COUNTRY LINES Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association
CLEAN UP WITH
DIRTY GIRL FARM Thank A Lineworker During April
Save The Date Annual Meeting June 20 Sliding On International Ice
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In This Issue March 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 3
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines
Celebrating 40 Years
Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association ofﬁcers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 firstname.lastname@example.org countrylines.com
CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.
The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
FEATURED PHOTO FROM #micoopcommunity:
Frozen jellyﬁsh emerge during Michigan winters #notreally #lookslikeittho. Creative capture by @corey_niedzwiecki (Corey Niedzwiecki.)
Tag us or use #micoopcommunity in your post and your photo could be featured on our Instagram account and printed as the featured photo in our magazine.
ON THE COVER
Heather Rosencrantz, owner of Dirty Girl Farm, offers a line of all-natural skincare products at her holistic apothecary based in Michigan. Today, Dirty Girl Farm has over 400 amazing products. Her belief is to have healthy skin and happy souls.
6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
Guest Column: Winter Road Trippin’ With Christal Frost, Media Personality Christal shares her fun winter adventures strolling through Marquette and the Eben Ice Caves.
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Chili Cook-Off
Take home the gold with one of these comforting, delicious chili recipes. Christin McKamey & Our Readers
18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column: Grandma Grace Rik Cryderman, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Member
Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column, go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.
Featured Guest Chef: Try Dirty Girl Farm owner Heather Rosencrantz’s favorite sugar cookie recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Clean Up With Dirty Girl Farm
Utilizing her botany and farming background, Heather Rosencrantz created a line of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare products that are safer for both people and the environment. Emily Haines Lloyd
Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Best Pizza: Are you a pizza aﬁcionado? Have you tried every mom and pop pizza parlour in Michigan and know the best stops? Share with us your favorite pizza places to enjoy America’s soul food. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by March 25, and look for it on our preferred pies list in the April issue.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Lineworker Appreciation Day — April 13 L–R: Matt Urbis, Kaleb Preiss, Justin Sironen, Brady Erickson, Brad Hanson, Dave Brown, Gil Martinez, Nels Erickson, Luke Jouppe & John Myllylahti KEWEENAW
500 J.K. Paul Street Ontonagon, MI 49953
906-884-4151 800-562-7128 ontonagon.coop After hours: 866-639-6098
The Power Behind Your Power
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS Calvin Koski, President Aura District 906-524-6988 email@example.com
George Rajala, Vice-President Chassell/Keweenaw Bay District 906-370-0416 firstname.lastname@example.org James Moore, Director, Secretary/Treasurer Boston District 906-482-0465 email@example.com Wayne Heikkinen, Director Pelkie/Herman/Aura District 906-353-6496 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Koski, Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine District 906-988-2593 email@example.com Frances Wiideman, Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola District 906-288-3203 firstname.lastname@example.org William Hodges, Director Lake Linden District 906-934-3743 email@example.com
Debbie Miles, General Manager Fay Hauswirth, Billing Clerk Mark Urbis, Line Superintendent
Date of Incorporation: Sept. 30, 1937 Fiscal year-end: Dec. 31 countrylines.com/coops/ontonagon Ontonagon County REA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/OntonagonCountyREA
4 MARCH 2020
Debbie Miles, General Manager
s spring arrives, it brings with it the showers that produce flowers. It also heralds the beginning of a potentially stormy season that can inherently include power outages. While Ontonagon County REA strives to provide reliable electricity to our members, there are times when Mother Nature has other plans. Most of us can ride out a storm from the comfort and convenience of our homes. However, there is a group of professionals that jumps into action when the weather takes a turn for the worst—co-op lineworkers. Braving stormy weather and other challenging conditions, lineworkers often must climb 40 or more feet in the air, carrying heavy equipment to restore power. Listed as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S., lineworkers must perform detailed tasks next to high-voltage power lines. To help keep lineworkers safe, they always wear specialized protective clothing and equipment when on the job. This includes special fire-resistant clothing that will self-extinguish, limiting potential injuries from burns and sparks. Insulated and rubber gloves are worn in tandem to protect them from electrical shock. While the gear performs a critical function, it also adds additional weight and bulk, making the job more complex. In our community, Ontonagon County REA lineworkers are responsible for keeping 965 miles of lines across four counties working to bring power to your home and our local community 24/7, regardless of the weather, holidays, or personal considerations. While some of the tools lineworkers use have changed over the years, namely the use of technology, the dedication to the job has not. Being a lineworker is not a glamorous profession. At its essence, it is inherently dangerous, requiring them to work near high voltage lines in the worst of conditions, at any time of the day or night. During storms, crews often work around the clock to restore power. During Thanksgiving weekend 2019, Ontonagon County REA experienced recordbreaking back-to-back storms. Our lineworkers missed Thanksgiving dinner with their families because they were in the field, restoring power to our members. Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 13, so during April, if you see a lineworker, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power. Let them know you appreciate the hard work they do to keep the lights on, regardless of the conditions.
Two District Openings On Co-op Board
he Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association is comprised of seven districts, with directors elected for three-year terms. This year the terms will expire for District 2: Ewen, Trout Creek, and Lake Mine; and District 6: Boston. If you are interested in running for an open position on the board of directors, you must call or stop by the co-op’s office to request a nominating petition. A petition must be returned to Ontonagon’s office by Monday, May 4. Due to a change in co-op bylaws enacted at the 2002 Annual Meeting, nominating petitions will no longer be sent to each member residing in these districts.
Voting Districts District 1: Green/Firesteel/Toivola. . . . . . . . . . . . 609 District 2: Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine . . . . . . . 739 District 3: Pelkie/Herman/Aura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 683 District 4: Aura. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 631 District 5: Chassell/Keweenaw Bay . . . . . . . . . . . 678 District 6: Boston. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 741 District 7: Lake Linden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802 Copper Harbor
In order to be valid, a nominating petition requires the signature of five active members of the co-op who receive electric service in that district (a husband and wife are considered one member, so either may sign, but not both). The member who is being nominated must also sign the petition. Ballots will be mailed to each member of the district no less than 30 days before the Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 20. All ballots must be returned to the co-op office no later than Monday, June 15. Ballots will be counted and results shared at the Annual Meeting.
Ontonagon Firesteel Green
Bruce Crossing Ewen
Please contact our office at 800-562-7128 if you are a member of either district and did not receive a ballot.
Statement Of Non-Discrimination In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr. usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
k r oc k
MI CO-OP Community
Also in Downtown Marquette:
• Delft Bistro • Steinhaus • Boomerang Retro & Relics
r e D oc
r e t n i w ippin’ r T d a o R With Christal Frost
Adventures Through Marquette And The Eben Ice Caves 41
s a lower Michigan native, it’s hard not to feel the magic crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. To me, the U.P. feels like an old friend, welcoming me home with open arms. Marquette boasts a unique blend of wilderness, nature and urban luxuries. Take notes on the journey, and get ready to follow in my footsteps!
Donckers Lunch Counter And Candy Store
I loved the Red Rooster—a delicious blend of egg, bacon, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda and avocado spread on a ciabatta bun. We also grabbed a pound of Lake Superior chocolate rocks, which may or may not have made it home. 6 MARCH 2020
See Marquette In Action
Christal Frost ﬁlmed her Marquette adventure, now available on countrylines.com.
The converted movie theatre restaurant kept the big screen, giving diners a creatively curated meal with the backdrop of cinematic classics.
Ore Dock Brewing Co. The upstairs community space offers rotating artists in addition to an impressive lineup of musicians from across the Midwest. From the taproom, the lead brew-tender chose his favorites for our beer ﬂight—I personally loved the Bramble on Rose. Steinhaus
Blackrocks is a house-turned brewery founded by longtime friends, David and Andy. The pair made their homebrewing hobby commercial, with a mission to make the best beer possible while always having fun. Blackrocks was buzzing with locals who literally wore their love of the brewery in the form of hoodies and hats. By the way, Coconut Brown will change your life.
Originally opened in 1930 as the Northland Hotel, its history includes visits from celebrities like Jimmy Stewart, Abbott and Costello, and The Rolling Stones. After closing in 1982, the Northland found new life as part of a historic restoration project, reopening in 1997 as The Landmark Inn. We requested Room 502, which was dubbed the “Amelia Earhart room” after Earhart reportedly stayed there in 1932. The Landmark’s meticulous dedication to historic preservation is noteworthy, as is its staff.
Boomerang Retro & Relics
The U.P.’s ﬁrst retro-chic boutique allows visitors to step back in time with an amalgam of authentic vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, accessories, décor and furniture.
The Steinhaus was recommended by virtually every local I spoke with, and it did not disappoint. I kept it simple with the eggs Benedict, but the Steinhaus delivered an Italianinspired twist, using thinly sliced and fried speck ham. Be sure to order a side of potatoes to soak up the hollandaise sauce.
Eben Ice Caves
The caves, also known as the Rock River Canyon Ice Caves, are located on the outer edge of the Hiawatha National Forest. The trail into the caves is around a mile long, and ice cleats are a necessity. The hike can be challenging, but it is completely worth the effort. The phenomenon of ice sheets surrounded by the blankets of freshly fallen snow was a sight to behold. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to some of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. And Marquette, a city surrounded by the waves of Lake Superior, will indeed become your second mother. Don’t be surprised when, weeks after your visit, you feel her calling you to come back.
Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.
Heat Pumps: Start Saving Energy The Smart Way
id you know heating and cooling accounts for more than 50% of the energy used in your home? Investing in a highly-efficient HVAC system is therefore extremely important. Heat pump technology is a leading-edge solution for high-efficiency heating and cooling. It can help you save energy, save money, and keep your family comfortable for years to come.
Heat Pump Benefits • Use considerably less energy for heating and cooling • More consistent temperatures equals increased comfort • Superior indoor air quality and dehumidification
Is A Heat Pump Right For My Home?
Learn more at michigan-energy.org/heatpumps.
Just about any home can benefit from a heat pump system, though it is important that your home is well-insulated and air-tight prior to installation to maximize energy savings. Generally, the following are some of the best candidates:
Save now with cash back from the Energy Optimization program! The Energy Optimization program provides cash incentives for both air-source and ground-source heat pumps——as long as the equipment meets minimum efficiency standards. Review the Efficient HVAC program page on the Energy Optimization website for additional information.
• Heated by an electric furnace or electric baseboards • Heated by propane, wood or fuel oil • Looking to add air conditioning • New construction or new room additions • Manufactured homes
For a complete list of residential, business or agribusiness incentives available from the Energy Optimization program, visit michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319.
SAVINGS! Grow Your
Save BIG with heat pumps
More than half of your home’s energy is used for heating and cooling. A heat pump system can be a highly-efficient alternative and provides a simple way to introduce air conditioning to your home too!
REBATE RANGE: $250 - $750+ michigan-energy.org | 877.296.4319
Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.
Photo Contest Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Submit A Photo & Win A Bill Credit! Ontonagon REA members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. One lucky member will win a credit up to $200 on their December 2020 energy bill!
Our Upcoming Topics And Deadlines: • On The Farm, due March 20 (May/June issue) • Festivals & Fairs, due May 20 (July/August issue) • Michigan’s Natural Beauty, due July 20 (September issue) To submit photos, and for details and instructions, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines. We look forward to seeing your best photos!
Cute Kids 1. Having a picnic with my beautiful grandson, Jaxon. By Deb Maki 2. My granddaughter, Viola, on a nature walk. By Sharon Faustin 3. Ada and Iris, our two peas in a pod. By Danielle Impola 4. Charlie and Emily thought their sled ride down the driveway was the best! By Heather Hainault 5. Katie, the wood maker. Working hard to get the basement full of wood, and of course, doing it in style. By Nancy Kangas 6. Wiley and Cookie Monster traded favorites. By Mary Kaminski
7. Sonny’s first time snowshoeing in Rapid River. By Sarah Closs 8. John Jacob, the happiest baby in town! By Ashley Shardlow MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Chili Cook-Off Take home the gold with one of these comforting, delicious recipes.
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
Taco Soup Chili
Jennie Lewandowski, Presque Isle 1 pound ground beef 1 medium onion, chopped 1 (1.5-ounce) package ranch dressing mix 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix 3 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes 2 (14.5-ounce) cans black beans, do not drain
2 (14.5-ounce) cans corn, do not drain 1 (14.5-ounce) can cream-style corn ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the beef with the onions; drain grease. Add the remaining ingredients (dump in whole cans, don’t drain). Cook over medium-high heat until slightly simmering and hot, about 10—15 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips!
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
Frances Painter, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 1 1 2 4 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 •
pound lean ground beef pound lean ground turkey pound pork sausage large onions cloves minced garlic chopped poblano or 2 mild banana peppers (15½-ounce) can diced tomatoes can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel) cup chili powder (15½ -ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (15½ -ounce) can pinto or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (15½ -ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained shredded cheese and sour cream to garnish (optional)
Brown meats together until no longer pink. Add onion, garlic, and poblano or banana peppers and sauté until soft. Add diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with chiles, chili powder, and the 3 cans of beans. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a large slow cooker and cook on low 5–6 hours, or simmer on stove, stirring about every half hour to prevent sticking. Serve with crackers of your choice (our family likes Cheez-It!).
Smoked Steelhead White Chili
Ronald Andres, Great Lakes Energy 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1
tablespoon olive oil medium onion, chopped stalks celery, chopped cloves garlic, minced pound smoked steelhead trout* (skin and bones removed), ﬂaked into ½-inch pieces (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern beans (use liquid) (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth Anaheim peppers (braised, then seeds and skin removed), diced teaspoon ground cumin tablespoon ground coriander teaspoon dried oregano tablespoon lemon pepper quart whipping cream
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in the hot oil until tender. Add smoked steelhead, Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, chicken broth, Anaheim peppers, cumin, coriander, oregano, and lemon pepper into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ﬂavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream. Simmer until the whipping cream is hot, but do not boil. *Smoked salmon can also be used.
If you’re not enjoying the lip-smacking scents of Heather Rosencrantz’s Dirty Girl Farm soaps and body wash, maybe try her family’s favorite sugar cookie recipe. Deceivingly simple, but chockfull of yum. Perfect for special occasions or just a cozy afternoon at home.
All-American Chili Kerri Hanson, Great Lakes Energy
1 pound lean ground beef or ground venison 6 ounces chorizo 2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped green pepper 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeño pepper or poblano pepper, chopped 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 2 bay leaves 1¼ cups Merlot red wine 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sugar Cookies 2¼ ½ ¼ ¾
Using large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown ground beef, chorizo, onion, green pepper, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook 10 minutes until beef and chorizo are browned, stirring to crumble. Add chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, pepper, salt, and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes and kidney beans; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves before serving. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese. This is even better the following day!
Mexican Fiesta: due April 1 Farm to Table: due May 1
Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.
¾ 1 2 ¼
cups all-purpose ﬂour teaspoon baking powder teaspoon salt cup cold butter (grass-fed organic butter, if possible) cup sugar egg teaspoons vanilla extract teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together dry ingredients well and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Once mixture is light and ﬂuffy, add egg and extracts. Begin adding ﬂour mixture a little at a time, making sure each addition is well incorporated. When dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly ﬂoured cold marble surface, roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes and bake for 8–12 minutes depending on thickness. Cookie Tips
• Try to use as little ﬂour as possible; adding too much makes cookies tough.
• When mixing your scraps together to re-roll, brush as much ﬂour off as possible. • Cold dough holds its shape better and cookie-cutter shapes won’t distort.
Read the full story about Dirty Girl Farm on page 14, and ﬁnd this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Photo courtesy of Tony Johnson Photography.
he Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus” or “Always Ready.” And ready is what you have to be when navigating the miles of waterways that the United States Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) oversees along the Great Lakes, Straits of Mackinac, and St. Mary’s River.
iteration of Mackinaw was commissioned in 2006, the retired ship found a home at its namesake, Mackinaw City. The current Mackinaw is 240 feet in length, with a displacement of more than 3,500 tons, and is powered by three Caterpillar 3600 series 12-cylinder diesel engines. Between the two ships, Mackinaw is celebrating its 75th year in Cheboygan, Michigan. “Mackinaw has a crew of about 60 and has three main missions—icebreaking, servicing aids to navigation (ATON), and search and rescue,” explains Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Carolyn Smith of the Coast Guard. “We also do a fair amount of public relations, as a branch of the military that is easily accessible and visible by the public at large.”
THE ULTIMATE ICEBREAKER By Emily Haines Lloyd
Mackinaw has a rich history, with its predecessor (Mackinaw WAGB-83) having been commissioned back in the World War II era as a way to support the war effort and the transportation of resources along the Great Lakes. With weather along the Great Lakes being as it is, a ship that was capable of cutting through ice to maintain waterways and rescue trapped ships was a necessity. To keep commerce moving, cutters like the Mackinaw make tracks of broken ice through major shipping lanes and often conduct closequarters maneuvering to free immobilized ships from thick ice. As commerce increased and the need for oil and gasoline has become a part of everyday living, the usefulness of Mackinaw and its similar crafts has become irreplaceable. When the latest 12 MARCH 2020
Residents and visitors of Cheboygan have frequent views of and visits aboard Mackinaw, even though it is busy year-round. As the largest U.S. cutter on the Great Lakes, it spends approximately four months on the icy Great Lakes and surrounding waterways during the winter season. She is equipped with two 4,500-horsepower Azipods, which are capable of turning in 360 degrees and breaking through 32 inches of ice at 8 knots astern, or 14 inches of ice when moving 10 knots ahead. Additionally, the Azipods are capable of blowing highly pressurized water through and under the ice, breaking thick ice nearly 100 feet from the ship without the hull of the vessel ever coming into contact with it.
This past winter, Mackinaw, along with other started in the late 1800s with entrepreneurs who Coast Guard ships on the Great Lakes, conducted gave many trees away at the end of their annual 429 vessel escorts through ice-filled waterways Christmas tree delivery in the Windy City. The and 155 direct assists to vessels beset in ice over a tradition was revived in 1999 as the Chicago 106-day period. This translated to approximately Christmas Ship program. For the past two $301 million worth (about 8.3 million tons) of decades, the crew of Mackinaw has carried and dry bulk cargo critical to power generation, “THE LONGER I’M IN THE COAST GUARD, THE industrial productivity, and public safety.
I APPRECIATE OUR MISSIONS AND WHAT WE DO.
In spring and fall, the Mackinaw tends to aids IT’S A PRIVILEGE EACH AND EVERY DAY.” — LTJG Carolyn Smith to navigation, pulling in and placing larger buoys in the spring and then replacing those with smaller winter unloaded these symbols of hope and goodwill buoys in the fall. The mission of ATON is to at Navy Pier each year, just in time to deliver a assist commercial and recreational mariners to healthy dose of holiday cheer. determine their position, steer clear of hazards, and chart a safe course. “The longer I’m in the Coast Guard, the more The crew I appreciate our missions and what we do,” said under the ship This year, Mackinaw celebrated 20 years of a LTJG Smith. “Not only facilitating commerce and during dry-dock less likely tradition—while conducting its fall providing safety on local waterways, but we also maintenance. ATON operations, Mackinaw delivered nearly have the opportunity to serve the people of the Photo courtesy 1,200 Christmas trees from northern Michigan United States directly and immediately. It’s a of Petty Officer Joseph Coach. to deserving families in Chicago. This custom privilege each and every day.”
All-female bridge team with Commander John Stone. Photo courtesy of Petty Officer Joseph Coach.
Christmas trees on back of the ship prior to delivery to families in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Tony Johnson Photography.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
CLEAN UP WITH
DIRTY GIRL FARM By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Vanessa Longuski
14 MARCH 2020
was the weirdo with the weird products helping the weirdos,” jokes Heather Rosencrantz, owner of Dirty Girl Farm, a line of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare products.
Twenty-ﬁve years ago, Rosencrantz looked like a glimpse of the future—a young mother in yoga pants, bringing her fresh herb plants to the local farmer’s market. However, at the time, she was nothing like her contemporaries. A yoga instructor with a botany major in college and background in farming, Rosencrantz had taken a much lesstraveled road a la Robert Frost’s urging. When Rosencrantz’s young daughter’s skin simply did not respond to store-bought skincare products, Rosencrantz took her knowledge and background and created her own solution. “There just weren’t natural skincare solutions in the market. No Whole Foods on every corner like today,” said Rosencrantz. “I realized I had the information and the ingredients in my own garden, so I started making my own.” The products worked so well on her daughter’s tender skin, Rosencrantz started bringing small jars of her Boo Boo Balm to the farmer’s market with her. What initially began as inquisitive questions about the “weird green goo” turned into parents at their wits’ end, sharing their own heartbreaking stories of seeking out salves to treat their child’s or their own sensitive skin.
“I hesitate to say this is my ‘calling,’” said Rosencrantz. “But hearing those stories and knowing I could do something to help people was the absolute beginning of Dirty Girl Farm.” Little by little, Rosencrantz utilized her education and her passion and created a line of all-natural skincare products free from chemicals, toxins, and gluten that are never tested on animals. The Dirty Girl Farm line expanded to over 400 different products, from bar soap and body butters to facial serums and eye creams. Twenty-ﬁve years later, what Rosencrantz has spent her career building is no longer considered weird. It’s part of a multibilliondollar industry sought out by consumers around the world.
We can’t change the world all at once. But we can each take small steps in the right direction. I’ve always believed that.
While Dirty Girl Farm remains one small piece of that industry, Rosencrantz isn’t content to simply make a great product that is answering a need. She wants to create products that are as safe for the environment as they are for one’s skin. To that end, Dirty Girl Farm uses cornstarch packing peanuts and cellophane that dissolves in water or can be composted. Plastic packaging is always recyclable, and some wrapping has undergone additional changes to make it more eco-friendly— like its bar soap now packaged in cardboard. The ultimate goal is to make everything in the box safely disposable. When Rosencrantz took Dirty Girl Farm products entirely online, she made another leap to “right-sizing,” as she calls it. “Even closing our physical store has a positive impact on the environment,” explained Rosencrantz. Beyond that, Rosencrantz explained, her days and weeks are becoming less littered with additional travel and worries that come with a physical space. Ultimately, she’d like to build a lab closer to home on her spacious property in Silverwood, Michigan, where she is also a member of Thumb Electric Cooperative. “I’d love to see Dirty Girl Farm in even more cupboards. Just as an acknowledgment that more people are looking closely at what they’re putting on their skin,” said Rosencrantz. “We can’t change the world all at once. But we can each take small steps in the right direction. I’ve always believed that.” So, step by step, Rosencrantz is creating cleaner products that are better for both people and the environment. Each tiny step is proving that what was once weird can be positively wonderful.
Dirty Girl Farm
Visit countrylines.com to see how Heather makes galaxy soap with natural glitter. 15
SLIDING On International Ice By Yvonne Whitman
raveling down an icy, curving track on top of a small luge sled at speeds of up to 80 mph is not for the faint of heart, but for 15-year-olds Torrey Cookman and Henry Anderson, it is something they enjoy and are very good at doing. Cookman, from Marquette, and Anderson, from Appleton, Wisconsin, along with their coach, Keith Whitman, from Escanaba, comprise the United States Natural Track Luge Team, and they recently returned from a two-month stint abroad competing in the World Cup Series in different venues throughout Europe.
hill, bordered by boards and snowbanks. To maneuver around the flat corners of the icy track, natural lugers must steer the sled with their feet and hands and use their bodies to speed up and slow down around the corners of the track. As a result, precise braking (via spiked boots) is an important part of the sport. Natural luge is a unique sport and exciting for both the athletes and spectators.
Natural track luge is one of the two forms of the sport, the other being artificial track luge. The artificial track sport has competitors racing on man-made pure ice structures with banked corners that are mostly elevated above the ground. A natural luge track winds down a natural, unrefrigerated
Their coach, an accomplished 40-year veteran of the sport and a former two-time national champion, has high praise for the athletes and their abilities. “In luging, we say, ‘You have to know where you are going to be, when you are going to be there and how you are going to get there,’
16 MARCH 2020
Cookman and Anderson became interested in the sport in different ways. Cookman’s interest was piqued when his Cub Scout troop took a trip to Lucy Hill, a natural luge track in Negaunee. “That was it. I was hooked, and I’ve been doing it for the last six years,” Cookman said. For Anderson, who is in his second year of luging, it was a suggestion from his father. “He always encouraged me to try new things, so when he suggested luge, I thought ’Why not?’ and I’ve been sticking with it ever since.”
and these young men know that very, very well,” said Whitman. Also, the two young men have molded together as a team. “They work closely together, and they slide close together. This is the first time I have ever seen two sliders, one who has only been sliding two years, come down the track as a doubles team, laughing and talking at 40 mph. This year I allowed them to compete internationally in doubles.” Traveling the world at only 15 years of age and representing the United States on the international stage may prove daunting to some, but Cookman and Anderson take it in stride. “I am proud to represent the United States, the Upper Peninsula Luge Club, and all its dedicated volunteers,” Cookman said. “The people that we compete with and become friends with are from 11 different countries and five different continents, but everyone gets along and encourages all the others. It feels like we are all one geographically large team, and I am proud to be part of it.”
In luging, we say, ‘You have to know where you are going to be, when you are going to be there and how you are going to get there.’” —Keith Whitman
When Anderson is asked about the most challenging aspect of competing on an international level in the sport, he responded, “Being mentally confident in yourself and knowing that you have the abilities to do it. And being able to go to Europe and see people that are faster than me makes me want to be like them someday.” Their coach also notes the opportunity this experience presents. “These young men are traveling the world. They are living, eating, competing, and traveling with people from around the world. They will go back to their United States cities—Marquette and Appleton—after they’ve traveled the world for two months, and it’s opened all the doors and windows in their lives. It’s a lifetime experience. And I always remind them, ‘You are representing the United States of America. You are wearing the United States uniform, and that means a lot.’” For any young people interested in getting into the sport, Cookman has this advice, “You get to meet great people and travel the world. Work hard because it’s worth it!”
For more information on the Upper Peninsula Luge Club, visit upluge.org. Follow the team on Facebook @ US Natural Track Luge Team
Henry (L) and Torrey tuning up one of their luge sleds.
Guess this photo and enter to win a
MI CO-OP Community
energy bill credit!
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by March 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the January issue is Ronald Hart, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identiﬁed the photo as the Shakey Lakes Dam structure located in Shakey Lakes Park, Menominee County. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.
By Rik Cryderman, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member
er name was Grandma Grace Christiansen, a moniker gained by her ﬁrst name and her most beautiful feature—her grace. She was the grandmother of a friend who was like a sister to me, and without a grandmother myself, I enjoyed sharing her. She and her husband had owned and operated a small market in the town of Albion, Michigan, a place I was blessed to call home for eight years. They managed their store in the days where folks ran a tab and left with their goods, saying, “Put it on the bill.” Most paid their bills at the end of every month. Some would sometimes delay, with an explanation quickly accepted by the Christiansens, whose market bore their name. Some couldn’t pay at all. Years after the market had closed and her husband had passed away, Grandma Grace and her granddaughter were in her basement searching for something, when her granddaughter noticed an old ﬁle cabinet. “What’s this?” asked my friend Jeri of her grandmother. “Oh, just some old papers from the market— I’ve been meaning to toss those out.” Opening a drawer, Jeri found it ﬁlled with papers. Lifting one out, she recognized it as a bill, with groceries itemized neatly. “Grandma, these are unpaid bills—and I recognize these names. You should send out a reminder—it’s been years, but you’re entitled to this.” Her grandmother walked over to the ﬁle drawer and lifted a piece of yellowed paper. “Oh, they lost a boy in the war.” She returned the paper to its ﬁle. Lifting another, she said, “They put two children through college, and those kids chose to raise their families here.” And she put the paper in its slot. Lifting another, she said “His dear wife had a stroke, very early. He took such good care of her.” And this time, as she put the yellowed bill back in its place, she slid the heavy drawer into the cabinet. “Yes, it’s time to toss this old cabinet. I don’t need anything here, let’s go upstairs.” This was Grandma Grace—a sharp mind with a generous heart. I like to think, if heaven has a basement, there’s an old ﬁle cabinet there. I think it holds some papers with my name. And I think a God of Grace slides closed that heavy drawer and turns my eyes toward the light. “Let’s go upstairs.”
January 2020 Photo by Justin Palmer
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rik Cryderman is a retired hospital chaplain who worked for Beaumont Health for more than 30 years. He writes a Facebook page called “Pure Lewiston” for the village of Lewiston, Michigan.
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ATTEND YOUR CO-OP’S ANNUAL MEETING Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m., Chassell High School, 41585 Hwy US 41, Chassell, MI 49916 The board of directors and employees of your electric co-op invite you to join them at the 2020 Annual Meeting on June 20 at Chassell High School. This is a chance to visit with your neighbors and friends from throughout our seven-county service area and participate in your co-op’s affairs. You will hear about the state of the co-op over the past year, as well as our vision for the future. • Updates on co-op affairs by co-op president and general manager • Director election results • Update on your co-op’s financial health • Drawing for cash prizes • Continental breakfast and lunch will be served