Live it! Persistence
Making good things happen
House, body & mind
APRIL / MAY 2019 / FREE ISSUE
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Strong women... I have always admired strong women. My mother was a strong woman, as was her mother. They both worked alongside their husbands, Mom in the fields and in the barn, and Grandma in the meat market, where my mother also worked for a time. Plus they ran the household, back in the days when women truly did “run the household.” My husband and I have always had more of an equal partnership. For many years we (and later our kids) left the house at the same time in the morning and returned together at the end of our work day, so it just made sense. Sure, there have always been tasks I tended to do versus what he would do, but most things we did together. And, as the years have passed, some of those roles changed given different situations and times in our lives. In this issue of Live it! Magazine, Carolyn shares the story of Kami Anez – truly a strong, confident and remarkable woman. Mother of six, published children’s author, president of a very successful company, Chamber Ambassador, religion teacher and 4-H leader (just to name a few), Kami has held it all together after the death of her husband, unexpectedly and at a young age. She has persisted and flourished and is able to find the joy in each day, beginning with the morning sunrise. Two other strong, confident women I had the pleasure of working with many years ago in a women’s organization are now instrumental in bringing a Wisdom & Wine event to Willmar. “For five years I’ve had it in my head,” Vicki Melbye told me recently. “We started working on it nearly two years ago.” Vicki and her sidekick Jeni Ritz – along with a host of other library supporters – are hoping to “get people excited about reading again,” all while at the same time helping raise funds for the local library. Bringing her initial dream to reality has taken perseverance, persistence, strength and confidence. Sitting at a coffee table several weeks back, Vicki was both nervous (too nervous to eat) and excited as she talked about the upcoming Wisdom & Wine event, hoping all the work that has gone into it will be enough to make it a huge success. How could it not be with these strong women spearheading the efforts? For additional details on the event see page 18. All that and more in this issue of Live it! Magazine! If you have a topic you’d like to see in Live it!, send your story ideas to liveit@ wctrib.com. We love to hear from our readers. You can also “like” us on Facebook and leave comments there. Life in west central Minnesota … it really is a beautiful thing …
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Continuing to build on their legacy
April 2019, Volume 8, Issue 2
WHAT’S INSIDE FEATURING
6 Finding joy in each day 12 Room by room, top to bottom 14
What ‘detoxing’ really is
24 Socially responsible investing
3 READER’S MAILBAG Tell us what you think 12 Q&A: It’s spring cleaning time 14 Health & Fitness: Body maintenance 16 DIY Creating ‘crafting’ space 18 READ IT! Celebrating Wisdom & Wine 20 STYLE IT! Maximize closet cleaning
22 LIGHTEN IT! Spring can be fickle 24 MONEY MATTERS Values-based ideals 26 SPIRITS All things come to an end 28 LIFE HAPPENS How are you today? 29 WHAT’S HAPPENING? Mark your calendars
Life w 6
without Jared Taking a leap of faith, living life each day Story by Carolyn Lange firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography by Erica Dischino email@example.com
“ ... (Jared) was cool and fun and he was my best friend – and he was the kids’ best friend. He was just this good, good person.” ... Jared had encouraged Kami to spend time doing what she was passionate about – writing.
s a troop of elementary students plop down on the classroom floor in front of her, Kami Anez looks like she could be any mom. Wearing jeans and boots, and with her long, curly brown hair framing a constant smile on her face, Kami cracks open the cover of a colorful children’s book called “Tommy’s Parade.” It’s a cute story about a little boy named Tommy who rides his pony named Pete, and every day another animal from the farm follows the duo down the road. “Tommy didn’t mind the extra company one bit,” reads Kami, stretching out key words in a lilting voice just right for the group of preschoolers and second-grade students in the room. Kami wrote this story seven years ago after watching her own son – not named Tommy – ride his pony on their rural Willmar family farm as the family dog, kittens and goat trailed behind. It’s one of dozens of stories Kami’s written for her kids, including two stories she had sent to 34 different publishers – only to be rejected or ignored 34 times. Kami admits it would have been reasonable to give up at that point. But instead, she joined a writers club, a critique group, and did online workshops in a persistent, heartfelt effort to improve her writing. It paid off. “Tommy’s Parade” was selected by Lakeside Press in Willmar to go to print, and ever since the book came off the press in November, Kami’s been reading it to students in Willmar
and Little Falls, Minnesota, and Valley City, North Dakota. Kami has been using that same heartfelt persistence since March 14, 2017, when her 45-year-old husband, Jared, died suddenly after a morning workout at the gym, leaving behind his wife, six children and a thriving business.
The shock of Jared’s death nearly paralyzed the young family and stunned the community. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Jared was chairman of the Willmar School Board and active in many civic organizations. Kami was left to raise the couple’s children – and left to decide what to do with the family’s agricultural-based business called Anez Consulting. It would have been reasonable for a young widow to walk away from the responsibilities of running the business. Instead, Kami stepped in, started learning, started leading and is now president of Anez Consulting. “Every new day is an adventure,” said Kami, while sitting in a conference room at Anez Consulting, located on the MinnWest Technology Campus in northeast Willmar. “I’m still learning,” she said. “I have really good staff.” Kami and Jared started the company together and for several years it was housed in the family’s home, but because she had her own work as a pharmacist, Jared was the business leader. “I was along with him and we built the company together, but in everyone’s eyes Jared was at the helm of the ship,” she said. “This was Jared’s role.” That first meeting with staff after Jared’s death was an emotional blur.
Kami gives full credit to key employees, including Jared’s brother Tom, for holding the company together while she struggled with Jared’s death. Kami also gives full credit to good friends, her church, the school and an entire community of supporters who she said embraced her family with love and kindness. They took care of her “around the clock” by bringing meals, helping with household chores and ferrying kids to activities while she attempted to put the new pieces of her life together. “You turn around and six months have passed and you’re like, ‘How the heck did I manage this?’” she said, wiping tears from her checks. But Kami said it was not her, but others, that helped the family make it day-to-day. “It was everyone around me,” she said. “The community has not left me. It’s just amazing.”
Leap of faith
When Kami and Jared started Anez Consulting, their oldest child was 11 months old and they had no clients.
“It was a leap of faith,” Kami said of their decision to start their own company. The business initially involved Jared providing agronomy services for crop farmers by taking soil samples and making recommendations for herbicides, pesticides and soil fertility. But as the business grew, they hired their first employee and moved to a real office on 19th Avenue in Willmar and added manure management, permitting and compliance services for livestock farmers. Anez Consulting moved to the MinnWest Tech Campus in 2007 and added more employees and new services involving the Conservation Stewardship Program, and the business is now adding municipal and commercial engineering for below-ground services. The business was booming and poised for additional growth when Jared died. That’s when Kami walked into Jared’s office with the goal of trying to pick up where he’d left off in order to honor their clients, staff, her kids and Jared. “This is part of our legacy, but it’s part of Jared’s legacy.
This is part of our legacy, but it’s part of Jared’s legacy. And our kids had looked to this as such a point of their life foundation. Kami Anez, center, works with Gabe Okins, from left, Mike Nelson, Tom Anez and Jeff Bauman at Anez Consulting.
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And our kids had looked to this as such a point of their life So, she set aside time every week to do nothing but write foundation. And they were just so proud of him,” she said. stories. After Jared died, she started writing a blog to help her work “There were some solid values that can be taught to kids owning and running a business, and Jared had gone through through the emotions of living without him. “I have plenty of moments when I wallow in self-pity, that with the kids.” It has taken time for her to build confidence in her busi- but at the end of the day I have kids that need me, I have a ness abilities – and time for the staff to “trust that I’m here business that needs me, I have myself that needs me,” she said. “You have to live life. You have to live.” for the long haul,” she said. It was through that blog that Lakeside Press became aware Bound by the core values and mission of running the of Kami’s children’s stories and asked to review them before business with integrity, honesty and authenticity that she selecting “Tommy’s Parade” for publication. and Jared used as building blocks Jared’s encouragement, and her for the company, Kami has found dogged persistence, has resulted support through a national peer Kami’s book, “Tommy’s Parade” in her first book being published. mentoring group made up of other – which is illustrated by The business is growing, her chilagricultural business leaders. dren – ages 10 to 23 – are doing She’s “hopefully optimistic” Glenwood artist Faythe Mills – well and Kami is now a Chamber that the business will be carried is available for sale at several Ambassador, religion teacher and to the next generation by her chillocal businesses, including Mr. B’s 4-H leader and is involved in other dren. community organizations. Chocolates, the Kandiyohi County “It seems like a lot, but it all just Persistence kind of falls into place,” she said. Historical Society and Anez The last two years since Jared’s “I have a lot of support helping death have taken Kami down a Consulting, as well as her website me.” road she never wanted to travel. Kami said she starts each day by www.whimzicalwordz.com. She misses her husband terribly watching the sunrise. and grieves that her kids don’t “I try to sit there and just see have a father. something so amazingly beautiful that it can’t help but to “Jared was not only my husband, I really liked him,” said Kami, with a raw earnestness that gives a picture to their just warm you on the inside,” she said. relationship, which started when they were both on the cheer team while attending college at North Dakota State University. “I mean, he was cool and fun and he was my best friend – and he was the kids’ best friend. He was just this good, good person,” she said. Kami grew up on a farm near Valley City, North Dakota, and Jared grew up on a farm near Little Falls, Minnesota. They shared values that involved family, farm, community, hard work and fun. Jared had encouraged Kami to spend time doing what she was passionate about – writing. She said Jared had an amazing ability to make everyone else in the room feel important – and to have confidence in themselves. Jared told her he believed in her and her abilities to write children’s stories, and she should have confidence in herself.
Her next book
Kami said she still has lots of questions about why Jared is gone, but said she won’t have those answers in this lifetime. Because children – like her own – also have questions about losing someone, Kami is now working on a children’s book on that topic. In that story, baby animals ask grown-up animals about where their grandpa or aunt is and what they’re doing. In the story, the little ones are assured that, yes, the frog is hopping in heaven, the deer is running through the grass in heaven and the bird is flying in heaven. “I’m trying to process it through a kid’s mind,” she said. And all the while, Jared is on her mind. Carolyn Lange is a features writer for Live it! Magazine, and a reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar.
I have kids that need me, I have a business that needs me, I have myself that needs me. You have to live life. You have to live. Photos by Erica Dischino and courtesy of Anez family
Kayleen Ninefeldt, from left, Alayna Ritz and Kristen Jaeb operate Ms. Kay’s Services.
Love it or hate it spring cleaning time is here
By Carolyn Lange email@example.com
e all look forward to spring, but the purging, scrubbing and airing out of all corners of our homes that’s part of “spring cleaning” may not be a favorite part of the season. Love it – or hate it – spring cleaning can be a good opportunity to get rid of clutter, and the dust bunnies, before the busyness of summer begins. asked two local experts – Kayleen Ninefeldt and Kristen Jaeb from Ms. Kay’s Services LLC – to provide advice about spring cleaning. Kayleen is owner of the New London business and Kristen is the manager and cleaner. The two have been friends for 17 years and have years of experience cleaning. The idea of “spring cleaning” can be overwhelming. What’s the best game plan to have so a homeowner doesn’t give up, or worse, not start at all? Ms. Kay’s: Start by making a checklist and going room by room, from top to bottom. Sort, organize and clear the clutter. Get the family involved and take advantage of a good conversation while cleaning and organizing at the same time. Label things so you know what the container or tubs contain so you don’t have to wonder.
What are the key items on the spring cleaning checklist? Ms. Kay’s: Move furniture to vacuum or mop under and behind them. Taking couch cushions off and wash and/or vacuum inside couches. Clean ceiling fans, vent covers, light switch covers, light fixtures, under tables and table and furniture legs. Get rid of cobwebs in corners, ceilings, walls, baseboards and crown molding. We also recommend washing curtains and window blinds as they hold a lot of dust. What is the best way to clean windows and screens? Ms. Kay’s: Windows and screens can be a hard task, but worth it when they’re clean. We prefer warm water and vinegar and microfiber cloths that don’t leave behind little fibers. Remove screens and use a vacuum hose or air hose to remove dust and then wipe down with a wet rag. Don’t forget to wipe down window seals and trim. Is it necessary to wash walls? What’s the best way to do it without harming paint or wallpaper? Ms. Kay’s: Yes, it’s necessary to wash walls in your home – kitchen walls get food splatters, fingerprints and grease, and bathroom walls should be wiped down often. Using water and vinegar is safe for breathing and does not remove the paint. Always remember to start at the top and work your way down.
What are the hidden spots in a kitchen that should be cleaned but are often overlooked? Ms. Kay’s: There are a lot of little things that get missed or overlooked in the kitchen. Start with light fixtures and wipe down the top of cupboards and handles. Then wipe down the backsplash and walls and counters, making sure to wipe under items on the counter. Wipe all appliances inside and out, clean the vent hood over stove and the vents on the microwave, stove and fridge, and then wipe lower cabinets and cupboards. Using a little bit of olive oil on a rag also can shine up stainless steel appliances. What tips do you have for cleaning with natural, chemical-free or homemade products? Ms. Kay’s: We have worked a lot with Thieves Household Cleaner, which smells amazing and does a great job. Everyday items like vinegar, baking soda, olive oil and water can also do more than people realize. When it comes to decluttering and organizing, what steps do you recommend? Ms. Kay’s: Totes, bins and storage containers are a must when trying to declutter. Sort and organize things by what you use and don’t use. If you have not used something in over a year – and it does not hold a sentimental value to your life – we suggest donating it or tossing it. Always make sure to label the containers so you know what’s in them so you are not searching for things later on. Stack and put things in a storage area that is open and accessible. Getting rid of stuff can be emotionally difficult, especially in cases of family estates. Explain how a cleaning service can help in that process. Ms. Kay’s: Estate cleanings are often emotional and
stressful. Calling in a professional can ease some of that and they can help you go through things and decide what to do with them. We can pack the special items for you to ease some of the emotions. Once spring cleaning is done, what tips do you have for keeping a home tidy until it’s time for fall cleaning? Ms. Kay’s: Do the best to pick up right away and do a quick, run-through cleaning on a different room every day. Make some sort of schedule to get rooms done once a week or every other week. Get the whole family involved and make cleaning more fun. Turn on the tunes and dance while cleaning with the kids. Set goals and reward yourself (or family) when things get done and stay neat. When and why should someone consider hiring a cleaning service? Ms. Kay’s: We truly understand how hard it can be to work, take care of your family, yourself, and maintain your home, all while still trying to have personal time. Hiring a cleaning company offers you more free time to do what you enjoy doing and relieves stress, and it feels great to return home to a clean house. Sometimes people are unable to maintain their homes because of medical health issues, and it can be a hard step to take to have to bring somebody in the home to do the work you are used to doing yourself, but that’s what we love to do, and it can honestly be something positive. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed to need help or want help with household duties. Ms. Kay’s Services offers business and residential cleaning services, including estate cleaning, move-outs and windows. Based in New London, they travel to clients outside the Willmar area.
Never feel embarrassed or ashamed to need help or want help with household duties.
Health & Fitness
Daily detox tips to ‘spring clean’ your body
By Amy Erickson etoxing. What is it? Is it really possible? Do I need to do it? How can I get started? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions – feel free to continue reading. This will hopefully answer some of your burning questions. Let’s first address what “detoxing” really is. Detoxing your body is the process of essentially doing some basic maintenance and cleaning internally. We clean our homes, we clean our cars, we clean the outside of our bodies ... why should we treat our insides any different? To detox is to abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. “Do I really need to detox?” You may be saying to yourself: “I live pretty healthy. I don’t think my body has any toxins. I don’t need a detox!” Think again. The world we live in contains many toxins. We invite them into our bodies and minds each day without even thinking about it. The air you breathe, the thoughts you think, the items you
choose to ingest, products you use on your skin, etc. This can easily be overwhelming. But fear not. I have a few simple suggestions for you to help your body out. Also keep in mind your body has natural detox functions built in. When the body gets overloaded, these functions can be a bit sluggish. This is why it’s great to help aid our body in detoxing.
How can I get started?
I like to add things to my routine that can become a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. → Start by adding water. When you wake up in the morning drink a glass of water. If you’re drinking pop, or lots of caffeine throughout the day – try slowly switching over to water. You CAN do this, and your body WILL thank you. → Get moving. A brisk walk, 10 squats, a cycling class, whatever you can do – moving helps your body detox. The movement will help stimulate your body to eliminate toxins by sweating them out. Start with five to 10 minutes a day of exercise and work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week (or more).
→ Ditch processed foods and processed sugars. (Or at least consider cutting down on them.) Processed foods are hard on your body and generally offer minimal nutritional benefit. Reach for more fruits and veggies, grass fed and local meats, healthy fats, sprouted grains. These healthy foods will keep you feeling full while helping to support your body to function at its best. Look up “detox recipes” on Google or Pinterest and you will find endless ideas. From juicing to soups and salads – find something that interests you and give it a try. → Sleep. This sounds easy, but can be difficult for many. Your body heals and regenerates while you sleep. This is also the time that a lot of detoxing takes place. Shoot for at least eight hours of sleep per night. Leave your electronics outside of your bedroom so that you do not feel the need to be on them when you should be resting. → Re-train your brain. A lot of our toxic overload actually comes from our own mind. Negative self-talk, anxious thoughts, judgmental feelings toward others ... these all play a role in how we function day to day. Each time you feel yourself thinking or saying something negative, or worrying, try to find three positive things (in your mind) to say to overcome that. Studies have shown that by doing this – you really can re-train your brain. Change your toxic, negative thoughts to positive, loving thoughts. These are just a few quick and easy things you can add to your life to clean out the “bad” and make room for all the “good.” Are you ready to change? Give it a try this spring. Spring is a fabulous time for new beginnings. Amy Erickson is owner/trainer at Amy Erickson Fitness; firstname.lastname@example.org
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Do- it-yourself Create unique storage space for arts, crafts By Lu Fransen
f you are lucky enough to have dedicated crafting and art space, you know how much you look forward to being in it and de-stressing. Now, some spaces are messy because of the kind of art you practice, and if you like to dabble in many crafts, you probably have quite an eclectic stash of supplies to store. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring or unin-
Quite a few years ago I was “gifted” a box of thread. I had this wicker basket handy so I threw them in, and it has been on top of the sewing machine cabinet since then. You can find cheap wicker baskets in secondhand stores in a variety of sizes.
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spiring. I like my space to be unique and unusual. That seems to stimulate the creative part of my brain. So, when it comes to storage, think outside of the box. I really enjoy looking for things I can use when I’m going through antique stores, secondhand stores and at auctions. Here are a few things I’ve collected through the years.
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I have a fondness for old dressers and they work nicely for storage, especially for things you want to lay flat. As you can see, the smaller top drawer works perfectly for the rubber stamps. Crafting paper and fabric stores nicely also.
Another good option is old wood crates. Different heights give you flexibility in how you use them. Adding smaller storage within them (in one photo a wicker basket and canning jars) helps you divide and conquer the mess. Putting one on top of a dresser and on its side gives a shelf-like effect, creating even more storage.
I love these old sewing machine drawers. They hold ribbon and paints quite nicely! Plus, in some cases you can stack them if your supplies don’t go over the top of the drawer.
5 Finally, one of my prized possessions. An old Mexican sugar mold works perfect for paint brushes! So, make your space – “YOUR SPACE”! Lu follows in her mother’s footsteps of unwinding and relaxing by crafting and creating. Creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes!
Read it! Wisdom & Wine event brings Minnesota authors to Willmar
By Syrena Maranell Do you love reading? An evening when you can meet and hear from three Minnesota authors may be just the thing for you. Come meet Allen Eskens, William Kent Krueger and Kao Kalia Yang. The Friends of the Willmar Public Library welcome you to the first “Wisdom & Wine” fundraising event on Thursday, June 13, at the Willmar Conference Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dessert is served at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Proceeds will go to the Friends of the Library Fund which supports collection development and library programs. Participants will receive a souvenir wine glass and a complimentary glass of wine or nonalcoholic beverage. Enjoy the good company as well as the silent auction, duck raffle and photo booth fun. Here’s a closer look at the authors:
Allen Eskens is the bestselling author of “The Life We Bury” and several other novels. He has been a recipient of the Minnesota Book Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America. His books have been translated into 21 languages and his novel, “The Life We Bury,” is in development for a feature film.
William Kent Krueger is the author of the popular Cork O’Connor mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. Krueger has received numerous awards including the Minnesota Book Award. His last eight novels were all New York Times best sellers. In June, a beautiful 20th anniversary edition of “Iron Lake,” with a totally new cover, will be released by Atria Books and will include a bonus Cork O’Connor short story. “This Tender Land,” the companion novel to “Ordinary Grace,” will be released in September.
Kao Kalia Yang, a Hmong-American writer, is the author of “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir” and “The Song Poet.” “The Latehomecomer” won the 2009 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and “The Song Poet” also won a Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Critics Circle Award. In the fall of 2019, Yang will debut her first children’s book, “A Map
Into the World” and a groundbreaking collection titled “What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color.” Tickets for “Wisdom & Wine” are $35 and will be available online at Eventbrite.com through June 3. If online purchasing is not available to you, the librarians at the Willmar Public Library will assist you in buying tickets.
Friends of the Library annual raffle Tickets for the annual Friends of the Library raffle are on sale and may be purchased at the library or from Friends of the Library members. All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to the Willmar Public Library to support collection development and programming. The winners of the raffle will be drawn at “Wisdom & Wine,” and you need not be present to win. Only 400 tickets will be sold at $10 per ticket. Prizes include: • $300 and books to plan a Minnesota adventure
• Full size book-themed quilt and matching bag • Twins Package: four tickets, Jack Morris signed baseball,
blanket and book • Wisdom and Wine Basket: wine, wine glasses, treats, book and blanket • Sperry House Saturday brunch for eight with McKale’s Catering • Leather bag with signed books • MOA Package for four: Crayola Experience, Nickelodeon Universe, Moose Mountain Golf • Cash Prizes – $100, $50, $50 Syrena Maranell is the Adult Services Librarian at the Willmar Public Library. For more information on these audiobooks, swing by the Willmar Public Library. The librarians are there to help you find your new favorite author.
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Cleaning out your closet
By Erica Dischino email@example.com
ith the change in weather comes the change in wardrobe, but cleaning out your closet can be a hassle. Every piece of clothing seems important to keep – even that one sweater your grandmother gave you three decades ago that you have “just in case.” And actually finding the motivation to do it – that’s a whole other story. But, cleaning out your closet can be refreshing, rewarding and give you some piece of mind. Here’s how to maximize your closet cleaning. Clean with the seasons Spring isn’t the only season to clean. What about summer, fall and winter too? It’s a perfect time to get rid of those capris you thought you were going to wear but never did. Once a change in weather hits, take time to look at the previous season’s clothing pieces and get rid of what you didn’t wear. Be strategic Having a plan makes cleaning your closet a lot less overwhelming. Make a list. Organize by color, function and wearability. Separate into piles of “love,” “maybe,” “donate,” and “trash.” There are so many ways to downsize – and having a path to get there helps tremendously.
Ask questions Cleaning out your closet is a time to reflect on what’s important to you and your wardrobe. What do you wear all time? What have you never worn? How practical is this piece of clothing? Do I only wear this once a year? Asking questions can make the task easier once you begin to recognize what you like and don’t like. Use floor space Cleaning your closet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of things. Maybe there are better ways to use the space than you thought – just look down. The floor is perfect for housing shoes, bags and other accessories. There are plenty of shoe racks for purchase – or even crates will do. Find what fits If clothing items no longer fit you and have been in your closet for over a year, get rid of them! They are simply taking up space. Take the time Organizing and decluttering your closet is a big task and takes time. To avoid frustration or stress, designate a specific time to go through all of your things. Make a fun music playlist and get to it! Erica Dischino is the photographer for Live It! Magazine and the West Central Tribune.
Lighten it! As the season changes, turn to pasta for the win By Anne Polta @AnnePolta
Few flavors say “spring” like the freshness of lemon. Although this is tasty year round, it’s especially welcome as a springtime meal, accompanied by a salad of just-picked greens and perhaps some crusty bread.
pring is fickle, bringing the promise of sunshine and warmth one day and a chilly blast of frost the next. Planning what’s for dinner can be a dilemma. We’re done with the hearty dishes of winter and ready to move on to the freshness of a new season. But, what to do when spring days often seem to call for a little of both? Turn to pasta for the win. Few things can match this staple for all-around versatility, going effortlessly from light to robust and everything between, embracing a garden of flavors along the way. Here’s a trio of recipes featuring the lighter side of pasta – fresh in flavor but with a comfort-food factor that appeals to appetites no matter what the spring weather forecast brings.
8 ounces linguine 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain well and transfer to large bowl. Add olive oil, parsley, lemon zest and pepper and toss to coat. Meanwhile, combine chicken stock, lemon juice and cornstarch in small heavy saucepan. Whisk to dissolve cornstarch. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 2-3 minutes. Pour lemon sauce over pasta and toss to blend and heat through. Transfer to plates or pasta bowls, top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve. 3-4 servings
Fettuccine with Red Clam Sauce
Flavorful without being overly robust, this is good for a chilly night when the weather hovers somewhere between late winter and early spring. Red pepper flakes add an unexpected zing. Look for tomato paste that comes in a tube; you don’t need much for this sauce and you can save the rest for future cooking. 8 ounces fettuccine 3 tablespoons olive oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1-½ tablespoons tomato paste 2 6-½-ounce cans clams, drained, with juice reserved 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Pinch of dried red pepper flakes Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir to blend, about 1 minute. Add the reserved clam juice and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add clams, parsley and red pepper flakes and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the sauce is cooking, prepare fettuccine according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a heated serving dish. Pour sauce over fettuccine, toss well and serve. 2 to 4 servings
Pasta Shells with Peas and Bacon
Occupying a niche somewhere between casserole and pasta entree, this is lush with flavors: salty bacon, the sweetness of cream and peas and a hint of cheese, with a splash of lemon to keep it light. For an added touch of springtime, sprinkle each serving with a scattering of fresh chopped mint. 10 slices bacon 16 ounces mini-shell pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Freshly ground black pepper 2 cups frozen peas 2 tablespoons heavy cream Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese Cut the sliced bacon crosswise into slivers. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Add the bacon and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and fry until golden and crisp. Immediately add frozen peas and stir for a minute or two. Add the cream. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add cooked pasta to skillet with bacon and peas; stir until combined. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer until thickened. If mixture is too thick, add small amounts of the reserved pasta water to thin to desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir to mix in before serving. 4 to 6 servings
Anne Polta may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @AnnePolta
Money Matters Aligning your investments with your values By Craig Popp CFA
veryone lives their life according to personal values. Usually, they are held implicitly, meaning that we donâ€™t often think about them during our daily routine. However, expressing those values establishes a guide for us in life. As investors consider goals beyond financial growth when building their portfolios, sustainable investing is gaining considerable ground and options for investors are expanding. Sustainable investing encompasses investment strategies that integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis. The motivation behind this methodology comes from investors who seek to achieve benefits beyond financial returns, such as encouraging social or environmental best practices. Values-based investing has been around for decades. The earliest strategies implemented a socially responsible investing (SRI) perspective. The majority of approaches were exclusion-based â€“ where investors avoided objectionable companies or industries that conflicted with their religion, ethics or values. Over time, the curriculum has expanded, focusing more on the integration of ESG factors as investment criteria. Unfortunately, it does not lend itself to hard and fast rules or metrics. In fact, some ESG factors may be more striking than others in certain situations or for specific companies or industries. Investors may be puzzled by the growing assortment of acronyms and terminology on the subject, leading to confusion in determining what actions they can take. To give you an introduction, I will focus on two important pieces of sustainable investing: defining ESG criteria and understanding investment implementation choices.
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First, we must define what exactly ESG considerations are. The chart below provides examples of ESG issues. Please be aware this list is not all-inclusive and investors are free to focus on criteria most important to them. Sustainable investing does not imply that other forms of investing are unsustainable. Rather, it aims to equip investors with addi-
able behavior or to encourage best practices. Active ownership uses voting rights and undertaking engagement (a.k.a. shareholder advocacy) through verbal and written communication with companies on specific topics. Often, collaboration with other shareholders is used to effect change. Impact investing goes a step further and aims to make
ESG Issues ENVIRONMENT
Climate change policy Healthier products Sustainable agriculture Product safety Water use Alcohol & tobacco Hazardous materials use Worker safety Air emission and air quality Workforce exploitation Energy conservation Casinos and gambling Source: Trillium Asset Management, Vanguard
tional tools for choosing investments that best meet their values. After identifying their ESG principles, investors must then determine the manner in which they can implement their sustainable investing approach. Three approaches are the most common within the investment community. Most investors employing a sustainable investing program could have elements of most, if not all, of these approaches. ESG Integration: This approach considers ESG factors as part of the investment process. Investors adopting this approach actively take ESG issues and themes into account in the fundamental research, analysis, and decision-making process. Integration generally uses inclusionary or positive screens to identify quality companies, based on ESG criteria relative to a norm set by peer companies or industry standards. A study conducted by the CFA Institute cites integration is the most commonly used method1. Portfolio Screening: This approach incorporates an exclusionary or negative screen on the investable universe. Investors avoid investing in or participating in any profits from an industry or company viewed unfavorably. Portfolio screening is viewed as the original approach to “responsible” investing. Impact Investing/Active Ownership: Both approaches attempt to coerce positive change; however, the methods are different. Active ownership seeks to use influence to change corporate behavior. Generally, the goal is to discourage undesir-
Board diversity Executive compensation Separation of board chair & CEO position Independent board Voting rights Political contributions
a measurable impact on solving social or environmental issues. Investors directly seek companies that are focused on addressing environmental or social issues. Large investment organizations typically pursue this approach. Investments are made with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Sustainable investing is about more than feeling good. In addition to having confidence that your investments are making a positive impact, studies have shown that implementing a sustainable investing approach does not limit investment performance2. The number of investment managers that implement a sustainable mandate is expanding. The reward for investors is potentially finding an investment vehicle that aligns with their objectives. To learn more about sustainable investing, and if it’s right for your long-term financial plan, talk to your financial advisor. Sources: 1 “ESG Issues in Investing: Investors Debunk the Myths.” 2015. 2 Eccles, Robert G. and Ioannou, Ioannis and Serafeim, George, “The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance.” (November 23, 2011). Management Science. Craig Popp, CFA is a financial advisor at the locally-owned, independent office of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/ SIPC at 115 East Litchfield Avenue in Willmar. Popp also authors The Cognitive Bias – a blog covering the topics of personal finance, wealth management and investing. He can be contacted at 320-235-1416. Any opinions are those of Craig Popp and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.
The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecast will occur. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risks and you may incur a profit or less regardless to strategy selected.
Choose sooner, rather than later
By Ron Skjong
s I write this article, we are in the midst of a powerful winter storm featuring rain, sleet, ice, snow and crazy wind. It’s my hope that, by the time you read this piece, the gods of spring will have arrived peacefully, kindly and slowly so all of Old Man Winter’s snow has melted gently away. I hope … Sooner or later, we will have dry soil, warming breezes from the south, a smiling sun with wispy clouds to enjoy. Sooner or later … all things come to an end and so will winter. I hope. Obviously, there’s a bit of sarcasm in those previous sentences, but the idea of sooner or later does enter our lives because of the many opportunities in life – which opportunity does one choose and when? Will we notice the opportunity when it’s presented or will we continue with, well, sooner or later something good will happen to me? I urge all of us not to wait for the next opportunity or the next
day or the next job or the next whatever. I prefer the “sooner” in my daily experience rather than the “‘later” part of my daily experience. For example … I recently read an article about retirees and what they felt was lacking in their lives. The number one response was: “My ideal self was unfulfilled.” Wow! There’s so much in that sentence – perhaps a bit of regret, some late self-recognition and I sense some sadness in a life not fully lived, but rather a life lived as needed. A family member of mine is going through a situation at his work that has me thinking of that “ideal self unfulfilled” response. He has been on his job for more than 15 years and the ownership is going through a transition that isn’t properly respecting his loyalty and long-term service. In my many conversations with him, I urge him to seek his ideal self and to not have regrets later in life. To think about what gives him passion. How long did it take you to find your passion in life? I found one of my life’s passion a few decades ago when I first took a sip of German Riesling wine. For me, it was an “Aha!” moment and my passion flowed like the liquid did out of that first bottle of wine. It was my sooner or later moment. What excited me about the world of wine were the many opportunities to taste so many wines from
around the world. Then I learned about the differences that Vineyards and it’s their Lacrescent. Anything with a citrusy terroir (the environment in which the grapes are grown) taste catches the attention of my taste buds, and with its makes to a wine, the many different production methods, nicely balanced tastes of grapefruit and pineapple, this wine the blending and all the other elements that go into that is special. I always chill it because that helps to bring out the exciting flavors. When summer finally arrives, I’ll enjoy bottle of wine you enjoy. a nicely cooled glass as I look out But tasting wine was only part upon the green grass that needs of the adventure. I began to talk to mowing. people about wine and then began Let’s not forget about the many to write about it. I felt a part of my opportunities that are before us to ideal self being fulfilled and it has sample the wide variety of wines been a wonderful part of my life. What excited me about the from other parts of the country Sooner or later I will get to taste world of wine were the many and the world. I especially enjoy all the wines made in Minnesota. wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle opportunities to taste so many Hopefully sooner. which comes to us from WashingHow about you? Will you sooner wines from around the world. ton state’s Columbia Valley. I’m or later get to taste that wine you enjoying a glass of their Gewürzdesire, get to meet that special traminer right now. Its soft sweetsomeone, get to take that vacation ness, along with a bit of clove you’ve always dreamed of, let loose spiciness, reminds me of that first of your prejudices (I need to work bottle of Riesling I had those few on that one!) or maybe find out decades ago. Some good things never change! who you really are? Tough questions – but worth the time It’s my hope that I’ll see the colors of spring soon, that my to contemplate because sooner or later, well, you know what family member finds his passion and that we all live the ideal happens. life as we live life. I had heard about Crow River Winery’s Marquette wine for Sooner or later – let’s fulfill our passions now! some time and, although I’d tasted a number of Marquette As always, eat and drink in moderation but wines, I hadn’t tasted Crow River’s wine. I highly recomlaugh with reckless abandon! mend this wine because of its noticeable blackberry and Cheers! spicy peppery taste. What interests me is the wine is aged in Ron Skjong writes primarily about the wonderful world of wine oak barrels, and that aging process concentrates the flavors but likes to explore various spirits and beers, too. He is married and throws in a hint of vanilla. Tasty, full bodied with a and has four grown children. While stationed in Germany, he strong presence – try it sooner! was introduced to German wines and from that introduction, a lifelong pursuit developed to find that perfect bottle of wine. A semi-dry white wine I enjoy comes from Hinterland
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Life Happens Make a commitment to keep it real By Claudette Larson, LICSW I’m hoping by the time this article goes to press, we will no longer be up to our knees in snow. It’s been one weekend wallop after another, and I can cope with the weather but listening to my 1-year-old collie whine and need constant entertainment from us is becoming quite annoying and making life difficult. She hates being stuck inside. She is not OK, and neither am I. There I said it. I am not fine. I am not great or, “I can’t complain.” I can complain. There is a myriad of circumstances that haven’t been going my way lately and, truth be told, the snow creating a very unhappy dog in my home is just the tip of the iceberg. (No pun intended but it fit rather well.) Of course, when people have asked me how I’m doing, I’ve said: “I’m fine, how are you?” After all, that’s what’s expected or easier to say. We all do it. It’s the socially acceptable thing to do with others. Imagine the horror if one would stop and answer the question truthfully. I’m sure it happens on occasion with people we promise ourselves we will avoid running into the next time we are out and about. Well guess what? Maybe hearing about others having
a hard time is awkward for us in that moment, but at least that person is being honest. What if we were honest and admitted that we don’t have everything together as much as we want people to believe we do? We work so hard to keep that smile on our face and our outside package from betraying our inside difficulties. Who among us doesn’t have tough stuff? Can we be vulnerable and show that we have off days and less than perfect moments? When we talk about the stigma of mental health issues, isn’t that stigma about being weak or different? That we might not be the most perfect person in the room? Well, in my opinion, the healthiest person in the room is the person who is first to recognize they aren’t perfect – and they value themselves anyway. I always say, I would rather spend a day with a person in recovery than someone who has lived an unburdened life any day of the week. I truly do not know what we might talk about. So, I am trying very hard not to say, “I’m fine.” I’ve made a commitment to keeping it real. My answer depends on the day. I might say, “I am doing well” because I just might be. But I might also answer,
“I am pushing through and keeping the faith” because that’s the truth, and when I tell the truth, I give permission for everyone around me to do the same. Wouldn’t that be something? Take care. Claudette Larson, LICSW, RPT is owner of Willow Creek Counseling in New London and has enjoyed working with children, teens and adults for the past 16 years.
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Check it!Out! April-May 2019 What’s Happenin’?
Whitney Music Center Every Thursday Willmar, 6 p.m., Whitney Music Center, 913 Business 71 North; free music concert by different individuals and groups. Barn Theatre April 4-7, 11-14 Willmar, 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W.; performance of “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” for tickets call 320-2359500 or online at thebarntheatre.com.
Little Theatre April 5-7, 12-14 New London, 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sundays, Little Theatre; performance of “Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins,” a comedy about the worst singer in the world in 1941; tickets available at Giving Tree Children’s Boutique in New London and Whitney Music in Willmar and at the door, if available. Kat Perkins April 14 New London, 4 p.m., New London-Spicer High School performing arts center; the Spicer and New London Lions clubs present Kat Perkins in concert; tickets available online at newlondonspicer.com. West Central Concert Series April 18 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., WEAC; the West Central Concert Series presents “7th Avenue,” a mixed vocal quartet performing a pop program of old favorites and hip covers in a blend of a cappella, live piano or guitar, and tracked accompaniment; tickets at the door. Power of the Purse April 26 Spicer, 5:30 p.m. Little Crow Resort; Empower: Women United and United Way of West Central Minnesota fundraiser, an evening of food, drink, silent auction, wine pull, purse bingo and more; proceeds support early childhood education in our communities; tickets include purse bingo package, available online at United Way of West Central Minnesota, www.liveunitedwcm.org. ‘Neither Wolf Nor Dog’ April 27-28 New London, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Little Theatre; “Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” film adapted from the award-winning book by Minnesota author Kent Nerburn, presented by Rialto Revisited, a collaboration between the Little Theatre and New London Roaming Cinema to show classic movies. Rated PG-13, tickets online on the theater website. Prairie Arts Chorale April 27, Montevideo, United Methodist Church, 7:30 p.m. April 28, Dawson, Crossroads Lutheran Church, 4 p.m. Prairie Arts Chorale presents “Broadway: Changing the World, One Song at a Time,” arrangements and selections from Broadway musicals; tickets at the door.
Tuxedo Junction April 28
Glenwood, 3 to 7 p.m., Lakeside Ballroom; winter dances open to all, music by Tuxedo Junction; no jeans or shorts, basic dance lessons at 2 p.m. included with admission. White Sidewalls May 3 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W.; concert by the White Sidewalls, for tickets call 320-2359500 or online at thebarntheatre.com. Prairie Arts Chorale May 3, Redwood Falls, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 7:30 p.m. May 4, Marshall, Marshall Middle School, 7:30 p.m. May 5. Spicer, Faith Lutheran Church, 4 p.m. Prairie Arts Chorale presents “Broadway: Changing the World, One Song at a Time,” arrangements and selections from Broadway musicals; tickets at the door. West Central Concert Series May 7 Willmar, 7:30 p.m., WEAC; the West Central Concert Series presents “Holy Rocka Rollaz” performing classic early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and more; tickets at the door. Glacial Ridge Winery Every Thursday beginning May 9 Spicer, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Glacial Ridge Winery, state Highway 23 between Spicer and New London; free music concerts by different individuals and groups. Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra May 11 Willmar, 7 p.m., WEAC; “Young Artist Concert” with the competition winner. ‘At Wits End’ May 11-12 Willmar, times to be determined, The Barn Theatre, 321 Fourth St. S.W.; performance of “At Wits End,” based on Erma Bombeck’s life and stories; for tickets call 320-2359500 or online at thebarntheatre.com.
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MARK YOUR CALENDARS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019 & FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2019 Featured Speaker Paul Douglas
Returning Favorites... Outstanding Senior Citizen award sponsored by West Central Sanitation, Dad’s Belgium Waffles sponsored by Heritage Bank, Kingery Family sponsored by Whitney Music, The Wendingers Polka Band sponsored by Pioneer Public TV, BINGO and much more! Paul Douglas is a nationally-respected meteorologist, with 40 years of broadcast television and radio experience. Brought to you by our generous sponsors:
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