was necessary for her. My friend is a mother of two young children with a successful business of her own. She is fairly young, and does not own a home and does not have a large amount of wealth accumulated, so she felt that estate planning was not necessary.  In response, I explained that everyone needs some type of estate plan. However, women who have recently experienced a major life change such as a divorce, or the death of a spouse, are especially susceptible without a plan that reflects their current life situation. In the case of my friend, without an estate plan, she could not direct how her money was distributed to her children in the event of her death, or who would manage her assets for her and her children in case of an unexpected disability.

Women today take on more roles in the household and more financial responsibilities than ever before. Moreover, women tend to live longer than men so the chances of outliving a spouse and being directly impacted by an estate plan (or lack thereof) are greater than for our male counterparts. With that in mind, it is crucial for women to take an active role in estate planning. Every woman should understand the essential elements of estate planning and have a plan in place that addresses what happens in the event of an unexpected death or disability. Perhaps more importantly, women need to ensure that these documents are updated when life changes.


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Whether you have accumulated a large amount of wealth, or only have a few assets, everyone has an "estate." By understanding a few key elements, you can help protect yourself, and your loved ones, from unnecessary complications. What is Estate Planning?

Essentially, estate planning enables you to be in control of what happens to your property upon your death or incapacity. Estate planning is also the process by which you appoint who you want to be responsible for carrying out your wishes for your assets, family and heath care decisions. At a minimum, your estate plan should include the following elements:

-A Will and/or Revocable Living Trust: These are formal documents that describe how and when to divide and distribute your assets upon your death. Whether you need a simple will, or a more complex, revocable living trust, depends on your specific situation. Discuss your situation with an estate planning attorney to determine which makes sense for you and your family. -Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions: A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to appoint another individual to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make these decisions yourself due to incapacity or disability.

-Durable Power of Attorney for Heath Care Decisions: A durable power of attorney

for healthcare allows you to appoint another individual to make medical decisions on your behalf including decisions regarding medical consents and life support issues in the event you are unable to make these decisions yourself.

-Beneficiary Designations and Payable on Death Designations: If you list an individual as a beneficiary of a financial asset, that individual becomes the legal owner, immediately, upon your death without the need for probate. Aside from understanding the basics, there are a couple of issues that are critical for women to address.

First, Take Care of Yourself

Women often prioritizing caring for their children and family over themselves,  but making sure that you have appointed a power of attorney both for financial and health care decisions, is vital both for you and your family. One of the most overlooked issues in estate planning is how to manage your estate in the event of an incapacity or disability. Planning ahead, with durable powers of attorney for financial and heath care decisions, allows you to be in control of your life. These documents allow your life to carry on during a disability; your bills will be paid and your care will be provided for by the person you choose. Moreover, powers of attorney provide your family with the peace of mind that they are carrying out your wishes, instead of being left to question what you would have wanted them to do.

Essentially, estate planning enables you to be in control of what happens to your property upon your death or incapacity. Estate planning is also the process by which you appoint who you want to be responsible for carrying out your wishes for your assets, family and heath care decisions.

Take Care of Your Children

If you have children, especially if they are minor children, it is essential to plan ahead. If your children are minors, make sure that you nominate a guardian. This is one of the most important estate planning decisions, so take the time to think it through. Have conversations with your spouse and family members about who would raise your children in a manner most like you. Think about issues such as age, education, lifestyle, religious preferences, geographic location and parenting style. In addition to determining who would care for your children, think about who would manage the finances for your children if you are unable to do so. For younger children, consider setting up a trust for their inheritance. With a trust for minor children, a trustee of your choosing will mange funds for your children. The trustee will distribute funds for their general care until they reach the age of majority, or until such age or life event that you deem appropriate. The trustee could be a friend, relative, or even a financial institution; anyone whom you feel can be responsible with money and respectful of your wishes for your children’s future.

Designate Beneficiaries & Keep the Designations Updated

Perhaps one of the easiest and most important things you can do to take control of your estate plan is to make sure that you have designated beneficiaries for all of your financial assets, and keep these beneficiaries updated. Keep a list

of all of your financial assets, including life insurance policies, retirement accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts, along with the specific beneficiary for each account.

If you experience any major life change, such as a divorce, death, or major change in assets, review this list and make the appropriate changes. After a divorce or death of a spouse, updating your beneficiaries is especially important. The last thing you want your family to have to deal with is removing an ex-spouse or other unintended beneficiary after you are gone. Work with your financial planner, or check with your specific financial institution on how to make and update beneficiary changes.

Plan ahead

Whether you are a working mother or a retired widow, keeping up with a busy life can be a challenge. When a major life change occurs,  such as a death or divorce, it can be overwhelming. Take a bit of time, now, to prepare yourself and your family for the unexpected so that you control these important decisions. Your family will thank you.

Contact Kelly O’Brien, Measure Law Office, P.C. at (406) 752-6373

***DISCLAIMER*** This article is intended for educational and information purposes only, it is not intended to act as legal advice.


Stay at Home Parents Need Retirement Savings Too By Katy Croft

Q: I’m a stay-at-home parent and my husband/wife works and saves for both of us. Why should I save too?

A: Even if your spouse earns enough to comfortably support you and your family, and save for retirement, there are several reasons to think about adding on to your current retirement structure. The most obvious, I’d say, are you can essentially double the amount of retirement savings you can accumulate. By fully funding two Roth IRA plans each year as opposed to just one, you will literally double your investment by the time you reach retirement age and take twice the tax-free distributions you would have been able to from a single Roth IRA option. There are many strategies, and even current-year tax saving options to consider, and it all depends on your personal situation. Let’s say Husband is self-employed and he contributes to his employees’ retirement, perhaps through a SIMPLE plan. Wife can become a part-time employee, and as long as she meets plan-specific requirements, she can make contributions and receive employer provided contributions, which is a taxdeductible expense for the business; thus, creating current tax savings for Husband and his business. Now let’s consider a worst-case scenario, just for example’s sake: you stay at home while your spouse works and years later, you get divorced. Now the retirement plan is up for grabs, and not only that, most often one person is left with little or no retirement savings. What then? Having individual plans is a smart route, no matter your family dynamic.

Q: I know I should save for retirement, but I’m a stay-at-homemom. I would spend almost all I earn in child care to go back to work. What’s the point, and how could I add savings for retirement on top of child care?


A: Think big picture. I know it’s hard; it is certainly a weakness of mine. There are a couple of benefits to consider. First, if you continue to stay at home, you aren’t earning anything, so going back to work and breaking even would really not change your financial situation at all. The long term benefits will come from: 1) the retirement contributions you can make, no matter how small, combined with the potential of any employer provided contributions. They will have time to grow as they wait until you reach retirement age, 2) when your kids are all in school or out of the house, you will have retained your skills and may have earned yourself a position with a higher wage, 3) the possible eligibility

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for claiming the Child Care Credit of up to $3,000 per child each year, and 4) the added benefit of avoiding the challenge of finding a job after being out of the workforce for several years. I am a working mom, and I constantly feel the pull of wanting to be at home while my children are young, so I know first hand there are other considerations when making this type of decision. I am proud to provide for my children’s futures and their educations, and I am fortunate enough to find a dynamic that fits my family. But what works for me and my family won’t necessarily work for other families, so this is definitely not a decision that has a clear answer.

Q: Can I lower my annual tax bill by saving for retirement?

A: Yes, and no. Not the answer you wanted, I’m sure; but hey, that’s the tax code for you. In all seriousness, it depends. There are a wide variety of retirement plan options out there, and each has their own features. A Traditional IRA, for example, will allow you a deduction (subject to certain limitations) each year in the amount of your contributions. But when you begin taking distributions at retirement age, you pay tax on those distributions at the tax rates in place during those years. A Roth IRA, on the other hand, is funded with after-tax dollars, which provides no deduction on your tax returns, but the distributions are tax free after age 59 ½. If you are self employed, there are options to where you can contribute to your retirement through your business, creating a tax deduction that will reduce your self employment tax each year you contribute.

Q: When is the best time to start saving for retirement?

A: Yesterday! Many people believe that they will be earning more later in life, and thus able to contribute more then. But the reality is most people still don’t ever fully fund their retirement plans each year. In fact, the time to contribute more to your plans, especially those that offer tax-free distributions, is when you’re younger, not older. The longer those funds have to grow, the more exponentially they will grow. It’s amazing the difference just a few years on the front end make in the long run. Ten years ago, the average baby-boomer’s (45 to 54 years old) median net worth was a mere $123,684. With no other income, how long would it take you to spend that in just living expenses? Could you make it a couple decades? Doubtful. So, bottom line…your options are to either work into your seventies, or work now and save responsibly, with the hope of reaching retirement age and enjoying it.

finance} Inheritance

What Should You Do with an Inheritance? Will you ever receive a sizable inheritance? You can’t plan on it. But if you do get one, you can plan on using it to help achieve some of your key financial goals.

Once you get word of an inheritance, what steps should you take? Above all, don’t rush to act. If you are in the midst of the grieving process, it’s hard to make good decisions about money. Consequently, you may want to consider “parking” your inheritance temporarily in a liquid vehicle, such as a cash or cash alternative investment. Don’t fret if your inheritance isn’t really growing much for a few months — you’ll have time to put it to work later. After you’ve parked your money and some time has passed, you can think about what to do with your inheritance. Here are a few ideas:

• Get rid of debts. Use your inheritance to pay off as many debts as you can, especially those consumer loans that are not tax-deductible and that carry high interest rates. • Establish an emergency fund. This fund should contain six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses. Without it, you may be 406

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forced to dip into your investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as an expensive car repair or a hefty medical bill.

• Review and adjust your financial strategies. If your inheritance is large enough, it may be a “game changer” in terms of how you pursue your financial strategies. For example, you may now be able to speed up your timetable toward retirement, if that’s what you want. Or you may be able to pay more of your children’s college education, thus freeing up more funds for your own retirement savings. In fact, by investing your inheritance in certain ways, you can influence many desired outcomes that you’ve identified in your overall financial strategy. Your financial advisor can help you make those moves that are most appropriate for your individual needs. • Plan for taxes. Unless you are “inheriting” your spouse’s assets, you may be subject to some type of taxes when you receive an inheritance. Some types of inheritance, such as the proceeds from a life insurance policy, are tax-free. On the other hand, if you inherit a non-spousal 401(k) plan and are forced to take the money as a lump sum, which is likely because most 401(k) providers would prefer to remove

the account from their books, your inheritance will be subject to federal, state and local income taxes. However, thanks to recent tax law changes, as a non-spouse beneficiary you can now transfer an inherited 401(k) to an IRA, which allows you to avoid immediately paying taxes on your inheritance. You’ll still be required to take annual withdrawals, which are taxable, but the amount will be based on your life expectancy, so you can spread out your tax burden. To make sure you’re making the right moves with an inherited 401(k), consult with your tax advisor. You may get only one inheritance in your life — so do whatever you can to make the most of it.

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.

history}Flora Wong

Long Way Home

When 82-year-old Flora Wong hears Long Way Home: Journeys of a Chinese Montanan. home in Boston and set out across the Pacific Ocean on a twenty-one-day voyage to return to their parthe starting gun, she’s usually the Wong says, “We sat down and he’d ask questions. ents’ home village in rural southern China. Flora’s first into the water. The mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother is a passionate swimmer and athlete, having competed in four National Senior Games and one World Senior Game. Wong was named Montana Big Sky Athlete of the Year in 1999. In 2009, the Helena Sports Hall of Fame named Wong to its list of honored athletes. She has completed the Portland Marathon four times.

Take a rest for a couple of hours and we can get back and talk some more.”

father and mother sought a new, quiet life for their young family in their native land.

Daughter Nancy Wong says that they had many But this was a different China, and Flora’s famlaughs and many tears. Flora had a particularly ily would not find the peace they sought. Mao Zehard time discussing the circumstances surround- dong’s Communist Party had begun its rise toward ing her mother’s death at the hands of their neigh- revolution. And in 1937, Japan invaded China. Within a few years of her arrival, full-scale world bors. war engulfed Flora’s new home. “It was difficult to talk about my mother. I didn’t want to share this. It was hard, but I did. It really Amid the turmoil, they managed to build a modest That alone would make her a fascinating person. hurt,” she explains. “I cried much as I talked to Nan- life in their small village. In time, this young girl, But there’s so much more to Flora Wong. whose only home had been Boston, learned to adcy about it. It’s hard.” just. She tended the rice and vegetables, drew waTom Decker, Wong’s son-in-law, sat down with her In Long Way Home, Wong retraces her family’s od- ter from the town well, sewed simple clothes, and four years ago with the goal of documenting her yssey as she shares candid insights, heartbreaking trapped frogs and beetles. Her education ended in athletic achievements. The more they talked, the tragedies, and personal triumphs. It’s the openness the second grade. more Wong revealed about her early life in China with which Wong shares her deeply personal jourduring World War II, her arranged marriage—stoney, and that of her whole family, that makes her At eighteen, Flora learned she was engaged to be ries even her children had never heard. married. Working to ensure the survival of Flora story so powerful. and her five sisters, Flora’s mother had set a plan in “Soon enough, the scope expanded and we had a Born in Boston in 1928, Flora was a shy girl, the motion to arrange marriages for each in the United book on our hands,” he says. fifth of eight children. In 1936, seven-year-old States so they could return to the safety of their Flora, her parents, and her seven siblings left their home country. The result of four years of interviews and writing is 406

Above Photos: From left to right: 1.Portrait of Flora Wong’s mother, seated, with Flora’s sisters. From left, Maymie, Dorothy, Flora, Joyce, and Florence. 2. The “picture bride” photo of seventeen-year-old Flora Lee that was sent to Charlie Wong in Montana. 3. Row of houses in Lin Fong Lei village, 1936. Lee family house at far left.

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Her husband-to-be was a business owner in Montana, a man who was born not far from her village in China. A matchmaker hired by Flora’s mother had put the two together. Flora was a “picture bride”; her photo had been sent to Charlie Wong, who instantly approved of the beautiful young woman.

The two wed in 1946 in Hong Kong and they planned to start a new life together in Helena. Charlie Wong set off on a ship back to the US to ready their new home. Flora prepared to say good-bye to her family and join her husband. Little did they know that they would not see each other again for almost 5 months. Despite Flora’s American citizenship, wartime sentiments and laws made it virtually impossible for her to enter the country. The couple exchanged love letters, seen by family members for the first time only recently: “Thinking back to the time when you left, I have the memory of seeing your boat leave. You were on the boat, but I couldn’t see you. It was hard to see the boat sail away. I stayed until the boat moved and disappeared. It took my breath away. I felt you had the same feeling. Talking about man and wife, there is no end to our love. The sooner I arrive to the U.S., then we will be reunited as man and wife.”

—Letter from Flora Wong to husband Charlie, September 11, 1948

“I received your letter. I know the love you have for me and it makes me miss you even more. I don’t know when we will be together again. When we do get together, we will be very happy. But right now, one day feels like three seasons. I am thinking that you are feeling the same way. Our deepest affection that we have for each other as husband and wife will last forever, even when we are apart.”

—Letter from Charlie Wong to wife Flora, September 25, 1948 Daughter Nancy says, “With the letters, I can’t believe I had the opportunity to read my parents’ love story. They never expressed affection

in front of their kids, so I was astounded by the level of feeling in the love letters.”

When Charlie and Flora were reunited. Flora began a new life in rugged Montana, worlds away from her small village. But Helena wasn’t the end of Flora’s journey. It was just the beginning of a new, fascinating chapter. Here the timid girl grew into a wife, mother, business owner, and athlete.

Charlie and Flora Wong and their family lived in and operated their Wing Shing Grocery in downtown Helena throughout the 1950s and 1960s. What is now the parking lot for the Lewis and Clark Library was once the Wing Shing Grocery, torn down during the urban renewal efforts in the 1970s. After Charlie died in 1968, leaving Flora with five children to support alone, she opened the popular Chinese Kitchen on Euclid Avenue in partnership with George and Irene Wong.

In her spare time, Flora, who had never learned to swim, started to take lessons at the YMCA. Terrified at first, she gained confidence over time and began competing at age 63.

Flora Wong will be appearing at book signings around the state. Visit her website for more information: Long Way Home is available at local bookstores and gift shops, through online retailers, or from distributor Farcountry Press at 1.800.821.3874, About the Author

Born in Boston in 1928, Flora Wong moved to a tiny village in Southern China with her family in 1936 at age seven. During the Communist Revolution, Flora escaped China through an arranged marriage in 1947. She and her husband, Charlie Wong, owned and operated Wing Shing Grocery on Main Street in Helena. In 1968, Charlie died, leaving Flora with five children. She operated the store until 1970, then worked at McDonald’s department store in downtown Helena for two years. In 1973, she opened the Chinese Kitchen in partnership with George and Irene Wong. In retirement, Flora took up competitive running and swimming. Flora has four daughters, Bess, Gloria, Thel, and Nancy, and one son, Poy. She is a very proud grandmother and great-grandmother. Flora Wong resides in Helena.

“Mother always told us, ‘You can do it,’” Nancy says. “That was her motto.” It’s also the title of the book’s epilogue.

Decker says he’s not much for messages, but if there’s a takeaway from the book, it’s that Flora and her family show how good can come from adversity. When Wong wonders about Charlie and what he would think about all she’s done and how far she’s come—the many medals she’s won, the book she’s now written with her son-in-law— Flora says she doesn’t think he’d believe it. “I can’t believe it myself sometimes, when I look back,” she admits. She says, “It’s just like Nike says. Just do it.”


history}Flora Wong

Excerpt from Long Way Home: Journeys of a Chinese Montanan By Flora Wong, with Tom Decker

Chapter 3 - A New World

When the time came for us to start working, Mother spread assignments at home and in the fields among her older daughters. Maymie and I pitched in almost every day in our fields. Dressed in sandals, work pants and shirts and topped with straw hats to break the sun, we hoed and chopped weeds, planted rice and vegetables and tended all the crops. Together with Florence, we also took care of the farm animals. Our herd included a water buffalo, a pig, dogs, chickens, geese and ducks.

Most days, we started very early in order to get our hardest tasks out of the way before the heat of the day. Father, I recall, played no role in assigning or judging our work—at least no role that any of us noticed. At home and in the fields, Mother took charge. She managed the big picture, but she directed day-to-day duties with a light hand. Mother might occasionally visit the fields to inspect our work, but she seldom picked up a hoe or harvested rice. After silent observation, she might offer a suggestion or two, nothing more. Most of the time, she left us to figure out what work to do and how to complete it. Where Mother did her gardening was in the family vegetable plot.

from the kitchen, carrying lunch, usually rice with shrimp paste and vegetables, along with a pot of hot tea. Her appearance lightened our moods as we knew it was time for a break. Florence had a tough job. She cooked and cleaned, most of the time around a hot stove made even hotter by the tropical climate. Comparing our responsibilities to the kitchen work, Maymie and I agreed we had a better situation outdoors in the countryside. Still, the field labor was difficult and we often complained among ourselves. “I don’t like these chores. It’s hot. Let’s sit for awhile,” I said to Maymie many times.

with language and math. Mother wisely chose Joyce for the position, but the selection created some hard feelings.

Edith, as the oldest, did the least, or so it seemed to Maymie and me. While we went out to the fields most days, Edith escaped all of the drudgery. Edith had squared off bangs, cut by Mother just like the rest of us. But her longer face and large eyes and mouth gave her a more distinctive look. We agreed she was the pretty one in our family. Edith did not stay long with us in China, only a couple of years. In 1938, Mother matched her for marriage and she moved back to the United States.

“I’m tired too,” Maymie replied. “But if Mother sees Mother saw to it that the youngest members of the us, she might put us to work in the house. I’d rather clan, Dorothy and Robert, were spared any real dube outside.” ties for most of my time in China. Even our adopted brother Kenneth managed to avoid regular tasks. Sister Joyce—smart, energetic, with a head of curly dark hair like Mother—also seemed to be some- In Mother’s work design, Maymie and I went off to thing of a favorite to my mother. Outspoken and the fields nearly every day. Early on, she explained fluent in English and Chinese, Joyce had what we our roles would be to tend to the rice and other viewed as the best assignment of all. She accompa- farm chores. I suspect Mother assigned the various nied Mother on shopping trips to the surrounding duties based on age, skills and her view of which markets. It seemed to be the job that combined fun daughter was best suited to each role. From MothFlorence, the hardest worker among the sisters, and excitement. What’s more, Mother trusted her er’s perspective, Edith would soon be leaving, along helped Mother with all the kitchen chores and with the role of negotiator. At Mother’s side, Joyce with Robert and Kenneth. Putting them to work household duties. A treat for Maymie and me in bargained with vendors for produce and goods. would be a waste of training. Based on her practhe fields came at midday when we saw Flor- While we secretly resented her good fortune, the tical nature, Mother pushed the rest of us toward ence trudging across the fields. She came straight rest of us knew we did not possess Joyce’s skills tasks necessary to manage household needs. What 406

Above Photos: From left to right: 1.Flora Lee in Boston, Massachusetts, at age six in 1934. 2. Lee family just prior to departure to China from Boston. Parents Lee Sing Kim and Chen Sun Ho at center. Children, clockwise from far left, Flora, Florence, Kenneth, Edith, Joyce, Dorothy, Robert and Maymie. 3. Long Way Home book cover. 4.Charlie and Flora Wong, 1947. WOMAN 84   

surprises me still is this: Mother never scolded us, rushed us to complete our work or reminded us why our jobs were important. By some vague notion, perhaps, we realized our labor was a key to the success of our family farming enterprise. Early on, we had a sense that complaints about hard days or unfairness in assignments were out of order. The best approach was to put aside protest and push on.

villagers. His task was conversation, not shopping, were bent over chopping weeds, planting rice and as Mother and Joyce always purchased the family helping to harvest whatever crops had matured. food and supplies. But by working together, challenging and encouraging one another, we could lighten the burden. I Father’s daily outings were opportunities to talk, always told myself to aim for steady progress down hear the latest news and, on occasion, play cards each row of rice and, by day’s end, we would comand mahjongg. Nothing gave Chinese men more plete our section of the field. Over many months, I pleasure than the chance to get off by themselves knew our drudgery paid off because I saw advances to converse. I observed this behavior early on in on our land. Father, it seemed to me, enjoyed a carefree life, my father. At the time, I couldn’t understand the along the lines of the youngest family members. By complexities or protocols of these male discourses, Our instructors in the ways of farming were not the time we settled into the village, Father’s life had but I always assumed some apprenticeship must be our parents, not even other adults. Instead, our two the pace and pleasures of a retired man. He never served before membership. With sufficient time and young cousins, Gnon Him, maybe six years older worked in the fields. Even a visit by Father to the appropriate temperament, a man might finally join than me, and Gnon Yee, about my age of eight at the rice paddies was rare. And he didn’t work around the group with full privileges. Because our village time, served as guides. The two boys taught us how the house. At home, he spent most of his time up- was small, my father’s crowd was just a handful of to plant various crops, how to prepare the soil and stairs in his bedroom, especially in the evenings. His men from Lin Fong Lei plus a few more from neigh- how to gauge our progress in each endeavor. On any of the farm jobs we tackled, we learned from our cousins. When we looked beyond the day-to-day farming activities, again Mother and Father gave no In the fields, Maymie and I saw one day very much like the next. It was hard, mind-numb- direction. On what crops should be planted when and where, the cousins took charge. As the first ing effort, especially for two little girls. Most of the time, we were bent over chop- months wore into the following years, Maymie and I learned the cycle of planting, weeding, harvesting ping weeds, planting rice and helping to harvest whatever crops had matured. and starting all over again. The young cousins explained at each step. room was his sanctuary, off-limits to his children. Mother, too, took care not to disturb him there. His bedroom served as his private dining room, as most every night he took his bowl from Mother and retreated upstairs, leaving the rest of the family to eat without him. Only special occasions would bring Father to the table for a family dinner. Why he enjoyed the solitude I never understood, but his family knew he liked to spend his evenings alone, a practice he had followed in Boston.

boring villages. By the time I noticed his group, my father had assumed what I took to be a prominent position among his acquaintances. His assembly, I suppose, served as something of an informal men’s club for the area. But membership was an honor not all men in the village achieved. And women never sat in on the circle of conversation. It was a tight little sphere that I believe exerted influence in decisions affecting Lin Fong Lei and its residents.

“To grow rice, first we have to get rid of the weeds,” said Gnon Him. As the older overseer, he usually took the lead. “Your job is to pull and to chop. Keep working all the time.”

“I see all the rice growing around us. Why worry about weeds?” I asked.

In the fields, Maymie and I saw one day very much “Don’t be foolish,” Gnon Yee said. “Get rid of the Most days, Father walked to the village market or like the next. It was hard, mind-numbing effort, weeds and you’ll make the rice grow strong.” a nearby town to talk with vendors and other male especially for two little girls. Most of the time, we  85

art} ATP

Coming Up.....

Hairs Off !

“Yuletide Affair 8”, December 19 & 20

By Kristen Hamilton Photos by James Ables


ver the years the Alpine Theatre Project (ATP) has received some great reviews and gained some big fans. Personally, I’ll never forget sitting in the front row during “The Full Monty” when I developed my secret crush on Luke Walrath, Executive Director. Oh…I guess it’s not so secret anymore – it’s ok my husband knows! It wasn’t the end of the show when the guys disrobed, as I really didn’t see anything except the silhouettes like the rest of the audience. It was the feeling of pure joy from laughing and seeing all that incredible talent on stage. Wow – in the Flathead Valley! My next favorite show was “The Spelling Bee” when Betsi Morrison, Artist Director and Walrath’s wife, literally stole the show and had me laughing in the aisle. Although I’m clearly a big fan of ATP, I’m not sure if I’d shave my head!

My hat goes off to Sam McGough, owner of McGough & Company, as that is exactly what he did to support ATP this summer.

According to McGough, long-time friend Myron Noble (who happens to be bald) has told him more than once “God only made a few perfect heads, the rest he put hair on.” For those of you that have met McGough, a full head of gray hair would be considered somewhat of a trademark for him.

McGough said that Noble and his wife Rosie support many great causes in the area and are wonderful, giving people. That’s where the bet comes in. McGough said, “Myron bet me $5,000 to shave my head and give the proceeds to my favorite charity.” He thought of ATP because he loves attending the shows with his wife, Donna, and thinks that we are very lucky to have such wonderful talent here in the valley. As many non-profit organizations, the principles of ATP were thrilled then they heard about McGough’s bet and that they would be beneficiaries of the donation. Walrath said, “Sam has always been a supporter of ATP as an advertiser and patron of our shows but this was above and beyond the call of duty.”


Word got around and the original bet turned into an opportunity to raise additional money for ATP to support their Broadway caliber performances. On

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This is the biggest performance fund-raiser of the year. It is always very entertaining and will include the announcements for the summer 2012 season. Get your tickets early, as it is always a sell out.

July 30th, a group gathered at Depot Park to witness and participate in the event. Peter McNamee, owner of McNamee Studios, was given the honors as the hair stylist. Walrath said, “The crowd was offered the chance to bid on taking swipes at Sam’s hair and in between Peter would creatively design Sam’s hair style. At one point he had a Mohawk.”

McGough added that it was a lot of fun and he was happy to support such a great cause. The crowd was great and former ATP board member, Marshall Friedman, even flew his stunt plane overhead during the hair-raising (or should I say cutting) festivities. Walrath’s hair is the on block for next summer as a follow up. That beautiful full head of blond hair – don’t do it Luke!

Walrath, Morrison and David Ackroyd, Artistic Development Director founded ATP in 2004. These Broadway veterans had the collective vision to provide an experience to the audience that entertains as well as inspires. Well, I’m here to tell you that they have succeeded in their mission and continue to amaze and entertain audiences throughout the year. If you are interested in supporting ATP, you don’t need to shave your head! Walrath said, “If someone wants to support us and get something back in return, come to one of our shows.” Locals and out-oftown visitors alike continue to rave about the quality of the performances for every ATP show.

Fund-raising efforts continue throughout the year to support their 75-person payroll for summer performances. Other ways to help include volunteering, in-kind material donations for sets, sewing of costumes, and of course financial donations. Your support of ATP helps to bring in top notch industry professionals that not only entertain at a level usually reserved for Broadway but ATP employees live and spend money in our communities while they are here. That is a bonus for everyone!

Alpine Theatre Project PO Box 1959 Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-9050

Alpine Kids! Theatre Project Spring Session: Grades 9-12

ATP Broadway Through the Stage Door - Raffle Experience Broadway Like Never Before through the eyes of those that work there!

Alpine Theatre Project is raffling off a trip for 2 to New York City (NYC) with Betsi Morrison & Luke Walrath. FIRST PRIZE -

Trip for 2 to NYC with Betsi Morrison & Luke Walrath Round-trip airfare for 2 to NYC 5 days/4 nights lodging in the Theatre District Tickets to 3 Broadway shows of your choosing Backstage tours after all shows Post-show cocktails with Broadway cast members "A Day in the Life" - get a sneak peek into the actor's life, including the audition process! Bagels & coffee included!


Trip for 2 to Las Vegas Round trip airfare for 2 to Las Vegas 4 days/3 nights lodging on the Strip Tickets to a show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

THIRD PRIZE - $1,000 cash!

Tickets: $100 each or 6 for $500 Winners will be drawn on December 20th at the final performance of “Yuletide Affair 8” Players need not be present to win Winners will be notified within 24 hours of drawing Expense for additional guests not included


Book Review Sponsored by

862-9659 - 242 Central Avenue, Whitefish Below Copperleaf Chocolat Co.

Full Black By: Brad Thor BOOK REVIEW BY JOAN G. SMITH Full Black was introduced to me by my son when he came to visit, and that was a good thing! Brad Thor  has been around for awhile, and my radar has malfunctioned!  This thriller takes the reader into the world of black operations, which are the most sensitive and classified operations of them all. To go beyond that, into the shadows of intrigue, where there is no classification or recognition, is to go Full Black. The reader is introduced to the Carlton Group, a highly secret or-

ganization that has taken over trying to keep America safe when the CIA went a bit soft and farmed out some operations. We meet Harvath, who is now a member of the Carlton Group, and a former Navy Seal Team 6 member. A huge and highly sophisticated secret plot is underway to take down the United States once and for all. The people in charge of this plan are above suspicion. It is a power broker, who has wealth, power and a radical anti-American agenda, that will kill thousands of U.S. citizens and bring total chaos,

if successful and left undetected. Reed Carlton, better known as the “Old Man”, is the founder of the Carlton Group and has complete trust in Scott Harvath. These two are the masterminds behind trying to stop the multiple plans, that are underway, to bring down the U.S. Thriller fans will be quickly turning the pages of this action packed novel, hoping the events stay in the pages of the book. This novel is Brad Thor's most recent - just out in 2011.

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down By: Merrill Markoe BOOK REVIEW BY Kristen Puslifer I am not sure what inspired me to pick up this charming New York Times Bestseller, but I am quite glad that I did. It is endearing and hilarious! I do believe that it is geared more towards the animal lover, but the stories quirky characters could hit home with just about anyone. Dawn Tarnauer’s life is the stereotypic, relationship dysfunctional, thirty something story. While trying to recover from one of her many unforgivable break ups, she adopts a dog from the pound. As Dawn sits petting her sweet new friend, 406

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after discovering her boyfriend had been cheating on her with another woman, her dog begins speaking to her – “Couldn’t you smell her on his pants?” the loveable canine, Chuck, asks her. Unsure of her mental state, Dawn hesitantly responds, and there begins their dialogue, and the book’s goofy humor. Dawn discovers that she not only can hear Chuck speak, but all dogs speak. Dawn goes on to take a job at a local doggy day care and grooming facility. The humorous canine characters, along with some pretty ec-

centric human ones, roll this story along a funny and crazy path. When I first started reading this, I could not believe that the author actually successfully wrote such a ridiculous sounding story, but she truly does. It was the perfect fun read and well done! If you are in the mood for light and seriously entertaining, this is the quirky tale for you.

art} books Children's BOOK REVIEW By Kristen Pulsifer

Bushels of Bears: A Counting Book Written by: Sue Hegarty Illustrated by: Alice Shaw

I stumbled across this brand new book, published in 2011, while perusing the front table of Book Works book store, in Whitefish. I was actually NOT the one to initially spot its adorable cover; my three year old daughter was the one who immediately latched onto it. The illustrations are remarkable and quite entertaining, as they pull you and your child through the beginning stages of the counting process. Each page is filled with sweet drawings of bears, doing funny things, and a poem that invites the reader to practice their numbers by counting the bears on each page: “Though Bears have warm fur it would be quite a sight, To see them in coats that would fit them just right. With Rich and bright colors they’d keep off the snow; The mothers and cubs are a bear fashion show!” Along with each rhythmic verse, the reader is invited to count the bears in each illustration. My daughter got a kick out of these fun bears doing some very un-bear-like things! She enjoyed hunting for the bears on each page, as they participated in sailing boats, wearing clothes and lounging on living room furniture. I truly enjoyed this lovable book, because it had charming illustrations created for both child and adult, and worked to teach something valuable. Bushels of Bears would make a great gift, from the West, for all upcoming holiday celebrations.  89

406 women}


J ennifer F link

J2 Office Products by Kristen Hamilton - Photo by SharpEye Photography


ennifer Flink is a soft-spoken woman that gives you the feeling that she really means it when she tells you her customers are the most important thing in business. “I really appreciate our customers and hope that I am able to give back as much as I have been blessed to receive.”

Jennifer and her husband, John, own J2 Office Products and are proud of what they’ve been able to do in the past couple years to grow their business and help their customers businesses grow. Jennifer’s expertise in office equipment, especially the new technology for copying, printing, and scanning helps her find full office solutions so her customers can concentrate on their business. The youngest of nine children, Jennifer was born and raised in Missoula definitely making her a “native” 406 woman. She earned her degree in business and accounting from the University of Montana. And, although you’d never guess it by looking at her, she’s been in the office products industry for 20 years.

Two years ago, they added another “J” to the family and although Jack keeps her busy with mom duties she is still actively involved in the company. She’s grateful that she has a terrific staff, many whom have been with J2 Office Products since they originally purchased it in 1993. They have created a family orientated atmosphere and value their employee’s expertise. She said, “As owners, it’s really amazing to be able to make good decisions that are good for our employees and the community we live in.” Jennifer and her family moved to Kalispell last December after commuting for years from Missoula. They have always loved the Flathead and she’s glad to call it home. “Enjoying the outdoors and taking advantage of all the great recreational activities available here is one of the best parts about living in the valley,” she added. They also enjoy the high caliber of arts in the area. From the arts and crafts offerings at the local farmer’s markets to the theatre and symphony performances that can be compared to much larger cities, there is always something to do. J2 Office Products finished a large remodel of their space in 2009, which allowed them to expand their services. The furniture and design area showcases the many options available 406

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for making your office space work best for your business needs. The technology room allows the J2 staff to show customers the latest in the ever-changing world of technology and to make the best decisions for your business. They continue to offer next day delivery on office products throughout the valley and have even expanded the retail area to include more common products that might be needed immediately. Plans are underway for their annual Technology Show and Catalog Luncheon when they have the chance to meet with their valuable customers and offer solutions to help them grow. These events and a strong commitment to their local clientele help to make J2 Office Products the only choice for many business owners. Jennifer, John & the entire J2 Office Products family look forward to meeting new customers and friends in the coming year! J2 Office Products - 900 Sunset Boulevard Kalispell, MT 59901 406-752-8520 -

406 man} Wayne Veeneman

Wayne Veeneman Top Gun Fighter Pilot Remains G ro u n d e d i n M o n ta n a by Alison Pomerantz





Goose and Iceman, there was Cactus. Top Gun before there

was a “Top Gun”, Wayne “Cactus”

Veeneman was an F-8 (Crusader)

fighter pilot in fighter squadron VF-211. While the 1986 movie,

starring Tom Cruise, talked a

lot about “pushing the envelope,” it was guys like Veeneman that first had to develop the

“envelope,” by discovering all the capabilities of the plane

and passing along the information to the next generation.

Wayne Veeneman on left side


Veeneman flew in two successful tours to Vietnam aboard the U.S.S. Hancock, before receiving orders to report to VF-124 (the replacement air group squadron for the west coast) as a flight instructor. As such, he was assigned to the air-to-air tactics division, where he became involved with helping to rewrite the weapons systems tactical handbook for the “Crusader.” Veeneman condensed the experience and feedback from the returning F-8 squadron and worked directly with the engineers at Ling-Temco-Vaught (the Crusader manufacturer) to create a manual that would be the training syllabus at VF124. Later, as programs evolve, the U.S Navy Strike Tactics Instructor Program (SFTI) or “Top Gun” became the modern-day evolution of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, established March 3, 1969 at Naval Air Station Miramar in California or “Fightertown, USA”, as it became known. So much for the beach volleyball scene, the program now operates out of Nevada.

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“I think the Top Gun school was established because of the losses we experienced at the beginning of Vietnam,” Veeneman explained. “The Navy found it necessary to continuously improve equipment and tactics, using our experiences as examples and offering extensive feedback.” The Navy and the Air Force may like to verbally spar over fighters “making movies” and attackers “making history,” but it is hard to argue that the challenge of landing on a frighteningly short, 800-foot moving runway in the middle of the ocean, often in the black of night, is not worthy of the utmost respect. As anyone who has done it can tell you, flying off an aircraft carrier is not for the faint of heart.

“It’s exhilarating, a total rush,” Veeneman admits, looking a bit wistful recalling the first time he “dropped hook” for an arrested landing aboard the U.S.S. Lexington. Most pilots or navigators will tell you cat shots (take offs) are more intense, if such a thing is imaginable. The plane is literally shaking at full throttle, preparing to suddenly catapult from zero to 150 miles per hour in mere seconds. It is within those “mere seconds” that the pilot has no control over what happens until you are free of the catapult harness. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1939, Veeneman attributes his father’s job building airplane engines as the inspiration for his future career in aviation. Veeneman spent his childhood bouncing around the country following his father’s work before attending Montana State University (now the University of Montana) in Missoula on a swimming scholarship. After graduating with a degree in Health and Physical Education, Veeneman enlisted in the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate Program, setting his sites on becoming a Naval Aviator. He was then sent to “the cradle of Naval Aviation” in Pensacola, Florida. He assumed the call sign “Cactus” after his father’s nickname “Cactus Jack.”

As an athlete who thrives on competition, Veeneman worked hard to be the best of the best, and after 18 months of intense training, he got his wings on October 11, 1963. He had received high enough marks that he was able to choose his aircraft preference. He chose the F-8 Crusader on the West Coast at Miramar in San Diego, California.

The F-8 was a single-seat, single-engine plane known for its maneuverability, and at the time was known as the “last of the gun fighters” because of the four integrated 20 mm cannons, which made close combat possible. “It was simply awesome to fly,” said Veeneman.


eturning to his young family, after two tours without a scratch, Veeneman thought it a wise choice not to re-enlist when his five years of service was up in 1967. In 1968, he went to work for Pan American World Air. He was living at Lake Tahoe and flying out of San Francisco before being furloughed in 1970 when the introduction of the 747 began replacing the job of two 707s. Veeneman then “downsized” to flying a 320 Cessna for a Denver-based oil company before some TWA pilot friends lured him to the newly blossoming ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado. At that point, he rested his wings for a while and became involved in the construction industry. Veeneman and Don Rider formed Gore Range Construction, Inc. As general contractors, they built a number of commercial and residential projects and served as the primary contractor for Breckenridge Ski Corporation. When his first marriage ended in 1976, Veeneman decided to head “home” to Whitefish, Montana, where he had lived nearly a decade and a half earlier. His two sons, Randy and Chris remained with their mother in Breckenridge. Upon his return to the Northwest, he formed Veeneman Construction, Inc. (later Veeneman & Hoover Construction, Inc., when he teamed up with Tom Hoover) specializing in quality, high-end custom homes. He remarried a year later and moved to a ranch along the Whitefish River, where he and his new wife Jeannie would spend the next 26 years, keeping busy raising her three children, Bill, Doug and Margi Reed and working on the continuation of an Arabian horse breeding program that produced several regional and national champions. Then one day in 1986, after 16 years on furlough, a letter arrived from Pan Am. They wanted him back.

Photo by Meredith Reed

After hours of discussion and encouragement from Jeannie, Veeneman thought, “What the heck. If I do it and it doesn’t work out, I can always return to construction,” Veeneman recalled. “But if I don’t do it, I’ll always kick myself.” He took the position, commuting from Whitefish to his New York hub. Sadly, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 led to the international carrier’s ultimate demise and the sale of its airbuses to Delta Airlines, with whom Veeneman flew until his retirement from flying in 1999. From the danger zone to the domestic, Veeneman’s life has been full of paradoxes. He has flown twice the speed of sound, but prefers the soft hooting of the Great Horned Owl at night. He has traveled to the far corners of the globe, but he’s the happiest in the private setting of their ranch between Whitefish and Columbia Falls.

“We are down to five horses and one pony name Gus, whose job is to teach all of our six grandchildren how to ride,” Veeneman said. “Along with our three dogs, Darby, Leo and Kermit, we have the best of the best!” As we approach Veterans Day on November 11th in the 100-year anniversary of Naval and Coast Guard aviation, we should take a moment to thank our many courageous service men and women, like Veeneman, who have willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect American liberties.

Modestly, Veeneman said, “Everyone who has served and is now serving in the military are my heroes. They are all Patriots who serve in order to preserve our way of life. We live in the best part of the greatest country in the world, and we should all give thanks to our military for that.”  93

406 woman} happenings

Swing-Fore-a-Sister Event Demonstrates “Pink Power”


By Pricilla Life Photos by SharpEye Photography

or a 2nd year, the women of the Eagle Bend Ladies Golf Asociation have again shown what they can do to raise money for two local breast cancer charities through their event, SwingFore-a- Sister. Benefitting are, Save a Sister, a collaboration between Northwest Heath Care, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead Health Department promoting breast cancer awareness and providing funding for local screenings and Casting for Recovery, an organization that provides retreats and much needed camaraderie for women undergoing cancer treatments and for cancer survivors. On July 12 ninety-seven women and men from the Flathead Valley, sporting pink attire, gathered at the Eagle Bend Golf Course in Bigfork to take part in the annual Swing-Fore-a-Sister Shotgun Scramble. The tournament was sponsored by the Eagle Bend Golf Club, the Flathead Beacon, Don K Subaru and Glacier Bank. Some of the added competitions were the usual closest-to-the-


WOMAN 94   

pin and closest-to-the-tree (a little help from local golf-pro, Lon Hinkle, was appreciated by everyone).

The actual kick-off for Swing-Fore-aSister took place on July 8 with cocktails, a prime-rib dinner and a silent auction at the Grill at Eagle Bend. Auction committee chair, Janet Obradovich, gathered an outstanding array items from the community and local merchants for the auction. The bidding was fast and furious and by the end of the evening over $12,000 was raised—certainly a very successful (and fun) event!

Money raised at the Scramble a week later was also substantial and between the two events the ladies at Eagle Bend were able to distribute nearly $24,000 to two very deserving charities. It just proves what can be done when the cause is an important one.

The Eagle Bend Ladies Golf Association wants to remind you to schedule your yearly mammogram today!

406 woman} happenings


WOMAN 96   

Born in a Barn & Friends Vintage Market By Rachel Catlett Photos by Rachel Lynn Photography


orn in a Barn joined with friends Corrina Bella Creations, Vintage Whites , Pickets, Renew, and The Flower Frog to create this wonderful market that is sure to become a great success. In a world that is so quickly evolving, Born in a Barn is reminding us to stop and remember what once was and what can be again. When you walk through the cute red barn door and are greeted by their friendly goat Colonel, you'll see that Born in a Barn is bringing the past into the future. Annette and Lennie Hidago specialize in saving what once was. They have a unique way of seeing a piece of "junk" and turning it back into something beautiful. They recreate furniture and have an amazing talent for seeing the potential in everything.

It is refreshing to know there are still people in the world that appreciate what once was. We are bombarded daily in our social media world with the newest and coolest gadgets that promises to change our lives for the better. What we once read in a newspaper is now readily available at the click of button. But now, lets take a step back in time for a sunny afternoon in October.

Where a warm breeze picks up and you get the faint smell of freshly baked cookies and hot cocoa brewing. It's a world where little girls run around playing with dogs, instead of spending time on Facebook.

It's a time where you can treasure the things of the past. Remember that toy you loved as a child? The typewriter that used to sit in Grandpa's den? Or the quilt your Great Aunt Ruth made by hand? I get warm fuzzy feelings when I think of things like that. It reminds see beauty in the chipped off paint on a chair, the craftsmanship that went into building that desk or the history behind the reclaimed barn wood that now fashions someone's new dining room table. As I sit at my desk that they made for me by hand, I run my fingers over the old reclaimed wood and imagine what it used to be. I wonder how the scratch in the design got there that the stain now sets into. Born in Barn has a cozy and charming feel the instant you walk in. For awhile you forget about the hassles of the world and have the opportunity to take home a piece of history.


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406 Woman Autumn 2011  

406 Woman Autumn issue 2011

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