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By Women. For Women. About Women.


Artist Spotlight Lisa Pomerleau Winter 2019


+ Heaven-sent

Hospice Workers

+ The Barn


+ Mystery Vacation

Welcome home

I can’t say enough great things about my experience at Lakewood. -Jonna Seibert



Visit our website to read Jonna’s full pregnancy story and check out our new 360° guided virtual tour where you’ll learn all about the Lakewood OB experience. If you’d like to set up a personal tour, call 218-894-8525. You have a home at Lakewood.










By women. For women. About women. PUBLISHER


Susie Alters Eller


Sarah Herron COPY EDITOR


Lisa Henry


Her Voice team, Lisa Morales, DeLynn Howard and Sarah Herron.

Joey Halvorson

BY THE HER VOICE TEAM Lisa: In this edition Michelle Oie wrote about kind gestures that can make a huge difference— even small ones like sharing a warm smile with others. She encouraged readers to find something they can do that comes natural to them. I especially liked this one because sometimes I feel if I don't have money or time to donate, I have nothing to give. Reading the article was a good reminder that kindess is powerful and I have plenty to give! Sarah: About 12 years ago my husband Nick and I were fairly new parents and working hard to make ends meet. Money was especially tight around the holidays but we were happy and scraping by. One evening, right before Christmas, we arrived home and walked up to our back door to find a bag full of gifts for our 1 year old son, a card telling us to “Never stop believing in Santa”, along with a few hundred dollars cash. So I am kind of a softy, but I can tell you that there were happy tears then, and even now, remembering this enormous act of kindness. We never found out who sent this gift to us but I am still very grateful for them. These are the actions of a true “Santa," which I will never stop believing. DeLynn: Random acts of kindness are impactful whether you're the recipient or the one performing the act. I try to hold doors for people and always say 'thank you' when someone does it for me. We never know what a person is going through so a simple smile while passing a person in a grocery store aisle could mean the world to them. Saying 'please,' 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' are simple phrases many of us take for granted. So is telling someone to have a nice day or paying them a compliment. It could be the nicest thing they hear. Why not be the reason someone else smiles? For those able, buying someone a meal or a coffee in a drive-through can be the boost they need to make their day brighter. Each time I've done it, it makes me smile. I hope it does the same for the recipients. Whether there's monetary value to a random act of kindness or not is irrelevant. Being kind is free. Everyone can afford it. If it happens to you, pay it forward. The world will be a better place because of it.

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Next Issue of Her Voice: Spring- publishes Feb. 18 You can also find Her Voice Magazine in over 100 Discover Rack locations in the area or read it online at:

(Magazine Rack Tab)

Advertising: (218) 855-5895 Comments/story ideas:

(218) 855-5821 Mail: ATTN: Her Voice Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 Quarterly publication of the Brainerd Dispatch. Printed by Forum Communications. copyright© 2003 VOLUME 16, EDITION 4 WINTER 2019

CONTENTS Winter 2019

Her Family Heaven-sent Hospice Workers 10 Article and Poem


By Beverly Abear

Your Voice What Makes Winter Beautiful 14

Her Table

Make it a Lite By Sheila Helmberger

Her Community The Barn


By Sue Sterling

On the cover -Self portrait by Lisa Pomerleau, her

For Her Remember to Smile

100th painting — achieving her goal of 100 paintings in 100 days. Photographed by Joey Halvorson.


By Michelle Oie

Artist Spotlight Lisa Pomerleau 6

Her Passion Feelings For Felines


By Susan J. Smith-Grier

Her Story Remember When



By Audrae Gruber

Her Career Women in Business



For Her

DIY Christmas Ornaments By Laura Garten and Mary Jo Bade

By Maureen Farnsworth Now with time to invest in her passion for art, Lisa is creating pieces that reflect what she loves— the North Shore, people, animals and chocolates.

Artist Spotlight Molly Krautkremer


By Maureen Farnsworth Painting since the age of 7, Krautkremer, now 19, is a full time artist with big plans.

Her Travels

28 Mystery Vacation

Her Health

39 This Life is A Beautiful One

Her Career

By Kori Flowers Some people would be nervous to travel without knowing the destination, but that was the appeal for this adventurous traveler.

By Jennifer Salvevold After enduring an emergency gastrectomy followed by multiple complications, Joanna Tomm feels like she's been given a new lease on life and she's not going to waste it.

By Sue Ready Jennifer Kuschel creates custom leather accessories and jewelry for competitive clientele.

4 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

32 Ranch Gal Designs

Here is where we make our stand.

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Lisa Pomerleau

Lisa has emerged a talented new local artist. Check out her portfolio on her website


Lisa Pomerleau is an artist at heart, graphic designer, photographer, wife and mother. “Raising a family has been my favorite role, but kids grow up and now I have been blessed with time. Time to embrace this fire inside of me,” Pomerleau said. Lisa challenged herself to complete 100 paintings in 100 days and share her work on Facebook. The process helped her to reclaim herself as a working artist. Inspired by the beauty of nature, people, food and animals, Lisa uses gouache, acrylic and watercolor

paints as well as markers to create an original piece of art from a photo. She currently is focused on hyperrealism - images that look real and tend to be seen as a photograph. What makes Lisa’s work unique is how she combines hyperrealism and painterly techniques. It can be seen in her painting of the loon which appears very real while the water has visible brush strokes.

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Maureen Farnsworth is a contributing writer for Her Voice and active volunteer in the community. She lives in Nisswa with her husband Michael of 34 years.


"NORTH SHORE" “My paintings reflect the things I love,” she said. Growing up in Duluth, the North Shore and lake stones are part of what Lisa loves.


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Molly Krautkremer "BODY GOALS"

Molly plans to help pregnant women commemorate their special time carrying life through body painting.


You can find Molly on Instagram as well as the Crossing Arts Gallery as the featured artist for February 2020.


Molly Krautkremer is a 19-year-old full-time artist. At age 7, Molly started private art lessons with the late Evelyn Matthies, a professional artist. By 8, she had her first solo art show. She was homeschooled and mentored from child prodigy into the artist she is today. Molly works in many mediums including acrylics, wearable art and body painting. Her first body painting was done by looking into a mirror, painting on herself and creating a photograph. Her love of acrylics was used to paint 8 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

a chair for an exhibit after the death of Evelyn Matthies. Inspired by a piece of fabric that Evelyn had given her, Molly channeled her grief into completing the chair in honor of her lifelong mentor.

Maureen Farnsworth is a contributing writer for Her Voice and active volunteer in the community. She lives in Nisswa with her husband Michael of 34 years.


Recently in a runway show at the Crossing Arts Gallery, Molly exhibited a 3-foot hoop skirt she built, layered with 1919 Saturday Evening Post articles and embellished it with canvas and paper flowers, wire painted ornaments and attached battery operated lights.

A chair Molly painted in honor of her mentor, professional artist, Evelyn Matthies.

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HER FAMILY + death

Heaven-sent Hospice Workers BY BEVERLY ABEAR

H ospice.

That dreaded word. The doctor says your loved one has six months or less to live, but you shudder to face the looming reality. You consider hospice care, but hesitate. You don’t know enough about it. You’re not ready to trust them with your loved one. Or maybe you feel that hiring them is like giving up.

Although my sister Diane Crosby has been the office manager at the Nisswa office of Good Samaritan Home Care and Hospice for years, we never realized the incredible impact its care could have on a family. In early 2018, my 92-year-old mom, still in her own home, grew weaker, needing more care. We (her three daughters and two sons) began staying with her by turns. A growing sadness and feeling of vulnerability weighed upon us as Mom declined. In early May, PCAs relieved us a few hours a week, but we struggled against having the hospice team begin their supportive role, feeling as if we were serving Mom a death sentence. Good Sam’s care began May 18. The team gave timely advice, did in-home health checks, and interviewed Mom about her life. Diane says, “I loved the way Mom opened up to social worker Linda.” I can imagine Mom giggling as she told Linda about once when working in a Napa Valley winery, her co-workers filled her water bottle with wine. 10 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

"A growing sadness and feeling of vulnerability weighed upon us as Mom declined." - Beverly Abear A Life Legacy Celebration is planned while the client is still alive. Mom looked forward to seeing friends and family and hearing their memories. Linda helped with invitations, Mom’s history and even provisions for the celebration. By Friday of her last week, Mom was on morphine for pain and nurse Michelle gently advised us to cancel. We were tired, turning Mom every two hours to prevent bed sores. Then volunteer coordinator Mary Fedor stayed by Mom’s side Friday night. She only woke us to turn Mom, allowing us to sleep better.


Good Samaritan Hospice Care Team, 2019.

Hospice is about living to the fullest extent possible until death. Saturday dawned bright and clear. We opened Mom’s windows and sang “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and a couple hymns. Her blue eyes shone as we sang. Mary stayed with Mom, while we went for a walk and when we returned, she handed me a book. “Read this to your mom.” Mom’s breathing quickened as I began. “Earth is receding; heaven is approaching. This is my crowning day.” I leaned down. “Mom, this could be your crowning day.” Within seconds, she was gone, lifted by the Lord into celestial realms. We gathered beside her bed, grieving yet with hope-filled peace. Mary’s comfort made letting go easier. Within days, we were ready for Mom’s Celebration of Life service. Because of the Legacy party preparations, the photo boards were done. I practiced Mom’s favorite songs, Linda crafted Mom’s history, and we all pondered what memories to share. We were glad to see so many of the hospice team at Mom’s service. They had become friends through it all.

The Good Samaritan Hospice Care Team: Hospice Administrator, a former Critical Care nurse, Amber Harris leads the team, “but they are what makes Good Sam Hospice so wonderful. Our Dreams Fund allows many of our clients to do special things. The July/ August Butterfly Release, November Love Lights a Tree, and February Gala generate monies for this fund.” Business Development Director Travis Weber makes the initial contact with the clients to explain benefits, answer questions, and see if they’re ready for hospice services. As they share stories and lessons, “I’m their ‘superman’ one hour a week; their appreciation is the best reward I could ever receive. Hospice isn’t about death and dying, but more about providing a safety net of care for their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.” Nurses Michelle and Mariah appreciate “meeting the clients where they are on their journey. Hospice allows them to get to know the clients, their




Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 11

"They ask patients about their goals and if they have something they still wish to do." - Linda Bowman speaking about social workers

needs, and their families,” Amber says. Home Health Aide Kari Boeder appreciates one-on-one, unhurried time she has with her clients. She believes God uses her to show His care as she bathes them, does light housekeeping, and makes meals.

Fedor recruits and trains new volunteers, leads Memory Café meetings and GSS Way meetings (how to show Christ’s love to all) and oversees volunteers as they provide pet visits, craft times, birthday celebrations with small gifts, and music and aromatherapy. “We hold hands, massage shoulders, speak softly, and just ‘hold space’ for them in silent companionship, assuring them God loves them right where they are.” Chaplain Richard Waller gives spiritual and bereavement care, prayers, spiritual songs, and devotions. He says, “God’s divine grace, gives comfort and joy even to the dying. Good Samaritan is a unique, Christ-centered care-giving team that loves upon both the patient and family.” Social Work Supervisor Linda Bowman says, “Social workers understand the grieving process and provide emotional support to the family, suggesting ways to cope with their grief. They ask patients about their goals and

if they have something they still wish to do. We plan life legacy celebrations, even helping them make a memoir video. Hospice is about living to the fullest extent possible until death. There is so much more that the hospice team can provide when the decision to obtain hospice services is not delayed. We work hard at providing moments of joy in the midst of one’s journey toward death.” Beverly Abear, a Crosby-Ironton High School ’72 and Pillsbury Baptist Bible College ’77 graduate, taught Secondary English for almost thirty years. Returning to the Brainerd Lakes Area, she married fellow C-I grad Rick Abear and settled down in Baxter. She writes novels, inspirational memoir, poetry and nonfiction. Her articles have been published in area magazines and anthologies as well as a few national anthologies. Her Facebook page is Beverly Abear, Author & Artist.

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Rainbows Two months before she passed Mom said, “I remember the first time I saw a rainbow.”

Beverly's mother.

Through an open window, sweet breezes drift into Grandpa’s cabin and gently lift the brim of her sapphire-blue bonnet, now perched on the straightback chair. Too pretty to take to the outhouse, the child has hooked it there. Then, sliding down with an “Oof,” she toddles toward the door. Her pixie-cut chestnut head peeks out. Surprise widens cornflower blue eyes and wonder forms an O on perfect pink lips. After a summer shower, a rainbow stretches across the forever blue of western South Dakota sky.

Poem by Beverly Abear

Pudgy hands reach toward ribbons of color as bloomered legs swish down a dusty path barely moistened by the rain. She pushes past thickets of tumbleweeds that she sometimes chases and, if she catches a big one, a gust can pull her right along with it on the prairie. Ten years until she hears Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow,” and ten more until she begins adventures of husband, two sons and three daughters tumbling around the Midwest and pulling her through time.

Almost seventy years later, on a perfect summer morning, daughters sing to her, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin,’” and read “Earth recedes; heaven approaches. This is my crowning day.” One daughter murmurs, “Mom, this could be your day.” Moments later, angels pull her from bed, lifting her upward. She lingers, a wistful smile on pink lips, perfect once more. As we wave goodbye, she ascends over the final rainbow, through a celestial window, and into her forever home with God.

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YOUR VOICE +feel good

What makes winter...

To help us stay light hearted once the eventual cabin fever sets in, we asked our readers on Facebook what makes winter beautiful? Here's what they said and posted.

Photo: Katie Lynn Photo: John Morales

"Fun with friends!" Nora Morales

"Mother Nature puts on one heck of an art show." Katie Lynn

"I love winter during Christmas. When there are lights on the roof and then covered with snow. Miss those." Deidre S. Cole 14 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

"That it is a time to turn inward for a long winters rest that brings renewal and restoration. Turn off those electric lights and hibernate like the rest of the natural world.... as best you can." Maureen Farnsworth Photo: Schmoopy Boser

"Ice skating with friends!" Jenny Castle

"Sacred geometrical frozen water shapes falling from the sky! "

"Snow! There is nothing prettier than snow coming down and covering the trees! It's our winter wonderland and looks so beautiful." Gina Roach

"A brand new view." Schmoopy Boser

"I love the intricate details of the snowflakes." Lisa Morales

Kelli Henry

Photo: Kelly Bender

"Seeing the glistening of the fresh white snow falling outside while you're in warming by the fireplace with a good book." Kelly Bender

Corner of 7th & Laurel Downtown Brainerd 218-829-7266

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HER COMMUNITY + good food



ou’re cruising through town and you’ve spotted this small red cafe announcing itself as “The Barn.” You pull

in and park. As you step through the door you’re surrounded by sights and smells of years long past; you walk over to the counter and take a seat amongst the local gentry. As you look around you notice the curtains on the windows, the comfortable stool you are sitting on and all the goings-on behind the u-shaped counter. The waitresses are serving the customers and talking to them as if they know them personally. The aroma of fresh coffee wafts through the air and your mouth waters as you gaze at the pies behind the counter. You notice that everybody is smiling and content with life in this small-town cafe. The waitress greets you as she hands you the menu and you realize that you’ve just walked into a Norman Rockwell picture scene.

Karen Kinney stirs the burger for Maid Rites at The Barn. She knows what it takes to run a great restaurant and says she wouldn't change a thing.

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Melody, a waitress at The Barn for 28 years, reads the paper while on a break.

The Barn has been around since 1945, but the small-town atmosphere hasn’t changed in all these years. The current owner is Karen Kinney who’s worked there since 2001 and took over ownership when her husband, Gary, passed away in 2017. She doesn’t want to change a thing because things are fine just the way they are. It’s a very unique place. Everything is oldschool. Only cash or checks accepted there, but there is an ATM back in the corner. There’s a couple of game machines in another corner that look like they’ve seen years of use. There are paintings of various barn scenes on the walls that accentuate the name of the place. As you look at the menu you ask the waitress if there are any specials. Of course there are! That’s one of the many things that people like about the place. You realize it’s approaching the lunch hour, but you ask if you can still get breakfast. You bet! They serve breakfast all day with eggs cooked just the way you like them and sausage patties almost as big as your hand. When you’ve finished eating you look up and you see the pies again. Should you, or shouldn’t you? Pie after breakfast? Why not? The only challenge is deciding which pie to eat. It’s going to be your toughest decision of the day since they have so many to choose from. That’s me who’s stepped into the Barn. There’s a group of men sitting together around the corner of the counter. I ask them what’s the best pie to order. “Lemon” was the quick answer by one of the gents. Two of the others disagreed. “No, it’s apple; it’s strawberry rhubarb.” I chatted with those four guys for a while and 18 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

The only challenge is deciding which pie to eat. It’s going to be your toughest decision of the day since they have so many to choose from.

Charolette, Karen Kinney's daughter, is the newest member to The Barn staff with five years working.

asked them what they liked best about eating at The Barn. They all agreed it is the camaraderie and fellowship, as well as the good food and service that brought them back day after day. I looked around some more and noticed the waitresses were no ‘spring chickens.’ They worked hard and fast and seemed to know most everyone’s name and what their favorites were. Karen knows you can’t run a successful business without good employees and her staff has been with The Barn for many years. Sherri has been there for 26 years, Melody for 28 years, and Donna for 22 years. Her daughter, Charolette, is a newcomer to the crew. She’s only been there for five years. I chatted with Sherri for a while and asked her what she likes about working there. She loves the customers, her co-workers and the hours. She especially enjoys watching “the kids” she’s served over the years grow up. She pointed out that some of the older customers are now coming in with their kids and/or grandkids, so she’s serving a second and third generation of patrons. That kind of loyalty is much more meaningful to me than a five-star rating on social media. Karen Kinney is a hard woman to tie down, but she was willing to spend some time with me to talk about her role as owner. I managed to 15-3572_Ad Design Her Voice.qxp_Layout 1 7/6/15 8:26loves AM Page 1 Sherri says8:26 she the 15-3572_Ad Design Her Voice.qxp_Layout 1 7/6/15 AM Page 1 customers most and watching the kids she get her to talk about herself a bit. She’s a very 15-3572_Ad Design Her Voice.qxp_Layout 1 7/6/15 8:26 AM Page 1 15-3572_Ad Design Her Voice.qxp_Layout 1 7/6/15 8:26 AM Page 1

has served come in over the years now with kids and/or grandkids.

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Donna washes dishes at The Barn and has been employed there for 22 years.

humble woman who has raised two sons and one daughter. They have given her three grandchildren, ages 8, 12 and a newborn. She is a native of the Brainerd area, and had served at several establishments before she came to The Barn in 2001. Her husband, Gary Kinney, bought the place when he was 19, with his first wife. When he was called to serve in the military in Vietnam, he sold the place to his parents. He served as a cook in the Air Force and bought it back 10 years later when he got out of the service. When Gary passed away Karen opened the cafe on Sundays, mostly to keep herself busy. However, she recently decided to give herself and her staff a day off and has closed the cafe on Tuesdays. Like most places in the lakes area, business is better in the summer than it is in the winter, but Karen still puts in 100+ hours a week to keep the customers happy. When asked what her best-selling items are, her immediate response was Maid Rites, all-day breakfasts, and her pies. She works even harder making pies to sell to the public during the Thanksgiving holiday. What would Karen like people to know? “You have to love what you do and it will be reflected back to you by your customers.” Karen says she loves the people and plans to be around until she retires. Right now she finds it fulfilling. She loves it. She’s married to it; it’s her life and she wouldn’t change a thing!

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Regular diners at The Barn, Doug and Taffy.

Sue Sterling is a freelance writer, computer tutor, professional calligrapher, and amateur photographer who lives in Brainerd. She is currently working part-time at The Center as their Outreach Coordinator. Sue is also the President of the Lakes Area Singles organization and a member of the Brainerd Area Art Guild, as well as the Lakes Area Writers Alliance. She has three sons and seven grandchildren. When she’s not at home at her computer or art table, she loves spending time with her family in the metro area.

HER TABLE + food poem


So, those 20 darned pounds that I’ve fought with all year, Are still clearly visible when I look in the mirror. “Dumb baby weight,” I mutter and steam, Cuz they’re here from my son, who just turned 17. I count and I weigh all the things that I eat. Cut down on desserts, my goodies and treats. I’ve tried a few plans, bought books from the store Spent hours on Google, then read a bunch more. ‘Quit this if you can’, ‘Don’t ever eat that’. ‘Follow these rules, and you’ll never be fat.’ Jenny said one thing, Weight Watchers another – Eat avocados! And say good-bye to blubber. The hardest of all is to go out to eat – Dining out used to be such a fun treat. A burger and fries? Yes, please! No! I shouldn’t. Pecan in a pie?! Lord help me, I couldn’t. Lasagna… spaghetti… that book said no noodles. And great sounding sauces – Oh my! Look! There’s oodles. And then there’s the problem of just whetting my lips, On something that won’t end up straight on my hips. I know what I want (cuz it landed me here). An icy and chilled, large tall mug of beer. One that is local and just a bit frothy, With olives to boot – in a mug that is frosty. I see soup and some salad (I could splurge on some toast). Knowing it’s not the thing I’d like the most. He comes for my order and I send him away – To figure the math for my intake that day. Seven plus three, then carry the one… Nobody ever said diets were fun. I note all the specials – they all come with bread… Can I make it a wrap or a salad instead? Should I hold all the sauces the dressings and chips? Argh. How did my meals all come down to this? And so, I debate, a bit more for a while When the waiter returns, I just give him a smile. “It all looks so tasty,” I say being polite “I’ll just take a tall one. Errrrrr… make it a lite.” Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 21

FOR HER + motivation


How can you make a positive difference in this big world? What can you do to bring joy to others? I've asked myself these questions while feeling overwhelmed that I could never make a positive difference. Then one day I thought of something I could do that comes naturally to me -- smile. Smiling is easy, it's positive and most people don't take offense to it. If you look at people's faces it's amazing how many people don't smile. It's truly an epidemic. I hope my smile can bring others a bit of joy no matter how briefly our eyes meet. I could do something else that is appreciated by most -- hold a door open. Has someone ever entered through a door right in front of you and not held it open? When I hold the door open for people behind me they are very appreciative. More so if I have to wait for them. They smile and say with surprise, "Why thank you!" It's a small gesture of kindness but it brings me a lot of joy. And who knows? Maybe it’s the most kindness they have experienced in quite a while and it will give them some needed hope. Never underestimate how a small act of kindness can soften a heart. We all have kind little things we can do every day that come naturally to us. Please share them with others! Maybe you put the

renegade shopping cart back in its parking lot home so no one drives into it. Maybe you notify the restaurant owner the bathroom toilet paper is gone so the next person has some. Maybe you allow a mother with her small children to check out ahead of you or you decide to simply say “Thank you.” Being kind to others creates ripples of joy that travel out into the world. This joy gets passed from one person to another and to another. That, my friend, is how you make a positive difference in this big world. Michelle Oie is a motivational speaker, blogger, freelance writer and soon-tobe author whose passion is letting people know how awesome they are. She loves Jeep Wranglers, peanut butter and hitting all green lights driving through Brainerd. Learn more at

22 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us


have kind little things we can do every day that come naturally to us.

We’ve Got This

Jeffrey E. Olson | Cassandra J. Spitzley Sam C. Hennies | David M. Ude


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HER PASSION + love of cats

Jessica Kirby (left) with her friend, Adriene Myears who houses some of the cats in her barn.




can be magical beings. Just ask Jessica Kirby. She is a noted animal rescuer, first in Kansas City and now in Minnesota, since 2007. She has a special affinity for these furry creatures and takes an interest in their welfare in a very unique but important way.

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Feelings for

Felines "I was the problem adding to the crisis." - Jessica Kirby



Specializing in Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, Holistic Medicine including Acupuncture

There are 70 million feral cats in the U.S. Cheyenne enjoys helping her grandmother, Adriene care for the cats.

The Company of Cats Domestic cats provide companionship and offer surprising health benefits to those who have them. The company of a kitty can lower blood pressure and stress levels, resulting in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers have discovered a cat’s purring helps heal

bones, tendons and muscles. Also, when babies are exposed to a cat, they become less susceptible to all kinds of allergies. Cats amuse us with their antics and keep us company when we are lonely. There is, however, a dark side to the cat population.

Feelings Feelings

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Jessica saw first-hand how easily it happens

– how caring for a pet can get out of hand.

Cat-astrophe! The overpopulation of cats is a world-wide problem. In Australia, some places have as many as 100 feral cats within less than a half mile. Here in the U.S. there are over 70 million. Minnesota has its share of the problem. St. Paul instituted a spay/neuter program, and Minneapolis is considering it, as an alternative to euthanasia. The problem extends to greater Minnesota. Even in the Brainerd lakes area, feral cats impact birds and small wildlife. Jessica Kirby is doing her best to stem the tide.

A Matter of Compassion Through her own personal experience, Jessica realized the need for addressing the problem. Years ago, she was asked to take in a pet cat. She agreed, believing she would be able to manage the veterinary care it would need, including shots and spaying. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Twice, the cat, Jenna, got pregnant and both times the kittens did not survive. This was due, in large part, to high vet costs. Although Jessica did her best to keep Jenna from going outside, one day the cat escaped, never to return again. She then realized she had inadvertently added to the

Jessica’s dream is to build a low-cost clinic for these animals.

You can be an earthy angel and help by contacting her at

26 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

problem of an ever-growing feral cat population. “I never got her back,” laments Jessica, “I was the problem adding to the crisis. So here I was, an infamous animal rescuer from Kansas City who could not even get a cat spayed! What’s wrong with that picture?” Jessica saw first-hand how easily it happens – how caring for a pet can get out of hand and become part of a larger problem. Because of her experience, she made it her mission to become part of the solution. Ever since, she has worked tirelessly to help others get their pets spayed or neutered. People often get pets without considering the ongoing costs. As time progresses, even though they want to do the right thing, life gets in the way. “Most people do not realize what the cost was before getting a pet. I certainly did not do my homework before agreeing to help my friend and his cat. If I had known, I would not agree to it. Yet, I meant well. So do most people out there. It’s a sad reality.” In the past five years, Jessica has helped hundreds of pet owners and

caretakers get their pets spayed or neutered. She stopped keeping track last year, when the tally reached 850. “I don’t know how many now,” She says, “I have been so busy, I no longer keep track of it.”

Earthly Angels Jessica does what she can to get donations to help cover costs. Occasionally, people take advantage of her by using her services even though they have money to do it on their own. Rather than dwell on the negative, she says, “I tell myself, it’s the animals who are my boss. Not my ego or the attention of the people. I am here to serve.” A problem with communication is one of the hurdles Jessica often faces. She and her partner, Andy, are both deaf. Her two children are bilingual, speaking both American Sign Language and English. Getting her

point across to others and enlisting help in this important cause can sometimes be an uphill battle, yet Jessica is tenacious. No matter what she must handle, she always makes it to the finish line. Jessica believes in the power of people working together. “I may be one who spearheads the service in the larger Brainerd area, yet I am blessed with an army of people whom I call earthy angels. They provide me with resources and money to pull off miracle after miracle. Without these earthy angels, I’d just be a woman with dreams and no accomplishments. So, become a person with value and call out for help. They will hear you and come to your aid.” Susan J. Smith-Grier, mother, grandmother, writer, storyteller, blogger, and Reading Corps tutor of early elementary kids, enjoys the changing seasons of Minnesota lake country. She lives for those moments when the possibilities light up the eyes of her awesome school kids and delights in the power of words and story.

December 13, 2019

Recognition Program

Special Guests of Honor, Speakers, Airplane Flyover and Various Youth Groups Featured • Awesome Door Prizes & More Surprises Emcee - Dennis Weimann News Director, Lakeland PBS

Bubbles of Hope Release During the Closing Ceremony


Currently Implementing the Invitation Process to a Variety of Advocates and Celebrities Like Like us us on on Facebook Facebook •• Winter Winter 2019 2019 || her her voice voice 27 27

HER TRAVELS + vacation



overwhelming drive behind my vacation was me asking, “Sure, why not?” Why not allow someone to plan my vacation, keeping almost all the details until nearly the date of departure a mystery? Why not have that be my choice for my first genuine vacation by myself? Why not? Kori Flowers, up for adventure, booked her first solo vacation with Pack Up + Go, a travel company that plans vacations and reveals details a little at a time.

Mystery Vacation 28 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us


Many people would feel put off by the idea alone — too much mystery for a vacation. But that was the biggest draw for me. I first read about Pack Up + Go several months before my trip. This travel company will plan the entirety of a three-day vacation — travel, lodging, attractions and the destination itself. That information is held back until the first day of the trip. You simply show up and enjoy your vacation. Many people would feel put off by the idea alone - too much mystery for a vacation. But that was the biggest draw for me. They would handle the hard stuff like booking the flight and hotel. I wasn’t picky about where I ended up - I knew I could entertain myself just about anywhere. I took the plunge after a few days of mulling it over and testing my sanity against my more level-headed friends and family. Where would I end up? I would learn in roughly eight weeks. I passed the time guessing my destination, and I wasn’t alone in that. My family started guessing before I even officially booked the trip. At the office, guesses ranged all across the country. But I knew wherever I ended up,

I would undoubtedly have fun. One week before my flight, I received an email with important information and some tantalizing hints about my destination. My forecast: 85 degrees and sunny for all three days. I was told to bring: “Walking shoes (Hint: there's so much to see and do in this destination, so you'll be covering a lot of ground) An empty stomach (Hint: this city has some seriously good food!) A camera (Hint: this city is known for its amazing history and museums)” A few days before my departure, the official envelope arrived with my destination and activities inside. The temptation was there to open the envelope right away, just to be rid of the anticipation (several people volunteered for me). But I waited right up until the last moment. At 5:30 in the morning on a bus down to the airport, I finally opened my envelope.

MY INPUT: BUDGET: $1,000 TRIP PREFERENCE: Relaxation HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants, Cafes/Bakeries, Theatre, Movies, Art Museums/Galleries, Historical Sites/Museums, Parks/Nature, Shopping, Flea Markets/Thrift Stores, Book Stores, Spas RECENTLY VISITED CITIES: NYC or Chicago, but since it had been over a decade since my last visit, I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind going again. They also asked about previous trips/ vacations, upcoming plans, dietary restrictions and any other information I thought they would need. Aside from important information, I wanted to keep my options open.

ADVENTURES for every member of the family! (218) 454-6924 CE Her Voice Ad.indd 1

10/16/2019 8:16:07 PM

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Philadelphia. I had suspected the East Coast, even though my official guess was Portland. But seeing it in print really made it real. After my flight and hotel checkin, Pack Up + Go booked me a dinner reservation at the British-styled pub The Dandelion. I had enough time beforehand to explore near Rittenhouse Square. I quickly learned Philadelphia is full of sculptures and outdoor art, so there were many fun things to find. The next day, I set off across the city on foot. I stopped in the Reading Terminal Market, a large indoor space with vendors selling every food imaginable. After a delicious breakfast of crepes, was Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It was here I enjoyed the freedom of traveling alone the

most. I joined a tour group much earlier than if I had been with other people, I didn’t have anyone else’s preferences to consider for lunch, and I could decide plans on a whim. After a quick break, I headed across town to the amazingly intimidating Eastern State Penitentiary. Despite the rumors of hauntings, I didn’t encounter anything and enjoyed the amazing sights and history. Finally, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, home of the Rocky Steps. I did not run them, but inside I had a great time exploring the exhibits and finding a favorite painting - Sunflowers by Van Gogh. Sunday included more walking across the city to the Italian neighborhoods. My final aim was to eat a Philly cheesesteak because I couldn’t leave the city without one. I sampled one of the two famous cheesesteak competitors, so I guess I’ll have to go back and try the other. Would I ever do this again? I’m already thinking about where they could send me next time!

Photos: Pizza at LaScala's; Cheesesteak from Pat's King of Steaks; Fish & Chips from The Dandelion. 30 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us


For Future Travelers: I fully recommend going on a mystery vacation. Pack Up + Go did a fantastic job setting up my trip. Every single question I asked was answered in a timely manner or addressed in my envelope. I always felt that I had someone in my back pocket that I could count on if things went awry, but everything went incredibly smoothly. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

Kori Flowers is a 27-yearold freelance writer. When not working at the Brainerd Dispatch, Kori is enjoying the latest movies and parks Brainerd has to offer. On weekends, she can be found helping out at her parents' small business, Ole Lake Farms.


HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE 24719 hazelwood dr | Nisswa

Happy Holidays

Virginia Knudson, “Top Attorney 2019” Minnesota SuperLawyers Magazine

Family law • EstatE Planning BusinEss law • rEal EstatE Virginia Knudson

302 S. 6th St., Brainerd 218.829.1451

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HER CAREER + leadership

A small selection of custom jewelry from Ranch Gal Designs. Photo by Jennifer Kuschel


Ranch and Saddlery is a family cattle ranch and custom saddle shop located in Backus since 1974. Owner Doug

Kuschel started the saddlery business out of necessity when saddles over the years needed constant repair. As time went by he began to specialize in wade saddles and traditional cowboy gear. When his daughter, Jennifer Kuschel, joined him after high school, they became a father-daughter leatherwork team in the saddlery business. Together Doug and Jennifer's creativity knows no bounds.

Custom-made chinks for a customer in Germany. Photo by Jennifer Kuschel 32 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

Jennifer now specializes in leather accessories such as chinks, chaps and armitas. “I really enjoy the artistic aspects like the intricate details of the tooling on the fancy chap tops,” Jennifer says of her design process. “Each pair is tailored to the customer, whether you need a long length or are a plus size, your chaps are made to fit you,” explains Jennifer about her products. “I myself am a plus size gal and I know it’s hard to find chaps that fit. I like to think I make the process as comfortable as possible.”

“I really enjoy the artistic aspects like the intricate details of the tooling on the fancy chap tops.” - Jennifer Kuschel There is much to admire about Jennifer with her artistic talents, how motivated she is to try new ideas and the fact she is self-educated in the art of leather. Five years living in Idaho as the sole owner of a custom saddle shop gave her ample time to hone her skills. Here she made and sold custom saddles, repaired saddles and made custom horse tack and chaps. When she returned to Minnesota in 2007 she and her father began to expand their business. They share a studio on 33 Ranch. “Most of our customers are recreational riders with time to devote to a demanding hobby. Our customers come from everywhere - just down the road, all over the country, and internationally. They all share an appreciation of quality gear,” she said. Jennifer has found it is imperative to be skilled in drawing so she can create her own patterns for all leather products. She said understanding the basic principles of art including drawing, mixing colors, and painting with acrylics are the foundation of her work. Everything has to flow to create a design that is pleasing to the eye. This year she joined the Pine River Art Club. Jennifer relishes her four hours each week with the group and the camaraderie it provides. “Even though I am the only leather crafter, it’s all art, and the

Jennifer Kuschel demonstrating the art of floral tooling on a leather notebook, specializes in leather accessories such as chinks, chaps and armitas. Photo by Sue Ready

Home Care & Hospice | 218.454.1542 Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 33

feedback I receive from the group is priceless.” Joining daily discussions with Leather Ladies, an online Facebook group, has been good moral support. “I work alone a lot while dad is running the ranch, so having a like minded group of women to converse with daily about our leather experiences is very rewarding.” Jennifer says of the Leather Ladies, “We share supply sources, techniques and encouragement.” Like every business, the saddlery faces challenges. Jennifer notes, “Even though leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, prices have been on the rise in the last decade. World economics have a large impact

on every side of leather we buy.” Jennifer explains that a side is one half of a cow’s hide. The industry is also experiencing a surge of new leather crafters. “Competition is wonderful; it makes me strive to be a better artist and a more efficient business owner,” she said. Many of the machines and tools used by the saddlery today are antiques. “They were made when the west was wild and horses were a mode of transportation,” she said. Jennifer includes her 1905 treadle Singer machine, converted to electric named Betty, among her treasured possessions. Betty has been with her every step of the way for over 20 years. In contrast, Jennifer is

“Competition is wonderful; it makes me strive to be a better artist and a more efficient business owner.” - Jennifer Kuschel

Doug Kuschel with Jenna Johnson, (center), Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2009, wearing custom chaps made by Jennifer Kuschel (right). Photo submitted by Jennifer Kuschel 34 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

Betty Cantrell, Miss America 2016, holding her fringe purse commissioned by the Farm Bureau made by Jennifer. Photo by Jennifer Kuschel

developing her latest undertaking to have a strong internet presence. “I wanted to create a line of products where every woman could enjoy a piece of western styled leather, whether or not she rides horses,” Jennifer said. She named this endeavor Ranch Gal Designs and creates leather jewelry, purses, dog collars, and other accessories under this name. The unique properties of each piece of leather, along with its ability to be molded, combine wonderfully with natural design elements such as flowers, wildlife and landscapes are elements that inspire her designs. As Jennifer plans what’s next in the saddlery business, she talked about the

high points of her career so far such as making a pair of chaps for Miss Rodeo Minnesota. “In 2016 I was commissioned by Farm Bureau to make a clutch purse for the reigning Miss America Betty Cantrell. I was very flattered, but you know, really the best part of this business is that I get to do what I love and work with my family. It doesn’t get any better than that.” “As for the future,” Jennifer laughs, “I just can’t wait to get up every day and try my hardest to improve my art.”

Sue Ready is a freelance writer for several local publications, a poet and former middle school teacher. She is the president of the Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack, MN and chair for the Annual Northwoods Art and Book Festival in August. She blogs at http://sockfairies.blogspot. com/ with recipes, travel adventures, book reviews and The World According to Bella stories. Sue writes a food column for the Pilot Independent, Walker, Great Northern News and Lakes Area Living Magazine.

HER STORY + reminiscing

Remember When



orn in 1931, I was a “preemie” weighing 4 pounds due to the RH factor. I was RH negative and my mother was a positive. Now doctors test and treat those differences in the early months of pregnancy. The hospital had no incubator so they improvised one for me. By the time I was six months old the weight change was dramatic as shown in the photo with my 6-year-old brother, Bob. My father passed out his cigars in celebration which was the custom and years later he loved to tell me that I fit in his cigar box.

[My father] loved to tell me that I fit in his cigar box.

Audrae (left) and her brother, 1931. Photo submitted by Audrae Gruber

! e r o m t n a w We

Our readers want YOU to share what life was like for you in your "good ol' days."

HER VOICE Send us your stories:

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 35

Historically, the 1930s were known as The Great Depression Historically, the 1930s were known as The Great Depression, which was worldwide. In the United States, 25 percent of the workforce were out of work by 1932. More than 5,000 banks failed. Those out of work began congregating in shanty towns to help each other survive. The government began restructuring the economy. New cars cost about $800 and gas was 10 cents a gallon. I remember having to unload the front seat of the family Ford so gas could be put in where the under-the-seat tanks were located. Only the young attendant had access to the gas pump and he generally got a tip from the driver. A driver’s license at the age of 15 was automatic without any driver training. In 1934 there were 24 states affected by the huge Dust Bowl where farmers suffered devastat-

ing droughts. They tried to make money raising tariffs which resulted in the rest of the world doing the same and costs went up. There were dust storms and soil erosion causing incredible drama at the time covering every aspect of life. The orphanages had high numbers of children as families could not provide for them. Women were mostly homebound. Only one of a couple in a family was allowed to work. By 1939, the Depression was almost over having lasted 10 years. Incredible years of change were ahead. Fortunately, my father worked in the office at the Great Northern Railway where he continued working until he retired 30 years later. When I was 6, I remember my grandmother asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up – a nurse or a teacher?

Effects of the dust storms, 1935 stock image. 36 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

Presents Cast Iron Black 1930 vintage Ford truck, stock image.

A driver’s license at the age of 15 was automatic without any driver training. Our family’s twice-a-year visit to my cousins near Willmar, Minn., was always special as they lived on a farm. There were nine cousins. I was the oldest girl. Cousin Larry was the same age. They had no indoor plumbing until the late 1930s. This was a good lesson for me to be aware that there were other ways of living besides the city. The open spaces and the animals and fields were special. It always concluded with a special lunch with 15 of us sitting at a huge kitchen table eating chicken from the farm. Conversation was focused on current events and the challenges of farming and how fortunate they felt to be able to raise and feed their family. The dust storms were not as lethal in

that part of Minnesota. They were more prominent in the southwest part of the country. They farm raised chickens, milked cows and had a large garden. Larry and his father were a team with the tractor and field work. In my early years, we lived on the second floor of a duplex in St. Paul. The stairway to the upper level was an outside uncovered winding stairway which led to the kitchen. In those days we had ice men who delivered pounds of ice for the ice box in our kitchen. He wore a large leather apron so the water wouldn’t seep through to his clothing. A card with a number would be placed in the window with the number of pounds we needed that day — 12 or 25 pounds. These huge blocks were

Hard Working Matte Finish that is as tough as it is timeless


16603 State Hwy 371 North, Brainerd/Baxter (Just North of the Pine Beach Rd)

SCHROEDERSAPPLIANCE.COM Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 37

In those days we had ice men who delivered pounds of ice for the ice box in our kitchen. Audrae treasured her visits with her nine cousins (Mohr family), shown here with their parents. Photo submitted by Audrae Gruber

carried up those open stairs and put directly into the upper part of the ice box. My mother would be ready with an open door. When he got back to his truck, the kids on the block would be waiting and begging for chips of ice to suck on. He was friendly and complied. Kids were happy. As an octogenarian, I feel privileged to share these parts of my life and the connecting historical events. Your life

is an important journey. I encourage you to share stories with your elderly friends and loved ones. The history and the story connections will amaze you with the changes. Keeping journals and photos and appreciating these events will enhance your life as well as theirs. Savor the journey.

Audrae Gruber is a bread baking, recipe sleuthing, sugar eating, coffee drinking, Bible studying, book reading junkie. Oh, and a lefse rolling Norwegian. Uffda! Writing combines her love of words with her desire to communicate accurately – and humorously. She also believes everyone has an interesting life story to share, even if they don’t know how to tell it.

30581 Patriot Avenue • 218-568-5001 Locally owned and operated

38 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us



Your local grocer and partner for all your holiday supplies.



+ gastrectomy

is a


At a routine doctor appointment in 2018, Joanna Tomm was diagnosed with reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. After several tests it was confirmed it was problematic, which gave Jo the final push to follow through with a gastric bypass surgery for weight loss she had been putting off for several years.

Joanna Tomm, owner/operator of Bliss Salon & Boutique says the health problems she's endured over the past year have brought her life into perspective and given her a new motto. Photo by Jennifer Salvevold.

Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 39

“Coming out of surgery to learn all of that was completely shocking." -Joanna Tomm While in surgery on July 9, 2018, the surgeon found two tumors outside the stomach. One was smaller and benign, the other was very large, and was adhered to her liver. It is still not conclusive if the larger tumor was benign, only six others like it have been reported worldwide. With the finding of the tumors, her bypass turned into an emergency gastrectomy — the removal of her entire stomach. Doctors also removed part of her liver and 20 lymph nodes. “Coming out of surgery to learn all of that was completely shocking. Prior to surgery they had only looked inside, but never outside my stomach,” Jo explained. That hospital stay was four days. On July 14, she was back in the hospital. The incision that connected her esophagus had disintegrated into her intestines and it had started a spiraling effect of infections and complications. Next were three more trips into the operating room where they put stents in her esophagus to try to get the infection to heal. Tests were done every other day where she had to swallow barium sulfate to see if they could see any leaks, and there always were. The continuous problems left little options other than starting Total parenteral nutrition (TPN), nutrition through a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC line). Jo started the TPN near the end of July. The bags had to be changed twice daily. A nurse came every three days to clean the site and the TPN. During that time she threw up almost constantly and was nauseated all the time. To make matters worse the 40 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

PICC line eventually got infected after three weeks. Jo spent 29 out of 40 days in the hospital. Emotionally and psychologically it was awful. She said, “The emotional toll was far greater than the physical toll and war going on inside my body. All I could think about were my children.”

“The emotional toll was far greater than the physical toll... All I could think about were my children.” -Tomm When the first PICC line got an infection, it spread into her lungs so she had to stay in the hospital again. A second PICC line was put in and they administered a strong antibiotic. Once Jo was home with the new PICC line she ended up with “Red Man Syndrome,” a reaction caused by the antibiotic. The syndrome caused a red rash all over her body and low grade fever. They finally figured out the dosage for the antibiotic by September. During that time she suffered from constant nausea and chest pain from the stents. On Sept. 11, Jo went back to work. The very next day she was back in the hospital overnight to have a stent removed as it had migrated and attached itself to tissue.

“That was really hard because I had so badly wanted to be done with everything, and had high hopes I was getting better,” Jo stated. It wasn’t until October before she slowly started eating again, and not until after the holidays that she really started feeling like herself. “Some days I look back and am not sure how I made it to where I am today,” Jo recalls. Prayer helped her get through and with time she finally started healing and her excess weight started to come off. Her doctor strongly encouraged her to get moving after she wasn’t

Medical Terms GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Gastrectomy: Surgical removal of

a part or the whole of the stomach.

TPN: Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is a method of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. Fluids are given into a vein to provide most of the nutrients the body needs.

PICC Line: Peripherally Inserted

"Some days I look back and am not sure how I made it to where I am today.” - Tomm

Jen Salvevold is a wife of 25 years and a mother of 21-yearold twins and an 18-year-old daughter. She is the owner of {Photojenic} Photography of the Brainerd lakes area, a nanny, an Etsy Store owner and a retail sales associate at CoCo & Co. in Nisswa.

Barium Sulfate: is a contrast

agent. Barium sulfate works by coating the inside of your esophagus, stomach, or intestines which allows them to be seen more clearly on a CT scan or other radiologic (x-ray) examination. Barium sulfate is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

Sources:;; Oxford;

Seeing You Through the Winter Months Ahead Treatment of eye infections, injuries & glaucoma Consultations for laser and cataract surgery

• Eye Exams • Contact Lenses • Eye Wear 001674127r1

attached to her tubes and bags, and Jo is now active at a local gym. The community really came together for her during her struggle. There were meals made for her family and others helping in many different ways. People she didn’t even know sent encouraging letters and gifts that she appreciates immensely. Joanna is now down 109 pounds and is focused on what’s important in life and aware of letting go of what’s not. She strongly feels if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. This health scare has brought so much of her life into perspective. Her new motto is “Enjoy every day and be grateful.”

Central Catheter (PICC) line is a thin, soft, long catheter (tube) that is inserted into a vein in your child's arm, leg or neck. The tip of the catheter is positioned in a large vein that

carries blood into the heart. The PICC line is used for long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications, and for blood draws.

Dr. Jackie McCall

7870 Excelsior Rd., Baxter 218.828.9545 • 877.338.3957


Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 41

FOR HER + DIY crafts


Local acrylic artist and business owner of "Garten Gallery Plus," Laura Garten and daughter Mary Jo Bade of "Oops! I arted on it," have teamed up to bring some how-to fun!

You will need: • 10" x 9" (approx.) fabric pieces • 2 1/2" (approx.) tree bulb • At least two 10" pieces of ribbon • Small decorating flair pieces like flowers, pine cones, beads, etc. • Hot glue gun and scissors

42 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us


tch, Made from scra shop. ry ke ba small-batch Creative menu of sweet and savory pies, breads & pastries prepared with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

Directions: 1. We glued the top of the bulbs shut to make them stronger. 2. Thread a piece of ribbon through the loop on top of the bulb. Tie a knot, keep the knot closest to the bulb to keep it hidden. This will be the ribbon you use to hang it up when you are finished so keep this sticking out of the top during all steps of creating. 3. Place the bulb on fabric, grab the bulb and fabric and flip it upside down so ribbon and fabric edges hang free. Lay it all down on its side and tie a ribbon around the top of the bulb to secure.

4. Start "playing" with your flair pieces until you have a desired look.

Now Taking Holiday Orders

5. Additional ribbon strands can be tied around the top and secured. Trim and hot glue your flair in place.

Laura Garten and Mary Jo Bade have been living and playing in the BLA for most of their lives. They have drawn inspiration from the beauty and kindness of the Northland to help make things a little prettier and fun to look at one craft or painting at a time. Be Creative! Be Adventurous! Be-you-tiful!

218-454-2470 707 Laurel Street Downtown Brainerd, MN 56401 Like us on Facebook • Winter 2019 | her voice 43



Proudly using Dermalogica Skin Care Products, Jane Iredale Cosmetics & Paul Mitchell Hair Care Products.


(218) 821-6760

+ advertising


Updos * Nails * Pedicures * Colors Extensions * Perms * Hair Removal



Experience matters. Serving the Lakes Area since 1995 | 218.568.8771 | Pequot Lakes


Enter as Strangers…Leave as Friends 13021 Evergreen Drive Baxter, MN 56425 Phone: 218-828-0122 • Fax: 218-828-0873 001716398r1

ALEX & BRANDON CHILD SAFETY CENTER/MID-MINNESOTA WOMEN'S CENTER..............................................27 BELLE CHEVEUX......................................................... 31 BORDEN STEINBAUER, KRUEGER & KNUDSON P.A.......................................................... 31 BRAINERD COMMUNITY EDUCATION....29 BRAINERD SCHOOL DISTRICT 181................19 BREEN AND PERSON LTD...................................19 CUB FOODS.................................................................... 12 E.L. MENK JEWELERS..............................................15 ESSENTIA HEALTH......................................................5 FIRST NATIONAL BANK NORTH ..................46 GULL LAKE GLASS.................................................... 13 HANNEKEN INSURANCE .................................... 13 HIRSHFIELDS...................................................................9 JANA FROEMMING, POSITIVE REALTY.......................................................19

Shop Donate Volunteer

Superior Carpet, Upholstery, Tile & Granite Cleaning

Visit our hip thri� stores in BAXTER AND CROSSLAKE

• Granite Counter Renewal • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning • Tile & Grout Cleaning • Safe for Kids, pets & allergies


Store Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10-6 Summer Sundays: 12-5 Proceeds support the good works of Bridges of Hope. 2019

BAXTER: 218.824.0923 CROSSLAKE: 218.692.7682

All work is performed by owners Jeff & Tracy. Independently Owned & Operated Serving Crow Wing, Aitkin, Morrison, Southern Cass & Todd Counties

218-828-4320 •


Send in your photo of three or more generations of women for this "next issue" section. Send to

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KNOTTY PINE BAKERY.........................................43 KNUTE NELSON HOME CARE & HOSPICE.....................................33 LAKES DENTAL CARE............................................23 MIDWEST FAMILY EYE CENTER..................... 41 PEQUOT LAKES ANIMAL HOSPITAL..........25 PEQUOT LAKES SUPERVALU.....................38 PURPLE FERN BATH COMPANY ............... 11 SCHROEDER’S APPLIANCE.......................... 37 SHANNON'S AUTO BODY................................. 7 WIDSETH SMITH NOLTING..........................46 WOODLAND GOOD SAMARITAN SOCIETY........................................41 YMCA BRAINERD..................................................27

HER VOICE Next edition:

Ad Space Reservation Deadline: Jan. 3, 2020

(218) 855-5895Publish date: Brainerd Dispatch- Feb. 18 SPRING

44 her voice | Winter 2019 • Share your voice with us

Sales Flyer

Echo Journal- Feb. 20

a houseSOLD name since 1997. 218-839-7000

“You’re Locally Owned Backyard Nature and Gift Store” (218) 828-1216

(218) 828-0022

Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to keep families safe from domestic violence.

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

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


Across from the High Rise. Call for an appointment or Walk In.

Brainerd 315 East River Road, Ste 1 Brainerd, MN 56401 (218) 825-0793


(218) 855-5898

Staples 616 4th Street NE Staples, MN 56479 (218) 895-5200 001823222r1

Design & Color

218-851-7951 218-828-0808 13746 Memorywood Dr., Baxter

Dee Crochet

(218) 839-1918 Certified Residential Specialist



Ready for life’s milestones? Let’s talk. Bruce Meade

Financial Advisor 4461 Main St Pequot Lakes, MN 56472-4401




Dinah Sundberg



Most profound audience:

13021 Evergreen Drive • Baxter, MN 218-454-7269 v


Liz Timothy…

Women control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending. TO ADVERTISE IN HER VOICE

(218) 855-5898


Knowledge. Experience. Commitment. Sandy Swanson, Realtor®

(218) 839-4390

Wedding Stories Did you get married or attend a wedding this year? Do you have amazing wedding photos to show off? Maybe you are in the midst of planning a wedding and would like more information on something and have a story idea? If any of this describes you, we want to hear from you. Sarah Herron, Weddings North Content Coordinator


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An Opportunity to Showcase Business Announcements and Celebrations In Her Voice Magazine.



Lindsey Kriens CID Interior Designer

218-855-5898 |

THERE’S A NEW INTERIOR DESIGNER IN TOWN Lindsey’s love of design began while working for her family’s landscaping business. There she developed a loyal client base, created landscape designs, ran equipment, and managed a crew who helped her designs become reality. From that experience, Lindsey set her sights indoors and pursued a career in interior design. A Certified Interior Designer licensed with the State of Minnesota, Lindsey

recently joined Widseth Smith Nolting to lead its interior design services for its eight offices. Lindsey collaborates with WSN’s architectural teams, focusing on design, the built environment, and creating spaces that are inspiring, sympathetic to how people use them, and an accurate reflection of the client’s brand. Before relocating from Hibbing to Brainerd, though, she had two requirements: working

for a firm that would facilitate her professional growth and living in a community with a curling center. She is happy to say she found both!

Helping customers reach financial goals Jodi Kurtz

Jodi Kurtz made a career change 16 years ago when she moved from working in a dentist office to the banking industry. And the switch has been successful as Kurtz has moved up to serving as a personal banking officer for First National Bank. “I was a dental assistant for 5 ½ years before coming into the banking industry,” said Kurtz, a Ridgewater Community College graduate. “I started at the bank in 2003 as a teller for a year, and then moved to customer service. Today, I dabble into many areas as I manage our new accounts department as well as manage all of our technology products.” And what is her favorite part of her job?

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“I love a challenge and new products,” Kurtz said. “Especially when there is new technology out there, I enjoy digging in and getting it set up and running. It amazes me what we can do in the palm of our hands, and what’s to come in the future.” Kurtz is also proud when customers appreciate their bank services. “I’m most proud when my co-workers or I work really hard on something and a customer says, ‘This is a really cool product’ or ‘I love banking with First National because of the customer service I receive,’” she said. “It’s great to pass those compliments along to everyone. First National Bank is such a family oriented community bank.

They truly care about their employees as well as their customers and strive to give the best service to our customers.” Kurtz, who has been married for 17 years, has two children, Adyson 12 and Brody 9. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks through the aisles at Target, and any outdoor activities from snow to sun.” MEMBER FDIC

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Profile for Brainerd Dispatch

Her Voice Magazine - Winter 2019 Edition  

• Artist Spotlight: Lisa Pomerleau - Now with time to invest in her passion for art, Lisa is creating pieces that reflect what she loves— th...

Her Voice Magazine - Winter 2019 Edition  

• Artist Spotlight: Lisa Pomerleau - Now with time to invest in her passion for art, Lisa is creating pieces that reflect what she loves— th...