Authentic You - Spring 2023

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Let’s Dance!
DeLaRosby PANTONE® Color of the Year
2 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

It’s a new year and the editorial board of Chicz magazine decided it was time for a new look, so here is our first edition of AUTHENTIC YOU, a magazine dedicated to those authentic women in our area. AUTHENTIC YOU looks to appeal to those genuine women in our area – women who are true to themselves, comfortable in their womanhood and appreciates herself as she is – authentic. But don't worry, while we've added a new focus to our publication, we will still feature many of the same great articles on health, food, education and hobbies that have made us a beloved magazine in the lakes area! Enjoy!

To advertise in AUTHENTIC You call 320.763.3133 Diann Drew, Publisher Celeste Edenloff, Special Sections Editor Lori Mork, Designer Send your feedback to: ©2023 Echo Press AUTHENTIC You is a publication of Echo Press, 1920 Turning Leaf Lane SW, Suite 12 Alexandria, MN 56308
Longtime waitresses find work rewarding Page 15 Nelly
Tattoos tell her story Page 10 SPRING
places on her bucket
Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 3 FOOD & DRINK Try a tasty rhubarb margarita .7 Try these tasty carmelitas .9 THE
The Learning Life ........................................................... .14 The mental benefits of mindfulness ......................................... .14 HOME Welcome Pantone’s Color of the Year – Viva Magenta........................ .12 Colors of the year by Sherwin-Williams, Behr and Benjamin Moore .......... .13 Help monarchs thrive again ................................................. .17 Pet friendly plants .......................................................... 22 FAMILY Pamper your baby with reusable diapers ..................................... .8 Mommy and me ............................................................ .16 Puzzles and games ......................................................... .18 Contributing writers..........................................................21
Kerfeld, Angie Massmann, Stephanie Tulbury, Kelsey Wesen, Missy Wendt, Lisa Boots
DeLaRosby Mexican folk dancing brings her back to her roots Page 6

Making memories

Alexandria doctor checks off places on her travel bucket list

Amanda Walz doesn’t really consider herself a traveler because she feels she missed out on so many years of traveling when she spent 11 years in her 20s pursuing her career in medicine.

After that, the focus for both her and her husband, John, turned to raising their two daughters – Ella, 13 and Abbey, 15.

Walz, a family medicine doctor at Alexandria Clinic, a service of Alomere Health, has had the opportunity to do some traveling for work when attending conferences out of state and out of the country. And luckily, during some of those trips, her family has been able to join her.

“Honestly, most of my trips I’ve taken have been work trips,” she said. “I attend the conference in the morning and then in the afternoon,we get to go and have fun hiking and exploring.”

It has been in the past year or so, she said, that she has been able to do some fun, non-work-related travels.

In 2020, her family was supposed to go on an Alaskan cruise with her in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. The COVID pandemic hit and those plans were canceled. But they received travel vouchers to be used at a later date.

The vouchers were about to expire at about the same time she turned 40, which was in February 2022, so she and her husband decided to take a trip with

just the two of them to Sanibel Island. But of course while she was there, she attended a work conference, she said.

Shortly after, in March, her brother, Dan Woodle, passed away from brain cancer.

“That was rough and a real eye-opener for me,” said Walz, explaining that she and her husband have been putting money away for their retirement, don’t live extravagantly and that she probably drives the oldest car in the physician’s parking lot.

After her brother’s death, she and her husband decided that instead of saving all their money for retirement, it was time to start making memories with their daughters.

She also decided she needed to take time and start on her travel bucket list.

“We live our lives differently now,” she said. “We’re pouring our energy into the people who love and support us and who we have real relationships with.”


Because of some other plans being canceled, Walz found herself with a twoweek window off from work and needed to figure out what she was going to do with the time.

She came up with a great plan – a 4,500 mile, eight state, six-national park road trip with her two daughters. She started researching and planning and by the time the

trip rolled around, she had everything organized. She said she is a Type A organizer, so every detail was planned, but with input from her girls. She wanted them to be involved in the planning so they would be excited about the trip.

They drove through South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, to name a few. And they hiked between eight and 10 miles a day when they stopped by the national parks. They would get up early to beat the heat and beat the crowds, she said.

4 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023
The Walz family while hiking the Grinnell Glacier at Glacier National Park. Left photo: Amanda Walz, right, and her best friend, Katrina Brault, pose for a photo down in the canyon while doing the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike. Righ: Amanda Walz and her two daughters, Ella and Abbey, at the Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona.

On some of the hikes, depending on the conditions, she would do part of them by herself and let her daughters rest.

During the trip, they camped some days. They stayed in hotels some days, but not expensive ones, she said. They even stayed in a tiny cabin that was just the right size for the three of them. They had a cooler of food with them and made most of their meal, some of them being the “camping meals” that you just add water to, she said.

Walz said the trip, except for maybe the gas, wasn’t that expensive. Because they were visiting so many national parks, she purchased an “America the Beautiful” pass that gets people into all the parks. This was less expensive than paying for a permit separately at all the parks.

“It was amazing and such a bonding experience with my girls,” she said. “They’re at a good age and could do the hikes. Even though we were up at like five in the morning, they had a good time.”

And then partway through the trip, they picked up her husband so they could finish the two-week vacation as a family. They ended the trip just in time to make it to Detroit Lakes so her daughter, Ella, could participate in her soccer tournament.


This past October, Walz decided she wanted to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, which was a 27-mile hike.

She asked several of her friends if they wanted to do the trek with her and her best friend, Katrina Brault, said yes. They wanted to do it for Walz’ brother, Dan, and also Brault’s father, who had also recently passed away.

For five months, the two trained –walking miles upon miles on the Central Lakes Trail, at Lake Brophy County Park and at Glacial Lakes State Park. Walz started biking to work one day a week, which was 25 miles round trip. They both started lifting weights. They worked on their nutritional and hydration plans.

They learned what worked and didn’t work for shoes and socks.

By the time the trip came, she said they felt ready.

And they were. They did the 27-mile hike in one day, starting at 3:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m.

“We did the whole thing in 14 hours,” she said. “You should do it. It’s amazing and it will change your life. It’s a whole new world down in the canyon.”

When asked why she wanted to do the rim to rim Grand Canyon hike, Walz simply said, “Because it just looked amazing. I knew it would push me but yet it was doable. Plus, I always wanted to do an ultra marathon and this filled that bucket list item.”

Walz has more things to check off her bucket list, like hiking the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.

Whether it is hiking, traveling or just life in general, Walz offered up some advice: “You’re not guaranteed tomorrow. If it’s possible or feasible, don’t wait. Do it.”

Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 5
We live our lives differently now. We’re pouring our energy into the people who love and support us and who we have real relationships with.
Amanda Walz and her two daughters, Abbey, left, and Ella, stop to take a photo in front of the Delicate Arch at the Arches National Park. Top photo: Ribbon Falls at the Grand Canyon. Bottom: Sisters Ella and Abbey Walz, daughters of Amanda and John Walz, at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona.

Mexican folk dancing brings her back to

Originally from Mexico City, Nelly DeLaRosby, who has lived in the Alexandria area for more than 20 years, is proud of her Mexican heritage and welcomes questions from anyone about it.

She said the preschool children she works with at the Early Education Center in Alexandria often comment on her thick Mexican accent or will ask her questions, which she welcomes.

“They tell me I sound funny or different,” she said, with a wide grin on her face. “Don’t be afraid to ask people from other cultures questions. Most like to share about their heritage.”

DeLaRosby shared some of her heritage by way of performing a Mexican folk dance at the first-ever Diversity Festival that took place in September 2022 at the Alexandria Technical and Community College.

She enjoys dancing, whether it is Mexican folk dances, Zumba or salsa dancing. She even used to be a Zumba instructor at the Alexandria Area YMCA.

“I just love to dance,” she said.

The Mexican folk dance she performed was to the song, “El Son de la Negra,”

which she said is a very popular song and dance, almost like a second national anthem for Mexico.

“El Son de la Negra” is one of the most played and overall adored sons in Mexico, she explained.

“This song is performed for special events, festivals, celebrations and more specifically, for Mexican Independence Day,” she said, noting that although it comes from Jalisco, Mexico, this song is an important part of the Mexican folk culture that involves mariachis, in their typical mariachi attire, playing the song while women wear big, vibrant, colorful dresses.

The dance moves that go with “El Son de la Negra” involve a lot of high energy, spinning body movement, footwork, arm movement and body percussion with frequent foot tapping, which highlights the musical composition. And typically, she said, the dance involves many people or at least a male and a female.

Although she is not professionally trained to dance to that song, DeLaRosby said she interprets it from what she remembers growing up and watching others, including her mother, dance to that song. She usually just performs it by

her roots

herself, so it is not the traditional dance people would see if they were in Mexico.

DeLaRosby said dancing to this song brings her back to her roots.

“Whenever I get homesick, I would dance to this song and it just makes me so happy,” she said. “It brings me back home and it just warms my heart.”

Growing up in Mexico City, there were many festivals and celebrations and with them, there was also a lot of Mexican folk dancing, music and food. She remembers that her mom loved to dance and was a very good dancer.

When DeLaRosby dances to “El Son de la Nega,” she will wear a typical Jalisco dress from the region of Jalisco. The dress is very heavy, she added, so she doesn’t wear it often, but will definitely wear it to perform in. And, she said, she has brought it to the school to show the children.

When asked if there was anything else she wanted to share, DeLaRosby said, “Don’t be embarrassed about who you are. I am proud to be Mexican.”

Nelly DeLaRosby of Alexandria performed a Mexican folk dance at the Diversity Festival at the Alexandria Technical and Community College in September 2022. Alexandria Echo Press file photo
Don’t be embarrassed about who you are. I am proud to be Mexican.
6 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

Rhubarb margarita Try a tasty

As we edge closer to spring, my thoughts turn toward one of my favorite treats – rhubarb!

Tangy and tasty, rhubarb is a go-to ingredient for most of my spring desserts, but it’s also great for use in drinks such as punches and slushes as well as mixed drinks like this rhubarb margarita. Give it a try!


2 lbs. rhubarb

4 cups water

4 ounces Grand Marnier

4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated together until sugar dissolves)

4 limes

2 cups tequila


Before you begin making margaritas, you’ll need to make rhubarb juice for the base.

Thoroughly clean and trim the leaves and ends from the rhubarb, then chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add the pieces to a medium-sized saucepan, along with the 4 cups of water. Cook the rhubarb mixture over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until it has broken down and is tender.

Cool the mixture, then strain out the pulp with a colander.

While mixture cools, make a simple syrup by mixing equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved completely.

To make a single margarita, combine 1/2-oz. Grand Marnier, 1/2-oz. simple syrup, juice from 1/2 lime, 4 oz. rhubarb juice and 2 oz. tequila. Shake together

and pour into a glass filled 1/3 full of ice.

You can rim the glass with margarita salt, or use a pink Himalayan salt to compliment the color of the drink. Garnish with a lime wedge.

You can also make these margaritas in a pitcher if you are planning to serve them to a group.

Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 7

Pamper your baby with reusable diapers

Parenthood is a whirlwind. It is a constant cycle of learning life lessons and teaching life lessons and it comes at you fast. But, it’s beautiful chaos.

Children are life’s greatest blessing.

We were not ready to be parents; we don’t believe anyone is.

A little over a month after we got married, we found out that we were going to have our little girl. It wasn’t a shock, but it made us catch our breaths.

“We” are Jade and Thalen Zimmerman. We have been married for nearly two years now but together for six and in it for life. We met while taking care of the elderly as nursing assistants in a longterm care facility. Ironically, we started off together wiping butts and here we are today.

So many thoughts rushed through our heads when we found out about our little girl Sonny. How do we raise her to be a peaceful-strong-independentadventurous-loving-healthy-confidentsmart-beautiful person and how do we do it financially?

One of the obvious things that came to mind was diapers.

As convenient as they are, disposable diapers are expensive, harmful to the environment and filled with chemicals.

On average, diapers can cost parents nearly $100 a month. An article published by the National Library of Medicine noted that cloth diapering proponents have implicated leakproof polymers, super absorbent polymers and some scented chemicals as some of the key factors in everything from chronic diaper rash, respiratory problems like asthma, male infertility even to testicular cancer.

One of the leakproof proponents mentioned above is Ahcovel.

A lawsuit filed in December 2022 by four parents against KimberlyClark Corporation – the company that produces Huggies diapers – claims that the company makes their diapers with “dangerous amounts” of Ahcovel.

“Unfortunately, certain levels of Ahcovel can severely irritate the skin – something Kimberly-Clark acknowledges in internal documents provided by former quality control specialist Frank Fritz Kromenaker,” the lawsuit read.

On the environmental side of disposable diapers, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there were 4.1 million tons of disposable diapers thrown away in 2018. And with most diapers not being biodegradable, those millions of tons of diapers will be around for a while.

It was stats like these that influenced our decision to use reusable cloth diapers.

Right now, we have just over 30 reusable diapers and we’ve never run into the issue of running out before they were all washed. Some of them we received brand new as gifts and some we got used (and deep cleaned) from friends. Personally, we have spent just over $140, which got us 14 diapers. That seems like a lot, but when others are spending $100 a month on disposables, it’s a no-brainer to go reusable.

The diapers we use can last anywhere from two to six years if taken care of properly – washing regularly and hanging to dry. And they adjust with age.

To help them last, we use liners to protect them from number twos and insertable bamboo absorbers to prevent leaking from number ones. When a diaper is soiled, we rinse it in the toilet and throw it in a garbage can lined with a reusable smell-proof bag until it’s time to wash them.

We were told by some friends and family that we would get sick of the extra work that goes with them. They expected us to resort to disposable diapers. Well, it’s been a year of cloth diapering and we still have yet to buy a disposable. It is gross rinsing them in the toilet but at the end of the day, it’s just another chore like washing the dishes.

It is the peace of mind that comes from our baby being safer and healthier that keeps us going strong.

Our cloth diapers (above) use an insertable pad for absorption and bamboo liners to protect the diaper itself. Today’s cloth diapers (right) come in a variety of colors and designs.

8 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press Sonny Zimmerman happily lays in the grass showing o her floral print diaper. Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press The Zimmermans spend a day at the lake. Thalen Zimmerman/Alexandria Echo Press

I was in need of a quick and easy dessert for a potluck, so I headed for my go-to place and searched Pinterest for something to fill that need. Oh boy, did I hit the jackpot.

These carmelitas are ooey-gooey, chocolately-caramel oatmeal goodness! If you need something to satisify a sweet tooth, this recipe is it.

I did make some changes though. In place of the caramel ice cream topping, I substituted a 16-oz. container of Litehouse caramel apple dip

and didn’t add the extra flour. I just warmed the container in the microwave until it was pourable.

The other change I made was to add more chocolate chips than the recipe called for, sprinkling more on the top after adding the second layer of the crust mixture. In my opinion, you need to measure chocolate chips with your heart, not a measuring cup!

The result was perfectly delicious treats that were snapped up nearly as fast as

they landed on the table. I will certainly be adding this to my regular rotation of desserts.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick cooking oats

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1-1/4 cups unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit extra salt)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt


1 12.25-oz. jar caramel ice cream topping

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350


Line 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

MIx flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda and salt until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 3 cups of crust mix. Press remaining mixture firmly into bottom of pan and bake 10 minutes.

While crust is baking, combine caramel and flour and mix until smooth.

Remove crust from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture evenly over the top and bake an additional 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate 1-2 hours to set the filling.

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Symbols also show her faith in God

“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story,” is a quote that has been attributed to the well-known actor, Johnny Depp.

But, it could have easily also been said by Osakis native Christa Hensley.

Hensley, 42, who now lives in Alexandria, is the mother of Ryker, Danza and angel Joely, and fiancée to Justin Shutter. She is also a teacher in the Osakis School District.

Hensley’s body is adorned with several tattoos, each with their own story that together make up her story.

Her first tattoo, a butterfly on her lower back, was done when she was a rebellious 18-year-old. She remembers always wanting a tattoo but said her dad was against them. When she turned 18, she remembers, she went to Brainerd where her sister lived, to finally get a tattoo.

She knew it was going to be a butterfly, which she had

always loved as she believes they represent people who have passed away.

“When I see a butterfly, it reminds me of them,” she said.

And even though she was excited for that first tattoo, she also remembers how nervous she felt and how she thought, “When my dad finds out, I wonder what’s going to happen.”

Nothing did end up happening.

Except, her tattoo collection has expanded.


Fifteen years ago, Hensley got a very special tattoo on her foot. She had given birth to twin girls – Danza and Joely. They were very premature and not more than a month after she had them, Joely passed away. Danza lived and in December 2022, celebrated her 15th birthday.

As a way to memorialize Joely, Hensley got another tattoo – this time, on the top of

her foot. The tattoo is of Joely’s actual footprint with a halo on top and half an angel wing. It also includes Joely’s name.

The tattoo artist added the halo and the wing and when Hensley asked about why there was only one wing, she was told that it was because Joely wasn’t complete because she was missing her twin sister, Danza.

Hensley was impressed by the tattoo artist’s ability to come up with that idea after she had shared the story of her twins. She said it was the perfect representation.


While on vacation in Las Vegas, Hensley decided it was time for another tattoo. She chose an ornate cross and said she chose it because it is symbolic of Christianity. That tattoo

is on the back of her neck.

A couple of years later, she got a tattoo of the ichthys or “Jesus fish.”

“I wanted people to know that I believe in God,” said Hensley.

That tattoo is on the inside of her wrist. And on the inside of her arm are symbols that represent the saying, “God is greater than your highs and lows.”

After the birth of her twins with the loss of Joely and the challenges that came with raising Danza, a very premature baby, Hensley said people kept saying how strong she was and that God doesn’t give people more than they can handle.

“I was maxed out with what he had given me. He must think too much of me because I can’t do this anymore,” Hens-

Christa Hensley of Alexandria has several tattoos, including an arm sleeve that was inspired by coloring book pages. The 42-year-old got her first tattoo at the age of 18. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press A tattoo on the back of Christa Hensley’s arm has a special meaning behind it. It reminds her that God is greater than all of her highs and lows. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press
tell her story
10 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

ley said she thought at the time.

But then things changed.

“I could either choose to be negative and depressed for the rest of my life and be a victim or use this to help other people and show them that when things happen, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love you and he’s not there for you. He’s in charge of his plan and I just need to know he’s always there for me. He’s always greater than my highs and my lows,” said Hensley. “We go to him in our lives when we are low and not always high, but we need him for our lows and our highs. You have to choose. Are you going to be the victim or are you going to rise above? We have to switch how we see things.”

That tattoo on the back of her arm will always be that reminder to her that God is always greater than her highs and her lows.


One of the most intricate tattoos she has is on her left arm. It is called a tattoo sleeve and starts at the top of her

shoulder and goes all the way down to her wrist.

It is a work in progress that has a deep meaning behind it.

Hensley and her daughter, Danza, love to spend time together coloring in coloring books.

“Coloring is calming for us,” she said.

The artwork on her sleeve came from those coloring sessions, she said. She brought a design into the tattoo artist and the first pieces were started. Because the tattoo shop in St. Cloud where she started her sleeve closed, Hensley found another artist, Hillary Rose of Black Rose Tattoo Parlor in Hoffman, to continue the work.

The sleeve not only includes designs from the coloring pages, but it also includes diamond shapes in the color of her children’s birthstones. It also includes the word Grace for her grandmother who has passed away.

Hensley said that Rose had her put together a Pinterest board of things she liked and that Rose asked her lots of questions during the process.

HENSLEY continued on 20

The side-by-side photos shows the progress being made on the arm sleeve tattoo on Christa Hensley’s left arm. Contributed photo
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Welcome Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2023

A vibrant color in the red family, Viva Magenta allows you to bring out your bold side. Whether you jump in with both feet and design an entire room in Viva Magenta or take small steps and add just a pop of this crimson, you’re sure to be delighted in the outcome.

This striking color pairs well in a monocrome palette that includes other pinks and reds, or you can let the color stand on its own by adding small hints of magenta with a lighter palette, introducing patterned pillows, floral designs or even dinnerware to your room. Use Viva Magenta as an accent wall with soft beige

or cinnamon brown, or pair it with some jewel tones like navy blue dark gray or deep emerald green.

Make a bold statement by adding this color to a door on your white home, or bring in a mustard yellow or gold accent to contrast in your dining room. Whether you use a little or a lot, there are multitudes of of options for you to choose from. Go bold! AveW,AlexandriaMN

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12 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

Redend Point SW 9081

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year Redend Point SW 9081

Sherwin-Williams described their Color of the Year for 2023 as “minimal yet cozy, a soulful-yet-subtle hue and a calming neutral color” for your home. The color, beige with a pink undertone, is warm and earthy and an intriguing shade that brings a nostalgic feel to any room. Redend Point pairs well with white when used as an accent in a room, entry or hall.

Blank Canvas


Behr Color of the Year

Blank Canvas DC-003

An o -white tone is a true neutral. Blank Canvas is part of Behr’s new Designer Collection and is not a play on any previous Behr shade. The undertones of brown and gray are warm and welcoming, allowing you to decorate your home however you want, blending with any color scheme. It’s rich, yet versatile and leaves your room with a tranquil feeling. Try it in any room of your house.


Benjamin Moore Color of the Year Raspberry Blush


This red-orange shade of coral is bold and will add a burst of color in your space. The pink undertones are bright and vibrant with lots of personality. This color makes a strong impression, and adds a wow factor to your room. If you’re a little hesistant to immerse yourself in a full room of Raspberry Blush, why not try an accent wall.

Raspberry Blush
Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 13

The Learning Life Master the BASICS

We all have things we want to learn. Whether it’s information we want to acquire or a new skill we want to master, learning is something we want to do as quickly and with as little effort as possible.

Depending on who you listen to, learning to do something well could take anywhere from a few hours to 10,000 hours. But regardless of how long it takes, one of the traps that slows the progress of almost everyone is in trying to jump ahead to advanced material too quickly.

There’s an old saying that champions are people who simply do the basics well. This idea has been used in reference to skills ranging from selling to football, but what it means is that high level skills come from first knowing and

doing the basics. The foundation formed by the basics allows champions to build the advanced skills that everyone notices. In addition, what may look like advanced skills may really only be basic skills refined and practiced to perfection.

This idea also applies if you’re learning information rather than skills. Information consisting of lots of little details can only be absorbed and applied if you first know the basic information that forms its foundation.

Rather than rushing to get to the exciting, advanced stuff, it’s usually more effective to really learn the basics first. Rather than being impatient, it pays to stick with the simple, foundational elements for as long as you need to. And don’t be afraid to keep reviewing the basics even if you think

you have them mastered. You want your foundation to be as solid and unshakable as possible.

Imagine that you’re trying to learn a foreign language. There are all kinds of phrases you could try to memorize, such as “Where is the nearest museum?” However, what if instead you spent time learning how to perfectly pronounce a few simple, everyday expressions that are used constantly, such as “hello,” “goodbye,” “please” and “thank you?” Those few words pronounced well could provide the positive impression that would help natives put up with many of your other lan-

guage blunders.

Of course, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of staying with the basics forever. You want to master the basics but not expect absolute perfection before moving on. If you’re struggling with the question of whether to review things you already know or to practice new things that you don’t know that well, the answer might be to do both. It’s important to keep expanding and learning new things, but just remember that without a mastery of the basics, adding more details is often just a waste of time.

The mental benefits of mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness has many mental health benefits. And since mental and physical health are so intimately connected, the benefits work together to improve every aspect of your life.

The following are just a few mental benefits you can expect if you start a mindfulness practice.


A regular mindfulness practice can reduce the incidence of and severity of both depression and anxiety. All markers of these issues improve with a mindfulness practice. When coupled with other treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), practicing mindfulness has also been shown to reduce the recurrence of both of these issues.


Stress affects you both physically and mentally. One of the primary benefits of mindfulness is a reduction in the mental effects of stress. Overall stress levels are also lower in those who’ve been practicing mindfulness for a while.


People who practice mindfulness show improved memory and stronger cognitive skills after just a few weeks of practice. Improvements are shown in recall, focus, processing speed, and more!


The focus on understanding your feelings and not getting overwhelmed that is a hallmark of mindfulness helps improve overall emotional regulation in those who do it regularly. Mindfulness has been shown to physically alter the areas of the brain responsible for regulating your feelings!


The number of overall negative emotions you experience decreases when you have a mindfulness practice. This includes more than just the depression and anxiety previously mentioned; it means that anger, self-doubt, sadness, and other such emotions all decrease when you maintain a mindfulness practice.


Our relationships with other people are an important component of our mental health. We’re social creatures. You might think that something like mindfulness wouldn’t have effects that extend beyond ourselves, but you’d be wrong.

Researchers have shown that practicing mindfulness strengthens all of our personal relationships! This may be because the other benefits of mindfulness lead to more empathy and mental “space” to handle relationships.


Mindfulness has also been shown to treat many mental health issues, from substance abuse and eating disorders to more serious issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder.

There are different apps available to help practice mindfulness such as Headspace and Calm, but play with different options until you find one that works for you.

14 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

Longtime waitresses stand at a table at D. Michael B’s. Combined, the six women, from left, Erica Kerfeld, Angie Massmann, Stephanie Tilbury, Kelsey Wesen, Missy Wendt and Lisa Boots, have been waitressing for 125 years. All of those years have been for the Bistodeau family.

Longtime waitresses find work

Many people may not think of waitressing as a longtime career, but there are six women at D. Michael B’s Resort Bar and Grill who have been serving patrons for a combined 125 years.

Four of them have spent their entire careers at the Alexandria restaurant, affectionately known as DMB’s, while the other two have worked not only at DMB’s, but also at Old Broadway and Bug-A-Boo Bay. The latter two are now closed but all three restaurants are or were owned by the Bistodeau family.

Dave and Debbie Bistodeau have owned and operated DMB’s for 33 years, although they actually took over the restaurant five years before that in July 1985 when it was known as Little John’s Pub. In 1990, the couple did a complete remodel and that is when the name was changed to D. Michael B’s. Dave and Debbie also owned BugA-Boo Bay and were partners with Dave’s brother, Frank, at Old Broadway.

Lisa Boots has been waitressing for 31 years when you combine her years at Old Broadway and then DMB’s.

Missy Wendt and Angie Massman, each with 22 years under their belt, have spent their entire careers at DMB’s. So has Kelsey Wesen, who has been a waitress for 19 years. Stephanie Tilbury has a total of 17 years with the Bistodeau family when you add together her time at Bug-A-Boo and DMB’s. And Erica Kerfeld has been a waitress at DMB’s for 14 years.

The six women were asked what has kept them working at D.Michael B’s Resort Bar and Grill for so many years and they said it’s their customers, as well as their fellow employees. They said most of them have become one big “dysfunctional family.”

They also shared that the job is both physically and mentally challenging, but that it is still very rewarding.

When asked what they wanted the public to know about being a waitress at DMB’s, the women collectively said, “We are not a resort and we don’t rent cabins.”

As for what their favorite dish is at the restaurant, here is what they each said:

Wendt – Chicken Fajitas with guacamole Massmann – 57 and Prime

(burger) with mashed potatoes Tilbury – Nashville Hot Fried Chicken (sandwich) with house fries

Wesen – The Bicycle Burger

with waffle fries

Kerfeld – Burrito Bowl Boots – Chicken Lo Mein

Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 15
rewarding Thank You to our veteran waitresses for all your dedication over the years. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. Also thank you to the rest of our sta for all you do and for working as hard as you do. Viking Plaza Mall • Alexandria • 320-762-2697 TO VIEW OUR FULL MENU, GO TO: Dave & Deb


mommy and me



Balloons – white for the face, and other colors for the ninja mask


Sandwich baggies – either fold-over or ziploc (if you use ziploc, you’ll have to cut the zipper off)

Flour or play dough

Ballpoint pen

DIRECTIONS: Fill a baggie with 3/4 cup of flour (or play dough).

Fold over the baggie and squeeze out all the air. Cut the blowing end off of a white balloon so that you are left with a round balloon with a hole.

Stuff the baggie filled with flour or play dough into the balloon.

Cut off the blowing end of another balloon. Cut an opening for the ninja face. Then, stretch this balloon over the white balloon with the opening facing the opposite way (so that the flour baggie can’t come out).

Add a ninja face with a ballpoint pen.

Time to destress and relax.



Colored pipe cleaners

Googly eyes


Glue gun/glue


First, coil a brown or tan pipe cleaner into a circle. Bend the pipe cleaner so that the center of the circle is raised. Tuck in the end. Make a second coil.

Second, make the head, legs, and tail with segments of green pipe cleaners.

Glue the eyes to the head, and then glue the head to the underside of the top shell.

Then glue on the legs and tail.

Last, glue the second coil to the bottom of the shell. Enjoy a new lovable pet!



Butterfly template (we used a color page image)

Paper/Card stock

Colored pencils/Markers

Plastic drinking straws (smaller)

Plastic drinking straws (larger)



Glue Ruler


First, print your butterfly on paper or card stock

Use a black marker to outline the butterfly and color the butterfly with colored pencils or markers.

Cut out the butterfly.

On the scrap paper or cardstock draw a rectangle

1-1/4 inches high and 4-1/2 inches long. Cut out the rectangle.

Measure 3/4 inch from each of the short ends and

mark with a pencil.

Next, fold the cardstock on these marks. Then fold the cardstock in half in the other direction so the folded tabs face outwards.

Fold the butterfly in half, and then unfold it, setting the decorated side face down.

Add glue to the tabs of the butterfly backing and attach the tabs to the center of the butterfly. (Make sure to line up the crease in the butterfly with the tabs and fold.)

Cut off about 2 inches from the straw with the larger diameter. (We cut off the bendy part of the straw.)

Cut a slit in the straw 2-1/2 inches long. Rotate the straw 180 degrees and make another slit the same length, directly across from the first slit.

Cut a 2-inch slit in the smaller straw. Again, turn it 180 degrees, and make another 2-inch slit, directly across from the first slit.

Open the two flaps in the smaller straw and slide it over

the folded backing of the butterfly. Center it and tape it in place on the paper or cardstock.

Take a 3-inch piece of tape and attach the flap of the larger straw to the wing so there's about 1-1/2 inches of tape on the wing and 1-1/2 inches of tape on the straw flap. Then take another piece of tape and wrap it tightly

around the first piece of tape on the straw flap.

Repeat on the second wing.

Unfold the butterfly and see how the straws control the movement of the butterfly's wings.

Hold the longer (inside) straw with one hand and use your other hand to move the shorter (outside) straw up and down.

16 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023


Minnesota’s beloved state butterfly has declined 72 percent in 10 years

The beautiful black and orange migrating Monarch was identified as “endangered” in July — two steps from extinct — by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The group estimates that the monarch population in North America has declined between 22 percent and 72 percent over the past 10 years.

Much of the Monarch's decline is due to the loss of their habitat, food sources and climate change. Common Milkweed is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar – a plant that grows all over Minnesota. Members of the milkweed family are the only place that adult butterflies lay their eggs.

The Monarch, adopted as Minneso-

thrive again

ta’s state butterfly in 2000, is one of the few species of butterflies that migrates north and south – much like many birds do. In fact, they have the longest migration of any known insect species.

In Minnesota, roughly four generations of our state butterfly are born. Each lives approximately four weeks, with the exception of the last generation of the season. The final hatch of butterflies lives around six months and migrates to Mexico where they spend the winter in semihibernation. Monarchs then migrate north, breeding many generations during the their long journey back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes sometime around mid-May.

Note: The United States has not listed the monarch butterflies under its Endangered Species Act, but several environmental groups think they should be included.


Turn any outdoor space into a monarch habitat by providing food, water, cover and places to raise young.

Plant milkweed, nectar plants such as purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and blue and golden asters.

Don't spray for mosquitoes. Those pesticides kill bees, caterpillars, butterflies and fireflies.


“People you know, Products you trust” HOURS Monday–Friday ...........8am-6pm Thursday.......................8am-8pm Saturday .......................8am-5pm Sunday ..........Home with Family ALEXANDRIA 1620 N Nokomis 320-762-1249 Proudly Serving The Area For Over 40 Years! is... • Invested in our Community. • Committed to providing knowledgeable sales people. • Your local home improvement store. • Committed to offering the best products at the best prices. • “People you know, Products you trust!” NEW CONSTRUCTION • REMODELING • SIDING • WINDOWS • DOORS APPLIANCES • CABINETS • COUNTER TOPS • GRILLS • FIREPLACES & STONE FURNITURE • ELECTRONICS • MATTRESSES HOME DECOR • AREA RUGS • INSULATION Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 17













1. Sea grape

5. European public health group (abbr.)

9. A way to delight

11. Appetizers

13. Ancient heralds’ wands

15. Make a booking

16. '__ death do us part

17. Pearl Jam frontman

19. Spider genus

21. Fill with high spirits

22. A major division of geological time

23. Catch

25. An independent ruler or chieftain

26. Electronic music style (abbr.)

27. Influential Spanish cubist painter

29. Illegally persuades

31. A way to derive

33. British School

34. Appear alongside

36. Surely (archaic)

38. Harsh cry of a crow

39. A day in the middle

41. Kansas hoops coach Bill

43. The longest division of geological time

44. The first sign of the zodiac

46. Appetizer

48. Link together in a chain

52. A bacterium

53. In a way, forces apart

54. Cheese dish

56. Combines

57. In an inferior way

58. Colors clothes

59. Dried-up


1. Gastropods

2. Confusing

3. Romanian monetary unit

4. The rate at which something proceeds

5. A prosperous state of wellbeing

6. Asked for forgiveness

7. Makes less soft

8. Part of speech

9. Outside

10. Advice or counsel

11. Badness

12. Protein-rich liquids

14. Not moving

15. Call it a career

18. Poetry term

20. Not wide

24. Pastries

26. Turns away

28. Satisfies

30. Gift adornments

32. San Diego ballplayers

34. Manufacturing plant

35. Check or guide

37. Dogs do it

38. Chilled

40. Scorch

42. Unproductive of success

43. Electronic countercountermeasures

45. Attack with a knife

47. Feel bad for 49. Enclosure

50. Assert

51. Geological times

55. Midway between east and southeast




18 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023
Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 19


continued from page 11

“She really listened to me and knew what I liked and what I wanted,” she said. “You have to find a good artist like that to help share your story.”


Hensley also has a tattoo on her chest that she said kind of takes the place of wearing jewelry. She also has a key tattoo that goes with the lock tattoo her fiance has. They got them while on vacation in Nashville with her niece and her niece’s fiance.

So, will there be more?

Yes. The answer is definitely yes.

Hensley has plans for a lioness tattoo with blue eyes. And, of course, there’s a story behind it.

It symbolizes her motherhood and how she is always a mom, taking care of her kids. She wants a tattoo with the words, “Love you millions.” But, she wants it in her mom’s handwriting because it is something her mom always says.

And after that, who knows? she said. There could always be more.

Hensley shared some advice for those who are thinking of getting a tattoo

Christa Hensley got a fish tattoo on the inside of her wrist because she says she wants people to know she believes in God. The key tattoo goes with a lock tattoo that her fiance, Justin Shutter, has.

and for those who don’t have any.

For those wanting one, she said to really think about what you want. Think about what it represents – now and in the future. Think about how it represents your story.

“It’s with you forever,” she said.

And for those who don’t have any, she simply said, “Don’t judge people by their tattoos. Think about the artistry and the talent behind them. Think about what they represent. Instead of judging, ask people about them. I bet they have a story to tell.”

Fifteen years ago, Christa Hensley gave birth to twin girls – Joely and Danza. Joely died less than one month after she was born, while Danza recently celebrated her 15th birthday. The tattooed footprint is Joely’s footprint. The tattoo artist added the angel halo and only one wing as a representation that she is not whole because her twin sister lived.

Contributed photo

Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press
20 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023

1402 Broadway St | Alexandria 320-759-3018

Mon-Fri 10-7; Sat. 10-4; Sun. Closed


Women& Children’s Clothing,Shoes, Accessories andHousehold Decorative’s

418N.Broadway,Alexandria •320.762.1538 Hours:Mon.-Sat.10-5

Writers contributing to

Celeste is a reporter for the Echo Press. She enjoys perusing her social media accounts, running and participating in races with her husband, Al. Celeste

Al Edenlo of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights.

Shannon Swenson is a Life Coach at Encompass Coaching in Alexandria. She enjoys cooking and reading and is a nature, animal and classic car lover.

Lowell Anderson

Lowell Anderson is a photographer at the Echo Press newspaper.

Alexandria 320-763-6363

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

Thalen Zimmerman

Lori Mork

Thalen Zimmerman is a reporter for the Echo Press. His wife, Jade Zimmerman, is a bartender at Willy T’s in Ottertail. They married in the snow-capped mountains of Colorado and enjoy music, traveling and all things outdoors with their daughter Sonny and their dog named Dude.

Melanie Danner of Alexandria is an at-home mother and craft lover.

Al Edenloff Edenloff Melanie Danner
Shannon Swenson
Spring 2023 AUTHENTIC You 21
DOWNTOWNALEXANDRIA •LIT TLE FALLS 320.763.5157• M-F 9-7;SAT. 9-5:30;SUN.12-4
111 6th Avenue West, Downtown Alexandria
Let Kyle Serve You!
320-762-0309 • 800-58-5336
Velkommen! 509 Broadway Downtown Featuring Imports from all Scandinavian Countries

We love our pets and want to keep them safe, but did you realize that some plants that beautify your home can be harmful to your furry friends if they are ingested? Here are a few common houseplants that are pet-friendly, giving you the ability to add some greenery to your life, help clean the air in your home and still keep your pets safe.


An easy to grow indoor plant, the spider plant is one that many veterinarians recommend for your home. It adapts easily to a wide range of conditions and comes in green or variegated varieties. Spider plants are also considered great air purifiers.

Care: Spider plants thrive best in indirect bright light with temperatures between 60-80 degrees.

SUCCULENTS (not all)

Echeveria, haworthia, hardy sedum, sempervivum (hens and chicks) and tillandsia (air plants) are just some of the succulents that are safe for pets.

Care: The best part about succulents is that they take very little care. The do best in direct sunlight, lightly watering them every two weeks or so. Only water when the soil is dry.


An African violet brings a spot of color to most any room with the bonus of being a pet-friendly flowering plant.

Care: Keep away from drafty floor vents or windows. African violets prefer indirect sunlight and temperatures between 7377 degrees as young plants. As they mature, temps can be lowered to 68 degrees. They also need moderate watering, but keep the water o the leaves, if possible.


Pet-friendly plants for your home

A relatively low maintenance plant, Boston ferns are safe for both cats and dogs.

Care: Indirect light and high humidity are friends of the Boston fern, so mist the leaves once or twice a week and make sure that the soil stays damp.


Orchids are sophisticated and delicate-looking, and they are dog-friendly.

Care: Orchids prefer partial light. Water once each week in the winter and twice each week in the summer.


Most herbs – especially rosemary, basil and thyme –are safe for your pets.

Care: Herbs require regular watering and direct sunlight. They should be ready for use between 75-100 days, depending on the variety.

22 AUTHENTIC You Spring 2023 SALES - Mon. - Thurs. 8am-7pm; Fri. 8am-5:30pm; Sat. 8am-5pm SERVICE - Mon.-Fri. 7am-5:30pm; Sat. 8am-12pm 1900 South Broadway, Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-3126 • Toll Free: 888-479-6479 Driving Smiles One Sale at a Time! 715 VictorSt, Alexandria,MN56308 • 320.759.2132 SENIORASSISTEDLIVINGCOMMUNITY Life looksgreatfromhere.™
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OPEN 6 AM - 10 PM | 7 DAYS A WEEK! 320-763-3446 • Corner of 3rd & Nokomis, Alexandria Only store in town that is LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED To Place An Order Phone: 320-763-3446 Email: Fax: 320-762-0657 On-The-Go Service Hours 8 am – 2 pm. Monday thru Friday. Home Delivery F Schedule $5.00 to shop the order Plus: 0 to 2 miles: $5.00 | 3 to10 miles: $10.00 | 11 to 20 miles: $20.00 Example: $5.00 shopping fee +10 miles delivery = $15.00 Do you want more time to enjoy Spring? Let Elden’s do your shopping! Elden’s On-The-Go Home Delivery -The- Go!