Inspire(d) Winter 2015-2016

Page 1


NO. 44 • Winter 2015-16



Paper Project



ME TIME It’s important!

DIY Hot Cocoa! Bubble Bath! Play Dough!





Sum of Your Business



Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets Phone: 877-4-A-HYBRID

WINTER 2015-16 contents



What we’re loving: winter 2015-16


dec • Jan • Feb calendars


day trip: mt lax + snowflake ski + KVR


Sum biz: Kate rattenborg


paper project: grown-up coloring


live generously - driftless community


diy: hot cocoa, play dough, bubbles


me time: infographic


Mississippi mirth: community dinners


probit: sigrid peterson


...and more!


We’re excited about 2016 - this is going to be a year of living generously, folks. Let’s do this!

14 \ Winter 2015-16


Give the gift of quality and inspiration in wonderful, memorable experiences.

Imani Winds Portraits of Langston

A Langston Hughes-inspired woodwind quintet




Saturday, February 6 • 7:30 p.m.


Center Winds Stage 2015 16

Thursday, February 18 • 7:30 p.m.

Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet: A Night in Ancient and New China World-famous chamber ensemble with pipa virtuoso

Tickets for these performances are now available in time for the holidays— choose your seats starting on December 9!

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! 2015–16 Center Stage Sponsors

Media Supporters

Decorah Newspapers The


Decorah Newspapers

What’s it mean?

From the Editor


ou guys, I’m here to tell you there are a lot of people in this world – roughly 7 billion – and for every bad thing that happens each day, I am certain there are at least 1000 good. Believe it: It’s true. Take our little part of the world, for instance. When I put the call out for people to give recommendations for others who are “living generously” – i.e. giving of their time, talents, goods, or money – the lists that came back were way long. And inspiring. It was hard to choose, and, ultimately, came down to availability. You see – people who live generously don’t necessarily have tons of time on their plates, they just decide what they want to support – from community theatre to city commissions to band boosters to bikes – and they make it work. The key is finding something you’re passionate about, and working some generous spirit into it. Who will you find featured in the Live Generously section (pg. 34)? The quick (and amazing) list goes like this: Karen Trewin, Kim Powell, Bebe Keith, Jarrad and Laurie Walter, Paul Lundquist, Lucas Zellmer, Carolyn Flaskerud, Ward Budweg, Larry Grimstad, Liz Fox, Mark Faldet, and David and Rachel Storlie. (Note: We love highlighting good people doing good things, so if you have others you think absolutely should be featured, send us a note [] and we’ll see if we can get them online!) Good ol’ Jim McCaffrey gets back on board this issue with a Mississippi Mirth that follows the Live Generously theme too (pg. 60). He tells us how McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita got involved with the twice-monthly community meal (free and open to anyone on the first and third Thursdays of each month at the Decorah First Lutheran Church). Before you head off and start giving freely of your time/talents/goods/money, though, there’s one really important thing you’ve got to do: Take care of yourself! Check out my latest infographic all about Me Time for ideas on getting you and those beautiful brains of yours a rest (pg. 56). If you want to get started right away, try out this issue’s paper project – a coloring page for grown-ups, by artist Sonja Emily (pg. 33)! It’s super cute. Maybe your idea of relaxing is by getting crafty? Then check out my little DIY section where I experiment with homemade hot cocoa, play dough, and bubble bath (pg. 52). Details about how all the (what I’m calling) science experiments went down are posted up on, so be sure to say hi over there soon! Or perhaps you like to – literally – get away…we don’t blame you! Benji leads us on a Driftless Day Trip across the Western Wisconsin coulees, to Mt. La Crosse, Snowflake Ski Jump, and Kickapoo Valley Reserve (pg. 14). Make sure you’ve got fourwheel-drive or good snow tires! And maybe a map. Finally, we can’t think of a better Sum of Your Business feature for this issue than the generous-spirited Kate Rattenborg of Dragonfly Books (pg. 24). She’ll be celebrating five years in business this February 2016, but it’s really the Decorah community who should be celebrating – having a local bookstore in our downtown is pure magic. This life is magic too. Hang on to that. Perpetuate it. Lean into it. And remind others. (Probituary feature Sigrid Peterson [pg. 66] certainly does, and she seems to know what she’s doing!)

Looking forward, Aryn Henning Nichols

P.S. There’s long-been some confusion around our name, Inspire(d). Well, after over eight (!) years in business, we’ve decided it’s about time we make the description easier to find! Check it out here! XOXO

Inspire(d) Inspire(d) – pronounced in-spy-erd... you know: inspired – stands for both inspire and inspired. The idea is that person one inspires person two. That person is now inspired. Then that person inspires person three (or person one again), who is now inspired. Then the cycle continues! That’s what those arrows around the (d) are about! And our mission is, ultimately, to change the world… starting with our own community!

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 Sonja Ecklund / Paper Project Chad Berger / Photo contributor Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Winter 2015-16, issue 44, volume 9, Copyright 2015-6 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on stands, you can have it sent to your door (or extended family!) 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


THE THRIVENT STORY Thrivent is a membership organization of Christians …

We help members be wise with money …

And live generously.

The result is stronger members, families and communities.

Let’s start a new conversation about money.

Thrivent Financial was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute 2012–2015.

Decorah Area Team Jeff Olinger, FIC Karen Trewin, FIC 218 E Water St., Suite 1 Decorah, IA 52101 Office: 563-382-1809 Toll-free: 844-349-7388

Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • • 800-847-4836

28304 N8-14

What We’re





right now



Neste Valley Reserve / Dry Run Trail

Have we mentioned how lucky we feel to have the beautiful Hotel Winneshiek operating in our community? It is a seriously amazing anchor to Downtown Decorah – the renovation of the historical property in 2000 brought new life and new businesses to (the already pretty hopping) Water Street, and it’s not too shabby to look at, either. In more recent years, the Hotel Winneshiek has also been a hub of fun activity. Their new motto is “The (“Lovings” continued on next page)

Dec 4-6


Joseph Hall

Dec 17


OHP present HARVEY


April 14-16

Hotel Winneshiek + Fun Events


April 8-9

Back in 2013, the Neste Family partnered with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the Winneshiek County Conservation board to start the process of converting their 170-acre heritage farm into a new park just outside of Decorah. The INHF was able to secure the property from the family and will transfer it to the Winnesheik County Conservation Board and open it to the public once fundraising on the million-dollar project has been completed. The property encompasses an impressive span of land including oak savannahs, wetlands, and one mile of the Dry Run Creek, which will all be permanently protected as parkland. It’s the first new park established by WCC in 21 years! Exciting! The property will also be the link that will allow an 8-mile Dry Run Trail to connect the Trout Run and Prairie Farmer Trails in Calmar via Highway 52. That would make over 43 miles of nonstop trail in Northeast Iowa! We love this vision, and want to encourage our readers to donate to INHF in the name of this project – they still need $235,000 to make it happen! Getting this park in action would be an amazing gift to pass on to future generations (and a great way to start Living Generously). Find more information at cfm or by contacting the Winneshiek Conservation at or 563-534-7145.

For additional events & ticket information visit 207 N. Main, Elkader, IA





So much more than a



Beautiful Decorah Bed & Bath



What We’re


right now


Welcome is Real” – they hope folks will think of the terrazzofloored lobby as the community living room, and the Steyer Opera House as a place to dance and have fun. To drive this notion home, they’ve hosted some pretty cool events – ranging from their “Live in the Lobby” music series to the dead-of-thewinter Winneshiek Music Festival. This whole “why have it if you don’t use it” mentality is one we can get behind. Seriously – get that China out of the cupboard, people! And get those butts off the couch for some of these great events: Winneshiek Wedding Market, January 24, 2016 – Three floors of wedding fun! We think the idea of strolling all around the Hotel, mimosa in-hand, as you plan your wedding sounds like a lot of fun. Details at Winneshiek Music Festival, January 29-31, 2016 – There’s a great line-up of local and regional favorites for this year’s fest! Check out the poster on page 18! Live in the Lobby, Sundays and Tuesdays (schedule starts again in spring, with occasional pop-ups this winter) – Free music performances in the Hotel lobby! Check Hotel Winneshiek Facebook page for details. Luren Singers’ Dave Judisch receives AWARD

563-382-2700 • 510 MONTGOMERY ST, DECORAH, IA or find us on Facebook


Come home to Decorah!


Tom 563-380-6712 Travis 563-380-7912 08

Winter 2015-16 /

We love the Nordic roots that run so very deep in our little Northeast Iowa community, and it would be hard to embody the Decorah/Nordic connection more than the Luren Singing Society has for the past 148+ years. This group lives up to its motto “We Love to Sing” – in Norwegian, to boot. Although the Society has humble roots, as it prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2018, others are taking notice too. Earlier this fall, the Norwegian Honorary Consul General notified long-time director Dr. David Judisch that he had been awarded St. Olav’s Medal by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway. The medal is awarded to only a handful of honorees each year in recognition of “outstanding services rendered in connection with the spreading of information about Norway abroad and for strengthening the bonds between expatriate Norwegians

and their home country.” It is an award of high-distinction given to non-Norwegian citizens. Judisch has directed the Luren singers for over 40 years, and has been director-inchief of the NSAA (Norwegian Singers Association of America) for over 30. During that time he has also helped lead seven tours of male choir singers to Norway to perform and travel. Judisch will be presented the award on February 4, 2016 at the Luther College Convocation in the CFL. Congrats to Dr. Judisch and the Luren Singing Society! For more information and performance schedules, visit: Coloring for Grown-Ups!

Winneshiek County

OK, ok, ok… so you may have already caught the ‘rage’ of coloring books for grown-ups. It’s everywhere! What’s the big deal about coloring? Many psychologists are saying filling in those blank little spaces with color is the next best thing to meditation – that it’s a huge stress-reliever and a great way to relax the mind. It’s become so popular, in fact, that almost half of the best-selling books on Amazon are adult coloring books. Lucky for us, some local and regional artists have jumped on board the coloring train. And we totally love that! Check out this

issue’s “Paper Project” (page 33) from Luther grad / Minneapolis artist Sonja Emily. She currently has coloring gift cards (above) for sale at Milkhouse Candles and Gifts in Decorah, and is rumored to be stocking them up with some coloring books soon, too. We love her fun and whimsical work (you can get more details about Sonja on page 32). One of our other favorite Minneapolis artists, “Chuck U” has also turned several of his incredible – and often totally intricate – works into a totally entertaining coloring book, and our local Dragonfly Books (you can read more about THEM on page 24) has a great variety of coloring books to choose from too! Hooray for creative outlets for, truly, anyone!

8 weeks of winter fun January 22-24, 2016 Heidi New Minowa Players Community Theatre

February 6, 2016 Barneløpet Kids Skiing ages 3-13

January 24, 2016 Winneshiek Wedding Market Hotel Winneshiek

February 18, 2016 Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet Center Stage Series, Luther College

January 29-30, 2016 Heidi New Minowa Players Community Theatre

February 25, 2016 Celtic Nights Center Stage Series, Luther College

January 29-31, 2016 Winneshiek Winter Music Fest Hotel Winneshiek

March 4-6, 2016 Oneota Film Festival Luther College

February 5, 2016 Taste of Winneshiek Food, wine & beer tasting

March 11, 2016 Lightwire -- The Show Center Stage Series, Luther College

February 6, 2016 Imani Winds -- Portraits of Langston Center Stage Series, Luther College

Plan your visit


Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these great winter activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

217 West Water Street . Decorah, Iowa



Open Monday-Saturday Get started today! 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $25 117 W WATER ST, DECORAH . 563.382.WINE

December 1. December 3-6 & 10-26: Helping Services of NE Iowa presents Holiday Lights Magical Nights at the Decorah Campground. Dec. 3-6, and then every night Dec. 10 through 26! Ho Ho Ho! 2. December 4: The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Lighted Holiday Parade makes its way down Water Street at 6pm. Lighted floats, community fun, Holiday cheer! Visit www. for more info.

25W/ $25B

3. December 5: Bring the whole family to Vesterheim Museum’s Norwegian Christmas Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday traditions, food, crafts, Julenisse, shopping, and more! 4. December 12: Seed Savers Exchange hosts Winter on the Farm. Horse drawn sleigh or wagon rides 11-3. Visitors Center open 10-5. Hot Chocolate, Cookies & Holiday Sales. 5. December 16: Wednesday Wine Down at The Rustic Corner in Charles City 4pm-8pm! Wine & holiday snacks to help you unwind from the hustle. More info TheRusticCorner



Plus: Thursday Flatbread & Flights – 3 pours of wine & a pizza!


6. December 19: The Root Note presents a tribute to “O’Brother Where Art Thou”, 8:30pm. Great taps, coffee, and crepes – 115 4th St South, La Crosse. 7. December 31: Decorah Women’s NYE Day Fat Bike Ride! All women are welcome – bikes available for rent. Meet at Decorah bicycles for a 2pm departure, 101 College Drive, January 8. January 2: The Root Note presents Tin Can Gin with Dig Deeper, 8:45pm. Great taps, coffee, and crepes – 115 4th St South, La Crosse.


563-382-4646 | 10

Winter 2015-16 /

9. January 21: Celebrate the 45th annual Snowfest in Cresco January 21-24. Trail Rides, Raffles, and events all weekend. Blue Ringers Band Saturdaynight. Facebook “DriftrunnersSnowmobile-Club” for details. 10. January 22: New Minowa Players presents Heidi, January 2225 and 28-29. See for tickets and other details. This play is based on the well-loved children’s novel.

fun stuff to do














4 Winter on the Farm, Seed Savers Exchange, 11am-3pm

December 31 – Driftless NYE! • Pump House New Year’s Eve: á Paris, La Crosse, 8pm • “Droppin’ of the Carp” festivities, St. Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien, 9pm • Decorah Park & Rec New Year’s Eve Bash, Regents Center, Luther College






Happy New Year’s Eve!

31 7 Decorah Women’s NYE Day Fat Bike Ride, Decorah Bicycles, 2pm

“Surfacing: Samantha French / Rhea Pappas” Continues at the MN Marine Art Museum through January 10, Winona.

25 Dec 17: 24 Dec 18: Last chance Andra Suchy, Last night Holiday Singto see Santa Root Note, Along, St. Mane, of “Holiday at Holiday Lights” at Lanesboro, Lights, Decorah La Crosse Decorah 7:30pm Campground DECEMBER 19: Campground • Winneshiek Indoor Farmers Market, Decorah Fairgrounds, 8-11am Merry • Burning Bright Concert, Methodist Church, Decorah, 5pm & 7:30pm Christmas! • “Cookies w/ Santa” La Crosse Children’s Museum 10:30a-12pm




15 6 19 16 Joseph 17 Chad Elliot,18 5 Barnetimen Hall’s Rock’n’ O’Brother Hotel Winn Children’s Hour, Wednesday Remember, Lobby, 6pm Where Art Wine Down, Vesterheim, Elkader Opera Thou tribute, Joe & Vicki Decorah, 10am Rustic Corner, House, 7pm Root Note, La Price, Safe DECEMBER 12: Charles City Mike McAbee, House, Lansing Crosse, 8:30pm • “Cookies w/ Santa” La Crosse 4-8pm Sportsman’s, Fattening Frogs Children’s Museum 10:30a-12pm The Fez, Englert, Rossville, 7-10pm Haymarket • Date Night at ArtHaus, Decorah IA City, 8pm



Winter Holidays Expo Indoor Farmer Market & Craft Fair, Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, Marquette


11 10 Nisse 6 7 Canadian 8 9 Pre-school Dec 11-13: Ultra Mega Mega DPL discussion Pacific Pancakes w/ Villa Louis Luther CFA, 7pm Santa! Winn. Holiday Train, “The Magician’s Home for The Ellis Co Fairgrounds, Marquette, Lie”, Courtyard the Holidays, & Cellar, 5pm 9am-12pm Marsalis Quartet 5:05pm Prairie du Englert, Iowa City DECEMBER 5: Chien • Gift of Art Sale, Hotel Winneshiek Beet Root Stew, • Winneshiek Indoor Farmers Market, Decorah Fairgrounds, 8-11am Haymarket 10 pm • Porter House Museum Christmas Open House, Decorah, 1-4pm

2 Free First 3 4 5 3 Helping Services “Holiday Lights” Thursday, Decorah 1 is open at Decorah Campground! DEC 3: Vesterheim Lighted Holiday Vesterheim Norwegian La Crosse Tourism Expo, Parade, Water “Little Women” plays through December 20, Christmas Street, 6pm La Crosse Center Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro Celebration, Jillian Ray, Charlie Parr & Bob Bovee, 10am-4pm December 4-6: St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm Haymarket, 10pm ArtHaus Holiday Art Fair, ArtHaus, Decorah December 4-5: FEAST Local Christmas on Broadway, Elkader Opera House “Adult Recess” at the La Crosse Foods Show, Rochester Children’s Museum! 6-9pm



“From Tradition to Protest: Lila Nelson’s Weaving Life” Opens December 5, Vesterheim

3 4




Winneshiek Wedding Market, Hotel Winneshiek, Decorah



JAN 24: Martin • Global Belly Luther King Laugh Day! Jr. Day • Bryan Bowers CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm


JANUARY 23: • Pat Donohue, Chatfield Center for the Arts, 7:30pm • Copperbox, Pumphouse, La Crosse, 7:30pm





“The Man Who”, Luther CFA Studio II, 3pm





The Okee Dokee Brothers, Page Series, SMU, Winona, 6:30pm



8 Tin Can Gin, Root Note, La Crosse




LOL Comedy Showcase, Chatfield Center for the Arts, 7:30pm

12 Jan 29-31: Winneshiek Music Festival

JAN 30: • Kickapoo Valley Reserve Ice Cave Hike, La Farge, 12:30pm • “Miss Myrna Davenport Poetry in Motion”, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm


Christine Lavin & Don White, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 8pm


New Year’s Day Bike Ride! Decorah Bicycles

Happy New Year!


9 23 22 21 Dam Phunski Jan 21-24: Ric Gilman & Cross Country Driftrunners Bruce Bowers, Ski Race, KVR, Snowmobile St. Mane, La Farge, WI Jan 19-20: Snowfest, Cresco Lanesboro, Sesame Love Nocturnal, JAN 30: 7:30pm Street Live, La the Root Note General B & Crosse Center The Wiz, the 10 Jan 22-29: New Minow Root Note Players present “Heidi”



Free First Thursday, Vesterheim, Decorah

Trick Boxing: The Berenstain Boxing Meets Bears ‘Family Ballroom, Page Matters” Series, SMU, Luther CFL, 10am Winona, 7:30pm & 12:30pm “A Splinter of Josh Ritter, Light on All’, Pantages Theatre, Aaron Kelly, Luther Storre Root Note, Minneapolis La Crosse Theatre, 7:30pm


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



Jan 9: 8 Kickapoo 9 High School Valley Reserve Juried Art Winter Show Opening, Festival, La Lanesboro Farge, WI Arts Gallery, 8:30am-4pm 7:30pm Yellow Bellied Jan 8-9: Johnsmith w/ Dan Sebranek, Sap Suckers, Pumphouse, La Crosse, 7:30pm the Root Note “20 6 Commodities that Changed the World: Giulia Buff” opens at the Pump House


Jan 16-17: WI Winter Free Fishing Weekend

“River Life: Recent Work by David Eberhardt” opens 1/15 at the MN Marine Art Museum, Winona

Effigy Mounds Winter Film Festival runs weekends through March 28



“Woodcarved Figures, Nordic Roots” through April at Vesterheim Museum




fun stuff to do


Happy 9 Mardi Gras!

O.A.R., Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids











Driftrunner’s Snowmobile Club Chili Feed, Grainger, IA







Feb 12-13: The Second City, Englert, IA City, 8pm


Free First 4 5 6 Thursday, Moors & 13 Vesterheim McCumber, Pumphouse, La Madison Guster, Crosse, 7:30pm Comedy First Ave, Night, Root Minneapolis Note, La Wheelhouse, Crosse Brad Paisley, Haymarket La Crosse 10pm Center

Feb 10-13: The Drowsy Chaperone, SMU Theatre & Dance, Winona


Feb 5: “Miss Myrna Davenport Poetry in Motion”, St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm


FEBRUARY 13: • Ellis, Chatfield Center for the Arts, 7:30pm • “Nice Girls Don’t Sweat”, St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm

Feb 8-9: John Scofield, Dakota Club, Minneapolis


Groundhog Day



Kick, Wu Man and Barnetimen Haymarket President’s Children’s hour, Feb 26-27: the Shanghai 10pm Day & Quartet, Bald Eagle Vesterheim, Washington’s Luther Center Appreciation 10am Birthday Stage Series, 20,000 Leagues Weekend, CFL, 7:30 The Revelers, Flibbertijibbet, Under The Sea, Prairie du Effigy Mounds Winter Chien CSPS, Cedar the Root Note, Page Series, Film Festival - weekends La Crosse Rapids, 8pm Winona, 6:30pm through March 28 Decorah 21 24 26 23 25 22 15 27 Bicycles The Jones FEBRUARY 20: A Night of Celtic Nights, Snowball! Family Singers, • Kickapoo Valley Reserve Ice Astronomy, Decorah Area Luther Center Page Series, Cave Hike, La Farge, WI 12:30pm Driftless Area Chamber of Stage Series, SMU, Winona, • Frozen River Film Fest Commerce Wetland 7:30pm CFL, 7:30 ‘Adrenaline Set’, St. Mane, Centre, 6-8pm Gala, Hotel Winneshiek Jason Isbell, Lanesboro 4 & 7:30pm Northrop Evergreen, Feb 24-28: Frozen River Auditorium, the Root Note Film Festival, Winona Minneapolis Feb 26-28: “Short Play Showcase”, Leap 29 28 Year! St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro COMING UP: FEBRUARY 27: March 4-6: Oneota Film festival 16 • Kickapoo Valley Reserve Ice Cave Hike, La Farge, WI 12:30pm March 4: The Old Fashioneds, Haymarket 10pm • Emerging Artist Opening, March 4-6: International Festival of Owls, Houston MN Lanesboro Arts Gallery, 6-8pm March 8: Skippyjon Jones “Snow What”, Luther CFL, 10am & 12:30pm • Lynn Biddick, Pumphouse, March 11: Lightwire Theatre, Luther Center Stage Series, CFL, 7:30pm La Crosse, 7:30pm March 13: Daylight Saving – Spring Forward 1 Hour!

Happy 14 Valentine’s Day!

Barneløpet Childrens X-Country Ski, Community Prairie


1 FEBRUARY 6: • Imani Winds, Luther Center Stage Series, CFL, 7:30 • June Young Watercolor Opening, Lanesboro Arts Gallery, 6-8pm • Joe & Vicki Price, Byron’s (Birthday Bash!), Pomeroy, IA, 8pm


“From Underwear to Everywhere: Norwegian Sweaters” through April, Vesterheim Museum

“Spiritual Offerings: Photographs by Douglas Beasley” runs through April, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona



fun stuff to do












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!



25W/ $25B

Direct link: Questions? Email

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

11. January 26: Luther J-term Theater and Dance Performances! “The Man Who” CFA Studio II- 3PM; “A Splinter of Light on All” Storre Theater - 7:30PM. Free! 12. January 29-31: Winneshiek Music Festival! Great local and regional bands hit up the Hotel Winneshiek for three days of awesome music and winter fun.

25W/ $25B

33rd Annual






at DECORAH HIGH SCHOOL Contact us now to

For details, email or call 563-382-4251

February 13. February 6: The Root Note presents Madison Comedy Night, 9pm. Great taps, coffee, and crepes – 115 4th St South, La Crosse. 14. February 13: Ride your snowmobile to Driftrunner’s Warming Bin near Grainger for Charlie’s Chilli Feed. Soup and food available to warm you up. Facebook “DriftrunnersSnowmobile-Club” for details. 15. February 27: Join the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce for their annual fundraising Gala at the Hotel Winneshiek! Celebrate the local business community and connect with friends alike. Hotel Winneshiek, more information & tickets at

Coming Up: 16. March 4-6: Oneota Film Festival! 3 days of free films & events for the whole family hosted by Luther College. Schedule, information: drop-ins welcome!

Newly renovated & perfect for exploring all of Decorah!

Lovely Downtown Decorah Living

Large 2 Bedroom / 2 Bath Loft

Molly Lesmeister, instructor

beginning, continuing, & gentle yoga

Gorgeous Panoramic Views . Gourmet Kitchen . Private Deck Nightly, weekly, & monthly rates.

110 Washingon Street. Decorah, Iowa . 319.270.4592 \ Winter 2015-16



Winter 2015-16 /




Winter 2015-16 /

Photos courtesy Mt. La Crosse

Mt. La Crosse

Open 7 days Memorial Day-Labor Day | Winter: Wed-Sat 10-5 / Sun 12-4

Driftless Day Trip: Winter Coulees! Adventuring to Mt. La Crosse, Snowflake Ski Club, & Kickapoo Valley Reserve By Benji Nichols

90 S. Front St. Lansing, Iowa. 319.594.6795


inter in the Driftless is a fickle season – cold and dark, but not always enough snow to have all the fun. So what’s a Midwesterner to do? I learned to ski at the long-gone-but-not-forgotten Nor-Ski hill in Decorah (rest in sweet peace, you glove-eating monster). Literally, my first downhill runs were with duct-taped boots on just enough natural snow to cover the corn stubble – but it was enough to plant in me a lifelong love of skiing and snow sports. For this Driftless Day Trip, we’ve decided to round-up a couple of our favorite places to swoosh, snowshoe, and take in the incredible winter light of the Driftless. Buckle up and get out there to explore the hills and coulees this winter! What’s a coulee? The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from French word couler meaning “to flow”. West central Wisconsin, aka the Coulee Region, has been dissected by water erosion into a series of narrow ridges separated by steepsided valleys called coulees. Driftless is a term we use a lot here at Inspire(d), as we feel like it truly encompasses this amazing region of ours. Driftless has come to be used fairly widely, but if you really want to be in the heart of the Driftless, Western Wisconsin – particularly in and around Vernon County – is where’s it’s at. It also happens to embody a few of the more alluring and unique winter activities in the region. A mid-winter drive along the Mississippi River valley in any direction is almost guaranteed to produce bald eagle watching of epic proportions, and the scenic views only get better as you leave the river and wind up through the coulees.

SPOTlight: Mt. La Crosse Just north of Chipmunk Coulee on River Road (really – it’s a place! … leave it to the Bohemians!), but south of La Crosse proper, is the turn-off for a special set of hills tucked perfectly off the Mississippi. Back in 1959, Mr. Ted Motchman saw these 200 acres of hillside and thought they looked just about right for strapping a couple of narrow boards on your feet and whooshing downhill. An ‘A’ Frame was erected, and adventurers of all ages flocked to show their support of alpine (downhill) skiing. Mt. La Crosse has been in continuous operation since, now with three chair lifts, a beginner tow-rope, and modern snow-making and Continued on next page


river view inn

Lansing, Iowa

60 SOUTH FRONT STREET, LANSING, IOWA 563-537-0072 • 563-538-4231 (DAYTIME)




HOMES Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •




563-538-4228 • 359 Main St. Lansing, IA \ Winter 2015-16


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Online Mortgage Pre-Approvals at Call Mike Huinker, Muriel Lensch or Wanda Walter!


DISH 35th Anniversary Special!

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2 CONVENIENT SIMS LOCATIONS 112 Winnebago St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union 563-382-CELL (2355) • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Thurs ‘til 8pm • Sat 9am-5pm • Sun 12-4pm

grooming. They provide a fantastic regional skiing outlet that is family friendly and won’t break the bank. Terrain includes Wisconsin’s longest ski run (Mileaway), and Mid-America’s steepest trail (Damnation – really, it’s a doozie!). Action park and snowboard features also change up over the season to provide seasoned riders even more reasons to keep coming back, as well as high school ski racing action and state competitions. Throw in various special evening rates (the hills are all lit up!), as well as gear and lesson packages (snow boards too!), and these hills keep the adventuring alive as long as temps allow. We’re also fans of the St. Bernard Room, where you can enjoy a cozy view of the slopes with a Spotted Cow or warm beverage in hand. Always check the website or call ahead for conditions and hours – particularly for season opening and closing dates, which typically run from late November to early March. Details: N5549 Old Town Hall Rd La Crosse, Wisconsin (608) 788-0044 If you think swooshing down the snowy slopes is adventurous, you’ll want to hang on to your stocking cap for what’s up next! Just up River Road you can catch Highway 14 toward Coon Valley. We’re headed to Westby, another well-known Norwegian enclave, then just past it on County Road P. Keep an eye out – you’ll see a large scaffolding structure jutting off one of the hilltops. What could be a better dead-of-the-winter Norwegian activity than – yep – Ski Jumping?!

Spotlight: Snowflake Ski Club

Friends, we’re not talking about sledding buddies mounding up a pile of snow here; we mean the real deal: Skiers in full suits gracefully swooping down an enormous (65 Meter – seriously!) jump and sailing off the end to hover over a snow covered hill that disappears beneath them. Really, its just like the Olympics – only in rural Wisconsin, and with bonfires, and music, and beverages, and… anyhow. The Junior Ski Jumping Competition is Sunday, January 10, 2016 where youngsters compete on all four sizes of ski jumps, while the Snowflake Ski Club Jumping Tournament runs February 5-6 with competitors participating from around the world. Friday night kicks off with opening ceremonies, followed by competition on the lighted course, and more fun continuing Saturday during the daylight. And if spectating isn’t enough, Snowflake offers memberships for youth and the young-at-heart that actually allow you to train to ski jump. Yep. Put that on your bucket list. Or just enjoy the festivities from the safety of the sidelines with a crowd that assumes you’ve all been friends since Shep was a pup. Details: Snowflake Ski Club E7940 County Rd P, Westby, WI 54667 (608) 634-3211 Junior Ski Jumping Competition – Sunday, January 10, 2016 Come see junior ski jumpers from around the Midwest compete on the 10, 20, 40, and 65-meter ski jumps. Competitors Continued on next page


Winter 2015-16 /


Photos by Chad Berger / Lone Wolf Studios, Westby, WI


Dance & Theatre






APRIL 29: 7:30 PM

MAY 5 & 6: 7:30 PM


$12. ADULTS | $5. CHILDREN UNDER 12 | FREE WITH LUTHER ID . Full 2015-16 season details at \ Winter 2015-16


on the 65-meter jump will be qualifying for a spot on the Junior National Team to compete at the 2016 National Ski Jumping Competition. Free admission for spectators! Snowflake Ski Club Jumping Tournament – February 5-6, 2016 Professional skiers come from around the globe to compete in this Olympic-like event on the 65-meter jump. Friday opening ceremonies are at 7 pm, with competition following at 7:30 pm. Saturday’s fun starts off at noon. Admission buttons are for sale on site.

Photos courtesy KVR

Now, if you were to head east on that same County Road ‘P’ out of Westby and just keep going, theoretically you’d end up right about at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. We’d give you at least a 65 percent chance of this, simply because the roads are winding, the scenery is beautiful, and you just might decide to get lost in the rolling countryside. But really, you should probably consult a map to find the best way to the KVR Visitor Center from your current location. Highway 82 to La Farge will get you close, or Highway 131 south out of Ontario will take you right through the reserve. Some might say that from this side of the river “you can’t get there from here,” but we’re here to tell you that, like most things, getting there is half the fun – and it’s worth the drive to get out into the wilderness. All that said, if you’ve got 4WD or just a good cross-country sense of adventure, our next destination should be perfect!

open country in Vernon County. After much political to-do, the project was forever left behind by the Army Corps of Engineers in the mid 1990s and the land was split between the Ho-Chunk Nation and the State of Wisconsin. Over 8,000 acres make up this incredible span of the Kickapoo River with high scenic hills, bluffs, and rock outcroppings standing several hundred feet tall. A gorgeous visitors center opened in 2004 and is a great starting point for first time visitors. It also houses several exhibits and galleries featuring great displays on geology, Native American history, and reserve information. Winter 2016 KVR offerings include an Ice Cave Hike Series, the KVR Winter Festival on January 9, and the “Dam Phunski” Cross Country Ski Race January 23. The visitor’s center and trails are open all winter for hiking and snowshoeing – but please note that trail permits are required for use and available at the Visitor Center as well as 13 self-registration stations in the reserve. Details: Kickapoo Valley Reserve S3661 State Highway 131 (visitor center) La Farge, WI 54639 (608) 625-2960


Spotlight: Kickapoo Valley Reserve (KVR)

If you’re an avid Inspire(d) reader, then chances are you’ve read our praises of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve before. The KVR has a fascinating and controversial history – stemming from the “La Farge Dam Project” that never came to fruition – but did relocate 149 farmers by the early 1970s and left an enormous piece of

Attending one of the following events is a great way to jump into the sprawling KVR and get an introduction into one of our regions most incredible pieces of wilderness.

Ice Cave Hike Series Visit several spectacular ice caves and frozen waterfalls. Participants will also have the chance to try traditional and modern snowshoes. There will be lots of outdoor discoveries and, depending on the hike leader, the following topics might be discussed: winter wildlife ecology, geology, biology, and history of the Kickapoo Reserve. The hike is rated moderate to difficult. Dress for the weather and don’t forget your camera! Saturdays: January 30, February 20, 27. 12:30 - 4:00 pm Fee: $10/Person; $9/KVR Friend; $5/Kids 12-18 Registration Deadline: Saturday prior to each hike


DECORAH BICYCLES BEST SELECTION OF FATBIKES IN THE AREA! Demo bikes available to try before you buy.


Rental costs (for 1 year) can be used toward the purchase of any new bike!


Join us for Weekly Fatbike Rides! 20


Winter 2015-16 / • 101 College Dr. Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-8209

2nd Annual

JAN 29-31, 2016




Contact the Hotel Winneshiek at 563-382-4164 or for details & great room packages!



DECORAH Winneshiek \ Winter 2015-16


Winter Festival • Saturday, January 9, 2016 8:30 am - 4:00 pm The KVR Winter Festival highlights fun cold-weather-friendly activities such as skating, sledding, skiing, archery, snow sculpture slide, ice cave hikes, birds of prey, face painting, horse-drawn bobsled rides, snowshoe exhibit, and the Tri-state Malamute Club sled dog race. The La Farge Lions Club hosts an annual chili and bread contest for the public and a Kickapoo Quick Auction of goods and services produced in the Kickapoo Valley raises funds for the KVR Education Program. Whoohoo!


If these adventures leave you saying, “what’s next?”, we’d love to suggest you get out on two wheels – even in the midst of winter! If you haven’t had the chance to ride a “fat” mountain bike yet, now is the time! Think of a standard mountain bike, but with frame accommodations to fit tires 4”+. The extra large tires allow you to run at low air pressures giving great traction on snow, sand, and all sorts of terrain. Local trail organizations and systems like Decorah’s DHPT, Upper Hixon in La Crosse, and Vernon Trails in Viroqua are even grooming some trails for winter riding. Conditions vary widely – and day by day throughout winter ­– but believe us: fat biking is a great workout and a fun way to burn off the winter blahs. Several regional shops are now renting fat bikes as well – Decorah Bicycles and Blue Dog Cycles in Viroqua are both great starting points.

Dam Phunski • Saturday, January 23, 2016, 10:00 am The Dam Phunski is a classic and freestyle cross-country ski course along the scenic Old Highway 131 Trail. Courses include a 1k loop for youth, a 5k point-to-point for juniors and phunskiers of all ages, and a 10k point-to-point for adults. It’s worth noting that all three of these winter destinations are in rural locations. La Crosse, Wisconsin, is by far the closest urban hub for this adventure, and a grand place to cozy up on a winter night. With such dining and accommodations as the new Charmont Hotel (its amaaaazing!), as well as our favorite cozy eatery The Mint – and fantastic nightlife downtown, La Crosse can be a great jumping off spot for any of the above adventures. Viroqua is also quite central to the KVR and Snowflake Ski Jump. Lodging is a bit more sparse, but with outlets like the Viroqua Food Co-op, Rooted Spoon/219 Drinkery, the incredible Driftless Café, and Kickapoo Coffee’s mothership – plus a charming downtown – it’s worth the trip. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the Kickapoo Valley Ranch. If you really want to get lost in a cozy cabin in the woods – literally next to the KVR – this is it. You can see our Driftless Day Trips for more ideas on both La Crosse and Viroqua at So bundle up, pack warm, and bring your sense of adventure this winter – The Driftless is waiting for you!

WE DELIVER IN DECORAH Hearing your baby’s heartbeat and holding your newborn for the first time are just the beginning of life’s greatest joys. From your first prenatal visit, we work closely with you to meet all of your birthing needs, including delivery at Winneshiek Medical Center. Gundersen doctors who provide prenatal care and deliver in Decorah, include: • Janet Ryan, MD • Kristy Schilling, MD • Kurt Swanson, DO • Matt Thompson, DO To schedule an appointment, call (563) 382-3140. Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Inc. | Gundersen Clinic, Ltd.


Winter 2015-16 /

Healthy Trees are Happy Trees


You’ve heard it before. It’s true. And happy trees stick around.



Your trees can provide shade, beauty, & privacy for more than a hundred years. Think of them like members of your family – if they’re sick, you call someone to take care of them.


! t f r f e e c i t G P e Th

Think ahead.

Call Drew at Stevenson Consulting. He’ll assess problems & potential for disease, & help make a plan to take care of these lovely old trees for decades more.

406 W. Water St. • Decorah, Iowa


Drew Stevenson . 563-380-1124




Winter 2015-16 /


Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery.

convenient sustainable lodging


Details at

Introduction by Aryn Henning Nichols

521 W. Water St. Decorah . 563-277-1061 \ Winter 2015-16



here are few places more magical than bookstores. You walk in the doors and can choose to go – virtually – anywhere. Across the world to China through a Peter Hessler book, into one of Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggy chronicles, to Texas to see what that wild Jenny Lawson is up to, or even into your self as you carefully pencil in the spaces of an adult coloring book. For Dragonfly Books owner Kate Rattenborg, just walking into a bookstore wasn’t enough – she wanted it to be her very own. Now, for the past five years, she’s gotten to walk through those doors in Downtown Decorah most days. Some times she gets to be transported to another place – be it through a book, a customer, or even an author reading. Other days she has to do the less glamorous stuff: bookkeeping (the accounting kind), marketing, shelving – but no matter what, she’s happy to be living her dream. Dragonfly Books is the stuff of a little Driftless town’s dreams, too. Kate and her two daughters, Sarah and Rachel – who often work alongside mom – make sure displays are fun and thought-provoking, events coordinator

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

Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Kate Scott schedules great local, regional, and national (sometimes even international) authors for readings both in-store and around the community, and, most importantly, the shelves are totally stocked with a well-curated collection of books. We were excited to feature Kate for this Sum of Your Business. This February marks her fifth anniversary in business, but we can hardly remember a Downtown Decorah without Dragonfly Books. Looking for a specific book? You can email the store to see if it’s in stock! They don’t have it? They can order it! Want it instantly? You can even order e-books! Indie book stores, guys. They’re where it’s at. Name: Kate Rattenborg Age: 55 Business: Dragonfly Books Years in Business: 5.0 Tell us about the “leap” moment. When/how did you decide to jump in and become your own boss? I’ve been a micro-business owner for the past five years. It is a career path that I love, but one that I did not see myself taking when graduating from college. My late husband, Steve, and I had often talked about opening up a bookstore once we were ready to retire, sometime off in the future. When Steve died unexpectedly in 2002, I shelved our dream while adjusting to life as a single parent. Eight years later, I was driving home from a seminar where we were asked to state our five, 10, and 15-year goals. Almost as a lark, I had stated I wanted to own a bookstore, and my fellow attendees quizzed me on the concept, getting me to articulate more fully my dream, a dream that I had stifled for years. Throughout the drive home through the rolling fields, all I could think about was ‘why wait?’ Why wait until retirement? Why not take the plunge and open a bookstore now? Well, there are a lot of miles between Cedar Rapids and Decorah, the traffic was light, and my mind raced with possibilities. By the time I reached Independence, I had formulated a list of the next steps I would need to take to move forward and make my dream a reality, including resigning from my job. (A very scary thought!) Yet, I needed to name my potential business in order for it to seem real. As I was trying out different store names that would fit in with Decorah’s ‘water’ street theme, such as Brown Trout Books Continued on next page \ Winter 2015-16


Photos courtesy Dragonfly Books unless noted

CLOSET CONSULTATION: Outfits from what you have in your closet! PERSONAL SHOPPER: We have your sizes on file & pick the perfect outfit!


BRANDS YOU KNOW AND LOVE... 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

M, T, W, F 9-6 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5 Sunday 12-4

Burgers • Sandwiches • Salads • Appetizers • Breakfast • In-House Catering Locally Sourced Menu Options • Come watch your favorite games! • 22 Beers on Tap! Two event spaces for small or large groups – up to 200 people. Contact our Event Coordinator at for details.

206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 •


or Eagle’s Nest Books, I drove through a swarm of dragonflies. Not once, but twice! Dragonfly Books. Just like with the velveteen rabbit, a “funny new tickly feeling” ran through me, and I knew I could make my dream Real. Six months later, on my fiftieth birthday and with the help of my two daughters Sarah and Rachel, I opened Dragonfly Books. It has been a fabulous first five years! What’s the best thing about being your own boss? I love that I have been able to create and shape a business that fits in with my own personal values. I strive to foster an environment where diversity, creativity, excellence, and mutual respect is honored and respected. It is rewarding to have created a business that promotes literacy and reading; a business that also is community-centered, complementing Decorah’s literary and artistic aesthetics. One of the unexpected benefits has been the opportunity to work alongside my daughters in the bookstore.

restoration & weatherization

Kate’s recommended

Residential & light commercial construction

The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

118 Washington St.




Descent by Tim Johnston 563.419.3141 Single origin pour overs. Nitro Cold Brew. Bulk Coffee. 28

Winter 2015-16 /

The Courtland family unravels as their daughter never returns from a hike in the majestic, yet terrifying, Rocky Mountains.

When a young Abstract Expressionist painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) vanishes in pre-WWII New York City in 1940, neither her Jewish family living in Germanoccupied France nor her close-knit group of friends and fellow painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner, knows what happened to her.

How about the worst? About a year after opening, I had to turn down an author event as I had too much to handle, there wasn’t enough of me to go around, and I had over-promised on what we could deliver. It was clear to me that even though I didn’t think the bookstore was financially in a position to add non-family staff members, we needed to in order that the store could grow and flourish. I was fortunate in hiring an outstanding and talented events coordinator, Kate Scott, who along with other part-time staff, has complemented my skill set in an amazing fashion. Was there ever a hurdle where you just thought, “I can’t do this?” How did you overcome it? It is easy to feel ‘alone’ when creating and running a microbusiness. To counter this feeling, it has been important for me to network with fellow booksellers through my trade association, with other retailers in Decorah through the Chamber of Commerce, with other entrepreneurs, and with friends. I use a variety of different opportunities, such as trade shows, face-toface meetings, conferences, email, and even facebook, to reach out to others and not get lost in the (sometimes) lonely nature of small business ownership. Any mentors/role models you look to/have looked to? Not surprisingly, much of my personal and business philosophy is drawn from a variety of books. Recent books that speak to me include Michael Gerber’s classic book on small business entrepreneurs, The E Myth Revisited. There are lots of pertinent ideas to apply from this book; my favorite is the reminder to schedule time to work ‘on’ and not ‘in’ your business. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities, and to ignore strategic planning, but without the latter, a business will stagnate and not be able to sustain itself. Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, a book about establishing outstanding customer service, is another book that has helped shape my business philosophy.

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 Winter on the Farm Saturday, December 12 Hot Chocolate, Cookies & Holiday Sales

Sleigh rides

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Continued on next page Lillian Goldman Visitors Center

winter reading list

Nov.- Dec. Hours: Open Thurs to Sun 10-5 Closed for the season after December 20

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson

A definitive guide to Nordic home cooking from internationally renowned chef Magnus Nilsson, featuring over 700 simple & authentic recipes.

Heartwrenching and humorous, this in an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast. Madness, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir.

Also, list LGVC

• Books • Honey • Jams • Jellies • Maple Syrup • Sorghum • Calendars 2015 • Floursack Towels • Cooking Beans • T-Shirts • Hats OFF • Gift Cards • Gardening Tools • Gloves & more



3074 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • • 563-382-5990 • 563-382-6104



Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067 \ Winter 2015-16


Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Shop Charles City Algerian & American Appetizers & Entreés Vegetarian Options Sandwiches & Salads Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 •

220 Main Street • Charles City, Iowa

Boutique Shopping for Women & Children Wine Shop • Tea Shop & Frozen Yogurt


Tues-Fri: 10am–6pm . Sat: 9am–4pm . Extended Holiday Hours

Pacific white shrimp. Locally grown!

563-425-3232 • Sign up for shrimp alerts so you don’t miss the next batch!

15916 Lincoln Road . Fayette, Iowa. We sell fresh to you! 30

Winter 2015-16 /

What’s the one thing you wish you had known before you started? How much fun I would have!! If I had known, I would have taken this leap years earlier! Although I was perhaps somewhat naive about entering the retail business during an economic downturn, much less a brick and mortar bookstore, I think if I had waited until absolutely all my questions had been answered, I would still be in the planning stage. For me, I needed to just take the plunge, jump in, and make a few mistakes while learning what works. How do you manage your life/work balance? I feel that it is not possible to separate out ‘work’ from the rest of ‘life’ so instead, I consider a life/life balance. The hours I spend on my business are also a part of my life and not separate from my life. As long as I am able to foster friendships and good relationships with family - either inside of or outside of ‘work hours’ - I am content. However, I have at times struggled with figuring out how to relax away from the bookstore, as I took my relaxation channel (a love of reading) and turned it into a business. I am now surrounded by the books that I love, in all genres, and I receive advance reading copies to review daily, sometimes by the bushelful. I have no lack of reading materials! My evenings, when I used to be able to forget about the dayto-day activities of an 8 to 5 workday by sitting down with a cuppa tea and delving into a book, are often the same. However, instead of an escape, the same reading activity has become another arm of my work life. Reading has become a time for evaluation of new products to order (or not order), preparation for work-related book groups, analyzing new trends in all genres, and reviewing the books read. In short, I haven’t left my business behind. It’s been critical for me to find a new way to relax that is not business related. And so, you can find me at the Blue Heron Knittery working on a scarf, participating at the ArtHaus Poetry Slam, or on stage with the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra, sitting in the viola section and losing myself in the music. What keeps you inspired? Any quotes that keep you going?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work... The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Visit Vesterheim!

View world-class exhibitions From Tradition to Protest: Lila Nelson’s Weaving Life

Open all year in scenic Decorah, Iowa.

Dec. 5, 2015 to Nov. 13, 2016 A retrospective exhibition showing Lila Nelson’s mastery of traditional Norwegian weaving techniques, and how she used them in fresh, new ways.

Barneløpet February 6, 2016 Free! Get outside and enjoy the winter at this non-competitive ski or walk event for children ages 3-13. Start time: 10:00 a.m. Registration: 9:40 a.m. Decorah Prairie

Folk Art School Sign up today!

Shop for Nordic-inspired Gifts

Learn hand-craft

Museum Store Books • Music Art • Art Supplies Sweaters • Jewelry Gifts and more

Band Loom Carving and Bandweaving Classes for Couples with Roger Abrahamson & Reggie Delarm Feb. 13-14, 2016 Visit Decorah with a partner or friend for a fun weekend, each learning a different folk art.

Check for museum info, a class schedule, and online shopping. 520 W. Water St., Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center

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 •

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Winter 2015-16 /

Coloring page info + More about Sonja Emily


icture yourself as a child, sitting at the kitchen table, intently filling in the little spaces between (or not between) each line in your Mickey Mouse coloring book. Keep that image, and imagine how you felt. Relaxed, right? Well, psychologists believe this is a practice we, as adults, should give another try. Adult coloring or coloring for grown-ups – whatever you want to call it – has been a hot topic on Pinterest and with therapists. Art therapy is nothing new, but adult coloring is appealing in the fact that anyone can do it, and not feel like they need to be “good” at it (as one might feel when attempting to paint a bowl of fruit). So we were excited to discover artist Sonja Emily’s coloring cards at Milkhouse Candles and Gifts in Decorah. We immediately thought, “paper project!” and contacted her to see if she would be interested in partnering up. Lucky for us, she was! This page, here, is actually two of her coloring projects layered together. You can download one or the other, or the layered page at There, you’ll also find more links for Sonja Emily ( – but in the meantime, we thought we’d let her tell you a little more about herself: Hello, my name is Sonja! I love health, wellness, yoga, and all things creative. I am a health coach, an artist, a yoga teacher, and a creative thinker. I can often be found curled up in the corner of a coffee shop with a pen in my hand and a sketchbook in my lap, practicing yoga in the studio, or exploring the beautiful city of Minneapolis! I believe in gratitude, compassion, self-love, and positivity. I am continually inspired by helping people become the happiest, healthiest, and most empowered versions of themselves. These are the values that nurture my work and encourage me to continue living my passions every day. I graduated from Luther College in 2011 with a BA in Health and Psychology. When I’m not working as a Health Coach, I moonlight as an artist. What started as mindless doodling in the margins of my trigonometry notebook has since turned into my passion. I grew up in a very creative family (fun fact: my mom, my dad, and both of my brothers are artists!), so I was lucky enough to experiment with drawing, painting, collage, fashion and interior design, book arts, ceramics, and photography over the years. And while I still love to play with all of those mediums, my favorite thing to do is doodle on a blank piece of paper with a felt-tip pen. I love to make stationary, custom illustrations and prints, and hand-lettered designs. I truly believe that gratitude is high-level wellness, and that if you practice saying thank you and surround yourself with positivity, the world around you will change.

COLORING FOR GROWN-UPS! By Sonja Emily • Download at

Paper Project! \ Winter 2015-16


Live Introduction by Aryn Henning Nichols Stories by Kristine Jepsen, Sara Friedl-Putnam, & Aryn Henning Nichols


Winter 2015-16 /

LET’ S DO THIS \ Winter 2015-16




IT’S EASY TO LOOK AT THE WORLD, FILLED WITH PROBLEMS, AND GET A FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS. YOU THROW YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR AND SAY, “WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?” RIGHT? Well, here’s something you can do: For starters, don’t perpetuate the bad; focus on the good. Then get out there and perpetuate that. Change the world, especially the one right outside your door – your community. ‘Cause here’s the deal: for every bad thing that happens in the world, we here at Inspire(d) believe there are – at least – 1000 good. Probably more. Our entire mission is to tell you about the good stuff. Especially the folks who “live generously.” And we’ll share a little secret: You’re probably one of them already. We define those who “live generously” as people who are giving of their time, talents, goods, or money to people and organizations in need. It can be as small as helping a co-worker set up a morning meeting or as big as directing the local food pantry. These pages feature just a handful of the generous people suggested to us, and an even smaller drop compared to the actual number of people out there in our region (and the world) doing great things in their communities. They decide what they want to support – from community theatre to city commissions to band boosters to bikes – and they make it work. The centrai element for every person here, though, was finding a cause they were passionate about, and putting their generous spirit into it. Continued on next page...

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of American’s volunteered in 2014 (2015 data is not yet released). Of those volunteers, 22% were men and 28% were women. 35- to 44-year-olds were most likely to volunteer.

driftless folks are awesome!

Here’s how our three states rank for volunteerism in the US: MAIN STORY SOURCES:


Winter 2015-16 /

Minnesota: 3rd – 36.3% residents volunteered in 2013, contributing 171.3 million hours of service Wisconsin: 5th – 35.1% residents volunteered in 2013, contributing 163.8 million hours of service Iowa: 7th – 34.7% residents volunteered in 2013, contributing 72.4 million hours of service In each of these states, 70-75% of residents said they engage in “informal volunteering”, i.e. doing favors for neighbors.

Karen Trewin One of the first things you notice about Karen Trewin is her smile. She is, of course, generous with it. Next is her sense of humor – smart, quick, and catchy, just like Karen herself… especially when it comes to giving. “It’s not always about spending hours volunteering or writing a big check. We can all find ways to make a difference that don’t take much time or cost a cent,” she says. “If we all did that every day – think of what we could accomplish! I just got goose bumps.” It was this “we can do it” attitude (and a short email) that spawned the “Live Generously” theme for this issue of Inspire(d). We loved the idea of featuring folks in the region who are giving of their time, talent, goods, and money, and wanted to help encourage others to do the same. “I like to view living generously as a habit to develop – much in the way we try to work a daily workout or eating healthy into our day. It takes practice, but once you start, it’s addicting!” she says. “A kind word, buying coffee for the person behind you in line, or being truly present for someone who needs some time are all examples of giving of ourselves.” Live Generously is a term that is rooted in Karen’s day job as a financial associate with Decorah’s Thrivent Financial. Thrivent’s

mission is to help people make wise plans for their money, but to also encourage them to find ways to make their communities better. “When I can help people find greater purpose in having a sound financial plan, that’s a good day at work for me,” Karen says. “Live Generously is a value rooted in stewardship,” she continues. “As a Christian, I have been taught that all we have is a gift from God, and I am responsible not only for being a good steward, but to share with others. My parents and grandparents were excellent models of this value when I was growing up; my family, friends, and community continue to inspire it in me. I volunteer for causes and organizations we care about, and my family has a plan for supporting them financially. We feel strongly about advocating for people who need a voice.” Currently, Karen chairs the First Lutheran Church Worship and Music Committee – often directing things like the annual Sunday School Christmas program and helping with the Youth and Family program – is on the Decorah Youth Choirs board, and volunteers for Decorah Music Boosters. “Throw your daily change into a jar and donate it to a charity at the end of the month,” she says of getting started with the live generously mindset. “Pick up an extra jar of peanut butter for the food pantry box at the grocery store. Ask your kids, if you gave them $10, how they would use it to help someone – then go do it together and ask them how it made them feel. Think about things you’re passionate about, and challenge yourself to find ways to help. You don’t have to set out to solve global problems on your first day. There is plenty of need in your own community, and everyone has the capacity to make a difference. Don’t wait for an invitation – just get out there!” – by Aryn Henning Nichols

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Like many children, Kim Powell dreamed of being a veterinarian when she grew up. And, like many adults, that childhood dream didn’t really come to fruition – Kim instead earned a doctorate in speech communication. Yet even as Kim pursued a career in academia – she has taught communication studies at Luther College in Decorah since 1992 – she never lost her love for animals. That love – and a little push from her daughter Senia – inspired her to become actively involved with the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa (HSNEI) four years ago. “We started fostering a dog the day after attending our first meeting and got pretty intensely involved in event planning almost immediately thereafter,” she says. Things kicked in to high gear in 2013 when Kim assumed the presidency of the HSNEI board. They began work on a goal that HSNEI and its predecessor organization People for Animal Welfare (PAW) had set forth almost two decades earlier: Building a brick-andmortar no-kill shelter for abused, neglected, abandoned, and unwanted dogs and cats in Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek counties. “We had been holding fundraisers but weren’t even close to raising the $600,000 we needed to build a shelter,” she says. “One of the first things I did as president was launch a capital campaign, and thanks to a huge $300,000 donation from Fritz and Loma Carlson, HSNEI secured enough funds to start planning the building in a matter of months.” As fund raising turned to construction, Kim once again stepped up to the plate, taking a sabbatical leave from Luther to oversee the project – including picking out its kennels and décor – and serve as director from the time the Love and Friendship Adoption Center opened its doors in December 2014 until she returned to work at Luther in February 2015. She still spends about 30 hours a week volunteering for the organization – including handling all its publicity – but says seeing dogs and cats regain their health and find their “forever homes” is more than enough reward for spending her time so generously. “This is a cheerful shelter where animals are really loved and really cared for,” says Kim. “It has been very satisfying for me to help that dream become reality, but the truth is this building would never have been built had it not been for the foresight and efforts of the hard-working volunteers who founded PAW nearly two decades ago.” Individuals interested in volunteering at the center can sign up for a mandatory training session on the organization’s website,

– by Sara Friedl-Putnam Winter 2015-16 /

The benefits of giving are plentiful – for the receiver, of course, but especially the giver:

1. Giving makes you happy. Research suggests that giving – being kind, generous, and compassionate – makes us happier people, and also makes us feel like we’re part of a community. Giving helps us realize how fortunate we are in our own lives, and allows us to use our talents in a meaningful way. Plus, through giving (especially of our time), we can learn new, useful things and meet new people.

2. You’re making the world (or your part of it) better. Every little bit helps. It’s true! Collect all your change in a jar for a month and see for yourself. Then go and donate that money! Many nonprofits are underfunded and understaffed – if every person gave a little (whether time or money), we could all benefit a lot.


The estimated hourly value of volunteer time is $22.55 (2013)

Bebe Keith

3. Being kind is contagious. Ever smiled at a stranger and they smiled back? Yeah, we thought so. The same goes for kind acts and volunteering. When you volunteer your time and other people know about it, they may get motivated to volunteer, too. Even if you only have time for a click, do it. Getting the word out makes a difference. Post something on Facebook. Tweet about it. Who knows, one of your friends might be inspired to do something that makes a huge impact. Added bonus: Research shows that communities with lots of volunteers are, statistically, better places to live, which in turn boosts volunteerism (and continues the cycle).

4. Giving is tax deductible. Most financial donations are tax deductible, and if you have to spend money on travel or other added costs associated with the donation of your time or money, those items are usually tax deductible too. Continued on page 43...

“It’s my way of having fun, letting go, and socializing with people across my community, all mixed in one.” - Bebe Keith

If you blink, you might find that Lanesboro community theater dynamo Bebe Keith has disappeared. When the Community Theater’s Silent Movies in the Park After Dark or the “Over the Back Fence” variety show are in production, she’s everywhere at once. Don’t worry, though, she’ll turn up soon, maybe in costume – the veteran actor played Mary Poppins in summer 2015 – but more often with script or cell phone in hand, as a director or plain old worker bee. “I just love performing,” says the former kindergarten and first grade teacher and 25year veteran actor. She and husband Pete moved from the Twin Cities to Lanesboro in 2006, when Bebe started working full-time as a glass mosaic artist and author. Her work has been commissioned by the Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Children’s Hospital in Boston. “My schedule now is a little more flexible, working as an artist,” she says – the better to get on the horn and throw together two original skits, for example, when a guest artist for “Over the Back Fence” cancels at the last minute. She’s one of nine local volunteers who organize the monthly live radio show, and is also the host of the regional PBS/KSMQ arts and culture show “Off 90”. Plus, Bebe has moved into mentoring local rookie directors, both for the annual downtown Lanesboro silent films exhibition in September, and the 2016 winter production of six short plays by David Ives. The dozens of hours volunteering to plan for, fund-raise, paint sets, or cue staging for each project don’t even cross her mind, she says. “It’s my way of having fun, letting go, and socializing with people across my community, all mixed in one. I feel so happy participating – and seeing so many other people participating for the first time, whether they’re in the audience or behind the camera,” she says. “Yes, it takes time and work, but a feel-good activity that everyone enjoys? Totally worth it.”– by Kristine Jepsen

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Jarrad & Laurie Walter Ca-chunk. Ca-chunk. It was a familiar sound in the Decorah Flat neighborhood this fall. Jarrad Walter stapled together yard sign after yard sign (on his glass patio table, until, oh, 9:30 at night) in an effort to promote Decorah Fast Fiber, a local volunteer-run campaign with the goal of creating municipal fiber-optic service for the Decorah area. The group managed to put a referendum on the November Decorah election ballot by petitioning support door-to-door, and the vote successfully passed – by a huge margin: 93 percent in favor! The city council may now create a board to oversee the fiberoptic possibility, and pursue a feasibility study. For Jarrad, one of a handful of Fast Fiber’s early supporters, it was the least he could do. He’s been working remotely (online) for two years for a company that’s now part of Google Analytics: quality Internet connectivity is the lifeblood of his profession. “I’ve seen firsthand how actual business dollars are lost when a video sales call drops due to Internet stutter, for example. This is our chance to build a utility that will help a new generation of professionals live and work in our corner of Iowa.” But his volunteer inclinations don’t end with the Internet, says his wife, Laurie, owner of Crave Dance Studio in Decorah. “If our kids play a sport, he’ll be coaching that Park and Rec team at some point during the year,” including soccer, t-ball, basketball, and football. “And then there’s Decorah Planning and Zoning.” After serving an interim stint on the City Council, Jarrad was appointed to the Planning and Zoning commission in 2014. “There’s nothing glorious about P and Z,” Jarrad explains, “but I truly appreciate knowing how things work in the depths of my community, and what issues affect us.”

“We moved back to Decorah from Austin, Texas – a city of a million people – where getting elected to any kind of council was an all-out political campaign,” says Jarrad, a Decorah native. Laurie hails from Randolph, Nebraska, also a smallish town. They met as Luther College students. “One criterion on our list for moving was being in a place where we could get involved in community and make a difference, beyond voting.” In addition to Jarrad’s committee work, Laurie is a pianist with Oneota Valley Community Orchestra and the organizer of the Decorah School District’s elementary Spell-A-Thon, which raises enough money to fund the activities of the parent-teacher organization (PTO) for two years. She’s also a counselor and advocate for Camp Tahigwa, a property owned by Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois along Bear Creek, a pristine trout stream near Dorchester, Iowa. “I’m not especially qualified to ‘lead’ any of these things,” Laurie explains, “but if the camp where my daughter has found a magical outdoor experience needs help, there’s surely something I can do.” Discussion of possible sale or closure of Camp Tahigwa has been tabled for another year, due largely to local visibility efforts. And so it is that the Walter household might contain severalthousand paper door hangers detailing Decorah Fast Fiber’s next steps. It’s why Laurie would perhaps don a rubber thumb sleeve and count a fistful of $1 dollar bills as fast as any bank teller (PTO volunteers must count the Spell-A-Thon’s earnings by hand – usually $15,000 or more, in small bills). “It’s not entirely altruistic,” Jarrad says. “You get engaged in volunteering due to some benefit you yourself will appreciate – like reliable Internet – and you end up benefiting the whole community. We can’t keep moving forward if we’re not involved.” – by Kristine Jepsen

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“You can literally volunteer your time to go play with kittens.” Paul Lundquist “I’ve always been a big believer in supporting people doing good things,” says Winona radio personality Paul Lundquist. Paul landed in Winona, Minnesota, 10 years ago. At that time, he was hosting a morning radio show with “pretty much no promo budget,” and looking to grow its popularity. So he offered to host things around the community – pageants, contests, fundraising events – and served on area committees. He was “giving back” in every sense of the word, and as a bonus, networking, promoting his show, and meeting folks in the community. “I had time and a unique set of skills: I’m able to stand in front of large groups of people and not really care,” he says of his total lack of stage fright. “I was broke – I never could cut big checks… but I still wanted to support cool things happening in Winona.” Indeed, Winona, population 27,546, is home to a lot of cool things. From Midwest Music Fest to the Great River Shakespeare Festival to Boats and Bluegrass to Frozen River Film Festival…and that’s just a handful on the list. “I love living in Winona – when you say you want to do something, people want to support it. They don’t say, ‘No way can that happen.’ They say, ‘Okay, how can we help?’ Paul says. “We have a small town, but we can do things, have things, have experiences because we support each other.” In addition to acting as host for many local events, Paul volunteers for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Boy Scouts. “I don’t necessarily agree with all their politics, but Boy Scouts sure had a huge influence on my life,” he says. “I attribute a lot of who I am to my amazing scoutmaster, Gene Klug.” Paul grew up in Selby, South Dakota – a tiny town of 700 people. He spouts off the tenets of Boy Scouts without pause: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

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“Gene taught me leadership, volunteerism… he taught me about appreciating not necessarily being the star all the time, but seeing pride in helping others,” he says. Paul and his wife are expecting their first child in January 2016 – a son – and Paul hopes that one day he, too, will meet his own “Gene Klug.” In the meantime, “I’m going to help create a community I want my son to grow up in,” he says. In addition to radio work, Paul is a realtor. One would think someone with two jobs is too busy, but he makes it work. His tips for doing the same? Working volunteering into your day job – i.e. networking your radio show while hosting an event – is a good place to start. But, most importantly: find something you like to do. “You’re not going to do it if you’re not passionate about it.” Next? “Just ask. Go up and say, ‘How’d you get into this?’ Go to the event. Say, ‘What can I do to help?’” he says. “There’s a volunteer opportunity for everyone. The local Humane Society here is looking for people to come in and play with kittens. You can literally volunteer your time to go play with kittens.” “Another group is looking for people to volunteer two hours a week to deliver sandwiches to folks who can’t get out of the house. That’s bringing food – LIFE – to people. How cool is that?! Two hours a week.” Continuing, it’s clear he has the passionate part down pat. “You need to be one Gene Klug in a town of 700 people. Give one smart-mouthed kid a chance to make a difference. You don’t need to head up a big organization. You don’t need to cure a disease. Helping people can be as simple as bringing them a sandwich. Playing with kittens.” – by Aryn H. Nichols

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Lucas Zellmer had no idea the extent of poverty in La Crosse, Wisconsin – where more than 15 percent of the population lives below the poverty line – until moving there in 2012. “The first time I rode through the city, I noticed far more homeless or impoverished people than I had ever seen in my hometown of Blooming Prairie,” he says. “The poverty was impossible to ignore.” Wanting to “make a difference,” Lucas soon began to split his time between studies at the University of Wisconsin­-La Crosse, where he majors in biology, and volunteer service at the St. Clare Health Mission free clinic and the Place of Grace soup kitchen, which serves some 250 meals a day. He learned not only about the missions of both organizations but also about the people they serve – men and women without reliable transportation who are often able to land jobs but unable to get to them consistently. “It was clear to me that there was a real demand for accessible, reliable transportation among the homeless and impoverished populations of La Crosse,” says Lucas. “Sometimes getting to jobs is more challenging than securing those jobs in the first place – I wanted to do something to fill that transportation void.” In April, Lucas launched Wheels for All, a small nonprofit that provides single-speed bicycles – they require less maintenance than those with multiple gears – to those who need them the most. To date, he has fixed up and given away more than 20 bicycles, most of which have been donated by his family and supportive community members. As word of the organization spreads – WKBT-TV in La Crosse profiled Lucas and Wheels for All last July – Lucas hopes to help even more individuals who would benefit from having their own two wheels. “I founded Wheels for All because I love knowing I have helped someone in difficult circumstances,” he says. “We may only be providing bikes, but seeing the recipients’ faces when they receive them – and hearing them describe how those bikes will help them – is such a powerful thing.” To learn more about the organization – or make a donation – visit Lucas’s Go Fund Me page. – by Sara Friedl-Putnam WHERE YOUR ART HAS A FLIP SIDE! Each hang-able, frame-able, gift-able issue also features the work of a regional writer.



Winter 2015-16 /

64.5 million adults volunteered 7.9 billion hours of service, worth an estimated value of $175 billion.

So how do you start? Just like there is a job for everyone (certainly some folks love accounting!), there’s a giving opportunity for everyone too. Is there an organization you’d like to join or help out? Take Paul Lundquist’s advice (pg 41): “Just ask. Go up and say, ‘How’d you get into this?’ Go to the event. Say, ‘What can I do to help?’” he says. Don’t like to interact with others that much? As Karen Trewin (pg 37) suggests, grab an extra jar of peanut butter at the grocery store and donate it to your local food pantry. Don’t do the shopping? Answer that email from the student asking about mentoring options. Feel like you have no time at all? Click on over to and pick an organization you’d like to help financially. According to the National Philanthropic Trust (nptrust. org), there are roughly 1.5 million charitable organizations in the United States. helps navigate some of those organizations to find one(s) you like best. Or, better yet, pick an organization in your community that you can actually see making a difference. Many area teachers also use an online fundraising tool called donorschoose. org – this can be a great way to support local education efforts too! If you really want to make it a habit, try to give a certain amount of money to a different cause or charity each month. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Even $10 – the cost of a lunch – goes a long way. Talk to your kids about it too. Ask them where they’d like to see the money go – studies show that children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to be adults who volunteer, and they’ll reap the benefits, same as you. “Think about things you’re passionate about, and challenge yourself to find ways to help. You don’t have to set out to solve global problems on your first day,” Trewin says. “There is plenty of need in your own community, and everyone has the capacity to make a difference.”

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Continued on next page...

“Sometimes getting to jobs is more challenging than securing those jobs in the first place – I wanted to do something to fill that transportation void.” - Lucas Zellmer \ Winter 2015-16


Carolyn Flaskerud Carolyn Flaskerud, director of the First Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Decorah, does not mince words. “It keeps me busy – happy and healthy,” the octogenarian says of her involvement in the expansion of the Food Pantry – it’s gone from supporting seven families per week to sometimes 250. She punctuates her statements with a smile – one that locals came to trust during her years as a customer service officer for what is now Bank of the West. Carolyn has been boots on the ground for the Pantry since her retirement in 1998, when her involvement with Decorah Public Library’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and her service on First Lutheran church committees revealed a desperate need for food support in the area. “Getting people in the door in dignified ways is hard for any community,” she explains. People who turn up for state-run food assistance are subject to income verification and other eligibility requirements that can delay the receipt of food. “These are people who are hungry today, not just when they might be approved. It’s families with children – who don’t learn well at all when they’re hungry – and also elders, who sometimes choose between medicines and food – the ‘heating or eating season’ in winter.” Carolyn’s specialty, it seems, is turning even the smallest leads into working opportunities for the pantry. In 2003, responding to unemployment in the aftermath of a fire that destroyed a turkey plant in Postville, Iowa, she pushed to get the volunteer-run charity, then operating out of a Sunday School storage closet, registered with the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. This made the pantry eligible to receive high-volume weekly shipments of groceries that are over-produced or nearing expiration date, for example. Today, the pantry also receives donations from area businesses: Walmart’s Feeding America program, Kwik Star, and Pizza Hut, for example. Many donations also reduce food waste by institutions, such as Decorah’s Luther College. There, college and community volunteers


Winter 2015-16 /

portion-pack leftover cafeteria foods – many of which feature locally grown ingredients – to be stocked at the pantry as frozen meals. The pantry also collects nonperishable foods from the college dorms, when students are in transition, and has partnered with Luther foodservice provider, Sodexo, to use donated student dining dollars – discretionary money left on the students’ board plans – to purchase 2,700 pounds of rice, beans, pasta, and other staples. “That was the idea of a local student, Blaise Schaeffer, who grew up right across the street from the church,” Carolyn explains. “He told me to iron out the logistics of ordering through Sodexo, and he hit the dorms, rounding up $2,915.99 in student donations.” Carolyn, ever the precise funds manager, rattles off this figure like it’s as familiar as her favorite loafers. To keep pace with community needs and reduce the stigma of accepting food help, the pantry is savvy with its cash donations, Carolyn says, funding new outreach and visibility whenever possible. 2015 marked the first year of a voucher program that allowed pantry shoppers to buy subsidized produce, fruit, meat, eggs, and honey from Oneota Community Farmers’ Market vendors in downtown Decorah. “Credit there should be given to [Decorah resident] Barb Dale and others,” Carolyn says. “We just made it work last year, and we do need special funding to run the program again.” In all, the First Lutheran Food Pantry involves 70 or more dedicated volunteers who unload trucks, stock shelves, and assist families in maximizing their weekly product selections, from frozen venison to pureed baby foods. They accept donations of food, time, and financial support. “You can mail it, drop it off, or goodness knows, we’d come pick it up,” Carolyn says, tireless on the subject of her work. “We’ve certainly done that before, and God willing, we’ll keep at it.” – by Kristine Jepsen ministries/food-pantry

Ward Budweg

“I just know that without the assistance I received from people in the past, I would not be in a position help others today.” – Ward Budweg


by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

“A unique and essential narrative about making a difference in the world — and a roadmap to becoming a conscientious global citizen.” As always, the Kristof/ WuDunn team knocks it out of the park. You’ll come away inspired, for sure.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

“Focus attention and energy on making a difference in the lives of others, and success might follow as a by-product,” Adam Grant writes in Give and Take. Grant gives practical tips on making giving a part of life. Continued on next page...

Ward Budweg has helped build a library in Rwanda, install a cleanwater-catching system in Panama, and paint an orphanage in Peru. But perhaps no place has benefited more from his unrelenting service ethic than Decorah, Iowa, his home of more than 30 years. “Pay it forward or give it back – it makes no difference,” says Ward, a local carpenter, handyman, and self-described “helper.” “I just know that without the assistance I received from people in the past, I would not be in a position help others today.” Today this New Hampton, Iowa, native volunteers as council president of Decorah Lutheran Church and a board member of the Decorah Rotary Club, an organization he has also served as treasurer, vice president, and – you guessed it! – president since becoming a member in 1984. He’s also served on the local Elks Club board, completed terms on local tourism and parks and recreation boards, volunteered as director of the annual Nordic Fest Elveløpet race (during its infancy in the mid-1980s), and helped get the Decorah Rotary Club’s Loop de Loop race – which just marked four years in September – up and, yes, running. It’s no coincidence that much of Ward’s volunteerism through the years – from chairing meetings to picking up garbage along Highway 9 – has been intertwined with the work of the local Rotary chapter. Indeed, were it not for the generosity of the New Hampton Rotary Club years ago, says Ward, there’s a very good chance he would never have earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Northern Iowa in 1980. “They loaned me $1,000 to finish my degree, and I never had to fill out a single piece of paperwork because they trusted me to pay it back,” he recalls. “I repaid that thousand dollars years ago, but I will never be able to repay the kindness, generosity, and belief in me those Rotarians showed. That is what continues to motivate me to give back whenever – and however – I can.”– by Sara Friedl-Putnam

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Larry Grimstad “I’m just a banker with a passion for renewable energy,” Larry Grimstad says, in typical humble fashion. In truth, the longtime Decorah resident is much more than that. He’s a highly respected community leader who has spent well more than a decade working to reduce his carbon footprint on the world and educate others on the importance of doing the same. “We need renewable energy – wind, solar, and geothermal – and some of us have just got to take the initiative so others will come along,” he told the Des Moines Register in 2012 when asked about his efforts to promote environmental sustainability in Winneshiek County. Larry, who served as president of Decorah Bank and Trust from 1978 to 2002, put those words into action three years ago when, through his company Decorah Solar Field, he partnered financially with Luther College to erect a $1.2 million array of 1,250 solar panels along Pole Line Road on the north edge of the college’s campus. The eye-catching array provides the bulk of the electricity used by Baker Village, a student-housing cluster that also uses clean energy (geothermal) for heating and cooling. “I spent my career as a community banker so it’s a natural thing to figure out ways to help build good things for the community,” he says of investing in the array. “The more of that you do, the more you to want to do even more.” Not surprisingly, Larry is just as generous with his time. He currently serves as board treasurer of four organizations – First Lutheran Church, Seed Savers Exchange, the Oneota Film Festival, and the Winneshiek Energy District – while also participating in events like the recent Decorah Energy Extravaganza that help educate the community about the myriad benefits of clean energy. The event showcased 10 solar-powered homes, including the one he built with his wife, Diane, in the early 2000s. “It’s my responsibility to my grandchildren,” he replies when asked what drives his seemingly tireless efforts to leave this place in better shape than when he found it. “I have to do what is right for them and their generation.” – by Sara Friedl-Putnam . 563 382 6245 . Decorah, Iowa 46

Winter 2015-16 /

Check it out: Thrivent Action Teams

Karen Trewin (pg 37) recently told us about something we think is pretty cool: “Thrivent Action Teams”. Thrivent Financial member-led projects – such as fundraisers, one-time service activities or educational events – can be sponsored by Thrivent. After identifying a need/ hatching a plan, members can apply online for resources to jumpstart the project (it must be completed within 90 days). Once the project is approved, a “Thrivent Action Kit” is sent, with promo materials, t-shirts for volunteers, and a $250 “Community Impact Card” that can be used as seed money to purchase projects, supplies, and to promote the event. To date, close to 1,000 Action Teams have been sponsored in Northeast Iowa. For example, an Action Team benefitting Decorah Youth Choirs (DYC) was held in spring 2015. The Community Impact Card was used to buy a piece of original artwork that was raffled off to benefit the DYC Scholarship Program, raising $3,000. Visit or call the local Thrivent office at 563-382-1809 for more details. Continued on next page...

“It’s my responsibility to my grandchildren. I have to do what is right for them and their generation.” – Larry Grimstad

Be social Post something on Facebook about giving. Tweet about it. Who knows, one of your friends might be inspired to do something that makes a huge impact.

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They have served up pancakes for Nisse Preschool, set up holiday light displays for Helping Services of Northeast Iowa, collected and sorted books for United Way, cleaned up roadsides for the Decorah Lions Club, and educated area youth about the dangers of tobacco use. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the community service performed by countless Decorah High School students over the years, according to Liz Fox, a language arts instructor who also coordinates the school’s Silver Cord program and advises its Community Club. “In my 13-year tenure as a teacher at Decorah High School, the one thing that remains constant is the goodness of the students,” she says. “Sometimes teens get a bad rap, but these teens really are committed to serving – and improving – their community.” It was a group of students at DHS, in fact, who first approached one of their teachers, Cam Forde, in the late 1990s to request permission to form a club focused on community service. Today that organization, the DHS Community Club, boasts more than 30 members who implement a number of annual projects – care to buy a Spirit Button, anyone? – in addition to volunteering on an as-needed basis. “The students are constantly finding new ways to pitch in and help around town,” says Liz, who succeeded Forde as Community Club adviser in 2005. “I derive a lot of satisfaction from the positive energy they bring to the community.” Last year, after months of planning spearheaded by Principal Kim Sheppard, the high school established a recognition program, Silver Cord, to honor those students who log at least 200 hours of community service by the time they graduate. “It’s been an incredible success – we had 55 seniors perform at least 50 hours of service the first year and earn the distinction last May,” says Liz. “And thanks to the generosity of the Decorah Lions Club, which pays for the cords, the students who earned those cords got to keep them upon graduation.” Not surprisingly, the willingness of Decorah youth to give back so readily has benefited not only the community but also the teen volunteers. “It’s truly been a win-win for all involved,” says Liz. “The community is grateful for the work the students perform, and the students are thrilled to give back to a community that supports them so deeply.” Organizations interested in Decorah High School volunteers should contact Fox at – by Sara Friedl-Putnam

Mark Faldet It’s easy to let fifthgeneration Decorah native Mark Faldet fool you: He’s the kind of guy who, having traveled the region for work at Luther College for 30 years, could tell you – down to the last lefthand turn – how to get to the best pulled-pork sandwich shop in Iowa. BUT, he himself has never lived more than a mile as the crow flies from his childhood home, a farm on the first crest of Locust Road. In fact, he’s never been away from Decorah for more than 13 consecutive days in his 60-ish years. “It was never my intention,” he says, “but it’s been a pretty good bit of luck, or fate.” Mark’s was perhaps the hardest interview to procure in this series, thoroughly convinced as he was that none of his volunteerism would warrant this kind of attention. Though in many ways, his under-sung turns of community service are among the most accessible – the smallest of gestures that make a small town thrive. Some will recognize him as a long-time member of Decorah’s city Tree Board, a division of the street department that oversees the planting and maintenance of the town’s majestic boulevard trees. Others cite him as a regular visitor to the area’s nursing homes, where he knows and is known by the generations that created the fabric of his childhood. Through his high school years, his extended family celebrated every aunt, uncle, and cousin’s birthday together. And still others have seen Mark pushing a selffashioned broom/pan contraption down Water Street after the annual Nordic Fest parade, taking some of the back-breaking work out of scouring for candy wrappers, paper decorations, and other debris. When it looks like rain, he’s cleaning leaves and branches out of storm drains in his Broadway neighborhood, where he’s lived for 28 years. And when the snowmelt pools and freezes on the sidewalks in spring, he’s been known to scrape and salt his block, then the next, and sometimes the next. “To stay in the town you grew up in is in many ways a lot harder than moving away to ‘grow up,’” he says, his eyebrows shooting up in reference to youthful antics he had to live down as he matured. “There’s something about the way people in a community like this still depend on each other that compels them to do right by each other, to give back more freely. It’s understood: you don’t give away what you expect to get back – you can always tell the newcomers by this, you know? – but in return, you get a community with the right balance of understanding and generosity and forgiveness. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” – by Kristine Jepsen Continued on next page...

EVENTS Jan-Dec 2016: ‘Over the Back Fence’ | Music | Dance & Cultural | Film | Drama

ST. MANE THEATRE & GALLERY EXHIBITS 2016: June Young WATERCOLOR | T i m B l a n s k i WOOD JURIED GROUP | E r i c C o r n e t t OIL D e b L e e C a r s o n PHOTOGRAPHY



The Infamous Stringdusters

Gaelic Storm

sponsored by Mickey’s Irish Pub


Winter Events Sonny Knight 12/12 & The Lakers Euforquestra 12/18 The Fez 12/19 Vocalosity Presented by Hancher 01/30 2/12 & 13 The Second City


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207 College Drive, Decorah 563-380-3610 Open 7 Days A Week




Rachel & David Storlie Once upon a time, in the nearby hamlet of Spring Grove, Minnesota, there came together two professional performers who loved each other – and musical theater – very much. Indeed, their life so relishes in the stage – its lights, its music, the passion of it all –that they themselves were married on one: in Steyer Opera House in Decorah. Meet Rachel and David Storlie. If their names don’t ring bells, their performances should: one or both have appeared in nearly every recent show produced by Ye Olde Opera House in David’s hometown of Spring Grove – from Little Shop of Horrors to The Sound of Music. Rachel, a trained vocalist originally from Caledonia, Minnesota, wasn’t that surprised when David – who she says bares his full soul on stage – proposed to her in front of their tight-knit community… in the middle of a live production on Valentine’s Day 2009. Today, their home on a shaded side-street in Spring Grove is virtually a set. Most of their furniture was acquired for one show or another, says David, an IT administrator at DECO Products in Decorah by day and a collector of old projectors, cameras, and vintage instruments off the clock. Rachel, for her part, maintains a private music studio and a wardrobe so character-driven that she could step out as a native to any era in history, from heels to hat (her favorite, acquired in a curiosity shop in London, features a taxidermied raven). “I dress as her for Halloween,” David says with a chuckle. Such is the dedication that keeps them pouring 100 or more hours of volunteer

Want to give aid to some of the larger world issues too? Here are some great places to start: 50

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energy into acting, directing, or managing aspects of each community theater production in Spring Grove, nurturing a special breed of community activist along the way, David says. “It builds a core group of people who can get things done, like public events and fund-raisers. Actors can just jump into those situations and succeed. With theater, you just try out something, and if it doesn’t work, the next rehearsal/performance, you try something else. I trust the actors I work with on stage with my deepest emotions, and we overcome fears together. We are making ourselves into better people who work well with others.” Rachel, a master’s candidate in opera performance at the University of Northern Iowa, agrees. “My studies are reaffirming one of life’s greatest lessons: active listening,” a skill she thinks is requisite for successful communication between actor and audience. “It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about everything from your perspective and your character. It doesn’t come as naturally to understand the thoughts and motivations of everyone around you – but I think those are awarenesses people value in small towns and that are bringing people back to live there.” “Theater and music build a bridge between imagination and reality,” she concludes, “and I am so humbled to walk across that bridge in an intentional, meaningful way, with David by my side.” – by Kristine Jepsen

Kristine Jepsen is grateful to live in a community where everyone does a little something to make life here enviable. Thank you street-sweepers, stage-managers, kid wranglers, and council members! You know who you are. Sara Friedl-Putnam is grateful to live – and raise her daughter – in the Driftless Region, where “living generously” is a way of life for so many and where opportunities to give back abound. Aryn Henning Nichols is ALSO grateful – for all of it! Living in this amazing place, believing in all you magical people (sweet husband and daughter included), and for being able to make this magazine. And for coffee.




Photo by Brittany Todd


JANUARY 24, 2016


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his section was originally going to be called “Things That Aren’t Actually That Hard to Make Yourself.” But it didn’t quite have the same nice ring as DIY. So often, we find ourselves looking at some of the products we use or eat or drink and think – I don’t know how to pronounce that ingredient! There has to be something better! So we ran some science experiments on homemade hot cocoa, play dough, and bubble bath. Our lab kitchen 52

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hot cocoa

smelled real nice (although Roxie says the play dough doesn’t, so maybe next time we’ll add some essential oils)! We took lots of pictures and have tons of details, and it’s all posted over at Come see us and see that there are some things that aren’t actually that hard to make yourself…okay, okay... DIY. (Spoiler alert: the play dough turned out perfectly, the hot cocoa is quite good, but the bubble bath is a work-in-progress…)

Recipes & details at \ Winter 2015-16





play dough

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bubble bath



Recipes & details at \ Winter 2015-16


Amazing Food prepared by



Meet Your Catering Chefs Caleb Timp Justin Scardina Ryan Pederson

Let us help you with your next event. Contact us at 563.387.1395 or email

me TIME It’s important!

Check us out online at Introduction & infographic by Aryn Henning Nichols

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Winter 2015-16 /


earning how to live generously is really important work, but before you can do that, you need to be generous with yourself. It’s that whole “secure your oxygen mask before helping others,” thing, and it should be the highest priority on your list. Because you can’t do a good job helping others if you’re tired, worn-out, scattered, or cranky. That’s right, people, you need spend some time on YOU! Lately, I’ve been repeating the mantra, “if I’m not healthy, I can’t give.” Getting yourself healthy can mean a lot of things – eating right, exercising, stretching, meditating, getting counseling – and only you can know what it’ll take. We’d like to suggest, for starters, Me Time – i.e. Downtime, solitude, play, fun, relaxation, idle moments. “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence

some studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming – an experience many people have had while taking a shower.

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Creative Commons

or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider writes in a 2012 New York Times piece, The Busy Trap. “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration – it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” Yes. Yes! And remember that Me Time is different for everyone – some folks might feel like an hour at the gym is an escape, while others feel it’s totally torture. Respect what your self is saying. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to meditate, get some classes on the schedule. If you need to unwind with an hour of Property Brothers every day, then make it so. Afternoon naps make you feel like the shining sun? Do it! Don’t feel guilty – know that by taking care of you, you’ll better be able to take care of others. And you will. Because that’s the kind of place in which we live.




563.382.5511 •

Turn the page for other Me Time ideas and tips in (of course) another fun infographic!

mE TimE iDEas ACUPUNCTURE • QIGONG • HERBAL MEDICINE • 563.382.9309 • 309 W. Broadway, Decorah \ Winter 2015-16


me TIME It’s important!

Watch a movie Cook Knit Sew Garden (or plan it!) Shovel Color Go shopping Get a massage Meditate Nap


Book Group Art Class Bowling BE ON THE LOOKOUT Exercising (Mountain biking, FOR STOLEN MOMENTS. Try walking to work or taking lunch running, swimming, in a cozy spot by yourself. Breathe spinning, yoga, deeply and check in with yourself, pilates…you name it) if only for a few minutes. Afternoon coffee/beer Neighborhood walk Grown-up coloring

If you know you’re not going to do it unless it’s on the calendar, put it on the calendar!


(Just do it!)


Practice doing nothing, just don't make too big a deal out it.


Value & respect yourself.(Re)Discover who you are. Like who you are.

Some research suggests that people are physiologically inclined to snooze during a 2 to 4 pm “nap zone” – because the brain prefers to toggle between sleep and wake more than once a day.


The average employee spends more than half their workdays receiving & managing information rather than using it to do their jobs.

Me time can't be something you hate doing but feel you have to do (i.e. if you hate working out, don’t make gym time your me time). SOURCES

• Makes us more productive & creative • Improves our memory • Helps us perform better • inspires problem-solving

Just drop it. Let it go. Don’t make it part of your life. The minute you stop thinking you’re busy, you’ll feel a lot less busy.


IMAGES: Creative Commons

You're super!


A network of brain regions that are active when an individual is not focused on the outside world, but not asleep (thinking idly).

the land of epiphanies!


of people said they check their work email while on vacation

Average number of vacation days annually left unused by Americans.

ME TIME: i.e. downtime, solitude, play, fun, relaxation, idle moments

riftless Gardens

Maintenance & Design

Design Maintenance Installation Plant Sales Hardscape Consultation Education

Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101



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Community matters By Jim McCaffrey • Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Winter 2015-16



W I LLOWGLEN 563-735-5570 6:30 am to 9 pm daily Open to 11 pm Fri & Sat

GREAT SEASONAL MENUS Organic Coffee Drinks Delicious Homemade Foods Wonderful Local Wine & Beer List




the early eighties Brenda and I owned the Café Deluxe and McCaffrey’s Supper Club in Downtown Decorah. It was a time of economic recession, though – there was a lot of unemployment and financial stress for individuals and families. Sure, there were food stamps available, but it was minimal. As I recall, food pantries weren’t as developed, either, especially in rural areas like the Driftless Region. After reading about soup kitchens in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area – they were getting their food from a myriad of sources such as donations from grocery stores, restaurants, church groups, can drives, personal giving, etc. – I thought, “Why can’t something similar be accomplished in the rural areas?” I envisioned a non-profit organization that provided an umbrella to cover basic food needs necessary to sustain families in need. I wanted to call it “The Hunger Express,” with its logo being a speeding steam engine train bearing goods. Well, that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the recession caught up with us as well. We sold the Café Deluxe to one of our employees. It saved 25 jobs, but resulted in the closing of McCaffrey’s. Brenda and I began work with two larger companies, but I never was able to get The Hunger Express out of my mind. Moving on to present day, we’re lucky to have the wonderful First Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Decorah, registered with the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and well connected in the community. Especially since we have all just experienced the worst recession since the Great Depression of the thirties. But that’s not all this community wanted to do. As most of you know, Brenda and I are currently running our restaurant, McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita, just outside of Decorah. About five years ago, Otter Dreaming came out and talked to me about a project he and a small group of forward-thinking individuals were working on. The idea was to create a monthly meal where everyone and anyone in the entire community were welcome – at no charge. They approached the council of the First Lutheran Church to establish a venue. It was decided to make it a once monthly affair on the third Thursday of each month with one entity providing the main meal and various other organizations – service groups, sororities, etc. – providing salads, bread, and desserts. Otter asked if we would be willing to make the first main course. I never hesitated. Well, I guess I did ask how many they expected. Seventy-five was the number they were predicting and that was about perfect. I talked to Otter after the event and they said they wanted to keep it going. I told him I would continue to make the main meal, so they didn’t

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have to worry about that aspect. Fawn has also jumped into the fray and is helping with the meal and baking bread. The Community Meal has continued to blossom: On average, 200+ people are being served – we have even gotten close to 300 a couple of times. That’s great, and what’s even greater is Sodexo at Luther College threw in their hat and is providing a main course on the first Thursday of each month. So now the Community Meal is held twice a month! So what really is the neat aspect of this project is that everyone is welcome to come and participate. There are no barriers or restrictions as to who may join in. My understanding is that even a certain shanty Irishman would be welcomed if he could somehow break free from his restaurant duties. It is a great social community event. Why not come and join in the experience? Don’t be shy. Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and co-owner with his family of McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita restaurant and Twin Springs Bakery just outside Decorah. He is author of humorous cookbooks “Midwest Cornfusion” and “Mississippi Mirth”. He has been in the food industry in one way or another for more than 40 years.

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good. honest. local. \ Winter 2015-16


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Decorah Community Meal is held on the first and third Thursdays of every month from 5 to 6:30 pm in the fellowship hall of First Lutheran Church in Decorah. All are welcome. If your group, business, church, or civic organization would like to participate in the Decorah Community Meal, please send a message to

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I came up with this recipe for the Café Deluxe in our early stages of ownership. It is very simple and easily adaptable for large groups. 2 lbs. ground beef 2 large onions, diced 2 large green tomatoes 2-28 oz. cans diced tomatoes 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 28 oz. cans beans in chili sauce Salt + ground pepper to taste Tomato juice (optional) Brown ground beef and season with salt and pepper (fresh ground if available) to taste. Drain. Place in large pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Use tomato juice to thin out to desired consistency. Note: As an option I usually add diced canned green chilies, 2-3 small cans, and offer fresh chopped onions and grated cheddar as an optional topping. Green Chili Cornbread

A wonderful accompaniment to chili on those cold winter nights. 1 ½ cups buttermilk 1 4oz. Can diced green chilies 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 large onion, diced 2 large eggs 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated 2 tsp sugar 1 tbl. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1cup yellow cornmeal 1 cup white flour Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put buttermilk, chilies, onion, and garlic in saucepan and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Let cool for 15 minutes. Beat in eggs and add cheese. Mix together dry ingredients. Fold in wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. Try not to overdo the mixing so the batter stays light. Pour into a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish and bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Test with a toothpick in center of dish. Cornbread is ready when toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!!

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110 East Water St 563-382-4297 Finger Licking Brownies

½ cup canola oil 1 cup white sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup all purpose flour ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Employee Owned ®

Committed to the communities we serve, and to exceeding the expectations of


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X9-inch baking pan. In a medium size bowl, whisk oil, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk each egg individually into mixture. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in walnuts if desired. Use a wooden spoon to fold in wet ingredients. Spread evenly into greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Brownies will be done when starting to pull away from pan edges. Let cool on a wire rack. Frost and cut into squares. Frosting 3 Tbl. Butter 1 ½ cups powdered sugar 2 Tbl. Milk 2 Tbl. Cocoa 1 tsp. vanilla

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Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30-5:30 • Saturday: 8:30-1:30 • Sunday Closed

Melt butter in small saucepan. Add cocoa and remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth. Spread over brownies. \ Winter 2015-16



Sigrid Peterson • Interviewed by granddaugthers Thea Satrom & Tatum Schilling

Our grandmother is the most loving and kind woman, and she is one of our greatest blessings. Her spirit is a bright light in our lives and the lives of countless others, and we did this interview to honor her and all that she is. It was a joy to learn more about her wonderful history, and our mother, Sonja – grandma’s sixth-born – and her six other children: Beth (Betty Ann), David, Rick (1952-2013), Connie, June, and Lyle. As she always says, “ingenting å takke meg for.” (Nothing to thank me for.) What’s some of the best advice you can give? You learn something everyday. And if you don’t you’re not listening. Thea’s note: Grandmas advice to me before I left for yoga training, “Oh honey, just have a wonderful time and forget all your troubles because they’ll still be here when you return.” Can you tell me about one of the people who has been kindest to you in your life? Oh, my no. I can’t pick one. You can pick a few. There’s so many, honey. I really can’t pick one because they’ve all been so wonderful. Is it your children? Yes, yup. You don’t have to pick one; that’s okay. Okay, that’s better because they’re all wonderful. What did you want to be when you grew up? A soloist or professional singer. I spent one year at Concordia College for music. And my daughter, Sonja, and son, Lyle, also went to and graduated from Concordia.

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

What work did you do as an adult? I worked at Luther College helping translate the Decorah Postan for about two and a half years and, when the grant ran out, I needed to continue working. So I moved up to the Cities to work with Mrs. Anderson of Anderson Windows, who needed a cook and companion. I worked with her for about 10 years, and then I retired. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? Be truthful. And always be helpful, if you can. My mother was helpful. I think I’m kind of taking after her. And maybe doing some things myself that I know I need to do. Can you describe one of your happiest memories? Well, vividly, I could. That is when Gordon (grandma’s first husband) came back from the service. Then it was just Betty Ann and I. When I hugged daddy, why, she hugged daddy. “I hugged daddy, too.” And everything that I did she had to do, too. It was a joyful life even if it had been a long, long trail. What’s one of your favorite things to do? I enjoy watching the birds and taking Ole (her pushcart) for walks around the neighborhood. I love to move. It’s wonderful to stretch and have good posture. I am always working on it. What are you proudest of? My seven children. Yes, really. There could be lots and lots more hardship but yes, we all go through it. I was blessed with wonderful children and wonderful people that I could live with. What is one of your favorite features of where you live now (with daughter, Sonja, and son-in-law Harlan Satrom)? Oh, I enjoy being around family. We have dinner together with the family and we converse about our daily lives. When you get to be this age, life can slow down quite a bit, but we can still be grateful and enjoy life anyway. How would you like to be remembered? Well, that I showed my kindness and my happiness toward all.

Enjoy a life of freedom, financial security and convenience! You’ll be glad you did! 66

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Decorah’s Active 55+ Community 1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA 563-382-6521

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7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 7:30-12:00 SATURDAY

Our Dementia Care Program is designed to improve the quality of life for people with any stage of dementia and their family.

The program is available to anyone who has been diagnosed with dementia, whether they live in their own home or in a long term care facility.

Occupational therapy staff teach coping strategies for early onset dementia and techniques to manage undesirable behavior in late stage dementia.

Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance will cover dementia care programs. Patients should check with their insurance carrier to be sure.

Contact WMC’s Occupational Therapy for more information or contact your doctor for a referral to WMC’s Dementia Care Program.


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