Page 1 TAKE ONE! FREE! With Music Alan Boren Meets People And Makes

By Gail Jokerst Say the word “contras” to most people and they envision Nicaraguan guerrilla forces toting rifles. Say it to Missoula’s Alan Boren and he hears Irish fiddle tunes and pictures dancers gracefully twirling, bowing, and linking hands. The difference occurs because “contras” to Alan means contra dances, lively gatherings he enjoys as both a musician and dancer. Although unfamiliar to many, contra dancing is not new. Historically, it dates back to the end of the 17th century when the French melded

English country dances with steps from French court dance. They called these hybrids contredanse or contra-dance and the name stuck. Eventually these dances migrated overseas to North America spreading from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the westward movement from colonial days to ours. For the past 10-plus years, Skippin’ A Groove, the trio formed by Alan, Roy Curet, and Laura Lundquist, has provided live music for contra dances around Montana. They play instruments ranging from guitars, banjos, and penny whistles to fiddles and flutes. The traditional Anglo-Celtic tunes they perform are often more than a century old and consist of jigs and reels from Ireland, Scotland, Britain, Canada, and Appalachia. Though at some events, the repertoire features an occasional waltz, schottische, or polka. “If your spouse doesn’t like to dance, it’s a good outlet because you can attend alone and ask anyone to be your partner for a dance,” says Alan. “There are no strings attached and all are welcome. It is also open to beginners and is a very freeing experience that is helpful for those who are shy in groups. It’s so inclusive.” As far as what age is too young or too old to swing a partner, that can vary hugely. Alan knows one dedicated dancer approaching his 90th birthday as well as a 9-year-old, who are both as nimble on the dance floor as any member of the Millennial Generation. “If you can walk,” states Alan, “you can contra dance.” While their day jobs pay the bills, playing for contras rewards Skippin’ A Groove’s members with something else – the joy of being part of a vibrant community gathering that brings together a diverse group of people who share a love of dance and music. “The purpose of community is to be able to embrace the full circle of life and that’s what happens at every contra dance. Contra dancing attracts the most creative and fun-loving people in the world, who are unafraid to try new things,” remarks Alan. “It is both a network and a crossroads. In Missoula and Bozeman, you find people from the professional (Continued on page 51)



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Journey to the Slice of Life I have self-published Journey to the Slice of Life (July 2013). This is a book about my life to age sixty (widowed at 45). I moved to Montana in 1995 from the Puget Sound area of Washington and am now seventy-seven-years young. This book is of interest to people of my generation. I did this for my family, but it has been read by family, friends, acquaintances, and their friends. I have been encouraged to talk to local stores that have books by local authors. I am a bit shy about taking that step. After reading your newspaper for years, I decided to check if you were interested in mentioning it in your publication. The book is

available in paperback at Thank you for any consideration. H.G. Caroll Noxon

New Subscribers My daughter put your paper in a box that she sent us at Christmastime. It was the first time we had seen a Montana Senior News and we like it – so we ordered it. We are seniors and love to read what you put in your paper. Jack Moriartiy Sheridan, Wyoming MSN

Keeping Time Submitted by Julie Fink-Brantley If you were in the market for a watch in 1880, would you know where to get one? You would go to a store, right? Well, you could do that, but if you wanted one that was cheaper and better than most of the store watches, you went to the train station! Sound a bit funny? Well, for about 500 towns across the northern United States, that’s where the best watches were found. Why were the best watches found at the train station? The railroad company wasn’t selling the watches, not at all; the telegraph operator was. Most of the time the telegraph operator was located in the railroad station because the telegraph lines followed the railroad tracks from town to town. It was usually the shortest distance and the rightof-ways had already been secured for the rail line. Most of the station agents were also skilled telegraph operators and communicated with the railroad. They would know when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station. And it was the telegraph operator who had the watches. In fact, they sold more of them than almost all the stores combined for a period of about 9 years. This was all arranged by a fellow named Richard, who was a telegraph operator himself. He was on duty in the North Redwood, Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pocket

watches. No one ever came to claim them. So, Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches. The manufacturer didn’t want to pay the freight back, and they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. Richard did. He sent a wire to every agent in the system asking them if they wanted a cheap, but good, pocket watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a handsome profit. That started it all. He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the station offering high quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers. It worked! It didn’t take long for the word to spread, and people other than travelers came to the train station to buy watches. Richard became so busy that he had to hire a professional watchmaker, Alvah, to help him with the orders. And the rest is history as they say. The business took off and soon expanded to many other lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their company to Chicago – and it is still there. Yes, it is a little known fact that for a while in the 1880s, the biggest watch retailer in the country was at the train station. It all started with a telegraph operator named Richard Sears and his partner Alvah Roebuck! MSN


Montana Senior News A Barrett-Whitman Publication

P.O. Box 3363 • Great Falls, MT 59403-3363 406-761-0305 or 800-672-8477 FAX 406-761-8358 email: The Montana Senior News is published six times each year in February, April, June, August, October and December at 415 3rd Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401 and is distributed free to readers throughout the state of Montana. The mail subscription rate is $8.00 per year (6 issues). The Montana Senior News is written to serve the reading interests of mature Montanans of all ages. Readers are encouraged to contribute interesting material. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. All copy appearing in the Montana Senior News is protected by copyright and may be reprinted only with the written permission of the publisher. Advertising copy should be received or space reserved by the 5th of the month preceding the month of publication.

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At some time or another we all probably have wondered what we would do with an unexpected windfall… perhaps winning the lottery or some sweepstakes or another. Then there is the erroneous windfall – the one that tweaks at our conscience and ambivalence at such “good” fortune. This issue’s Remember When selection is by Pearl Hoffman who shares a story from a time when this windfall, though small in today’s dollars, was a significant event. Thank you, Pearl for sharing this memory with our readers. Remember When contains our readers’ personal reflections, contributions describing fictional or non-fictional accounts from the “Good ol’ Days”

or reflections on life in general. Contributions may be stories, letters, artwork, poetry, etc. Photos may be included. Each issue of the Montana Senior News features the contributions deemed best by our staff. The contributor of the winning entry receives a $25 cash prize. We look forward to receiving your contributions for our April/May 2014 issue. Mail your correspondence to Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403; email to montsrnews@; or call 1-800-672-8477 or 406-7610305. Visit us online at

Ten Thousand Dollars Is Not What It Used To Be

NEW! GOLD RUSH EXHIBIT The Jefferson County Museum

Grand and elaborate visions danced in my By Pearl Hoffman head. First thing, I decided, we would send a It was 1947, the dawn that followed the dark days of the Great Depression, when ten-thousand handsome contribution to our house of worship. dollars was the stuff of which dreams were made. Next, I would insist that my weekly table and miscellaneous allotment be My husband Arny’s salincreased from $14 to $20. ary had reached a level That seemed fair enough. Afthat necessitated his emter all, rich people should live ployer to withhold Federal like rich people. And that was Income Tax. When Arny only the beginning. All day my prepared our tax return for wish list grew and grew and that year, he discovered by the time Arny came home of the $15 that had been from work, I had mentally fritwithheld, we were due a tered away the better part of $10 refund. Though we $500. were happy finally to be in I could scarcely wait for an income bracket that reArny to arrive home. I met quired us to pay taxes, we him at the door, the check in were even more excited to my hand. As he stood, starget back most of what we ing open-mouthed at our bopaid. nanza, I reminding him of the I waited with anticipation for the daily mail Arny and Pearl Hoffman on the night before the tried and true adage, “Finders delivery, and finally the $10,000 dollar check was returned to the IRS pos- keepers, losers weepers”, magic envelope was in my ing as newly rich members of highfalutin’ society. proof-positive that the govhand. I unsealed it, and As Pearl notes, “Acting was not our calling.” ernment’s mistake was our good fortune. stared in disbelief at the [Photo provided by Pearl Hoffman] When Arny caught his breath, he said although check inside. The $10 rebate had magically, and the theory was pregnant with possibilities, we mistakenly, grown to $10,000. We were rich!

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could not keep the check because he was not in favor of relocating to a permanent lockup facility. We returned the check to the IRS, an entity that needed the money far less than we did. For a long while, on dark, stormy, or sleepless nights, I would think expansive thoughts of what might have been had we been adventurous enough to keep the money and enjoy the serendipity.


I wrote a short song of lament about the matter. Although I do not recall most of the lyrics, the last verse sings in my mind. The return of the check was a thorn in my side, but I was no Bonnie and Arny, no Clyde. At best, the whole thing was Catch-22ish, and prison’s no place for a boy who is Jewish‌. The song never made the Hit Parade. MSN

Remembering Mom’s Clothesline Submitted by Julie Brantley This is funny and quite true. We are probably the last generation that will remember what a clothesline was. Great memories for some of us! I remember we had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that we used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets, pants, etc.) did not brush the ground and get dirty. I can hear my mother now.... The basic rules for clotheslines are: 1. You had to hang the socks by the toes, not the top. 2. You hung pants by the bottom/cuffs, not the waistbands. 3. You had to wipe the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes by walking the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines. 4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang whites with whites, and hang them first. 5. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders – al-

ways by the tail! What would the neighbors think? 6. Wash day was Monday! Never hang clothes on the weekend or on Sunday for Heaven’s sake! 7. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your unmentionables in the middle – perverts and busybodies, you know! 8. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather because clothes would freeze-dry. I remember my grandfather’s union suits standing by themselves frozen. 9. Always gather the clothespins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were tacky! 10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothespins, but shared one of the clothespins with the adjacent item. 11. The clothes needed to be off the line before dinner, neatly folded in the clothesbasket, and ready to be ironed. Ironed? Well, that’s a whole other subject! MSN

Dead Penguins! Submitted by Jack Smith Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica? Where do they go? Wonder no more! It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird that lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact

with its offspring throughout its life. If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing: “Freeze a jolly good fellow. Freeze a jolly good fellow.� MSN

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Reviewed by Connie Daugherty Deadly Reckoning: A Mining City Mystery by Marian Jensen, 2013 Marian Jensen sets her first mystery novel, Deadly Reckoning, in contemporary Butte, Montana. She skillfully draws on the quirkiness of the contemporary Butte personality – ethnic awareness, largest Superfund site in the country, small town feel with metropolitan past – to create a light, easy reading mystery. As her characters wander the streets of Butte, talking to friends and strangers, readers quickly become immersed in the town as much as in the story. Butte is one of those towns that just begs to tell a story, but most writers focus on the historic heyday era of the Copper Kings and the labor movement. While Marian acknowledges some of that history, her focus is the Butte of today, which is just as rich in story setting as it was in the past. Deadly Reckoning is a well-crafted, cozy mystery that is perfect for winter reading. It is a story of revenge, of social justice, of family connections, and of starting over. “When Chance Dawson saw the Cessna go down he thought he was hallucinating.” It was a quiet Labor Day weekend and the town felt deserted. Chance took off running toward where the plane seemed to drop out of the sky. And suddenly, there it was, “the Cessna’s white fuselage with its high wings jutting out from the clapboard dwelling. At least neither the plane nor the house was on fire, but only an impossible situation would cause a pilot to bring a plane down in the middle of uptown Butte. A pilot himself, Chance runs through a dozen different scenarios in his head. He finds himself needing to know what happened, why, and if anyone he knows is involved. Using the fact that he works with his family’s small weekly newspaper, the Mining City Messenger, he shifts into reporter modes and starts asking questions. “Even if the Mining City Messenger didn’t run gore on the front page, they would be hardpressed to deny the crash was newsworthy,” he decides. But first, he has to pick up his sister at the airport. “Mesa Dawson hoisted her carry-on bag to her shoulder... the landing approach into Butte... seemed to tempt fate in ways her nerves barely tolerated.” Unlike her brother, Mesa is not terribly fond

of flying. A journalist with big dreams and prospects, she also is not thrilled to be returning to Butte. “Five weeks before, she had succumbed to [Chance’s] relentless pleas for help with the family newspaper... they needed her.” Their grandmother, who owned and usually operated the weekly newspaper had a heart attack and was still not back to work. “Mesa also knew that Chance’s real passion was restoring old buildings, of which there were plenty in Butte. Better she should be here to rescue the paper than leave it to him.” She has the business and journalism background as well as the big city experience. However, she is looking at this as a very brief and temporary situation; her feelings about living in Butte are not the same as Chance’s. “Mesa took a long look at her grandmother’s storybook house and tried to shake off the feeling that by returning to Butte she had somehow failed to make it in the larger world.” Although Mesa definitely has mixed feelings about being back in Butte, she quickly finds herself drawn back into the community and into the event that everyone is talking about, the plane crash. Chance seems obsessed with finding out what happened – something is just not right, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. As local law enforcement and the National Transportation Safety Board officers examine the site things get even more bizarre. The dead man whose body was pulled from the cockpit of the plane turns out to be a notorious ex-con. It also quickly becomes obvious that he could not possibly have been the pilot. So where, and who is the pilot? Then, the mechanic at Silver Bow Aviation tells Chance that three men boarded the plane when it took off from the airport. If there really were two more aboard the plane, “what kind of guys would walk away from a crash landing into a house leaving a dead man?” It seems clear that, “whoever these guys were, they apparently had something to hide.” Chance is determined to find out what is going on, with or without official help or approval. He uses his position as a member of the press to examine the evidence and ask questions. And each piece of evidence, each question only leaves him with more questions. When it appears that the convict was not only left alone after the plane crashed, but that he was probably dead before the crash, the whole thing becomes more complicated. While Chance, who has never been much interested or involved in the family newspaper, is off playing investigative reporter, Mesa is stuck running the business. “The last time Mesa had spent any serious time at the Mining City Messenger office, she had just finished her freshman year in college back east... more than ten years ago.” Until her grandmother’s heart attack, the free newspaper seemed to be doing very well. How-

ever, it quickly becomes clear to Mesa that things have changed, “advertising had taken a dive.� Mesa has some ideas of how to bring the paper back, but she wonders if it’s worth it. Although she knows it is her grandmother’s dream, will she, or should she, continue to manage the paper. And if not Mesa, then who? Mesa is determined to leave and get on with life outside Butte as soon as possible. Does she



need to groom someone to take over the paper? Could Chance’s sudden interest in developing the story about the plane crash grow into an interest in journalism and in managing the Mining City Messenger? As the plot evolves, twists and turns take the reader in unexpected directions while, not only solving the puzzle, but also exploring the streets and personalities of Butte. Deadly Reckoning is

a cozy mystery, perfect for curling up beside the fire as the Montana wind blows outside, or for taking along as you escape to sunnier climates. It is available in print or as an eBook. Marian Jensen, a transplant from Kentucky and a retired college administrator, lives with her husband in Butte. An active community volunteer, trout fishing on the Big Hole River is one of her favorite pastimes. MSN

Writing And Publishing After Retirement By Connie Daugherty Has anyone said, “You should write a book?� Have you ever read a book and thought, “I could do that?� Do you have a unique family history that needs to be written down? Have you always dreamed of writing, but just never had the time or any ideas of where to start? Many published writers have had these same thoughts – including some whose work has been reviewed in the book review column here. In this age of digital publishing, more and more people are not only writing, but also publishing. “If you have a wealth of experience, you have something to write about,� says Marian Jensen. An English major and an avid reader, Marian admits that, “Writing really wasn’t on my radar until I retired.� Even though she had the time after retirement, she still thought, “Writers were a certain breed, only people with a lot of talent were the ones who were going to get published.� Then she attended a writers’ workshop. She came away with the confidence at least to try. “The basic message is the same no matter where you go,� Marian says. Read and write, write and read, and then write some more. “It’s like exercising the muscles in your body.� So if you want to write start writing – don’t put it off any longer. Do it today. Do one page a day, write for fifteen minutes, or write for an hour a day. When you sit down to write, the story that is in you will come out. Be prepared to discover that what you think you want to write about might not be what comes out – that’s okay. “Trust yourself enough to know that the thing you can write about with most passion is the story you want to tell because that’s the story that will resonate with your readers,� Marian says. This first writing doesn’t have to be good, but don’t stop the flow by editing. “The crummiest you write is better than the best thing you don’t write,� insists Marian. And besides, that beginning is just that – the beginning of the process. Yes, writing is a process, “almost an organic process,� according to Marian. Even doubting what you are doing, wondering if it’s good enough is part of the process. Every piece of writing “starts with a sh*** first draft.� That’s part of the process. But you need to get it done. You don’t have to wait for a writers’ workshop to come your way to begin. For some guidance, Marian recommends two books by Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones, and The Wild Mind. They both focus on getting you to write and they have good writing exercises in them. The Cour-

age to Write by Rolf Keyes is another book worth reading. Or go to for Julia Cameron’s (The Artist’s Way) guided exercises. Writersdigest. com, the electronic version of the writers’ old print standby is also full of articles and discussions about every aspect of writing and publishing. Another suggestion is to form a writers group to provide moral support, and serve as readers for your work. A useful writers group can provide a “meaningful critique� of your work. A good critique will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your draft, whether the characters seem vivid, whether the plot makes sense, whether the dialogue feels authentic. Meanwhile keep writing. Revision is also part of the process. “You shouldn’t even consider sending a manuscript for publication that hasn’t been drafted at least three times,� Marian says. While she admits that three is not a magic number, her point is that most works need to be massaged into publishable manuscripts and that doesn’t happen just by running the spell check on the computer. So now you have a skillfully drafted manuscript, how do you get it published? Sometimes there is a difference between good, even excellent writing and commercial writing. Today more and more books are being published independently as digital books. “Digital publishing doesn’t have New York as the middle man,� Marian explains. You get your voice out there and then the readers decide whether they like your work instead of an editor in an office in New York whose main purpose it to turn a profit for the company. However, because you are cutting out that middleman, it is vital in digital publishing that you present a clean, fully edited manuscript. That includes copyediting as well as content editing. In order to publish a professional looking manuscript you must have someone go over your work with a finetooth comb looking for




those tiny mistakes that none of us sees in our own writing. If you are interested in having someone with professional experience edit your work, one such option is Of course, elance. com and similar sites charge a fee to join and an

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additional fee to work with an editor. You will also need to have a cover for your book and these sites can help with that also. You do not have to be a computer whiz in order to publish independently your digital book. There are some companies on the internet that provide a package – they will prepare your manuscript digitally, design a cover, and format your manuscript for uploading onto Amazon. There is a fee of course depending on what you need done, but the final product is a professionally presented manu-

script. Other sites to check are,, which produces digital books for all e-readers, and, Amazon’s division that publishes on-demand print books. To find out more about the process of digital publishing, check out Let’s get Digital, a digital book by David Gaughran, who also has a blog that Marian recommends. It really is easier than you think, and there is plenty of help out there so now is the time – enjoy your retirement and write that book you have always had in you. MSN

What We Owe Abraham Lincoln For Shaping Montana By Bob Campbell This past year has been one of learning more about the life of our most popular president, Abraham Lincoln, and what pressures he withstood in preserving the Union. Lincoln was the first president of the newly formed Republican Party and upon his election, he faced eleven southern states who voted to leave the Union and establish the Confederate States of America. He was facing the greatest trauma and tragedy in American history. Three years into the war, the cost of supporting the union forces was creating severe financial hardships on the northern states. Lincoln benefited by the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad to California in 1863. In addition, the huge silver deposits in Nevada hastened its statehood in 1864. A former Ohio republican congressman, Sidney Edgerton, was appointed by Lincoln to be a member of the Idaho Territorial Supreme Court. In September 1863, Edgerton and his nephew Wilbur Fisk Sanders arrived at Bannack, the first commercial gold strike in Montana. Idaho had a majority of democrats and they were not happy with the assignment of a republican to serve on their territorial supreme court. A letter awaited Edgerton at Bannack from the Idaho territorial governor who told Edgerton not to come to Idaho’s territorial capital, Lewiston, and

instead assigned him to form a court in Bannack. Idaho Territory was huge and unmanageable. Lewiston was more than a hundred miles west of Bannack and many hundreds of miles from its eastern border at the Dakota Territory line. The miners at Bannack wanted their own territory and they agreed to send Edgerton back to Congress with two thousand dollars in gold to propose a new territory. Edgerton first met with Lincoln who supported creation of the new territory. The chair of the House Committee on Territories was James Ashley who had served with Edgerton as a fellow republican from Ohio. Together they proposed the new territory of Montana, which Lincoln signed into law on May 26, 1864. The western boundary of the new territory would follow the Bitterroot summits north and go straight to Canada leaving Idaho with its narrow strip of land. What Idaho lost were the Kootenai, Flathead, Missoula, Butte, and Bitterroot Valleys. Idaho was outraged that the “stolen” valleys and immense resources would now provide Montana and not Idaho future development. Lincoln also signed the legislation creating the Northern Pacific Railroad that was completed in 1883 and was important to Montana’s becoming a state in 1889. MSN

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Dr. Evans grew up in Great Falls MT where he was an Eagle Scout from Local BSA Troop #7. Dr. Evans graduated from Great Falls High School. He earned his Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida. Dr. Evans was in private practice in Boulder CO for 15 years, but he wanted to return to his roots in Great Falls. Now back at home, Dr. Evans is delighted to be using his skills to help patients of all ages who are in need of hearing and balance care. Enjoy Hearing Again! Like us on Facebook/HEARINGLifeUSA

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Walking Well For Longevity Provided by We take moving and walking for granted – it is so simple. But loss of spinal motion – whether from a sudden back injury or from a gradual loss with growing older – can rob us of the simple pleasure of taking a stroll. And especially as studies show the benefits of regular walking; it’s smart to take a look at how we walk, and to be mindful of moving well. Most of us never take the time to focus on subtle asymmetries between the sides of our body as we step from our left foot to the right. But chiropractors, therapists, and trainers know back pain, as well as ankle and knee problems, often result from the long-term muscle and joint stress of quirks in how we stand and walk. Increasingly, professionals use a new breed of “motion control exercise” (MCE) to treat people and literally improve how they move. In a recent study, MCEs were found to “correct these deficiencies and retrain optimal movement patterns and control of spinal motion… and are superior to general exercise in the treatment of chronic and recurrent low back pain with regard to pain and disability.” According to posture and motion professionals, moving well begins with improving body awareness and then training for better control of fine, subtle movement. Before beginning a motion control program, it’s a good idea to benchmark your standing body alignment with a posture picture – just have a friend take your standing, full-body picture with a camera or phone, and keep it to compare it to another picture annually or after a posture improvement program. (TIP: Check-out the free PostureZone app for iPhone/iPad available from iTunes). Here is a three-step strategy for improving how you move from posture expert, Dr. Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller – Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy. Especially if you sit a lot, he recommends these simple steps to get you started walking taller and with better control. Step 1. Standing Awareness • Your standing posture is an indicator of how your body is balancing. When you walk you are constantly shifting your balance from the left to the right, so the first step in awareness is taking a moment to focus on what it feels like to balance only on one side. Simply stand tall and raise your left leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position for 20 or 30 seconds (or as long as you can comfortably maintain control). Note which muscles are working hardest to keep you balanced. Repeat on the other side and note any differences. Step 2. Body Awareness of Each PostureZone • Certified posture exercise professionals (CPEP) help retrain motion by looking at the body as four PostureZones: Head, Torso, Pelvis, and Lower extremities. They

At First Choice Family Healthcare, we believe that everyone deserves quick access to quality healthcare. With our clinic locations in Great Falls and Stanford, we are dedicated to expanding medical access in our community. We are delighted to be able to help your entire family with your medical needs! Call or stop in to see us today!



STANFORD: 94 Central Ave. 3 / 406.566.2545 GREAT FALLS: 914 13th Ave. S / 406.453.0810

Chris Grotbo, FNP Kate Antonich, FNP-C

observe how we unconsciously shift those zones, often out of proper alignment, in order to keep our balance. You can increase body awareness with this simple DIY movement assessment sequence: • Zone 1 – Lower Extremities: Stand on your toes, then lift your toes to stand on your heels. Roll your feet to the outside edge, and then to the inside edge, try lifting your pinky toe off the ground. Now, bend your left knee keeping your right knee straight, and then bend your right knee keeping your left knee straight. • Zone 2 – Pelvis: Stand tall with knees locked and then move your hips as far as you can to the right, then as far as you can to the left. Then forward, and then backward. • Zone 3 – Torso: Explore the motion of your spine by carefully bending to the left, and then to the right. Keep your knees locked and bend gently backwards. Note how far back you can see, and then check your motion and flexibility bending forward. • Zone 4 – Head: Look left, right, up, and down– compare the sensation and note any asymmetry or unevenness in how you move on each side. Step 3 – Walking Awareness • Go for a stroll and be aware if it feels the same when you step out with your left foot and then the right. Note your symmetry for each PostureZone as you focus on your: Feet: Is the same part of your toes pressing into the ground as you step forward on each side? Is the same part of each heel striking? Torso: Is each arm swinging symmetrically and the same distance? Do both hands face the same direction (thumb forward)? When you take a breath, are you belly–breathing or chest breathing? Head: Is your head jutting forward or level and standing tall? Explore how it feels to move differently and play with evening out and balancing any left–right PostureZone differences you find. If you have a problem or there is any pain, check with your doctor or posture exercise professional. Simply becoming aware is a huge step in the right direction. A bit of mindfulness as you move helps keep your spine and posture strong to you keep walking tall and moving well. For additional information visit MSN



Classic DVDs – Health Care By Mark Fee With all the foment in our healthcare system in the past year and the inevitable political rhetoric, there has been a lot of discussion in the news which has most of us probably a little stressed at the glitches and uncertainty as the sweeping changes take effect with good, bad, and ugly results. What’s the best antidote to health care stress? Classic healthcare DVD’s. Mother, Jugs and Speed (1976) helped me survive a terrible depression. The film is about an ambulance service. Peter Yates (Bullitt, 1968; Murphy’s War (1971); Breaking Away (1979) tried to mix the black humor of M.A.S.H. (1970) with social commentary. Though funny, it doesn’t always work. Arthur Hiller’s The Hospital (1971) is a deranged black comedy. George C. Scott plays a suicidal doctor in an unbalanced, madhouse hospital. Listed below are a few of my favorite health-

care classics and more sleepers – an unruly mix of comedy, drama, and action. In The President’s Analyst (1967), James Coburn plays a psychiatrist, who is handpicked to help the president with his emotional problems. Coburn thinks his job will be a breeze. Hardly. The president wakes him at all hours. Coburn can’t even go to the bathroom without a call. In desperation, he flees Washington. But his problems have only begun. Some include the phone company and Russian secret agents. A very funny movie; thought provoking and a must see! Rated PG; 3½ stars Coburn is featured, in Blake Edwards’ neglected, medical conspiracy The Carey Treatment (1972). Coburn plays an unorthodox physician. One of his colleagues has been charged with murder. Coburn investigates. Edward’s film is flawed. But the excitement never lets up. Rated PG; three stars. In Soylent Green (1973), New York is overpopulated and governed by a police state. The film is set in 2022. Charlton Heston plays a detective, who investigates the death of an executive and discovers the secret of Soylent Green. Richard Fleischer’s (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954) film is oppressive and nightmarish The film’s premise was plausible in 1973, but is horrifying now. Rated PG; three stars.

Mel Brooks plays Dr. Richard Thorndyke in High Anxiety (1977). He is the new director of the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous. Thorndyke learns about the mysterious disappearance of the director. He becomes very suspicious and needs help. So does everyone else at the institute. Cloris Leachman plays a grotesque nurse; Harvey Korman is Thorndyke’s deranged, pathetic assistant. Brooks’ film lampoons Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thrillers. Lots of fun. Rated PG; three stars. In Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe (1978), George Segal plays the former husband of Jacqueline Bisset. They are food connoisseurs. Someone is killing the most renowned chefs of Europe. Segal and Bisset race to find out who the murderer is. Robert Morse plays an obese gourmet specialist and literally steals the show. The film is a sleeper. Henry Mancini’s musical score is delightful. Rated PG; three stars. In Brain Donors (1992), three lunatics decide to run a ballet company. John Torturro and Bob Nelson are featured in this neglected, funny film. It is literally a remake of the Marx Brother’s classic, A Night at the Opera (1935). Though not up to the Marx Brothers it is a hoot. Rated PG; three stars. Until the next time relax and enjoy these hilarious and thrilling classic healthcare movies. MSN

What Happens If You Are Diagnosed With Colon Cancer? Provided by the Colorectal Cancer Network Treatment for colon and rectal cancer depends on the stage and other factors that you and your doctor will discuss before choosing a treatment option. Your doctor will conduct tests and tissue biopsies to determine your cancer stage. Cancer staging is the process of classifying how far a cancer has progressed. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) developed the most commonly used system for staging colorectal cancers. It is referred to as TNM (Tumor, Nodes, Metastasis) and takes into account the tumor size, lymph node involvement, and whether the cancer has spread, or metastasized to other organs. Once the stage is determined, the course of treatment may include more than one therapy together or in sequence. In deciding what treatment is best, it is important for patients to ask questions and seek a second opinion. The three primary forms of standard therapy for colon and rectal cancer are: • Surgery • Chemotherapy • Radiation therapy Another option is

biological therapy that uses living organisms, substances derived from living organisms, or synthetic versions of such substances to treat cancer. Some types of biological therapy exploit the immune system’s natural ability to detect and kill cancer cells, whereas other types target cancer cells directly. Biological therapies include monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, therapeutic vaccines, the bacterium bacillus Calmette-Guérin, cancer-killing viruses, gene therapy, and adoptive T-cell transfer. The side effects of biological therapies can differ by treatment type, but reactions at the site of administration are fairly common with these treatments. Some people have attempted to cure cancer using complementary or alternative therapies. You must be very careful about choosing these. Make sure that there has been valid clinical research. Combinations of the therapies above may also be given before or after surgery. When given before the primary therapy, a treatment is called neoadjuvant therapy. When given after the primary therapy, a treatment is called adjuvant therapy. In deciding with your doctor which therapy or combination of therapies is best, you will want to discuss side effects and complications of each treatment strategy. MSN

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. - Woodrow Wilson



Women’s Best Friend; Cancer’s Best Finder By Tait Trussell Man’s best friend may also be a woman’s best friend. A chocolate lab in a research project at the University of Pennsylvania has been trained to sniff out ovarian cancer, which kills 14,000 women a year. Some 22,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2013. All women are at risk for ovarian cancer. But older women are more likely to get the disease than younger women are. The greatest number of cases occurs in women age 60 and older. When ovarian cancer is found at the earliest stages, treatment is most effective. The chocolate lab and his partner, a Springer spaniel, are part of an interdisciplinary effort between the Penn Vet Working Dog Center and three sections of the university – the physics department, the division of gynecologic oncology, and the Monell Chemical Senses Center – to detect early cancers. Dogs, with their incredible sense of smell, have been used for search and rescue missions because of their keen olfactory receptors. In previous research, dogs have been used to detect cancer of the breast as well. After eight weeks of obedience training, the dogs had been introduced to the cancer tissue smell. Penn Vet founder and executive director

Cynthia M. Otto hopes the dogs can detect the specific odor so well that scientists can design a less invasive test to catch ovarian cancer while it is still treatable. “We had a party and played with the dogs with toys. They quickly figured out what they had to do to get the toys,” she said. Engineering students at Penn designed a large wheel with paint cans at the end of each spoke. Only one of the cans held cancer tissue. The dogs had been taught to sit at the can that held the cancer. Otto is a veterinarian and researcher. She founded the Penn Vet Working Dog Center after spending time caring for the search and rescue dogs deployed in the burning rubble of the World Trade Center. When it comes to the sense of smell, dogs far surpass human beings’ capacity; humans use about 350 different olfactory receptors. Dogs use more than 1,000 to inhale the world of smells. The intent of the study is that, “by combining information from dog studies, analytical chemistry, and nano [very small] sensor studies, we can make more rapid progress toward the goal of diagnosing ovarian and other cancers from their volatile signature,” said A. T. Charlie Johnson, a physics professor at Penn. He hopes to develop a nanotube device to

Why Do I Accidentally Urinate During Sex? If the condom is intact and you have ruled out the possibility that the wet spot came from him, take a discreet sniff. Does the wet spot smell like urine? “If so, there’s your answer. There’s often a tiny bit of fluid left in the bladder even after women use the bathroom,” says Lauren Streicher, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, as told to’s Corrie Pikul.

“Certain sexual positions – such as the missionary – can put enough pressure on that area to cause it to leak. If this happens only occasionally, then there is no need to worry. If you’re regularly leaking urine, it could be a sign of incontinence,” she says. Streicher advises strengthening your pelvicfloor muscles through Kegels and consider bringing this up with your gynecologist or a women’s health physical therapist. Dr. Arnold Kegel, a

detect and identify odorants and other chemical compounds using single strands of DNA. When a strand of DNA is attached to the carbon nanotube, it takes on a complex and specific shape, forming small, pocket-like structures that interact with molecules in the air. “When we change the base sequence of the DNA, we get a device that responds differently to odors in the air,” Johnson says. “In effect, we’re mimicking how the nose works.” For this study, the Working Dog Center, Johnson’s group, and a chemist at Monell Chemical Center will analyze tissue and blood samples from ovarian cancer patients. Currently doctors use expensive diagnostic tools to detect ovarian cancer, instruments that still fail to find the cancer until it has reached an advanced stage. Thanks to the sniffing dogs for leading the way toward early cure. MSN



gynecologist at the University of Southern California, developed the exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles in 1948 and still, physicians to this day remind their patients, “do your Kegels!” Most women however experience frustration because they unknowingly do not perform the Kegels effectively, which leads to no improvement in symptoms. Apex, an automatic pelvic floor muscle exerciser automatically performs Kegel exercises by activating the pelvic floor muscles using mild muscle stimulation and an active resistance balloon. The female pelvic floor is critical to a woman’s well-being, not only because it prevents involuntary

loss of urine, but also improves sensation during intimacy and supports the internal organs. Apex’s unique combination of muscle stimulation and active exercise acts as a “trip to the gym” for the pelvic floor. A study in the International Urogynecological Journal, along with many other scientific studies shows that exercising the pelvic floor muscle helps control urinary incontinence and enhances orgasm and arousal for women. To watch an interview with Dr. Streicher describing Apex and its use, visit com/watch?v=WorqvRnBOhc. Apex is available to women nationwide MSN

Your Kidneys Are Amazing Pay Attention And Preserve Your Health

Dr. Randy Beach Dr. Mirna Bowden Dr. Kathleen Lewison Board Certified OB/GYN Urinary Incontinence Infertility Obstetrics Robotic Surgeries

406.862.6436 2002 Hospital Way, Whitefish MT

Do you give much thought to your kidneys and the amazing job they perform? Your kidneys not only help your body rid itself of drugs, toxins, water, and waste, but also regulate the amount of water in your body and chemicals such as potassium and calcium. They also release hormones that help your body generate red blood cells, make your bones strong and regulate your blood pressure - pretty impressive for organs that are each only the size of your fist. But suppose your kidneys stopped working as effectively as they should. Waste could build up in your body causing shortness of breath and swelling of the hands and feet. You might experience puffiness around your eyes or have dry, itchy skin. You might have trouble sleeping or concentrating or notice that you have an increase in urination. If you were lucky, you’d experience one or more of these symptoms. Unfortunately, most people with declining kidney function don’t have symptoms until kidney disease is advanced. Chronic kidney disease (CKD), the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S., is a progressive loss of kidney function over time and early detection and treatment are vital to keeping kidney disease from turning into kidney failure - a life-threatening

condition. Anyone can develop CKD during any stage of his or her life, but it’s more often seen in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease. If you are at risk of CKD, there are several things you need to do. Have you been tested for kidney disease? Find out if you are taking an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor or an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker). These medicines help control blood pressure and can slow the progression of kidney disease. Next, there are a couple of simple tests for detecting CKD. One test looks for protein in your urine, which is important for detecting and diagnosing early kidney damage and disease. The other measures GFR, or the glomerular filtration rate, which tells how well your kidneys are filtering and functioning. If you have CKD, following the advice of your doctor can slow the progression of this disease. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about your kidneys and the remarkable role they play in keeping you well. And if you are at risk for CKD, see your doctor to have your health and kidney function evaluated yearly because an early diagnosis gives you the best chance. MSN

Bob . Back in the game

| Butte, Montana

Bob was coaching college football when an accident during a tough practice left him with a broken pelvis and injured shoulder. Learn how he quickly returned to the game, at

(406) 496 - 3400








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‡4XDOLW\+HDULQJ$LGV ‡$VVHVVPHQWV ‡$QG6HUYLFHVIRU$OO$JHV Because we are diversified in our services, we are able to keep our prices for hearing aids competitive and reasonable.


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42==FDE@52J”406-727-6577 What Your Heart May Be Dying to Tell You By Allison St. Claire Short and sweet: Whether you are reading this in February (Heart Month) or any other time, your heart wants to serve you well. Treat it well, feed it well, and keep a happy, healthy beat to your life. Hopefully you’ve already read many of the credible, well-researched, independent studies that have debunked the cholesterol myth that has ruled for so many years as a result of faulty logic, cherry-picking “facts,â€? heavy politicking, and outrageous profits to be gleaned from getting your cholesterol down, down, down with medications. An excellent relevant best seller is The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden and Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Now they have teamed up with professional chef and master nutritionist Deirdre Rawlings to produce the companion book The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook. Everything in the cookbook aims at reducing or eliminating the four major promoters of heart disease: inflammation, oxidative damage, stress, and dietary sugar. Each ingredient is explained in depth as to its contributions to a healthy heart. Foods your heart loves include grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, freerange poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, dark chocolate, turmeric, green tea, garlic, olive oil, and pomegranate juice. What it does not like includes sugar, processed foods, trans fats, and processed meats. Supplements are not meant to be substituted for medications, but your heart benefits from all of these: CoQ10, L-carnitine, magnesium, D-ribose, curcumin, vitamin D, trans-resveratrol, vitamin C, fish oil, garlic, and citrus bergamot. So for some healthy, tasty sweets, try out these recipes courtesy of The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook. They contain ingredients you are likely to have on hand or in the case of almond flour are easily found in most grocery stores and definitely from online sources. Blueberry and Apple Crumble Gone Nuts Filling: 4 large green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon) Âź-cup water (preferably filtered) 1- teaspoon grated lemon rind 2-tablespoons honey, divided (preferably organic) 2-cups blueberries, fresh or frozen ½-teaspoon cinnamon Âź-teaspoon mace (optional) Topping: 2/3-cup almond flour Âź-cup rolled oats Âź-cup butter 1-teaspoon honey 1-cup walnuts Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8-inch square baking dish with butter. Filling: Toss the apples, lemon juice, water, lemon zest, and 1-tablespoon honey into saucepan and cook, covered, for 5 minutes over low heat. Remove lid and simmer on high for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the blueberries, cinna-

When It’s Your Heart, It’s All About Time

Watch for our Cardiac Center Open House in March!

We’re Ready for You Before You Arrive If you experience chest pain, don’t wait.

Call 9-1-1. When you’re having a heart attack, minutes matter in minimizing damage to your heart and saving your life. We receive your EKG while you’re en route in the ambulance, saving valuable time. The ER physician and Cardiologist consult before you arrive, and the team is ready and waiting for you. Our processes have been recognized by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care through Chest Pain Center accreditation – and Billings Clinic is the only facility with this accreditation in a three-state region.

Billings Clinic’s average time to heart attack intervention*, measured from arrival to treatment of the blocked artery

The only accredited Chest Pain Center in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota *November 2012 – October 2013



mon, and mace to the pot and let sit for about 10 minutes until the blueberries and flavors meld. Refrigerate to cool. Drain the fruit of its juices in a sieve and set fruit aside. Pour juice back into saucepan, add remaining tablespoon honey, and simmer until reduced by half. Topping: In a food processor, add the almond flour, rolled oats, butter, honey, and walnuts and blend until chunky crumbs are formed. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place cooled fruit into baking dish and top with the crumble. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with whipped cream or yogurt if desired.

¼-cup + 2 tablespoons cold water, divided (preferably filtered) 1-teaspoon gelatin 11/2-cups whipped cream (mix cream and plain yogurt if preferred) 2/3-cup fresh orange juice 2-tablespoons lemon juice 1-teaspoon vanilla extract ½-teaspoon ground nutmeg 1-teaspoon cinnamon 4 orange slices In small, nonstick saucepan, combine honey, orange zest, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Soak the gelatin in 2-tablespoons cold water and add to the hot honey – stirring well. Transfer to ceramic bowl and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Anti-ox Orange Mousse ½-cup honey, divided (preferably organic) grated rind from 1 orange

In a medium bowl, whip the cream until quite thick. Add orange and lemon juices, vanilla extract, and thickened honey. Pour equal amounts into six individual ramekins and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until the mousse sets. Remove ramekins from the refrigerator and dip into hot water for about 10 seconds. Using a knife, separate the edges of the mousse away from the ramekins and place upside down onto a dessert plate. Decorate with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a slice of orange. Finally, we have also discovered nearly overthe-top cheesecake treats that, with a couple of exceptions, feature basic cream cheese, eggs, unbleached flour, butter, and regular sugar. Look for the delicious possibilities for yourself or a loved one at MSN

Help Stop The Use Of Untested Chemicals

Brightening Communities In Western Montana

Jessica’s journey with the issue of toxic chemicals began in 2005, when she participated in a study that showed her just how close to home this issue was. Despite exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle, her body contained over two dozen toxic chemicals. Mercury, phthalates, flame-retardants, and more – she was shocked. Where were these chemicals coming from? Were they harming her health? Unfortunately, we all share this story. Our bodies are home to toxic chemicals: undisclosed by corporations and not adequately tested for safety. Enter Women’s Voices for the Earth: a Missoula nonprofit raising women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. Of the 85,000 chemicals used in the U.S., only 200 have ever been tested for safety. With research showing that toxic chemicals play a role in rising rates of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, autism, miscarriage and more, we can no longer ignore this issue. With WVE’s support, Jessica is raising her voice with women nationwide, proactively demanding protective laws and corporate changes to protect our health. Toxic chemicals affect us all – now is our time to act. To learn more about investing in a healthy future, contact Erin Switalski at 406-543-3747. MSN

The Sunburst Community Service Foundation has a great story we enjoy telling. Four individuals in Eureka got together in 1994 because there were unmet needs in that community. Forming a nonprofit to provide social services, community education, and arts, our organization took shape. Within a few years, the program that provided support and education to families was doing so well, we were asked to expand into other communities. By 2010, we noticed other unmet needs and started providing wrap around mental health services in Flathead and Lake counties. Today Sunburst has a presence in eight locations in western Montana offering communities a range of services and activities including: • Vocational training and support for mental health consumers in Kalispell • Our Family Concepts office in Hamilton and six other locations • The 15th Annual Performing Arts Series in Eureka that brings professional performers to local schools and community concerts. And Sunburst is continuing to find ways to meet needs in a creative and respectful manner. We still enjoy telling people what is possible when a group of individuals puts its efforts into making its town a better place. We would like your support. Please visit us at www.sunburstfoundation. org, visit a Sunburst office, or give us a call at 406-745-3681. We look forward to talking to you and hearing your ideas. MSN

Being in politics is like being a football coach; you have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important. - Eugene McCarthy


Medication Compliance and the Veteran: Coping strategies for drug therapy By Susan Frances Bonner RN, BSN Medication compliance is one of the hardest challenges faced by people with chronic illnesses. Some of the most common barriers to medication compliance are low literacy, forgetfulness, lack of insight into illness, lack of belief in benefit of treatment, cultural incongruence with medication, belief that the drug is not important or is harmful, complexity of medication regimen, weariness of taking medications, inconvenience of medication regimen, fear of side effects, and cost of medication. Another barrier when dealing with medication compliance and the veteran is the Veterans Administration. It is a unique situation that veterans can be eligible for outside private sector treatment as well as what is available at the VA. This makes medication compliance even more difficult. Medications are prescribed to veterans based on a flow chart system. The flow chart consists of the patient’s diagnosis with corresponding medications that are recommended to treat it. The medications are then put into a tier system with the first tier being the cheapest and oldest therapy. To go to the next tier of medications, the patient has either to have a negative reaction or not get results from the medication. The VA may require the patient to enroll in other programs to fulfill these requirements, which can be complicated. The most frequent barrier to medication compliance is weariness of taking medication, so the first strategy would be to assess how many medications are taken per day and how frequently. Next is to find out if any medications can be eliminated and treated another way, say with diet and exercise. Another strategy involves prescribing a stronger medication that can be taken less frequently. Forgetfulness is another barrier to medication compliance. Use of an alarm, making sure medications are handy at all times, and the use of devices such as pill boxes where medications are dispensed and set up daily and weekly all facilitate medication compliance. Caregiver and family involvement is key here as the chronically ill need all the encouragement they can get. There are also high-tech solutions such as Philips Medication Dispensing Service, for people with mild to moderate dementia, early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, mental illness, or other conditions that make it difficult to comply with a drug regimen. A family member or other caregiver loads up and programs the device. At medication time, the machine’s robotic voice loudly reminds the patient. The alert continues for 90 minutes, or until a button is pressed to dispense the medication in a plastic cup. If the button is not pressed, the system automatically calls the designated caregiver. CareSpeak Communications’ Mobile Medication Manager reminds patients by text message to take their medications. Patients also are asked to confirm by text message that they have done so. Responses are logged electronically and are

available to the physician. If the patient does not confirm taking the medication, designated family members are alerted. Another obstacle to medication compliance is availability of medications caused by poor planning or forgetfulness. Veterans can request a refill as soon as they receive their medication or at least 14 to 21 days before they will run out. This may be done over the phone or by visiting the VA website. Unlike private pharmacies that usually have a reminder program for their clients to ensure that their medications are refilled, the Veteran or caregiver of the Veteran has to be the reminder program. Although there can be many obstacles to medication compliance, with the correct combination of assistance, technical tools, and determination, it is possible to achieve an excellent level of compliance. Be creative and good luck! MSN




I am not a quadruple bypass.

I am a husband, police officer and avid motorcycle rider.

A heart attack can stop you where you stand. Fortunately, St. Vincent Healthcare is right there with you, providing award-winning heart and vascular care to the region. From immediate attention to personalized follow-up care, your heart is in great hands with us. Find out more about our leading cardiac services at


Who Lost? By Dale Sheldon Reviewed by Sue Carlbom “Try if you can to imagine the utter and absolute horror that filled a young mother when her four-year-old came running into the house with blood streaming down his cheeks and then to realize that the blood was coming from where his eye had been just a few moments before. The young girl was my dear mother, Cleo. I was that child.” The obvious difference between sculptor Dale Sheldon and other artists is that he is completely blind. He realizes that losing his eyesight just before his fourth birthday helped him see that raising a family and running a business in rural Montana is not for the faint of heart. With wit and candor, Sheldon draws us into his diverse life. Married at 17, he plunged into any job he could get to support his family. Every endeavor revealed his determination to be the best that he could be. He had his own auto repair shop for thirty years, was an avid hunter and angler, served for twelve years as a county commissioner, became a Russian interpreter, and expressed himself as a sculptor and woodworker. Parents will be emboldened by his message to encourage rather than shield a child facing a handicap. As the father of a developmentally challenged daughter, he was compelled to help others in that situation by serving as a board member on the Developmentally Disabled Council. Anyone teetering on the brink of indecision will be motivated by his “just do it” philosophy. Whether it was owning his own trucking company, or leaving rural Montana to work in Washington, D.C., he pursued every possibility for success. If you just yearn for a good belly laugh, enjoy his adventures hunting moose in north central Montana, driving a snowmobile at high speeds up a mountain, or learning to water ski at the family reunion with nieces and nephews yelling from shore, “You can do it, Uncle Dale!” Sheldon’s purpose in writing the book is to give hope to families with handicapped children. He feels the word handicapped has many connotations. “It’s all a matter of conditions and perception. If you are the only orange marble in the sack, that could be construed as a handicap. These days if a person is only 6’5”, there doesn’t seem much point in trying to play professional basketball, does there? Life consists of thousands of obstacles or roadblocks. We all have to decide if we will view the obstacles as roadblocks or challenges to be overcome.” MSN




Early Detection is Key to Slowing Progression of Glaucoma More than 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and over are affected by glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness, yet only half of those affected know they have the disease. Often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight”, glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages, and vision loss progresses at such a gradual rate that people affected by the condition are often unaware of it until their sight has already been compromised. The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises the public that the best defense against developing glaucoma-related blindness is by having

routine, comprehensive eye exams. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, occurs when tissue in the eye gradually becomes less efficient at draining fluid. As this happens, eye pressure (called intraocular pressure), rises, causing irreparable damage to the optic nerve. Without proper treatment to halt the nerve damage, open-angle glaucoma patients usually lose peripheral vision first, and then they may eventually go blind. Fortunately, most vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented with early detection and medical intervention. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all adults have a baseline, comprehensive dilated eye exam at least by age 40 – the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to happen. The exam, which includes an eye pressure check, may also require a visual field examination – as determined by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions. For people age 65 and older, the Academy recommends having a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years, or as directed by an ophthalmologist. Some people are at greater risk for developing glaucoma and may need to see their ophthalmologist on a more frequent basis, specifically for glaucoma testing; risk factors for glaucoma include: • Eye pressure level

• Older age • Family history of glaucoma • African ancestry or Latino/Hispanic ethnicity • Thinner central cornea (the clear, front part of the eye covering the pupil and colored iris) • Low blood pressure • Type 2 diabetes mellitus • Myopia • Genetic mutations “Over the years, I’ve seen so many patients who had clear risk factors for glaucoma, but didn’t know of their risks until it was too late,” said Andrew Iwach, M.D., glaucoma specialist and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “It’s truly a shame to think how different their lives would be if they had only known of these risks and taken action to have a comprehensive eye exam sooner. It’s crucial that people remember that once vision is lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored.” People who have not had a recent eye exam or for whom cost is a concern may qualify for EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology that offers eye exams and care at no out-of-pocket cost for people age 65 and older. Visit to see if you are eligible. To learn more information about glaucoma, visit the Academy’s public education website at www. MSN

Diabetes And Eyes: What Your Vision Is Trying To Tell You (NAPS) – Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect many aspects of the body – the heart and kidneys, blood circulation and even the eyes. In fact, diabetic eye disease has increased in prevalence by 89 percent between 2000 and 2010 and is a leading cause of blindness among American adults. Despite this, vision care is often overlooked by people with diabetes as they work to manage the many other health problems the disease can cause. According to a survey by the American Optometric Association, 55 percent of people are unaware that diabetic eye disease often has no visual signs or symptoms. Additionally, 44 percent of Americans do not know that a person with diabetes should have a comprehensive eye exam once a year, including a retina (dilated) eye exam. Yet these exams are the only way to diagnose serious eye diseases associated with diabetes at its early stage. Regular retina eye exams are critical for early detection and

treatment of these progressive eye diseases that often begin without warning. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher their risk for eye disease. Over time, diabetes may cause damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye, known as diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to diabetic macular edema (DME). DME occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid and cause swelling. Although symptoms are not always present, this swelling can cause blurred vision, double vision, and patches in vision, which may appear as small black dots or lines “floating” across the front of the eye. Approximately 26 million Americans have diabetes and may be at risk for DME. More than 560,000 Americans have DME. Yet approximately 55 percent are unaware that they have the disease. African Americans and Hispanics over the age of 40 are also at a higher risk for DME. Prevent Vision Loss – Getting an annual retina eye exam is the best way to help detect changes in vision. Do not wait – make an appointment with a retina specialist today. For more information about DME and tips for healthy vision, visit MSN



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Famous Inventions The toilet seat was invented in Minnesota, but twenty years later, a North Dakotan invented the hole in it.

Outhouse Problems When Ole accidentally lost 50 cents in the outhouse, he immediately threw in his watch and billfold. He explained, “I’m not going down der yust for 50 cents.”

That’s Her! A Norwegian appeared in a five-man lineup for the purse snatching robbery of a woman who had been walking on the street. As the victim entered the room, the Norwegian blurted, “Yep, dat’s her!”

Ve Couldn’t Afford More Two Norwegians from Minnesota went fishing in Canada and returned with only one fish. “Da way I figger it, dat fish cost us $400,” said the first Norwegian. “Vell,” said the other one, “At dat price it’s a good ting vee didn’t catch any more.”

The Relations Ole and Lena were getting on in years. Ole was 92 and Lena was 89. One evening they were sitting on the porch in their rockers and Ole reached over and patted Lena on her knee. “Lena, vat ever happened tew our sex relations?” he asked. “Vell, Ole, I yust don’t know,” replied Lena. “I don’t tink vee even got a card from dem last Christmas.”

Music Solution Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it. “Oh,” said Ole, “I persvaded her to svitch to a clarinet.” “How come?” asked Lars. “Vell,” Ole answered, “because vith a clarinet, she can’t sing.”

The Prank Call The phone rang in the middle of the night when Ole and Lena were in bed and Ole answered. “Vell how da hell should I know, dats two tousand miles from here,” he said and hung up. “Who vas dat?” asked Lena. “I donno, some fool wanting to know if da coast vas clear.” MSN

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The Clock is Ticking By Clare Hafferman I came home one afternoon disgruntled and tired. Unloading the things that hadn’t sold at the Farmers Market, I said to my husband, “I don’t think I’ll be able to keep things in shape here next year and go to the market too.” The clock was ticking and I wasn’t getting any younger. As a man who usually cuts to the chase, he said, “So why don=t you see what you can eliminate?” I hadn’t thought of that – getting rid of something. I’d only thought about shoring things up in order to keep going. But a little reflection convinced me I wasn’t getting ahead in my current fashion; why not take his suggestion. What would be first? A large pie cherry tree provides family members with almond flavored sugar enhanced cherry pie. The transparent apple tree provides the fruit for pies and canning. My raspberry patch was sizable. There was a currant bush in order to have currant and raspberry jelly. Unfortunately, the aphids ate the currants and sucked up the leaves before I got the jelly. It was the only thing the aphids aimed for in my yard and I don’t know why. The currant bush is destined to come out. I always planted tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and a few other vegetables along with rhubarb. If I eliminated growing vegetables, what other options did I have? A lot of my yard is for my wildflower garden and my traditional perennial flowerbeds and borders as well as herbal plants. The space and the care needed seemed minimal when I was younger. What can be done to hold onto the joy and beauty these plants add to life? About this time, a book I had ordered from Daedalus Books provided some answers to eliminate work by changing what was there. The title was Gardening for a Lifetime or How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older, by Sydney Eddison. She is the author of six other gardening books. She lives in Connecticut and has been given her State’s Horticultural Gustav Melquist Award, as well as the New England Wildflower Society’s

Award in 2005 and 2006, and the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s Bronze Medal. She lectures widely and continues to teach at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The first chapter was an eye-opener. She suggested thinning out perennial borders by dividing and giving away overgrown flower clumps and substituting slow growing shrubs. She suggested some shrubs that would still have flowers, like Hydrangeas, Viburnum, Spirea, and Forsythia, as well as ornamental grasses. Try to get slow growing varieties and trim them to keep their shape such as Morning Light, a type of grass, and Golden Tide Forsythia. I read several chapters in her book that made sense no matter how old you were or how long you had gardened. They included: Rethinking The Perennial Borders, Sanity Savers, Learning To Make Lists, New Gardens, Keeping Them Small And Simple, Container Gardening – Arranging Potted Plants With A Purpose

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and a last one: Making The Most of What You Have Left. Another good suggestion came from the chapter on making lists. If you have a large sprawling garden like she did, it helps to make a Master List of things to accomplish. But choose one or two chores on the list, do them, and then mark them off –there, that’s done. She had lived in the same place for 48 years, and with her husband’s help, had maintained an extensive garden. When he died, she faced the fact that she needed help and that her gardening had to change. She compared it to the old Johnny Mercer song Something’s Got To Give. Deciding how much help and how many hours she could afford, the first thing to give was her massive collection of daylilies that she had been adding to since 1961. Using the advice of an acknowledged daylily hybridizer, the goal was to have healthy plants that developed into nice symmetrical clumps with good-looking foliage

and numerous flowers on strong stalks called scapes. The greater number of buds to a scape, the more flowers there will be. However, as she and her helper continued to study perennials, attractive foliage topped the list. Sedum, ornamental grasses, anise hyssop, calamintha, nepeta, large leaved lamb=s ears, thread leaf coreopsis, and Siberian iris will all grow in Zone 4 climate, like mine. The author lives in Zone 7 climate so some of the plants wouldn’t do well in Zone 4. But she suggested enough kinds to get started. As an example, she gave special marks to Sedum Autumn Joy for both foliage and flowers that will thrive in Zone 4. Once many daylilies were eliminated, the next to go were plants that needed staking and also plants like modern bearded iris, because she said they are victims of borers and end up with sick looking holey foliage. With enough ideas to keep you thinking like making lists and doing things differently, the au-

thor ended her book with a good example made by Itzhak Perlman who has been crippled by polio since childhood and walks with leg braces and crutches. At a concert in 1995 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, one of the strings on his violin snapped during the performance. The audience held its breath expecting him to leave the stage. Instead, he paused and continued playing, adjusting, and compensating as he went along. At the end, when he put down his bow, a roar of applause filled the Hall. When it died down, he said to the audience, ASometimes it is the artist=s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.@ That statement applies also to older gardeners. After you have eliminated, substituted, and thinned, how good looking can your garden be with the resources you still have at your command? If you=ve used the suggestions from this well written book, you may feel you’re still ahead of the game. MSN

Home Equity Loans Can Free Up Funds… But Be Cautious By Marilyn Pribus Home equity loans can be a useful source of cash for homeowners who are considering remodeling jobs, mortgage refinancing, major appliance purchases, or other big-ticket items. They may also be a smart economic move when consolidating existing high-interest-rate loans such as credit card debts. Paying off high-interest loans with a single home equity loan translates into a single monthly payment with a considerably lower interest rate. In addition, the interest on a home equity loan is usually tax deductible. Still, it is always prudent to understand fully the benefits and risks of taking another loan on your home. What Is a Home Equity Loan? A home’s equity, of course, is the home’s value minus the existing mortgage balance and any other existing loans. Equity loans take two forms. One is an outright loan that provides a lump sum, generally at a fixed rate for a fixed term. The other is a home equity line of credit that is abbreviated to HELOC (pronounced HE-lock) which provides money as needed and usually has a variable interest rate that may change during the term of the loan because it is tied to the prime lending rate.


Both kinds of loans have additional costs such as appraisals, originator and title fees, closing costs, and pre-payment fees. In some cases, the borrower pays, sometimes the lender pays, and sometimes the costs are shared. The closing costs are typically less than for a mortgage. Outright Loans. Generally, people can up borrow up to 90 percent of the equity (not the market value) in a home they occupy and about 70 percent for non-owner-occupied houses. There is a variety of options from five- to 30-year loans. These loans are commonly second mortgages, however if a home is owned outright, the loan would be a first mortgage. Home equity loans are usually made through banks or credit unions rather than a mortgage company or broker. A repayment schedule, like that of a mortgage, is set up, so the costs are regular and predictable. HELOCs – Line-of-credit loans are useful for providing ready credit for needs that don’t require a large one-time payment. Proceeds might be used for long-term renovation projects and the borrower can choose when and how much to borrow. The interest may be tax deductible. As a rule, interest rates are lower than those for an outright loan, however, it’s important to remember that variable rates can climb. Borrowers can use any part of the credit line

at any time and payments are made on only the outstanding amount of the loan, not the total available. It’s similar to a revolving account on a credit card and the money can be used, repaid, and used again. Unlike a credit card, a HELOC is secured by the equity in the home so rates are much lower than an unsecured loan and depend on the repayment option chosen by the borrower. It’s common for a borrower to have the option to make full repayment at any time or just to pay the interest. There are many variables such as the size of loan, the credit profile of the borrower, and whether it’s a first or second lien. It’s always a good idea to shop among institutions. Caveats – Borrowers must always remember they are taking equity out of their home, which decreases its value. If the house is sold, the loan must be repaid. In addition, failure to repay could result in foreclosure or a short sale. HELOCs should be repaid in a relatively short time. A HELOC can be a smart idea when the money is being used to improve the home, but it’s not a good way to pay for a car or a big vacation. Still, for people who handle their finances well, home equity loans can be a practical low-interest way to find money for expenses. Marilyn Pribus lives near Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband and their dog. MSN

Know Your Home’s Value (NAPSI) – Whether you’re thinking of buying, selling, remodeling, or just wondering about the value of your home, you need to know local market conditions – the picture may be brighter than you thought. To help, the home and real estate experts at Hanley Wood Market Intelligence have a new tool. Visit, click the blue Local Housing Data tab, enter your zip code, and you’ll see graphs and charts depicting values for your local market. Jonathan Smoke, executive director of research for Hanley Wood, says, “Healthy markets

have the following traits: a growing job market, favorable demographic trends, a diverse and educated workforce, subsiding foreclosure activity, and positive quality of life factors.” For remodeling, see how to maximize your return on investment at According to Remodeling magazine, the three projects with the highest return this year are fiber cement siding, entry door replacement, and attic bedroom remodel. Visit to see 32 more remodeling projects and their worth at resale. MSN

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Remarkable Walker, Edward Weston By Richard Bauman Sports heroes are nothing new. In the 1800s, long before professional baseball, basketball, and football existed, Edward Payson Weston was a sports champion — admired by kids and adults alike. His sport? Walking. “Walker Weston” as he was known walked all over the world. He competed in races and set numerous walking records. Ironically, Weston became a walking legend because he lost a bet. He backed Senator Stephen A. Douglas for president in the election of 1860, and bet a friend that Douglas would defeat Abraham Lincoln. If Douglas lost, Weston was to walk from the Boston State House to Washington, D.C., more than 450 miles, for Lincoln’s inauguration. And he would do it in just ten days. Weston was just 21 years old, when he had to pay off his bet. When he left the State House in Boston on February 22, 1861, at 12:48 p.m. and headed down Beacon Street, well-wishers lined the road. Weston’s walk to the U.S. Capitol became big news. Regardless of the weather – rain, snow, or slush – people gathered along his route cheering him on as he maintained a steady five miles an hour pace over hills and through flatlands. It looked like he was going to arrive in Washington, D.C., in time for Lincoln’s inauguration. But ferryboats were delayed and in Maryland, he made a wrong turn and went many miles out of his way. As Inauguration Day dawned, March 4, 1861, Weston was still in Baltimore, 40 miles

from the Capitol. He arrived in Washington D.C. at five p.m., long after the inauguration ceremonies ended. Although he had not achieved his goal, he had found a new career – walking. Weston met the president and Mrs. Lincoln a few days after the inauguration. Mr. Lincoln offered to pay Weston’s railroad fare back to Boston. Weston refused, saying he felt obliged to walk home in the allotted time. Weston stayed out of the limelight during the Civil War years. In 1867, Weston became a public figure again by walking 1,326 miles from Portland, Photo courtesy of Maine, to Chicago, Illinois, The Library of Conin 26 days, not counting gress Sundays. It was hailed by newspapers as “The Great Weston Feat.” But that was just a warm-up for Weston. Forty years later, in 1907 when he was 70 years old, Weston took the same walk again. He beat his own time by 29 hours. In the late 1800s, there was great public excitement over competitive walking, and Weston appeared numerous times in arenas around the world, including the old Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 1879, he won the Sir John Astley Belt in a go-as-you-please marathon at the Agricultural Hall in London, England. He covered 550 miles in 141 hours and 44 minutes. In 1883, Weston walked 50 miles a day in England every day for 100 days. On one occasion, he trudged 100 measured miles in Westchester County, New York, in little more than 22 hours. He walked all over the country – from Bangor, Maine, to Buffalo, New York and from New York to Minneapolis. He put on walking displays at exhibits and fairs across the country. He crossed the United States, twice, on foot. In 1909, he walked 3,985 miles from New York to San Francisco, in 104 days, 7 hours. That is an average of 38.2 miles per day. A year later, he walked 3,500 miles from San Francisco to New York in 76 days, 23 hours, or nearly 45.5 miles each day. Weston was against using tobacco and liquor, and he never walked on Sunday. He made modest speeches about physical fitness and how any American citizen could do what he had done. The “father of American pedestrianism”


hoped others would become enthusiastic long-distance trampers. That did not happen. Americans followed pedestrianism enthusiastically – but strictly as a spectator sport. Weston not only loved walking, he disliked automobiles. They were his personal nemesis. In 1927, he was run over by a New York City taxicab. The world’s most celebrated pedestrian’s life was nearly ended by the contraption he despised. On his 89th birthday, Weston

declared, “The trouble with people nowadays is automobiles.” Weston died on May 13, 1929, at 90 years old. By then the public’s fascination with Weston and walking had died out. The public was far more interested in professional baseball and college football. But anyone who had seen him walk professionally remembered the picturesque figure of “Walker Weston” steadily and briskly walking into the record books. MSN

Winter’s Not Over – Check Your Vehicle Q: We are planning to drive to South Dakota to visit family in Sioux Falls. Do you have a checklist of items that should be considered as we prepare for this long winter road trip? Lorraine, Miles City A: As we know in Montana, we can get snow any month of the year, but our winter driving is not over. Driving in winter weather – snow, ice, wet, and cold – creates a great challenge for vehicles and drivers. Keeping your vehicle in good technical repair reduces your overall chances for mishaps, accidents, or disaster. To ensure your vehicle is safe give it a complete checkup. Look for the following: Electrical system • Battery – recharge or replace if the battery is weak. Also have the charging system checked. • Lights – check all lights (headlights, sidelights, emergency flashers, directional lights, taillights, brake lights, and parking lights). Brakes – Check brakes and adjust to ensure equal braking, which helps reduce skidding. Tires • Use snow tires or all season radials. • Use chains on all four wheels when you expect severe snow and icy roads. Check tire pressure and maintain at proper level. Heating/cooling system • Check the radiator and hoses for leaks. • Make sure your vehicle has sufficient antifreeze for the coldest weather. • Check the defrosters (front and back). Windshield and Wipers • Have any cracks or chips filled. • Replace wipers if they are old or worn. • Fill with washer fluid for sub-freezing temps. Fuel • Fill up the fuel tank before leaving on trips. • Do not let the fuel level get too low. Be sure to exercise extreme caution to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when running the engine. What should I include in a winter driving

kit? A well-stocked winter driving kit helps to handle any emergency. It should include: • Properly fitting tire chains • Bag of sand or salt (or kitty litter) • Snow shovel; Snow brush; Ice scraper • Booster cables • Flares, emergency lights, help signs • Fuel line de-icer (methanol or methyl hydrate) • Extra windshield washer fluid • Roll of paper towels; Blanket • Flashlight and extra batteries • Extra clothing (hat, gloves, warm footwear) • First aid kit; Road maps • Emergency food and water Other Helpful Hints • Give yourself plenty of time to get there. • Plan long trips carefully. Listen to the radio, check, or call the Montana Traveler Information System at 511. • If possible, plan to travel during daylight and take at least one other person. • In a storm or blizzard, do not leave the car to search for assistance. You may become disoriented and lost in blowing and drifting snow. If running the vehicle to stay warm, exercise extreme caution to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. To learn more about roadside safety and brush up on your driving skills, consider taking the AARP Smart Driver Course. For more information, visit or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669) or 866-295-7278. MSN





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Canada’s Mormon Trail The Mormon Trail is typically thought of as a dirt trail winding the plains of Nebraska and scaling the Rockies of the American West, but this historic path goes far beyond the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. Parts of the Mormon Trail stretch as far north as Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta and offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the Mormon settlements. This branch of the Mormon Trail was forged in 1887 by one of the last covered wagon immigrations through Montana by a group of 41 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) from Utah. Soon after, another group went north to construct Canada’s first large irrigation works, the backbone of southern Alberta’s agriculture. Just a few years later, another group arrived, bringing industry to the area. In just over 20 years after the arrival of the first Mormon settlers, they had colonized 18 communities and 10,000 members of their church lived in the region.

Canada’s Mormon Trail came into existence during an important time in history – Queen Victoria had celebrated her Golden Jubilee and Grover Cleveland was president of the United States. Lethbridge was just getting established nearby, and the Northwest Mounted Police had recently been dispatched from eastern Canada to bring order to the virtually lawless Wild West. Their story is part of the Mormon experience of leaving established homes, businesses, and communities to start again for the good of their posterity. The pioneers who came here were called to change the prairie landscape from seemingly endless, dry grassland to fruitful farmland. The communities were connected with the historic Mormon irrigation canal, starting near Cardston and running 115 miles (185 km) to Stirling, which altered the landscape and brought prosperity to the region.



Today, the culture rich community of Cardston serves as the head of Canada’s Mormon Trail and offers travellers great opportunities – no covered wagon required. Cardston, the first of the communities established along Canada’s Mormon Trail, is just a 30-minute drive east of Waterton Lakes National

Park, and a 15-minute drive north of the Montana border. The scenery of the Rocky Mountains is a majestic backdrop to this friendly town. The beautiful temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at the center of the community, with a seasonal information centre open to the public. History comes alive at the Rem-

ington Carriage Museum, the Card Pioneer Home, and the Courthouse Museum, while those who love to play outdoors can enjoy the golf course, trail rides, mountain hikes, fishing trips, and river rafting close to town. For more information visit www.themormontrail. ca. MSN

This International Cruise Slips from Canada into Montana Article & Photos By Bernice Karnop It’s not your garden-variety international cruise, but the boat trip across Waterton Lake in Alberta, Canada, to Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park, Montana, takes you into pristine mountain country that rivals any you can find in the world. Waterton Lake is mostly in Alberta but the southern tip dips into Montana. Clear and clean, this glacier-carved lake is the deepest one in the Canadian Rockies, reaching down 487 feet at its lowest point. The mountains rise from its depths and, on a still day, mirror themselves in the lake. Thankfully, it’s all protected wilderness since the International Peace Park was established in 1932 The M.V. International has ferried people around on Waterton Lakes since 1927. The historic vessel had a facelift recently, including the oak seating. Like a well-seasoned citizen, it is beautiful both inside and out. The 200-passenger boat is registered in the U.S. but the captains and crew are Canadian Waterton natives. The crews are well-seasoned workers who can barely contain their enthusiasm for Waterton Park and the mountains they climb on their days off. One of the captains has been doing this job for more than 20 years! This

makes for a relaxed and informative ride with a narrative that’s in no way canned, and with plenty of opportunities to ask your questions. Tickets for the 2.25-hour cruise cost $40.00 Canadian. While it’s comfortable, it’s no luxury cruise. Bring your own drinks and snacks. Citadel Mountain, which you can see for most of the ride, will catch your eye with its unusual spires. A U-shaped bite out of the top makes it look quite unreal. A tumble of other snowy peaks includes Vimy, Bertha, and Richards Peaks in Waterton, and Mount Cleveland, the highest spot in Glacier National Park. The captain steered us close to cliffs to see the unique geological formations and rippled rock caused by the movement of the Lewis Overthrust fault that formed this area. T h e crew also pointed out waterfalls and wildlife. We saw a snowyheaded bald eagle near the border, and watched him soar over the lake. Over the summer, they saw 79 bears from the boat, which they attributed to a great berry year. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose,

deer, and elk frequent the area. Waterton/Glacier is the first International Peace Park in the world. Visitors can’t miss the peaceful boundary, however. The 49th parallel is marked with a mathematically precise bare stripe of land slicing through the trees and over the

mountains on both sides of the lake as far as you can see. “Good fences make good neighbors,” and so, per Robert Frost, the good neighbors clearly define their territory. Even though it seemed an anomaly in this protected wilderness, the bears and moose don’t mind. At the south end of the lake, the boat docks at Goat Haunt. Goat Haunt is the northern gateway to Glacier National Park from where you can hike to Kootenai Lakes or farther. Riders have half and hour to walk over to the ranger station and get their passport stamped with a very cool goat. If you linger beyond the half hour boat stay, plan to clear customs at this class B Port of Entry using the accepted identification. You can make arrangements to catch a later boat back to Waterton or you can hike the 8-mile shoreline trail back to Waterton Townsite. In 1979, UNESCO designated Waterton Biosphere Reserve, which recognizes many habitats around the Lake. Observant visitors may pick out prairie grasslands, aspen parkland, subalpine forests, alpine tundra, and freshwater fens. One of the most popular hikes in the area is to Crypt Lake. Hikers get on a different boat for a 15-minute boat ride to Crypt landing. This five and a half mile hike passes four waterfalls, gains about 2300 feet, and takes about 3 hours. The most talked about part of the hike involves clambering up the steel ladder to a tunnel that has been blasted through the rock. The tunnel, about 60 feet long and four feet high, comes out on a cliff face that hikers have to maneuver across before they get to safer ground. A cable has been installed for safety, but it’s probably not the place for someone who’s afraid of heights. And it’s not a good time to think about the meaning of the word Crypt. MSN


The Invincible Judge Judy: A Favorite Among Baby Boomers And Their Parents By Teresa Ambord “You’re a liar and I’m a human lie detector!” If you tune in to watch Judge Judy’s show, you’ll hear that often. I used to call her Judge Crabby based on what sounds like harsh responses to some litigants. I saw it as just another “who’s the baby daddy?” show, as one blogger put it. Then I learned that Judge Judith Sheindlin is the highest paid TV personality in any genre, making $47 million a year, and a favorite among us older folks. I decided to find out what I was missing. Crabby, yes. Judgmental, by definition. But she is also quite funny. Woe to the litigant who irritates her when she’s hungry. “Don’t waste my time!” she might yell. “I saw the menu, there’s turkey for lunch today!” Often she bounces her jokes off her bailiff (whom she refers to as Byrd), when the two of them exchange “oh brother!” looks. Byrd’s full name is Petri Hawkins Byrd. They’re on different professional planes, but there’s an obvious friendship there, and mutual respect. It’s the two of them against the world, at times. On one case when all the litigants admitted to drug use, Sheindlin threw up her hands and said, “The only ones not smoking dope here are me and Byrd!” The Money, The Fame Broken down into days of work (she works 52 days a year), Judge Judy makes $900,000 a day. Not bad pay if you can get it. And because of the ratings she brings in – the highest Nielsen ratings in 12 years – she can get it. At age 71, she‘s now in her 18th season, has won countless awards, and has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The list of honors goes on, but chances are Judge Judy would trade all those awards if she could get litigants to take some personal responsibility. It’s probably that dearth of common sense that makes her so darn cranky. A Little Background Judge Judy didn’t come out of nowhere. She spent years presiding over family court in Manhattan. Her husband, Judge Jerry Sheindlin is now retired from his position in the Bronx Supreme Court. According to DuJour magazine the first time she laid eyes on him, she was evidently smitten. She pointed at him and said, “And who is this?” His answer, “Lady, get your finger out of my face.” After they formed a successful relationship, she whipped out a calendar and said it was time to set the date. “I did propose to him,” she told DuJour. “He tried to weasel out of it… whatever. He finally capitulated.” They were married in 1978 and had five children. Later they divorced, but the divorce was not

made in heaven, and they ended up remarrying. Now, she says, “He’s the wind beneath my wings.” Her Courtroom The show Judge Judy involves small claims disputes, and as the lead-in to the show says, the “cases are real.” But the spectators in the audience are actors. reports that the actors are instructed to talk to each other before and after each case. Why? So the bailiff has a reason to say, “Order! All rise.” You may wonder, as I do, why litigants agree to go on the show. I suppose for some, it’s because the show pays the awards that are made when Judge Judy issues a verdict. It’s still hard to believe it is worth the humiliation of airing your dirty laundry on national TV. The list of cases Judge Judy hears is long, but they seem to fall mostly into a few major categories. • Money borrowed and not repaid, usually among family members. • Cohabiting couples who split up and expect the court to divide their assets. Judge Judy is quick to tell them, that kind of asset protection is for married people and the law does not extend the same rights to unmarrieds. • Then there are cases involving landlord/tenant disputes, fender benders, property damage, dog bites, and a whole lot of “he done me wrong, cheated on me with my mama so I set his clothes on fire” cases. Her Book The title of her first book Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining, echoes the kinds of thing she says all the time. In it, she tells of cases from her family court days. As I read, I could sense her growing frustration with the people she saw in court every day. In case after case, single parents treated the birth of a new baby more as a raise in the welfare check than a joyous addition to the family. Drug-addicted parents, alcohol-addicted grandparents, neglected children. When the law permitted a real solution, Judge Judy dropped the hammer on flaky parents but often, her hands were tied. Reading about it, I started to feel crabby myself. Now on her court TV




show she hears small claims cases, but most still include litigants who show little common sense or personal responsibility, and somehow don’t’ mind flaunting it on national TV. I get it now. I understand the crabby demeanor though it still rankles at times. Now my question is how does she maintain her sanity, let alone a beautiful smile, a happy marriage, and a quick wit in the courtroom? Yeah, she’s cranky, for sure. But now that I’ve looked a little deeper, I admit… I kind of like this

crab. And the Verdict Is Egg McMuffin Judge Judy is a very rich woman, but she’s still down-to-earth. She told DuJour magazine her breakfast of choice is a simple fast food item. “I still think Egg McMuffin is the best breakfast,” and that’s been her habit going all the way back to the early 1990s. She relaxes in her dressing room by playing gin rummy, which she learned from her maternal grandmother. “She didn’t let me win. And I don’t let my grandchildren win!” MSN

Have Fun And Help Gallatin County Fairgrounds The Gallatin County Fairgrounds has been an integral part of Bozeman, Montana and the surrounding communities since 1903. It has been the home of fairs, festivals, Montana State University and high school football and baseball games, cattle shows, and horse and automobile racing. Montana Winter Fair has been held on the grounds for 54 years. For over a decade, the Wild West WinterFest (February 15-16) has been one of two Signature Events (Summer Fair is the other) produced and promoted by the Fair Board, staff, and enthusiastic volunteers that serve as fundraisers for the Fairgrounds to make the Fairgrounds available year round and to make many needed improvements. Approximately one-third of the Fairgrounds’ annual budget comes from taxpayer dollars with the remainder generated by the Fairgrounds through these Signature Events and user fees. The Summer Fair and WinterFest provide wholesome, family entertainment in a fun and festive Montana style. This year we are highlighting the famous Rail Jam by Chamberlin Productions. For the first time families can come to WWWF and check out the cool moves these snowboarders and skiers will do in order to win top prizes in this competition. For more info on these exciting events, go to We hope you will attend the Wild West WinterFest this year! We will do all we can to make your involvement a positive experience. As always, we appreciate your support! MSN

Great Falls Hosts Montana Senior Olympics Summer Games The 29th annual Montana Senior Olympics (MSO) Summer Games are June 19-21 in Great Falls, with competition in 14 sports, including our newest activity, pickleball. Competition is open to men and women aged 50 and over. There are medals awarded to the top three finishers in each five-year age group. Because of support from generous corporate sponsors, the cost of competition remains affordable, only $10 to register plus $4 per event. Great Falls has excellent sports facilities, and there are two social events that should appeal to all athletes, an Alive at Five concert on Thursday night and a banquet on Friday night at the Holiday Inn. Athletes who have competed in past MSO events should receive registration packets in the mail by mid-March. Others wishing to compete can get information at Montana Senior Olympics website or they can email state director George Geise at ggeise14@ Registration packets also will be available later this spring at recreation centers and senior centers in most major cities. MSO also is sponsoring a senior softball tournament in Great Falls July 19-20. Registration information for that event also will be on the MSO website. For more information and a complete list of sports, visit MSN

Bozeman, MT February 15 - 16, 2014

Flakes Welcome! Gallatin County Fairgrounds Events Park 901 N Black Ave, Bozeman MT 59715 406-582-3270



Treats for Valentine’s and Other Special Occasions By Ann Hattes Become an even better baker with The Big Book of Desserts and Pastries (Skyhorse Publishing). Spun sugar, chocolate netting, toffee, and mango sauce add style to any dessert with instructions from author and professional pastry chef Claes Karlsson who devotes an entire chapter to basic recipes like frosting, sauces, and edible decorations. He also tackles questions like whether to spring for homemade ice cream, how to melt chocolate in different ways, and the best way to freeze a pastry. Recipes range from the simple to sophisticated. Try his milk chocolate soup with fresh raspberries, Queen’s crumble, or meringues with raspberries. For those who love food on a stick, cake pops are the ultimate indulgence. Thanks to Noel Muniz’s essential guide, The Art of Cake Pops: 75 Dangerously Delicious Designs (Skyhorse Publishing) these mini treats are now easy to make. Cake pops are as much a science as they are an art form, Muniz explains, like ensuring your cake batter has perfect consistency, to using cookie cutters as a mold. His cake designs vary from dinosaur, bear, robot, sugar fairy, and butterfly cake pops to owl, cat, dog, fish, basketball, snow cone, and shark cake pops. Under his designs are a variety of cake flavors, including chocolate, banana, strawberry, and lemon. Muniz advises, “The ideal cake for cake pops should be somewhat dense with some body to it and should be on the drier side.… Avoid any light and airy cakes like angel food or sponge cake.” To form the ball from the crumbled, baked cake,

he says any liquid, frosting, or edible paste can be used as a binder to form the ball, including “peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, fruit puree, any jam of your liking, even water or juice if needed.” A three-to-one ratio of crumbled homemade cake to binder, i.e. nine ounces of cake to three ounce of binder is recommended for rolling balls into one-ounce portions for the cake pop. For a unique Valentine gift or present for other occasion, Radiant Arts Studios offers objects with colorful X-ray images of sea animals like the spiral nautilus, blue crab, or puffer fish embedded into them. At see images of our world caught in light sources the naked eye can’t see. The images are available in forms of plates, pillows, clocks, tiles, and note cards. Milk Chocolate Soup with Fresh Raspberries (Courtesy of The Big Book of Desserts and Pastries) Makes 4 portions. ½-cup cream ½-cup whole milk 3.5 oz. finely chopped milk chocolate 1-cup fresh raspberries Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a pan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Mix using a hand-held blender. Divide into bowls and garnish with fresh raspberries. This soup can be eaten hot or cold. 

Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets. - Yogi Berra



Queen’s Crumble (Courtesy of The Big Book of Desserts and Pastries) Makes about 14 portions. ž-cup butter, melted ½-cup raw sugar ½-cup granulated sugar 1.5 cups oats 1.5 cups flour 1 tsp. vanilla sugar ž-cup raspberries, fresh or frozen ž-cup blueberries, fresh or frozen ž-cup strawberries, fresh or frozen Mix the first 6 ingredients until the dough resembles fine breadcrumbs. Cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish with about half of the crumble dough and top with the berries. Cover the berries with the rest of the crumble dough. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes at 300 degrees F. Crumble can be served hot or cold with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.

M ARCH 20–23, 2014

H. Steven Oiestad, Cowboy Comforts, pastel

Nancy Dunlop CaXdrey, Peek-A-Boo, dye on silk

Buy your tickets now! Call the C.M. Russell Museum at 406-727-8787.

Meringues with Raspberries (Courtesy of The Big Book of Desserts and Pastries) Makes about 20 meringues. 3 large egg whites 1 cup granulated sugar ž-cup frozen raspberries A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice Make sure the bowl and the whisk are clean. Whisk the egg whites and lemon

juice with a mixer on a low speed for 3 minutes. Increase speed to the highest setting and slowly add the sugar. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and carefully fold in the raspberries. Spoon the mixture onto a baking tray covered in parchment paper, leaving a gap of about 2 inches between each one. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour at 230 degrees F. Alien Cake Pops (Courtesy of The Art of Cake Pops) Cake filling of your choice Purple candy melts Green candy-coated sunflower seeds Lollipop sticks Hand-weigh the cake into one-ounce portions. Roll them into pear shapes and set aside on a sheet pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the candy melts. Melt the purple candy melts according to the directions indicated on the package. Remove the cake from the fridge. Dip the sticks into the candy melts and insert them into the narrow end of the cake. Dip the rounded ends of the candy-coated sunflower seeds in the candy melts and attach them to the sides of the pops (like “ears�). Once the candy melts have fully set and the cake is back at room temperature, the pops are ready to be dipped. Fully submerge the pops into the purple candy melts and tap off any excess. While still wet, attach the green candycoated sunflower seeds to the faces of the pops to create the eyes. Allow the candy melts to set fully. In a small plastic bag, pour some of the prepared purple melts and snip off a corner. Pipe veins all over the head. MSN

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. - Hank Aaron

Bid on hundreds of classic and contemporary Western art pieces during the C.M. Russell Museum, the premier fund-raising event for the C.M. Russell Museum. March 20-23— Russell Skull Society Group Show March 22— Educational Symposium — Live Auction March 20— Silent Auction and Art Preview March 23— Last Chance Sale and Brunch March 21— Art in ActionÂŽ Quick-Finish Event — First Strike Friday Night Auction — Concert to BeneďŹ t the Russell Museum featuring Special Guest Star

C.M. Russell Museumt400 13th Street NorUItGreat Falls, MT 59401


AUDIOBODY Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014

MACK BAILEY OF THE LIMELITERS Sun. May 18, 2014 (2:30 matinee) THANK YOU Single show tickets $30.00 FOR THE MUSIC Tickets at the Mansfield Box Office, at 455-8514 Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014 or online at All shows at the Mansfield Theater at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted





After a wonderful holiday season, here we are looking at February and Valentine’s Day with the cusp of spring just around the corner. The daffodils will soon be showing their bright yellow faces to bring even more sunshine into your life. Wouldn’t this be the perfect time of year to reach out and meet new people – perhaps even someone special with whom to share this time of rebirth and growth?

who placed the ad. Please be sure you submit your correct address plainly printed, so you can promptly receive responses. Respond to the ads in this issue, and also sit down now and prepare your own ad to run in our next issue. There is no charge for this service, and your ad may lead you down the path of true love! Responses to personal ads appearing in this column can be submitted at any time. However, to place a personal ad in the April/May 2014 issue, the deadline is March 10, 2014.

To respond to any of these personal ads, simply forward your message, address, phone number, or email address to the department number listed in the particular personal ad, c/o Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. We will forward your response, including your address, phone number, and/or email address to the person placing the ad. When you answer an ad in this section, there is no guarantee that you will receive a response. That is up to the person Housing Discrimination is Illegal! In the state of Montana, it is illegal to discriminate in any housing transaction against any household because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Disability, Familial Status, National Origin, Marital Status, Age, and/or Creed.

Are you a single gal 65 or older? Are you somewhat slim to kind of full-figured? Do you enjoy life? Do you get lonely from time to time? Would you like to meet a guy that is honest, caring, and very gentle... a gentleman? If so, please answer this ad to learn more about me. Reply MSN, Dept. 30301, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWM seeks lady looking for companion. I will be here for you. Looks and age are unimportant to me for a long-term relationship. Phone and photo appreciated. I will answer all replies. Reply MSN, Dept. 30302, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Young, attractive, SWF, 63, 130lbs, works out in the gym five days/week; likes hiking, concerts, movies, reading historical novels, and yard sales. College graduate. Would like to correspond with someone with a great sense of humor, also kind, considerate of others, and honest (a must). Looks unimportant. Reply MSN, Dept. 30303, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

FAIR HOUSING - It’s your right, it’s your responsibility, and IT'S THE LAW!!!

WWM, 68, 5’6” 160lbs, good health, blue eyes, aviation nut, NS, likes the outdoors, some travel, home cooking, also likes to eat out a couple times a week. Seeking woman 62–70 to be my companion, to share the “golden years” with. I have shallow roots and can be transplanted most anywhere, except inner city. Reply MSN, Dept. 30304, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the iews of the Federal Government.

WWF 70-yearsyoung, seeking WWM for a lifetime partner. I

For more information about discrimination in housing, contact: Montana Fair Housing (406) 782-2573 / MT Relay: 711 1-800-929-2611 519 East Front Street Butte, MT 59701

e-mail: website:

could tell you more about me, but all the words mean nothing if we don’t see the good side of a person. So let’s talk and meet. After all, we have to start all over again. Don’t be lonely; I am just a phone call away. Hope to hear from you soon. Reply MSN, Dept. 30305, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF blonde, blue eyes, 5’5”, early 60s, attractive, not slim. On disability with chronic pain, not a morning person. Honest, tenderhearted, trustworthy, high morals. I enjoy my recovery program, singing, dancing, movies, plays, church, art, board games, and good conversations. I own my home in Hamilton and have grandchildren in the area. Looking for a relocatable, long-time 12-stepper who loves Jesus. Prefer slim to mid-build. Height, age, race, and looks not important. No drinkers, smokers, drug abusers, or gamblers. Looking for someone compassionate, romantic, stable, and trustworthy. If you’re looking for a Christ-centered, committed relationship, please send photo and address with letter. Reply MSN, Dept. 30306, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. 76-years-young, 4’8”, 125lbs, blue eyes, gray hair. Wish to find male friend. Like to fish, hike, camp, picnic. Yankee fan. Live in my own home. I have a handicapped boy. I have diabetes, but don’t take the shot. Don’t smoke, drink, do drugs. I’m on oxygen at night. Love country music, rummage sales, and thrift shops. I have two small dogs. Been divorced 16 years. Please send picture and letter, and I will do the same. Reply MSN, Dept. 30307, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF. I am 57 and just moved to Montana. I am 5’ tall, 130lbs, with brown hair and eyes. I am in the healthcare industry and love to travel and love the outdoors. Would like to meet a nice gentleman who is a non-smoker, honest, old-fashion, and could show me around the great state of Montana. If interested please write and send a photo. I will answer all replies. Reply MSN, Dept. 30308, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWM, 69 retired. Successful at work. Enjoy all Montana has to offer. Born and raised in Montana. Passion is music. People say I play the guitar really well and have a good voice. I would like to find a lady who still has old-fashioned values. I am a kid at heart. Maybe you’re the one for me, and I for you. Reply MSN, Dept. 30309, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Married 41 years, alone for seven. Retired now. I miss the company of a pleasant woman. If we’re alike, you might enjoy the company of an older guy to hang out with. No promises, no obligations, no strings. Reply MSN, Dept. 30310, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. We just should not spend another year being alone! Life’s adventures are so much more enjoyable with a like-minded best friend. As a Christian, small, slender, brunette grandma, young 70, I love the Lord, the great outdoors, doing for others, and



adventures. Up here in NW Montana, I’m a “cow Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. girl” without a cow or a horse. Do you enjoy great SWM 60, (5’ 10”) height/weight proportionate. home cookin’, down home livin’, travels, music, fishin’, arts/crafts, fun times, spiritual understand- Average looks. Seeking a companion/partner. I’m ing of current events? “Coast to coast AM” (most willing to relocate for the right person. I like to cook, times). Well, my friends say, “Little lady, you should clean, fish, garage sales, walks, movies at home, find a good man and not be alone.” So, here I am... rides to nowhere, dance, coffee, good conversawhere are you? I’m ready to “forge ahead” but need tion, and a casino occasionally. Interested in a a partner. Drop a note and photo, okay? Happy relationship, not just a date once in a while. I like Trails. Reply MSN, Dept. 30311, c/o Montana

females with a few extra pounds or a little heavier. I expect a few health problems. I have had some too. I also expect honesty and faithfulness above all else. Must like to snuggle and touch. No prudes or attitudes. 48-70 preferred. I like computers and cell phones. Willing to text or message at first. I look forward to your reply! Reply MSN, Dept. 30312, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. MSN

Love as an Echo By Neil Wyrick In the movie 42, named for the number Jackie Robinson wore on his baseball uniform, a father hurls racial insults from the stands in a scene. Soon thereafter, his son seated by his side echoes the same. It was 1947, but now almost 60 years later, hate is still alive around the world for all the reasons man has too often fostered – race, religion, culture, and creed. Man never seems to learn. And so I got to thinking how much better it would be if we would praise each other and not be grumpy with prejudice or deflect kindness as if it were an illness. “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other,” I’ve heard. And since hate stinks, that’s actually a good definition. A woman who had gathered over 80 years of living said of her husband, “I think I’m married to an archaeologist – I get the feeling that the older I get, the better he loves me.” Memories build on or destroy the love we once had for another human being. My daughter, a grandmother now herself, recently commented, “Daddy, when at the end of a long day you would

make up stories for me and then let me add to the stories, you built some wonderful memories... and that’s what love is all about.” Love! Which would you wish to have most? Love or hate? Friends or enemies? Lots of gold in a safety deposit box or lots of golden thoughts about you? Lots of friends or lots of enemies? “Have a heart” is what I think when I see a red valentine. The offering of unselfish concern; something more than romance, a concern that is deep and wide. To love and be loved. To give and receive it. To be so overwhelmed by it we don’t need a special day to underline – it becomes us. Do you have the time to love? Busy people don’t. It takes time and effort to love. To put yourself out for another human. To think of what is good for others first rather than self. Charities would soon die if it were not for altruism. Here is an interesting story about putting people above things. A young banker was negotiating his new Lexus along a twisting rainy mountain road and lost control and was sliding toward a cliff. At the last moment, he unbuckled his seatbelt and leapt from the car. Though he escaped with his life,

Which Side Of The Street?

A North Dakota couple was listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, “We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through.” So the good wife went out and moved her car. A week later while they are again eating breakfast, the radio announcer said, “We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowplows can get through.” The good wife went out and moved her car again. The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer said, “We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park...” Then the electricity went out. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said, “Honey, I don’t know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplows can get through?” With the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, the husband replied, “Why don’t you just leave it in the garage this time?” MSN

his left arm was caught on the door and torn from shoulder. A passing trucker stopped and ran back to see if he could be of help. Standing there in a state of shock was the banker, “Oh no, my new Lexus.” The trucker pointed to the banker’s shoulder and said, “Hey you’ve got bigger problems than a car.” With that the banker looked at his missing shoulder and began moaning, “Oh no, my new Rolex, my new Rolex.” Love people. Show you love people. You have to try harder to try. Put first things first. And by so doing double the pleasure of this most important Valentine holiday because you have doubled its meaning. MSN

Home Again! LLC Estate Sales & Services Insured, Bonded, Registered Selling Consigning Buying Downsizing Sales & Entire Estates Specialty: Antiques & Collectibles Tina Harboway, Peg Dotson, Sue Johnson

Great Falls




Have The Talk Of A Lifetime


Provided by the Funeral & Memorial Information Council We experience so much in our lives. There are the big moments that shape us – graduation, a first job, falling in love and getting married, having children, seeing children grow into adulthood. When we reflect on our lives, these memories and milestones may come to mind first. But a life story is so much more than that. The small moments and people we meet along life’s journey are a part of us and helped shape who we are and what we value. Although we may know about some of the big moments in the lives of our loved ones, we may not know much about the other experiences and people who helped shape them. Sitting down with our loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events and people, places and favorite activities, values and lessons they have learned, can help bring us closer to those we care about most. Having the talk of a lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can help reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way. Finding a way to start talking with a loved one may be the most difficult part; however, we might find that once the conversation starts, it may be hard to stop. Deep down, most of us want to know that we, in some way, made a difference in this world – that we mattered to someone and that after we die, we will be fondly remembered by those who knew and cared for us. When grieving a death, memorialization – taking time to honor the life of a loved one in a meaningful way – and remembering the difference a loved one made in our lives can be an important step in the journey toward healing. Today, there are so many ways we can remember and honor the unique people in our lives. Memorialization can be a personal experience that reflects the personal values, interests, and experiences of our loved ones and helps those who are left behind to remember those who matter most. Sharing stories and reflecting on a person’s life offer opportunities to remember how our loved ones shaped and influenced our lives. Acknowledging the im-

in stone


portance of loved ones in our lives is an essential step in the healing process. Having the talk of a lifetime is the first step. You can have the talk of a lifetime with anyone you hold dear – your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse. It can happen anywhere you and your loved one are most comfortable – over a meal, at home, on a walk, while playing a game. The talk can be between you and your loved one, or you could include others, like family or friends. Your conversation can take place at any time – not just at the end of life. Sometimes, using a visual prompt, such as a photo album, souvenir or memento, can be a great way to start a conversation. Memorable locations, such as the church where your loved one was married or a favorite park can also help someone begin to open up and share their story. A conversation might start this way: “Mom, I’ve always liked this photo of you and Uncle Tom. Tell me about when this was taken.â€? “I know grandpa taught you to fish on Green Lake. Tell me what you remember about that first fish you caught.â€? “Honey, I know you and your friends always hung out at Benny’s Diner in high school. Has it changed much since you and your friends went there?â€? As much as you will gain by getting to know your loved one better, having the talk should be a dialogue. It’s also an opportunity for you to share some of the ways they have influenced your life and the lives of others. For example, you could share a memory about a vacation you took together and will always remember, a piece of advice that you cherish, a song that reminds you of them or the ways you will never forget them. Doing so will help them understand how they have influenced your life. They will see that they matter to you. There are no rules for how to have the talk or what topics to discuss, only that you make time to do so. Everyone has a story to tell and there’s always something more that we can learn about the one-of-a-kind lives our loved ones have led. We had the talk. What happens next? • Having the talk doesn’t have to be a onetime occurrence. Rather, think of it as the beginning of a dialogue during which you can openly talk about any number of things – from reflecting on the past to planning for the future. • When you talk with your loved one, you might want to document what is said. You may wish to take notes during or after your conversation, or make an audio recording. You should choose whatever method seems most appropriate and comfortable given the setting of your conversation. • The things you discuss may be helpful in the future when your family must make important decisions about how you wish to remember and honor your loved one when they die while giving you, your family, and other friends a chance to reminisce and say goodbye.

• Memorialization has changed to meet the needs of today’s families and enables them to tell the story of their loved one. Funeral professionals, like those who are part of the Funeral and Memorial Information Council, can support families as they plan services that are personal and meaningful – services that help families heal



by reflecting on the way their loved one indelibly changed their lives. • Funeral professionals are available to inform support and encourage you and your family and provide resources to guide important conversations about all of your memorialization options. Whether your family desires something traditional

or something different, there is always room for personalization. A celebration of life should be as unique as the individual being remembered. • What is most important is that you take time to honor and remember the people who matter. MSN

Here Is The Heads Up On Headstones Submitted by Bob Jordan Garden City Monument Services, Missoula It is an inescapable fact that most of us will face the death of loved ones, which gives us an opportunity to memorialize their lives. The possibilities are endless and how we do it can be a loving tribute to their lives. Headstones, more formally known as memorials, are available in granite and an extensive array of styles, shapes, and colors. Memorials can be personalized to reflect the life of your loved one with an infinite selection of designs to suit your desires. In addition, your monument dealer can provide you with information regarding cemetery requirements and acceptable memorial sizes. Additional features such as etched or ceramic photos, flower vases, statues, and eternal lights can be included in a monument. Prior to the en-

graving process, your monument company will show you a scale drawing (proof) of your monument illustrating the overall appearance of lettering and the design for your approval. If your family is seeking a non-traditional granite memorial there are benches, statues, columns, birdbaths, and natural granite boulders. These commemorative pieces can also be designed, lettered, and fabricated or partially cored (hollowed) for placement of cremains. These tributes can be placed in a yard or garden, parks, churches, hospitals, cemeteries, and other monument sites. If relocating becomes a necessity, they may be transferred to a new locale as per your wishes. When the time comes and you face decisions about memorializing your loved ones, consult with your monument dealer to understand fully your options. MSN allows users to record their most treasured family stories, share them with their loved ones, and set them to be released now, or even after they’ve passed away. Eric Kauk, the company’s founder was inspired to create LegacyGRAM by his grandmother, the late Diane Lener, a longtime Sarasota, Florida resident who Kauk describes as the “the best storyteller in the world, not to mention the source of the best hugs on the planet.” Lener passed away in April 2013, and her ability to tell stories is the driving force behind the mission of the company. “Our mission is to help people save their family history through the stories they tell,” says Kauk. The basic service is free at and, while unlimited premium accounts are available for a one-time fee of $20. But Kauk is trying to make the service free many people. Firefighters, police, EMTs, military, and teachers can all join the site and get a Lifetime premium account for free by using the promo code: HERO. Kauk says, “We wanted to recognize the true

heroes in our communities, and we thought that the least we could do is to help our heroes save and share their stories. Kauk has also teamed up with Operation Give ( to provide premium memberships to thousands of deployed military and their families. “We wanted to help deployed military to share their memories with their loved ones, no matter where they are in the world.” The unique part about is that users can set their messages to be released only to specific people, and can choose to release their message either now, or after they have passed away. “We wanted to be able to offer people the ability to influence how they are remembered. Now, users can leave a special message as their true last words.” also allows users to download end of life documents such as a living will, last will & testament, DNR, power of attorney, and healthcare surrogate forms for every state. Please visit the site at www.legacygram. com for more information. MSN

Tell your story… even after you’re gone

It’s the thought that counts Submitted by Julie Hollar Brantley As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky backcountry. As I was not familiar with the area, I got lost and being a typical man, I did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the minister had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt bad and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I did not know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and gathered around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played as I have

never played before for this homeless man. And as I played Amazing Grace, the workers began to weep. They wept; I wept; we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.” MSN


Have the

of a



You talk about many things with your loved ones: from day-to-day details to big events. Sharing stories with those who matter most isn’t just important today; it will be especially significant when it’s time to honor and commemorate your lives. Meaningful memorialization starts when loved ones talk about what matters most: memories memories made, lessons learned and how they be remembered. Download a free brochure and Have the Talk of a Lifetime today. It can make the difference of a lifetime.

t a l k o f a li f e t i m e . o r g



Spring Thoughts

By Bernice Karnop In Ecuador, because it is on the equator, the sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m. every day, summer, spring, winter, and fall. (There are small variations as you move north and south from the exact equator.) Folks who live there can scarcely comprehend our long summer days and long winter nights. We share that 12-hour cycle of daylight and darkness two days a year where we live. On the spring, or vernal, equinox the sun rises exactly in the east, tracks its way across the sky for exactly 12 hours and sets in the west. After the spring equinox, the sun continues to follow a higher and higher path through the sky, giving us longer and longer days until the summer solstice, when it reaches its highest point. Another name for the spring equinox is the first day of spring. That does not mean that it can’t snow or that the wind won’t blow. It just tells us what is happening on a grander scale on our planet. One might miss the workings of the sun, but few fail to notice the other firsts of spring. The bluebirds return. You spot a robin. Tens of thousands of snow geese show up at Freezeout Lake near Fairfield. Newborn calves and lambs appear in the greening fields. Overhead the cottonwood buds burst to become delicate green leaves. Fuzzy grey tips adorn the pussy willows, and purple crocus poke their heads up through the snow. We’re fortunate, blessed really, to live where there are four distinct and equally lovely seasons each year. Why not take the time to notice and appreciate them even more deliberately this spring. MSN


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Thriving On Challenge – Jan Feddersen While the bungee-jumping episode taught Jan By Gail Jokerst a lot about her ability to face fear, it was another According to Missoula’s Jan Feddersen, perience with an organization called Leading Conpeople can be classified into two categories: thrill cepts that she feels changed her life. A close friend, seekers and those who prefer “a more predictable who had been her business mentor, recommended she participate in one of their life.” Undoubtedly, Jan four-day Kentucky camping belongs to the former adventures. Since she trustfaction. How else would ed her friend’s judgment, Jan you describe someasked no questions before one who stepped off a buying her plane ticket. He 150-foot-high railroad promised she would have a bridge tethered by the good time. She believed him. ankle to a bungee cord “After I landed, a van that bounced her skypicked me up and drove four ward five times before hours’ away into serious hills. landing her ten heartOur destination looked like pounding feet above a river? Jan Fedderson with retired Montana forester, Joe a stark military outpost with “ W o u l d I d o i t Kipphut, on a 5-day Salmon River whitewater rafting army tents and cots,” recollects Jan. In a scene reminisa g a i n ? ” a s k s J a n , trip. [Photo provided by Jan Feddersen] cent of the Goldie Hawn film whose diverse work resume includes being a keynote speaker for Private Benjamin, Jan puzzled over the absence of NASA and driving red jammer buses in Glacier all the expected comforts. Then she met the rest of Park. “Yes, if someone else paid my expenses and the “vacationers” and was more baffled than ever. “There were 14 firemen in their 30s from New took me back to middle-of-nowhere New Zealand.” Although willing to repeat the adventure, Jan Jersey – all muscle, in rock-solid condition. And admits it took ten agonizing minutes to coax her then there’s me, in my 60s and out of shape. We feet to abandon terra firma. At the time, she was kept looking at each other and wondering why we touring New Zealand for three weeks astride a were there. They thought I was the help,” says Jan, BMW with 17 other motorcyclists who discovered who along with the others was handed camouflage the bungee-jumping site on a helicopter ride above the mountains. “When I looked over the edge of the bridge, I was frozen with fear. But then my ego took over,” recalls Jan. “I knew I would rather die than suffer the humiliation of not jumping. I figured if I was going to die, I might as well have the time of my life doing it. The important part of the story, though, is what happens when you step into what you are afraid of – the fear After ten minutes of hesitation, Jan Fedderson plunges 154’ from a railroad bridge into the abyss of dissipates. You have to Skippers Canyon on the Kawarau River, New Zealand. stop letting fear be your Before reaching the end of the bungee secured to prison and rely on conher ankles, Jan reached a speed of 95 mph. [Photo fidence 100 percent.” provided by Jan Fedderson]


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Jan Feddersen takes a break during a 5-hour, 75-mile round-trip jet boat trip through Hellgate Canyon on Oregon’s Rogue River from Grants Pass to Graves Creek and back. To navigate through the Rogue River’s white water rapids, the boats have a shallow draft and are powered by a hydro jet drive. A portion of the film Rooster Cogburn (1975), starring John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn, was filmed on this stretch of the Rogue River. [Photo provided by Jan Fedderson]

clothing to wear, and told to line up for a hike the next morning. “Due to the pace I lagged behind so the leader stopped us. Then he put me in front. When I ex-



plained I would slow down the group, he said, ‘Everyone is going to learn to work as a team.’ The firemen were not happy,” remembers Jan. “It was testosterone versus I’ll be lucky to get to the top. I’m huffing and puffing and could feel them thinking, ‘Will you get your butt up this mountain.’ At the top, I fall down. They aren’t even breathing hard. They’re just looking at me as if to say, ‘What the heck are you doing here?’” Before long, surprise paint-ball attacks from unknown marauders and requisite night patrols at 2 a.m. clarified the picture. They were engaged in a pseudo-military training program with simulated missions. To her chagrin, Jan was the proverbial outsider – the bumbler who hampered the machomen from handily accomplishing tasks and outwitting unpredictable enemies. The situation looked bleak for her until one memorable evening when the leaders brought everyone into a tent saying, “We want you to talk to each other about your experience here and become a team.” “After a couple of hours, since no one was speaking, I said: They want us to learn something or we’ll be here all night. What’s the reason you think we were brought here?” Given her successful management careers with Xerox and Coors, Jan

was well qualified to take a leadership role and encourage the obstinate participants to start talking. “About midnight one person piped up, ‘We can’t go to bed until we’re a team and a team means everyone in the room including Jan.’ We all started laughing,” she recollects. With the conversational ice broken, people began sharing their expectations and resentments during their joint days of hardships and worked through their differences. By 1:30 that night, a team had finally been forged. Five hours’ later, they again lined up to hike the same mountain and Jan was again placed in the lead. This time, however, instead of feeling the firemen’s frustrations, she sensed only their respect and care. Although not in better condition than when she arrived, Jan practically ran up that mountain propelled by the group’s synergy. “With every job I’ve held, I’ve had to challenge myself and take risks. This experience was no different. I’ve always believed I could achieve whatever I was asked to do,” she says. “The alternative is not to challenge yourself and become a vegetable. It’s the difference between telling yourself ‘you can’t’ versus ‘you can.’ For me, ‘you can’ means freedom.” MSN

How Many Wives Do You Have? By Bill Hall Let me begin this sermon with my assurance that I would not practice polygamy even if the law allowed it. I do not have the self-delusion or the impaired level of sanity to think that I could survive so much physical exhaustion as serving a polygamous union of wives. Nor would I be a party to a marriage in which I and at least one other guy would become pawns of a marriage in which one woman has two or more husbands simultaneously. When it comes to sharing my wife with another husband, I do not have a generous nature. Getting married in such ways sounds like a lot of work and quarreling for all parties involved. It’s none of my business if you differ and imagine that you and your multiple partners can survive that kind of crazy. But I respect different strokes for different folks. And a stroke is what a person might risk from living a stressful life of multiple spouses. There are natural limits on how much love a person can stand. I stumbled into this conversation recently after reading several news reports on where same-sex marriage is heading. I was astonished to learn that it was heading to Utah of all places. In its fash-

ion, that state has been one of the most ardent opponents of gay marriage and one of the most solid supporters of one kind of marriage, the kind involving a man and a woman. However, a federal judge in Utah ruled, in effect, that restricting marriage solely to the once-customary marriage of a man and a woman violates the principal of equal treatment under the law. What’s good for the goose is not only good for the gander, but that judge believes we should also respect what’s good for the gander and the gander as well as for the goose and the goose. The U.S. Supreme Court quickly put gay marriage on hold in Utah – pending outcome of Utah’s appeal of the federal judge’s ruling. The high court has probably decided that, like it or not, it will now have to deal with the decision it avoided last year – deciding whether gay couples have the same right to marry as those of us who prefer to snuggle across the gender line. I have long since

reached my verdict in the matter: Everybody mind your own business. It’s not my job or yours to approve or disapprove of somebody else’s favorite flavor of marriage. I don’t even understand half the heterosexual marriages I see around me. Fortunately, most people have the grace to keep their yaps shut about my choice of spouse. Or yours. And so I, too, am inclined to live and let live. You don’t have to understand gay marriage. And I don’t entirely. All I know is that gay marriage makes gay people happy. I want everybody to be happy. And it makes me happy to mind my own business.

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From time to time, well-intentioned opponents of gay marriage try, in good conscience, to straighten me out on this question. They try to pry my rusty old mind open with what they think is a scary analogy: “If you would allow people of the same sex to marry,” they ask me, sly smiles lighting up their faces, as they go in for the kill, “then what next? Polygamy? Would you let people have more than one wife or one husband at a time?’ Yes. Yes, I would. I have always thought that people who practice polygamy (consenting adults only, please) – should not have to depend on me, you, or anybody else to give approval, and least of all the government.

Mind you, I shrink in horror from the possible aggravations in the life of a man with multiple wives. And I worry about those wives who have taken the concept of sharing to a level that makes a woman wonder how many other lovers the greedy guy has hidden here and there. I also fear for the happiness of the brave woman who dares marry several men at a time. That poor woman must endure the probability that

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her three or four husbands all spend a lot more time fishing than taking out the garbage. (Excuse me, but I have to go now. I took out the garbage and so it’s time to go snuggle my one wife in our own little hetero house.) Hall may be contacted at wilberth@cableone. net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501. MSN

Strengthening Families Through Storytelling: Judy Helm Wright Article & Photo By Gail Jokerst She is called Auntie Artichoke and for good reason. In native cultures, Aunties have long been known for their wisdom and ability to help others. Without doubt, Missoula’s Judy Helm Wright qualifies on both counts. The Auntie half of her moniker was bestowed by some native women whom she met and befriended 40 years ago when her husband, Dwain, was stationed on Oahu with the U.S. Air Force and she taught at her church and local PTA. “They would tell me, ‘Auntie, we come for your stories.’ They knew they would not be judged,” recalls Judy, who felt both honored and blessed by the title given her. The self-appointed artichoke half of the moniker came a year later when Dwain was relocated to California. Judy discovered that the people who lived in the house they moved their young family into had planted artichokes in the garden. Unfortunately for the prior occupants, they never feasted on any homegrown artichokes because they were transferred before the vegetables matured. The Wrights, however, happily reaped the harvest bequeathed them. This experience became a metaphor for Judy who has used it countless times to energize

others to lead a more fulfilling life. “As you expose the artichoke and people to warmth, caring, and time, gradually the leaves begin to open and expose the real treasure – the heart,” she explains. “In addition, many times our actions are felt by people we will never meet, but we plant the seeds of kindness anyway.” F o r J u d y, t h o s e seeds of kindness so important to strengthening families require the fertile ground of her “3 Rs” to grow to full potential. That’s not the 3 Rs of reading, writing, and arithmetic we mastered in grade school. Judy’s 3 Rs stand for respect, resilience, and responsibility. She has framed her 25-year-old business as a parent educator, family coach, personal historian, and book author upon these character-building foundation blocks. “Respect, resilience, and responsibility are learned skills. There are consequences if we don’t learn them. Like all life skills such as riding a bike or paddling a kayak, they can be taught. To feel successful, we have to respect ourselves and each other. We have a right to our feelings and so do others. We also need to be able to deal with adversity rather than be overwhelmed


by it,” says Judy. “Encouragers help you live your dream. Discouragers take away the courage to make a mistake. As an encourager, I teach people how to bounce back as well as to take responsibility for their actions.” Judy’s sense of resiliency and responsibility includes the willingness to seek common-sense solutions to problems along with a readiness to compromise, forgive, and forget. In the 40 workshops she teaches, as well as in the 23 books she has authored, she relies on the time-honored tool of storytelling to illustrate her points. Not surprisingly, these are the same kinds of stories that drew those women in Hawaii to her decades ago. The accounts she relates to adults and youngsters are neither parables nor fictions. All are based on real-life examples either from her own experience or from the experiences of those who have come to her for assistance. Many of the themes she communicates evolved while raising her six offspring. At the same time, she and Dwain also provided a welcome refuge to neighborhood kids who needed to sleep under a different roof for a while. “There’s not a whole bunch I haven’t seen. I’m not easily shocked. My sharing has enabled the door to open for others to share their stories. People want to hear how others have handled their problems and responsibilities, how they developed resilience, and how their character was formed,” says Judy. “I think it’s important to glean wisdom not information from these stories. You can Google for information but you need to


know stories of sadness and success from the heart that indicate what was learned,” notes Judy. “These teach us we are all connected and have all experienced loss.” As a founding member of Montana StoryKeepers, a non-profit dedicated to preserving oral and written histories, Judy has also used her talents as an attentive listener and life coach to enable people in nursing homes and hospice care to write their memoirs. Although this is volunteer work, for Judy it is as satisfying as giving a paid keynote speech on family, parenting, and relationship issues or conducting a workshop. “Preserving life narratives provides a gift for surviving generations at life’s end. It’s priceless as it becomes a permanent memento of the family’s heritage. It also opens the door for laughter and healthy grieving. Storytellers begin to recognize that their life has been worthwhile and contributed to the world in some small way,” states Judy, who has known since childhood that her calling would be to help families around the world. “I have learned a thing or two along life’s journey. Now is the time for me to share that wisdom and experience to assist others as they travel through life. Everyone needs an Auntie, a wise woman who loves unconditionally, to be on their support team.” Contact Judy at 406-549-9813 or visit www. or for more information. MSN Welcome to the

Help Sustain Lifelong Learning Affectionately known as MOLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Montana offers a wide variety of educational programs and social opportunities that promote the lifelong learning and personal growth of older adults (50+). During the fall, winter, and spring terms, the MOLLI program in partnership with The School of Extended & Lifelong Learning offers a diverse collection of noncredit short courses as well as special member events and community activities. MOLLI courses are open to the public and taught by distinguished UM faculty, emeritus faculty, and other professionals. Adults from all backgrounds and levels of education are welcome to enjoy programs in the humanities, natural and social sciences, fine arts, and current political affairs. The annual membership is only $20, and MOLLI welcomes all 50+ individuals who are curious and love to learn to become members. It is truly learning for learning’s sake – no exams, no grades, just fun and knowledge! During its annual fundraising campaign, MOLLI is seeking donations of any amount to help sustain quality lifelong learning opportunities. Please help sustain this treasured community resource by donating to the annual fundraising campaign by March 15, 2014. Call, or make a gift, or register for a course, or call 406-243-2905. MSN

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Imagine that one charitable donation could touch thousands of lives throughout the entire year. A single gift to United Way of Missoula County does just that. A gift to United Way puts food on the tables of hungry families and homebound seniors; provides caring mentors and safe activities for kids after school; shelters women and children fleeing domestic violence; screens low-income women for breast and cervical cancer; takes care of children whose families can’t or won’t care for them; helps kids and families repair their shattered lives when a parent or sibling dies – and the list goes on. It is the most powerful gift you can make, and only

United Way makes it possible. Give confidently knowing that United Way carefully screens and regularly evaluates 37 supported programs at 26 nonprofit agencies serving Missoula and Ravalli counties. This network of caring mends the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and results in a better, stronger, and healthier community for all. United Way continues to work toward our campaign goal of $1.1 million. Please give and help build a better, stronger, healthier community for all. One gift touches thousands of lives. Please make yours today. For additional information, please call 406-549-6104 or visit MSN

When Is A Violin A Fiddle? Ask Jim Brager By Gail Jokerst We all possess things we treasure because of their beauty, links to our past, or for any number of logical reasons. Sometimes, though, we feel an inexplicable kinship with a stranger’s battered artifacts that appear ready for the trash heap but that we feel compelled to save. Such was the case for Lolo’s Jim Brager the moment he saw on eBay the well-worn pieces of a roughly made fiddle that looks like it could have been hand-carved a century ago in an Appalachian woodshed. Common sense asked, “Who would bother to salvage this mess?” The lover of vintage fiddles replied, “Me.” “I think it was probably made by someone who wanted a fiddle and couldn’t afford to buy one. I fell in love with it because of the crooked stock, the scroll that is cocked off to the side, and the tailpiece that holds the strings. It looked so cool,” says Jim, who spends his days repairing old fiddles and building

new ones. “Aside from that, the body had a rattlesnake tail in it. You know, there’s a superstition that rattlesnake tails make a fiddle sound better.” No sooner had Jim begun working on the relic with its bad glue joints and off-kilter ribs, than he found additional reasons to be drawn to this challenging project. “The more I looked at the pieces, the more I saw how much it had been played. Fingerboards wear down as fiddles get played and have to be scraped to even them out. It takes years of a lot of playing for a fingerboard to be as smoothed down as this one,” says Jim, who is delighted to have resurrected someone else’s former pride and joy. “Now that I’ve restored it, I don’t think I can turn loose of it. I love this fiddle.” While you might expect Jim to have accrued years of practice and training in this time-honored craft, that’s not the case. He does have a long association with fiddles dating back 40 years when his father brought one home to Montana from Minnesota, and which Jim taught himself to play. However, he did not enter the craftsmanship arena until just two years ago despite fiddles having been so much a part of his world. “Someone told me I would have to go to fiddle repair school to learn how to restore a fiddle. I didn’t agree. All through my life when I wanted to fix or build something I figured it out on my own,” states Jim, whose musical repertoire consists mostly of dance tunes. “You don’t have to go to school. You can read books and teach yourself. That’s what I did.” Beyond mastering the construction basics on his own, Jim took his mission one step further. He chose to do the restoration work using old-

fashioned tools. To make fiddles by relying on historic methods, he trolls eBay for antique tools such as hand-held planes that can be sharpened and readjusted. When he can’t find what he is looking for, he simply creates his own. After talking with Jim for just a few minutes and seeing all the hammers, files, drills, and lumber piles scattered around his workshop, you begin to learn a few things yourself about fiddles. One of the first is that each instrument represents a mini-arboretum. “Fingerboards are traditionally made from ebony or from rosewood. As far back as 400 and 500 years ago, ebony was imported from Africa to the British Isles. For the best sound quality, the top is almost always done in spruce, preferably one that is tight-grained like Sitka spruce from Alaska.



The back is nearly always made from maple. It’s beautiful and easy to work with,” remarks Jim, who has cured maple wood from his own land anywhere from 18 to 24 months until it was stable. If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a fiddle and a violin, you will also learn from visiting with him the answer to that question. “Nothing.” As Jim explains, “the name the instrument goes by is determined by the music played on it.” Violins are associated with classical scores, fiddles lay claim to the folk genre. Some bluegrass players affectionately refer to their fiddles as violins while Itzhak Perlman has been known to call his Stradivarius his fiddle. Since Jim definitely falls into the bluegrass-

Celtic camp, he calls the instruments he restores and builds fiddles and looks forward to the times he jams with friends as much as the hours he spends in his workshop. Although he has been developing a reputation among Montana musicians as a trusted repairman, Jim hopes that someday more fiddlers will feel as passionately as he does about the orphans he rescues. “People are showing an increased interest in my fiddles and enjoy playing them,” he says. “I’d like nothing more than for someone to fall in love with one of these old fiddles or with one that I’ve built and take it home with them.” Coupled with his salvage efforts, that would indeed make him a very happy man. Jim can be reached at 406-207-0902. MSN

A Lawyer With A Heart As Big As Montana: Mae Nan Ellingson By Gail Jokerst The story behind how Mae Nan Ellingson came to be one of Montana’s most esteemed lawyers is inspiring enough to give any doubting Thomas faith in the American dream. Her road from almostpoverty to philanthropy, however, has been far from smooth. “If you want something badly enough and work for it, you might get it,” says Mae Nan, whose gentle voice, if you listen carefully, still echoes her Lone Star origins. “My successes have come from a lot of luck, helpful intervention, and hard work.” Growing up in Central Texas, Mae Nan spent many a day cooking and carhopping at her parents’ drive-in restaurant, which provided a threadbare living for the family of ten. She worked after school, weekends, and holidays all the while keeping up her studies and receiving encouragement from teachers who nurtured her obvious potential. “The circumstances under which I was raised, the importance of a helping hand, made me understand the value of an education. It was the only way to rise above my situation,” says Mae Nan, whose interest in politics and law emerged in her early Texas years. “In the eighth grade I was on the basketball team. When we traveled, I would sit in the front of the bus behind the coach and talk government with him,” she recalls. “Then in high school I was involved with the student council and elected student body president.” It was while working at the family restaurant that Mae Nan met and married a Vietnam veteran from Bigfork, who was instructing future pilots at

Fort Walters. She was 18. Upon his discharge they headed to Missoula. Mae Nan resumed her history studies and her husband resumed his former smoke-jumping job. A year later they relocated to Anchorage, where her husband flew helicopters to offshore drilling platforms. When he was killed the next year after crashing in Cook Inlet, Mae Nan returned to Missoula. She finished her undergraduate degree, received a teaching assistanceship, and began work on a Masters Degree in political science. During that time, elections were being held for delegates to rewrite Montana’s constitution. With the encouragement of Dr. Ellis Waldron, Mae Nan entered the race to represent Missoula County in Helena. “I’d only lived in Montana a few years and was just 24 but figured why not run? I knew a lot about the issues and worked and campaigned hard door-to-door,” says Mae Nan. She was elected but within weeks her mother died leaving behind several of Mae Nan’s younger siblings. With the convention about a month away, she returned to Texas, became the legal guardian of an 8-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister, and brought them to Montana in time for Christmas. Since the 1972 Constitutional Convention was convening in January, friends Patsy and Ted Lympus provided a weekday home for the kids so Mae Nan could attend the two-month convention and see her family on weekends. At the convention her future took yet another unexpected turn when delegate Marshall Murray of Kalispell told her he and several other delegates thought she should


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go to law school and offered to help financially. “They recognized that I was articulate on the floor and made good arguments. Since they felt I had the capabilities and qualities to be a lawyer,” says Mae Nan, “I took the LSAT and passed on the first try.” Although she could not immediately accept the generous offer, one year later she was ready. Marshall Murray then put her in touch with Dave Drum, a delegate from Billings. “Dave was willing to go out on a limb and make a difference in my life by writing a check for $5,000,” says Mae Nan, who later reimbursed him and paid off her loans. Her first job out of law school was with the city attorney’s office in Missoula where she worked for six years. That eventually led to 28 years as a public finance lawyer for the firm Dorsey & Whitney. “I’ve been surprised by how rewarding my career has been. I feel good about thinking that I’ve done positive work for the public. I’ve had the benefit of doing a lot of firsts – the first resort tax, the first revolving loan programs in Montana, the first self-insurance programs for municipalities, and the first bonds for open space,” recounts Mae Nan, who has relished solving infrastructure water and sidewalk problems as much as securing conservation easements so all can enjoy unfenced lands with postcard vistas. “I feel very fortunate. I have gotten to live in Missoula and have a satisfying legal career that blended my interests in state and local government. I like everything about living in Missoula and its open accepting culture. It’s such a can-do community. When there’s a good idea that needs support people get behind it,” says Mae Nan, not-



ing that Missoulians recently raised the $1.6 million needed for the Poverello Center – one of many Garden City projects she has championed. This world-traveling grandmother describes herself as someone who is “game” whether tackling a tricky finance plan for a community or a complex Creole gumbo for a dinner party. A more apropos characterization would be hard to find. “I have never doubted my ability to make a contribution whatever the circumstances. I’m not someone who just sits back,” she adds. “I want to do my share.” MSN

Hell Explained By Chemistry Student The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well. Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. Therefore, we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let us look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Authorized BERNINA & JANOME Dealer Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Earlene Cusker Owner Eileen Larkin Owner Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell 406-542-6566 2412 River Road, Ste F to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as Missoula, MT 59804 Corner Reserve St. & River Rd. souls are added. This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure Your health – our commitment to you, from day one. in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose! 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “It will be a cold day in Hell before Dizziness wasn’t planned for my workout this morning. I sleep with you,” and take into account the Glad I talked to Community’s Nurse on Call. fact that I slept with her Now, anytime you’re faced with a troubling medical symptom, we’ll put you in the fast lane to easing your mind. last night, then number Community Medical Center’s new 24-7 Nurse on Call telephone service will give you the answers you need to give you two must be true, and peace of mind. Call us. Our registered nurses will help determine if your symptoms require emergency care or whether they’re issues that can be handled by your primary care provider tomorrow. We are your local, trusted resource to thus I am sure that Hell check symptoms fast, without having to look elsewhere. Call us at 406-327-4770. is exothermic and has already frozen over. For the level of care you need, when you need it, of course it’s Community. The corollary of this Community Medical Center is an independent, local, non-profit hospital. theory is that since Hell

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has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting of a divine being which explains why, last night, any more souls and is therefore, extinct… leav- Teresa kept shouting, “Oh my God.” ing only Heaven, thereby proving the existence This student received the only “A.” MSN

Alan Boren Contra Dancing - continued from front cover community, academics, and students dancing with folks from the retail environment as well as truckers who are passing through. The people who come have very different perspectives of the world but those differences are forgotten on the dance floor.” Over the decades, the popularity of contras has waxed and waned but currently they are on the rise here and elsewhere. It’s not hard to understand why. Contras are fun, great exercise, and typically liquor-free. To some people, they are synonymous with meeting people and making new friends set to music. Contras share some similarities with square dancing such as do-si-do’s, promenades, and callers. But the two differ in other realms. “Square dancing has clothing expectations, that you dress a certain way. You bring your own partner, and dance only with people in your square,” explains Alan. “For contra dancing the only clothing requirement is soft-soled shoes so you don’t mark up wooden floors. And you dance with all the other dancers on the floor crossways and diagonally.” Many dances include a potluck and instruction prior to the dance with a caller teaching the steps people will soon execute and warning new-

bies to maintain eye contact with their partners to prevent dizziness. Fortunately for novices, mistakes are considered part of the learning curve so no one feels intimidated. Although contra season is September through May and on the third Saturday of June, July, and August, contra dance fans from across the state and nation head to Shy Bear Farm in Arlee for some special dance festivities. “We usually eat a potluck dinner around 5:30 in this rural farm environment and then dance until 11 or later. It depends on the energy level of the dancers,” says Alan, who adds that participants can also camp there. “A make-up band provides the music. Whoever wants to play, can.” So if an adventure outdoors under the stars – or indoors on a wooden dance floor – in the company of new friends sounds appealing, dust off those dancing shoes, choose a potluck dish to make, and simply show up. A good time is practically guaranteed. For information about Missoula contra dances, visit For the Bozeman area, visit Check both sites for details about other contras scheduled in Montana. To learn more about Skippin’ A Groove, call Alan at 406-396-1286. MSN

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Potpourri: Miscellaneous Stuff About Money and How to Protect Yours


By Teresa Ambord What happens if you die before you get around to making a will? That’s called “intestate.” If this happens, the state dictates who inherits your assets. The laws vary by state, and are based on who your survivors are, that is, a surviving spouse, children, siblings, and other relatives. The rules of intestacy are inflexible. It could be that your wishes will be accomplished but not necessarily. Here’s an example. You may have a lifelong friend who you intend to give your assets when you pass away. But without a will, even if you have no close family members, a distant relative… like your disagreeable cousin Freda may end up with everything. If you have children, without a will, your assets will probably be divided equally among them. But what if one of your kids owes you a lot of money and has made no effort to pay you back? Do you really want that child to get the same inheritance as the others? Do you have a child with special needs? Your intention may be to leave that son or daughter a larger portion, but that is unlikely unless you make a will. Of course, making a will is distasteful to many. Some say it feels like they are giving up, ready to die. But not making a will can put an undue burden on your survivors, causing family fights and maybe estrangement. With a little forethought, you do them a great kindness by avoiding all that. Americans are a Charitable Bunch: Can You Guess Who Gives the Most? It’s all over the news when a private foundation gives a big charitable donation. In 2012, they gave $45.7 billion to good causes. Not bad! But it pales in comparison to how much individuals gave in the same year – that is, $228.9 billion. The amounts left to charity in their wills actually fell a little in 2012, but that total was still an impressive $23.4 billion. Who gave?

The most generous among us were those 68 and older, giving an average of $1,370 each. They donated used and new goods, cash, and also gave their time to volunteer efforts. Mostly they donated to their places of worship, but also to social service groups (like those supporting the homeless and victims of disaster), and to educational institutions. Next came baby boomers, (ages 49 to 67), giving an average of $1,200 per year. The recipients of boomer generosity were similar to those of their elders. Generation X (ages 33 to 48) gave an average of $732 per year. And Generation Y (ages 18 to 32) gave $481 per year on the average. These givers tend to be more skeptical, demanding accountability from those they donate to, and expect to see the direct impact of the donations they make. Donation requests come in the mail, on the phone, on TV, and online. Unless you are personally familiar with a charity, don’t give until you do a quick check to ensure the charity is real. Every national disaster causes a bunch of new bogus charities to rise up. You can check their legitimacy at Charity Navigator, by logging onto Scams by the Calendar: What Scams Hit Most at This Time of Year? Can you guess what the number one scam that is pushed at the start of the New Year is? It’s fraudulent weight loss claims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. It doesn’t take a thief to know we’re all focused on weight loss right after the indulgence of the holidays and the “fresh start” feel of the calendar flipping to a new year. Everyone likes an easy answer, but we all know there are no “miracle” weight loss supplements or devices, and though it’s tempting to believe, we know that products that say you can lose weight without exercise or without changing your diet are likely to be bogus. A representative of the Federal Trade Com-


mission (FTC) issued a written statement about the complaints they have received: “In these cases, although sellers said their products would help people lose a substantial amount of weight or lose weight without diet or exercise, the nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements, skin patches, creams, and other products they bought didn’t work as promised.” (Statement by Bridget Small, the FTC’s assistant director of consumer and business education). By the way, the FTC is distributing $5.9 million in refunds to over 316,000 people who bought weight loss (Acai Pure) or cancer prevention products (Colotox). If you purchased these products, contact the FTC at 1-877-283-6531. What to do? Report fraud by visiting Tax Time Scam. Scammers work around the clock and around the calendar seeking new ways to steal from you. Some of the scams are ham-handed, particularly those from countries where the thieves speak little or no English. But many thieves are sophisticated. They try to be one-step ahead of you to match their pitches to what you may be in

the market for. As tax time rolls up, be on the lookout for unsolicited offers of help from fraudulent tax advisers and financial planners. Clues to watch for when it comes to investments: the words guaranteed, secret, little known, or risk-free. No such investment exists. And a tax preparer who guarantees a high refund is likely planning to manipulate your financial data to force a fraudulent refund. Don’t walk away from this person… run! Not only will you want to avoid them to stay out of illegal or shady schemes, but keep in mind, whoever advises you will have access to your Social Security number and other identifying information. The last thing you want to do is trust that person with your identity. What to do? For financial advisers, you can verify their legitimacy by going to BrokerCheck. Check tax preparers at your local Better Business Bureau at Check attorneys by going to the website of your state bar association. MSN

What You Need to Know to Minimize Your Estate Taxes in 2014 By Teresa Ambord If estate planning is part of your world – and for most people it should be – you probably know that the limits change every so often. It’s a political hot potato. In Congress there is little agreement on how to tax income after you die, or whether it’s right to tax it a second time at all. That division has kept taxpayers guessing for years what the fate of their heirs would be. The Newest Limits – For 2014, the federal estate tax rate is 40%, same as 2013. Some states also have inheritance tax of their own. The federal gift tax exemption – which is the amount you can shield from estate taxes – has remained generous in spite of efforts to slash it. For those who pass away in 2014 the exemption is equal to $5.34 million (up from $5.25 in 2013) and is indexed to inflation.


A married couple can pass double the exemption or $10.68 million to their heirs without incurring federal estate tax penalties. However, the surviving spouse must file Form 706, even if the estate is not taxable, in order to preserve the exemption. You may be thinking your estate is nowhere close to the taxable level. But many people are unpleasantly surprised to find this isn’t true, especially if one of your assets is a business interest. What Is Included in My Estate? The IRS says your gross estate consists of “the value of all property in which you had an interest at the time of death.” Your home, other real estate, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds and other investments, automobiles, clothing, furniture, businesses, life insurance proceeds that will be paid to your heirs or your estate, even certain property that you transfer within three years prior to your

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death, is all part of your estate. There are deductions, such as funeral expenses and debts. And a spouse could inherit his/her late spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entire estate without incurring any federal estate tax. How Can You Minimize Your Estate and Trust Tax? Here are a few important points: â&#x20AC;˘ A big part of planning to minimize your estate tax is gifting. In 2014, you can give up to $14,000 per year to as many individuals as you like, without incurring a gift tax. If you are married and your spouse agrees, together you can give $28,000 per recipient. If you have significant expendable income this is a good way to reduce your estate tax, especially if you intend to give the recipients that money at the time of your death anyway. Apart from the $14,000 per year, per recipient gift amount that escapes taxes, there is also a lifetime gift exemption, and it is the same as the estate tax exemption Lon & Joyce Bowman of $5.34 million. The federal gift tax also matches the federal estate tax, at 35%. If you expect to push that limit, be sure you do so with the advice of a financial adviser. â&#x20AC;˘ Of course, you can still make unlimited charitable gifts, which reduce your taxable estate. â&#x20AC;˘ You can also pay tuition and/or medical expenses for others without triggering tax for you or them, as long as you pay the money directly to the schools or medical facilities. Shield the Proceeds of Your Life Insurance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; If you have life insurance policies, the proceeds are included in your taxable estate, unless you take steps to shield that money. You can do this by creating an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. That way, the beneficiaries of your policies donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end up with a much-reduced cash amount. You can make an annual gift to the trust that your trustee will use to pay the policy premiums. After you pass away, the trust receives the proceeds and the trustee distributes the funds according to the terms of the trust. Caution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Your estate plan has to be maintained with balance. The use of irrevocable trusts is good for minimizing estate tax, but this also means you forfeit control of the assets in the trust. Make sure that forfeiting that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ask me about the AARPÂŽ control doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hinder your lifestyle in coming years. Auto & Home Insurance Also, before you distribute property, talk this move over with your trusted accountant or financial adviser. The basis of assets â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which affects the ulProgram from The Hartford.â&#x20AC;? timate tax due â&#x20AC;&#x201C; differs depending on whether assets are transferred while you are alive or at the time of your death. Those who receive property while Now available in your area! you are alive could end up paying significantly more capital gains tax than This auto and home insurance is designed exclusively for AARP members they would if the gift was made as part of your will. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and is now available through your local Hartford independent agent! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let your intentions go awry by making gifts that trigger unexpected Call Today for your FREE, no-obligation quote: tax consequences. Consult with your adviser about the best timing to distribute assets that you expect to appreciate. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Let Your Estate Plan Collect Dust â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Once you have made your &,1'<-2+1621Â&#x2021;'$51,(//(,1685$1&($*(1&< estate plan, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably tempting to set it aside and breathe easy with that 1320 28th St W unsavory task done. But resist the urge to leave it alone too long. You need ÂŽ PO Box 21300 to review your plan as times change. Billings, MT 59104 Here are just a few of the questions to ask yourself on a regular basis. â&#x20AC;˘ Have you made provision to pay any estate taxes that may be due? The AARP Automobile Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. In Washington, the Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. AARP and its affiliates are not insurance agencies or If not, your heirs may end up selling the property you wanted them to have carriers and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, brokers, representatives or advisors. The program is provided by The Hartford, not AARP or its (home, business, real estate, artwork, jewelry) just to pay the taxes. affiliates. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays a royalty fee to AARP for the use of AARP's intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify. Specific â&#x20AC;˘ Ask your financial adviser about insurance to help your heirs pay the features, credits, and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states in accordance with state filings and applicable law. The premiums quoted by an authorized agent for any Program policy include the additional costs associated with the advice and counsel that your authorized agent provides. 107995 taxes that will be due. Proper structuring can make sure the proceeds of your policy are exempt from income and estate tax. â&#x20AC;˘ Are you still comfortable with your choice of executors and trustees? â&#x20AC;˘ Does your will still reflect your true wishes for the distribution of your assets? That is, have indiThe Montana Department of Revenue can help you. viduals like grandchildren been added to the family but not to your will? } Need help deciding which tax form to use? â&#x20AC;˘ If your estate includes a family business that } 1HHGLQIRUPDWLRQRQKRZWRHOHFWURQLFDOO\ÂżOH\RXUWD[UHWXUQ" your heirs will inherit, have you started transferring } Wonder if you qualify for the Elderly Homeowner/Renter interests in the business through a gifting program? â&#x20AC;˘ Have you established a succession plan for Credit worth up to $1,000? your business and if so, is your family aware of the plan? Call us toll-free at (866) 859-2254 (in Helena, â&#x20AC;˘ Are your estate planning documents organized and do your heirs know where to find them after you 444-6900) or visit us at pass away? MSN


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Thousands of Montanans Could be Eligible for Property Tax Assistance The Montana Department of Revenue estimates that thousands of Montanans could be eligible for property tax assistance, but havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t filed for it. You could be one of them. The Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP) provides property tax assistance to anyone who meets the qualifications, and there is no age restriction. In order to qualify for this program, taxpayers must own and occupy their home as their primary residence and meet the income requirements that can be found on our website at Depending upon the taxpayerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s qualifying income; they may be entitled to a property tax reduction on their primary residence. In some cases, this

amounts to hundreds of dollars. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Property tax assistance is a great program,â&#x20AC;? said revenue director Mike Kadas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It offsets property taxes so that you can use your money on other necessities such as food, heating, clothing, and medicine.â&#x20AC;? For an application, taxpayers can contact their local Department of Revenue office. All taxpayers that applied in the prior year have been automatically mailed an application the last week of January, whether or not the benefit was granted. For additional questions, please phone our call center at 1-866-859-2254, or 444-6900 if calling from a local Helena number. MSN

Cognitive training shows staying power Training to improve cognitive abilities in older people lasted to some degree 10 years after the training program was completed, according to results of a randomized clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health. The findings showed training gains for aspects of cognition involved in the ability to think and learn, but researchers said memory training did not have an effect after 10 years. The report, from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study, appears in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The project was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), components of the NIH. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Previous data from this clinical trial demonstrated that the effects of the training lasted for five years,â&#x20AC;? said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, these longer term results indicate that particular types of cognitive training can provide a lasting benefit a decade later. They suggest that we should continue to pursue cognitive training as an intervention that might help maintain the mental abilities of older people so that they may remain independent and in the community.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;ACTIVE is an important example of intervention research aimed at enabling older people to

maintain their cognitive abilities as they age,â&#x20AC;? said NINR Director Patricia Grady, Ph.D. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The average age of the individuals who have been followed over the last 10 years is now 82. Given our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aging population, this type of research is an increasingly high priority.â&#x20AC;? The original 2,832 volunteers for the ACTIVE study were divided into three training groups â&#x20AC;&#x201C;memory, reasoning and speed-of-processing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and a control group. The training groups participated in ten 60- to 70-minute sessions over five to six weeks, with some randomly selected for later booster sessions. The study measured effects for each specific cognitive ability trained immediately following the sessions and at one, two, three, five and 10 years after the training. The investigators were also interested in whether the training had an effect on the participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; abilities to undertake some complex tasks. They assessed these using measures of time and efficiency in performing daily activities, as well as asking the participants to report on their ability to carry out everyday tasks ranging from preparing meals, housework, finances, health care, using the telephone, shopping, travel, and needing assistance in dressing, personal hygiene, and bathing. At the end of the trial, all groups showed declines from their baseline tests in memory, rea-

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soning, and speed of processing. However, the participants who had training in reasoning and speed of processing experienced less decline than those in the memory and control groups. Results of the cognitive tests after 10 years show that 73.6 percent of reasoning-trained participants were still performing reasoning tasks above their pre-trial baseline level compared to 61.7 percent of control participants, who received no training and were only benefiting from practice on the test. This same pattern was seen in speed training: 70.7 percent of speed-trained participants were performing at or above their baseline level compared to 48.8 percent of controls. Participants in all training groups said they had less difficulty performing the everyday tasks compared with those in the control group. However, standard tests of function conducted by the researchers showed no difference in functional

abilities among the groups. The ACTIVE study followed healthy, community-dwelling older adults from six cities—Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Detroit; State College, Pa.; and Indianapolis. The participants averaged 74 years of age at the beginning of the study and 14 years of education, 76 percent were female, 74 percent were white and 26 percent were AfricanAmerican. The 10-year follow-up was conducted with 44 percent of the original sample between April 1998 and October 2010. The NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute’s broad program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to MSN

More And Better Options To Live At Home When You Need Care By Kris Carlson MBA/RN, Owner of A Plus Health Care Suzanne is a middle age woman with several health concerns. Until recently, Suzanne had frequent visits to the Emergency Room violent migraines and other complications. But something is changing in the world of long-term care and Suzanne is a wonderful example of how new health care models can help people. More and more seniors and people with disabilities or long-term health problems choose to live in their home, rather than in a facility or institution; recent research shows that 78% of seniors prefer home over a facility. New insurance and government programs support this trend. Living at home not only saves health care costs, but it also increases a person’s quality of life, if there is sufficient support. And in the same way that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to care for our disabled neighbors and aging elders. To be healthy and happy is more than being free from disease. Regardless of your physical state, people need social interaction, exercise, a nourishing environment, something useful to do, and things to look forward to. Some of these needs are filled by support from family, neighbors, and wonderful community based initiatives. Other needs will be met by services like home care, family doctors, meals-on-wheels, senior centers, public transportation, and the like. The key to success in making this all work is to make the


care about the person and to combine medical care with prevention, and community integration. This is why many new health care programs are person centered and offer services like socialization, wellness, transportation, as well as home health support. In the case of Suzanne, she finds that her health has improved now that she is in a new Medicaid program that not only provides her with good home care, but also allows her to go to the pool for exercise and receive special therapy to help prevent her migraines and other issues. But person centered care is more than just the service provided – it is also about how it is provided. The relationship between a client and the care provider is what makes or breaks a person’s care. That in turn is largely affected by how we support and honor our caregivers to do the important, physically and emotionally demanding but also fulfilling work they do; many are our modern day heroes. With lifestyle related disease still on the rise and a growing aged population, the number of people needing long-term care is like an approaching tsunami. In order to keep as many people in their homes and their community as possible we all need to come together and work as a team. Suzanne now is feeling a lot better now that she receives her new services. She and her beloved caregiver are so tuned into the early warning signs of her migraines, that she actually


Valentines Day! Home means family. Home means safety. Home means feeling restored. At Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation Center, home also means thriving—physically, emotionally and socially. We provide professional medical services such as skilled nursing and rehabiliation therapy in a quality, caring environment. Welcome home.


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has fewer and less violent migraines. Suzanne hardly ever visits the Emergency Room anymore and no longer needs all of the drugs the doctors used to prescribe. Home health services didn’t just increase her quality of life and reduce the



cost of her care, but now Suzanne feels like she is once again a part of her community and can actually contribute to other people’s lives; and isn’t that what we all need? For privacy reasons, Suzanne is a fictional

name in this article for the real person. If you have questions please contact Tanya Douglas, Program Manager, A Plus Health Care, Helena; 406-443-3866. MSN

Caregivers Need A Personal-Service Agreement Material provided by Tom Packer When elderly parents begin needing assistance in their daily lives, adult children are often called upon. Usually this begins with an adult child helping around the house, paying some bills, running to the store, or fixing meals. To make it easier to manage their finances, elderly parents frequently give their adult children a financial power of attorney or add them to their checking and savings accounts. More often than not when this occurs, there is poor record keeping and a frequent commingling of the parent’s and the children’s funds. When parents are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, their care needs escalate, and the demands on caregiving children increase. Many times the caregiving child will reduce hours at work or even quit a job to provide care for an aging parent. Many parents and their caregiving children in these situations do not see a need to have a written agreement between the parents and the caregiving children; this is, however, exactly what they do need. These informal care arrangements, with their commingling of funds and poor record keeping, can lead to investigations by adult protection for financial exploitation and to sibling claims that the caregiver child is taking “all of mom’s money.” If money is given to the caregiving child without a contract in place, the parent may also become ineligible for Medicaid. To qualify for Medicaid, a person’s spending and assets are subject to a “look-back” period of up to five

years. This is sometimes called the asset “spend down.” If the care receiver needs to apply for services that Medicaid might pay for, the personal care agreement can show that care payments were a legitimate expense and not an attempt to hide assets by giving cash to family members. The care receiver is paying for the “value” in personal care services. A personal care agreement has three basic requirements for a person to pay a family member for care: • The agreement must be in writing. • The payment must be for care provided in the future (not for services already performed). • Compensation for care must be reasonable. This means it should not be more than what would be paid to a third party for the same care in your area. Tasks performed should match “reasonable” or “customary” fees typically charged for those services. Caregiving children should also keep detailed records of the personalcare services that they provide and the expenses that they incur. A written contract and adequate records will protect the caregiving child from claims of financial exploitation by adult protection and disgruntled siblings and will establish that transfers of income to the child complied with Medicaid rules. It would be wise to seek professional assistance in drafting a personal care agreement. MSN

Visiting A Hospitalized Relative Or Friend – Plan Ahead To Make It A Positive Experience By Lisa M. Petsche If you are planning to visit a relative or friend in the hospital, follow these suggestions to help ensure a positive experience. Before you go – Call ahead to the patient or his or her next of kin to find out if visits are welcomed, and if so, the best time of day to come. Also ask if there is anything you can bring. If you are not an immediate family member or close friend, reconsider visiting unless the patient has few local supports. Instead, send a card or email (some hospitals offer the latter option on their website) and plan a visit when the person returns home.

Before arranging for any kind of get-well gift, find out the hospital’s policy around balloons and flowers and take into account space limitations in the patient’s room. It’s best to hold off on plants, balloon bouquets, or gift baskets until the person is discharged home. Before planning to bring in food or beverages, find out if any dietary restrictions have been implemented. Postpone your visit if you are not feeling well. Telephone instead. What to bring – If you feel the need to bring something, keep it simple and practical. Ideas include reading material, a notebook and pen, a box of facial tissue, hand sanitizer for the bedside, and earplugs, especially if the



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person is a light sleeper. Some ideas for cheering a patient: bring childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artwork, decorative window clings, or a special food treat. If the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finances are limited, arrange to pay for telephone or TV service. If he or she is expected to be hospitalized for a while, you may wish to pool resources with relatives or friends. What not to bring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; For security reasons, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bring the patient anything of value. Discourage him or her from keeping identification, jewelry, electronics, or more than a few dollars on hand. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bring in prescription drugs, over-thecounter medications, or herbal remedies. Interactions with medications the hospital physician has prescribed could prove harmful. The same goes for alcohol. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear perfume or cologne or bring the patient heavily scented toiletries. Many healthcare facilities are now designated â&#x20AC;&#x153;fragrance-freeâ&#x20AC;? environments due to staff and patient allergies. Visiting tips â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Find out what the visiting hours are and stick to them. Clean your hands when you enter and leave the hospital, and also before and after visiting in the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important for everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake to prevent the spread of diseasecausing microorganisms. Watch for signs regarding the use of cell phones. Typically they must be turned off in clinical areas. In permissible locations, set your phone to vibrate mode and exercise discretion when conversing about sensitive matters. If the patient is in isolation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; indicated by a sign on or beside their door â&#x20AC;&#x201C; go to the nursesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; station to inquire whether he or she can have visitors and if

so, what precautions to take. You may need to don gloves, a gown, and a mask. Although it may be inconvenient, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to follow all instructions. If you are not the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next of kin, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t request medical information from staff or get involved in care issues. If you are one of several immediate family members, keep in mind that patients are asked to appoint one contact person in order to streamline communication. This is whom you should speak to if you would like more information than the patient is able to provide. If family dynamics are challenging or the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s situation is complicated, a family meeting can be organized with the healthcare team. Limit visitors to a few at a time. Speak softly in the room and hallways so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disturb patients who are resting. Exercise good judgment when it comes to bringing children, and ensure adult supervision at all times. If the patient is safely able to walk or transfer into a wheelchair, visit outside the room â&#x20AC;&#x201C; perhaps in the visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lounge on the ward, in the main floor lobby, or coffee shop. Be prepared that a healthcare professional may ask you to leave the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room in order to provide care or conduct an assessment or test. Keep the visit short if the person is low on energy. Ensure before you leave that the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s call bell, telephone, bedside table, and any mobility aids are within reach. Lisa M. Petsche is a medical social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior issues. MSN

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Next When Kids Leave The Nest? Tips For Embracing This New Phase Of Life By Lisa M. Petsche When the last of your offspring has left home, the adjustment can be difficult. This may be particularly so if you have focused the majority of your time and energy on raising your children or if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a single parent and now find yourself alone. Feelings of emptiness may be profound and challenging to overcome. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some suggestions that can help. Be kind to yourself. Recognize that it will take time to adjust to this new phase of life. Try not to dwell on the past, as it will keep you from moving forward.


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Prepare a list of things to do when you find yourself feeling lost or blue. Include small indulgences to give you a lift as well as tasks or projects that will give you a sense of satisfaction (for example, de-cluttering various areas of your home). Look after your physical health. Eat nutritious meals, get adequate rest, and exercise regularly. (This is a good time to take that Pilates class or join a gym.) In addition to safeguarding your overall health, these measures will also help ward off depression. Keep a positive attitude about life and aging, and associate with people who have a similar outlook. Nurture your spirit Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a journal, chronicling your journey of self-discovery and growth. Do things that center you and bring inner peace, such as meditating, listening to music, or spending time in nature. Do things that provide you with meaning and purpose, such as writing a family history, getting a pet or helping someone you know.


Get busy Think back to former pastimes that perhaps fell away once you had a family – playing a musical instrument or a particular sport, for example – and revive one you think you might still enjoy. Take up something new – for example, gourmet cooking, sculpting, or modern jazz. Get involved in your community. Volunteer for a neighborhood association, charitable or environmental cause, animal shelter, or political campaign. Along the way, you might make new friends. If you miss being around young people, volunteer at a local school or community center, or with a church youth group. Cultivate some solitary pastimes. Take up crossword puzzles, a handcraft, woodworking, gardening, writing, or sketching. Learn to enjoy your own company. If you have been out of the work force while raising your family, look for a part-time or full-time job. Return to school for a certificate or diploma, or perhaps even a degree. Or just take some courses here and there for personal interest. Check out the offerings from the local adult education center as well as postsecondary institutions. Don’t forget the option of distance education if there aren’t any colleges or universities nearby, or if transportation is an issue.


If you are married, go on regular dates with your spouse. Get creative, trying new activities and types of food, or revisit activities from your courting years. Take turns doing the planning. This is a good chance to step up the intimacy and generate some romance and excitement. Plan some trips, with your spouse or friends, or perhaps on your own or with a tour group, depending on your situation and preferences. Reach out Keep in touch with your offspring through modern technology. Learn to become comfortable with the communication methods they favor, such as texting, e-mail, Instant Messaging, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Just don’t overdo it. Take the initiative in calling friends and relatives to talk or get together. Instead of waiting for invitations, extend them. If you don’t feel you’re adjusting well to your new circumstances, seek support from a counselor. Whether or not you anticipated being an empty nester at this point in your life, the reality may initially seem unsettling. But with time, patience, and trust in your resilience, you will successfully adapt and find yourself growing and enjoying life in ways you never imagined. Lisa M. Petsche is a social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior issues. MSN

Lipstick In School According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington recently faced a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick, putting it on in the school bathroom. After they put on their lipstick, they pressed their lips on the mirror, leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man removed the prints, but the next day the girls put them right back. Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls into the bathroom along with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors every night. This inspired yawns from all the little princesses. To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers... and then there are educators. MSN

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Highgate Senior Living offers full care for all, no matter what your age or ailment. Our team of compassionate professionals can handle almost anything, including complex medical issues and post-acute hospital care. In fact, we specialize in services normally provided in skilled nursing, such as diabetic care and oxygen management, injectable medications, wound care, feeding tubes, catheter monitoring, two-person transfers, and hospice. Just call any of our three Assisted Living/Memory Care communities in Montana, and we’ll make sure your move into Highgate is one of the easiest things in your life right now. Highgate at Billings 406-651-4833

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Panama: the Country, the Canal, and a 100th Anniversary Story by Andrea Gross Photos by Irv Green I’m standing on the deck of a 24-passenger catamaran, watching the sun rise over the Pacific. Yes, that’s right. The sun is rising over the Pacific.

two oceans, I can see a bit of the Pacific that juts to the east, poking into a portion of the Atlantic. So when the sun rises in the east, it appears over Pacific waters. I find this intriguing but at the same time unsettling. But then, many things in Panama force me to rearrange my mind. The hot pink hibiscus, the bright beaked toucans, the swirling skirts of the dancers... Everywhere I look the country pulsates with the psychedelic colors that inspired Paul Gauguin, and I’m on sensory overload for the first part of my trip. Then, bingo, I board the MS Discovery for my cruise through the Panama Canal. The bright colors disappear as I enter a more ordered world, one that’s muted, mechanical, and often confined by the gray cement bricks of the locks. The right side of my brain wars with the left.

In Panama, the sun rises over the Pacific. Yes, the Pacific. This is only one of the quirks that makes Panama so intriguing.

Here, in the Central American country of Panama, which is positioned between two continents and

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One hundred years ago this year, on August 15, 1914, the SS Ancon made the first official Canal passage between the Atlantic and Pacific. By eliminating the long trip around Cape Horn, the ocean-to-ocean journey was shortened by more than 8,000 miles. It was a feat that transformed both global commerce and the country of Panama. In 2015, after a $5.2 billion expansion is completed, the Canal will be able to handle larger ships, thus further fueling the country’s economy and increasing its importance. We begin our tour in Panama City (the capital), which has morphed from a 15th century settlement (now evident in the ruins of Panama La Viejo) to a 17th century Spanish colonial town (quickly becoming the go-to neighborhood for after-hours fun) to a 21st century metropolis that is both an international business center and a popular tourist destination. The city’s history is fascinating, the atmosphere electric, but still, I’m glad when we head out to the rural areas. In line with Grand Circle’s philosophy that meeting local people is as important as seeing historic sites, we stop at an agricultural cooperative where farmers work together to bring their produce to market, a sugar cane farm where a husband and wife have a small candy-making business, a school where youngsters perform traditional dances and their mothers serve us a homemade lunch, and a private home where the owner teaches us to make one of his grandmother’s favorite dishes. At each

The MS Discovery, a 24-passenger catamaran used by Grand Circle Travel, stands by as passengers take a shore excursion to Taboga Island before beginning their full-daylight passage through the Canal.

My husband and I are in Panama with Grand Circle Travel precisely because their tour offers country culture as well as Canal cruising. After all, there’s no doubt that the famed waterway has made the country a place to be reckoned with.

Keel-billed toucans that live in the Panamanian rainforest often make forays into villages.

place, our hosts talk freely, giving us insight into their daily lives. I emerge from these visits well fed and well informed. We learn about yet another Panamanian lifestyle when we meet the Embera people, members of one of Panama’s seven indigenous tribes. I step out of our dugout canoe to find a village of thatched huts perched on stilts, an open-air schoolhouse, a soccer field, a meeting hall, a woman weaving baskets, and an entire community of people in traditional attire. The tribal representative explains that opening their village to outsiders allows the Emberas to earn a living while continuing to live according to the ways of their ancestors. It’s a Margaret Mead experience, and I love every


minute. In between people visits, we take mini treks through the rainforest. Unlike the men who built the Canal, we’re slathered with sunscreen, protected with insect repellent, and our only goals are to see a monkey, spot a toucan, and track a capybara. We aren’t charged with digging a path through a thick jungle where the temperature is often above 80º and the humidity above 90%. Of the 80,000 men who worked on the Canal, more than a third died of yellow fever or malaria. A normal trip through the Canal takes ten hours, but Grand Circle has arranged for us to have a full daylight passage. Therefore, we enter

on the Pacific, head northwest through two sets of locks that raise the Discovery 85 feet above sea level, cross the Continental Divide and spend the night on Gatun Lake. The next morning we go ashore to visit the Gatun Dam and take our final rainforest trek, which reminds us of the travails that went into building the Canal. Then we re-board our ship, go through the final set of locks, and descend to sea level in another ocean. I go to the upper deck and look to the west. Yes, the sun is setting over the Atlantic. For more information visit MSN

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ESCAPE TOURS P.O. BOX 3833 Missoula, MT 59806 406-240-8687

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23 Oklahoma Missoula Senior Center MARCH 2014 3–12 Shades of Ireland Group Destination Planners 14–16 Coeur d’Alene Casino Big Sky Bus Tours 17–19 Deadwood Getaway Group Destination Planners 20 Dinnerbell at Goldcreek, MT Missoula Senior Center 3/2– Greece 4/2 Group Destination Planners 29–30 Sister Act Escape Tours

Spring Break in the Cities

3–9 Charleston, Jekyll Island & Savannah Group Destination Planners 9–11 Coeur d’Alene Casino Big Sky Bus Tours 17–18 Wicked Escape Tours

Roll’n on the River

2 1–22 Wicked Missoula Senior Center

22–23 Fall Colors in Yellowstone Group Destination Planners


JUNE 2014 16–18 Deadwood Getaway Group Destination Planners 21–28 Trains & Canyons of the West Group Destination Planners JULY 2014 1–2 Medora Musical Group Destination Planners 17 Bighorn Canyon Boat Tour Group Destination Planners 21–29 Pacific Coast Journey Group Destination Planners

AUGUST 2014 2–7 Iceland Satrom Travel & Tour

MAY 2014 1–12 Holland (MI) Tulip Festival A&B Tours

MAY 1–12, 2014 Festival Events & Many “Made in America” Attractions Tour is filling quickly

Colors of the Carolinas

8–16 Greece featuring Greek Island Cruising Group Destination Planners

11–17 Cherry Blossom Festival Group Destination Planners

Holland (MI) Tulip Festival

9/22– Germany with 10/4 Oktoberfest Satrom Travel & Tour

APRIL 2014 1–6 Spring Break in the Cities A&B Tours

11–17 DC Cherry Blossom Time Satrom Travel & Tour

APRIL 1–6, 2014 Featuring three theater performances Glendive & Sidney departures only

19–27 Italia Classica Group Destination Planners

23 Bair and the Castle Museum Tour Group Destination Planners

10–16 Tulip Time Cruise Group Destination Planners

MOTORCOACH TOURS Departing Billings, Miles City & Glendive

Plan a Vacation to Remember... Call your Travel Agent Today!

FEBRUARY 2014 12–14 Snowcoach Extravaganza Group Destination Planners


6–11 Iceland...Land of Fire and Ice Group Destination Planners

9/26– Fall Foliage Cruise 10/4 Satrom Travel & Tour

6–7 Lewistown Chokecherry Festival Group Destination Planners 12 Heart Mountain and Cody, WY Group Destination Planners 15–17 Deadwood Getaway Group Destination Planners



9/29– Danube River Cruise 10/9 Satrom Travel & Tour


OCTOBER 2014 6–13 New England Autumn Foliage Group Destination Planners

FEBRUARY 23, 2014

Hamilton Playhouse ‡ Victor Steak House

6–22 Colors of the Carolinas A&B Tours 18–31 Austrailia & New Zealand Group Destination Planners


$47.00 pp WICKED

NOVEMBER 2014 12–14 Deadwood Getaway Group Destination Planners

MAY 21–22

DECEMBER 2014 4–7 NYC Theatre Tour Satrom Travel & Tour 6–14 Tropical Costa Rica Group Destination Planners



4 0 6 - 5 4 3 -7 1 5 4

Taking you on exciting trips around Montana & the Nation!


SEPT 2014 1–8 Roll’n on the River A&B Tours

OCT 6–22, 2014

9/24– Blue Danube River Cruise 10/4 Group Destination Planners

15–16 Gates of the Mountains Cruise Group Destination Planners 29–30 Philipsburg, MT Group Destination Planners

SEPT 1–8, 2014




17–19 APRIL

8–16 10–16

Sold out!

Snowcoach Extravaganza in Yellowstone National Park


Shades of Ireland Including House of Waterford Crystal Factory! Includes round-trip air from Billings Deadwood Get-a-way, Deadwood, SD


Greece featuring Greek Island Cruising Tulip Time on the Romantic Rhine & Mosel River Cruise

$1369/ppd + air $2799/ppd + air

 


(Netherlands including: Keukenhof Gardens, Germany, France & Switzerland)


Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington DC

$1639/ppd + air

Charleston, Jekyll Island & Savannah Italia Classica (Rome, Florence, Mogliano Veneto, Venice, Milan & more)

$1839/ppd + air $3689/ppd

Deadwood Get-a-way, Deadwood, SD Trains & Canyons of the West (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico)

$139/ppd $1899/ppd + air


3–9 19–27

Includes round-trip air from Billings


16–18 21–28



 



Remember when you were a child or a young parent and the family was driving in the car to the lake for a weekend camping trip or to wherever, and the entire family would play I Spy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; laughing and guessing the object to match the given clues. Our staff created this issueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s I Spy Ads quiz, and we hope you enjoy figuring out this clever quiz. This month only for our I Spy Ads quiz, we will award three prizes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one each for $80, $60, and

$40 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to the first three readers with correct answers drawn from the submitted answers. As always, we will also award a $25 prize to the person who submits the entry that our staff selects as the featured quiz or puzzle for our next issue. Be creative and send us some good, fun, challenging, and interesting puzzles! This monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $25 winner is Pete Shea of East Glacier who sent in the winning answers to the

Holiday Songs Make Headlines quiz from the December 2013/January 2014 issue. Congratulations, Pete! Please mail your entries to the Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403, or email to by March 15, 2014 for our April/May 2014 edition. Do not forget to work the crossword puzzle on our website

Are You Ready To Play I Spy And Win? Created by Montana Senior News Staff Yes, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right â&#x20AC;&#x201C; $80, $60, or $40! What we have done, with the cooperation of our advertisers, is create an I Spy Ads quiz that challenges you to find ads in this issue that have an element in the ad that matches one of the 68 clues listed below. They are scattered throughout the paper in no particular pattern, and your job is to find them. Only elements that appear within the border of an ad are correct answers to the clues. Therefore, 1. 50th anniversary celebration 2. Abstract cross 3. Advisor talking to couple 4. An empanada 5. Antique sewing machine 6. Beer can 7. Binoculars 8. Bird on a limb 9. Birdhouse 10. Building above eye 11. Bull elk 12. Bus 13. Cabin in the Bitterroot 14. Cactus

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you cannot use objects that appear outside of ad (such as in articles or grapics) that might match a clue. Again, only objects that answer the clue and that appear within the border of an ad in this paper are correct answers. What we require is that you find any 40 of the ads that have objects on them that match any of the 68 clues below. Then, on a numbered piece of paper, write down two things: â&#x20AC;˘ the name of the advertiser (Acme Travel for example) 15. Car by house 16. Cardinal 17. Chevy emblem 18. Child eating sandwich 19. Clarinet 20. Conestoga wagon 21. Couple w/cups 22. Cross on gift 23. Crusty bread 24. Dolls 25. Football 26. Gallery name in batik 27. Gold miner 28. Golf ball and skier 29. Graduation mortarboards 30. Gun 31. Heart w/ bowling ball 32. Hot pepper 33. Hot tub 34. Janome logo 35. Kitchen cabinets 36. Knight 37. Ladybug 38. Leprachaun on a horseshoe 39. Leprachaun w/ thumbs up 40. License plate holder w/o plate 41. Little piggy

â&#x20AC;˘ the page number on which each ad appears; Mail or email ( your answers to us by March 20, 2014. By a drawing from the entries submitted, we will award three cash prizes to the first three correct entries, one each of $80, $60, and $40. What are you waiting for... itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to start scouring the paper to find the ads that have objects in them that answer the clues below!

42. Little red man w/ toolbox 43. Log home 44. Male & female chefs 45. Mamma mia! 46. Man w/ watch 47. Map of Montana vet logo 48. Mariachi musicians 49. Message on flowered heart 50. Motel room doorknob sign 51. Pack train 52. Pasty 53. People giving thumbs up 54. Pfaff sewing machine 55. Photo of Mike Elliott 56. Quilt squares 57. Skeleton key 58. Sleeping puppies 59. Smiling sun 60. Soldier 61. Spilled pill bottle 62. Squirrel 63. Stack of books 64. Standing woman on phone 65. Three caricatures 66. Top hat 67. Tree w/ fallen leaves 68. Willow tree MSN

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By Bernice Karnop 1. L â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! 2. K â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 3. G â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Frosty the Snowman 4. C â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jingle Bells 5. I â&#x20AC;&#x201C; O Come All Ye Faithful 6. A â&#x20AC;&#x201C; All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth 7. F â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Little Drummer Boy 8. D â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Come On Ring Those Bells 9. H â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Walking in a Winter Wonderland 10. S â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Away in a Manger 11. B â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 12. M â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 13. N â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Twelve Days of Christmas 14. Q â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Angels We Have Heard on High 15. P â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rocking Around the Christmas Tree 16. R â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Dreaming of a White Christmas 17. W â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Be Home for Christmas 18. U â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The First Noel 19. J â&#x20AC;&#x201C; We Three Kings 20. Y â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Up on the Housetop 21. T â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jolly Old St. Nickolas 22. X â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Here Comes Santa Claus 23. E â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Deck the Halls 24. V â&#x20AC;&#x201C; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 25. O â&#x20AC;&#x201C; O Christmas Tree MSN


50. Aquarium dweller 52. *”___ at Work,” Best New Artist ‘83 53. Conceited 55. Lt.’s inferior, in the Navy 57. *Macklemore’s kind of shop 60. *This year’s Grammy host 64. Song of praise 65. Shed tears 67. The _____, Netherlands 68. Take down masts 69. Clod chopper 70. Blatant 71. Gardener’s storage 72. *”Owner of a Lonely Heart” band won one Grammy 73. Offends with odor


ACROSS 1. Leigh is to Scarlett as _____ is to Rhett 6. ___ de deux 9. “Through” in text message 13. “___ __ fair in love and war” 14. Under the weather 15. Sand bar 16. Disturb 17. “New” prefix 18. Equestrian’s attire 19. *Eminem’s 2013 hit 21. *Rogers’ duet partner 23. Driver’s aid

1. Clothing of distinctive style 2. Medicinal house plant 3. Something that happens so fast 4. Famous Hungarian composer 5. High regard 6. *”Just Give Me a Reason” nominee 7. Barley brew 8. North face, e.g. 9. “___ does it!” 10. Tramp 11. *In ‘85 Prince won two for “Purple ____”

24. Sub station 25. Acid 28. Often held on sandwich 30. *Girl on Fire 35. Creole vegetable 37. Poverty-stricken 39. Bank ware, pl. 40. Bit attachment 41. Israel’s neighbor 43. Catch-22 44. Weight watcher’s choice, pl. 46. Black cat, e.g. 47. First rate 48. Take to one’s heart


12. Final, abbr. 15. High-pitched 20. Gathers harvest 22. Chicken _ __ king 24. Kind of security guard 25. *”Royals” nominee 26. Knitter’s quantity 27. Often done to fruit 29. It goes up and down 31. Bit 32. Billiards bounce 33. Cuckoo 34. Ski destination 36. A chip, maybe 38. Cambodian money 42. Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life” e.g. 45. Pinching pennies 49. Churchill’s “so few” 51. Boat load 54. Nervous and antsy 56. Dry white Italian wine 57. Hyperbolic tangent 58. At this point 59. Police action 60. Potassium hydroxide solution, pl. 61. Curved molding 62. Lie in wait 63. *Multi-Grammy winner Elton’s, “Bennie and the ____” 64. From a wound 66. Poor man’s caviar MSN


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Tap in to the Luck â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;o the Irish on St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day By Bernice Karnop It must be the Leprechauns. On St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, all kinds of people are tricked into donning a Kelly green shirt and a shiny paper hat. Some of the particularly puckish sort may sport green beards and green hair. The taste of corned beef and cabbage, the sound of pipes and drums, Irish Step Dancers, and lucky shamrocks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are some of the reasons to look forward to St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. Where can you find the magic? Check our list. 1. Butte claims to be the most Irish of Montana towns on March 17. The celebration historically brings thousands to the Mining City. 2. For many years John â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Yankâ&#x20AC;? Harrington, a Butte icon who was Irish down to his shamrock-studded socks, entertained people with his accordion tunes. He released his first CD in 1999 when he was just 96 years old. 3. It might or might not be related to the Irish, but in 1893, there were 212 saloons in Butte. 4. There are St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day parades in Anaconda, Billings, Helena, Missoula, and Great Falls. 5. If there is not a St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s celebration in your town, you can always start one. If you cannot buy green beer where you live, you can try making some. 6. Here is an Irish Blessing to pass on to all you meet: May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night. MSN

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Falling into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming By Hattie Kauffman Published by Baker Books; ISBN 978-0-8010-1538-0 Reviewed by Jack McNeel Hattie Kauffman was a CBS television correspondent for over twenty years, a four-time Emmy Award winner who traveled the world covering breaking news stories and interviewing national leaders, sports figures, and actors. She worked with anchors Katie Couric and Dan

Rather at CBS This Morning, The Early Show, and others. Hattie’s memoir is a compelling saga that will grip you with its intensity and nourish your soul. She has lived in extremes from abject poverty to nationwide recognition and from a heart wrenching divorce to finding a strong sense of church and trusting her life to the Lord. Her many years of experience writing stories for national news are evident in this beautifully written book. I had the opportunity to meet Hattie a couple of years ago when she was speaking to a group in Coeur d’Alene and was impressed with both her casual ability to engage the audience and equally impressed that a CBS television anchor was as approachable as a neighbor you might talk with over the back fence. As a child, Hattie, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, was taken along with six other siblings from her home on the Nez Perce Reservation to Seattle by her parents. She tells of scraping the bottom of a jam jar with her finger to get a slight taste of food, living with no power or water, and searching under the rug or in the chair for a coin. She tells how the youngsters stuck together to survive extremely difficult times, even dividing a single cupcake among them on a birthday. Hattie managed to go to school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It was there she began her broadcast career at 17 doing Indian News on a local radio station. In 1989, she went to CBS

after three years at Good Morning America. During the many years with CBS, she covered the globe interviewing people from presidents to astronauts and covering murder trials to forest fires. Hattie relates events as she moves back and forth from those childhood years to events in later life. A divorce crashes upon her and during that time, she finds an increased attraction to religion and security in finding God. But one must read the book to complete the full story. I talked with Hattie recently about her book Falling into Place. JM – “Why did you write the book?” HK – “I knew all my life that the experiences of the Kauffman kids were extraordinary and knew there was a story there. I’d tried to write the story of our childhood but couldn’t do it as a network news correspondent. Then the divorce and my coming to faith happened. At first I was kind of writing the divorce story but thought ‘No, that’s not who I am.’ Who I am is all these experiences so I began to weave them together. It was challenging. It didn’t come together until the thread of the faith story, in both childhood and adulthood, wrapped those simultaneous story lines that were unfolding and brought them together. I think it works. I think it was just time to share.” JM – How is your life today? HK – “It’s good. I worked for so many years as a network news correspondent. It was kind of like the military – you never knew where you would be assigned or for how long. You live with a certain tension and unpredictability. Now I’m semi-retired and I enjoy (Cont’d on pg 70)



The Toothless Grin By Sharon Palmer I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said, “Yes,” but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of “do I have enough?” As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at the most. He was with his father as well, and kept picking up the Pokemon video toys. Each time he picked one up and looked at his father, his father shook his head, “No.” The little girl had apparently chosen her Barbie, a beautifully dressed, glamorous doll that would

have been the envy of every little girl on the block. However, she had stopped and was watching the interchange between the little boy and his father. Rather dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and had chosen what looked like a book of stickers instead. He and his father then started walking through another aisle of the store. The little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokemon games. She excitedly picked up one that was lying on top of the other toys, and raced toward the checkout, with her father in tow. I picked up my purchases and got in line behind them. Then, much to the little girl’s obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line behind me. After the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear. The cashier smiled and put the package under the counter. I paid for my purchases and was rearranging things in my purse when the little boy came up to the cashier. She rang up his purchases and then said, “Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!” With that, she handed the little boy the Pokemon game, and

We Are Not Promised Tomorrow Submitted by Julie Fink/Brantley The professor stood before his philosophy class and with an assortment of items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.” The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions. And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car, or your assets. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” the professor continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. “Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with your grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.” The lesson of this story is that we are not promised tomorrow. Whether we are perfectly

healthy, young or old, rich or poor – there is no guarantee. As the people who have experienced tornadoes in the Midwest have learned – everything can be gone in a few moments. But genuine friendships carry us through the hardest of times. Jesus drank wine, Germans enjoy beer, and Mexicans sip their tequila. Whatever brings you to feast with friends – do it today. MSN

he could only stare in disbelief. It was, he said, exactly what he had wanted! The little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and I saw the biggest, prettiest, toothless grin on that little girl that I have ever seen in my life. Then they walked out the door, and I followed close behind them. As I walked back to my car in amazement over what I had just witnessed, I heard the father ask his daughter why she had done that. I will never forget what she said to him. “Daddy, didn’t Nana and PawPaw want me to buy something that would make me happy?” He said, “Of course they did, honey.” To which the little girl replied, “Well, I just did!” With that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car. Her toothless grin said it all. Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question of, “Do I have enough?” I feel very privileged to have witnessed the spirit of Christmas in that toy store, in the form of a little girl who understands more about the reason for the season than most adults I know! MSN



Falling into Place - Continued from age 68 writing. It was a big confidence booster that I could actually write a book. I’ve written thousands of stories but you wonder, ‘Do you have it in you to do something with 250 pages and make something that’s longer than a three minute news story.’ I jumped over a big hurdle with this book and plan to keep on writing.” JM – What are you doing now? HK – “I speak for different groups, particularly encouraging young people. I’m a supporter of the American Indian College Fund so I do that in addition to my writing. This last year I took up oil painting. I’ve really enjoyed just painting one day a week. I’m learning to embrace these 50s. In television, a woman over 50 is old. There can be a sense of loss in that but now I’m seeing a sense of gain. JM – “How does religion affect your life today?” HK – “My personal faith is very important to me. I pray every day and try to do what I think God would have me do in any given situation. It has totally changed me and I hope that comes through in the book.” MSN

For those who love the philosophy of ambiguity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of English Submitted by Julie Fink-Brantley 1. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila… floor. 2. Atheism is a non-prophet organization. 3. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? 4. How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs? 5. I went to a book store and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self- help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. 6. What if there were no hypothetical questions? 7. If a deaf child signs swear words, does his mother wash his hands with soap? 8. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation? 9. Is there another word for synonym? 10. Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?” 11. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant? 12. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages? 13. Would a fly without wings be called a walk? 14. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will break-in and clean them? 15. If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked? 16. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers? 17. If the police arrest a mute, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent? 18. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines? 19. Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmuts? 20. What was the best thing before sliced bread? 21. One nice thing about egotists is they don’t talk about other people. 22. How is it possible to have a civil war? 23. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too? 24. If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? 25. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done? 26. Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it? 27. Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot at them? 28. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream? 29. If you spin an oriental man in a circle three times, does he become disoriented? 30. Can an atheist get insurance against acts of god? 31. Why do shops have signs, “guide dogs only” since the dogs can’t read and their owners are blind? MSN

Signs Of The Times At the electric company: We will be delighted if you send in your payment. However, if you don’t, you will be. In a restaurant window: Don’t stand there and be hungry – come on in and get fed up. In the front yard of a funeral home: Drive carefully! We’ll wait. At a propane filling station: Thank heaven for little grills. And don’t forget the sign at a Chicago radiator shop: Best place in town to take a leak. Sign on the back of another septic tank truck: CAUTION – This Truck is Full of Political Promises. MSN






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