Page 1

Farrah McKinney

Local Powerball Winner 19 Years Later


+ Cuyuna Range + The Frugal

Women’s Club

By Women. For Women. About Women.


A Legacy Of Teaching Dad Will Be Here For The Holidays

The Minnesota Cross Lady Winter 2017

+ Holiday


A Brainerd Dispatch Publication

Health care for women, by women

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HER VOICE By women. For women. About women.



Lisa Henry


Joey Halvorson COPY EDITOR

DeLynn Howard

Happy Holiday Season! Sarah Herron ​​Joining the Her Voice team this past spring has been incredibly rewarding. I get the opportunity to work with some of the most talented women who come together to create this magazine. As the stories come in, I am in awe of the exceptional people who make our community extraordinary. It brings me joy to be able to raise our three boisterous children here. The ONE WORD that I am going to choose to represent my 2018 is HOPE: The desire to look towards the future and see something beneficial. My aim will be to persist, to HOPE, even when it’s hard to do so.​ Lisa Henry As soon as I read Sheila DeChantal’s word story, I knew I wanted

a word of my own for 2018. It came to me immediately, maybe too fast. The word was POWER. It stood there in my mind light but firm. I thought, ‘Sure, who wouldn’t want power?’ I needed to study it first. I wanted to be sure. Could it be from watching “Wonder Woman” with my girls too many times? Or was there something intuitive that was needed or desired from this word? The idea had me looking over my life, guessing what previous years’ words might have been — last year maybe HEALING or CELEBRATE the year before, STRENGTH. Those words helped to build this new one. I wasn’t ready then, but now I am. POWER.

DeLynn Howard While my job as copy editor for Her Voice has remained the same, I love my new role on the content team. It’s fun brainstorming with Sarah and Lisa on story ideas and design concepts and then our fabulous writers take those ideas and run with them. We hope the final product is one our readers enjoy getting their hands on. In this issue, Sheila DeChantal suggests picking a word to represent yourself in the upcoming new year instead of the traditional resolution. She says saying it out loud helps to make it stick. With that being said, my word for 2018 is UNSTOPPABLE. I’ve been on a weight loss journey since May 1, and as of this writing, I’ve lost 85 pounds and 40 inches. I will continue this journey into 2018 and beyond and will be UNSTOPPABLE. Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 3


Sarah Herron


(entertainment tab)

CONTACT US: Advertising:

(218) 855-5895 Comments/story ideas:

(218) 855-5821

Mail: ATTN: Her Voice Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 A quarterly publication of the Brainerd Dispatch. Printed by Forum Communications.

copyright© 2003 VOLUME 14, EDITION 4 WINTER 2017

CONTENTS Winter 2017

Your Voice Holiday Photos Survey 46


Her Story


Off-Grid Living with Maranda Lorraine 10

Her Career Dancing Queens of Music General

Her Style

Winter Makeup


Her Family Living on the Edge of Technology 18

Her Passion For the Love of the Library 6 The Minnesota Cross Lady 8 The Cuyuna Range Women’s Club



For Her Holiday Events 34 One Word 47

Her Table

Holiday Appetizers

Cover Story Farrah McKinney Local Powerball Winner 19 Years Later 26

With a good head on her shoulders and support from close friends and family, Farrah was able to navigate the shock and extreme pressures of instant fame and fortune. Nineteen years later, she’s still local and thriving.

Her Family

Her Career

Her Career

Grandma Day Care 22

The Frugal Farmhouse 38

Teachers x 3 29

Sheila Helmberger takes us through the whims and rigors of being a work-from-home grandma to her three grandchildren.

Maren LaVoie’s business is born, inspired by scraps, barnwood and do-it-yourself projects. Check out the DIY project!

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Three generations of teachers, but it doesn’t stop there. If you are from the area, chances are you had one of the Bahr family teachers.

Great American Smokeout Nov. 16

Here with you

to make quitting

easier ToBaCCo CEssaTion sPECiaLisTs

Baxter Clinic Janet Ellevold, RN

Brainerd Clinic JoAnn Bresnahan, RN

Brainerd Clinic Traci Moreland, RN

Hackensack & Pine River Clinics Shannon Obe, RN

Pierz Clinic Rachel Young, RN

Pillager Clinic Talia Bishop, RN

If you want to quit smoking, you don’t need to do it alone. Essentia Health’s certified tobacco treatment specialists are here to help. They’ll create a personalized plan that fits your life and support you every step of the way. You’ll get one-on-one help from a certified tobacco treatment specialist who can suggest medications proven to make quitting easier and provide research-based tips and advice to help you succeed.

Crosslake Clinic, Emily Clinic & Pequot Lakes Clinic Anna Gilson, RN

This service is covered at 100% by most health insurance plans. To get started and request an appointment, call 218.828.7100 or 844.403.7010 (toll-free).



For the Love of the


Ruth Gogolin (left), and Rita Hamann both enjoy good mysteries. Ruth has been known to have three books going at once and often finishes reading a book in one day.

If you have been to the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library book sales, you

may have noticed the many categories of the neatly sorted books, the organization of the sale itself, as well as the well signed areas. The Friends receive many compliments on how well the sale is laid out and how easy it is to find the genres you are looking for.

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Commonly asked questions: Where do the books come from? While some are discards from the library, most come from the generosity of our community.

How do I donate books?

You can take your gently used books to the Library at any time all year around.

Do you accept all books?

The Friends ask that books be from 1990 forward (unless they are a classic). Books should be in good condition, not musty or damaged. All genres are accepted. They accept DVD movies as well as CD audio books and music CDs. They do not accept magazines, VHS movies, cassette audio books, or Reader’s Digests. While it takes many hands to make this twice a year sale as organized as it is, there are two pairs of hands in particular that take care of the behind the scenes sorting of the books as well as the sale planning with the assistance of a small yet committed crew. Ruth Gogolin and Rita Hamann have co-chaired the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library book sale together held in the spring and fall, for over a decade and a half. Their dedication to the sale, and to putting good reads into our community’s hands, has been and continues to be, truly a labor of love. Ruth started volunteering with the Brainerd Public Library and with the Friends of the Library before she retired from the State of Minnesota in 1993. In her recollection, that was four librarians ago. Ruth always has had a deep love of reading and it wasn’t long before she found her way into helping with

the book sale. As Ruth remembers, back in the 90s, the sales were quite a bit smaller with tables set up in the large meeting room of the library for the community to browse through the used books. Rita Hamann joined the Friends when she retired in 2002 after 36 years of employment at the Brainerd Regional Human Service Center (BRHCS). Also a long time lover of books, prior to her retirement she had volunteered at the Staples High School Library where she enjoyed the atmosphere and being surrounded by great reads. She knew when she started with the Friends of the Library, book sale and all it entailed was something she would enjoy being a part of. Ruth and Rita both became members of the Friends Board and soon took charge of the book sales. As co-chairs, these two women would come into the Brainerd Library weekly and go into the basement where the books that were donated were kept. They would sort through every donated book, placing them in boxes labeled by genre in preparation for the next sale. This helps immensely as when the sale comes, the boxes are placed in the correct genre space provided. As time went on, the sales became bigger and bigger with more of our communities’ gently used books being donated to the Friends sales. At times, Ruth and Rita would have to come in twice a week, where they would spend 3-5 hours a time keeping up with the book sorting. In the spring of 2015, the sale had outgrown the space available at the library. Those smaller sales that Ruth recalls from the early 90s, were long gone, and books now were not only stacked on every table available, but also underneath the tables. It was this spring 2015 sale that was moved out of the library and into the old Burton building (Fiancee’ wedding shop). This was a big change for Ruth and Rita, and the whole Friends board, however it was a necessity if the Friends were going to continue to be able to offer the high-quality sale they do.

The move was a success. The community loved the larger space with more space to move around and shop the books. The dollars made at the sales began to increase. When that space was rented that same year, the Friends were able to secure space at the Westgate Mall where the sales have been ever since the fall of 2015. It was also in 2015 when the children’s sale was added in June. This is a book sale at the library of just children’s books from baby to teen, to promote summer reading. This additional sale has continued every year since inception and brings in many families to pick up the large variety of books for their children. When the doors to the sales now open that first day, there are usually around 80-100 people waiting to come in and stock up on good quality reading. Most of the books are sold at 50 cents each and children’s books are 25 cents each. Sure, Ruth and Rita agree the Friends could charge more for the books but see no reason to do so. It is more important to put books in our communities’ hands is their motto, and it is a good and successful one. Ruth and Rita, of course, have many memories of the sales over the years. It has been both challenging and rewarding for the women as the sale continues to grow in not only book quantity, but also in people attending the sale. They now sort the books at the Westgate Mall in-between sales where the donations are brought over from the Library to the mall almost weekly by Friends of The Brainerd Public Library volunteers. As soon as one sale ends, the donations continue to come and the sorting for the next sale starts the very next week. Ruth and Rita both enjoy what they do and they do it well. Sheila DeChantal is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She writes about life meanderings and books at the website She is president of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library and is on the city library board. When not reading or writing she enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, hiking, mud runs, kickboxing, and finding any excuse to wear a costume.

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 7



Eloise Bierman wastes noth-

ing. On the walk up to her home off the red dirt roads in the town of Cuyuna are jars of sun pickles from her summer cucumber harvest. “The best kind of pickles right there,” Bierman proclaimed. “You gotta use all those cucumbers up.”

8 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook 8 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook


Bierman’s home and adjacent pole barn are full of treasures she has acquired over the years from yard sales, estate sales, friends’ dying wishes. She has boxes and boxes of the metal tabs that pop open an aluminum soda can. She saves them, recycles and then donates the money to local charities. Bierman collects everything from Little Golden children’s books to shot glasses, rocking chairs, even Bibles. “I am one of those people that never throws anything away,” Bierman said. Bierman has a 150-year-old Bible she found at an estate sale and bought for 50 cents. She says she can’t ever walk past a Bible for sale. “It just doesn’t feel right, you know,” she said. “Leaving God’s word out there to be sold. I just can’t walk on by.” Bierman’s passion for finding life in old things has given her a hobby that has taken her, or at least her reputation, around the world. For nearly 10 years, Bierman, 77, has made small, hand-sized yarn crosses. Known to many as the “Minnesota Cross Lady,” Bierman spends much of her free time hand-weaving each cross to be handed out to someone who just might need a reminder they are not alone. She never sells them — even when people ask if they can pay her. “I just give them to people and sometimes they just cry and I just know they needed it,” she said. “I’ve never had anyone turn me down.”

The crosses were never something Bierman set out to do — they evolved as a by-product passion for wasting nothing. Bierman said years ago, she learned to weave Swedish blankets where the pattern starts from the middle of the blanket. “You end up with so much leftover yarn,” she said. “I couldn’t just throw it all away.” All the yarn Bierman uses on the crosses is recycled from previous projects, and over the last 10 years, she estimates she has made a couple thousand of them. They come in just about any color or pattern imaginable. She has patriotic colors, Minnesota Gophers and Vikings colors, camouflage, neon, pastels — endless combinations. Each cross comes neatly packed in a small plastic bag with a note explaining the origin and purpose. She sends them out in birthday cards, anniversary cards, even with condolences. She leaves them at gas stations, sends them with friends headed out on vacation and sends them to strangers she thinks might need one. In 2016, after the remains of Jacob Wetterling were found more than 20 years after the boy disappeared from rural Minnesota, Bierman said, like most Minnesotans, she was devastated for the Wetterling family. So she did what she knew to do. She sent them a cross. “I got a really nice card in the mail from them,” she said. “I’d like to think it

brought them some comfort.” Bierman said she has sent crosses around the world and has reached at least 30 countries. “I even have one at the Vatican,” Bierman said. A devout Catholic, Bierman said she says the rosary frequently for herself, “and for anyone who holds one of my crosses.” Bierman’s current focus is creating red, white and blue crosses to distribute to American Legions across the country. So far she has covered 10 so far. For years, Bierman bartended at the American Legion in Brainerd and remains an active member. Bierman winters in Texas where she spends a lot of time making crosses, but still considers Minnesota home. She said the best part of sharing her crosses with others is the reaction they bring. “You can’t believe what people say to me — they want to give me a hug,” she said. “It feels like I’m doing something nice for others. Plus, I’ve met a lot of really nice people along the way.” ​Sarah Nelson Katzenberger is a displaced Californian who had no idea there were four seasons until she moved to Minnesota. She is a former missionary, law school dropout, high school teacher, and award-winning journalist with the Brainerd Dispatch. She continues to write for local and national publications and provides unsolicited grammar correction as needed. Sarah lives in Brainerd with her husband Chad and their three baby Vikings, Ellis, Meredith and Truett.


Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 9



With Maranda Lorraine Story and Photos Submitted BY MARANDA LORRAINE


while back, my mother told me that I was a sucky housekeeper. I stared seriously at her and replied with, “What do you mean? I

keep my house exactly where it’s supposed to be.” After a quiet moment she laughed at me and gave up the argument. I understand what she meant. I probably am messy and I could keep a better house. That is if I wanted to. But I don’t.

My house is 10 feet by 20 feet and it only takes me about 15 minutes to clean the entire space. I sweep, wash dishes, flop the covers on my bed back and pick up Maple’s toys in the amount of time that it takes the average person to drag the vacuum out of the closet. I couldn’t vacuum, even if I had a closet to keep such devices in, because I don’t have electricity. I like it this way. Sweeping the floor is peaceful. I suppose I could clean more but I’d rather spend my time


on other areas of life. I need to build a couple things before winter and I always have firewood to chop. The animals need feeding and I have stories to write. I’ll keep my house better when life demands it. And even then I will probably put up a stubborn fight. In the 32 years I’ve been walking this earth, my life has lead me in some incredible directions. There is not one aspect of my life I regret and every decision I’ve made has slowly brought me to

where I am right now. “Live a life worth writing about,” is what I’ve always told myself and I truly believe I am on the right path. This reality fulfills me and brings meaning to my existence. I know it is important to write about it. I need to write. My hope is to share my experiences with the world and maybe, just maybe, one person will be inspired to follow their dreams and allow happiness to fill them.

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Cold Lessons Learned

Every morning I drink an entire kettle of coffee. I use a metal percolator type kettle that I heat on a fire. In the winter I cook inside on the woodstove and in the summer I use a campfire in an old grill. Before I am able to start a fire I need to gather an arm full of sticks and birch bark. I never pre-gather fire starter for coffee, because it’s part of my waking up process. I will wander around in the woods still wearing my pajamas, slowly picking up the perfect sticks for the morning coffee fire. The sticks have to be dry and somewhat short to fit nicely in the grill. By the time I’ve gathered the wood and started the fire, I’m fully awake. Drinking coffee is just an added bonus. I perform this routine every morning. On days when it’s raining coffee time gets pretty interesting. A couple times I’ve been desperate for dry sticks and I’ve crawled under my car or the porch in hopes of finding a little fire starter so that I could at least make a small cup of coffee. I have plenty of firewood stored for winter but I refuse to waste that on something so frivolous as coffee. It is important but I don’t need caffeine to survive.

If there was a way to cry without tears I probably would have done it but we all know that is impossible. By the time I got back inside from my little run, I felt better and the lighter was warmed up enough to function. My dilemma was easily remedied and I learned another important lesson -- I needed to have matches on hand and I would never allow my lighter to freeze up again. Now I sleep with it inside my sleeping bag or I keep it in the pocket of my pants. And through all of this, I hold fast to my convictions that I would rather be living this way than any other. Anything worth doing is going to be difficult. If it were easy I wouldn’t be interested in it. Every day I learn a new lesson and overcome a different challenge. I’ve learned about dealing with loneliness and fear. I’ve learned about survival and simply slowing down to appreciate life. In the future I will look back at this time and reminisce with a smile on my lips. I love my life. Stay tuned for more from Maranda in our next edition of Her Voice!

Dr. Jackie McCall 7870 Excelsior Rd., Baxter Brainerd Office: 218.828.9545 • 877.338.3957 Treatment of eye infections, injuries & glaucoma Consultations for laser and cataract surgery Eye Exams • Contact Lenses • Eye Wear Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 11



Over the past year I have been asked questions about my life, more times than I can remember. People have asked if I’m seriously living the way that I am. Yes, I am living off grid in a tiny house. Yes, I live in the woods. Yes, I cut all my firewood with my own two hands. Yes, I am doing all this alone. Yes, I love it. And most importantly, no, it is not easy and glamorous. Life is hard and living rugged is harder. There are times when I want to sit and cry into the dirt because I’m tired and hungry and I’m alone. There were times in the beginning when it was cold, my lighters had froze and I couldn’t start a fire. I couldn’t feel my fingers and the only way to warm up was to start a fire in the woodstove. I remember putting the lighter inside my shirt and going outside for a run to warm up. It sounds backward but I knew running would make things better. The only other option would be to lay down and cry about it and I knew that would only create a puddle of tears and I would freeze myself literally to the floor in a block of ice.



+ dance

NOTE: This is the first installment of a two-part story about two dancing queens at Music General in Brainerd and how they provide outstanding dance instruction and exciting opportunities for students of all ages to grow, be inspired and perform as artists. The first part of this story focuses on Amy Borash.

The Dancing Queens of Music General — BY MAUREEN FARNSWORTH

Amy Borash

How does a little studio in Brainerd develop amazing dancers who have gone on to win national and regional titles?

Amy Borash, who runs the Studio Dance Program at Music General for students ages 2-18 and adults ,making the benefits of dance available to all age groups. Tiny dancers start with Amy to develop

basic skills early on that are integral to progressing in dance classes. Amy teaches dance fundamentals, helping students build skill sets using proper body mechanics to progress safely in advanced dance technique. “There are nuances to the movements that our students must get before they can move on. It’s part of learning muscle memory,” says Amy. Her program serves as a springboard for students who want to dance and compete in the company program, directed by Sue Kuhn, owner and director of Music General.

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Amy is a marvelous teacher with energy to spare; her skills as a dramatic and entertaining storyteller help her pass on valuable lessons she’s learned over her lifetime to motivate her students. At age 12, Amy became an active community theatre participant gaining experience and confidence in dance and acting. In high school, she started choreographing routines as captain of her danceline. “I wanted dance lessons but that wasn’t an option for me as a kid. Danceline in high school was what was available to me but it wasn’t the same as dancing as an art form,” said Amy. At age 18, she got a job to pay for dance lessons at Music General with owner and director Sue Kuhn. “And I was horrible!” exclaims Amy. She shared that her early experience with tap dance was humbling and yet a pivotal point in her life that gave her confidence to pursue her love of dance and theatre. “I thought I was good dancer. I picked things up quickly. I moved well. I thought, ‘I got this!’ Sue thought so too and decided to give me private tap lessons to duet with one of her star students. Two lessons in and Sue said to me, ‘Hmmm, I don’t know about the duet thing, but keep taking lessons!’ Three lessons in, I quit. I thought, ‘I’m incapable of doing this.’” “I continued to take jazz lessons but found myself getting to the studio early, watching the first and second graders tap dance who, by the way, could kick my butt!” Amy recalled with humor. “To be honest, I was not OK with quitting, and at the same time, I told myself I couldn’t learn, I was terrible, a failure and embarrassed.” “I decided that if these 8-yearolds could do this, then I better get myself together and do what I had to do to learn.” “Standing at the window watching I began slowly moving my feet

Amy, middle, is teaching the Geritol Frolics dancers their choreography.

“You have to take chances, work hard and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.” - Amy Borash

to flap, flap, shuffle. I watched and listened to how the technique was taught. Then I went home and taught myself.” The lesson Amy learned: “You have to take chances, work hard and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.” Amy took dance lessons and taught at Music General while attending St. Cloud State University and studied theater arts. For a brief period of time she and her husband lived in South Dakota where she ran a dance studio and became director and choreographer of a local community theatre. After returning to Brainerd, Amy continued to teach dance at Music General and work with CLC. She became the choreographer for the Geritol Frolics and the director of Pequot Lakes Community Theatre. Amy says, “I want people to know

who I am as a teacher; choreographer and director is a culmination of my experiences and working with amazing directors and theatre people who taught me the value of hard work, and a dance teacher who encouraged me to just try and not to be afraid of doing something I’ve never done.” “When I see a student struggling, saying ‘I can’t do this,’ it takes me back to that 18-year-old girl that quit and now it gives me something that can I can use to encourage my students of all ages.” Amy has taught ballet, tap and jazz for 30 years. Her accomplishments are proof that taking chances are crucial to learning and achieving your dreams. Part 2 of The Dancing Queens, in the next Her Voice, will focus on Sue Kuhn, her company dance program and dancers who have learned to take big chances in performance and competition.

Maureen Farnsworth is a yoga therapist and lives in Nisswa with her husband, Michael. Maureen enjoys a variety of outdoor and creative activities including writing for Her Voice. Maureen and a group of older women began tap dance lessons with Amy Borash at Music General last year where she continues to take lessons and became inspired to share their story.

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 13

HER STYLE + makeup

Story and photos BY KATY KOSTKA

Five looks to try this winter


This year’s winter beauty trends are all about finishes and the mixing of tex-

tures as seen on the runway during fashion weeks around the world. Splashes of bold color and subtle details also elevate the style of the season.

FROST It’s all about soft pastel pinks and icy slivers that invoke a frosty sheen. The finish is an iridescent glow.

Base: To recreate this look use a moderate coverage foundation with a dewy finish.

Cheeks: Sweep a dusty rose colored blush on the apples of the cheeks to add a bit of dimension.

Highlights: Combine liquid highlight drops and a powder highlighter apply to the cheekbones in a V shape.

Lips: Line and fill with neutral pink liner. Apply a clear glittery gloss over top.

Eyes: Dust with glistening pastel pink on the whole lid. Brush shimmery silver into the crease and blend together to give a chilly radiance. Smudge black eyeliner into the upper lash line to define the eyes but also give a natural look.

This frosty look was inspired by the Fall/ Winter runway looks from Marchesa, Derek Lam, and Altuzarra. Products used in this look: Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation in Ecru, CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial, BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Pearl, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Blush in Rebel Rose, Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects eyeshadows in All that Glitters and All that Brightens. Estee Lauder Double Wear Infinite 24 Hour Eyeliner in Kohl Noir, Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara, NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Beige, Soap And Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss in Sugar Spun.

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GLOW This look is all about warmth, depth and mixed textures. The skin is a natural finish with shine in selected spots. Base: Use a satin finish foundation, set with powder. Cheeks: Apply a blush and bronzer to the apples and hollows of the cheeks then blend with a gold colored powder highlighter. Bring the highlighter down the center of the nose and above the cupid’s bow for extra shine. Eyes: To start on the smokey eye draw a thick line on the lid

with a black eyeliner and use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to blend into the lid, then sweep the lid with a matte deep brown shadow in a V shape in the outer corner of the eye and blend into the inner corner. Using an eyeliner brush take the brown shadow under the lower lash line. With the powdered highlighter emphasize the brow bone area and inner corner of the eye. Apply bronzer into

the crease of the lid to blend the brown shadow and the highlighter. Go back in with the black liner to apply a thin line along the lash line. Apply mascara in several coats for depth. Brows: Defined the brows with one coat of brow mascara. Lips: Finally, line the lips and add a liquid lip in a neutral mauve color.

Products used in this look: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Bone, Milani Rose Powder Blush in True Pink, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer in Medium, BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop, Estee Lauder Double Wear Infinite Eyeliner in Kohl Noir, Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow single in Mochaccino, NYX brow Mascara in Espresso, Kylie Matte Lip Kit in Candy K

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 15

EDGY A big theme on the runway this year was an edgy, graphic, rock ’n’ roll vibe with playful pops of color. Base: For this look the skin is a natural finish with a moderate coverage foundation and contoured with a creme contouring duo along the sides of the nose and in the hollows of the cheekbones. Blend the creme contour out with a damp beauty blending sponge.

Eyes: Start the smokey eye with a metallic gold shadow on the lid. Then, with a matte black shadow, blend in a winged shape in the crease to give it that edgy look. On the lower lash line, add a pop of teal in a thick sweep. Apply liquid black liner is to the upper lid in a wing shape for ultra definition.

Lips: Apply a velvet liquid lipstick with no liner for a natural lip shape.

Products used in this look: Too-Faced Born This Way Foundation in Porcelain, Wet ’N’ Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick in Light/Medium, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow Single in Naked Gold, Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadows in It List and Officially In, NYX Matte Liquid Liner, Estee Lauder Sumptuous Knockout Mascara, Hard Candy Velvet Lip Mousse in Forget Me Not, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

LUSH Ethereal, lush and avant-garde. Base: To create silky-looking skin, use light foundation infused with moisture. Cheeks: Apply a creme blush in a coral shade to the apples of the cheeks and blend up at an angle, then add a gold creme highlighter to lightly define the cheekbones.

Eyes: Prep the lid with an ivory creme shadow up to the brow bone. Blend a metallic gold shadow into the lid and apply loose glitter over the top. There is no eyeliner used in this look because the absence gives the illusion of a wide eyed appearance. For a separated but full lash look, apply mascara in several coats.

Brows: Brush a coat of brow mascara through the brows for a natural but defined look. Lips: With your finger, dab a wine colored lipstick to create a stained lip look.

Products used for this look: Clinique Superbalanced Silk Makeup in Silk Shell, NARS The Multiple Creme Stick Blush in Puerto Vallarta, BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme Highlighter in Champagne Pop, Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Topaz Twinkle, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow Single in Naked Gold, Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara, NYX Brow Mascara in Espresso, L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in Cinnamon Toast.

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SIREN Inspired by the screen sirens of Hollywood’s golden age. Chic, clean and sophisticated with smooth satin skin, velvety lips and perfectly arched brows. Base: Use a moderate coverage matte foundation and a finishing powder for extra longevity. Cheeks: Apply a light pink satin blush to the apples of the cheeks, to add a soft touch of color to the face. Eyes: Smudge a charcoal liner into the lash line for a softened lash look. Prep the eyes with a silky creme eyeshadow

over the center of the lid to give a glossy look. An ivory and a taupe matte shadow can be used in the crease and outer lid to create a dimensional effect. Brows: To construct a bold but natural effect, use a brow pencil and start with fine delicate strokes on the arch down to the outside point. Then with a brow mascara brush through

the front of the brow and blend into the arch. Apply two coats. Lips: Apply a velvet red lip with a red lip liner before lipstick to define. After lipstick application, re-apply the liner to clean up the edges.

Products used in this look: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Bone, Coty Airspun Loose Translucent Powder in Translucent Extra Coverage, Milani Rose Powder Blush in True Pink, Revlon ColorStay Creme Shadow in Creme Brûlée, Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eyeshadow Palette in Addictive, Estee Lauder Double Wear Infinite Eyeliner in Graphite, Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black, NYX Brow Mascara in Espresso, N.Y.C. Color Brow Pencil in Sable, NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Plush Red, Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lip Color in Dylan.

KATY KOSTKA is a local freelance makeup artist and the Prestige Sales Manager at Ulta in Baxter. She began her career in cosmetics six years ago and has always had a real passion for all things beauty.

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HER FAMILY + health




Photos and story BY MARY JO BADE

Was this the beginning of the end? He’s been on this path for a very long time

already. Are there any options left for him? Was I going to have to say goodbye to my dad? At 42 years old, Bill Garten, my dad, was diagnosed with a heart condition, a common condition he would be fighting with for the rest of his life, hoping to win for as long as he possibly can.

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Angina is discomfort due to the lack of blood flow to the heart. More than 850,000 patients in 2011 experienced what is known as “refractory” angina. The condition affects the patient’s activity level and quality of life. A life’s goal — to teach and see his family grow, build a life creating memories, sharing his memories and stories of family members before him, making sure their lives are never forgotten. In December 1994, while away from home for a work convention, he laid in a hotel bed, having his first heart attack. He was lucky to not be alone. My mother, who was an RN, was by his side. After returning home, his doctor helped him decide to take the next step to save his life. He underwent open heart triple bypass surgery using a leg artery and an inner mammary artery (Currently, only the mammary artery used still works).

Left to right: Kamden Bade, Bill Garten, Kassity Williams, Korben Bade. Bill’s grandkids.

Through the years, he has had 53 angiograms (doctors go into his heart through his groin with a small camera to look around for blocked arteries and partially clogged arteries) and 47 angioplasty procedures (doctors, while doing an angiogram, use a special balloon to push a bigger path through his arteries that are clogged/clogging off with cholesterol). During some of these tests and procedures, he received stents (like a straw or coil that mechanically supports the blood vessel so blood can flow more freely). It’s at this point in his health journey he began to aide in the future of medical advancements. Already receiving two stents, the doctors wanted to use him and his body’s condition for study purposes. There was a new non-FDA approved stent that releases a single or multiple

bioactive agent(s) to aid the stent in dealing with the cholesterol. (These were chemicals unknown to us as it was a study). He now has nine of the medicated stents. Every time his body was given these tools, it helped get him back on his feet, doing the things he loved to do. But eventually his body would require more work to continue to support life. His company retired him in 2002, at 52 years old, because of his heart condition. A new study and opportunity arose. This time things would be much different than just placing a stent. This time it would require a medication to make his body overproduce harvestable cells (his own stem cells) which could be injected directly into his heart in hopes it would grow new heart tissue and make him stronger

Bill, right, relaxes with his grandson Kamden while awaiting his Heartmate3 procedure in the Heart Hospital at Abbot Northwestern. They are the best of friends.

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Bill and his wife, Laura Garten.

“We are so grateful to have him home for the holidays this year and many more to come.” - Mary Jo Bade

again. Would he get a full dose, a half dose or a placebo? Again, because it was a study, we didn’t know. He came home and within weeks morphed into a “new” man who had energy and the ability to be himself and do the things he loved like spending time with the grandkids, going to car shows, working on his truck. In 2011, at 61 years old, he stated, “‘I attribute my health and quality of life to the stem cells.’” We knew in our hearts that this was no placebo. Hooray! Technology to the rescue once more. Being an ongoing process, as always, he eventually deteriorated. He continued to have the angiograms and other procedures including a pacemaker that contained a defibrillator which was installed in 2009. After years of use, the pacemaker needed to be replaced in early 2016, only for him to get an infection from the procedure. He then needed the “new” one removed, an exterior pacemaker put in place while his body strug-

gled to fight the infection for months. Finally, another new pacemaker was installed helping him keep fighting the good fight. All went well, thank goodness. There is always so much risk in all of this. June 2017, my dad has lived with me for a year, with only 18 percent of his heart working and his pacemaker making his heart beat consistently. I watch him again slowly sleep more and do less. I watch him fight the depression of not being able to do the

simple things he loves to do with and for his grandchildren and even for himself. We often wondered, after all this, is there anything they can even do for him? Or is this the beginning of the end? So, back down to the heart hospital he goes, the hospital that has kept him here with us for so many years. Another angiogram finds that there is nothing they can “fix,” no clogs. My dad, at 67, is officially in heart failure. His heart now is barely able to pump

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the blood out of his heart to feed his body. We are lost. They again adjust his meds to get him stable enough to rest at home, but only three days later be right back in the hospital. What about a transplant? The transplant list is long. It could take 2, 3, 4, 5 years before they get to his name. After age 70 he would no longer be eligible. How is he supposed to live until it is his turn? There is no way he would live to see that day on his own. Fortunately, medical advancements to the rescue once again. Thank the heavens and science! He qualified for the Heartmate3, a pump that can be installed in his heart to push a steady flow of blood through his body, in order for him to maintain life, for up to 10 years. This pump attaches to the left ventricle and aorta (the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the entire body) the device has an external controller so he will wear a special holster to carry it and two rechargeable batteries that need to be changed every 8 to 12 hours. This is not a permanent fix; this is a major open heart open chest procedure that includes a lot of risk, but this is hope. This is also an amazing opportunity for us to watch firsthand as medical technology advances to help save the quantity and quality of our loved one. We waited for tests to be completed and then waited for a procedure date. Procedure day arrives earlier than expected. With family schedules adjusted and a support system in place, we wait to hear from the doctor after the procedure. All goes as planned. We worry about pain management but things are well taken care of. He wakes, groggy and weak (as expected). We rest. We wait for his body to adjust. I visit as much as I can. I plan a visit for me and my family to drive two and half hours to see him. Upon arrival, we find his hospital room door closed. We ask the nurse if he has been moved or if it was OK for us to go in. The nurses responded to us by asking “Who?”

“Ummm, my dad, Bill Garten, G-a-r-t-e-n….” They look in the computer. He’s not in there. One nurse sitting at the desk said, “Oh, Bill Garten? He was discharged yesterday.” I called to track him down. He was doing so well they released him early. He looked fantastic to me. He asked us to listen to his heart using his stethoscope. We took turns listening. It was amazing! I heard this quiet machine sound in his chest. The right side of his heart still beats, thanks to his pacemaker, but the sound of the valves opening and closing are difficult to hear from my perspective. We had a nice chat, but I can tell he was tired. I hug my dad, tell him I love him and say “‘see you later.’” We are so grateful to have him home for the holidays this year and many more to come.

I can’t wait to see my dad living his life again, working in the garage, teaching his grandchildren the skills along the way. I hope for his ability to eventually do all the wonderful things he can only dream of doing right now. Love you Dad! Science and technology cease to amaze me. These advancements feel refreshing to me. I close my eyes and focus on my world, my family, my future, our future — celebrating one day at a time — patient and hopeful.

Mary Jo Bade lives with her husband, Dave, and two fantastic boys in the Brainerd lakes area. She is often intrigued by how things work and medical science. She has a love for creating things and making them fun to look at. She also loves animals, learning and numbers, to name few. “If you want to be a green bean, be a green bean. Be the best green bean you can possibly be.”

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HER FAMILY + grandkids

a m d GranCare Day Clockwise, Sheila, Audrey, Lucy and baby Clara.

– Busy and Blessed but Never Boring BY SHEILA HELMBERGER

When my last child graduated from high school a few years ago, there was a

bit of a mourning process. Things were too quiet. I wondered what this new life might look like without sporting events and parent meetings. Then I shampooed the carpets, I put out the good dishes, emptied my house of Cheetos and Lunchables and fumigated the entire place to get rid of the smell of hockey equipment. That was also the year I turned 50. And I became a grandmother for the first time. It was everything I’d ever heard it would be. A new baby in the mix was a delight. My daughter, Kirstin, is an RN at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd and her husband, Ben, works as a paramedic for North

Memorial ambulance. Rotating 12hour shifts for her and 24-hour shifts for him means traditional day care would never be feasible. A flexible writing schedule for myself, the luck of geography and a desire to do so, has led to my being not only Grandma, but for the past four years, the primary babysitter for now fouryear-old Audrey, three-year-old Lucille, and three-month-old Clara. Their parents’ crazy schedules have meant sometimes I’m there when the girls wake up in the mornings; some-

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times I take them home and put them to bed. Depending on the week, we spend anywhere from two to four days with them. Grandpa logs in play time after work. We have each developed a few specialties. He does pillow fights and hide-and-seek and is an excellent dragon when it’s called for. I enjoy more mellow, organized activities such as going for walks and projects at the counter like PlayDoh, puzzles and painting. We both love reading stories. Are we the


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Lucy (left), and Audrey enjoy reading time with their Grandpa, Kirk Helmberger.

die potty in my bathroom. But sometimes, when they leave for the day, we hug three times because it just wasn’t ‘tight enough.’ And because goodbyes can be sad after an extra fun day, when it’s time to go home we say it other ways like “see ya later,” “toodle-loo,” “take care” and “keep in touch.” We also say “Sayonara!” “Au revoir!” and “Arrivederci,” which is sometimes substituted with “Be a turkey,” because it’s close enough and a bit of a mouthful. Some days after the girls go home we might maneuver through a few waffle blocks or the wayward Little Tykes princess on the living room floor, but it’s hard to complain when Lucy looked over at my husband one night at dinner and said, “Papa, guess what? You’re my jam.” I have been fill-in mom at swimming lessons and ECFE classes when needed. It’s fun to hang out with young

“...If anyone is wondering, [googly eyes] do fit up the nostril of a 3-year-old.” - Sheila Helmberger moms and secretly smile because I know their futures. There will be driver’s tests, shopping for prom, athletic events in the pouring rain and ACTs. When Clara joined the family in May I wondered if I had what it takes to keep up with all three at my age. But she’s such a good baby and the older two are so willing to help that a few weeks in, we’re doing just fine. We’re

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perfect day care? Probably not. I’m not a strict disciplinarian, the schedule can be a little lax when Grandma trumps daycare lady, and I can sometimes be talked into sweets too close to dinner time. Also, none of us are ever likely to forget the googly eye incident of 2016. (If anyone is wondering, they do fit up the nostril of a 3-year-old). I’ve had to reach back into my long-ago memory to pull out negotiating skills for tricky times like how to sit through an unexpected tantrum, and what to do when it’s naptime and the blankie didn’t make the trip from home. I have sippy cups in my cupboard (they are nestled among the margarita glasses) and there’s a kid-

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already pondering the possible strategy of drop offs and pickups for kindergarten when Audrey starts school next year and it was a lucky break that I could easily fit a third car seat in my new Honda. I love how well I know my granddaughters because of the time we spend with them. I know Lucy hates it when her clothes get even the tiniest bit wet. If she so much as dribbles something on her shirt, she strips it right off and heads for the dryer. I know Audrey can remember long words after only hearing them once or twice, like impressive, friction and osteoporosis. And I know Clara loves to stand up holding your fingers, even though her legs are half the length of the rest of her body. Lucy is most definitely left-handed. Audrey is a little bit accident-prone. Clara, without fail, will be irritated when she comes to the end of a bottle. Some days we share sweet moments. Like the day, last spring, when the girls and I were looking at old pictures of when I was little and Audrey crawled into my lap, hugged my neck and said, “Nana, I’m sorry your mom and dad aren’t alive anymore.” Sure, I have plastic bowls and plates in my cupboard and forks that have pictures of Pluto and Mickey Mouse. I have an ample supply of diapers and wipes and there are placemats in a kitchen drawer with Frozen characters and letters of the alphabet. My granddaughters have exposed me to Doc McStuffins and Paw Patrol and I take 100 percent of the credit for them knowing all of the people on The Mary


Sheila admits she can be talked into sweets too close to dinner time, but Lucy (left), and Audrey don’t seem to mind.

Tyler Moore Show (Thank you, Hulu), and how fun an old workout DVD of Richard Simmons Dance Party can be. When we decided the arrangement would work, my daughter outfitted me with my own baby gear so it would be less for us to haul back and forth. There’s a lot different stuff now than when I had my kids. I have a baby Exersaucer, a Rock ‘n Play and a Bumbo. (Where were those 25 years ago?) Some days when our friends come over, our driveway is swept clean and power washed. Some days it is decorated with chalk drawings and hopscotch, which my husband does surprisingly well. Currently, there is salmon and shrimp in my freezer for nights when we dine as a grown-up only crowd.

But on the third shelf, there is a bag of chicken nuggets, and in the door, there are ice cream cups and banana popsicles, because we all agree they’re the best. I can hardly wait for winter and the return of mini marshmallows and hot chocolate mustaches. I think I’ve figured it out. Being a grandma means redoing all the fun stuff of being a mom, without ever having to be the bad guy. That’s why it’s so special. This past month when we sat down for dinner on one of the first nights after my daughter returned to work from maternity leave, we told the girls how nice it was to have them coming over more often again. Lucy crawled up into her chair, looked over at my husband, smiling, and said, “Yeah, and Papa, you’re still my jam.”

Sheila Helmberger was published for the first time when she was 8 years old, over 40 years ago. A freelance writer for over 20 years, her articles, columns and features are seen regularly in various publications. She has three grown children, and three granddaughters, who are giving her all kinds of new material. She lives in Baxter with her husband, Kirk. 24 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook


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Farrah McKinney



On June 30, 1999, 21-year-old Farrah Slad had

finished her work shift for the day and was looking forward to a quiet evening at her apartment with her roommate. There were only two weeks left before their lease was up and Farrah had yet to go look for other options for housing. When her parents called and invited her over for dinner, initially Farrah turned them down, and then later changed her mind.

She had to stop and get gas for her 1991 Acura and with only $20, she put $15 of gas in her car and used her last $5 to purchase five Powerball tickets, using the random pick option. Farrah did not normally play the lottery, but the jackpot at that time, $150 million, was exceptionally high and she thought why not? It can’t hurt to try. After dinner, Farrah stayed to watch a movie (Austin Powers International Man of Mystery). Her parents had also purchased a few lottery tickets so Farrah’s mom had recorded the news as they watched the movie. After the movie ended they watched the recording of the winning numbers together. As the numbers came across the screen, Farrah watched in amazement as number after number showed up on her ticket, even the Powerball number, although at first look, Farrah did not think she had it. Shakily, Farrah handed the ticket to her dad to verify. Together the family agreed it looked as though she had won. Her life as she knew it had just changed forever. Farrah laughs as she recalls, “We did not know if the numbers had to be in a certain order. We really didn’t know anything other than we believed my ticket had won something.” That night, Farrah and her family drove to the gas station where she had bought the ticket, looking for more information; however, the station did not have the winning numbers yet. There was nothing more they could do besides wait for morning. Too nervous and excited to go home, Farrah stayed at her parents’ that night. She remembers they placed the winning ticket in a Ziploc bag and then inside a Kleenex box to keep it safe while they waited. 26 her her voice voice || Winter Winter 2017 2017 •• Share Share your your voice voice with with us us on on Facebook Facebook 26


Farrah hardly slept that night. In the morning, they watched the news again that now stated that one winning ticket had been purchased in Minnesota. She called in to her boss and made up a family emergency. “I didn’t call in rich.” she laughs. Nervously, they drove into the Brainerd Lottery office where it was confirmed, she was indeed holding the winning ticket. She was then put in contact with the Lottery Headquarters in Roseville where they let her know camera crews were already waiting outside as they knew whoever the winner was needed to show up there for final verification. They advised her to come around the back entrance when she arrived. When Farrah did arrive with her parents, she was overwhelmed by seeing all the news vans outside. “There had to be 10 of them,” she recalls. They pulled around back as instructed and they were escorted inside quietly with the news stations waiting out front, not knowing that who they were waiting for had already arrived. Farrah signed her ticket, they took it and verified it was real and announced she was the sole

winner of the jackpot. The media, upon her approval, was let in and Farrah did her first live interview which announced to the world who the winner was. Farrah remembers those first years as being difficult. “There were many times I wish I had never won at all,” she states. That first day, they were followed almost all the way back to Brainerd by the media vans. They would pull up next to her parents’ car, holding up signs in the windows saying, “Please pull over; we would love to talk to you.” It was, as Farrah remembers, scary. The weeks and months that followed were a whirlwind. Farrah continued to stay with her parents to avoid the media. Mail would come daily to her parents’ home by the box full. The mailman would have to carry it all up to the house in boxes, most just addressed to Farrah Slad, Powerball winner. Some of the mail was sweet. She received crochet crosses and cards from people congratulating her. Flowers came, as well as proposals. Most of the mail however, was from people Farrah did not know asking for money to help


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with bills, sharing their stories of hardships that tugged at her heart and overwhelmed her with sadness. How do you choose who to help? How do you help them all? It became so overwhelming Farrah’s dad did not allow her to read the mail anymore. Her parents disconnected their phone to stop all the calls. Of course, being 21 and suddenly having money, Farrah did what many would do. “I bought cars,” she said. “I love cars. I went out with my friends. I bought my first house and season tickets to the Vikings. I did some silly stuff, but I had a good time doing it.” As the first years were hard for Farrah as she made her way through this major life change, she always had a feeling if she could just get through the first five years, she felt things would get easier. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened. After ending a 2-and-a-half year relationship, months later Farrah reconnected with a longtime friend in 2004 -- Jarrod McKinney. “Jarrod helped me navigate through the harder things,” Farrah says. “He was sweet and kind and genuine. He put me

“It is impossible to please everyone Put your time and energy into people who mean something to you.” - Farrah McKinney first and we have been inseparable ever since.” Now, 19 years later, Farrah is happy and content. She continues to live in the Brainerd lakes area with her husband, Jarrod, of nine years and her son and daughter. She volunteers at their school, with the local library, as well as other nonprofits. She enjoys biking, running, and signing up for whatever crazy adventures her friends rope her into, including a half marathon, and most recently, she finished her

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Farrah volunteering at the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library book sale. first Ragnar Trail Run. The rollercoaster of those early years as a Powerball winner have faded from the original upheaval of her life to something she can talk about openly and honestly. And those random numbers that won? 5-10-12-20-40 and Powerball 3? Farrah has never played them again, although she does admit, she does still like to play the lottery. Her advice to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation: • Trust your gut when it comes to people • Don’t do things because you feel you have to • You can’t change the world • It is impossible to please everyone • Put your time and energy into people who mean something to you • Nurture relationships that help not hinder • ALWAYS believe in yourself

Sheila DeChantal is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She writes about life meanderings and books at the website Bookjourney. net. She is President of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library and is on the city library board. When not reading or writing she enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, hiking, mud runs, kickboxing, and finding any excuse to wear a costume. 28 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

HER CAREER + teaching

3 Teachers X From left: Megan Christenson, her grandmother Dee Bahr and Dee’s daughter, Ginger Augustinack represent three generations of teachers in the Brainerd School District.

Story and Photos BY CHRIS MONROE

If you graduated from the Brainerd school district, chances are you were taught by one of the Bahr family of teachers. Dolores (Dee) Bahr, 96, her daughter, Ginger Augustinack, and Ginger’s daughter, Megan Christenson, represent three generations of teachers who have educated kids in the Brainerd district. And it doesn’t stop there. Two of Dee’s other children, Don and Gretchen, taught in Pine River and Kimball, and three additional grandchildren teach at Forestview Middle

School in Baxter, St. Joseph Elementary and Wayzata High School. “Growing up, while our friends were playing house, we were playing school,” Augustinack says. “My mom taught me that you could have a profession and be a mom at the same time. She was there before and after school and on breaks.” “My mom and grandmother were

my inspirations to become a teacher,” Christenson says. “‘I love problem-solving with the kids…determining what’s blocking their learning. It’s like a puzzle. And seeing them become young readers — that’s exciting! Teaching has changed markedly during the 75 years represented by the careers of these three women. Bahr began her teaching career at

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“While our friends were playing house, we were playing school.” - Ginger Augustinack Megan Christenson and student Adylin Luginbill read a book on the floor in Christenson’s classroom at Riverside Elementary.

the head of a one-room schoolhouse in the early 1940s. “The kids pumped water and I cut the firewood for the classroom,” Bahr says. “Dad was courting Mom,” Augustinack chimes in, “so he cut firewood on weekends and brought it to her classroom.” A small smile creeps across Bahr’s face. “That’s right,” she says. The community school, Esden, where Bahr taught, was situated halfway between Brainerd and Garrison. Kids attending kindergarten through eighth grade were taught by Bahr. “Except for seventh grade,” Bahr points out. “We didn’t have a seventh grader.” After a

brief stint teaching fourth grade in Aitkin, Bahr got married and began raising three of her five kids before returning to teaching and entering the Brainerd School District in 1956. She taught fourth grade at Baxter Elementary until her retirement in 1980. Augustinack, a graduate of Brainerd High School, attended Concordia College in Moorhead intending to earn her elementary education degree. When her advisor recognized her exceptional skills with numbers, he encouraged her to become a high school math teacher, a decision she says served her well. “Math came easy to me,” Augustinack

says. “I loved it when I saw that same appreciation for numbers in one of my students.” Following college, Augustinack taught across the state in Cambridge, Circle Pines and Pine River before returning to Brainerd in 1999, where she taught math at the high school until her retirement last June. Christenson, also a Brainerd High School graduate, earned her teaching degree from her grandmother’s alma mater, St. Cloud State University. She launched her career teaching fifth grade in Menahga between Wadena and Park Rapids. She began teaching

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We Bring the Showroom to You. We Specialize in Window Treatments. *Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/16/17–12/11/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. A qualifying purchase is defined as a purchase of any product models set forth above in the quantities set forth above. If you purchase less than the specified quantity, you will not be entitled to a rebate. Offer excludes HDOrigins and Nantucket™ Window Shadings, a collection of Silhouette® Window Shadings. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.

third grade at Riverside Elementary in Brainerd in 2013 and is now in her third year of teaching second grade at Riverside. Christenson, whose students come from homes where both parents work or where a single parent is raising the children, says her curriculum differs from her grandmother’s. “In addition to reading, writing and math, we’re helping kids learn how to be good friends and show empathy for one another,” Christenson says. “Those things used to be taught at home.” Despite the challenges, Augustinack says, “it’s definitely worth it.” While retired, she plans to do some subbing. “I’ll miss the kids if I don’t,” she says. One of the most significant changes over the years is very visible — the aesthetics of the classroom. Bahr and Augustinack’s classrooms had lines of desks facing forward in an ode to authority and the traditional teacher-centric learning experience. Although, in a nod to the Montessori method of teaching, Bahr’s students progressed at their own pace and the older kids assisted the younger kids with their studies, especially reading. Something born out of necessity, Bahr taught students ranging in age from five to 15, not the latest teaching fad. By contrast, Christenson’s second grade classroom welcomes students to sit on rugs or cozy up with a pillow while working on clipboards. Some balance on wobble stools or stand at counter-height tables. Christenson moves around the room, often joining her students on the floor for a lesson. Christenson worked with an occupational therapist to design her classroom. “Kids today can’t sit for long periods of time. They need stimulation. I had to push the administration hard,” she says. “But it’s best for kids, so it was worth it.” There is much written about discipline in today’s public schools. Cellphones in the classroom is a common disciplinary issue for all teachers. Although they are not allowed at the elementary level, it won’t be long. “Students are getting phones at an earlier age every year,” Christenson says. For those like Augustinack teaching at the high school level, school pranks are common, although relatively mild, at least in the Brainerd district. “One year I had a student aide who would get on my computer while I was teach-

ing and take control of my mouse.” Augustinack said. “He’d write messages to the class on the smart board behind my back!” Just kids being kids. The pranks may have been even more sinister in her mother’s teaching days like when the eighth grade boys put a snake in Bahr’s desk. For her part, Christenson struggles with limited time and resources. “I can only do so much for the kids,” she says. “Some of them need more than I can give them in the time we have together.” When Bahr landed in Brainerd in 1956, Baxter Elementary where she taught had only three rooms and the principal also taught fifth and sixth grades. Today, the Brainerd district

has six elementary schools, a middle school and a high school and serves 6,700 kids. Augustinack says her greatest joy was “seeing the lightbulb go on when a kid got it. I enjoyed working with the bright kids,” Augustinack says, “but it was even more rewarding when a kid that was struggling turned a corner.” “I agree,” adds Bahr. “There’s great satisfaction in seeing them learn. Did I make a difference?” She pauses before continuing, “in some I did.”

​After vacationing in the Brainerd lakes area for 20 years, Chris Monroe and her husband Bill decided to make Crosslake their home In addition to her freelance writing, Chris is the director of the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys reading, writing, anything having to do with the water and sharing her lake home with family and friends. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Chris made Des Moines, Iowa, her home for 34 years before relocating to north central Minnesota. She enjoyed a wonderful non-profit career as executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, representing the interests of 300 Iowa newspapers and overseeing three non-profit corporations. You can find Chris’ blog at

Holiday Sale Select Group of Frames $70 off Designer Frames 40% off 20% Sunglasses 99 Kids Frame & Lenses Pkg $89 Good Thru December 2017

With Lens Purchase.

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Excludes previous purchases and insurance.

Includes Polycarb Lenses.


2020 S. 6th St., Brainerd • 218-829-1335 Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm Like us us on on Facebook Facebook •• Winter Winter 2017 2017 || her her voice voice 31 31 Like

Thank you Facebook friends for sharing!

#HolidaySillies #HolidayMemories Do you have a photo theme idea? Tell us :) Join us on Facebook for more chances to share. Susie Alters: “Ahh, I love looking back at old memories- Josiah LOVED Santa (as you can see, lol).... out of all the Santa photos I made him endure, this will always be my favorite.”

Jen Frayseth Salvevold: “This is Joey Halvorson telling Santa how to do chimneys.”

Katie Schmidt: “Two years ago; We were especially thankful to be home after a stay at the Minneapolis Children’s NICU.”

Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “Grandson at Christmas Eve!”

Judith Tharpe Piepgras: “Great-grandma and her grands.”

Lisa Henry: “Put a baby in a stocking.... what could go wrong?”

Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “Grandson’s first Christmas Eve!”

Julie Kemper: “New Grandbaby Ivy! born just before Christmas 12/10/13.”

Schmoopy Boser: “Cubby Boser Therapy dog.”

32 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “1957 Christmas Duda siblings.”

Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “Brother and sister Christmas.”

Julie Kemper: “Jadyn enjoyed decorating her homemade gingerbread house made by grandma. Jen Frayseth Salvevold: “Just before the Pequot Lakes “Light up The Night” Parade last Winter, at my Photo Studio getting ready.”

Susie Alters: “Our family Christmas photo, my world.”

Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “Christmas eve at Woodhouse’s with grandchildren.”

Sue Vanek: “Sophie quote: ‘Santa doesn’t smile because his legs hurt from so many people climbing on and off his lap.’”

Karen Munsterteiger: I had to share this of my daughters when they were little. It was Kaitlyn’s dance performance at Westgate Mall. Kourtney was horrified’. It might be the Mrs. Claus doll in the corner!

Jen Frayseth Salvevold: “Having my Pops drive up from Redwood Falls every December to play Santa at my Photo Studio is a favorite yearly memory and tradition.”

Kristi Kelly: “My mom and my uncle when they were little.”

Thank you Facebook friends for sharing your photos with us! Julie Kemper: “Boone the dog’s first christmas 12/2016.”

Karen Buckhouse: “Christmas celebrations at Sherwood Forest.”

Lisa Henry: “Making cookies with Grandma Siegel.” Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 33

FOR HER + events



Kringle Market The Crossing Arts Alliance 711 Laurel St, Brainerd The Crossing Arts Alliance is gearing up for the handmade holidays! Join them for their second annual Kringle Market in their Gift Shop and Gallery at their new downtown Brainerd location. Selections of locally-made art and fine crafts will not only make gift-giving easy, it benefits local artists including Diane Runberg, Tom Larson, Haddie Hadachek, Lisa Jordan, Carolyn Abbott and more. Kringle Market at The Crossing Arts Alliance begins Saturday, Nov. 12 and runs through Dec. 30. Hours vary-see TCAA website for details at


Love Lake Christmas Nisswa City of Lights Tree Farm Celebration 19207 Love Lake Road, Brainerd

Off Highway 371 Nisswa

Tucked away in the pines this family-owned and operated business is one of the Brainerd lakes area’s only choose-n-cut Christmas tree farms. Love Lake Christmas Tree Farm offers a wide variety of Christmas tree species in both the choose-n-cut and pre-cut varieties. They are a full-service Christmas tree farm with real elves on hand to help with the heavy lifting. Stop by for a fresh-from-the-farm tree, some hot apple cider and some conversation with the Love Lake elves beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) and every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas. “Let our family help your family make your Christmas special!

Friday, Nov. 24 will mark yet another memorable City of Lights Festival in Nisswa from 2-8 p.m. The event includes horse and wagon rides, live reindeer, storytelling, carolers, bonfires, live nativity, hot cider and donuts, luminary walk and Love Lights a Tree. The crowning moment of this event comes at 5:30 p.m. when all of the holiday lights adorning trees and fences, stores and other buildings light up all at once. After the countdown to turning on all the lights, Santa Claus makes an appearance and fireworks shoot up over town at 7:30 p.m. This event is on its 36th year of delighting residents and visitors alike.

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Pine River Holiday Fun

Sertoma Winter Wonderland

North on Highway 371

Northland Arboretum 14250 Conservation Dr, Baxter

Pine River is a short and enjoyable drive from the Brainerd lakes area and this close-knit community offers up its fair share of holiday fun. On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m to 3 p.m, gift seekers can find a bounty of unique and handcrafted wares at the Pine River American Legion Art & Craft Sale & Show. The event takes place at the Legion Clubroom and admission is free. Just a few days later on Friday, Dec. 9, holiday festivity fans can attend Pine River’s celebration of the Christmas season known as the Parade of Lights. Located in the downtown area, this gathering includes an open house at the Information Center after the parade with free holiday cookies, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, yuletide bonfire alongside the historic Pine River Railroad Depot and even a chance to chat with Santa at the Pine River American Legion. This joy-filled day is capped off with a spectacular display of fireworks at 6:30 p.m. Visit the Pine River Chamber’s website for more details on both events.

A WWI Christmas Lindbergh Historic Site 1620 Lindbergh Dr S, Little Falls

Pile everyone into the car and head to one of the area’s most anticipated holiday attractions. This intricate presentation of lights includes more than 80 colorfully animated lit displays and can be viewed from the warm comfort of a vehicle. These breathtaking lights reflect off of the sparkling white snow and have created a spectacular holiday tradition since 2007. The Sertoma Winter Wonderland is open Wednesday through Saturday nights starting Nov. 24 through Dec. 31. Rates are typically based on a “per car” fee but there are also special walking-only nights. Check their website for current rates and open times at http://sertoma.

For the second season, experience what Christmas was like for the Lindbergh’s during World War 1 in this living history program. Meet costumed interpreters portraying the Lindbergh family members and neighbors as they provide insights into early 20th century holiday traditions and the challenges wartime presented. Learn about the impact of food rationing, create a Christmas decoration to take home and write a note or draw a picture for a soldier as Charles Lindbergh might have done. This unique living history event takes place Nov. 24-26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are also encouraged to explore the gallery exhibits in the Visitor Center and shop for holiday items in the gift store. Extended details can be found at http://www.

Holiday Open House Becky Flansburg has 10-plus years of experience as a freelance writer and blogger. She is also the project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative Multicultural Children’s Book Day and is part of the local-focused site,


24719 hazelwood dr | Nisswa

001491449r1 001641928r1

Happy Holidays


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Cuyuna Range Women’s Club motto remains the same since 1916: “In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.”

Cuyuna Range Women’s Club 101 years and still going strong

Story and photos BY JOAN HASSKAMP

While much has

changed for the organization over the years, their purpose has remained the same. The 26 charter members founded the organization with the goal to provide charity, civic participation and culture to Crosby and the surrounding area.

And boy, have they ever! The first few years were very busy according to the meticulous records kept by club members. From 1917-1918 when they called themselves the Crosby Mother’s Club, the 69 members provided charity to 180 needy households, erected public bath houses, planned a playground, established a Red Cross chapter, beautified the school grounds with flowers, collected baby supplies and held lectures on food conservation. In addition, they supplied comfort bags, containing food, money and knitted garments for the soldiers and sailors fighting overseas in World War I. The women financially contributed to several charities including the Food for France Fund, Belgian Relief and the French Orphan Fund. When the war ended, the club organized a community homecoming event for all the returning servicemen. Over 600 peo-

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ple attended the banquet and dance. Whenever a need was identified, the women enthusiastically stepped up to meet it. When the flu epidemic hit, the women purchased medical supplies. When fire struck, they assisted families with food, clothing and shelter. They donated generously to the hospital building fund. In the early 1920s and continuing for many years, they donated Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to needy families. They even eradicated poison ivy and tent worms. Vernice Grgurich said one of her fondest memories is of delivering Christmas baskets to needy families. She is not surprised the organization has thrived for more than 100 years. “It speaks to the kind of women that have been part of the organization and their determination to benefit the community,” she said.

(Left) Vernice Grgurich, an active member who joined the organization in 1954, looks over this year’s program schedule. (Right) Looking over a memory book, is longtime member and club recording secretary, Phyllis Giffin. She said it was a great way to meet other women when she moved to Crosby.

“We have a very generous group of women members,” Sally said. The group meets September through April on the first Monday of the month at the Jessie F. Hallett Library in Crosby. Meetings feature a speaker and music. The year ends with a salad luncheon in May. While much has changed since they were established in 1916, the Cuyuna Range Women’s Club motto remains the same: “In es-

sentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.” The women look forward to serving the Cuyuna Range for the next 100 years. Crosby resident Joan Hasskamp is currently finishing up a humorous book titled “We Don’t Care Who Wins as Long as Joan Loses.” Now that she is retired she has even more time to embellish and exaggerate stories about herself.

Dr. Kristel Schamber

7734 Excelsior Road N. Baxter, MN 56425 (218) 829-2929 001559794r1

Before social safety nets were common, the women provided much needed food, shelter and medical necessities to the neediest citizens. In the 1920s, records show they doled out several hundred pair of home-knit mittens to children, 640 articles of clothing and 15 bushels of potatoes. They provided financial assistance to a welfare nurse who served poor families. To raise the spirits of the community during these lean times, they sponsored movies, sing-a-longs and put up Christmas trees. They spearheaded the skating rink project for Crosby. In 1926, the group sponsored the Girl Scouts, a partnership that lasted for many years. That year they paid registration fees for 25 girls to join. Through the years they also supported the Boy Scouts and other youth organizations. During and after the Depression, the group encouraged residents to raise gardens. They served hot soup lunches to children in school and distributed milk to underweight kids. Their actions marked the beginning of the school cafeteria system. Sally Mann was a member of the group from 1954-1961. She left for 22 years when she moved out of the area, rejoining in 1983. “We dressed up a lot more back then,” she recalled. “We had a fancy tea table with silver service, linen and crystal.” While meetings are more casual now and the members are older, Sally finds the women are just as wonderful and dedicated. “I like being part of something that’s been here for a long time and has had such a positive effect on the area,” she said. While there are 50 current members, she would like to see more women join. “Dues are still only $5,” she added with a smile. Over the years, records show the women creatively raised money through good times and not so good times. There were charity balls, tea parties, style shows, tin can drives, card parties, cooking schools, book fairs, bazaars and a variety of other fundraising projects. In recent years, the women no longer raise funds through community events. Instead, through the generosity of their members, enough funds are generated to support community organizations and to award a monetary scholarship to a graduating senior each spring. Originated in the 1930s, the program has provided hundreds of scholarships to Crosby-Ironton seniors. In fact, in 1973 this writer was a recipient of one their two scholarships that year.

Dr. Brooke Fenstad Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 37



It was an old farmhouse in need of renovation, along with a love of do-it-yourself, that spawned a unique business that has the lakes area buzzing with interest. Maren LaVoie of Pillager never envisioned herself as a business owner much less a wood worker, but sometimes our life path evolves in unexpected ways. PHOTO BY JOEY HALVORSON

DIY Stocking Holders

Add a photo to personalize the holder. 38 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

1: Cut a 2x6 in 2 lengths with a miter saw. One at 6 inches. One at 4 inches. The 6 inch piece will be the top. The 4 inch piece will be the base.

Her growing business, Frugal Farmhouse, is proof that a passion for making something old, new again, can serve a purpose while also creating a source of income. Maren’s home-based business offers wood hand-crafted signs and home decor with a farmhouse/ rustic look for local residents and customers from all over the U.S. but her now flourishing business had humble beginnings. “I started making signs out of an old fence that fell down on our property just as a frugal way to create unique decor for our farmhouse,” she recalled. “I ultimately loved the look of these creations and so did anyone who visited our home. I never dreamed it would morph into the successful business that it’s become today.” After enjoying a fulfilling career as a social worker, Maren shared she felt a shift in priorities when daughter, Greta, was born in 2011. “I loved my job but I just felt this deep need to be present for Greta and our 4-year-old son, Sullivan. My friends had always admired my farmhouse decor and projects and told me other people would love it as well. I saw it as an opportunity to build a new business that could be perfect for the lakes area.” Using her creative eye and fascination for working with wood, Maren began gathering supplies

2: Stain the pieces with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. 3: Attach the top to the base using 2 1/2 inch wood tork screws

from conventional sources but also used reclaimed barn wood into her creations as well. Using a brand new Etsy store, and offline events like craft shows, Maren began sharing her Frugal Farmhouse designs to a growing customer base. It was all new and unfamiliar at first, but Maren credits the support of family and creative minds like P.J. Overvold, co-creator of the Olde Depot Junktion Show in Brainerd, to keeping her focused during those early days of her business. “P.J. has always been so supportive when it comes to my creations,” Maren shared. “Thanks to her encouragement, my pieces can be seen as part of the decor at Sherwood Forest and are available for sale at Dock Panther of Nisswa and The Shante in Pillager. She was also the one who encouraged me to show my work at the Olde Depot Junktion show in 2015. That move was the tipping point for my business and I am so grateful to her for her wisdom and enthusiasm.” Family was, and continues to be, her greatest cheerleaders. Husband, Cale, a carpenter by trade and project manager for a Twin Cities construction company, taught her how to use the chop and skill saw. Her father, Bill Musel, helps with booth set-up on show days and even 6-year-old Greta and 10-year-old Sullivan are

and wood glue. Leave about a 3/4 inch gap in the back. 4: Paint cloths pin black. Let dry.

5: Attach clothes pin to holder with wood glue. Nail in cut nail to hang stocking.

“I feel like I have the best of both worlds right now. I get to work with wood, make things in my little workshop and be available for my family. I couldn’t ask for a greater blessing than that.” - Maren LaVoie jumping into help with the Frugal Farmhouse business. When asked what her future plans are for her business, Maren shared she and Cale intend to rebuild their existing woodworking shop. This springtime project will result in a new space for Frugal Farmhouse that acts as not only a store, but a classroom area for DIYers who want to learn how to create their own rustic pieces. The new building will remain on the couple’s property and will also include a bigger shop area where Maren can work her magic. Visit the Frugal Farmhouse online: thefrugalfarmhouse on Facebook shop/thefrugalfarmhouse on Becky Flansburg has 10-plus years of experience as a freelance writer and blogger. She is also the project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative Multicultural Children’s Book Day and is part of the local-focused site,

6: If you want a white stocking holder paint it white. Dry and distress with 150 grit sand paper. holder.

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2017 | her voice 39


+ appetizers


y a d i l o H

s r e z i t e App



For those Her Voice readers not familiar,

I’m DeLynn Howard, one half of the Puttin’ on The Mitts team. My Mitts’ better half is Chelsey Perkins. Together, we create a food column for the Brainerd Dispatch.

- Chelsey Perkins

- DeLynn Howard

The idea is to give readers a glimpse into two very different cooking styles. I cook what’s easy, quick and easily adaptable for my picky 7-year-old daughter and my husband, who thinks pepper is spicy. Chelsey, in my opinion, goes out on a limb, using ingredients I sometimes have never heard of. We try to offer a broad spectrum of recipes, ideas and tips for all types — hopefully a little something for everyone. There’s no better time to cook than during the holidays, and Chelsey and I have some great appetizer recipes to add to your family table, a Christmas Eve gathering or even New Year’s.

PHOTO BY KELLY HUMPHREY 40 her voice | Winter 2017 • Share your voice with us on Facebook



2-MINUTE PEPPERMINT FLUFF DIP - DeLynn (from the food blog The Pinning Mama) • 1 7-ounce container marshmallow fluff • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

• 1/4 cup peppermint candies, crushed • Chocolate graham crackers or other dippers (I used assorted cookies and chocolate wafers)

Using a mixer on low, combine marshmallow fluff, cream cheese and peppermint extract. Add the crushed peppermints, reserving a small amount for topping the dip as garnish, and continue to mix into the fluff. Before serving, add the remaining crushed candies to the top. Serve with chocolate graham crackers or choice of dipper. I’m not a baker. I don’t have the kitchen space or the patience it sometimes requires. But I can use a mixer and that’s the only kitchen tool this yummy and refreshing recipe needs. I was pleasantly surprised how tasty this was. It goes to show recipes don’t need a lot of ingredients or effort to turn out well. The red and white of the peppermint candies is a nice accent for your holiday table, especially if it’s surrounded by delectable cookies or other sweet dippers.

*See store associate for rebate form with complete details. Only valid at participating KitchenAid brand retailers. Rebate in the form of a KitchenAid brand prepaid card by mail. Additional terms and conditions apply. ®/™ ©2017 KitchenAid. All rights reserved. To learn more about the entire KitchenAid brand line, please visit CCP-23799

16603 State Hwy 371 North, Brainerd/Baxter (Just North of the Pine Beach Rd) • 218-829-3624

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(from the food blog Tastes Better From Scratch) • 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature • 2 teaspoons lemon juice • 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

For Topping • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used diced tart cherries) • 1/3 cup crushed nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts -- I used mixed) • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onion or parsley (I used green onion) • 12-15 pretzel sticks

In a medium bowl, add the butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and ground pepper. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined and smooth. Stir in cheddar cheese. Use a spoon to divide the mixture into 12-15 tablespoon-size portions. Dip clean hands in a little bit of water and smooth each portion into a small ball. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or as long in advance as needed). Before serving, roll the balls in the assorted toppings. Place a pretzel stick in each. Serve immediately.

I enjoy cheese in various forms, just less now than I used to since changing my eating habits and lifestyle. But when I came across this Mini Cheese Ball Bites recipe, I knew I wanted to give it a try. What’s better than a bite-sized ball of cheese? I can’t think of a thing. Unlike a regular large-sized cheese ball, there’s no chance of breaking a cracker in half as you try to spread the hard cheese on it. This is a cheese ball with a pretzel all in one bite. No mess. No broken crackers. And because they’re mini, you can change up the outside toppings ­some can be savory and some can be sweet.

BURRITO BOATS • 1 bag romaine lettuce hearts • Cooked white rice • Black beans, seasoned with salt and hot sauce to taste • Guacamole (prepared or recipe of choice) • Shredded cheese • Chopped jalapenos

If I were ever forced to choose one food I would have to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be a burrito. Or any combination of beans, rice, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce. I left this recipe loose, because this is the type of appetizer you might want to personalize. Since it’s made up of a number of cold ingredients, it’s easy to do — you could even make several different varieties for your guests.

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- Chesley

• Trim both ends of romaine lettuce hearts to about 4-5 inches, or desired length. • Place a spoonful each of rice, beans and guacamole into each lettuce boat. • Sprinkle with shredded cheese and chopped jalapenos.

Guacamole I’m a steadfast supporter of homemade, and it was certainly the star of this little burrito bite. I’ve never once tasted a prepared, storebought guacamole that comes even close to the taste of homemade. I should probably record my recipe one of these days, but it changes every time, just a little bit. Here’s what I do. I cut avocado into large chunks and add some finely chopped red onion, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro and chopped peppers — either mild or hot, depending on the application. Then — and this is the important part — I add lemon or lime juice and salt to taste. A little bit at a time, mixing as you go, until you taste it and it really pops. You’ll know. Sometimes, I add green onions instead, or a little garlic. But I’ve found the combination I used in this dish is addicting. Assembling the boats I would recommend adding the guacamole first, which I did not do when we cooked these recipes as you can see in the photo. The guacamole would act as a binder, keeping the rice and beans a little more in place. Mine were a little messy, so make sure to eat them over a plate

CHICKEN TIKKA CUPS • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided • 1/2 onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic minced • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric • 1/2 can tomato sauce • 1/2 cup heavy cream • 1 teaspoons paprika

I am about as far away from being a picky eater as you can get. I’ll try most everything at least once, and I like the vast majority of things I try. While living in the Twin Cities, I went to a lunch buffet at an Indian restaurant, the first I’d ever experienced. Having never tried Indian food of any kind, it was a flavor extravaganza — the spices! the rice! the chutneys! I was in love — because I mean, really, who doesn’t love creamy, spicy meat with rice? Yes, please. When conceptualizing this appetizer recipe, I thought of buffalo chicken dips I’ve tried in the past and thought to myself — why not a chicken tikka masala dip? And why not chicken tikka dip in individual bite-sized cups? I looked at several recipes for ideas for this one. I’ve never worked with fillo cups before, but I knew mixing pretty much anything with cream cheese would likely be a success. I adapted the chicken tikka recipe, which is essentially chicken cooked in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce, from one I found on — Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce. When I made these in the Brainerd Dispatch office, the little guys were a big hit among many who weren’t exactly Indian food lovers. They pack a powerful flavor punch, and topped with the chutney and cilantro, you get the fresh, savory and sweet all in one. I’m pretty proud of how these turned out, and I think you (and your guests!) will be, too.

- Chesley

• 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar • 1/2 pound chicken breast, chopped into small pieces • Salt to taste • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened • 2 packages mini fillo shells (30 shells), or frozen fillo dough to make cups • Mango chutney for garnish • Chopped cilantro for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and turmeric, stirring and cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream, paprika and sugar. Bring back to a simmer, stirring often until thickened, 10-15 minutes. In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add chicken pieces, searing for 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces and cooking juices to the tomato-cream mixture and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes. Heat the oven at 350 degrees and arrange fillo shells on a baking sheet. Cut cream cheese into several chunks and put in mixing bowl. Add the chicken tikka to the cream cheese, stirring to combine. Spoon filling into each fillo shell, about 1 tablespoon per shell. Bake for 15 minutes, or until filling and shells begin to brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before spooning a little bit of chutney onto each chicken tikka cup. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

30503 Patriot Avenue • 218-568-5001 Locally owned and operated



Your local grocer and partner for all your holiday supplies.

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sinesses u b e h t o t s k Special than azine by g a m r u o t r who suppo h us! advertising wit

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Helping you get back to yourself again!

Cynthia Rieck, P.T. Carrie Taylor, P.T. 31170 Government Dr. P.O. Box 331 Pequot Lakes, MN 56472

218-568-5666 •

15244 State Hwy 371 Baxter, MN 56425 Cell: 218-838-3777 Office: 218-829-1777


HIGH END THRIFT STORE Baxter: 218-824-0923 Crosslake: 218-692-7682

—Store Hours— 10-6 Monday- Saturday Additional Summer Hours Sunday 12-5

Kathy Herold REALTOR®/GRI

Group Tours & Cruises Galore Your Future is as Beautiful as Your Dreams

Shop Donate Volunteer


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HIRSHFIELDS............................................................15 HYTEC CONSTRUCTION.................................24 JUST FOR KIX............................................................28 LAKES AREA EYECARE, INC........................ 37


CROW WING POWER.........................................18 CUB FOODS..............................................................25 EDWARD JONES FINANCIAL.......................23 EL MENK JEWELRY..............................................21 ESSENTIA HEALTH.................................................5 GREAT NORTHERN OPTICIANS.................31 GULL LAKE GLASS..............................................23

Claudia Allene

Independent Travel Consultant

218-513-8922 •

Advertising in Her Voice 218-855-5898

218-831-5243 •


“You’re Locally Owned Backyard Nature and Gift Store” Bird Feeders, Bird Seed, Puzzles, Books, Garden Decos and many Gift Items. MN made products-Chaga, Wild Rice, Honey, Hot Sauce, Soaps, Lotions and more. Store Hours- Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 • Saturday-9:00-3:00 • Sunday-Closed

We have many natural and organic products, including a large selec�on of Essen�al Oils, supplements and teas. We have bath, body and household cleaning products. The natural wellness of Mind—Body—Spirit is our business.

Real Estate decisions are based on lifestyle needs…call me when that need requires a professional Realtor.

231 Barclay Avenue, Pine River, MN 218-587-5900 Like us on Facebook!


Dolly Matten - 218.851.4292

Associate Broker | Realtor I CRS |

Women’s Clothing


218-829-5436 * 516 C St NE, Brainerd, MN

Small through plus sizes 001606300r1



Live your lifestyle!


25497 Main Street Nisswa, MN




Baxter Village - Suite 250 Baxter, MN

Kay... 001533206r1


Service you DESERVE. People you can TRUST.

Your Key For Your Next Real Estate Transaction • Fine Homes & Estates Certified • Century 21 Quality Service Award 2016

Kay L. Fitterer

14391 Edgewood Drive N, Baxter, MN

Realtor/MA Nursing

218.821.2293 •

Jana Froemming REALTOR®/Agent

Vintage Home Décor & Interior Design 317 W. Washington St. Brainerd


Brynn Haglin Owner/Designer




15244 State Hwy 371 Baxter, MN 56425 Cell: 218-820-3282 Office: 218-829-1777


Nina Karsky 218-821-3373



Dinah Sundberg

Knowledge. Experience. Commitment.

(218) 839-1918

Sandy Swanson, Realtor® 001532724r1

Certified Residential Specialist

15620 Edgewood Drive, Baxter Call 218-454-7012 with questions Visit our website at


(218) 839-4390

Ask for our preview flyer showing a sneak peek into the next edition! (218) 855-5898

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Tell us how we’re doing CONGRATULATIONS TO LISA JORDAN! Congratulations to Lisa Jordan who entered our random drawing by taking our Her Voice survey. Lisa won a 9x13 HotLogic portable oven and the HotLogic mini personal portable oven. Thank you to all who participated!

Enter to win! We’ll be giving away another HotLogic prize package December 1. Enter by filling out the survey on the right and be sure to enter your contact information. We’ll have the bottom portion cut off and put into our drawing box so your answers can be kept anonymous. For more information on HotLogic:


Cut HERE to mail.

To take the survey online:

1. Rate the magazine overall (1 is low, 5 is high).

6. What would you like to see in the next issue?

1 2 3 4 5 2. Rate the article subjects (1 is low, 5 is high). 1 2 3 4 5

7. Is there anything you think we should improve on?

3. Comments about the content? 8. Do you currently advertise in Her Voice? 4. Do you like the new look? (logo, layout etc.) O yes O no O somewhat

O yes

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9. Why or why not?

5. Tell us why or why not:

Office: please cut here before giving to Her Voice staff Name Email: Phone:

Mail in or drop off:

Brainerd Dispatch (behind Wendy’s on Washington St.) Attn: Her Voice 506 James Street P.O. Box 974 Brainerd, MN 56401

FOR HER +inspiration



few years back I ran into an idea I found fascinating — choosing a word to represent you for the new year as opposed to the traditional resolution that almost feels like it is going to fail before it starts.

The idea goes like this: It can be any word. You can find lists online to get the juices flowing. In 2014, I went with EMBRACE. In 2015 I went with EMERGE and while my year personally did not turn out anywhere near what I thought the word was going to mean to me, in the end it still made sense, with a harder meaning then I intended, but I made it through. I did EMERGE. In 2016 my word became COURAGE and it served me well, as does my 2017 word, SHINE. My challenge to you is find your word for 2018. Think about it and choose wisely as if it is going to stick, it will need to have meaning.

Share your word here: Stating it out loud to others keeps it going!

________________________________. Sheila DeChantal is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She writes about life meanderings and books at the website She is President of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library and is on the city library board. When not reading or writing she enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, hiking, mud runs, kickboxing, and finding any excuse to wear a costume.

HELPING FAMILIES FOR 25 YEARS. Accra provides support to children, adolescents, adults and families that need help in their homes for a loved one with a disability. We’ll help you navigate the different services available to you. PCA Choice services allows you to choose a family member or friend to be your paid caregiver.

More Choice. More Flexibility. We accept major insurance plans; Medicaid and private pay.

Call us and ask about the possibilities!

Brainerd OfďŹ ce: 218-270-5905 SERVING PEOPLE STATEWIDE

Her Voice Magazine - Winter 2017  

Cover Story - Farrah McKinney - Local Powerball Winner 19 Years Later: With a good head on her shoulders and support from close friends and...

Her Voice Magazine - Winter 2017  

Cover Story - Farrah McKinney - Local Powerball Winner 19 Years Later: With a good head on her shoulders and support from close friends and...