Love lost & found
Parents reunite after 50 years, then find daughter
Pages 19-33 JAN/FEB 2018
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NOTE from the editor
forkner Moe Beth Forkner Moe is the editor of Southern Minn Girlfriends magazine.
First, I am thrilled to let you know this is the first issue of our 10th year as a magazine. That’s not an easy proposition these days. But here we are…. You - our readers and our advertisers have believed in us, and trusted us throughout the past decade. We work hard to live up to that trust. And we thank you for continuing to believe in us. We believe in you, too. That’s why we strive in every issue to give you helpful, relevant, entertaining and useful information. We’re excited and honored to be part of your family and your lives, and we look forward to the next 10 years together! Balance - this issue’s topic - can be difficult. From the literal (even some of the so-called “easy” yoga poses aren’t, at least at first – just ask the walls that prop me up when I’m at a yoga class) to the virtual (balancing work and family, family and friends, people and self, various work and fun projects, and so on)….. balance can be a tricky thing. But it’s possible to have a balanced life. With some thought, some work, and some “just say no’s” along the way, it can happen. When it does – on those too-often-rare days that it does – you know it. And it feels good. We are promoting the concept of balance in this issue. The book we review tells us it’s ok to be bored - and not plugged in and doing things continually – and is actually good for us. We learn that the lack of balance can often lead to anxiety, especially in young adults, but that there are ways to mitigate it. We learn about the peace that downsizing can provide. And we talk about goal-setting as a family, a way to consciously balance what’s important to us and what provides meaning. This issue also shares the empowerment of women and balance in the workplace. There are a couple fantastic new businesses in our region that work with women to connect them, to strengthen them, to make them more confident in their abilities. I also found it fascinating that balance in the workplace includes diversity of age – for the first (and possibly) only time in history, we have five generations working together. That may be disconcerting for some, but imagine how much we can all learn about and from each other! We also talk about new beginnings – weddings and love. From traditions around the world, to new and fun ways to feed and entertain your guests, to love lost and re-found, we bring you heart-felt ideas and an entirely “new” family.
Finally, we share information about a topic very few know about, much less want to talk about – sex trafficking right here, not just in Minnesota, but in our very own region of Southern Minnesota. It’s here; it’s real; it happens every day – but there are good people around us who help provide information to the community, resources to those who have been caught up in the horrors, and programs to help stop the practice. One of the best practices to find balance in my own life is referenced in our story on goalsetting. Many people and families choose a word or a saying to focus on for the year, in order to provide that balance that is so necessary to keep life on track. I’ve done this for several years, and it’s been helpful as I maneuver life’s tasks and “to-do” lists that we all face. As a wife/mom/ daughter/sister/friend, community member, freelance writer/editor and non-profit consultant – and someone with a “squirrel brain” (you know what I mean……oh, look….. next bright shiny object! And the nuts I’ve been collecting/projects I’ve been working on get scattered behind me) - having one or two over-arching concepts to focus on makes life just a bit easier. My word for 2018 is “breathe.” It’s a simple concept – we can’t live without breathing, when it comes right down to it – but it’s often not easy to mindfully do so. Think about it; when we’re stressed or angry or upset, we might breathe shallowly or too fast, even to the point of hyperventilation. But the practice of mindful breathing has been proven to be helpful for people’s health, as well as in many spiritual/ physical practices (yoga, meditation, and so on). Additionally, if we remember to take a deep breath before responding hastily, in anger or in pain, to a thought or a comment or a person, it gives us that split second of self-control that just might make a positive difference in the outcome of a situation, or sometimes even a relationship. We hope you enjoy this issue and get some new ideas and inspiration to gain balance in your life.
Best wishes for a good start to the New Year!
about us editor:
Beth Forkner Moe
Kari Berit Lisa Cownie Rian Dicke-Michels Mallory Fuchs Nancy Iglesias Trent Jonas Terri Lenz Washburn Ramon Rodriquez Carron Terri Schlichenmeyer Melissa Schmalenberger Isabelle Wattenberg Grace Webb
multimedia consultants: Kristie Biehn Ginny Bergerson Nicole Brandon Kari Clark Kathleen Davies Missy Daschner Pam DeMorett Tim Mart Mark Nelson Jay Petsche Erin Rossow Kyle Shaw Gayle Stelten
graphic designer: Kate Townsend-Noet
Mary Jo Blanchard Nicole Gilmore Jenine Kubista Kelly Kubista Kate McGillen Jennifer Schoenbauer
6 Love lost & found
Parents reunite after 50 years, then find daughter.
10 Join the Club
Heidi’s Clubhouse is an organization where women connect with other women.
13 Multiple Generations @ work
Surviving and thriving with a multi generational workplace.
15 Millennial Blues
The “anxious generation.”
16 Profile - Mallory Fuchs
From working in a (literal) prison to helping women out of (virtual) prison-like environments
Send releases and story ideas to:
ON THE COVER: Karen and Dennis Vinar.
36 Sex Trafficking Across Southern Minnesota
It can - and does - happen right here.
41 Making Goalsetting Fun Try setting goals as a family.
44 Conscious Uncoupling of a Life AKA downsizing.
9 a man’s perspective 52 book review Copyright Girlfriends 2018 Published Jan/Feb 2018 by: 18 food sense Southern Minn Media 514 Central Avenue Faribault, MN 55021 54 gf directory southernminngirlfriends.com 4 note from the editor 42 the coach’s corner Beth Forkner Moe at Girlfriends magazine, 50 unexpected caregiver firstname.lastname@example.org 46 wellness Find Southern Minn Volume 10, Issue 1
Pages 19-33 • Top 10 wedding invitations etiquette tips 21 • 50 wedding traditions and superstitions 24 • Catering alternatives to the sit-down dinner 29 • Wedding traditions around the world 30
Girlfriends on Facebook
lost & found: By Terri Lenz Washburn
(Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in The Kenyon Leader October 30, 2017. It has been slightly updated.)
t a back table in Schweich’s Restaurant in Kenyon, four people gathered to relay a story of love found and lost, and then miraculously found again. The story of Northfield couple Karen Lehmann, 71, and Dennis Vinar, 73, is a winding road. They spent decades apart, lived new lives, after Vinar twice proposed and was denied by Lehmann. But, their paths reunited near 50 years later, they dared to try again, and together they found the third piece to their story.
A love lost
Karen and Denny were hometown sweethearts growing up in Brownton, Minn. She was 13 and he 15 when they started dating in 1959. Two years later, he proposed, but she turned him down; their
parents took a dim view of matrimony at such a young age. Denny’s family moved away during his senior year of high school, but he couldn’t forget Karen. He returned again at the age of 24, fresh from U.S. Army service in Germany and proposed once more. She was pursuing a degree in interior design at the University of Minnesota. Karen’s answer was once again a reluctant “no.” Decades passed. They each moved on, met for coffee a few times, and eventually married other people and lived full lives. But neither ever forgot their first love. That fact became poignantly clear to Denny in October 2014. Someone asked him the question, “If your doctor gave you 60 days to live, who would be the one person you’d like to meet?” While other people mentioned film stars and politicians, Denny said that one name rose clearly in his mind, without any doubt: Karen Lehmann. He was 71 and had been divorced for 15 years; Denny had no idea where Karen was or if she was married. The next day he typed her name into LinkedIn, and there she was on the screen. There wasn’t much personal information available, but he discovered she worked in Everett, Wash., so Denny waited until Monday morning and left a message for Karen at her workplace. They talked later that day over the phone. He asked her marital
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” - First Corinthians 13:4-7
status - widowed in 2010. They realized they were both free, opening up a world of possibilities after 50 years. It was a digital courtship, Karen said with a shy smile. Although 1,700 miles apart - he was living in Eden Prairie, Minn. - they texted and talked on the phone for hours each night.
A lost love found Sitting in the chairs at Schweich’s, they told more of the story. She has deep red hair and a petite, trim frame. Her earrings spelled out LOVE in perfectly balanced letters. At her side, Denny, a long-time businessman, exuded a natural confidence. His eyes turned to her often. They talked about having the same values, about each knowing who the other person is, deep down. “I told her, this would be the last Christmas we will be apart,” said Denny, emotion shaking his voice. From Washington State, she had asked him if he would consider getting married again, and this time he said “no.” He had already asked her twice and he remembered how that turned out. “In baseball, it’s three strikes and you’re out,” Denny recounted. “Yes, but the third time is also the charm,” she reasoned. The couple downloaded a marriage license and each filled out their parts separately. They would have 60 days to decide. He flew out to see her for the first time on January 20, 2015; they were married two days later.
A daughter The couple was living in Minnesota. They talked of many things, but one topic rose time and again in their thoughts in the year that
followed. There was another reason why the 17-year-old Denny had proposed to Karen when she was only 15; she was pregnant. In high school, Karen bore their baby girl and they gave her up for adoption through Lutheran Social Services (LSS). All they had of that child was a baby picture taken in the hospital. Denny told Karen, “It took me all those years to find you. Now it would make my life complete to find our daughter.” It wasn’t a sure thing. The LSS representative told them their daughter may or may not want to see them. They paid the $800 fee to start an inquiry and wrote a letter for LSS, telling their story and CONTINUES ON PAGE 8
CONTINUES FROM PAGE 7
why they wanted to find their daughter. Their tale was so moving, LSS waived the fee. The Vinars wrote a long, heartfelt letter that they hoped would be given to their daughter, now 54. Then, they waited.
A letter Andrew Voxland said it was mid-April when the first letter arrived. He and his wife, Jean, live northeast of Kenyon. They have three grown daughters plus grandchildren. “The envelope and writing on it looked fishy,” Andrew said. “The letter was handwritten and very plain, no letterhead. It just said they had news about Jean’s family.” Andrew had heard about scammers and wasn’t going to upset Jean with the letter until he had checked it out. He called the phone number several times and left messages. A second letter arrived. LSS explained later that the contact letter had to be vague because some people don’t know they are adopted. They would speak only with Jean. Andrew decided it was legitimate and told his wife about the letter. Jean couldn’t wait and decided to call LSS from work. They read the Vinars’ letter to her over the phone and she couldn’t stop crying. She had never dared to imagine her parents would be together. Jean and Andrew read the letter together at home and looked at the photos. She immediately saw her resemblance in the photo of her father. Jean sent five handwritten pages to Denny and Karen with photos. She wanted more than anything to meet them. On May 21 that year, Jean and Andrew told their girls what had happened. The next steps could impact their lives, too. Jean’s adoptive mother had died, and she has a solid relationship with her adoptive father. Jean said that on a subconscious level, she always felt unsure of herself, a trait she said is common among adopted children. They read the letter and all three daughters gave their blessing to meet the Vinars, so they took the leap. On June 2, Denny and Karen
met the extended family at their great-granddaughter Gretta’s birthday party. “One of the first things Jean did was thank us for choosing adoption over abortion,” Karen said. Karen said she had lost touch with her faith in God and the church, but now she believes in miracles. She credits Denny with bringing her back to faith, and believes God brought them together and reunited them with Jean. “Everything was in alignment. The timing is amazing. It couldn’t have happened at any other time, even five or 10 years ago,” Andrew said. Jean wanted her parents nearby; since Denny had relatives close by, they chose Northfield. Since that first meeting, they have treasured getting to know each other’s likes and dislikes, comparing nature and nurture. There have been some laughs in the process. The Vinars were choosing fabrics to reupholster several chairs and asked Jean what she thought. Of all the fabric samples, she chose the same two swatches from hundreds of options. Jean said she never had the same taste as anyone else in her life until then, and now she feels like she really belongs. People kept telling Denny and Karen that they should write a book about their love story. When they found Jean, they began to take that idea seriously. Recently, they collaborated on “How Did You Find Me After All These Years? A Family Memoir.” It contains memories of each of them growing up and then together again. The book was released on November 21, 2017, and they have been overwhelmed by the response from people at local book signings. Books can be ordered through bookstores worldwide as well as from online e-tailers such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, Content Bookstore in Northfield and many others. It’s “a God thing” Jean said, looking at her parents with a new confidence and belief in the unbelievable. It took 54 years to find this fulfillment, but over the course of a lifetime, a constant truth remains: love never fails. Terri Lenz Washburn is Editor at The Kenyon Leader.
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A man’s perspective
I jonas Trent Jonas is a Twin Cities-based writer and divorced father of two. He is fascinated and frightened by women but is working through his issues.
’m not sure what I think of the notion of “balance.” A quick Web search reveals many possible definitions, but I think the one I found on the Tiny Buddha blog (www.tinybuddha.com) sums it up best. According to Jasmin Tanjeloff, balance “means that you have a handle on the various elements in your life and don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction.” To me the notion of balance also seems like it’s a component of what constitutes happiness. However, I think many folks would say that, in spite of my being pretty content, my life likely lacks balance. Too much work, too much parenting, too much coffee, and probably too much bourbon, to boot. When I go on “vacation,” I still work. And there never seems to be enough time in the day. But I like my life. I’m rarely bored, almost always have something to do, and am frequently surrounded by loved ones. But if you ask an expert, like Mr. Miyagi, who stressed “balance” in “The Karate Kid” movies, I probably don’t have it. And I don’t think I mind — at least not right now. I suppose if I hated what I do for a living or parenting were more burdensome, the lack of balance in my life would either be more obvious or a much bigger concern. It could be, too, that what most people (including myself) think of as balance fails to account for all the possible variations of what it could be. Our individual differences could mean that what’s balanced for me is not the same as what’s balanced for you. I mean, I do occasionally feels as if my mind or heart is “being pulled too hard” in a particular direction. But that’s just the nature of life. If I averaged out the general location of my heart and mind, I’d probably find it somewhere in the center. And that is close enough to “balance” for me.
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Join the Club
By Grace Webb
hen Heidi Nelson started her Clubhouse last May as a way to offer “organic connections” to area women, she never dreamed she’d end up touching so many lives—but she did and continues to do so. More than 80 women have already attended events at “Heidi’s Clubhouse,” located on the second floor of the Fleckenstein Building in downtown Faribault. These events have ranged from the monthly Clubhouse meetings where women have a chance to get to know other women throughout the community - to various workshops. Everything is built around Nelson’s idea of “organic connections,” which, she explained, is all about helping people know, like and trust others so they can feel comfortable supporting each other. “We have to know, like and trust someone before we’re willing to invest in them,” Nelson said. “Heidi’s Clubhouse is an organization 10
where women connect with other women and support each other in identifying and achieving their purpose.” To really understand how her unique concept of “organic connections” came to be, you have to travel a little further back in time. Nelson first learned the importance of these sorts of connections when she started her Faribault lodging business, Be My Guest Loft, in 2014. Looking for guidance from other business women she admired, she invited them to meet monthly to discuss business challenges and offer wisdom to each other. The group eventually disbanded because of the members’ busy work lives, but their bond remained and they became a group of dear and loyal friends, Nelson said. The experience stuck with her as she moved forward in her business. In May 2016, as Nelson worked with a life coach in Minneapolis, she was asked to name things she had been involved with and was proud of. It was a long list, but one thing that really jumped out was the group of women she’d put together all those years ago. “It was like a light bulb went on,” she said. “I’d found my purpose.” Nelson decided to form another group for women who wanted to connect across their community and support each other in any environment - whether they were business owners, career professionals,
The new schedule Beginning in January, Heidi’s Clubhouse will meet twice a month, 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. These gatherings will take place at the Fleckenstein Building at 220 Central Avenue N. in downtown Faribault, and will include beverages, snacks, education and meaningful connections. Women will grow personally and professionally and, during these meetings, Nelson will teach them about casual yet productive communication, which can improve both business lives and personal lives. There will also be some field trips coming up, where members can meet at local businesses to get an inside look at things other women are doing in their communities. Businesses that would like to host a field trip can contact Nelson.
mothers, volunteers or interested in anything that fueled their passions. She set the first date for May 31, only weeks away. “I just figured, ‘Why wait?’” Nelson said. “I jump into things. I just went through my contact list and invited everyone I thought might be interested, or (even those) who might not be. I just invited everyone.” About 20 women showed up for the first meeting. While Nelson expected most women had come because they were - Heidi Nelson interested in growing their business and making professional connections, she was a little surprised when one woman stood up and said she actually wasn’t that interested
“Heidi’s Clubhouse is an organization where women connect with other women and support each other in identifying and achieving their purpose.”
in growing her business anymore. Now she was looking to form the kind of female friendships that she had missed along the way while developing her career. Then another woman said the same thing. And another. And another. “The whole thing ended, and I sat here by myself, and thought, ‘Where do I go from here?’” Nelson said. “This was not the path I thought I was going down. Typically, when you launch something like this, it evolves over time. And that’s what has happened with Heidi’s Clubhouse.” The Clubhouse did indeed evolve, with more and more opportunities offered for women to come together and support each other. Once a month, women have had the chance to meet in an informal, casual gathering that included wine, snacks, and good conversations. There were also workshops featuring area professionals who offered talks on a diverse range of topics, such as legal issues relating to aging parents, relaxation methods including nutrition, essential oils and meditation, and skin care procedures. Nelson stresses that every woman is welcome at Heidi’s Clubhouse. “Heidi’s Clubhouse really is for any woman, not only for ‘business’ women or owners,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if your purpose is to grow your business, or become a more effective wife and mother, or start a mission trip to Africa. I want to be able to create an environment that supCONTINUES ON PAGE 12 u u u
Organic connections According to Nelson, organic connections are all about learning about one another and forming relationships, even in simple, causal settings. “You can do that over a glass of wine or a cup of tea, or (when you are) creating a new blanket,” Nelson said. “Some of the Heidi’s Clubhouse events are really going to show you how to effectively communicate with other people, casually, so it doesn’t seem like you’re at a job interview. This isn’t stressful. It’s welcoming. People are going to realize that they don’t want to miss it.” Nelson said this sort of networking is especially important for women who want to support each other in different areas in their communities. “The best way to support each other is by making connections… so I know you as a person and (can) promote your business,” she explained. “That’s the way women do things: they make emotional decisions about the way they spend their money. Because we buy things that way, that’s the way we’re going to connect with people, and that’s the way we’re going to network.” JAN/FEB 2018
Photo from www.heidiannenelson.com CONTINUES FROM PAGE 11
ports all of that.” About 20 women attend each event at Heidi’s Clubhouse, with people coming from Faribault, Northfield, Owatonna, Kenyon and beyond. Looking at the future, Nelson said she plans to offer even more events on an even wider range of topics. She will also start charging annual dues to create an official “membership.” Members will be listed on her website’s directory and have free access to any events. Membership is not mandatory and for people who aren’t sure if they want to join, Nelson said they can try two events at no charge before deciding, or they can pay a small fee at the door. Membership will be beneficial to many. Part of the membership fee will used to make a difference in the lives of women locally and globally who could use a
little extra support. Heidi’s Clubhouse will help sponsor Ruth’s House of Hope in Faribault, as well as Market Colors, a global organization that helps women in India and Africa create a better life for themselves by offering jobs in skilled professions. Nelson encourages every woman to come check out the clubhouse for themselves. “The core of Heidi’s Clubhouse is how to serve women,” Nelson said. “It’s a group where women are prioritizing women, to make sure everyone feels they’re welcome to come here and everyone has the opportunity to grow and be connected. Hopefully, through Heidi’s Clubhouse, we get more and more people to realize it’s all about helping people. We want people to come here and feel encouraged and engaged and educated.” Grace Webb is a wandering reporter whose home base is Mankato.
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Surviving and Thriving with
F By Beth Forkner Moe
or the first – and possibly only – time in history, there are five generations in today’s workforce. Those who are the oldest (born before about 1945) are edging out of paid employment, and those who are the youngest (born after 2000) are just starting to learn the ins and outs of work life. This diversity is exciting, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking as people of all ages learn to work with each other. So said Diane Amundson, workplace consultant and trainer. Amundson, who owns a consulting business in Winona, works with a variety of organizations on this issue. She was co-owner of WorkWise, a training and consulting company, from 1992 to 2000. She then joined Express Personnel as a General Manager. Soon after that, she discovered that companies were beginning to see the effects of having (then) four generations in the workplace and were asking for advice on the best way to manage people with such diverse backgrounds. Now, she said, it is one of her most requested topics in her role at her consulting company. One of the people Amundson has worked extensively with is Betsy Kennedy Lindgren, who owned several Express Personnel franchises, including in Owatonna and Albert Lea. Lindgren recently sold her franchises and has been easing out of the workforce. “Retirement seems like a traditionalist word,” she said. “I’m thinking more along the lines of transitioning and
exploring.” When the women began working together, they discussed the challenges of communication and conflict among generations. “Companies were discovering that people were going to stay longer, maybe go part-time, rather than retire,” Lindgren said. “They realized that when people left, their history and experience left, as well. At the same time, with younger people coming into the workplace, teams needed to have plans to understand each other’s motivators and de-motivators, and to be cohesive.” Amundson agreed. She said people don’t necessarily understand other generations. There are, she said, (at least perceived) issues about other generations – such as that older adults don’t understand technology and younger workers don’t have good work ethics. But, she said, when it comes right down to it, “we’re more alike than different, and we are all trying to do our best.” Lindgren said that when she worked with her clients, it became apparent that this needed to be addressed. “Companies need awareness and training across the board,” she said. “(Work) used to be top-down. Now it needs to be more team-oriented.” “This is so important,” she said. “We need to bring generations together. We have different cultures in our own facilities, without even recognizing it. Those with the best cultures are going to get the best talent. Investment in this type of training is so important, it should be a line item in our budgets. We need to train our employees and have continuing discussions, along with opportunities for teams to meet and learn how to best interact with each other. Sometimes it takes differCONTINUES ON PAGE 14 u u u
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ent methods for different people.” According to Amundson, “We all want to succeed, learn and grow. And we all want to live our values. These values are developed based on our upbringing – from our parents, from those around us, from schools and other interactions.” “Those who have worked with understanding these issues and continue to follow through with the discussions see positive differences,” Lindgren said. “There can be a lot of frustration, but implementing and carrying through the information is so valuable.” “Those who have only relied on what they have known in the past have a hard time,” she said. “But we need to match people’s strengths and weaknesses. Often, a company will have a 65-yearold manager; when a much younger person fills that position, the older person often has to train the new manager. If we have a clear understanding of how they can work together, it makes a difference.” “It’s basic human interaction, and we need to have the ability to
Generations in the Workplace Information provided by Diane Amundson, Diane Amundson and Associates
Generational Assumptions… These assumptions should always be thought of as “tendencies,” not absolutes. Not everyone in each generation has the same background or ideas.
Tendencies of Traditionalists (Born 1900-1945) Beliefs, Values, Ideas: • Hard work • Determination • Command and control style of leadership • Delayed rewards • Loyal • Male breadwinner • Diversity threatening
Tendencies of Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Beliefs, Values, Ideas:
work together with all different types of people,” Lindgren said. “We need flexibility and fortitude. One of the things we’ve learned is that younger generations often do know how to work, follow instructions, etc. They have confidence, but they need competence. That’s where older generations can come in. It’s essential that we have a clear understanding of each other.” “I can’t stress enough the importance of (being mindful about) working with different generations,” she said. “We need to make a culture of life-long learning. Our work culture is no longer simply supervising. Now it’s coaching, independent thinking and an interactive workplace. As parents, the best thing we can do for our kids is to make them independent thinking and teach them how to take care of themselves.” Finally, Lindgren said, “The clients I’ve had who understand the importance and impact of cultural changes are those who grow. Those who don’t, don’t grow.” Beth Forkner Moe is the editor of SouthernMinn Girlfriends magazine.
• Optimism • Health and wellness • Personal growth • Materialistic • Staying young • Work defines them • Likes to be recognized
Tendencies of Generation X (1965-1981) Beliefs, Values, Ideas: • Diversity • Thinking globally • Balance • Fun • Informality • Self-reliance • Free time • Ecological awareness
Tendencies of Generation Y Millennials (1982-2000) Beliefs, Values, Ideas: • Optimism • Community • Volunteering
• Diversity • Faster-Faster • Confidence • Multi-tasking • Environment
Tendencies of Generation Z (2000-2015?) Beliefs, Values, Ideas: • Highly diversified • Short attention span • Tech dependent • Sedentary life • Creative • Collaborative • Multi-tasking
N By Lisa Cownie
ick (who doesn’t want his last name used) admits he has a pretty solid stream of stress flowing in his life. On paper, it all looks good. He is a relatively recent college graduate with a degree in Graphic Design. He has a full-time job in his field and friends who share his interests, including a love of music. But read between the lines and you’ll see the sources of his stress. His degree came with burdensome student loan debt, he feels pressure to perform under tight deadlines in his job, and his first adult relationship is on a break. “I’ll be honest, when I graduated from college and saw what was ahead of me with the debt and the job choices, I was really wondering if it was all worth it,” Nick said. “Finding a job in my field proved harder than I thought. I ended up taking other jobs in the meantime. And it seemed wages were not enough to be able to pay back my student loans.” The stress of adulthood took a toll on his physical health, too. He now battles Crohn’s Disease, which in turn adds to the stress. This type of stress and anxiety are a hallmark for people, like Nick, who are considered Millennials. Born from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, they are currently the largest living generational cohort. Unfortunately, it is also a generation known as the “anxious generation.” In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), Millennials not only experience more stress but are also less able to manage it than any other generation. According to the APA, 12 percent of Millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. To make a comparison, that is almost twice the percentage of the Baby Boomer generation with the same diagnosis. “Anxiety is extremely normal for those in the stage of life where ‘firsts’ monopolize the day’s events - first job, first adult relationship, first home, first child, etc. cetera,” Jessy Shouler, MS, LMFT and owner of Adult, Child and Family Services in Mankato, said. “Millenials have more school loans than any other generation, are likely to be disconnected (or living distantly) from familial relationships more than any other generation, and are the first generation to be raised on electronics and the internet. It is important to note that it takes longer now to get the money for a first house, and people are getting married older.” “Yet, Millennials feel the stress of continued expectations more congruent with dynamics present in older generations.” Shouler said. “It’s important to find support in others who are going through similar experiences, find support in family, and to know that it is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Millennials don’t always take the best care of themselves.” Self-care, Shouler said, is important for Millennials to keep their anxiety and stress in check. “Anxiety can feel ‘bigger and badder’ when driven by a lack
of movement during the day, bad sleep habits, and looking at or spending too much time on electronic devices,” she said. “That includes not just phones but computers, TVs and a myriad of other devices. All of those equate to limited face-to-face connection with healthy people. Millennials also find it hard to leave work at work, and (tend to) have inconsistent eating habits.” Being active, developing and enjoying healthy leisure activities, spending time with emotionally healthy people, healthy eating and drinking, setting boundaries for yourself to establish balance and separation between work and real life, and allowing one’s self enough grace to let go of worry around things we cannot control, will all will greatly assist in improving your emotional health,” Shouler said. “Stay humble and curious, work hard, learn from others, and recognize that your experience is really very normal for the stage of life that you are in.” That’s a lot to take on at once, so Shouler says Millennials can start with simply resolving to take each of those things one step at a time. For instance, first focus on healthy eating and drinking, then focus on becoming more active. But, she stressed, you may need to seek professional help when things that you are typically able to cope with during daily craziness become much more impactful and problematic for your overall functioning. “You may be more irritable,” she explained. “Or maybe you don’t sleep well or at all, don’t enjoy things you used to enjoy, and worry about things in such an irrational way that you get stuck on spending your energy on half-truths, assumptions, poor problem-solving, and things you simply do not have control over.” “Job performance suffers, relationships suffer, and you feel inadequate and uncertain with regard to your place in the world. Sometimes it is hard for us to see for ourselves when we are struggling, so be open to feedback and observation from your loved ones if they share concern around your mental health,” Shouler advised. “If your experience sounds like the description above, you might want to consider seeking assistance from a mental health professional.” There are many things you can do to assist yourself during this difficult time, and for some, seeking professional help is a viable answer. “Look up websites, check out clinician pictures and backgrounds, ask around to those you know, and find a clinic and/ or clinician that you feel may be comfortable for you to visit,” Shouler said. “It might take a couple tries to find a therapist that you feel you jive with, but please try to be patient as the relationship with the clinician is the most important thing when it comes to emotional health. It can be so scary to take the step of calling for an appointment, but know that everyone around you at some point in time has been impacted by mental health difficulties either directly or indirectly, and many in the same spot as you. Most people who participate in mental health therapy find overall benefit and a decrease in symptoms.” “You are not alone...and feeling better is truly possible. Mental health is not a choice, but recovery is,” Shouler concluded. Lisa Cownie writes from North Mankato. Her work can be found at lisacownie.com.
Mallory Fuchs From Working in a (Literal) Prison to Helping Women Out of (Virtual) Prison-Like Environments
M By Isabelle Wattenberg
allory Fuchs is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LDAC) who spent four years working as a therapist at the all-male prison in Faribault. During that time, she realized it was a toxic environment – not because of the inmates, but because of some of the staff and the way the acted toward each other. She left, and now runs a personal coaching business where she helps women (and men) overcome harassment and more in the workplace and to become respected and heard.
what’s going to move the client forward. In our group sessions, everyone’s a little different. Women often don’t take time for themselves; it’s hard to get women to come to the groups because they’re caretakers for other people. The other (issue) is not wanting to be judged, but you want to be liked; it’s hard to stand up for yourself and be assertive. And often it comes down to that self-love, which I don’t think is necessarily something we’re taught how to do. (In the future) we’ll be doing an online self-challenge: 21 days of creating a new habit.
What led you to work at the prison? My dad had worked at the same prison for about 15 years. Growing up and hearing his stories – crime and all of that - really intrigued me. So I (majored in) therapy (in college), but corrections was my minor. I really enjoyed the corrections world and decided to do therapy work at a prison. Working with the guys, I worked a lot on addiction; I’m a licensed addiction counselor. We worked on criminal behavior; I ran a domestic violence group and I worked a lot on how to treat women, but I didn’t (see it myself in the workplace). That was hard when our clients saw how male staff treated women staff. Overall, I really enjoyed the work that I did there. I felt a lot of times that population (inmates) is thrown to the wayside, but there’s a lot of really beautiful souls in there who just made really poor choices. So it helped me grow personally and professionally; it opened my heart to see where people come from and gave me compassion. The therapy field is a little different from life coaching, it’s given me a deeper compassion for people.
How long were you there? I was there for about four years.
What led to your departure? (I ended up going) through some of my own work harassment when a new male therapist came in. Our management didn’t do anything about it and it kept escalating. It impacted my whole life, and I didn’t want any other woman to feel like I felt at that time: alone and isolated. I wanted to be that support for other women, so that’s what led to the personal coaching.
What are the goals you hope to achieve (or for those you help to achieve) through personal coaching? It’s reaching any woman in any stage of life who needs support and encouragement and empowerment, but also wanting to teach women the power of self love and that they do have a voice is really important for me. I know, going through the sexual harassment, it very much feels like you are silenced. We forget we have that voice and should use it. And helping women gain the confidence they deserve so they can start designing the life they love.
What’s the process you use in your coaching? I do a range of things. I have two groups a month; I provide education on certain topics, but (the clients) also get to meet other women who are on the same path to gain confidence. I also do one-on-one where clients come in and work on whatever they want. A lot of people think personal coaching is therapy, but it’s not. The difference is that we focus on the here and now and
In addition to your blog, how do you plan to reach people (e.g. events, partnering with organizations)? I have my Facebook group; that’s where a lot of people hear about my work. Others hear by word of mouth. I also have my own space in downtown Faribault. But I am in the process of working with other women from different backgrounds to do speaking engagements and ladies’ nights. My story’s out there on my blog; that links with what I do. In dealing with harassment, I had some coworkers that I really trusted, so I let them know (what was going on). I made sure I was never alone and I documented everything (that happened). I also went to my union. Unfortunately, they were really slow. And the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a good resource. I let my family know what was going on; they were a great support system as well. I stress that we’re not alone. Each person’s story and their voice really truly matter. Mallory’s written work can be found at: • www.facebook.com/gritandgracewithmallory • gritandgracewithmallory.wordpress.com She leads groups on the first and third Thursdays of every month, 6:30-7:30 p.m., and she will also work one-on-one with clients, based on their schedule. Isabelle Wattenberg is a social media and data analytics specialist for MSP Communications. She spends her spare moments listening to opera, reading Alice in Wonderland, and writing about Minnesota happenings.
FOOD SENSE writer for Girlfriends. Since then, I’ve spent hours thinking about how to write my first column for the first issue in 2018, the beginning of a New Year. I finally realized that, as it is January, it is after the holiday season so the best topic would be Detoxing, not only physically but mentally as well. I will not tell you the benefits of blueberries, almonds, kale or eggplants. But I will tell you if you are cooking with these foods, your body and soul will be more clean, and you will enjoy the experience of cooking as well as the experience of eating. Try the recipes I supply here as you consider adding a daily 30 minutes of cooking to your New Year’s Resolutions this year!
Detoxing Salad Ingredients: 1 bunch of kale 1 handful of almonds 1 handful of pistachios (shelled) 1 clementine or orange 1 handful of blueberries ½ lime ½ lemon 1 tsp. sea salt (Rocket, if you can find it)
Ramon RODRIGUEZ Carrion Ramon Rodriguez Carrion is the owner of Ruf Acres Market. He can be reached at (@ Ramonsfoodsense) or (@Rufacresmarket).The market is located at 220 Central Ave, Faribault.
know this is January and everyone is trying to accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions! Good luck to all of us! We will try to go the gym or do more exercise, we will try to be better people, we will try to learn Chinese and we will try to achieve our newest... New Year’s resolution! For 2018, why not try to spend at least 30 minutes in your kitchen every day, cook, and eat healthy homemade food made by you? It seems we fight the thoughts that cooking is painful. It takes away time from Facebook, Instagram, TV, and friends… but cooking will give you health, happiness and more…not to mention allowing us to share the labor of love, giving us time with friends and family! Recently, I became a regular contributor and
Wash and cut the kale with your hands, while you are gently massaging it for five minutes to make it a bit tender and soft (this will change the flavor a bit). Break your fruit segments into smaller pieces as desired. Place the kale in a bowl followed by the rest of the ingredients. Then squeeze the lime and lemon over the salad, add the salt and mix it all together! That is it! You now have yourself a healthy detoxing “Fast Food” which your body will love!
Eggplant Chicken Open Sandwich Ingredients: 1 chicken breast 2 slices of bread (rye bread, nut bread, or whatever you have) 1 eggplant Either garlic mayo or herbed cheese 1 tsp olive oil Himalayan salt Balsamic vinegar Slice the eggplant in large, thin, round slices and slice the chicken in thin slices as well. Add
the olive oil to a grill or frying pan, then add the eggplant and grill until it is a little crunchy like chips. Next, grill the chicken while you put your bread in the toaster. When the chicken is cooked through nd the toast has just finished, spread the mayo or cheese on the bread, place the toast on your plate(s), layer the slices of eggplant and chicken in one or two layers as you like. Drizzle the olive oil on top and sprinkle with the Himalayan salt. Finally, drizzle the balsamic vinegar across the plate in an arc near the bread and you are ready to eat! Try dipping the bread in the balsamic vinegar with each forkful for more flavor.
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edding invitations are guests’ first impression of the wedding day. The invites should not only be a representation of the couple, but also include important details. (Editor’s Note: Weddings, and wedding etiquette these days, are not always what they have been. For example, much of the article refers to the hosts, who have traditionally been the parents of one of both of the wedding couple. However, many couples
today pay for their own weddings, so don’t list their parents as hosts. And, many weddings – although not all – are much more informal than in the past, so some of these tips may not apply to all weddings. But there are some great ideas in here, to be sure.)
What Do You Include on Your Invitation? It’s all in the details! The invitation should include the hosts’ first and last names along with the couple’s full names. The hosts are usually the parents of the couple. Other important details to include are when and where the wedding will take place. Time, date, month, and year should all be included, along with the full address of the wedding ceremony and reception. The wedding invitation is also CONTINUES ON PAGE 22 u u u
CONTINUES FROM PAGE 21
where you can include the dress code. Which leads us to the next tip….
Where Should You Include the Dress Code? You can include it on your wedding invitation. This information is normally inserted on the lower right-hand corner of the invite or on the reception card, if you have included one. Another way your guests can gauge how formal or casual your big day will be is the style and language of the invitation itself. An invitation with calligraphy and formal language will convey a formal style, while a colorful, more-relaxed language invitation hints at a more casual style. You can also include the dress code on your wedding website which you can also include with the invitation.
How Should You Let Your Guests Know About Your Wedding Website? Wedding websites are a very popular trend among newly engaged couples. It can include all the information on your invitation and then some. The URL can be included on your “Save the Date” notice, but if you didn’t send those out, you can include a small insert in the formal invitation.
How Do You Address Your Guests on the Invitation and Envelope? The way you address the invitation is important, because it indicates who you are really inviting. The traditional way to
address a married couple is with “Mr. and Mrs.” followed by the husband’s full name. If the wife kept her maiden name, you would address it in alphabetical order by last name. Addressing the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs. X and family” will include your guests’ child(ren). When addressing your single friends, you would use “Ms.” for any women over 21 and “Miss” for those under 21. For your guy friends, it would simply be “Mr.”
Where Should the Return Address Be Located? The return address should be placed on the back flap of the envelope, and that should be the address of the hosts. The RVSP envelope should already have the return address and postage on them.
Should You Include Your Registry Information in the Invitation? You should never include your registry information in the wedding invitation. Instead, let your wedding party, family and close friends relay the information to guests in conversation. That way your guests will be aware of your registry without feeling like you’re inviting them just for the gifts. A good place to include your registry information is on your website, but make sure it’s not on the first page. (Editor’s note: many couples today choose not to have a registry, since they have often been living together for awhile and don’t need or want any household items. Often, they would rather have no gifts, and simply have the guests attend the wedding and enjoy the time together. Or they may have charitable organizations they would like the guests
to support. If you’re a guest and have any questions, ask the couple’s wedding party or close family members about ideas.)
When Should Your Invitations Be Sent Out? Invitations should be sent out at least six to eight weeks before your wedding day. The earlier you send out your invitations, the more time your guests have to plan their attendance. Another perk of sending out your invitations earlier is that you will start getting RSVPs back earlier and that will relieve some stress in your planning process. For destination weddings, it is not uncommon to send them out at least three months in advance. This will give your guests ample time to request time off from work or find a babysitter. No one will ever get mad at you for sending out your invitations too early. (Editor’s note: If a wedding involves many or most of the guests traveling from far away, including international guests/family members, it’s not uncommon to send the invitation many months ahead of time. That allows people to obtain visas, etc., and to coordinate travel with others in the group.)
Are All Guests Allowed a “Plus One”? The simple answer is, no. You decide who gets invited to your wedding. It is perfectly okay to invite your single friends without their “plus ones” if you want to keep it small and intimate. If you have a big group of single friends, let them know that there will be plenty of people for them to mingle with. When possible, introduce them to one another and seat them together.
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Do You Have to Send Out a “Save-the-Date” notice?
Can You Invite Your Guests to Just the Ceremony?
No. This is a fairly new and totally optional step. “Save-the-Dates” are simply to give your guests a heads-up when your wedding date will be. If you choose to send them, they should be sent out six to eight months before the wedding. Make sure those who receive a “Save-the-Date” also receive an invitation to the wedding. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to explain why someone received a “Save-the-Date” but not an invitation to the wedding. Yikes!
If you invite guests to the wedding ceremony, you are also inviting them to the reception afterwards. It would be rude to only invite them to the ceremony since it gives the impression of, “I want you at the ceremony, but don’t want to pay for your dinner plate.” You definitely don’t want to give off that impression on your big day. If you have always envisioned a big wedding ceremony with numerous guests, expect to also have a large reception as well.
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E (Source: The Knot)
veryone’s got a know-it-all in the family: the uncle who spits out World Series stats at the drop of a hat, the sister who can list all the James Bond flicks in reverse chronological order, the reptile-enthusiast cousin. We’re proud to be your wedding equivalent— here are 50 wedding facts to ponder as you plan your day:
1. Hey, brides, tuck a sugar cube into your glove—according to Greek culture, the sugar will sweeten your union.
2. The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck. Yikes! 3. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. 4. The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below. 5. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny—it’s the most popular day of the week to marry! 6. Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry. 7. Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition. 8. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch! 9. Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye. 10. Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice. 11. A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she’ll never do without. 12. A Finnish bride traditionally went door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage.
13. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony. 14. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
15. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. 16. About 70 percent of all brides sport the traditional diamond on the fourth finger of their left hand. 17. Priscilla Presley’s engagement ring was a whopping 3 1/2-carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds. 18. Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century. 19. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness. 20. A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear. 21. One of history’s earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two-years-old at the time. 22. Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States. 23. Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England—the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity. 24. Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.
25. Queen Victoria started the Western world’s white wedding dress trend in 1840—before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
26. In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage. 27. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since. 28. On her wedding day, Grace Kelly wore a dress with a bodice made from beautiful 125-year-old lace. 29. Of course, Jackie Kennedy’s bridesmaids were far from frumpy. She chose pink silk faille and red satin gowns created by designer Ann Lowe (also the creator of Jackie’s dress). 30. In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles—long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world. 31. Most expensive wedding ever? The marriage of Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum’s son to Princess Salama in Dubai in May 1981. The price tag? $44 million. 32. In Korea, brides don bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows. 33. Brides carry or wear “something old” on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past. 34. In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits. 35. The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity and love.
36. In Egypt, the bride’s family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax. 37. In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds’ hearth. 38. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake. 39. The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over. CONTINUES ON PAGE 26 u u u
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40. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds. 41. Legend says single women will dream of their future husbands if they sleep with a slice of groom’s cake under
their pillows. 42. An old wives’ tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.
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43. In many cultures around the world—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase “tying the knot”). 44. The Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage, the hearth and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings. 45. Princess Victoria established the tradition of playing Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” during her wedding processional in 1858. 46. The bride stands to the groom’s left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors. 47. On average, 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States. 48. Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve are the two busiest “marriage” days in Las Vegas—elopement central! 49. The Catholic tradition of “posting the banns” to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related. 50. Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.
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Tips from the Trade
How to the perfect wedding day
eing a “bride to be” going to go fast! Take time to step can be an exciting back and appreciate the bliss. Photos time. Planning a of your wedding can also be wedding daunting, so many will last little details. David Andrew Let’s be honest, many Connelly brides dream as a young Event Director/ girls growing up of their General Manager wedding day. It is one of The Inn at the most important days Shattuck-St. Mary’s of your life to date. Here are a couple tips to help enjoy the perfect wedding day. forever, Add a personal touch: Tell the but the story of who you are as a couple moments you live just once in a through decor, guest favors or even lifetime. an unorthodox guest book. If you No matter how extravagant or like to travel together, have guest simple, big or small, what went right sign a globe or map in a place they or wrong, in the end only one thing suggest you travel to someday. is truly important. You have the one Remember, the day is about you love and care for by your side YOU: It’s easy to think of yourself now and forever, this is all which as the host, fretting over what your matters. Happy planning, “brides to guests might think or want at your be”! reception. You are in fact the “guests of honor.” When it comes down to it, everyone at your wedding is SPONSORED BY proud to share in celebration the The Inn joining of your union. So it’s okay 1000 Shumway Ave. to be a little selfish in your wedding Faribault, MN day planning. Be mindful and present during 507.333.1900 your wedding day: The day is
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S (Source: The Knot) by
on your big day
erving a traditional, plated meal at your wedding reception is lovely, especially for a very formal affair. But if a sit-down dinner isn’t quite your style or just out of your price range (remember, sit-down dinner includes charges for linens, chairs, place settings and menus in addition to the food), you’ll be happy to hear that it’s far from the only catering option. Seated dinner alternatives are no longer considered for only casual or low-budget weddings. Here are some creative ways to curb catering costs while impressing and satisfying every hungry guest.
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Cocktail style doesn’t have to mean casual.
Planning a formal fete but can’t swing a sit-down dinner? A perfect, unexpected alternative is a cocktail-style reception. Consider setting up chef-attended food stations that are both delicious and engaging, or have servers pass tapas-style entrées that are small enough to nosh on while mingling, but still fully satisfying (or offer both options at once).
Food trucks are the fun way to feast. Having a food truck or two pull up to your reception is an awesome catering trend that allows for a relaxed and free-flowing vibe. Just keep in mind that guests won’t get www.foodtruck fed quite as quickly finderusa.com or simultaneously. Although if you’re anticipating a more grazing-style party, this probably won’t be too much of an issue.
Seating and service are key. A huge benefit to forgoing a seated dinner is that guests have the freedom to mingle and dance without being tethered to their assigned chairs. “Rather than formal tables, we utilize high-top tables and loungestyle seating to give the room a better flow and allow guests to stay on the dance floor even during dinner,” says Joe Volpe, founder and CEO of Cescaphe Event Group. And remember: Great service is the key to a seamless, first-rate event. “The level of service and the décor around you can make even the most casual station setup seem more formal. The more guests are taken care of and waited on, the more polished it will feel,” says Alex Taylor, senior planner at Taylor’d Events.
Make your menu personal. No matter what catering style you choose, work with the caterers and on-site staff to select a menu that fits your wedding style and you as a couple. Have cuisines that nod to your hometown, favorite city or ethnic background. If you’re going for a more relaxed party vibe, pass pizza slices, popcorn or tacos.
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e’re so used to wedding traditions in our own country that we don’t even second guess them. We plan bachelorette parties, make sure the bride has something old, new, borrowed, and blue on her wedding day, and anxiously await the bouquet toss to see who will be the next to marry. But where do these traditions come from, and what do they mean? Believe it or not, something old, new, borrowed, and blue comes from
an Old English rhyme: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” Though no one carries around sixpence, the first four objects are signs of good luck. Something old signifies continuity; something new represents optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; and something blue represents purity, love, and fidelity. Like the “something old, something new” custom, the origin of throwing the bouquet also originated in England as an alternative to guests ripping the bride’s dress for good luck. But what about wedding traditions outside of England? In Germany, it’s tradition for the bride and groom the saw a log in half together. In India, the bridal party steals the groom’s shoes. There are countless other fun and quirky wedding traditions from around the world. We created a visual of fourteen different rituals so you can see how people all over celebrate their special day.
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In addition to the fourteen rituals above, we’ve also compiled a few more interesting wedding traditions from Morocco, Italy, and Nigeria. Morocco – In Morocco, pre-wedding ceremonies are as important as wedding ceremonies. Five days before the wedding a furnishing party is held, where family and friends decorate and prepare the couple’s future house. A few days before the wedding, the bride is given a milk bath at a hammam to purify her before marriage. She is also decorated with intricate henna designs for good luck in her new life. On the couple’s wedding day, singing and dancing is customary, and the couple is carried around the room on a large chair called an Amariya so that everyone can greet and congratulate them. Italy – Though many Italian wedding customs are no longer upheld, there used to be countless superstitions around a bride and groom’s special day. Sunday was considered the only lucky day to get married. The only exception to this was for widows, who could remarry on Saturday. The night before the wedding, the bride spent the night at her parents’ house and wore green for good luck. On the wedding day, the groom carried a piece of iron in his pocket to ward off evil spirits. After the ceremony, the bride and groom broke a glass, and the number of pieces was believed to represent how long they would have a happy marriage. Nigeria – Wedding traditions in Nigeria vary by tribe, though most Nigerian cultures have multiple wedding ceremonies including a cultural ceremony and a religious ceremony. In the Igbo tribe, men are not supposed to marry until their elder brothers have tied the knot. Igbo men are also expected to provide their bride’s with a dowry. The bride’s family gives the groom a list, and if he does not fulfill it, he cannot marry their daughter. At the reception, wealthy Nigerians throw money at the bride as she dances to celebrate her special day and wish her good luck. Maybe now, after hearing all these traditions, you’re relieved that you can choose the perfect bouquet to throw instead of having guests rip your dress to gain good luck. Or perhaps you’re thinking about incorporating a special symbol like a unity bowl into your wedding day. Whatever the case, all the planning is sure to pay off when you’re walking down an aisle scattered with rose petals surrounded by your friends and family. Resources www.weddingaces.com | www.wisegeek.org | www.southernbrideandgroom.com | www. scotsman.com | thebigfatindianwedding.com | https://blog.udemy.com | www.polishamericancenter.org | www.nydailynews.com | visitkorea.or.kr | www.huffingtonpost.com | traditions. cultural-china.com | www.irishcentral.com | www.hitched.co.za | www.beau-coup.com | www.huntervalleycelebrant.com.au | www.welsh-love-spoons.co.uk | www.yourlivingcity. com | www.theknot.com | http://www.morocco.com/culture/weddings-customs/ | http://www. lagazzettaitaliana.com/italian-wedding-traditions.aspx http://www.worldweddingtraditions. net/nigerian-wedding-traditions/
Image sources Romania: CC Image courtesy of Dennis Crowley on Flickr | South Africa: CC Image courtesy of anoldent on Flickr | Scotland: CC Image courtesy of John W. Schulze on Flickr | Germany: CC Image courtesy of Petras Gagilas on Flickr | Korea: CC Image courtesy of Joamm Tall on Flickr | Australia: CC Image courtesy of Randen Pederson on Flickr | Japan: CC Image courtesy of gwaar on Flickr
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Building or Remodeling
ou have been contemplating a remodel or building a new house for quite some time and you’ve decided the day has come to pull the trigger and start the process. However, as overwhelming as it may seem, there are some things that will help you along the way to make the process less stressful and more enjoyable, with the goal of keeping the project on time and on budget. With more than a decade of experience in this field, I have narrowed it down to six steps that I believe will help you and save you from losing your construction mind.
Step 1 - Establish a Budget No matter how big or small you must determine what you are willing and capable of spending for this project. This is not only important for your budgetary planning, but for the professionals that are assisting you. It’s not uncommon for 34
Heather is an interior designer at The Design Element in the Mankato Design Center. She can assist with your design projects from planning to final product selections. the expectations to be larger than the cost…thank you, HGTV! An experienced contractor and designer will be able to “value engineer” your project—identifying your wants, determining your true needs and guiding you to make the best decisions possible, all the while aiming to keep you within your identified budget.
Step 2 - Establish a Team of Professionals Hiring a contractor and designer with experience is key to a successful project. Whether it’s building your dream from the ground up or a much needed home
makeover, a common misperception is that an investment in design time means sacrificing money that can be sunk directly into the project. This is a common mistake and while you may perceive that it will cost you more money to have assistance, it is often found to be exactly the opposite.
Having professionals involved from beginning to end can help save you from making costly mistakes. The team will also help facilitate a fluid design/build process.
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professionals engage the process on a schedule that’s manageable for both sides.
Step 4 - Spend Time on Product Education & Research We all know there are literally thousands of product options available and more being introduced all the time. If you have chosen to hire a professional, it is part of their responsibility to discuss and educate you as much as possible so that you can feel comfortable with your decisions. You can never have too much information and the end product should ultimately be a beautiful blend of personal preference and professional opinion.
Step 5 - Be Prepared for Bumps in the Road Again, this is not HGTV. Not everything can happen on time, on budget, without flaw, or within the context of a perfectly scripted 60-minute episode. As hard as your team may try and control all the variables, realize there are hundreds to thousands of decisions and factors that go
into your project. Be patient and flexible (there is a limit) and realize there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Step 6 - Sit Back & Enjoy Sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow when you are caught up within the eye of the storm. As noted throughout, this is not an easy process, and there are lots of stressors and difficult decisions along the way. That doesn’t mean, however, that the end result will not be worth all the work and sacrifice. Within all the projects I have been involved, I don’t recall a single person that has regretted the end result. After the dust has settled, the inconveniences subsided, and the frustrations ceased, there is the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. What can this tell you? It’s worth it! Enjoy your new space!
I By Grace Webb
f you drive north along Highway 169 toward the Twin Cities, you’ll pass picturesque farms, bustling towns, a quirky yellow barn marketed as the “Biggest Candy Store in America,” and countless other reminders that you’re traveling through the heart of the Midwest. It’s a scenic drive, with billboards promising everything from Emma Krumbee’s homestyle cooking to wintry fun at Mount Kato. But there’s another billboard along the way, one that shares a much different story. Set against a black-and-white picture of a filthy room, there’s the outline of a young girl. Next to her is the large number 13. And under that
is a chilling statistic: “Average age of entry into sex slavery in the United States.” “What if this was your daughter?” the billboard asks. It’s a heart-wrenching question. But it’s also one that needs asking. Across the world, more than 4.5 million victims are caught in sex trafficking, according to the International Labour Organization. While people imagine sex trafficking in places such as destitute third-world countries or at least sprawling, crime-ridden cities, the real answer is a lot closer to home: between 8,000-12,000 people are estimated to be involved in prostitution or sex trafficking in Minnesota every day. In 2016, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested 235 traffickers and child sex buyers, up from 39 arrests in 2014. “[Sex trafficking] is on the rise,” said Teresa Forliti, executive director of Breaking Free, a non-profit organization based in St. Paul that works with victims of sex trafficking. “This is
such a lucrative industry. Drugs are consumable, but [women] can be sold over and over and over again. Sex trafficking is modern-day slavery.”
When it comes to the world of sex trafficking, anyone can be a victim, according to Tasha Moulton, host home coordinator of the REACH Youth Drop-In Center in Mankato. “When you’re working in a community, I think it’s very easy to say, ‘Oh, those kids are really vulnerable. They’re the trouble makers. No wonder they’re getting into that kind of thing,’” Moulton said. “But when we’re in the schools, we’re working with kids who come from ‘normal’ families. These are stable kids, when you look at them. They’re not running away every weekend. We try to make the point that everybody is vulnerable to this.” Moulton said when the REACH Drop-In
center first started in 2011, the idea of sex trafficking in southern Minnesota wasn’t as well known. But the drop-in center has been helping more and more victims of sex trafficking in the past three years as it becomes clearer and clearer that there are victims
people who started talking about having “survival sex” - performing a sex act in exchange for basic needs. So then we started seeing a trend in that. We really started asking, ‘Is there anybody who’s profiting off of you?’ We work with a lot of youth now who definitely
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will.” (National Human Trafficking Hotline) across the southern Minnesota region. “When I first started, we didn’t ask a lot of questions in regards to sex trafficking,” she said. “We found that in working and building relationships with youth, as you start peeling back the layers of why kids are experiencing homelessness, we started running into young
have been trafficked. It’s local. It’s here.” Moulton said the average of recruitment into sex trafficking in Minnesota is just 13 years old. And when it comes to how pimps are recruiting these children, it’s not something as dramatic as a literal abduction like you see in the “Taken” franchise. Rather, ac-
cording to Moulton, it’s a lot closer to home: social media. In the most frequently used “boyfriending” technique, a predator will “friend” request a girl on social media, who may accept because she thinks he’s a friend of a friend or simply because he’s cute. As the weeks go on, he’ll make her think they’re starting a relationship, until they reach a point where he thinks she trusts him enough to do him a “favor.” “A guy will target a girl and get her to fall in love with him. If you can get a girl to do that, she’ll do just about anything for you,” Moulton said. Another method that Moulton has seen in this area is “befriending,” where a pimp will send out his other girls to make friends with the target. The girls will emphasize how much they enjoy their lives, how well their “boyfriend” treats them and how much freedom they have to choose what kinds of jobs they take on, encouraging the target to give it a try. “Then it just sort of escalates and becomes something that’s completely out of their control,” Moulton said. Moulton said one way to keep your chil-
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dren safe is to be very aware of what’s going on with their social media accounts, such as keeping the settings “private” and stressing that they should “friend” only people they actually know. “I think a lot of parents struggle with that,” she said, pointing out how parents don’t want
According to Minnesota law, sex trafficking is the “receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of an individual; or by receiving profit of anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [the sex trafficking of an individual].” (National Human Trafficking Hotline)
to “invade” their children’s privacy. “The thing is, the things that kids are dabbling in now are very serious, and very dangerous, and they really snowball very quickly.” Once victims become involved in sex trafficking, it can be extremely difficult for them to escape. Forliti, a survivor of sex trafficking herself, said there are many factors that play into this, from a lack of resources to issues with chemical dependency to even basic needs like being able to find a new job. Victims often don’t have any sort of identification, and they don’t know what to put for “job history” on a resume. “Many of us are just doing it because… we don’t have anywhere to go,” Forliti said. “We 38
don’t have housing. Unless we find housing or a way to escape, we’re going to stick with it.” That is one reason why Breaking Free puts such an emphasis on offering free, permanent housing to anyone trying to break out of that lifestyle. In fact, the organization is the one of only a few service providers that has permanent housing in the entire U.S. They own three 18-unit apartment buildings that victims can live in for as long as they need even for the rest of their lives, if necessary. Moulton said another thing that makes it harder for victims to escape their situations is victim-blaming. Even if the person involved in prostitution is a seemingly consenting adult, Moulton said he or she was still most likely recruited as a child. “This is not a victimless crime,” she said. “Kids don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I want to get into prostitution.’ We have to reframe it, and change how we view it, and know that the people that are being trafficked are victims. That’s the biggest thing. We want this out of Minnesota. We want this out of the country. We want it out of the world.”
According to Marc Chadderdon, a criminal investigator for the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office, there wasn’t even a police code for someone caught up in sex trafficking three years ago. “Before I started doing this, I was pretty ignorant to the whole process, along with a lot of law enforcement, because we weren’t exposed to it,” he said. That all changed about three years ago, though, when Chadderdon and some fellow officers went to a training event put on by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) focusing on the problem of sex trafficking across the state. At the end of the event, officers were challenged to put out an ad offering sex services in their area and see who contacted them. “As soon as we put our ad up, it went crazy,” Chadderdon said. “The phone rang off the hook.” From there, Chadderdon led the charge to offer more training to area officers and investigators to deal with a problem that was becoming more and more obvious across the region. He was able to organize a vice squad after sending officers to St. Paul for training, as well as creating a partnership among Rice County, Blue Earth County and Brown County to work proactively through prostitution stings and region-wide education.
So far, officers across these three counties have arrested more than 100 individuals, including both buyers and sellers. And these arrests have been in places ranging from Mankato to Janesville to New Ulm to Sleepy Eye. The busiest times were during the week, between 4:30-7 p.m. and around lunch time, with buyers traveling an average of 50 miles to meet someone for sex. “We’ve been doing this year-round, and we’ve never done a sting where we didn’t arrest people,” Chadderdon said. “Half our stings - or at least one-third - have been strictly juvenile ones. Guys have no problem showing up for kids.” Chadderdon stressed the need to be proactive while combating sex trafficking, which is why he and his officers are involved in education efforts across the state, from training fellow officers to speaking at schools and other organizations. “We can’t arrest our way out of this,” Chadderdon said. “That’s why we’re trying to be proactive, and educate the kids, the parents, the professionals who work with at-risk youth… so they can identify at-risk youth.” When it comes to victims that Chadderdon and his officers come across, he stressed that the focus is helping them, not arresting them. Even for those adults who are involved in prostitution and not necessarily being trafficked, Chadderdon said every effort is made to point them to resources that could help them get out of that life, whether it’s free medical examinations through the New Ulm Medical Center or other resources through area non-profits. “Mostly it’s getting victims to the next step,” Chadderdon said. “Our job is to go out and find them and get them to services that they’ll accept.” Chadderdon said one of the hurdles to being proactive, however, is a lack of funding. On average, operating a single sting in Nicollet County costs about $1,400 and requires about 25 hours of overtime pay to bring in officers for the operation. The Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office received $90,000 in grants from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in 2015 and 2016, which enabled the office to purchase equipment and offer more training to officers. However, much of this year’s grant money is going to organizations located in the Twin Cities, in order to prepare for the 2018 Super Bowl. “We have some resources left that will probably get us through June of next year, but I think a lot of resources are going to be spent on the Super Bowl,” Chadderdon said. “But that’s (only) one or two weeks out of a twoyear grant cycle.” Still, Chadderdon is hopeful about the
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explained that navigators are the main contact Minnesota’s child protection codes, increased point for anyone who has been identified as a penalties against commercial sex abusers victim of trafficking or exploitation, providing or purchasers, and set up the creation of a the victim with direct services such as housvictim-centered, statewide response for sexuing, medical care, trauma-informed therapy, ally exploited youth. help in obtaining a job and legal resources. As of 2014, sexually exploited youth under “It’s our job to connect those victims with 18 are no longer included in the definition of as (many) comprehensive services as they delinquent children, so they will no longer need in order to successfully be able to get be charged with a crime for being involved in out of ‘the life,’” Sutherland said. sex trafficking. In addition, while adults age Sutherland said the Southeast Region comes 18-24 can be tried for being involved in sex out surprisingly high in numbers of referrals exchanges, it’s required that law enforcement to help victims. The region is behind only offer them resources first, and they’re entitled to an advocate to come with them when mak- Hennepin County (where Minneapolis is In 2011, Minnesota passed the Safe Harbor located) and St. Louis County (where Duluth ing a report with a law enforcement agency. Law, which radically changed the way the is located). That same year, the state service model state approaches sex trafficking. In particular, “We know without a doubt that this is hapNo Wrong Door was implemented, offering it added the pening in our region,” Sutherland said. “It is a exploited youth resources such as shelter, definition housing, comprehensive services and regional problem in the of sexually Cities, but it is navigators. These navigators are able to conFast facts exploited a problem in nect youth to resources across their region. tics statis youth to to According every region Laura Sutherland is the Southeast Regional Preventative from the MN Department of in our state.” Navigator, overTransportation and Breaking m easures Sutherland seeing an Free… To truly end sex traffickin eight-county g, • There are more than Fi n Mo d ult in on said, we have to cut g CONTINUES area that h elp it 20.9 million victims of human ON PAGE 40 off at the root—which The National Hu includes Rice means man trafficking globally, with 4.5 addressing the proble uuu Trafficking Hotline County. She m of is free and million victims involved in sex chi ld sex abuse in Minneso av ail ab le 24 ho ta. ur s a day, seven trafficking. “It’s crazy the correl days a week. It is no ati on • 8,000 to 12,000 people t a law between child sex abuse enforcement or im and migration are estimated to be involved ge tting sexually trafficked authority and is op ,” Warning signs erated in prostitution/sex trafficking she said, adding that the by a no ngo day. ve every rn mental in Minnesota According to Breaking Free, vast majority of victims organization. Call who 1-888 • The average age a sex there are several warning signs come to REACH were 37 378 88 is sex or visit www. ually trafficking victim is first sold e someon that could indicate abused as children. “If humantrafficking we hotline.org. 13 years old. g, traffickin sex in is involved want to prevent sex tra If you come acro fficking, • Human trafficking is ss someone including: we need to start working you feel might be to the fastest growing criminal involved • Avoiding eye contact prevent sex abuse.” in sex trafficking, Fo enterprise in the U.S., behind rliti • Gaps in memory Moulton said that wil stressed that it is be l only drug smuggling. tter not to • Visible bruises or scars req uire that Minnesota ap pr the oa ified ch ident FBI them directly. • The • Resists being touched makes an investment in early “Unless they co Twin Cities as one of 13 • Appears malnourished me up to childhood development, you and say they wa U.S. cities with a particularly or tired since much of the abuse nt help, is do not approach th high incidence rate of child • Tattoos, especially of happening between the em,” she ag es sa n. id. “You don’t know prostitutio someone else’s name of one and five. But she if their is pimp is around th • In 2015, Minnesota had • Sudden change in clothing e corner, adamant that the resou rces watching them. Th the third-highest number of • Sudden change in school at would be will be well spent. enough to get that human trafficking cases. e formanc nce/per attenda “A lot of our money girl in a lot is spent of trouble. [Instead • The average women • Low self esteem/self ], you want reactively, after the da mage to call the police rig involved in prostitution in image has already been done ht away.” ,” Minnesota services 5-10 She said you ca ts of anger outburs Sudden • she said. “If we can start n als o the s Acros customers a day. contact your Regio • Signs of self-harm working with young fam nal ilies world, the number is as high Navigator, who wi • Has a much older partner wh en the children are rea ll co me ou t lly as 40 customers a day. immediately to wo • Has a sexual online profile small, all of that stuff ma rk with kes • 83 percent of people who the victim. To cont ion, • Exhibits depress a difference. There’s be act the en a are prostituted in the U.S. are Southeast Regiona or fear anxiety hu ge breakdown in family l Na vig ato r, over here. raised born and Laura Sutherland, • Secretive or inconsistent the past 15 years, and call 507we ’re • 60 percent of all referrals 328-7270, or call stories really just kind of seeing the crisis line this to navigators across Minnesota at 507-289-0636. ve expensi Wearing • sid e of it now. We work wit Fo r further h are outside of the Twin Cities information, visit co using or clothing kids all the time who hav .olmsted. e area. mn.us/cs/victimse expensive technology just experienced such rvices. horrific • Within 48 hours of a • Saying they are working things.” be youth running away, they’ll k paychec but no sign of approached by a pimp. future now that the issue is better understood and there is more awareness across the state. “Even if the funding stops, we won’t be able to be as proactive, but all these officers are now trained,” Chadderdon said. “And we’ve made an impact… our recidivation rate is zero. We have not arrested the same guy twice. I know we eventually will, but our numbers are pretty good. I think it is a preventable crime.”
CONTINUES FROM PAGE 39
stressed that the Safe Harbor Law doesn’t offer resources only to people who have been sex trafficked but also to people who have been sexually exploited. The difference is that sex trafficking is an exchange of sex for money, with a third party (such as a pimp) benefiting, whereas sex exploitation is when people engage in “survival sex,” bartering sexual favors for things such as food or a place to sleep. In fact, Sutherland says the most referrals they see are people involved in sex exploitation and the majority are underage. Typically, navigators receive referrals from concerned third parties, such as law enforcement, social workers, schools, parents and hospitals, when there is a suspicion someone may be involved in sex trafficking or sex exploitation. Very rarely, Sutherland said, do victims come forward themselves. Navigators work with several other types of organizations across their region, from law enforcement agencies to social services to non-profit organizations. When it comes to resources that victims need, Sutherland said housing is always the most crucial thing, followed by mental health and chemical dependency services. “For [victims] to be safe, we need to secure them housing,” she said. Most importantly, though, she said people need to be aware of this problem and actively look for signs that it’s occurring. “We don’t see referrals unless agencies are actively screening for this,” she said. “As a provider, you need to be knowledgeable of the Safe Harbor Law. People won’t know it’s happening unless there’s active screening going on. It’s something we have to be proactive
on, to find the victims. This is all underground. It’s meant to be hidden. Trafficking and exploitation thrive on secrecy… and most Minnesotans aren’t comfortable talking about this. Unless we know what to be looking for, it’s very easy to miss it. That said, in Rice County, I’m seeing (that) our providers very much care about this.”
The myth that sex trafficking explodes during the Super Bowl is just that - a myth according to Forliti. “There’s no data whatsoever anywhere to support that there is that big of an increase during the Super Bowl of sex trafficking,” she said. In fact, according to a recent study by the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, research shows that any influx of sex trafficking during the Super Bowl is short-lived and comparable to increases during other large events. But organizations across the state are still preparing to combat any sex trafficking that does arrive, as well as offering as many resources as possible to victims. In the months leading up to the Super Bowl, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee invited 40 organizations across the state to join its Anti-Sex Trafficking Planning Committee, which has already funneled more than $1 million in prevention and education efforts. Breaking Free is one of the groups involved, with Forliti saying it’s crucial to use this time of heightened awareness to educate
people about the reality of the sex trafficking that occurs every day. “We want to leverage the fact that most people think there is [this increase during the Super Bowl], so we can use this opportunity to educate people,” she said. “We’re all just trying to bring awareness.” Forliti said Breaking Free is focusing on four areas: outreach to victims, strong alliances with local law enforcement, offering “warm spots” that are open 24/7 throughout the 10 days leading to the Super Bowl for victims who need a place to stay, and operating drop-in centers that can provide food and clothing for victims. In addition, Breaking Free representatives are also offering training and education across the area to help people and organizations be better equipped to deal with sex trafficking. “This is a really good opportunity [for] setting folks straight on what’s reality and what isn’t,” Forliti said. Moulton has also been involved in the Super Bowl committee and says the hope is that these efforts extend far after the crowds dissipate on Feb. 4. “The things we’re putting in place now, they’re not going to go away after the Super Bowl,” she said. “The organizations that are doing the work, we’re going to keep doing it no matter what. Maybe it’ll create some more awareness that it’s here. The worst thing that could happen is, after the Super Bowl is done, everyone goes, ‘Whoo… we don’t have to worry about that anymore.’ But [sex trafficking] happens all the time, in our day-to-day lives.” Grace Webb is a wandering reporter whose home base is Mankato.
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Making Goalsetting Fun
By Nancy Iglesias n mid-December, the owner of our company sent out a memo asking each of us to bring our 2018 goals to our weekly staff meeting. We were asked to bring several goals: two business, one personal, and one specifically related to a critical component of our corporate structure. We spent a fair amount of time at our meeting discussing each of these. One of my colleagues shared her personal goal of helping her family eat healthier. She said she had just purchased “How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease,” by Michael Greger, M.D., to both give her some inspiration and some practical ideas for feeding her family in the new year. Although this book was on the New York Times’ best-seller list, most of us were not familiar with the material. You can only imagine there were a few choice comments about what she might bring to the next office potluck. Given that that I grabbed a bag of bagel chips as I sat down to write this article, I think I need to look into that book a little more closely. This discussion inspired me to spend some time thinking about an expanded list of personal goals and about where our family is headed in the new year. I wish I was a bigger fan of New Year’s resolutions. Statistically, though, research says that 86% of New Year’s resolutions will fail by the end of the year, and a disappointing 50% of resolutions have been broken by the end of the first month. On the other hand, as the old saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” So where is the happy medium? What can we realistically do with our families that will actually make a difference? There is no magic formula for coming up with an annual family plan. How you do it will vary significantly based on the age of your children, the personality and dynamics of your family, and the season of life you are in. The focus should not be so much on the method you use, but rather that you are actually taking the initiative to spend some time being intentional about your hopes and dreams for the future. The biggest issue for most families is “how do we get started?”
Here are five great strategies to inspire your family as they think about the coming year: • Turn your family strategic planning session into an “EVENT!” Put on your best parental CEO hat and do a little pre-thinking about what you would like to put into your plan, leaving lots of room for input from your kids. Place a fun memo on your family members’ pillows, inviting them to a Family Board Meeting, complete with a written agenda. If that’s not quite your style, turn it into a party with special invitations, a festive meal and goodie bags for everyone. When the big night (or weekend afternoon) comes, pull out a white board, chalk board or poster board. Spend some time brainstorming and then narrow down your ideas. Turn your plan into a working document. Maybe you have a budding graphic designer in your family who can add some cool graphics to turn it into a poster to hang on the wall or refrigerator. Keep it simple. A plan with 20 goals is sure to fail. Keep it visible, and plan regular times to review it • Maybe an annual plan seems too daunting. Break it down into seasonal sections and have quarterly planning sessions. What do we want to do this winter? Spring? Summer? Break it down into manageable pieces, such as “what are three things we want to focus on in the next three months?” Maybe it’s as simple as finding ways to practice random acts of kindness in your own family. Maybe it’s enjoying a winter sport together or doing something active together outdoors. How about trying to eat at least one meal together a day? (This might have to be breakfast, depending on the schedules of your family members). Would your family like to go on a vacation somewhere? Pick a place and decide to put aside a little money each week. It might mean giving up
Saturday night take-out pizza, but the idea of working together toward a family goal is a great discipline. • If the whole process still seems a little daunting, look for inspiration from others. Check out www.sammyapproves.com; search on the site for “37 Incredibly Easy Family Goals.” There are some great suggestions to choose from. Pick a couple from each category. • Another approach others have found helpful is to choose a word or verse to fly as a banner over the year. Coming up with this could be a fun activity to do as a family. Family members could each choose their own word, or you could choose a word for your family. The special word can become a bit of a lens through which you envision your goals. Your special word can provide inspiration and focus for the year. Three great resources to check out: - Cass Bailey’s blog “The Frugal Family” (www.pinterest.com/frugalfamily); - For a faith-based approach, “ThePeacefulMom.com.” - My personal favorite, Jon Gordon’s book “One Word That Will Change Your Life.” • Here’s a fun activity for this year that may help you at your annual planning meeting a year from now. Start the year with an empty gallon jar. As good things happen to your family as a whole or individual members of your family, jot it down on a slip of paper and place in in the jar. On New Years Eve 2018, open the jar and celebrate all the good that has come your way. Use those memories as a springboard for discussing the goals for the following year. No matter how you make a family plan, make it simple and make it yours. Enjoy! - Nancy Iglesias is a freelance writer and non-profit consultant. She spent 20 years working as an Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity in Winona, MN. Prior to that, she was the Marketing Manager for InterVarsity Press in Downers Grove, IL. Nancy enjoys entertaining, water fitness and teaching preschoolers at her church.
THE COACH’S CORNER
Bully in the Break Room
MaoryFUCHS Mallory Fuchs is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a life coach for women. She helps women gain the confidence they deserve so that they can design the life they love.
hen we hear the term “bully,” our mind often brings us back to our childhood. We think of the cold winter playground where you got shoved into a pile of snow while everyone surrounded you to point and laugh. Sometimes we go back and think about the kid in the lunch room at our high school who nobody sat with. We think of the kid in math class who was constantly teased about their clothes or how they looked. Maybe some of you think of the mean girl crew who only wore pink on Wednesdays. I can recall a few bullies in my younger years and the hurtful things that were said and done. We were often told by the adults in our lives phrases like, “don’t let them get to you” or “will this matter to you in 10 years?” Is this the right message that we should be sending? I mean, do you even really believe that yourself? I don’t. I still remember how some people made me feel during those high school years - all the nasty letters girls left in my locker or when they called me at my house and harassed me. The question is, why aren’t we calling out the bullies instead of trying to silence the victims? Why
are we scared of the bullies? This is a reoccurring theme even in adulthood. It’s time we all stand up! It brings me to this - we often think that as we get older, those bullies on the playground or in the high school lunch room magically grow up. We think that when we graduate and enter the workforce that those days are long behind us. But the sad truth is that those bullies grow up, often without consequences, and go on to bully others into their adulthood. I realized those bullies in my childhood were just the appetizer to a main course of bullies I found in my adult life. From my own experience and from listening to the stories of women I have worked with, the common theme is that workplace bullies are alive and well. They are often dressed and decorated in fancy titles, a charming smile, and a likeable personality (at first). They also came dressed as professional men with master’s degrees and seniority in the field. But these bullies are snakes underneath and hide behind masks with a very dark and ill-intended agenda. Why do people bully? I have formed some thoughts on this based on experience and listening to others. It often comes down to three major things: jealousy and insecurity, fueled by low selfesteem.
Workplace and adult bullying looks a little bit different than the bullying on the playground. However, the intention behind it remains the same. Instead of outright laughing at you or tripping you in the lunch room, adult bullies do things called “gossip” and “back stabbing.” They are often nice to you in front of your face, but as soon as you turn around, they are talking smack about you. They often create lies and try to get your other co-workers to not like you for their own personal gain or agenda. It is plain and simple; bullies cannot survive on their own. They need to form a “crew” to help them do their dirty work. This also creates a campaign to force their victim out of their job. Corruption and power need followers or they would never sustain themselves. This is why bullies seek out others like them and gather the troops. This leaves the victim vulnerable and an easy target. So pay attention - when a certain someone walks into the room and you see a demeanor change, you just sniffed out a bully. According to the ERC (an organization that provides Human Resource support for organizations): Bullying is often done by: intimidation, deceit, aggression, taking credit for others’ work, ignoring, isolation, seduction, shame and guilt, undermining, blaming, making others feel useless, mood swings, blaming, withholding information, revenge, punishment, or embarrassment. Often these bullies have really perfected their craft and they will “silently” bully people. They will say and do things to you when
no one else is around, so that you don’t report it and it remains their word against yours. They try and gain power and control over you. They manipulate you and others around them. They also will do anything in their power to silence you when you speak up for yourself. Trust your gut and when someone starts to make you feel “less than” or uncomfortable, pay attention to their actions toward you. So what do you do with these bullies in the break room? - Don’t be afraid to call the perpetrator out in a respectful manner. Be assertive. Say something like, “John, when you make comments about my attire it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop doing that.” - Document, document, document! Document everything. Be specific in your documentation. Make sure to put date, time, place, names of people (and their title) involved and be specific in how you describe the event. - Talk to your manager (if you trust them) and follow your chain of command. - Utilize your resources such as your Union (if you have one) or your EAP (Employee Assistance Program). - Take care of YOU! Self-care is so important. Don’t let these actions consume you. - Leave work at work; try not to take it home with you.
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By Melissa Schmalenberger remember hearing the phrase “conscious uncoupling” when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to go their separate ways. They were ridiculed, and I may have poked some fun at them myself, being the former family law lawyer that I am. “Conscious uncoupling” means that we will create this separation process as something meaningful in our life and that there will be growth in it for both of us. But now I get it. I am downsizing my life from a four-bedroom home in the Midwest with plenty of storage, to a two-bedroom apartment with little storage, across the country. My husband and I are not divorcing nor separating, just moving without all the “stuff” coming with us. We are separating our stuff
from us. But the emotions are just as bizarre. I feel like I am getting divorced from our stuff, but without the anger. Just the sadness and feeling of being overwhelmed. My husband and I are peeling away our life of raising three boys in a large home that we have lived in for more than 16 years. I am a good organizer of all items in our home. Every bin is labeled and stored out of sight. And now we are going through everything before we make the permanent move west. The first attempt of getting rid of our items was easy. My home was full of things that I wasn’t emotionally attached to. I filled my car with donations and off they went. Easy. Then I dug a little deeper and got rid of the next level of emotional attachment. I sold the leather recliner I nursed my babies in. I felt the new owner needed to know that I fed my babies in that chair. Looking back, I think I perhaps shared too much.
Now I am being very mindful of everything we are getting rid of. I know that the items do not define us, nor the life we lived. But in some ways, they do. As parents, we dedicate our lives to raising the future citizens. I loved this stage of my life. Yeah, I was exhausted and overwhelmed most days, but I enjoyed it! That paper with the perfect spelling score on it, knowing that my child struggled in spelling and received a perfect score, holds a memory. The crayon drawing by my then three-year-old, of me with a pregnant belly containing his future sibling, holds a memory. I am undoing all that physical stuff. I am consciously uncoupling from it. I am taking the school papers and handing them to my kids, and they are dumping all of them in the recycling bin, with barely a glance. I sit there with my emotions locked down, trying not to undo their efforts. I finally had to leave
the room. And then I finally asked my husband, the ruthless non-emotional one, to step in and take over for me. The kids don’t want any of it. And I don’t have room to store my memories….oh, I mean, their memories. This is a new level of hell for me. I am reviewing Dante’s levels of hell; nowhere do I see “sifting through sentimental clutter.” If a mom had written “Inferno,” there would be a level for those sentimental emotions, as well as that unique pain of stepping on a Lego without shoes. I have entered hell. Once again, I have become envious of the Millennials. They are not attached to stuff. They don’t need to do “conscious uncoupling.” They can grab a duffel bag and head across the globe for two months. Me, I can’t even manage packing a suitcase for five days that I don’t have to check before I board the plane to see if it weights under 50 pounds. As for the separation process of me and my stuff, it is a lonely road of memories that I am walking. But the good news is that I have a partner who has walked the road of memories with me, and he knows how to be gentle with the process, setting aside the hardest of choices for another day. Home is not the physical place or the possessions that we collect or even that crayon-scrawled drawing of my pregnant belly. We are learning and growing and realizing that home is where we are. We are not our possessions. Melissa Schmalenberger, AKA, Ms Simplicity, is an attorney turned professional organizer, who is in the process of transitioning her life of the past 24 years from Fargo, N.D., to Seattle, Wash. She can be found at www.mssimplicity.com or you can follow her blog at https://melissa-ididit. blogspot.com.
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ur culture is all go, go, go, and everywhere we turn, people are praised for how busy they are. Women are often held more firmly to that standard. Advertisements display moms in dirty kitchens, looking like a hot mess, while they clean up after toddlers, holding babies, driving their 7 kids to sports practice, spilling coffee on themselves…I mean, god forbid a person should sit down for more than five minutes to breathe. That’s the society we live in. And now that social media is so prevalent, we find even more ways to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we realize how much we’ve taken on, but only after we’ve been spread too thin; perhaps even after tasks have begun slipping through the cracks. We start asking ourselves how the list got so darn long. There aren’t always enough hours in the day, and since we can’t pray for balance to fall into our laps, we actually have to look inward and learn a little bit about what serves us and, in turn, what has to go.
In my yoga classes, balance is huge. It’s actually the key element to many postures, and it takes practice. I start by telling students to close their eyes and locate the four corners of each foot before grounding down. The next step is for them to imagine sending roots into the soil. A tree grows deep so that as it grows, it has stability and is held firmly in place. Once the students feel grounded and secure, they can move slowly into the pose. Aware of every movement, aware of growth, they stand tall and confident. This concept is easily grasped in a yoga class, but how can we apply balance to everyday life?
Not everything you are asked to do needs to be done by you, and saying no can create time for yourself. If you know you have too much on your plate, say no to the harmless tasks that can wait or that maybe can be performed by someone else. Be honest with yourself and others. Life is busy, but it shouldn’t be hectic.
Stop telling yourself that you’re a control freak! Be okay with letting someone else take responsibility for little things here and there. CONTINUES ON PAGE 48 u u u
Start the new year with
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CONTINUES FROM PAGE 46
Our lives feel messy when lived at high speed. If you’re feeling like your plate is full, let go of the illusion that you can continue living a perfectly scripted life. Allow for more flexibility and relaxation.
You should feel secure about the day. When we move from a place of stability, we are less likely to lose our grip. If you start your day feeling like you can handle it all without a doubt, you probably have a strong root system. If you sense that any slip-ups could send you “postal,” you may have unloading to do. Create healthy routines that serve your lifestyle.
I cannot emphasize this enough. You need time to know yourself. You
MOTIVATION is what gets you started HABIT is what keeps you going.
Decide. Commit. Succeed.
Be stronger than your excuses! 48
need time to get rooted in “being,” rather than lost in your mind. Whatever makes you feel more at home in your house, in your body, in your heart…you need to make time for these things. If you can find time for eating, time for chores, time for this thing or that thing, you can make time for you. Because you are important. In order to be all that we can be, we must first realize there is self-work to be done. What excuses do we make for ourselves that keep us from living up to our potential? How do we live in a way that might be dangerous to our productivity or our health? The first step is admitting to ourselves that there is a problem and then choosing to change for the betterment of our individual power. When we teach our children to walk, we use words of encouragement and create the space for them to learn. Now is the time to give yourself that same support. Balance takes practice and the only way to achieve it is to believe that you’re capable. It takes patience, self-acceptance, and self-love. When you fall, you’ve got to have a light heart so that you can get back up, and leave behind what no longer serves you. Slow down, breathe easy, and live to be a better you. Rian Dicke-Michels is a highly independent, Minnesota State University Mankato graduate and the proud mother of an earthy 5-year-old. Although a 10-year yoga practitioner, she earned her 200RYT in 2015 from The Green Lotus Yoga and Healing center, and is continuing her education toward 500 hours. “My life is a continuous journey toward healing and self-love,” she says, “I’m honored to share it with you.”
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A of the popular board game that includes local properties and game pieces – everything you need to play the game with a local twist! These “Opoly” games make great gifts and are sure to become valued collectibles!
Our newspaper offices to pick-up your Opoly Game! Faribault.com, Owatonna.com, StPeterHerald.com, WasecaCountyNews.com and Order online: Visit LeSueurNews-Herald.com and click the link under “Forms” to order with your credit card. JAN/FEB 2018
Finding Balance as a Caregiver
Berit Kari Berit is author of The Unexpected Caregiver, where you can find more detailed information about appreciating yourself. Follow her at www.KariBerit.net
ur role as caregivers takes its cue from what our parents need from us, not what we can take hold of, either out of perceived need or a sense of responsibility (or guilt). I remember writing that sentence for the revised edition of The Unexpected Caregiver. My intention was to delicately, but effectively, remind us that we have to set our ego to the side when we’re giving care. We need to listen and observe, rather than take charge immediately. There’s always a time for taking charge, but many times it’s better to listen just a little longer than feels comfortable. I know when I’m working with people who are relying on me, I switch into this “Wonder Woman” mode. It allows me to accomplish necessary tasks, but also removes me from being present with my loved one. I lose my balance, and it’s balance that I most need! We all need it—especially when giving care. When I look for help with creating balance, I return to the teachings of Benedict of Nursia, born in Italy in 480 A.D. When he was a student in Rome, the empire was extremely prosperous, but morally corrupt. In the
midst of all that, he decided that this kind of living did not represent the fullness of life. He left Rome for a rural setting in which to contemplate the meaning of life, simplify its demands, and refashion his own attitudes and lifestyle. What he created reflected balance and good healthy practice. The Rule of St. Benedict teaches basic monastic virtues: humility, silence, obedience, and directions for daily living. It suggests times for common prayer, meditation, reading of sacred scripture, and manual labor. He recommended working with the hands (manual labor) six hours a day, but also having leisure time for reading and common prayer. The Rule of St. Benedict is one example of a teaching that reminds us how to insert balance into our lives. A positive message about growing older is that one can be contemplative. It is acceptable to sit and just “be.” For most of us in our working and parenting lives, running around like chickens with our heads cut off is the only way of living we know. We praise busyness and condemn being still. Through exploring the Rule of St. Benedict, I have been able to better understand the importance of sitting still with the person to whom I’m giving care. Now is your opportunity to find a little more down time into your caregiving journey. See if doing so provides your life with a little more balance between doing and being.
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BOOK REVIEW Book Review – “Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out” By Manoush Zomorodi c.2017, St. Martin’s Press $26.99 / $37.99 Canada 208 pages
Review by Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm
‘Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out’
ay attention! Bet you heard that plenty when you were younger. Look up here, listen to me, watch this, eyes forward. Eventually, it sunk in: you kept your eyes open, your mouth closed, and you are the better person for it… aren’t you? Peep this, pay attention – or, as in the new book “Bored and Brilliant” by Manoush Zomorodi, never mind. A decade ago, as a new mother with a colicky baby, Manoush Zomorodi spent countless zombified hours pushing a stroller around her New York neighborhood, to calm her son. At first, it was one of the most boring tasks she could imagine – but after awhile, she began to notice things: birds, architecture, people, and ideas. Weeks after returning to work, she was fuzzy-headed. That was when she understood that time off solved problems and cleared her mind; taking “a moment to reflect,” she realized that “my main accomplice was my phone.” That led to a bold experiment: Zomorodi, a radio show host, asked her listeners to join a “Bored and Brilliant Project,” in which they would agree to give up (or at least cut back on) mobile device usage. Thousands of listeners signed on. Boredom, she says, is the “second most commonly suppressed emotion after anger…” even though humans need to be bored. Our brains require a certain amount of wandering to stay at peak efficiency. When we are “daydreaming” – something teens and children are more prone to doing – it activates a “default mode,” which enhances problem-solving and creativity. Says Zomorodi, “… without distraction, your mind goes into some interesting and unexpected places.” Though it may sound funny, there are things you can do to combat a lack of boredom. Keep track of your digital habits; you’ll be surprised how much you’re on your phone. Put your device away while you’re walking, so you’re
Author Manoush Zomorodi
not tempted to use it on the fly. Stop taking photos for one day. Delete “that app” you can’t live without (because, guess what? You can!). Be unconnected now and then, people-watch, look around, visit a park without your device. And finally, remember that if electronic devices are doing this to you, think about what they’re doing to your kids… How many times in your life did you bug your mother with whines of boredom? You’ll take them all back, once you’ve read “Bored and Brilliant.” If you’ve ever had a love-hate relationship with your overly-connected world, this is the book for you. Author Manoush Zomorodi knows your pain - it was a process for her and her Note to Self listeners to disconnect - and because she went through the same kind of withdrawl, she doesn’t promise that it’ll be easy for you, either. The stats are good here, and the tiny-step encouragement is better but it’s the honesty that’s best inside this book. The “Seven-Step Program” is also a big help. Beware that there’s plenty of irony if you read this book on a device, but read it you should. In our heavily-connected society, “Bored and Brilliant” needs your attention. -The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books. For more information, visit email@example.com.
WATCH FOR OUR MARCH/APRIL ISSUE which will focus on style
Have an idea or suggestion?
(includes fashion, home, garden and what it means to be a woman of style):
• The journey to a women’s fitness competition • Adventures on an international runway • Spring fashion trends • What makes a woman elegant and classy • Etiquette lessons for today’s world • Everything old is new again - today’s fashions often use old-fashioned methods - knitting, crocheting and fiber arts • Today’s pageant platforms; today’s young, courageous women who are changing the world for the better • Home staging - making your home look lovely, for you or the next owners • Home styles and trends • Landscaping to complement your home’s style • Front yard landscapes - rain gardens, etc. • Types of gardens to please your sense of beauty • Clearing away clutter to help clear out your mind • Area B&Bs • Bombay cats - bred to provide security, comfort and therapy
MAR/APR 2018 Contact Beth Forkner Moe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Pam DeMorett by email at pdemorett@ faribault.com or call 507-333-3117
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Health & Wellness
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The Castle Rock Bank has been serving the women in this community for 96 years. To answer the question, “What do women want in banking?” We believe the answer is, “To be heard, understood, respected and valued.” 27925 Danville Ave Castle Rock, 507-645-7751 www.castlerockbank.net.
EVENT RENTAL SPACE CAMP PILLSBURY
Hold your next event at the historical campus of Camp Pillsbury. Large auditorium, dining hall, conference rooms, ample meeting space and dormitory sleeping quarters that hold up to 750 overnight guests. Perfect for corporate events, weddings, concerts, leadership retreats, youth development retreats and more. 507-214-2200.
Food & Entertainment NORTHFIELD GOLF CLUB
Explore a refreshingly affordable golf membership opportunity. Northfield Golf Club is an 18-hole championship semi-private club located in the heart of historic Northfield. It is known for providing members and their guests an exceptionally well maintained golf course and an outstanding food and beverage experience along with a stately and comfortable club atmosphere for family, friends and business associates not found anywhere else. The club offers daily public dining, including lunch, and is available for corporate golf events, meetings, wedding receptions and banquets. You’re invited to explore MEMBERSHIP at Northfield Golf Club. 707 Prairie Street, Northfield, MN 507645-4026 www.northfieldgolfclub.com
Millstream Commons Assisted Living is located in downtown Northfield. 44 Assisted Living apartments (studio, 1 and 2 BR) featuring three meals a day, supportive nursing care, respite care, & life enrichment activities. Pets allowed. Licensed Housing with Services provider. Part of the Three Links Community. Member of Aging Services of Minnesota. 210 8th St W, Northfield, 507650-9627, threelinks.org.
Northfield Urgent Care
Tired of waiting to see your doctor for simple problems like sore throats and earaches? We provide walk-in medical care for all ages, from infants to adults. We are open 7 days per week and no appointment is needed! Quick, easy and efficient! 2014 Jefferson Rd Suite C, Northfield, MN 55057, 507-664-9999, northfieldurgentcare.com.
Northfield Retirement Community
Situated on a 30-acre, beautifully landscaped campus, NRC was established in 1969 to provide housing and services specifically designed to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of older adults. Housing options include apartments with a minimal level of services, as well as other home settings that make increasing levels of service readily available. Options include rental and owner-occupied living spaces. Units are available for both income-sensitive and market-rate income levels. NRC also provides a fully-staffed care center for those who desire a more traditional nursing home setting. 900 Cannon Valley Drive, Northfield, 507-645-9511, northfieldretirement.org.
Home & Garden Judy’s Floral Design
Whether your wedding is black tie/ ballroom or barefoot on the beach or somewhere in between! Beautiful, quality flowers and great ideas start with Judy Smith. “Specializing in fresh creative and affordable blooms for all the flower moments of your life” 507645-0008, 1951 Division St. S., Northfield, judysfloraldesign.com.
Simon Bros Cement Co.
Simon Bros Cement Co. has been serving the Northfield area since 1969. We specialize in quality concrete and masonry including foundations, driveways, epoxy garage floors. Call for a free estimate. We will look at your project and use 40+ years of experience to share ideas and advice. Call Ray 612-3284591.
Shopping The Paper Petalum
The Paper Petalum in the historic Archer House at 212 Division St., Northfield. offers friendly customer service and unique gifts for all occasions. Locally owned and operated since 1987 we specialize in Scandinavian gifts, Minnesota products, decorative napkins, Polish Pottery, Rothschild foods, and much, much more. Stop in and visit us. 507-663-0565.
SUMMER CAMP CAMP PILLSBURY
Camp Pillsbury is a unique day and sleepaway summer camp, offering over 100 activities! Flying trapeze, circus arts, musical theater, sports, magic, horseback, gymnastics, dance, technology, musical instruments and waterski– all in the same day. So many activities to choose from! Camppillsbury.com 507-214-2200.
Transportation Northfield Lines, Inc.
Have your group arrive in style when you pull up in one of our luxurious motor or mini coaches. Single or multi-day sightseeing trips, shopping, girlfriend getaways, dining, concerts, weddings, receptions, casino visits – you name the event and we will get your group there safely and on time. 32611 Northfield Blvd, Northfield, 800-944-2190, www.northfieldlines.com.
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