Inspire(d) Winter 2014-2015

Page 1





NO. 40 • Winter 2014-15






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WINTER 2014-15 contents


what we’re loving






Interview with Brian Andreas


Paper Project: Fill-in-the-blank love letter


sum of your business: Robin bartell


Treat yo’ self this winter!


winterrific fun


community calling: firefighters


Science you’re super: hibernation




featured on


Probit: Dorothy seegmiller




...and more!

Cover photo by Andrey Ezhov / \ Winter 2014-15


Center Stage Series


Be at the

Center of It All

New this year— tickets available in time for the holidays! These performances will go on sale December 10th for everyone!

Friday, February 6 • 7:30 p.m.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A bright and beautiful classical ballet presented by Dance Alive! National Ballet

Friday, February 20 • 7:30 p.m.

Hot Sardines

Adorably fun 20s flapper jazz fit for a speakeasy! Join the artists after the show at The Courtyard and Cellar (421 W Water St., downtown Decorah).

Give the gift of creativity, inspiration, and fun in wonderful experiences to remember. Gift certificates for Center Stage Series are also available in any amount at the Luther College Ticket Office • • (563) 387-1357 A heartfelt ovation to all of our performance and media sponsors for investing in the arts for our community! 2014–15 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council The Decorah Newspapers

Grants The

Media Supporters

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor I like to look at winter as an opportunity. Hushhhhh, you. Just go with it. Sure, you’re still busy. But there are no longer gardens to weed or lawns to mow. There are, literally, hours less light each day. Which some might see as sad, but today I’m challenging you: Instead, see it as a chance to try something new – something for YOU. So! To that order, in this issue, we had long-time contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam track down some local experts on physical, mental, and emotional health – all to help you “Treat Yo’ Self” this winter (pg. 34). It’s time to take care of You! We cover “alternative” healthtype of options (acupuncture, chiropractic, massage), more traditional things (good diet and exercise), and even mental health (counseling, volunteering, positive daily habits). We want to help you stay happy and inspire(d) this season. It’s totally true what Sara learns in her research – even when you’re taking care of others (like through volunteering), you’re also taking care of you. Ask any firefighter if it feels good to help their fellow community members – I can guarantee they’ll say yes. Kristine Kopperud Jepsen dug into the details behind our area firefighters – what it takes to become a member, how funding works, and ultimately, how it strengthens the community. It’s amazing to hear stories of places they’ve saved and people they’ve helped (pg. 50) Personally, I was excited to get a chance to talk with the artist/writer/magician behind StoryPeople: Brian Andreas! He’s got a brand new book out – Something Like Magic: On Remembering How to Be Alive– and was full of wonderful thoughts/ ideas and funny/crazy stories about life and running a business (or businesses) in rural Iowa (pg. 20). Speaking of running businesses, we’re excited to announce a new regular feature: Sum of Your Business. You, dear readers, asked for more stories about entrepreneurs in the Driftless Region, and we thought that was a great idea! Our first Sum of Your Business features Robin Bartell of Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe and Robin Bartell Designs in Spring Grove. Read about her path to boss-dom on page 29. Our other regular features are, of course, in place as well. You’ll find Johanna Bergen of the Oneota Community Co-op Kitchen Classroom filling the Chef on the Block seat (pg. 14), Jim McCaffrey’s Mississippi Mirth highlighting Comfort Food, (chicken and dumplings, yum! Pg. 60), a Science, You’re Super infographic all about hibernation and sleep (pg. 75), and for our probituary: Decorah’s Dorothy Seegmiller. There’s lots more great stuff too, so read on, my friends, and cozy up to this issue – then grab your notebook and start planning ways to Treat Yo’ Self this winter and on in to the New Year! I recently heard a quote nugget on Frosty the Snowman (of all places): “When you don’t know all the answers… that’s when there’s room for wonderful things to happen.” Who knows what will happen in 2015… but, boy, am I excited to find out. As I say every NYE: It’s gonna be the best year yet! Happy New Year! Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy holidays! Happy life! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Inspire magazine

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 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 2014-15, issue 39, volume 7, Copyright 2014 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


Strength and stability—without compromising integrity Thrivent Financial is more than a financial services provider—we’re a membership organization of Christians, and we honor our members in everything we do. For the third year running, we’ve been named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute. We earned this award as a result of our leadership in promoting ethical business standards and for introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public. Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics. Jeffery Olinger, FIC

Financial Consultant

Karen Trewin

Financial Associate Thrivent Financial was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute from 2012-2014.

Decorah Area Team 218 E. Water St., Suite 1 Decorah, IA 52101


Toll-free: 844-349-7388 Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • • 800-847-4836 • 27343AD N3-14

What We’re


right now

a little liSt oF what we thinK iS aweSome right now in the DriFtleSS region K’uun CoFFee Bar When Fernando and Barbara Vaquero launched K’uun Coffee in Calmar, Iowa, two years ago, there were a lot of ideas, dreams, and unknowns – which quickly became orders for custom fresh roasted coffee beans. So friends/fans Jeff, Anja, and Sean Brown offered up their framing shop, The Perfect Edge, on Washington Street in Decorah for customers to pick up their bean orders – and the idea of a retail coffee bar outlet came into play. It’s a partnership of many interests and passions. What’s clear by public reaction is that the “Coffee Bar” concept is a welcome addition to downtown Decorah. It’s all about the bean at K’uun. From custom selected beans and fresh roasting, the Vaqueros supply the coffee bar with daily changing varieties. Master barista Sean Brown is most often found behind


the bar prepping a slow brew pour-over setup, a beautifully drawn espresso, or a nitro-draft iced coffee (its amazing year-round!). The menu extends out into regular coffee shop territory as well with a few baked goods, specialty espresso drinks, and smoothies – but the coffee is what shines here. Check it out Tuesday – Saturdays! 118 Washington Street, Decorah. Fat BiKeS! We all know what mountain bikes are, but have you seen a Fat Bike yet? Imagine the typical mountain bike… now imagine it slightly beefed up and with monster tires! Fat bikes go all the way back to the 1980s (and before) with original uses in desert and arctic riding – the oversized tires allowed for easier travel over terrain. Within the past few years, the trend has hit the bicycle industry full-on, with almost every major manufacturer throwing something in the ring. Here at Inspire(d) HQ, we’re a little partial to the makings of Minneapolis’ Surly Bicycles (www. who first brought the trend to large-scale manufacturing, but Josie Smith of JosieBikeLife. (< check that out, there are many others. In fact, most of ‘cause it’s awesome) rides a our area shops carry some type of fat Fat Bike early this winter. bike, and many are offering different Photo by Kristin Torresdal. models for rental this winter so you can get a taste for the sport! Don’t be fooled – if you can ride a bike, you can ride a fat bike, but it is worth noting that riding in serious terrain, snow, and trails can make for an advanced workout. Get your adventure pants on and check it out! Decorah Bicycles on College Drive are offering a huge fleet of rental fat bikes this winter. Oneota River Cycles in Decorah, Cresco Bicycles in Cresco, Blue Dog Cycles in Viroqua, and Adventure Cycle & Ski in Winona are also great resources to learn more. Happy riding! Decorah Bicycles, 101 College Drive, Decorah. Oneota River Cycles, 220 E Water St, Decorah. Cresco Bicycles, 225 North Elm Street, Cresco. Blue Dog Cycles, 210 South Main Street, Viroqua. Adventure Cycle and Ski, 178 Center Street, Winona.


MARCH 5: 9:30 PM MARCH 6: 7:30 PM MARCH 7: 1:30 & 7:30 PM



Dance & Theatre



Full 2014-15 season details at \ Winter 2014-15


What We’re

Fine Casual Decorah Dining


right now

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

110 East Water St 563-382-4297

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

a little liSt oF what we thinK iS aweSome right now in the DriFtleSS region

1101 Highway 9 563-387-0300

It’s like coming home..

...for a light breakfast or lunch, long coffee, or afternoon treat. Now serving homemade bagels & English muffins! • Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

400 W. Water St., Decorah • 563-382-5690 • See website for hours and daily specials

Beautiful Decorah Bed & Bath


Holistic Health Solutions: • Homeopathy • Herbal Remedies Quantum Biofeedback • ElectroAcupuncture • & More!

Naturally Unbridled



Patti Bartsch, M.A., Ph.D. Traditional Naturopath & BioEnergetic Practitioner . Onalaska, WI . 608-799-8326


Winter 2014-15 /

arthauS Lea Lovelace and Kristin Underwood founded such a wonderful place in ArtHaus. The organization has brought fresh color – literally and figuratively – to downtown Decorah and the surrounding area. This past summer, Lea and Kristin handed the director reins over to Eric Peterson and Jenni Brant. The husbandand-wife team is excited to hear what the Driftless Region hopes to see from them over the coming years – and we can’t wait to see what they come up with! From trendy Paint Parties for adults to Winter Break Art Camp for your kids, there are great classes on deck for winter, and, fun events too, like the ever-popular Poetry Slams. Also make sure to check out the Holiday Art Fair for great local gifts the first weekend of December! Want to help out? Consider making a donation (it’s tax deductible!) – supporting the arts equals supporting the community. 508 W. Water St., Decorah.

ACUPUNCTURE • QIGONG • HERBAL MEDICINE Spring grove Cinema. Have you been to a movie at the Spring Grove Cinema yet? If not (or even if you have), plan your next date right now! The theater is SO great! Opened in 2009, it has sweet stadium seating, super clear digital projection, and killer audio. In addition to mainstream features, they have a Free Foreign Film series that runs the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm, and we mustn’t forget about Bucket Night on Mondays. You bring your own vessel (bucket-sized, right?!) and they’ll fill it with popcorn for just $2. Awesome! Plus their ticket prices are quite reasonable: $6 adult, $4 for 12 and under or seniors. 167 W Main St., Spring Grove, Minnesota. • 563.382.9309 • 309 W. Broadway, Decorah

Thoughtfully designed, handcrafted, timberframe buildings. . 563 382 6245 . Decorah, Iowa

• Facial Services • Eyelash Extensions • Eminence Organic Skin Care

holistic, noninvasive anti-aging NATURALBEAUTYLLC.NET ONALASKA,WI 608.783.0322

303 W. Water St • Decorah, Iowa •563.382.4941 BeyonD the Bar BaKery One Bite Cakes on Water Street? Best. News. Ever. Jenn Sullivan is a former attorney and mother of four, but she always had a dream of the Beyond the Bar Bakery. In 2013, she and her husband, Brian, and their kids returned to Iowa after 12 years in Minneapolis, and that dream became a reality. After over a year working out of her home-based kitchen, Jenn and her mom, Julie Jevne, opened a brick and mortar location this fall. And it’s right Downtown Decorah on Water Street! We love those delicious One Bite Cakes and also the oatmeal cream pies and the cookie monsters and…we could go on and on. But really, it should be you going on…into Beyond the Bar! Try the key lime One Bite. (Then drop one off at Inspire(d) HQ?!?) Yum! 404 W Water St. Decorah.

Luxury salon & day spa Hair salon + Manicures & Pedicures Facials •Massages • Makeup \ Winter 2014-15




cla s s es

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

w ork s h ops e vents 508 W. WATER ST. DECORAH . 563.382.5440

THE DEPOT OUTLET Monday-Friday 9-5 • Saturday 9-3 Thrift awesome clothing, books, & household goods! 563-382-2700• 510 Montgomery St, Decorah, Iowa Check out our awesome new location! or find us on Facebook

Gifts for Everyone on Your List Stop at our Visitors Center in December • Books • Honey • Ornaments • Maple Syrup • Sorghum • Jams • Jellies • Cooking Beans • Floursack Towels • Calendars • T-Shirts • Gift Cards • Hats • Gardening Tools, Gloves & more • PLUS....50% OFF 2014 Heirloom Seeds Lillian Goldman Visitors Center December Hours: Open Thurs to Sun 10-5 Closed for the season December 22 - Opens March 2015

d Catalog 2015 Seeble now availa

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

Jo Iverson | 563-382-4445

Decorah, Iowa

Special Orders Available • Try us at the Oneota Food Co-op! 10

Looking for more details about events on the calendars?

Winter 2014-15 /

1. December 5: The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Lighted Holiday Parade makes its way down Water Street in Decorah. This year’s theme Characters of Christmas! 6pm 2. December 6: Meet the Crazy Old Coot! Book signing with Jerry Johnson, author of Hunting Birds and Crazy Old Coot. Dragonfly Books, Downtown Decorah, 2-3:30 pm. 3. December 7: Love pancakes? Santa? Helping your community? Perfect! The Nisse Preschool Pancake Breakfast with Santa: 9am-noon, Danan Lansing building (Winn. Co. Fairgrounds), adults $6, kids $4

25W/ $25B

4. December 11: “Old-Time Radio Show” at SG Cinema with holiday skits, live entertainment, special guests, holiday singalong! Pre-show by area youth at 7pm, Showtime 7:30. $5/door. www. 5. December 13: Cookie Walk 9am ‘til gone! Craft class, music, NEW art, holiday cheer! Coming soon: Cliff de Young winter film fest, and Love Your He(art) in Feb! 6. January 2: Phases movement practice with Jane Hawley begins Friday, January 2 and runs every Friday at the Acupuncture Center Decorah (ACD – back studio) from 1-3pm. 563.387.1694 7. January 22: New Minowa Players presents the musical “The Secret Garden”, January 22-25 and 30-31. Tickets are $10/$5. Detailed information:, or call Sheryl – 563379-5738 8. January 28: Saint Mary’s Page Series presents Hector Del Curto Tango Quintet, hot Argentinian music of love and passsion, 7:30pm, Page Theatre, $27/$24 (25W/$25B continued on next page)

fun stuff to do







Friday Saturday

Dec 4-7: Christmas at Luther


Cresco Holiday Lights Bike ride! Cresco Bikes



Lorie Line, Mayo Civic Center, Rochester







DEC 19: • Mike Munson & Sarah Johnson, Hotel Winn Lobby, 6pm Joe & Vicki • Lew Klemish Band, Haymarket, Decorah 9:30pm Price, • The Lowest Pair, The Root Note T-Bock’s, • Holiday Sing-along, Decorah St. Mane, Theatre, Lanesboro

Merry Christmas!

William Elliott Whitmore, HAPPY NEW Gabe’s, Iowa City YEAR’S EVE! Happy “Noon Year” family event, La Crosse Children’s Museum, 10am-5pm Dec 29-31: Winter Break Art Camp Cheech Hall & Craig Bumann, 1st-6th grades, ArtHaus, Decorah Trempealeau Hotel, 10pm



12 13 7 “Blessed8 9 10 4 11 3 5 Joe & Vicki Price, Nisse “For the Live “Old Are The Cookie Walk Safe House Preschool Birds”, Time Radio Crazy” Book & Holiday fun!, Little Big Town, Pancake St. Mane Show”, Discussion, Bluff Country Mayo Civic Breakfast Decorah library, Theatre, Spring Artist Gallery, Auditorium w/ Santa! Lanesboro Grove 6:30pm Mavis Staple & Spring Grove Winn. Co. Cinema, 9am The Blind Boys of Fairgrounds, “Chicago Norske Klub” exhibit 7pm Alabama, GBPAC 9am-12pm opens December 6, Vesterheim Winn. 20 19 Indoor 18 17 Andy Hughes 14 15 DEC 11:16 December 11-27: Holiday Farmers Mrkt, (TUGG) & Friends, • Seth David, Fairgrounds, Lights, every night! Trempealeau Hotel, 7pm Trempealeau Hotel Decorah Decorah Campground • The Sea & Cake, High DEC 13: 9am-12pm 5:30-9pm Noon Saloon, Madison • Pieta Brown w/ The Pines, Englert Burning Bright, “Every Christmas Story Ever • Joe & Vicki Price, Ed’s No Name Bar Told” runs through 12/21, • Mike Munson & The Old Fashioneds, Methodist Church, Commonweal, Lanesboro Trempealeau Hotel Decorah

1 DEC 6:

Vesterheim 4 6 5 2 1 Free First DEC 5: • Winneshiek Indoor Farmers Market, Thursdays Decorah • People Brothers Jerry Chamber w/ Charles Walker, Fairgrounds, Decorah 9am-12pm Johnson, Adult Recess Lighted Steyer, Decorah, 8pm • Norwegian Christmas at Vesterheim Book Signing, Brewology, Holiday • Joe & Vicki Price, • Author Kathleen Ernst, Book Signing, Dragonfly Children’s Busted Lift, Dubuque Vesterheim, 1-5pm Books, Museum of La Parade, 6pm • Lanesboro Live, St. • Christmas at the Porter House,1-4pm Crosse, 6-9pm 2-3:30pm • General B and the Wiz, Haymarket Mane Theatre Dec 6-7: ArtHaus Holiday Art Fair


December Wednesday


Devil Makes Three, First Ave, Minneapolis

The Duhks, CSPS, Cedar Rapids






Toddler Tuesday, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona, 10:30am

January 30-31: Winneshiek Music Festival, Downtown Decorah


Martin Luther King Day



11 The Duhks, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis


Live FREE Jazz with Tom Bourcier every Tuesday night in the Hotel Winn Lobby, Decorah

Todd Oliver & Friends, GBPAC, Cedar Falls



Bobby Bare Jr., Turf Club, St. Paul







Malamanya w/ Alma Andina, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis




Kickapoo Valley Reserve Winter Festival, La Farge, WI


JAN 10: Dan Newton’s Café Accordion Orchestra, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis



Bob Mould, First Ave, Minneapolis




Ice Cave Hike Series – Through March! Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, WI


Joe & Vicki The Old Price, Oak Fashioneds, Haymarket, Center General Store, Lake 9:30pm City MN Tim Olstad, Dam Phunski Page Theatre X-Country SMU, Winona race, Kickapoo 7:30pm Valley Reserve,

7 January 30-31: “The Secret Garden”, New Minowa Players

Hector del Curto Quintet, Page Series, SMU Winona, 7:30pm


Jan 22 –25: “The Secret Garden”, New Minowa Players





Ben Seidman, “Tinkertoy: Janet’s Planet Marty’s, Hot Cocoa – Explore Luther College, Build Your Wednesday? Imagination” the Universe, 7:30pm Should be a exhibit opens, Page Series, thing. SMU Winona Tom Bourcier Children’s trio, Steyer Museum of La Railroad Earth, First Opera House, Crosse Ave, Minneapolis Decorah

“Classic Images: Ansel Adams Photographs” MN Marine Art Museum, closes 1/11


Romeo & Juliet, GBPAC, Cedar Falls


Friday, January 2 : Phases movement practice begins with Jane Hawley and runs every Friday at the Acupuncture Center Decorah, 1-3pm






fun stuff to do



FEB 8: Luther Symphony Orchestra, CFL, 7pm Dave Mason, Englert Theatre, Iowa City Luther Nordic Choir, CFL, 7:30pm

FEB 28: MN in the 1920s: Flappers, Miners, & Moonshiners w/ Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro

FEB 15: Music in the Shape of a Pear, Good Shepherd, Decorah, 4pm


Antibalas w/ Zap Mama, WI Union Theatre, Madison

Tuesday Wednesday


Friday Saturday








FEB 20-21: Forgiveness Lunch, Luther Dance & Theatre, Storre Theatre Blackberry Big Head Todd & The Smoke, Monsters, First Ave, Minneapolis First Ave


20 11 21 19 10 Chinese WSMS: New Year – Hot Sardines Fellas In The Year of the Jazz Band, Cellar w/ Xin Nian Sheep! Luther Center Andrew Last, Kuai Le! Stage Series Courtyard & FEB 18-22: Frozen River Cellar 7:30pm Film Festival, Winona & 9:30pm

FEB 14: Lake Meyer Ice Fishing Derby, Calmar, IA Sleater-Kinney, First Ave, Minneapolis

David Bela Fleck TU Dance, Pendergast & Abigail Saint Mary’s guest Washburn, University Lecture, Englert, Page Series, Luther CFL, Iowa City Winona 7:30pm 7pm


Lettuce, First Ave, Minneapolis

Fat Tuesday!


FEB 13-14: Valentine’s Day The Second City, Englert, Iowa City


The Beach Boys, GBPAC, Cedar Falls



FEB 26: The Lightning Thief “Scandinavian Modern (school performance), Luther Design: Norwegian Enamel” CFL, 10am & 12:30pm continues through April, Vesterheim Museum COMING UP: March 5: Hugh Masakela & Vusi Mahlasela, Luther Center Stage Series March 5-7 – “Body of Water”, an original dance work by Jane Hawley Students, Jewel Theatre, Luther College March 6-8” Oneota Film Festival



Toddler Tuesday, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona 10:30am



9 Gaelic Storm, Englert, Iowa City




7 9 Happy Midsummer Barneløpet Groundhog “The Legendary Jack Gray” Galactic, First Ave, Chlidren’s Night’s exhibit through March, MN Day! Minneapolis Dream, Luther Cross Marine Art Museum FEB 7: College CSS Country Reception: Windows into Wonderment, Lanesboro Arts Ski/Walk, Winter The Dead Pigeons w/ Armstrong Clawhammer, Haymarket Wine Fest, Decorah Joe & Vicki Price, Byron’s, Pomeroy, IA Prairie Hotel Winn





fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












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 sidebar box 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?!?” In recent years, what we had chosen for these lovely pages had been entirely editorial and subjective. We figured, 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 fun winter activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

9. February 6: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s immortal - performed in classical ballet style as part of the Luther College Center Stage Series. Tickets on sale Dec. 10,

404 WEST WATER ST, DECORAH, IOWA 563.419.4016 .

10. February 20: The Hot Sardines bring footstomping 1920s flapper jazz to the Luther College Center Stage Series. Tickets on sale Dec. 10, edu- special after show party witht the band at the Courtyard & Cellar, downtown Decorah.

Mon-Fri 10am-4pm . Sat 10am-3pm


25W/ $25B

11. February 21: WSMS presents “Fellas In the Cellar” – Dr. Andrew Last rounds up a crew of gents to sing warmly on a cold night in the cozy Courtyard & Cellar, Armory building, downtown Decorah.

12. February 25: Saint Mary’s Page Series presents TU Dance, vibrant modern dance from veterans of the Alvin Ailey company, 7:30pm, Page Theatre, $27/$24





1. Beginning Drawing-April 11-12, 2015 2. Watercolor-Beginning- June 13-14, 2015 3. Beginning Drawing - Sept. 12-13, 2015 4. Watercolor/Ink - Oct. 24-25, 2015 • 563-387-6782

“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

get your event listed here in the next inspire(d) magazine: Spring! (< it’ll be here before you know it!) Just go to and click on the 25 words/$25 Bucks button in the sidebar to the right. we’ll talk you through the rest. happy planning!


Check in!

Read reviews! Algerian & American Appetizers & Entreés Vegetarian Options Sandwiches & Salads Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 • \ Winter 2014-15



Winter 2014-15 /

Intro and photos by Aryn Henning Nichols





Oneota Community Co-op Kitchen Classroom\ Winter 2014-15


in DeCorah, when we thinK aBout FreSh, loCal FooD, the FirSt plaCe that ComeS to minD iS oFten the oneota Community Co-op.


to cook with a specific ingredient in an affordable and practical way, holiday cooking ideas, or even classes about non-kitchen topics. They also have a series especially designed to introduce children to the love of nutritious food, in a hands-on, developmentally appropriate way. Children’s classes include Be’Tween Cooking, Exploring Foods, and WellKid Wednesdays. Johanna Bergan, the Co-op education and outreach coordinator, is super excited to launch the winter schedule. It will include a focus on “resetting our diets” post-holidays, i.e. fresh food intake, juicing and smoothies, and more. Community members become instructors at the Co-op classroom, and this season they welcome Kristen Underwood and Chef Tom Skold (Hotel Winneshiek/Restauration). As always, the programming focuses on acquainting students with whole foods and teaching skills that can transfer easily to their home kitchens. In the process, they hope attendees learn the love of making and eating good food as well! Details at


nside, there are beautiful displays of the aforementioned fresh and local food: vegetables, fruit, bread, pastries…you get the idea. But the Co-op is so much more than just a grocery store. There’s the awesome hot bar (hellooo, Thursday Taste of India day!), catering options, cheese-ofthe-month clubs, great beer and wine, and some pretty darn cool classes. For years, the classes have been held in a small room in the basement of the Co-op – they were capped at just eight students – additionally, a few were taught off-site at schools or work places. But recently, they’ve opened a lovely, brand new space in the adjoining building at 310 Water Street. The new co-op kitchen classroom can accommodate up to 40 students – which is great, because attendance is on the rise, especially with fun offerings such as the Frugal Gourmet series that features ways


Celebrations! Don’t lift a finger. We’ve got this. Call now to book your holiday parties at the Hotel Winn! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

On View August 22, 2014 - April 19, 2015 Featuring Norwegian enamel design from the mid-twentieth century, including designer Grete Prytz Kittelsen. Sponsored by Mary Mills Dunea, Isabelle and R.L. Dyck, and Becky and Bob Shaw, with additional support.


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center

Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9681 • Chocolate/almond/fig & spinach/pineapple smoothies! Name: Johanna Bergan Age: 27 Restaurant or Kitchen: Co-op Kitchen Classroom Number of Years Cooking: Teaching – four years

For Him...

It’s A Place To Be A Top Chef.

For You... It’s The Memories Of Him Like This.

Formal training or live-and-learn? Live and Learn What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? My earliest memories of cooking all take place in front of the 1954 stove in my parent’s kitchen – the only stove I used until I graduated from Luther. We knew how old it was because a piece in the clock had been replaced with a quarter from the year it was purchased. I made apple cinnamon muffins from Betty Crocker with my little sister after school in the oven and strawberry pie and jam for 4-H projects in middle school. Joel, my then boyfriend, made me polenta for the first time ever, in our first little apartment kitchen. He served this whole grain mush that had taken over 40 minutes to cook with a shrimp pasta sauce from the Joy of Cooking. I was sure I would hate it. I fell in love with polenta and the shrimp recipe is still marked as a favorite today. And I decided I’d marry him if he ever asked (ed note: he did). Why did you decide to become a chef? An interesting combination of ‘A Splendid Table’ podcasts, cheap produce markets, Chicago Public Library shelves of cookbooks and an immense feeling of guilt that Joel worked, went to school,

Online Mortgage Pre-Approvals at

Call Mike Huinker, Muriel Lensch or Wanda Walter!

563-382-0091 \ Winter 2014-15



Winter 2014-15 /

The Oneota Community Food Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store – currently, there are more than 4,400 members! This is the Co-op’s 50th year – they’ve been bringing local, organic, and sustainablyproduced food and wares to the community since 1974. We heart our Co-op!

AND cooked all of our food, joined together at a time that I was mostly at home with our daughter. I had little excuse not to hang out in the aisles of Whole Foods staring into other people’s shopping carts, wondering “what is that stuff?” I did food like I do life – jump in feet first. Back home in Decorah, working at the Co-op was the perfect fodder for my new love of food. I soak in recipes, from the radio, Pinterest, magazines, restaurants. This inspiration follows me into the kitchen where I try something once and tweak from there. I cook in a completely gluten free kitchen, for a family with several dietary restrictions including no dairy, eggs or peanuts, and some vegetarians. Please don’t feel sorry for me! This is my ultimate food challenge and one that I relish conquering day after day after day. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? I couldn’t answer this question myself. My mother says peach pie, my daughter says her birthday cake and my husband says blackberry pie. Funny answers since I am a self-confessed, terrible baker and feel confident only on top of the oven.

happy! discover




222 E Water St, Decorah, IA . 563.419.0346 .

Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm | Thursday 9am - 8pm


115 Winnebago Street | Decorah, Iowa | 563.382.3600

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

Do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? Red Velvet cake, three layers, frosting – gluten free and vegan. This cake wasn’t made, it was built. Only after cutting it, topping with ice cream and serving did I find out I had used cinnamon in place of cocoa powder. Spicy! How about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? Will you tell us? Hmm… I am a practicing vegan, a carbon footprint vegan, this means I choose not to eat meat to lower my output of carbon into the environment. This is balanced by a desire to let nothing go to waste. So I eat animal products when they have become other people’s waste. Feel free to invite me over after you cook the bacon and I’ll pour off the fat and run home to cook my tofu burger in it! Heaven to Betsy – don’t throw it out! On another note… I love potato chips…especially Dill Pickle! What’s your favorite: Ingredient: Garbanzo beans Dish: Massaged Kale Salad with Tamari Dressing Cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison Random (or not so random) kitchen tool: Pressure Cooker Vegetable: Spinach Fruit: I’d rather eat a vegetable (No joke)

106 E. Water St Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3544

Movement for Health & Well-Being Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome! \ Winter 2014-15



Winter 2014-15 /

All images courtesy StoryPeople


LOVE MAGIC (or sometHing like it) By Aryn Henning Nichols \ Winter 2014-15


Coming in 2015 . . . Adults welcome! Whittling Klubb for Kids Let your creativity soar when you join Rebecca Hanna to carve stuff out of wood! A great introduction to woodcarving. Tools and safety supplies will be provided. For ages 10 and older.

there’S magiC in that Cup oF CoFFee (tea, Beer, water) you’re DrinKing. alSo in that StaCK oF paperS Sitting right neXt to you. DeFinitely outSiDe that winDow. here’S a little (Big) SeCret: there’S magiC in everything.

Sign up today!

3:15-5:15 p.m. Session l: Jan 15, 22, 29, & Feb. 5 Session ll: March 5,12,19, & 26 Session lll: Nov 12 & 19, Dec. 3 & 10

Find a 2015 class list at

Visit Vesterheim’s Museum Store for your Scandinavian shopping! Sweaters Scarves Mittens T-shirts Jewelry and more

We have folk-art supplies and great gifts!


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

“Finding magic is simple if you just let go of all the things. Just stop,” says Brian Andreas, artist/writer/magician behind the internationally known art and publishing company, StoryPeople. “People forget the world is magical, so we need to be reminded. To remember. To enjoy the moment.” There is definitely magic to be found at the StoryPeople studio in downtown Decorah. Bright walls plus busy doers and makers create a scene filled with energy. Brian stands in orange pants and a tee shirt behind stacks upon stacks of the latest – his twelfth – StoryPeople book, Something Like Magic. He’s in town from Santa Barbara signing copies – 2,500, to be exact – to be shipped out to the lucky folks who pre-ordered before the October release date. Also on the visit’s agenda: Plan “all the things” with the StoryPeople crew. Everyone munches on raw cacao beans and dark chocolate as they happily tack “Yay! Actual signed copy – Woo-hoo” stickers on the books and wrap them up. Brian takes a break when his hand stops working –“It just started moving by itself!” – and sits down to chat over a cup of tea. “The past few years I’ve really started rethinking life and identity. What does love want from me? What lights me up? This carries through in the work I do. It’s all about enjoying the moment. I want to tell everyone about it. It’s the legacy of our future. It’s a big f-ing deal!” he says, throwing his hands up in the air between sips of Earl Grey.

This exploration is prevalent in Something Like Magic. It’s the first StoryPeople book that doesn’t follow a he said/she said point of view. Instead, it’s an I/you. “The divine in you/the divine in me. Love with a capital L.” And love, as Brian says: “It’s the most important thing.” He continues, obviously passionate about his mission. “How do I tell the world how much everyone’s loved?” he asks. “It is so simple. Love is the most important thing.” It was this phrase “sometimes you just need to remember the most important thing” – uttered to him on a garden bench outside a party – that “cracked open,” as Brian says, his consciousness. It was like a secret he just forgot for a bit – and he’s not the only one. “These are secrets because a lot of us know them and along the way, a lot of us forgot. That’s exactly why I call them secrets,” Brian writes in the Something Like Magic introduction. “Each one is something like magic, because all it takes is a moment of remembering them and suddenly the whole world sparkles “people forget the world is again. The funny thing is it never stopped sparkling. We just stopped magical, so we need to be seeing it, because it was too simple reminded. to remember. and we were convinced it must be something different. We let ourselves to enjoy the moment.” be convinced the most important thing was something different than the love - Brian andreas and magic that’s been here all along.” Love and magic are, of course, no strangers to the whimsical StoryPeople tales. Since its inception in 1993, the stories and drawings have pondered, prodded, and delighted in life. Readers can find them adorning everything from wood sculptures to colorful prints to coffee mugs and more. They’ve also been collected in a series of books for adults and children, and have twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Brian Andreas’ own story, like most people’s, has taken him on a zig-zagging journey. From Iowa City, Iowa – where he was born in 1956 – to Chicago to Luther College in Decorah – where he met his now former wife, Ellen Rockne, – to California – where he and Ellen founded StoryPeople – back to Decorah and finally back to California. “Life isn’t this linear path, even though when you look back, you can see, ‘Oh yeah, that led to that, and so on,’” he says. “When you’re dancing your way across a stream, you pick up the rocks that aren’t wet.” While Brian currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, StoryPeople has kept its heart (and headquarters) in Downtown Decorah since 1994. Brian travels between the two states frequently to keep up on business, family, and friends. The company technically began while Brian, Ellen, and their two boys, Gabe and Matthew, were living in Berkeley, California in the early 90s. But Brian’s stories started long before then – in college, he wrote lots of letters, and each contained a quote from his own fictional character, “John O’Keefe Beefheart.”

211 W. Water St. | Decorah M.T.W. Fr. Sat 9-5 Thurs 9-8 563-382-8940


(continued on next page) \ Winter 2014-15

17 23

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery.

Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah


Winter 2014-15 /

Nudged by Ellen to put some of that into his artwork, Brian made his first StoryPeople piece: A 4x4 block, covered in layers and layers of gesso, hand-stamped with a story. Well….a little story, anyway. “My stories are really, really short. They have to be! Handstamping those letters takes a long time,” he says with a laugh. This new style of work took off, and soon, so did the family – back to Iowa. “We were in Berkeley, and got a call from a friend. ‘Get down and away from the windows. There’s an armed man outside.’ We got down and pretended we were playing a game with the boys,” he says. “Later, we found out they were robbing the bank a block away, and we thought, ‘Oh good. No big deal.’ Then we thought, ‘What? No big deal?!’ Three weeks later we were on our way to Decorah.” At that time, StoryPeople was at a massive growth point, expanding quickly from 50 galleries nationwide to more than 200. But Brian knew they could produce this art from anywhere…as long as they were willing to take the leap. “It was either Decorah or Sonoma. But we had family in Iowa. And I’d experienced Berkley studio assistants,” Brian says with yet another laugh. “Working with people from Iowa sounded a lot more appealing.” Getting things off the ground in ConneCting StorieS: rural Iowa was Brian has literally written thousands definitely not of stories – on various napkins, without its trials, scraps of envelopes, and in the pages though. of his journals. You can see many of “I wouldn’t say his current stories almost instantly any of it was on instagram: hard – it was brianandreas (“It’s a blast!” Brian all interesting,” says of Instagram). You can also Brian says. “I follow StoryPeople at don’t whine about storypeoplebybrianandreas and at something that doesn’t exist. Creatives forget – The number of stories that have you can create it! been made into prints is around 300, If you don’t want with hundreds more offered through to make it, quit products (cards, apparel, wooden whining about it.” sculptures, ornaments, calendars, etc). A self-professed “practical Virgo” They have galleries in the U.S. and U.K., to a T, he knew and fulfill orders worldwide. Learn more if there was at something he needed, he could make it happen. “I came to town and said, ‘Where’s your [Internet] gateway?’ I asked if I could use Luther’s, but they said no. So I walked into our office and said, ‘We’re gonna have to start an ISP (internet service provider).’” So they did. Brian launch the Salamander ISP shortly after they arrived in Decorah. And when they couldn’t find the right printing options in town, they opened their own print shop, CopyLand (which still exists on Water Street in Downtown Decorah). “Once you’ve invented yourself, that ‘not possible’ doesn’t exist,” he says. In addition to inventing himself (and businesses), inventing moments is a favorite. “I have this thing where I invent past memories with people – we did it at a conference I spoke at recently. We start off telling a story – remember that day we all went to that lake in the mountains?

(continued on next page)




ry Johnso

uthor Jer

ing by a ook sign


Author of the novel Hunting Birds and the book of essays Crazy Old Coot

The sky was so blue… – and one person continues on until it feels like we’ve all had this shared experience, even though it wasn’t real. The mind can’t discern between real and fantasy,” he says. “It’s so fun!” This willingness to play, to make-believe, to always find the love and magic in the world – it’s what keeps StoryPeople so popular. Followers world-wide find little pieces of their lives in the hundreds of artworks produced. “The stories really do sneak in there – one that didn’t made sense to someone one day might crack open for them another day,” Brian says. “There are lots of people out there starry-eyed from StoryPeople stories.”






Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067


You’re buying that shirt for him.


But when it looks that good… we know it’s really for you.


Great brands, service, & prices: local shopping = local fun! 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

Mon - Fri 9-5 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5


Winter 2014-15 /

Brian hopes – no, believes – that this positive energy indicates a change coming. “I’m excited about this time in the world – there’s this new consciousness that’s emerging. I feel like there is a cracking-open process happening all over. Ah!” he says, holding his hands out one more time. “I love living in this world! It’s such a wonderful place to be.”

Aryn Henning Nichols has long thought Brian Andreas was inspiring – meeting him solidified that notion; he was so much fun to chat with! She especially enjoyed the idea that things are shifting in the world – positivity will reign! Let’s keep that moving forward, friends!

Dearest ____________________,

Lucky in Love

Today is just one of many days I think of you and our ____________ together. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and instead of all the _____________ and _______________, I decided to write you an old-fashioned love letter. I always remember that day you ____________________ and I knew we were the one for me. You still _______________ me and make me ________________ every day, even after ____ years/months/days. It’s the best when you _________________ or when I____________________, but even just ________________with you is the most ______________thing in the world. I am a lucky ___________. You know what else? It amazes me that you can _____________________. You are a(n) ___________________. I am so glad that we _____________even though _______________. I hope one day we’ll be able to ________________________. I want to give you ____________________. Tonight, let’s ________________ and ___________________. I can’t wait to __________________ and in the morning _____________________. Seeing your _________________ is one of the __________________. I love your ____________________ and everything about you. You are so __________________.

Happy Valentines Day, ____________________.

You are my ___________________.

With all my _______________, ________________________________


Paper Project!

(with a little help from us!) Just fill in the blanks with your feelings/thoughts/emotions & you’re set. How sweet! It would be a lovely (pun intended) surprise any time of year. (Not just Valentine’s Day, which is, you know…pretty commercialized & stuff. But: Love! So we’re thinking about taking it over.)

Download and print this page at


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Local, National, & International Clients 511 W Water St Ste B Decorah, Iowa (563) 382-4277 (888) 382-4271

05-3043 Š 2014 Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities) and its subsidiaries. Ross Steven Kurth, Insurance Agent(s) of NM.



We’re excited to be hosting a new, regular Q&A section in Inspire(d): Sum of Your Business, featuring entrepreneurs in the Driftless Region. Our readers have asked to learn more about people who have started their own businesses, how they’ve done, and how they’ve done it! And we thought it sounded like a great idea! Who knows – maybe you’ll even be inspire(d) to create a business yourself! So welcome to the very first

Sum of Your Business!

Robin Bartell: Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe / Robin Bartell Designs Introduction by Aryn Henning Nichols . Photos courtesy Robin Bartell


nyone who has ever ventured in or around Spring Grove, Minnesota, has undoubtedly seen Robin Bartell’s work. Either inside her fun store – the Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe – or in the seriously great graphic design she’s produced for area projects and businesses. The Shoppe features all sorts of silly and unique items and gifts – lots with Norsk and Midwestern humor, along with a “solid nod to the Norwegian heritage of Spring Grove”. Robin designed many of the pieces in the Shoppe herself through Robin Bartell Designs, and she offers promo product design for other companies as well. The young entrepreneur has been at it for five years now, but had long been planning her move to self-employment before she took finally took the step. For her, planning and research were key to finding the courage. Robin shares what she’s learned, the ups and downs of being your own boss, and what’s kept her inspired. Has it been easy? Probably not. Has it been fun? You betcha! (continued on next page) \ Winter 2014-15


The Basics:

Meet Ro

Name: Robin Bartell Age: 36 Business: Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe (and the home of Robin Bartell Designs) Years in Business: 5


1. Tell us about the “leap” moment. When/how did you decide to jump in and become your own boss? The desire to venture out on my own actually happened slowly. I didn’t jump, I planned. I did a lot of research. I over-researched. I read a lot about personality traits needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Looking back now, I believe the things you will read about ‘creatives’ being ill-equipped to be business owners is mostly rubbish. Self-doubt nearly killed the big plan. In a fit of confidence, I decided that I owed it to myself to try. The worst that could happen was that I would have to find a job again, right? (I should also tell you about a recurring dream I had where colleagues and entrepreneurial-type people in my life kept saying ‘what are you waiting for?’). True story. I jumped. 2. What’s the best thing about being your own boss? I get to decide what my job will be everyday! Yah Sure You Betcha Shoppe is a three-part business: a retail apparel and gift store, a graphic design firm, and a promotional products distributor. I get to assist other small businesses with their marketing and branding efforts everyday. I love getting to know my customers and working 30

Winter 2014-15 /

with them directly. It’s so much better than being in a ‘cubiclecorporate-graphic-design-departmental-hell.’ 3. How about the worst? Two-part answer: A. Always feeling like I need to answer calls, emails, etc, even when I am at home or on vacation. B. Balancing the importance of creativity and time management on a daily basis. 4. Was there ever a hurdle where you just thought, “I can’t do this?” How did you overcome it? Little bouts of self-doubt were the greatest hurdles. Having supportive family and friends is key to overcoming that self-doubt. Then you just have to be prepared to work your patooty off to make it happen!

building foundations BRUENING ROCK PRODUCTS


Serving communities in Iowa, Minnesota, & Missouri

900 Montgomery St, Decorah, IA 563-382-2933 .

Holidays: St. Mane Theatre Friday, Dec. 5, 7:30 pm Lanesboro Live’s season finale this year! Damon Prestemon’s holiday show, ‘Naughty or Nice.’ With the Slick Newhouse Band! PG-13. Tix $15/$12. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 7:30 pm

Her Shoppe!

Finding the perfect spot for the retail store was a little bit of a challenge in the beginning. My office space moved a few times, and I grew impatient about where the store would be permanently located. Thankfully we were able to purchase our cute little building on Main Street last year. Now I feel like it’s finally permanent and real.

‘For the Birds’ with Kevin Kling, Zeitgeist and Victor Zupanc . . . It’s NOT just about music and birds -- the performance weaves stor ytelling by Kevin Kling reflecting on childhood, immigration, illness, accidents and healing. Tix $15/$12.

friday, Dec. 19, 7:30 pm

Annual Holiday Sing-Along with Dan Chouinard, playing the piano and accordion and leading us all in song . . . joining Dan onstage will be Simone Perrin and lots of local talent. Tix $15/$12.

5. Any mentors/role models you look to/have looked to? Early on in this endeavor, I spoke with colleagues and a few likeminded small business owners within the community. The advice given by those who have blazed a trail before me is definitely goldnugget wisdom. I have learned to NEVER disregard networking – at any stage of life, or in any job I’ve ever had. Continued on next page

Galleries & Art Lofts Lodging 103 Parkway N St. Mane Theatre 206 Parkway Ave N 507.467.2446 \ Winter 2014-15




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

Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues-Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Monday: Drop In & Knit Night 6-8 pm 563-517-1059 •

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

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

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

Artistry in Cabinetry since 1983

Kitchens Home offices Bars Entertainment centers Fireplace mantles Cabinets & shelving Remodeling Finished carpentry

Lefse ninja! 6. What’s the one thing you wish you had known before you started? You simply cannot plan for everything that may/will go wrong. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts. Not every decision will be rational, and not every irrational decision will end in failure. “I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” – Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 7. How do you manage your life/work balance? It’s tough, but I try not to work/check messages/email when I am home and it’s family time. Sundays are family days – always. If I do have work to do at home I try to use ‘time blocking.’ As in “kids, I need one hour to finish my work, then I’m all yours!” Sticking to that is the trickiest part. 8. What keeps you inspired? Any quotes that keep you going? My design clients and retail customers keep me inspired to push forward, create more, design better, and keep forging ahead! I feel like there are so many creative and imaginative people in our area; keeping people in your life that nurture your talents is very important. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” (Stephen King)

Visit my new website! 563-382-4750


Winter 2014-15 /

Check out robin’s yah Sure you Betcha Shoppe in Spring grove, minnesota at 118 east main Street (open wednesday through Saturday), or online at

The natural choice for a great getaway!


Photo by Andrey Ezhov /

Treat yo’ 34

Winter 2014-15 /


SPEND A DAY ALL WINTER TAKING CARE OF YOu #treatyoself \ Winter 2014-15


Treat yo’


THE TREAT YO’ SELF MOVEMENT: Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Treat Yo’ Self” – if so, it was probably said by your funny/ fun friend as you were deciding whether to eat that cupcake or leave work early to go to yoga. It originated in 2011 from the TV show Parks and Recreation, when Asiz Ansari’s character and Donna plan a day all about them. Awesome! The phrase Treat Yo’ Self has since taken off, and become somewhat of a movement. We love it. Treat Yo’ Self day is about pampering, relaxing, and rewarding yourself for being awesome. And we all are awesome. Each and every one of us. We need to remember that. And that we don’t have to be busy, busy all the time. We don’t have to work every second of the day. We can treat ourselves. Go to a movie. Make a date with a friend. Have that mimosa. And beyond that – make time for things that will make you feel better. Massage. Pilates. Acupuncture. Try it out. See what you think. Treat Yo’ Self! 36

Winter 2014-15 /

you are important

Have you ever tried pilates? Gotten a chiropractic adjustment? How about acupuncture? There are so many new, interesting, and – yes – alternative ways to “treat yo’ self”, and we can’t imagine a better time than RIGHT NOW to make it a priority. It’s dark at 5 pm. May as well meditate! Nothing to do this weekend? Volunteer! Feeling stir crazy? Give spinning a chance! Who needs a New Year’s resolution? Start a New You resolution to make the most out of these cold winter days. National Treat Yo’ Self Day (Parks and Recreation, anyone?) has passed (October 13), but the idea inspired us: We should be doing this all winter! Or even all year! We put Inspire(d)’s Sara Friedl-Putnam on the task. She chatted with local experts to learn more about new ways to be healthy, find happiness, and take care of YOU this winter season. Don’t put much stock in this stuff? Consider it a challenge: Try something new! Don’t think you have time to treat yourself? Think again – nothing could be more important!

Story by Sara Friedl-Putnam

Disclaimer: Alternative healing practices (such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, or massage therapy) are called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). If you think you might need medical attention, it is recommended that you check with your regular physician before seeking alternative treatment.


Brenda Harris, owner, Acupuncture Center 309 West Broadway Street, Decorah, Iowa; (563) 382-9309 “The needles don’t hurt,” says Brenda Harris, licensed acupuncturist, displaying one of the wisp-thin (think hair-width) needles she uses during a typical session at the Acupuncture Center in Decorah. “That’s the question everyone asks, but while you may feel a little sensation or ‘zing,’ there’s typically no pain involved.” A little “zing” seems a small price to pay for the potential benefits of acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves inserting needles through the skin at strategic points to treat (and prevent) pain and maintain good health. “Acupuncture, like all Eastern medicine, works on the entire person, not just the symptoms,” says Harris, who also offers Qigong classes as well as herbal medicine remedies. “There’s less importance placed on the diagnosis you’re coming in with than on what’s happening in your whole body – almost anything can be treated with acupuncture, from a mild common cold to something more severe like autoimmune disease. It’s also becoming more known for addressing mentalhealth issues like anxiety and depression.” So how, exactly, does it work? Traditional Chinese medicine embraces the belief that, along with blood vessels and nerves, people have channels of energy – called qi (pronounced “chee”) – that flow right alongside their other body systems. “As long as there is flow and that energy is running the way it is supposed to, you are well,” explains Harris. “But when that energy gets stagnant or deficient, then you get illness or pain.” The needles open up blocked channels or, when used preventively, help ensure those channels remain open. “Acupuncture works very well in concert with Western medicine; it’s not like someone has to do one or the other,” says Harris. “It really can help almost anybody – from the very young to the very old – there is no target audience.”

Dear Winter, I’m gonna walk all over you.

Bicycles Quality KNOWLEDGEABLE


Now offering snowshoe and ski rental! 220 N ELM ST. CRESCO, IOWA 563-547-2877 BIKES@CRESCOBICYCLES.COM



112 Winnebago St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union

Fitbit flex & accessories (gift idea!):

Sims: $99.99

Big Box: $99.99

Bigger isn’t always better. Small box store. Small box service. Total cost difference: $0. Added value: Convenient in & out shopping, questions answered, & no games or gimmicks.

Why shop anywhere else? 563-382-CELL (2355) • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Thurs ‘til 8pm • Sat 9am-5pm • Sun 12-5pm \ Winter 2014-15



Image Creative Commons

David Gehling, doctor of chiropractic and owner, Decorah Chiropractic Center 405 College Drive, Decorah; (563) 382-0700

this is a healthy spine. aren’t you curious how yours looks?


While its roots aren’t quite in the Driftless Region, chiropractic care was formalized pretty nearby, says longtime Decorah-based chiropractor Dr. David Gehling. “Chiropractic began in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa, with D.D. Palmer, so it’s fairly local and it’s fairly new.” That said, there is evidence that chiropractic adjustment – i.e. spinal manipulation – has been around far longer than that. “It’s ‘new’ in the sense that spinal manipulation became scientific, licensed, and specific through Palmer in Davenport,” he says. “But hieroglyphs in Egypt appear to show people being adjusted – it’s definitely been around for a long time.” Modern-day folks are starting to catch on as well. “More people are seeking chiropractic care because they want a natural approach to health, an approach that will ease pain and may help them avoid drugs or irreversible surgery,” he says. Chiropractors practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis, and treatment. That might include x-rays, mobility assessments, spinal manipulation, and even electrical muscle stimulation. (Electrodes that send light electrical pulses to different areas of the body are placed on the skin to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and back pain.) The main goal of spinal manipulation is to correct structural alignment and improve the body’s physical function. While low-back pain, neck pain, and headache are the most common ailments being treated, adjustments benefit the whole nervous system – from your brain to your spinal cord to every single nerve, says Gehling. “Getting your nervous system adjusted has even been proven to increase T helper cells in your body, which are the ‘little guys’ that attack germs,” he says. “Someone whose immune system isn’t functioning well can in fact boost it by adjusting their spine, which sounds like a total ‘quack’ thing.” A growing body of research suggests that it’s not “quack” at all. The central nervous system, which is protected by the spinal column and the cranium, controls the function of all the cells, tissues, organs – and, yes, the immune system – in the human body.

! Educate Yo ur Im mune System


Vaccinate now, so when you get exposed, those germs get schooled!

201 West Water Street, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-2626 • 38

Winter 2014-15 /


Even the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates gave therapeutic massage two thumbs up: “The physician must be experienced in many things,” he wrote, “but most assuredly in rubbing.” Michelle Williams, licensed massage therapist and owner of Day Spring Spa in Decorah, believes just as firmly in the healing power of massage. “It addresses specific injuries and chronic pain; improves circulation and mobility; and reduces muscle tension,” she says. “It also provides relaxation and relief from stress, gives an improved sense of health and well-being, and boosts the immune system… all especially beneficial in the winter.” According to studies at Mayo Clinic, massage may help treat a myriad of ailments – from anxiety or digestive disorders to headaches or fibromyalgia. The types of massage offered today are just as varied as its potential benefits. During hot-stone massage, for example, practitioners place heated, smooth stones on certain body points to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance the body’s energy centers. A session of Ashiatsu massage – ashi for foot and atsu for pressure – calls upon the practitioner to (you guessed it!) use their feet to deliver a strong deep-tissue massage. Of course, if neither of those is your cup of tea, there are many other techniques offered at Driftless Region spas, including the most common Swedish massage, where practitioners use long, rhythmic strokes to relax both mind and body. Williams believes anyone can reap the benefits of massage. “It’s always good therapy and really does work for every age and stage of life, including pregnancy,” she says. “Massage is one of the best things we can do to become and stay healthy in body, mind, and spirit.”

Photo by Aryn H. Nichols

Michelle Williams, owner, Day Spring Spa 116 Washington Street, Decorah, Iowa; (563) 382-0799

Northeast Iowa’s premier wedding destination venue! Spend your special day in an elegant yet casual 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 spacious outdoor patios and beautiful gardens.

Decorah, Iowa . . 563-419-8902

Illustration by Anita Ponne /

It’s all connected:

The mind helps the body. (Look! Motivation!) The body helps the mind. (Look! Endorphins!)

“Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics. Similarly, not feeling bad is not the same as feeling good.” Learn more, a great non-profit resource for better mental and emotional health

Support a local author and learn more about the mental health world Decorah Mom, author, and entrepreneur Tabita Green is on a mission – a deep sharing mission to bring a book to life. “Her Lost Year: A story about our family’s encounter with psychiatry, med-free recovery, and a vision for optimizing children’s mental health,” is the project at hand, being funded in-part by a Kickstarter campaign. Through the publishing of Her Lost Year, the Green family hopes to share their story to help others struggling through similar situations. In the spring of 2010, Rebecka started feeling depressed. Her parents


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took her to the doctor and she was prescribed antidepressants. Twelve months, eight hospitalizations, six psychiatrists, many medications, and a host of unimaginable side effects later, they asked that she be taken off all medications. Reading the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker led them to remove Rebecka from “the dominant mental health narrative and rescue our only child from the clutches of psychiatry.” Its an amazing story of recovery – and its going to be self-published by Green in 2015. You can see more about the effort in her recently published Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, make a donation, and check out the story. Kickstarter short link:


Marcia Oltrogge, executive director Becky Loven, clinical director Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health (NEIBH) 905 Montgomery St, Decorah, Iowa with branch and satellite offices throughout Northeast Iowa; (800) 400-8923 Think you have to have be schizophrenic or bipolar or – at the very least –super depressed to go to see a therapist – a psychiatrist or psychologist – or even a counselor? Think again. Everyone has “stuff” to work out, and almost (or dare we say, yes,) everyone would benefit from a visit with a mental health provider at some point in their lives – often many points in their lives. Becky Loven, clinical director at Northeast Iowa Behavorial Health (NEIBH) – a community mental-health center that provides services in five Northeast Iowa counties – agrees. “Up to 90 percent of the population would benefit from touching base with a mental-health provider to get a reminder of how best to take care of themselves,” says Loven. “A lot of people just tough it out themselves, but how difficult is that and how long does it take?” Mental health and counseling services can help people feel better about or work through a variety of struggles: anxiety, body image, PTSD, post-partum, marital issues, substance abuse, grief, depression, or even just a feeling you can’t quite put your finger on… and that’s just to name a handful! Achieving good mental health could even be the switch that allows you to find good physical health in your life as well. Want to try some things out at home when you’re feeling low? “Take a quick walk or get up off the couch and do a little jig during TV commercials,” says NEIBH executive director Marcia Oltrogge. “Have a cup of coffee with a friend. Pull open those shades to let in the sunshine. Take a minute or two to jot down your schedule for the day.” NEIBH also advocates for the Wellness Recovery Action Plan – WRAP – authored by Mary Ellen Copeland. NEIBH was one of the first programs west of the Mississippi to be trained in WRAP. “It is something we use with individuals to help them identify when things are starting to slip, before you are having a really tough time and can’t remember what it looks like to be happy and well,” says Oltrogge. “It seems simple; it seems very common sense, but to have that structure and to use it as a daily preventive tool is very powerful.” For area residents who may be struggling, NEIBH offers plenty of help – crisis counseling and individual and group counseling for most any mental-health or substance-abuse issue – as do a range of other Driftless Region mental-health providers. Choosing a therapist who works well with you is vital to the process. NEIBH has a great resource page (, as does Luther College’s counseling services page. (

415 W Water St. Decorah, IA . 563-382-4646 .




THE NEW SHOW EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT! Join Matt ‘Woz’ Wosmansky for Woz On-Air weekdays from 9 am to 1 pm on FM 100.5, online at or on TuneIn Radio. /wozmedia

@whatsupwithwoz \ Winter 2014-15



Volunteering not only helps others, but makes you feel pretty good too. “We all win when we volunteer,” says David Runyon, executive director of Helping Services for Northeast Iowa. “I firmly believe there’s a link between good mental health and giving back – volunteers benefit by working together to help their community, have fun, develop new skills, and perhaps even learn about new career paths.” Runyon estimates that this past year, Helping Serices accrued more than 8,000 volunteer hours at their agency along, and other opportunities abound throughout the Driftless Region as well – at schools, churches, libraries,

Image Creative Commons

David Runyon, executive director, Helping Services for Northeast Iowa P.O. Box 372, Decorah; (563) 387-1720

shelters, and nonprofits where the need for time and talent is large and the paid staff is small. “Delivering quality services at many nonprofits absolutely requires the skills and commitment of volunteers,” says Runyon. “They are the heart of most nonprofits, including Helping Services.” Founded in 1973, Helping Services for Northeast Iowa promotes the health and wellbeing of children and adults through direct-service programs in seven counties. Interested in mentoring a child or perhaps joining a steering committee for the mentoring program? Feel a calling to answer the domestic abuse crisis line? Want to staff the annual (and aptly named!) “Holiday Lights, Magical Nights” fundraiser? Then give Helping Services a call (or find out what options are available in your area). “Explore what your interests are and match them with opportunities,” urges Runyon. “We really need you and, more importantly, so does your community.”

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we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about two of the most important – albeit, less “alternative” – things necessary to taking care of you: healthy food and active bodies.


Jacky Budweg, registered and licensed dietician Decorah, Iowa Eating well is important year-round but even more so in the winter months – i.e. the dreaded cold and flu season. “There absolutely is something to ‘we are what we eat,’” says Jacky Budweg, registered and licensed dietician. “If we eat healthy foods, we will feel better and be better able to fight off colds, the flu, and other illnesses.” In fact, just a few simple changes can mean big improvements in health. Merely increasing consumption of rich-colored (purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow) fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E will boost the immune system and its ability to ward off illness. “I could go on and on,” she says. “A good diet helps our


body function properly, gives us muscle strength, and aids us in maintaining a healthy weight.” Think you don’t have enough time to eat well? Try planning ahead – preparing and freezing a good meal when you have the time. Are you on a tight budget? Then shop strategically, says Budweg. “Clip coupons that you will actually use, always grocery shop with a list, check out the unit price, grow a garden in the summer and freeze or can vegetables for future use, and buy store brands if available,” she advises. “Also remember that meals don’t have to be fancy or complicated to be healthy.” Looking to explore even more? Maybe this winter, you could taste-test some organic fruits and veggies or take a healthy cooking class (try Oneota Coop’s options!) “There are so many options,” she says. “Everyone can find healthy foods they like to eat, you just have to try!”

W I LLOWGLEN 563-735-5570 \ Winter 2014-15


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EXERCISE it’s common knowledge that exercise promotes weight loss, strengthens muscles, and combats health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. But did you know that you can actually improve your mental health after only 10 minutes of physical activity? the Driftless region offers plenty of fun outdoor exercise options in the winter months – from cross-country and downhill skiing to snowshoeing and – for the diehard – running or power walking. (Just make sure to get those yaktrax for slippery spots!) But if exercising in snow and chilly temps isn’t your thing – or you just want to shake up your routine – check out some exciting indoor options in Decorah! Alecia Bucksa, owner, B.Fit Studio 105 Railroad Avenue, Decorah, Iowa; (651) 341-2512

521 W. Water St. Decorah . 563-277-1061 .


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The temps may be dropping, but the heat (and energy level!) is most definitely rising inside B.Fit Studio as members hoist kettlebells, beat battleropes, swing sledgehammers, and, oh yeah, sweat buckets during a fast-paced, 45-minute workout designed specifically for strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. “Feeling good physically increases mental satisfaction,” says Alecia Bucksa, who bought B.Fit (formerly Rejuvenation) in October 2013. “Once you start to feel stronger and healthier – and once your jeans start fitting better – your self-esteem rises.” Certified in KBI-style kettlebell instruction, Bucksa works with a team to create constantly changing workouts that incorporate props like jump ropes and TRX suspension trainers, but are centered around the kettlebell, a cast-iron or steel weight with an attached handle. The kettlebells are used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. Movements such as the swing, the snatch, and the cleanand-jerk (to name just a few) engage the entire body simultaneously to build strength and endurance – and can be really fun to boot! Be it kettlebells or a different form of physical activity, Bucksa advises new exercisers to stick with their chosen fitness routine, not expect immediate results, and make it a part of their daily routine. “I see it all the time – as people start to feel the difference from exercising, they get hooked,” she says. “From there, working out becomes habit, and missing a workout just doesn’t feel right.”

Photos this page by Aryn H. Nichols

riftless Gardens Maintenance & Design

Laree Schouweiler, owner Reefuel indoor cycling and yoga studio 105 Railroad Avenue, Decorah, Iowa (Housed in the same building as B.Fit, the two gyms now offer “cross-over” packages!); (612) 207-1901

Design Maintenance Installation Plant Sales Hardscape Consultation Education

“Push-pull, push-pull,” encourages indoor-cycling instructor Laree Schouweiler, her radiant smile lighting up the Reefuel studio very early (think 6 a.m.) most mornings. “Even if the music stops, remember you do not.” Opened in early 2014, Reefuel offers a range of indoor cycling classes (most lasting 45 minutes) for people of all ages and abilities. “Indoor cycling is something that I feel like every able-bodied human can do,” says Schouweiler, who Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101 also offers Vinyasa yoga classes. “You can literally sit on the bike and not increase your tension and at least you’re moving – as a culture, we sit a lot and need to do a lot more moving.” Schouweiler describes the classes as “super high-energy.” Participants mount WORLD FAMOUS GEAR adjustable SMALL TOWN CHARM Kaiser M3 indoor cycles and, motivated by loud tunes and enthusiastic instructors, mimic outdoor rides – a steep hill climb, a sprint, a gradual ascent, you name it. The same holds true for the studio’s Vinyasa or “flow-yoga” classes, in which participants link breath to movement to achieve a meditative state. “The most common myth is ‘I’m not flexible so I can’t do yoga’,” says Schouweiler. “That’s actually the biggest reason why you should do yoga.” Starting early 2015, Reefuel will also offer warm and hot yoga classes. A lifelong athlete, Schouweiler acknowledges that even the most motivated exercisers don’t always budget time for a workout, but stresses its importance: “You can never replace the benefits 406 W. Water St. • Decorah, Iowa • of a workout, but you can always get back to your to-do list.” 45 \ Winter 2014-15



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Amanda Rhine, owner, Discover Happy 222 East Water Street, Decorah; (563) 419-0346 “Moving your body can fuel more possibilities in your life,” says Amanda Rhine, owner of Discover Happy Pilates and Wellness Studio in Decorah. “Why wait for that? You have nothing to lose by moving.” Pilates – among the fastest-growing activities in the United States – boasts millions of practitioners in gyms, community centers, and studios across the nation. It improves flexibility, builds strength, and develops control and endurance in the whole human body. There is an emphasis on alignment, breathing, and developing a strong powerhouse, in addition to improving coordination and balance. But, Rhine says, there are benefits beyond the physical as well. “It absolutely does build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back, but it’s not just a workout,” says Rhine of the exercise philosophy developed by Joseph Pilates in the first half of the 20th century. “It’s a system by which to live – a system that changes the way you feel about yourself, your life, and the world that surrounds you.” Discover Happy offers private lessons along with a full range of Pilates classes, including mat, demi-bar, apparatus (think stick and tower), adaptive response, and stretching. The newest class additions? Train-dirty fitness boot camp and cardio-dance – the latter of which Rhine describes as “just flippin’ fun.” “How many times in the week do you have your instructor say, ‘you better twerk it... you better twerk it good?’” she says with a laugh. Whether twerking is your thing or not, Rhine encourages folks to explore not only Discover Happy’s but also the community’s numerous exercise options. “Sometimes people don’t know what exactly is going to be effective for them – if it’s something that makes them sweat, or something that makes them more mentally present,” she says. “There is something for everyone, and once you discover the thing that you love, that’s when you discover how happy it can make you.”

An avid exerciser, (somewhat) healthy eater, community volunteer, and strong proponent of mental-health services, Sara Friedl-Putnam thoroughly enjoyed learning more about these and other ways to attain and maintain health and happiness while working on this article.

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm 3 goldsmiths, a graduate gemologist, and a watchmaker on staff!

31 West Main Street Waukon, Iowa 800.932-7028 • 563.568-3661 \ Winter 2014-15



By Benji Nichols

the changing of the seasons is part of what brings so much beauty to our region. of course, when it’s seven degrees, dark, and the dog doesn’t even want to go outside, it takes a little bit more encouragement to get out and into the world! So we’ve put together a few ideas to keep you, your kids, and those kids-at-heart busy. now put on some layers and giddyup! KiDS, you have to get out to get in! Barneløpet Sons of Norway and Vesterheim offer this non-competitive ski/walk event for ages 3-13 on Saturday, February 1, at 10 am. Registration starts at 9:40 am at the Decorah Community Prairie. Barneløpet is open to girls and boys of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family. Everyone’s a winner! The Kickapoo Valley Reserve The Kickapoo Valley Reserve, just outside of La Farge, Wisconsin (near Viroqua), offers amazing winter outdoor classes in stargazing, bird watching, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and more – including their Winter Festival January 10! eXplore the great inDoorS Your Local Library Since we’re based in Decorah, we give our local bookdepository, the Decorah Public Library, a lot of love, but we encourage you to take some time this winter to re-discover your local library. Most libraries offer weekly opportunities for kiddos to enjoy stories and activities, and are great places to warm up and move around! DPL offers Toddle Time (ages 0-3 recommended) every Monday at 10:30 am, and Story Time (ages 3-5 recommended) every Wednesday at 10:30, and YourSpace (ages 9 and up) most Mondays at 3:15pm. Various adult classes, book groups, and workshops are regularly scheduled.

Cresco Fitness Center (and Thomson INDOOR pool!) Did you know there’s an indoor pool just a hop and a skip away? It’s no secret – just to the west of us, the City of Cresco maintains a great indoor fitness center and pool that has regular public hours (for a small fee). What better way to blow off some steam in the middle of winter than with a little pool time? La Crosse Children’s Museum So where else are you going to find a giant teddy bear sitting in a real helicopter hung above a 28-foot indoor climbing wall in the middle of winter? That’s right: the Children’s Museum of La Crosse! Totally worth the trip. Check out Kids “Night Out” at the Museum (psst… Parents…two hours of kiddo-free splendor in La Crosse!), a new Tinkertoy exhibit coming in January, “Adult Recess” events, Little Learners Thursdays, and all the regular fun (like a life-size firetruck you can play on!).

We get a little excited about GoOD Food.

Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street • Decorah 563.382.4666 • Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-8:30 pm • Sunday 10-7

everyone can shop 48

Winter 2014-15 /

everyone welcome

grocery • bulk • produce café • meat • cheese bakery • wine/beer supplements • body care no membership required

The Winona County History Center Housed in a 1915 Armory, with the recent amazing 12,000 square foot Laird Norton addition, this is a great place to check out Winona’s past. Native American artifacts, lumber baron and laborer stories, a county time-line, and hands on children’s area featuring a cave, tipi and river steamboat pilot house. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Have you been to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium yet? It’s awesome! From amazing aquarium inhabitants – sting rays, otters, turtles, and more – to literal hands-on exhibits and water play for the kids to a large format 3D/4D immersion theatre and pretty neat historical displays as well. It’s just a short drive to Dubuque – doable for a day trip, and even more fun for a weekend or night away. Check it out at

a night out CountS aS getting out! Thursday night Trivia Now listen: You don’t have to be a brainiac to participate in Thursday night trivia at the Courtyard and Cellar in Downtown Decorah. Grab a few friends, make up a silly team name, and find a table in the cozy Cellar of the Old Armory Building in downtown Decorah. Three rounds of trivia give your team a chance to score points – and a final wager question allows you to go for broke, or win big! And by winning big, we mean fun and silly prizes. Every Thursday night, 7:30 pm. Jazz Tuesdays: Almost every Tuesday night in the Hotel Winneshiek Lobby, jazz piano-man Tom Bourcier hits the ivories. The Tap Room is just steps away with great local beers, craft cocktails, and perfect winter wines. When the light from the fireplace shines just so through your glass… well, its pretty much a perfect winter Tuesday night. SocialICE: Downtown Rochester, Minnesota has been busy the last couple years – when was the last time you poked around? A mid-winter night away might be the perfect chance to check out “SocialICE” February 19-21. Several of Downtown Rochester’s establishments create outdoor ice bars to participate in this cool event. It’s a great time to check out some of our favorites like Sontes, The Doggery, Kathy’s, and more.

Make Winter Warm

The cold and snow are on their way. Northland Travel has warm destinations to escape to.

Don’t wait til the snow flies, visit our website now to choose from one of our group tours to Arizona, Texas, Georgia Isles, Hawaii, Florida or California, or call one of our travel agents for a more individual getaway. Gift certificates are available for holiday giving!


2911 7th Ave. S., Fort Dodge, IA 50501

1-877-658-6948 703 Dudley Street, Decorah, IA 52101 \ Winter 2014-15



Winter 2014-15 /

Volunteer firefighters in the region occasionally have controlled training exercises, such as this one, to help them get acclimated to fighting fires. This photo was taken in 1999 with the Ridgeway Fire Department. Bill Green – third from the right – is a 43-year veteran member of the Ossian Fire Department. Turn the page to learn more about volunteer firefighting from Green and other regional firefighters, and how important this service is to our communities. \ Winter 2014-15


Community Calling Volunteer Firefighters’ Service Roots Run Deep By Kristine Kopperud Jepsen

Red. Siren. Fire. It doesn’t take many descriptors to arrive at one image: Long, gleaming firetrucks braying through busy city streets, hustling toward an emergency. Fire departments – and firefighting – have been community fixtures in our nation since the early 1600s. In 1736, Ben Franklin famously designated groups of Philadelphia residents to accompany the few fire engines in the city, ensuring some order would cut through the chaos of a crisis. In present-day U.S., there are more than 30,000 fire departments, and they respond to more than 31 million calls annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association, the governing body for fire codes, standards, training, and education ( Winter is an especially crazy season for fire fighters. Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February, and there are several holidays’ worth of cooking going on, which is the leading cause of home fires and related injury year-round. While better wiring and building materials, as well as improvements in communication systems and firefighting equipment, make it far less likely that entire cities will be engulfed by one fire, modern firefighters still inherit the legacy of defending each citizen’s interests as one’s own – the very heart of community service – often in a Swiss-Army-knife kind of way. “There’s something both profoundly humbling and noble about being among the folks who can help in someone’s darkest hour,” says Eric Sovern, a firefighter with the Decorah Fire Department. He moved with his family from Minneapolis – which has a professional fire department – and was surprised to learn that becoming a trained volunteer firefighter was as straightforward as filling out an application. “I’m not going to lie – it is every kid’s dream to drive a firetruck,” he says with characteristic humor, “but seriously, this is community service that you can express an interest in – like applying for public office – and if you’re a good fit once you learn more about it, there you go. You’re in, ” he explains. Beyond the parameters regarding age and fitness – in Decorah, members may serve up to age 56, and each is subject to an annual fitness test to ensure they can manage heavy equipment under duress – group compatibility is most important. New applicants attend department meetings and observe training 52

Winter 2014-15 /

drills, then meet with elected captains for an interview. If approved, the entire department – usually 25-30 members – votes on acceptance. “It’s a sort of match-making,” Sovern explains, “and understandably so. Within a department, there has to be unanimous trust of one another to do often dangerous work, when you literally cannot see your gloved hand in front of your SCBA mask.” (Firefighters wear compressed air tanks and use a SelfContained Breathing Apparatus -- like SCUBA divers – in low-oxygen fire scenarios.) Once approved, ‘probationary’ members begin 40-80 hours of training to achieve their Firefighter I rating, the minimum level of competency mandated by most states and governed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Skills include knowledge of fire science – what fires need to survive and how they behave – practical skills like ladder-handling and SCBA efficiency, and an understanding of how the department maneuvers as a team in response to an emergency. At the scene, the local fire department chief and assistant chiefs act as command central, deploying people and equipment. Depending on the fire’s location and complexity, they may call for mutual aid, i.e. the assistance of fire departments in neighboring towns. “To me, that’s the essence of volunteer fire-fighting,” says Bill Green, a 43-year veteran member of the Ossian fire department. Green grew up in a fire station with his dad, washing truck tires as a kid. He has achieved the NFPA’s Firefighter II rating and has taught advanced skills to Northeast Iowa’s fire departments as an instructor through Iowa State University. “If you need more water, personnel, or specialized equipment – like a tube for extracting someone from a grain bin – you know you can count on your fellow departments to be there. No questions, no power struggles. You show up and trust you’re working together for that family or business.” The timing of mutual aid is critical, Green explains. “Every minute it takes to knock down a fire feels like a lifetime to the firefighters inside, thumping their axes on the floor in front of them to make sure it’s sound. It is always best to get additional resources on the way right way, rather than waiting to see if they might be needed.” It’s common for fire service people who have retired or “aged out” of active service to continue to respond to calls, even though

Decorah firefighter Eric Sovern works with fellow department members at a Wednesday training session.

Photo by Kristine Kopperud Jepsen

Adequate equipment and training combine to influence a community’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating, which approximates how well its fire service can manage fires within 4.5 miles of the station. This rating – on a scale of 1 (best) to 10 (no service) -– is used by insurance companies to determine the area’s private fire insurance rates. \ Winter 2014-15


Your Path to

Holiday Happiness!

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All above photos (unless noted) courtesy Decorah Fire Department.

The Bakery at

4.5 miles west of Decorah, IA

563-382-0010 • 2475 State Hwy 9 for seasonal hours


they might not carry a department pager anymore. This passing of the torch inspires confidence in younger members, Green says. “Here in town we have some guys in their 70s who obviously aren’t on the front lines anymore, but when we’re laying out hose to go into a fire and look back and see one of them running the pumper [truck], we know that he knows his job and we can just do ours. He’s already got our secondary [water supply] set. He knows what we’re going to need. It’s a marriage of time and experience that you can’t learn in a book.” That experience takes firefighters beyond fires as well. Departments now respond to increasing numbers of calls for medical help (two-thirds of the total annually). Specialized rescue may involve climbing up a tree or down a bluff or into water to handle emergency situations, or operating the Jaws of Life in auto accidents. “Our goal is to have people trained in a variety of challenging situations so when the community turns to us, we are ready. Everyone pitches in where they feel most able,” says Decorah training officer Kurtis Johnson, who is Firefighter II-certified and regularly consults with professional departments to bring effective topics and strategies to departments in the Driftless Region. The team also has to be equipped to handles calls involving hazardous materials such as anhydrous ammonia and chlorine as well as the lethal chemicals that turn up in methamphetamine labs. “These are HAZMAT-suit kinds of situations, and they turn up more often than you might think,” says Bruce Goetsch, Winneshiek County’s emergency management officer. While he and his wife are currently reserve members of the Frankville department, which serves their rural home, Goetsch previously served on a departments in Illinois for 33 years, 12 of them as chief. The Local Emergency

Winter 2014-15 /

Planning Committee, based in Goetsch’s office, keeps record of known quantities of hazardous materials in Winneshiek County. The fire department is mandated to manage them in the event of accidents or exposure. The funding for all of this important work comes primarily through local property taxes, but the volunteer fire department’s line in a town’s budget tends to be minimal, says Spring Grove, Minnesota, fire chief Shaun Hansen. “Our department of 28 firefighters operates on a budget of Ossian firefighter gear – $70,000, and that’s the meat photo by Kristine Jepsen and potatoes to keep the lights on and doors open — and pay our liability insurance,” he says. “We’ve been trying for years to upgrade our SCBA tanks from the bare minimum, heavy steel tanks to more modern, fully compliant units, for example. But one unit alone might run more than $7,000.” Spring Grove also pays its firefighters an hourly wage for their time spent in training, meetings and on calls, which often take them over the state border into Winneshiek County on mutual aid. Decorah’s budget, by contrast, compensates volunteer fire staff for their time on calls only (issued in a lump sum, in November) and pays three skilled personnel who rotate in shifts so the fire station is manned 24 hours a day. They respond quickly to low-impact calls – as when a home carbon monoxide detector goes off (often needing new batteries) – and monitor communications about more complex calls as firefighters are being paged. On calls, they are designated drivers and water pump operators. Public funding will often not cover large purchases, though, such as fire trucks and other large equipment. Municipal departments that serve rural areas – such as Winneshiek County – may then receive funding from adjoining groups like the Decorah Rural Fire Protection Association. In the Decorah firehouse, for example, some trucks are owned by the city proper, while others are owned and maintained by the rural association. In 2014, the two entities co-purchased a new truck to replace two outdated trucks. The firefighters themselves also staff a fund-raising organization – the Decorah Firefighters Association – to pay for additional tools and infrastructure that make service easier or safer. Decorah’s association purchased thermal imaging cameras to better gauge the intensity of fires at a distance, or to find missing persons in the dark. Firefighters also funded and chipped in labor to build an Continued on next page

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Photo by Kristine Kopperud Jepsen

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auxiliary garage behind the station so often-accessed equipment could be easily reached. In Ossian, several community advocates recently succeeded in a 20-year effort to fund and build a multi-door fire station, upgrading from a narrow downtown garage fronting a busy street. “Our trucks were parked in there, nose to tail, so tight we could get only one door open and had to crawl across the seats,” Green says as he strolls the length of Ossian’s new fully equipped station, opening the garage doors so that all six trucks bask in sunlight. “We’d back everything into the street to get assembled to answer a call. It was nuts. Here, we can breathe a little.” Regulations and ratings and funding aside, much of a fire department’s effectiveness comes only with years of combined experience, firefighters how to Support your say. “No two calls are loCal Fire Department alike,” Sovern says, explaining that his six • Donate to your area department current years of service fund-raisers: pancake feeds, have allowed him only firemen’s dances, fun runs and online glimpses of the long crowdsourcing. These are also great commitment of others opportunities to meet your local fire before him. Shaun service volunteers, out of uniform. Hansen, in his 30s and • Donate skills and services: Ask with eight years of service at your local fire station if you can on the department, says help with upcoming projects or he still marvels at how maintenance. the deep-rooted sense • Join the fire service: Check of community helps his into becoming a firefighter or department provide support staff member in your local meaningful aid. department. “The best thing is that when you’re out on a call, it’s for and among friends and family. You’re not doing a job; you’re doing your best to save someone you care about from losing something, possibly their life. It’s nice to be there – really there – trained to offer help.”

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Winter 2014-15 /


Kristine Kopperud Jepsen would like to thank firefighters and civil volunteers one and all for their service, often while the community is fast asleep upon a winter’s night. When not capturing stories for Inspire(d) and writing for fun, she runs a grass-fed beef company, Grass Run Farms, with her husband.


You're super! hIBERNATION By Aryn Henning Nichols

Winter. Gah! Lots of us want to just burrow under the covers and stay there until the snow has passed. But sadly, that’s not a reality for humans (foiled again!). For some creatures, though, it’s perfectly normal to spend the cold, dark season curled up in the fetal position (okay, super deep sleep). Not because they hate winter, but because food is scarce, making it necessary to reserve energy so they can make it out alive. These creatures hibernate. (1) There’s a debate about whether certain animals hibernate or actually go into torpor. Hibernation is a long-term state in which body temperature is significantly decreased, metabolism slows drastically, and the animal enters a sleep so deep that would take some time to recover if woken. The black bear’s body temperature, for example, only drops a few a degrees, so many might define that as torpor Torpor is sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe all the various – big or small – types of temperature- and metabolism-reducing functions. (2) For the sake of simplicity (and because it’s more fun to say), we’ll just call it hibernation in this story. Hibernation is not really sleeping at all. As we already mentioned, there are some major physiological changes a body must go through to achieve hibernation: 1. Drop in temperature. The average temperature of a hibernating mammal is 63 degrees! 2. Slowed heart rate and breathing. For example, chipmunks go from a 200-beat/minute heart rate to a five-beat/minute rate! And bats can drop down to just one breath/hour! 3. Greatly diminished consciousness. It takes some time and a lot of energy for a hibernating creature to come back to full consciousness. So much so, that waking one during it’s winter

slumber could mean death for them that winter or spring because of the unplanned expense of energy. (1) Those physiological changes are controlled by the endocrine system. This system runs the glands in the body that adjust the amount of hormones being released. The thyroid gland heads up metabolism and activity levels, the hormone melatonin controls the growth of winter coats, the pituitary gland maintains fat build-up, heart and breathing rate, as well as metabolism, and, finally, the hormone insulin regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) needed by the animal (1) While in hibernation, the temperature of a mammal’s habitat will affect its body temperature – much like a cold-blooded animal. But there is a minimum temperature, known as a set point, which acts like a sort of alarm system. When the creature’s body temp reaches the set point, metabolism turns up and burns fat reserves, which creates energy that is used to heat systems back to the set point. (1) But what about when they have to go…you know? Interesting fact: Bears don’t urinate all winter. They break their urea down into amino acids. And even though they don’t drink, they don’t get dehydrated either. They’re able to extract enough water from their own body fat to stay hydrated. (3) Although humans don’t hibernate, a nice long sleep (but not too long) is full of benefits for us as well: Lowers stress Improve moods Helps you maintain a healthy weight Improves athletic performance and coordination Improves memory and attention span Live longer and healthier lives (4) So while it’s impossible to sleep the entire winter away (and you shouldn’t want to – there are lots of great things to do this winter for you – check out page 34 for ideas), taking advantage of the longer evenings with an extra hour of sleep is a great idea. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! Check out the Hibernation Infographic on the next page for more amazing stuff about hibernation, the creatures that do it, and what we humans can gain from some more sleep as well. Zzzzzzzzz… 1. 2. 3. 4.


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Arctic ground squirrels live entirely off stored body fat for as long as 1. Wood Frogs 2. Baby Painted Turtles 3. Deer Mice 4. Common Poorwills 5. Ground Squirrels 6. Skunks 7. Hamsters 8. Prairie Dogs 9. Bats 10. Hedgehogs 11. Bears 12. Chipmunks

(to name a HANDFUL)


a hibernating mammal

63 DEGREES Average temperature of

Probably torpor...but hibernation seems easier to say!

1 : a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility 2 : a state of lowered physiological activity typically characterized by any reduced metabolism, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature that occurs in varying degrees especially in hibernating and estivating animals


1: to pass the winter in a torpid or resting state 2: long-term state in which body temperature is significantly decreased, metabolism slows drastically and the animal enters a comalike condition that takes some time to recover from


Is it hibernation or torpor?


Can’t we just

Beats/minute for a hibernating chipmunk (normally 200/min)

Adults (18+): 7-9 hours

Teens (11-17 years): 8.5-9.5 hours

School-age children (5-10 years): 10-11 hours

Preschoolers (3-5 years): 11-13 hours

Toddlers (1-3 years): 12-14 hours

Infants (3-11 months): 14-15 hours

Newborns (0-2 months): 12-18 hours

spring All images courtesy Creative Commons Infographic design by

While humans sleep, our skin renews itself. New skin cells grow and replace older cells.

Beauty Sleep is a Real Thing!


Captive or zoo animals often do not hibernate because they have a constant & reliable food source, making survival through the winter not such a challenge.


Number of days a black bear can go without eating, drinking, urinating, defecating, or exercising.

Lowers stress Improve moods Improves athletic performance & coordinations Helps you maintain a healthy weight Improves memory & attention span Live longer & healthier lives


Beats/minute that a bat’s heart rate drops to during hibernation – down from 400 when awake. Its breathing slows so much that it might not take a breath for up to an hour!

How much sleep does a human need?





Winter 2014-15 /


FOOD By Jim McCaffrey . Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Winter 2014-15



he weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful, and since there’s no place to go, let it snow, let it snow…wait a minute! Let the sun shine! Guess that’s not quite as catchy. But we really could use a break. Last winter in the Driftless Region was no piece of cake. In fact, to my understanding, it was the coldest winter we have had for 35 years. BRR! Just how cold was it, really? So cold, the mice were beating on the steam pipes for more heat. No, that really didn’t happen, but it certainly was frigid. When weather like that moves in, people tend to hunker down. So while you are in the throes of hunkering, you might as well treat you and your loved ones the pleasures of comfort food. Come to think of it, anytime is a great time for home-cooked comforting meals. Growing up, one of my favorite comfort foods was Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup fortified with an equal amount of milk and store-bought white bread slathered with butter for dipping. I guess I’ve come a long way from that, baby, but boy it was enjoyable!

There is probably a different comfort food for everyone on the planet (…more than one!). Take Italy alone. How many variations of pasta have the Italian mamas been cooking up for generations? France has Coq Au Vin (braised chicken with mushrooms and onions). Go to Wales and find Cornish Pasties (little meat turnovers the miners used to carry for lunch at work) and Ireland has Guinness. Need I say more? Closer to home, Canadians have long been enamored by their poutine, a crazy dish originating in Quebec which is basically French fries smothered in gravy and covered with cheese curds. Who’d a thunk, EH? Back here in the States, a nationwide love affair is centered on our beloved mac and cheese. Although when one thinks about it, a blue box comes to mind. That’s all our kids would eat growing up. But actually mac, made from scratch, is a hundred notches above that. I included a recipe for mac and cheese in issue 35 issue of Inspire(d) (find it at iloveinspired. com). Mitch Omar, owner of Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis, grew up on it and it is to die for. Try it, you will like/love it.

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Winter 2014-15 /

Even closer to home, we have a Norwegian community that swears by a traditional dish called lutefisk. Well, probably half of them swear by it. It is essentially dried cod soaked in lye, which was the standby in Norway before refrigeration. When Norwegians immigrated to America, those crafty dogs brought lutefisk along with them. One of MY all-time favorite comfort foods is chicken and dumplings. This was the highlight of the lunch I made the other day for the Inspire(d) crew. The number one comfort food for my wife is salad, though. I swear she could eat salad three times a day and be one happy camper. For her, I made a wonderful winter salad of mixed greens with both sweet and tart apples, toasted pecans, and topped with white cheddar cheese. Drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette and Brenda was good to go. And everyone else was as well, for that matter. Next on the agenda was the chicken and dumplings. I cheated and bought a couple of rotisserie chickens and diced the meat up. I’m glad I did because it added immensely to the overall flavor of the dish. I also cheated and used Bisquick for the dumplings because I had it on hand. But that doesn’t make me a bad guy or does it? Basically, I made a simple chicken and vegetable soup and added dumplings. Homemade comfort food: It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Tradition of Deceit

Rounding out our meal was a dessert straight out of heaven: Pears poached in red wine. I first had this delightful dish back in 1976 when James Ronan and I backpacked across Europe for seven weeks. We were staying with some friends in Zaragoza, Spain. They took us out to eat at this restaurant located in a huge and ancient basement that had an equally huge fireplace. The chefs had long spits over the fire on which they were searing and cooking enormous slabs of pork. Highly entertaining and wonderful food. But the highlight of the evening was the dessert. I think it might have been the highlight of the entire trip. Go ahead, surprise your loved ones with this and you will reap praises from all. I guarantee it. And just remember, a chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion. Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and coowner 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.

Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites Mystery # 5

From Kathleen Ernst, the bestselling author of Heritage of Darkness, comes the eagerly awaited sequel…

Curator and occasional sleuth Chloe Ellefson is off to Minneapolis to help out a former college classmate facing a monumental task. Together they must write a winning proposal for a controversial and expensive project: convert an abandoned flour mill complex, currently occupied by homeless people, into a history museum.

When a body is found at the complex, stuffed down a grain chute, Chloe's attention turns from milling to murder. Back in Wisconsin, her love interest Roelke McKenna gets awful news. His best friend, a Milwaukee police officer, has been shot dead in the line of duty. Separated by hundreds of miles, Chloe and Roelke must sift through clues from the past and present. Alone, each takes risks that threaten their growing trust in each other—and their very lives. The Chloe series is for adults and mature teens who like books without explicit sex, violence, or gore. They are available from independent bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and publisher Midnight Ink as trade paperbacks and as e-Books for reading with iPad, Kobo, Nook, and Kindle apps and devices.

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Salad 1 head green leaf lettuce 1 head red leaf lettuce I/2 head romaine lettuce 1 Granny Smith apple 1 Pink Lady apple 1 cup pecans, toasted 6 oz block sharp white Cheddar cheese Dressing 2 1/2 T. cider vinegar 6 T. olive oil Chop all lettuces and toss. Quarter the apples and core. Slice thinly lengthwise. Add to lettuce. Add pecans. Shave cheese with a vegetable peeler over the top. Whisk vinegar and olive together with some salt and pepper and drizzle over the top of salad. Yum.

ChiCKen anD DumplingS 2 rotisserie chickens 4 stalks celery, sliced 3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 small onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, diced 8 oz sliced button mushrooms 4 T. extra virgin olive oil 4 qts chicken broth, preferably homemade 1 T. dried thyme Salt and pepper to taste


6 cups Bisquick 2 cups milk Doris Pfister Thompson, LMT, Owner

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

Remove chicken skin and bones. Dice meat and set aside. Sauté vegetables until soft, about 5 minutes in a large pot. Add chicken and broth. Mix Bisquick and milk and form a soft dough. Bring soup to a boil. Using a dinner teaspoon, cut dough into spoon sized pieces and drop into soup. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, and then covered for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Yum Yum! Note: If you do not want to use Bisquick just mix 6 cups flour with 2 1/2 T. baking and 1 tsp baking powder.

pearS poaCheD in reD wine 4-6 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced in half the long way 1 1/2 cups dry red wine (I used Shiraz) 3/4 cup sugar 2 T. lemon juice 2 tsp. vanilla 2 tsp cinnamon Combine all ingredients except pears in a large sauté pan and bring to a full boil. Turn heat to a simmer. Add pears and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Turn over and simmer until fork tender. Remove and cool. Reduce wine sauce to one half. Pour over pears and top with whipped cream. Yum Yum Yum! 64

Winter 2014-15 /



You’ll love it too!

We’re super excited to be bringing not only our fun print magazine (the one you’re holding!) to the world, but also features online (and the best stories from past magazines too). Below is just a teaser of what’s on right now – visit us to read the rest of the stories, and don’t forget to say hello! We love you guys! meDitation: not JuSt For guruS anymore! by Thea Satrom LMT & CZT

Become present, calm, and inspired. Begin meditating for 5-10 minutes today! 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.


winter’S Dragon: hoSt a ChineSe new year party! By Aryn Henning Nichols

Gung hay fat choy is something you may have heard belted out in late winter, especially in a major city (especially, especially in San Francisco). In China, you might hear xin nian kuai le (depending on your location). No, it’s not a curse to winter – it’s a greeting! Gung hay fat choy is Cantonese, (most commonly spoken in southern China) and means “Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.” Xin nian kuai le is Mandarin, the dominant language in mainland China, and means “Happy New Year”. Either way, they are both said during the same fun, late winter holiday: Chinese New Year! K’uun CoFFee By Kristine Kopperud Jepsen . Photos by Aaron Zauner

Stay inSpire(D): KiCK winter DolDrumS in the Shin! 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!


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 A Great

by the numbers!


(insert time ) before:

(month) Invite friends & plan menu (week) Make & purchase your grocery list (day) Prep food, get out dishes (etc), & clean/decorate!

by ese C he

the 1/2 pound

$6.99 $7.50 Sartori Balsalmic BellaVitano: $7.99 Montechevre Goat Cheese: $6.99 Prairie Breeze Cheddar:

Estimated Alcohol content

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

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.



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.

St. Pete’s Bleu Cheese:

Number of appetizers to prepare per person

6 to 8


Dinner party inFographiC! Whether 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!


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.

s dessert < Where’ on this thing?

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

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!

Set up an appetizer area. A few snacks when guests arrive is a great way to take the pressure off the cook. Let friends nibble while you make sure the risotto is creamy or the pork cooked-through. Quick labels can spark conversations without having to repeatedly answer, “What’s this?”

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


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

There’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 micro-roastery based out of their home in Calmar, Iowa. Their mission? To reveal the soul of Coffea Arabica and the memorable flavor and aroma that makes it so indispensable.

Read all these stories in their entirety on See you soon! XO Inspire(d) 65 \ Winter 2014-15

proBituary – a notiCe oF liFe!

Dorothy Seegmiller loves visits with friends and a fun social life! interview and introduction by Janelle (holty) halverson

Dorothy and her family (four children: rodney, mark, Daryl and Donna Kay) are dear friends of ours. you can count on her for a cheerful phone call and a chat that will leave you smiling. one of my favorite memories of a “Dorothy-call” is after she and horace (her late husband), moved to town. their house is located near the lutheran Cemetery where my husband’s brother, Scott, is buried. every time she would call, she always mentioned that she would chat with Scott while she was doing dishes because she could see where he was buried from her kitchen window. you never have to wonder if she is thinking about you or caring about what is happening in your life. She is a gregarious person who loves her new home at the aase haugen home in Decorah. She says she never misses a chance to get out and socialize. What was the best advice you were ever given? My grandmother told me “It’s your daily life that counts.” What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I wanted to join the military, but I never did. Instead I got married. I had a boyfriend at home, you know, and I couldn’t leave him (Horace). We got together when I was 14 and then we got married when I was 18, just about 19. I never thought I wanted to be a farm wife. I wanted to live in town. My grandparents lived in town and I just thought it was so much fun to live close to the activities and everything. But, I became a farm wife, 60 years. I enjoyed it but I don’t really miss the farm. I did that thing but I was happy to move to town. If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want with you? Definitely a good meat sandwich, a bottle of water, and my sunglasses. Try to describe yourself in one sentence. Oh, I don’t even dare say it (chuckles): Fat and Sassy. If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life what would it be? Oh meat, I love meat. I’m from the farm. On the farm we had meat morning, noon, and night. Tell us about your wedding day. We eloped. I was in Decorah visiting my grandparents during the fair. Before we left that day I had to take all of my grandmother’s quilts out to be aired and put away. Then we left that afternoon to be married. We got our marriage license in Caledonia and got married in La Crescent at a little Methodist Church. The minister called the lady next door to the church to be our witness. We had a wonderful honeymoon through the West, about a week, week and a half. Through the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Montana, North Dakota, down through Minnesota and home to the farm.

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

What was your first job? Babysitting for friends, relatives, and neighbors. The first thing I bought was a nice Easter Outfit and a purse and pair of shoes. Babysitting didn’t pay very well back then and it took quite a bit of change to buy a nice outfit. What is your favorite memory? My grandmother. We lived together on a farm on Locust Road, right across from where Horace and I lived – it was my home farm.

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Winter 2014-15 /

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Rustic Corner It’s Worth the Trip Every Time! 413 N Main St • Charles City, Iowa 50616 • 641-228-2657 Open at 9am Monday - Saturday!

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