By Women. For Women. About Women.
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Mak ing Waves BY SARAH HERRON This past April I attended the annual Women Making Waves fundraising dinner, hosted by the Brainerd Women’s Fund, at Arrowwood Lodge. I was one of many in attendance to show support and appreciation to local photographer (and Her Voice photographer) Joey Halvorson, recipient of the 2018 Women Making Waves Award. Previously unaware of this organization, I found it to be an incredibly inspirational gathering. There are many different waves Her Voice team: Sarah Herron (front), DeLynn Howard (left), being made all around us, from and Lisa Henry. Photo by Joey Halvorson. the tsunami waves to the gentle ripples -- each one critical to the positive development of our community. In this issue, Sheila DeChantal tells us Joey’s story and reveals some of her wave-making contributions. During the Women Making Waves award presentation it was said that Joey captures the passion of people in her photographs. Joey has a way of making people smile naturally and comfortably, because she, herself, is natural and comfortable to be around. Joey Halvorson, (center), recipient of the 2018 Women This event made me think Making Waves award, smiled with 2017 recipients, Marlee about all of the “waves” being made in the Brainerd lakes area, Larson, (left), and Pat Altrichter at Arrowwood Lodge, Baxter. Photo by Lisa Pomerleau. and all the stories out there about amazing women making a er you and benefit your Thank you all for your difference. Whether it’s a “wave” community. Listening to stories, strengths and to move you toward making and watching the waves contributions to not only a brave decision like Connie women are making Her Voice, but to our Nelson did when she sought around me have inspired community, to help or an alternative cancer treatment me to start volunteering inspire those around you, (page 29) or waves which and give my time more including myself! inspire you to write, sing, run or generously. lift, to create a healthier, happiLike us on Facebook • Summer 2018 | her voice 3
By women. For women. About women.
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Next Issue of Her Voice: Advertising Deadline: July 19 Next Publication Date: Brainerd Dispatch: August 21 Echo Journal: August 29 You can also find Her Voice Magazine in over 100 Discover Rack locations in the area or read it online at:
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Sarah.Herron@BrainerdDispatch.com 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 15, EDITION 2 SUMMER 2018
CONTENTS Summer 2018
Your Voice Recommended Books 28 Summer Photo Memories 46
Her Story Off-Grid Living
By Maranda Lorraine
Joey Halvorson—The Woman Behind The Camera 36
With A Grateful Heart
By Sheila DeChantal
By Sue Ready
Her Career Women in Business
Her Family JenAric Dairy Farm
By Jenny Holmes
Rising Talent 6 By Carissa Andrews
Her Health Luna Birthing Center
By Sarah Nelson Katzenberger
Bottle Feeding Tiny Wild Treasures
By Kim Raboin
By Cynthia Bachman
Cover Story — Her Passion Women Who Write 24 By Rebecca Flansburg Looking for a great summer book (or series) for this summer’s next road trip or beach day? Maybe a a fun book for the kiddos? What about some recipes with a local flair? Meet some of our Brainerd lakes area authors.
By Mary Johnson Spending a month in Argentina changed this young woman’s perspective of herself and the world around her.
By Chris Monroe Connie Nelson (right), set out on a journey to save her life from stage four melanoma cancer.
By Sheila DeChantal What’s it like to run 100 miles straight through? We asked ultra runner Julie Moulton to share her experience.
Immersion In Language 11
A Journey to Healing 29
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Ultra Runner 19
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HER PASSION + music
The Musical Endeavors of Mikayla Jackson
BY CARISSA ANDREWS
Mikayla Jackson may be
young, but she has musical talent well beyond her years, not to mention, an amazing voice that draws you in from her first breath. This phenomenal local singer-songwriter found her way to music the way most people do — in elementary school. Mikayla was always singing and dancing, even at a very young age, but school helped to solidify it for her. PHOTOS BY SAMANTHA SVENDSEN
her voice voice || Summer Summer 2018 2018 •• Share Share your your voice voice with with us us on on Facebook Facebook 66 her
Being musically inclined obviously came easy to her. She even taught herself how to play guitar using online charts and teaching videos from the internet. However, drums were her first love — not singing and songwriting, or even the guitar. Mikayla describes her music life in school as more of a “band kid” to begin with. While poetry was certainly a form of expression she has leaned on since middle school, it wasn’t until her parents’ divorce in high school that she began to invest more time into her original songwriting and singing capabilities. It’s also when her music career began to take off.
“By chance, I had my guitar in my dad’s truck. With a bit of peer pressure, I took the stage and played a few cover songs.” - Mikayla Jackson As she started experimenting with her musical style, she was given an uncommon boost, aiding her in the direction she’s going now. In early high school, Mikayla got her first taste of performing live and she hasn’t looked back since. Her dad took her out to a “bandaroke” night at Primetime Bar in Breezy. The drummer was late, so they were looking for music to fill the time. Mikayla stepped up to fill the gap. “By chance, I had my guitar in my dad’s truck. With a bit of peer pressure, I took the stage and played a few cover songs. The one I remember the most distinctly was “Too Close” by Alex Clare. I looked out in the audience and one of my biggest role models, Seth Doud, was at the bar singing along. It was definitely a pivotal experience and it opened the door to where I am today!” Though originally from Brainerd, Mikayla is now found haunting the halls at Concordia and some of the Fargo/Moorhead area locations for gigs during breaks from school. She loves to perform a variety of music for her audiences ranging from her original songs, to covers by favorites such as Ed Sheeran, Seth Doud (fellow Central MN singer/songwriter), Imagine Dragons, and many more. She also returns to the Brainerd lakes lrea during the summer holiday and can be found playing gigs at local area restaurants and venues including: Zorbaz and Ernies on Gull, The Woods in Merrifield, Hassies, the Junction in Pine City, and many more. She has even done weddings and other private events, when available. Mikayla is certainly on her way to becoming a performer to reckon with. At the urging of a family friend, just last year she took a few days
Being musically inclined obviously came easy to her. She even taught herself how to play guitar using online charts and teaching videos from the internet. However, drums were her first love -- not singing and songwriting, or even the guitar. Mikayla describes her music life in school as more of a “band kid” to begin with. While poetry was certainly a form of expression she has leaned on since middle school, her parents’ divorce To keitepwasn’t on tountil p of Mikmore aylatime ’s into in high school that she began to invest m os t cu rr en t gigs her original songwriting and singing capabilities. , or to It’s also llow he r ontolintake when her musicfocareer began off. e, ch eck out: As she started experimenting with her musical style, she was given an uncommon boost, aiding her in the direction she’s going now. In early high school, Mikayla got her first taste of performing live and she hasn’t looked back since. Her dad U took herinout pcom g Gtoigas:“bandaroke” night at Primetime Bar in Breezy. The https://www.face drummer was late, so book m/ptime. they were looking for music to fill.co the Mikayla g MikaylaJacksonM stepped up to fill the gap. N/events/ “By chance, I had my guitar in my dad’s truck. With a bit bookand of peer pressure, I tookFa thecestage : played a few cover s://www.the songs. The onehtI tp remember most distinctly was “Too facebook.co m/ Close” by Alex Clare. I looked out in MikaylaJacksonM the audience and N / one of my biggest role models, Seth Doud, was at the bar singing along. It was definitely a pivotal experience and it YouTube : opened the door to where I am https://www.yout today!” ub e.comMikayla /channel Though originally from Brainerd, is/now found CsqKat ESConcordia pxE5iPNcCand haunting theUhalls some of ngiLO4iA the Fargo/ Moorhead area locations for gigs during breaks from school. She loves to perform a variety of music for her audiences ranging from her original songs, to covers by favorites such as Ed Sheeran, Seth Doud (fellow Central MN singer/songwriter), Imagine Dragons, and many more. off of school to audition for American Idol. She even She also returns to the gateways: Brainerd lakes lrea during the made it through three Fargo, Chicago, and summer holiday and can be found playing gigs local ultimately auditioning in Nashville in front of theatcelebarea andshe venues including: and rityrestaurants judges. While wasn’t chosenZorbaz to be on theErnies show onthis Gull,time Thearound, Woods in Merrifield, Hassies, the Junction in the travels were clearly motivational Pine many more. She eventhree donenew weddings forCity, her and — they inspired her has to write songs and otheronprivate events, when available. while the road. One of which, “Blue,” is available Mikayla her way perboth on is hercertainly YouTubeon channel andto herbecoming Facebookapage. former to up reckon with. At star the urging of a family friend, This and coming is unquestionably on the justrise. lastKeep yearyour she eyes took peeled a few days off certainly of schoolbetoseeing audi— we’ll more of MikaylaIdol. Jackson and her talent in the coming tion for American She even made it through three years. Perhaps on a and future season of American Chicago, ultimately auditioning gateways: Fargo, even in Idol. Nashville in front of the celebrity judges. While she wasn’t chosen to be on the show this time around, the travels were clearly motivational for her -- they inspired her to write three new songs while on the Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer road. One of which, “Blue,” is as available and graphic designer, well as the young adult science fiction author the both on her YouTube channel and ofher Pendomus Chronicles. You can learn Facebook page. about Carissa at her website: This up and more coming star is unqueswww.carissaandrews.com tionably on the rise. Keep your eyes peeled -- we’ll certainly be seeing more of Mikayla Jackson and her talent in the coming years. Perhaps even on a future season of American Idol.
Where to Find Mikayla
Like Likeususon onFacebook Facebook• •Summer Summer2018 2018| her | hervoice voice 7 7
+ birthing center
BY SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER
Nurse Shari Olson (left), and Midwife Nicolle Uban.
PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON
Brainerd lakes area’s first free-standing birth center is open for business
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For as long as humans have been populat-
ing, women have been giving birth. Babies are born every second of everyday in every setting imaginable. “This is a major life event,” said Midwife Nicolle Uban, owner of Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center in Brainerd. “It’s important for women to have a choice in their birth experience.” Uban’s passion for women’s health care has launched her into a new venture in opening the first free-standing birthing center in the Brainerd lakes area — Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center. A birth center is a homelike setting with healthcare provided by a midwife. It’s not a hospital or part of a hospital, though the same safety, support and basic care are provided, while allowing women to make informed choices about their care.
At Luna, women stay in a homelike birthing room with healthcare provided by a midwife.
Dr. Kristel Schamber
7734 Excelsior Road N. Baxter, MN 56425 www.lakesareaeyecare.com (218) 829-2929 Dr. Brooke Fenstad
“The bottom line is it gives women another option and accessibility in her childbirth experience,” Uban said. Uban began her career in midwifery at Lakewood Health Systems in Staples in 2011. In the nearly five years she spent there, a dream of establishing her own free-standing practice began to take shape, but she wasn’t sure how to make it happen. While at Lakewood, Uban connected with Shari Olson, an area business owner, nurse and consequently, one of Uban’s patients who shared her passion for women’s healthcare. After the birth of her youngest son, Olson joined Uban’s team as her nurse and the two continued to dream up what a birth center venture might look like. They attended a conference in Arizona to learn more. “We were so energized,” Olson recalled. “We just thought, ‘we are going to do this.’” In July of 2016, the dream quickly became a reality. The pair visited five properties before discovering a 120-year-old brick home on Gillis Avenue in Brainerd. “We walked through the front door and said, ‘this is it — this is the space,’” Uban said. The home turned birthing center, is full of old charm that Uban and Olson wanted to preserve while updating the space to be conducive of the breadth of the practice. In addition to childbirth, Luna provides other women’s health services, including annual gynecological visits, birthing classes, acupuncture, counseling for women’s health issues and preventative services. The main level has an open reception area, an open kitchen, and two exam rooms that feel more like a living room and an air of family-family, patient-first care. “From the moment they walk in here, we want our patients to feel right at home,” Uban said. The upstairs of the space has two birthing suites complete with big cozy beds, bathtubs for pain relief and water birth, private restrooms and all the medical equipment needed for a healthy, empowered birthing
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What’s a midwife and how is it different from a doula?
Uban and patient Jami Nelson listen to the baby’s heart beat using a fetal heart monitor.
experience. Families are encouraged to be present during labor and experience the birth of their new baby together. Olson said patients choose the birthing center model for a number of reasons. Some have fears associated with hospitals, while others like the idea of a home birth and simply don’t want to clean up the mess. “Childbirth comes with a lot of mess,” Olson said. Luna patients are encouraged to labor at home and come in when they are in acute labor. Since officially opening their doors in 2017, Luna has welcomed six new babies (with three more expected by this publication). Make no mistake, Luna Wellness and Birth Center is not a backyard, anti-medical operation. They are a fully-accredited, evidence-based provider. Uban maintains her licensing in advanced practice and midwifery. The center operates autonomously from a hospital and Uban doesn’t work under a clinical physician but maintains a consulting relationship with the OB physicians at Essentia-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. Uban only handles low-risk births that require minimal appropriate intervention. “Our goal is a healthy delivery,” she said. “We want that to happen here, but if there are any number of issues, we would make the decision to transport them to the hospital.”
“Our goal is a healthy delivery. We want that to happen here, but if there are any number of issues, we would make the decision to transport them to the hospital.” - Nicolle Uban Uban and Olson share the ultimate goal of providing women with another option and increasing accessibility when it comes to their healthcare and ensuring long-term support as they venture into parenthood. Patients often spend only 6-12 hours at Luna before returning home with their new bundle, but Uban makes home visits to check up on mom and baby and stays in touch every day for the first week. Luna patients are required to develop a support plan and make sure they have people around them who can step in when they need help. “The transition is difficult — it can be really hard for women,” Uban said. “We all want to do the right thing for our baby, but those beginning days and weeks can feel very overwhelming.” Uban said she makes herself available at all hours to patients. “We want them to have their support system, but we want on that list.” “It’s so important,” Olson added. “It really is a village.”
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In wellness practice, lots of terminology gets lost in translation. There is confusion about what responsibilities go with which roles and what roles are really necessary. A midwife is a trained medical provider who specializes in childbirth, postpartum, sexual reproductive care and newborn care. They are licensed medical providers who complete advanced education and operate autonomously without the oversight of a medical doctor. A midwife serves in a similar capacity to an obstetrician in regard to childbirth. A doula is not a medical professional, but a support person who assists and advocates a woman during her entire birthing and postpartum process. A doula can be a trusted friend or hired professional doula service provider. “A doula is an incredibly important part of the birthing process,” said Nicolle Uban. “It’s vital for a patient to have someone who makes sure they understand their options and provides whatever physical or emotional support is needed.”
For more information visit: www.lunabirthcenter.com or call (218) 827-7773
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.
HER TRAVELS + Argentina
Immersion In Language Sunshine and Patience
Mary enjoying the breathtaking views in San Carlos de Bariloche.
BY MARY JOHNSON
In my last semester of col-
lege, I chose to challenge myself one more time by spending winter break abroad in Argentina, smashing a semesterâ€™s worth of learning Spanish into just three weeks. I knew it would be challenging but, in an immersive setting with plentiful opportunities to practice, I was excited to learn.
My trip started simply enough. I arrived first at the airport with a few hours to wait. I found myself Miriam (left) feeling shivery and weak but atand Mary. tributed it to a long day of travel. Little did I know, I had a rising fever and a case of influenza. Like any true Minnesotan, I toughened up and continued on as normal. Before I knew it, the group had assembled and the program coordinators shepherded us out of the airport. As I stepped off the bus my host mother, Miriam greeted me with a huge smile and a warm hug. It put me at ease immediately. Her home, filled with art, plants and sunshine, was my Bohemian dream come true. Miriam spoke very little English and my Spanish was quite basic so we instinctively developed strategies to communicate relying on a mixture of body language, repetition and rephrasing. When I realized I definitely had the flu, I managed to communicate how poorly I was feeling and I could tell she understood by the concerned look in her eyes. Miriam responded in a way my own mother would have. She made me soup and went to the store to get medicine and my favorite flavor of Gatorade. A woman I had just met was treating me like family Like us on Facebook â€˘ Summer 2018 | her voice 11
Miriam’s colorful Argentinian home
in a time when I felt my weakest and most vulnerable. I ended up spending my first four days in Argentina sweating and shivering in bed with a fever that peaked at 103. I remember taking my first step out of the house after my fever broke. While I felt weak, I was elated with the joy of finally getting to explore the city. Buenos Aires is a mosaic of rich colors, culture and life. All of the neighborhoods or barrios, have a unique feel and something different to offer. Because of the summer heat, everything slows down in the middle of the day and the city truly comes alive in the coolness of the night. My cab drivers provided some of the best opportunities to practice my Spanish. I found Argentinians to be very patient with my attempts. But the hardest part was to be patient with myself. Struggling to understand and be understood was exhausting at times. But all the struggle is worth it when you are able to connect in a different language. When you laugh with a stranger over a joke that was made in a language that is not your own, suddenly a lightbulb of comprehension flashes and you feel the bridge being made between two worlds.
“When you laugh with a stranger over a joke that was made in a language that is not your own, suddenly a lightbulb of comprehension flashes and you feel the bridge being made between two worlds.” - Mary Johnson While the city was full of adventures, I found my favorite part of Argentina outside of the city limits. Our program had arranged for a day to be spent at a ranch in San Antonio de Areco. The estancia, or estate, of La Portena is 180 years old. It felt like you were being transported back into time. Friendly farm dogs roamed the lawn and came up for a scratch behind the ear. The owners of the estate had arranged an asada, which is a family barbecue that is a Sunday tradition in Argentina. Many different types of meat were cooked slowly over an open fire. And of course, side dishes and wine were also plentiful. There were long tables with white linens floating
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Photos: (L to R), Beautiful table settings for the Sunday Asada (Argentian barbecue). A gaucho (Argentinian cowboy) performs stunts with his horse. Mary in a historic building at the estancia (estate).
in the breeze under a giant tree. The sky was a luminescent shade of blue. Some spent the afternoon horseback riding and others sunbathing by the pool. When it came time to eat, we lounged through many courses of rich meats. Then we were given the opportunity to learn to dance to traditional gaucho music. Gauchos are the cowboys of Argentina. After our group laughed and shuffled our way through the unfamiliar steps, we had the opportunity to watch a fantastic show of horsemanship. A gaucho performed incredible tricks that could only be achieved through time tested trust and an incredible bond with his horse. Seeing the history and tradition being carried through to the present
day left an impression on me. While city life was chaotically exciting, the day in the country stayed in my soul and left me craving more time in the beautiful country of Argentina. When you are about to embark on a journey to a far away place, it is quite natural to ruminate over potential challenges. But any well seasoned traveler will tell you that no matter how much you plan, unexpected things will happen. During my time studying abroad in Argentina, I had experienced both unexpected challenges and blessings. The biggest difficulty I had was saying goodbye to my host mother, Miriam. We both cried tears of sadness and joy. I am thankful for the time I had, but
Argentina planted a seed in my heart that will just keep growing. I knew my Spanish would improve, but I couldn’t have predicted the depth to which a month in Argentina would alter my perception of myself and the world as I know it. I urge those who consider studying abroad to go out on a limb and choose a country where English is not the primary language spoken. You will surprise yourself and make irreplaceable bonds. Brainerd native Mary Johnson has developed both a love travel and writing with encouragement from her grandmother, Audrea Gruber. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and plans to return to South America for more adventures.
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HER CAREER + animals
reasu Tiny Wild T
BY CYNTHIA BACHMAN
Claws and teeth
Vogel holds a baby bla
ck panther before feedin
can create a challenge when you bottle feed an animal. That is part of Kelly Vogel’s loving care of zoo babies that need human intervention. Over the years she has taken on the time consuming duty to nurture and bottle feed an assortment of hungry zoo newborns.
Vogel has bottle fed cougar kittens, tiger cubs, monkeys, kangaroos, raccoons, porcupines, badgers, llamas, goats, bears, including African hoofstock such as giraffes and eland calves. She is there to ease their hunger. “The easiest bottle feeding I had was when one of our Olive Baboons became a first time mother and simply ignored the baby.” This was one of the first times Vogel took on the animal mother role. She called other facilities to ask for advice and was instructed to simply use a human baby bottle and nipple as well as Similac formula. The juvenile (baby monkey) was 1-2 pounds, very eager to eat and a fun way to begin her zoo nursery reputation. He weaned himself off the bottle, as fruits and chow were introduced to him. This male baboon now weighs about 60 pounds and lives in a Bemidji park.
An orphaned Addax (screw-horn antelope) was her biggest challenge, as this calf did not understand the concept of sucking despite attempts with an assortment of nip-
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ples: lamb, calf, human and the long black tips. “I spent day and night coaxing this newborn to take the bottle. I tried and tried to get him to drink. Suddenly on the afternoon of the third day, the calf understood sucking and ate heartily. I was so exhausted and overjoyed that I fell to my knees and cried. After that when I did my farm chores, he would follow me, acting like a family dog! This calf grew strong and hearty and went to live in the Wisconsin Dells.” Animal moms are monitored closely in the zoo environment especially after giving birth to ensure she is producing enough milk and is nurturing her offspring. If needed, the zookeeper may be required to provide the care the mother is not able to. Vogel excels at caring for these babies. She is well known to the zoo community therefore she not only
serves as nursery staff for Safari North but also regional zoos. When babies need to travel from elsewhere they are hand delivered or Vogel makes the trip to obtain the newborn. This way birth details and information can be exchanged face to face which creates a positive outcome for the baby. Vogel outside Safari North Wildlife Park with a baby llama.
Vogel, since she raised and nurtured the tiny wild treasure she wants to see it grow to adulthood. Vogel believes it is important to teach the public the importance of a zoo and to guide them through the wonderful care for each and every animal. There are no days off from love and nurturing. It is hard work to have animals and it involves caring hands, knowledge and many licenses to provide the correct interventions. Spring is the time of renewal — births and newborns. If you plan to visit Safari North to enjoy the miracle of life and see animals from five continents, be sure to note the 2-year-old black panther bottle fed/raised by Vogel.
It is time consuming to provide for any baby: twice a day or every two hour feedings. The proper equipment is essential, such as unique nipples and bottles. Calf bottles and nipples are readily available at farm stores but there are special order nipples and formulas for many of these hungry animals. Mouth shapes/sizes (ex: snouts, teeth, etc.) and eating scenarios, must be evaluated and incorporated into their health plan. Slowly, the baby transitions off the bottle to solid foods and bowl feedings. This weaning process involves months of diligent care and nurturing. Caring for any living thing is a serious job. It is an hourly, daily, weekly, yearly ongoing responsibility that is not taken lightly. It is not a simple matter of food and hydration, there is also the proper temperature, comfortable bedding, lighting, medical care and nurturing that creates the total growing and thriving environment. Generally, wherever the baby is born, is the facility it will return. However due to zoo partnerships when the animal matures it may go to a park in need of that species. Sometimes it will stay with
Safari North Season opens: May 12, 2018
Cynthia Bachman is a Brainerd native who is very pleased to have a giraffe in the neighborhood. She and her husband frequently use their Safari North season pass, to take a relaxing and educational stroll through the zoo to enjoy the animals and nature.
Zebra = colt, foal Bear = cub Giraffe = calf Deer = fawn Monkey = infant, juvenile Goat = kid Leopard = cub Llama = cria Dinosaur = juvenile Badger = cub or kit Baby kangaroo
Corner of 7th & Laurel • Downtown Brainerd • 829-7266 • www.elmenkjewelers.com
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PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON
l r Gi ! R E POW
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+ body building
BY KIM RABOIN
While women superhero roles are at an all-
time high in Hollywood, we’ve got our own in the Brainerd lakes area. Her name is Justina Richter. She’d never claim to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but faster than a speeding bullet she’ll tell you what her passions are — faith, family and fitness.
In 1998 Justina met her future husband Brian at the old FitQuest building, where he introduced her to free weight training. She quickly realized using dumbbells was a smart maneuver. Speed ahead to Oct. 7, 2017, when Justina competed in the National Physique Committee North Star physique event in Burnsville. The journey toward competition began the summer of 2016. Justina joined an online bodybuilding challenge, then another and yet another. By May of 2017 she was in the best shape of her life. Knowing it was now or never if she was going to tackle a bodybuilding competition, Justina chose now. But not without reservations. She adds emphatically, “I NEVER wanted to compete on stage.” Baring herself in front of other people was not her idea of fun. While some enjoy that aspect, she said, “It was like childbirth to me. You go through the not so fun part to achieve the desired end goal.” So what was Justina’s goal? She’d like to coach others toward their own fitness goals by creating personalized training programs online and in person. Before venturing in that direction she needed some bona fide achievements in her fitness portfolio. Competing gave Justina exactly what she wanted -- knowledge of the insid-
er training tips, the preparation involved, and the science behind body manipulation. “I also wanted to be a student before I became a coach” she said. Combining proper diet and rigorous exercise is the key to successful training. Justina had to plan, measure, and weigh every meal. She hit the gym not once but sometimes twice daily. The running jokes at FitQuest ranged from being dubbed the Asparagus Queen due to her daily intake of the reputed vegetable (ask Alexa about the side effects) to female passersby commenting about her voluptuous award statue (“Hey, who took my head off this statue?!”) Justina is so thankful for all the support and encouragement she received from her fellow members at FitQuest. Her award
960 following 2,132 followers of AZ MN gal Dreaming Just a small town lf rse ou ey ng Justina Richter halle lifting/fitness life #c living Loving the
Follow Justina on Instagram: ss wifetimefitne
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Her devotion to faith and family helps Justina view fitness from a healthier perspective.
statue remains there along with her event picture hanging on their wall of fame. Time spent at the gym was a sacrifice, but the biggest cost was quality time with her family. As long as food, laundry, and rides were provided, her sons Eli, a junior, and Clay, a sophomore, weren’t affected much. Her husband Brian’s sacrifice was in the form of quiet endurance. He found
Justina’s coach, then gave her the needed space to focus on her goals. The cost of the coaching, supplements, gear, show suit, heels, spray tanning, NPC card, and entrance fee to the event added up to more financially than Justina wants to even calculate. The last week before competition was rough. Justina had to rest when she wasn’t working out, and sitting is
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not one of her superpowers. Hours before the event she and the other women contestants had to stand around in a room for three layers of spray tanning and drying -- all in the buff. With hair coiffed, makeup applied, glaze smeared on her entire body, and suit glued in place, she was finally ready. The only thing left was to pump her muscles and pose. Flexing continually while the judges scrutinized her body was exhausting, but rewarding. She placed in all the categories she posed for: First place in Novice, second in Masters, and fourth in Open. Will our home grown superhero compete again? Justina says no. For now she’s studying for certification as a personal trainer and teaching a boot camp style training class at FitQuest. Her devotion to faith and family helps Justina view fitness from a healthier perspective. She admits to struggling with perfectionism and people pleasing in the past, but sees God transforming those weaknesses into something positively useful. And that’s where a girl’s real superpower comes from.
Kim Raboin is a sugar eating, coffee drinking, recipe sleuthing, Bible studying, book reading junky. Oh, and a lefse rolling Norwegian. She loves using words to communicate clearly - and humorously. Kim believes everyone has a story to tell, whether they realize it or not. She and her husband Jim have seven grown children and four grandchildren.
HER STORY + running
Ultra Runner BY SHEILA DECHANTAL
would be the first to call herself a bit compulsive. When she gets on something, it sticks. For years it was violin. She lived and breathed violin. Four years ago, she began to run.
Moulton 20 miles into the Lone Star 100 mile run at Franklin Mountain State Park, El Paso, Texas.
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“When you are new to this, everything hurts, even your butt.” - Julie Moulton Moulton was living in Pillager when she started to take an interest in running. There was no big “Aha!” moment, no group of friends who ran and talked her into joining. It was just her, living alone and wanting to pull her life together. It started with running to get the mail. Then it went on to down the road and back. Moulton would just run as far as she could and then turn around and run (or walk) back. She had no cool GPS watch, no goals or charts. She just ran. Her first official run she signed up for was a half marathon. Moulton was nervous and set a goal for herself to complete this run in two-and-a-half hours. She asked her friends and family to meet her at the finish line at that time. When she finished in one hour and 45 minutes, she had to laugh when her support group was not there to meet her yet. She had no idea she could run that fast. A year later, Moulton ran the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. At that time, she started running on trails, preferring that to roads, having no idea that trail running was even a thing. Her first Ultra Run was 50 miles and she admits she had no idea what she was doing. Forty miles in, it was a 115 heat index at the peak of July. The lady at the aid station asked why she was crying. “I didn’t even know I was crying!” Moulton said, laughing. “At this point, I was so excited and
Moulton in a 2016 race.
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exhausted. I ran with my arms up as my arm pits were so chafed. When you are new to this, everything hurts, even your butt.” Moulton continued to do 50-mile runs. The Ultras are all about the LSD run - long, slow, distance. Runners need to be working the core, shoulders and legs. Runners need to be putting on 50-plus miles per week (Moulton shoots for 60- to 70-plus). For those runners not putting in that weekly long run, she says they’re not training for an Ultra. As mentioned, Moulton admittedly is compulsive. In summer 2017, she had her eye on something bigger — something more like 100 miles, something called the Kettle Moraine 100, located in Wisconsin. This first 100, in Moulton’s words, was crazy. She ran through the night mostly alone as everyone ran at different paces. There were times while running in the dark she felt she was hallucinating, and moments where she thought, ‘this is crazy’ and wanted to give up, yet she went on. Moulton finished, two pairs of shoes later, swollen feet, sore and tired, but never defeated. She had a full support team, including her husband and best friend during this run who met her at aid stations to cheer her on. She completed her second 100-mile Ultra earlier this year called The Lone Star 100, a mountain run located in El Paso. This time, she took it on alone without the support team. Forty-eight brave souls were at the starting line at 5 a.m. Moulton was the youngest female at age 28 and one of the youngest runners over all. One hundred miles of mountain terrain with 36 hours to complete. Come in late and you are disqualified. It’s hard to train for mountains when you live in the midwest. *See Moulton’s run time line on page 22*
Surf the Murph 2017 (50 mile run).
1600 Get up to
Moulton qualified in El Paso. It did not come easy. Cold and tired and the last one on the course, it hurt to even consider that next moment. But she did. “The day after a run you are so sore,” Moulton said. “You can’t even sit on a toilet without spider-manning down the wall, or go downstairs without going backward.” People think endurance sports are for the young, but she begs to differ. “I’m almost always the youngest, or in the youngest bracket, at these races. Endurance sports are for the middle-aged,” she said. Look at the Tour de France. Those guys aren’t 19. I love struggling 70 miles in and seeing a gal in gray braids bounce past me, chatting away. It’s inspiring.” Julie is currenting looking for her next 100 mile Ultra. You can read about more of Julie’s adventures on her blog: https://alpinestartblog.com. Sheila DeChantal is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She writes about life meanderings and books at the website Bookjourney.net. She is president of the Friends of the Brainerd Public library and is on the City Library Board. When not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, hiking, mud runs, kickboxing, and finding any excuse to wear a costume.
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“Endurance sports are for the middle-aged.”
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Three loops of 35 miles with approximately 21,000 feet of gain and descent.
http://www.trailracingovertexas.com/lone-star-100/ RUNNER’S TIMELINE BY JULIE MOULTON
Starting line MILE 0 — Standing nervously at the start with 48 other runners, headlamps switched on. 5 a.m. MILE 10 — I am tripping over every rock, tweaking every stabilizer muscle in my ankles. The terrain is much more rugged and I have traversed the Shaffer Shuffle and begun to ascend past the foothills. It’s 8 a.m. and I can switch off my light and start to see what’s around me (cactus, cactus, more cactus).
FRANKLIN MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Summit of North Frankin Peak
NORTH FRANKLIN MOUNTAIN
It’s a rocky, steep, switchback 2,000-foot sustained climb to the summit. 10 a.m. Feeling great. Mile 26.2 — First marathon down and descending back into the foothills. It’s hot! 80 and sunny. Perfect for February. The wind is starting to kick up, especially in the high crosses. Still feeling great. Couple of cactus scratches, plenty of good running friends, awesome volunteers. MILE 35 — Cursing the race director, who has lied about the course length. Finally see the end of the first loop, but my watch is 35-plus miles tracked. I planned to do it in 10 hours, and I’m right on schedule. 3 p.m. Had a slight low point for a mile or two, but worked it out. Staying on top of calories, water and salt intake.
MILE 50 — Switch on the headlamp again. It’s a lonely walk back up the gap in the dark. I’m afraid of mountain lions eating me. Searching desperately for some company through the night. The wind is roaring in my ears and whipping sand against my legs. It’s not cold. Not yet. On top of Franklin Peak I can see all of El Paso, Juarez and into New MILE 20 — Up Mundy’s Gap to Mexico. The cities sparkle for North Franklin Peak – I finally miles. I just need to get up, and figure out my footwork. The down, this peak. first climb is a huge dose of MILE 60 — It’s hard to run in reality, as it hits me that I am in these mountains and will be the dark. I started to fatigue and it’s hard to bounce around for another 24 hours.
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Franklin Mountain Foothills, El Paso, Texas.
Coming down the summit (unknown runner)
rocks and cactus in the dark with a headlamp and blurry vision. I slow to a rapid hike and try not to hallucinate mountain lions out of shadows. I am still confident, but watching the cutoffs. Runners are dropping. MILE 70 - Back at the starting/finish line. Coyotes all around me, in the dark. At 4:30 a.m., I made the cutoff, but not with much cushion. There are not too many runners behind me now. MILE 82 – At the base of Mundy’s Gap. It’s 9 a.m. I need to be up AND down North Franklin Peak by 10 a.m. or I will be cut from the race. The volunteers shake their heads. It’s 5 miles roundtrip with a gnarly 2,000-foot climb. Solid rocks. I drop my vest on the side of the trail and begin to sprint. Adrenaline pumps through my legs. My throat chokes up and I am trying not to cry. I don’t want to be done. I don’t want all of this to be for naught.
MILE 84.5 – I reach the top. It’s 9:40 a.m. I snatch the last bracelet as the volunteer is packing them up and start flying back. 9:45, 9:50, 9:55. My head is screaming ‘I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!’ MILE 87 – The aid station comes into view and there is cheering and cowbells. I raise my fist in victory. 9:58 a.m. I run past, continuing down the peak. As soon as I’m alone, I burst into tears of joy and fatigue. It’s getting emotional. MILE 100 – 34.5 hours in. I am finally at the point of grinding it out. My legs hurt. My knees hurt to bend. Going downhill is excruciating. I’m freezing and the wind is slicing through my layers. I can’t see anyone. I’m the last runner on the course. MILE 105 – 35 hours, 32 minutes. I cross Tommy’s Revenge for the final time and see the volunteers and my new friends at the bottom, cheering their heads off. I rally every last bit of energy and run it in. The relief and pride washes over me. Not the arrogant-type of pride, the esteem-kind of pride. I can’t wait to shower.
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HER PASSION + writing
Women Who Write BY REBECCA FLANSBURG
The lakes area is simply bursting with talent and gifted folks which includes a plethora of amazing authors and wordsmiths. Here are a few local authors who have penned impressive books we all should add to our “must read” lists. To find more wonderful books from lakes area authors, follow the hashtag #GoBooks on social media and whenever possible, purchase your new reads from local or independent retailers. Read on!
Becky Flansburg has 10-plus years of experience as a freelance writer and blogger. She is also the project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative Multicultural Children’s Book Day and is part of the local-focused site, UpNorthParent.com.
Janeva Eickhoff • “Janeva’s Ideal Recipes”
struggling for years with diets that never seem to work, Janeva Eickhoff finally felt like she had stumbled upon the answer to prayer when a friend recommended the Ideal Protein weight loss program. To date, Janeva has lost over 33 pounds and kept it off since. But early on in her weight loss journey, this savvy lakes area resident began to wonder
what other recipes she could come up with that were compliant with Phase 1 of the program. “For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a desire to compile all my favorite recipes into a cookbook,” Janeva shared. “After joining the Ideal Protein program, I found the meals tasteless and uninteresting. But I also realized I could create my own delicious versions and still stay within the diet’s guidelines. I began sharing my recipes with the members of the Ideal Protein Facebook Group and soon they were clamoring for me to create a cookbook. I sought the legal approval from Ideal Protein to use their trademarked name in my book and that compilation of delicious and healthy recipes is what became “Janeva’s Ideal Recipes.”” “Janeva’s Ideal Recipes” is a full-color cookbook that
includes over 300-plus easy to follow recipes for those who enjoy the everyday comfort foods including pizza, ice cream, breads, baked goods, crackers, chips and many other foods dieters may think are off limits. It is a soft-cover workbook style cookbook which includes the following recipe categories: Main Entrees, Beverages & Smoothies, Breads, Muffins & Wraps, Desserts, Cookies & Cakes, Dressings & Condiments, Eggs, Fish & Seafood, Pancakes & Waffles, Salads & Soups, Snacks & Miscellaneous, Veggie dishes, and more. “Seventeen years ago I lost my only child, Samuel, and in turn, my passion and purpose in life,” Janeva recalled. “Ten years after his passing, I regained my passion for creating recipes in the kitchen. As the popularity of my cookbook grew, I felt a need to
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give back. I started a charity in my son’s name, Samuel’s House Foundation via Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a charitable organization feeding children around the world, headquartered in Coon Rapids. A portion of the proceeds from the cookbook are donated to the charity and thus far we have provided meals for more than 50,000 children. This entire cookbook journey has been a blessing to many and I am grateful to be part of it.” For more information on Samuel’s House Foundation: give.fmsc.org/ fundraiser/916200
Teri Kaminski Peterson • “The Big Book of Exclamations”
a Pediatric SpeechLanguage Pathologist, Teri Kaminski Peterson has always been keenly aware that communication development begins at birth and encompasses much
more than just learning to speak. When reading books with infants and toddlers, Teri was unable to find picture books that immersed children in the language of their daily routines. So in 2008, she decided to take matters into her own hands by publishing her first book, “The Big Book of Exclamations,” under her own imprint, Chatterbox Books. In April of 2016 she released her second book, “Talk with Me, The Big Book of Exclamations 2.”
“For several years customers had been asking me to update my first book by adding diversity,” Teri noted. “So I revised my illustrations to be even more bright, cheerful and diverse. When reading either of my books, I encourage parents to describe the illustrations in rich detail. There are hundreds of things whoever is doing the reading can say about each page.” Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher and often don’t realize the significant impact language has on a child’s brain development. Teri’s ultimate goal is to get “Talk with Me!” into the
hands of every new parent so they start developing the habit of talking more during story time and throughout their daily routine. Research has shown babies need to hear and interact with words starting their first day of life and establishing this habit is a critical factor in early brain development.
TERI KAMINSKI PETERSON www.chatterboxbooks.com
“...I encourage parents to describe the illustrations in rich detail. There are hundreds of things whoever is doing the reading can say about each page.” - Teri Kaminski Peterson
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Beth Hautala • “The Ostrich and Other Lost Things”
From her hobby farm in Cuyuna, author Beth Hautala knows she is lucky to be able to raise her four children in place that is a blending new memories and sweet childhood ones. The property that she and
husband, Aaron, call home has also become the perfect background for her blooming writing career. “As a child I struggled to read, but once I grasped the skill, I became a voracious reader,” Beth remembered. “I’d read everything I could get my hands on from contemporary kids’ fiction to the antique books I found in our local antique stores in Crosby.” In her adult years, Beth found herself happily working in the writing and publishing industry as a
freelance writer for Lake Country Journal Magazine and an associate editor/ co-owner of RedHouse Media. Her love of a good book soon morphed into a desire to create her own novels and in 2015, she wrote and released her first middle-grade fiction book, “Waiting for Unicorns.” Beth’s second book, “The Ostrich and Other Lost Things” was released in early 2018 through Penguin Random House Publishing. This middle-grade fiction story touches on the topic of autism and shares the story of a girl with an unusual ability to find missing things. But this
well-written book also delves into what it means to be “normal,” and what happens when the idea of “family” is much different than reality. “My writing journey has been long and educational and lovely,” she shared. “I fell in love with story in the very place I now call home, and now I get to write my own stories here. It feels surreal some days and I am so thankful for this opportunity.”
“I fell in love with story in the very place I now call home, and now I get to write my own stories here...”- Beth Hautala
Diane Schlagel • “The Price of New Shoes ‑ An Oldest Sister’s Journey”
resident Diane Schlagel was 73 years young when she decided the story of her childhood sexual
assault and trauma needed to be told. “The Price of New Shoes- An Oldest Sister’s Journey” was the result of this journey of healing of herself and her relationships. Within the pages of this deeply personal memoir, she shares how the childhood abuse affected every part of her adult life, especially her bond with her husband of 53 years, Byron. This book also shares her struggles to get an education in order to escape the abusive situation at home, the difficult dynamics of her
immediate family and her determination to find personal peace. This first-time author shared she realized she needed to first heal herself as she was completing her master’s in psychology. Through her therapeutic journal writing, this thought-provoking memoir was born. Published by RiverPlace Press of Brainerd, CEO Chip Borkenhagen summed up Diane’s book in one powerful sentence: “A difficult story told very well.” “My goal with “The Price of New Shoes” is to let
other survivors know they are not alone,” Diane confirmed. “Survivors of sexual abuse need to know that they can tell their stories without shame and judgment. My hope is that by telling my story, it will help others do the same.
“My goal with “The Price of New Shoes” is to let other survivors know they are not alone.”- Diane Schlagel 26 her voice | Summer 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
Carissa Andrews • “The Pendomus Chronicles” Brainerd
graduate Carissa Andrews may be only in her 30s, but she could be considered by many to be a publishing pro. Carissa is currently finishing up the launch of her fourth book, “Author Impostor: Getting Over Impostor Syndrome So You Can Reclaim Your Power and Start Writing,” a non-fiction book aimed at helping other self-published authors get over their fears, stop feeling like frauds and embrace their life and role as an author. This Crosslake resident also has three more fiction books slated to publish in 2018.
Carissa shared that she got the writing bug in high school when she and a handful of other students were asked to be in a special writing and illustrating class. Looking back, the experience planted a seed of desire to become a published author. Carissa describes her trilogy, “Pendomus,” “Polarities” and “Revolutions,” as “genre-bending speculative fiction” because they are an exciting blend of scifi and fantasy with dystopian elements. “The only way I knew how to define my first genre-defying book, “Pendomus,” back in 2010, was to say it was
genre-bending. Next thing I know, even big literary agents are using the term!” When asked what her advice to new authors was, Carissa said, “Get out of your own way. A lot of authors can sit and stew in their own juices, usually for way too long. Take the first step!”
Carissa describes her trilogy, “Pendomus,” “Polarities” and “Revolutions,” as “genre-bending speculative fiction.”
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Elisa Korenne • “Hundred Miles to Nowhere”
a story of a unique personal journey that can be summed up with the sentence, “Big city girl marries a small town guy.” But don’t let the perceived simplicity fool you. Writing under the pen
name, Elisa Korenne, New York City native and singer/ songwriter, Elisa Korentayer, was “gobsmacked” by culture shock when she first moved from her lifelong home to New York Mills, Minn., to be closer to the unexpected love of her life, Chris Klein. In her successful memoir-style book, “Hundred Miles to Nowhere,” Elisa dives deep into her own personal struggles with managing a cross-country romance, trying to shift gears from the single life to wedded bliss, and transitioning from being a resident of one of the biggest cities in the U.S. to embracing and enjoying the
charm of small town America. “‘As an artist, I tend to cope with and process my feelings by creating work inspired by them,’” Elisa shared. “‘I tried to write songs to express the experience of my cross-country move, but when they weren’t able to capture the scope of my feelings, I found that creative nonfiction allowed me to tell my story. The best part of releasing “Hundred Miles to Nowhere” book has been encountering the response of readers. It is absolutely thrilling for me to interact with people who have read, and often relate to, my story.’” Elisa is also currently working on her second book —
a mystery novel featuring a singer-songwriter sleuth tentatively titled “Song of a Woodturner.” She revealed the inspiration for this fiction tale was a combination of her own experiences, a love for the crime fiction genre, and an event in the 1980s when New York Mills was the site of the largest marijuana bust in U.S. history.
Recommended books from our Facebook friends Mike O’Rourke: “The Gatekeepers” by Chris Whipple. Kilie Stone: “The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore and “White is for Magic” series by Laurie Faria Stolarz. Julie Kemper: Try finding the book to one of your favorite movies. “Fried Green Tomatoes” would a good one.
Tiffany Femling: “Woman Enough” by Lissa Carlino. Shannon Bjorklund Mills: “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Sandy Moran: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. Pat Kaminski: “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. Could not put it down.
28 her voice | Summer 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
Amanda Mithun: “The Good Liar” by Catherine McKenzie. Kari Lake: “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate. Sarah Herron: “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. Jennifer Smith: “Coming to My Senses” by Alice Waters and “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown.
HER HEALTH + treatment
A Journey to Healing BY CHRIS MONROE
It was on a beach in Mexico, not a hospital in Minnesota, where Connie
Nelson finally found relief. Relief from the pain. Relief from the constant fatigue. But most importantly, relief from the nagging fear her days were numbered. In October 2012, Nelson, of rural Jenkins, was suffering with a head cold — suffering enough that a trip to the doctor was in order. While there, she asked the doctor to look at a mole on her shoulder. What happened next would lead her on a five-year journey that would span two countries.
“I sat by the water’s edge and prayed every morning. Help me Jesus. Fill me with your peace. Show me your way.”- Connie Nelson Like us on Facebook • Summer 2018 | her voice 29
Malignant melanoma starts in the skin cells. A biopsy of the mole, only as large as a sunflower seed, and a referral to a dermatologist, confirmed Nelson’s worst fear -- a diagnosis of cancer. She underwent her first surgery in January 2013 to remove the sentinel lymph node. Nelson, who lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of 60, was unprepared for what came next. When lab results revealed the sentinel node was cancerous, a second surgery was performed to remove all of the lymph nodes in the area surrounding the tumor and an outpatient treatment plan of weekly injections of the chemotherapy drug, Interferon, was implemented. The oncologist anticipated Nelson would undergo weekly injections for a year and a half. On the day we spoke, Nelson looked radiant. Her wild mane of curly blond hair fell around her chiseled features, which showed no signs of the strain of her five-year journey. Only when she spoke about the love and support of the doctors and staff at Hope4Cancer did she falter and reveal the emotional roller coaster on which she’s traveled. Sitting next to her was her daughter-in-law, eight months pregnant with Nelson’s fourth grandchild. But she wasn’t always this comfortable in her own skin. In October 2013, following a six-week break to repair her liver from the toxicity of the chemotherapy, Nelson again began weekly injections she would endure for another six months. While a full-body scan in March 2014 revealed her cancer was gone and she enjoyed 16 months of relative good health, another scan in July 2015 once again brought her to her knees…small nodules were seen on her lungs and, shortly thereafter, she felt a tumor sticking out of her rib cage. A CT scan showed tumors on her lungs, spleen and right thigh.
Hope4Cancer Baja and Cancun, Mexico
Connie with her doctor at Hope4Cancer.
Plans were made for four treatments, one every three weeks, of a two-chemical cocktail followed by a single-dose chemo treatment for five to 10 years, Nelson’s anticipated life expectancy. While she began the treatments, completing five of them, she also turned to the internet for information on additional things she could do to extend her life. She eliminated all processed food, sugar and white flower from her diet. And she watched a documentary that would change the course of her life. “The Truth About Cancer” aired in April 2016. Dr. Antonio Jimenez, chief medical officer of Hope4Cancer,
The treatment involved a detoxing diet, as well as vitamin IVs and therapy to flush dead cancer cells from her body.
Hope, Education and Healing
1-877-613-1039 | www.hope4cancer.com
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was interviewed. Jimenez founded the alternative cancer treatment center in 2000 in Mexico. Nelson watched and then she took action. “I emailed the address that was provided,” Nelson said. “Someone called 15 minutes later. She said ‘we can help you. Can you come to Mexico next week?’” Within a month, Nelson arrived at Hope4Cancer in Cancun. The treatment involved a detoxing diet, as well as vitamin IVs and therapy to flush dead cancer cells from her body. “The caregivers at Hope4Cancer were so kind,” Nelson said. “I joined cancer patients from all corners of the United States and Canada and England staying in a hotel on the beach and eating specially prepared meals.” She spent three weeks in Cancun, but it wasn’t until four days before she returned to Minnesota that she received her first of four treatments to attack the cancer cells. Rigvir, administered by injection, is a viral therapy developed specifically to battle melanoma, but is now used to treat many forms of cancer. Since her return to the states, Nelson has continued the Rigvir injections (shipped from Mexico). While the frequency has decreased, she will continue to need injections for one to three years. Nelson undergoes a CT scan every three months and returned to Hope4Cancer last fall for a check-up. To date, all scans have been clean. Connie Nelson is cancer free. I asked her if she was ever frightened that her choice of an alternative treatment and ending all chemotherapy would shorten, rather than prolong, her life. “It never went through my mind,” she said. “I prayed every day, sometimes 100 times a day. When I saw the documentary, I knew it was the right thing. I didn’t question it.” Nelson smiled when she spoke of the kindness and compassion she experienced at Hope4Cancer. “The doctors and nurses comforted me. And
“I’ve changed my diet, my exercise regimen… everything.” - Connie Nelson they focused not only on the cure, but on improving my life post cancer. I’ve changed my diet, my exercise regimen…everything.” The financial investment is not insignificant. Nelson spent $41,000 of her own money. “It’s not covered by insurance,” she said. ”But it was definitely worth it.”
Chris Monroe After vacationing in the Brainerd lakes area for 20 years, Chris and her husband Bill decided to make Crosslake their home. In addition to her freelance writing, Chris is the director of the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys reading, writing, anything having to do with the water and sharing her lake home with family and friends. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Chris made Des Moines, Iowa, her home for 34 years before relocating to north central Minnesota. She enjoyed a wonderful non-profit career as executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, representing the interests of 300 Iowa newspapers and overseeing three non-profit corporations. You can find Chris’ blog at chrislmonroe.com.
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Suz Pohl, Owner Suz Pohl, Owner Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC
Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC
What sets you apart from beyond for our customers. We other title companies? stand behind our tagline, “Enter as Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC Strangers . . . Leave as Friends.” What setsisyou apart flexible. from We close beyond for our customers. We extremely other titleanywhere, companies? stand ourunique tagline,benefits “Enter as to using any day, any time, and behind Any Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC Strangers . . . Leave as Friends. ” under any circumstances. Cygneture Title Solutions? is extremely flexible. We close My husband is retired military, after anywhere, any day, anyan time, and Any unique to using Describe experience 20benefits years of service. Out of deep under any circumstances. Cygneture Title Solutions? illustrating this commitment. respect for the sacrifices they have My husband is retired military, after My client had a closing deadline made to serve others, we honor Describe an experience 20 years of men service. Out of deep while in active labor at Crosby and women in uniform by illustrating this commitment. Hospital. She signed paperwork respect for waiving the sacrifices they have our closing fee for Military, My client had a closing deadline and made between contractions, we to serve others, we honor Paramedics, Veterans, Firefighters, while in active labor Crosby closed onatthe land that day!men and women in uniform by and Law Enforcement. Hospital. She signed paperwork waiving our closing fee for Military, between contractions, and we You’ve also juggled career Veterans, Firefighters, Paramedics, What is your philosophy of closed on the land that day! and family, correct? and Law Enforcement. doing business? Yes. My husband Kyle and I have Treat others as you would want You’ve also juggled career been married for 28 ½ years. What is your philosophy of My clients, to be treated yourself. and family, correct? We’ve raised four children (Gavin, doing business? colleagues, and staff of eight Yes. My husband and I Mearan) have Kegan,Kyle Bracken, whom I Treat others as you ARE my would friends.want My objective is been married for 28 ½ years. homeschooled prior to beginning a to be treated yourself. My clients, to develop lasting relationships We’ve raised four children (Gavin, professional career as a titlecolleagues, closer and astaff of eight over lifetime, which is important Kegan, Bracken, Mearan) whom I in 2008, co-owner of Cygneture ARE my friends. for meMy asobjective a personisand for my homeschooled prior to beginning a Title & Abstract, Inc. in 2009, to and develop business. lasting relationships In fact, our mission and professionalsole career as aoftitle closer Title owner Cygneture over a lifetime, whichculture is important company encourage us all in 2008, co-owner of Cygneture Solutions, LLC in 2017. for me as ato person and fortrust, my one customer be “building Title & Abstract, Inc. in 2009, and business. Inatfact, our” mission and a time. sole owner How of Cygneture do you Title assist company culture encourage us all Solutions, LLC in 2017. individuals? to be “building trust, one customer Personally, I enjoy meeting people, Not unlike any other title at a time.” learning about them, and helping How do you assist company, Cygneture searches them secure a dream home or individuals? property records going back 40 Personally, vacation I enjoy meeting people, Not unlike any other title place on the lake. I train years, examines those records learning about them, and helping company, Cygneture searches my staff to listen intently to what to see if they’re correct, checks them secure a dream property records going back a client tellshome them,orask probing for problems (such40as liens, vacation place on the to lake. I trainneeds, years, examines those records questions identify bankruptcies, etc.) prior to closing, my staff to listen intently to what to see if they’re correct, checks work as a team to find solutions, drafts legal documents for a client tells them, ask probing for problems (such as liens, be correct with the details, and closings, and issues title insurance identify needs, bankruptcies, etc.)everything prior to closing, together on a job well when is cleared.questions tocelebrate solutions, drafts legal Cygneture documentsgoes for above andwork as a team done,toallfind with a smile. be correct with the details, and closings, and issues title insurance celebrate together on a job well when everything is cleared. done, all with a smile. Cygneture goes above and
Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC 13021 Evergreen Dr., Baxter | 218.828.0122
Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC 183 Seventh Ave. S., Waite Park
3021 Evergreen Dr., Baxter | 218.828.0122 www.Cygnetureonline.com
83 Seventh Ave. S., Waite Park
32 her voice | Summer 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
Suz Pohl, Owner
Women in business is a new feature showcasing and celebrating the LLC Cygneture Title Solutions, milestones and careers of women in the Brainerd lakes area.
What sets you apart from beyond for our customers. We other title companies? stand behind our tagline, “Enter as Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC Strangers . . . Leave as Friends.” If you have someone in your company that needs celebrating is extremely flexible. We close call Sarah Herron at Her Voice Magazine 218-855-5821. anywhere, any day, any time, and Any unique benefits to using under any circumstances. Cygneture Title Solutions? My husband is retired military, after Describe an experience 20 years of service. Out of deep illustrating this commitment. respect for the sacrifices they have My client had a closing deadline made to serve others, we honor while in active labor at Crosby men and women in uniform by Hospital. She signed paperwork waiving our closing fee for Military, between contractions, and we Veterans, Firefighters, Paramedics, Kari Christiansen closed on the land that day! and Law Enforcement.
V.P. of Administrative Services V.P. of Administrative Services Her role in these projects enjoys working with students, Kari Christiansen’s impact
You’ve juggled career lead to significant positive employees, K-12 school dis-of on Kari Central Lakes College and also Her role in these projects What enjoys working with students, Christiansen’s impact is your philosophy and family, correct? tricts, government, business outcomes for students. Even doing the community run deep. As lead to significant positive employees, K-12 school dison Central Lakes College and business? Kyle and I have community partners on Vice President ofrun Administrathrough tight times, and tricts, government, business outcomes foreconomic students. Even the community deep.Yes. As My husband Treat others as you would want that havepartners mutual on tive worked Kari made the needstimes, projects been married for tight 28sure ½economic years. and community ViceServices, Presidentshe’s of Administrathrough to be treated yourself. My clients, benefit the college and with the college andworked local of students, employees and We’ve raised four projectsforthat mutual tive Services, she’s Kari madechildren sure the(Gavin, needs colleagues, andhave staff of eight communities were met. It’s a the communities it serves. business partners on facility Kegan, Bracken, Mearan) whomand I benefit for the college and with the college and local of students, employees ARE my friends. My objective is job sheprior calls to both challenging projects A $5.9on million homeschooled beginning communities were met. It’sa a the communities it serves. businesslike: partners facility to develop lasting relationships Heavy Equipment shop and and rewarding. job she calls challenging projects like: A $5.9 million professional career asboth a title closer over a lifetime, which is important Being atof theCygneture college for music a $4.2 million Heavyaddition, Equipment shop and and rewarding. in 2008, co-owner for me as a person and for my 26 years and with ties to Staples campus renovation, BeingInc. at the college for music addition, a $4.2 million Title & Abstract, in 2009, and $1.5 million in projects for sci- both Staples and Brainerd, business. In fact, our mission and 26 years and with ties to Staples campus renovation, sole owner of Cygneture Title she’s considered part of the company culture encourage us all ence labs atinboth campuses, $1.5 million projects for sciboth Staples and Brainerd, Solutions, LLC in 2017. glue the collegepart through the $525,000 Chalberg Theshe’sofconsidered of the to be “building trust, one customer ence labs at both campuses, transitions. Kari saysthrough she truly at a time.” atre renovation, and more. glue of the college the $525,000 Chalberg TheHow do you assist transitions. Kari says she truly atre renovation, and more. 001703886r1
individuals? Personally, I enjoy meeting people, Not unlike any other title 001703886r1 learning about them, and helping company, Cygneture searches them secure a dream home or property records going back 40 vacation place on the lake. I train years, examines those records my staff to listen intently to what to see if they’re correct, checks Missy a client tells them, ask probing Missy Norring Norring for problems (such as liens, Owner/Stylist Owner/Stylist questions to identify needs, bankruptcies, etc.) Missy prior toNorring closing, Whenyou youare arenot notat atwork, work, the #1 #1 Paul Paul Mitchell Mitchellsalon salonin in Education the Education Owner/Stylist work When as a team to find solutions, drafts legal documents for what are you doing? the Midwest region! Regency Beauty Academy whatwith are you doing?and region! Regency Beauty Academy the #1 Education be correct the details, closings, the andMidwest issues title insurance Onmy mydays days offIAcademy Iteach teachfor for National Educator Educator for for John John On off National the Mi Regency Beauty Missy Norringcelebrate together on a job well when everything is cleared. PaulMitchell Mitchell orspend spend time Favorite part partabout aboutyour yourjob. job. National Paul Mitchell Mitchell Systems Systems Paul or time Favorite Paul Educator for John Owner/Stylist done, all with a smile. Cygneture goes above and withMitchell myfamily. family. enjoygargarMaking people people feel feelbeautiful beautiful Paul with my I Ienjoy Making Favori Systems th Education and confident. confident. Most proud proud career career moment? moment? and dening andcooking. cooking. Welove love Making Most dening and th Regency Beauty We Academy Becoming aa National National EducaEducatogo go camping andmoment? spend Becoming to camping and spend Most proud career National Educator for John and co What do do you you like likemost most tor for for Paul Paul Mitchell Mitchell which which timePaul onthe the northSystems shore. What tor time on north shore. Becoming a National EducaF Mitchell about the the company companythat that gives me me the the opportunity opportunity to to about gives WhatMd tor for Paul Mitchell which you work work for? for? teach advanced advanced techniques you teach Cygneture Title Solutions, LLC techniques abouta givesMost me the opportunity to proud career moment? We are a team, fromjumping jumping teachBecoming to other stylists and share my We are a team, from to other stylists and share my advancedatechniques National Educa-you w 13021 Evergreen Dr., Baxter | 218.828.0122 in to to help help each each other otherout outto to passion for for the the industry. industry. in passion We are to other sharewhich my W tor stylists for Pauland Mitchell doing consultations together Also having Belle Cheveux in doing consultations together Also having Belle Cheveux in passion forme thethe industry. a gives opportunity to in to h 183 Seventh Ave. S., Waite Park we are are stronger stronger as asaateam. team. small town town Nisswa Nisswa become become 218-961-0095 we small doingy Also having Belle Cheveux in teach advanced techniques 218-961-0095 001717602r1 www.Cygnetureonline.com 001717602r1 smalltotown Nisswa W other stylistsbecome and share mywe are in passion for the industry. d Also having Belle Cheveux in w small2018 town| Nisswa become Like us on Facebook • Summer her voice 33
Belle Cheveux Salon
Belle Cheveux Salo
Belle Cheveux S
Celebrating 20 years in Business! Sue Conway
Among the Pines (referred to as ATP), located in the Baxter Village Complex on Hwy 371 North, is marking its 20th year in business. Sue Conway opened the store in Pequot Lakes in 1998 but moved it to Baxter in 2005. Now at 20 years, and a few product changes along the way, ATP continues to deliver on its mission of bringing distinctive and surprising fashion to the women (and girls too, sizes 6-14) of the Brainerd Lakes Area and
beyond. Conway goes on regular buying trips to Chicago, Las Vegas and New York to assure that the best and brightest fashion is available to the clientele. ATP offers an exclusive selection of business casual, lifestyle comfort, active wear, along with a trendy boutique shopper selection. Superior customer service is the critical point of difference as compared to the big box retail arena. Whether a first-time
customer, or loyal client for years, ATP exists to meet your fashion needs and desires.
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DeeCrochet Crochet Dee Dee Crochet Dee Crochet
Erica Marcussen, Erica Marcussen, AIA AIA
DC Salon Salon -- A A New New Salon Salon That That Feels Feels Like Like Home Home ”,retteb g DC DC Salon - A New Salon That Feels Like Home eht gnie ,yriah steg efil nehW ,secaf ’stneilc DCDee Salon - Aowner New Salon That Feels Dee Crochet,former former owner “There’snothing nothing better, Crochet, “There’s better, ”” ew nehw ,nem ti tucLike rehtieHome nac uoy
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13746 Memorywood Memorywood Drive, Drive, Baxter, Baxter, MN MN 56425 56425 13746 13746 Memorywood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425
218-851-7951 218-851-7951 218-851-7951
13746 Memorywood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425
OnceaaWarrior, Warrior,Always AlwaysaaWarrior! Warrior! Once
BHSAlum AlumHelps HelpsGuide GuideDistrict Districtinto intothe theFuture Future BHS Architect Erica Marcussen, BHS Architect Erica Marcussen, BHS ‘95, proudly displays her Warrior ‘95, proudly displays her Warrior pride and drive. She played a key pride and drive. She played a key role in the recently completed role in the recently completed district-wide planning effort district-wide planning effort and referendum that will soon and referendum that will soon see a range of improvements see a range of improvements to all school district facilities. to all school district facilities. Armed with a bachelor’s degree Armed with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from NDSU and in architecture from NDSU and 10 years’ experience, she joined 10 years’ experience, she joined WSN’s Baxter team in 2008. Erica WSN’s Baxter team in 2008. Erica
tackles complex projects and tackles complex projects and has emerged as one of the firm’s has emerged as one of the firm’s leaders in educational facility leaders in educational facility planning and design. In addition planning and design. In addition to ISD 181, she has worked with to ISD 181, she has worked with Crosby-Ironton, Pillager, and St. Crosby-Ironton, Pillager, and St. Francis Catholic schools. She exFrancis Catholic schools. She exhibits tremendous perseverance, hibits tremendous perseverance, providing a high level of service providing a high level of service while keeping multiple, concurwhile keeping multiple, concurrent projects moving forward. rent projects moving forward. From her days of playing with From her days of playing with
34 her voice | Summer 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
Lincoln Logs, to engaging with Lincoln Logs, to engaging with local architects through a junior local architects through a junior high school mentoring program, high school mentoring program, to touring Europe as a Girl Scout, to touring Europe as a Girl Scout, Erica has never lost her enthuErica has never lost her enthusiasm for the built environment siasm for the built environment and the impact design can have and the impact design can have on a community. on a community.
Partner at The Raboin & Francis Law Firm, Ltd. Michelle Francis
Michelle Francis graduated with a J.D. from The University of Dayton School of Law and B.S. in Social Psychology from Park University. She and her husband, Jim, have two daughters, Rebecca, 21 and Allison, 15. Michelle joined the firm in 2012 and became a partner January 1, 2017, starting the newly formed The Raboin & Francis Law Firm. She’s quickly become an involved member of the Brainerd Lakes community
and has a thriving practice. Her primary areas of practice include: Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability. When asked what Michelle’s favorite part about her job is, she replied “Helping people get the financial assistance they need.” Michelle also sits on the Board for the Northland Arboretum and United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties. In addition, The
Raboin & Francis Law Firm actively participates in many community events including: 2017 Corporate Sponsors for Operation Sandwich, Girls Night Out, The Crow Wing County Fair, The United Way Chili CookOff and The Radiothon to End Child Abuse.
Contact Michelle at 218-828-9211
Welcome Marcy! Marcy Weaver, Financial Advisor
Marcy Weaver, Financial Advisor, is part of the Edward Jones team serving the lakes area, working together to develop your strategic plan, how much you need for retirement, where you are at today and ideas to reach your target. Once there, she will work with you to protect your investments while you enjoy retirement. As an area native, Marcy has
spent the past 18 years in the community providing retirement solutions expertise, fostering new business development and helping communities grow using technology. “As someone who loves running, I relate preparing for retirement to a marathon. While it seems like a long distance to cover, it starts with that first step. Having a personal advisor
working with you to create a plan, provide encouragement and keep you on track will help you reach the finish line.” To schedule your strategic planning session, call 218-5682230 or email Marcy at marcy. email@example.com
Danae Blanck Anderson, ASID, CID, NCIDQ
I.D. Your World - Interior Design
Danae Blanck Anderson is in a variety of venues. Danae and Mass Communications/ passionate about the field of started, I.D. Your World, a Public Relations from Minnesota interior design. She especially design consulting company State University, Mankato. She likes how good “design in 2004. Her work includes is a Minnesota State Certified transforms lives”, which happens work in both residential and Interior Designer (CID) and a Marcy Marcy Weaver, Weaver, Financial the past the past 18 years 18commercial years in the in thedesign, working working withwith you to youcreate to create a a toFinancial be the motto forspent thespent American along National Council for Interior Society of Interiorcommunity Designers freelance writing plan, on design Advisor, Advisor, is part is part of the of Edward the Edward community providing providing retirement retirement plan, provide provide encouragement encouragement and and Design Qualification (NCIDQ) (ASID), organization sheexpertise, is expertise, topics. Anything that has to Jones Jones teamteam serving serving the lakes thean lakes solutions solutions fostering fostering keepkeep you on youtrack on track will help will help youholder. you To learn more certificate involved Anderson has been do with the of the built area,area, working working together together to develop toin.develop newnew business business development development andinterior and reach reach the finish the finish line.about ”line.” the interior design services an designer forhelping over environment, Danae will find youryour strategic strategic plan,plan, howinterior how much much helping communities communities growgrow usingusing To schedule To schedule your your strategic strategic I.D. Your World offers, call Danae two decades. During this time a design solution. Anderson you need you need for retirement, for retirement, where where technology. technology. planning planning session, session, call 218-568call 218-568at 218.330.2338 or find her online she has had the opportunity to received a Bachelor of Science you are youat aretoday at today and and ideasideas to to “As someone “As someone whowho lovesloves gain valuable work experience degree in both Interior Design atatwww.idyourworldmn.com . 22302230 or email or email Marcy Marcy marcy. at marcy. reach reach youryour target. target. OnceOnce there, there, running, running, I relate I relate preparing preparing for for firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com she will she work will work withwith you to youprotect to protect retirement retirement to a to marathon. a marathon. While While Like us on Facebook • Summer 2018 | her voice 35 youryour investments investments whilewhile you enjoy you enjoyit seems it seems like alike long a long distance distance retirement. retirement. to cover, to cover, it starts it starts withwith that that first first
Welcome WelcomeMarcy! Marcy! Marcy Marcy Weaver, Weaver, Financial Financial Advisor Advisor
Joey Halvorson The Woman Behind The Camera
BY SHEILA DECHANTAL
In 2005, I met Joey
Halvorson when she was at my home taking pictures for a Her Voice article about my life. What an honor it is to now, 13 years later, be the one who writes hers.
To know Joey Halvorson is to love her. Joey has been a long-time photographer (and occasional writer) for Her Voice Magazine, Lake Country Journal, as well as other local publications. She is generous with her time and to her community. On Facebook, she is witty, funny and quick with a joke. She is also amazing with a camera and takes the type of pictures that truly tell the story -- be it a sunrise or a sunset, nature, or an event -- when Joey takes the pictures, you feel you are right there. In our community she is everywhere, from sitting in on Brown Bag Authors at the Brainerd Public Library, to weddings, art shows, plays, Ice Fishing Extravaganza greeter, area events, fundraisers, and more than could ever be mentioned. She can
be identified as the one with a camera to her face. Adopted at a young age by Jerry and Bernice Halvorson, Joey remembers from the start, the family always had a camera around. At the time, that camera was a Brownie. “That camera was always around. My mom loved to take pictures and I think I may have followed her in that interest,” Joey said fondly. As a young adult, Joey chose to go to college in Minneapolis, moving away from her small hometown of Brainerd. She initially thought she was going to be a doctor or major in biology or chemistry. “I thought maybe I would be a doctor, until I saw all the credits that it required,” Joey said. She decided she would receive her
36 her voice | Summer 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
major in physical education, being an avid lover of basketball. While she still enjoyed dabbling in photography, and even had a dark room where she stayed with her college roommates, it was more of a hobby and she never thought of it as a potential career. When a friend asked her to take the pictures for her wedding, Joey readily agreed and found that she enjoyed being around all that energy and while she felt her photos were not great, she didn’t charge much and enjoyed the work. She continued to pick up the occasional photography job as they came up. In the years following college, Joey dabbled in several things, feeling a little rebellious against committing to anything. She spent some time work-
“...I’m amazed at how many stories I have. In 75 years, you can gather a lot of stories …” - Joey Halvorson ing at American Linen and worked a 10-key faster than anyone. She cleaned dog kennels and she even spent time student teaching until she found out she was required to lay out a lesson plan.“I didn’t want to be tied down by overstructure,” Joey said. “I still don’t. I like the freedom to choose and I have never had trouble finding jobs.” In 1975, Joey moved back to Brainerd and worked at the YMCA as a program director. She taught the first aerobics classes. In the later 70s she managed the area racquetball club. She also at one time sold insurance for a couple of years. In the 80s she was the director of Community Action. She continuously found herself drawn to community. As time went on all the while photography was always there waiting in the background, Joey found herself more and more comfortable behind the camera. In the late 1990s, Meg Douglas and Chip Borkenhagen called Joey up to be a part of taking photos for a local area magazine. It was, as it turned out, the first time Joey ever felt like she was a photographer. While it has never been full time photography, it has become what Joey is known for as she turns up everywhere in our community with a smile on her face and her camera around her neck, often to help out a community cause. Joey is indeed a lover of the simple things. She finds each situation unique, each subject fascinating, and the story each picture tells shows what drives her. Grad pictures, weddings, galas, events or random pictures, she loves to see people smile. In her downtime, Joey loves to read.
As an avid reader she is in two book clubs currently, the No Name Book Club and The Best Book Club Ever. She also loves pickleball and tennis, finding as time went on that getting bumped while playing basketball isn’t what it used to be. And of course, she continues taking pictures just for fun. Along with photography, she also pet sits. Joey was recently named the 2018 Woman Making Waves recipient. This annual award, presented through the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, recognizes a woman who has significantly contributed to the field of philanthropy through personal or professional contributions. Sherri DeLahunt’s nomination stated: “Joey epitomizes a Woman Making Waves! She represents the ‘Face of Brainerd,’ often without anyone seeing her face. She donates her time and talent throughout the Brainerd lakes area taking photos at local events and posting/sharing them willingly and lovingly. Beyond the photos, Joey shares herself; her enthusiasm and her LOVE
for the Brainerd lakes area and her photos document that love. Joey’s everywhere and I’m so glad she is!” It’s obvious Joey was selected for her gigantic contribution of not only her time and talent, but her enthusiasm in all she does. Looking at all she has put into our community through her eye and the lens, it is a well deserved win. “Now that I am 75, I’m amazed at how many stories I have. In 75 years, you can gather a lot of stories … but what are we without those stories?” Joey said, with a smile. I think the better question is where would we be without you, Joey?
Sheila DeChantal is a freelance writer and book reviewer. She writes about life meanderings and books at the website Bookjourney.net. She is president of the Friends of the Brainerd Public library and is on the City Library Board. When not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, hiking, mud runs, kickboxing, and finding any excuse to wear a costume.
Like us on Facebook • Summer 2018 | her voice 37
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARANDA LORRAINE
e n i a r r o L a d n a Mar h t i W — Maranda’s mom
months back, my mom and I were having a serious conversation about being frugal with our hard-earned money. I was talking about the importance of living debt free and how I want to strive for simplicity. It was an easy flow of ideas and words between the two of us as I watched her apply thick strokes of white paint on some old wooden bee frames. My mom raises bees on her ranch and instead of buying new hives and frames every year, she uses her old equipment. She scrapes the outside of the hives and will repaint them fresh. It’s tedious work, but in the end, it is rewarding. The bees love a clean and tidy hive and happy bees will definitely produce more honey. I watched as her brush applied another stark white layer of paint over the side of the bee box. My mom was talking about the importance of improving the value of my land saying it is important to care for your assets and use your money wisely in the upgrades. Then she casually said, “I think it would be a good idea to drop a line of electricity into the swamp.” She continued painting as I turned my face to stare at the trees across the yard. “Here we go again,” I thought. I was quiet for a moment and the only sound was the swish of her brush against the rough wooden texture of the beehive. Then I calmly exhaled and replied in a monotone voice that could be mistaken for boredom if you weren’t following the topic of our conversation. I said, “Well, Mom, it is very possible that lightning will strike somewhere in the swamp this summer.” I was quiet again and this time there was no sound of her painting. I looked over at my mother and she was staring back at me blankly.
38 her voice | Spring 2018 • Share your voice with us on Facebook
Honey collected from the hives
“Are you teasing me?” she asked. “No, Mom,” I replied and smiled. “No I would never tease you.” I kept smiling as I silently thought to myself, “And no Mom, I’m not going to drop a line of electricity into the swamp. I don’t have anything to plug in anyway.” Summer is a beautiful sweet time at the swamp. The woods are alive with tiny flowers and berries. Down the trail behind my house there grows a patch of wild strawberries; they are my favorite. I love to gather buckets of them and mix the berries into my meals: Oatmeal with strawberries and brown sugar or fresh spinach with tiny
Easing into Summer
Maranda’s shack in the swamp
Maranda wading in the water
wild strawberries and a poached egg make a tasty summer salad. Any strawberries that I don’t collect are eaten by my goats and chickens; nothing is ever left to waste. The chickens lay the best eggs after they’ve been treating themselves to the wild berries. Summer is easy in ways, but it also brings a whole new series of struggles. The mosquitoes at the swamp are straight out of my Jumanji nightmares. The bugs are horrible! June and July are the worst. Sometimes Maple (my dog) and I will run into the swamp and I will swim underwater just to hide from the biting mosquitoes. Every night we jump around inside the shack with a flashlight and a fly swatter to hunt the buzzing insects. Maple will bite them and spit the squished blobs out on the floor. Without a TV to watch movies, we entertain ourselves in other ways and our nightly mosquito hunt is one of them. My favorite part about summer is the sunset. The sun has finally aligned perfectly again, between the trees on the far side of the swamp and the colors of the fading light bathe my little homestead in a golden glow. I love the sunsets of summer at the swamp. The pinks and reds of the sky shimmer off the water and reflect back onto my little house. I sit on the dock or perch on a log like a turtle to soak every last ounce of warmth deep into my being. Because before I know it, summer will be gone again and I will be preparing for another long winter. 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.
Celebrating our 23rd Anniversary!
Summer sun glowing on the honeysuckles
10% Discount offered to Fire, Police, EMS & Military personnel! Daily Specials on Our Facebook Page!
218-825-0522 • www.northcountryfloralmn.com 307 NW 6th Street, Brainerd, MN 56401
Like us on Facebook • Summer 2018 | her voice 39
HER FAMILY + dairy farm
Jenny Caughey (left) helps her daughters, Jenna, 15, and Arica, 16, with milking at the only female-run dairy farm in Crow Wing County
JenAric Dairy Farm
PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON
BY JENNY HOLMES
In the first three months of
2018, the JenAric Dairy Farm south of Brainerd produced over 193,000 pounds of milk; or roughly 3,500 pounds of milk every other day. With 55 milking cows, this might sound like your average rural Minnesota dairy farm, but what you don’t realize is this dairy farm is run by two girls still in high school.
Jenna and Arica Caughey are the names and faces behind this cash cow, no pun intended. As mom Jenny jokingly puts it: “It’s a 4-H project gone wild.” Jenny Caughey didn’t grow up on a farm. While her grandparents and other relatives farmed, she was occupied with other interests and hobbies. But when she met her now husband, Aric, she knew farming of some sort would be in her future. Aric and his family dairy farmed, instilling in Aric a love and respect for animals. Fast forward several years, the couple’s two daughters began to mirror their father’s interest in animals, namely dairy cows. The girls became active in 4-H while in elementary school and FFA once they entered high school.
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“We had a trial summer when Arica was in fourth grade and Jenna was in third, to see if they could handle the chores that go with caring for animals,” Jenny said. “From there, the girls were able to narrow down the animals they enjoyed.” The Caugheys began their dairy operation in 2013 with the purchase of two calves to show as 4-H projects at the Crow Wing County Fair. After raising the cows and learning more about the dairy industry by participating in the 4-H Dairy Knowledge Bowl, the girls decided to get more cows. Slowly but surely, the herd began to grow to the point where the family had to decide between keeping and milking the cows or calling it good and selling them. So began the journey that would eventually become the JenAric Dairy Farm.
In April 2015, the girls milked their first cow by hand, twice a day for a week until a pump and bucket system was in place. By the fall of that year, the family was making plans to build a structure that now houses a milking parlor and a large free stall where all 85 cows can congregate.
- Jenna Caughey Arica, now 16 and a sophomore at Brainerd High School, and Jenna, now 15 and a freshman at Brainerd High School South Campus, and JenAric Dairy make up one of only eight dairy farms in Crow Wing County. While the girls took the reins on the farm, the entire family helps with caring for and milking the cows. An average day involves a 4:30 a.m. alarm, milking for an hour-and-a-half, then getting ready for school, back home for afternoon chores and another milking session. While exhausting and a lot of work, especially for two high schoolaged girls, each family member gets a “sleep in day,” something they truly look forward to. “It’s been an interesting process getting to this point,” Jenny said. “But it gives us a chance to interact with the kids out there and spend time with them. A lot of parents don’t get that. Is it hard? Yes. Do we want to quit some days? Yes. But we keep going. And it’s given the girls the flexibility to do other things. They’re learning how to work together and get along with others.” Each day when the cows are milked, the product goes through a filter and into a holding tank. A milkman visits every other day to take the milk to the
Jenna Caughey crawls right into the calf hutch to visit.
Associated Milk Producers Inc., plant in Paynesville where it’s processed and made into cheese. Reimbursed by AMPI for the milk, proceeds go back into caring for the Caugheys’ animals, upkeep of equipment, as well as paying for camps and other experiences for the girls. In addition to dozens of accolades and a variety of community activities, both Jenna and Arica have been chosen to attend the National FFA Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., this summer. In October 2017, both girls were awarded the Agribusiness Award by the Brainerd Jaycees. And, in March 2018, both Jenna and Arica were named Crow Wing County Junior Dairy princesses. “It really has become a family project,” Jenny said, of the JenAric Dairy Farm, adding without the help of neighbors, family and friends, they wouldn’t be where they are today. “They have helped us when we needed to get our barn cleaned for inspection, helped with building the
Jenny Holmes is a freelance writer and communications consultant from Nisswa. She and husband Tim have two children Jackson and Izzy.
BECAUSE WE ARE ALL
“I just really found a passion with the cows. They’re like a pet.”
barn, and stepped in when we lost our hay and straw for the winter this year due to fire. They have encouraged us, supported us, prayed for us and just listened.” While instrumental in the creation and success of their dairy farm, Arica said she doesn’t intend to continue dairy farming after high school. She hopes to pursue an education and career in teaching or architecture. However, Jenna glows with passion and excitement at the mention of her beloved cows. Outside of the school day and farm responsibilities, Jenna works with an experienced local dairy farmer not far from their home to learn the tips and tricks of the trade in hopes of someday expanding her own business. “I just really found a passion with the cows,” Jenna said, adding each of her cows has a name and comes when called. “I enjoy them. They’re like a pet.” Humbly recognizing she and sister Arica are the only female-run dairy farm in Crow Wing County, Jenna said she is proud of what they’ve accomplished and hopes this is just the beginning to a long and fruitful future in the dairy industry. “I just want to keep milking cows and someday be a dairy judge,” she said. “I’d like to be able to encourage others to also be part of the dairy industry.”
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Kathy Lande at Glory Hill Studios, Fifty Lakes, MN.
PHOTOS BY SUE READY AND KATHY LANDE
With A Grateful He rt
BY SUE READY
Looking for a refreshingly different experience? Then you won’t want to miss a
visit to Glory Hill studios. Just a short drive north of Brainerd is a stunning little gem hidden in the woods of Crow Wing County.
A charming covered bridge over Daggett Creek brings you to a driveway lined with towering pines that winds up a hill to arrive at this magical place that’s truly a feast for your eyes and soul. Before you even enter the studio and gallery, an artfully decorated collection of old rusty knick knacks and castaway treasures the artist has found on her travels across America, surround the studio entrance. You may just want to take it all in by sitting on the swinging chair, listen to the birds and notice the wildlife all around. It is here you will meet artist and owner Kathy Lande. Her one-of-a-kind studio and gallery bursts with creativity and color. Visitors will find evidence of God’s love that touches every single crafted piece through its beautiful expression. Glory Hill Studios was given its name because it sits nestled high overlook-
ing Eagle Lake. It’s a place where Kathy gives glory to God for her many talents and gifts which she has been given. She shares her blessings with others with a grateful heart. A native of Bloomington, Kathy is a graduate of Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla. Upon graduation she returned to the Twin Cities to establish herself in the creative world. Kathy worked at various ad agencies, marketing and public relations firms for 26 years. She operated her studio on the side out of her home in St Paul. She participated in the Minneapolis and St. Paul outdoor art fair circuit during the 90s. Kathy took a risk leaving the financial security of the corporate world behind when she turned her heart to a cherished family property in Fifty Lakes. She used her corporate years’ experi-
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ence to launch her entrepreneurial dream, Glory Hill Studio. In 2011, Kathy opened its whimsical doors as a seasonal artist studio and gallery in her father’s renovated garage. Customers of all ages enjoy strolling through the creative art studio that brims with unique antiques, original decor and special occasion gifts. If you are looking for that unusual gift you will surely find it here with benches, trays, mirrors, vases, baskets and many more things. Kathy has a soft spot for little ones, offering a sweet line of children’s furniture that will especially tug at Grandma’s heart. Each piece is designed and meticulously handcrafted. Little ones will love to crawl up their own little chair, a commissioned family heirloom piece personalized with a name on it. Making people happy with her oneof-a-kind work gives Kathy the most
satisfaction. Her customers are drawn to her original art pieces because they offer a universal message of hope, kindness, love and gratitude. Kathy has a creative mind that is able to visualize color, shape and form. Each piece is designed and handcrafted in her workshop. Many of her works of art are created from old found wooden pieces she repurposes and brings back to a different and new beauty. Nature and the outdoors inspire Kathy to visualize the designs she recreates on antique pieces, old baskets, boxes, bowls, trays, etc. Customers can choose from an abundant selection of unfinished pieces to create a custom family design to mark special occasion dates, personalized wedding gifts, family names and anniversaries with the artist. Kathy’s designs evolve using an etched wood burning technique with splashes of bright colors and stains she has created. Her typography, a personality style of her own, makes people smile and the pieces seem to come alive. Glory Hill Studios is a summer seasonal business. In the winter months Kathy has her studio in southwest Florida. Here she commissions and sells her work in galleries, children’s boutiques and specialty shops from Naples to Sarasota. You will surely recognize her style whether it’s pine trees and loons of Minnesota or palm trees and alligators of Florida. Biblical inspirational messages of love remain the staple for all her customers as well stylized birds and hearts. Kathy enjoys working from the heart with the freedom of creating her own designs for clients without restrictions. She has brought to the table many valuable skills needed
to be a successful business owner. Kathy’s advice to artists starting up their own business is follow your heart and be true to what you want to do. Marketing is primarily by word of mouth, local papers, and teaser ads which show what she is currently selling. Kathy sends a personal thank you postcard to each person who makes a purchase. Glory Hill Studios is open seasonally May through October, Wednesday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Fifty Lakes. Perhaps you may be lucky to visit there on a day when the artist is serving complimentary coffee and homemade scones. In off-hours, Kathy joyfully will arrange special gathering appointments for groups, girlfriend getaways, ladies, grandma, mom or daughter days. Truly Glory Hill Studios is a special place that you don’t want to miss when you’re up in the lakes area. Check out the studio website for examples of Kathy’s work and directions to Fifty Lakes 5 miles north of Crosslake. http://www.gloryhillstudios.com/
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, MN, Great Northern News and Lakes Area Living Magazine.
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“Watching my husband hold his bab during sunsets on Lower Cullen ies Lake.”- Amber Haapajoki-Hahn
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“Watching the loons!” -Bobbie Borg “Boating is our favorite!” -Sheri Schaefer
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Your Voice: Recommended Books • Summer Photo Memories • Her Story: Off-Grid Living • Joey Halvorson—The Woman Behind The Camera • Her Career...
Published on May 7, 2018
Your Voice: Recommended Books • Summer Photo Memories • Her Story: Off-Grid Living • Joey Halvorson—The Woman Behind The Camera • Her Career...