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FALL 2012

Moonlite madness

Inside: Inside: • To Market, To Market •• Posthumous and Poetry Hunt’s Point Prose Sportswoman •• A Queen of Poetry H.A.R.T.Tribe Path to the • Knitting for Baby

by women… by women… for women… for women… aboutabout women… women…



FALL 2012 | her voice

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C o ntents




Moonlite Madness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Originally a dancehall built in 1933, Moonlight Bay in Crosslake is now a restaurant with an energetic, community-minded owner named Jessie Eide.


by Jill Anderson

Repurposing a Landmark. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Read how Janet Kiley has helped transform an historic church in Staples into a vibrant center for the community. by Sandra Opheim

A Bright and Shiny Spirit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Here’s a writer whose works are infused with memories from a rural childhood. by Bev Abear

The Sportswoman at Hunts Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s the background of a woman who manages a hunt club and trains dogs in lake country? The answer might surprise you.


by Pam Landers

Living with Less, Finding More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Brianna Jensen went to Guatemala to help change the lives of others and found her own life changing as well. by Mary Aalgaard

Birth Control - Should it be covered by Insurance? Not all Women Agree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 It’s not a major issue in this year’s election, but who pays for birth control is a question women care about. by Jodie Tweed


In This Issue

students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 High School Students Studying Abroad by Jill Car lson-Ferr ie

spirituality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Dia De Muertos: H o n o r i n g Yo u r A n c e s t o r s by Jan Kur tz


The Holocaust by Misty Bauman Jobe


clubs and clusters . . . . . . . . 36 The Sew & Sews by Jeanie Braun

business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 To M a r k e t , To M a r k e t by Ar lene Jones

pioneer profiles. . . . . . . . . . . 18

34 44

her say

S o m e t i m e s i t Ta k e s a M i d w i f e by Theresa Jar vela

getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 A Healthy Esca pe: W h i t e l y C r e e k B e d & B r e a k fa s t by Beth Luwandi

animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ve t e r i n a r i a n o n t h e G o by Mar lene Cha bot

Bringing Home the Bacon fo r T h r e e G e n e ra t i o n s by Melody Banks

books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 F r o m R a i n y D a y s t o T u r t l e To w n by Suz Anne Wipper ling

authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 P a t h t o t h e Po e t r y T r i b e by Char maine Donovan

C o v e r p h o t o b y J o e y Halvorson On the cover: Jessie Eide juggles a young family, community activities and a busy wor k schedule as par t-owner of Moonlite Bay Restaurant in Crosslake.

technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 C y b e r b u l l y i n g : K e e p i n g Yo u r Tw e e n s a n d T e e n s S a f e O n l i n e by Becky Flansburg


FALL 2012 | her voice

Read Online:

FALL 2012 | her voice


Staff & Joey Halvorson

from t h e e d i t o r

photos by Meg Douglas

Little Bits of Truth

PUBLISHER Tim Bogenschutz EDITOR Meg Douglas ART DIRECTOR Nikki Lyter PHOTOGRAPHER Joey Halvorson

The homestead where poet Robert Frost wrote for 10 years; an inscription by Frost in one of his early poetry collections, Brainerd lakes area poet, Charmaine Donovan.


A warm June sun shone on the white frame homestead where Robert Frost lived and wrote for 10 years in Derry, N.H. Thirty acres of woods and pasture surround the farm, still with stone walls and a west-running brook, settings and themes for many of his poems. On a pilgrimage of sorts, I’d grown up hearing Frost poems, either read or recited with uncommon reverence by my parents and learned that my literature loving grandfather shared a rural New Hampshire background with Frost and a casual friendship. Frost took simple objects from his everyday world — birch trees, woodpiles and apples — and used them as a point of reference for philosophical meditations. No one poem illuminated “Truth,” he said, meaning it came from the “little bits of truth” revealed in each poem. Now bits of Frost’s life and his poems are preserved on the Derry farm. In the barn, some yellowed newsprint lies tattered behind glass, a periodical reported to be the first to publish a Frost poem. Not unlike Her Voice, I


FALL 2012 | her voice

thought to myself, giving writers an opportunity to be published. In this edition of Her Voice, our women writers give us their own “little bits of truth.” Charmaine Donovan, author of “Tumbled Dry,” a prize winning collection of poems, writes about poets who inspired her, including Minnesota’s Poet Laureate, Joyce Sutphen. Sutphen will be the keynote speaker at the League of Minnesota Poets Conference in Brainerd this fall. Other writers in this edition include: Theresa Jarvela, who published her first novel, “Home Sweet Murder – Tales of a Tenacious Housesitter,” in June 2012; Mary Aalgaard, author of her first full-length play, “Coffee Shop Confessions,” performed locally this spring; and Marlene Chabot, currently working on her fourth Minnesota-based mystery novel. These women are frequent contributors to Her Voice and I’d like to think we play some small part in the evolution of their talent. Many thanks to these and all the women who share with us their minds and hearts. For Frost, “A poem begins in joy and ends in wisdom.” We hope this edition of Her Voice does the same.


Meg Douglas, Editor





• For advertising opportunities call Carla Staffon 218.855.5834 or 1.800.432.3703 find our publication on the web at E-mail your comments, suggestions or topics to or mail them to Her Voice at Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 copyright© 2003 VOLUME NINE, EDITION THREE FALL 2012

by Jill Anderson photos by Joey Halvorson & Jill Anderson

Moonlite madness

FALL 2012 | her voice


I was working seven something h

Part-owner of Moonlite Bay Restaurant in Crosslake, Jessie Eide can take orders, serve food or mix a drink as she moves from one customer to another.


If your first visit to Moonlite Bay Restaurant in Crosslake is during the busy summer months, you will likely mistake Jessie Eide as one of the college students who work there. The petite blonde has as much liveliness as the Energizer Bunny, easily keeping pace with the young staff. The difference is Jessie is part-owner of Moonlite Bay. Nestled in a bay on the Whitefish chain of lakes, the business has been in the family for years. The original Moonlite Bay was a hopping dancehall built in 1933, eventually growing to include a bar and restaurant. In 1984 a fire wiped out the business and there sat the prime piece of property, bare. When Jessie’s parents, Jerry and Jane Pollock, purchased the property in the mid80s with a couple of partners, their intention was to resell the property. They had plenty of interest from potential buyers but after no solid deals came through, Jerry decided they needed to rebuild. A new Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant and Bar opened in 1989. The first three years they offered set-ups until they got a liquor license, which changed everything. With an increase in business, they added on more seating area to the restaurant in 1993. In 2000 they made big changes. Adding another 40’ x 20’ to the bar area they went from 11 bar stools to 40.


FALL 2012 | her voice

They also put in a basement, then redid the enormous deck in 2001, doubling their seating in the summertime. Through the years, Jerry and Jane’s three children, Lisa, Jessie and Jeremy worked their way through school at Moonlite Bay washing dishes, waiting tables, or cooking. Lisa’s daughter’s now waitress and wash dishes at Moonlite, Jeremy DJ’s, and Jessie is the one who lives and breathes Moonlite. Jessie got her start working at The Commander at age 13 then continued on in 1992 to Moonlite Bay, where she has worked since. During that time she graduated from college in 1997 with her RN degree. She worked full time as a public health nurse and continued to work part-time at Moonlite until the year 2000. “I was working seven days a week and something had to give,” Jessie remembers. When they built the addition in 2000, the managers (co-owners) at the time needed more help because of the large increase in business. “They offered me the assistant manager’s job and I had to decide where my heart was.” Jessie felt it was the right time for her to switch her focus and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. Becoming manager in 2004, Jessie is now part-owner. She keeps her RN license current, and that medical

knowledge has come in handy over the years, helping both customers and employees with anything from a kitchen injury to symptoms of a heart attack. Does she feel like she made the right decision? “Absolutely! I love the atmosphere, our customers, the adrenaline rush and the challenge of keeping everything flowing smoothly.” That adrenaline rush helps when they get overwhelmed with business and the pace gets crazy. “The hard part is the scheduling, especially in the late spring before the college kids are back for the summer,” Jessie says. “And it’s always a guessing game with weather playing such a big factor in our business.” With 19 picnic tables on their large deck, and a number of docking spaces for boats, a warm, beautiful day can easily double their business. A good example is this past St. Patrick’s Day when temperatures were in the 70s. “How do you plan ahead for that?” Jessie reflects back on that hectic day. With Crosslake’s St. Patrick’s activities going on,

ven days a week and g had to give,

the businesses were overflowing due to the exceptionally warm weather. In Moonlite Bay’s case, they hadn’t planned on people sitting outside in mid-March. “Our college students who work here in the summer obviously weren’t around to help,” says Jessie. She, along with the employees, got through it, just like the night their power went out. “It was crazy!” Jessie remembers. “At about 11 p.m. on a busy summer night, we lost power. Moonlite was packed and I think I panicked.” Thank goodness Richard, Jessie’s husband, along with their bouncer, both jumped into action and found large battery powered lighting; the bartenders opened the tills and everyone continued on as best they could. When Jessie and Richard decided to start a family, they planned ahead, knowing their hectic schedules and raising children would take some juggling. Jessie’s parents stepped in, committing to provide daycare to their grandchildren; Mayson, 5, and Owen, 2. Richard takes care of the maintenance and computer work at Moonlite, and although

they now have a full time daycare provider, Jessie and Richard stagger their schedules so each spends as much time as possible with their children. Jerry still takes care of the overall financials but Jessie does the day to day decision making and running of the business. There is a third partner, Bill Terry and his wife, Sally Egan, and they all trust Jessie to take care of Moonlite. And she has. Winter activities in Crosslake have helped keep local businesses going over the years and Moonlite is heavily involved with a lot of those events. They co-host with Golden Eagle Golf Course the “Ice Tee Open,” a fundraiser for Camp Knutson, which raised over $20,000 last year and the Dru Sjodin golf, silent auction and entertainment event. They also work with area Lions Clubs hosting many local events such as the spaghetti feed in May, the 1st Annual Evening for Education dinner, comedy show, and silent auction to benefit the Crosslake Community School. Moonlite also hosts some fishing tournaments in the bay for Camp Confidence and The Lions Club. Taking a leadership role, Jessie has chaired the Crosslake Winter Fest for the past five years. She is also a board member of the Crosslake Parks & Libraries

Foundation. New for Jessie this year is a fireworks committee, which helps raise money for the Fourth of July fireworks display, formerly funded by the city of Crosslake. Moonlite features the annual Antique and Wood Boat Rendezvous each July, and new last year was the 1st Annual Cardboard Boat Races in August. With a great turnout, they had 37 boats sign up that day for the Aug. 11, 2012, event. It’s easy to see what keeps Jessie attracted to the business. She gets tired but never sick of it. “The downside is being unable to commit to help with community events in the summer.” Jessie is more active in events planned during the winter months. Although the business can be overwhelming at times, “There are so many benefits,” Jessie said. “We’ve met some of our best friends at Moonlite. Everyone here is like family to us, our staff and customers make it all worthwhile.” Employees return every year, much like seasonal customers, happy to be part of the Moonlite “family.” “This is our life and I can’t imagine being anywhere but here. Sure, it can be pure madness sometimes, but I love it.” Jessie says, grinning.


Jill Anderson

Jill lives and works in Emily, enjoys summers in the lakes area, and wishes they were longer! Moonlite has helped many teens work their way through college, including four of her own children.

FALL 2012 | her voice


stud e n t s

story by Jill Carlson-Ferrie photo by Joey Halvorson

Lukiolaisille Opiskelu ulkomailla:

Translation =

High School Students

Studying Abroad


Marissa Bjerkness, a Brainerd High School senior, will be departing to Finland this August to participate in a 9-month study abroad program through Rotary International. Marissa contacted the Brainerd Noon Rotary Club over a year ago expressing her interest in their exchange program. As Rotary’s Youth Exchange Officer (YEO) I met with Marissa and her parents to discuss the program and application process on a Sunday afternoon at Caribou. Her interest in an exchange program began with her older sister’s exchange experience and an opportunity to see the world. “Other cultures and countries have always been interesting to me and I absolutely love traveling! I have always planned on traveling a lot in my life and when I heard about this program it sounded perfect and I just had this feeling that it was meant for me.” Marissa is the first Brainerd High School student in six years to participate in a year-long outbound exchange program. “Nobody believed me at first! Everybody who I told or figured out had to sit down with me and have me explain the process and things because to others in my school, it seemed too good to be true. A lot of my friends think it is the most perfect thing for me and are a little sad I’m leaving but super excited. The thing I love most is how many students now have learned about the opportunities we have in high school!” Acceptance to the program included a lengthy application process and an interview by Rotarians at the district level who assessed Marissa’s capability to adapt, open mindedness and ability to positively represent Rotary and the United States. She passed with flying colors. Students applying in the Rotary Exchange Program list the top 15 countries where they would like to study. Finland was Marissa’s 11th choice.


FALL 2012 | her voice

Marissa Bjerkness, Brainerd High School Senior, will participate in a nine month student exchange program in Finland this year through Rotary International.

Marissa’s preparations include working with the schools both in the U.S. and in Finland to ensure proper credits will be fulfilled, finding language self-study and preparing to be away from her family and friends for over nine months. “I have been trying to learn the language on a computer program as much as possible but it’s pretty tough. I have also been studying a lot about the history of Finland and speaking with my host sisters about the culture and teenage life.” Rotary’s exchange program requires both students going outbound and those students who are currently inbound from other countries to attend various training sessions throughout the year. They discuss culture shock, homesickness and the rules associated with representing your country including the 4 D’s: No drinking, no drugs, no driving and no dating. Or, as a past Rotary exchange student told me, “Do it, do it again, don’t get caught and deny it.” A gathering of over 500 Rotary exchange students and their parents in Michigan this summer is the final training before departure. Once arriving in Finland, all exchange students must participate in a language and culture camp to help them adapt. Students on Rotary Exchange live with different families. This gives them a variety of family dynamics and experiences. Marissa will have four different host families. The first family has two teen daughters, the second family has three teen daughters but one will be on foreign exchange. The third family has two nine-year-old daughters and the final host family has one son Marissa’s age and a daughter who is 12. Expectations for Marissa while she’s in Finland will be to maintain her grades, participate in activities and attend Rotary meetings in her host town and give a speech about herself for her host Rotary Club in Finnish. As far has her family here, she said, “My parents are doing very well with the thought of me leaving but are sad to see me leave the nest early since I will be spending my senior year over there.” Marissa’s brother graduated high school this year and is attending college in the fall. Marissa says this will be “a big change for my parents since I am the youngest of three children.” Marissa will return from her overseas adventure at the end of her school year in Finland. We’re proud to be sending such an adventurous, positive young woman to represent Rotary, Brainerd and the United States. Onnea Matkaan Marissa! (Good Luck Marissa!)


Jill Carlson-Ferrie

Jill Carlson-Ferrie lives in Baxter with her husband, Scott and three children. She works as the director of learning and development at Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and enjoys being involved in many service organizations. As YEO of Brainerd Rotary, she is responsible for assisting in applications and training for outbound students along with identifying host families and ensuring a positive experience for students arriving inbound from other countries.

FALL 2012 | her voice


spir i t u a l i t y

story and photos by Jan Kurtz


n Pa . g c n yi ope u t B co O

Dia de Muertos will be the topic of Central Lakes College Cultural Thursday on October 4th at Noon in the Chalberg Theatre, complete with recipes for deadbread, craft ideas and altars.


FALL 2012 | her voice

to er




es ud ar l c in ug c d s es. e op ize ho ot fe s g s c in O li n ith nn i u r w r ta Al figy and f e ull sk


Dia de Muertos:

at le re a rs ta fo rke os l s a l ul a m de on. k S c ia ti ar ava e D bra g e Su uern f th cel C rt o tos pa uer M

Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead. As the half moon rises and the flicker of the candles grow brighter with the night’s darkness, I feel them approach. The wind carries them over the land, searching for their earthly homes. Below, their family members have strewn a thick path of golden and orange marigold petals from the street to the altars they have lovingly prepared. Days have been spent at the markets, at the bakery, in their kitchens, going through photos, and going through their savings to make ready for the visit of their “dearly departed ancestors.” Perhaps it is because my Grandma Nellie used to sit me down with the family tintypes, recounting tales of stoic people, long dead. Perhaps it is because I was widowed at age 25 and my culture offered no viable grieving process. Perhaps, when I scattered my brother’s ashes, my soul finally demanded a sacred ritual. It came in the mystical combination of the pre-Hispanic Aztec afterworld melded with a convoluted interpretation of Catholicism. I would pilgrimage to Mexico! Jamy and I were on the heels of Rosalba, our teacher guide. We descended into the lower level of the market and it was all there. The tables were laid out with artistically arranged rows of sugar and seed skulls. Stacks of brightly colored papel picado, cutouts in the shapes of skeletons and Catrinas, (the female version of the Grim-Reaper), were piled on counters. Young boys hauling long stemmed marigolds, thrown over their shoulders, made their way through the stream of marketers. Rosalba led us past the piñatas of devils and coffins to the section of incense and their burners. The sweet pungent copal clouds floated over the scene like a lost ghost. On to Jardin Borda, where altars and Catrinas were the theme for artistic competitions. The Catrinas were larger than life figures, symbolizing legends, history or persons important to the artists. The altars were designed in layers representing the levels journeyed through to reach heaven. Bowls Jan Kurtz travels to Mexico to expe- of water, statues of saints, decorated candles, baskets of mangos and the customary Pan rience Dia de los Muertos, (Day of de Muertos/ “dead bread” were thoughtfully the Dead), a holiplaced among the photos. day where friends As we left to hail a taxi, we were drawn and family pray for by drumbeat and the clatter of a gathering and remember crowd. There, dancing down the street, were those who have giant Catrinas, swaying on their stilts, leading died. groups of people whose faces were painted

Honoring your Ancestors in the black and whites of skeletons. They bowed, dipped their hats and tried to keep pace with the wild Catrinas, careening around the corner in front of Corte’s palace. Cortes would not have recognized this remnant of his enforced Catholicism. But, the real ceremony was in the village of Ocotopec. We boarded our van and entered the flow of bikes, cars and pedestrians, now slowing to a crawl before the cemetery. Family mausoleums glowed with shiny fresh coats of turquoise and pink paints. Lush garlands draped themselves over crosses. A group of mariachis, all in tight black pants with silver trim, embraced their guitars as they entered the pantheon. Dusk was settling in and so were the vendors. They pulled the strings on glow-in-the-dark puppet skeletons or pointed to the fresh dead bread, chanting, “Compre… compre uno, buy one.” Maru and Rosita motioned us toward the colonial cathedral. Passing through its doors, we saw intricately carved statues of saints

gazing down upon the descendants of those Indians who had given up the Sun God for the Son of God. Back in the streets we searched for the doorways with large banners proclaiming: “Bienvenido! Welcome!” followed by the name of the deceased. Inside, the petal paths led both the living and the dead to the altars. Placed there was Grandpa’s whiskey next to a saint’s medallion. Grandma’s picture sat inside her ceramic cacerola dish. A mannequin was dressed in Juan’s futbol uniform. Some had effigies of the recently dead, laid out at the top of the altar with a life-sized sugar skull as the head, and empty shoes at the “foot.” And the food? The dearly departed, having traveled long, arrive hungry and thirsty. They will pass over these offerings, partaking of their spirit. When they have finished, the living will feast, noting that the bread is a bit stale and the Coke is a bit flat. Having reverently given their respects, the guests retreat to the patio for a good

laugh, a good cry… and possibly, a good shot of tequila in the hot punch being served with tamales. They recall their dead and the saying: “The first death is physical. The second is when your name is no longer uttered.” So, next year, as the moon rises, I will light copal. I will lift my mug of punch and utter their names: Jim… Steven…Wilma… Nellie… All will be ready. Just follow the marigold path lit by candles! ¡Bienvenidos!


Jan Kurtz

Jan’s travels, professional and personal time, are a blend of her northern roots sprinkled with a dash of Spanish. She is equally inspired by the family cabin and downtown Madrid. Her business card reads: “Bilingual optimist.”

FALL 2012 | her voice



By Sandra Opheim

rposi ng a k r a m d Lan


Artists can transform canvases into portraits of familiar faces, clay into spectacular vases, iron into beautiful garden gates and broken bits of antique dinnerware into murals. Janet Kiley, a Staples resident, transformed a former historic church building into her vision of art. She has taken architectural elements of a once vibrant community church and helped it through a metamorphosis to become again a thing of beauty and purpose. “I like to repurpose old things,” she says, “and working with my hands is my hobby.” Currently, Janet is an employee of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, sells properties for Weichert Realtors/Tower Properties, and is a Close to My Heart scrapbook sales consultant. For the last six years she has added the task of transforming the old Faith Lutheran Church building into a retreat center for friends, families, businesses, non-profit organizations and community members. When the congregation rebuilt a new church in a different location, they left the shell of the old church for someone like Janet. Today, the once stripped down church has housed many spectacular community events and family gatherings. The Landmark Inn building is nestled in a central part of Staples among neighborhood homes. Keeping the tranquil building in its respect14

FALL 2012 | her voice

The form er churc h commun ity even now hosts a nu ts includ mber of cancer s in urvivor banquet. g a Relay for L ife

Janet Kiley worked at transforming the historic Faith Lutheran Church in Staples into a retreat center for families, businesses and the community.

ful form is quite an endeavor for Janet. “It was an emotional and financial endeavor for me,” she says in retrospect. Originally, she quit her secure job in the Twin Cities, left behind two adult children and moved to the small town of Staples for a new venture. She had never stepped foot in the town of Staples and knew nobody from the community. The price of the property was affordable and she decided it would be risky, but worth the adventure. “My parents encouraged me as a child to try new things,” she remembers. Her father is an inspiration to her and helped her gain the skills of fixing things. She remembers her childhood years of working on projects at her father’s side. “I have a lot of perseverance and as I tell my daughter, women need to be strong and independent,” she says, smiling as she shares. Growing up in Brooklyn Center gave Janet opportunities to be close to Minneapolis. She would see the forlorn shapes of the Minneapolis warehouse buildings as a child and envision what they looked like in their original glory. She remembers looking at the buildings and appreciating their architectural designs. “I guess it was in my blood as a child to transform a building,” she says. Moving to Staples and becoming an involved community member was a slow process. She found Staples a big change from

busy city traffic, a large population and the endless city-life entertainment opportunities. At first, she was lonely. She recalls taking reprieve from her lonesome tasks of renovations by attending city council meetings. Looking back she laughs, “I was the only audience member at the council and EDA meetings. The members were wondering who the heck I was and why was I taking notes.” She would go, listen to the members, but really use the time to write a plan for the church transformation. She had a notebook and would design her building while the meetings progressed. A long overdue introduction to the council board eased everyone’s curiosities. Janet’s plan was to become a part of the community through this transformation venture. There were zoning issues — some members of the city planning and zoning committee wanted old churches to be torn down. But Janet saw the old church as a way to stimulate the small town economy. She had visions of creating a place for personal renewal, wedding receptions, wine tastings, non-profit events, scrapbooking events and a unique home away from home for visitors. Janet wanted the city of Staples to embrace this new facility part of their community. “It was a tremendous amount of hard work,” says Janet of the renovation process. Stripping oak floors, adding new trim work,

photos by Joey Halvorson painting walls, designing a style to be represented throughout, reinforcing balcony railings, repairing floor design and the list continues. Some of the work she did personally, for others she employed local people. If the church walls could talk, she didn’t hear much history. However, some cool finds through renovation include a cigar stub under the balcony floor, a letter from a mother to a teacher, a liquor bottle and she saw initials carved in many of the wooden window frames. These items can tell their own story. Janet will be sure to help the occupants of the new Landmark Inn create fresh memories and tell a new story for the repurposed building. The events hosted to date include a Relay for Life cancer survivor banquet, a bike and walking trail fundraiser, weddings, New Year’s Eve Ball, a community play, cancer fundraising benefit, Ladies Night Out event, wine tastings and an Early Childhood Coalition event. Smaller groups have rented the space for scrapbooking and overnight stays. One family rented the entire facility for their family wedding. It was an extension of their home and was finer than any hotel. The cancer survivor banquet is one of the more emotionally transforming events held in this space. Cancer survivors in the community are recognized for success in their battles. Stories are told of

how their lives have been transformed through their journey with cancer. The intimate space embraces them as they celebrate. Overall, the feedback from all the events has been positive. The people who have used the space have given great reviews to Janet Kiley, the innkeeper. Information about the facility can be viewed at Artists in the community are encouraged to be a part of the Landmark Inn. A local artist, who creates fabulous wood, iron and stained glass garden gates, showcases his work here. The sun light glistens through the stained glass as if in memory of the building’s past. These garden gate style pieces are room dividing features of the Landmark Inn. Artist Pam Collins has held events in the center teaching her craft of painting and tile mosaics. Others are encouraged to check out the Landmark Inn as a classroom space. Janet Kiley, a big city girl, seems to fit in just fine in Staples. While known by some as Saturday Night Live’s version of “The Church Lady,” she is independent, strong, intelligent, organized, thoughtful and a community member of whom we can be proud.

Sandra Opheim

Sandra Opheim teaches English in the StaplesMotley School District and continuing education courses for St. Thomas University. She is a children’s book author and a frequent contributor to Her Voice.

In addition to her community work, Janet is an employee with the MN Department of Transportation, a realtor and a scrapbook sales consultant. FALL 2012 | her voice


trav e l

story by Arlene Jones photos by Bob Jones

Arlene Jones traveled across Europe this summer, checking out farmer’s markets.


We’re farmers, literally and at heart. We recently traveled France, England, Scotland and Ireland and toured every farmer’s market, food cooperative, farm house, farm stand, farm store and agricultural operation we could find. It’s an interesting way to see the local culture, local foods and food systems. It is also a way to gain new knowledge, reinvigorate, and to see other farming operations firsthand. The finest way to get to know a new culture is to immerse your self in it. What better way than through language, and of course, food? The lifestyle of Europeans is to shop frequently for fresh food. Aside from a few larger chain grocery stores in the city, most opportunities for grocery shopping come in the size of small and locally owned grocery stores or farmer’s markets. In each city we traveled to, it was very easy to find a farmer’s market with accessibility through the public transportation systems. 16

FALL 2012 | her voice

(Above) Arlene chatting with market ambassador at London’s Borough Market, (Left) Meat stall at London’s Notting Hill Market, (Right) Meat stall at London’s Borough Market, (Top) Structural view of London’s Borough Market

Each day, the neighborhoods of Paris are lined with vendors not only selling fresh and local produce, but also cheeses, bakery, meats, jams, olives and more. All produce is labeled with country of origin; most of it largely grown in the European Union. Meats are not refrigerated and are displayed in large open cases. While packed around ice, hundreds of varieties of fish and seafood are displayed in the open air of the street markets. London’s Borough Market, three separate markets in one, dates back to 1014 and now boasts over 100 stalls. Belfast’s St. George’s Market has a history of surviving a significant WWII bombing and currently hosts three markets weekly along with festivals and other large events.

In the countryside, shopping for food opportunities came from “farm shops,” farms that have an onsite store with local goods from surrounding farms including meats, cheeses, dairy, bakery items, duck and chicken eggs, fresh produce and even frozen locally grown vegetables. When visiting a farm shop in the English countryside, shoppers filled their baskets with locally grown meats and cheeses, duck and quail eggs, and fresh produce. The eggs are beautifully displayed on the counter, each stamped with a code of origin and a suggestion to store in a “cool place.” Meats, cheeses and eggs unrefrigerated? This is customary and normal. Recently, we saw an article asking the question are there too many farmers’ markets? The real question is how diversified are our markets? In Minnesota, growers show up at the market with almost exactly the same products, and the race is always on to be the first one to market with the product.

After having traveled European markets for three weeks, we believe what draws people isn’t just the locally grown product, but the community, environment and structure of the market. At many of the larger markets there is a diversification of vendors and products. Vendors sell food for immediate consumption. Ranging from curried rice dishes, delightful sweet and savory crepes, coffees and teas, tapas and breads, it’s like a market full of food truck stalls! Many markets also featured live music with entertainment for children such as face painting, balloon artists and puppeteers. To my delight, the solo guitarist at Belfast’s St. George’s Market spontaneously broke out into a memory making rendition of “Welcome to Sesame Street” while parents joyfully danced with their children. This diversity of product and environment is what creates the community. This is where families gathered, met their friends and spent their food dollars. What is the most important feature of these markets? Probably structure – physi-

cal and support structure. The physical structures housing these markets are quite literally tourist attractions within themselves. Markets are housed in permanent historic architectural sights such as train stations, castles and churches, which date back hundreds of years. Seen as revenue generating and valued for their contribution to the local economy, the markets are also financially supported. This support structure pays for the market ambassador — those who engage the customers, tell stories and sell market items such as pins, bags and aprons. This support structure also provides personnel to keep the markets clean and inviting. London’s Borough Market is owned by a charitable trust with commitments to provide a market as a public amenity and to pass surplus on to the residents of the local parish. The community spirit is evident and the environment inviting. Sit for a spell, savor the market and its inhabitants, have a cup of tea, catch up with your family, friends and your community. The structure and diversity

of markets and farm stores encourages you to purchase wholesome foods, shop more frequently and to buy local! Maybe that’s how it should be. Our own local farmers’ markets are becoming more diversified with baked goods, honey, flowers, local meats and cheeses. You can catch the local markets in the Brainerd/Nisswa area by visiting with details on what’s available and hours. Bring your family, meet your friends and meet your farmer.


Arlene Jones

Arlene Jones, a fifth generation farmer, owns and operates The Farm on St. Mathias with her husband Bob. When not farming, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, local culture and genealogy.

We’re farmers, literally and at heart.

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pio n e e r p r o f i l e s

story by Theresa Jarvela

Sometimes It Takes a



One day in the summer of 2011 I toured the historic Train Depot in Pine River (my hometown). On a table lay a picture display with numerous photographs of young children. My tour guide explained that it had belonged to a midwife who worked in the Pine River area some years ago. He didn’t know her name and wondered who the children were. The word “midwife” piqued my

Born in 1890, Martha Datzman was a midwife in Pine River.

interest and brought to mind Martha Datzman. She had been my mother’s midwife. As luck would have it, I knew Martha’s niece, Donna (Schuster) Watson. I asked Donna about the pictures. “Yes,” she said. “They belonged to Monie — the children she delivered.” “Monie?” I asked. “She didn’t like her name,” Donna explained. “She wanted to be called Monie.” And that was the first indication I had of the independent woman Martha was. Martha Rose Datzman was born in Kentland, Ind., on March 6, 1890. Following the death of her mother, she and a younger 18

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sister moved to Minnesota with a married sister, Mary (Datzman) Schuster. Martha resided in Pine River until her death on May 18, 1972. Nursing was Martha’s profession but perhaps it was her practice of midwifery that put her on the “map.” “Monie delivered me,” Donna said. “She was my aunt and best friend and I was the daughter she never had.” Of all the stories Donna was privy to, she recalled one in particular. Monie and Dr. Ziegler had delivered a baby while a blizzard raged outside. On their way home they became “stuck” and had to forge through deep snow during the early morning hours in order to find help. Evelyn Odegard of Pine River recalls Monie being present at the birth of two of her daughters, Joanne and Gloria. Gloria was due on Dec. 23. Obed (father) celebrated his birthday on Dec. 30. The parents were hoping the baby would be late and arrive on Obed’s birthday. “Monie gave me something to delay the onset of labor,” Evelyn recalls. She has no idea what that “something” was, but it worked and now Gloria celebrates her birthday on Dec. 30. While Evelyn doesn’t remember all the details surrounding the births of Joanne and Gloria, she does remember something else. “I was in labor and my sister-in-law, Agnes, was sweeping the floor. When we realized there wouldn’t be time to drive me to the hospital in Pine River, the doctor was called. Obed took the broom and swept all the dirt under the rug so the doctor wouldn’t see it!” Pat Meissner lived in Mildred (north of Pine River) when she went into labor. Gordy, her husband, called Monie from a neighbor’s phone so she would be ready when he came to pick her up. When Monie arrived at the Meissners’ she prepared the bed, told Pat to lie down and said, “Okay! Let’s have this baby!” “It was so nice to hear those words,” Pat says. She recalled the birth of her other children and the doctors saying, “Don’t push”

and “Not yet.” According to Pat, Carol Ann was her biggest baby and easiest delivery. “I think I was just more relaxed to be at home with Monie’s way instead of the doctors always wanting to wait.” Monie delivered two of Mary Switajewski’s children and accompanied Mary and Ed (father) to the hospital in Brainerd for the other births. Mary’s first born was delivered at home. A doctor in Pequot Lakes had been called since there were no doctors in Pine River at the time and he, in turn, called Monie. She arrived in the morning to examine Mary, knew she wouldn’t be needed for some time, and left. She returned later and delivered Thomas. The doctor didn’t make it in time. Mary’s daughter, Toni, came into the world in the back seat of her parents’ car outside of Brainerd. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice. “It’s a good thing Monie was there or Toni wouldn’t be here,” Mary had been known to say. Dolores Zaske was a child when she lived next door to Monie. “I knew Monie very well. She was both friend and our family nurse and often just came over to have coffee with Mom.” Dolores recalls being sick often as a child. She not only suffered from allergies but had pneumonia and bronchitis numerous times. “Monie was the one who usually could calm me down when it was so difficult to breathe.” Dolores remembers Monie’s sense of humor and her cheerful disposition. In 1971, according to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, Martha Rose Datzman renewed her license to practice midwifery for the last time. On her passing Monie left behind a crib full of memories, but chances are these five words were remembered most. “Okay! Let’s have this baby!”


Theresa M. Jarvela

Theresa M. Jarvela resides in Brainerd, is a member of Brainerd Writers Alliance, Great River Writers and Sisters in Crime Organization. Her first novel, “Home Sweet Murder – Tales of a Tenacious Housesitter,” launched June 2012 with North Star Press.

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By Beverly Abear photos by Joey Halvorson

A Bright and Shiny Spirit


Rain has cleansed the heaviness of summer air. Somewhere in northern Minnesota a young farm girl wanders barefoot through a meadow splashing in patches of water as

she brings the cows home. Spying a large rock, she climbs aboard and quietly observes the flowers and June berry trees while dangling her feet in a deep puddle. She composes poetry in her head, dreaming of the future and thinking deep thoughts. This is Bonnie Rokke Tinnes who, besides leading cows back to the barn for milking, helped bale hay and pick potatoes on the family farm near Thief River Falls. Often she accompanied her father to check on crops as he sang opera-style in his baritone voice, “What would you rather have on hand, a grand baby or a baby grand?” Money was tight in the ‘50s with a large family. The Rokkes didn’t have much but what they had was good. “Less was more,” she said in a recent interview. “We were outside all the time and walked everywhere. We saw beauty all around us.” Bonnie’s keen observation of nature was

awakened on that farm. Though she wrote for high school and college courses, it wasn’t until she was in her 30s that she began writing about her childhood. Bonnie says, “People didn’t make a big splash but just lived life.” Bonnie earned her teaching degree from Bemidji and taught English in California. Returning to Minnesota to teach English and Russian in Hallock, Minn., she met a young man named Gilmen. She first caught his eye when she drove up in her brand new ’66 Tahoe turquoise Mustang. Soon they married, and have been together ever since. In Gilmen’s home town of Oslo north of East Grand Forks, they lived and farmed 27 years. After teaching there as well, Bonnie took a 20-year break to raise their daughter and son, except for volunteer work and directing church dramas and musicals. At age 46, Bonnie went back to school for

Bonnie Rokke Tinnes grew up on a farm near Thief River Falls, her experiences becoming themes in her stories and poems.


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In 2011 at age 67, she pubnursing, driving 50 miles one lished two books. Her collecway to school each day. “One tion of poetry is entitled “Snow time I got in such a bad Presents and Other Poems.” storm from Warren to Thief Published author Eileen River Falls that I didn’t Spinelli (“Jonah’s Whale”) says know how I’d make it to of Bonnie’s poetry: “She writes school.” She received her with grace and feeling…I can LPN degree from Thief see her heart is happily at home River Falls Technical School in nature. Her bright spirit and her RN from the shines through.” University of North Dakota, Bonnie’s children’s novel, graduating with honors. At “Growing Up Margaret,” is a age 50, the same year she charming story of life in rural received her BSN degree, America in the mid ‘50s, she also got her AARP card! reminding some of the televiHer daughter received her “Growing up Margaret” is Bonnie’s children novel; “Snow Presents” sion series, “I Remember BSN at the same time. her collection of poetry; published in 2011. Mama.” Twelve-year-old When Bonnie and Margaret is being raised by her Gilmen moved to Brainerd, she worked at the Brainerd State Hospital many stories and poems, but it wasn’t until farmer father aided by her grandmother, from 1995 to 2006. She always had a heart retiring from the state hospital that Bonnie who grew up in a big city. In a Scandinavian for the homeless and mentally disabled. This polished her poems and stories for publica- town in northern Minnesota, Margaret and job taught her the most about life and tion, eventually receiving a scholarship in two new friends attend sixth grade facing humanity as she worked with the mentally 2010 to attend a Highlights Foundation prejudice, poverty and family problems. ill. “They have so many losses, so many Writing Workshop at the Chautauqua Grandmother teaches Margaret to open her obstacles, that I learned a lot of compassion Institute in New York. She thoroughly heart to many different experiences and enjoyed the classes and the other writers. people. The soon-to-be-released sequel,” working with them.” Throughout her adult life she has written What she learned propelled her to finish her Margaret Inc.,” continues the story of the children’s novel.

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Bonnie writes in the comfort of her home and lives with husband, Gil Tinnes.

three girls, now in seventh grade. When writing, Bonnie tries to get into the heart of people and reveal the depth of human emotion. “I especially love writing about the ‘50s. It was a quiet, gentler time, especially in northern Minnesota, before the upheaval of the ‘60s.” When the character Margaret tastes Chef Boyardee pizza for the first time, she says, “That day the outside world crept into our small community and into all of our lives. We not only wanted more pizza but more of that world. We didn’t realize communication and transportation would continue to advance and our world would become much larger… that our idealistic and innocent lives would continue to change… that one day we’d wonder if the loss of innocence was worth it.” Bonnie says, “I’m a teacher first and I want to help others learn life lessons. I take my experiences and sift out what I learned to reveal what’s beautiful. There’s always good there if you look for it.” Bonnie’s other interests include painting with acrylics, listening to old music (Fleetwoods’ “I’m Mr. Blue”), cooking, gar-

“Huckleberry Finn.” “Today I love Mitch Albom’s stories. “Have a Little Faith” is my favorite.” Bonnie says, “I think I’m a romantic. I love life and people. When I wake, I’m excited and thankful about what this day is going to bring.” She says her motto is “If you stay active, you stay young, but if you do nothing, you die inside.” Recently, from April of 2011 to April of 2012, she worked as a respite volunteer for Americorps through Lutheran Social Services. Now she’s planning on going back to work part time in the nursing field. “I don’t know where I get all this energy but it’s a blessing to be able to do all these things.” With her constantly changing life and goals, Bonnie Rokke Tinnes will certainly keep herself young. Visit Bonnie’s website: www. .

dening, and watching Judy Garland movies: “Easter Parade,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “In the Good Ole Summertime.” One of her favorite movies of all time is “Forrest Gump” because it has so much of the ‘50s and ‘60s in it. She loves reading the classics such as “Pride and Prejudice,” “Wuthering Heights,” “The Yearling,” “Gone with the Wind” and “Of Human Bondage.” “I feel a book needs to give hope at the end of the story.” Although she doesn’t feel Nathaniel Hawthorne offers a lot of hope, she says, “When taking a course on his works, I was HV fascinated with Hawthorne’s characters. I felt deep compassion for them and loved the names he used such as Young Goodman Beverly Abear Brown, a name the Beverly Hamilton Abear is a retired English teacher who returned home a few years ago to discharacter had difficulcover new loves from old roots including painting ty measuring up to.” in watercolor, writing fiction and creative non-fiction She also loves Mark and a marrying a former Crosby-Ironton classmate. Twain’s, especially in She happily now resides in Baxter.

Poems from “Snow Presents and Other Poems”


You Are

Feeling Rich


You are like moonlight glistening softly on a quiet lake, a reflection in dark corners of our world.

In those days When they said we were poor, I never felt poor. All I had to do was Look at the blue sky, The green trees, Wild flowers, A rainbow now and then, And golden wheat fields Waving in the breeze, And I felt very rich.

Thanks for The sun and moon and stars. Gentle breezes on a summer’s night. Soft snowflakes sparkling in moonlight. Thanks for green grass, trees, And perfumed flowers. For love and true friends That are ours. Thanks.

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by Pam Landers photos by Joey Halvorson Peggy Hunt raises and trains dogs and functions as general manager at Hunts Point, a 500 acre sport club. Her dog Duncan (left), a Duck Tolling Retriever, hunts with customers who don’t have dogs. Year-old Bailee (right and below), also a Toller, is the great-granddaughter of Abby, her first Toller imported from England.


What is a woman from the Twin Cities, who never trained a dog or shot a gun in her growing-up life, doing managing a hunt club and dog training center in lakes country? Sometimes, on the canoe paddle through life, we encounter bends in the river that take us interesting places we surely didn’t anticipate. Peggy Wills, now the manager of Hunts Point Sportsman’s Club, hunter, dog trainer

and dog obedience competitor, has clearly been around a number of those bends. Peggy grew up in the St. Cloud area and worked there in accounting. When she met Jim Wills over 20 years ago, he brought his love of hunting and his two Brittany Spaniels into her life. In the 1990s, both were working long hours in the metropolitan area, so to get away to relax, they built a summer home on Gull Lake.

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They were so taken with the area they decided to move to Brainerd. Jim kept his position with his law firm in Minneapolis, commuting back and forth. At the same time, he and Peggy started a plastics manufacturing business in Brainerd Industrial Park. For five years, it was their only existence. “I knew it was too much of our lives” Peggy said, “when we found that when we went out to eat, we had nothing else to talk about.” As Jim’s Brittanys aged, they both decided that life wasn’t going to be much fun without a dog in the family. Jim still wanted to hunt, so they checked out the hunting breeds and became intrigued by Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. Duck Tolling Retrievers (Tollers for short) are not a very common breed in the Brainerd lakes area. Small as retrievers go, their job is to toll, or lure, waterfowl within range of a hunter’s gun by playing with a ball or stick, The dog’s play provokes the curious ducks to swim close enough for the hunter to shoot. Then the dog retrieves the birds. They found a girl puppy to bring home, naming her Mindy. Since Jim’s life was so frenetic, commuting from Gull Lake to the cities, Peggy, by default, became chief dog trainer. She and Mindy started obedience classes at Brainerd Kennel Club. After several obedience classes, and even after she and Mindy attained an AKC Companion Dog title in obedience competition, Peggy loved obedience training. Mindy hated it. Peggy wanted to continue in obedience, so Jim and Peggy looked for other Tollers, importing another female, Abby, from England. Unlike Mindy, Abby liked obedience work, and she and Peggy earned her Companion Dog AKC obedience title. Knowing how difficult it was to find good Tollers and wanting to do more with obedience work, Peggy and Jim decided to breed their own pups. That, too, is no small task, for breeding with the best possible outcome in mind requires a lot of learning and time. They bred their two Tollers for about six years, producing one litter a year. Peggy trained and showed one of her puppies, Duncan, to the American Kennel Club Utility Dog Degree, the Ph.D. of obedience competition. Peggy was having a good time with obedience, so Jim decided to join her, not necessarily in the training, but in the showing. Raising and training puppies is hard work. When Peggy and Jim started developing Hunts Point and its 500 acres in 2000, that project and the plastics business left no time for breeding dogs. Because the plastics business was consuming their lives, they sold it in September of 2000, sold their lake home and built a new one closer to Hunts Point.

Peggy loves obedience training and Bailee is an eager student.


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Through the kennel club, Peggy had been exposed to the vast world of dog competition beyond obedience. She plunged into conformation competition, the type of dog showing that is highlighted each year at the Westminster Kennel Club shows in New York. She showed both Mindy and Abby in conformation, and both achieved their Championship titles. However, as the business of Hunts Point grew, conformation showing lost out. When they bought Hunts Point, they weren’t sure what they wanted the future of the place to be. Since Jim knew a lot about hunting, they decided to renovate the buildings and start a hunt club that would allow people to come to Hunts Point to shoot birds. Since Peggy knew nothing about hunting or shooting, she set out to learn, taking classes at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve. She became such a good shot that Jim wanted her to join a shooting league. In the beginning they hired managers for the Hunts Point Sportsman’s Club, but the managers never seemed to work out. True to form, Peggy took over the task. Now she coordinates everything that goes on at the site — and a lot goes on! Pheasant and chukar hunting runs from the end of August through January on the 500 acres. Peggy coordinates all hunters’ appointments; they can request to hunt in a certain field, or can ask that Peggy assign them an area. Duncan and Rip, two of the pups Peggy raised and trained, contribute their share to the business by going off hunting with people who don’t have dogs to help them find and retrieve the birds. Hunts Point periodically hosts shoots that draw 30 to 40 people. Companies sometimes treat their employ-

ees to a hunt or to shoot clays. When the shoots happen at the site, Peggy often cooks for the whole crowd. On June 20, of this year, the Sertoma club scheduled a sporting clay shoot that featured a fivestation course. Peggy schedules hunt tests for the dogs in June and in the fall. Organizations such as the Hunting Retriever Club or the Springer Spaniel Club rent the grounds to test the skills of their dogs in marking and retrieving downed birds. Peggy and Jim lost their original hunt club building to fire in January 2011. Seeing the window of opportunity, they built a new, larger hunt club and training facility on the ashes of the old dairy barn. Now Peggy could expand their offerings to provide a whole range of obedience training for the dogs. She invited the Brainerd Kennel Club to hold their classes and meetings at the new training center, an offer they did not refuse. Peggy didn’t know anything about dog agility but she wanted to learn and begin offering that training as well. The Brainerd lakes area, until now, had no training facility and very few, very limited classes. Peggy found herself a couple of mentors, purchased agility equipment and started her first classes in the fall of 2011. In spring of 2012, Hunts Point hosted its first agility seminar, taught by expert instructors and open to agility enthusiasts statewide. Presently, Hunts Point offers obedience and agility classes every Monday through Thursday night, with open practice available on weekends. Peggy, herself, teaches classes for new puppy owners and beginning obedience. Now that all of this has come to pass, Peggy enjoys it with her new girl Toller, Bailee, a great-granddaughter of Peggy’s Abby. Soon we’ll be seeing the pair of them in the obedience ring and in the hunting fields.

HV (Left) Peggy puts her dogs through their retrieving skills at home. (Right) Sally Ihne practices retrieving with her Sheltie, Cash.

Like a whirling ball of fur, this Toller puppy named Clint, shows off his retrieving skills at the tender age of 10 weeks.

Pam Landers

Pam Landers is a retired environmental educator who trains, teaches agility and shows dogs.

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get a w a y s

Adrienne Cahoon, aka “Queen of the Meadow Blooms,” reigns in the garden too. She selects her produce carefully, including, for example, purple potatoes for their high nutritional value.

A Healthy


Whitely Creek Bed and Breakfast It’s no wonder guests and family keep returning to the Whitley Creek Homestead Bed and Breakfast. Everything about the 35-acre property invites peace and health.


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story and photos by Beth Luwandi Once the nest empties, why not invite others in? That’s what Adrienne Cahoon did in 1999 after the youngest of three daughters finished high school. She and her husband, Dick, significantly altered the property they now call Whiteley Creek Bed and Breakfast, a 35-acre property they’ve shared together for all their married life. “Thirty-eight years this August,” Adrienne informs me, her youthful voice just one indicator she is perfectly suited for the daily work of making others feel comfortable in an atmosphere taking cues from the natural environment. Everything around her expresses a commitment to what is healthy and best. No preservatives added. All natural. Like the freerange Black Star hens that rule, not just the roost, but each inch of the property that suits their fancy. You can expect them to greet you sometime during your stay. You can expect to eat fresh eggs fried in Adrienne’s homemade ghee (clarified butter) or whipped into a satisfying omelet. You might be surprised by their character and beauty as they cluck and peck just feet away from the porch where you sip a green smoothie whirred to perfection by Adrienne herself. Don’t be surprised when she calls the hens by name. Whiteley Creek is a healthy feast for the eyes, the body, and the soul to visitors seeking refuge from city air, from the stress of daily life, from the fast movement of “progress.” Visitors crave a simpler, more organic approach to the daily grind. And they are not disappointed. Adrienne prepares meals from the ground up, her heirloom, organic-fed garden a centerpiece of the experience. “It gives the flavor of the whole property,” Adrienne says. “All the food prepared — breakfast, dinner and dessert starts in the garden.” She’s in it more than once a day, digging potatoes, fetching fresh tomatoes, trimming herbs. “Breakfast is where guests really connect,” Adrienne explains, quite literally. Both she and her husband have put hours into the restoration and arrangement of the 1890s railroad dining car where tables set for two line the edges. It’s hard to avoid one’s neighbors entirely. And really, there’s no need. Breakfast is lively, tasty and sprinkled with the charm of Adrienne’s comfortable talk at each table. “Depending when they land,” the huge back porch becomes the gathering spot for guests returning for the evening. A fireplace and twig chairs beckon visitors who might share their day and philosophical thoughts. Adrienne might share a recipe or the inside scoop on homemade ice-cream. No matter what happens, the day ends peacefully.

Before she was innkeeper and blogger, (find sparkling entries and Adrienne’s photos at Adrienne Waltz Cahoon was just a girl growing up on 160 acres near South Long Lake outside Brainerd, graduating high school right here. Then she was a school teacher and mother to three girls. “I felt very strongly about being their mom. I didn’t want someone else raising them. Teaching was a great career to have while they were growing up. We had the same holidays and summers off. I could be with them and still have a career.” But when the youngest graduated, Adrienne resigned from teaching and took a chance. “Little twists and turns are fun,” she says. “I believe in experiencing life and just going off in any direction you choose. You don’t have to wonder ‘oh, should I?’ Just go for it.” Extending her gifts of hospitality seemed a natural extension to the years spent in the classroom influencing third, fourth and fifth graders and being the primary influence on her own children. Although it has been a dozen years since she commanded a class of bubbly, inquisitive elementary students, Adrienne’s skills have only grown. She’s prepping for a class of women gardeners. “I’m drawing on teaching skills to create gardening lessons. I’m doing hands-on demonstrations. Your education is never a waste,” she says. “No matter what, you draw on it in so many ways.” Her five, soon-to-be six, grandchildren come back every summer, ready to discover, experience and learn. “They always have something new to explore, little nooks and crannies, not just in nature but in the buildings too.” No doubt, with a grandma like Adrienne, there’s little chance of boredom. “It makes us happy the kids and grandkids get to see this. People don’t always stay in the same location of their married life. To be able to come back to your childhood home is really a gift.” With daughters living in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, sharing their longtime home with the children and grandchildren pleases both Adrienne and Dick. While children grow up and leave the nest, “while the trees grow bigger and the landscape itself changes,” as Adrienne says, “the heartbeat stays the same.” Now that doesn’t surprise me a bit. I suspect Adrienne is the heartbeat.


Beth Luwandi

Brainerd native Beth Luwandi Lofstrom is a freelance writer and photographer. She grew up on a farm where she learned to pick weeds, plant potatoes and harvest beans as quickly as possible. For years she’s had an ongoing love affair with both fresh vegetables and sugar. View her sports photography galleries at and read her blog at luwandi.wordpress. com.

Not just whimsy, signs like these sprinkle the homestead, revealing more than a little about the heart of the innkeeper. FALL 2012 | her voice


by Mary Aalgaard

Brianna Jensen spends time with Guatemalan children at the Common Hope preschool in Antigua, Guatemala.


This little girl, Cindy Carolay Hernández, is 4 years old. Her hard life has made her look like she´s 7.

Brianna Jensen thought she was on the path to law school. With pre-law as her major and a minor in Spanish and music, she had a pretty good idea of what she’d be when she grew up. Then in 2009, she went to Guatemala for a study abroad program and her perspective changed completely. She saw how simply a family can live and still have smiles on their faces. She saw a great need for change, for people to step in and empower a society that has neglected its poorer population. “I realized there’s so much more going on in the world to be aware of and learn about,” she said. Brianna felt a stirring in her soul and changed her focus. She switched her major to international relations, wrote her senior thesis on “The 30 Years War in Guatemala,” and when she graduated, volunteered a year of her life in Guatemala with Common Hope. Not everyone has an equal chance in this world. Many Americans take for granted that they have free public education and that if they work hard, they can break the cycle of poverty. There are no programs in place in Guatemala to assist the poor. Education is not free. Families who are barely scrimping by on meager earnings cannot afford to send even one child to school. 28

FALL 2012 | her voice

Common Hope is a non-profit organization that works in the areas of education, health care, housing and family development with a goal to see every child graduate from high school. They found that if monetary barriers are taken away from public schooling, and children are able to stay in school through high school, the outlook of the whole family increases. Job opportunities double. Families have more access to health care. High school for young people in Guatemala is career driven. After graduation, many enter the work force. While in Antigua, Brianna worked with vision teams who came to Guatemala to work in the public schools, help build houses and accompany social workers in the field. When the team members brought school supplies with them and presented them to the kids in the public schools, the children became excited about a simple box of crayons, pencils, maybe some paper and books. “Kids are kids all around the world,” says Brianna. Their faces lit up when they interacted with the teachers and team members. They enjoyed sharing stories and playing games. They learned so quickly, soaking up knowledge and building up confidence. Brianna said that these experiences with children in Guatemala were inspiring and

caused her to rethink her career path yet again. She is currently working for the Common Hope offices in St. Paul and considering going back to school to become an elementary school teacher. When Brianna first walked into her little apartment in Antigua, she noted the sparse conditions, lack of furniture, decorations and started making a list of all the things she needed to buy to make improvements on her home. The first thing on the list was a mirror she bought the first month. The next month, she bought a couple pieces of artwork for the wall and that was it. She quickly realized that she didn’t need all that stuff. She didn’t need the lamps and rugs, the TV, the shelves or all the trinkets that could go on them. In fact, she lived just fine on less. Her friends jokingly said it looked like she had her own dance studio in her living room, because it was a big open floor with a mirror and such sparse furniture. Instead of spending money she didn’t have on things she didn’t need, she embraced her simple life. She spent time with friends, went out dancing on the weekend and walked to the market for what she needed for just a day or two. She did not feel the burden of material possessions. And, while she still needed to keep her doors and win- Brianna with two little girls from the indigenous village of San dows locked for her own personal safety, no one would be tempted Rafael, Guatemala. to break in to steal anything. She learned how to wash her clothes by hand in the sink with a washboard and hang them out to dry. Mary Aalgaard As meager as her own apartment was, it was still more luxurious Mary Aalgaard is a freelance writer in the Brainerd than others in Guatemala. Some live in houses made out of cornlakes area. She writes for several area publications, an inspirational blog,, stalks, sheet metal, or whatever they can piece together. Common Hope helps provide more stable building materials and people to and entertainment reviews on her blogspot on the website of the Brainerd Dispatch. Her first full-length play, help build them. When cement is poured for a slab of foundation, “Coffee Shop Confessions,” was performed locally this Guatemalan women cry because it shows them that this home is spring. Mary lives in the Brainerd lakes area with her four permanent. They and their family will have more comfort and stabilsons and cat named Leo. ity. In Guatemala, Brianna walked to the market, walked to work, walked to a friends’ home. She said that the walk to work, about 20 minutes, energized her for the day, and the walk home gave her time to unwind. She bought and consumed fresh produce daily. She was outside much of the day and interacting with people. She didn’t miss having a TV at all. You’d think that the people of Guatemala would be a healthy population with such a healthy lifestyle. Because of the extreme poverty, one in two children in Guatemala is malnourished. They eat the cheapest and most abundant food available, corn tortillas and black beans for every meal and can’t afford the fresh produce from the market. What can one person do in a world that is so filled with hurting people? Two people, Dave and Betty Huebsch, felt the stirrings in their hearts to help the people in Guatemala. In 1986, they left their comfortable existence in Little Falls, Minn., and started up the programs that are now in place in Antigua. Two people with modest means made a difference. Common Hope now serves over 10,000 people — all because of the compassions of two ordinary people. Everyone who sponsors a child makes a difference. People who come to Guatemala on vision teams make an enormous impact on the community and feel a life change in them selves. Not everyone has the means and physical ability to travel to another country. Of course, you can make a difference in your own community. You can provide food for the food shelf, offer someone a ride or be a listening ear. Once you learn to reach beyond your own comfort zone, you will find that you make a difference in this world, whether it’s down the street or across the globe. Learn more about Common Hope at

HV FALL 2012 | her voice


anim a l s Helen Bordwell, Layla her dog and Dr. Deb MacKay.


Jill Mattson holding Toby still while Dr. Deb MacKay works.

Dr. Deb MacKay and patient Toby.

approximately 12,00014,000 miles every year. “Making house calls offers me the opportunity to learn more about the animals I care for,” Deb shared, “as well as the pet’s owners.” Pet owners appreciate this veterinarian’s visits too, and treat her like family, something I witnessed firsthand a couple days later at the homes of Jill Mattson, owner of a dog named Toby and Gene and Helen Bordwell, owners of a dog named Layla. Toby was being treated for a tumor and Layla was receiving preventive care shots. The Bordwells said having the veterinarian visit their three-yearold dog at home to give her shots was less stressful for the animal. Layla, whom they acquired from someone else about a year ago, had never visited a clinic when younger, so she didn’t know how to handle herself when she was finally taken to one. The most challenging aspect of her business, Deb said, is charging people the amount a service is worth. Owner of one cat and two dogs herself, Deb kindly offered suggestions for those thinking of becoming a pet owner. Research the pet — make sure it’s right for your situation: environmental and amount of care time. Talk to several people who own the breed you’re interested in. “Can you afford to own it?” she asks. Nearing our destination, the veterinarian explained about Woodrow and her involvement with the Can Do Canines out of New Hope which supplies free dogs to assist paraplegics, diabetics, epileptics, autistic and other disabled people. The handpicked puppies for this training program are either homeless or donated by individuals and breeders. As a volunteer puppy raiser for a second time, Deb took Woodrow into her home when he was eight-weeks-old. He’ll remain there until he’s 18-months-old. While the golden retriever is in Deb’s


FALL 2012 | her voice

on the


When veterinarian Dr. Deb MacKay invited me to an outing with Woodrow, her 11-month-old golden retriever, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew about the soft-spoken Crosby-area vet was that she practiced preventive care in the homes where her cat and dog patients lived and was involved with the organization, Can Do Canines. Luckily, the lengthy drive to Cabela’s in Rogers gave this passenger ample time to learn more about my driver’s background and the friendly dog who begged for attention. “I first thought about being a veterinarian when I was in grade school,” Deb informed me, “although the idea came from another source.” A fourth grade classmate had mentioned that he wanted to be a vet someday. Her first real glimpse into the world of veterinary medicine came when she volunteered at a West St. Paul veterinary hospital while in high school. Born and raised in St. Paul, the middle child of Patricia and Richard Weisman attended the University of Minnesota where she received bachelor of science degrees in bio-chemistry and veterinary science, and a D.V.M. — doctorate in veterinary medicine. After graduation, Deb practiced veterinary medicine in Illinois and Guam before returning home to work in the Twin Cities. Fortunately for the veterinarian’s current patients, it was Deb’s fond memories of vacations spent in the lakes area while growing up that eventually led her, husband Peter, an osteopathic doctor and their young family to Crosby. Newcomer Deb took a position with a local veterinary clinic until she established her house call practice in 1998, offering preventive care for small animals in several surrounding communities. The driving force behind what she does — caring about people and their pets and wanting the best for them. This traveling veterinarian covers 30

story and photo by Marlene Chabot

care, he is required to attend two training classes a month or an outing and one class. At tonight’s outing, Woodrow and his fellow assistance puppies are practicing various training exercises. “The puppies are tested as they progress with the training steps,” Deb said. Before entering the store, Deb connected Woodrow’s leash and placed a red service cape around his mid-section. The cape serves a dual purpose. It notifies the puppy that he’s working now and it also warns strangers not to disturb him. The training session was in progress when we joined about 15 other volunteers and the various breeds of puppies being raised; standard poodles, labs, golden retrievers and mixed. Deb introduced me to the woman in charge and asked what the puppies were working on. She was told they were practicing the proper way to ride an elevator, climb stairs, walk through a section of a store, sit under a table and a bench. Deb quickly stuffed her hand with treats and then she and Woodrow were off to learn new things. To learn more about Can Do Canines and their volunteer needs go to Deb MacKay can be reached at (218) 851-5601.


Marlene Chabot

Marlene Chabot is a member of Sisters in Crime and Great River Writers and is currently working on her fourth Minnesota-based mystery novel. She and her husband reside in Fort Ripley. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

FALL 2012 | her voice


tec h n o l o g y

by Becky Flansburg

photo by Joey Halvorson

Cyberbullying: Keeping Your Tweens and Teens Safe Online


There was a time when bullies were the mean kids on the playground who pushed other kids around and took their lunch money. Although traditional bullies still exist (unfortunately) there’s now a new version to contend with and one that is cause for alarm — the cyberbully. In a nutshell, cyberbullies are kids using interactive technologies to target other kids. This includes hateful texts and emails, bashing websites and threats posted on social platforms. Cyberbullying is limited only to the imagination and bandwidth of kids. If you want a more official definition, this one is straight from a great site called Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Adult 32

FALL 2012 | her voice

cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is NEVER called cyberbullying. According to research conducted by the Pew Foundation, approximately 75 percent of teens and tweens already have iPhones and social media profiles. With this new connectivity comes a whole bevy of dangers including sexting, bullying and Internet predators. It’s a sad fact most parents don’t always know their child is encountering sticky situations online. Why? Because only one out of 10 kids will tell their parents when there’s a problem. One out of TEN! “Ahhh, he/she/I was just joking around,” is a common defense when bullies of all shapes and sizes are called on the carpet for their actions. But cyberbullying goes beyond simple teasing or “joking around” and goes right into relentless taunting. Many kids don’t know or understand that difference or even when lines are crossed. Obviously not all cyberbullying leads to tragedy, but extreme cases like the sad story of Jamey Rodemeyer who took his own life at age 14 because of bullying are becoming more and more commonplace. If any good

can come from Rodemeyer’s untimely death, it’s that there is now a heighten sense of awareness among teens online. If you want to see example of this, head over to Twitter and type in the hashtag #stopcyberbullying and read the comments and threads. As parents, we need to commit to inform, protect and keep the lines of communication open with our kids. Keep the family computer in a central part of the house and limit computer time. If you want deeper monitoring options, check out online monitoring tools like Social Scanner, Net Nanny, and MobSafety Ranger to keep tabs on your child’s Internet, iPhone and iPad activities. When I posed this topic to Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl, he offered up some great insight and thoughts. “Cyberbullying is a situation that is becoming more and more prevalent in our society.” shares Dahl. “With the technology available in today’s world it seems as though the violators have a feeling of being invincible or able to evade the law which is far from the truth. We are becoming more aware not only as law enforcement officers, but as educators in our schools, parents and the general public as well.” Dahl says take the time to teach kids proper “sharing” etiquette online as well. When it comes to revealing details about their life, educate them on the YAPPY as a formula of what to NOT share:


Your full name Address Parents information

(workplace, occupations, etc.)

Passwords Your plans


According to research conducted by the Pew Foundation, approximately 75 percent of teens and tweens already have iPhones and social media profiles.


So what can you do if you feel your child is being or already been cyberbullied? • Advise your kids to not respond and don’t forward the cyberbullying messages. • Block the person(s) who are doing the bullying and begin keeping as much evidence as you can. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of when the cyberbullying has occurred and use this information to report the acts to web or cell phone service providers. • If the repeated acts of harassment turns to a violent nature, contact law enforcement authorities immediately. • Advise kids to Stop*Block*And Tell* if they feel they are being harassed or cyberbullied.

Resources for Parents:

• Most importantly, educate kids on how to NOT be a cyberbully themselves. Teach your kids to “think before they click” and be respectful to others online. “Communication between all people is vital to make this work,” adds Dahl. “We need to be proactive in speaking with our youth about what is right and what is not acceptable. We need to teach responsibility and integrity and to intervene when we see signs of this happening. We need to remain diligent and proactive in prevention while also helping the public understand that this is wrong and it is a punishable offense.”


Becky Flansburg

Becky Flansburg is a full time WAHM and Virtual Assistant specializing in social media, freelance writing, and blogging. When not being a social media geek and researching new apps and tools, Becky is a mom, wife and business woman. You can reach Becky at or via her blog

FALL 2012 | her voice


her s a y


story and photos by Misty Bauman Jobe

The Hol o

“How was your trip?” The most dreaded question I faced upon my return. What was the right answer? Wonderful? Horrible? Emotional? Exhausting? Exhilarating? Yes. Years ago, in the midst of the emotional turmoil of adolescence, I read “The Diary of a Young Girl,” Anne Frank’s iconic diary and developed a deep lifelong interest in a topic that most people find depressing at best, horrifying at worst. Yet I marveled at the humanity of a world tragedy that seethed with death, life, sorrow, joy. At the time I had no way of knowing that my chosen profession, teaching, would provide me with the opportunity to share the story of the Holocaust with hundreds — even thousands — of future students. The chance to spend three weeks immersed in Holocaust study was irresistible.

The program is subsidized by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, an organization encouraging educators to teach the Holocaust from the perspective of Jewish resistance, remembrance and artifact study. On a steamy July morning I kissed my family goodbye and boarded the first of many flights that would take me from the bustle of Washington, D.C., across the sweeping deserts and cramped streets of Israel, through the quiet hamlets and solemn memorials of Germany and Poland. I wanted quotes, anecdotes, statistics — the flashy little facts that make adolescents sit up, pay attention and connect to something beyond their own world, something that to them is ancient history. Instead, I got heartbreak. Daily tears, sorrow, and disbelief.

For me, the Holocaust became a story of women. Entire museums are devoted to remembering the men who made the fateful decisions and placed the orders that resulted in murder on a mass scale. History books tell the stories of the men who led their countries in the fight against Hitler’s tyranny. But we are missing the names of so many of the women who made impossible decisions and lived and died under the most heartbreaking of circumstances. My goal, my mission, is to give voice to the woman who stood on a train platform and, recognizing the source of the smoke that rose unceasingly toward the sky, pushed her son toward the other line — the one that would give him a chance to live even as her own story was coming to an end. Or the woman who saved her meager food rations for her children, knowing that

Background photo: A memorial to Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, Israel

A sculpture at the entrance to the Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women and children in northern Germany.


FALL 2012 | her voice

Misty Bauman Jobe at the symbolic grave of Anne Frank and her sister Margot at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

ocaust shortening her own life was the only way to offer them a chance to live for a few more days, months, years until this nightmare would end. Or the woman who opened her home to another mother’s child in the hopes that one small life could be saved. Could she have imagined the agony of that mother who buttoned her child into a warm coat, placed a suitcase in impossibly small hands and kissed a cheek, quite possibly, probably for the last time, before sending her very own heart into an unknown world with nothing but hope to guide her agonizing decision? Those women, each one a small voice echoing among the millions and millions for whom the Holocaust became a part of their story, deserve to have their story told. In the words of Maya Angelou, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however,

the Resilience of the Human Spirit

if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Now, decades later, many of the voices who lived to tell their stories are being lost to time. Soon, the Holocaust will no longer exist in the memory of any man or woman alive. It is the fate, however, of mothers to remember. Who better than the givers of life and nurturers of body and spirit to celebrate the lives that were lost and the lives that were saved? To remember in quiet, singular ways and to remember in loud, public displays of grief, passion, despair. To understand that each woman and child had a voice that still calls out for solace and relief from a horror that is impossible to understand and impossible to reconcile with what we believe about human compassion. During one of my last evenings in Jerusalem I strolled through a street filled

with shops and restaurants that were just reopening after being closed for the Sabbath. Faintly, at first, I heard the strains of music, before it fairly bloomed into a joyful song as dozens of vibrant, happy teenagers literally sang their faith into the streets. It was a joyous testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I knew I would absorb an astounding amount of information and meet dedicated educators who would help me develop my skills in teaching this sensitive subject. I was supposed to become a better teacher, but I didn’t know I would return a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, woman.


The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw celebrates thousands of Jewish men and women who participated in the armed 1943 uprising against the Nazi regime.

Misty Bauman Jobe

Misty Bauman Jobe has been teaching eighth grade English in Brainerd schools since 2005. When not busy grading papers or planning lessons she is a reading, writing and traveling enthusiast. She has lived in the Brainerd lakes area for 13 years and shares a home with her husband, two daughters, a cranky cat and the world’s friendliest dog.

FALL 2012 | her voice


club s & c l u s t e r s





The Sew and Sews is a group of ladies from Brainerd, Deerwood, Crosby and Ironton who have been meeting since 1992. Many of us are snowbirds, so we meet once a month May through October at a different house, As each of us age, some have gone into establishments where they can get assisted care later on if needed, but will still attend the Sew and Sews group meetings as long as they can. Besides talking about our accomplishments, it is also a place to enjoy group therapy and sharing what has gone on in each of our lives. Our main goal is working together with our projects and supporting each other in time of need Presently, we have nine members: Barbara Abelson, Jane Dooley, and Judy Fields of the Deerwood area; Jean Braun of Ironton; Judy Johnson, Vi Klungness and Annette Olson of Brainerd; and Marilyn Landberg and Mary Severson of Crosby. Since 1992, we have lost three members who have passed (Grace Ferstle, Bettie Smith, and Ellie McDowell). There are also those who no longer attend because of other commitments or moving away, but still remain friends: Bernie Kirkpatrick, Maxine Burich, Eileen Brown and Kristy Tesdahl. We meet at a different house each month, enjoying all the flavors of each home, whether it is antiques, gardening, sewing accomplishments, decorating or reading. We have done many projects over the years such as stenciling dish towels, remodeling clothes, making purses, mending clothes, needlepoint and cross-stitch, embroidery, rug hooking, quilting, and knitting and crocheting. If someone needs help with one of the arts, there is always another to lend a helping hand to show us how to do it.


We also have gone on trips together for shopping, touring and lunch in the Twin Cities, Ely and Walker and hope to cover more territory; something that is fun for all of us even if we are unable to participate in every project. One project I engineered, was each member making a quilt block that included pictures accumulated over the years of our meetings. The quilt will serve as a mascot which we will share at each of our monthly meetings. We can see our own images in the quilt and still enjoy the comforts of our friends who are no longer with us and reminisce on good times shared over the past twenty years—years of friendship all sewn into one masterpiece.

Back: Barb Abelson, Jean Braun, Judy Johnson, Mary Severson, Marilyn Landberg Front Right: Annette Olson and Vi Klungness

by Jeanie Braun

Our ladies are from all walks of life and are a wealth of knowledge to some of the younger ones. We share a lot of laughter and recipes and also compassion in time of need. Our ventures have led us to different tea rooms, wine tasting and theaters together. Since 1992 I have organized the group after retiring from IBM in Rochester and building a home on Serpent Lake. As I lived in a rural area outside of Rochester named Pine Island, I also had a group of women who met on our days off work and did similar projects. I think my favorite was when I learned from all the Scandinavians in that area how to make krum kaka, Abe skiver, rosettes, canning and walking stones for the garden. They all had beautiful gardens which we enjoyed touring and learning new ideas. Some of the members just come to the meetings to enjoy the camaraderie and good eats but we are all still together as a unit and that is what is important. A listening heart, lending ear, or just a voice from another when you are all alone makes such a difference. I just can’t imagine one day without each of these special people in my life’s memories. I have the quilt that I just finished after six years and have the memories of all the past and present members of the previous 20 years sewn into one. As the center block of the quilt depicts the following saying: “Make new friends and keep the old—one is silver and the other gold,” I hope we can all meet for many more years and share ideas, peace, and laughter. We never forget those who have gone before us and have this quilt to remind us of them and give us comfort.


Jean Braun

Jean Braun formed her own company called Byte on Time in 1995 and also worked for the Crosby-Ironton Courier. In 2004, she and her husband, Keith, moved to Ironton and Jean dabbled in antiques at the Crow Wing Antiques store in Crosby. Later, she wrote a cookbook named “Bite on Thyme.” 36

FALL 2012 | her voice

Back: Jean Braun, Mary Severson, Marilyn Landberg and Front--Barb Abelson, Judy Johnson, Annette Olson, Vi Klungness

FALL 2012 | her voice


Birth Control:

s t o r y a n d p h o t o s b y J o d i e Tw e e d

Should it be covered by insurance?


Not all Women Agree

When President Barack Obama issued a in making babies.” Tiffany said women are federal mandate earlier this year that birth heavy users of the healthcare system, pricontrol be fully covered by health insurance, marily involving their reproductive health, it ignited a firestorm of debate. For many so in some ways it would make sense for women, who often bear full financial respon- them to pay more. But she said health insurance is about spreading risks. Is it fair to sibility for her adult brother that his healthcare contracepdollars are being used to cover mamtion, this is a mograms when he’ll never get one? she highly perasked. Probably not, but some things sonal issue. should simply be covered, she said. But that She added that many women are doesn’t prescribed hormonal birth control for mean they reasons other than avoiding pregnancy. agree. For acne or menstrual cramps, for examIs this ple. issue a battleground on a war on women, as media has suggested? Leah Jacobson, 30, Ironton, Is it an with her son Levi, believes attack on contraception shouldn’t be religious fully covered by health freedom? Or has this insurance. women’s health issue become so politicized, so polarized, that neither side will stop the rhetoric and listen to the other’s point of view? Tiffany Stenglein, 28, Tiffany Stenglein, Brainerd, and Leah Brainerd, believes Jacobson, Ironton, both young women in contraception is preventative their late 20s/early 30s, offered to share their and should be fully covered strong, but opposing views on this federal by health insurance. mandate. Tiffany, 28, serves as chair of the Crow Wing County Democratic-FarmLabor Party. From a societal standpoint, she said it makes sense for health insurers to fully cover birth control costs as a preventative measure. She said she understands the “As a society, I think we benefit from havargument that this mandate may increase ing those costs covered, when you look at healthcare costs, but it also benefits society the facts and think it through,” Tiffany said. by preventing fewer unintended pregnan- She said it is hard to believe that birth control is a topic that is being debated in 2012. cies. “If a woman controls her reproduction, She has concerns about government giving she controls her destiny,” Tiffany explained. employers, including faith-based organiza“In some ways, it’s a woman’s issue, but it’s tions, the ability to control our healthcare not. Women are not the only ones involved decisions. There are religious groups against


FALL 2012 | her voice

organ transplants. Does that mean they get to decide if an employee’s life-saving operation is covered? she asked. “Where do we draw the line?” Tiffany asked. While many people, including Tiffany, believe the birth control mandate benefits women, Leah believes just as strongly that women are harmed by it. Leah, who is Catholic, is opposed to the mandate as a religious freedom issue, but she also believes as a woman that the Catholic Church is right on this as a birth control issue. Other faith communities have also expressed opposition to the mandate based on religious liberty. Leah believes hormonal contraception has harmful effects on a woman’s body and doesn’t believe the government should be encouraging its use. She said most women don’t understand their own menstrual cycles, that they are only fertile 100 hours each month, and if they were educated about their own bodies, they wouldn’t need unnecessary drugs. “I believe very strongly in holistically serving women,” Leah explained. “Government has chosen the view that we’re not capable of learning our cycles, that fertility is a disease and their bodies are broken.” Leah, who is 30, said hormonal birth control is too freely prescribed by some in the medical community to treat things like acne and menstrual cramps, which masks other health problems that may be going on in a woman’s body. “Excessive artificial hormones can lead to infertility but they don’t tell you that,” she explained. “It’s mind-boggling to me that we’re prescribing this to 14 and 15-year-old girls for acne.” Leah pointed out that the makers of Yaz and Yasmin, oral contraceptives, in April paid $142 million to settle more than 600 lawsuits involving the drugs. The FDA found in October 2011, that the hormonal birth

control caused up to a 74 percent increased risk of developing blood clots. More than 11,000 have filed lawsuits for blood clotrelated injuries in this case, according to Internet news reports. She said the environmental effects of hormonal birth control aren’t fully known yet. “Women’s rights are important but you degrade women’s rights when it is not good for you,” she said. Leah said the federal mandate doesn’t allow for coverage of natural family planning methods, such as taking educational classes or monthly meetings with a certified natural family practitioner. Natural family planning methods are science-based and can be just as effective as hormonal birth control, she said. She said it also can be empowering for women to learn. Leah and her husband have five children; their oldest is 8 and their youngest son, Levi, was born in May. She recently graduated with her Master of Arts degree in health and wellness. Her master’s thesis was “Empowering Natural Femininity.” She is a certified lactation counselor. Leah is serving as project coordinator of the Guiding Star Project, a non-profit organization headed by like-minded women who hope to develop centers under one roof that

serve women, including doulas, doctor’s offices, lactation services, natural family planning services, drop-off daycare and even coffee and consignment shops. For more information on this project, visit www. Leah said when the government began promoting breastfeeding, breastfeeding rates dramatically increased. She said it’s contradictory for the government to promote something as natural as breastfeeding, yet also promote something as unnatural as artificial birth control. She said without the mandate, artificial contraception is still freely available and low-cost for those who wish to use it. No matter what lawmakers debate and decide, Leah said it’s unfortunate that this has become one of several divisive issues among women. “It’s created a division between women,” said Leah. “We can’t even have civil conversations among sisters. It’s almost untouchable as dialogue because it becomes so hostile.”

Tiffany questions the political motivations of those who have brought this women’s reproductive health issue to the national forefront. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily a war on women,” said Tiffany. “It’s more of a war on women’s issues. For a long time Democrats have been seen as the party of women’s rights. Others have tried to change the conversation and, I think, they have tried and failed.”


Jodie Tweed

Jodie Tweed, a former Brainerd Dispatch reporter, is a freelance writer who lives in Pequot Lakes with her husband and three daughters.

FALL 2012 | her voice


bus i n e s s

story and phot

Bringing Home the Bacon f Melissa Shamp-Van Heerden is a third generation owner of Shamp’s Meat Market.


When a person walks into Shamp’s Meat Market in Pine River, they are greeted with the aroma of seasonings and curing and smoked meats. It is like stepping back in time; the log building is filled with antiques that have been a part of the Shamp family history for generations. The homey atmosphere has been a part of Melissa Shamp-Van Heerden’s life for as long as she can remember. Melissa is the daughter of Mike and Melanie Shamp and the granddaughter of Archie and Elene Shamp. Melissa is the third generation of her family to own and operate this successful small town business. “It’s my understanding that my great-grandfather, Frank, came to the United States from Holland with his five brothers,” Melissa says. “He settled in Pine River and married my great-grandmother Elizabeth.” According to U.S. census records, “Francis” and “Lizzie” owned their home and were living in Walden Township in Cass County in 1920 with their two young daughters, Pearl, age 2, and newborn Clara. The record shows that Francis was born in Holland and Lizzie was born in Minnesota. It also shows that Lizzie’s father came from France. In 1930 the Census had added a column showing the arrival date and place of origin of the persons listed. It shows “Francis” came to the United States from Holland in 1890. This census also shows that by this time, Frank and Elizabeth had four more children: Archie, Albert, Violet and Vernon. Archie purchased his own homestead at the intersection of Highway 1 and County Road 44. He raised beef cattle and hogs. This was the original site where Archie opened Shamp’s Meat Market in 1965. “Archie’s friend, Del Birk, was a meat cutter in Chicago. When Del moved to Minnesota Archie asked Del if he would come and 40

FALL 2012 | her voice

Shamp’s M

Melissa’s grandfather, Archie Shamp (left) with meat cutter, Del Birk

help him run the business,” says Melissa. “My grandfather Shamp raised the beef and hogs. Del butchered and cut them for the customers.” Melissa’s father Mike, bought the business in 1972. The business supported Mike, his wife, Melanie, and their four children: Melissa, Mark, Marlayna and Matthew. Melanie also taught school in Pequot Lakes for many years. In 1993 a fire destroyed the business. “My dad took a year off to decide what he wanted to do. Friends encouraged him to reopen,” Melissa says, “but they told him he needed to be on Highway 371.” So in 1994 Mike and Melanie moved the business to its more visible and easily accessible location just south of Pine River. “I came back to the area after graduating from college in 1999,” Melissa says. “I purchased the business from my dad in 2007.” Running the meat market has always been a family affair. Things haven’t changed much in that respect. Melissa’s husband, Ty Van Heerden, is a certified meat cutter. She smiles as she recalls how they met. “He is from South Africa,” she says. “He had been in North Dakota working on an Ag Visa when he happened to be driving through Minnesota and stopped at the store to inquire about a job.” “The staff just loved him,” Melissa says. “They called him ‘Mick’ – like Mick Dundee from the movie Crocodile Dundee – because of his accent. They kept saying, ‘You need to hire Mick.’ I was hesitant but eventually decided to hire him. We were married three years ago.” Melissa and Ty are raising six children. “It is a yours, mine and ours situation,” Melissa says. “Our oldest is 14 and the youngest will turn 2 in December.” The older children help out after school just as Melissa and her siblings did. “They are very helpful,” said Melissa. “They do carry outs, make change or answer the phone.” While much remains the same, there have been changes too.

oto by Melody Banks

Family photo: (Left to right) Melissa, her father Mike, grandfather Archie and Melissa’s sister, Marlayna.

n for Three Generations

Meat Market iver Pine R

“We’re open on Sundays now from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” she says. “We used to process whole deer but today we only accept boneless trim which we make into sausage.” Shamp’s offers a gift boxed mail order service for every occasion. “We have several packages to choose from or we can customize orders,” Melissa says. “The gift boxes, and gift certificates, are especially popular during the holiday season. They’re never the wrong size or color.” The store also has a deli, and they sell chicken and turkey as well as pork and beef products. In addition, they offer a variety of specialty items such as wild rice, seasonings, sauces, flavored mustards, soups, crackers and cheese ball mixes. Melissa says things are going well for the business in spite of the down turn in the economy. “It may have slowed down some but we’re still very busy. We have a loyal customer base and people really enjoy our products. We also appreciate the many folks who stop into the store while traveling through the area.”


Melody Banks

Melody has been a graphic artist and writer since 1987. She owns Black Sheep Family History Publishers in Nisswa and is a frequent contributor to area publications.

FALL 2012 | her voice


boo k s


Turtle Town Books and Gifts peeks out of its shell on main street Nisswa, next to the Totem Pole. One of the store’s goals is finding rainy day activities for children, so they carry a large assortment of books, puzzles, toys and crafts. Mary Miller, with her husband Doug, own this bright and entertaining space. Gund stuffed animals oversee the Playmobil toys, the Schylling aluminum die cast retro toys, Melissa and Doug wooden toys and the comic book early readers that are so popular with kids and moms alike. Mary stocks the shelves with a doting grandma or grandpa in mind. Along with classic toys, she carries vintage lines of wrapping paper and linens. A good book for summer reading is always on the shelf, as well as e-books, if you like to carry your library with you. Greeting cards and a wide selection of baby gifts are also available. With the changes in the book market, Mary and Doug knew they would have to get into e-book sales. You can go to their website and download the newest blockbuster to your reader. Mary tried to think of everything that would keep the store viable as the changes happened in the


FALL 2012 | her voice

story and photos by Suz Anne Wipperling

book market, so she increased the gift part of the store and created the website. Saturdays at 11 a.m., their employee, Jean Clark, who is a retired grade school principal, reads to the children and does a craft with them afterward. All are welcome, but it is geared for kids from pre-school to around 8. Expect to be entertained, even if it’s a sunny day. Mary wanted to promote her store by bringing in authors to mingle with the public. Last summer Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic champion, was there to promote her children’s book, “Dream Big, Little Pig.” William Kent Kruger also visited to talk about his crime novels and Candace Simar, a local author from Pequot Lakes, spoke about her popular novels on the history of her family during the Minnesota 1862 Sioux Uprising. You might remember a bookstore in Nisswa called Rainy Day Books which was owned by Susie Turcotte. In 2000, Mary asked Susie if she would ever think of selling, but at that time, Susie wasn’t interested. But in 2008, Susie saw Doug in the grocery store and asked him if he and Mary were still interested.

Mary Miller, owner of Turtle Town Books in Nisswa since 2008.

After doing some research, Mary and Doug went to Central Lakes College, to the Business Development Center, and presented their business plan. People at the Business Center looked it over to help the Millers decide if the plan was viable. With the decline of paperback sales, it was a risky venture, but with Mary’s background in public relations and marketing, and the ideas she already had for expanding gift lines and marketing, they were given the green light. April 1, 2010, they turned the key to Rainy Day Books’ door. The irony of that date was not lost on them. When they got the website up and running, however, they ran into a snag. There is a Rainy Day Books in Kansas City, and once they went online, the trademark became an issue. Nisswa, famous for its summer turtle races, became the inspiration for the new name. Turtle Town Books and Gifts came out of its Rainy Day shell last summer. Doug grew up in the Windom area, and Mary in Fergus Falls. Mary’s grandfather owned Portview Resort on the west side of Lake Margaret, so Mary spent her summers in the Nisswa area. Mary recalls visiting Rainy Day Books during those summer vacations. Mary lost both her sister and father a year apart in the 1990s and her

mother had died when Mary was 28. The Portview Resort is no longer open to the public and Mary and Doug have built their retirement home there. Someday, they may retire again. Mary is comfortable in the Brainerd lakes area. She muses, “This place is so important to me because I have such happy memories here. Even if I’ve lost people I love, I know as long as I can come back here I still have that sense of being home. I love Nisswa, and I’m passionate about this bookstore. Many of my customers have happy memories here, too, and we’re trying to save this kind of small-town shopping

experience for as long as we can.” You can find Turtle Town Books and Gifts online at or email them at


Suz Anne Wipperling

Suz Anne Wipperling grew up in Wadena on a farm and moved to Brainerd in 2001. Working full time as a corporate administrative assistant and part time for an auctioneer makes for a busy life, with writing and photography filling the available hours. Suz is a member of Heartland Poets.

FALL 2012 | her voice


auth o r s

by Charmaine Donovan

Path To The Poetry Tribe

S Joyce Sutphen (left) will be the keynote speaker at the League of MN Poets Fall Conference at The Lodge on October 13. On that date, Joyce will also give a public reading in the evening at Central Lakes College. Charmaine Donovan, an area poet, has been inspired by the Minnesota Poet Laureate.

LOOSE CHANGE for Joyce Sutphen by Charmaine Donovan Beyond the bliss of day when our setting sun pins long shadows into uneven grasses, thoughts like lucky coins shimmer through a wishing well of the mind. I see how my body strays into shadow, thickening away waistline, drying womb; reminder of the flip side of birth. Solar heat wanes. An orange streak bleeds into blue haze of horizon splashing and purpling like a crayon melted from its paper sleeve. As kids, it took us all day to hunt for money. We tore cushions from couches and easy chairs, peered down cold air returns fishing with butter knives for caught coins. Nimble fingers dug between car seat cracks, spooned and heaped soil like prospectors sifting silt beside parking spots. While this gamble was always thrilling, loose change was never enough, burning holes in our pockets like a circling sun spends light-year rays across an impassive sky— as though this flagrant expense made way to buy time. 44

FALL 2012 | her voice

Some years ago I found myself seated in Bookin’ It, an independent bookstore in Little Falls, owned by poet-friend, Laura Hansen. I didn’t know what to expect. I had attended several high-powered readings by various poets while attending college at, and working near, the U of M. Those poets who stand out include Marge Piercy, an anti-Vietnam war and women’s movement activist, and intellectual Adrienne Rich, a feminist lesbian poet. Alan Ginsberg howled his way through a crowded poetry presentation with drums beating and music throbbing in the background. These were nationally-known poets coming to the Heartland to share poetry with Midwesterners. Their performances were stunning. (I still admire Rich’s book “The Dream of a Common Language” which I purchased after her reading and run my fingers over the signature. It saddened me to learn that she had died this year in March.) Hearing these authors made me realize that poets could be well-known and popular. I sat on the edge of my chair in the bookstore waiting to hear a poet, Joyce Sutphen, an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, someone who knew the same poets with whom I had studied. I had heard of her, but had not had the pleasure of listening to her poetry. The only poet I really recalled at public readings by Minnesota poets was well-known Robert Bly. These were in the years before he traded in his serape for gentlemanly vests. Although other men and women poets read at these events, including my college professor Michael Dennis Browne, it was Bly’s forceful delivery accompanied by hand gestures as his shoulder-length white hair went flying that left an indelible impression. When Joyce Sutphen arrived, she was introduced as a poet who had grown up close to the area. A lithe, tallish middle-aged woman with a full head of dark curls, she sidled up to the front of the room. She smiled and talked in a gentle voice. Her clothing looked nice, but not outlandish or eccentric. She shared many poems, but it was her poetry about growing up in St. Joseph, a small community near St. Cloud, that inspired and moved me. Her poetry transported me from that room to her small community, then on to my own childhood community. There I saw the Bookmobile stopping at our little town too. As I wandered those streets of my girlhood, images of a poem materialized. I recall buying Joyce’s book and thanking her for the inspiration. I excitedly told her the title I had chosen for my next poem. Much later, I emailed it to her and asked if she minded that I dedicated the poem to her. She did not. Many years before I submitted poems for contests and publication, I considered myself a poet. In truth, I didn’t think beyond reading and writing poem after poem for a very long time. Sending out poetry took too much time away from writing. Although I dreamed of publishing a poetry book, how seemed remote and foggy. I never quite imagined standing in front of an audience reading like authors did at those University lecture series. When I met Joyce Sutphen, I met a woman poet with whom I could relate. She was close to my age and her public persona was very real and approachable. Although she was well-educated, had won numerous awards, and was a professor, she did not seem overly concerned with impressing the audience with her erudition. It was at this point that I unconsciously began to identify with her as a comrade in poetry. Just as we learn to write through imitation, reading and

writing in styles we admire, we also learn to emulate poets we admire through observation and modeling of their countenances. We carry ourselves into the world of poetry by having mentors. These poets may teach us in classes, workshops, or they may impress us elsewhere. When Joyce was asked to become the second Minnesota Poet Laureate, she hesitated because she felt there were many poets who were as worthy as she to receive this honor. Her friends convinced her to accept. Luckily, for us, she humbly did. Writing is a solitary activity, yet it involves readers and other writers too. Applying for the same grants, awards and opportunities for recognition and publication, and vying for the same readers and audience, can be very competitive. As long as there are poets like Joyce Sutphen, who called poets at The Loft’s 2012 Poetry Conference “part of my tribe” and compelled this tribe “to practice our art with love and attention” we can rest assured that the state of poetry is in good hands.


Charmaine Donovan

Charmaine is a member of Brainerd Writers’ Alliance, Heartland Poets, a chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets and The Loft Literary Center. Her first poetry collection, “Tumbled Dry,” won the 2011 Northeastern Book Award for Poetry.


BOOKMOBILE by Joyce Sutphen I spend part of my childhood waiting for the Stearns County Bookmobile. When it comes to town, it makes a U-turn in front of the grade school and glides into its place under the elms. It is a natural wonder of late afternoon. I try to imagine Dante, William Faulkner, and Emily Dickinson traveling down a double lane highway together, country-western on the radio. Even when it arrives, I have to wait. The librarian is busy, getting out the inky pad and the lined cards. I pace back and forth in the line, hungry for the fresh bread of the page, because I need something that will tell me what I am; I want to catch a book, clear as a one-way ticket, to Paris, to London, to anywhere. from “Coming Back to the Body.” © Holy Cow! Press, 2000.

by Joyce Sutphen When I stepped ashore in this body I was recognized at once and given a name. My bones are smaller, but the shape of the cheek and the chin are the same. This is the only body I know: this color my eyes, this color my skin. Every scar is mine. I have become as tall, as slim, as old as I am. My voice has carried the weight of what I had to say, Words were scattered along the way: words on gravel roads, in hallways and stairways. Words on a wire, Somewhere in a field, my hair. Somewhere in a lake, my skin, some rooftop where my gaze rested, some star, a wish. This is my address on earth: temporary, fragile, a name in the phone book, at the moment alive. reprinted from “Naming the Stars “by permission of Holy Cow! Press, 2004, FALL 2012 | her voice


Her Voice Service Directory • Summer 2012 Assisted Living


14396 Grand Oaks Drive Baxter, MN 56425 (218) 824-1400

6948 Lake Forest Road Brainerd, MN (218) 829-7107

Diamond Willow

Just For Kix


Music General

Excelsior Place

416 South 7th Street Brainerd, MN (218) 829-0076

14211 Firewood Drive Baxter, MN (218) 828-4770 baxter

Family Planning

Good Neighbor Home Health Care

Natural Family Planning 523 North Third Street Brainerd, MN (218) 829-2861

(218) 829-9238 (888) 221-5785



Preferred Hearing

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union

17274 State Hwy 371 Brainerd, MN 56401 1-800-458-0895

13283 Isle Drive, Baxter MN 56425 218-822-2444


Thrivent Financial


Tara Hemsing 218-297-0199 Heidi Paurus-Fink, FIC 218-316-2062 14715 Edgewood Drive Suite 1, Baxter, MN 56425

Auto Import

22 Washington Street Brainerd, MN (218) 829-3307

Mills Motor

14858 Dellwood Drive Brainerd/Baxter (218) 829-2893

Chiropractors Northern Family Chiropractic


Law Firm

320 East Main Street Crosby, MN 56441 (218) 546-7000 (888) 487-6437

Ginny Knudson 302 South 6th St. Brainerd MN 56401 218-829-1451

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center

Essentia Health

St. Joseph’s Hospital 218-829-2861 Brainerd Clinic (218) 828-2880 Baxter Clinic - Now Open! (218) 828-2880

Lakewood Health System Staples Motley Pillager Eagle Bend Browerville (218) 894-1515 (800) 525-1033


Northridge Agency 123 N 1st St, Brainerd, MN 56401 (218) 829-1166

US Bank

Interior Design

Julie Gowen 3752 Ox Lake Landing Rd, Crosslake MN 56442 218-820-3800

320 S. Sixth Street Brainerd, MN 56401 (218) 828-5406

Fitness Fitquest

JAG Interior Solutions


15480 Audubon Way Behind Holiday Inn Baxter, MN 56425 (218) 829-6453




Showplace Kitchens

18441 State Hwy 371 Brainerd, MN (218) 829-2881 1-800-726-8445

13968 Cypress Dr. Suite 1B Baxter, MN 218-822-3855

Construction 7900 Hastings Rd Baxter, MN (218) 828-1722 (800) 858-1722

Gull Lake Glass

Merritt Jewelers

31067 Front Street Pequot Lakes MN 56472 218-568-4695


15860 Audubon Way Baxter, MN (218) 824-4228

Borden Steinbauer Krueger and Knudson PA


Brothers Motorsports 8194 FairviewnRd. Baxter, MN (218) 829-6656


Lakes Imaging Center 2019 S. 6th Street Brainerd, MN 218-822-OPEN (6736) 877-522-7222


Midwest Family Eye 7870 Excelsior Rd

Baxter, MN (218) 828-9545 201 1st St NE Staples, MN (218) 894-5480

Northern Eye Center Great Northern Opticians

Brainerd, Little Falls, Staples 218-829-2020 1-800-872-0005



7447 Clearwater Rd Baxter, Minnesota (218) 824-0926

Rental/Supplies Rohlfing Inc.

923 Wright Street Brainerd, MN (218) 829-0303

Window Treatments

Arlean’s Drapery

4835 County Road 16 Pequot Lakes, MN (218) 568-8280


FALL 2012 | her voice

FALL 2012 | her voice


Her Voice Magazine - Fall 2012  

Moonlite Madness - Originally a dancehall built in 1933, Moonlight Bay in Crosslake is now a restaurant with an energetic, community-minded...

Her Voice Magazine - Fall 2012  

Moonlite Madness - Originally a dancehall built in 1933, Moonlight Bay in Crosslake is now a restaurant with an energetic, community-minded...