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NO. 36 • Winter 2013-14



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Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets

WINTER 2013-14 contents



k’uun coffee


hotel winneshiek chef tom skold


science, you’re super: fire


musician & artist bill miller


make a paper heart garland


stay inspire(d): kick winter in the shins


try meditation today


fahrenheit 451


what we’re loving right now


great dinner party infographic


frozen river film fest/crystal hegge


boxed (IN) Rochester


Mississippi mirth: norwegian pastries


Probit: richard simon hanson


...and more!

25 \ Winter 2013-14


Exceptional Experiences— Always remembered! Treat a special someone (and yourself) to the gift of a brilliant performance!

Tickets and holiday-perfect gift cards are available in the Luther College Ticket Office in various amounts.

Center Stage Series 2013-14 ThursDAy, FebruAry 13 Simon Shaheen Ensemble $23, $21, $15 Tickets on sale January 16. TuesDAy, FebruAry 21 Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 $27, $25, $15 Tickets on sale January 16. stay tuned for events and discussions of Fahrenheit 451 throughout Decorah. sATurDAy, MArCh 8 Notes from the Balcony: Boston Brass & Enso String Quartet $24, $22, $15 Tickets on sale February 14. Get your tickets!

(563) 387-1357

All performances held in Luther’s Center for Faith and Life Special thanks to all of our performance and media sponsors for championing the arts in NE Iowa! School Performances Sponsor

2013–14 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council


The Decorah Newspapers

Media Supporters The

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor

Inspire magazine

We went at it full-force this year. WINTER: It’s not going to be your demise. Nope. Not this time. You’ll find this Inspire(d) is packed with ideas and inspiration to help you stay happy and healthy this chilly snow season. I’m very excited to share the huge list of winter fun (page 26) we put together to help you in “Kicking Winter Doldrums in the Shins!” From book lists to dinner parties to blanket forts to stargazing – we’ve got you covered. So: Let’s get started! I suggest you pour a cup of Hilarious family Photobooth coffee… then read about coffee! Calmar, Iowa-based pic by Aryn’s iMac K’uun Coffee, that is. Kristine Jepsen brings us into the roastery, sharing the tale of how the Vaqueros made their way to Northeast Iowa to brew the freshest coffee around. With coffee goes food, like the delicious Norwegian pastries that Jim McCaffrey makes us drool over – he gave the recipe reins to Darlene Fossum-Martin, Education Specialist at Vesterheim Museum and unofficial Norwegian Cookie Specialist around here. Darlene says these treats are easier than they look – so give ‘em a try! Our Chef on the Block stays in D-town as well, as we feature Chef Tom Skold of the Hotel Winneshiek, and we hope you feature yourselves in the kitchen this winter too, perhaps with a Great Dinner Party (check out the infographic on page 38 – yes, I jumped on that design bandwagon, and it was fun)! You’ll also learn about fire – how it works, and as an underlying theme of the Community Reads program for Banned Books Week and the Center Stage Series performance of Fahrenheit 451. (< Bonus: I am finally good at spelling that word after working on this issue!) Once you get warmed up enough to get on the move, head out to find the fun in Rochester, Minnesota, or plan a trip to Winona for the Frozen River Film Festival late January. While you’re marking calendars, you can add the Oneota Film Festival to that as well, this year moved to the end of February. Or maybe you’re not up for heading outside. It IS cold. Try meditation! Our good friend and meditator, Thea Satrom (LMT and Certified Zone Therapist), shares her tips on how to get started on page 32. It’s a perfect time of year to look inward and begin to work on you! Finally, make sure to check out the probituary on page 50 – Benji got to interview a Decorah resident he’s long held in high regard: Richard Simon Hanson, life-long learner and educator. Richard, of course, had many lovely stories to tell, so don’t miss it! We hope you finish this issue feeling happy and inspire(d) – and ready to tackle this dark season with all you’ve got! Go, readers, go! And happy holidays! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols on the cover: Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols. “The ever-so-lovely Thea Satrom (read her meditation tips on page 32), said yes to letting me photograph her torso for this cover photo! In return, she got to keep the sweater! Thank you, Thea!” Learn more about Thea and her work at

Who are we? Co-founders: Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer Benji Nichols / writer & advertising sales (& husband, support team, dinner-maker)

We couldn’t do it without: Kristine Kopperud Jepsen/ contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Thea Satrom/ contributor Aaron Zauner/ K’uun Coffe photo contributor Joyce Meyer/ photo contributor Jim McCaffrey/ Mississippi Mirth

Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Winter 2013-14, issue 36, volume 7, Copyright 2013-14 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on the newsstands, you can have it sent to your door for only $25/year. Email for a membership or visit for more info.

Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315.

Visit our website: “Like” Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! 05

Looking for more details about events on the calendars?


Fun for everyone!

inspire & create 508 W. Water St. Decorah, 563.382.5440

Check out these wonderful winter activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. December 7: Porter House Christmas Open House, 1–4pm. Music, refreshments, festive decor, and conversation. Learn about current projects while celebrating at the museum! 2. December 7-8: ArtHaus Holiday Art Fair, December 7th, 10-5, December 8th, 11-3, FREE, ArtHaus & ArtHaus Studio, Your handmade purchases support a great community of artists.

25W/ $25B

3. December 7: Discover Happy’s celebrating two years of Pilates! Featuring Pilates inspired art by Jesse Glofis and Justin Blair. Thai massage demo, Free class @12, party from 4-9 pm.


licensed massage therapist + zone therapist & yoga instructor


Stop by & meet me! Chair massage Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 at Oneota Co-op in Decorah

Host your events at

4. December 8: Author and illustrator Warren Hanson signs his latest book ‘The Steeple’, a powerful story about the voice inside that guides us through life. Dragonfly Books, Decorah, 2 - 3:30pm. 5. December 14: Bluff Country Artists Gallery (Milk and) Cookie Walk! Steel Cow Trunk Show, holiday treats, live music, Pine Cone Gnomes mini-class, and more! “Moo-ry” Christmas from 10am-5pm! 6. December 19: Spring Grove Cinema’s “Experience” Film Series – performances from around the globe! “The Nutcracker Suite,” 7:30pm, tickets $6 in advance / $8 at door. www.sgmovietheater. com 7. December 23: Santa’s last day at Holiday Lights Magical Nights! The Lights stay open nightly 5:30-8:30 p.m. through Dec 28. Pulpit Rock Campground, Decorah.

Upstairs or Underground! Now booking parties from small & intimate to 200+. 206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 •

31st Annual






8. January 2: Jan Brett Blow-Out 1:30-3:30 p.m. Explore the exhibit “The World of Jan Brett” at Vesterheim Museum with a scavenger hunt, craft, story, and treat. FREE. 9. January 12 - La Crosse Bridal Expo - LaCrosse Center 10:30am - 3:30pm. Plan your wedding in a day! Featuring 60+ weddingrelated businesses. Details & tickets at

Mani/Pedi • Waxing • Facials • Colors, Perms, & Cuts

Sunflower Pancake Breakfast 9:30 am

At the newly-remodeled DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL


To exhibit email

for details

305 College Drive . Decorah, IA 52101


fun stuff to do









Kevin22 Gordon, Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA



T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, Good Morning Bedlam, Decorah, 7pm



Happy New Year’s Eve!




Lighted Holiday Parade, Decorah, 6pm


“The World of Jan Brett” Vesterheim Museum, through January 5, 2014. “Impressions” Woodcuts by Lennis Moore, Lanesboro Arts Center, ends December 22. Playhouse on the Air: Miracle on 34th Street, La Crosse Community Theatre, December 13-22

Burning Bright, First United DEC Methodist, Decorah, 21 5pm & 7:30pm Live at the Levee, Winona

Hedgie’s Pajama Party, “The World of Jan Brett” exhibit, Vesterheim, Decorah


25 26

20 21 6 “The 19 Joe & Vicki Nutcracker Winneshiek Price, Safe Suite” Farmers House Saloon, Experience indoor Lansing Film Series, holiday Spring Grove Holiday sing along market, w/ Dan Choui- 9am-12pm Cinema, nard, St. Mane, 7:30pm L-Boro, 7:30pm

5 Bluff 14 Country Artists Gallery “Moo-ry Christmas”, 10am-5pm, Spring Grove


Joe & Vicki Price, T-Bock’s, Decorah

DEC 31: • Absolute Hoot, Live in the Red Room, Oaks Steak House, Decorah • Decorah Park Rec Family NYE Bash, Luther Regents Center 6:30-11pm • House of Large Sizes, Gabe’s, Iowa City


Santa’s last day at Holiday Lights Holiday Lights Magical Nights! Magical Decorah, 5:30Nights every 8:30pm Tom Bourcier, night Dec Hotel Winn 16-28 6-8pm



Bonnie Rochester Tom Bourcier, “Prince” Civic Hotel Winn Billy, Theatre 6-8pm Cedar Americana Cultural • The Lowest Showcase, DEC Center, 14 Pair,Haymarket, 7:30pm MSP • Hotel Winneshiek Holiday Soiree, 5:30pm


Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Englert, Iowa City Jon Dee Graham, Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA



1 Porter House Christmas Open House, 1–4pm, Decorah 3 Discover Happy is 2! Free class @12, party 4-9 pm, Decorah


Dec 5-8: Barnetimen Joe & Vicki Christmas Children’s Price, The at Luther Hour, Mill, Iowa City Vesterheim, Dec 12- Jan 25: 10am Paintings by Bill Miller, Christmas in Reception Dec 14, 5-7pm, the Luther The Pump House, La Crosse College Union


2 Dec 7-8: ArtHaus Holiday Art Fair

• Tour Funk, Haymarket • Winneshiek Farmers indoor holiday market, 9am-12pm • Friends of Kickapoo Valley Tommy Womack Reserve Annual Holiday Byron’s, Event, KVR, LaFarge WI Pomeroy, IA

8 4 Author Warren Hanson, Dragonfly Books, Decorah, 2pm

Dec. 5: Steep Canyon Rangers, Cedar Cultural Center, MSP

4 3 5 2 Through 1 Free First Dec. 5: Dec. 13:Holiday Trails from Thursday, Fahrenheit Tom Bourcier, Lights Magical Freeport 451 Book Chloe’s World Hotel Nights open Fundraiser, Tour with Discussion, Winneshiek, Thurs-Sun Rubaiyat, Kathleen Ernst, Decorah Public 6-8pm nights! Decorah, 7pm Vesterheim, Library, 7pm

• Elisabeth Maurland Open Studio, 707 W. Main St., Decorah


DECEMBER 7-8: • Norwegian Christmas weekend at Vesterheim


T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, Decorah, 7pm


The Duhks, CSPS, Cedar Rapids

Cross Country Ski Workshop, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge


La Crosse Bridal Expo, LaCrosse Center, 10:30am 3:30pm


Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day!


Tuesday Wednesday




The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Page Series, Saint Mary’s University, Winona



Barnetimen Children’s Hour, Vesterheim, Decorah, 10am



Dark Star Orchestra, First Ave, Minneapolis



OCT. 16: Doktor Kaboom, Page Series, Saint Mary’s University, Winona

Patty Griffin, Englert, Iowa City

JAN 28: Teacher from the Black Lagoon and Other Storybooks, Page Series, Saint Mary’s University, Winona



Toddler Tuesdays at the MN Marine Art Museum, Winona, 10:30am



January is National Mentoring Month! Find out more at

“The Four Seasons: Leo & Marilyn Smith Folk Art”, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona, through March 2, 2014









Willy Porter, Chosen Bean Coffeehouse, Chatfield

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Snake

Jan 23-26, 31: “James and the Giant Peach, New Minowa Players, Decorah


25 Dam Phunski 1k/5k/10k X-Country Ski, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge


NE Iowa Bridal Show, Luther College CFL, 12-4pm



17 JAN 18: The Pines, Oak Center General Store, Lake City MN

JANUARY 22-26: Frozen River Film Festival, Winona State University, Winona, MN


Aerosmith, “Experience” Film Series, Spring Grove Cinema, 7:30pm

4 Jan 4 & 18: Kickapoo Valley Reserve Snowshoe Hike Series, La Farge


Kickapoo Valley Reserve Winter Festival, La Farge, WI



Dr. Ralph Stanley, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis


JAN 17: Joe & Vicki Price, Bob’s Bar, Prairie du Chien

Joe & Vicki Price, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago


Jan Brett Children’s Exhibit Blow-Out, 1:30-3:30pm, Free!





fun stuff to do

fun stuff to do


Tuesday Wednesday



T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, Decorah, 7pm


FEB 23: Paul Simon & Sting, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul


Groundhog Day! C’mon Spring!




Toddler Tuesdays at the MN Marine Art Museum, Winona, 10:30am



FEB 20: Greg Brown, Whiskey Bones Roadhouse, Rochester


Barnetimen Children’s Hour, Vesterheim, Decorah, 10am






”Company” by S. Sondheim, “Experience” Film Series, Spring Grove Cinema, 7:30pm


Barneløpet1 Children’s Cross Country Ski/Walk, Vesterheim






28 Feb 28 March 3: Oneota Film Festival, Luther College, Decorah


COMING UP: March 7 ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8pm, Decorah Elks Lodge


Fahrenheit Jeremy 451, Luther Messersmith, College CenFirst Ave, ter Stage Series, CFL, Minneapolis 7:30pm


Willow 15 Basket Weaving workshop, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, LaFarge WI

The Charles ArtHaus First Walker Band, Haymarket, Friday: New Decorah Work by Robby Scott, 7-9pm, FREE


Feb 2: Kickapoo Valley Reserve Snowshoe Hike Series, La Farge


14 Simon Shaheen, “Crazy Love”, Luther College Water Street Center Stage Music Series, Series, CFL, Steyer Opera 7:30pm House, Decorah

• Joe & Vicki Price Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA • Ice Cave & Frozen Waterfall Hike, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, LaFarge WI



March 1: COMING UP IN MARCH • Zeta, Haymarket, Decorah • Seed Saver Exchange Visitors Center Opens! March 5: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Englert, Iowa City March 8: Notes from the Balcony, Luther College Center Stage Series, CFL, 7:30pm March 12-13: La Dispute by Marivaux, Luther College Theatre & Dance



FEB 11: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Page Series, Saint Mary’s University, Winona



“My Favorite Things” Exhibit opens at Vesterheim Feb 6 “Andrea Rich: An Abundance of Riches MN Marine Art Museum, through April 13, 2014 “Tuesdays with Morrie” La Crosse Community Theatre, Feb 14 - March 2 February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month




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Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


Date (not included in word count): Worlds Greatest Party! 7-10 pm. Inspire(d) invites you to the greatest party ever! We’ll have amazing amounts of fun! See you there!



Questions? Email

(Direct link:

See - we told you about our amazing fictional party in less than 25 words! On the visual calendar (like the one at left), your event will be listed along with a number that corresponds. People can just scan on over to the following pages to get the details!


Simple! We get an email with all your details exactly as you’d like to see them in the listing, and then we add it to the calendar!

It works like this: 1. Go to and click on the 25W/$25B link 2. Enter your information in our online form 3. Click through to PayPal to complete the transaction

Thus we’ve implemented a simple, expandable list of events for the pages following our regular calendars. Those who are planning “fun stuff to do” get a guaranteed spot on the calendar and in that event listing by purchasing “25 Words/$25 Bucks.”

We know it’s a tough racket to put on live music, activities, and special events, so we want to give you a chance to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Calendar time is always an exciting time at Inspire(d) Headquarters. “Just how much can we fit on there this month?!?” Up until 2012, what we’ve chosen for these lovely pages has been entirely editorial and subjective. We figure, hey, you like our magazine, so you’ll probably like the fun stuff to do that we pick out from around our region. But we’re running out of space and want you, our lovely readers, friends, and fellow event planners, to be able to tell us a little more about your fun.

25 Words/$25 Bucks


Looking for more details about events on the calendars?

Perfect for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations... or just for you!


Check out these wonderful winter activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

10. January 16 - Spring Grove Cinema’s “Experience” Film Series – performances from around the globe! Aerosmith: Rock for the Rising Sun, 7:30pm, tickets $6 in advance / $8 at door. 11. January 21 - SMU Page Series presents bluegrass’ legendary sons The Travelin’ McCourys; knee deep in Americana, open to all genres, 7:30pm, Page Theatre, $24/$22,, Winona

Jennifer Sullivan . Decorah, Iowa 563.419.4016 .


12. January 23: The New Minowa Players present ‘James and the Giant Peach’ January 23-25, 31 at 7pm, January 26 at 2pm, February 1st at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets $10/$5. Sheryl 563-3795738, 13. February 7: ArtHaus First Friday: New Work by Robby Scott, 7-9pm, FREE! Enjoy new paintings by the winner of last year’s Emerging Artists’ Exhibition


25W/ $25B

14. February 14: Water Street Music Series: “Crazy Love” February 14, 7:30 pm Steyer Opera House, Hotel Winneshiek $10 adults, $5 students

-from silly to frillySINCE 2004

411 W. Water St. | Decorah | 107 W. WATER ST, DECORAH, IOWA OPEN MON-SAT 10 AM - 5 PM

15. February 20: Spring Grove Cinema’s “Experience” Film Series – performances from around the globe! Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”, 7:30pm, tickets $6 in advance / $8 at door. 16. February 28 – March 2: Oneota Film Festival (OFF): Independent and Documentary Film Screenings at Luther College, T-Bock’s, and Decorah High School. Filmmaker’s Reception at T-Bock’s March 1 after festival! 17. March 7: ArtHaus Poetry Slam, 8pm, Decorah Elks Lodge, $5/$3 students, Sponsored by Dragonfly Books, A not-to-be-missed Decorah event! Call ArtHaus to sign up to perform.

small appliances . pots & pans . kitchen tools . glassware . dishes . accessories . gift registry . & more!



1. Water Color & Ink (San Clemente, CA): Feb 8-9 2. Drawing: April 12-13 3. Watercolor – Beginner: June 14-15 4. Watercolor – Advanced: Sept 13-14 5. Watercolor & Ink: October 25-26 • 563-387-6782

save the date! women’s weekend out | decorah, iowa

friday & saturday, april 4 & 5, 2014

106 E. Water St Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3544 \ Winter 2013-14


When preparing samples of K’uun Coffee, owner/roast master Fernando Vaquero prefers a single-pour Hario V60 system. This gravity-fed set-up allows the coffee, ground to a medium ‘Hario’ coarseness, to fully disperse its flavor without being forced by air or water pressure.


Winter 2013-14 /

The simple, mechanical construction of the Hario V60 is an old-world tradition, Fernando says, but the slope and spiral channels of the glass (or ceramic) filtration cone are precise. “It’s calibrated to put the coffee in contact with the sides of the cone as [210-degree] water is poured steadily into the center, expressing the flavor as the water flows through freely.

happy! discover

The Art of the Roast By Kristine Kopperud Jepsen Photos by Aaron Zauner


here’s nothing like that first warm-sweet-nutty sip of coffee in the morning. At our house – maybe yours too? – it practically constitutes a food group. Coffee brings order, wakefulness, and even, yes, a certain assurance that we’re right with the world – especially on dark winter days like these. We’re not alone in this dependence, say Honduran natives Fernando and Barbara Vaquero, and they’re betting their combined 25 years in food and agricultural engineering on it. In 2012, they founded K’uun Coffee, a microroastery based out of their home in Calmar, Iowa. Their mission? To reveal the soul of Coffee Arabica and the memorable flavor and aroma that makes it so indispensable. More than 2 billion cups of coffee are poured every day over the world, and the beans that make it happen change hands at a pace second only to crude oil among commodities traded on the global market. As Fernando, the roast master, explains coffee’s origin, his animated eyes leap from topic to topic as his hands sweep points along, like phrases in an orchestral score.

Celebrating years!

two Join us

for joy & fun Dec 7th 4 to 9 pm at Discover Happy!


Choose one of the following: • 1 month of unlimited classes for $30 (regularly $85) • 5 Mat or Barre classes & 3 Pilatesstick classes for $50 – no expiration. (regularly $120) • 2 private sessions for $50 (regularly $100)

Get the new gear! Pilates image shirts available on Dec 7th!

222 East Water Street Decorah, Iowa 563-419-0346

New site & online registration! \ Winter 2013-14


Barbara, who wears most other hats in the business while also caring for their two daughters, ages 10 and two, interjects with subtle but telling clarifications. This is, after all, the third business they’ve built together, all while one of them – sometimes both – is employed full-time elsewhere. In this case, Fernando works as Assistant Plant Manager for Swiss Valley in Luana, Iowa. Barbara apologizes for the splitseconds, really, that it takes her to translate phrasing from her native Spanish language; but she needn’t have to. Her words are as clear as her passion for the roast. “We just wanted people to really taste the coffee – not the over-processed version of it that is so common,” she says. The craft of custom coffee roasting is a part of their heritage – having grown up, literally, in coffee production in rural Honduras. Unfortunately, the more displaced the coffee drinker is from coffee’s origins – predominantly Mexico, Central and South America, Africa and Asia – the more misunderstood the process, Fernando says. “People don’t know what they’re drinking, or how it can taste if it’s crafted right.” Ever had a dark, dark roast that scraped the buds from your tongue? he asks. “That’s what failed roasting tastes like,

and it’s been giving ‘dark’ roasts a bad reputation for years.” His other favorite myth? That lighter roasts contain less caffeine. “The roasting process intensifies the nuanced flavors of the bean,” he says, “but it also extracts the caffeine.” In other words, that ‘blonde’ roast really is more of a bombshell. At K’uun, they roast to order – to order! – and deliver the freshest coffee available, making batches as small as one pound or as large as 20, and hand-delivering them within a week. This prevents the oils that surface after roasting from oxidizing and getting stale or rancid. They specialize in helping customers hone in

For the love of burlap and everything Rustic, come spend the day at The Rustic Corner and enjoy our creative displays of beautiful merchandise, sip some cider while taking a class or ask our knowledgeable staff for ways to express yourself through decorating or arts and crafts. You can even check off a project or two from your Pinterest board. Let us show you how.

The Rustic Corner - It’s worth the trip every time! 413 N Main St, Charles City, IA 50616 641-228-2657

Mon-Fri 9-7, Sat 11-4


Winter 2013-14 /

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ROCK SOLID Laying the groundwork for your family & community for four generations.

Barbara and Fernando Vaquero with their youngest daughter, Isabella, alongside K’uun Coffee at Luther College. (Photo courtesy K’uun Coffee.)

on the flavor and feel they most enjoy in their coffee, then creating it from their current inventory of beans. “I really enjoy it from a food science point of view,” Fernando says. And no wonder. Growing up, his family produced palm oil, coffee, and livestock. By trade, he became an industrial engineer, fascinated by how things work, and, more specifically, how to help farmers in developing countries build profitable enterprise and trade relationships. That’s where his interests overlapped with Barbara’s. They met when she applied for an agribusiness position – like him – at the Department of Agriculture in Honduras. Fresh off a degree program in agricultural economics at the University of Illinois, Barbara was among many applicants leading a peer discussion as part of the job interview. “Fernando almost killed my presentation, asking question after question after question,” Barbara says with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Who is this guy? And what does he need to know all this for?’ But, that’s how he gets from the start of something to a solution: You ask a lot of questions. He’s still the same man today.” Together, the Vaqueros moved their interests north, settling first in New Mexico, where Barbara worked as a health inspector for the State, and Fernando in plant management for Leprino Foods, the dairy conglomerate that produces cheese for many pizza companies.

a journey to the maghreb in the heartland

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With their older daughter, Barbara Cecilia, in the mix, they started their first business together: A donut shop, Daylight Donuts, they built from scratch. Needing to pair their fresh-baked pastries with the best coffee around, Fernando turned his attention to coffee roasting, creating a blend that met the New Mexican culture’s requirements for a light but bold roast. In 2011, they sold the shop and moved to Calmar for Fernando’s position at Swiss Valley, bringing their commitment to really good, affordable coffee with them. Today they source the majority of their single-origin beans through a Fair Trade certified broker in Minneapolis that represents Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and more. Knowing how U.S. customs work, they’ve also established a direct-trade relationship with a grower in Cameroon. Plus there’s Barbara’s favorite coffee – their Peruvian decaf – decaffeinated by a natural washing method using pure water, not chemicals. Barbara delivers the finished product, most often to Decorah’s The Perfect Edge, a local pick-up point where fresh samples are always available for tasting. They also sell through Oneota Community Food Co-op, their (newly relaunched) website, ($11/lb), and in bulk, as they do for the dining services at Luther College and other business around Northeast Iowa.

“Coffee is unbelievably complex – it’s true! – followed by cigars, wine, beer and cheese,” Fernando says, offering a taste of the different ‘notes’ of beans from each of the coffee-producing regions, ranging from chocolate to earthy to citrusy to floral. Each is affected by the growing location’s altitude, the latitudinal climate, the composition of the soils that nourish the trees, and that growing season’s particular weather. But it’s in the roasting that all that potential comes to full bloom – or goes up in acrid smoke. There’s the physical heating of the beans – at K’uun, that’s in state-of-the-art Ambex roasters – and then there’s the seasoned intuition to sense – in the aroma and sound and feel of the beans as they heat – when a particular batch has reached its potential. “Roasting is the perfect release of what’s already in the bean,” Fernando explains. “I can’t ‘put’ flavors into it – it’s my job to bring its natural complexity out, and there’s no ‘second chance.’” Their incorporated name, Bean Masters, Inc, leaves room for another native of Central and South America: Cacao. But with the addition of their younger daughter, Isabella, now two years old, the Vaqueros are intent on growing their cottage business as sanely as possible, enjoying the way roasting, distribution, and marketing offer teachable moments and routines for their young family – without over-committing their time.

“You get back what you put into it,” Barbara says. “We come from a culture that’s very social, made up of very small, close communities. You have to be honest with people, make them a good, fair product, and take the time to share it. It’s the right thing to do.” Having won some of their start-up funding in 2012 through Winneshiek County Development Inc, K’uun Coffee is also intent on giving back to the community through a fund-raising initiative called “Growing Together.” The program helps organizations such as The Family School of Religion (CFSR) of Calmar achieve fund-raising goals. K’uun also partners with Luther College, designating five percent of total coffee sales on campus to a scholarship fund for students. In October 2013, they presented the first installment – more than $900. That fusion of culture and enterprise is, in fact, the origin of their business name. “‘K’uun’ means gold in Mayan, the foundation of our ancestry in Honduras,” Barbara explains, “and agricultural products are the currency of our region’s culture. So we combined them –‘gold’ and ‘coffee.’” Disclaimer: While the heaven of great coffee brewing is a welcome start to Kristine Jepsen’s midwinter work routine, she isn’t usually the first one to the coffee pot in the morning. She’s more of an early afternoon devotee, which perhaps explains why her most creative hours are in mid-evening! Aaron Zauner, a senior at Luther, is from Fond du Lac, WI, where he was endowed with a love of brats, cheese, & the Packers. His practice in photography began with an undisputed inability to draw & continued when he realized that he could push a small button with his right index finger. After graduation, Aaron hopes to go to grad school, & ultimately, make the smooth transition from poor student to poor professional cellist.

how To orDer cusToM-roAsTeD coffee

intimidated by having to pinpoint the winning flavors of your favorite cup of coffee? don’t be. the vaqueros love the opportunity to connect with customers and share both their knowledge of the roasting process and the unique personalities of the beans they have on hand. Just call them (563-562-9033) and ask! are you looking for a caffeine kick? (this might mean you’re after a light or medium roast.) complex, full body? (perhaps a medium or dark roast, using beans of the origin best suited to produce desired flavors.) earthy? (asian.) chocolate? (central america.) citrus or floral? (african.) “there’s no single ‘perfect’ answer – it’s what you like,” fernando says with a grin.

MON - THURS: 11- 9 • FRI - SAT 11-10 • SUN: 11-8

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It’s winter out there... But it’s beautiful in here! Isn’t it time for a new TV?



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BLOCK chef tom skold hotel winneshiek


hef Tom Skold has been sharing his culinary talent across the upper Midwest for decades – from the kitchens of Minneapolis (The New French Café & Pam Sherman, D’Amico Cucina, Cossetta’s, Leeann Chin, etc), to an 18-year stint at the much-loved Harbor View Café in Pepin, Wisconsin. He has also taught culinary classes throughout the Driftless Region and beyond, influencing both home and professional chefs. Skold joined Decorah’s Hotel Winneshiek as Executive Chef in spring of 2012, where he has overseen an expansion of breakfast, lunch, and dinner service to seven days a week. All menus highlight produce and wares from area farms and vendors, not to mention the house-made pastries and desserts featured at the Hotel’s weekend brunch. Also try the cardamom swirl French toast (real maple syrup!) or Iowa prosciutto and oyster mushroom benedict. Yum!

Downtown Decorah

Two bedrooms Full kitchen 563.265.1955 Large living space

Plus 2 car garage • Laundry • Internet • TV • 2 night minimum \ Winter 2013-14





Pictured above: cardamom swirl French toast. All photos courtesy The Hotel Winneshiek

nAMe: chef tom skold Age: 55 resTAurAnT: i’m responsible for all food venues at the hotel winneshiek nuMber of yeArs cooKing: 36

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formal training or live-and-learn? I hold degrees in Culinary Arts and Food Systems and Technology but have learned much of what I know by working, teaching, and cooking for family and friends. (Ed note: Chef Skold is also a bit humble, being a graduate of Johnson & Wales College in Providence, Rhode Island, and UWStout in Menomonie!)

Taking local to a whole new level.

what’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? Frying donuts with my mother. why did you decide to become a chef? My early academic record would show that I felt more comfortable in a kitchen than a college classroom (to say nothing of the library) so I licked my wounds and went off to Culinary School. what’s the best thing you’ve ever made? Dinner for my parents on my mother’s birthday a week before my dad died. Dinner was Garden Tomato-Basil Soup, Cheddar Biscuits, and Salmon in Parchment but what made it the best thing I ever made was who I made it for and why.

• • • •

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do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? I once rolled 32 gallons of cold sweet and sour sauce out of the walk-in cooler at Leeann Chin’s in St. Paul, not knowing that the container wasn’t screwed securely to its dolly. The whole thing went down across a sloping quarry tile floor in an amount a person could surf on. The stickiness outlasted several moppings. how about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? will you tell us? Graham Crackers broken up in milk and eaten like cereal.

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Terri Logan Jewelry Trunk Show— Thanksgiving to Christmas

what’s your favorite: ingredient: Onions, they embody humility, never seeking the limelight, but quietly going about the business of supplying the foundation of flavor to most anything worth eating. dish: Braised Beef with Potato Gnocchi on the side. cookbook: The Classic Italian Cookbook, by Marcella Hazan. random (or not so random) kitchen tool: My grandmother’s cast iron skillet. I never wash it so its pores contain decades of food and love. vegetable: Artichokes fruit: Fresh Figs \ Winter 2013-14


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You're super! Fire!

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Winter 2013-14 /

it’s hot! it’s bright! it dances! but how does it work?

Photo by Joyce Meyer

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Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Compiled by Aryn Henning Nichols


ire has awed and inspired many a man and woman for, well, ages. The first known evidence of fire used by humans was in a L’Escale Cave in southeastern France, according to some scientists. (1) A layer of ash was found on the roof of the cave that dates from 700,000 to 400,000 BCE (Before the Common Era), although it couldn’t be confirmed as a naturally occurring or man-made fire. Direct evidence, though, of Middle Pleistocene humans controlling fire (by burning wood) as early as 500,000 BCE was found outside a cave at Chou k’ou-tien, China. (1) Imagine being one of those first people learning how to make your own fire. Amazing! Even now, many, many years after that discovery, fire is pretty impressive. It’s hot! It’s bright! It dances! But how does it work? Fire is chemical process that uses oxygen, heat, and fuel (re: anything that will burn). If you’re missing one of that trifecta, you have no fire. Simple enough, right? When you do have all the necessities, though, you’re fixing for some flames. In a chemical process, molecules rearrange themselves, releasing or absorbing energy. This process in fire is called oxidation. Oxygen atoms combine with hydrogen and carbon to form water and carbon dioxide, releasing energy, or heat. (1) With certain things, like paper or wood, the oxidation rate of the molecules can be very fast. If the heat cannot be released faster than it is created, combustion happens. Discovery Kids explains it well: “Take wood and heat it up to a very high temperature, either with a match, friction (rubbing two pieces together), or focused light (like when you use a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun’s rays). When the wood gets to the temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148 degrees Celsius), some of the material that it is made up of decomposes (crumbles). Then, some of this material is released as smoke, while the rest forms charcoal and ash. Ash is made up of minerals in the wood, like calcium and potassium, which don’t burn. When the gases released from the decomposing wood get to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius), the wood breaks apart and burns. A side effect of this chemical reaction is lots of heat, which keeps the chain reaction going. That’s why the fire keeps going, too.” (2) When you “fan the flames” you’re adding more oxygen to the fire – feeding the chemical process – and the fire gets bigger. Same goes for added fuel (although you’ll sometimes have to add more oxygen or heat again if the fuel – like a large log – can’t keep up with the process). So sit back, grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea, and enjoy watching science be super this winter, right in your fireplace.

1. 2.

Tues-Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Monday: Drop In & Knit Night 6-8 pm 563-517-1059 •

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Never Too Far An interview with musician and painter Bill Miller By Benji Nichols

If you’re a stone, I am the mountain If you’re a bird, I am the tree If you’re a flower, I am the field If you’re a boat, I am the sea No matter where you are, you’re not too far from me...

Paintings by Bill Miller The Pump House Dec 12, 2013 - Jan 25, 2014 Reception December 14, 5-7pm 119 King Street La Crosse (608) 785-1434

-Bill Miller

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ill Miller is a bridge builder. No, not the big blue kind that spans the Mississippi just south of the Pump House in La Crosse. Miller builds bridges – with images, words, and song – that connect our modern world to Native America. His art spans the music business to oil painting to watercolors, but his message is far beyond that of modern art maker. “Everyone has an artistic side,” says Miller, while winding his way through rural Wisconsin on a late fall afternoon. “I believe when someone is touched by the arts they are inspired to go further – from plumbers to doctors, that creativity relates to your brain and how you perform in your life and work.” Born of Mohican and German parents on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation in Northern Wisconsin, Miller left at age 18 on a scholarship to the Layton School of Design in Milwaukee. The school was in its final years of existence, though, so Miller transferred his art studies to UW La Crosse. “We’d go to the Bodega during lunch and get a matzo-ball soup and study. There was a folk series on the weekend, local rock bands, and I eventually started playing at the Freight House when it was new. Music really found a foothold around that time. It blossomed as it would be, and I ended up becoming a part of the growth of La Crosse.” Eventually frustrated with his school experience, he decided to go into the “real world of the music industry” full time and didn’t look back. “Bands and managers would come through the Freight House for dinner while they were doing shows in town, and I met a lot of people that way,” he says. “Ritchie Havens came through La Crosse and I ended up going on the road with him – but it was my friendship with Michael Martin Murphy, and then John Prine and others, that all pushed me to get to Nashville.”

Miller made the move to Nashville in the 80s and was quickly woven into the scene. A record deal (multiple record deals, really) came his way, national tours with Tori Amos, Eddie Vedder, The BoDeans, and Arlo Guthrie – not to mention writing with Peter Rowan, Kim Carnes, and Nanci Griffith – all led to multiple Grammy awards. “I lost touch with my art for a few years while playing music, but it’s a part of me,” he says. “Both roads are hard, but my art is forever a part of me.” Though successful by any measure in the music business, Miller found many challenges along the path that eventually led back to painting. “Painting, to me, is very representational of my spiritual connection and physical connection to Native America and God’s creation. I’m being transparent with my art – my work,” he says in his humble way. “It’s so much harder than getting on stage, as I know I’m not the best painter, but I’m putting that out there and believing in that.” Miller’s audience – and beyond – has taken notice. His Native American portraits and scenes have been exhibited in galleries around the country, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. His work comes back to the Pump House in La Crosse this December for a six week showing entitled “Never Too Far”. “Bill is so well known as a musician that many are surprised to learn he is also an exceptional visual artist,” says Toni Asher, executive director of the Pump House. “He uses his art as a visual voice, and once you have found his work, you recognize it as an inseparable extension of his music.” Miller’s exhibit this winter will feature previously shown oil paintings as well as new work in watercolor. “I went out and started on water colors so I can easily paint while I travel – it’s hard to get the oil canvasses in the back of a rental car,” quips Miller in his genuine, rye humor. “It’s an exciting change of platform, and I’m pushing myself to do that.”

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Asher thinks people will really connect with Miller’s work. “His technique adds movement that brings his images into your life today,” says Asher. “You know the warrior intently gazing at you from the paper, although traditionally attired, could be a young man you passed on the street today.” It’s this “everyday” that Miller really tries to stress in his art. He feels it makes his work more accessible, and thus more impactful on society. “That’s where and how you find people who can be creative in ways to help the world,” he says. “The arts are a blessing, lifting people’s spirits, helping find new ways and solutions. I believe so strongly in that.” Miller’s artwork on one of his And the balance of traveling albums, Spirit Songs. musician, artist, and speaker? Miller readily admits the challenges and personal difficulties he has faced, but always comes back to the process of reconciliation and healing. The title of the show, “Never Too Far” is a popular Bill Miller song. Its theme carries a delicate balance of relationships – both familial and spiritual – which Pump House Director, and long-time friend, Toni Asher helped pick for the show. “I had been going through a lot in my personal life,” says Miller. “I wrote that song in about 20 minutes – it was something that was inside me and just came out. I might have been carrying it around for a few hard years, but it came out at the right time. And that’s

part of it as an artist – we have to know when to let things come through.” Miller’s authenticity certainly comes through in his artwork. The blending of cultures, life experiences, highs and lows – all find their way through Miller’s images. “You should be feeding yourself gold and silver experiences – and it’s not about resources. Sunrises and sunsets, birds flying overhead, babies crying in a Dairy Queen, a good run by the river. It makes a huge difference in healing, art, life.” Miller hopes his work will help people see these experiences more clearly, and maybe even make a change – to themselves, their community, even the world. “How are you observing things? How do you think about things differently – how are you interpreting yourself within life, within a culture? There’s a lot to feed yourself with, but a lot of people miss that. If you look at life more positively, you can take advantage of those experiences every chance you get. And if the arts are observed by common people – by building bridges to people who don’t maybe get the chance to experience them everyday – that’s how I believe we make a difference.”

Benji Nichols has been crossing bridges of the music industry one-way or the other for almost two decades – coincidentally about the same amount of time he has been listening to Bill Miller’s music. He hopes you take the time to see the “Never Too Far” exhibit at the Pump House this winter, and are inspired to check out Bill Miller’s music as well.

Experience 50+ documentaries that engage and activate

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Winter 2013-14 /

Paper Project! Paper Heart Garland

Make it!

WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR WALL! A colorful garland stretching across a doorway or wall brightens any day. One filled with love is even better! Learn how to make one of these pretty babies today!

Step-by-step instructions at

stay inspire(d):

KicK winTer in The shins!

story and photos by Aryn Henning Nichols

It’s tough to stay positive in the winter – when it’s edging on four feet of snow outside, the thermometer hasn’t popped above zero in days, and the only fresh vegetable in your house is a month-old potato, the force of the couch is strong. If it’s a blanket that’s made to be worn, it’s okay, right? Wrong! At least not in the long-term. As Dylan Thomas said: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Use this winter to get happy, inspired, and ready for spring! Try making some changes and goals that sound fun. It can really work, says Mary Jorgensen of Decorahbased Rising Sun Life Coaching . Jorgensen believes making small adjustments in your day can make a big difference in your life, and we couldn’t be more on board! So we’ve put together a list of inspire(d) ideas to “kick the winter doldrums in the shins.” Jorgensen also added another great tip to our list that we couldn’t resist sharing: “Smile, even for no particular reason; scientists know that smiling generates good hormones, uplifts your mood, and – an added bonus here – prompts other people to smile back, which gives you warm fuzzies to beat the cold.” We love that.

MAKe TiMe for you There really is no such thing as “no time”. There is definitely “little time”, though, so you have to schedule the things you enjoy most – literally put them on your calendar on a time/day that you set, and stick with it. Go to a movie, get a beer or coffee with friends, take a yoga or meditation class (read some tips on meditation on page 32). If it were my schedule, I might get a massage, take a bath…maybe even pencil in a nap!


Winter 2013-14 /

DrinK coffee/ hoT chocolATe/ TeA Okay, that morning cup of coffee makes you feel happy and awake, but a cozy warm drink, sipped with a friend or by yourself on the couch – that’s all about taking care of you.


for real: dance! even if you’re terrible. (you’re not…)

PlAy Music while you’re showering This sounds so simple, but you’d be amazed at how a little music can change your whole outlook on the day. Pick a playlist that is upbeat and makes you nod your head. Now just keep nodding. This is you saying “yes” to your day, even if you didn’t know it!

Your Path to

Pure Holiday Happiness!

e c n e i r e p Ex Give the

of flavor!

Move! (no, noT souTh… your boDy!) “Practice the best antidote there is: exercise, dance, move your body in ways that generate blues-busting chemicals for your body and mind,” Jorgensen says. We agree, and so do experts at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (Check out the Rochester Boxed (IN on page 43!). A recent article published by Mayo connects exercise and stress relief: “Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management.” PLUS, THERE’S MORE! • Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. • Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. • It’s meditation in motion. After a workout, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do. • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life. • Do what you love. • Make a schedule and stick with it. • Set realistic, smart goals. • Find a workout buddy. (Be sure to consult with a doctor before beginning a new exercise program.) SR00036

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At Inspire(d) HQ, we are currently loving spinning, yoga, pilates…and dancing, of course. Always dancing. Oh – and who could forget sledding?! \ Winter 2013-14


De-clutter your space If you’re going to be inside all winter, you may as well like what you’re looking at! Walk around your house with a basket, filling it with things that don’t have a home. (You might need a pretty big basket. That’s okay.) When you’re done, look around and see if you’ve missed anything. Be relentless; surround yourself with only things you love! Next go through the basket and make piles: to donate, to recycle, to trash, and to keep. Get the first three piles out of your house as soon as possible, then come back to address the last pile. Find solutions for storing these items so they will be easy to find and

I’ll just start next month. My back/neck/hip hurts. I don’t have time. I’m too old.

put away in the future. Then look around at your tidy house and all the things (and people, of course) you love. It’s a happy thing, right?

An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus The Abarat by Clive Barker I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson Little Princes by Conor Grennan The Book Thief by Markus Zusak A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving Bossy Pants by Tina Fey Be Here Now by Ram Dass Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres Chapters From My Autobiography by Mark Twain When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris High Fidelity by Nick Hornby The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen Dan Eldon: The Art of Life by Jennifer New Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

Move furniture While you’re in house mode, maybe it’s the perfect time to rearrange! A new living room layout can feel like a new house! Take it a step further and learn a thing or two about feng shui. We enjoyed “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston.

Play in the snow Just embrace it. It’s here. Sledding, snow angels, snowball fights, snow forts, skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, snowmen. I’m already excited!

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< <<<< reAD insPiring booKs. While you’re checking on feng shui books, why not check out some other books that are inspiring/happy/funny? We asked our Facebook friends and readers what books were their favorites – what a great selection we got (at left)! Report back if you decide to read any of them! (

Clay Fun for Creative Kids!

mud club!

One Saturday/month from 6-8 pm -

For ages 5-12 $14 per session New project each month Mud Club t-shirts & tote bags available!

Check it out! reMinD yourself how lucKy you Are. soMeTiMes iT’s Annoying To heAr “hey, iT’s noT so bAD,” buT generAlly, iT’s True. so Try To reMeMber iT. AnD believe iT.

Visit for info & more clay fun like Family Workshops, Kinderclay, Regular or After School Classes, & Studio Hours!

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PuT Pen To PAPer Getting and sending mail feels good, and so does letting ink tell your thoughts to a piece of paper. Try it this winter! • Line up a pen pal • Write one thank you note a week • Write down all your crazy ideas in a notebook for future inspiration • Write a letter to your kids to open years down the road (or write a letter to your parents to give to them when you graduate or get married or just because).

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he dying of the lig ht. Dylan Th omas

MAKe hAPPy lisTs This is something I started doing in college when I felt a little down or (shhhh) homesick. I would take a piece of paper – it can be big or little – and absolutely cram it with things that made me happy. From coffee to best friends to nice sheets to scarves to fresh snow to chocolate. Usually by the end I was feeling…gasp…happy! I also tucked the lists away. It was fun to happen upon them randomly later – (almost) as good as finding a long-forgotten $20 in a winter coat!

MAKe PAncAKes on A weeKDAy

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Heritage Of Darkness A Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites Mystery From bestselling author Kathleen Ernst and Midnight Ink. Available through independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon in paperback and for Kobo, Nook, and Kindle.

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Sometimes the best thing about winter is leaving winter. If you can’t swing a ticket to warmer climes right now, start planning for a “someday” trip. Make a savings strategy and a folder filled with sunny images. Even if it takes a decade to collect the dough, the anticipation and Trip Advisor reviews will pull you through many a chilly night.

looK AT The sTArs (They seeM even brighTer in winTer) AnD leArn soMe consTellATions: Roxie has just started shouting MOON at night, and that, we think, is a great way to celebrate this dark, dark season. Look at the moon! Look at the stars! Get out there in that crisp air and breathe it in and just look up. While you’re at it, learn some constellations – it’s fun! Our favorites in the northern hemisphere winter sky are: Orion, Gemini (Benji’s sign), Taurus (Aryn’s sign), Pegasus, and Cassiopeia. Check out the cool site to learn more!

bAKe! I’m pretty sure winter exists almost purely for baked goods. Few things are cozier than a warm oven sending out delightful wafts of chocolate or apple or lemon or pumpkin or caramel or (you get it)… through your house.

TAKe A clAss (Art/language/ welding/cooking/knitting/coding) Check out your area college’s offerings – you can often audit courses, or even simply sit in (talk to the professor first). Also see what your arts organizations, galleries, and museums are up to, or even the local yarn shop or your chamber of commerce. You don’t have to wait until January 1 to tackle a goal or learn something new!

bring color bAcK: I love to have fresh flowers on my table – that shot of color brings a smile to my face every time. But you could also make paper flowers or even a paper heart garland for a wall (See page 25 – we’ve got a tutorial on

MAKe A new frienD Easier said than done, but boy is it nice to have friends. This new friend can be useful for planning trips, throwing dinner parties, coffee dates, as an exercise buddy or pen pal, or if you need help moving a couch! Pretty sweet dividends, right?

sPeAKing of Dinner PArTies… Small get-togethers make long winters zip by. Make it a potluck and it’s even easier! (Check out the Great Dinner Party infographic on page 38!)

blAnKeT forTs No matter if it’s one blanket or ten, “all the experts” agree a fort is a good activity. Even better yet, put together a little picnic and dine al tento. (< Totally a word.) Aryn Henning Nichols loves the first snowfall, but hates the 54th (you know, that one in May). Finding creative ways to get happy has been a lifelong goal, and a big part of why she started Inspire(d) Magazine with Benji over six years ago.

NO STRESS. NO WORK. NO WORRIES. Just convenient, fun, & affordable NorthLand tours. Where vacation is vacation!




Hawaii: Jan 16 - 25 Grand Canyon hiking: March 26 – 31 Legendary London: May 4 – 11 Colorado hiking: June 1 – 6 Alaska: August 15 – 27 (+land & cruise) New York City: Sept 26 – 30 California: Sept 29 – Oct 4

Washington DC: April 7 – 14 Mackinac Island: June 20 – 26 DC, Philly, & NY: Sept 9 – 20


Pacific NW by Rail: July 31 – Aug 9


open decorah

coworking community

Decorah’s new coworking space is

Open for

work collaboration fun convenience 24 hours/day

you Join us! 1–day pass: $15

10–day pass: $90 (valid for 60 days)

Monthly: $100

Includes mail & package service, 24/7/365 access, website listing & access to 3rd floor break room. 32

Meditation: not just for gurus! become present, calm, and inspired. begin meditating for 5-10 minutes today! by Thea Satrom LMT & Certified Zone Therapist

Key QuesTion: why do you want to meditate? Do you want less stress? less worry? More focus? sometimes the day goes by, and we realize we didn’t take any time for ourselves at all! write down your meditation goal. it’ll be the driving force when things get rough or you fall off the meditation wagon. first, let me say this: Meditation can be difficult. it isn’t like exercise where you can see and feel results immediately. it can be hard to see progress or to justify “simply sitting”. And yet, the brain is a muscle we can train. britta hölzel, PhD, one of the leading researchers of mindfulness meditation, says: “it is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.” STEP 1: Choose a time of day to sit for 5-15 minutes. This could be in the morning after a nice cup of tea or coffee, during a break in the day, or even before bedtime. It is helpful to choose the SAME time of day to meditate. STEP 2: Find the right space to sit. A quiet space, free from distractions, is preferred. Dim the lights or sit in darkness, if you can. Sometimes lighting a candle can also help calm and focus the mind. STEP 3: Get comfortable! It is best to keep your spine straight as the mind becomes easily distracted. Find a few blankets or a cushion to sit on in simple cross-legged position on the floor. If this isn’t comfortable, you could try sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor or lying down on the floor. However you can get comfortable, a straight spine is ideal. Make sure to note what relaxes you most – music/no music, special scents, warm or cool – every person is different. Step 4: Focus on your breath. Begin breathing in and out through your nose. Notice how your body feels and become aware of your thoughts. Then, bring your attention to the breath. Bringing your attention to the breath connects us to our bodies and helps us become present. MEDITATION #1 Begin to count your exhalations. Inhale and on your first exhalation, internally say “one”. Inhale again and on your second exhalation, internally say “two”. Notice that the “monkey mind” may have already brought you back to your work or the stress percolating or all the way to your dream vacation in Fiji. If your mind wanders, start back at “one”. See if you can get to “five” the first time around. This is surpisingly easier said than done. Our minds love to wander as they have not been trained to relax and be still. Practice this for a few days and see if you can get up to “ten”. MEDITATION #2: Envision your spine as a hollow tube. As you inhale, imagine a cold blue wave coming from the bottom of your feet to fill your spine up to the crown of your head. Once you reach the top of your head, on your exhalation, envision a warm red light coming down all the way to your feet. Repeat this for 5-10 minutes depending on how much time you have. Take a few breaths through your nose again and check in. How is your body/mind?


Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Great Clothes Take You Great P laces!

The perfect gift

Thea began Vedic meditation in 2001, and 2005 attended Naropa University, an accredited Buddhist University where she was introduced to Mahayana Buddhism. Shortly after, she traveled to New Zealand to study Iyengar yoga and Zen meditation with a former Zen monk. In 2009 Thea was initiated into Kriya meditation in Seattle, WA and was fortunate to travel to India with her mother last March to study Kriya from Gurunath Yogiraj Siddhanath at his ashram in Pune.

for any holiday!

MeDiTATion clAsses!

• Meditation classes: Mondays 6:45-7:45pm, December 9–february 3 (no classes December 23 & 30)


Thea and her mother, sonja satrom, licensed Mental health counselor and seasoned meditator, currently offer ongoing meditation classes in Decorah. They invite you to come and learn simple, effective breathing and meditation techniques during a 7-week meditation series. (at 402 upper broadway in Decorah)


Notice some days are easier than others. Be gentle. This is for you. No one else knows what’s going on inside your brain so be content with your progress whatever it might be. It can be incredibly frustrating, but try to bring your attention back to the breath. It takes discipline and determination, but once we can drop the baggage and simply be, this process will lead to peace of mind. STEP 5: Stretch. Stretching before or after meditation brings better results. It is important to be comfortable when you sit. STEP 6: Get a meditation book or attend a class. There are many different styles of meditation: mindfulness, transcendental, Zen, Kriya, and Buddhist Meditation, to name a few. Experiment with different styles to see what resonates with you. I found it easiest, at first, to be guided through the meditation practice. After attending various meditation classes, I discovered the style that resonated best for me, and you will too!

• community open meditation hours: Tuesdays 8:30-9:30am, wednesdays 12-1pm & 6-7pm, & Thursdays 6:30-7:30am. Please call or e-mail Thea satrom 303-913-6326 to register.

211 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa M.T.W.Fr.Sat 9-5 Thurs. 9-8 563.382.8940 \ Winter 2013-14



Proof by David Auburn, directed by Jeff Dintaman October 3 @ 7:30 • Oct 4 @ 9:30 • Oct 5 @ 1:30 and 7:30


Cabaret, directed by Bobby Vrtis & Jane Hawley music by John Kander & lyrics by Fred Ebb November 15, 21, & 22 @ 7:30 • Nov 16 @ 9:30 • Nov 23 @ 1:30 & 7:30

spring 2 spring 1

By Sara Friedl-Putnam

La Dispute by Marivaux, Adapted by Bobby Vrtis and students March 12 & 13 @ 7:30 • March 14 @ 9:30 • March 15 @ 1:30 & 7:30 Highway 57, An original dance work by Blake Nellis May 2, 3, 8, & 9 @ 7:30 • May 10 @ 1:30

2013-14 season

Theatre & Dance


Winter 2013-14 /

Books are banned. Viewing television has completely overtaken reading. Firemen ignite – rather than extinguish – fires. And a nuclear bomb obliterates an entire city. Inspired yet? If not, you should be. Sure, at first glance, the novel Fahrenheit 451 – “penned” by acclaimed science-fiction author Ray Bradbury on a typewriter in UCLA’s Powell Library 60 years ago – might not read inspiring. But any book that ignites – pun intended – an entire community to read, think, and debate is definitely something to write home about. “Fahrenheit 451 delivers a strong message that having access to literature matters – that reading is something worth fighting for,” says Tanya Gertz, Luther College director of campus programming. Gertz booked Aquila Theatre’s production of Fahrenheit 451 as part of Luther’s Center Stage Series (CSS) Friday, February 21. What can audience members expect from a production that takes on a heavy novel like Fahrenheit 451? Expert acting. Simple, distinctive sets. And, perhaps most of all, thoughtful interpretation of thought-provoking themes. “Aquila takes classic works and gives them a modern twist,” says Gertz of the company, founded in London and now headquartered in New York. “The troupe loves pieces that have real insight and spark conversation among audience members after they leave the theatre.” The CSS performance will mark the culmination of a communitywide reading project planned as part of Decorah’s celebration of Banned Books Week – a nationwide campaign that promotes the freedom to read. Locally, Decorah Public Library, Luther’s Preus Library, Dragonfly Books, and Decorah Community Schools ask residents of Decorah (and beyond!) to band together this winter to read Fahrenheit 451. Folks have debated Fahrenheit 451’s themes of censorship and thought-suppression since its 1953 publication, so the awardwinning novel was a logical choice for Banned Books Week. Usually held the last week in September – and expanded in Decorah due to the February CSS performance – the event strives to spread the word about the benefits of free and open access to information and the inevitable perils of censorship. Continued on next page

Gear up.

Patagonia • Stormy Kromer Marmot • ExOfficio • Buff • prAna Smartwool • Darn Tough

Be active.

THE HATCHERY 406 W. Water St, Downtown Decorah • 563-382-4103

Stay warm!

With Hatchery hats, mitts, & gloves! Dinner & a SNEAK PEEK Looking for even more reasons to venture out into the brisk Iowa weather for Fahrenheit 451 at Luther this February? Pair the Center Stage Series performance with a sizzling dinner (think “firehouse”- grilled chicken or tofu with a roasted red pepper purée) prepared by the college’s culinary team as well as a “sneak-peek” discussion of the production by Aquila actors in advance of the show.

Don’t be a chicken ... get out there! Home of the ‘Quality

Chick’ T-SHIRT



“Fahrenheit 451 was a perfect fit with Banned Books Week for obvious reasons,” says Kristin Torresdal, Decorah Public Library’s administrative coordinator. “It was also a pretty straightforward to decision to plan events to coincide with the Center Stage Series performance – our goal is to engage varied segments of the community, and we hope this integrated effort will do that.” As temperatures drop, Driftless Region residents will settle down with a print (or, Aquila photo courtesy Drake McLaughlin yes, electronic) version of Fahrenheit 451 – perhaps revisiting a classic first read in high school or maybe even experiencing the work for the first time. Throughout Decorah, a variety of programming – discussion groups, “fireside” chats, film screenings, even a “lifelong-learning” seminar – will be held in conjunction with the “all-read”. Fifteen print copies – donated by Kate Rattenborg, owner of local indie-bookshop Dragonfly Books – will be available for check out from the Decorah Public Library, which will host a discussion group and a screening of the 1966 film in advance of the CSS performance. Torresdal describes the library’s planned discussion group as a “low-key, inclusive, and informal forum for people to share their thoughts.”


Whether you’re interested in participating in a book discussion, venturing out for an evening at the theatre, or – better yet – both, Rattenborg, for one, hopes you’ll dive into one of her all-time favorite novels. “Our goal is to have people read and discuss this classic book, further reinforcing the notion that our world has not become what Bradbury envisioned when he wrote it,” she says. “Fahrenheit 451 underscores the value of knowledge and the idea that even in a society where there is resistance to literature, we can still keep stories alive. That’s pretty cool.” Or hot! Read Fahrenheit 451 and decide for yourself this winter.

Though Sara Friedl-Putnam hates to admit that more than 30 years have passed since she first read Fahrenheit 451, she nonetheless enjoyed revisiting Bradbury’s classic work while writing this article.

more information dragonfly books: decorah public library: center stage series production of fahrenheit 451:

breakfast • lunch • dinner • weekend brunch Fun this Winter:

Live from the Hotel Winneshiek:

Tuesday night Jazz! Visit the Tap Room Open Daily at 4


Life is

Tap Room

delicious at

Winneshiek Join Chef Tom and his culinary team as they bring you locally-sourced made-from-scratch dishes 7 days a week.

Book online or call now for great winter getaway rates! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

What We’re


right now

a little list of what we at inspire(d) think is the current cat’s meow in the driftless region mud club and night (out) at the museum You get a night out and your kid gets a fun, educational activity? Win/win! We’ve long-loved La Crosse Children’s Museum’s “Night (Out) at the Museum”. Kids age three to 11 get to run around exploring the museum (supervised, of course) – plus additional activities – from 5:30-8pm scheduled Fridays. $11/member child or $16/non-member child (must preregister/pay). Winter dates: Jan 31, Feb 14, and Feb 28. Additional dates/details at In Decorah, The Clay Studio hosts a a really cool Mud Club for kids age five to 12. Create a clay project, eat popcorn, and hang out with other Mud Clubbers. Lessons are taught with step-by-step instruction one Saturday/ month from 6-8 pm. $14 per session. Winter dates: Dec 7, Jan 11, and Feb 1. Additional dates/details at

dragonfly books author readings When Aryn went to college at the University of Iowa, she loved going to author readings at Prairie Lights Bookstore. It was so inspiring to see the REAL PEOPLE behind all those pages. So it’s exciting to see that lovely Decorah has an Indie bookshop that’s also hosting great author readings! Dragonfly Books has brought authors ranging from the Driftless Region’s own David Rhodes to children’s book author Margi Preus. This December 8, well-known author/illustrator Warren Hanson will be in-store, reading at 2 pm. And on January 16 at 7 pm, local authors Larry Reis and Jeffery Skeate will speak about the landscape and natural world of Northeast Iowa. Details at

Jan brett exhibit at vesterheim museum It has been a busy couple of months at Vesterheim in Decorah, but ‘The World of Jan Brett’ doesn’t disappear until January 5th, so if you have kids, grandkids, neighbor-kids, or even just like kids books – you really shouldn’t miss this fun and hands-on exhibit. Brett’s books come alive with a six-foot tall ‘Hedgie’ the hedgehog, multiple almost life-size pairs of animals ‘On the Ark’, a play ginger bread house, a full ‘chicken coop’ and so many more activities. But as LeVar Burton used to say “Don’t take my word for it…” • Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Friends & Their Gingerbread House, December 15, 1-4pm • Hedgie’s Pajama Party! December 27, 6:30-8pm (Free) • Jan Brett Blowout! January 2, 1:30-3:30pm (Free)

kickapoo valley reserve (kvr) winter festival On January 11, 2014 take a fieldtrip to the family-friendly KVR Winter Festival! Activities include skating, sledding, skiing, archery, snow sculpture, ice cave hikes, horse-drawn bobsled rides, snowshoe exhibit, Tri-state Malamute Club Sled Dog Race and weight pull, mutt race, and much more. The La Farge Lions Club hosts an annual chili and bread contest for the public too. Kickapoo also hosts an auction of goods and services produced in the Kickapoo Valley with proceeds benefitting the KVR Education Program. To view the full schedule visit winterfest. Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, Wisconsin.

walk-in wellness Winter doesn’t often equal wellness, but it can be such a good time to take care of yourself, or even tackle preventative care. Winneshiek Medical Center offers a great program to help: Walk-In Wellness Testing, from 7 am to 12 pm, Monday through Friday. No doctor’s order needed – simply register at the Main Entrance, pay for the labs you choose, and head to the Laboratory for testing. Test options range from just one lab – like cholesterol – to the ‘Almost Kitchen Sink’ of Blood Work that is the Community Wellness test ($45 – must fast for 10-12 hours previous). Results are mailed to the patient within five business days. Walk-In Wellness Testing is also available from 7:30 am – 2 pm, Monday through Friday in the WinnMed Mabel Clinic (114 Main St. South, Mabel, MN).

Northeast Iowa’s premier wedding destination venue!

Spend your special day in a casual, elegant setting overlooking the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River. Enjoy the Amish-built post and beam barn and restored one room school house – along with outdoor patios and beautiful garden spaces – located just outside Decorah, Iowa.

Visit us at or call 563-419-8902 \ Winter 2013-14




hether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, or just a regular day of the week (or its end), dinner parties are great fun. Throw a string of twinkly lights across your dining room, a pitcher of water on the table, and some drinks in your best friends’ hands and you’re ready!

Dinner Party by the numbers!


A Great

Set up an appetizer area. Some snacks when guests arrive is a great way to take the pressure off the


cook. Let friends nibble

Number of appetizers to prepare per person

while you make sure the risotto is creamy or the pork cooked-through. Quick labels can spark

conversations without having to repeatedly

Estimated Alcohol content

answer, “What’s this?”

High Life Golden Nugget IPA Champagne/sparkling wine Cabernet Sauvigion Maker’s Mark Manhattan

5% 7% 13% 14% 45%

A pre-mixed signature drink can be so much cheaper and infinitely easier than buying bottles of beer (that you have to recycle later) or mixing individual cocktails (although that’s fun too). Also convenient: Wine or growlers of beer or even bubbles. Offer a couple of varieties and make sure your glasses are good to go in the dishwasher.

to 6 8


{ 3

Average number of guests at a dinner party

…is better than one when it comes to party planning. If you find you don’t need the help, at least you’ll have a partner-in-crime for cocktail testing!


Roughly the number of songs you’ll need on a playlist to cover a three-hour party.


(insert time ) before:

(month) Invite friends & plan menu (week) Make & purchase your grocery list (day) Prep food, dishes (etc), & clean/decorate! Make a Paper Heart Garland! Tutorial at Write the menu on a chalkboard or big piece of paper. • Set the table: Put a little color in the middle – flowers, tiny trees, rosemary sprigs... • Use drink markers to keep cocktails wth their owners.

the y b se e e Ch

1/2 pound

$6.99 Prairie Breeze Cheddar: $7.50 Sartori Balsalmic BellaVitano: $7.99 Montechevre Goat Cheese: $6.99 St. Pete’s Bleu Cheese:

(Inspire(d) favorites listed here) Source: Oneota Food Co-op

Travel in style in a vintage cable car–style trolley! Perfect for weddings, prom, parties, parades, & more! FEATURING: • Antique wooden seats • Vintage glass & rails

• Open-air or enclosed • Front & rear heat • PA system.

563-419-8902 •

Travel by Trolley . Travel in Style . Celebrating over 50 years in business!

Number of courses to plan for your dinner party

USDA MyPlate

Appetizers. Dinner. Dessert. Keep it simple. Plan dishes you could make with your eyes closed. There are times to try new recipes, but this is not it! (Unless that’s your idea of fun!) Make it family-style – let guests serve themselves.

Where’ s dessert < on this thing?

Grains: 30% Vegetables: 30% Fruits: 20% Protein (meat fish eggs beans etc):20% Dairy: <5%

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on. 3 Goldsmiths, a Graduate Gemologist, and a Watchmaker on staff!

Reasons to Party in the Winter (at least!) Infographic by Aryn Henning Nichols / Inspire(d) Media /

Mon: 9 am - 8 pm . Tues - Fri: 9 am - 5 pm . Sat: 9 am - 3 pm

31 West Main Street . Waukon, Iowa

800.932-7028 . 563-568-3661 . \ Winter 2013-14


frozen river film festival winona, minnesota January 22-26, 2014


Questions with crystal hegge festival director


ate January in the Driftless Region can be rough, even for the heartiest of Midwestern souls. But for the last nine years, the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minnesota, has been keeping the fire stoked and the light shining – on the screen! With amazing independent, documentary, short, and feature films, the festival brings the campus of Winona State University to life with viewers from across the region. Plus, additional events spread throughout the town, and opportunities to meet and engage both filmmakers and the community are abundant.

Nothing but the best for our patients. • Same day crowns, veneers, & bridges with CEREC CAD technology • Less radiation & better diagnostics through digital x rays & records • Soft tissue laser to help heal canker sores & cold sores without a scalpel, drastically reducing healing time • New “wand anesthesia systems” that allow us to numb your teeth without a shot • State of the art building & equipment, with Wi-Fi in the waiting room • Wide range of all white & ceramic filling options • Now offering Invisalign

We’re here to make you smile.

Dr. Peter J. Blodgett • Dr. John E. Wilmes • Dr. Lana W. McDermott 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3657 • • Find us on 40

Winter 2013-14 /

Crystal Hegge, Festival Director since 2009, has been involved with Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF) in one-way or another since the very start. FRFF’s goal is “to engage, educate, and activate viewers to become involved in the world… providing a unique perspective on environmental issues, sustainable communities, and extreme sports.” For the upcoming Festival, January 22 to 26, Hegge has been hard at work with the FRFF committee lining up 50+ screenings for such films as: Duk County: The story of world-class climber Dr. Geoff Tabin and “Lost Boy of Sudan” John Dau as they travel to the extremes of Sudan to help restore the vision of more than 200 people suffering from curable blindness, something Tabin has also done in Nepal and Rwanda. Gold Fever: With the rising price of gold, this film documents the life of women living and working near the Marlin Gold Mine in Guatemala’s Highlands. Tales of oppression, intimidation, pollution, and even murder play out while corporate profits skyrocket. Tempting Fear: “Could you get the thrill of your life and feel truly alive if you knew they were perfectly safe?” asks world-class extreme skier Andreas Fransson in this high-action film. Fransson confronts massive danger and takes a deeper look to reveal an inward-gazing individual whose musings about life on the edge are thoughtful and eloquent. inspire(d) caught up with crystal hegge to ask five Questions about frff & winona!

1) What film are you most excited about so far for the 2014 FRFF? I’m excited for all the Minnesota films that are coming this year! When you go to the film section on our website ( use the dropdown box to select MN and check out what people in this state are creating. A full list will be up by mid-December.

Kathy Florin (L), FRFF Assistant Director & Crystal Hegge, FRFF Director at the 2012 MountainFilm Festival in Telluride

Experience the joy of making things at Vesterheim’s Folk Art School

2) In the past five years, how have you seen FRFF impact your community and region? Winona State University signed an environmental impact agreement with the city since the first FRFF started bringing awareness to ways communities can improve their impact on the environment. A community garden was started with seed money from FRFF and land that was donated by Winona Health that is still going today. Riverway Learning Community started a garden and education program that uses the food to supplement 30% of all the food they serve their k-12. We have also seen a campaign rise out of the film

January 11-12 Adults and Families: Reclaim your Christmas Tree

Carving with Rebecca Hannah and Darlene Fossum-Martin

February 14-16 Turning Wooden Ale Bowls with a Human-Powered Spring Pole Lathe Roger Abrahamson

To be well, you have to

February 14-16 Scandinavian Style Flat Plane Figure Carving

Register today! Discover Decorah area holistic health services & events on one easy-to-use site.

Harley Refsal

Visit for a complete 2014 schedule.


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center

502 W. Water St., Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9681 • \ Winter 2013-14


festival to protect the pollinators in our community – a theme which will again be featured this year through the film “More Than Honey.” And Winona State Students have worked on a campaign to ban plastic bags after being inspired to do so at the festival.



3) What’s your favorite movie snack? Beer! I read an article about a guy who paired different beers with movies – like different wines with certain foods. The type of beer you have would enhance your movie viewing experience. He suggests Citizen Kane with Anchor Old Foghorn. I always thought coming up with my own list and having a weekend marathon would be fun. Recreationally, I prefer science fiction and Woody Allen. That would be a fun list!

Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

2014 Seed Catalog available in December Call, go online, or stop at the Visitors Center

50 

2013 Seeds

Gifts for everyone on your list



• Books • Sorghum • Jams • Jellies • Honey • Maple Syrup • Floursack Towels • Cooking Beans • T-Shirts • Gift Cards • Gardening Tools & more


Lillian Goldman Visitors Center

December Hours: Open Fri 9-5 • Sat & Sun 10-5 Closing for the season December 22

SaverS exchange  Seed 3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990 • 563-382-6104

Movement for Health & Well-Being

4) If the FRFF budget magically ballooned overnight, what would be your biggest wish for the festival? I would like to include a category of awards where we give back to some of the organizations featured in the films. In 2013 the film BIDDER 70 won two cash awards at the festival. The film featured Tim DeChristopher and the organization he started called Peaceful Uprising. It was a great honor to recognize the filmmaker and his accomplishments telling their story. It would also have been an honor to recognize the organization for its environmental accomplishments across the country. That said, we are very fortunate to currently have the generous support of Winona State University, Minnesota State Arts Board, Winona National Bank, and Mountainfilm in Telluride. 5) What are your top three places a first-time visitor to Winona can’t miss? A walk or snowshoe on the frozen Mississippi River! The boathouses on Latsch Island. Bloedow donuts. (Ed. note: Inspire(d) also suggests the Blue Heron, the Boat House restaurant, and Ed’s No Name Bar!) More information on Frozen River Film Festival at

Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome! Jo Iverson | 563-382-4445

Decorah, Iowa

Special Orders Available • Try us at the Oneota Food Co-op! 42

Winter 2013-14 /

in the mood for more films? check out decorah’s oneota film festival feb 28 to march 2, 2014. In its fifth year, Oneota Film Festival (OFF) features critically acclaimed, independent films that focus on “the issues of our time,” plus guest filmmakers and discussion panels. “We are looking at an extraordinary set of new documentaries to show,” OFF Film Curator Kristin Torresdal says. “And for the first time, we will show some animated works and a special set of films exploring personal wellness.” This year, OFF will again screen at Luther College, but also T-Bock’s Upstairs, and the Decorah High School. Coinciding in 2014 with the Luther College Ethnic Arts Festival, and KDEC Home Expo at the high school, the OFF schedule will allow festival-goers to attend portions of all these fun events. Make sure to schedule time to catch the Filmmakers Reception after the festival at T-Bock’s Upstairs as well! OFF also welcomes film suggestions from the public through January 15 online at To be considered for submission, films must be released in 2012 or after, primarily documentaries not widely accessible through Netflix, YouTube, or other mass sources. All films and the reception are free of charge. Details at

boXeD (in): rochester mn! geT ouT wiTh The geese!

rochester, minnesota, is known around the world for almost entirely one thing: The Mayo Clinic. Okay, and geese. And rightfully so on both fronts! When Dr. William W. Mayo came to Rochester in 1863 to examine Civil War draftees, no one could have guessed what would become of the small facility he and his sons created. From the start of St. Mary’s Hospital in 1889 with the Sisters of St. Francis, to the creation of the Mayo Clinic and their 35,000+ employees in Rochester, Mayo puts this city on the Map! And that future is only growing as Mayo, Civic, and State leaders work to create a 20-year ‘Destination Medical Center’ plan. But we know there’s a lot more to Rochester than just Mayo – and we’re going to help you get exploring!

Photo by Olive Juice Studios

Photo by Dan Riggott

Rochester has extensive public space and trail systems that are worth the time to explore no matter your age or ability. More info at:

geTTing ArounD: The first thing you should know about Rochester is how to get around! The city is built around the south fork of the Zumbro River. All streets lay out in NW, SW, NE, and SE quadrants from downtown – streets going east and west, avenues going north and south. You’ll need to pay attention so you don’t end up in a residential neighborhood on 7th Street SE when looking for Silver Lake on 7th Street NE. Don’t worry, though – it all makes sense on a map! That said, Rochester’s 85 (yes – 85!) paved miles of bike trails are also a fantastic way to get around the city. Many are groomed for winter use as snow allows and they connect all over the city. Find maps: If you are headed downtown or to the Mayo Campus, make special note of the skyway and pedestrian subway systems. In fact, the underground walking routes also feature many fun shops and restaurants! The Mayo Clinic itself also sports two surprisingly fun display areas: Heritage Hall in the lobby of the Mayo Building, and a historic display of the Mayo brothers’ offices on the third floor of the Plummer Building. (Cont. next page) Mayo maps can be found at

silver lake 700 West Silver Lake Drive NE Silver Lake is a great place to see Canadian geese (lots of geese!) and throw them a handful of corn or breadcrumbs. But be warned, they’ll ask you for more! The park also features Kayak, paddleboat, and bike rentals (tandems too!), as well as fishing, a skate park, adventure playground, and more. history center of olmsted county 1195 West Circle Drive SW History comes to life through historical and educational exhibits, such a the 38 room Mayowood Mansion and grounds, home of Dr. and Mrs. Charles W. Mayo, built in 1910-11 and currently under renovation. Holiday Tours are a regional favorite and fill quickly (2014 tour schedule TBA). peace plaza, downtown rochester At the heart of downtown Rochester where 1st Ave and 1st St. meet is Peace Plaza. The green space plays host to multiple ongoing events throughout the year. Winter features the “SocialICE” event – local establishments create fully serviceable ice bars, complete with glasses, couches, benches, luges, tables, and more. Check the web for monthly listings!

Come home to Decorah!


SOLD! “W 563.380.8911

Downtown Decorah 222 West Water Street

Solar means free electricity!

orking with Tom Massman Construction was the best decision we made in building our new home. From start to finish,they were skilled, professional, creative & kind. We are thrilled, & are thankful to TMC for their excellent work.” - Pat & Karen Trewin Sustainable Builders/PV Solar Tom: 563.380.6712 Travis: 563.380.7912 \ Winter 2013-14


NOW is always the right time to tune up or upgrade your mower or blower! TOP-OF-THE-LINE BRANDS – TORO • CUB CADET

Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws, & More!

“Delicious food + great atmosphere = fun!” 117 W. WATER ST., DECORAH, IA • 563.382.WINE DINNER: WED-SAT – OPEN AT 5 SUNDAY BRUNCH: 9-1 bar menu also available RESERVATIONS APPRECIATED


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Folkedahel Servic


We’ll take care of it! Pick up & delivery available

563-382-4010 • 563-380-5851 44

Winter 2013-14 /

RAC Photo courtsey Rochester Art Center

302 College Drive, Decorah, IA 563-382-4856 • M-F 8-5 • Sat 8-3

We service all brands.

oxbow park/zollman zoo 5731 County Rd 105 NW Byron, Minnesota Zoo – 10am-4pm, park open until 7pm • Just miles from Rochester, Oxbow Park offers camping, hiking, cross country skiing, & the Zollman Zoo – for free! Perfect for kids, the zoo features over 30 species of wild animals native to MN!

Zzest • Photo by Olive Juice Studios


Quarry hill nature center 701 Silver Creek Road NE • www. • This 320-acre park may just be the jewel of Rochester’s park system. The nature center is open year-round, 7 days a week, with free admission! Featuring everything from educational outdoor programs to revolving exhibits like “Hatching the Past – dinosaur eggs and babies” (This Feb-March!), plus a great collection of mounted animals, hands-on items, and a huge fish aquarium.

minnesota children’s museum of rochester (Thurs–Sun only) • 1643 N. Broadway St, • River Center Plaza A satellite of the Children’s Museum of St. Paul, the museum features traveling exhibits, special activities, & lots of hands on experiences catered to kiddos! rochester art center 40 Civic Center Drive SE Closed Monday-Tuesday In 1946 the Center’s founding board set out “to make Rochester a cultural center worthy of its scientific achievement.” Through many homes and hands, this institution has held Rochester’s artistic torch, & since 2004 calls the gorgeous building next to the Mayo Civic Center home. “Free Family Day” is every Thursday and the 1st Saturday of each month, and the Center offers many special opportunities like “Art for Lunch”! prairie walls climbing gym 4420 19th Street NW 26 ropes available for top-rope climbing on over 10,000 Sq Ft, as well as extensive bouldering areas. Outdoor/Indoor climbing gear is also available for purchase. Jolly Jumpz bounce world 4430 19th St NW A 15,000 square-foot indoor inflatable playland! Parents lounge features free wi-fi & big screen TV.

fooD, glorious fooD!

a Quick look at some of the best dining in rochester. zzest • 1190 16th Street SW Rochester • Rochester’s hidden (in a strip mall!) amazing gourmet market, fromagerie, café, brick oven pizza patio mecca! sontes • 4, 3rd Street SW 40 Wines by the glass, stunning small plates, locally sourced ingredients, and so much more. Beautiful cozy spaces abound. tap house • 10, 3rd Street SW 50 beautiful beers on tap, deli/bakery/coffee counter, contemporary atmosphere. daube’s • 1310 5th Place NW also Daube’s Down Under, pedestrian subway • www. Beautiful baked goods including the Chocolate Carrot Cake!

Sontes • by Olive Juice Studios

victoria’s restaurant 7, 1st Ave SW • www. Great italian with great service.

flapdoodles homemade ice cream 3525 22nd Ave NW www.flapdoodlesicecream. com Silly named, delicious, homemade ice cream emporium. The menu is a comedy of its own, and the ice cream is no joke! people’s food coop 519 1st Ave SW • Brand spankin’ new, gorgeous, food coop and eatery downtown. Also features comprehensive cooking and wellness classes and opportunities.


india garden • 1107 N Broadway Good Indian lunch buffet in a no-frills environment.

redwood room • 300 1st Ave NW • This subterranean spot features a moderately priced bistro menu with conversation-level live music.

mango thai • 318 S Broadway St. Paul favorite’s southern sister. sok dee • 4180 18th Ave NW Find them on Facebook! Quick order counter service Thai & Lao food. Mmmmhmmmm. newt’s burgers & fries Downtown: 216 1/2 1st Ave SW North: 5231 E. Frontage Rd Great Burgers. Great Beer. Weekend brunch is worth it just for the “Breakfast Bloody Mary”. mac’s cafÉ • 20, 1st Ave SW (on Peace Plaza) • “Iconic American and Greek Cuisine” served up by the Psomas family. Great breakfast, traditional greek favorites in a café setting. nupa Express: 1035 Civic Center Dr NW South: 4102 Crossroads Dr SW Fantastic, quick Mediterranean food served up by the Mac’s folks. Kabab, Falafel, Gyros, fresh cut fries, & more. rainbow cafe 212 South Main St., Pine Island. Seasonal and traditional menu focusing on many locally sourced ingredients. Great bottle beer and wine by the glass selection.

the doggery • 18 Third St SW Find them on Facebook! New prohibition, vintage-feeling cocktail room & hotspot fittingly on 3rd St.

rochester civic theatre 20 Civic Center Dr SE Started in 1951, RCT has been producing & presenting great theater, live music, & dance while offering classes, advanced training, & performance opportunities for actors of all ages. creative salon www.c4mn.orgf 324 1st Ave SW C4 (Concerned Citizens for a Creative Community) Flexible Art Space. Check them out for ongoing pop-up, music, and visual art driven downtown events! canvas & chardonnay 317 S Broadway They provide an evening with stepby-step art instruction, canvas, paints, brushes, and beverages. You show up, have fun, and leave with a beautiful piece of art!

Visit our 160-year-old Norwegian-built log house & working farm with heritage cattle, sheep, & chickens. Come take in the stunning landscape & explore Trout River, one of the best trout fishing streams in the Midwest.


Decorah, Iowa | 563.419.5634




Toppling Goliath Backpocket Tallgrass & More


563-538-4228 • 359 Main St. Lansing, Iowa

MENTION THIS AD FOR 20% OFF Doris Pfister Thompson, LMT, Owner

563-379-9700 •105 N Maryville St (Hwy 52) Calmar, Iowa

whiskeybones roadhouse 3820 N Broadway Local roadhouse presenting solid regional & national music acts. KATHY’S PUB • 307 S Broadway Downtown juke joint featuring good regional music on the weekends! \ Winter 2013-14


hold the lutefisk!

let’s talk norwegian pastries

story and photos by Jim McCaffrey

We get a little excited about GoOD Food.


ven though i have lived in the heart of norwegian culture for more than 50 years, i still haven’t been able to put a handle on the scandahoovian enamorment with a piece of white fish (usually cod), coated and preserved in an ample amount of lye. and that’s no lie. this dish is considered a delicacy?

grocery • bulk • produce café • meat • cheese bakery • wine/beer supplements body care Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

Summer Hours (Apr-Oct) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Winter Hours (Nov-Mar) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.382.4666


Winter 2013-14 /


FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa

I, personally, have had first-hand experience with removing the lye residue to make the cod fit for human consumption. Well… maybe Norwegian consumption. I worked at a local grocery store in Decorah – Jack and Jill – owned by a wonderful couple, Bob and Arlene Houlihan. Being a small establishment, everybody pitched in on whatever project was needed each day. When the Thanksgiving and Christmas season rolled around, the meat department would get big wooden crates shipped in. They were loaded with large filets of cod steeped in, of course, lye. I, and my fellow stockmen, were handed large, heavy-duty, blue rubber gloves that went past one’s elbows. Wayne, the meat department head, told us to put ‘em on and start grabbing fish. But no eye rubbing! Talk about caustic. Someone would hold a filet over the sink while another sprayed it off. Once rinsed, it was patted dry and sent down the line to the butchers for packaging. That did it for me. I can’t even bear to watch the lutefisk-eating contest at Nordic Fest now…. ugh! Luckily, our Scandinavian friends are famous for delicacies that are – in my book - far more delicious. Hold the lutefisk! Let’s talk Norwegian pastries! Wonderful, delicate, and truly great treats. My Norwegian friends will burn me at the stake for desecrating the sanctity of their beloved lutefisk, so I thought I better share one of the many redeeming qualities of their native food heritage. I contacted Darlene Fossum-Martin, Education Specialist at Vesterheim Museum and unofficial Norwegian Pastry Specialist in the Decorah area to see if she could help. “Well, Jim, I am doing a demonstration of Norwegian pastries at the Bethania Church in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you come join me?” Talk about serendipity! It was an invitation I couldn’t resist. Darlene was deep-frying a rossetter when I arrived. “These would get a white ribbon while my mom’s would always take the blue,” she says. I don’t know, Darlene, they looked and tasted pretty good to me. Rosettes, along with krumkaker and fattigman, are some of the more popular Norwegian treats to make, and were the three Darlene was featuring at the class. “These were the Christmas cookies my grandmothers grew up with and my parents grew up with. Christmas was not Christmas if these cookies did not grace the tables,” she says. “When I was young my job was to put the rosettes in the sugar after they came out of the hot lard, roll the krumkaker onto the wooden dowel and sprinkle the fattigman with powdered sugar.” She showed me an electric krumkaker iron (think waffle iron). Its plates had intricate designs that Darlene thought were from preelectric days when krumkake was made over open fires. Pretty cool! Darlene teaches a Seven Cookies of Christmas every year at Vesterheim as well (mark your calendars: April 13, 2014). “I do it in hopes that these traditional Norwegian Christmas cookies that have been served at Christmas beginning with Norwegian immigration will remain a popular cookie for generations to come,” she says. “In visiting with Norwegian students from Norway, and attending Luther College, I have found that many have not even heard of these cookies and if they have heard of them, they have not tasted them. There is a lot of truth to the fact that Vesterheim is a caretaker of many of the old Norwegian traditions that came with the first immigrants to this country.” The following recipes (next page) are from Darlene’s collection and are mouth-watering delicious. Mange Tak, Darlene! Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and co-owner with his family of McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita restaurant and Twin Springs Bakery just outside Decorah. He is author of humorous cookbooks “Midwest Cornfusion” and “Mississippi Mirth”. He has been in the food industry in one way or another for more than 40 years.

Flora Metamorphicae Individuality and Collaboration Tradition and Change

4,000 original ceramic flowers by six Norwegian artists uniquely arranged in our inspiring space. On view Dec. 7, 2013 - Nov. 16, 2014 Look for special programs in connection with the exhibition. Sponsored by The Iowa Arts Council, Sons of Norway Foundation, Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge in Decorah, Joseph Keiger, and Dan Huebner.

Nor wegian sweaters, games and toys, jewelry, original art, and other great items at Vesterheim’s Museum Store


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

recipes courtesy darlene fossum-martin

KRUMKAKER 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 egg 1 cup whole milk 1 ¼ cup flour & ½ tsp. baking powder, 1/8 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla In a medium bowl beat sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add milk & vanilla. Mix well. Add melted butter and beat well. Let batter stand for about 20-30 minutes before baking. Preheat krumkaker iron. Open iron; lightly spray top and bottom of iron with vegetable oil or brush with shortening or melted butter. Spoon one tablespoon batter onto center of hot iron and close. Bake about 1 minute until cookie is lightly browned. (When iron stops steaming check to see if cookie has browned). Insert tip of knife under cookie to remove from iron. Roll hot cookie onto a round or cone form immediately. Cool on rack. Cookies become crisp as they cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Store baked cookies in airtight containers. You can also keep them frozen for several months.

ROSETTER: (Delicate, tender pastries) Although rosetter are an old Norwegian traditional food, they never attained the popularity in Norway as they did in Norwegian America. They grace the Christmas table in their many shapes of stars, snowflakes, flowers and hearts to only name a few. They will keep up to six months in an airtight container or in the freezer. ROSETTER 2 eggs 1 T. sugar 3 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup whole milk 1 cup flour Beat slightly the 2 eggs with an electric mixer, set aside. Combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk in a bowl, beat well and strain to remove any lumps. Add 1 tbsp. sugar, ¼ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix well with electric mixer. Lastly stir in the two slightly beaten eggs only until blended. Heat Crisco shortening in a deep-fat fryer 350 – 375 degrees. While heating shortening dip the rosette iron into fat and heat this at the same time. Blot the hot iron quickly on a paper towel and dip iron into batter just to the top edge of the iron. Do not let batter flow over top of iron. Lower the iron into the hot oil. Loosen the rosette from the iron when it starts to turn color. Turn the rosette carefully and cook until the rosette is golden brown on both sides. Drain well on a paper towel and dip in granulated sugar when still warm. Place finished rosetter on a cookie sheet with paper towel and place in a 225-degree oven for 25 minutes. This draws out some of the oil resulting in a crispier rosette.

More than 200 miles of groomed trails!

For A

“One of America’s Prettiest Towns” – Forbes magazine

Snuggle up at one of many cozy B&Bs or romantic hotels. Weekday rates will surprise you!

Discover boutiques, art galleries and coffee shops in beautiful downtown Decorah

Indulge in gourmet restaurants, bistros and incredible pizza joints

Ski, skate or ice fish for a fun experience and scenery unlike anywhere else in Iowa | 800.463.4692

Pamper yourself at a local spa or salon. You deserve it!

Call or CliCk for a free Visitor’s Guide!

FATTIGMANN 2 eggs, well beaten 2 1/2 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. brandy ½ tsp. lemon extract ½ tsp. rum 1/8 tsp. salt ¾ cup flour (may need a little more to make a soft dough) Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add extracts, sugar, salt and mix well. Stir in flour to make a soft dough. Chill overnight. Work with small portions of dough, handling as little as possible, keep remaining dough chilled. On a lightly floured board, roll dough out to 1/8” thickness and cut into 3” x 3” diamond shapes with a fluted pastry wheel. Make a lengthwise slash through the center of the diamond. (Corner of dough can be pulled through the slash to form a half knot). Deep fry in Crisco oil at 350 - 375 degrees to a golden brown. Turn the cookies as soon as they float to the surface or there will be bubbles in the dough. Turn the cookies a couple more times. Cool on absorbent toweling and dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight tin in a cool place.

Fine Casual Decorah Dining

Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs / kids pizzas Thursday: Chef’s Choice Check Friday: Blackened Salmon for special daily dishes! Saturday: Steak of the Week Pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, homemade cheesecake & more! NAMED BEST PIZZA IN IOWA BY USA TODAY! Gift certificates available!


2149 Twin Springs Road, Decorah, Iowa 4-9 pm Wed – Fri | 11-9 pm Sat | 11-8 pm Sun



FATTIGMANN: (dough twisted into a fancy shape and deep fried) A respected Christmas cookie dating back to the mid 19th century. Cookies fried in unsalted fat have medieval origins. Those of lesser means often employed this method of food preparation, as perhaps attested by the name fattigmann (poor man). Cream, eggs and butter were easy to come by on the Norwegian farms where the recipe probably originated. They were popular in towns among every class. Fattigmann achieved early and widespread popularity among the Norwegian immigrants in America as well.

Evening Specials!

Specializing in wood-fired pizza & International Cuisine!

ADOPTION CENTER CAPITAL CAMPAIGN Engrave a brick in memory of a loved one, yourself or a business for only $250 as a forever sign of your support. Or, name an Adoption Center kennel or room. See Adoption Center plans & how you can participate at or email

GREAT GREAT PIZZA! DINNERS! Celebrating our 60th anniversary!

110 East Water St 563-382-4297

Banquet facilities - weddings, conferences, meetings, & more!

1101 Highway 9 563-387-0300

Groundbreaking for the Adoption Center will be Spring 2014. HSNEI Adoption Center expected opening September 2014. \ Winter 2013-14


probituary – a notice of life!

richard simon hanson loves to learn, teach, and share Interviewed by Benji Nichols • BW photo courtsey Luther College Archives: Decorah, IA

Dr. Richard Simon Hanson grew up in rural Wisconsin with a love of farm life that has led a journey of learning, teaching, and sharing. He was ordained, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and is a Professor Emeritus of Religion at Luther College where he taught for almost 40 years. He and his wife, Rita, were married for over 55 years and had four children throughout their life’s adventures. A highly respected storyteller, Chaplin, caregiver, mentor, and educator, Richard Simon now spends many days a week volunteering and visiting with those giving and receiving skilled, nursing home, and hospice care. He was a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls archaeology and translation team, and was awarded the Carnegie Foundation ‘US Professor of the Year Award’ for Iowa in 1998. He is the author of several theological and related works, including his own translation of the Book of Psalms. Hanson is also featured in the eight-part DVD series “How the Bible Happened” which was hosted by the NE Iowa Unitarian Universal Fellowship. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? I grew up on a farm in rural St. Croix County Wisconsin, and my father explained things very well, so there was a lot of good advice. “Always tell the truth,” although… At least I started off with good advice! My father also always said, “When opportunity comes, then maybe it’s time to jump.” That suited me well through the years. How about the worst advice? Oh, you know, you do and don’t follow advice. What did you want to be when you grew up? Because farming was so much fun, I was going to be a farmer – what a life! But it didn’t occur to me until I was a bit older that our 72-acre farm would barely support a family. At 16 or 17 I thought, “No, I love to learn.” What do/did you do? I had taken to Latin on my own, and was interested in music, which I majored in at Luther College, with minors in German and Greek. I loved directing choirs and led many throughout my years, including the Schola Cantorum my senior year while Weston Noble was directing the Nordic Choir. And I wanted to keep learning, so I went to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, learned and taught Hebrew – much of it on my own, got my masters, and then had the opportunity to continue my doctoral studies at Harvard. The Dead Sea Scrolls had just been found and it was a very exciting time. In the time shortly after WWII there were not as many doctoral degrees, and we had the opportunity to look at moving to Indonesia, Israel, and other locations with our children – and there was also an option at Luther, which we took, partially due to the proximity of our families, and our own growing family. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? Another person! Fresh water, and local edibles. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Oatmeal. It’s very balanced – and growing up on a farm, you learn it has the highest protein among the grains. Name one thing you could not live without. Water. It is profoundly important.

Do you know someone you’d love to interview for this page? Let us know!

Multiple choice: tell us about… Your wedding / engagement day! I got through Luther College – too poor to date. In Minneapolis though, there was a nurse that I met who invited me to dinner with her three roommates. She had a fabulous chicken dinner which I thought she had cooked, and then I found out it was actually her roommate, Rita, that had cooked it. I was smitten. We dated a bit, and then I had a summer job in Thief River Falls. I spent all my money on an engagement ring. Really, I knew the church would have some leftovers, and I had a place to stay – I had very little money. Outside of Elk River there was a pretty spot above a lake that I had found and it was there that I asked Rita to marry me. We were so excited. I figured I would finish seminary and we’d get married in a year or two, but Rita’s mother and friends had other ideas – she was also three years older than me! A completely homemade wedding happened on September 2, 1954. We spent the morning picking flowers and ferns for the ceremony, and Rita had found a used wedding dress. When it got to ceremony time, I was almost panicked not knowing if I was ready, but I said ‘I do’. 50 years later, while Rita was at Aase Haugen with Parkinson’s, I decided we should re-do our vows. We brought down her dress and I read our vows out loud. It was quite special – and I said “Rita, this time I really do mean it!”

Vennehjem ennehjem Decorah’s Active 55+ Community

1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA email:



Winter 2013-14 /

A Lifestyle Worth Living!

Vennehjem is an easy living community for today’s active, healthy seniors—enjoy a life of freedom, security and convenience!

Private, stacked ranch homes, 1 low monthly fee!

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HOURS: 7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 8:00-3:00 SATURDAY

Mental Health Matters.

Therapy saves lives.

Full time psychologists available daily to care for you.

Physician services by 901 Montgomery, Decorah


A little birdy told me… Tis the season for storytelling & candy & cozy new candles. And wine, of course

(duh!) He whispered, also, that

beeswax is magical, & that bracelets (really: any jewelry)

for giving & gratitude make life & love grow. ...make nice gifts for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Or any day! Because making time

I think his point was:

Whether you’re a martini-drinking elephant or a kid wanting a mug of cocoa,

there’s a gift to be found at: 200 W Water St Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5742

(Smart bird.)

Inspire(d) Winter 2013-14  
Inspire(d) Winter 2013-14  

Kick Winter in the Shins! • K’uun Coffee • Bill Miller • Norwegian Pastries • Frozen River Film Festival • How to Dinner Parties • Meditate!...