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sparkly looks for the holiday season

Lending a helping hand Find ways to volunteer in the community VOL. 1 NO. 4


Reaching for answers Woman creates her own book of recipes to help her son

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Cherishing traditions

Kelli Lageson, Editor

We want to hear what you think! Call Editor Kelli Lageson at 507-379-3439 or email her at kelli.lageson@ Write us a letter about what you like and don’t like about what you read. And be sure to like our page on Facebook for behind the scenes information and chances to win prizes. Thanks for reading!

2 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Ahhh, the holidays. I look forward to Christmas every year, and it’s easily my favorite holiday. Every person has traditions around this time of year, no matter what holiday they’re celebrating. One of mine is to watch the movie “Love Actually” once a year in December. Something about it just puts me in the holiday mood. Another tradition is decorating my house with all the Christmas decorations I collect. Listening to Christmas tunes, smelling a lit cinnamon candle and putting up a tree with all the trimmings make the whole house feel like Christmas. The decorations are usually up right after Thanksgiving, because I love that the house has a different feel for one month out of the year. My other favorite tradition is Cookie Day on my mom’s side of the family. My grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters and parents all get together for our annual treat-sharing frenzy. We pick a Saturday in early December to gather, eat lunch and decorate sugar cookies. We also have tables full of treats every person makes at home and brings to Cookie Day to swap. No, it’s not a super healthy tradition, but if the holiday season isn’t a time to treat yourself, then I don’t know what is. And ya, I’m Norwegian, dontcha know, but I had never heard of julebukking until I read Jennifer Vogt-Erickson’s column for this issue. It was once a popular tradition but has died out over the years. Uffda. It’s too bad it’s not in vogue anymore because it sounds kind of fun! Maybe I’m still young and naive, but I love traditions. I hope they never get tired or boring, but I’m not too worried about that because the tradition I love most about the holidays is all the time I get to spend with family. So here’s to traditions, new and old! Have a happy holiday season, and thanks for reading!

Publisher Crystal Miller Editorial Editor Kelli Lageson Contributing Writers Micah Bader Angie Barker Tim Engstrom Brandi Hagen Jennifer Vogt-Erickson Jennifer Levisen Amy Pleimling Sarah Stultz Joe Tscholl Contributing Photographers Brandi Hagen Jens Levisen Art Art Director/Story Layout Kathy Johnson Graphic Designers Kristin Overland Colby Hansen Susan Downey Sales & Promotion Sales Representatives Catherine Buboltz Michele Beyer Renee Citsay Clay Culbertson Angie Eggum Susan Price holiday 2013 Volume 1, Number 4 Editorial correspondence: Editor, Albert Lea Magazine, 808 W. Front St. Albert Lea, MN 56007. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. For comments, suggestions or story ideas call 507-379-3439. To purchase advertising, call 507-379-3427. To subscribe, call 507-379-3422.

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ALBERT LEA | holiday 2013

Reaching for answers An Albert Lea mom created a whole cookbook to help her son, who has Down syndrome.

Family traditions keep expanding Gene and Irene Anderson go over the top while decorating their home for Christmas.

40 46

20 4 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Mother and daughter Jody and Brielle Bakken get glitzy with jewelry found at local retailers.

on the cover

Glitzy glamour



38 Seen

6 Naeve health care gala


53 57 In every issue “First start with the basics.” — Scott Fadden, Page 53

26 things you didn’t know you wanted

10 shortstop golf tournament

53 Ask the expert

12 autumn in the village

55 Book review 57 Scrapbook

14 ‘i do’ weddings and engagements


58 final word 62 Events calendar



24 Dazzle: Portrait of a modern farm family

sparkly looks for the holiday season

30 Move: health club pro helps plan your

holiday workouts 32 SAVOR: pumpkin cheesecake

34 CREATE: 5 fabulous sparkling wines 37 CREATE: dos and dont’s for a healthy holiday season

On the cover 5 sparkly looks for the holiday season 20 Lending a helping hand 38 Reaching for answers 40

Lending a helping hand

Reaching for answers Woman creates her own book of recipes to help her son

Find ways to volunteer in the community HOLIDAY 2013

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 5

SEEN | Naeve Gala



upporters of the Naeve Health Care Foundation gathered for a gala on Sept. 21 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. The foundation was fundraising to help with projects at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Naeve health care foundation




5 6 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013


(1) Carole Bower, Tom Newell and Peggy Newell (2) Chad Adams and Reid Olson (3) Dan Wittmer, Tony Johnson, Bri Tubbs and Matt Tubbs (4) Brad Loch, Jason Narverud, Kristin Narverud and Julie Johnson (5) Ted Karan, Dipika Karan, Carol Rask, Clifford Rask, Georgia Wentzel and Dennis Wentzel

8 6


(6) Raymond Delgado and Marlys Swenson (7) JoAnn Bracker, Steve Bracker, Sally Chesterman, John Chesterman and Anne Bonnerup (8) Alice Hanson and Peter Falk (9) May Yahya, Fadi Yahya, Susie Petersen and Ken Petersen (10) Jerry Vogt, Gerry Vogt and Claire Vermedahl (11) Don and Betty Cashin (12) Jeff and Mary Laeger-Hagemeister (13) Dave Syverson, Elaine Syverson and Mary Keating (14) Karl and Angie Eggum 10





14 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 7

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SEEN | Shortstop Tournament


1 At the three-day Shortstop Tournament at Green Lea Golf Course, Chris Baas won for the seventh time since 1999. The tournament took place Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Baas’ caddie was Phil Schmidt. Both golfers are graduates of Albert Lea High School.







(1) Josh Flatness, Lucas Hanson, Ben Kelly and Mariah McGill (2) Bill and Marge Entorf (3) Tony and Julie Johnson (4) Joey Caldwell and Chad Hauge (5) Alex and Mark Syverson (6) Pete and Janet Schumaker (7) Buck and his brother Jack Rasmussen (8) Alex Lair (9) Chris Baas and Jeff Elseth (10) Shortstop Tournament 9 10 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013


SEEN | Autumn in the Village

1 The Freeborn County Historical Museum & Village hosted its annual Autumn in the Village Sept. 15. All of the buildings in the village were open to the public, and volunteers gave multiple live presentations representing the late 1800s, including rope making, washing clothes and corn shelling and grinding in the village.






(1) Tirzah, Dayna, Zoe and Joel Larson (2) Dave Mullenbach, Larry Hopkey and Paul Anderson (3) Marci Maier, Brooke Maier and Skye Jensen (4) Bev Leonard and Lorna Wermedal (5) Ann Berry, Delores Becker, Helen Lovik and Nancy Hedlund (6) Theresa Een and Betty O’Brien 7) Carly Solland, Mary Umstead, Abbey Solland, Tia Solland and Averi Krueger 7 12 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Kick-off Jan 2, 2014 Style Show @6:30p in Mason City

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You’ll find a home in our community 901 Luther Place • Albert Lea • 507-373-8226 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 13

SEEN | ‘I Do’ Weddings & Engagements








8 (1) Lindsey Aasness and Justin Krueger (2) Katrina Back and Lyndon Pedersen (3) Angie Beloate and Tim Tappe (4) Ashley Ferry and Matthew Mosser (5) Christianna Johnson and Eric Mullins (6) Katlyn Kangas and Andrew Weisert (7) Becky Leegaard and Cory Frerk (8) Amanda Blenka and Zachary Saugen (9) Sara Cwiakala and Luke Klingson (10) Xinyi (Tina) Peng and Kevin Lynne

9 14 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013













(11) Kelsey McGowan and Derek Kvenvold (12) Terin Miller and Matthew Schumann (13) Ashley Paulsen and Matthew Wacholz (14) Tara Roberts and Jesse Stirling (15) Amanda Rose and Jon Hanson (16) Kristy Rowland and Trevor Nelson (17) Kalia Schulz and Brian Houghton (18) Katie Sorenson and Joshua Cords (19) Erika Sorenson and Brandon Goette (20) Steph Thisius and Noah Sanders (21) Brianna Tufte and Nicholas Masching (22) Amanda Weiss and Andrew Irvine

22 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 15

Thank you for shopping our locally owned business since 1956!



310 Main Court, Albert Lea, MN 373-7067 Mon-Fri 8 AM-6 PM; Sat 8 AM-5 PM; Sun Noon-4 PM 16 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

BIG Think

Albert Lea Magazine contributing writers Micah Bader Micah enjoys sports and working on his motorcycle and Jeep.

Angie Barker Angie is an avid book reader who lives in Albert Lea with her husband, Josh. Tim Engstrom One of Tim’s hobbies is disc golf. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Forrest and Jasper.

Brandi Hagen Brandi enjoys photography. She lives with her boyfriend, Nick, and dog, Molly. Jennifer Vogt-Erickson Jennifer is a writer living in Albert Lea with her husband, Jeshua, and kids, Axel and Trixie.

Kelli Lageson Kelli enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Clarks Grove. Jennifer Levisen Jennifer works at Mayo Clinic. She is married to husband, Jens. They have a son, Anders. Professional marketing strategies for small businesses.


Amy Pleimling Amy is a registered dietitian who enjoys writing about healthy living. Sarah Stultz Sarah enjoys gardening. She is married to Jason and has two kids, Sophie and Landon.

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 17

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Albert Lea Magazine will continue to reward our Facebook friends with lavish gifts. Be sure to look for our Facebook page and click LIKE. Thanks for your comments on our wall.


Because... vice Ser Customerers! Matt



Northbridge Shopping Center • Albert Lea, MN 507-373-8830 • 888-339-9954 Now open Saturdays 10am-2pm

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 19

DAZZLE | Sparkly jewelry

20 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

t’s that time of year when holiday parties and events abound, and everyone will try to outdo each other for the amount of glamour and glitz they can wear. Have no fear — beautiful models Jody and Brielle Bakken are wearing a few different styles of jewelry that would flatter anyone. Read on to Page 24 to learn more about the Bakken family. All the jewelry was found at Stadheim Jewelers and Unbridled Boutique. We feature all the classics like pearls, sparkle and big, chunky, fun jewelry.

Styling by Catherine Buboltz Photos by Brandi Hagen

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 21

Long strand of cultured freshwater pearls, $175, five-strand freshwater pearl bracelet, $95, pearl single strand bracelet, $69.95, matching earrings, $39.95, and Pandora Wishful Thinking sterling silver ring with cultured pearls, $125. All found at Stadheim Jewelers.

22 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Top left: Imperial lace earrings with cultured pearl in sterling silver, $125, matching bracelet, $225, matching necklace, $150, sterling silver ring $235. All found at Stadheim Jewelers. Top right: Jewelry is from the sterling silver sparkle collection at Stadheim Jewelers. Double bead bangle bracelet, $75, hoop earrings, $95, hammered disc with sparkle pendant, $95, Rondelle sparkle bead necklace, $75, cuff bracelet, $175. Bottom left: Cuff bracelet in sterling silver with sparkle finish, $375, Pandora Light as a Feather ring, $80, sterling silver sparkle hoop earrings, $95, 36-inch multi-strand chain with small beads, $250, and short necklace with sparkle beads, $85, all from Stadheim Jewelers. Bottom right: Pink Pewter headband, $40, Treska necklace, $32, earrings, $20, and Treska bracelet, $20, all found at Unbridled Boutique. Stacked rings were found at Stadheim Jewelers; shown are two Pandora sterling silver Infinity rings, $135 each, and a Pandora Secret Winds ring with a black spinel, $80. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 23

Story by Tim Engstrom

Portrait of a modern farm family


eing a stay-at-home mom on a farm isn’t what it was in the olden days. Well, sort of, says farm wife and Albert Lea Magazine jewelry model Jody Bakken. Possessing roles remains a key to getting everything done, just like in yesteryear, she said. But unlike some wives of the classic family farm, she doesn’t do all the cooking. She and her husband, Andy, share the responsibility to feed their family of six. Because schedules can keep things hectic, they make it a point to eat at the table as a family at least once a week, Jody said. “I ask my kids, ‘What made you sad, mad and glad today,’” she said. “We get things out of our kids that they wouldn’t talk about.” The 37-year-old doesn’t do farm chores, perhaps unlike some wives in the old times. Andy does that along with a hired hand. They raise 3,000 pigs farrow to finish and farm 750 acres of corn and soybeans. But Jody does mow the lawn. Like the old times, she does all the laundry and handles the household chores such as dusting and cleaning up after the children. Jody pays the household bills, while Andy pays the farm bills. And like many modern moms, she hauls their four kids to all kinds of activities. “I give working moms who balance life and kids a lot of credit,” Jody said. Brennan, 10, is involved in hockey, baseball and tackle football. Blaine, 8, is in hockey, baseball and flag football. Brielle, 5, is in dance and ice skating. Bryant, 3, tags along wherever Mommy goes. Jody looks after the interests of children outside the home, too. She is active in the parent-teacher organization for Sibley Elementary School and a frequent 24 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

volunteer to do things like reading to kids. She is part of MOPS, which is Mothers of Preschoolers. And she makes sure the children get education at home, reading 20 minutes a day after school and getting them learning online with ABC Mouse. Having four children while living on a farm wasn’t the life Jody imagined, but she loves it.

Photo courtesy Photography by Kristen Wagner

Meet the model Jody Bakken, 37 Occupation: stay-at-home mother Address: farm on 740th Avenue south of Albert Lea Husband: Andy Children: Brennan, 10, Blaine, 8, Brielle, 5, Bryant, 3

At Glenville-Emmons High School, she dated Andy Bakken. Back then, her last name was Grosland. Andy was two years older, and when he graduated, they broke up. He went to the University of Minnesota. She graduated high school in 1995. Two years later, when he was nearly done at the U of M, they started dating again. When he asked her out, she was

cautious. She didn’t want to break up again. They didn’t and were married Sept. 9, 2000. She is the daughter of Jim Grosland and Judy Nelson. She grew up on an acreage in rural Glenville, and though the family has farm roots — they lived on a farm before Jody was 5 — she didn’t consider herself a farm kid. One of the hardest parts of becoming a stay-at-home mom was giving up her five-year job as an office nurse support technician at the medical center in Albert Lea, Jody said. Jobs offer a fair share of social time with adults. She was conflicted between career hopes and not sending children to day care. “It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made because I am fortunate to be there with my kids,” she said. Bakken has a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in St. Paul in organizational management and communication. She said she attended classes in Owatonna one night a week for 16 months, and many of the students were nontraditional, older students, while she was just 27. She gave birth to her first child four months before graduation. Now Jody is glad she has four children because it will mean several grandchildren. She likes the thought of teaching her kids about farm safety as they grow old enough to work on the farm. In his youth, Andy drove a tractor at 7. Safety has changed quite a bit over the years, she said. Jody makes time to work out at the Albert Lea Family Y, and she encourages Andy to do the same. He told her his farm work is like working out. She said he needs the cardio. Indeed, these days, things are not the same down on the farm.

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Colors and textures create warm harvest aura Things

You Didn’t Know


Fall Equinox is upon us, and it’s not too late to take advantage of autumn colors and textures with your decorating. You might consider the usual suspects, like gourds, pumpkins, straw and leaves. We challenge you to go a step further with a touch of autumn elegance from these local retailers.

What a hoot Clearly a star centerpiece, standing 21 inches high, this metal owl sculpture holds a tealight candle to brighten up your table. Garden Diva, Hayward. $65


Think outside — with a box Add some dark rustic colors to your fall collage. Each of these boxes is hinged and ready to hold your treasures. These boxes are great for a corner floor arrangement or on a shelf. The smaller box is 9 inches wide and 6 inches tall; the large box is 12 inches wide and 9 inches tall. Plaza Landscaping, Albert Lea. Small box $26, Large box $30

26 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Don’t forget your sense of smell Certain smells can trigger a memory or even impact our dreams. Create an atmosphere in your home using fragrant wax while decorating with these fun fall Scentsy warmers. Lisa Olson, 507-369-3563, Scentsy vendor, Albert Lea. He’s Alive warmer, $35, All Hallows wrap with warmer $40. Bars are $5 a piece, three for $14 or six for $25.

Give your cabinet a makeover CAUTION! This is only for the serious decorator. Move beyond the basic decorating with a new drawer/cabinet pull. This unique design from the Mission Collection can be used for fall or all year long. Freeborn Lumber, Albert Lea. 3-inch bail pull in black from Liberty. $5.04

Evoke the Renaissance This domed candle lantern complete with a crown topper has a touch of distressed Renaissance and is embellished with an ornamental pin. We paired the mesh metal lantern with a battery-operated candle, but it can be filled with a flower arrangement or any of your favorite adornments. It stands 21 inches tall. Plaza Landscaping, Albert Lea. Candle lantern $60, battery-operated candle $20

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Don’t get caught without your pumpkin carriage. This centerpiece is perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving and is decorated with fall colors and just the right amount of glitter. Addie’s Floral, Albert Lea. $73

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 27

Live, Work & Play

In the Land Between the Lakes October 26 The Met Opera HD Live the Nose Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

October 28 Harlem Ambassadors Southwest Middle School

November 24 Cantori Concert United Methodist Church

October 27 Halloween Party Country Inn & Suites

November 16 Christmas House Tours Albert Lea

December 7-8 Model Train Show Northbridge Mall

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce • 2580 Bridge Ave • (507) 373-3938 • Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau • 102 W. Clark St. • (507) 373-2316 • Albert Lea Economic Development Agency • 2610 Y.H. Hanson Ave • (507) 373-3930 •

512 E. 7th St. • Albert Lea, MN 56007 Phone: (507) 373-4526 Fax: (507) 373-4527

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MOVE | Let’s get physical

Health club pro helps plan your holiday workouts Story by Joe Tscholl

I’ve been in and out of the health club industry for 20 years. I have a passion for making a difference in people’s lives and helping them to live healthier. Having many positive influences throughout life, from my parents to teachers, coaches and teams I’ve been a part of, has inspired me to want to be a part of that positive transformation in others. It’s great to watch people who come to Snap Fitness start experiencing the benefits from the hard work and changes they are making to become more fit.

Photo by Brandi Hagen

Over the years, I’ve talked with and helped dozens of people of all ages try to meet their fitness goals. Whether it be to run a 5k, a marathon or just to be able to walk on a treadmill without being out of breath, everyone has different goals and objectives. Don’t be afraid to start. Not getting started is what you should be afraid of. The three biggest things I tell my clients are: It’s what you eat, what you drink and the amount of exercise you put in. These will determine how fast you will meet your fitness goals.

5 easy tips for the holiday season: 1. Plan

1 2 3

time for exercise.

Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try a 15-minute brisk walk twice a day.

2. Be


Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays. Instead try to maintain your current weight.

3. If

you overeat at one meal,

consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!

4. Get

4 5

a workout buddy.

Working out with someone else makes it twice as fun and twice as likely you will make it to the gym or work out at home. Relying on someone else and having them count on you will make it easier to get a workout in, even when you don’t feel like it.

go light on the next.

5. Laugh.

It takes 500 calories per day, or 3,500 calories per week, above your normal

Laughing is a great tension reliever. It burns calories and reduces stress.

30 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Joe Tscholl is a co-owner and personal trainer at Snap Fitness in Albert Lea.

Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 31

SAVOR | Pumpkin cheesecake

Photo by Jens Levisen

Jennifer Levisen lives and works in Albert Lea. She enjoys finding new recipes to share with her family.

Holding on to holiday traditions Everyone has a favorite dish they must have on certain holidays. My cousin Becki has to have sweet potato casserole, complete with the marshmallows, on Thanksgiving, and monkey bread is a must for my cousin Eric on Christmas morning. For me, my mom’s taco dip needs to be eaten at some point over the Christmas holiday, and Easter brunch isn’t complete without my Grandma’s cheesy potatoes. For my husband, it’s cheesecake. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, if it’s a holiday there will be cheesecake. It’s a tradition his grandma instilled and one we’re upholding. Thankfully we’ve graduated from the no-bake box variety to the break-out-the-springformpan-and-make-your-own kind. The last time we hosted Christmas, we made peppermint cheesecake, and our first time hosting Thanksgiving we made this pumpkin cheesecake. It was the second best thing on our table, after the turkey of course! Here’s to celebrating all holiday traditions, food-related and otherwise! 32 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Pumpkin cheesecake To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven. Good luck! Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 8 hours Yield: Serves 12 Ingredients For the crust: • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers) • 1/4 cup sugar • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted For the filling: • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese bars, very soft • 1 1/4 cups sugar • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree • 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 4 large eggs, room temperature Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the

bottom part facing up. 2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs (see tip below), sugar and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. 3. Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. 4. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven two hours more (without opening). 5. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least four hours. Unmold before serving. Tip: To make the crumbs for the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Or, if you prefer, substitute the same amount of packaged graham-cracker crumbs. Recipe courtesy of

405 E. Main St., Blooming Prairie, MN 55917 • (507) 583-2141 1170 East Frontage Rd, Owatonna, MN 55060 • (507) 455-1000 3110 Wellner Drive NE, Rochester, MN 55906 • (507) 536-7700 132 N. Broadway, New Richland, MN 56072 • (507) 463-0502

Fresh cut or silk flowers Reception decorating Rentals If you can dream it, we can do it! Jolene Bute - Owner/Designer 155 S. Broadway, Alden • 507-874-3425

Member FDIC

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Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 33

Story By Kelli Lageson Photos by Brandi Hagen

SAVOR | Wines

6 fabulous sparkling

wines Angie Stickfort poses for a photo at Cheers Liquor.


rying to find a nice bottle of wine to bring to that holiday party? Angie Stickfort and Jenny Heinrich at Cheers Liquor have you covered. Stickfort has owned the store for nine years, and Heinrich, the manager, has worked there for 5 1/2 years. They both agree that sparkling wine and Champagne are the perfect festive drink. So what are the differences between sparkling wine and Champagne? A true Champagne can only come from the Champagne region in France. Any 34 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

other sparkling wine from other regions is not Champagne, but it doesn’t mean they’re not delicious, Stickfort said. “It just makes any occasion festive,” Stickfort said. “It’s always fun to have a bottle of sparkling wine.” Stickfort said sparkling wine and Champagne can be a little more acidic than wines without carbonation, so she likes to serve them when there’s food like meat or cheese to pair the drink with. Stickfort said Cheers sells sparkling wine the most during the week

between Christmas and New Year’s. They plan to have some samples out for customers who stop in that week. Stickfort said the store does gift wrapping, and employees don’t mind helping out customers who might not know what to get as a gift. They do have a large selection of other wines, but Stickfort said Champagne and bubbly beverages are a good choice around the holidays. “I do like to suggest bringing a sparkling wine because it’s something different,” Stickfort said.

Toad Hollow Risque, $14.99 This is a French sparkling white wine. Stickfort said many people buy it because of the bottle’s look and distinct cap. “It’s also a popular one for gifts,” Stickfort said. Luccio Moscato d’Asti, $9.59 Stickfort said this is the top-selling moscato d’Asti in the United States. She likes to recommend it to customers because it’s sweet and easy to drink.

André, $5.99 This is a popular and less expensive sparkling wine. Stickfort said people often think the ones labeled “extra dry” are the most dry, but she said it’s actually the Brut kind that is driest. “Extra dry is sweeter than a Brut, but Spumante is the sweetest,” Stickfort said.

Cavit Lunetta, $12.39 This is a prosecco sparking wine imported from Italy. Heinrich said prosecco wines are a little less sweet than other sparkling wines. “It’s not an overpowering sweet flavor,” Heinrich said.

Moët & Chandon, $48.99 This is a true Champagne from the same named region in France. Stickfort recommends it to customers who are looking for something special. She’s seen bridesmaids give the bottle to newlyweds and others who buy it for special occasions. “It’s very smooth and full-bodied,” Stickfort said.

Barefoot Bubbly pink moscato, $8.99 “This is one of the fastest growing lines,” Stickfort said. “They’re all very good.” Stickfort carries many of the Barefoot wines at Cheers, and it now has four kinds of Barefoot Bubbly to add to the collection.

Voted Best Liquor Store!

1617 W. Main St. • Albert Lea 507-379-2364 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 35

We offer Botox & Juvederm. Call for a consultation. Also providing the latest in cosmetic and family dental care. • Lumineers/Veneers • Sapphire Whitening • Restorative • Periodontal • Root Canal Treatments • Laughing Gas • Laser Check-ups • VisiLite Plus(oral cancer screening) • Crowns

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With something as important and lasting as a new kitchen or bath, it’s smart to do business with someone right here in our community who will stand behind their work. And you expect American-made, lifetime-warranty quality. Showplace cabinetry from Freeborn Lumber offers both. Stop in and talk in over with us soon. And ask us about special factory-direct savings.

971 Plaza St, Albert Lea 507-377-4284 M-F 7:30am-5pm; Thurs ‘til 7pm 36 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

AL Magazine Fall 2013


Amy Pleimling is a registered dietitian living in Albert Lea.

Dos &

Holiday season is here! This is a time that many people love, but there is definitely some added stress. With that stress can come extra weight. Following a healthy diet is hard enough, but around the holidays it’s even more difficult. So can it be done, and is it even that important? We know the average person gains weight from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. But how much weight? I was once taught that the average weight gain was five pounds or so. Some do gain that amount, but the average weight gain is more like one pound during the holidays. Good


news! But can you quit worrying about it? Nope. Most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays, according to the National Institutes of Health. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity. If you gain the average holiday weight for the next 10 seasons, you will be 10 pounds heavier than you are now in just 10 years. Since almost 70 percent of our nation’s population is overweight or obese, I’m going to guess that most don’t want those extra 10 pounds. Maintaining your weight during the holidays is key. I don’t always love to sound “dietitian-y,” but to maintain your weight you will need to control 4Tips, Page 59

for a healthy holiday season Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 37

CREATE | Holiday helping

Story by Sarah Stultz Photo by Brandi Hagen

Helping hands

Jan and Darlene Reed of Albert Lea have made it a family tradition to volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army each year.

It’s a family tradition for Albert Leans Jan and Darlene Reed to volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army. The Reeds, along with their children and grandchildren from out of town, meet up each year to volunteer for a whole day next to the iconic Salvation Army red kettle. They usually pick the Saturday before Christmas. Sometimes adding in some musical instruments or

38 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

singing, they encourage people to donate money and, in turn, aim to help those in need in the community. “Working through the Salvation Army, we can do more than we could as individuals,” Jan said. “We’re extending ourselves, and the money goes to a good cause.” In addition to their family day of volunteering, the Reeds, both 77, fill in

when volunteers are needed on other days. “We’re just thankful we can do this, and we’re looking forward to doing it more,” Darlene said. The Salvation Army is just one of several places people can volunteer or give back to the community this holiday season.

4Helping, Page 61

Spencer Brackey, Funeral Director Intern

Judy Popp-Anderson, Aftercare Coordinator

308 7th Avenue • Ellendale, MN • (507) 684-2881 2210 East Main St. • Albert Lea, MN • (507) 373-2461 217 West Division St. • New Richland, MN • (507) 465-8015

Hand Rolled Salted


Sweet and rich flavored caramel is paired perfectly with sea salt, for an aromatic balance of salty and sweet.

• Yield: 5+ servings

Ventura Foods Ingredients Measure SunGlow European Style 1 cup Butter Blend Other Ingredients Measure Sugar 1 cup Dark Corn Syrup 1 cup Sweet Condensed milk 1- 14 oz. can Vanilla Extract 1 tsp. Wax Paper as needed Coarse or Flaked Sea Salt as needed

Methods: 1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil over medium heat. 2. Cook without stirring for 7 minutes. 3. Stir in condensed milk and bring to a boil. 4. Cook while stirring constantly. 5. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 238 F to 240 F (Soft ball stage) about 20 minutes. 6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 7. Pour into a buttered (Sunglow) 8 inch. Sq. pan. 8. Let rest at room temperature for about 8 hours. 9. On a cutting board, cut caramels into 1/2 inch squares. 10. Using your hand, mold caramels into desired shape and transfer to small squares of wax paper. Sprinkle with sea salt before wrapping. 11. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 12. Caramels can be made 5-7 days before needed, as long as they’re stored in the refrigerator.

Lay-a-way options available

said the best wife ever! 919 E. 14th St., Albert Lea, MN 56007 • 373-2431 For more recipes, visit our website:

18322 US Highway 69 Albert Lea, MN (507) 377-0201 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 39


Reaching for Albert Lea


woman changes son’s diet, discovers reason for his seizures


he love between Anne Hoelz and her 4 1/2-year-old son, Kaiden, is crystal clear. Though Kaiden cannot speak a word, it’s evident by the smile that spreads across his face as he sees his mother and reaches out to her. She and her only child have a special bond.

That development came to a halt when at Kaiden’s six-month visit to the doctor, the doctor instructed Anne to give him iron supplements and to begin feeding him iron-fortified cereals and solid foods because he had become anemic. He was also given the DTaP and hepatitis B vaccinations. A few weeks later, Anne went on antibiotics deemed safe for breastfeeding. “All of this was too much for Kaiden’s little About four years ago system,” Anne said. when he was almost 8 Kaiden quickly months old, Kaiden, who developed projectile has Down syndrome, began vomiting, cradle cap and having benign myoclonic what Anne described as seizures. “stinky, sticky, yeasty” His mother said he diapers. And just a few stopped smiling, and by days later, the seizures “Cavemom’s Cooking” the time he was about 11 began. months old, he said his last by Anne Hoelz is available “When he was having for purchase for $22.95 in word. the seizures, you just print and $9.99 in a downloadable format at “It was heartbreaking,” felt helpless,” she said. Anne said. “I had a happy “He would cry and all greenchildcreations. little boy, but where did he you could do was comfort go?” him and hope that the Prior to the seizures, she and her seizure stops.” husband, Nick, had been using flashcards Shortly after the seizures started, she with Kaiden to help him learn, and noted that when she gave Kaiden sweet despite the Down syndrome, they thought potatoes and carrots, his seizures he was developing relatively well. intensified.

Too much for Kaiden

40 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Story by Sarah Stultz Photos by Brandi Hagen

Anne Hoelz of Albert Lea stands in her kitchen with some of the recipes she has created for her cookbook “Cavemom’s Cooking.” Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 41

ALBERT LEA | FEATURE She went to his neurologist with her observation, but the idea that his diet and seizures were linked was rejected. “The neurologist we saw told me outright that he was sure diet had absolutely nothing to do with the seizures,” she said. But she suspected otherwise. Despite the doctor’s opinion, Anne began researching Kaiden’s vaccines, the dosage of his iron supplement and her antibiotics. Labels for all listed seizures as a possible side effect. After she researching that carrots and sweet potatoes intensified the seizures, she stopped feeding him those

Kaiden Hoelz and his mother, Anne, play on the floor in their living room in Albert Lea. The family started following the Paleo diet a few years ago after Kaiden started having seizures. The seizures have since stopped.

foods. She then discovered that some people with Down syndrome do not process beta carotene well.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have to, when you do it for someone you love.” — Anne Hoelz

She also stopped the iron supplements because Kaiden had started spitting them up. Anne said she began looking at holistic remedies.

A light in the darkness At the worst, Kaiden had six clusters of seizures a day with one spasm every 10 to 15 seconds for anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes. “He would scream and cry after each spasm,” Anne said. “These clusters would happen at random times of day and night. As a parent you feel so frustrated and want to cry right along with them.” On some of the remedies, his seizures were reduced down to an average of four to 10 single spasms per day for three months, and Kaiden didn’t cry nearly as much.

Anne said she still felt strongly the seizures had something to do with food, as most of the seizures happened around mealtimes. She began keeping a log of Kaiden’s seizures, along with what he ate. That’s when it all clicked. She noticed when Kaiden ate specific types of food, such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers — which she later discovered are in the nightshade family of foods — his seizures would spike. “Nightshade” is the common name used to describe more than 2,000 species of plants. She found out that substances in these foods can sometimes impact nerve-muscle function.

She eliminated those foods from both her and Kaiden’s diet and saw the seizures drop to one to three per day. They went on a strict Paleo diet, which eliminates grain, gluten, dairy, legumes and nightshade vegetables. Eventually, in combination with a calcium supplement, the seizures stopped. His last one was on May 28, 2010. “Within one week of being seizure-free, Kaiden became so much more alert, so much happier,” she said. “He used to smile all the time before the seizures started and during the time he had them, a smile was a pretty rare thing.” In four to six months, Anne said Kaiden excelled. He began standing and supporting himself, and she said within six weeks, he had gained nine to 12 months of development.

‘Cavemom’s Cooking’ Anne shares her story of her heartbreaking experience and how her new eating routines changed the family’s life in a cookbook called “Cavemom’s Cooking.” It features dozens of recipes. When she’s not making new recipes, Anne sells other homemade products on The family lives in Albert Lea. Anne has sent letters to Kaiden’s neurologist about how Kaiden’s seizures stopped and to other universities, Down

Kaiden Hoelz plays with books and toys on the floor of his home.

syndrome centers and epilepsy centers, in hopes it could help others. She received only one letter in response. Now, the whole family is on the Paleo diet, and Anne said it has been worth it. While it was an adjustment at first, she said she thinks they are all healthier from it. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have to, when you do it for someone you love,” she said. AL

Spiced Cranberry Sauce 12 ounces whole cranberries 1/2 cup water 3/4 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon cinnamon Nutmeg, just a sprinkle or two Optional: 1/8 teaspoon allspice Cardamom, just a sprinkle or two Cook together in a saucepan. Boil, reduce to desired consistency. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 43

Fruit vinaigrette Fruit of choice, finely chopped — cherries, raspberries, blueberries or strawberries. Choose one fruit or mix them together. Maple syrup Pomegranate vinegar Balsamic vinegar Mix to taste. Serve over salad.

Basic Nuffin Recipe

3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal 1/4 cup coconut flour 2 teaspoons homemade baking powder 3 eggs 1/4 cup rendered suet or tallow or oil of choice 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup cooked fruit or vegetable (varies with recipe) 1/4 cup water (optional, only use if batter needs thinning) Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

44 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Cherry Apple Pomegranate Salad

Leafy greens Pomegranate seeds 1/2 apple, chopped Pine nuts Walnuts, chopped Cherry vinaigrette (see fruit vinaigrette recipe) Layer ingredients on a bed of leafy greens.

Downtown Albert Lea (507) 373-7746

Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Then mix together. Spoon into a well greased muffin tin, cups about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes about 10 small nuffins.

Holiday Nuffins

Prepare Basic Nuffin recipe, but add the following: 1/2 apple, chopped 1/8 cup dried sweetened cranberries Fresh orange zest

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Gene Anderson built this shelving unit to house some of the Department 56 buildings the couple has collected. The buildings are displayed year-round.

Story and photos by Brandi Hagen


46 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Story and photos by Brandi Hagen

Gene and Irene Anderson stand in a room that they decorate for Christmas. The couple has made it a tradition to decorate their home from top to bottom, inside and out, each year for the holidays.


keep expanding Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 47



ost people are taught when they leave a room they should turn the lights off. During the Christmas season, Irene and Gene Anderson’s family knows that rule better than anyone else. The Andersons, both 60, have been married for 41 years and have three children, nine grandchildren, and one on the way, and one great-grandchild. Back around 1998 when the couple’s children had all moved away and were planning to visit for the holidays, a Christmas tradition emerged. Gene came up with the idea to decorate

Irene Anderson rolls lefse onto a stick to transfer it from her workspace to the lefse grill.

their home and Irene expanded on it. When they finished, they called their children to tell them the decorations were up. When their children finally arrived, what they saw was not what they expected. “We came over the hill right down the road and it was like, boom, lights!” said the couple’s daughter, Tammy Krowiorz. What the family members saw as they returned home for Christmas were blowup decorations including the Grinch, Santa, a snowman, sleigh with reindeer, presents, penguins and a John Deere tractor. They saw all the trees on the

property lit up as well as the barn, house and playhouse. And there was a Nativity scene and angels set out. The inside of the home had been decorated, too, with different themes including the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, Gophers, sports gear, Coca-Cola, Santas and snowmen. The couple set up more than 100 of the brand-named Department 56 buildings in just about every room. The Andersons chose that brand because of the intricate details on each of the little village buildings and scenery. There were also five large Christmas trees, little Christmas trees and a pool table turned into the North Pole. Gene said when he first brought up the idea of decorating for Christmas he never imagined it would turn out to be so elaborate. “That’s pretty much my nature,” Irene said. “If a little is good, more is better.” “We got caught up in the buzz,” Gene added. What the Andersons ultimately called “fairyland” shocked and pleased not only themselves but their neighbors and other people passing on their way to services at East Freeborn Lutheran Church. The couple even won an Albert Lea Tribune lighting contest. “It was fun,” Gene said. Seeing younger generations stare and hearing other people’s reactions is the motivation the Andersons use to keep decorating. “They all know what’s going on,” Gene said. “When it gets to be the time of year, they know what’s happening.”

The rules The Andersons have made it a rule to not impose on any other holidays when they put up their Christmas decorations. The Christmas decorating begins after their haunted woods decorations are

taken down from Halloween. During their spare time they continue decorating until Thanksgiving. Anything not put up by Thanksgiving stays put away. The lights are on from the night before Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. They get turned off nightly with the exception of Christmas Eve. Then a more important rule is put into place. Lights in the house are kept to a minimum because the Andersons want people passing by to see the Christmas decor lit up. “Without the extra lights, it’s relaxing, too,” Irene said. Irene’s most recent idea that hasn’t happened yet is to add speakers to the display so music can be heard outside, too. The Andersons invite anyone to drive by their holiday wonderland at 22903 790th Ave. in Albert Lea.

decor from several places. Some items they make, like a scene of two snowmen throwing a snowball between them, and others are given as presents, picked up at major retailers or found at auctions. Over time, the Andersons have become more efficient in decorating. Several of the Department 56 buildings are on display all year long on a shelving unit that Gene built specifically for them. On the back of the shelves are mirrors that give the illusion that there is another street behind the buildings. When the couple had an electrician at the house, they had him wire the shelving unit to a light switch so with one flick of a finger the whole village could be turned on. The little buildings became a huge part of the Andersons’ collection because as a young girl, Irene loved looking at them and how much detail each one had.

Where does the display come from?

More traditions

The Andersons get their Christmas

Another tradition that’s part of the Andersons’ Christmas celebration is

making lefse and baking other treats like pies. Gene’s mother, Arvilla Anderson, taught Irene how to make lefse. Arvilla was known to make about 90 dozen just at Thanksgiving and another 100 dozen at Christmas. Now, Gene and Irene and their children make about 20 dozen to give out to family and friends. And there is hardly anything that will keep the family from making lefse. One year, Arvilla had a broken arm and a cast put on. Against doctor’s orders, she rolled out lefse for the holidays. When it was time to take the cast off, Arvilla was pleased to see flour fall out. Doctors decided Arvilla didn’t need physical therapy because she had done so much rolling, Irene said. And, when Irene had surgery last year, it didn’t keep her from making lefse either. She planted herself in the kitchen, and the family went about making their treat. Some traditions, especially family-oriented ones, must be kept. AL

Each year the Andersons make about 20 dozen pieces of lefse. They have two lefse grills to cook on. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 49

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Entry forms available with purchase only at the above listed businesses.

Osage Chamber of Commerce 808 Main Street Osage, Iowa 50461 641-732-3163

Because he loved me,

He did the dishes, Rubbed my feet, Surprised me with tulips, Took me to musicals even though he didn’t like them, Carried my bags while I did the shopping, Held my hand.

He died of cancer four years ago.

Because he loved me,

I can stay in our home. I can be here for our children. I can afford to pay for their college education. I can worry about the other things in life besides money.

He still loves me. And he still shows it.

Nancy Vanderwaerdt, Agent, LUTCF, FSS 505 Bridge Avenue, Albert Lea 377-0227

30% Off entire order Offer good thru December 31, 2013 FREE Cordless Fashion Tech and Graber FREE Installation with trusted local installer Jeff Fjelstad.

Call Susan at 507-330-0960 for your appointment! Susan Batchelder, Consultant by Michael Esch

52 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

ASK THE EXPERT | Scott Fadden

Scott Fadden is a corporate chef and recipe creator. Fadden has 37 years of kitchen experience.

8 Turkey tips 1 Let a frozen turkey thaw for up to

four days on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Never let it thaw on the counter, because that will allow bacteria to grow.


Place 1 1/2 sticks of butter between the skin and breast. Place 3/4 of a stick of butter between the skin and meat of the thighs and legs. Take remaining butter and rub the outside of the bird.


Mix salt and pepper in a bowl, then rub the turkey inside and out.


Place bird in a roasting pan breast side up and cover with a foil tent so the foil is not touching the turkey.


Cook time depends on the size of the bird: 2 1/2 hours for an 8-pound bird; 5 1/2 hours for a 25 to 28-pound bird. Cook at a minimum of 165 degrees.

6 7

Baste each hour.

Remove foil 45 minutes before it is done cooking to give the skin a golden brown color.


After cooking, let the meat rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving to redistribute juices and to keep the meat firm.


for a traditional


Expert Scott Fadden shares hints with Albert Lea Magazine Story by Micah Bader

Scott Fadden’s 37 years of kitchen experience has helped him realize that it’s best to keep it simple when cooking a turkey. “A lot of people put too much into it,” said Fadden, a corporate chef and recipe creator for Martin Brothers Distributing, a large food distribution company in the Midwest. “If they ever want to change the recipe, they can. But first start with the basics.” Fadden, a graduate of Minneapolis Technical Institute, suggested people learning to cook begin with two seasonings: salt and pepper. “They’re natural, and they enhance the flavor,” he said. “After that, maybe try garlic or basil — maybe other seasonings, deep-fat frying or adding stuffing.” Before any preparation can be done, the turkey needs to be thawed on the bottom

Photo by Brandi Hagen

shelf of a refrigerator for four days or it will be too frozen to cook. “Some people don’t think about the bird until the day before they want to serve it,” Fadden said. “Then they come to the store and buy a frozen turkey that they can bowl with for the next two days.” After thawing is complete, Fadden’s traditional tips for cooking a turkey include rubbing butter between the skin and breast and the skin and meat of the thighs and legs. Extra butter can be spread on the outside of the bird. The seasonings will be applied, and the bird should be placed breast-side up with a foil tent over it that isn’t touching the turkey. Cooking time depends on the size of the turkey. 4Turkey, Page 59 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 53

December 7th

vendor & craft a a, nt Sa om fr ts si Enjoy vi agon rides, an Opry, fair, horse-drawn w d fireworks! the lighted parade an

While you’re here, visit the

Enjoy the beauty of nature outdoors – ice fishing on the river, ice skating, snowmobiling, downtown shopping, dining and much more!


Save the Date!

Farm & Home Show March 15, 2014

AGCO Intivity Center Open 9a.m.-4p.m. Monday-Friday

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CONSTANT READER | Book review by Angie Barker

Albert Lea resident Angie Barker is an avid reader and has a degree in English literature from MSUMankato. Email her at zoller@

A graveyard walker Fall is hands down the best season. That’s a weird phrase: hands down. I’m going to check into it because what would you possibly win with your hands down. Besides soccer and Riverdancing and volunteering for Panem tribute. If my radio is to be believed, everything else basically requires a variation of putting your hands up then A.) waving them around like you just don’t care or B.) saying ayyyyyyo and then letting it go. But I digress. We were talking about the colloquialism hands down which comes from horse jockeys who would drop their hands from the reins when they had a substantial lead and a guaranteed win. Facts are fun. But I digress … again. We were talking about fall, the greatest season of all the seasons, according to horse jockey hand placement anyway. It’s the season of

school, football and holidays; my personal trifecta of awesomeness could also be called knowledge, competition and gifting. And I do apply gifting to all the fall holidays, not just the December ones. In my mind I’ve already renamed Thanksgiving to Black Friday Prep & Plan Day. I’m making those lists and checking them obsessively again and again to coordinate deals with store hours. This also ties in deliciously with my competitive nature, which makes Black Friday a twofer. On the other hand, Halloween, if you’re doing it right, should take no planning beyond a bag of candy to execute gift giving properly. The recipients are even willing to come to my door, dress up and ask nicely by threatening to trick me. I have to respect someone willing to fight for their goals, even if they are 5 and dressed like Buzz Lightyear. To infinity and beyond, my small, ambitious, candy-loving friends.

Halloween makes the best holiday subject in literature, too. The supernatural is a rich well that many authors have drawn from but none better than Neil Gaiman. He is a master writer and the king of fantasy, to which his numerous awards can attest. Gaiman is the author of critically acclaimed children’s novel “The Graveyard Book.” It is the winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal, Hugo Award, Locus Award and the 2010 Carnegie Medal. Everyone agrees, he’s a big deal. I’m sure his house in Menomonie, Wis., smells of rich mahogany and contains many leather-bound books. “The Graveyard Book” follows protagonist Nobody “Bod” Owens through his temporary residency in the graveyard that is near his backyard. After the murder of his family, the solace and shelter within 4Book, Page 59 Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 55

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Albert Lea is always a festive place around the holidays. Shown here are a few scenes from years past.

Albert Lea firefig

hters repair toys

corated for bert Lea was de Al in e af C l ea Id The e late 1920s. the holidays in th

for Christmas di


Snow has fallen and C are up at the inte hristmas decorations rsection of So Broadway and C ollege Street look uth ing north in 1931.

Photos courtesy of the Freeborn County Historical Museum Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 57

FINAL WORD | By Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson taught social studies in Albert Lea for more than six years before staying home to raise children. She lives with her husband, Jeshua, and their two young children, Trixie and Axel. She wrangles toddlers by day and writes by night.

Fond recollections of a bygone activity Jennifer Vogt-Erickson owns this decoration, which follows the tradition of using straw goats in decor.

One of the merriest holiday traditions I have encountered is julebukking. To the uninitiated, it’s a synthesis of trick-or-treating, Christmas caroling and home invasion. People usually practice it around Christmas time, but my dad did it once on Halloween when I was a kid. He’s German, so he sometimes mixes up Norwegian things. He confused lutefisk for mashed potatoes once, too. That is a mistake a person never makes twice. The tradition of julebukking extends deep into Norwegian history, probably originating from the pagan midwinter 58 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

celebration of Jul, or Yule. During the festivities, a person would dress up as one of Thor’s goats (bukken), which pulled the god of thunder’s chariot across the sky. People blended Jul traditions into Christmas celebrations as Christianity spread across Norway. Goats made of straw are still a popular Christmas decoration in Scandinavia. I often wonder if Santa Claus was following Thor on Pinterest when he chose his mode of Christmas Eve transportation. The tradition of dressing up as a goat or other figure survived for a long time. People would devise costumes and walk from home to home, extracting drinks and treats from the homeowners until they could correctly identify the julebukkers.

Scandinavian emigrants carried the tradition to America, especially to communities in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. I suspect, though I have not yet confirmed, that Albert Lea was once a hotbed for julebukking. All the right elements were in place, namely an abundance of Norwegians, and Danes who were ripe for mischief once they finished the work of building their own Lutheran churches. Though julebukking has nearly died out in the United States, I turned to a couple of family members to find out more about the tradition. From my mother I learned that my great-great-aunt Marie Gjellstad Hauge 4Julebukking, Page 61

Book Continued from Page 55

the walls of the graveyard (turned nature preserve) are provided by ghosts, ghouls, witches, werewolves and a few other spooky inhabitants including his adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, and his guardian, Silas. Bod is granted the freedom of the graveyard, which permits him characteristics of the undead, like walking through walls and fading from sight, despite being most definitely alive. And since the murderer is still looking for the toddler who escaped, these gifts are meant to keep him alive. There is so much to love about this book. Yes, the children’s book that begins with murder and takes place in a graveyard. Love, love, love it! Children’s literature is meant to reflect the world we live in, not just the nice bits. Fairy tales and fables have been used for centuries to explain the rules of the world through storytelling. Scary, scary story-

Tips Continued from Page 37

your calorie intake, exercise more or do both. Here are some helpful tips:

DO • Eat regular meals and snacks. If you are too hungry, you are less likely to make healthy decisions and control portions. Pack snacks like nuts or healthy snack bars. • Eat something before you go to a holiday party. This will help pick your food choices wisely. • Be mindful of your food choices. If you are eating, it should be because you’re hungry. If you’re eating because you’re stressed, find a stress-relief tactic that works, not the short-term satisfaction you will get

telling. Seriously, read an original fairy tale. Those things had never heard of happy endings until Walt Disney came along, but even Disney in all its sugarcoating and song breaks can’t shy away from parricide, Just look at “Bambi” and “Finding Nemo.” And speaking of Disney, “The Graveyard Book” has been called the latest interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Young Bod, like Mowgli, is raised in an unfamiliar and dangerous world (to the reader anyway) by adoptive parents and guardians trying to keep him safe while he works out his identity issues in the nature versus nurture argument. The genius of Gaiman’s dark writing style is that when Nobody Owens asks who he is, the answer performs double duty by acting as an emotional reflection of teenage insecurity and as a satirical reminder that he does in fact have a body and doesn’t actually fit in with his family and friends. It’s not subtle, but neither are teenage readers.

from a treat. • Exercise regularly. Exercise is a stress-reliever, and many would rather exercise more than give up holiday treats. • Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, other fiber sources and lean protein. These foods will give you nutrients to stay energized and feel satisfied. • Drink plenty of water and have a large glass before meals. • Choose the treats you are looking forward to eating the most that only come this time of year.

Don’t • Go to the mall or the grocery store hungry — it is way too hard to say no to Cinnabon or unhealthy treats. As humans, cravings are a part of why we eat. Eat before you go and the craving still might be there but it will be lessened.

Turkey Continued from Page 53

Another key Fadden added was to let the meat rest. “It’s to redistribute the juices evenly, and it lets the meat firm so it’ll carve nicely,” he said. Fadden has expertise in cooking turkeys, but he also enjoys making Italian dishes and baking desserts. As a recipe creator, he has made some unusual dishes. “We’ve tried peanut butter whipped cream over a fudge-dipped brownie with chocolate-tipped bacon,” Fadden said. “Sometimes people shake their head at it, but then they try it, and it goes over great.” Fadden worked at Murray’s restaurant, a steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis, as well as at deli chains and as a caterer. He manages large catering events for Nelson’s Market Place, and he’s lived in Albert Lea since 1991.

• Stand next to the buffet table. This is never a good idea because you will likely eat mindlessly and take in more calories than you think. • Don’t beat yourself up over slip-ups. We all have some meals or even days where we eat too much. It’s how you handle it that matters. Exercise more or eat a bit less the next day. Regret and guilt will not help you stay positive. • Think you need to get your exercise all at one time. You may not have 30 to 60 minutes. It will be worth the effort to do 10 minutes of activity three times a day. It’s total calories burned that you are after. • Overeat salty and sugary foods. The more sugar and salt you eat the more you are going to crave it. And you’ll be less likely to make healthy, mindful choices. • Spend a lot of calories on beverages. • Fill yourself up on foods you can get any time of the year like chips and dip. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 59

marketplace Dave Syverson Auto Center

2310 East Main Street Albert Lea, MN 56007 507-373-1438 Experience the difference with Dave Syverson’s non-commissioned sales team. Visit your local Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Lincoln, Nissan, Volkswagen, Ram dealership serving Albert Lea and surrounding areas. Access the most up-to-date Internet car buying tools on their website.

Good Samaritan Society

75507 240th Street Albert Lea, MN 56007 507-379-0683 Located on the north side of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The people they serve delight in the peace and quiet of the countryside while appreciating the convenience of being just a few miles from downtown Albert Lea.

Home Solutions

603-1st Ave. S. Albert Lea, MN 56007 (507)373-3435 Update your home with windows, siding, sunroom, gutters, Gutter Helmets, sunshades, or metal roofing. We make homes new again.

60 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Medford Outlet Center

6750 West Frontage Road Medford, MN 507-455-4111 Our shopping destination continues its 20 year commitment of offering an exciting shopping experience of your favorite famous brands to southern Minnesota and traveling tourists. We are located on Interstate 35 at exit 48 with close by dining and lodging.


641-422-4245 1888-GO NIACC NIACC has a history of providing quality post-secondary opportunities. Ranked No. 14 in the nation for student success, NIACC offers a long list of opportunities: adult/developmental education, career/technical education, the first step to your bachelor’s degree and workforce development.

Unbridled Boutique

2510 Bridge Avenue Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007 (507-383-9818 Unbridled Boutique is a one of a kind shopping experience. Their unique clothing, jewelery, accessories and handbags fit your style any season.

Freeborn Lumber Company & Design Center

971 Plaza Street West Albert Lea, MN 56007 507-377-4284 A family owned business that began in 1946. Stop in and visit their new facility and design showroom. Freeborn Lumber features quality building materials, new home design, kitchen remodels, cabinet design, agricultural buildings and outdoor living spaces.

Stadheim Jewelers

Downtown Albert Lea 507-373-3440 1402 18th Ave. NW, Austin 507-433-8689 2001 4th St. SW, Mason City 641-424-7005 Three great locations with excellent customer service. You can depend on Stadheim for all of your fine jewelry needs.

Julebukking Continued from Page 58

enough grog people start to slip up and reveal their identities. One of my great-aunt’s most

Another fond recollection is the time when Verna and her friends decided late into an evening of julebukking to hit one

may hold the record as the world’s oldest

memorable julebukking experiences was

last place. She called ahead so the couple

julebukker. She julebukked in Oregon in

when she opened her front door on a

wouldn’t turn in before the julebukkers

the late 1970s at the age of 97, wearing a

winter evening in the late 1980s, and

arrived. Disguising her voice over the

pair of her late husband’s overalls as part

there stood a stooped old woman, a

phone, Verna said in a low tone, “Don’t

of her disguise. She wrote about it in a

lumberjack and a Viking. She and her

go to bed. There’s company coming.”

letter to my mother, in which she also

husband couldn’t figure out who the

They went on over and had a riotous

described rolling lefse and finishing more

strangers were until the Viking gave her a

time, but when she asked them if they

oil paintings.

hug, and she realized it was her nephew

had stayed awake because of the phone

I next called my mom’s aunt Verna

from Chicago. Her sister Thelma and two

call, they said in surprise, “Nobody called

Gjellstad Schock, who, at 88, assured me

of her sons had driven straight through


she is “working like a good girl” by

from Illinois to surprise them on

maintaining a teaching load of more than

Christmas evening.

20 piano students in the small town of

Verna and her husband then donned

Verna had called the wrong number! To this day, she doesn’t know who she called or how long they stayed up waiting.

Velva, N.D. Her past, though, is

their own outfits and went around with

Julebukking may be a bygone activity,

checkered with julebukking.

them to more family households in the

especially because people aren’t keen on

area, the party expanding at each stop. She

the home invasion aspect anymore, but if

successful julebukking are to disguise

recalls that my grandmother, who typically

Verna lives another 10 years, I’m going to

one’s voice, one’s mannerisms and one’s

scorned alcohol as a tool of the devil,

show up on her doorstep on Christmas

shoes, and to park one’s car out of sight.

imbibed a glass of white wine. Perhaps the

night and offer to take her out. I’m

brown paper bag she was wearing over her

guessing she wouldn’t pass up the chance

“cheers” — alcoholic beverages. Serving

head made her temporarily loosen her strict

to hold the record for world’s oldest

drinks helps the host, because after

moral standards.


Bell ringing begins after Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas Eve. Volunteers are needed at Hy-Vee, Nelson’s Market Place, Walmart, Shopko, Walgreens and Northbridge Mall to ring a bell and collect donations. Donations go to support local families. To sign up to volunteer at any of these events, call 507-373-5710.

It is also accepting donations of board and dice games, healthy snacks and fresh fruit. The Rock is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. To donate, call Robin Gudal, director of operations, at 507-402-2313.

She explained that the keys to

The main motivations are fun and

Helping Continued from Page 38

Want to help? Check out these opportunities:

Albert Lea Salvation Army The community Thanksgiving meal organized by the Salvation Army in Albert Lea is slated for Nov. 27 in the Fairlane Building at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. Volunteers are needed to set up, serve and clean up. A few days before Christmas, volunteers will also set up a toy shop for needy families. Volunteers are needed to walk parents through the shop and help them pick out gifts for their children.

Youth for Christ’s The Rock This nonprofit organization is collecting the following items to give to children in need: children and teen-sized boots, insulated gloves, hats and scarves, along with gently used size 6X and larger pajamas and athletic socks.

Semcac Semcac, a community action agency, is accepting food baskets, personal items, gas cards or gift cards to give to the Freeborn County Homeless Shelter, which can house three families, during the holidays. Call Vicky Helland, homeless shelter coordinator, at 507-373-1329 to get involved. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 61

events calendar Saturday, Oct. 26

“The Nose”

• 147 N. Broadway • When: 11:55 a.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20 More info: “The Nose,” a satirical opera about a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and goes on an adventure, is part of a series called “The Met: Live in HD,” where live opera in New York is shown in Albert Lea. “Tosca” is Nov. 9, and “Falstaff” is Dec. 14.

Monday, Oct. 28

Harlem Ambassadors • 1601 W. Front St. • When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Southwest Middle School Cost: $7 in advance, $9 at door More info: The star player of the Ambassadors is a woman. The team will compete against a team of locals called the Kiwanis Rockets. Proceeds

benefit local children’s programs.

Friday, Nov. 1

Halloween Touch of Broadway • 621 Marshall St. • When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Lighthouse Event Center Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at door More info: This event features songs of the spooky season. A portion of the proceeds will go to Bob Sturtz, who suffered a stroke while in the Boundary Waters in late March 2012. Tickets available at Marshall Street Music, Hy-Vee and Stadheim Jewelers.

Nov. 9-10

The Fabulous Vegas Guys • 147 N. Broadway • When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, 2 p.m. Nov. 10 Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $20

More info: From the Rat Pack to Neil Diamond, these fellas mix comedy, music and impersonations to relive the nightlife entertainment of Las Vegas.

Saturday, Nov. 16


of the


• 147 N. Broadway • When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $18 More info: Three singers perform classic tunes from the 1960s: Dionne Warwick, Cass Elliot, Marilyn McCoo, Lesley Gore, Barbara Steisand, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey and lots of others with fun-filled laughs.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Lehto & Wright • 621 Marshall St. • When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Lighthouse Event Center Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at door More info: Steve Lehto, John Wright and Matt Jacobs from Minneapolis comprise a Celtic/American/English folk and progressive rock band. This concert is perfect for fans of stringed instruments with a percussion background.

Sunday, Nov. 24

Cantori Concert

Harlem Ambassadors team captain Ladé Magic points during a game in Alden in September 2011. 62 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

• 702 U.S. Highway 69 • When: 3 p.m. Where: United Methodist Church Cost: Donation More info: This is a choral concert featuring Advent and Christmas music. The Albert Lea Cantori comprises singers from around the region.

The show in Albert Lea features traditional Christmas music and an astounding light show.

Dec. 5-8

“A Christmas Carol” Lehto & Wright is a trio from Minneapolis set to play at the Lighthouse Event Center in November.

Sunday, Dec. 1

Simple Gifts, with Billy McLaughlin • 301 W. Clark St. • When: 7 p.m. Where: First Lutheran Church Cost: $20 advance, $25 at door, $10 students More info: White Bear Lake resident Billy McLaughlin won an Emmy in June for his performance of “Billy McLaughlin: Starry Night with Orchestra Nova,” which first appeared on a San Diego public TV station.

• 621 Marshall St. • When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-7, 2 p.m. Dec. 8 Where: Lighthouse Event Center Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at door More info: A play production of the classic Charles Dickens story about greed and generosity.

Dec. 8, 15, 22

Advent Recital Series • 115 N. Washington Ave. • When: 3-3:30 p.m. Where: Salem Lutheran Church Cost: Donation More info: The series features organists from local churches and this year moves to Sundays, instead of Tuesdays. Each recital will be followed by a service of Compline.

Dec. 13-14

Dec. 7-8

Soft Sounds of Christmas

• 2510 Bridge Ave. • When: All day Where: Northbridge Mall Cost: Free More info: Enthusiasts of model trains will set up their railroads for the weekend and welcome children ages 1 to 100 to stop by for a view. Vendors will be on hand to sell stocking stuffers for the next generation.

• 147 N. Broadway • When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center Cost: $18 More info: This concert presents the soft, pop version of Christmas as well as a reverent and spiritual version. Many local singers and musicians will be featured.

Model Train Show

Albert Lean Eileen Nelson Ness plays a series of musical selections during an Advent recital at Salem Lutheran Church. Holiday 2013 | ALBERT LEA | 63


behind the scenes At the Andersons’ home, it was a team effort to make the lefse from start to finish. Gene and Irene’s daughter, Tammy, prepared the mixture, Irene rolled it out and Gene manned the grill. It was a strange thing to see it being made in September, but it sure tasted good! — Photographer Brandi Hagen

Doing this shoot with Jody and Brielle was so much fun, for everyone, I think. The girls spent mother-daughter time together and I got to photograph my favorite subject — a sweet, young girl — for the first time for our magazine. — Photographer Brandi Hagen

The necklace was a little long on Brielle until we tried the layered look.

Coming up in the next issue:

We may have picked out too many pieces of jewelry, and these two necklaces were beautiful but unfortunately not part of the photo shoot. On the left we have a beautiful beaded creation found at Unbridled Boutique. The necklace on the right was found at the Albert Lea Art Center gift shop. — Editor Kelli Lageson 64 | ALBERT LEA | Holiday 2013

Albert Lea Magazine features a Glenville woman who makes her own soaps and toiletries.

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Albert Lea Magazine - Holiday 2013