MW May

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MW 2013 AY

















Montana Woman Collector Series Volume II


Fashion forward to the 222nd Issue


This month’s selection is a study in red and black.

Black Onyx is worn for protection and is said to fortify and encourage healthy self-esteem. Onyx helps align and center one with their higher power. Black gemstones symbolize self-control and resiliency.

Necklaces are priced from $75.00 to $125.00

Red coral brings passion and is said to be good for the circulatory system. Red energy, fiery heat, the warmest of all colors beckons to extroverts and men. It is the color of prosperity and joy in China, where brides wear red.

Earrings are $20.00 to $25.00

These pieces were created exclusively for Montana Woman. A portion of all proceeds goes to the Montana Woman Foundation. The complete line of ORGANIX one-of-a-kind originals is available at The Shops at Station 8 in Columbia Falls. 406.892.1123 Or contact Hollis at 406.253.3621


Features History Lesson 12

Cre8ting with Collette 66

Jewels’ Gems 15

Positive Changes 68

Rock your Locks 17

Fitness Fashion 70

Snapshots of Life 18

Woman to Woman 72

Consider the Possibilities 21

Panache 74

Imagine Jewelry 22

Steppin’ Out 77

Peaks and Valleys 25

Candid Cuisine 78

Middle of the Night 26

Montana Treasure 81

Spreading Sunshine 28

Petals Projects & Pizzazz 83

Trendcast 31

Homework with Rhonda 84

The Pilgramage 40

Scheme of Things 86

Featured Article 43

Lipstic Logic 88

Healthy Living 51

Soul Responsibilities 91

Ask Jeff 52

Age-ing to Sage-ing 92

It just Dawned on Me 54

Intuitive Insight 93

MW Treasure Chest 57

Thanks, Credits & Kudos 94

Written in Stone 59

Look to the Stars 96

Ask the Coach 60 Western Comfort 62 Living Beautifully 64

Editor and Publisher Cindy Branch Creative Director Rick Anderson Creative Support Jennifer Steven Assistant Editor Andrea Blair Administrative Assistant Gina Ellis Advertising Director Cindy Branch Advertising Department Cindy O’Boyle Gina Ellis Alisia Cubberly

All material appearing in Montana Woman Magazine may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the written consent of the publisher. All contents Š 2013 Montana Woman. The views expressed by the writers are their own and do not reflect the opinions of Montana Woman Magazine.

Photographers Andrea Blair Jill Courtney Jennifer Steven Alisia Cubberly Aundrea Marie Photography Art Department Intern Zach Klehm

Send All Letters, Original Stories, and Poetry To: 1103 S Main St Kalispell, MT 59901 Visit our website Email the editor (406) 755.5753

I am excited to share the second issue in the 2013 Montana Woman Collector Series with you. I have dreamed about this issue for the past two years. This issue is full of fashion geared (no pun intended!) for all ages of Montana women who are willing to embrace the exploration of unusual fashion. Steampunk has intrigued me from the very first time I saw it in 2008. Steampunk is a loose term used to describe an extraordinary fashion trend. By remixing styles from the Victorian era, the Wild West, classic Goth, gypsy, aviation, and industrial fetish, steampunk fashion creates a unique and beautifully disturbing look. The May issue explores many venues of fashion – not just clothing. The pages are overflowing with fashion for the home, food fashion, jewelry fashion, shoe fashion, pet fashion and much, much more! Prepare yourself to be inspired by color, images, articles, and many amazing Montana women. In addition to our bold expressions of fashion, you will notice a new look and

layout for this issue. The man responsible is Rick Anderson, and he has totally rocked the May issue. Rick joined the Montana Woman family in February and brings over 25 years of professional experience to the team. Stemming from a background in design and advertising, he has worked with print campaigns, the Web, magazines, photography, and package design. Rick graduated from Flathead High School and moved west to earn his degree in graphic design, where he honed his craft as a designer and creative director for various agencies. He began freelancing in 2000 and was drawn back to Montana to enjoy the culture and great outdoors. I want to thank the entire Montana Woman family for helping bring my dream to fruition. I am blessed to be surrounded by an amazingly talented team of people who embraced my vision. It has been a bit of a challenge pulling this off in less than 30 days, but that is just one of the joys of being the only monthly publication in the state. Deadlines, limited time and a unique concept are often the magical ingredients necessary to create greatness. As you flip the pages of our Fashion Issue, please take note of all the talented artists involved in the creative product you are holding. Montana is blessed with people who are willing to think outside the box while helping others

achieve their dreams. Some may say this issue is a bit edgy. I agree. I like edgy. Grab a cold drink, make yourself comfortable, and take your time with the May issue of Montana Woman Magazine. Rest assured that we have many more surprises in store for you in 2013! In closing I would like to leave you with the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive.

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet B-B-B-Baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet Here’s something that you never gonna forget B-B-B-Baby, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet

Take Care,

Mandi Bey

Jennifer Steven

Rick Anderson

Janna Sullivan

Nan Russell

Jessica Crist

Lisa Levandowski

Andrea Blair

Doug Waldron

Robin Schaefer

Hollis McCartney

Sherri Gerek


Holly Alastra

Colette Gross

Zach Klehm

Elsie Johnson



May Showcase Very Cool

Handmade, Victorian inspired, Steam Punk ribbon embellishments (collar, bracelet, or on a top hat) Rhonda Young

at The Shops At Station 8 Columbia Falls 406-892-1123

Tech Treats

Betty Kuffel

Rena Desmond

Gina Ellis Trish Schaf

$45- $65


Enjoy the May digital edition on your iPad with interactive extras and exclusive content.

ONLY .99c

Available in the iTunes Store in May (App is free!)



The May issue is a diverse issue that highlights a collaboration of many talented professionals. Each individual graciously shared their unique characteristics to help create this collector issue.

Hair: Gary Burton Mandi Bey Soucie and Soucie

Make Up: Jeff Fulford Mandi Bey Emily Myers Soucie and Soucie

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller

Photography: Jennifer Steven Andrea Blair Alisia Cubberly Aundrea Marie Photography

Wardrobe: MJ’s Costume Shop Shops At Station 8 Sportsman and Ski Haus Soucie and Soucie Gina Ellis Robin Schaefer April Holmquist Jeff Fulford Dennis O’Boyle

Props and Locations: Shops At Station 8 Dennis O’Boyle Wheaton’s Korner Shop Glacier Cyclery and Nordic Riebe’s Machine Works MJ’s Costume Shop

“The Quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.” ~Marcelne Cox




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Montana Woman Behind The Scenes May Cover Look

Cover Model Madison Rigg Hair and Makeup Andi Anderson

Photographer Jennifer Steven

Stylist Marie Hickey - Auclaire

On location in Columbia Falls at The Shops at Station 8

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Shoe History is a Trip! By Andrea Blair

We’re throwing conservative, traditional style out the window in this month’s Montana Woman!

Yes, it’s sure to evoke some strong reactions and opinions, but hasn’t fashion always done so? If you’re like me, maybe fashion doesn’t play a big role in your life at all, or possibly you like to keep with modern trends and haven’t given a lot of thought to the fashions that predate your own existence. Well, a look at fashion history is an eye-opening education; the bizarre footwear of the past, for instance, will really blow your mind! How did all of these styles evolve over the years, and when did it begin? National Geographic News, in an article published in 2010, sheds some light. The article cites that the first ever footwear was sandals—the oldest specimens date back over 7,000 years. In the news story, National Geographic revealed the oldest specimen of closed toe shoe, an astonishing 5,500 years old.

According to some scientists, man may have been wearing shoes for as long as 40,000 years. This is when scientific evidence shows that bones in human feet began to shrink, which could indicate that this was when people began wearing shoes, thus taking some of the pressure off of the feet. European shoes of the 15th, 16th and 17th century aristocracies were so outlandish as to be dangerous and completely impractical. Some of the trends may have been born of a utilitarian need, but style was generally valued over practicality, fit or comfort. The chopine, which was a type of “over-shoe” worn to protect women’s shoes and hemlines, looked like a type of platform and was worn as high as three feet tall, the “heel” being in the center of the shoe, making an already precariously tall heel even more

The crakow (also known as a poulaine) was a popular men’s shoe in the 15th century with an outrageously long, pointed toe that sometimes required moss or straw stuffed inside the point to walk without tripping. The toes were at times so long that they had to be tied to the knee of the wearer. The long crakows were eventually outlawed, deemed to be no longer than two inches, as clergymen were outraged that faithful men were unable to kneel at church with the ridiculous shoes on.

today and compare them with shoes throughout history, you’ll find striking similarities. Even more fascinating is, some of today’s most outrageous styles probably don’t hold a candle to some of the crazy shoes of yesteryear.

To find out more, please visit the websites used to obtain the information for this article. challenging. A woman’s social status was reflected in the height of her chopine. It wasn’t until recent history that right and left shoes were made; they were typically constructed around an apparatus called a “last” (a foot form), which was straight. So that the shoes would wear evenly and last longer, people shifted the shoes from foot to foot regularly. Shoes were made this way as late as 1850; even American soldiers in the Civil War wore boots from straight lasts. When early Americans needed shoes, they could visit a cordwainer’s shop and have shoes made, or order them from England. Both methods were expensive, and the latter took a very long time. Cobblers would travel from town to town, repairing shoes for room and board. With the expense and difficulty

acquiring new, ready-made footwear, many American settlers learned to make moccasins from the Indians. Families also apprenticed their sons to cordwainers or cobblers just to lessen the cost of their own shoe repairs. The phrase, “My dogs are barking,” meaning one’s feet are tired, may now have new significance to you if you didn’t previously know that colonial American ladies’ dance shoes were commonly made of…dog skin. If you’ve ever worn a pair of Keds, you’ve had history-making shoes on your feet. Chances are, your grandmother wore a pair herself. The first rubber-soled shoes were manufactured in America in the late 1800s. Mass marketed in 1917, Keds were the first “sneaker.” When you look at the styles available

Resources: / / / / / National Geographic News

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You Wear it Well… or Do You?

By Jewels Devine

I’ve never been afraid to make my own unique fashion statement. My mother once questioned a pair of shoes I wanted because they were too oldfashioned! But I saw them, loved them, took them home and “rocked” those babies ‘til they fell apart months later. They made me happy, and I believe that when something makes you happy, your natural beauty shines even brighter. Of course, if the “something” that makes you happy is a pair of ultra low-cut jeans and you’re not careful, your natural booty is what everyone will be gawking at. There are two sayings that come to mind when it comes to fashion: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I must admit, darlings, it’s difficult at times not to judge a book that’s dressed in pajamas in the middle of the day, or who seems to be missing the lower half of their shirt. I do know lovely people, however, who couldn’t give a rip about the brand or cut of their jeans, and to judge them based on their wardrobe choices would be a sad mistake. Personally, I love fashion, but I don’t believe that every trend is meant for everyone! I developed my own sense of style long, long ago…way back in the 1980s! Those were fun times; neon colored over-the-shoulder sweatshirts, leg warmers, ankle boots and parachute pants. I was wise enough to know that leg warmers were not for me but took to big hair like a fish in water!

Good fashion, in my opinion, is a mix of good sense, carefully selected pieces that flatter you and a little extra something that makes your style unique. Good fashion, in my opinion, is a mix of good sense, carefully selected pieces that flatter you and a little extra something that makes your style unique. The more comfortable you are with your fashion choices, the more confident and striking you’ll be. So my advice, darlings, is to be true to yourself, avoid unflattering fads and make your fashion statement with confidence and pride. When it comes to good taste, everyone wears it well. Ta-Ta,

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Rock your Locks By Jhett Black

The Dreaded Do

Amongst the sleek chignons, perfectly undone beach waves and high volume ponytails that make their way up and down high fashion catwalks each season, we’ve gotten a dose of the entirely unexpected — dreadlocks. The hair of Bob Marley, Soul Asylum, Denise Huxstable and Jennifer Aniston is getting the runway treatment. Oh, and we cannot forget Lenny Kravitz, who actually wore dreads for a long time, and wore them much better than Jennifer Aniston! Lenny was married to Lisa Bonet, aka Denise Huxstasble, for a time.

The Spring 2013 runways were full of long locks of leggy models paired with minimal looks. Exclusive fashion brands like Christian Dior created whole Rastainspired collections worn by models with a variety of lock hairstyles. While, more recently, Karl Lagerfeld showed his Bombay-inspired collection for Chanel in Paris on girls with dreads piled high on their heads, accessorized with intricate elaborate gemstones. I find the contrast of rock and roll hair with stylized, glamorous looks intriguing, while my heart goes out to those who need to brush that hair out post-show!

multi-colored synthetic lock hair extensions and “dread perms” where chemicals are used to treat the hair.

There are many reasons among various cultures for wearing locks. Locks can be an expression of deep religious or spiritual convictions, ethnic pride, a political statement, or simply a fashion preference. In response to the derogatory history of the term dreadlocks, an alternative name for the style is locks.

Don’t be surprised to see locked models appear at fashion shows and on the sidewalks of Montana. Don’t dread the dreadlock look. Embrace it, have fun with it and then decide if it is something you are comfortable with. Prejudice has no place in my world. Just because something doesn’t work for me – doesn’t make it wrong – just wrong for me. If you are not open to allowing others to try the trends on for size, then in the words of the famous RuPaul: “Just sashay away!”

With the Rasta style in vogue, the fashion and beauty industries capitalized on the trend. A completely new line of hair care products and services in salons catered to a white clientele, offering all sorts of dreadlocks hair items such as wax, shampoo and jewelry. Hairstylists created a wide variety of modified locks, including

Are you one of the many that claim to not be affected by fashion? Do you claim to have your own personal style? Well my friends, I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as personal style. Fashion is dictated by the runways and slowly trickles down to the finest boutiques, and finally to the bleakest bargain basements. Style is how you interpret those trends-even if you’re the type who claims to not care. Think your take is unique? Every ensemble started somewhere. You certainly weren’t the first to dream it up.


Winkie, That Darn Cat By Douglas E. Waldron

Not long after moving in to the neighborhood that I grew up in, the neighbors threw a block party. A block party is a big neighborhood cookout with activities and games for everyone. It was a great way to meet all the neighbors. At this particular block party, there was a small auction where neighborhood folks could auction off their unwanted items. One of the neighbors was auctioning off kittens, and one of my brothers desperately wanted one. My parents, not wanting a cat, felt secure in their knowledge that my brother would be outbid. He would bid his life savings for each

kitten, but each time his bid of thirtyfive cents was too low, and as the last kitten was up for bid, my brother made his last offer. Someone else bid forty cents and then forty-five cents. Fifty cents, sixty cents…until my dad’s best friend bid a dollar. “Sold to the man for one dollar!” yelled the Auctioneer. My dad’s best friend took the kitten, turned to my brother and said, “Here’s your cat.” The cute little ball of fur was named Jinks after the highest bidder. To say the least, my parents were not cat fanatics and weren’t too happy about Marty’s gift. However, my brother was allowed to keep the cat, and when it

became pregnant we discovered that what we thought was a he was, indeed, a she. My mother called Marty and told him that when Jinks had her kittens she would promptly deliver all of them to him. “No, you can’t do that!” said Marty. “My wife is deathly afraid of cats!” But when Jinks had her kittens and they had been weaned, my mother put them in a box, and, in the early hours of the morning, placed then on Marty’s doorstep. Mrs. “Marty” was the first to discover them. It was the scream heard around the world. Having seen the kind of mother that Jinks was to her kittens, my mother finally accepted her presence in the house. Jinks, now renamed Winkie, was the typical young cat, chasing string, coins, dust or anything else that moved. We had a sliding glass door and she would attack her reflection thinking it was another cat. She would see herself in the glass and fly across the room, slamming into the glass. She learned quickly that the other “cat” had a harder head than she did. The couch in our living room had a five-inch flap hanging from the bottom

of it to the floor. The upper two inches of the flap hid a two-inch piece of wood that ran the distance of the couch and the rest of the flap simply hid whatever happened to be under the couch. The tile floor in the family room afforded Winkie the luxury of being able to slide great distances at break neck speeds, and as a kitten she would get a running start and slide underneath the couch. As she got older and bigger, she would run wide open towards the flap, not realizing that the upper two inches covered up a piece of solid wood. Her head would slam into the wood and come to a complete stop as her rear kept going. The force of her momentum would sling her rear end under the couch, dragging the rest of her with it. Again, pain was her teacher and she soon stopped this activity. I had a collection of rubber animals, and, for some reason, Winkie was insanely afraid of them. As I got older, the rubber animals would disappear one-by-one until I no longer knew the whereabouts of any of them. A woman that my mother had hired to help clean the house was cleaning in the crevices behind the couch cushions. Winkie was sleeping underneath a coffee table. The cleaner found a rubber alligator and, without regard to Winkie’s fears or whereabouts, tossed it over her shoulder towards the coffee table. The alligator landed beside Winkie and she slowly turned to see what lay beside her. It took her a second to realize that it was the dreaded rubber alligator but as soon as she did, her hair raised up, her eyes got big and she jumped straight up with all her might. She slammed into the coffee table, knocking over the vase that sat on top. Slowly she staggered from underneath and was never again afraid of the rubber animals. Winkie was a hunter marked by a streak of laziness. Once, just after it had snowed, she stood at the back door waiting to go outside. My brother

opened the door, and as she started to step out, a bird flew directly in front of her. The bird was in mid-flight as she snatched it in her jaws and, content with her catch, she turned around to come back inside. Much to her dismay, she was forced to eat her entrée outside. Winkie’s bird catching techniques were rather ingenious. She was constantly being attacked by blue jays that would swoop at her. Winkie would simply roll over on her back and as the birds swooped down, she would pick them out of the air. This method was evidently too much work for her, as she developed another simple method that required less effort. She would sleep leisurely beside the wheel of my bicycle, and as the birds swooped at her, they would become entangled in the bicycle spokes and dinner was served. When it came to being chased by dogs, Winkie would take only so much. A neighbor’s dog, Max, had chased Winkie up a tree. Max was barking madly as Winkie sat, dauntless, in the tree. I went outside to chase Max away and as soon as I had his attention, Winkie jumped from the tree to the

dog’s back. Her claws locked into Max’s hide and the dog screamed in agony as he took off for home with Winkie riding on his back. From then on, Max would not go further than the edges of his own yard. While walking her poodle named Fanny, a neighbor stopped to talk with my mother in our front yard. The dog kept eyeing Winkie, who was sitting nonchalantly behind my mother. The woman, noticing Fanny’s anxiety towards our cat, said, “Now Fanny, don’t you hurt that cat!” That was all Winkie needed to hear because no sooner than the woman got the words out of her mouth, Winkie sprung into action. A whirl of claws and teeth was all that could be seen and the only sound heard was that of a screaming poodle. The fight lasted only a few seconds and when it was over, blood streamed from Fanny’s nose. Fanny pulled at her leash to go home. Winkie walked to the middle of the yard, flopped down on her side and took a bath.

Machallie G’s will be closing their door on June 3rd. If you haven’t had a chance to see us please stop in before that to all of our time! We’d like say a big customers who have supported us these past four years! We appreciate you!

Thank You

227 Main St. Kalispell, MT 406-257-7777

Empowering Pictures By Elsie Johnson

CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITIES My son is fine with reading, but writing is a real challenge for him. How can that be, and how can we help? The seemingly simple steps of the two dimension writing process can be intimidating for anyone. Writing is an opportunity to put oneself forward in words to show others. The fact that most of us possess the talent of picture thinking creates additional facets to writing. One facet is that picture thinking happens fast, which is great, but which part of his “streaming video” does he choose to put down on paper? Often picture thinkers have vast vocabularies of words they’ve heard. How ironic that they can not use these words when writing, because their inventory of how the word looks in its proper spelling limits their writing vocabulary. Uncertainty about words for which they have no pictures further limits the choice of words to write their ideas. Many words for which they have no picture are relationship words that they need to show how the pieces of

their picture go together. For example, what picture or understanding do they have for the word “yet”; is it the same as “so”? This uncertainty soaks energy from their writing, making time pass either painfully slow or too fast, all too real to picture thinkers. With these uncertainties comes emotion, which sometimes lowers their threshold for confusion and makes the whole process even more daunting. Acknowledge to him that writing is tough, made even more so because his great brain has so many ideas that he has a hard time recognizing them and putting them into words. Realize and brainstorm with his teacher that picture thinkers’ pictures come to mind as a whole, not sequentially, and seem equally important, so unraveling a picture seems undoable. Then there’s spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence structure, punctuation and capitalization. See his writing as a process based on ideas and steps toward use of those writing conventions. I’ve learned that helping picture thinkers understand some word-

thinking jobs, like writing, can trigger problems. Tools based on their brainpower give them the option to be the boss of when they get flustered and frustrated and what to do when something triggers these struggles. Use my expertise in empowering picture thinkers; call for an initial consultation. We’ll assess your son’s picture thinking ability and determine a program that puts the ball in his court, so he can overcome these struggles because of his way of thinking, rather than in spite of his way of thinking. “I do not like to write, I like to have written.” Gloria Steinem “This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” Winnie the Pooh “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Ernest Hemingway


Tokens of Love By Andrea Blair

Giving or receiving a gift on Mother’s Day is the heartfelt act of honoring a sacred relationship. The bond of mother and child is revered throughout life, but on this day, we strive to emulate our feelings through thoughtfulness and symbolism, so often a necklace or ring fits the bill perfectly. Jewelry and birthstones have long been a traditional gift for Mother’s Day, but beyond choosing the appropriate stones based on children’s birth dates, the design and creativity was left to the manufacturer. That’s not the case at all anymore. Bob and Rachel Krug are the proprietors and artists of Imagine Jewelry Studio, and have been imagining and creating stunning one-of-a-kind jewelry in Helena since 2007.

Imagine. Design. Create.

601 Euclid Ave., Ste. A | Helena, MT 59601 | 406-449-5657

Any stone can be used to represent a child in a mother’s ring. In 1990, the Krugs relocated to Portland, Oregon, where Bob went to school and trained under well-known, talented jewelers until he felt ready to branch out on his own. He and Rachel then worked as independent jewelers, doing custom work as well as repairs for other companies. They left the jewelry industry for about five years, returning to Montana so Bob could put other skills to work at the Montana State Fund, and Rachel focused on motherhood. It wasn’t long, however, before his creative talents were uncovered and sought after, so he began manufacturing jewelry from their home. Rachel says that her husband really felt the creative need to continue making jewelry as time allowed. The

Each of the tags represents a child for the mother who wears this bracelet. one, Imagine Jewelry Studio has more than one way of procuring that piece. “We’ve been in the industry for twentyfive years, so we’ve got a lot of contacts. Just because we don’t have something in stock does not mean we can’t get it for you. We have yet to run into a request we cannot accommodate.”

demand grew great enough that they really needed a separate business space. Soon they were on the hunt for real estate where they could set up shop. They began with 500 square feet, which they filled with jewelry and other accessories. Business steadily grew, until it became a full-time undertaking

This ring artfully represents a larger family. once again, and he was able to resume his career as a Master Jeweler. Rachel and Bob have each designed their own signature jewelry collections, called Fusion and Autumn Rain, respectively. Both lines are beautifully crafted. Autumn Rain is very organic looking, yet sophisticated and distinctively styled with sandblasted

sterling silver and green and rose gold. Fusion combines the organic look and detailed craftsmanship with a geometric and slightly more streamlined look in beautiful copper and silver Mokume-gane, a Japanese mixed-metal laminate. “We make most of what we sell,” Rachel tells us. “We do sell outside lines, but maintain a strict standard of quality. We [also] strive to stock unique merchandise, but don’t keep quantities of things in stock. In Helena, the shopping choices are limited, and, as a woman, I know how frustrating it is to see the exact same item on someone that I am wearing, so we work very hard to make sure our items are unique and limited.” Perhaps most notable is that not only do they make most of what they sell themselves, but better than 50% of their business is custom design and commissioned work. What this means is that if a customer comes in looking for a special piece of jewelry—either one they have seen or something very special they’ve envisioned for a loved

The giving of jewelry is typically a very special gesture, intended to be of great significance. What could be more special than having a ring or pendant designed specifically for your lovedone? Such a piece will not only be a cherished token of love for the recipient, but a family heirloom that generations to come will treasure and admire. It’s a big deal! Imagine Jewelry Studio can help you create jewelry of your own imagining, or customize an item they’ve created to suit your needs. If you’re looking for a special gift that Mom doesn’t already have, Bob and Rachel can help you Imagine something spectacular. Come in and see for yourself! Many variations of this pendant are possible.

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Imagine. Design. Create.

601 Euclid Ave., Ste. A

| Helena, MT 59601 | 406-449-5657


On Becoming a Grandmother By Kathleen Clary Miller

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19 “Christmas came early for us!” my youngest daughter Kate exclaimed while holding up a Santa Claus onesie at the Missoula airport when she and her husband arrived last holiday. She had taken three pregnancy tests that morning, just before boarding the plane—a trio of positives in result. After a spurt of joyful tears and effusive remarks followed by hugs all around, it began to sink in: My baby is having a baby. I was a worrier-mother, as was the woman who bore me. Do I tell Kate about the recurring nightmare (to this day, my girls having celebrated their 29th and 28th birthdays, I occasionally have it) that my baby is tumbling from a balcony and I can’t reach her? I decide not to; she is basking in that glorious moment, long before you realize your life is irrevocably altered. You will never, ever be the same. I want her to prepare herself for the intense devotion that will emanate from every pore and consume her—a love so fierce and a heart so full, you feel your chest will explode. She thinks she has loved this way before, but I know better. I know she cannot yet comprehend unstoppable surrender—not even with ample warning—until she lays eyes on her child for the very first time. Only then, and after inch-by-inch growth, first haircut, broken friendship, and

every trip to the pediatrician will ferocious devotion strike her to the bone. What she would do to spare her innocent the heartache of life’s hurdles will be a list so long she cannot recite it. Only when she delivers her child to the classroom door on the first day of school will she realize that she has lost herself entirely to another. When something hurts that innocent heart, that is when will she be ambushed by such desperate tenderness as to dissolve her. After her teenager pulls out of the driveway, car packed to the gills and pointed toward the college dorm, she will feel a seizure of irrepressible longing to turn back time and cradle that babe behind the steering wheel. As soon as she watches her little girl skip from the church on the arm of a husband, throwing mama a kiss through the rice and confetti, will her soul overflow with future hopes for them both, while at the same time feeling—wait a minute—there has been a mistake, an accidental amputation here; my limb that should still be attached… is missing. It is hard, when you love so hard. Yet, she will never regret this price to pay, the letting go, for creating a life at the cost of her own. Not for one single, solitary second. As for becoming a grandmother? This is the ultimate recovery, the finding of myself again—although not the very same limb I lost, another that can attach and help me walk as if it were my own.

My own mother told me, after accompanying me to the hospital where my oldest daughter, Clary, age two, required the surgical implant of ear tubes to avert excess Eustachian congestion, “I promised myself I would not care like this again.” She’d spilled so much into her own children that by the time I birthed her grandchildren any possible reserves had been sapped. She simply couldn’t imagine finding enough space in the chambers of her brimming heart for such volume, not even one more time. “But here I am,” her voice faltered as she reached to grip my hand in the waiting room, “caring, just the same.” “I am here,” I tell my Kate. No matter the passage of time that callously ticks off milestones meant to move us forward, I am irrepressibly drawn to look back from whence I came, forever her mother. And yet, every time my soul aches to have it all back again, God whispers to “forget the former things; I am doing a new thing! Do you not perceive it?” Undiminished simply because I have reached that decade in life where it was fairer weather yesterday than it will likely be tomorrow, I have come to the place where the baby I once bore is her own person, separate and apart from me and soon to become, herself, a mother. I will hear that whisper and let go of my little girl’s hand in order to touch the fingers of her newborn child, who will move me with promise to look forward. I will be made something new, all right. Something very, very grand.


Kids Define Mom

By Margie Johnson Even though they left this morning and are already back home, I am still unable to shake today’s humorous scene out of my head. And beings Mother’s Day is nearly here, I’ll share these cute answers. However, from the way my precious, great niece rounded-up her mom and plunked her down, you’d think it was Kid’s Day instead. Enjoy:

Why did God make mothers? “Mom, come here. Sit down! Ya gotta hear these.” My nine-year-old great niece ran over, grabbing her mom’s arm, swinging her around and then pushing her into the chair next to her like she was her oversized rag doll. The baffled look on my grown niece’s face was comical and quite unforgettable as she sat dazed, trying to figure out what just happened to her. To back up, my niece and her family were spending the night with us. Wanting to entertain her daughter, I began reading how six-year-old children at a Christian school defined their mom when asked certain questions. But laughing so hard and suddenly stopping me, my hyped-up great niece ran and snatched her mom, wanting her involved in her fun. She must have sensed the kids’ answers showed they had the upper hand. Kids love being in control! I then started reading again, noticing if one of the answers hit home with her; she’d laugh and roll her eyes as if to say…. “Do you get the point Mom?”

She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is. Mostly to clean the house. To help us out of there … when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

He used dirt, just like the rest of us. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring. God made my mom just the same like He made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

God made mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string. I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom? We’re related.

God knew she likes me a lot more that other people’s moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy. They say she use to be nice.

What did your mom need to know about dad before she married him?

His last name. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot. She got too old to do anything else with him. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?

Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goofball. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?

Moms’ work at work and work at home, and dads just goes to work at work. Mom knows how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ‘cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend’s.

What does your mom do in her spare time? Mothers don’t do spare time. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect? On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.Diet. You know, her hair. I’d diet, maybe blue. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that. Then she would be perfect.

Kids…. aren’t they wonderful? They love to have the upper hand and, especially, to laugh. In fact, I understand kids laugh an average of 150 times a day, whereas adults, only about 10. Well, today, I’ve done way more than my share. It’s late. No more time to laugh. Time to sleep. Happy Mother’s Day… Sweet dreams.


A Montana Spring By Jshanie Gilham

We truly are fortunate to live in the beautiful state of Montana, where the scenery is always changing as the year progresses through the seasons. We have now entered into spring and are seeing the snow clear from the mountains and more vibrant colors appear in the landscape. As the mind wanders, we may try to envision what Montana looked like before all the buildings and roads were constructed. As we might remember from our childhood history classes, a group of now famous explorers did get to witness what the natural land of Montana looked like. It was exactly 208 years ago this month that Lewis and Clark journeyed across Montana. They traveled for five months across our state and headed towards the Pacific. Upon their return in 1806, they once again passed through Montana, making stops in the Missoula Valley and then heading east up the Blackfoot River Valley (Historic Missoula, 2011). We can only imagine the natural beauty that Lewis and Clark and his crew witnessed in Missoula. What now stands in the Missoula Valley is a different type of beauty, a community built around the University of Montana.

The University of Montana was founded in 1893. Many young people from Montana and other states choose the University of Montana to receive a quality education and begin to create successful futures. As a recent graduate from the University of Montana, I have learned quite a bit about life, psychology and nutrition. Health is very important to me and is something our country is beginning to hold in high regard as well. Being healthy means having both optimal physical and mental health. One way that a person can add positive nutritional and mental health benefits to their regimen is by getting vitamin D naturally from a tan. An interesting fact about vitamin D is that it is different from all other nutrients, because the body can synthesize it from UV rays on the skin. There are only a few foods that contain vitamin D naturally, which means the most effective way to get it is through UV exposure. What does vitamin D do for the body? Vitamin D aids in bone growth by assisting in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. We have all heard the importance of calcium as we age, but without vitamin D we would not receive the full benefits of calcium. Vitamin D also aids in cells of the immune system, brain and nervous system, pancreas, skin, muscles and cartilage, and reproductive organs. Recent discoveries have led to evidence that this vitamin may even protect against tuberculosis, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and some cancers. Why not do something good for yourself and start tanning? (Whitney & Rolfes, 2011) At Club Sun, we are Smart Tan Certified, meaning we have studied the tanning process to proficiently help our customers get the best tan they can, whether it be for nutrition, mental health, cosmetics, or something fun to do. The nice thing about tanning indoors is that we can monitor your

UV exposure, which is not easy to do in the sun. May in the Flathead is not quite sunny or warm enough to achieve that beautiful tan. If they were in the Flathead Valley today, I’m sure Lewis and Clark would have loved to stop by Club Sun to warm up and get the nutritional benefits they were most likely lacking due to their extensive traveling. If you have never tanned indoors before, relaxing in our tanning


beds would be a great thing to try this spring! We look forward to seeing you soon. Ask about our Vegas and other fun destination trip packages that we now offer for those of you heading out on a sunny vacation soon. “Spreading sunshine and fun, it’s what we do!”

Montana Woman has been in publication since 1994, and is a monthly magazine designed to be a positive resource tool for women throughout the great state of Montana. Each issue features Montana women who are pioneering forth to make a difference in today’s hectic world.

Topics of importance to women, such as business, health, fashion, fitness, investment, history, beauty, and numerous other subjects are featured to educate, entertain and inform. It is our goal to provide an insight that will benefit women professionally and personally. In doing so, we hope to encourage women to be active community members and positive role models for our next generation. The Montana Woman family strives to provide information for the assistance in success for Montana’s women of all ages. The magazine highlights Montana owned and operated businesses that are unique and community-minded. Montana Woman inspires readers across the state by keeping them up-to-date on topical trends. This is done by staying on track with current events, fashion, and points of interest. Montana Woman strives to be an active voice in Montana’s communities and supports local charities as well as fund-raising events. Together we can truly make a difference. In addition to the print and iPad editions, issues are also available online at Online advertising is available to complement your print ad campaign. Our readership consists of:

Download the free app in the iTunes Store!

65% 22–50 years of age 25% Women 50+ years of age 15% people under the age of 27 50% are career women 20% are business owners 20% are homemakers 10% are retired

Izaak Walton Inn

Essex, Montana




Tomorrow By Cindy O’Boyle


The term steampunk was first introduced in the late 1980s, though it now retroactively refers to many works of fiction created even as far back as the 1950s and 1960s.

Steampunk is best explained as Victorian science fiction with an American “Wild West” and retrofuturistic industrial flair. Don’t be misled into thinking that Victorian is meant to indicate a specific culture; it isn’t. Instead it references a time period and an aesthetic—the industrial 19th century. Historically, this period saw the development of many key aspects of the modern world (mechanized manufacturing, extensive urbanization, telecommunications, office life and mass-transit), and steampunk uses this existing technology and structure to imagine an even more advanced 19th century. Steampunk is rooted in the era’s perspective of fashion, culture, architectural style and art. Steampunk may also incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy,

horror, historical fiction, alternate history and other branches of speculative fiction. There are a few genres for steampunk: the Aristocrat, the Gadgeteer, The Scientist, The Explorer, The Officer, The Citizen, The Air Pirate and the Ragamuffin. Some items have become symbolic for steampunk fashion, such as gears, keys, clocks and goggles. I am a huge fan of goggles and gears, and although they are wonderful, you do not have to incorporate them into your costume. If they work, great, but don’t force a

cog in somewhere because you feel it’s obligatory. If you are in doubt, start simple and add on from there.

and a gorgeous gossamer hat, and embrace the self-confidence to own your look!

Steampunk fashion encourages you to use your imagination. Use old doorknobs, hinges, keyholes, typewriter keys; even old letters on newsprint that is worked into a collage of trinkets and gears. To add a feminine flair, aged lace, tarnished fabrics and chain may be added. Think waistcoats, lavish trim and corsets. Try meshing beautiful pantaloons with a lacy top

Weapons are often an essential need for the steampunk, whether it is small and cleverly tucked away until needed, or so grand it gets its own chair! You don’t need a weapon, but they are pretty and shiny, and steampunk weapons are and should be works of art. The essence of steampunk is gadgets, and what is more gadgetry than a gun with all the scopes, scrollwork and shiny barrels?

Steampunk is all about fun and creating an outfit that delights the senses, entertains the wearer, and engages the viewer.

Trashi n One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – or designer gown.

Trash Fashion (Trashion) is driven by the idea of transforming old and discarded elements into new, one-of-a-kind designs of wearable art. People were making something from nothing long before the word “trashion” was coined. I remember reading in history about American settlers making quilts and rugs from cast-off clothing and feed sacks.

I think one of the great things about trashion is that it is accessible to anyone who is feeling creative and resourceful, unlike traditional fashion, which tends to be costly and elitist. Trashion is also unique; someone who wears a trashion gown to a function, for example, can be confident that no one else will be wearing the same outfit! The unique flavor of trashion is also its appeal, as each piece is intrinsically distinct and quirky. These beautiful pieces made from recycled objects don’t need to be lacking in style. I know what you are thinking— Ew… garbage? Who in their right mind would want to dumpster dive in the name of cutting-edge style? These days, it seems like everyone is in on the fun. Major designers the world over have stepped up to the reclamation plate in an effort to demonstrate that there is beauty and creative potential in that which is typically made to be utilized just one time before being chucked. Candy wrappers, old newspapers, plastic bottles — they’re all fair game, as are broken objects, obsolete cultural artifacts and factory floor bits and pieces that would otherwise be swept

into the bin. The coolest part, though, is that you don’t have to be formally schooled in the fine art of fashion design to exercise your innate trash-repurposing abilities. Tread with caution, though. This is one creative experience that you’ll quickly discover can be incredibly addictive.

the pilgrimage

Local Audiences are in for a Treat as The Pilgrimage Takes the Stage at Glacier High

Local playwright, JeAnna Wisher, is producing the original musical The Pilgrimage for the first time ever on the stage of the Performance Center at Glacier High School. Wisher set out to write a story, using the medium of musical theater, which would awaken audiences to the plight of our young men and women returning from service in the military. This three act musical contains a dozen original tunes varying in genre from rock to rap, military march to ballad. “I intended, by showing the courage, integrity, and sense of humor with which my characters face their challenges, to show respect and honor for our service men.”

After the battle, the main character, Jack, finds himself in a military hospital, suffering from TBI or traumatic brain injury. Jack and the other injured soldiers cope with the scars left by the war with courage, integrity, and a sense of humor, exemplifying those who chose service to their country over personal safety. A musical would not be complete, however, without comic relief, and the characters of Shorty, the ladies’ man, and Gunner and her two sidekicks Nicki and Bubba, our three “women in combat,” will tickle the funny bone. Don’t miss this poignant, heartfelt and entertaining tribute to our service men and women for the sacrifices they have made.

The premier production of The Pilgrimage will run April 25th, 28th, 29th and May 3rd, 4th and 5th, with all performances at 7 PM. Tickets are $10.00 at the door with half price tickets available on April 25th. All profits from this production will be donated to N.W. MT Veteran’s Food Pantry.

For further information, feel free to contact JeAnna Wisher at or call 260-2513.

Vision TALENT& By Gina Ellis

April Holmquist When it comes to talent, we see our fair share of it working in the magazine industry. It’s common for someone to call or stop in with a story of endowment concerning someone they know or have met. What stands out about April Holmquist is not just her undeniable aptitude for design, but her vision and determination to accomplish her dream‌ no matter the curves in the road along her journey.

April’s story is one that I think will impress you. It is one of those stories that bring a natural sense of self-reflection and shift in worldview. For me, it is a wonderful example of the diversified beauty each woman has to offer, and the universe’s definitive ability to highlight authentic genius, which exists uniquely to each of us.

April shared her story beginning with her discovery of fervor: “I’ve always had a passion for clothing and sewing. I started sewing and making my own clothing when I was about 10 years old. I couldn’t find the clothes that I wanted to wear, so I started making my own. I would get an idea, sketch it out, and then find a similar piece of clothing in my closet that I could make a pattern from. I would work all night drafting and sewing until I had something fun to wear the next day. “I moved to Seattle by myself when I was 15 years old in hopes of going to apparel design school. After finding out that I couldn’t get funding for school until I was 25, I decided to just settle in and enjoy my stay. I continued making clothing and participated in quite a few craft fairs in Seattle. I home schooled myself through high school until I reached my senior year, when I had to enroll in the high school completion program at Seattle Central Community College to finish a few requirements necessary to receive my diploma. I graduated with honors when I was 19.” April shared that during this time she made friends with some punk rock kids and fell into that lifestyle. She rode the rollercoaster experience of drug and alcohol addiction and hard punk rock living until she was 21. “I’m not proud of the events that filled those five years of my life, but I came out the other side alive and ready to move forward. To disconnect myself from that lifestyle, I moved to a farm in Naches, Washington, just outside

of Yakima. I traded the owner work on the farm for a room in their studio above the barn. Through hard work and alone time with the animals, I detached from the existence that caused so much harm in my life. When I moved back to Seattle just short of a year later, I went to massage school and found myself forever changed. “After I graduated and received my LMP license, I practiced here and there at local spas until my body told me it couldn’t do it anymore. A visit with my doctor determined that if I continued to practice massage I would be left with severe tendonitis and would need surgery. Naturally, I chose to retire.”

back burner for so many years that when I was accepted into the program, I knew I wanted to make sure I did the very best that I could and get the most out of the curriculum. I entered with a 3.99 GPA on the president’s and dean’s list with a foundation scholarship. Even though I had heard that this apparel program was one of the hardest in the country (it’s referred to as the apparel design boot camp) according to people in the industry, I intended to keep my GPA at the standard I had created. I worked two part-time jobs while going to school full-time and maintained my high grades. As time went on and I slept less and less - I began to realize

April got really into bicycling during massage school, which led her to a short term career as a bike mechanic after her ability to practice massage therapy ended. With the rapidly shrinking economy, this job also came to an end and she found herself in search of another means of employment. April was now off to learn how to groom dogs. She said, “I groomed everything from English Mastiffs to teacup poodles. It was so much fun, but our economy was really showing its worst side and I got caught in the cutback here also. I wasn’t able to land another job in this industry, but I was finally 25, which meant I qualified for funding my dream of attending apparel design school. I decided to start school, and for a year I worked on my prerequisites for the apparel design program. “This dream had been pushed to the

that I wouldn’t be able to survive the second year going at this rate. In my third quarter I started to ‘lose it’.” April was candid with me about her struggle with major depression and anxiety that ebbed and flowed throughout her life. She felt herself slipping and chose to see a therapist for support. The therapist recommended medication, and April, being clean for almost 6 years, went along with the

recommendation even though it seemed to disagree with her better judgment. She explained, “I was put on some very strong mood stabilizers, and from there everything went downhill really fast. I maintained my grades but felt like I was trapped behind glass. Nothing seemed clear and my life felt like it was running on autopilot. “In my third quarter, amidst the crazy pharmaceuticals, I met who I thought was my dream man. He promised me the world, was charming, attractive, and very kind and helpful in that last quarter of school. I was his ‘dream’, his ‘shooting star.’ Looking back, I am sure that had I not been in the fog of heavy medication and fatigue, I would have seen more clearly and chosen very differently, but reality is that by the last week of school, I was legally married.” April’s romance began to unravel quickly. One of her part-time jobs ended (it was a work-study contract through the school), and her other job could only offer her 15 hours a week. She was working in an unpaid

internship for the summer, trying to fulfill internship hours required for school, and couldn’t find another job anywhere. Before she knew it, April was looking at the reality of not having enough money for rent. Her new husband had turned into someone she didn’t want to be with. Abuse started right after the marriage, and a month later she found out she was pregnant. “At this point I had to go off all of my medication because of the risk it brought to the fetus, and I felt my mind return very quickly. As the fog lifted, the reality of my situation became clear. I searched for a cheaper place to live in Seattle that I could afford on such little income. I applied over and over to different locations, and after spending more than $100 in application fees, I was no better off than where I had started. At the end of the month, I had to move all of my belongings into storage and hope that something would come through soon.” On July 31st at 11:59pm, April walked out of her home, 10 weeks pregnant, her belongings on her back, and no place to

go. Every door seemed to close in front of her, and the friends she had once extended help to were now unwilling to return the favor. “I went from honor student to homeless and pregnant in the blink of an eye.” April continued, “The coming months were the hardest months of my life. My husband became physically violent, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. My self-esteem went out the window. I went from being a strong willed honor student that my classmates and instructors admired, to a timid, shy, exhausted victim of domestic violence. I decided not to go back to school because I would not have been able to keep up with classes while not having a place to live.” April finally was approved for an apartment in November in exchange for being an on-site manager at the building, which discounted her rent so that she could afford to live there. She moved in and began to prepare for the arrival of her baby. In January, after becoming physically violent with her,

April and Inka

April’s husband was sent to jail for a period of 30 days. At this point she was set on ending the relationship, because April didn’t want violence to be part of her soon to be born daughter’s life. Luckily April’s mom was on her way from Montana to help. April had her daughter, Inka, at 1:45am on March 1st, 2012. “I lay in the hospital with her in my arms, and the whole world changed. She was the most amazing thing I had ever made. She was beautiful.” April experienced major physical trauma during childbirth, which left her unable to walk and in need of intense physical therapy to recover. “It’s funny how life works. I was discharged from the hospital with a pair of crutches and wheeled out to a taxi in a wheel chair. I couldn’t take care of myself, or my daughter, at home because I couldn’t pick her up. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t bathe, couldn’t dress or do much of anything without help. My mom had been helping me but wasn’t able to stay, and my husband had returned willing to care for me. I felt like I didn’t have any other choice but to take him back, and so I did, with the ground rules that if he ever chose to be physically violent again, the relationship would be over for good. “Three weeks later he attacked me. I managed to barricade myself in my bedroom with my three-week-old daughter and call for help. He was arrested for the second time, and I was determined to make serious change in my life. At this point I had nothing to lose. “Most of my friends had quit talking to me because they didn’t approve of my having a baby —my anti-baby community—and they didn’t like my husband, for good reason. My postpartum savings was quickly dwindling and I wasn’t going to be able to return to work like I had planned due to my injury. So, I decided to make the move to Montana. I figured out all of the legal issues, like a protection order,

so when my husband got out he couldn’t say I had kidnapped my daughter, and started on the road to divorce. My mother came back out to Seattle and helped me pack things, get rid of most of my belongings and prepare for a big move.” April boarded the Amtrak train just shy of May with a few bags of her clothes and baby supplies, and headed for Montana. When she arrived, she enrolled in physical therapy and started on the painful road to recovery. She was finally discharged from physical therapy in October of 2012. Because of some wise words from a mentor she was working with (“Grow where you are planted”), April decided to stay. “It helped me realize that even though I hadn’t planned to come back here to Montana, I needed to enjoy my life and grow as much as I could here in order to completely heal.” She sent for her belongings, which included all of her apparel design books, industrial sewing machine, and tools. Before she knew it, April found herself constructing clothing and starting her new business, Inka Clothing (named after her daughter), connecting to her passion once again. She found that now, not only did passion fuel her ambition and creativity, but the desire to provide a bright and amazing future for her daughter also played a lead role. April diligently socks away money whenever she can, in hopes that when her daughter is old enough to start school, she will be able to afford the Montessori program for her. April shared that her mission right now is to provide well made clothing from as many sustainable materials as she can find. She has rescued huge bins full of fabric destined for the landfill. She finds yardage at thrift stores, repurposes funky screen printed t-shirts, and is working on acquiring funding so she will be able to buy

organic fabrics and findings. Down the road, April is set on producing her own line of clothing locally. “I hope to open a small production sewing operation in Kalispell. I have a dream to hire single parents, teach them to sew, pay them a living wage and offer onsite childcare. It’s a big dream, but I feel if I shoot for the stars, I have a bigger chance of succeeding and catching that rainbow for Inka and me.” April’s dreams also include offering free education through volunteers

Baby Punk: Designed by April Holmquist

that have a hobby or skill they would be willing to teach their community. “Bee-keeping, composting, canning food, sewing, pattern drafting, bicycle repair, quilting, cooking—you name it. I want there to be a way for people to share their life experiences with the community in a positive and inviting environment.” April acknowledges that her greatest strength as a woman is an almost bulletproof resiliency. “I have fallen so many times - only to pick myself up and try again. Now that I have Inka, I am determined to be the strongest woman she will ever know. I hope to be her role model, teacher, life mentor and all around buddy. She deserves the best, because she is the future of our community. I’m raising the next generation, and I want to make sure she values a lot of the things that are starting to disappear in our society, like manners, a humble attitude, gratitude,

and a kindness to all people. “The most important things I’ve learned so far are to take things as they come, not stress the little things, to have big goals to reach for, but also to not be disappointed if they change. The hardest of all has been, ask for help. I have found that the more I let people help me, and the more I help those around me, the stronger our community grows. We are such an individualistic culture and what we really need is to take care of each other, watch out for our elders, our kids and help each other out when someone falters. “I want to breathe life into the Flathead. I want to meet all of the amazing people that live in this Valley and try to get everyone to join together a little more. I’ve only been back here for a year and I am amazed at the life that exists on Main Street. I have met so many amazing people, and can’t wait to meet

even more as my journey continues in Montana!” How’s that for a story of passion and perseverance? To think this jewel of a designer, single mom, and community volunteer is making her way and pursuing her dreams in Kalispell, Montana. Not bad, not bad at all!

Inka Clothing Co. 19 East Second St. Kalispell

MJ’s Costume Shop Whitefish


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Wonderful Women Information provided by Joe Withey

Good vitamin D levels help maintain cognitive performance and stave off mental decline

Low vitamin D levels linked to Alzheimer’s disease

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D in the diets of 498 women who were not taking vitamin D supplements and who did not have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other dementias at the start of the study. After seven years of followup, researchers divided the women into three groups: those who had developed AD, those who developed

Vitamin D reduced cognitive decline

Doctors in this study measured vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in 6,257 older women still living independently in their communities. Women with the lowest levels of vitamin D—10 to 25 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL)—were much more likely to be cognitively impaired than women with 30 to 74 ng/ mL of vitamin D. Four years later, doctors found that women with less than 20 ng/mL of vitamin D were much more likely to have experienced cognitive decline compared to the start of the study, while women with higher vitamin D levels were much more likely to have maintained cognitive function.

other dementias, and those who had not developed dementia.

Doctors found a direct link

As levels of vitamin D increased, chances of developing AD decreased. Women who got the most vitamin D— the top 20 percent—were 77 percent less likely to develop AD compared to all other women who got lower amounts of vitamin D.

askJEFF By Jeff Fulford

A Letter of Thanks Dear Readers: This letter, sent in by Patty M., made my day, so I would like to share it with you. Her letter is a great example of how sharing our experiences and reaching out to one another can make a positive difference, or a powerful impact, in the lives of others. Thank you for reading! Jeff

Hi Jeff, I just finished reading your article in January’s issue of Montana Woman, and have to write you to tell you what an amazing person you are! You helped me several times at the Clinique counter, and I always appreciated your knowledge and skills, and most of all, your wonderful attitude. What a joy it is to see you in this magazine now. My brother recently told our family that he is gay, and it really broke my

heart to think he had to wait for over 40 years to tell us. Our family sounds like yours...very close, [and with regard to] religious upbringing and morals. My brother is my brother no matter what, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love him more, I feel like our relationship is even better now that he has told us. I love your line about “choosing to be straight”… how people can think for a minute that any of us choose whether we are gay or straight is really ridiculous. My family literally wrapped our arms and hearts around my brother, and I’m so thankful that he can now be himself around us without carrying such a heavy burden on his back. I admire you and just needed to let you know that wise men like you will make this world better! Thank you!!

Dear Patty, I was pleasantly surprised to get such a wonderful and sincere letter from not only someone in the community, but also someone who has a family member who is going through some of the same things as I.

and cares for him no matter what—just as it should be. Family should be there through thick and thin. I hope my article was helpful for your brother and family; knowing that they aren’t the only ones who are going through changes and new ideas, and a new way of life. Many people think it is something that should be hidden or shoved in the closet and forgotten about, but that is so wrong. Why should anyone have to hide who they really are, and be ashamed of something so human? After all, isn’t it all about love? As Americans, it is our right to have the freedom of loving whomever we choose. Thank you so much, again, for such kind words of encouragement. You have no idea how grateful I am to know you. Your brother is very fortunate to have such a wonderful, loving sister. You and your family will do just fine, and are making the world a better place by being open minded, open hearted, and embracing people for who they truly are. Warmest wishes, Jeff

From the sounds of it, your family and brother are doing well. It gives me peace of mind to know that not only did he come out, but he also has such a wonderful and loving family who loves

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long time and have come up with a few methods to deal with myself and my form of procrastination.

I have sat down at my desk diligently for the past three days to write this piece, and every time I get to a point and don’t finish. I either do not like the direction it is going, or I don’t think that it applies to business enough, and then… It Just Dawned on Me that I haven’t finished it because nobody has asked me for it. If I don’t have to have something done, there are a million other things that I will get done. This is my own form of procrastination, but we all do it—just with a different twist. What is your method? Do you do everything on your “to do list” except for the one thing that really needs to get done, or do you choose the path of least resistance and do the things that you know how to do and those with an outcome that you are familiar with? I have done a little research on the topic of procrastination, and you will be happy to know that this is all normal. We have so many choices presented to us at any given time, that most of us just do what we need to do to get through the day. I have worked for myself for a

For some of us, prioritization and procrastination can look a lot alike. I have learned to distinguish between the two by my gut. Sometimes there are things that just do not need to be done right now and it is okay to wait on them, but if your gut is telling you different, the odds are good that you are procrastinating. I tend to procrastinate when I am not sure of the outcome of what it is that I need to do. Making calls, emailing a new contact, preparing a proposal, the list is endless. These are the things that you know need to be done to move you forward, but what do you do if they don’t bring the result you desire? So you put off that feeling and do everything else, because as long as you still have these items to do, there is still hope that they will be successful. So when I know this is what is happening, I just do one little thing. I make one call. I write the email and save it as a draft. I write the title for the proposal. At the end of the day, I have made progress. It may not have been a

giant leap, but baby steps will get you to the same destination. After baby steps, I am able to take bigger ones because I remember that results only happen if you actually do something. Regardless of the outcome, you have done it. If it doesn’t work, then you try it a little differently next time. The most important thing is that you are moving. Sometimes it may be sideways, and other times you go backward so that you can move forward again, but it is still movement. Movement is the key to overcoming procrastination. Overcoming procrastination will clear your road to success.

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Montana Woman Magazine would like to thank the Soucie and Soucie Team for embracing our vision and taking it to the next level. Hair and Make Up Team:


Wardrobe and Style Consultant:

Andi Anderson Lydia Winants Michelle Miller Libertie Barkley

Madison Rigg Savannah Gentry Eden Holtzfield Dennis O'Boyle Christina Hickey Austen Siderius Jerum AuClaire

Marie Hickey-Auclaire

MW Treasure Chest

Brandon Peterson Kalispell Hotel Management Photo by Alisia Cubberly

Written In Stone

Create Your Own Fashion Statement By Joanna Lyon, LCPC

been made by others and forced upon me. The presentation of me is a conscious choice I make every day.

Fashion—what does this word really mean? In the literal sense the definition is, “a popular trend, especially in styles of dress, ornament or behavior” but the interpretation of “fashion” in daily life means so much more. Are you “fashionable?” What is your “fashion style?” Who do you “fashion” yourself to be? Fashion can be viewed as a predetermined box, which has been defined by others, or a blank canvas that awaits the strokes of each individual’s brush. I prefer to define fashion as “the outward expression of our inner selves.” Each day I can choose how I am going to present my “fashion expression.” This expression is not a choice that has

Create some time each day to begin forming a vision of who you really want to be and what you want your life to look like. Get concrete and specific about each of these visions and write them in a special journal. Do you value material possessions, behavioral goals or spiritual matters? Some examples from my journal are, “I want to treat others with unconditional positive regard. I want to walk 30 minutes every day. I want to write a book. I want to remember the abundance life has to offer each day. I want to travel more.” The list of these visions is not fashioned by anyone but you and the possibilities are infinite. The more specific you are with each “fashion statement” the more concrete your dreams become. The second and most important part of creating your “fashion style” is remembering that life offers us

unlimited possibilities and abundance. Visions can only be created when we believe they will come true. Create a special saying each day to help you create your visions. Some of mine are, “Life offers unlimited possibilities that are mine for the taking.” And, “Today I am thankful for the opportunity to create a new dream.” I use different sayings daily in order to remind me of my ability to create who I am and to express my gratitude for life’s infinite possibilities. Consider this a personal invitation to begin creating your own “popular trend of behavior.” Start by using the two techniques I have outlined and you will begin to become clear about who you are and what you want your life to look like. These suggestions may seem simple, but they can help you create a powerful sense of self. Each day offers and opportunity to envision a better you. Let “fashion” become a unique expression of who you are, rather than an external trend that is formulated by others. Become your own “fashion statement” by creating a powerful you.

Ask the Coach

By Sherri Gerek transition to go through. Likely you will experience many similar phases in years to come. Take a moment to reflect, and see if you can recall your seasons of the past. Think about what happens during your cocooning phase.

Dear Sherri:

Dear Perfectly Happy at Home:

Lately I feel like I am revisiting a familiar place in my life. I have a tendency to avoid contact with other people, and even some of the activities I normally enjoy. My outgoing nature seems to be sidelined occasionally by some hermit-like personality traits. I go to work, I come home, and that is about it. I don’t really have a desire to connect with others right now, and although family and friends tell me this is strange, it feels pretty natural to me. I find I do a lot of reading this time of year, and some journaling, which I love and don’t seem to have the time for during summer. What are your thoughts – should I be more concerned that I am becoming a hermit?

Perhaps it is the time of year, as we notice the sun rising a little earlier each morning, setting later each afternoon – many of us begin to seek renewal in some form. I smile, as what you describe does not appear to be any cause for concern. You share it feels pretty natural for you to want to have periods of time alone. Good for you that you are honoring your own desires.

Signed, Perfectly Happy at Home

Often times our lives follow seasons, which we may compare to the earthly seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. Although we may live much of the time in a way that reflects a sunny summer day where energy is high, and we feel full of life; during other periods we may be pragmatic while planning and building for the future. This personal season might resemble fall. What you shared seems to draw parallels to winter, where, for many, it is the season to cocoon. Life is a series of changes for every one of us, and a cocooning phase is a natural

You shared that you enjoy journaling and reading more. During this phase you become more introspective, you may be reconsidering your current place in life, and analyzing how you might want to move forward. This period of “going in” is a period of discovery, which often leads to planning and a sense of renewed direction. Without the self-reflection you continue to do every day what you normally do. The same old routine can become mind numbing, drab, and dull. You may experience a sense of disconnectedness with your passion and purpose, which may have led you to cocoon in the first place. Great! Now that you are there, ask yourself, what do I want with my life now? What direction will I take next? Or, who do I see traveling beside me? The cocooning phase can be a lovely time of life. It requires that we slow down and learn to embrace the introspection. It is now that we can take inventory of where we are in all aspects of our lives, because soon we will get a sense from somewhere within that we are about to burst through our cocoon. For now, enjoy the time and space to reminisce, to dream, to plan, and to create the next beautiful phase. As surely as winter turns to spring, you too will emerge from your cocoon transformed—a magnificent butterfly.


Steamed! By Brandy Glass

As a drink connoisseur, I love the challenge of discovering fun drinks for Montana Woman Magazine. In honor of this month’s issue, I put together a few suitably steamy drinks. Steampunk is a name given to a fun, eclectic fashion that represents Victorian era science fiction – with a huge hat tip to the industrial revolution. To make sure I was on the right track, I hosted a steampunk themed cocktail get-together a couple of weeks ago. I am happy to report that we were definitely on the right on the right track! How can you go wrong when dressing up and having cocktails with friends? Well, don’t answer that… the point is - we didn’t derail! During the Victorian era, drinking lemonade on one’s porch was a popular past time in the summers. A “ladies-only” light luncheon may also have been served. Following is a simple recipe for lavender lemonade, a drink enjoyed during the 19th century.

Victorian Lavender Lemonade 5 c water 1 1/2 c sugar 12 stems of fresh lavender 2 1/4 c lemon juice

Directions: 1. Boil 2 1/2 c of water with the sugar. 2. Add the lavender stems and remove from heat. 3. Cover and let cool. 4. When cool, add 2 1/2 c of water and the lemon juice. 5. Strain out the lavender. 6. Serve the lavender lemonade with crushed ice and garnish with lavender blossoms.

Steampunk embraces a Wild West flavor as well. This drink will help you step back to a time when the railroad had steam and outlaws were king. Gunfire Tea

1 c strong black tea 1 shot dark rum Directions: Pour one cup of strong black tea, add rum and stir. This cocktail is my nod to the industrial part of steampunk.

Fog Cutter Cocktail 1 1/2 oz light rum ½ oz brandy ½ oz gin 1 oz orange juice 3 tsp lemon juice 1 1/2 tsp orgeat syrup 1 tsp sweet sherry

Directions: Shake all ingredients except sherry, and strain over ice into a Collins glass. Top with sherry. Steam, smoke, grime, motors, machines, monsters…anything goes really, as long as it has a Victorian tinge. Steampunk is all about having fun and embracing your creativity. Trust me friends, after you have a couple of these cocktails the creative juices will freely flow!


LivingBeautifully By Emily Myers

Bold & Bright

I hope that you have enjoyed all of the fun fashion shots in this issue! I had such a great time creating beautiful, edgy makeup for this month. It’s the most fun I’ve had as a makeup artist in some time. As a MAC makeup artist, this was of course the norm for me. However, Montana is a much different culture, and, as a result, I haven’t had much opportunity to let my creative juices flow, which is why I was so excited when asked to help create these looks for Montana Woman. I really have to hand it to Cindy and Gina for their vision of cultural fashion and thank them for the opportunity to be a part of that artistic vision. The first look I created was for the Trash Fashion shoot. I immediately envisioned something bold and bright. I love using colors that create great contrast, and that’s what led me to using yellow, white and black together.

I knew that the look should be clean with sharp lines. If the colors had been blended together, the contrast of these colors would have been lost and muddled. Obviously, this look is not for every day, however, you can use these same colors, being sure the placement is different and some neutrals are added to tone it down a bit. Try using a yellow shadow just on the lid, blending a soft neutral brown into the crease, adding some black liner on the top and lower lash lines with a little highlighter at the inner corner. It would be subtle enough to wear a bright peach or coral shade on the lips without it looking overdone. For the Fitness Fashion portion of this issue, my vision was yet again different. I wanted to show strength, individuality and beauty all at the same time. I used pink to show more of a feminine quality, the colors of the peacock to exhibit strength and confidence, and a sultry bronze, which exuded pure sex appeal. To me, it was a perfect picture of how we, as women, are all of these things. Pink shadow, blushers and lips are always fashionable and can be worn for any occasion throughout the year—just make sure to pick a hue that compliments your skin tone. Greens and blues are also quite wearable. The best advice I can offer here is to keep it to the lash line for easy wearability. Blacks and browns are the most commonly used colors and can be used in a number of ways. I love using bronze in the summer, along with a lovely shimmering champagne to play up the warmth that the summer sun has added

to my usually pale skin. It’s relaxed, yet confident and sexy. Below is a brief listing of products used to create these looks: Yellow: MAC shadows in Carbon Black, Chrome Yellow, NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk Smokey: MAC shadow in Carbon Black, Urban Decay Buck & Naked Pink: MAC Barbie Beautyburst, Et Tu Bouquet, Passionate Peacock: Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Makeup Kit Bronze: MAC pigment Blue Brown, Steele Blue I will provide a wearable version of some of these looks for the digital version of Montana Woman. Remember, have fun with the seasons most vivid colors. It isn’t permanent, so go ahead and play until you find a look that’s right for you!

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Cre ing with Colette By Colette Gross

Blending Edgy and Elegant I have been intrigued and excited about fashion from a very young age. I have old photos of my 3-year-old self dressed up in a floral dress, a fox fur collar, floppy hat, anklets layered with colorful pumps, and accessorized with bangles and beads, all styled as if I were a model in a fashion show! My interest in fashion for the home didn’t hit until about the 4th grade when I started paying attention to details in my friend Mark’s house. His mother, Beth, was

truly a most significant woman who captured my interest in home décor. She frequently rearranged her home, moving a table from one room to the next, or painting a piece of furniture with a fresh color combination to give it a new look. She even hand painted her kitchen table to match the patterned wallpaper on the adjacent wall! I was fascinated with Beth’s ingenuity and creativity, recognizing the fun she had in creating a new look with a well-loved

piece. Repurposing and reinventing was significant to me, and as a young adult I adopted her methods in my home. Today in my own shop, I can indulge in creating vignettes that showcase the old heirloom pieces combined with the more industrialized utilitarian pieces from the mid-century; one vignette features a metal cart next to an antique drop-leaf desk, while another showcases

a vintage laundry basket topped with a hundred-year-old window, repurposed into a modern day table! I am passionate about helping my customers see the beauty and artistry in mixing furniture and accent pieces together to make their home or office reflect their own past, while creating relevance for today’s lifestyle. Today’s trend of combining industrial pieces with Victorian, factory with functional, and creating futuristic looks from early 1900s cast-offs is termed Steampunk. Using pieces from the past in finishes such as polished brass, iron, and dark woods and leather, and combining them with pieces that have a British Victorian vibe describes this particular look that is the essence of Steampunk. We’ve embraced this fantasy functional look at Station 8, and have utilized many of our favorite pieces (which most people have), and taken it to the next level to achieve this look. We combined an industrial metaltiered table, added an upholstered chair adjacent to it, and then blended in a frilly ultra-Victorian lace and ruffled pillow! Steampunk! For a more subtle variation of the look, try gathering old keys or hinges and cluster them together under a glass dome. Or place a vintage alarm clock and skeleton key under a cloche for

instant Steampunk! Replace a regular light bulb with an Edison bulb in your lamp or pendant light for an industrial look. Frame an old blueprint and position it next to a mirror to give your wall a more edgy look—these are all subtle ways to bring in a bit of Steampunk fashion to your home. I invite you to come in and browse our variety of vintage and industrial looks that are respectful of our past while remaining true to our present. All the best, Colette, Shop Girl


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Live Your Best Life By Gayle A. North, Hypnosis Coach

E-Motion: Replace Negative with Positive At that point she told me she was fearful of exploring her emotions. Her concern was that if she resolved those emotions, her marriage would be adversely affected because some of her negativity was related to her husband. She was fearful that her irritation with her husband might be just the tip of the iceberg and that she would uncover more inner conflict and discontent if she truly leveled with herself.

The current condition of your body reflects your e-motional state … You Can Change Your Emotional State with Hypnosis. The first time Martha (not her real name) came to my office, she expressed her longing to shed the forty pounds of excess fat on her body. We talked about some of the issues in her life that caused her stress and other triggers that repeatedly led her to turn to food that sabotaged her health and appearance. She began to see more clearly that the 40 pounds of fat is the symptom or outward manifestation of her internal emotional state, combined with the eating habits developed over her lifetime of 62 years.

Martha is a smart woman and could see that her negative feelings toward herself and her husband were already having a negative effect on the relationship and that if she reinvented herself so she could be at her most healthy and happy, it could have a powerfully positive affect on her marriage. She decided to go ahead with her hypnosis program to shed the fat and create a healthier happier life. In the process, Martha’s limiting beliefs about herself, from traumas in childhood and adolescence, began to fade into the past for good. She also discovered and cleared out other trapped emotional energy that had been causing cravings for the self-sabotaging foods that escalated her weight and her discontent with herself. Most of her less-thanhealthy eating habits turned out to be innocent habits with food that she adopted in childhood. As the limiting beliefs vaporized, Martha came to a clear realization of her true character and capabilities.

A new sense of confidence replaced the self-doubt and self-judgment. A strong belief in her power and ability to recreate her body emerged from under the layers of self-doubt. As her relationship with herself and her body improved, her relationship with everyone else – especially her husband – became progressively more joyful. The irritation that she felt toward him began to be replaced by the love and passion she felt for him early in their relationship, to the delight of them both. Martha told me recently that she lives in a much more consistent state of gratitude and acceptance of herself and her body. The emptiness of selfneglect she felt in the past is healing through making self-care essential. Her increased enthusiasm for life and all that it offers is evident.

This story is inspired by case work done by Gayle North. Circumstances and names have been changed to protect client’s identity. Gayle North is a Hypnosis Coach. For information visit or call Gayle at 406-837-1214.

fitness fashion By Cindy O’Boyle Photography: Alisia Cubberly / Stylist: Robin Schaefer

The warmer weather provides the perfect motivation for moving exercise routines outside. Choosing the right fitness clothing is important for staying comfortable and avoiding embarrassing fashion disasters. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best fitness clothes:

Think comfort. Shorts, tee shirts, tights...wear whatever feels good to you. Test your clothes before you go to the gym (or wherever you're exercising) to make sure your clothes don't chafe, ride up, slide down or show more than you want.

Protect yourself. Wear light-colored clothes, a hat, plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses if you're exercising outdoors during hot weather. You may also want to invest in clothes made of special wicking material. This stuff keeps you cool and dry in the summer and warm in the don't need fancy fabrics, but it does make workouts more comfortable.

Invest in quality, sports specific shoes. For weight training and low impact activities, consider cross-training, running or walking shoes. If you're going to be running, you'll want a running shoe so your feet will have plenty of support. Similarly, if you're participating in a sport such as

basketball, football, etc. you'll want a sport-specific shoe so you don't hurt yourself.

Be safe. Make sure your clothes and shoes have reflective material on them if you're out and about at night.

Be picky about your workout socks. If they're too thick or thin you may end up with blisters, which can ruin a good workout.

Choose clothes to fit your activity. If you're running or walking, a simple pair of shorts and tee shirt might be fine. If you're doing yoga or pilates, you might choose more fitted clothing so you can move freely, but stay covered. There’s no right and wrong when it comes to exercise clothes. It’s whatever makes you feel good and keeps you comfortable.

Clothing provided by Sportsman and Ski Haus Whitefish Mountain Mall 862-3111 Kalispell Hutton Ranch Plaza 755-6484


Helping You Build A Family – One Couple At A Time

By Janna Sullivan, W.H.C.N.P.

In our early days of development, we quickly associated with the University of Washington’s Reproductive & Endocrinology Center. Today we maintain the same Regional Access Network with Seattle Reproductive Medicine. Understanding, and treating, the factors that affect becoming and staying pregnant has been a goal of Northwest Women’s Health Care since our formation in 1977. We are unconditionally committed in time and services to be yours and your partner’s team of specialists. Personalizing the myriad of tests and medical and surgical

treatments appropriate for you is best met by a team of nurse practitioners, doctors and support staff. Through membership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, we are forever evaluating, critiquing and integrating the newer treatments into the most reliable treatment 75 Claremont Street plans. Suite A

Kalispell, MT 59901


Fax: 406-257-2225

Make an appointment for a consultation if you believe you should have been pregnant by this time, or if a past health problem has you concerned about becoming or staying pregnant.


getting creative with sushi Panache

By Gina Ellis / Photos by Andrea Blair

Sushi is a delicious way to enjoy fresh, nutritious cuisine. It doesn’t have to consist of raw fish or caviar. I make sushi quite often for my family, and we tend to use everyday fresh foods that most people enjoy. Since this issue is all about thinking outside the box, I felt it would be appropriate to share one of my fun and original recipes with you.

Ingredients For Sushi Rice: • 3 c uncooked sushi rice or sticky rice • 3 c water • ½ c rice vinegar • ½ c sugar • 1 teaspoon salt


Rinse the rice thoroughly. Place rice and water in a rice cooker and set until cooked. Alternately, place rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook covered until done, 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Put the cooked rice into a large mixing bowl; pour the vinegar sauce over the hot rice and mix. Allow to cool slightly before using in sushi recipes.

Ingredients For Gina’s Smoked Salmon Roll: • Prepared, slightly cooled sushi rice • Small, Ripe Avocado; peeled, pitted and sliced into thin slices • Ripe Mango; peeled, pitted and sliced into thin slices • Fresh Cilantro; washed and ends trimmed • Cucumber; peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced • Sprouts • French Fried Onions • Smoked Salmon; skinned and sliced • Cream Cheese • Sesame Ginger Orange Dressing • Sesame Seeds • Nori

Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap and lay a sheet of nori, rough side up, on wrap. Firmly pat a thick, even layer of rice over nori.

Place a bead of cream cheese across the rice and nori. Follow by layering with a long piece of cucumber, mango slices, avocado slices, sprouts, smoked salmon, French fried onions, and a drizzle of sesame ginger orange dressing.

Pick up edge of nori, fold the bottom of the nori over, enclosing the filling and tightly roll the sushi into a thick cylinder. Once the sushi is rolled, wrap in the mat and gently squeeze to seal.

Cut with a very sharp, wet knife into 6-8 slices. Arrange on a platter and drizzle more sesame ginger orange dressing on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with low sodium soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger on the side.






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Inspiration By Rena Desmond

attention. Make plans for your day, weigh out important decisions, maybe create your grocery list, decide what to make for dinner, or just let your mind go blank. A blank mind oftentimes clears the slate and allows new thoughts and ideas to materialize. Inspiration shows up when you are not necessarily looking for it.

As far back as I can remember, there was always some event, such as being stuck in a traffic jam, or exercising on the treadmill at the gym, that turned out to be a source of inspiration. Now, one might say how in the world can being stuck in traffic be inspirational? Or, better yet, exercising on the treadmill at the gym? Well, go ahead call me “A Cockeyed Optimist.” This song reflects an image of someone who is immature and incurably green, but full of hope and heart. It really is about turning a negative situation into a positive. For example, if you are stuck in a traffic jam you can focus on the inconvenience or turn it into an inspirational moment. As a writer, it is a perfect opportunity to put some thought into the current article I’m working on. I can also look at a complete stranger, who is also stuck in traffic, and begin to create a new story. The treadmill can be very boring unless you take the time to think about the things that need your

Often times, writers are faced with what is commonly known as “Writers Block.” When faced with this dilemma, I often walk just to clear the cobwebs. As an incentive, I may treat myself to an ice cream cone at trail’s end. Now I have cleared my head, treated myself, and I’m ready to buckle down with new energy. Speaking of new energy and inspiration, I often reflect on my younger days and the family members who were a very important part of my daily life, providing constant inspiration. I didn’t always see it that way then, especially when it was a reprimand. However, being reprimanded motivated me to make improvements and helped me to take another step toward adulthood. I was always encouraged to try new things, and this inspired me to be more confident. The many kind and patient

acts of my family influenced me to say only kind words, and think twice before badmouthing another. Patience is one of the most important values my family instilled in me. I often try to inspire others to be patient, especially when there is nothing that can be done to improve the situation. Friends, co-workers, superiors and acquaintances have been great sources of inspiration, helping me to realize the impact of great communication skills; they inspired me to be a great listener. Sharing ideas encouraged me to keep an open mind - to respect other people’s differences. My husband, children and their families are always in my heart. No matter what else happens in life, their love inspires me to remember what is most important be grateful. During this special month honoring Mother’s, my daughter comes to mind as an inspiration for her great dedication to her family.

To all the women who have touched my life and inspired me -

Happy Mother’s Day


Dinner at Sykes

By Andrea Blair

Sitting down to a meal prepared by Chef Rick at Sykes Restaurant is a feast for the senses. It’s somewhat of a surprise if you haven’t had the pleasure before. With the casual feel of the place, it makes sense that one might expect to find “diner” food on the menu: biscuits and gravy, burgers, fries, a slice of pie…good stuff. The atmosphere of the diner is reminiscent of days gone by, a simple place where folks don’t put on airs; they come in for a good meal and a 10 cent cup of coffee, and maybe sit a while longer to catch up with friends and neighbors. But Sykes has taken the good stuff to the next level, Farm to Table style. Farm to Table: Brilliant

As our Montana Woman group sat down together with Jayson Peters, Sykes’ General Manager, he explained to us the importance of quality at Sykes. We learned that 60-70% of the menu is comprised of locally raised and grown commodities. From the beef, pork and dairy products to the honey they serve, and of course the produce, Sykes’ has embraced the farm to table ideology whole-heartedly. This is Montana, after all. The resources are here, so it only makes sense to indulge in them. As Jayson explains it, farm to table means knowing exactly where the food comes from. It’s local, fresh, quality organic food that goes directly from its source to the kitchen where it is to be served. There is a definite sense of gratification in knowing where the food we’re consuming comes from, and that it’s good for us. Jayson pointed out that the focus of many Americans lately has been to buy organic foods, but the origins of many of those foods may

still be unknown, therefore, there are still too many unanswered questions. When we see a product labeled as “organic,” we see the words “safe,” “good for you,” or “healthy,” and while that product might be a step up in quality, or lower in pesticides or harmful products we don’t want to ingest, the organic label is not a catchall. The bumper sticker we commonly see, “Who’s Your Farmer?” inspires us to think beyond the labels. Sykes has made it their policy, whenever possible, to know their farmers. To start us off on a light, refreshing note, Jayson poured us each a bit of A to Z Pinot Gris, and then Chef Rick appeared with a gorgeous honey and beet salad, the first of several exceptionally well-plated dishes. The combination of sweet, buttery, earthy flavored beets took the leading role here, with a touch of honey, rice wine vinegar and black pepper to bring a nicely balanced, sweet and spicy

combination. Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts rounded out the salad with texture and contrast to the beets. We learned that the honey in our salad came from Glacier County Honey Co. This honey is not what we’re used to seeing on the shelves of most grocery stores – it’s almost completely clear. Their website states the honey is “generally graded as water white, the highest color grade.” It’s fascinating to see, and taste, what local artisans are putting on the table.

Moving on to our entrée for the evening, Jayson again presented a nice selection of wine - this time red to enhance the flavors of our dinner - an Armitage Red Blend (Columbia Valley 2010), and Tamarack Cellars Farmhouse Red (2010). Lingering momentarily over the wine, Jayson explained the significance of swirling wine in its glass; by gently inhaling the scent of the wine prior to taking a drink, the flavor is enhanced. Notes of fruit, wood, spice or other flavors may be detected more acutely by first smelling, and then noting the aftertaste, or “finish.”

Shortly after our wine tasting lesson, we were presented with our next course. “Chef Rick’s Play on Carbonara” was brilliant not only in its color, but traditional carbonara is a pasta dish. In lieu of pasta, he used strips of steamed fresh zucchini and carrots. The aroma of the smoked pork and caramelized leeks was intoxicating. I honestly found myself wanting to just sit and enjoy the smell and visual presentation of the carbonara for a few moments before I actually picked up my fork. To top off the vegetables and smoked pork chop, a perfectly poached egg in the center of it all made this dish look very sophisticated, not at all like typical “diner” fare, and yet it tasted of rustic Italian comfort food, a meal to be savored and not rushed through. I enjoyed my meal with the Armitage Red Blend, noting how the caramelized

flavor of the leeks and sweetness of smoked pork were elevated through the spicy notes in the wine.

Mother’s Day Menu

Chocolate Hazelnut Fruit Crepes Served with 2 Eggs


Our evening’s last indulgence was a pecan and cranberry stuffed braised apple, finished with Banana Rum topping from Shelly’s Jellies. The scent of cinnamon and apples brought the comfortingly satisfying sensation that a homemade apple pie inspires, and yet the elegant presentation was that of a five-star restaurant. This was a very special dessert; the apples were braised for over 6 hours in Myer’s Rum and apple juice, taking the flavor to great heights. If homemade apple pie is a work of art, this braised apple is a masterpiece. Sykes Diner is, indeed, taking the experience of dining out to a new level. Service, quality and flavor make going out to eat fulfilling, relaxing and enjoyable, and the farm to table aspect is yet another bonus. If you aren’t eating out, visit the market and enjoy the same quality of food, expansive wine selection and service – you can easily create a phenomenal meal at home with the products available and knowledgeable staff to help you with your selection process or special requests.

Savory Bacon and Crab Bread Pudding Eggs Benedict Topped with a Southern Hollandaise


Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes Served with 2 Sausage Links


Mascarpone and Marmalade Stuffed Brioche French Toast


Buffalo Green Chili Omelets Served with Potatoes and Toast


202 2nd Ave. W., Kalispell, MT. (406) 257-4304

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Columbia Nursery and Landscape

By Andrea Blair / Photos by Andrea Blair

It has been 20 years since Columbia Nursery and Landscape opened for business. It was Dave Connor’s dream to own his own nursery, although, his wife, Lisa, had other aspirations back then. Working multiple jobs between them, juggling schedules that revolved around raising children and getting their business off the ground meant hard work every day. As Lisa looked after kids, managed a restaurant and eventually went to cosmetology school, Dave was doing his part with the kids, landscaping during growing seasons, working as a janitor in the evenings and driving a bus during the winter days. They have now been working side-byside for twenty-five years. Things have changed considerably in those years. When I asked what it’s like to live and work together all day, every day, Dave and Lisa agreed that it has worked very well for them. “When we’re working at the nursery, we’re busy all day; we see each other here and there, but there’s a lot going on. We’re not in each other’s way.” As a high school kid, Dave worked in nurseries where he learned and developed a fondness for growing trees and shrubs. Initially this was what he

sold when he opened the nursery, but after a couple of years the demand for flowers meant that he would have to research and learn by trial and error how to expand his business and meet his customers’ needs. With his years of high school training, personal research, and lots of experimentation, he’s come a long way. He credits his wife for supporting his dream and notes that her interest in horticulture was initially non-existent, and that it was her desire to help him succeed that brought her to work in nursery each day. Nowadays, she enjoys her work as a Greenhouse Manager, as well as bookkeeping, and has a wealth of information to share with her valued customers.

or loading up the truck. He may be young, but he knows a lot and is great with customers. “People sometimes assume that because a person is young, they don’t know as much, and may look for someone who looks more experienced for help. I found that to be true at times when I was young and just starting my business, too, but Cody’s been at the nursery most of his life, so he’s learned a lot.” And if there’s something Cody or Dave can’t help a customer with…there are plenty of people at the nursery who will willingly help.

Four acres of trees, shrubs, flowers and plants aren’t the only things that Dave and Lisa have been cultivating carefully for the last twenty-five years. They have two children, Cody and Samantha, who were just 1 and 3 when they opened for business, as well as a family of employees; fostering good relationships at home and at work have always been of the utmost importance to the Connors. Cody has worked alongside his mom and dad for years now, learning the business and all that they have to share with him. Dave says there’s a lot to know. It’s not just about how to grow plants, which is a skill set that requires plenty of education and training, but production, team leadership, and business management. Dave wants Cody to know the business inside and out, and Cody’s well on his way. If you’ve been into the nursery, he’s likely helped you with your selection process

Dave and Lisa speak fondly of the core employees that have been with them for years: Al, Tracy and Heidi. While customer service and quality products are their priority, Dave and Lisa know that treating their employees right is an integral piece of running a successful business. Dave acknowledges how hard they work and says he wants to do what he can to keep them happy.

overflows with vivid, eye-catchingly beautiful combinations of flowers and greenery. You can, of course, purchase your hanging baskets from their large selection of stock. With our temperatures reaching the freezing mark at night regularly in the spring, Dave strongly suggests to wait until after Memorial Day to put your baskets out.

They’ve been with the nursery now for enough years between them that the customers always see a familiar face when they return, and know that they’re going to receive great service. As the employees return each season to help, the customers come back and look for them. It’s a win-win. Dave, Lisa and the staff have formed friendships with repeat customers over the years and enjoy the relationships that that have evolved. “Even if you have great product, a customer won’t come back unless they’re treated right,” says Dave. “We’re a small ‘Mom and Pop’ business, and we believe in providing people with good service and quality products.” They want their customers to feel like family, Dave tells me people can come in without having to buy anything and still get information they need to help them with their landscape and growing questions. “If we don’t know the answer, we do our best to find it and make sure they get the help they need.” The Flathead Valley landscape is obviously a cold one, so there are only so many plants that grow well here. “We’re in zone 4, so if you start getting into zone 5 plants, things aren’t going to work so well…we do occasionally

have people come in requesting plants that don’t typically thrive around here. We’ll be upfront and let them know what they’re up against, but if it’s what they want, we don’t stop them.” They stock a few things that are a-typical for zone 4 growing. Dave says that if you live in places like Somers, or near Flathead Lake, micro-climates may provide the opportunity to grow things that wouldn’t do well in the valleys; Japanese maples, for instance. If you have the time and knowledge to baby things along, you may be able to plant things that otherwise wouldn’t make it in zone 4, but the folks at Columbia Nursery generally steer people toward the hearty varieties that stand up better to the chilly nights and short summers here. Aside from the service, another thing the nursery is known for is their gorgeous hanging baskets. When my neighbor hung two from her front eaves, I was very impressed with their size and fullness, and now I can spot them all around town and know exactly where they came from. Customers often bring in their own baskets, and after leaving the staff with the colors and varieties they love, as well as the hanging location (shade or full-sun), the nursery will plant a basket that

If you’re like me and feel a little slighted come early spring when we’ve yet to see blossoming trees or tulips in bloom, Dave recommends hearty flowers that can take the nighttime frost: pansies and snap dragons can be planted in March or April. Hearty azaleas (a colorful shrub that blooms in early spring before its greenery fills in) are another nice option. In Montana, we tend to find that spring hasn’t “sprung” so much as finally crept up in a rather lackadaisical manner. But the greening of the landscape, trees in bloom, and flowers brightening our gardens and stoops is finally underway. The staff at Columbia Nursery and Landscape is ready, and their greenhouses and shop are stocked with everything you need to create an oasis in your yard. The shop is a relatively new addition with gardening supplies, outdoor décor and unique gift ideas – a great idea for Mother’s Day or an upcoming birthday for anyone who enjoys their outdoor space at home.

Dave and Lisa are grateful to one another, their staff, and the community that has supported them and their vision for so many years, and are looking forward to seeing you very soon. Visit them for exceptional service and a great variety of locally grown, quality products. Happy Spring!

etals, Projects & Pizzazz By Lisa Levandowski

Duct tape has been used for everything from patching pipes to making wallets and even dresses, so it’s no wonder that it’s made its way into the floral industry. After all, some of the most striking bouquets are made from the simplest of materials. This handsome arrangement is designed with only 10 flowers, some bear grass, and handmade duct tape leaves. Supplies: Tall, hour-glass shaped vase 6 carnations 4 birds of paradise ½ bunch of bear grass Heavy gage wire Wire cutters Duct tape Directions: Insert the carnations around the rim of the vase. (They provide support and stability for the bear grass and birds of paradise. Add the bear grass and then the birds of paradise. Create your duct tape leaves: Bend one end of the wire into a leaf shape, leaving a long stem. Wrap your leaf shape with a strip of duct tape until it’s completely covered. Artfully place your handmade leaves into the bouquet. Now your bouquet has a fun, fashionable and unique accent of its own! From all of us at Glacier Wallflower & Gifts, have a great day, and remember to visit our website for all your floral needs.

Homework Rhonda WITH

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Like Gardening

The call to the outdoors is loud and strong here in Montana, probably because we spend so many months inside. My favorite outdoor activity? Working in the garden, of course! Gardens are a great metaphor for life. Left untended, your garden turns into a thicket, difficult to traverse. A wellkept garden is a joy to behold. Yes, it’s work to keep it this way, but so is anything worthwhile. Life and gardens provide us with adversity; without adversity there is no growth. Think about that as you watch your seedlings poke their heads through the soil. I was thinking about this the other day as I prepared my collected eggshells to start my seedlings, which I will transplant into the garden when the weather has warmed a bit. If you want to try this, crack the small end off, creating a “pot” from the larger half. I use the egg carton to hold the shells while I fill with them with soil and then to keep the newly planted seeds in. The lid is cut off to serve as a tray beneath the carton of seedlings.

| By Rhonda Young

To transplant, I crack the bottom portion off the shell with a butter knife. This allows the roots to expand out. Dropping the eggshell into a hole, I make sure the soil outside the shell is even with the soil inside the shell. Then I break off any shell above the soil line, crumbling it into small pieces to protect my seedlings from soft-bellied invaders.

Whenever I visit my mom, I like to stroll through her garden, pulling weeds as we chat. It’s what we’ve done for years. Wherever Mom has lived, she has always had a garden, and there are always weeds to be pulled. It’s a constant. One I am grateful for, because it’s a wonderful place to catch up with her.

The tops and any shells not used for my seedlings get baked at 350º until they brown a bit, for about 8 minutes, so they will better decompose in the composter. It smells like burnt hair, so save this for a day you can leave the windows open. When cool, I grind them with a pestle and mortar into tiny pieces to add to my composter, and sometimes I sprinkle them around my plants.

My mom has never been an “in-yourface” kind of mom. She is strong and quiet, but adventurous. She’s always trying new things - in life as well as the garden. She is my hero and what I strive to be like. Thanks, Mom!

I love reusing stuff that other people would consider trash, especially in my garden. After transplanting my seedlings into the garden, my cartons get torn up and also end up in the composter. Obviously, I’m not using Styrofoam cartons. Why do I love digging in the dirt and tending my plants so much? It’s no wonder…


What Makes a Captain? By Nan S. Russel

A favorite game with my granddaughters, ages 3 and 6, is an imaginary one they call, “Princess Pirates.” In the early days of its evolution they labeled it “Pirate Ship,” but this year it has evolved to have a gender slant. Played on the guest room bed, where we stay while visiting, the hardwood floor is a place of peril, which everyone needs to avoid by staying on the ship. Sometimes there are alligators, bad fairies, or mean pirates to contend with. But always it’s an evolving story made up by the two of them, complete with

hand-drawn “maps” and “on-board” supplies, which look a lot like toys, but are magically transformed into food, communication devices, enchanted weaponry, and crew. It’s always great fun. On this visit, the plot changed to involve a captain. “You be the captain, Nana,” the youngest commanded. “No!” her sister remarked. “Only GrDad (their name for their grandfather) can be the captain, because he’s the boy.” Mind you, GrDad was not in the room or playing at the time, nor has he been a “boy” for a long time.

Despite my insistence girls can be captains, too, my oldest granddaughter was not swayed. Even when her grandfather joined us and explained to her the gender-neutral role of “captain,” Neva would hear none of it. To her a captain is a boy. Where that came from is unknown - certainly not her parents, grandparents, or adult relatives. But messages, subtle and otherwise, are everywhere. At a time when debates over whether it’s “glass ceilings” or “sticky floors” holding women back, whether worklife balance is even possible, and

what equal opportunity really means, I’m wondering, in this month where we pause to honor our mothers’ contributions to our lives, what messages my mother, their greatgrandmother, would have for these princess-pirates about work. Growing up, my mother was the only mom who worked in our neighborhood. Working full-time as a school secretary wasn’t something she desired. But, it was a challenging time. Our possessions had been consumed in a house fire, my father was out of work, and my brother quite ill – so when the job was offered she eagerly accepted, retiring 30-years later.

Her job made the difference in our family’s ability to pay mounting medical bills; made the difference in moving from a rental home with mattresses on the floor to an owned one; and made a difference in college as a possibility. My mother’s work, eventually augmenting my father’s, created undreamt of possibilities for our family. It wasn’t her title that mattered. But, at a time when working outside the home for women was unusual, it was the fact that she did. Decades later, her great-granddaughters live in a different work-world. Whether they want to run for President, strive to be a Supreme Court Justice, a CEO, or the Secretary of State, it’s possible. Whether they want to start a business,

command a ship, build houses, or engineer roads, it’s possible. And whether they want to write books, design software, run a household or a farm, it’s possible. In the scheme of things, that’s the message I want for these little granddaughters of mine. With each generation, something more is possible. I am grateful to all the women and men who have, do, and will continue to make things more and more possible for every little girl, and boy!

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Montana

RMH Houses RMH Family Rooms RMH Caremobile Healing Happens Together


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Dr. Thomas Pittaway, D.M.D. 124 1st Avenue West, Kalispell


Heart Risks of Menopause

Lipstick Menopause is the biological time when ovary function ceases, leading to both visible and behind-the-scene changes that are silent and deadly. Around age fifty, ovarian production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and a small amount of testosterone (the male hormone) wanes and stops. As ovarian function fades, women begin recognizing mood changes, reduced libido and sleep disturbance. Many women report hot flashes are the most disturbing of all menopausal symptoms. Estrogen replacement

By Betty Kuffel, MD / Lipstick

such as Premarin works wonders to suppress the sudden drenching sweats accompanied by skin flushing and shedding clothing—but you have to ask yourself, “Is the risk of breast cancer worth taking hormones?� Some women say yes. Doctors rarely order Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) because of its strong correlation with breast cancer. A recent study examined the impact of progestin, the synthetic progesterone used with estrogen in women on HRT who have not had a

hysterectomy. Progestin products affect cell-surface proteins by blocking the death of cancer cells. This allows the abnormal cells to grow and spread. The discovery of this progestinmolecular process may be why breast cancer is higher in women taking HRT. Identifying this process may now open a new avenue of chemotherapy that selectively attacks the abnormal cells. In the perimenopausal period, as hormone levels are dropping, more than 80% of women experience flushes. The periodic symptoms last for 1-2 years

after menopause with the intensity decreasing over time. Taking HRT is not recommended. Taking replacement herbal therapy and plant-based estrogen-like products doesn’t mean they don’t carry the same risks. Just because replacements are “natural” or “bio-identical” doesn’t mean they are safe. When premenopausal women have their ovaries surgically removed, the result is immediate “surgical menopause.” Symptoms begin suddenly. In women lacking estrogen, facial wrinkling, facial hair growth, thinning head hair, and vaginal tissue dryness all occur. But in many women, silent bone loss and heart disease may be developing. Men develop coronary artery disease and typically have heart attacks at younger ages than women. Estrogen protects women against heart disease, but after estrogen production stops, the protection is lost. Within about ten years, the incidence of heart disease in menopausal women equals that of men. An important research study examined both heart risks and bone health in menopausal women. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Specialized Clinical Science at Tokai University School of Medicine in Japan measured the lipid panels and bone health markers, including bone density of the women, in their study. Within two years, following menopause and on no hormone replacement, the study group’s total cholesterol (TC) increased by 10%, LDL (bad cholesterol) rose by 20%, and HDL (good cholesterol) dropped by 10%; all unfavorable trends. These changes in the lipid measurements correlate with increased risk for developing atherosclerosis. It is the same disease process that silently

narrows arteries throughout the bodies of both women and men. After 12 months, the study group given hormone replacement therapy showed a favorable increase in HDL (the healthy cholesterol – the one you want high) and a favorable increase in bone density by 3%. Other markers, including total cholesterol, changed little. A high HDL is protective against coronary artery disease (CAD). Estrogen assists in calcium absorption and could decrease risk for the disabling common hip and spine fractures associated with osteoporosis, too. Both CAD and osteoporosis reduce life quality and life expectancy. With the positive information from this study, some doctors may be willing to reassess the need for HRT in some menopausal women, especially those seriously affected by these two diseases. Coronary heart disease can affect younger women, including those who have functional ovaries. American Heart Association statistics show each year heart disease kills 16,000 young women between the ages of 30-55. Women under age 55 may not recognize the symptoms of heart disease. Some don’t seek medical attention, believing they are too young to have a heart attack. Disease develops inside the artery wall as cholesterol accumulates, gradually blocking blood flow to the heart muscle. Eventually the narrowed vessels starve the heart of oxygen and trigger symptoms in many people. CAD is preventable, yet, one-in-four women die of heart disease and two-thirds of them have no recognized symptoms. Women may have the classic heart attack symptoms of chest pressure

radiating in the neck, down the arms and into the back. Half of deaths from heart disease happen outside the hospital. If you develop worrisome symptoms, call 9-1-1. Ambulance medics can begin treatment en route. Because heart disease in women is unique in some ways, women of all ages (not only older post menopausal women) should pay attention to symptoms that might be associated with heart trouble. Women with microvascular coronary disease (MCD) may experience vague symptoms such as indigestion, dizziness, depression, weakness, jaw aching, sweating and feeling short of breath. These could stem from disease in tiny arteries (arterioles) that become stiff and dysfunctional. MCD is a heart problem requiring special tests to make the diagnosis. Each year more men and women die from coronary artery disease than any other disease, including cancer. CAD is the number one killer, yet it is preventable and reversible. By learning about heart disease, identifying personal risks and making informed decisions, you can make choices to improve your health. Your actions may save your life.

Excerpt from

Your Heart: Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease in Women and Men

Soul Responsibilities

My Mother’s Daughter

By Rev. Jessica Crist

For a quarter of a century I was simultaneously a mother and a daughter. Now, since the death of my mother and my mother-in-law, there is no mother around to whom I can be daughter; only in my dreams and my memories, and in the stories that we tell. As a young woman experiencing infertility, I had a love-hate relationship with Mother’s Day. I was fine with honoring my own mother and truly appreciating her. But I was hurt when people who didn’t know about my miscarriages felt it was their duty to chide me for not being a mother. Oh, the pain! But a church-sponsored Mother-Daughter Banquet is not the time or the place to chide an insensitive busy body about one’s reproductive failures—especially as the pastor! So I put on my polite face and deflected. I used to think that Mother’s Day was a pretty lame holiday—just an excuse to sell cards and flowers and induce

guilt on those who normally neglected their mothers. But now I see it as a time to be grateful. I am grateful for the mother that I had, for her love and her support, for her wisdom and her determination. My mother was a journalist, an activist and an inspiration to many. At her funeral I learned from dozens of people—young women especially— that she was their role model, their heroine, their inspiration. She told women, “You can do it.” and they believed her, and they did. She told women, “Speak out. There’s a reason you have a voice. Use it.” And they did. And they shared their stories with me. I still miss her deeply, but I am comforted to know that her influence lives on not only in her daughters and granddaughters, but in the many women she inspired to stretch toward their potential. A month before she died I was a speaker at a convention of a thousand church women. I had hoped to have my mother accompany me, since one of her pioneering roles was as the first Director of the Commission for Women in the Lutheran Church. She was in the hospital and could not attend, but

she called me the night before I left and asked if I would give a message to the women. It was this:

“Keep doing what you are doing. It matters. Keep being what you are. It matters. If something needs to be said, say it. It matters.” I shared it with the women present, and throughout the rest of the week I kept hearing it. People came to the microphone during debates and quoted it. Someone even translated it into Spanish to make her point. I was so proud and so grateful to be my mother’s daughter. And even though she died a year and a half ago, I am still my mother’s daughter. I am my daughter’s mother, as well. Just as my mother taught me many things, so, too, does my daughter. Yes, she is a college professor with a PhD. But she has been teaching me all her life—teaching me to be a mother, teaching me to love fiercely, and to let go, teaching me to value her as a unique being like no other, humbling me with her wisdom and verve.


A Profound New Vision of Growing Older | By Ina Albert

A Bed Time Story So, what do you think of at night, before sleep overtakes the little voice in your head, reminding you of tomorrow’s tasks, of shopping lists and the things you’ve forgotten to take care of? Lately my thoughts have been turning to questions about death. What’s it going to be like? How will it feel? Will I turn into a ball of energy and be lifted out of the earth’s atmosphere, or find a peaceful spot in the Zero Energy Field? Will I lose my identity completely, or will some part of my essence continue to exist in a different form? Will I have to appear before G-d’s High Court and account for my deeds and misdeeds over this lifetime? Or will I immediately assume another identity and be reborn into a lifetime of correcting my karmic errors? Will I see the light at the end of the tunnel that so many people have described, and will my relatives be waiting for me on the “other side?” There is no picture of heaven or hell in the Jewish religion. Reform Judaism tells us that our memory lives on in those who come after us. The focus is on repairing this world—Tikun Olam. The unstated message is, you better live an exemplary life and perform good deeds (Mitzvot), so the memories you leave are worthy of G-d’s blessing.

I also wonder if Christians’ belief is correct, and that there really is heavenly redemption, angelic choirs and peace and harmony waiting for us...if we earn it. And what if we don’t? The punishment in hell if we don’t measure up makes death so odious and frightening that it’s no wonder we avoid the subject at all costs and live in denial until the end is so near that acknowledging it can’t be avoided. Throughout time humankind has been afraid of death. The fear is so pervasive that even visions of heavenly hosts can’t erase the dread of the ghostly skeletal appearance of the Grim Reaper. But what if death is not a boney figure dressed in ominous garb, carrying a scythe with the leer of a horrible destiny on his face? What if death was not the contrasting black figure to the white robed of angels in the afterworld? What if he/she is a kindly guy, maligned unfairly by history, whose real calling is to ease our transition to the next world? If I could think of Mr. Death as a gallant escort, perhaps I could feel that I was in good hands as I proceed to the next adventure of my soul. Maybe there’s no need to flee from death, but to welcome dropping our troubles and pain and move safely toward the freedom of release to whatever comes next—accepting destiny rather than fearing destruction. So perhaps death is not a cosmic mistake, but an agent urging me toward completing my life. What if

My friend Gaea Yudron ( wrote these lyrics to a song about Mr. Death in her musical review,


Humans are a funny race, You’d think they’d welcome any chance To drop the load they carry, discard that worn out body Fly out beyond the bounds of time and space. But no, they think in such small ways And crave what’s visible and known Being highly sentimental Fearing otherworldly tones So even if a transcendental Choir of angels came to praise They’d still be glued to their cell phones I transformed my “death anxiety” into feelings of awe, thanksgiving and appreciation for my blessings? What if I de-repress my fear and reclaim the energy that has gone into denial and face what depresses and terrifies me? Wouldn’t I feel lighter, freer, and more alive? Instead of wasting energy on fear, I could complete the patterns of meaning and wisdom I’ve amassed in my lifetime and leave that exploration as a legacy of memories to those who come after me. Maybe J.K. Rowling was right when she said, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Ina, www.

manifesting as quickly as we can think of them.


Intuitive Insights

| By Mel Mathes

Dear Readers, I’m not sure if it has something to do with the coming of spring, but I’ve been approached by and spoken with various people that are having a spiritual awakening. They all are experiencing a connection with something greater than themselves. Some of the people I’ve met with are developing their intuition, and sometimes they are able to predict what is going to happen. Some of them are learning what their dreams are trying to tell them, others are becoming empathic with others, and they’re reaching out to help. More still are able to hear their animal’s thoughts and more! And some of the people I’ve spoken with have been awakened to having several new “gifts,” and they are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect next. I’ve been blessed to meet and work with a few of them! I love to offer my support and insight to those becoming aware of their “gifts”...I feel like it’s my responsibility to offer my assistance. (Hey, I’m a Virgo...what can I say!) Some people are afraid, for they feel as though they have been dropped off in some foreign country, and they don’t know the language. For others, they’re not sure what they are supposed to do with their new “gifts.” Others are not sure if they want the “gifts” at all, and they would like to give them back. For those afraid or overwhelmed, I try to find out what they are experiencing; most were having a spiritual awakening, a few were experiencing emotional growth, and fewer still were experiencing a physical hormonal change. I believe, at some point in time, they asked for their “gifts.” The gifts arrived at this time because in some

way they were ready to receive them. I try to give them an understanding and tools to deal with the new information coming to them. I feel like I’m discovering my new “brothers” and “sisters” on this life path, on this earth, at this time for a reason. I think we all choose to be here and now. My own “gifts” keep expanding and growing as well. I think I have to continue growing and moving along my path in order to keep up with the ones ahead of me and the ones coming up behind me. As with my children, I had to keep on learning new things just so I would know that they were talking about. (Though, I’m still not too crazy about some of the new music!) I’m offering a class in developing your intuition. I found it’s easier to trust your intuition if you can validate it in some manner. You can speak with a friend, consult the runes, use a pendulum, crystals, tarot cards, dice, or some other tool to confirm your feelings. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, you just have to find a tool you are comfortable with. The universe seems to be moving faster. Things are

Be aware of your words and thoughts. It’s important to let go of any negativity. Think positive thoughts and speak of positive things! It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past. You can literally change your thoughts and change your life! I’m available 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM MT. You can reach me by telephone at 1-406-892-8034 or 1-888-3966600. You can also view me on my website or Facebook! I will answer questions in upcoming issues that are sent to my email address You can also view me on my website or onFacebook! I will answer questions in upcoming issues that are sent to my email address.P.S. Look for my specials on Facebook!

Mel Mathes

20 Over

Years of

Intuitive Coaching Tarot Specialist • Life Readings • $1 per minute

888-396-6600 406-892-8034 MC. VISA. DISCOVER AND UNION PAY

Thanks, Credits & Kudos

Look To The Stars

/ By Star Gazer

Taurus / April 20 – May 20 Organized parties, impromptu get-togethers, or other social events should be enjoyable this month. You will feel a strong sense of belonging to a family or community and a rush of affection for everyone involved. No matter what you think you have to do, don’t turn down an invitation. What you gain from being with others is more important than anything else right now.

Gemini / May 21 – June 20 The aura for May is calm and peaceful, and stress is at a minimum. You’re likely to be getting along very well with your group, even the more difficult among them. As a result, you will probably accomplish a lot more together than usual. At the end of the month you will be pleased with what you’ve done and proud of yourself. Go to it! Cancer / June 21 – July 22 Love and romance are apt to be among your top priorities. Someone from far away might have captured your heart. You could be looking forward to getting together with a friend, perhaps to attend a concert or sporting event. You should find this person’s presence very healing right now. You will feel mentally and physically inspired. Have fun! Leo / July 23 – August 22 A member of your household who’s recovering from an illness could express appreciation for all your help. This might come as a surprise, because serving your friends is second nature to you. Rest assured that whatever you’ve been doing has made a big difference to this person. Relax in the knowledge that you’re loved, wanted, and appreciated. That can keep you going in the future. Virgo / August 23 – September 22 The desire to write your thoughts on a subject you’ve been either thinking about or possibly even researching could arise. If you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at a magazine article on this or any subject, this is the time to get started. Your mind is sharp and your self-expression free flowing. Go to it!

Libra / September 23 – October 22 Your artistic talents could be put to good use this month fixing up whatever it is that you work on. You might want to repaint, put up new plants or pictures, or do anything else that makes the place seem a little more dressed up. This isn’t just fun. Both the process of doing it and the end result should lift your mood and keep you stimulated for the next few days. Have fun! Scorpio / October 23 – November 21 The visual arts should be of special interest to you this spring. Perhaps an exhibition by a favorite artist is opening, or maybe you’ve decided to try drawing or painting. A friend or lover could join you in such activities. Books of great art should also prove tempting, so stay out of bookstores! Design, sewing, and interior decoration could provide outlets for this interest. Sagittarius / November 22 – December 21 Your imagination is flying high today. Whatever challenges come up, you will find ingenious solutions to them. Love matters and the creative arts could come to the forefront. This is definitely a good day to indulge your interests, whatever they are. You’ve worked hard and deserve some time to simply sit back and enjoy yourself. Capricorn/ December 22 – January 19 A phone call from a friend bringing great news your way should not surprise you this month. This could involve the success of a project of some kind that you’ve both been involved with. The news should definitely be significant enough to merit a celebration. You and your friend could grab some others and go out on the town. Have a little fun! Next month you can get started on the next project.

Aquarius / January 20 – February 18 Surprise a close friend or lover with a gift. There may be no special occasion. You may have seen something in the store that you knew he or she would like or mentioned wanting. You aren’t doing this for the sake of appreciation. All the same, you will receive it. Don’t play down your own kindness. Just say thanks and smile. Pisces / February 19 – March 20 A place far away that you haven’t visited for a while, yet long to see again, could be on your mind this month. You might toy with the idea of going there, but you aren’t really sure if you can. Nonetheless, it certainly won’t hurt to look into it. What’s the plane fare? Where can you stay? Learning these facts might help later when it comes time to make the decision. Aries / March 21 – April 19 You should feel especially loving especially toward that special someone. You might want to schedule an intimate evening, perhaps at a favorite restaurant. A visit to an art gallery, concert, or play should prove informative and entertaining, and therefore provide fodder for enough conversation to get you through the evening and set the stage for the rest of the night.

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