VOL. 14 No.6 Lifestyle

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Food & Flavor 22. Peachy Keen 27. Ask the Butcher 28. The Local Craft Distillery Scene


C over G ir ls. .



34. Trunk Show! Freyia Dekor 38. Summer in the Flathead Wright’s Furniture

DIY 42. Why We All Should Knit

Fashion 45. Village Shop


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Love Story


48. Eliza and Bron

Alexis Ehlers

Alexis is a photographer and recent graduate of the University of Montana where she majored in English and Media Arts. She was raised in Kalispell alongside her four siblings. When she isn’t writing or creating art and music, she gets lost in the Big Sky country. Her plan this summer is to work for 406 Woman magazine while continuing to enjoy the great adventure of life. photo by

Leah Ehlers “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -William Faulkner

Alia Heavyrunner

Please read Callie Reagan’s feature story about The Snowbird Fund and what photographer Paul Andes is doing to build awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in the state. ph o t o b y

Paul Andes with American Vision Photography www . americanvisionphotography . com

Publisher's Note Hello Friends! The birds are chirping and the world around us is coming to life again! We are certainly welcoming the warmer weather and sunshine with open arms. We are also heading into a busy season, so remember to be in your moment, soak up the little things and enjoy the everyday! With gratitude, Cindy & Amanda

“Joy Comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary” • Brene Brown


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Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel


managing editor

Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell



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

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

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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

Editor’s Letter

“To be one, to be united is a great thing but respecting the right to be different is maybe even greater.”

- Bono

We offended a reader recently by sharing a story about inclusivity and the use of self-identifying pronouns. In an email to us, the reader claimed, “to assume that in Montana we are following along with the main stream media is just not so.” Far from making that assumption, our goal was to teach the unique, amazing, and confident readers of 406 Woman about a subject that likely every one of us has faced in our personal and professional lives in the past few years. I for one, along with a few of my friends that I discussed it with, were happy to have the subject demystified. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…at 406 Woman we strive to educate, entertain, and inspire. Over the years, we’ve received some terrific feedback from our readers that proves we are doing just that. Like the time we… Educated by running a story about Pain from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction by Kalispell OB/GYN’s Dr. Gwenda C. Jonas. That story prompted a reader to realize what was causing her pelvic pain and how to get treatment. Entertained our readers with “Women Don’t Drink Whiskey” by Hailey Osborne from the Bigfork Liquor Barn. She not only told a great tale of the history of women and whiskey but encouraged us to jump in and give it a taste if we so desired. Inspired so many with Mary Wallace’s story about Country Music Artist, Jo Smith, and her roundabout way of finally finding and now living her dream. Let’s continue to rally each other, lift each other up, and celebrate our differences.

Thank you for being you! (she/her)

What I learned in this issue?

That we can no longer look the other way and pretend that there isn’t a problem. In Montana, Native Americans make up 6.7% of the state’s population but account for 26% of the missing person cases. Read Callie Reagan’s story about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and what The Snowbird Fund and others in the state are doing to build awareness and help with this statewide epidemic. Find her business feature on page 8.


About Jay and Amber Shoupe and how their family has grown and how they nurture their “Little Chef” to be anything she wants to be. Read Mary Cloud Vander Ark’s Changed Lives story on page 40. 14 406


Food Lover's Paradise

Fabulous Selection of Imported Food, Cheese, Chocolate, Gift Baskets, Conservas, Fresh Olive Oil, Aged Balsamic Vinegars, and Many Award-Winning Artisan Foods.

Chipotle and Espresso Balsamic Grilling Marinade INGREDIENTS


4 lbs. ribeye steak (1 lb. each steak) Marinade 1 cup Genesis Kitchen Chipotle Infused Olive Oil 1 1/2 cups Genesis Kitchen Dark Espresso Balsamic 3 cloves garlic 1 small shallot 2 tsp Genesis Kitchen Applewood smoked salt Dry Rub 2 Tbsp Chipotle Powder 1 Tbsp cumin 1 tsp salt (to taste)

Espresso Balsamic

Combine all marinade ingredients together and emulsify using a food processor. Save half of the marinade in a separate container for a basting liquid. Place the steaks in an airtight container and pour remaining marinade over it, letting it marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator.

remove it from the marinade and blot off any extra liquid, discarding used marinade. Cover with the dry rub, and get ready to grill!

In the meantime, mix all dry rub ingredients together. When the steaks have finished marinating,

This recipe can be easily modified to accommodate chicken, ribs or pork chops

Chipotle Infused Olive Oil

While grilling, brush the steaks with the the separate container of basting liquid to infuse the sweet flavor of the balsamic marinade.

Applewood Smoked Salt

What's Cooking at Genesis?

Barnacle BBQ sauce, Dick Taylor Whiskey Chocolate, & Teeny Tiny CAN OF WHOOP ASS!

www.genesis-kitchen.com 270 Nucleus Ave. Columbia Falls, MT 59912 - Monday through Saturday 10am to 6pm 406-897-2667

Peachy Keen By Carole Morris

Where did Peaches come from?

The poor confused peach has the botanical name Prunus persica which means Persian plum and refers to Persia. Therefore, its roots (literally) were thought to have come from that area. However, genetic studies suggest peaches originated in China around 2000 BC. From there, the peach was brought to America in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. A world without peaches would be a world without peach cobbler, which would be a travesty!


Peach cobbler, there is nothing better on a summer day… especially when served with peach ice cream.

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Peach Cobbler

Preheat oven to 4000 (Serves 6)


Topping 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ c sugar 1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon (1 tsp for filling and 1 for topping) ¼ tsp nutmeg (for filling) 3 tbsp. butter 1 egg (beaten) 3 tbsps. milk

Fruit bottom 4 cups fresh or canned peach slices 2/3 c sugar 1 tbsp cornstarch stirred into ¼ cup of water In a saucepan, combine 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch (mixed in water) and 4 cups peach slices. Cook and stir until bubbly. For topping, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg all together. Cut in butter (with fork or pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together egg and milk, then add them to four mixture. Stir just to moisten.


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Spray 8x8x2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put hot peach filling in the pan first, then drop flour mixture in mounds on top of the hot filling (approximately 6 mounds). Cook for 20 minutes (or until toothpick, inserted into topping, comes out clean).

food} Peach Tea Popsicles INGREDIENTS 10 black tea bags 2 1/2 cups boiling water 3 peaches, peeled and puréed in blender 2 peach sliced 1/2 cup cane sugar 1/2 cup water Steep tea bags in boiling water for 10-12 minutes. In a saucepan, combine peach purée, cane sugar, water. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove tea bag from the tea. Stir to combine. Add sliced peach pieces to popsicle molds. Pour over peach tea. Insert sticks and freeze. Ahh! refreshing! *for an adult twist replace 1/4 cup of water with peach schnapps, or bourbon

Peach Ice Cream INGREDIENTS 2 cups chopped fresh peaches 1 1/4 cups sugar (divided) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 egg yolks Combine peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, stir intermittently. Remove peach mixture from refrigerator. Drain juice into a cup and return peaches to refrigerator. In a saucepan mix 3/4 cup sugar, milk, heavy cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. In a bowl whisk egg yolks, then whisk in about 1/4 of the boiled cream mixture. Continue whisking egg into the cream mixture, until all is mixed in. Return combined mixture to the heat and continue stirring until mixture thickens, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl set over ice. Next, add the reserved peach juice.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream begins to thicken and is almost done, add peaches. Continue to freeze until completely solid.



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Ask the Butcher

Ask the Butcher

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

As BBQ and smoking season rapidly approaches I often field many questions about both…the smoking part of the equation is the biggest variable.

People often tell me that they are smoking various cuts of meat at 180 or 200 degrees for hours on end and the cuts end up dry or tough. Additionally, at the higher temps, you’ll likely lose a good smoke ring in the meat. My first step would be letting aspiring smokers know that meat....in general... will only take smoke penetration up to the temperature of 130 degrees then the pores will swell and close...leaving just surface smoke to accumulate. This may make your cut bitter or too smokey and not allow the rest of the flavors to shine through.

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


I also recommend a light salt and herb brine to help with the overall flavoring. Large pieces...tri tip...brisket or larger roasts work well brined, rubbed, and smoked for as long as possible until your thermometer says 130 degrees. Then, I prefer to pan the meat with a small amount of beer and finish in the oven at 170 to 200 for at least 10 hours covered tightly...no peeking. Your meat will maintain flavor and moisture this way.

There are so many ways for this process to be successful and I offer only the beginning guidelines. So...do your thing...your own thing. Keep a log of times... temperatures...recipes...and the end result. This will help you re-create the masterpiece when you need to.

Bon appétit!

Thanks for your support, Sonny and the Chopp Shoppe crew



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Montana Made Spirits

The Local Craft Distillery Scene By Mary Wallace

It’s time to pay homage to our small batch Montana distilleries! Montana's craft distilleries may be few in number, but they are definitely rich in quality and flavor. It wasn’t until 2005 when Montana finally changed its Prohibitionera liquor laws to finally permit microdistilleries to produce small batches of alcohol that the state’s craft distillery boom started to take hold. Since then, the distilleries of Montana have created all sorts of premium hand-crafted alcoholic spirits. From huckleberry gins to Montana moonshine, there's a small batch, Montana crafted liquor out there for everyone. One can now find rum, gin, whiskey, moonshine, bourbon, cream liqueur, brandy, vodka, and other spirits that are all made in Montana. The Big Sky state is steeped in whiskey-drinking tradition, and Montana’s craft distilleries are currently boasting a serious spirits scene We are proud to be featuring a handful of Montana distilleries that we carry at the Bigfork Liquor Barn this month!


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finally The Spirit of Sperry Huckleberry Flavored vodka released in 2018 to help toward the rebuilding of the historic Sperry Chalet that was previously destroyed by a fire in Glacier National Park.

Whistling Andy’s founders, Brian Anderson and Lisa Cloutier, handcraft their finest spirits using select local grains, local Flathead Cherries, true first cut cane sugar, and locally sourced botanicals whenever possible. The distillery was named for the Brian’s father, who was nicknamed ‘Whistling Andy’ during his time in the military.


Located in Bigfork, Whistling Andy’s is Montana’s oldest operational distillery. Whistling Andy’s most popular spirits include their handcrafted Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Harvest Select Whiskey, Moonshine Whiskey, Crisp Cucumber Gin, Hibiscus Coconut Rum, and

1 ½ oz. Spirit of Sperry Vodka 2 bar spoons Huckleberry Jam

½ oz fresh lime juice Soda Water

Add vodka, jam, and lime juice to a shaker with ice, shake until tin frosts. Dirty pour into a Collins glass. Add ice to top and finish with a splash of soda water.


Distillery Scene


A relative newcomer, the Flathead Valley’s Portal Rum, is made with Louisiana’s finest raw sugars and the pristine waters from Rocky Mountain aquifers. Double filtered through activated carbon to refine its intensity and balance out a complex flavor profile, Portal Rum then enjoys a measured and thorough aging in oak casks to guarantee its refined finish. A true small batch spirit distillery, Scott & Michelle Moore spent 5 years perfecting Portal Rum before bringing its two fine sipping rum products to the Flathead Valley. Flathead Fog Rum, which pays tribute to Flathead Lake, has a flavor profile featuring vanilla, bergamot, and old world oak taste; while their Tropical Tundra Rum brings to mind island sunsets and carries the flavors of maple mixed with mango and a hint of old world oak can both be found on the shelves at Bigfork Liquor Barn.

PORTAL RUM FOGGY COFFEE (HOT OR ICED) Flathead Fog Rum Coconut Milk Cold brew Coffee A sprinkle of allspice


In true Montana fashion, Glacier Distilling Company was conceived during a snowstorm where a group of friends were gathered around the fireplace in a cabin along the North Fork. The snow began to pile up and the level of the whiskey bottle started falling to such dangerous levels that they could only start to wonder what would happen if the snowmageddon continued…how could they provide for themselves? They could chop wood for warmth, they could hunt and forage for food. But what about the whiskey? One of them would have to start a distillery! Founder Nicolas Lee took this concept to heart and Glacier Distilling was born. They first released Josephine’s Shine, an un-aged rye whiskey that could be produced in a matter of months, instead of years, in December 2010. Their North Fork, Bad Rock Rye, Trapline Rock & Rye, Bearproof, and Fireweed Bourbon are also popular choices of the local shoppers at Bigfork Liquor Barn.

FIRE IN THE HOLE In a juice mason:

1 oz. Fireweed Ice Fill with rosemary lemonade Garnish with spanked rosemary To make rosemary lemonade: In a pot dissolve 4 cups sugar with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add about 3 oz. fresh rosemary. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain rosemary out of simple. Put simple into one-gallon container. Add 1 quart of lemon juice. Top container with water. Shake/stir well before serving. (Yields one gallon.)



Lolo Creek Distillery is a 4th generation, family-owned business, and they opened their tasting room in 2018. Matt & Kasie Grunow are proud of that fact that their distillery uses as many local Montana


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Distillery Scene

ingredients as possible, not just in their handcrafted spirits, but also in their cocktails. Their ‘grain to glass’ process uses Montana grain sourced from our state’s Golden Triangle, and every bottle is filled by hand.

Look for Lolo Creek’s Gin, Vodka, Honey Huckleberry Flavored Vodka, Haunted Waters Bourbon Whiskey (a 2021 John Barleycorn Gold Winner), and Peached – a peach flavored bourbon whiskey, as well as their popular Hucked – A huckleberry bourbon whiskey.

Here is one of the favorite drinks served at the Lolo Creek Tasting Room, according to Head Distiller Ryan Arthur & his wife, Nikki.


Chop a handful of jalapeno slices and muddle into a shot of Lolo Creek Honey Huckleberry Flavored Vodka. Fill a mug with ice and pour the muddled vodka over. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a splash of simple syrup, and fill the mug with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh mint.


Built out of respect for the legacies of the hardworking Butte miners, Headframe Spirits take their name from the headframes that lowered the workers hundreds of feet into the earth beneath the streets of the mining city. The distillery was founded in 2010 by John and Courtney McKee. Each of their popular spirits have been named for one of Butte’s historic mines, and include Neversweat Bourbon Whiskey, Anselmo Gin, Destroying Angel Whiskey, High Ore Vodka, and Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur. All of these, as well as a handful of Headframe’s specialty spirits are available at Bigfork Liquor Barn. They also carry Headframe’s six house-made simple syrups (Habanero, Vanilla, Plain, Ginger Peppercorn, Earl Grey, and Lavender flavors) to help you get your Headframe cocktail experience right in the comfort of your own home (complete with recipes)!


Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur, fill glass with ice, add a shot of Orphan Girl and top off with root beer.

We are looking forward to featuring more on the local distillery scene in upcoming issues. Because our Montana distilleries are all subject to Montana’s somewhat stringent regulations on how much liquor can be produced and sold, keep in mind that many of their hand-crafted spirits are available only in limited quantities, and their bottles can be hard to score out of state. Stop by the Bigfork Liquor Barn to get your locally crafted spirits and more cocktail recipes!


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Trunk Show! By Adene Lucus, owner of Freyia DEKOR

Growing up, I have distinct memories of furniture. Not birthday parties, nor family vacations but specific pieces of furniture we had in our home. I am sure that warrants some type of therapy or introspection, however one of the key pieces I recall, was my great grandmother’s trunk. We carted it around for years and it took up a lot of space with its large dome lid and torn leather handles. I’ve come to learn that the domed top served a purpose. First it allowed for extra storage, which would have been key when packing all your possessions! The curved top also helped keep rain from pooling, thus preventing water damage to your possessions. Another benefit of a dome shaped trunk was that it could not be stacked. This forced porters to store them at the ends or at the top of the piles of trunks instead of underneath them all, which prevented damaging the trunk. Our trunk had narrow bands of embossed decorative tin that could easily draw blood if running your hands across it. It also smelled musty and everything we stored inside the trunk, had that distinct smell of something old. Trunks were known for being airtight, hence that smell. Again, more fond childhood memories, but I will spare the story of our family sofa made from Styrofoam and covered in brown corduroy. Trunks were very common 150 years ago and were bought in preparation for traveling abroad. The owner of the steamer carefully selected their finest clothing, hats, and other personal belongings and placed them in the trunk with the optimism of a new life ahead.

The steamer was aptly named because of the location of storage in a steam ship, right by the steam engine in both ships and trains. They first appeared in the late 1870s and were eventually replaced by the suitcase when travel became more accessible, and a trunk was simply too large for short trips.


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Many countries have a version of a trunk or bridal chest, and Swedish trunks have their own story. Swedish immigrants came to the United States in droves in 1852 for a better life. America had the promise of work, growing industries, cheap land, lower taxes, and higher standards of living compared to Sweden. Most emigrating Swedes came from rural communities, and they arrived with only the trunks they left with. Soon letters and gifts from America came home to relatives in Sweden and this inspired more young Swedes to pack their trunk and make new lives for themselves. Originally the Swedish trunk was used as a bridal chest or brudkista. It was used by a young woman to hold an accumulation of linens that she would bring into her marriage. Swedish engagements were long, some-

times lasting years and during this time, the bride-to-be would weave, sew, and embroider dozens of towels and bed linens. The groom also kept a chest, a brudgumskista, that he would fill with carved plates, mugs, spoons, as well as items related to harvesting flax. When the two married, they would then have the necessities for their new home.

Through the years, a chest may have been used for other storage, such as extra blankets and pillows, and then passed down through from daughter to daughter as a hope chest, or hoppas kista. They were meant to be passed from one generation to the next, just like how my great Grandmother’s trunk ended up in our living room for years.

The Swedish chest was usually made by a member of her family, or a village carpenter and her initials and date of birth would be included in the decoration. The bridal chest was also beautifully decorated with floral designs, sometimes including images of birds and hearts, to symbolize love and prosperity.



Light blue, greens, and reds were popular colors used to accent its beauty. A greenish blue was used in the southern part of Sweden while a darker blue was used by the northern part of the country and makes it easier to identify where the trunk originated from in Sweden. The hinges made of cast iron are intricate and some had an ornate heart shaped lock and key to secure possessions. On a buying trip to Stockholm, I came across three trunks and purchased them knowing how unique and rare they were. One is dated 1836 which is painted beside the initials of the bride and groom. They were then shipped, placed on a train, and then transported by truck. When I recently sold a bridal chest to an enthused collector, it was bittersweet. Knowing a real piece of history which travelled so far, with many stories and was a cherished family heirloom was gone. I won’t see that trunk ever again and felt somewhat attached since its journey. Again, therapy may be needed with this odd connection.

While the steamer trunk or bridal chest may have retired from traveling the world, they still hold prized space in homes all over the globe. Not only are they functional storage; they are decorative and no two are identical. Their history is a reminder that some people risked everything, packed only a trunk, and created a life in a new country.

Through the years, a chest may have been used for other storage, such as extra blankets and pillows, and then passed down through from daughter to daughter as a hope chest, or hoppas kista. In Norse mythology Freyja (/ˈfreɪə/; Old Norse for "[the] Lady”). She is famous for her fondness of love, fertility, beauty, and fine material possessions. Adene Lucas has been the lead designer with Freyia DEKOR decorating firm since 2004. Her focus has always been creating living spaces that are as unique as the clients and the lives they lead. “I always try to meet every design challenge with passion, creativity and a genuine devotion to exceeding expectations. Travelling is one of my favourite things to do on my downtime, and it was during my visits to Sweden that I was intrigued by the simplicity and functionality of Swedish design and décor. Paired with my passion for items with artistic and historical meaning, the decision to embark on this new journey came naturally and without hesitation.” Freyia DEKOR - www.freyia.ca



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Summer In The Flathead By Callie Reagan and Wright’s Furniture

Summer in the Flathead is on its way and our time spent outdoors in the warmth is precious here in Montana. Wright’s Furniture is making your access to the best quality outdoor living selection easy this season. I talked with Alana Wright, Interior Decorator, about some of the top considerations for designing the perfect outdoor space.

Know your space.

What are the attributes of the area that you are designing? Know when and where the sun hits, what will the area be used for? Knowing these things about your space will allow you to design with function in mind to make the most out of each place.

Creating a place for sun and shade. Creating a space that is diverse for comfort is going to maximize the use of your outdoor space. Lounge chairs, and outdoor couches that have access to umbrellas or a shaded garden trellis or maybe even a screened in ‘She Shack’ will increase the time used in your created spaces.


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Know your fabrics.

Outdoor fabrics and cushions are not made from the same materials as your standard indoor living. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring or that you need to settle. Wright’s Furniture not only gives you one of the largest selections in the valley but they have access to so much more, making color and pattern selections available and easy.

Call out to different senses.

Your first thought is usually going to be how does it look when you are designing? Really great spaces go beyond the look of the space and incorporate the other senses. Using a great textured outdoor rug or deep plush cushions for the outdoor sofa add to the feel of the space. Getting great pots that you can plant lavender and other fragrant plants can add a level of smell to the area that relaxes. Water features or wind chimes can be added to create a softness and dimension of sound. And never forget taste! A small planter of mint on a side table or a great outdoor dining table that you can share family favorites with all throughout the day.

Create your space with layers. Design a space that keeps

the eye moving. This creates visual stimulation and interest. This can be done with level changes and accent pieces such as pillows, candle stands, table books, pots, lighting and so much more. Wright’s Furniture gives you these options to accent an area with colors, textures and compelling pieces.

Wright’s Furniture helps you maximize the style, function and durability of your outdoor living space with access to traditional, rustic and modern styles in a variety of materials. Feel like you need additional help? Wright’s Furniture also offers complimentary, complete, personalized design services for your home or business. There is no way to do it wrong when you shop at Wright’s. Wright’s Furniture is open 7 days a week, offering complimentary design services with free local delivery and install. Visit the Wright’s Furniture showroom in Whitefish or learn more at wrightsfurniturestore.net 6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services



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Why We All

Should Knit By Jaimie Davis, Brave Dog Knits

Knitting is a fiber art that ties us to our history and culture, and it has been around for at least eight centuries.2 In today’s society, there is enhanced focus and importance put on what is utilitarian, or useful. Knitting by hand seems to be at odds with this idea. “Why knit an item when it can be done by a machine?” Knitting is more important now than it ever has been because of this opposing idea. Creating something with one’s own hands provides a sense of accomplishment and peace. The act of holding needles and yarn in our hands and focusing on being present with what we’re creating is meditative and helps in calming the mind and nourishing the soul. Knitting is a repetitive task that is often tasked to automated machines, but by putting it into our hands it gives the fiber art a creative license.


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In addition to this separation from utilitarian motives, knitting has transformed into an art form. Different patterns reflect different communities' cultures through this artistic mode, such as the cowichan sweater pattern created by the Salish people2. Art forces us to look past what’s necessary to survive and to create for expression and meaning. When one of our knitter’s walks in the door of Brave Dog Knits and they show me what they have created, there is joy that permeates our humble little shop and reaches all of our hearts. Even non-knitters that visit can feel that care. That is comparing apples and oranges to consider the warehouses where mass-marketed fast fashion knitwear is created. Knitting preserves cultural identity in many places. For instance, the Arhuacos

indigenous people, located in the north coast of Columbia, have a cultural tradition of teaching knitting. Grandmothers teach their granddaughters how to knit a special mochila (bag) to present to the mamo, a spiritual leader of their tribe1. In our own society we have similar practices. My mother and my teacher taught me to knit and we gave baby hats to a local hospital. It encourages us to pull away from the industrialized instant gratification of our world and to instead exercise patience for a product that is delayed, but overall more satisfying to own or gift to someone. This fiber art has continuous cultural importance in that it reflects a community’s current state of being in an artistic manner while preserving a traditional practice. As an article proudly states in our shop, Brave Dog Knits, “Put down your phone and pick up your knitting!”

DIY} Brave Dog Knits

This fiber art has continuous cultural importance in that it reflects a community’s current state of being in an artistic manner while preserving a traditional practice.

Shepherdess Hat

A simple hat with perfect results. This one is knit up in a bulky weight pure alpaca yarn that lends the hat perfect drape. The gathered top adds shaping. Hat fits an average adult head.


1 skein Herriot Great or 130 yds of a bulky weight yarn

Sweet & Easy Crochet Beanie

#9 16” circular needle, or needle size to reach gauge

This is a simple, but sweet and easy crochet hat, it works up quickly in a sport or dk weight yarn and is stylish and comfy. A perfect instant satisfaction project!



3.5 stitches per inch


Cast on 68 stitches. Knit garter stitch, in the round, for 1 inch. Knit every round until hat measures 8.5 inches from cast on.


Row 1: k2tog, around. Row 2: k2tog, around. Cut yarn leaving a 12” tail. Thread this tail onto a tapestry needle and run it through all the stitches, removing needles. Pull the yarn tight and run it through the stitches again, and then weave in the end of the yarn on the inside of the hat. Block it if you want to or wear immediately! Shepherdess Hat/Brave Dog Knits/2021

1 skein Mirasol Ch'ichi or 160 yds of a dk/sport weight yarn Size G/4mm crochet hook, or hook size to reach gauge


4 stitches per inch


Chain 3-4 stitches and join in a loop. Row 1: single crochet x7 times into loop. chain 1.

Row 2: make double crochet 2 (DC2) in each single crochet, chain 1. You will have 14 stitches. Row 3: DC2 into 1 stitch, dc. 1. repeat across, chaining 1 @ end of round.

Continue in this manner, working double crochet x2, and dc across, until you have 9 stitches between each increase. You will have 77 stitches. Work as established until hat is 9.5” from top.

Work 4 rounds single crochet, break yarn & weave in ends. Block it if you want to or wear immediately! Sweet & Easy Beanie/ Brave Dog Knits/2022

References 1 Rodríguez-Burgos, L. P., Rodríguez-Castro, J., Bojacá-Rodríguez, S. M., Izquierdo-Martínez, D. E., Amórtegui-Lozano, A. A., & Prieto-Castellanos, M. A. (2016). Knitting Mochilas: A Sociocultural, Developmental Practice in Arhuaco Indigenous Communities. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12(2), 242–259. https://libproxy.fvcc.edu:2106/10.5964/ejop.v12i2.1039


2 Roemer, R. (2017, June 1). Knitting in 21st Century America: The Culture and Ideology of Knitting Groups in Rural Oregon. Retrieved April 29, 2020, from https://digitalcommons.wou.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1136&context=honors_theses


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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200

love} stories


& Bron

Photography by Robert S. Harrison Photography www.islandweddingphoto.com Friday Harbor Laboratories, San Juan Island, Washington February 20, 2022


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love} stories


I think I was surprised just by how it was. much You invest so much work in the planning process leading up to it that it’s easy to forget it’s actually going to be blast. Tell us about yourselves…

I (Eliza, bride) am a marine biologist and Bron (groom) is an architect. We go back and forth between Seattle, where Bron designs sustainable mid-rise buildings with mass timber for higher education and affordable housing – and San Juan Island, where I work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Friday Harbor Laboratories for the Smithsonian Institution. Bron was born in Eastern Washington. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been visiting the Flathead Valley for several decades now, as it’s where my parents – Liz and Shep Heery – are based.

Eliza – What is the trait that you most admire in Bron?

His humility. He is brilliant yet unassuming, perpetually curious about the world around him, and able to find inspiration, beauty, and insight in things that most people overlook or are unable to see. Ego, arrogance, and selfimportance seem entirely foreign to his being – I find his steadfast commitment to living humbly, honestly, and diligently extraordinary and enduringly refreshing.



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so good to be with all those I love so much, to finally be able to hug them again after years of covid quarantine, and to celebrate with them.

Bron – When did you realize you wanted to get married to Eliza?

I think part of me knew immediately; on my walk home after our first date, but I remember first having the conscious thought during her move back from Singapore. We were shopping for a car, since she had sold hers when she moved, and at some point between the used car lots and sketchy craigslist calls it clicked.

Why did you choose the venue you did to getting married?

San Juan Island has meant a lot to both of us since we each visited (separately) for the first time in 2001. It’s one of those places you can keep coming back to over decades and because it changes very little, it serves as sort of a barometer for reflecting on where you are personally and how you’re changing, growing, or


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stuck. The Friday Harbor Labs are also a core part of our community because of Eliza’s work there. It’s century-old dining hall and rustic cottages feel like home and it just seemed there was no better place to bring together friends and family in a welcoming, comfortable space.

Eliza – What did you enjoy most during your wedding day?

I think I was surprised just by how much fun it was. You invest so much work in the planning process leading up to it that it’s easy to forget it’s actually going to be blast. Bron did an amazing job of transforming the space with red umbrellas, my best friend Megsie made incredible flower arrangements, the samba band I used to play in performed – there was just a magical feel in the air – it felt so good to be

with all those I love so much, to finally be able to hug them again after years of covid quarantine, and to celebrate with them.

Bron – What is your favorite activity to do as a couple?

My favorite is when we go for a wander on the beach and do science things.

Like so many couples we had to put off our wedding because of covid and decided to go ahead and take care of the legal part of things on the same date a year earlier (Feb 20, 2021). That was done with a judge and two witnesses – best friends Megsie Siple and Nick Ames – at a waterfront park surrounded by container ship docks operated by the port of Seattle.

" The Last Best Place". Glacier Park Original oil by Katherine Taylor.

Going To The Sun Gallery Featured Artist

Katherine Taylor, Carol Novotne, Dan Knepper, and Carol Lee Thompson

Katherine Taylor

Dan Knepper

Carol Novotne

Carol Lee Thompson

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8. The Snowbird Fund 14. Riding for a Cure Halt Cancer at X


20. Brianne Peltz, PA-C 28. Buffalo Hill

Nonprofit 40. Changed Lives


24. Healthcare Navigators 32. What is going on down there?! 44. Dr Miller

History 36. Emma Ingalls

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

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


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



Snowbird Fund Written by Callie Reagan Photography by Paul Andes, American Vision Photography

Ashley Loring Heavyrunner, 20, was last seen on June 5, 2017, in Browning, Montana. Kimberly Kay Lambdin, 33, was last seen in Thompson Falls on March 17, 2020. It was her 32nd birthday. Mamie Kennedy, 16 was last seen at school on February 2, 2022. Robert Gordon Bitsui, 15 was last seen in Kalispell on March 3, 2022. What do all these individuals have in common? Each of these missing Indigenous people is from a Native community in Montana and a victim of the growing Murdered and Missing Indigenous Person (MMIP) epidemic, happening in our state and across the nation. In Montana, Native Americans make up 6.7% of the state’s population but account for about 26% of missing person cases. Indigenous persons are four times more likely to go missing in the state of Montana. According to the Montana Missing Persons Database, there are 185 individuals that are listed as missing persons; of those, 47 are Indigenous.

Ask almost any Indigenous person living on tribal land in Montana if they are aware of this issue and they will likely tell you about a friend, relative, or community member who has had a loved one go missing. In many tribal communities, Indigenous women are murdered at 10 times a greater rate than the national average, and Montana is ranked in the top five for cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). These numbers are a growing concern and a reason for change and education and not just for indigenous communities but every community. As this epidemic continues to grow, jurisdictional issues and lack of resources have only added to the problem. Many families are left to conduct searches on their own, adding a financial burden to the trauma of having a loved one go missing.


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In many tribal communities, Indigenous women are murdered at 10 times a greater rate than the national average, and Montana is ranked in the top five for cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).


The Snowbird Fund

Since its inception a little over a year ago, the Snowbird Fund has provided 12 grants totaling $7,000 to support 11 community searches across the state. In February 2021, the Snowbird Fund opened as a resource for these families by providing immediate financial assistance to individuals and families leading the search for a missing loved one. Funding requests can be up to $1,000 and can be used however they need to aid in their search for their loved one. This includes gas money, meals, and hotel stays as well as metal detectors and drones, targeted awareness campaigns, and hosting a community vigil. Requests for more than $1,000 are accepted and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Funding decisions are made quickly, often in a matter of days, as time in these situations is imperative. The fund is the first of its kind not only in Montana but across the nation.

“Visiting with impacted families brought to light the need for urgent help on this issue, which spans the country and is especially acute in Montana, says Williams. “These families deserve attention and support. In a small way, we’re trying to fill a gap and simply help families as they search for their loved ones.”

The fund’s name has a special meaning for Williams. She is an activist in her community and helped to establish the first native language program at the University of Montana. Marvin Weatherwax Sr. of Browning, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, was an instructor at the University of Montana and said Montana businesswoman, Whitney Williams estab- he gave Williams the name Snowbird “Issstotsislished the fund at the Montana Community Founda- takii” because snowbirds (Juncos) are resilient and tion (MCF) after she was moved into action upon smart birds that don’t leave Montana in the winter. hearing trials faced by family members, including It’s a fitting name for a fund that promotes hope and those of Kaysera Stops Pretty Places who was found offers essential help to Indigenous families through murdered in Big Horn County in August 2019. a hard time.

Since its inception a little over a year ago, the Snowbird Fund has provided 12 grants totaling $7,000 to support 11 community searches across the state.

“The Snowbird Fund opened as a resource for families during a very desperate time,” says Mary Rutherford, MCF president and chief executive officer. “Over a year later, that is still the intent of the fund. We want it to serve as a valuable resource for families and relieve some of the financial burden that comes from conducting these searches.”

The Snowbird Fund not only provides financial assistance to individuals and families, but also receives guidance from a Native-led committee that reviews requests for assistance and provides invaluable knowledge, best practices, and connections to ensure the fund remains true to its intent and serves as a valuable resource for those searching.



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The Snowbird Fund

“There is great need in tribal communities that, though resilient, struggle to provide resources during these difficult times when there is so much need,” says Snowbird Fund Committee member, Anna Whiting- Sorrell. “This fund is a crucial avenue for families who might not otherwise have the funds they need to conduct a search.” “We also recognize the need for increased community outreach about the fund, especially in tribal communities. So we’re identifying more ways to connect with individuals, agencies, and organizations working directly with those who are conducting searches so we can better provide this resource to those who need it, when they need it. We hope organizations and individuals will join us and spread the word so that together we can put an end to a crisis that has gone unrecognized for too long.”

One recent outreach effort for the fund is through local Kalispell photographer, Paul Andes with American Vision Photography. Proceeds from the sale of his Native American Photography note cards benefit the Snowbird Fund and help bring additional awareness to MMIW.

Andes’ interest in MMIW started long before the Snowbird Fund was established. He and his wife visited the Standing Arrow Celebration in Elmo about six years ago. Moved by the culture, regalia, and overall beauty of the event he started to capture that beauty using his talents in photography. Over the years and many introductions later, he attended the North American Indian Days in Browning. It was there that he met Angelina, Mother of Miss Blackfeet, Alia Heavyrunner, and was introduced to the MMIW epidemic.

We hope organizations and individuals will join us and spread the word so that together we can put an end to a crisis that has gone unrecognized for too long. Andes says this of his experiences, “Every model I worked with has at least one, if not unfortunately several, very close friends or family who are missing. Julie (Andes’ wife) and I are active with several foundations we like to donate to, usually photographically, and it was on one of those rides in the car that I came to a decision to use, with the model’s permission, the portfolio and donate the profits to MMIW.” If you, like Paul Andes and Whitney Williams and so many others, are moved to make a difference and spread awareness regarding this growing problem in our local communities, please visit www.snowbirdfund. org or email Teal Whitaker at teal@mtcf.org. To apply for assistance from the Snowbird Fund, apply online at https://mtcf.org/giving/ourfunds/snowbird-fund or call (406) 443-8313.


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There are various agencies in Montana that are designed to help aid in combating this epidemic. For more information about MMIP in Montana visit the Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force at https://dojmt.gov/mmip-home/.

Every member of our Montana Family deserves the right to be heard and feel safe. Our mothers, daughters, sons, and brothers each deserves that right.


Photo by Shannon Brinkman


Local Initiative Aims to Cure Cancer One Horse Triathlon at a Time A cure for breast cancer, day-to-day help for survivors, and a three-day horse triathlon. One of these is not like the others, but in the Flathead Valley, they have something very much in common. “Our mission is simple: to make a positive, lasting impact in the lives of those affected by breast cancer,” says Sarah Broussard, founder of Halt Cancer at X, the charitable initiative of the annual equestrian triathlon, The Event at Rebecca Farm. “We’re more than just horses; we want to help find a cure for breast cancer, and in the meantime, do whatever we can to support our neighbors who are fighting it.”


Since its creation 10 years ago, in memory of Event founder Rebecca Chaney Broussard, Halt Cancer at X has raised and given over

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Written by Mary Wallace

$800,000 to both innovative breast cancer research projects and to local nonprofits that provide resources and support for Flatheadarea cancer patients. The effect has been breakthrough cancer research on the national level, and comfort, care, and renewed life for local survivors.

“We’re very appreciative of and humbled by the support of our local and eventing communities”, says Sarah. “Without them, Halt Cancer at X wouldn’t be successful. It’s with their support that we’re able to help individuals affected by breast cancer, both locally and nationally.”

An Exciting BRCA2 Gene Research Project

This year’s national research grant award recipient appears to be on the brink of a breast cancer breakthrough. The $50,000 grant awarded in March to Drs. Siddartha Yadav and Fergus Couch at the Mayo Clinic will continue

their cutting-edge genetic work on the BRCA2 missense variant in breast cancer.

BRCA2 is the No. 2 gene linked to breast cancer. Women with this gene mutation are 60% more likely to develop the disease. Using CRISPR gene-editing technology, the researchers are seeking to classify which mutations of the BRCA2 gene are harmless and which put a patient at an increased risk of breast cancer. The CRISPR gene-editing technology effectively allows Dr. Yadav and Couch to compress two decades of research into one year. “The BRCA2 gene codes for a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor and prevents cells from dividing too rapidly and becoming cancer,” said Dr. Melissa Kaptanian, a breast surgical oncologist at Logan Health Breast Center and the board chair of HCAX. “There are many, many BRCA2 missense variations, and prior to

featured} Rebecca Farm

“My mom touched the eventing careers of so many riders,” Sarah Broussard said. “She left behind a legacy that will live on forever, not only at The Event at Rebecca Farm but through all the lives she touched that keep her memory alive.” this research, the only way to find out which variants are likely to result in breast cancer was to find a large group of people who have the same variant and follow them over time to see if a disproportionately large number of them got cancer. This research proposal is to use CRISPR gene-editing technology to make a cell culture for each of the thirty-six BRCA2 variants that were chosen for this project and see what effect they have on those cell cultures’ ability to grow and divide. This information combined with the current observational studies could greatly accelerate figuring out which variants increase the risk of breast cancer and which do not.”

Dr. Melissa Kaptanian

Kaptanian explained that these same cultures can be used to see if PARP inhibitors - which are emerging as a cancer treatment - work in any of the cell cultures where the BRCA2 variant leads to cancer. “Dr. Yadav and Dr. Couch’s work addresses a clinical question affecting women in our community and my practice every day, and we are hopeful that their investigation into these genetic markers will dramatically change the lives of women and their families in the near term,” Kaptanian said.

“This is the type of research we get excited about,” said Sarah, “it could really change the landscape of breast cancer, and quickly.”

Rebecca Broussard, one of the most well-known advocates of equestrian eventing in the country, helped bring the sport to greater prominence in the western United States. On December 24, 2010, she died after a brave battle with breast cancer. “My mom touched the eventing careers of so many riders,” Sarah Broussard said. “She left behind a legacy that will live on forever, not only at The Event at Rebecca Farm but through all the lives she touched that keep her memory alive.”

The Event at Rebecca Farm, presented by nonprofit Montana Equestrian Events, is now a flourishing internationally known eventing competition. The very riders that blossomed under Rebecca’s support and encouragement have become part of an even more meaningful way to celebrate her legacy.

Nearly 600 competitors and over 5,000 spectators are expected to participate in the annual Event at Rebecca Farm, July 20-24, 2022. The Event is free to attend, and the $10 suggested parking donation goes to Halt Cancer at X. Learn more at www.rebeccafarm.org.

Curious about what the “X” in Halt Cancer at X means?

It’s an eventing term - the name comes from the equestrian dressage test where the first movement is for the rider to enter the arena and halt their horse at a station marked “X.”

Local grants were distributed in October 2021 to further the care, comfort, and financial needs of area survivors and their families, and include:

Northwest Montana Chicks-n-Chaps was awarded $11,200 to provide financial assistance to Flathead Valley families affected by breast cancer. Their goal is to offer a respite from financial stress while providing comfort and hope.



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Rebecca Farm

Sandy Shaw of Flathead Cancer Aid Services (FCAS) said that the funds they received this year will help continue their ongoing mission to minimize the financial burden that is directly attributed to an individual’s diagnosis by providing funds for the non-medical expenses of everyday life.

“We’re very appreciative of and humbled by the support of our local and eventing communities”, says Sarah. “Without them, Halt Cancer at X wouldn’t be successful. It’s with their support that we’re able to help individuals affected by breast cancer, both locally and nationally.”

Data shows that more than half of cancer patients report that the costs related to their cancer negatively impacts their ability to focus on their recovery. The goal of Flathead Cancer Aid is to assist with some of the expenses of everyday life (such as food, rent, and utilities) so that patients can focus on their treatment and their health. One patient said that the help he received from FCAS helped to remind him that he is not alone, even in a room full of strangers. Another said that they felt so honored to have not only the financial support of FCAS, but it also helped emotionally to have some relief from the stress.

Casting for Recovery received $5,000 for their annual fly-fishing retreat for women fighting breast cancer. The retreat offers basic fly-fishing in addition to breast cancer education, counseling to support emotional well-being and camaraderie with others of shared experiences.

Wings Regional Center received $12,000 to assist individuals with out-of-pocket expenses, such as lodging, transportation, and meals incurred while traveling to appointments for their breast cancer treatment.

Logan Health Cancer Support & Survivorship (CSS) is dedicated to providing emotional support, education, and hope for survivors and their loved ones, free of charge. They were awarded $10,000 for their Active Outings Program, which allows participants to connect with others while enjoying outdoor activities. Cancer Support Community Montana received $2,500 for the 2022 Mending in the Mountains Retreat for women impacted by cancer.

Flathead Cancer Aid received $10,000 to make the lives of local women affected by breast cancer a little easier by covering dayto-day expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries. Save A Sister received $7,500 to fulfill bilateral nipple restoration for breast cancer survivors.

Sandy Shaw of Flathead Cancer Aid Services (FCAS) and Sarah Broussard Photo by Chris Leopold

“This year, Save A Sister is especially grateful for their grant from Halt Cancer at X, which will provide nipple restorations after breast reconstruction,” said the organization’s Director, Muffie Thomson. Save A Sister is bringing renowned tattoo artist, Eric Eye, from Seattle, Washington, to offer this restorative tattoo clinic to local breast cancer survivors. Eye specializes in 3-dimensional appearing tattoos that recreate the tone, texture, and shape of the natural nipple and areola for post-mastectomy breast cancer patients.


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Save-A-Sister also assists patients with free mammograms, as well as provides additional genetic screening if needed. The support of Halt Cancer at X is life-changing for hundreds of women in the Flathead Valley. “When a woman first feels a lump, her next thought should never be, ‘I can’t afford to have a mammogram,’” Thomson said.



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Provider Profile

Q&A with

Brianne Peltz, PA-C Photos by Photography by Brogan

What is your background? What brought you to the Flathead Valley?

I’m proud to call the Flathead Valley my first home! I am a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in the Flathead Valley. My family roots run deep in the timber and farming industries. I grew up participating in local, family-oriented activities such as 4-H (horse) and O-mok-see. After graduating from Bigfork High School, I completed the premed program at Carroll College in Helena. During my time in Helena I had the privilege of shadowing a physician assistant. I knew immediately that it was the career path for me! I was pleased to graduate from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus’ PA program in 2004, the only pediatric-focused PA program in the nation. During my PA training, I rotated with Dr. Jenko and Dr. Wilder, both founding physicians at Logan Health. My immediate and extended family still live in the Flathead Valley. I always hoped to move home and raise my children in the Valley. In 2019, my husband accepted a position as a trauma, acute care, and critical care surgeon at Logan Health. Then in 2020, I had the opportunity to join Logan Health Children’s.

What is your specialty of practice?

I began practicing as a Physician Assistant in adult surgery at the University of Colorado in 2004 then transitioned to Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2007 where my practice included pediatric surgery and its sub-subspecialties (including pediatric trauma, burn, and transplant surgery). I had the unique opportunity to grow as a PA in a large academic institution where I was active in leadership roles and the education of physician residents and students. I’m currently a PA in Pediatric Surgery. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Logan Health Children’s family, the most comprehensive group of pediatricians and pediatric specialists in the state.

What is the best part about your job?

The kids! Without a doubt, it’s the kids. There’s nothing better than connecting with and helping kids and their families. It’s also working with the dedicated providers at Logan Health. We all have one goal – to better the care of Montana’s children. I work with an all-women team in pediatric surgery and we have fun!

What are some of your professional interests?

I have specific interests in patient/family education, providing education to other medical professionals, program development, quality improvement, injury prevention, and pediatric trauma care.


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What are you hoping to accomplish at Logan Health?

I’m committed to our mission to keep patient’s healthcare local. What if your child had the unfortunate experience of being seriously injured? There are so many benefits from receiving care close to home. I’d like to help further develop the pediatric trauma program, work to add additional expertise and specialists, and create pathways incorporating high quality care. It’s a system where I’d be confident in the care my own children receive!

How do you like to spend your free time?

When I’m not at work, I’m with my family. With my husband, we have a 16 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. We are an adventurous family with a love for the outdoors. You’ll find us climbing up the mountains in the summer and skiing down them in the winter. We enjoy all things water, including paddle boarding and fishing. If we’re not on the mountain or in the water, then you’ll find us exploring the countryside on a horse or chasing the high school volleyball scene. One thing’s for sure, it’s great to be here, raising my children in the place I have forever called home!

Brought to you by


Logan Health

LHW Care Team. Social Worker Amelia Nowlen, RN, Dr. Stella Hutchins, and Discharge Planner Kathy Emerson, RN discuss a patient's care plan at Logan Health - Whitefish. Photo by Logan Health - Whitefish.

Family Strong. Liam Reynolds plays a game showing his motor skills. Photo by Marissa Hepner.

Healthcare Navigators Guide Patients and Create Healthier Communities

Finding one’s way through the diagnosis of a chronic illness is hard enough, the path of treatment that follows is often long and complex. Fortunately, there are designated caregivers working for Logan Health – Whitefish and its rural health clinics to help patients navigate their way along the road to better health. This path is called the Care Continuum, and the navigators—care coordinators—help guide the way. The Care Continuum concept developed to prevent patients from frequently returning to health care centers. Rather than allowing for a pattern of repetition, which is expensive, the patient is prescribed a care coordinator. These compassionate caregivers work closely with patients and their families and get to know them to better guide them throughout their journey.


“Building strong, trusting relationships with patients and families is key to addressing their needs.

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Written by Riley Polumbus Photos courtesy of Logan Health

Care can be coordinated better when they are active participants,” said Nancy Henriksson, Director, Care Continuum at Logan Health—Whitefish. “Effective care coordination and transition management are essential to delivering patient-centered quality care.”

Logan Health –Whitefish began its program in 2017 with the triple aim to improve the patient experience of care in both quality and safety, improve the health of our communities, and reduce the per capita cost of health care. Registered nurse Jean Stanberry became the care coordinator at Logan Health Primary Care in Columbia Falls. Marissa Hepner stepped into the care coordinate role at the Eureka Primary Care in 2021. Also, in 2021 Logan Health—Whitefish hired a social worker, Amelia Nowlen, to assist in the care of inpatients at the hospital.

All three actively work with the patient, their family, and their care team to provide support and coordination of services. This includes monitoring, education, and self-management tools as well as connecting the patient to community resources. They identify barriers and help to overcome them, partner with the patient in setting goals for their

health and create a plan or path that fits their lifestyle.

While making the necessary connections to community resources to assist their patients, our care coordinators also helped in creating new programs that help the greater community.

In Columbia Falls, Jean Stanberry works with patients with diabetes, a chronic health condition that affects how one’s body turns food into energy. To help these patients she takes a deep dive into their diet. In doing so she realized a common problem among patients: a lack of access to fresh produce, and the knowledge of how to make healthy meals. Jean reached out to Land to Hand MT (originally named Farmhands—Nourish the Flathead), a Whitefish based nonprofit that, in numerous ways, creates better access to locally grown food. Realizing that this is an issue for other families in addition to her patients, the idea for the clinic’s FoodRx program was born. Jean’s diabetes patients are prescribed fresh produce through FoodRx. Their “FARMicists” at Landto-Hand MT connect the patients and their families to fresh produce through local farmer’s markets or

While making the necessary connections to community resources to assist their patients, our care coordinators also helped in creating new programs that help the greater community. food boxes assembled by Land to Hand MT staff. Boxes include recipes plus other ingredients needed to make healthy meals. Participants also receive educational newsletters that provide information for storing fresh foods and additional recipes. After a year in the program, patients showed improve-

Produce box "prescriptions" for FoodRx participants. Photo by Land to Hand MT.

ments in body weight and blood pressure, as well as instilling confidence in their cooking and handling of fresh food.

When Marissa Hepner took on her role as care coordinator she began to network with the Communities that Care Coalition in Eureka, Montana. The networking group identified a gap in resources for new parents and their children. From there, the idea for Eureka’s Family Strong. Family Strong is a networking group. It is a collaboration of the state’s Zero to Five program, Logan Health Primary Care – Eureka, and the Creative Arts Council. The program’s goals are threefold. First it provides support for new parents with offering parenting tips and networking with other parents. It gives children ages 0-5 a place to play and socialize with other children. Finally, the program aims to get kids ready for school. Marissa helps with the third goal by helping parents with their child’s development. Through specifically-designed activities, Marissa can identity when a child is not meeting a developmental milestone and connect the

child and parents to resources to help. This early intervention allows the child to get on track before starting school, keeping them from falling behind their peers. For a young, active child that has challenges keeping focused, Marissa was able to connect the family with physical and speech therapist and develop strategies to be successful. Additionally, the family learned to apply these strategies when participating at Family Strong’s playgroup.

About a dozen families are currently enrolled in the program which meets twice a month at Eureka’s Creative Arts Center. A range of activities allow parents to bond with their children while engaging in activities lead by a caring and knowledgeable team. Together they play and learn about music, dancing arts and crafts, and more. Through helping families create healthier lifestyles, and connect to available resources, these navigators are helping to build healthier communities. Learn More about our Community Resources: www.landtohandmt.org www.familystrongmt.org www.zerotofive.org



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Women To the Fore by Mary Wallace

At Kalispell’s Buffalo Hill Golf Course and across the nation, women golfers are teeing up in record numbers. In fact, women are currently the fastestgrowing segment in the golf industry, according to the National Golf Foundation. The percentage of women on the course rose to 25% of all golfers in 2021, up from 19% a decade ago. An even bigger jump is among junior golfers, where more than 35% are girls, compared to only 15% in the year 2000. Once considered a gentlemen’s sport, the history of women playing golf is longer than one might think. Scotland’s St. Andrews Ladies Putting Club was founded in 1867 and is recognized as the first women’s golf club in history. In those early days, women were confined to playing on ladies-only courses. This was likely due to the simple fact that what was considered appropriate women’s golf attire those days was so restricting that swinging a golf club was too difficult and anything more strenuous than putting would have been a real challenge.


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commentator for ESPN. Currently, Alice Ritzman lives part-time in Kalispell, and she still teaches and mentors both boys and girls in golf from both Flathead and Glacier High Schools.

Today, golf is a game for everyone, everywhere, according to the Buffalo Hill Golf Pro, Casey Keyser. Both seasoned golfers and newcomers have always been welcome at Buffalo Hill, and they are always glad to offer opportunities for women who want to learn to golf at Buffalo Hill. The club offers private lessons, of course, but they are delighted to welcome a handful of women who want to schedule group lessons, too! All the group needs to do is come up with a headcount and call to schedule a date/time for one or more lessons. For those who just wish to play a round, the club offers driving range practice, public tee times, frequent player cards, golf and cart rental punch cards, and group rates.

Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a public 27-hole parkland golf course located in Kalispell. The course was founded in 1918 when nine holes were established on land that was previously used as a buffalo pasture by the well-known Charles E. Conrad family. In the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) added a 9-hole grass course and built the rustic log clubhouse still standing and in use at the club today.

Legendary LPGA pro, Alice Ritzman, who cut her teeth playing golf in Kalispell, was on the PGA Tour from 1979 to 1998. After retiring from professional golf, she went on to become a golf

Buffalo Hill Golf Club features two courses, the Championship 18, and the Cameron 9, which were designed in 1974 by Robert Muir Graves. The legendary Arnold Palmer was on hand to celebrate the Grand Opening of the "Championship 18 Golf Course" in August 1978. In 2011, the Cameron 9-hole golf course was remodeled to accommodate a new driving range and practice facility and then management turned toward making improvements to the clubhouse and adding their lovely patio for all area residents to enjoy.

Speaking of women golfers, Casey was excited to report that the Alice Ritzman Scholarship fund had recently awarded 17 golf scholarships to area high school juniors for this season. Additionally, the Alice Ritzman scholarship fund has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in college scholarships over the past 19 years and they were currently in the process of collecting scholarship applications from local students.


Buffalo Hill Golf Club

One of the great myths about Buffalo Hill is that one must be a member or golfer to visit the Buffalo Hill Golf Clubhouse, and that is absolutely NOT true. Everyone is welcome to drop by, not only for golf but also for the cuisine. Buffalo Hill boasts a full-service restaurant and bar serving breakfast and lunch year-round under the expert guidance of Chef Carl Inselman. Starting May 20, the Clubhouse will start offering their popular Friday Night BBQ - every Friday from 5 - 8 pm.

“A recent Tuesday’s evening Ladies League Wine & Cheese event was a blast!” said the new Buffalo Hill Golf Club FOH Manager, Janna Ewing. “This special night included delicious charcuterie boards and fabulous wine. It was a great way for these lovely ladies to come together to kick off their golf season and to celebrate life and each other.” Buffalo Hill Golf Club can also accommodate group events at their venue, which can serve groups of just over 100 persons. Small wedding events, rehearsal dinners, corporate events, retirement parties, birthday celebrations, and groups like the Thursday morning Rotary Club. What is

unique about the venue is that they don’t charge a rental fee. They provide the bar and food service and simply charge an additional 20%. Mondays, Wednesdays, and weekends have the most availability for such events.

Janna took the reins as Front of House Manager earlier this Spring, and she hit the ground running. She loves it here and loves the casual working environment at Buffalo Hill. Her unique background includes 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and she began that particular career path when two of her sisters implored her to join them at their workplace, Woody’s Bar & Grill in Sacramento. She loved it so much (missed it even), that when the job opportunity at Buffalo Hill came up, she was ready to join the team.

Janna and her husband Troy were married in Whitefish three years ago; they were childhood friends since kindergarten. They are both licensed realtors at Pure West Christies International and they live in Marion with their two dogs, a Pomeranian named Foxy, a Chocolate Lab named Coco, along with a population of 12 chickens. When she is not working, Janna enjoys camping, kayaking, snorkeling, & learning to golf. Janna spent much of her childhood years moving from California to Idaho, and then to Nevada. She attended California State University where she earned her degree in Public Relations & Journalism. She found her love of travel when she lived in Italy while attending the University of Pisa Exchange Program, and also spent time in both Poland and Mexico during her college years. She juggled careers in promotions, real estate, and the hospitality industry until she moved to Montana to get married in 2019. Her bucket list includes things like getting horses, and more travel - always more travel - exploring new places around the world.

Janna Ewing

One of the great myths about Buffalo Hill is that one must be a member or golfer to visit the Buffalo Hill Golf Clubhouse, and that is absolutely NOT true. Everyone is welcome to drop by, not only for golf but also for the cuisine.

Janna is one of five sisters - and she laughingly tells the story of her father visiting a psychic as a young man - who told him, ‘All I see is women in your future!’ – “Five daughters was not quite what came to his mind at the time,” laughs Janna, “But still, it did come true all the same!”

Buffalo Hill is geared up and ready to roll for the 2022 golf season, according to Course Superintendent, Russ Glover. Now that the days are warming up, things are greening up nicely.” The course is fully open and in excellent condition.” “Life is good whether you are golfing or not,” says General Manager, Steve Dunfee, “Who would expect that such beautiful green space with the Stillwater River running through could be located in the center of Kalispell? The golf course and clubhouse is an amazing place for the entire community to enjoy.”

You can find what is considered one of Kalispell’s hidden treasures at 1176 N. Main Street, Kalispell, Montana. Visit www.golfbuffaloHill.com to schedule a tee time and be sure to scroll to the near bottom of the home page to sign up for the weekly Buffalo Hill e-Newsletter.


And remember, the most important shot in golf, as well as in life, is always the next one.


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What is going on down there?! Written by Kaycee McIntosh PA-C

It is always unnerving to wake up and realize that part of your body is indicating that there is a problem, especially if that involves your reproductive system. At varying times during your life, you may experience vaginal itching, irritation, or vaginal discharge. Sometimes you might have painful urination, vaginal odor, or even painful intercourse. If you notice any of these symptoms, you likely have vaginitis. Vaginitis is simply inflammation of the vagina and vulva. The vagina is defined as the muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix while the vulva is the external genitals. Vaginitis is one of the most common reasons that women see their ob-gynecologists. The three most common causes of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, yeast, and trichomoniasis. Other causes can include allergies to soap, spermicides, or when the body is in a lower estrogen state like menopause or while breastfeeding. Okay, so now we know what is likely to be going on. The next question is why? The vagina contains several organisms vital to the health of the vaginal tissues. An alteration in one of these organisms can cause an imbalance, causing an infection. Hormone alterations can lead to an imbalance of the vaginal PH, leading to vaginitis. Additionally, as mentioned previously, soaps or spermicides may upset the natural balance. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an overgrowth of the bacteria found in the vagina. Symptoms include fishy smelling vaginal discharge that might be worse during your period or after intercourse. The discharge can be dark, grey, or greenish in color. BV can also cause itching of the vagina and vulva. Antibiotics treat bacterial vaginosis and can be administered orally or with vaginal suppositories. Sex partners do not need treatment as this is not a sexually transmitted infection. If you get recurrent bacterial vaginosis, you may require more prolonged treatment. Yeast infections occur when an organism called Candida, a normal fungus found in the vagina in small numbers, grows due to an imbalance in the normal bacteria. A person may experience thick, white discharge and have discomfort with urination or intercourse. The vulva, the tissue outside of the vagina, may be swollen and red. Antibiotics reduce all bacteria in the body, possibly leading to yeast infections. Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of yeast infections because elevated blood sugars promote yeast proliferation.


Additionally, yeast infections can be more frequent in women with immune diseases such as HIV because 92 406


the immune system, which protects the body from illness, is not functioning correctly. Pregnancy can also increase the risk of yeast infection due to hormone changes in the body. If you are experiencing these signs/symptoms, there are treatments including overthe-counter antifungal suppositories such as Monistat. Sometimes medical providers will prescribe oral antifungals for yeast infections if symptoms are severe or persistent. Trichomonas is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Trichomoniasis Vaginalis is a parasite that causes the condition. Women with this condition are at increased risk of other sexually transmitted infections. Symptoms of trichomonas include yellow, green, or grey discharge, vaginal pain, itching, redness, and sometimes painful urination. Healthcare providers treat trichomonas with an antibiotic called metronidazole or tinidazole taken by mouth. Sexual partners will need treatment since trichomonas is an STI, plus abstaining from sex until completion of the prescription. Other STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause vaginitis and viral STIs, including herpes. Atrophic vaginitis is a thinning of vaginal tissue that occurs when vaginal tissue changes secondary to a lack of female hormones and is not related to infection. Atrophic vaginitis commonly occurs due to menopause. Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include vaginal dryness, vaginal itching, burning sensation, and painful intercourse. Some women are concerned about infectious vaginitis when in reality they are experiencing vaginal atrophy. Treatment for atrophic

vaginitis includes prescription topical estrogen applied vaginally in the form of a vaginal cream, tablet, or ring. Women with other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes may take a prescribed estrogen which helps reduce symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. It may take a few weeks of treatment to notice improvement in dryness and irritation. Some women note vaginal dryness while pregnant or breast feeding. For women who note symptoms relating to reduction in estrogen due to menopause, pregnancy or breast feeding, it may be helpful to use a water-based lubricant during intercourse to reduce discomfort (such as Good Clean Love or Slippery Stuff ), and vaginal moisturizers may be considered (Good Clean Love brand or Hyalo-Gyn). These brands are available without a prescription. If you ever find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, we hope you will schedule an appointment for an evaluation with your ob-gyn provider. Since the causes of your vaginal symptoms are not specific to one cause of vaginitis, it is helpful to have an exam by a licensed health care provider to get an accurate diagnosis. It is also not uncommon to have more than one cause of vaginal symptoms at a time, leading to improper treatment. I have treated patients with bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infections simultaneously. Signs of vaginitis, regardless of cause, can be similar to those of other STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. If these illnesses are left untreated, they can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can have serious consequences such as chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, fallopian tube scarring, and infertility.

An evaluation in the clinic will consist of your health care provider obtaining your health history, including your sexual health, and a vaginal examination. We test for bacterial vaginosis, yeast, and trichomoniasis with a vaginal swab that we evaluate in the clinic or send to the lab. The physical examination helps us determine if there are skin lesions or other clues that lead us to a diagnosis. STI and urine pregnancy testing will be performed as needed.

Hopefully you won’t ever experience a vaginal infection, but to help keep your vaginal health in top-notch shape, here are some suggestions: • Take probiotics if you are on antibiotics such as Align or Culturelle. • Managing your blood sugars if you have diabetes. • Use pH-neutral cleansers (Good Clean Love brand, Love Wellness pH balancing cleanser) and avoiding cleansers with fragrance. • Avoid polyester-lined underwear, read labels to make sure underwear lining is 100% cotton. • Change pads or tampons regularly when on your period. • Avoid scented feminine hygiene products. • Avoid laundry detergents with perfume and avoid colored/scented toilet papers. • Change out of wet clothing after swimming or returning from the gym and avoid tight fitting/poorly ventilating fabrics. • Use condoms during intercourse. There are latex free condoms for those with latex allergies. • Avoid douching since it washes away the components that protect vaginal pH. • Remember that certain types of lubricants or spermicide may cause irritation for some people. If you have vaginal irritation, consider changing your brand. • When utilizing the internet for health care information, make sure to use reputable sources such as ACOG, (https://www.acog.org/womenshealth), Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/womens-health) etc. The most important aspect of health care is self-advocacy. It is easy to feel selfconscious about medical concerns relating to your reproductive system. Just realize that vaginitis is a prevalent condition, and most women, at one point or another, will experience a vaginal infection. We are here to help. If you or someone you know needs an OB/Gyn, please call our office and we’ll get you scheduled for an appointment. We provide a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment and want you to get the answers you deserve. Call us at Kalispell OB/ GYN Monday-Friday at 406-752-5252.

Kaycee McIntosh is a Physician Assistant at Kalispell OB/GYN and fifth-generation Montanan on both sides of her family. Kaycee received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science/Health and Human Development from MSU in Bozeman. She then went to graduate school at Rocky Mountain College in Billings where she received her Masters of Physician Assistant. She worked in Urgent Care for Logan Health for ten years, where she gained valuable experience in many areas of medicine before transitioning into women's health at Kalispell OB/GYN at the end of 2021.


Kaycee, along with her husband Toby, an engineer from Vermont, love raising their three young boys together in Whitefish. Kaycee enjoys spending time outside skiing, biking, playing fetch with their dog and being with her family. She also loves art, being creative and enjoys thinking outside of the box.


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Newspaper Publisher and Legislator

Emma Ingalls (1860-1940) By Brian D’Ambrosio

What she lacked in formal education, Emma Ingalls attained through knowledge and application. While the name doesn’t carry the same level of authority of fellow suffragist and public figure Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), Emma’s life was just as well spent, her accomplishments comparatively significant. Indeed, for all of her sway in Kalispell, and her campaign efforts to elect Rankin, a fellow Republican, the state's first woman legislator, in 1916, Emma's story has been somehow lost to history.

Though she was a well-known farmer, politician, women’s rights advocate, writer, and was active in the formation of several civic groups in the Flathead Valley in the late 19th century, her most lasting legacy is that she was the smarts and money behind northwest Montana's first daily newspaper, which began publishing in 1889.

Her years as publisher, editor and reporter of the Interlake daily newspaper in Kalispell, Mont., and then as a two-term state legislator for Flathead County, was dedicated to improving the life of women and the inhabitants in her community, as well as mitigating the swift change and growth experienced by fellow Montanans, those who held an emotional and economic stake in the landscape.

Founder of Interlake daily

Emma Backus was born in Wisconsin, raised in Iowa, and moved to Montana with Clayton Ingalls in 1886 with enough money to buy property and build a newspaper from the ground up.

Along with Clayton, Emma helped shaped the political platform and cultural outlook of the paper. According to one biographical source, “she used her reporting skills to dislodge a corrupt judge from his post, gentrify her readers and convert


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the Flathead area from its wild, hard-drinking lifestyle to a more family oriented community.”

Alas, there is precious little documentation about Emma's work, and just a few copies of the Interlake during Emma's tenure, 1889-1892; however, brilliant female journalists and politicians such Ella Knowles-Haskell (1860-1911) credited her with lighting their path.

Nineteenth Century Ideals

The cultural standards of the Nineteenth century defined woman as acquiescent, self-sacrificing, moral, and devoted “to the home, hearth and husband.” Montana was a state in great transition. At the time, the Flathead area was occupied by little more than 1,000 residents and just beginning to develop in the mining and timber trades. One historical reference to the period depicts the conditions that Emma faced on the frontier as such: "They resumed their lives in rough-andtumble mining camps, accepting the 19th century's mission: to provide a home for their husbands, to rear their children, and to re-create the genteel domestic world—that is to "keep house."

Although Emma was devoted to her husband, Clayton, and their two children, Bernice and Adella, "keeping house" meant keeping the couple's newspaper from going under.

Emma was four years younger than Clayton, who was plagued by medical problems. When she wasn't tending to Clayton's severe asthma or to her two children, Emma was the business and

ideological mind of the Interlake. She was outspoken, opinionated (especially when it came to her pro-U.S. sovereignty, anti-immigration, antiwelfare, anti-socialism staunchness) and known across the Flathead for her stinging commentary.

"Her most important part was shaping the policy of the newspaper, making it an organ not alone for boosting the beauties of the Flathead, but in morally influencing readers to correct abuses in the civil life of the community," wrote G.M. Houtz, editor of The Journal, the Interlake's competitor during the 1890s.

Another one of her contemporaries summed her up this way: "She was a clever and interesting writer, forceful, and on occasion wielding a caustic pen."

In 1892 Emma and Clayton were forced to contract and subcontract the paper. Clayton's declining health absorbed Emma's full attention. It was decided to incorporate the paper as a stock company, with the Ingalls retaining a controlling interest.

Although Emma continued as the paper's publisher, her energies were consumed by Clayton. The couple decided the pressure of operating the day-to-day functions of the Interlake were too taxing on Clayton, so they moved away from the mushrooming town to their 160-acre ranch on the outskirts of Kalispell. After Clayton died in 1898 at the age of 41, Emma was left to reformulate her life.


Emma Ingalls

Though she was a well-known farmer, politician, women’s rights advocate, writer, and was active in the formation of several civic groups in the Flathead Valley in the late 19th century, her most lasting legacy is that she was the smarts and money behind northwest Montana's first daily newspaper, which began publishing in 1889.

Ranching Life

Sole head of the household now, Emma was tasked with making the ranch a sustainable entity. She had concocted a study of irrigation and alfalfa cultivation and was determined to try it out. She had the water brought down from the hills behind the ranch for irrigation; soon, the fields of alfalfa grew. “This was the first of either for the valley," wrote Cora Marsh, in a 1932 interview with Emma in the newspaper, Montana Women. The Ingalls ranch was also distinguished for being one of the first fruit-producing orchards in the Flathead valley.

Two-term state legislator for Flathead County

Active in the Republican Central Committee of Flathead County, Emma served as secretary and chairperson. She was instrumental in creating educational outlets for women in Kalispell to become more conversant and as a result have an informed opinion to help shape the community. One of them was Kalispell's Century Club, a community service organization which she helped found (no longer extant). In 1916 Emma was elected to the Montana Legislative Assembly from Flathead County. She was joined at the state legislature by another woman, Maggie Smith Hathaway (1867-1955), a Democrat from Ravalli County. Jointly the women waltzed into the history books as the first Mon-

tana women to be elected to the state House of Representatives. In her momentous role, Emma had the singular honor to mark another extraordinary moment, by introducing the Women's Suffrage Amendment in the House of Representatives.

In 1919, during Emma's second term in the House, Emma was influential in pushing through a bill to establish “a long-term care facility for homeless and troubled girls.” She also helped to re-shape the state's Mother's Pension Law, making it less difficult for single women with dependent children to obtain government relief.

Though declining to run for a third term in 1921, she continued to be a symbol of the Republican Party. Emma worked as the printing clerk for the legislature from 1929 to 1934, retiring at age 75 due to diminished eyesight. She died in 1940 at the age of 80. The Interlake still operates as a newspaper. Throughout her days she minimized the importance of the role she played in the cultural and political life of the Flathead Valley. Indeed, in a 1932 interview Emma said she did not find her circumstances all that remarkable, though, in hindsight, many would beg to differ: “God put me on His anvil and hammered me into shape. The things that seem so hard to bear at the time have proven to be stepping stones to a large, richer life.”



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Changed lives The Little Chef By Mary Cloud Vander Ark Photos provided by Child Bridge

Kylie started her life starving. The first several weeks after her birth, she got only a handful of meagre meals, resulting in a constant pang in her belly. Malnourished and traumatized, her little brain learned that, in order to be heard by her birth parents through their drug-induced haze, she had to scream at the top of her lungs whenever hunger struck.

When Kylie was removed from her biological family for neglect, she was fragile and desperately hungry. Soon after, Kylie landed in her first foster home, where her temporary mother worked feverishly to help the tiny baby grow and recover. By 4 months old, Kylie’s frail frame had been replaced by soft leg rolls and chubby cheeks. Yet her infant brain had been so ingrained with mistrust and fear of hunger that she continued to shriek at every feeding time until her bottle appeared. Around this time, Jay and Amber Shoupe arrived at the Department of Child and Family Services to sign adoption papers for their daughter, J.K. While the ink was still drying on the freshly signed forms, a worker approached the couple about an infant. Her temporary placement with her foster family was coming to an end, and she needed a long-term home.


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Two days later, Amber and Jay returned to meet the baby. They followed the worker back to a room where baby Kylie was waiting. The couple fell in love with the bubbly child immediately and agreed to be her foster family. Two years later, Kylie joined their family permanently following her own adoption. Kylie was not the final addition to the Shoupe family. Her biological sister was born less than two years later


Child Bridge

Though she maintains her title as head chef, she sometimes graciously allows her sisters to help out. Sometimes, the girls find more joy in playing with their food than cooking it. and also needed a home. The Shoupes, at that time the parents of four girls (two biological and two adopted), could not bear to leave Kylie’s little sister behind. Following their final adoption, the Shoupe troop numbered seven in all: Jay and Amber, their two older daughters, J.K., Kylie, and, finally, Graysen.

A few years later, 5-year-old Kylie wandered into the kitchen where her mom was making dinner. She took a deep breath.

Like many children who suffer trauma early in life, Kylie’s food insecurity remained long after the actual threat of starvation disappeared. Her family worked tirelessly to retrain her brain. They spent sleepless night after sleepless night responding to her cries, making sure she knew that food and comfort would always come. As she grew older, they set aside a special drawer for healthy snacks she could access whenever she wanted. Over time, she began to understand that she would never go hungry again.

Kylie shrugged. Her mom decided to give her a test. She had Kylie shut her eyes and held up two spices in front of her nose.

“Mmm, smells like cinnamon,” she said. Her mother raised her eyebrows, surprised. “How did you know that?”

“Which one is onion powder?” she asked her daughter. Kylie took a good whiff of both, then smiled as she pointed, correctly and confidently, to the onion powder. That was the beginning of a whole new relationship between Kylie and her food. She started watching kids cooking competitions on TV and insisting on helping her parents in the kitchen. By 6 years old, she was cooking some of her favorite dishes on her own! Today, the 9-year-old chef prides herself on her “specialty” - huge breakfasts consisting of

eggs, bacon, sausage and heart-shaped pancakes. Though she maintains her title as head chef, she sometimes graciously allows her sisters to help out. Sometimes, the girls find more joy in playing with their food than cooking it. Kylie recalled the time they decided to make a unicorn cake for the 4th of July, complete with fondant hair and eyelashes. The leftover fondant was taken out into the yard where it was thrown, squished and eaten by three giggling sisters. “What I like about cooking is you get to make a big mess,” Kylie said. “Then you can clean it up and start all over again!” Her parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents beam and cheer over the intricately decorated cakes and other treats Kylie brings with her to family events.

Thanks to her foster family, who so diligently worked to help Kylie heal, she has transformed her fear of going hungry into a joy of sharing food she has made and feeding others.



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50 Ways to Lose Your Enamel (Well, Actually Just 4-ish)

Aloha! Happy Spring everyone and a huge congrats on coming out the tail end of another NW Montana winter. You are all survivors am I right? I feel like the rest of the country thinks our winters are worse than they actually are. I imagine that Montana is the default comparable...”it could be colder, we could be in Montana right now.” It’s not that bad for me, especially if I can get some powder therapy every so often. However, I came to a realization about powder days that I wish I had never thought of. So, Smile Montana has three physical locations. The OG office in Columbia Falls, the Smile Montana Urgent Dental Center in Kalispell, and Smile Montana Whitefish. So, all my business shop owners reading this can say it with me: What do we have to do on most powder days? All together now...”we have to remove the snow from our parking lots and sidewalks.” And unless we get up really early and do it ourselves, we get the opportunity to pay someone to do it for us.


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by Dr. John F. Miller DDS - SMILE MONTANA And with 3 locations it can get spendy. Oh the irony, the “Dentist” complaining that something is expensive.

Anyways, I’m not complaining, and there is not an easier bill to pay than the bill to my snow removal guys, it’s just that sometimes when I’m up on Big Mountain enjoying new fresh snow I have to have the following conversation in my head, “This is awesome, but is it $250 awesome?” And the answer to that question is always...YES!! Life’s short. Say YES to life, and YES to fun, and YES to adventure, and YES to SMILING HUGE, and YES to paying someone to do the crappy stuff you suck at...like plowing snow or fixing teeth (I know a guy). Huge shout out to my snow removal dudes BTW.

We’re over it right? It’s almost summer now. We don’t even remember winter. It’s time to get focused. Make a plan. It’s gonna go fast. Maximize. Be efficient. Be with your loved ones. Go to bed exhausted. Obviously be safe and smart about it but get a little sunburnt you know.

If you’ve been following along (shout out to my die-hards) you know that today will be the 5th installment in my dumb-down-dentistry project. My effort to put in layman’s terms what we’re doing and why it is important. I’ve covered X-rays (it took 3 magazines) and last issue we discussed the types of dental cleanings and the different gum and bone conditions/diseases that they cure/prevent/reduce etc. Now, we are going to discuss the teeth themselves, the VIP’s if you will, and the conditions and diseases (layman’s term for pathologies) we are looking to cure/ prevent/reduce. Let’s start off with all the different ways we can lose tooth structure. Specifically enamel, the hardest and strongest human tissue.

1. Erosion (Acid)

This is far and away the most common cause of tooth enamel breakdown. We can say that a sugary diet causes cavities, but what directly causes cavities is acid. Just like gasoline provides the needed energy for a car’s mechanical components to drive, sugar is easily digested by bacteria with acid being the byproduct.

Now, we are going to discuss the teeth themselves, the VIP’s if you will, and the conditions and diseases (layman’s term for pathologies) we are looking to cure/prevent/reduce. health} Enamel Other sources of enamel eroding acid are dietary acids found in a variety of beverages (carbonated drinks/coffee) and foods (citrus fruits), and stomach acids which can travel to the mouth in certain physical (G.E.R.D.) and psychological (bulimia) conditions.

2. Abrasion

Tooth abrasion is where your teeth start to lose enamel due to some sort of outside mechanical action; in other words, your teeth are physically worn down by an external force. This can be from someone’s diet where the actual food is removing enamel. It can be from a habit such as biting fingernails or fishing line. However, the most common source of tooth abrasion is from your toothbrush (Oh, the BETRAYAL!!). Typically, from using a stiffbristled brush and too much pressure. Too aggressive you know? Get yourself a super soft toothbrush and just be mellow when brushing. If you are doing it morning and night there is nothing on there that is going to be hard to remove, and a regular visit to your dental hygienist will address the inevitable barnacles that latch on.

3. Attrition

Attrition is a special type of abrasion where enamel loss is caused by contact with your other teeth. Most commonly known as grinding of the teeth or as we dental professionals call it: Bruxism. Bruxism being the cause with Attrition being the effect. The most common treatment for this condition is placing the patient in an occlusal splint (aka nightguard) during the night, when most bruxism occurs.

4. Trauma

Trauma is biting on something hard and breaking your back molar. Trauma is getting punched in the mouth and breaking your front tooth in half. While the above conditions take months to years to occur this one happens in the blink of an eye. Again, not much we can do to prevent tooth trauma unless you want to walk around in a mouthguard 24/7. No one is going to realistically do that. However, if you participate in high contact activities such as hockey or motocross you are smart to wear one.

As dentists we are looking for signs and indicators of the above conditions every time we do an examination of someone’s oral health. If we can take measures early on to cure and/ or prevent and/or reduce, the patient can avoid dental pain, dental procedures, and dental bills. The old cliche, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. So, give us a visit like maybe every 6 months.


Have an awesome summer y’all. I can feel the energy already and it’s barely May. It’s an awakening. I’ll see you out there. Shoot me a SMILE wontcha!


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