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‘HAPPY DAYS’ are here again



FUN stocking

stuffers for every taste


A.L. is proud of its hometown sweetheart

Editor Sarah Stultz lives in Albert Lea with her husband, Jason, and son, Landon. She loves interior decorating and gardening.

Anyone who has had a chance to meet Albert Lea native and Hollywood actress Marion Ross can agree: She’s one special lady. Ross, best known for her role as Marion “Mrs. C” Cunningham on the television sitcom “Happy Days,” in recent years has performed on shows such as “Gilmore Girls,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “That ’70s Show.” Imagine my delight when I found out Ross was returning to her hometown for a few days in September to meet with residents and take part in a book signing and other events. I have had the opportunity to meet Ross a handful of times since I moved to Albert Lea 12 years ago and have quickly seen why Albert Leans get so excited when she returns home. Despite her success over the years — including Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress — Ross hasn’t forgotten her roots and the values of hard work and determination she learned while living here. She’s down to earth and humble, and, simply put, I think it’s impossible not to be inspired by her story. During her visit to Albert Lea, she agreed to sit down with Albert Lea Magazine writer Sarah Kocher and talk about the highlights of her life, her memories of Albert Lea and how this community helped shape her life. I only sat in for a portion of the interview, but I enjoyed the few minutes I witnessed. Ross has a way of making people feel comfortable around her and has a great sense of humor. We hope her story gives readers a closer view of her personality, her life experiences and her career — along with a glimpse of the impact she has had on this community. Being that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching, this issue also features some fun holiday features, including a story about table decorating, directions on how to make a spruce tips pot and a showcase of where to find some fun stocking stuffers in town. In addition, we feature several authors with local ties who have published a variety of books. We encourage you to check them out. Lastly, we featured newly married couple Trevor and Kristen Rasmussen, who is a designer at Broadway Home Design and who recently redesigned their kitchen. This was fun to check out and shows Rasmussen’s talent. Though winter weather is surely on its way, don’t forget that Albert Lea can be a fun place to be in the winter, too! Celebrate the season with family and friends and enjoy the remaining months of 2018. — Sarah Stultz


PUBLISHER Crystal Miller EDITORIAL Editor Sarah Stultz Contributing Writers Linda Evenson Colleen Harrison Sarah Kocher Michelle Nelson Emily Schmidt Sarah Stultz Mollee Tscholl Contributing Photographers Colleen Harrison ART Art Director Kathy Johnson Graphic Designers Susan Downey Kim Ehrich Colby Hansen SALES & PROMOTION Sales Representatives Renee Citsay Jessica Glassell Daniel Gullickson Lucas Lee NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 Volume 6, Number 6 EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE: Editor, Albert Lea Magazine, 808 W. Front St. Albert Lea, MN 56007 ONLINE: or albertleamagazine © 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. For comments, suggestions or story ideas call 507-379-3433. To purchase advertising, call 507-379-3427. To subscribe, call 507-379-3422.


on the cover ALBERT LEA’S BELOVED TELEVISION MOM ‘You can be anything,’ actress Marion Ross encourages

34 features A HOLIDAY OF HOSPITALITY Sisters offer tips for table settings this season

40 ‘THE HEART OF EVERY HOME’ Designer puts skills to use in renovating own kitchen




contents Seen 8

8 18
























All the rest


30 54
















On the cover: Albert Lea native Marion Ross visited the city in September. Photo taken by Colleen Harrison.

‘HAPPY DAYS’ are here again



FUN stocking

stuffers for every taste

To subscribe, call 507-379-3422


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1 (1) Paige Sorenson and Devin Yost (2) Kelli Lageson and Sam Malinski (3) Jake Bullard and Destiny Jahnke (4) Kelsea Peterson and Tristan Tufte (5) Vanessa Lee and Steven Troupe




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4 The Between Friends fashion show took place Sept. 18 at The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro in downtown Albert Lea. (1) Kristen Rasmussen, Becky Johnson and Darcie Rasmussen (2) Jean Helliskson, Veronica Morrow, Amy Snider, Marti Oyer and Shelly Mangskau (3) Kristen McGivern and Karen Mowers (4) Micah Hanson, Chloe Hanson, Patrick Hanson and Rebecca Mock (5) Carolyn Smith and Joyce Purdy (6) Models Sandy Clausen, Angie Stadheim and Darcy Netzer (7) Sarah Stay, Jess Richards, Jill Johnson, Dena Fornwald and Sadie Wuerflein 10 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE



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*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 07/01/2018. This is a variable rate account and rates are subject to change after the account is opened. The APY for your account depends on the applicable rate tiers and qualifications for the statement cycle being met. Earn 2.02% APY for balances of $0-$5,000, and earn 2.02% to 0.06% APY on balances over $5,000 based on 15 or more debit card point of sale transactions posted in statement cycle. Earn 0.05% APY on all account balances if qualifications are not met. Fees could reduce earnings on this account. Minimum opening deposit of $25. Offer available for new Interest Advantage Checking accounts only. Bank will match your earned interest on the new account for 12 months and credit the account one time on the 13th month. Matching interest is considered a bonus and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Accounts must still be open to qualify for bonus. Accounts closed within 6 months of account opening will be charged a $75 early closing fee. Offer subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time. Member FDIC. Fee-Free Qualification Requirements: This account has no monthly fee if you have one of the following: 1) a secured Home Federal loan, 2) an average balance of $5,000 or more in deposits at Home Federal, 3) are 24 years of age or younger, or 4) the primary account owner has at least $1,000 direct deposit per statement cycle. A monthly maintenance charge of $10 will apply if none of the qualifications are met.



1 People from all over the area headed out to the Big Island Rendezvous over the weekend of Oct. 6-7. Event-goers were treated to many old-time reenactments and activities such as tomahawk throwing, battery demonstrations, live music and dancers. (1) Luke, Sarah, Ben, Otto and Finn Root (2) Terri Olson, Dennis Schultz, Elizabeth and Scott Virchow (3) Pam Moeller, Alicia Jones, Nerissa Hoag and Linda Paulson (4) Sue Schroeder and Barbra Larson (5) Kellen Borglum, Michael Borglum and Hallie Uhrich (6) Jay, Theresa, Addy and Jayden Boysen







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The third time was the charm for passengers who attended a gettogether on the Pelican Breeze Aug. 14. Organized by Barb and Larry Rognes and Julie and Martin Bernau, the cruise was intended to gather friends and support the Pelican Breeze, which runs cruises on Albert Lea Lake. (1) Larry Irvine, Janice Irvine, Arline Richter and Don Richter (2) Sue Vaagen, Linda Rogstadt, Roger Rogstadt and Dave Vaagen (3) Bob Sasser, Marilyn Sasser, Doreen Doyle and Burt Doyle (4) Dean Rasmusson, LaDonna Rognes, Julie Yost, Jessie Rasmusson and Harvey Rognes








(5) Dick Madson, Faye Madson, Kay Boyken and Del Boyken (6) Nancy Hajek and Becky and Lowell Schuhmacher (7) Greg Peterson, Connie Peterson, Julie Rugland, Jeanne Herman and Rick Herman (8) Mick Delger, Steve Anderson, LeAnn Anderson and Sheryl Delger (9) Larry Rognes, Barb Rognes and Martin and Julie Bernau (10) Invitees pose for a photo before setting sail with the Pelican Breeze in August


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Black Friday

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Small Business Saturday

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We will have special deals on products and gift cards.







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Make filling Christmas stockings a fun event this year. We have ideas for men, women and teenagers to make your shopping enjoyable. These finds are sure to be a hit for your loved ones.

4 1. Show team spirit | A pom-stocking hat is a top fit for guys and girls. Whether young or old, it’s never too late to show your school pride. Two styles to choose from. Tiger City Sports, Albert Lea, $25.99 2. Made in Bricelyn | This trio of 100 percent pure and natural beauty products are an easy fit for anyone on your list. Nothing artificial ever added to these Beauty by Creation items. Intense Repair Cream with essential oil, 4 ounces. The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $12; Key Lime Mint Lip Butter, The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $8; Charcoal Infused Goats Milk Soap, Lavender & Tea Tree, The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $6 3. Sweet stuff | Fresh honey is a unique treat and a favorite for just about anyone. This 1-pound container of honey is harvested locally. The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea $12 4. Never too many scarfs | A scarf is the go-to Christmas gift — and for good reason. They always fit, and the styles are endless. Try this soft, knit, cozy scarf. Between Friends, Albert Lea, $20 18 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE


5 7 8

9 5. A fresh cup of coffee | You don’t have to know a barista to get a great cup of coffee with True Stone Coffee. Roasted to order in St. Paul for The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro. 4-ounce package, The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $6; 3 pack of 4-ounce packages. The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $14.99 6. What’s your secret? | Described as “a story about stories,” this novel is sure to be a hit. Author Kiersten Hall, from southeastern Minnesota, engages the reader with “Corner Confessions,” a novel about secrets and the people who keep them. The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, Albert Lea, $14.95 7. Layer your scents | Mix and match scents and styles with these easy votive 2-ounce candles. Available scents include Black Moss, Sea Salt, Nutmeg & Ginger, Redemption, Lauren’s Lavender Garden and Blood Orange. Between Friends, Albert Lea, $8 each 8. Fashion that makes sense | Getting teenagers to wear gloves is no easy task. Getting them a pair they actually want is easy. Pick up a pair of these Under Armour Around Town button mittens. Tiger City Sports, Albert Lea, $27.99 9. A favorite for outdoor enthusiasts | Whether it’s for performance or everyday wear, Smartwool socks have the technology for any activity. Comfortable, easy to wear and a style for any guy on your list. A large variety of designs to choose from. Plymouth Shoes, Albert Lea, $19-$26 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | 19

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DECORATIVE What you will need: Hot chocolate individual serving size packets Clear glass ornaments Mini marshmallows or Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits Peppermint swirl hard candies Sprinkles (this one mixed red and silver, but pick your own favorites) Chocolate chips Spoon Funnel Hammer Ribbon Paper tags Pen

Sarah Kocher always has a craft project or two in progress on her kitchen table (or living room floor). She especially enjoys textile and paper crafts, but will try almost anything once. She loves gifting food during the holidays; it’s (usually) easy and (sometimes) fun and (always) delicious. Plus, gifting food to friends and co-workers is usually easier on the wallet, which always seems to empty fast in November and December. These hot chocolate ornaments will fit right in on the tree until you’re ready for a warm drink.


Remove the stopper and wash the ornament. Let it dry completely; consider leaving it overnight.



Using a small, clean funnel, add the hot chocolate powder to the ornament.


Using a hammer, crush the peppermint hard candies in their wrappers. Open the candies and scoop the crushed peppermint pieces into the ornament using a spoon and the funnel.


Mix your sprinkles together, and add them to the ornament. Add chocolate chips on top.


Pop mini marshmallows into the ornament. You may have to weed out some of the larger marshmallows. Remember, if they’re hard to get in, they’ll be hard to get out.


Replace the ornament’s top. Add a tag reminding your friends to shake out the mix and add 8 ounces hot water or milk.






Spruce Tips

White Pine

Spruce Branches

Things you will need:


Medium-size pot (10 to 12 inches in diameter) Potting soil 5 spruce tips Other evergreen boughs as preferred: • Spruce branches • Hemlock • Cedar • White pine • Juniper Magnolia leaves Variegated oregonia/boxwood Possible accessories: • Birch poles • Pine cones of different sizes • Winterberry stems • Natural botanical pods • Decorative picks • Winterberry stems • Ribbons

Start with a medium-size outdoor pot of your choosing, and fill with potting soil. You will need about 5 spruce tips as the base for your holiday pot. Larger pots up to 14 inches in size could use as many as 10 spruce tips. Trim the small branches from the bottom of each tip. Find the tallest tip and press into the center. Fill out the remainder of the pot with other tips of varying sizes. Use other evergreen boughs to fill in from there. For height, add white pine, and to soften the edges of the pot use cedar, spruce and juniper. Once all the greenery is in place, add things such as magnolia leaves or variegated oregonia for additional texture and depth. Finally, use your own creativity to give character to your pot by choosing accessories that will add color and fun. Some accessories that could be added include birch poles, pine cones, botanical pods, winterberry stems and decorative picks. An optional finish is to add ribbon for additional color. Let your creativity show, and have fun with it, too. Once your pot is complete and everything is in place, water it well so the dirt will freeze solid. This will hold the greens in place over the winter. You won’t need to water it again unless it would get unusually warm and above freezing for several days. If you want to keep the moisture in the greens longer, spray your pot once finished with Wilt Stop. — Supplies and tips from Garden Diva Design Studio LLC


Spruce tips pots can be built based on your own personality and interests. The same principles would apply when making window baskets.

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Wednesday, Nov. 28 • 2pm “Parkinson’s Disease Health Talk” with Mayo Clinic Professionals

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Chef John Lowery has 43 years of culinary experience and is a transplant to Minnesota from Florida. Over the years, he has worked as a chef in various states, including Florida, Michigan and Minnesota. He has prepared food for celebrities such as Adrian Dantley, Magic Johnson, singing group New Edition and boxer George Foreman. He lives in Conger with his wife, Kathy, and owns Conger Inn Victory Catering. He also works as the food and beverage director and executive chef at Heritage Restaurant at Ramada Inn.

Blue Lump Crab Cakes with Spicy Chive Mayo Spicy Chive Mayo Ingredients 1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup finely chopped chives

2 teaspoons tabasco sauce 1 teaspoon paprika


Combine all ingredients and set aside. The mayo can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Blue Lump Crab Cakes Ingredients 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick) 1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound blue lump crabmeat 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 3/4 cups sour cream 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for coating 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Melt butter in large sautĂŠ pan over medium heat. Add bread crumbs, salt and pepper and stir with large spoon until butter is fully incorporated. Remove from heat and let cool. Place crabmeat in large bowl and pick through it, removing any bits of shell. Add lemon juice to crabmeat and toss. Add sour cream, 1/2 cup of flour and bread crumbs. Form crab mixture into 6 hamburger-size patties, each about 1/2-inch thick. Coat each crab cake with flour. Warm vegetable oil in large sautĂŠ pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add crab cakes and cook until very brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Place 1 crab cake onto each of 6 warm plates. Garnish each 1 with a dollop of Spicy Chive Mayo.






“Tracks in the Snow”: February 1942 in Amber Leaf, Minnesota, a young family has a life-altering change. Jo Bremely and her young daughter, Brue, must survive on their own during very difficult times. Jo is willing to take whatever job she can get to provide for Brue and herself. She must come to terms with the anger she harbors for the loss of her husband. She also makes friends with an unlikely person. “Somewhere Between the Raindrops”: In March 1945, Jo plans to leave Amber Leaf, but more unfortunate circumstances change her plans. She has to swallow her pride and take a job just to take care of

The Fuchsia Series “Granny Hooks a Crook” “Granny Skewers a Scoundrel” “Granny Snows a Sneak” “Granny Forks a Fugitive” “Granny Pins a Pilferer” By Julie Seedorf Fuchsia, Minnesota, is an unlikely 30 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

“Tracks in the Snow” “Somewhere Between the Raindrops” “A Whisper on the Wind” By Sandra H. Esch

HHHH Review by LeAnn Juveland

Brue. Her life isn’t without drama, and she needs to learn to hold her tongue to keep her job and how to deal with a bully. “A Whisper in the Wind”: In June 1945, Jo resists with her whole being falling love with the person who was responsible for the loss of her husband. This last book takes us into the hearts and souls of two people who struggle against unexpected and redemptive love. I enjoyed the author using names of Albert Lea landmarks in her town of Amber Leaf. The author also has connections to Albert Lea.

Minnesota community. Not only do their potholes serve as rumble strips, they celebrate Christmas with flamingos and summer with snowmen. Add the quirky and sometimes cantankerous Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, aka Granny, along with her other old cronies and her furry shysters, and you have a cozy mystery series that will make you laugh and question the rules and regulations in the real communities of today. Granny spent her life raising her family and being a good wife and mother, but now that she is older, she spends her time

staying one step ahead of her grown children as she and her friends work to solve the unusual crimes popping up in this one-ofa-kind community. Her weapons are a little unusual, such as an umbrella, a knitting needle, snow shovel, pitchfork and hatpin. Her favorite saying is: “You’re on a needto-know basis, and I know what you don’t need to know, but when you need to know what it is I know, I will let you know.” So what more do you need to know? Seedorf hails from Wells and writes a weekly column for the Albert Lea Tribune. Her books may be purchased online on Amazon, Kobo and at or in person at Sweet Reads in Austin, at The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro in Albert Lea and Bruss-Heitner Boutique in Wells.


SHOULDN’T MISS “Sons of the Soil” By Michael Schoepf

In 1852, Johann Schoepf arrived in Clayton County in northeastern Iowa from Weissenstadt in southern Germany. In that same year, the Healy family arrived in Allamakee County, just 45 miles north, from Ireland. Both clans were seeking a better life in America than what their respective homelands offered. Those families followed parallel paths to eventually set roots in South Dakota. Not until the 1960s did their journeys merge. “Sons of the Soil” is a novel of historical fiction highlighting significant events in the stories of both families in their respective voyages from the past toward the present. Author Michael Schoepf has close connections to both families and makes numerous references to the history of every locale in the story. “For several years, I studied my family genealogy,” Schoepf said. “Or so I thought. Then one day, I was listening to two of my neighbors, George McCarthy and Harold Hanson, also amateur genealogy sleuths, discussing their findings. Their conversation added a human element to the names, dates, places and documented facts about their ancestors. That was something I hadn’t considered before. From that day on, I saw my ancestors as people with dreams, hopes, thoughts and feelings. They had a story to tell, just as each of us does.” Michael Schoepf is a retired educator, newspaper executive and marketing consultant who lives in Albert Lea with his wife, Bev, and adult children Maria and Tony. “Sons of the Soil” is available on Amazon and for Kindle.

“A Dog’s Tale: Sparky Rescues the Pestons” By Dan Grunwald

Following in the lineage of hero dogs like Lassie and Old Yeller, Sparky — a loving and loyal rescue dog — defies time and distance to bring the gift of healing to a family in trouble. A delightful debut novel! Grunwald lives in Ventura, Iowa. He is a lifelong artist and jeweler, as well as a storyteller, dog lover and family man. His grandparents were lifelong residents of Albert Lea, and Dan honed his craft at Stadheim Jewelers in Albert Lea, where he worked for seven years as lead goldsmith. The book may be purchased on Amazon.

“Fathers, Sons and Holy Ghosts of Baseball” By Tommy Murray

Time often slows and frequently even stops in the small town of Cottage Park, Iowa. In fact, time is best measured not by the hands of a clock but by the innings of a baseball game. Praying and playing baseball are two of the town’s primary activities. Actually, they are one in the same in a town where baseball is a religion. Still, time does eventually flow on. Much like the Des Moines River just outside Cottage Park, time leads to the site of the 1974 Iowa high school baseball tournament. Cottage Park’s Holy Trinity High School has never won the finals, as they are known. The team’s three elderly coaches vow to at last anoint themselves finals champions before they retire in their final season. For the players, the road to the finals is a confirmation by fire — a rite of passage before they must face adulthood looming before them. Fathers, sons and the holy ghosts of baseball join together in the quest for the finals. Along this journey, young and old alike ultimately learn you must sacrifice before you can gain and sometimes you must lose before you can win. This books of baseball, legacies, coaches and coming of age features the 1974 Albert Lea Lakers baseball team. Tommy Murray grew up in Storm Lake, Iowa. His dad was from and will always be from Bancroft, Iowa. Tommy tells people his heart will always be in Storm Lake, but his soul rests forever in Bancroft. You can purchase a copy of the book at any bookstore (they might have to order it), or go online on Amazon.

“Love, Hilma”

By Karen A. Lindesmith “This seems to be the day we have been waiting for, and yet it seems sad. All last nite and all day there has been a constant roaring overhead, and of course we all know where they are going. Here, it’s not only a plane or two at a time, either. It gives me a sinking feeling because we know many will never come back and many will come back to us on stretchers. ...” Teacher, writer and editor Karen A. Lindesmith was at one time a nursing student of Hilma Granum. Granum wrote 70 letters home to her parents during World War II. These letters are the primary focus of Lindesmith’s book. Lindesmith is a former nurse and nursing instructor who holds an Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. She lives with husband, Robert, in Robbinsdale and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1958 (as Karen Jorgenson). To purchase a copy, call the author at 763-535-5153.

“Small Secrets” By Joan Jacobson

Life is not as orderly as it seems amidst the soybean fields of 1970s Minnesota. Farm girl Raki Pederson finds that out the hard way. Homeless, cast out by her family, carrying a baby and a heavy secret, she redeems her life through the kindness of strangers. There’s the hapless pastor, Sam, followed by a succession of women, each with her own dark secret; Margaret, guiltridden from her sister’s death; Carol, a feminist Robin Hood; and Mrs. Anderson, who did the right thing only to regret it the rest of her life. Now a successful middle-aged businesswoman, Raki returns to her

hometown upon the death of her mentor, Dolores Richter. Concerned that Miss Richter hid the deepest secret of all, Raki seeks the truth and in so doing gains the courage to reveal her own. Set in a time of social, sexual and political upheaval, “Small Secrets” is an age-old tale of shame and sacrifice, abandonment and rescue, betrayal and forgiveness. Joan Jacobson began writing at age 8. Her professional career began as reporter/features writer for the Albert Lea Tribune from 1981 to 1985. She lives and works in Colorado.The book is available in paperback and Kindle eBook on Amazon and is stocked at Sweet Reads in Austin. It is also available through the Minneapolis-based Magers & Quinn online store. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | 31

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ExquisitE food & finE winEs A first class dining establishment that reflects the influence of classic french & italian cuisine, and current California trends. we offer a diverse selection of over 100 imported & domestic wines. full cocktail service also available. we feature usdA Prime beef & fresh seafood open thursday, friday and saturday evenings at 5:30 RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

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TELEVISION MOM ‘You can be anything,’ actress Marion Ross says Photography by COLLEEN HARRISON Story by SARAH KOCHER


or a few minutes in September, the lobby of the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center was turned into a mirror of sorts. Facing each other were two Marions: one, bright-eyed in a dark velvet gown and pearls, is the cardboard cutout that lives in the theater lobby. The other, equally bright-eyed in a chartreuse cardigan and smart black kitten heels, took herself in. “I’m still there,” she said to the room at large. Marion Ross returned to Albert Lea for a week in September, conversing with residents at St. John’s Lutheran Community on Fountain Lake and signing copies of her memoir, “My Days: Happy and Otherwise,” for over 130 people at the library — and signing bookmarks for those who came after the library sold out of her memoir. It’s the same town’s library she would go to as a child to read the “Who’s Who” magazine of famous people.

think that I could have a dream and follow it.” ‘You can be anything’ Ross was born the middle child of a Scotsman from South Dakota and a Canadian immigrant mother, who she said fueled her with a lot of encouragement. She drew on that wellspring of self-belief in moments throughout her career. Several years into acting in Hollywood, when she was 30, Ross had her first child. Right away, she said she had the chance to do a live CBS drama. She said she had a lot of trouble learning her lines. Actress Thelma Ritter reminded her she’d just had a child. “I always drove myself,” Ross said. “Isn’t that something? … I get that from my Canadian mother, my Irish-Canadian mother. I was always taught that, raised that you can be anything.” She acknowledged many people aren’t raised in the same way. “I always had myself under a whip,” Ross said. Growing up in Albert Lea, Ross lived in a basement bedroom and would walk across the ice on Fountain Lake to go to school, and to double features at Broadway Theater. “All of it was fueling me to want to become somebody and get the hell out of here, you know?” Ross said. “Become famous.” Waiting for the second feature, she would relive the first movie scene by scene in her head. Ingrid Bergman was her idol. She was so

Albert Lea means so much to me because I — what I was raised to be here is really what I am. — Actress Marion Ross

“They were born and then they were famous, and I would think, ‘How do they do that?’” Ross said. She did that. Returning to the library as one of those “who’s who” figures herself was emotional. “It makes me weep,” she said. “It makes me cry. It’s hard for me to think that I, that I followed my dream and I did this. Can you believe that? Can you believe that?” Ross’s memoir was written at the instigation of her son, who brought writer David Laurell to meet her. She didn’t want to write a book, she said. “They didn’t literally tie me to the chair, but practically,” Ross said. Laurell recorded her stories, which is what she credits for giving the book her voice. Having someone to tell stories to also meant she wasn’t doing the process alone. She had an audience. “I would entertain him,” Ross said. The memoir follows Ross through growing up and her time as a mother, both on television show “Happy Days” and in her life at home. She said the memoir is upbeat. “Not that I don’t have scandals in my life, and failures, but I didn’t dwell,” Ross said. “That’s really not my story. My story is to


“My Days: Happy and Otherwise” by Marion Ross came out in March.

Ross signed copies of her memoir “My Days: Happy and Otherwise” during her visit to Albert Lea.

Ross in her role as Richard Gilmore’s mother in the TV show “Gilmore Girls.” — Courtesy television still

natural, Ross said. Ross thought she could be like that, too. “Now, we’ve so humanized our stars,” she said. “These were just idols: absolute fantasy figures.” Ross moved to Albert Lea in the third grade. She was behind in reading. “I remember the torture of sitting in a circle of little chairs and you’re reading and ‘you’re next — you are — and you’re closer to me,’” she said. That’s when she experienced stage fright: as the responsibility of reading aloud grew closer. During elementary school, Ross had a classmate who had a speech impediment. Because she liked the way her classmate talked, Ross mimicked her. “I’m much more interested in not so much what somebody is saying but how they say it,” she said. “I listen to the rhythm and how they say things, especially if it’s different.” The pair was sent to remedial speech class. “I snapped right out of it,” Ross said. She didn’t snap out of her Minnesota accent until she realized she had one. Ross moved to the Twin Cities after her sophomore year and took drama lessons from a woman who told her she had to learn how to breathe differently — from the diaphragm — and to speak differently. Ross said she has always had a thing for accents. “It’s an instinct,” she said. “... I’m not so taken with myself. I’d far more be you, and if you’re going to be an actor, you want to do that.” ‘It was a thrill, being a “Happy Days” fan’ Over the course of her career, Ross played many people. Thanks to her role as Mrs. Cunningham on “Happy Days,” she also played many games of softball. Ross took up the rover position and would play ball with the media. “They always thought we were kidding,” Ross said. “No, we were not kidding. We were very serious. In fact, we had to win.” She remembered being bawled out on the bus ride back when she missed a play, but she could hit, she said. “I would run with my arms up like this so (the other team) would overthrow first base because they didn’t want to hit that fine old lady,” Ross said. “I was, like, 50 years old playing softball.” Ross, now 90, said traveling together, eating together and playing ball together kept the cast together as a family. The “Happy Days” team traveled all over the country to play ball. “It was a great device for meeting the public,” she said. When a team member got tired, someone else would take over and that team member would go out to meet people. After the last performance of “Happy Days,” the very next morning the

hello,’ and one man said to the other one, ‘I know her,” and the other one said, ‘Well, I know her, too.’” she said. “And I thought, ‘Well, no one’s going to say that about me — ‘I know her’ in the Biblical sense, you know. So it was a culture in the ’50s where, well, Marilyn Monroe made use of it. Many actresses made use of that and got ahead that way. I was so well brought up, so I was always cautious and careful with myself and watching.”

It makes me cry. It’s hard for me to think that I, that I followed my dream and I did this. Can you believe that? Can you believe that?

Ross voiced Grandma SquarePants for the cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants.” — Courtesy television still

cast-turned-softball team got on the bus at five in the morning. From the bus, they took a plane to Okinawa, Japan, to play at a Marines base. That was the first time Albert Lea native Dan Whelan met Marion Ross. Whelan was serving in the Marine Corps in Okinawa in November 1983 when he said they were given the day off work to watch a baseball game. Whelan said he got there early enough to get autographs from the “Happy Days” actors as they got off the bus. “For us it was a thrill, being a big ‘Happy Days’ fan growing up,” Whelan said. When Ross came to Albert Lea for her book signing in September, he took a picture of Ross and him in Okinawa to the library. It lives in a red-covered scrapbook in between photos of Whelan with other cast members. He is wearing BDUs, while the “Happy Days” crew is dressed in red baseball uniforms. The “Happy Days” team won the ballgame. “We just figured (the Marine team) let them beat ’em,” Whelan said. ‘What I was raised to be here is really what I am’ On “Happy Days” itself, Ross said her role started as a quite minimal one because the father was a more dominant character, as was Tom Bosley himself. “As the years went on, my part got better and better all the time,” she said. Still, she had a lot of “mother lines.” “I was very accomodating,” Ross said. “I was not rebellious at all and not assertive. … I’m a perfect product of the ’50s.” She said it was easy for Bosley to dominate the set and the show. “You have to learn to be canny, and if you’re Irish to begin with, you learn to be charming and manipulative, dishonest, all those womanly things, and I would make all those things work for me,” Ross said. “Now, there’s a young generation of women who don’t have to do that.” Ross was under contract with Paramount Studios at age 23, and she said she was warned not to wander around the sound stages alone. “It’s not safe for you,” people told her. “One time I’m sitting on the soundstage watching and there were two men near me and a beautiful girl walked by and she said, ‘Oh, 38 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

— Actress Marion Ross

When her contract with Paramount wasn’t renewed, she said she was relieved. She spent a lot of time in her younger years thinking she wasn’t quite tough enough. “I’m feeling stupid about myself,” she said. “I’m thinking, ‘Why don’t you wise up? Why don’t you get a little swifter? Maybe you could get ahead more.’ … I was very concerned about what kind of person I was on the inside.” As far as who that person is now, Albert Lean Pat Mulso, who met

Ross and Tom Bosley played Marion and Howard Cunningham on the TV show “Happy Days.” — Courtesy television still

Ross through coordinating work with the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village, said Ross is a sincere woman who is full of life with a sparkle in her eyes. “She’s always positive, and she’s a good listener as well as an actress,” Mulso said. Growing up helped her gradually knock those negative thoughts and feelings out of her head, Ross said. She became a mother, and the culture changed some. More than 30 years later, Ross is recognized for other roles that kept her career relevant across decades. “A little, little kid who doesn’t pay any attention to me and then I say to him, ‘You know, I’m SpongeBob Squarepants’ grandma and I gave

Patrick the cookies,’” Ross said. She gasps. “Well, (he’s) shaking all over, so pulls down (his waistband), shows me his Spongebob underwear, you know, and I think this is wonderful to cover all these generations.” But through it all, Ross said she has treasured her Minnesota background. “Albert Lea means so much to me because I — what I was raised to be here is really what I am,” she said. And now, she gets to live into that. “Now that I’m proud of myself and not thinking that I’m, you know, not going to get anywhere, that this is the way to be,” Ross said. “And I see — that’s the wonderful thing about growing up is you look at what you left behind and say, ‘I am that, and I want to be that, and I don’t want to be somebody else anymore.’” AL

Ross visits with fans during a book signing in September at Albert Lea Public Library.



HOSPITALITY Sisters offer tips for table settings this season Story and photography by COLLEEN HARRISON




olidays come with family traditions. For sisters Lea Nowak and Ann Goodmanson, one of those traditions was seasonal place settings on their family table. Nowak said they grew up watching her mom put a lot of effort into elaborate and festive table settings. She taught her daughters they could put their own touches on their table settings, and the rest is history. Nowak, a Wells resident, gets into the more traditional side of the holiday season with her table settings. Two of her favorites are an Advent setting and an Epiphany setting. Advent observes the four weeks leading up to Christmas and the arrival of Jesus Christ. With four candles, one being lit as each week passes, Nowak decorates the table with a dark blue cloth adorned in stars to represent the dark December sky. Green cuttings from

Nowak’s evergreen trees represent hope, and the round shapes to different elements in the setting represent God’s unending love, Nowak said.

I think hospitality is very important, especially around the holidays. — Lea Nowak

Nowak’s Epiphany table setting celebrates the days following Christmas, or after the moment God showed who Jesus was, Nowak said. The setting involves the element of light, with each seat in the table setting getting its own candle. Nowak said setting nice tables doesn’t have to break the bank. She has never bought any Christmas decorations specifically for her tables. The items adorning her tables come from around her house, like jewelry, different cloth items or simply turning glasses upside down, among other possibilities. She’ll frequently pick gourds, pine cones and evergreen branches from her yard to incorporate into her settings.

Nowak uses a vintage cafeteria table with her Epiphany table setting. She said she likes the contrast between the metal and the glass.

Christmas is the one holiday Ann Goodmanson brings out the table setting. While she has some summer-themed settings and other dishes, Christmas is the time of year that’s most festive for her.

“People can find things in their own home,” she said. Nowak said the table settings and colors she has come up with over the years have grown into a tradition with her children. They’ll often ask her “How’d I do for color?” when setting a table for company. “I think hospitality is very important, especially around the holidays,” she said. For Goodmanson, Christmas is the one holiday she brings out a plethora of dishes and settings for, and she uses them all month long. She started collecting Waechtersbach Christmas dishes about 30 years ago, and even with the pattern being discontinued, has managed to amass quite the collection. She said as soon as December roles around, she puts away her usual dishes and uses her Christmas set. “It’s so festive, and you hope it builds some memories for your family,” she said. AL

Goodmanson started collecting Waechtersbach Christmas dishes about 30 years ago.

Nowak uses a 100-yearold kerosene lamp in her Epiphany table setting. “You’ve got a lot of light going on,” she said of the setting.


EVERY HOME Designer puts skills to use in renovating own kitchen Story by SARAH STULTZ Photography by COLLEEN HARRISON


very day for a living, Albert Lean Kristen Rasmussen goes to work helping people design their dream homes. Employed at Broadway Home Design, she works with top of the line brands, including Cambria, StarMark and Bertch, among several others. Though most of the time she is working on other people’s projects, she said it was fun to put her design skills to use this year when renovating her own home with her husband, Trevor Rasmussen. The couple, who married in September 2017, has been busy making updates to their home, including doors, windows and siding on the exterior, and the flooring and the kitchen on the interior. They joked that the house, which Trevor Rasmussen bought seven years ago before they were married, was a “bachelor pad for many years,” until Kristen Rasmussen came into the picture with a background in design. Little by little, they have renovated the house, turning it into a more modern home with future family goals in mind. “Basically we took an old house that was inexpensive and customized it for us,” she said. The home offers an open floor plan from the front door with the kitchen, dining and living room area all in one large room with white oak hardwood floors spanning all of the rooms.

Kristen and Trevor Rasmussen have been married over a year.

Kristen Rasmussen said she designed the kitchen with materials sold through her workplace, including cabinetry, flooring, countertops, backsplash and hardware. “The kitchen is the heart of every home,” she said. “It’s the place where the best conversations are had, the loudest laughs are made and some of the yummiest memories happen.”

Basically we took an old house that was inexpensive and customized it for us. — Kristen Rasmussen

The kitchen remodel is Kristen Rasmussen’s favorite project done within the couple’s home so far. 48 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

She said she enjoys making these things come to life for her customers and has enjoyed doing it in her own home, as well. The cabinets are from the StarMark Cabinetry line out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and are inset — so the doors and drawers sit inside of the box frame instead of what you see more often with overlay cabinets that sit on the outside of the box frame, she said. The cabinets around the perimeter of the room are a warm gray with a custom brush stroke finish, and the island cabinets are graphitecolored with an ebony glaze and include what she described as “oldworld distressing,” which includes rounded corners, knife cuts and worm holes on the cabinets. The hood is stained oregano with a chocolate glaze.

The Rasmussens’ kitchen has a coffee bar area.

A big trend she loves right now is mixing metals, so she chose matte black hardware on the perimeter cabinets and antique silver hardware on the island. Then, for the pendant over the island, she chose an aged gold. “That’s one thing I like to tell customers — don’t be afraid to do things outside of the box,” she said. “The more fun things you add, the more custom your kitchen looks.”

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s the place where the best conversations are had, the loudest laughs are made and some of the yummiest memories happen. — Kristen Rasmussen

In addition to mixing metals, she mixed her door styles on the cabinets for accents. The kitchen features stacked crown molding, quartz Cambria countertops, an apron front fireclay sink and a porcelain tile backsplash with a raised design. All of the Appliances are from Sorenson’s Appliance & TV in Geneva.

Kristen Rasmussen — an interior designer at Broadway Home Design — designed the couple’s new kitchen herself. 50 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

Three different paint colors were selected for the kitchen: one for the cabinets, kitchen island and the range hood.

Along with having good visual appeal, the kitchen is functional and features more storage than it did previously, including a walk-in pantry that was once a hallway. The couple said all of the renovations took about five months, and they lived there while the construction was ongoing. Now that the kitchen is complete, they plan to move on to another project. Trevor Rasmussen, a 2010 Albert Lea High School graduate who works at Master Plumbing, is the son of Jack and Darci Rasmussen. Jack Rasmussen owns the plumbing business. Kristen Rasmussen is a 2011 Albert Lea High School graduate and is the daughter of John and Liz Enger. The couple said they started dating in high school. Kristen Rasmussen graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in fashion merchandising and design and interior design. After living in the Twin Cities area for a few years, she said they got engaged. She moved back to Albert Lea and started working at Broadway Home Design in April 2017. She said her father-in-law mentioned to Jess Richards, one of the owners of Broadway Home Design, that his daughter-in-law would be moving home and of her background in design. She said she came home one weekend and met with Richards at The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro and has been with the company ever since. “I love it,” she said. “It was a godsend. I didn’t know what I’d do in Albert Lea with my background.” AL

Kristen Rasmussen said she would eventually like to turn the dining area into a breakfast nook with bench seating.

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The ice harvest on Fountain Lake could take at least 4 weeks to secure enough ice needed for Albert Lea.

A HARVEST OF A DIFFERENT KIND By LINDA EVENSON Photos courtesy FREEBORN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM Years ago, the cold weather of winter meant the ice harvest season was on. Ice was cut for daily personal and commercial use. Fountain Lake provided a good crop for the harvest. Crews would clear the snow from the ice and prepare the surface by marking off squares. The fields of ice covered many acres. The ice would be scored, cut, transported and stored. The harvest of 1913 began on the 14-inch coat of ice with three plows and about 20 teams of horses. Nearly 150 men worked the ice harvest in 1921. 54 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

The harvest of 1916 had less demand for ice due to the relocation of the beer warehouses to another town. Typically, vast quantities of ice were harvested. Local supply houses, like the Albert Lea Ice & Fuel Co. and Gripman, Moore & Co., required large amounts of ice. The Stacy Fruit Co. warehouse, the Rock Island Railroad and other railroad cold storage houses demanded tons of ice. A 1922 newspaper article reported that “hundreds of thousands of tons” of ice were harvested for the Albert Lea Packing Co.

The ice harvest on Fountain Lake could take at least four weeks to secure enough ice needed for Albert Lea.

Using a conveyor system, workers move the ice blocks toward their destination. Katherine Island is in the background of this 1919 photo.

Spectators watch from the bridge on Bridge Avenue in 1919. The ice blocks are being guided from Fountain Lake through the channel to Albert Lea Lake toward the meat-packing plant.

The harvested ice blocks were hoisted into this ice house, once located at the present site of Fountain Lake Park. Sawdust was used as an insulator around the cakes of ice to prevent thawing.

A delivery man carries ice to a home for use in the icebox. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | 55


Albert Lea resident Emily Schmidt is a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. She enjoys writing, cooking and spending time with her son and family.

Children and nutrition: How strict should you be?

Childhood obesity and other health problems, including high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes, are becoming more prevalent in our society — issues that are often connected with nutrition and eating habits. Many parents, grandparents and other caregivers of children struggle with getting kids to eat healthy; even dietitians encounter challenging nutrition situations with their kids. Whether it’s worrying about your children consuming too much sugar or feeling helpless when it comes to getting them to eat fruits and vegetables, you may wonder if you’re being too strict or if you should be doing more. As with many things in life, the answer is balance: Find the happy medium with kids and nutrition. Fortunately, there are sensible strategies to alleviate two of the most common nutrition issues encountered with this age group. Picky eating. Children are notorious for being picky eaters (though not all of them!), which can be incredibly frustrating for both kids and caregivers. According to principles of Ellyn Satter, a dietitian who is also a family therapist and expert in feeding and eating, it shouldn’t be such a battle. Take a step back and give your child more freedom in their feeding behaviors. Children should not be put on strict diets or advised to limit a wide variety of foods and beverages. In fact, this usually results in the opposite of being healthy. By forcing strict diet guidelines on a young child, the risk of disordered eating is unfortunately increased (eating disorders or other unhealthy relationships with food, eating and body image). For toddlers through adolescents, Ellyn Satter states that regarding feeding, parents are “responsible for what, when, and where” and children are responsible for “how much and whether.” In other words, it’s up to the parents to provide the food, have a regular eating structure without constant grazing, and ensure that mealtimes are a positive experience rather than a shouting match. Kids decide how much they will eat at the mealtime or snack, and whether or not they’re going to eat something. Avoid having your child clean their plate; instead of telling them they can’t leave the 56 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

table until their food is gone, let them know that their meal can be finished whenever they are full or don’t feel like eating anymore. Ultimately, this promotes more positive eating habits by leading children to eat only when they’re truly hungry versus bored or emotional, and eating the appropriate amount of food rather than restricting or bingeing. Sugar overload. Should children never eat sugar — is it toxic? Should you let them eat as much sugar as they want? Children can remain in good health if they eat sugar in moderation. If they consume a balanced food pattern including protein sources such as lean meat, seafood, eggs, beans and nuts or seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy, they can absolutely handle an ice cream cone or an occasional candy bar. On the other hand, if most of their diet is made up of high-sugar items (sugary cereals, soda or juice, candy or desserts, etc.) then parents and caregivers should work to reduce the amount of these food and beverage items the children are exposed to either at home or away from home (remember, parents are responsible for what, when, and where kids eat per Ellyn Satter), and positively encourage healthy meals and fruit, yogurt, string cheese, vegetables (with dip or hummus, if needed), nuts/seeds or nut/seed butter, and other healthy snacks in between meals. Explain that certain foods and beverages are not necessarily bad, but they’re only meant to be treats and consumed occasionally. Ultimately, you should neither allow children to eat whatever they want or be completely strict when it comes to their feeding habits. Find the middle ground and be a good role model, provide healthy foods and regular meal and snack structure, and give positive reinforcement and encouragement. These are all important factors for both your child’s physical and mental health! If you’re interested in learning more about Ellyn Satter and her recommendations for nutrition and eating behaviors for children of all ages, visit


Mollee Tscholl is co-owner of Albert Lea’s Snap Fitness.

Research shows some type of regular physical activity can fight effects of aging

Maybe its just that as a 40-something-year-old, I’m more attentive to it, but today more than ever, there seems to be an abundance of products and supplements out there promising to slow down the aging process. I’m not suggesting they don’t work; but I do wonder if we’ve forgotten one of the best anti-aging medicines of all time: exercise! Maybe it’s because as a nation, we’ve become accustomed to finding the easiest, quickest way, and my goodness, a pill or a cream seems a heck of a lot less difficult and painless then being active for a certain amount of time each day. Whatever the reason, I do see our country and specifically our children/youth spending less and less time each day being active, and it concerns me. A good friend’s brother, who worked in an elderly care facility providing physical therapy to older adults, told her something I’ll never forget. He said the way you live and take care of yourself prior to 70 years old, will inevitably affect the quality of your life in the years after 70. For most of us, these years will be, or are, the retirement

years. How do we want to spend them? Exercise doesn’t have to be time-consuming or painful. According to Reuters, just 15 minutes a day of daily activity, such as brisk walking, can add three years to your life expectancy. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, exercise increases blood flow and provides oxygen to the skin, nourishing cells and aiding in the removal of toxins and cellular debris. Some of the effects of aging, such as bone and muscle loss, as well as a slowed metabolism, can also be reversed because of engaging in regular physical activity. So, the next time you’re tempted to stay seated, think about those retirement years and how you dream of spending them. During these Minnesota winters, it can be hard to get moving — the cold seems to awaken all our hibernation inclinations. But just this past Monday, I talked to several people who said the same after getting their workout in: It was what they needed to feel better and to beat the clouds, rain and chill. So bring on winter; we’re ready! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | 57



Time for New Year’s financial resolutions We’ve reached the end of another year — which means it’s just about time for some New Year’s resolutions. Would you like to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but why not also add some financial resolutions? Here are some ideas to think about: • Increase contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. For 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 (or $24,500 if you’re 50 or older) to your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b), for employees of public schools and some nonprofit groups, or a 457(b) plan, for employees of local governments. It’s usually a good idea to contribute as much as you can afford to your employer’s plan, as your contributions may lower your taxable income, while your earnings can grow taxdeferred. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered. • Try to “max out” on your IRA. Even if you have a 401(k) or similar plan, you can probably still invest in an IRA. For 2018, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. (Income restrictions apply to Roth IRAs.) Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, depending on your income, and your earnings can grow tax-deferred. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, but earnings can grow tax-free, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you are 59 1/2 and you’ve have had your account at least five years. You can put virtually any investment in an IRA, so it can expand your options beyond those offered in your 401(k) or similar plan.


• Build an emergency fund. Try to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money held in a low-risk, liquid account. This fund can help you avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or a major car repair. • Control your debts. It’s never easy, but do what you can to keep your debts under control. The less you have to spend on debt payments, the more you can invest for your future. • Don’t overreact to changes in the financial markets. We’ve had a long run of rising stock prices — but it won’t last forever. If we experience a sharp market downturn in 2018, don’t overreact by taking a “time out” from investing. Market drops are a normal feature of the investment landscape, and you may ultimately gain an advantage by buying new shares when their prices are down. • Review your goals and risk tolerance. At least once in 2018, take some time to review your short- and long-term financial goals and try to determine, possibly with the help of a financial professional, if your investment portfolio is still appropriate for these goals. At the same time, you’ll want to re evaluate your risk tolerance to ensure you’re not taking too much risk — or possibly too little risk — with your investments. Do your best to stick with these resolutions throughout the coming year. At a minimum, they can help you improve your investment habits — and they may improve your financial picture far beyond 2018. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial adviser.



Michelle Nelson is the owner of The Pet Authority in Albert Lea.

Lawsuit in the pet industry?

Recently another lawsuit was filed in the pet industry, this time against Taste of the Wild. The lawsuits keep coming, from high-end Acana to low-end Rachel Rae, no one is exempt from a suit. If you are feeding one of these foods, should you be worried? Here are my thoughts, and then you can decide for yourself. Here are the leading allegations from the most recent suit against Taste of the Wild: “Defendants’ marketing is deceptive, misleading, unfair and/or false because, among other things, the contaminated dog foods include undisclosed heavy metals, pesticides, acrylamide and/or bisphenol A.” The party filing the suit attached a copy of testing that was done on three different samples of Taste of the Wild dog food that showed levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, BPA, pesticides and acrylamide. These tests have yet to be verified, nor was it cited whether the levels were within the minimum amounts allowed by law. Did you hear what I just said? The minimum amounts allowed by law — yes, it is legal to have trace levels of these known cancercausing toxins in our pets’ food. Maybe it surprises you, but guess what, they are in your food, too. This, unfortunately, is the reality of the environment we now live in. We have introduced into our entire food chain toxins that simply cannot be eliminated. Yes, organic can reduce a huge majority of the toxins, but never completely. To me, this lawsuit could have been filed against just about any pet food company out on the market today with a few exceptions that I have mentioned below. For years I have been educating customers on how not to be fooled by fancy packaging on their pets food. Taste of the Wild markets their foods as, “The balanced diet nature intended.” As a consumer reading this, you automatically assume it is safe,

healthy and what your pet should be eating. If Taste of the Wild were to state their food contains low levels of arsenic and lead, would you be buying it? Absolutely not! But AAFCO and the FDA allow things like this to happen, with poorly written ingredient definitions and rules that are never enforced. There is no simple solution to this problem. This is the reality of what we have created. That is why I talk over and over again about reducing the toxins in your pets’ lives by eliminating chemical use in your households and on your lawns, using natural alternatives to flea and tick and heart worm treatments and the most important — changing your pet’s diet. I know we live in a society of convenience, but what price are you willing to pay? Dogs and cats are carnivores — at no time since their creation were they ever meant to thrive on a highly processed dry kibble. Yes, there are kibbles that I feel are far superior, like Farmina N&D and Open Farm, but no matter how great the ingredients, it simply will never compare to the benefits of feeding a biologically appropriate diet of raw and fresh food. If anything happens from this lawsuit, I truly hope that testing, labeling requirements and marketing claims become much stricter and clearer. I am so tired of manufacturers disguising poor quality, nutritionally-inadequate, ingredients with fancy names and using pretty pictures on the bag that don’t even correlate to what is actually in the bag. It is no surprise the majority of pet owners feel feeding a dry, overly-processed kibble is best for their pets. Remember, you decide how healthy your pet is going to be. Ask questions, don’t be fooled by fancy marketing and make it a decision you will never regret.

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When: Race starts at 9 a.m. Where: Brookside Education Center Cost: Before Oct. 31, cost is $30 for an adult, $15 for a student; after Oct. 31, cost is $35. More info: The Albert Lea Education Association is sponsoring the third-annual Gobble Wobble, a 5K run/walk for district employees, students, their families and community members. All proceeds go to the ALEA scholarship fund. Participants will start on Richway Drive and wind through residential neighborhoods. They will follow Fountain Lake for the second part of their course until they reach Brookside for the finish line. Register at


When: 1 to 4 p.m. Cost: Free More info: A longstanding Albert Lea Art Center tradition, the Festival of Trees display will open Nov. 25 at the Art Center’s new location at 101 S. Broadway and continue through Dec. 29. This year’s theme is “Christmas on Broadway.”



“THE ADDAMS FAMILY” When: 7 p.m. Where: Albert Lea High School auditorium Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students More info: This show is adapted from the popular TV sitcom of the ’70s and the more recent movies. The creepy and kooky family is all there in a twisted story of love and family loyalty.




“A HARD DAY’S NIGHT — BEATLES TRIBUTE” When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20 More info: Started in 2006 in the Twin Cities, “A Hard Day’s Night” is a highenergy, authentic replication of a Beatles performance. The group plays authentic instruments, wears authentic costumes and sounds just like the real thing.


BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS — MONROE CROSSING When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20 More info: Monroe Crossing will bring a musical merriment to your holiday with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, gospel and heartfelt originals. Named in honor of Bill Monroe and based out of the Twin Cities, the group is a favorite among bluegrass connoisseurs and non-bluegrass audiences alike.



“HOLD THE LUTEFISK — IT’S BEGINNING TO SMELL A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS” When: 3 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20 More info: The Looney Lutherans return to town for a special holiday show. The Looney Lutherans are a trio of wacky gals on tour promoting their fictional new cookbook and Lutheran lifestyle guide. All material is comedic, interactive and family friendly.



CHRISTMAS SONGS AND STORIES WITH JOHN BERRY When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $35 More info: Singer-songwriter John Berry, who rose to stardom on the country charts of the ’90s, will bring his crowd-pleasing Christmas concert to Albert Lea. Berry has earned multiple Gold and Platinum records.



DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY BAZAAR When: 4 to 8 p.m. Where: Downtown Albert Lea Cost: Many free events, some charged events. More info.: The holiday spirit will fill downtown Albert Lea during this bazaar on Broadway. Listen to music, shop early and enjoy downtown Albert Lea.




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Lens & Shutter Club member Mitch Pederson took this photo of monarch butterflies on a Mexican sunflower plant.


Why I

L Albert Lea Cindy Gandrud works at Albert Lea Public Library. She enjoys volunteering in the community. People, people, people — one of the main reasons I love Albert Lea. Born and raised here, I returned, after a seven-year absence, and have remained for 38 years. Wherever I go in town, I meet people I have known since childhood, others not as well-known and others strangers. And what do they have in common? Friendliness! Caring! A desire to help others! The downtown: I love to walk there, seeing the new stores and shops that have taken over the stores of my youth. Though Woolworths, Ben Franklin, Skinner Chamberlain, Gordon Electric and the Medical Arts building, to name a few, are no longer there, storeowners have remodeled with respect for the past. The beautiful pots and hanging baskets of flowers add so much to our city as do the outdoor benches and chairs. The farmers market: How I love to see what is new each week, both in food and vendors. Adults and children have many items they can purchase. And, some weeks, free samples are offered. I appreciate the vendors who work so diligently to prepare their vegetables, other foods and crafts. The library: I may be prejudice because I work there, but I have always loved the library and what it offers for people of all ages. As a child, I remember climbing the steps of the Carnegie Library to enter the children’s library, where I would spend the whole afternoon if allowed. Now, one can visit the library to enjoy its many programs, check out items and use computers. Along with all this, 64 | ALBERT LEA MAGAZINE

you can sit and read a newspaper or magazine while looking out the windows at beautiful Fountain Lake, one of Albert Lea’s treasures. The city parks: I love the parks and how well cared for they are. My dog is a big fan of them, and her tail wags a little faster and a little higher when we walk there, rather than just in our neighborhood. They offer a great place for picnics, family gatherings and outdoor activities. Volunteers: I love our community of volunteers, who are so dedicated to the needs of people of all ages and in all situations. Everywhere you look, people are helping people. Support: I love the way citizens step up to support, whether it be for an organization on street corners for worthy causes, for the renovation of the cottage at Edgewater Park, caring and giving at the time of a tragedy and the list could go on and on. The nursing homes: I love that Albert Lea cares for its senior community in providing lovely places for those who can no longer live in their homes. All the facilities have staff and volunteers who love what they do and give so much to the residents. New things: I love that Albert Lea continues to offer new adventures. Wind Down Wednesdays, Thursday night concerts on Fountain Lake, the boathouse and the splash pad have grown in attendance and usage in just a few years of existence. Animals: I love that Albert Lea cares about animals. We have a dynamic Humane Society, a dog park and, as you walk your dog or your cat, receptacles containing doggie bags and a wastebasket. We each have our own reasons for loving Albert Lea. What will your reasons be?


Tonwist an old


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Albert Lea Magazine November.December 2018  

Albert Lea Magazine November.December 2018  

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