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By Women. For Women. About Women.

A Brainerd Dispatch Publication

Warrior Fishing Spring 2018


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HER VOICE By women. For women. About women.


p o t s n u

e l b a P


you embrace change and growth in your life. Experience something new, decide to go on an adventure, meet new people, be brave, discover new talents, regret nothing. Be strong when change stings, and be mindful of how much you have to be grateful for. Lisa Henry While many changes come inevitably, some changes are by choice. Some may take a lot of effort or POWER from the mind to put into effect. For example, stopping a bad habit like smoking or the POWER to start a new one like exercising. Sometimes before we make changes, it takes the POWER of realization of what we want in life, how we want to live it and what we would like to accomplish. My hope for our readers is that we are all empowered to make the changes we want. DeLynn Howard Ecclesiastes 3 begins, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens...”



Lisa Henry


Words to Live By Sarah Herron ​​Spring comes with a multitude of change and growth. I anticipate the warmer weather, the time I can spend outdoors and the simple freshness of it all. I love when the trees start to turn green and the flowers start blooming. Although I love the changing seasons in Minnesota, I’m a bit less accepting of those changes in January when it means frigid weather and growing snow piles. In our lives, change can be both good or bad, joyfully anticipated or fearfully dreaded. I often wish for change and growth in my life, but sometimes find it to be bittersweet. I happily watch my children grow and learn new things, but it’s tough when they don’t want to snuggle with their mama as much. Change, good or bad, can be helpful. You can learn and grow from it. It’s inevitable, but I HOPE to learn to embrace it. I HOPE that I allow change to bring personal growth and enhance my life. My HOPE for all of the Her Voice readers is that


If someone told me 10 months ago it would be MY time, MY season, that I would be nearing 100 pounds lost on my weight loss journey, I would have laughed at them! Onehundred pounds in less than a year? How is that even possible? I have proven to myself I am UNSTOPPABLE! Long before I knew what my word for 2018 would be, I decided to believe in myself. I decided to put myself on the list...and I went straight to the top. It took years and years but I finally realized I have to take care of myself if I want to continue taking care of everyone else. It’s easy for me to get caught up in all of my other roles. I forget that I’m important, too. So, like my Her Voice teammates, I’m embracing the changing of seasons, in more ways than one. And what are the chances our three words together would create such an impactful statement? HOPE can give everyone the POWER to be UNSTOPPABLE.

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Joey Halvorson COPY EDITOR


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 15, EDITION 1 SPRING 2018

CONTENTS Spring 2018

Your Voice Words to Live By 31 Mom Always Said 35

Her Story Off-Grid Living



By Maranda Lorraine

Her Career Miss Minnesota


For Her

By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger

Daughter Care


By Sue Smith-Grier

Fun Runs By Sheila DeChantal

Her Family Mommin’ 34 By Lisa Henry

Her Passion Dancing Queens of Music General



By Maureen Farnsworth

Her Health Autism


Her Table

By Grace LePage

Her Travels

DIY Beeswax Wrap

Tres Amigas 42

By Sarah Herron

By Jan Kurtz

Her Passion Women of the Minnesota Street Rod Association 25

Meet the women behind the wheel of some of the most beautiful cars of yesteryear. By Jen Salvevold

Cover Story — Her Passion Reel Girls Fish 6

Young writer CaitlinMae Hamilton enjoys fishing so much, she joined the Brainerd Fishing Team. It is the largest fishing team in the nation with a total of 150 members. CaitlinMae and nine others are the only females on the team. By CaitlinMae Hamilton

Her Story

Her Career

She is incorporating her love for gaming and humanitarianism to make a difference. By Carissa Andrews.

This all women’s clinic may have you feeling like you just walked into a spa. Best part? It’s not “members only.” By Jodie Tweed

Christy Tobin 18

4 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

Embrace All Women’s Clinic 22

Here with you

to make quitting


Sixty days and counting: A Brainerd grandmother is determined to quit smoking It’s tough to quit smoking. No one knows this more than Rose Heimark. The Brainerd grandmother of six has quit a few times but then, feeling defeated, started back again. This time, Heimark began meeting with Janet Ellevold, a certified tobacco treatment specialist at Essentia Health – Baxter Clinic. Together they set a quit date and created a personalized plan to help Heimark meet her goals. There is no judgment or shame involved in this process. Ellevold said quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things to do. Smoking is not only physically addictive, but the desire to smoke is also triggered by many common things in everyday life, like stress. Ellevold said research shows that people are more successful when they have face-to-face counseling, along with tobacco cessation aids. Patients can be referred to a certified tobacco treatment specialist or call themselves and set up an appointment. This service is covered at 100% by most health insurance plans. “Last year I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and I know a lot of that is because of smoking,” said Heimark. “I want to be around for my grandchildren.” Heimark’s daughter, Shannon Kaping, is also trying to quit smoking. Together, mother and daughter are encouraging each other as they work to kick their nicotine habit.

“I want to be around for my grandchildren.” Rose Heimark

To get started and request an appointment, call 218.828.7100 or 844.403.7010 (toll-free).

HER PASSION + fishing



I never liked playing with dolls. While my friends and other girls were having tea parties and dressing up like princesses, I was outside digging up worms.

As I got a little older my love of the outdoors grew fast. I learned to shoot a gun, hunt, cast a bait and hook a fish. Last year, I saw a poster in my middle school inviting kids to join the school fishing team. And while you might think finding a girl on the team would be as likely as landing a 20-pound bass, girls are filling up boats and taking home trophies. And it’s really making boys mad. Being a member of a Minnesota high school fishing team is catching on. We are seeing a surge in popularity across the state. In 2015, just 56 kids competed as part of organized teams. Last year, it was nearly 600 students from grades 6-12. Brainerd has the largest team in the nation with 150 members. Out of these 150 members, 10 are girls. But what we lack in numbers, we make up for in in enthusiasm.

PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON 6 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook





a CaitlinM




Team Fishing is catching on!

Brainerd has the largest fishing team in the nation with 150 members including these 10 female anglers. Like us us on on Facebook Facebook •• Spring Spring 2018 2018 || her her voice voice 77 Like

Go ! h s Fi a Teag



“Most girls like fishing but don’t want to join the team, and I think they should.” - Layla 8 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook 8 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

Today’s students are looking for new opportunities. Not everyone is great at basketball, baseball and softball. Fishing gives students the chance to be on a team, represent their school and be competitive. The season begins in April, but most of the fishing tournaments occur in the summer against other high school fishing teams on lakes throughout Minnesota. These tournaments are similar to professional fishing tournaments; however, there are no cash prizes or boats given away when you win. When you do really well, you earn the chance to compete at the state tournament, or even nationals where you fish against the very competitive southern states. While we are all members on the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team, we can’t all fit in one boat. We organize into several smaller Warrior teams. Each team is responsible for finding their own boat. While many students have access to family boats, others need to ask friends, neighbors, or relatives to borrow a boat. Finally, each team needs to find a captain for their boat. This is an adult who will drive you to your location and give you tips; they just can’t fish alongside you. In the winter, the Warrior Fishing Team competes against each other; we call it a team tournament. Categories include largest perch, walleye, northerns and crappies. Every year during the summer we hold a catfish/sucker competition throughout our team and its where you try to catch your biggest fish. In this competition your grades and GPA will give you more inches to your fish, and may even bump you up another place. This team does a lot of volunteer work. We help with the Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake. We also help out at the outdoor youth expo out by the trapshooting range.

We hand out waters and help out on the finish lines in some running races and every year they hold a learn-tofish for kids so our team goes out and help them learn and fish with them. I interviewed a girl on our team named Layla and I asked her how she got started in fishing. She said, “I started when I was little, and in fourth grade, I heard about the fishing team and I wanted to join bad. When asked why she liked being on the team, Layla said, “Well, I love being on the team because I get to fish with one of my best friends and be competitive.” I asked her what her favorite part of fishing was and she said, “I love catching big fish and fishing with my dad, brother Alex and my best friend.” Layla said fishing is a great sport for girls because “it’s a chance for girls to beat the boys, and have a great time. Most girls like fishing but don’t want to join the team, and I think they should.” I am looking forward to next summer and being on the fishing team. Some goals I have for the future

include: being in the top three for largest catfish/sucker division, placing high in a tournament and hopefully winning a chance to go to nationals, beat my personal best bass weight of 3 pounds, have a pro angler captain a tournament for me and to just continue to fish.


CaitlinMae Hamilton is an eighth grader at Forestview Middle School. She enjoys hunting and fishing and has been a member of the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team for three years. Besides hunting and fishing you will find CaitlinMae swimming for the YMCA Dolphin Swim Team and also the Brainerd Warrior Swim Team. She is a pianist and also plays the clarinet. CaitlinMae is looking toward traveling to Ecuador with more than 35 other local eighth graders and fishing in many tournaments around Minnesota this summer.

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+ fun runs


I have always described myself as a want-

to-be runner. I run a bit. I walk a bit. I take pictures. And I socialize at such events. I have been doing it this way for about four years, when I first thought that running would be something I would like to try. These runs you see popping up all over are often for a good cause, and I moved out of my chair and did something positive for me and perhaps for my community. Most of these events are set up for all levels, from the diehards going for the best time to those who run a bit (or not) and walk it. As I always say, I may not be fast, but I will finish. Often you will receive a shirt or a jacket for participating in these runs; some offer more bling such as medals. Running events are so trendy now. They are everywhere, and they are fun. It is a good way to get together with friends or family and do something together and good for you. If you are interested in giving these runs a try (and I hope you are), here are a few for you to consider. You can also find sites online such as and which list runs and events for wherever you may be. I no longer think of myself as a want-to-be runner. I get out there and I do it. I am a runner. 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.

e r e h t t u o Get ! t i o d d n a 10 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook 10 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

Clover Dash

March 17, Crosslake

Susan G. Komen’s Race For A Cure

Kick off your St Patrick’s Day with a morning run. This event in Crosslake is on its fifth year and consists of a 3.1-mile loop in the Crosslake Town Square. Participants are encouraged to wear their green and every registered participant by March 1 will receive an event shirt. Top runners in each age category will receive awards. After the run, you can stick around to experience the parade and other festivities for the day.

June 30, Baxter

Run For The Lakes

Paul Bunyan Extreme

Right in our own backyard, Run For The Lakes quite literally has something for everyone. The two days include everything from a fun run for kids, a walk/run 5k to a full marathon. They even offer participation for those who cannot be there. The run takes place between back roads of Nisswa to the Paul Bunyan Trail. Sponsored by the Brainerd Jaycees, this series of runs draws in close to 1,500 people. The run includes an event shirt.

Looking to try something with a little more adventure? The Paul Bunyan Extreme is an obstacle run with 20 obstacles along the route to enhance your experience. Family friendly, you can register as individuals or as a team. You will get muddy! This event includes a metal and a shirt. Proceeds go to support Mount Ski Gull.

April 27-28, Nisswa

On its 19th year, the Susan G. Komen’s Race For A Cure is a 1K or 5k walk/run event that raises funds for breast cancer research. They also invest in their local communities towards early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Participants will receive race shirts, refreshments and be entered in all giveaways. This event starts at Forestview Middle School.

July 14, Nisswa

Stride & Seek

May 26, Brainerd Something new this way comes! This new run is a run and a scavenger hunt. Teams of two will receive a list of clues and challenges to find and complete in the area and have a set amount of time to do it. This run will start and end at Roundhouse Brewery. Costumes encouraged, not required. Swag includes an event shirt and an adult beverage at the completion of your run as well as drawings for all who participate. Proceeds from this event will go to support Camp Benedict.

Other runs later in 2018

Sour Grapes TBA, Brainerd Run For Hope Sept. 15, Nisswa Turkey Run Nov. 22, Brainerd


When you join the Y, you’re committing to more

than simply becoming healthier. You are supporting the values and programs that strengthen your community.

For more than a workout. For a better us.


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HER HEALTH + autism

Autism It’s More Than You Think



Many have heard the name of this diverse disorder. Many know of certain telltale behaviors, but few know much beyond that, and even fewer know the struggles that come with living on the autism spectrum.

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Often autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized as odd behaviors such as difficulty communicating or forming relationships, as well as the struggle to grasp abstract concepts and language caused by a miswiring of the brain that affects approximately one in 68 people. Because ASD completely changes the world belonging to a person with autism, it’s hard for another to look subjectively from the lense through which they see. Autism is so distinctly different that it becomes easiest to label it as such as well as weird, strange or wrong. It isn’t though no matter how odd those on the autism spectrum may at times appear, especially when placed next to those who are not. Taken as its own entity, it is in the core nature of autism to jar against that which is commonplace. Not in an attempt to be difficult, but for the sole purpose of

accommodating an incongruous mind whose needs are not in line with the majority. A borderline obsessive fascination with specific topics or objects is commonly seen in those on the spectrum and can bring them significant joy that may appear overzealous to someone with little understanding of ASD. They may also have strong reactions to change and the desire to control several aspects of their lives as though that were the only possible way. Many with ASD have this compulsive need to dominate things from where objects are placed to what the topic of conversation is. This could quite possibly be to install a sense of security and control to their surroundings

“[Autism]...a miswiring of the brain that affects approximately one in 68 people.” they do not feel within themselves. The movements often seen in people with autism -- running, spinning, rocking -- are techniques to calm down in a situation that is creating too much excitement which happens rather often as those with ASD can easily become overstimulated and anxious. This is due to the hyperactivity of the nervous system in those with autism. Anita Cox, who spent the majority of her career as an Educational


of normal. Yes, he has his quirks, but I just see him as perfect the way he is. He shouldn’t be labeled as anything less than what’s acceptable.” People on the spectrum often must be taught the minute things that come naturally to others through simple maturity. Basic and proper social skills may be developed through rigorous teaching and trial and error, and even afterwards would likely be practiced with difficulty and constant


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Autism Awareness Month is April

Assistant with the Brainerd School District, working with students with ASD, said, “There’s nothing wrong with how they behave. They have their reasons and that’s all we need to know.” When talking about her younger brother who is on the autism spectrum, high school student Amy (whose name has been changed to protect privacy) said, “That’s just who he is. There shouldn’t be a definition

Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 13

“I, over the years,” said Cox, about her years with children on the spectrum, “have gotten just as much, if not more, from them as they’ve gotten from me.” Amy said, when asked how autism has affected her family’s lives for the better, “He’s taught our whole family how to be more patient and accepting.” ASD is not something wrong or in need of repair, no more than those with it. In many ways, autism is a gift to not only those on the spectrum, but those fortunate enough to have them in their lives, to learn with and to grow with.

Grace LePage is 16 years old and a junior at Brainerd High School. She is an avid reader and writer and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (or Asperger’s) when she was in middle school.



218 • 961 • 0095


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self-awareness. Some learn very little in the way of interaction and lack many social graces which can make them appear removed. Amy’s younger brother is nine years old and still is learning more about how to interact with others. There is an illusion that those with ASD are apathetic and devoid of strong emotions due to how some conduct themselves socially. This misconception does the entire community a great injustice. One could argue to the contrary, that a person with ASD feels too much physically and emotionally because of their heightened sensitivity to stimuli as well as their tendency to be vulnerable in situations they don’t understand, but there are wires crossing in the brain and they often lack the ability to properly express and cope with those feelings. ASD is not something easily concealed or overcome and it’s unreasonable to suggest those with autism be the ones to change as a means to serve the preferences of others. If as-

similating were a possibility, many on the spectrum would no doubt take it. It is a trying thing, to live in a society so consumed with an image when you yourself do not fit that mold and are virtually unable to conform to it. Much of our individual identity is predicated upon how we are seen by others, so to be someone who is more often than not facing social rejection, it is easy for the question to spawn, “What is wrong with me?” And there may be the greatest crime born from this ostracization, that they believe they are the problem when they are living only by the truth they know. And also still they are trying to morph into something they are not so as to appease the society that has so cruelly and consistently rejected them. It’s beyond a person’s control to be born on the spectrum, but it is not beyond the abilities of another to open their mind to acceptance when met with something as staggeringly unique as autism.


[ People with ASD] often lack the ability to properly express and cope with those feelings.


HER STORY + pageant

Miss Minnesota Bringing the Pageant to Brainerd BY SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER

When it comes to beauty pageants

in the Brainerd lakes area, Vicki Randall is queen. Randall and her husband, Bill Musel, operate the Miss Minnesota pageant as part of the Miss United States scholarship program. While many pageant programs tend to focus on talent, the Miss United States program is platform and community-service based. “There’s a great chance you have seen our girls around town — we get them involved in as much as we possibly can,” Randall said.

Bill Musel (left) and Vicki Randall operate the Miss Minnesota pageant.

For Randall, the passion for pageantry started when she was very young. She holds the title for Miss Brainerd 1977, but that wasn’t even her first crown. “I was actually in fifth grade,” Randall explained. “That’s when the bug started.” As an elementary student, Randall entered the area’s “Our Little Miss” pageant and for her talent portion, gave a speech about the American flag while dressed as Uncle Sam. After years of involvement in the area’s pageant world, Randall moved to Texas and started another career. Thirteen years later, she was back in the lakes area and found the area’s pageant programs were reduced to nothing. “I remember watching the Fourth of July parade and there was no Miss Brainerd,” Randall recalled. “It just made me really sad.” Unwilling to sit by, Randall and Musel, who were dating at the time, began scheming a way to bring the tradition of pageantry back to the area. Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 15

“I don’t like to be called handicapped — I just don’t like that word.” - Heather Aanes (center).

Kylie Christenson practices her interview skills with coach Jimmy Langhoff

The Miss Minnesota pageant recently ranked No. 8 in the nation for 2017 Emily Johnson, Miss Brainerd Teen United States, attended practice.

Through connections with Brainerd High School, where Musel is employed, as well as Community Education, Musel worked with Randall to help bring the pageant circuit back to Brainerd. “I was only supposed to help her for the year,” Musel said. “The one year turned into 15 years.” After nearly a decade under the Miss America program, Randall and Musel moved their pageant to Miss United States. “We saw way more opportunity, plus the opportunity to crown girls of all ages,” Randall said. Participants in the Miss Minnesota pageant range from age 0 to 30plus who compete in seven different categories — Little Miss, PreTeen, Junior Teen, Teen, Miss, Ms., Ms. Woman and Mrs. (for 21-plus married women). The Miss Minnesota pageant recently ranked No. 8 in the nation for 2017, according to The Pageant Planet, a national and international online pageant coaching business, holds its state pageant in Brainerd. Along with the pageant award, Musel and Randall were named in the Top 10 for State Pageant Directors, ranking No. 6. Currently, the program holds only Miss Brainerd and Miss Baxter pag-

16 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

eants leading to state, but hope as the programs grow so will the number of pageants. Girls must be registered in the Brainerd school district to compete. Winners receive a $4,500 scholarship provided by both Brainerd and Baxter Lions Clubs, plus their fee to compete at the state level is waived. Randall said Minnesota is not a big pageant state compared to others, but momentum is growing. “It’s really fun to hear Minnesota’s name called at the national level,” Randall said. “It’s a lot of work to get to that point.” Randall and Musel, said girls enter the pageants for a variety of reasons. For many, it’s the opportunity to step out of their box -- try something new. For others it’s about growing as a public speaker and building confidence or winning scholarships. “The shiny-blingy stuff is always a good draw, too,” Randall said. For Heather Aanes, the Miss Minnesota pageant has been life-changing. Aanes is not the typical pageant participant. She just started competing in June. She uses a wheelchair. And she’s a mom. Aanes’s daughter, Ava showed interest in participating so Aanes

reached out to Randall and Musel to find out how to get started. The more she heard, the more her interest grew. “I read that there were several levels in other age groups and I thought, ‘Hey I want to do this,” Aanes recalled. In 2001, after the birth of her first child, Aanes was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Three years ago, Aanes’ deteriorating mobility forced her to use a wheelchair, opening her eyes to a whole world of disservice against people who require handicapped accessibility. “I don’t like to be called handicapped — I just don’t like that word,” Aanes said. Armed with her own experience and a literal platform to share her story, Aanes has used the Miss Minnesota pageant to bring awareness to the need for accessibility improvement throughout the lakes area. She has teamed with onetime Miss Minnesota winner, Quinn Nystrom, to help make businesses aware of available grant funding as well as meeting with lawmakers and community leaders on the need to improve the current requirements. “I just ask people to imagine themselves in the same position I find myself in,” Aanes said. Aanes credits Randall and Musel with helping her find her voice and passion to make a real impact on her commu-

doing that for others is huge -- especially in our community here.”

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 drop-out, 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.


nity. She said even in competing in the pageant, Musel made sure there were no problems with getting Aanes’ chair on the stage. “I wouldn’t have done it if it has not been for Bill (Musel) and Vicki (Randall),” she said. “In more than one way, they made this a possibility for me.” For Randall and Musel, the draw continues to be providing opportunities for girls of all ages. “The opportunities people gave me changed my life, “ Randall said. “The thought of

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

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Christy Tobin holds her award from Nintendo for “Excellence in gaming and the achievement of becoming a finalist for Nintendo World Championships 2017.”

Christy TobinBee r e l l i K w o l l e Y AKA

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HER STORY + gaming

Generating Buzz by Speedrunning Toward Humanitarianism BY CARISSA ANDREWS

We need more

joy and humanitarianism in this world. The funny thing is, it doesn’t always take a grand gesture and deep pockets to make a difference. Sometimes, it just takes some self-proclaimed “nerds” and “geeks” to band together toward a common cause -- and have fun doing it. Speedrunning (playing a video game through to the end as fast as possible) may be an obscure form of gaming, but it’s one Christy Tobin has fallen in love with. Until this very article, you may never have heard about it before, but speedrunning is more than a pastime for those like Tobin; it’s a passion. It can also bring about some impressive momentum toward positive change when used wisely.

YellowKillerBee: The Origin Story We know her as Christy around the Brainerd lakes area. Savvy business woman. Talented graphic designer. However, in the speedrunning circuits these days, she’s better known as YellowKillerBee – and she’s also got some mad skills when it comes to video games. Tobin started gaming the way most people do, as a wide-eyed kid, ready to take on the latest console. For her, this meant settling in with the original Nintendo console, since she was brought up

Fans watch Tobin play games on Twitch, a live video streaming site.

right in the thick of the gaming boom. From the moment the family got their Nintendo, both she and her older brother would play together for hours. Her love of gaming grew alongside her brother’s, which developed further into building computers together as the two of them got older. Because gaming hadn’t been around long, by the time she was in college for Communication Art & Design, she began to think, “Maybe I’m done with gaming.” After all, most people assumed gaming was just for kids. It wasn’t until early 2014, when Tobin got involved with Twitch (a social video service for gamers), that

Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 19

Tobin uses a different background with the use of a green screen.

she stumbled upon someone playing and finishing Zelda super quick. She checked it out for nostalgia’s sake, but she was blown away by the way the speedrunner broke the game in unintended ways -- racing through and getting to locations before you’re even meant to. Shortly after, she learned about Games Done Quick, a series of charity speedrunning marathon events. Thus, the rise of YellowKillerBee was set into motion. When asked where the screen name YellowKillerBee came from, Tobin had to laugh. “I need to make up a more fun story,” she said. “I was signing up for eBay, like way back when it just started, but I was too late to the game to sign up for a normal name. I figured if I just picked a color, and an animal and put those two together, it would work. It’s been my backup user name ever since.”

Games Done Quick 2014 was a monumental year for YellowKillerBee’s spreedrunning endeavors. Not only did she decide to start streaming her own speedrunning adventures on Twitch, but she vowed to take part in one of the Games Done Quick marathons. It was good timing, too. That year, GDQ moved one of its events to Minneapolis from Colorado. So, of course, she signed up to participate.

With an impressive amount of gaming and production equipment, Tobin is a serious gamer.

“Do what you love - but also have it be something where you’re helping the community and the world.” - YellowKillerBee Not only did she speedrun at the event, she was also convinced to volunteer during the slow times -- which gave her a much broader perspective of the event. It got her out of her comfort zone, but when all was said and done, it may very well have been fate stepping in.

Nintendo World Championship 2017 This year, YellowKillerBee was tapped by Nintendo to be one of just eight people invited to participate in the 2017 Nintendo World Championships. A grand total of 24 people participated, but the other 16 all had to qualify for their spots. At first, Tobin wasn’t too sure about the email she got, though. She was messaged through Twitch and Facebook, and her initial reaction was, “This is Ed from Nintendo—yea, sure it is.” But something in the back of her mind told her to check into it. After doing some digging, she obviously found the message to be legit, and naturally,

20 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

she responded. As it turns out, pushing past her comfort zone to participate and volunteer in the 2014 Games Done Quick marathon yielded some powerful rewards. She got on Nintendo’s radar at that event, thanks to the larger presence she’d had at Games Done Quick. In fact, it was what got her shortlisted to be one of the two speedrunners invited. The event took place in New York City this past October, but only those closest to her knew she was picked until just a few weeks beforehand, thanks to Nintendo’s no disclosure agreement to keep everything a surprise. While YellowKillerBee didn’t win the competition, she enjoyed being able to hang out backstage to finish out the event and cheer her fellow competitors on.

Speedrunning to Humanitarianism What began as a way to relive the nostalgia of older games, speedrun-

ning has now turned into a passion capable of inciting change for those less fortunate. Not only does Christy play for fun, but she continues to participate in the Games Done Quick Speedrunning Marathons, which actually raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This year she also hosted her own charity event on her Twitch Channel to raise funds alongside WorldBuilders, which raises money for Heifer International. For every $30 donated, Christy donated a beehive to families in need -- an apt gift, indeed. While her event brought in nearly $500, she, along with all the other participating “Geeks Doing Good” partners, raised a whopping $1,225,357 for Heifer International. Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer and graphic designer, as well as the young adult science fiction author of the Pendomus Chronicles. You can learn more about Carissa at her website:

? e v i h e h t n i o Ready to j on the

KillerBee he w o ll e Y ollow on t You can f ites and/or get in s following anitarian action: Hum om

lerbee.c e yellowkil wkillerbe Website: c it w .t w ttps://ww lerbee hannel: h /yellowkil C m h o c c r. it w te T lerbee ttps://twit /yellowkil m o .c Twitter: h k o o ww.faceb https://w : k o o b e Fac c.nintend w /n :/ s p nship: htt .com Champio onequick d d s rl e o m W a o s://g Nintend ithoutbord uick: http w Q rs e to n c o o D Games p://www.d ventcanc rders: htt re o B /p :/ t s u p o tt h :h Wit rg undation Doctors uilders.o ancer Fo C t n e ://worldb v s p tt Pre h : r. rs e eif org ilde s://www.h WorldBu p tt h l: a n ternatio Heifer In

Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 21 Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 21

HER CAREER + clinic

Nurse practitioner Rhoda Rees, (sitting), and Dr. Jennifer Arnhold, obstetrician/gynecologist provide care at Embrace. A first-of-its kind clinic in the Brainerd lakes area, and the first women only clinic operated by Tri-County Health Care.


Embrace Women’s Health Clinic in Baxter BY JODIE TWEED

Walk into Embrace Women’s Clinic in

and you’ll be asked to slip into a cozy

Baxter and you may think you’ve acci-

terry-cloth robe, a significant upgrade

dentally stepped into a spa. You’re invit-

from the paper gowns with a gaping

ed to a cup of coffee, tea or water from

hole in the back used in most doctors’

the coffee bar and a complementary

offices. The exam table pillows have

lip balm. Head back into an exam room

cloth, not paper, pillowcases on them.

22 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

practical nurse, and Rhoda Rees, a nurse practitioner, who together see the majority of patients at the clinic. Dr. Jennifer Arnhold, obstetrician/gynecologist, provides gynecological care, specializing in minimally invasive gynecological surgery, which is performed at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena. Arnhold is at the clinic one day a week. She is in surgery at the Wadena hospital three days a week.

“It’s more personal and more spa-like than a regular clinic.” -Andrea Youngbauer What sets Embrace Women’s Clinic apart from other health clinics is its warm, intimate environment geared to women and girls. The clinic, which opened Aug. 8, 2016, isn’t an exclusive private medical boutique. The Baxter clinic is owned and operated by Tri-County Health Care, the Wadenabased healthcare system that accepts all major types of health insurance. It’s a clinic for women managed and operated by women. The clinic’s goal is to reach women and girls who want a personalized healthcare experience. The clinic is staffed by all female healthcare providers — Andrea Youngbauer, a licensed

When a patient visits Embrace, they’ll see the same healthcare professionals each visit. Youngbauer says this allows her to truly get to know her patients. There is also a sense of privacy there, too, since it’s a small clinic on Elder Drive in Baxter that caters to only girls and women with no foot traffic from other businesses or medical offices. “I have some patients who come in and give me a hug,” says Youngbauer. “It’s more personal. They get more time with their providers. They’re definitely not a number when they walk in the door. I’ve never seen anything like it myself. It’s more personal and

Embrace Women’s Health Clinic offers the following care: • Well woman exams • Breast examination • Consults/Second opinions • Contraceptive counseling • Menopause/hormone management • Hormone replacement therapy • Endometriosis management • Abnormal uterine bleeding evaluations • Uterine fibroid treatment

• Infertility • Incontinence management • Abnormal pap smear evaluations • Ovarian cyst and pelvic pain evaluations

Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 23

“I love my patients and I love my space here.” -Rhoda Rees more spa-like than a regular clinic.” “It’s not rushed here,” Rees explains. “That’s one of the highlights here. I’m able to get to know them.” Rees, who worked at the Mayo Clinic for 22 years before moving to the Brainerd lakes area in 2013, says Embrace Clinic has been a great fit for her. She specialized in women’s health while at Mayo Clinic. She’s seen patients from their teens and into their 90s at Embrace. She’s hoping to see more teen patients since this is the age group she frequently worked with at Mayo. The wait time is short or non-existent at Embrace. If patients need to schedule a quick flu shot or a sudden

visit about a medical concern on their lunch break, they can usually do this on the same day, says Youngbauer. The clinic offers a holistic approach to women’s healthcare. The clinic’s mission is to reduce the barriers as to why women don’t visit healthcare providers regularly. Often they are busy taking care of their families, and don’t take the time to take care of themselves. Embrace empowers them to take control of their healthcare and help them live a healthy, full life, through puberty, menopause and beyond. Rees says the clinic’s holistic philosophy allows her to spend more time talking to patients, including those who are struggling with mental health issues. If patients need medication for depression or anxiety, or simply need someone in the medical field they trust to turn to, she is there to help. Rees jokes that Embrace is much like the slogan for the former television show, “Cheers.” It’s a place

where “everybody knows your name.” “I absolutely love it,” Rees says. “I love my patients and I love my space here.” Embrace Women’s Clinic does not offer prenatal, labor and delivery services because it is a clinic, not a 24-hour staffed hospital. First-time patients who are interested in making an appointment can call 218454-1754. On your first visit, clinic staff can help you have your medical records transferred over. Most patients just need to sign a form. The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Jodie Tweed is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Pequot Lakes with her husband, Nels, a photographer, and their three daughters. A former longtime Brainerd Dispatch reporter, she now writes regularly for several publications, provides copywriting services for businesses and serves as editor of Lake Country Journal magazine.

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HER PASSION + car club

Women of the Minnesota Street Rod Association BY JEN SALVEVOLD

MSRA is short for Minnesota Street Rod Association. What is MSRA besides the largest club in the nation? It’s a Minnesota group of dedicated auto enthusiasts whose purpose is to unite its members and to promote the mutual interest in the hobby and sport of street rodding. The local auto club is NTSRA named Northern Tin Street Rod Association. Other auto groups and events they partake in are Country Road Classics & Topless Tuesdays. The groups believe in and follow the 4 Fs; Friends, Food, Fun and Fellowship. The four Fs may need to add a fifth word: Females! What do you think, ladies? Mickey Gallant, Brainerd Though walking through the vintage cars, trucks and the crowd of congregators, you mostly see men; I was able to find Mickey Gallant standing out in the crowd. She is the wife of MSRA member and Northern Tin President Merle Gallant. Along with seeking out Mickey, I was able to interview five amazing women that don’t let stereotypes weigh them down, as all attend and drive classics to the MSRA events for the local NTSRA.

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Natalie Tillman, McGregor She was sporting a 1950 Chevy pick-up that she alone drove to the MSRA event. All original paint and patina, it was a beauty. Though her late husband built the truck for her, she has done a lot of work on the truck herself. I was told by one of the other women that Natalie knows more about working on classics than some of the men there. Natalie has attended 12-15 shows, and has been a member for about three years.

Karen Bruce, Pequot Lakes

Since husband’s passing, she has taken full responsibility and upkeep for the 1946 Ford Deluxe Coupe she drives. Her husband always loved that she drove and he wanted more women to be involved with MRSA, and just loving classic vehicles in general. Many times, even recently, she hears comments when she pulls into an event like, “It’s a woman” and “You’re a woman!” She also likes to see the women smiling and the men with their mouths hanging open as she pulls in behind the wheel. I need to talk with this lady more one of these times. She has lots of stories!

26 her hervoice voice||Spring Spring2018 2018••Share Shareyour yourvoice voicewith withus uson onFacebook Facebook 26

Jeanie Thompson, Aitkin

The woman whose eyes match her 1932 T Bucket Ford Roadster, in a gorgeous shiny blue (the original color being yellow). Coincidence? The vehicle has been in her family since 1985. She also had with her a 1965 camper for the overnight. In 1974 her late husband had joined and they attended events with the kids for years after that. To this day, she’s keeping up with the tradition and continues going to the events.

Sharon Lake, Aitkin

A woman who is living her dream. Why you may ask? Her husband bought her the car of her dreams, a 1962 Ford Falcon, in the color teal. This is the car she drove to the show. It was bought just this past year and she cried because she was so happy! She said, “Dreams do come true!” She is also a member of the NTSRA. She came with her husband to the MSRA event, but in separate vehicles, his and hers, per se.

Jody Studniski, Aitkin She and her husband have been buying vehicles as anniversary gifts and work on them together. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air (photo), was for their 25th anniversary. Their 20th anniversary was a 1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible and their 30th was a 1952 Chevy pick-up. They have been in car clubs 12 to 15 years, Jody figured. Jen Salvevold is 44, married, with twins in college and a junior in high school. She resides in Brainerd and her photo studio operates in Pequot Lakes. She is the owner and photographer of {Photojenic} Photography Studio & Photo Gallery, which was established within her first year of college in 2012.

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HER CAREER + dance

Savanna Oberfeld (left), and Steph Robertson. PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON

The Dancing Queens of Music General—

Sue Kuhn


Miss Sue, as her students refer to her, is the talented and energetic force behind the Company Line dance program. She is an inspiring teacher and mentor to students who are commitThis is the second installment of a two-part story about two dancing queens at Music General (Amy Borash, Part I, and Sue Kuhn, Part II). Sue Kuhn is the owner and director of the dance studio at Music General.

ted to refining their skills as artists and athletes to perform and compete regionally and nationally.

28 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

Seniors (L to R): Steph Robertson, Megan Miller and Savanna Oberfeld.

“If you want to grow confident young women, they have to feel worth...” -Sue Kuhn for competitions, but workshops. To address this, Sue recruited a core of professional dance teachers to travel to Brainerd and provide workshops specifically for her students at the studio. In the spring of 1996, students won high point awards for the first time at Regionals in St. Paul. Parents and students were thrilled and decided to travel to Kansas that summer to compete at Nationals. The 8- and 9-year-old tap group “Barney Google” took first place

high point award for all dancers 12 and under - a dance choreographed by Sue. The studio soon had a group of kids who were inspired to do well and parents to support the process. Competitive dance takes a lot of hard work and parents are instrumental in keeping kids motivated and supported while they are building skills in the classical education of jazz, tap and ballet. The company line dancers practice two or three times a week. Sue brings in guest teachers/choreographers so that students can learn from some of the best in the business. Some include Mike Minery, one of the finest tap dancers working today; Jen Silvas, an accomplished jazz dancer, teacher and worldwide performer; and Melody Lacayanga, a world class performer who was top female dancer in season one of the popular television dance show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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Fifty-eight dancers ages 6-18 will attend three competitions in the Twin Cities in March and April 2018. Twentythree dancers from the teen and senior group will also travel to Florida in March to take classes and compete among hundreds of dancers from all over the country. What you might not know is they will likely return with awards, a sense of pride, confidence and a broader view of the world and themselves. “It’s taken years to build the dance program we have,” said Kuhn. Sue and her husband Dan opened Music General in 1979. Dan developed the music, lighting and production part of the business while Sue developed the dance studio. In 1987, Sue entered students in their first dance competition in Minneapolis. Sue recalls, “The girls were like deer caught in the headlights. They had not seen so many kids or expensive costumes before. The experience encouraged them to work harder in class.” Sue discovered she could keep students interested in dance longer and improve faster with competition. She said, “Practice gets boring, but competition is motivating.” “The dads understood competition and so they got into it. Families saw how good this was for their kids and wanted the program to continue,” she continued. Distance, time and expense of traveling were issues for the families, not only

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218-825-0522 • 307 NW 6th Street, Brainerd, MN 56401 Like us on Facebook • Spring 2018 | her voice 29

Some might ask, “What are you ever going to do with dance?” Sue responded, “Well, let me tell you about the girls who graduate from the program. They are the girls who get college scholarships; students’ colleges are seeking them out because they can manage time. They are confident young women who present themselves in a polished way because they have been on stage. They know how to speak to adults because they’ve had a variety of experiences outside of Brainerd.” Kuhn continued. “They have learned to work as a team, and to compete in a healthy way. The world needs to see there is value in this. If you want to grow confident young women, they have to

“Sue begins her class with advice and ends with a life lesson.” -Sylvia Borash

feel worth. They have to know they have something special that they don’t need to seek in someone or something else.” Sylvia Borash, a recent graduate of the program and now dance teacher and Bemidji college student, raved about Sue. “Sue is more than a dance teacher. She is a support system, mentor and mother. Sue begins her class with advice and ends with a life lesson.” This year, three seniors, Megan Miller, Savanna Oberfeld and Steph Robertson, will graduate after 14 years of dance with Sue. “I have gained much more than dance! I’m confident and the friendships I’ve made, through the studio and opportunities Sue has given me, have been an amazing source of support and motivation,” Miller said. Sue is teaching much more than dancing and her passion is evident as she spoke about empowering girls into capable young women. “Give girls something special, something they have to work for, something

Sue (center), with her dance line.

that keeps them involved, a group to connect with, stand behind them, help them and what you end up with is amazing,” Sue said.

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.

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30 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook






- Patti Hansen

- Sheila DeChantal


Discover - Brenda Norr Whirley


YOUR VOICE + your word

Words to

- Lisa Kemble Sheppard



- Angie DeRosier Simmonds

- Becky Flansburg


- Barb Gmitro-Best

In our last issue Sheila

Balance - Amy Wallin Price

- Jen Frayseth Salvevold



DeChantal shared her new tradition of finding a word to represent the new year. We were very excited about this and asked readers to share their words with us. Enjoy!

- Deb Marvin

Radiate -Tena Pettis

- Rachel Norwood

- Gracie Charms


- Christi Varga-Powell


- Jodi Daugherty

Find us on Facebook: Her Voice Magazine and watch for opportunities to share your voice with us!




Decide - Jill O’Connor Anderson

- Stacie Baumler Gorkow

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Her Table + DIY


Beeswax is water-repellant and has antibacterial properties, making it perfect for food storage. Plastic wrap is wasteful and unhealthy to use for containing food products. The chemicals in plastic can leach toxins into your food, sometimes causing unfortunate health issues. These beeswax wraps are easy to make, easy to use and reusable. They are an effective, safe and budget friendly alternative to wrapping your food with plastic wrap. They can even be folded or sewn into sandwich bags.

1. • Preheat oven to 185 degrees • Cut fabric into desired sizes


• Organic Beeswax Pellets • 100% Cotton Fabric • Cookie Sheet • Paintbrush • Parchment Paper (optional)

4. • Hang to dry

32 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

2. • Place fabric on cookie sheet (for easier clean-up cover cookie sheet with parchment paper) • Sprinkle fabric with beeswax pellets

5. • Once cooled, you can use them. Just put over a dish and then press. The warmth of your hand will set it in place.

Do you have a neat DIY you would like to share? Send it in and your project could be featured in Her Voice. Mail to: Her Voice Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974 Brainerd, MN 56401 Email: Sarah Herron is a mother of two hockey players and one princess. When she is not living at the hockey arena, she enjoys reading, playing games and spending time outdoors. She recently moved to Pequot Lakes and is anxious to explore the trails this spring.


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6. • To reuse, rinse with cool water with mild soap. They will last for several months of regular usage

Januar y 3 – July Januar y 3 – July 18, 2018

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*See store associate for rebate form with complete details. Only valid at participating KitchenAid brand retailers. Rebate in the form of a KitchenAid brand Visa® prepaid card by mail. Additional terms and conditions apply. ®/™ ©2018 KitchenAid. All rights reserved. To learn more about the entire KitchenAid brand line, please visit CCP-24182

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18, 2018


• Place in heated oven for 5 minutes, or until beeswax begins to melt • Remove from oven and, with the paintbrush, spread beeswax evenly over fabric

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Like us on Facebook • Spring • 218-829-3624

2018 | her voice 33




“Five shoes: three in the house, two in the car and none of them have a match. None of them.” -Lisa Henry

Not so long ago, I remember hiding in my garage sobbing into the phone to my sister out of frustration. “They just... I can’t even...then I turn around...with the mess on the floor...and all over the dog...then I try...and I...but then…”

My brain was so completely overwhelmed, I swore I could hear the sizzles and pops of the short circuits. “‘It gets easier,’” my sister Kelli told me. “It REALLY does,” she emphasized­. Kelli was a year younger than me but with five more years of mom experience under her belt. We both have three kids all about the same span in ages. Her reassurance was comforting to hear. I wanted to vent some more, but it was too quiet inside. I wiped my tears on the end of my sleeve, then took a deep breath and put on my best cool, calm “mom face.” I walked back in rapidly scanning for any signs of disaster. They were all watching cartoons. Quietly. Phew! It wasn’t the first time I had heard the phrase, ‘It gets easier.’ Other seasoned moms told me the same thing. It wasn’t until my fiance, John, and I took Marin (my oldest) and our two younger girls, Nora and Ivy, to their cousin Luca’s

“‘I’m going in my hands m to wash om.’ I walked in an this. Ummm d saw mm...”

1st birthday that I realized that somehow, somewhere along the line, it HAD gotten easier! I watched little Luca dig his little fingers into his Jell-O cup and glob it all over the couch as his mom, Adrianne, was tending to his two-year-old sister, Natalie. I swooped in, grateful to help. After I got

ie “Ivy and Charl rs the dog. Partne in crime.”

“This was their idea. I considered keeping them in there, but the poor dog wanted to get out, ha ha ha!”

him wiped up, he was off and toddling again. He was headed toward his grandma, Aixa, but took a detour over to some little glass figurines. None of us were quick enough. Crash! One broke. As his mom and grandma cleaned up the glass, I took him over to the table to sit (yeah, right). He was standing on my lap reaching for everything he possibly could. I made some silly faces and sounds to occupy him. It was coming back to me. I thought, “‘Oh yeah, I remember these days.’” He

giggled. I did too. His mom looked exhausted, but happy as she lit his candles and gave him a big kiss on his puffy little baby cheeks. Later, Adrianne and I were at the table alone while the dads took the little ones outside. We shared some of our crazy mom moments. I was able to finally say “It gets easier. It REALLY does.” I hope the phrase was reassuring to her like it was to me when I heard it. On the way home, John and I talked about the realization that things had gotten easier. We talked about how everything seemed so chaotic just two years ago. We laughed as we shared some of

34 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook

our favorite stories. I looked in the rearview mirror to see all three girls sound asleep. Then, I realized the next thing you always hear moms say: “‘Hold on to these moments. It goes by so fast.’” I promise I will.

Lisa Henry is a mother of three active girls who keep her on her toes! She enjoys writing about their antics and says she has learned to just laugh off the small stuff.

Some of the photos are from my Facebook posts over the years.

My Mom always said: Donna Whalen: “If you have your health, you have everything!” Sherry Nuness: “Don’t ever live with a man before marrying him. He won’t buy the cow if he can get the milk free. “ Melody Panek: “I kid you not!” Rachel Duda Woodhouse: “Hold tight to your faith, it will keep

We asked our Facebook friends to share something their mom always said.

Kate Ward: “I love you, a bushel and a peck.”

Chelsey Marie: “Bedtime for Bonzo,” when it was time for us to go to bed. I didn’t know until later it was the title of a 1951 Ronald Reagan film about a chimp named Bonzo. I still say it to my dog though when I’m putting him to bed.”

Sandy Wilson Wickberg: “Don’t you tell me you don’t care-people who don’t care wind up in jail!”

Lisa Henry: “You might hate each other now, but when you grow up, you and your sisters will be best friends.”

Sarah Herron: “Mothers know EVERYTHING!”

Ashly Gilson: “Be kind, you never know what someone else is going through.”

you strong! Helped me through so much and believe!” Patricia Whalen: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Jess Vealetzek: “It takes seconds to break someone’s trust and can take a lifetime to get it back, so think twice before lying.” Linda J Hurst: “The family that ____ together, stays together.” Jill Wasson: “A place for everything and everything in its place!” DeLynn Howard: “We’re making memories!”


Nancy Cross: “...You can fall in love with a rich man as easily as a poor one. My mom had a thousand of sayings.”

“Someone turned on We got ho me and it the heat this mornin was 10 g. house! Go ing out fo 0 degrees in the r freezies now.”

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raine r o L a d n ra —With Ma grid t living off o n m I’ .” use fad f the e “tiny ho tressors o s th f e o th r t e s b in this a em estead ag is to keep m not a m a m e I o p h o — h y a y m d and m protect m Maran portance. eriment. I im A note fro p t x s e o y d tm n u be e it’s a tre a right to cy is of th e a v v a ri h . p because s y y u e M th nio ght ay world. n not tau d to know nd harmo e e a e l ft n o fu , e is n c e d modern d a pe firewoo ay’s wom women e swamp chopping cially tod I believe e s t. p a u s o e place at th le , p rk ty o im great w ing so s . There that socie asy and a we live in I believe e nt. Someth d ly ie rl c o ib d ffi w u re g s t the c d self depressin ou agains ality, it’s in n y e d tu ft c a o strong an a le d ll y n a e is a ca , when in s even if th and strong woman this hecti m in a e re ic d o r to women v g brave ing you ncouragin with chas s. Being a g n n o ti ro need an e ta w c e g p day ex ly nothin h modern it is absolute w s e h s nd cla majority a thing. beautiful


36 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook


elow is an old photo of my mother huddled inside the

bedroom of our small farmhouse in Iowa. She was bottle feeding a newborn Jersey calf. The calf was too little to

survive outside in the freezing temps so she insisted on bringing it inside. The shack my parents lived in at the farm was ancient and dilapidated. The picture gives new meaning to grayish “barn wood.”

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. e f i L e l p m i S e h T The farm was off-grid with a windmill and battery charging system, water was pumped from 200 yards away to the house using the windmill. By the time I had arrived, my parents had put in flushing toilets. It was a simple old shack on a farm in Iowa. Life was pretty challenging, but they enjoyed it. The mice, rats, bats, snakes and spiders rendered parts of the farm simply uninhabitable which left us to one small living space. The walls of our shack were drafty to say the least but if the cracks became too wide, my dad would take an old animal hide and shove it in the space to keep the wind out. My mom says that the walls were nailed together with raccoon pelts and if it weren’t for them, the whole dang place would have toppled over. My dad spent the winters trapping the valleys of our homestead and always had a bounty of fur. It was that January when I was born and I arrived in a horrendous snowstorm. My first winter was spent surviving in that shack along with the mice and rats and calves.


My Goats All my goats are named after cities in Greece. There is Sparta; she is the smallest and most rambunctious. Sparta causes the most trouble. One time she jumped through the open window of my house and busted through the screen. She ran around inside knocking everything off the shelves before she jumped back out the window. Thessal and Neeki are sisters I rescued from a farm in southern Minnesota. They lived in a small pen with pigs and now they roam the swamp like royalty. Thessal wears a red collar and loves to be brushed. Athens is my fluffy little white goat. I raised him from a baby and his devotion to me is obvious. He follows me everywhere I go and when I try to leave for work, he stands by the car door and cries. Poor Athens and his unconditional love.

Thessal, Sparta and Athens.

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Spring Blessings One of my favorite things about living off-grid is experiencing the change of season. I don’t have electricity to power any external stimuli to distract me from what is happening outside. There is no glare of a TV or hum of a furnace to obliterate the happenings of the natural world around me. I love listening to the tiny birds chirp a little happier as the days get longer and watching the squirrels come out of the trees to play. The swamp that I live near is one of the first bodies of water to thaw in the spring which will attract migratory birds. Soon the Sandhill Cranes and Blue Herons will travel back to the swamp. I love listening to their prehistoric calls as they fly in to find a patch of open water. There is even a family of swans that visit the swamp in the early spring. Without electricity I rely on the sun and my rooster to wake me up in the morning which means that as we get more hours of daylight, I will be awake earlier everyday. I’m thankful for the natural alarm clock but it is definitely an adjustment to a long winter of extra rest. American productivity is a good thing and I have a ton of projects that need to be accomplished. Extra hours of daylight will be a blessing. Athens on a plank outside our home.

New to The Family Recently, I welcomed Griffin to the swamp. Griffin is a Silky Fainting Goat, he is four years old and pretty neat looking. He has huge horns and long silky hair. He has a great demeanor and loves to eat oats out of my hand. I have five goats at the swamp now and every morning they all go for a walk with Maple and me. Maple is my dog; she is an Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler and she loves to herd the goats through the woods. Griffin enjoys going for walks and sometimes he trots ahead to make sure the coast is clear. He’s a pretty big fella for a fainting goat and weighs about 140 pounds! He’s the perfect addition to our swamp family.


Maranda Lorraine grew up in the woods of northern Minnesota. She attended a university to study photojournalism and psychology, but decided to drop out and pursue life on her own terms. She is self-employed and spends her time living against the mainstream. She enjoys running in the woods, writing and raising animals on her homestead. She is a lover of nature and self-sufficiency. Some might say she’s the princess of the swamp.

Maranda’s blogstyle articles about living off-grid are published in every edition of Her Voice Magazine. Stay tuned for more!

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+ care

Deb Cranny— Helping Daughters in Caregiving

Deb Cranny (left), with Marlene Van Maanen, (center).


For eons taking care of elderly parents has been an integral part of the family structure in many cultures. Even today some groups have the time honored expectation that the daughters will care for, not just their own family, but elderly parents as well. Life expectancy has increased and so have the issues that accompany old age. The costs of healthcare and long term care are astronomical and out of reach for many citizens. Assisted living communities are an option for older people who need additional help with day to day activities; however, they are costly. Memory care facilities can be twice as much. There are alternatives to moving into an assisted living situation however and more families are turning to these alternatives.

Seeing the Need for Alternative Care

Deb Cranny and her husband Mike have decades of experience in caring for others. Their roots go back to South Dakota and working for Good Samaritan.


of working females 45 – 60 are caring for a parent. Mike joined the staff later and was so captivated by the work that he chose to pursue his administrator’s license. They moved to Brainerd and worked at Bethany where they remained until Mike was offered a position back in Sioux Falls with Good Samaritan. His new job required a lot of traveling and it was through his travels that he came across

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the Home Instead Senior Care business. After exploring the possibility and going through the necessary steps to be accepted by the company, Deb and Mike were offered the opportunity to bring the franchise to the Brainerd lakes area.

The Sandwich Generations

There has been much talk about the sandwich generation – those in their 30s or 40s taking care of kids and aging parents at the same time. The term also applies to those Boomers who take care of their parents and have grown children or grandchildren living at home. Nationally recognized expert on the sandwich generation and journalist Carol Abaya has categorized the terminology (see graphic next page).

Daughters: The Meat of the Sandwich

Deb has always had a close relationship with her parents and as the only daughter she feels the pull to help care for her mother even though she lives five hours away. She and Mike make regular trips to Sioux Falls to visit their daughter and grandkids and spend time with her parents. She provides support and care as best she can despite the distance. “It’s really difficult because it’s five hours away. We get there on weekends and then we divide our time,” said Deb. Traditionally it has been the daughters who step up to the plate to care for aging parents, although there are men, like Deb’s father, who provide caregiving as well. Still the brunt of the job falls on the shoulders of women. Deb shared information from Daughters in the Workplace which states that 25 percent of working females 45-60 are caring for a parent.

Making a Difference for Daughters

Deb and Mike know the toll caretaking and working can take on employees. Not only does the stress affect the person providing the care, it ultimately affects the person being cared for as well. With this understanding they work to provide an understanding and supportive environment for the people who work for them.

The Sandwich Generations Daughters: The Meat of the Sandwich Traditional Sandwich The people sandwiched between their children and aging parents who need help or care. Club Sandwich Older people (50s – 60s) sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. Open Faced Sandwich Other people involved in caring for elders.

Deb offers advice for daughters of the sandwich generation: “Take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to figure out what works best for you, what balance is best for you in your life, because more than likely you’re not going to ignore those parents. Give yourself permission to feel OK about doing the best you can do.

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.


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S A G I M A S E R T ens Abroad

Bringing Culture Home by Taking Te

S Spanish Group Photo: BH cazar of Al e th at s student e time Segovia, Spain, on bel, Isa n palace of Quee bus. lum Co to r patron dono

Sue Wiger, Britt Qualley and Dawn Maine with Granada’s Moorish palace, the Alhambra, in the background.


In the lap of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain, on a hilltop in Granada, three Spanish teachers are counting the noses of their 33 high school students before entering the world UNESCO site known as the Alhambra. The centuries old Moorish ‘red palace’ is a labyrinth of delicate architecture, flowing fountains, soaring honeycomb ceilings and reflecting pools. It is adjoined by the Generalife gardens, where the sultan’s harem once lounged while listening to the lute playing eunuch, discreetly hidden behind the trimmed hedges.

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“For the last four years, all our (AP) Advanced Placement students have passed their exams. This success is a direct result of teacher teamwork producing a premier program.” - Britt Qualley don’t trust their teens at home, how can they expect it from us? We make our expectations crystal clear,” all three nodded emphatically. “But,” they agreed, “our kids are terrific. And, they have their concerns about the trip, too.” One such student, Maison Jobe, wrote in the trip journal: “After juggling fundraising and a full-time job this summer, I was naturally a bit afraid Spain wouldn’t live up to expectations. What if I hated my host families? What if my

From left to right: Hannah Trtanj, Anne Campion, Annika Christiansen, Claire McQuiston (on lower step), Lauren Benson and Megan Hensel.

Spanish was actually abnormal and I made an idiot of myself?” She needn’t have worried. The students stayed with families four days each in Segovia and Granada. “More than once,” Dawn said, “a host family member would pull us aside and exclaim over the kind, well-behaved and courteous young people in our group.” “And,” Britt added, “they were impressed that the kids talked to them at the table or watched TV with the Continued on page 46


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This year’s leader, Dawn Maine, nods to her colleagues that all are present. Sue Wiger and Britt Qualley take their places at the center and end of the flock before embarking on yet another Brainerd High School Spanish educational excursion. The BHS Spanish department has offered student travel since the early 1980s, however the Three Amigas came along a decade later. “I was hired in 1990, followed by Dawn in 1993 and later, Britt,” Sue recalls. “Dawn and I took our first trip together in 1997.” “We offer a trip every other year,” Dawn interjected. “The next will be in 2019 with Susan leading, perhaps to Costa Rica. In 2015, Britt led the Peru trip.” With their rotations in place, Las Tres has become a smooth, organized team of master teacher-guides. “It’s fortunate that we get along so well,” Dawn pointed out. “We agree on our educational goals of language and cultural immersion as well as on student behavior. We have high expectations. Interact Travel of Green Bay, Wis., meets our criteria for family stays, in-country support and interactive language activities, such as visiting an ice cream shop, listing all the flavors and,” she grinned, “Tasting something new.” Local guides, family stays and Interact staff back-up are all reassuring features, but choosing to take 30-40 untraveled teenagers into another country requires personal commitment and valor. “Sometimes people ask us about our spring break ‘vacation,’” Sue laughed. “These are not vacations.” Las Tres start by obtaining permission to travel from the District No. 181 School Board. Once granted, publicity goes out, sign up begins, the principal has to approve fundraising, down-payments are collected, orientations organized . . . and, this all starts semesters before departure. Students might be planning for three years, as they must have that much Spanish to participate. Then, fundraising begins, arranged by the teachers along with volunteer parents. “Mills DRIVE 4 UR SCHOOL and Cub Foods, bagging groceries, are very supportive businesses,” Dawn said. The Amigas will be right there at the checkout asking, “Paper or plastic?” supporting their students. Language skills and money can be calculated, but maturity is far more difficult to measure. “We tell the parents that if they

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...Continued from page 43

family instead of hiding in their rooms.” The host families also praised the teachers on their students’ advanced Spanish-speaking skills. Adam Kleist was first disappointed when his family spoke to him using only infinitives, like Tarzan talk. He persevered and was relieved when they finally responded in “normal” Spanish. “For the last four years, all our (AP) Advanced Placement students have passed their exams,” Britt reported.

“The cultural experience with the host families was fun, because it made me realize that we’re all different. . . yet. . . so similar,” said Ellen (‘Elena’) Hickman photographed (bottom left), with classmate ‘Anita’ Rud and their host parents, Elena and José, Segovia.

This success is a direct result of teacher teamwork producing a premier program. These combined talents also complement each other on the road. “Sue is our mother hen,” Dawn explained. “When ascending the steep streets in Granada, one student began to lag behind and edged over to Sue. After a firm, yet nurturing nudge and a ‘youcan-do-it’ speech, Sue said she needed to slow down and then paced herself to the student.” For the record, Britt’s pedometer marked 36,000 steps, nearly 14 miles that day, and nobody complained. “Dawn is the one with a focused vision,” Britt continued. “She sees the whole picture and the details. This trip, a student had an allergic reaction. That night, Dawn contacted us via Facetime, we divided up who would do what and together resolved the situation.” “Technology has changed things,”

Dawn noted. “Before, we told parents about safe arrivals or problems. This time, when the students boarded the Wi-Fi equipped Spanish buses, they all plugged in to charge their phones and it looked like oxygen masks dropping down on an airplane in distress. Even though it’s easy to contact home, we prefer that students talk to us about troubles before involving family an ocean away.” When there is homesickness or uncertainty, Britt’s qualities step up. “She is the automatic counselor,” Sue said. “She literally jumps right in with the kids, like the day she went swimming in the cold Mediterranean waters. Not us! She is playful, fun, up for anything.” “One day at the beach,” Britt paused thoughtfully, “it went to a deeper level. I coaxed a shy student to join me. To my surprise, she broke out of her shell, put on her suit and jumped in. We all shared her moment of self-discovery.” “To see 16- and 17-year-olds ‘getting it’ beyond just language improvement, is amazing,” Dawn reflected. “They make

“To see 16- and 17-year-olds ‘getting it’ beyond just language improvement, is amazing.” - Dawn Maine cross-curriculum connections with their art, history and religion studies, noticing common themes in history and current events. They become confident in themselves and open up. They return home with new appreciation for their own culture.” Sue continued, “As teachers, we pick up contemporary vocabulary, recent news and relive the excitement when we see it again through their eyes.” “The ‘brillo en los ojos’,” Britt said, then translated, “the light in their eyes, the ‘aha’ moments.”

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‘The ‘brillo en los ojos’ Translated: “The light in their eyes, the ‘aha’ moments.” - Britt Qualley

The Tres Amigas are motivated into their next out-of-country experience by these aha moments and their students’ own words: “. . . It has been so great to be able to practice Spanish in real time with real people.” -‘Pepita’ Kappes

“. . . going to the Prado (Madrid’s premier museum) to see all of the artwork.” -‘Rebeca’ Horak

“. . . being a communic ble to ate with people abo ut t n ar le . . p “. erspective heir of how different world.” -‘Gusta the vo’ Robinson cultures work can

and how you learn from them.” -’Tomasina’ Krassas

“. . .This trip was easily the best experience of my young life, and I am deeply, eternally grateful to all who organized and planned the excursions. And hey, I think my Spanish improved! Your evil plan worked.” - ‘Maison’

Jan Kurtz pivots between her family cabin in north Wisconsin, her mother’s in Eau Claire and her son’s family in Otsego, coming home to do bills and touch base with area friends. She continues her interest in cultures and languages locally (festivals, powwows, celebrations) and globally, through Whatsapp chats and trips abroad.


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Her Voice Spring 2018  

Cover Story — Her Passion: Reel Girls Fish - Young writer CaitlinMae Hamilton enjoys fishing so much, she joined the Brainerd Fishing Team....

Her Voice Spring 2018  

Cover Story — Her Passion: Reel Girls Fish - Young writer CaitlinMae Hamilton enjoys fishing so much, she joined the Brainerd Fishing Team....